Thunder vs. Lakers: Role Players That Must Step Up for LA to Impress

The Los Angeles Lakers face an uphill battle against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it will take every player on the roster to pull them out of their current 0-2 hole.

The coaching staff knows what it can get out of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but the role players have been worryingly inconsistent.

Los Angeles is going to need more than just its "big three" to get past the Thunder. Here are the four players that will need to step up the most in order for the Lakers to get back into the series. 


1. Metta World Peace

World Peace is capable of making a game-altering impact on both ends of the floor.

Perimeter defenders as strong and physical as World Peace are rare. His style bothers Kevin Durant, and World Peace is one of the few players league-wide capable of slowing down the three-time scoring champ.

On offense, World Peace has shown glimpses of his early days when he was a productive scorer. If he is scoring on Durant in the low post and hitting his three-pointers, the Lakers offense is nearly impossible to stop.

The small forward is also the only player on the Lakers capable of matching the fire and intensity that Bryant brings when he plays. If World Peace is focused and playing well, the Lakers have a shot at turning this series around.


2. Ramon Sessions

Sessions has added a lot to the Lakers since being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers midseason.

His speed and athleticism give the team a dimension on offense it did not have with Derek Fisher. However, the Lakers knew that Fisher could be counted on in crunch time, and Sessions will need to prove that he is clutch as well.

He needs to continue to assert himself and show that he is capable of performing when the season is on the line.

The Lakers need leadership from the point guard position, and if Sessions can deliver, Los A...

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