The former Tulsa 66er Ramon Sessions is going to be an influential piece to the Lakers postseason puzzle if they plan on moving past Oklahoma City in the second round of these NBA playoffs. Session was shutdown to put it lightly in game 1, shooting just 1-7 from the field, notching 2 points and dishing out only 3 assists in the Lakers’ embarrassing loss. When you are assigned to Russel Westbrook it is understandable that you might struggle defensively, but that shouldn’t disturb your play as a facilitator and third or fourth option in the Lakers offense to point where you are a complete non factor.
Perhaps Sessions can draw from his D-League days where he dominated fools. Sessions was the first player assigned to the NBA Development League in the 2007-2008 season and averaged 30.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. Sessions won Performer of the Week honors twice in that season, and would ultimately be called up by the Milwaukee Bucks and prove himself. Sessions doesn’t have to put up 30 points against the Thunder, but his play needs to be elevated for the Lakers to have any shot in this series.
On the season thus far, Sessions is averaging 11.3 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per contest. Those are numbers that we all know Sessions is capable of posting. After Steve Blake’s clutch shooting performance in the Lakers game 7 with Denver, a little more pressure has been put on Sessions to make his minutes count. It was clear that L.A. cannot hang with Oklahoma’s speedsters, so they will need to slow the game down and make the Thunder beat them in the half court. Naturally this does not fit Sessions’ strength which is his transition game, but the time is now for Sessions to grow his game and impact this series in a positive manner.
Kobe, Pau, and Bynum will need Sessions to provide that spark along with the smarts that he displayed earlier in the season when it seemed he had finally gelled with the Lakers big three. If Session cannot find that game that certainly lies within him, then the Lakers maybe be seeing brooms in the stands very soon.