Lakers in Beertown to battle the Bucks

Photo by Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

The (11-8) Los Angeles Lakers are in beer city, Milwaukee, Wisconsin to start their road trip against the (7-11) Bucks.

Milwaukee, parked majestically on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Once known exclusively as a driving force in brewing and manufacturing has gone through a renaissance and has changed their image.

Visit Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, today and you will have to take notice of Miller Park, Pier Wisconsin, Milwaukee River walk and the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Lakers however have come to the Bradley Center on business. After a much-needed win in the commissioner induced rivalry with the Clippers, the Lakers embark on their annual Grammy road trip.

On this extended road trip, the purple and gold will play eight of their next nine games away from the Staples Center.

One month into the season the Lakers win over the Clippers could bring much-needed confidence and belief in the system. There is a chance that the Lakers could have found their identity. However, this extended road trip is a critical stretch for the Lakers who are 1-6 on the road this season. The Lakers are seeking to end their road woes. L.A. is in search of answers as well as woes improved play on the road.

The Lakers are averaging 89.7 points per game which ranks 21st   in the league, their opponents points per game 97.9, which is 19th. The Lakers are shooting 42.4 % from the floor that ranks 13th in the league and a dreadful 23.4% from behind the arc, which ranks 30th in the league or dead last.

At game time the temperature outside the arena will be 20-degrees, the hope is that the Lakers shooting will be much warmer. The Lakers split last year’s two-game season series with the Bucks after sweeping the season series in both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games against the Bucks, winning six of their seven overall. The Lakers are 8-2 at the Bradley Center.

The Lakers have gone 12 straight games scoring under 100 points. Despite their record, the Bucks have reached the century mark 10 times this season. The Bucks lost star center Andrew Bogut, for the next 8-to-9 weeks, to a fractured ankle and the team is 0-6 without him.  In the Bucks previous game, Brandon Jennings and Drew Gooden combined for 48 points. The reserves led by Jon Leuer scored an impressive 42 points.

The extended road trip gives the Lakers a perfect opportunity to come together as a team. Brandon Jennings a young quick scoring point guard, the type the Lakers has struggled against for years, leads the Bucks. This contest will come down to the Lakers defense as well as offensive execution, which will improve with the luxury of more practice time a commodity every team is lacking in this short truncated season.

The Lakers, despite their struggles on offense are a top defensive team. To win in Milwaukee L.A. has to play solid against the pick-and-roll play, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, control the tempo of the game, get back in transition, control the boards on  both ends of the court and quickly rotate out to open shooters.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, M. Barnes, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Bucks: B. Jennings, S. Jackson, C. Delfino, D. Gooden, E. Ilyasova

Tip-off: 5:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Bill Macdonald & Stu Lantz)
  • Milwaukee: FS Wisconsin (Jim Paschke & John McGlocklin)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
  • Milwaukee: WTMJ AM 620 (Ted Davis & Dennis Krause))

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Josh McRoberts (Sprained Left Big Toe) Probable
  • Kobe  Bryant (Torn Lunotriquetral Ligament, Right Wrist) Probable
  • Steve Blake (Bruised Ribs) Out

Bucks:

  • Andrew Bogut (Left Ankle Fracture) Out

 

Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.