TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers vs. Hawks

lalatl2.jpg

My daughter is the Basketball Prophet.

I’m sitting on my couch watching the Lakers – Hawks game Wednesday, February 6th with my 4 year old daughter sitting next to me. Entering halftime I see the score is in the Laker’s favor 53-45.

My daughter says, “Papi, I think the Lakers are gonna lose”.

I look at her with betrayal clear on my face, “Why would you say that, hon?”

“Because the guys in white are faster”, she says.

Now, I love my daughter, but that day, she almost got sent to her room. We sat there and watched the game and I saw as the game progressed that the Hawks were running, A LOT! There were times where the Lakers would miss a shot and 4.5 seconds later, the Hawks were scoring. The announcer would say, “If the lakers don’t get back on defense, the Hawks just might take this one.”

“No way, man”, I would say to my self, but as I watched in disbelief, the Hawks hung around thru the 3rd quarter. Then at the end of the 4th, Kobe lost the ball to Joe Johnson’s defense. The Lakers had lost!

You see, she was right. The Hawks were faster. They out rebounded, out “fast breaked”, and out scored the Lakers in the paint. If the Lakers plan on defeating the “new look” Hawks tonight with their addition of Mike Bibby, they will have to win in these three areas.

Needless to say my daughter was gloating for the remainder of the day; till I got revenge and sent her to bed early for jumping on the couch. Since that day’s prediction, I have been asking her who will win each basketball game and you know what? 100% right so far. So I am introducing a new feature in the pre-game preview. It is called “Amber’s game prediction”. I will keep a running tally for the rest of the year to see how good she does. Now I’m not saying you can take her word to “Caliente” down in T.J, I’m just saying that so far, she has been a basketball prophet.

It’s uncanny (if I can only sneak her into Vegas).

Da’ Gameplans:

What the Hawks will want to do: The Hawks will be trying to out work the Lakers in the paint. I’m talking rebounds, points in the paint, and fast points close to the basket.

With the addition of Bibby, the Hawks will have yet another player who can both shoot the outside shot and drive to the “house”. That also means fouls. The Hawks beat the Lakers in the closing minutes with foul shots; J. J. made 4 for 4 in the last 23 seconds

Also, don’t forget that Bibby has always played well against our Lakers. Remember this day? That’s the day I almost had a heart attack. Bibby is averaging 18 points and 5 assists in 35 games against the Lakers. He averaged 24 points in four games against the Lakers in 2006-07. He will be a problem.

Defense against the home team will be a problem for the Hawks. The Lakers have a great home court with loyal fans and of course; Jack. Man, Jack is the Laker’s own mascot with that wily grin and sunbursted sunglasses.

Oh yeah, defending Kobe. Unless that dreaded “Pinky of Doom” is too much to bear, I expect Kobe to have another great game like he did against Minnesota last week.

What the Lakers will want to do: Kobe’s Pinky! Goodness gracious, has there ever been a time when such a small part of a person has caused so much of a raucous? Ok, too easy. I swear the devil is in Kobe’s pinky! It assisted in the Laker’s demise the last time they faced the Hawks and it might strike again. Kobe will have to be very careful not to aggravate that evil pinky or that little digit might mean the end of Finals hopes for the ‘ol “Purple and Gold”.

Better shot selection. The Lakers were 11-24 in tre’s last game against the Hawks to their 5-11. Guess what happened, when the Lakers missed those 13 times, the Hawks out ran the Lakers 16-9 in fastbreak points.

Welcome Home to Gasol and the Lakers! Gasol will be instrumental in slowing down Al “My ears give me super strength” Horford on the boards. Last game Al grabbed 20 rebounds!

Starters:

Hawks: Mike Bibby / Joe Johnson / Josh Smith / Marvin Williams / Al Horford

Lakers: Derek Fisher / Kobe Bryant / Vlad “Rad” / Lamar Odom / Pau Gasol

Key Match-Ups:

Pau Gasol vs. Al Horford

Mike Bibby vs. Derek Fisher

Mack’s Game Prediction: Do I need to say it? Lakers!

Amber’s Game Prediction: Lakers! (Good girl)

Game Preview Questions for Discussion:

1. Will Bibby make a big impact?
2. More importantly; if the Lakers keep the Hawks below 100 pts, will they play DJ Mbenga’s “Dacos” video over the teleprompter?

Game Time: 7:30 PM Lakers Standard Time

Local Broadcast: FSN HD

National Broadcast: NBA League Pass

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

  • http://www.lakerfan24.com Jayvee

    Lakers will win this.

  • ZenMaster23

    Great article. I love the pre-game previews. One thing though, the Lakers wear “Purple and Gold” not “Blue and Gold” :)

    Bibby will play well tonight but I know the Lakers will still pull out a win. I’m predicting 105-98.

    Go Lakers!!!

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    i like your daughter

  • MackCombs

    Good catch ZenMaster23. Changed it!

  • MILO

    On the guide of Time Warner it say’s Miami not Atlanta wtf gives???

  • Rasarx

    I really wish Kobe would get the surgery now and get it over with. I don’t see how resting a torn ligament with a piece of loose bone attached to it is going to help much of anything. It’ll help the swelling in the short run but without a ligament to keep your pinky attached to your hand you’re asking for trouble. Unless all other 9 players cooperate and play very carefully so that they don’t accidentally or intentionally touch his pinky, playing like this is really dangerous. It could do irrepairable harm. Kobe is not an outside shooter. His style of play takes him deep inside crowded paint area and exposes him to all sorts of contact. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but playing like this is really reckless.

  • mplakers

    actually, if you would have written “forum blue and gold” you would have been correct also. “forum blue and gold” is what chick hearn used to refer to the uniforms since jack kent cooke, the owner before dr. buss, disliked associating the word purple to the team.

    tonight, i’m looking forward to the crowd’s support of the ENTIRE TEAM, but particularly GASOL, since we haven’t seen them in about a “year” or so.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #26694 Will Be Quoted Here]

    She’s four perve.. and your not related to Mitch so go change your name. Your embarrassing him with that name esp. your last comment. BTW weren’t you on Dateline???.. LOL

  • ab4sure

    To be more specific… Dateline the show “to catch a predator”.

  • mikedeezy2k8

    i think the key matchup will be joe johnson and kobe, joe johnson went for like 28 points last time while kobe struggled.

  • http://www.mr47.com mr47

    No way the hawks win tonight. *crosses fingers for kobe’s pinky*

  • http://lakers.topbuzz.com Lakers2410

    LOL “to catch a predator”? OK…I haven’t seen or heard of any guy named Billy Kupchak ever. But anyways, I doubt he really meant he “likes her”, he probably meant that he likes the way she thinks/talks I presume. But lets get back to the Lakers-Hawks’ game, shall we! I agree with Amber and Mack, I think we’ll win tonight! We have the size advantage, w’re able to run with them if we try, we have better size and better rebounding, and we’re also at home/Lakers’ stadium! I’m very energetic about this game, well, not really since I’m sick and can’t go to school today (OH YEAH!). But lets hope that we don’t let them be the ones that end up with the lead with 0.0 seconds left on both clocks, the game clock and shot clock!

  • Rusty

    I say the Lakers stomp the Hawks tonight. I had a dream last night that I woke up and it was feb 15. All this weird stuff was happening, but I did notice a tv where the Lakers opened up a can of whoopass on the Hawks. I will enjoy seeing how my prediction goes as well.

    WallFIshy

  • ECJ

    The Lakers will win it tonight. If there’s one thing Kobe hates (pinky or no pinky) is losing and he’ll want to avenge the last loss.

    BTW, what is with the small extremity curse with the Lakers. Remember a certain out of shape massive man complaining about a big toe? Shoot, at least Kobe’s sucking it up and averaging about 30ppg with it.

  • Yoni

    Anybody else see the parallels between Kobe being bugged by that pinky and Shaq and all his troubles with the big toe? The toe hampered Shaq so much that people suggested cutting it off. I think some witch must have cursed the Lakers…

  • T.A.

    Lakers will cruise tonight!!!

    Starters wont play much in the 4th quarter and we will get rested up for the ShawnMarionLess Suns!!!!

    2 predictions
    Lakers 106
    Hawks 86 – Gasol 30+ pts, 12 rebs

    Lakers 111
    Suns 103 – Kobe 28pts, 10asts, Gasol 31pts, Shaq 12pts + a season ending injury

  • DCLAKER

    Gasol will be the factor tonight with 33.

  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    [Comment ID #26708 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lol

  • JCBiglessworth

    Im goin to the game in a couple hours…..and im gonna cheer LOUD for PPPAAAUUUU

  • Rasarx

    Yeah I see a parallel of sorts. Shaq’s toe falls asleep and the big fella goes on the injured list from Dec to March. Kobe’s finger just about comes off and the kid risks destroying his career by playing on. Two people’s attitude toward the world. No wonder nobody thinks Shaq’s career will last to his late 30s even though he has sat out a good portion of it.

    By the way, anyone heard about the ex-Laker, ex-Sun player and current Suns employee Cedric Ceballos getting arrested?

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/nba/02/18/bc.bkn.suns.ceballosarr.ap/index.html

    He was the one the Lakers traded to get Horry who’s still going.

  • lakerz

    so were going to start something like this for every game?

    and whos mack?

  • veritasvosliberabit

    Yeay!! Previews are BACK!!!!! Let’s hope that they stay for good this time.

  • lakerz

    no offense dude ^^^

  • JCBiglessworth

    HAHA have u guys read this???

    The Lakers’ Phil Jackson, O’Neal’s former coach, said Shaq’s role would be “taking the ball out of bounds and waiting for the other team to get back.”

    “He’s a jokester, and that’s funny, very funny,” Shaq said without smiling. “Ha-ha. Very funny.”

  • lakerz

    [Comment ID #26753 Will Be Quoted Here]

    thats kind of old dude.

  • bryantbynum

    [Comment ID #26708 Will Be Quoted Here]

  • bryantbynum

    [Comment ID #26755 Will Be Quoted Here]
    come on you know he did not mean it like that. there’s no need to assault him for it.

  • mplakers

    ab4sure, you’re atrange for even thinking the guy meant it in that manner. what kind of wheels do YOU have turning inside your hamster wheels???…

  • mplakers

    **strange

  • bryantbynum

    lakers should get the W tonight hopefully kobe will be alright.

  • http://myspace.com/nugge7 The Nugget

    [Comment ID #26747 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I hope so too. :D

  • kooobaaay

    Great Article!!
    I’m going to go out with a guess and say lakers win 115 to 100
    Lets GO lakers lets GO…. CLAP CLAP!!!!
    Lets GO lakers lets GO…. CLAP CLAP!!!!

  • Phant0M

    GO LAKKKEKRSSZZ

  • ryguy2303

    I hope Pau gives us tacos in his home debut

  • Thomas

    If you got her into Vegas you could win a lot of money

  • MackCombs

    Maybe I’ll try Circus Circus…

  • http://www.lakerfan24.com Jayvee

    Hahaha the game is turning into a Lakers massacre of the Hawks

  • Phant0M

    ^^^Gasol and Kobe the butchers :D

  • http://www.lakerfan24.com Jayvee

    [Comment ID #26779 Will Be Quoted Here]

    If this is what’s going to happen in Phoenix tomorrow I’d be very very very happy.

    Gas-ol will destroy the Diesel

  • http://www.lakerfan24.com Jayvee

    40 point lead. Can we call this a snorefest? Call off the game already so the team can rest and prepare for tomorrow’s game.

    The Hawks have become virtually practice team for the Lakers.

  • Rasarx

    Time to pull out Kobe and put in Coby. Nobody will notice.

  • Rasarx

    I know, he’s not on the roster but who’s gonna know.

  • iLakers

    [Comment ID #26700 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Kobe’s NOT an outside shooter?!?!?!

    I must be wearing the wrong pair of glasses.

  • http://nba.com IMmichael

    well is your daughter side kick cause lakers are desamating the hawaks

  • MackCombs

    Amber 6-0
    Mack 1-0

    I think I’ll just follow her lead.

  • Rasarx

    By outside shooter I mean someone who only shoots from outside, and no, he’s not a purely outside shooter though he can shoot from outside. He can also post up but nobody calls him a post up player. Outside shooting is not where he makes his living. He can post up and cut and drive and slash and slam and break the defense down. By the nature of those moves he gets a lot of contact, manufactures a lot of fouls because defenders always want to protect the paint. Defenders are constantly hacking at him, at the ball and his hands as he is driving by. He can do all that which is why today he is the best player in he league. If he was a purely outside shooter he wouldn’t be exposed to so much contact, is my point. Don’t take that to mean he can’t shoot from outside.

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #26708 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I think he meant that he liked the author’s daughter because she picked the Lakers to win tonight’s game.

  • DCLAKER

    Seeings I ran my mouth all day about that “bogus” trade rumors(Those DAMN SPORTS WRITERS),all I can say is PAU!PAU!PAU!