The (10-8) Lakers host the (9-5) Clippers tonight as the tenants of the Staples Center resume the renewed hallway series. The Lakers are 20-4 all-time against the Clippers at home, 9-1 in their last 10, winners of the last eight. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games overall. The Lakers lost game one and trail the Clippers in the season series after winning the series last year (3-1).
As expected, Chris Paul has literally changed everything in this series. If the Lakers do not come out of top tonight, the Clippers will win the season series against the Lakers for the third time in franchise history, as the L.A. Clippers in the 1992-1993 season and as the Buffalo Braves in the 1974-1975 season.
The Clippers are a confident group playing good basketball and enjoying their best 14-game start since 2006-2007. The purple and gold are 9-2 at the Staples Center this season. The Lakers have struggled mightily to score points this season and everyone is frustrated. The Lakers, on a three-game-losing skid, have gone 11-straight games scoring under the century mark exceeding 100-points only once this season.
The Lakers are searching for answers. Normally this would be a great time to exhibit some patience with the new-look Lakers; however, it is doubtful with a shortened season that the purple and gold have the luxury of time to be patient. The loss of Lamar Odom has increased the workload of Pau Gasol. Gasol is a team player who has made several adjustments this season and has been truly professional throughout the process.
Due to the lack of speed, athleticism on the perimeter, guards that are skilled at running the pick-and-roll play head coach Mike Brown is using Pau Gasol more as a facilitator, jump shooter further away from the basket.
Pau Gasol is a two-time NBA champion dealing with decreased production, increased scrutiny and more than likely not participating in this year’s all-star game.
Gasol has not drawn a line in the sand and demanded more touches in the post, but who could blame him if he did? Gasol has posted 4 triple-doubles, 326 double-doubles, 40 30+-point games and 2 40-point games. However, the state that the Lakers are in seems to scream out go back to the triangle offense.