Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The (50-20) Los Angeles Lakers are back to work at Staples Center to face their Pacific Division rival  the (35-33) Phoenix Suns and while celebrating Noche Latina. A good analogy for tonight’s match up would be to say that this evening’s opponents are like two ships passing at sea heading in two different directions.

The Lakers, winners of the Pacific Division for the fourth straight time are in playoff mode. The Suns appear to be in a futile attempt at inclusion into the post season. The Lakers leads the season series winning two of three.

There are 12 games remaining in the regular season and the Purple and Gold are fine-tuning their game for the postseason and not looking past anyone. They improved to 12-1 after the All-Star break in the process of the come from behind win over the Blazers. In the first of two games without Andrew Bynum, the lack of a dominant inside presence was felt by them being outrebounded (45-35) by the Blazers.

Despite the described deficiency and lack of calls from the officials. They used their experience and execution down the stretch to grind out a win. Kobe Bryant is nowhere near 100 percent, but as always, leading by example playing through the pain. Lamar Odom continues to make an impact wherever needed and continuously contributing to winning basketball.

The Suns possess a lot of talent. The Lakers have to stop the dribble penetration of Steve Nash. Nash is one of those players that force you to pick your poison; it would be wise to turn him into a scorer to limit his impact as a facilitator. They have to communicate on defense and do a good job defending the screen and roll plays.

The Suns are a good three-point shooting team. It’s imperative that the Lakers quickly rotate out to open shooters and extend their defense behind the arc. They have to control the tempo of the game and play at their pace.  They have to dominate the glass and the painted area rebound and limit them to one shot per possession.

The Lakers need to continue to play with defensive focus and offensive discipline. They have to come out aggressive on both ends of the court and put doubt in the minds of the Suns.

They needs to rely on excellent ball movement and excellent man movement to find high percentage shots close to the basket. They need to establish Pau Gasol in the post early and run their offense through him. Gasol has to be aggressive, attack the basket and take shots going to the basket.

This is the attack the rim time of the year. The bench is making an impact and that trend needs to continue.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom, P. Gasol
Suns:
S. Nash, V.Carter, G. Hill, C. Frye, R. Lopez

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: FS West, TNT (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Phoenix: FS AZ, TNT (Gary Bender & Eddie Johnson)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 & 1330 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Phoenix: KTAR 620 AM (Al McCoy & Tim Kempton)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Kobe Bryant (Sprained Left Ankle) Questionable
  • Devin Ebanks (Stress Fracture, Left Tibia) Out
  • Andrew Bynum (League Suspension) Out
  • Theo Ratliff (Sore Left Knee) Out

Suns:

  • Gani Lawal (Torn ACL, partially torn MCL, Right Knee) Out
  • DieHardLakerFan408

    Lets go Lakers!

    • LakerMarc

      408…They WILL win.

  • Nick’s Lame

    Hope lakers just hustle tonight,stay with the game plan.

    • LakerMarc

      nICK iS lAME AND SOMETIMES SO IS rILEY AND dOG, TOO. gO aWAY.
      Nick’s Lame …you are 100% right….Lakers need to stick to the plan so they don’t spend 3 1/2 quarters trying to figure it out, battle through the crap, and putting the pressure on themselves to pull it off in the final couple of minutes.

  • Nick

    OKC VS Boston… That’s going to be the NBA Finals in June. And I’m with Perkins 100%… Pau is a bitch and Phil is a punk. Now if he woulda said Kobe is a phony who makes tough guy faces every time he scores, and if he woulda said that bynum is a big pussy who’s PERMANENTLY hurt then he’d be 100 percent correct.

    • Tyler

      Look who’s back. I see your still riding perkins like a 2$ B*tch. Seems the only good thing your team is getting rid of the thing they call a human being. I’d like to see OKC TRY to get past us, and your geriatric old team WILL NOT get past the Bulls. Heck I’m looking for the sixers to upset your team’s sorry a$$es. The Only bitch is perkins.

      NOW

      Lets go lakers. Go get this win.

    • Nick’s Lame

      Perkins,you mean that dude from the old clash of the titans Caliboss………….

      • LakerMarc

        Ha!

    • SHOWTIME4EVA

      your celtics are losing ground.your falling.your a scurred bitch and we know it and you know we know it.

  • reni

    lakers just need to keep their focus and do their thing. stay humble after each win. it goes a long way.

  • BRyson

    Hhho

  • Kmac_321

    20 rebounds combined

  • SwishersEnt
  • Nick’s got a purdy mouth

    We are going to be fine. Nick’s wet dreams don’t scare me. only thing that scares me is Perkins might be Nick’s daddy. they’re both full of shit. Lakers will continue to put the league on notice. Go Lakers!!!!

  • Chi-Town Walt

    LUKE WALTON IS TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!