The (55-22) Los Angeles Lakers are in Oakland to start a two-game road trip in the Bay Area against the (34-44) Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
The Lakers have lost consecutive games for first time since the All-Star break and both losses weres filled with uncharacteristic mistakes.
It was great to see both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the lineup. The duo played well with Gasol scoring 19 points and Andrew Bynum recording a double-double 12 points and grabbing a career-high 23 rebounds.
The loss to the Jazz, as puzzling as it was, had this writer feeling as if I was watching the NCAA Title game between UCONN and Butler all over again. The Lakers played well enough defensively to win the game however failed to move the ball, showed an inability to knock down shots or fight through the Jazz defense.
Once again, they looked as if they were in need of a collective B12 shot. They played without any energy and appeared disinterested, and completely unmotivated as if playing a game against the Jazz on a Tuesday night was the last thing in the world that theywanted to do.
The Warriors ran past the Trailblazers in Portland for a 108-87 win. The backcourt of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combined to score 58 points, including seven of 11 shooting from behind the arc. Not to be outdone; David Lee recorded a 29-point 20 rebound effort.
The Lakers have won 12 straight games against the Warriors. Kobe Bryant has a 28-point career average against them. They have to slow down the Warriors backcourt, the front line has to contain David Lee and limit his impact.
They need to play with a high level of energy, effort and execution as well as take care of the ball. The Warriors have an outstanding transition game. The Lakers have to control the tempo of the game and play at their pace.
It is imperative that the Lakers get back in transition, have a great game defending the screen and roll play, stop the dribble penetration of the guards and quickly rotate out to open shooters and rebound the basketball. They have to extend their defense out to the three-point line. Also, control the painted area and the boards on both ends of the floor.
It is essential that the bench produce more than 19 points. Lamar Odom, the league’s sixth man of the year, has been a constant although the reserves as a whole unit have been inconsistent. They need to limit to Warriors to one shot per possession.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Warriors: S. Curry, M. Ellis, D. Wright, D. Lee, E. Udoh
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Golden State: CSN Bay (Jim Barnett & Bob Fitzgerald)
- Los Angeles: KABC 790 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Golden State: KNBR 680 (Tim Roye & Jim Barnett)
- Kobe Bryant (Sprained Left Ankle) Will Play
- Devin Ebanks (Stress Fracture, Left Tibia) Out
- Pau Gasol (Bone Bruise, Right Knee) Day-to-Day
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Questionable
- C Andris Biedrins (Sprained Ankle) Out
- PG Acie Law (Injured Right Wrist) Out
- SG Monta Ellis (Sprained Ankle) Day-to-Day