The Great Space Coaster!

Here’s a little “ditty” from 1981’s kid show I’m sure some of you will remember…

“It’s the Great Space Coaster. Get on board.
On the Great Space Coaster. We’ll explore.

A comet ride of fantasy
To a place where dreams are fast and free
With new friends and new things to see
We’ll spin you through the galaxy

On the Great Space Coaster. Oh-oh-oh.
On the Great Space Coaster. Off we go.

Get on board, step inside, soarin’ on a magic ride.
Roarin’ towards the other side where only rainbows hide.

On the Great Space Coaster (Oh-oh oh)
On the Great Space Coaster (Get on board)
On the Great Space Coaster (Get on board)
On the Great Space Coaster
Off we go!”

Some of you may be wondering why I posted this song to start my pre-game preview. There are some of you, however, who know darn well why I posted this song. To quote the song, the Lakers are, “Soarin’ on a magic ride,” and, “Roarin’ towards the other side where only rainbows hide.” Ladies and not-so-gentlemen, the Lakers are well on their way to bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Laker-land!

That’s right! I said it! The Lakers are on a tear through the NBA defeating teams by an average of 17 points in February and they are having fun doing it. Look at these stats in February:

12 – 1 (we later avenged that one loss to Atlanta), 9 wins in a row, a differential of +13.10, 2nd in PPG (111.10), 2nd in FG %(.499), and on the defensive side the Lakers are in the top 10 for both blocks and steals. As we saw Tuesday, the Lakers need to continue to work on rebounding. Part of that will be fixed with the return of Bynum, but you all get the picture. The Lakers are looking like this year’s New England Patriots.

Except they won’t choke come the championship.

On the other hand we have the “Hapless Heat” (new nickname?), who are an abysmal 10-44 on the season. You know how Phil Jackson wanted to get to 40 wins before 20 losses? Well, looks like the Heat might get 50 losses before 20 wins. That’s bad. You know what’s worse? The Lakes have a history of losing to teams who were struggling. I’m not saying this is going to happen, I’m just saying, Tuesday’s game at home against the Blazers scared me a bit.

The Heat have been averaging over 100 points since Shawn has started playing for them. This doesn’t mean all of a sudden they are contenders, no. I just think they are starting to gel; which is a good thing for them, not so good for the Lakers. The Lakers will have to play these guys hard. If you have been following the Blazers’ last couple of games before their Tuesday night win in Sac-town, you saw them lose very close games against the Nuggets and the Rockets.

As a matter of fact, the last game against the Lakers was close all the way to the end. If the Lakers want to come away with their 10th win, they will have to ride that “Great Space Coaster” right over the Heat.

Man, now that I think about that show, I just realized something;

I hated Baxter.

Da’ Gameplans:

What the Heat will want to do -

Offense: Team work, in the last 6 games since Marion joined the Heat, Wade has been averaging 28 points per game and 8 assists while Marion is averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds. This team has gotten better. Look for the Heat to use the “dynamic duo” (been used before) to wear down the Lakers’ defense with drives and dishes for outside shots. With all the driving to the lane, we might see Jason Williams and Mark Blount’s game increase as well.

Defense: How do you guard the most intimidating player in basketball? Prevent him from getting the ball. I see the Heat attempting to keep the ball out of Kobe’s hands. The Heat are fast enough and have good enough hands to do that. They are definitely athletic enough. The question still remains, however, who’s going to guard “Plan G”?

What the Lakers will want to do -

Offense: One reason the Lakers had so much trouble against the Blazers on Tuesday was because they moved away from Gasol. During the game I was wondering, “Where’s the pick and roll?” I didn’t see it much. Could be the Blazers were defending that play. Don’t know. What I do know is that the Lakers had better continue passing the ball. Without ball movement, there is no triangle, no triangle = 1 on 5 Kobe-ball. He’s the MVP, let’s keep him facilitating.

Defense: Penetration. The Lakers need to keep both Wade and Marion away from the basket if they expect to rim. Those two players are two of the most athletic slashers and finishers in the game. What do you do against slashers and finishers? Make them jump shooters or make them pass the ball. If the Lakers do that, they have the game.

Projected Starter –

Heat: Jason Williams / Dwyane Wade / Shawn Marion / Udonis Haslem / Mark Blount

Lakers: Derek Fisher / Kobe Bryant / LUUUUKE!!! / Lamar Odom / Pau Gasol

Interesting Match Up -

Shawn Marion vs. Lamar Odom

Dwyane Wade vs. Kobe Bryant

Amber’s Game Prediction: Today when asked who will win the game, Amber just looked at me, tilted her head to the side and said, “Papa, why do you keep asking me that? You know the Lakers will beat the Heat!

Needless to say I let her stay up past her bedtime to watch “Dora the Explorer”. She didn’t get why, but I know you all do. GO LAKERS!!!

Mack’s Game Prediction: After Mark Blount fouls out early in the third from Pau “Da le mas Gasol-ina” Gasol taking him to the hole all night, the camera will cut to Pat Riley just as he is in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Lakers win!

Amber’s Scorecard: 10 – 0

Mack’s Scorecard: 5 – 0

Next 3 Games: @ Portland, vs. Dallas, @ Sacramento

Game Preview Questions for Discussion -

1. 20 points for the first person to tell us who Larry O’Brien was?
2. 50 points for the person who predicts who will foul out first in the game.

Game Time: 7:30 PM Lakers Standard Time

Local Broadcast: Not this time Timmy. Timmah!

National Broadcast: TNT

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

  • mfoznot

    JINX!!!!!!

  • http://gmail.com Basher

    10 in a row baby! Go Lakers!

  • Ludichris

    Larry O’Brien was a democratic strategist and the commissioner who merged the NBA with the ABA.

  • drorican

    well if no one fouls out you owe me 50 points but im guessing blount will get frustrated by constantly getting demolished by kaPAU!

  • ZenMaster23

    I like Gasol’s new nickname: “Plan G”

    That is very fitting to me as we went from plan B (Bynum) to “Plan G” when he got injured.

    Hopefully that name catches on and we’ll hear Stu saying it during the games soon.

  • True Lakers Fan

    wait did u say u let Amber stayed up past her bed time to watch Dora? Does that show come on in the morning?

  • xtro

    Have a bad feeling the Matrix will go ballistic in tonight’s game.

  • tradekwame11

    when is bynum getting back

  • Wong63

    we should let the celtics be the patriots and we will be the giants!!!!!!!!! Since we will still most likely be the underdogs even with PAU & BYNUM

  • MackCombs

    True Lakers Fan,

    We have Dora on DvD so we can watch “anytime” *sarcastic*.

    Amber loves Dora, kinda like me with Clint Eastwood. Just with out the bullets, smoking, Italians pretending to be Mexicans; you get the picture.

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

    after my birthday![Comment ID #27924 Will Be Quoted Here]

  • Michael_23

    If the Lakers don’t run away with this after the 1st quarter, I expect this game to be harder than the Blazers game.

    Hopefully they Heat will be satisfied of their win 2 nights ago and just be satisfied with their road trip and wont show up tonight.

  • True Lakers Fan

    [Comment ID #27926 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yea man I catch your drift you are doing awesome by the way keep doing the great work

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    The Lakers are looking like this year’s New England Patriots.

    This part of the article does not make any sence what so ever. It is more like the other way around the Patriots are trying to be like the Lakers.
    You see we have 14 Championships and the Pats have 3 so do not put those Pats anywhere near the Lakers categlory. The Pats can’t even hold a candle to us.

  • Jesse
  • mikethelakerfan

    Although I do appreciate the time put into these game previews and I occasionally do find an interesting crumb, these are the worst game previews. I know I’m not the first to think this and it had to be said. I read every Laker article I can find, but I can barely make it through these. The nicknames are very cheesy if not just plain awful, as are the analogies. Is “Hapless Heat” supposed to be clever? Opening with the tv kids theme is the worst idea for a hook ever. Maybe these previews are supposed to be carefree and silly, and if that’s what you wanted to do, you got it. If you are hoping to ever be a decent sports writer, things need to improve.

  • awesomerob24

    yea im going to have to agree with Mike
    no offence man it’s just that these previews are boring.
    da game plans
    what they want to do?
    what we want to do?

    idk its just not my cup of tea

  • Pau Gasol

    I’ve got a great game plan, I think the Lakers will run this offense called the “triangle,” where the Heat will counter with a more rugged approach, typical of their head coach Pat Riley. Hey Mackcombs, did you know that Pat used to coach the Lakers in the 80’s? But because there was a trade recently involving O’Neal and Marion, the heat actually get a few more possessions a game.

  • mfoznot

    Adding to above said… Please stop saying the lakers are a lock to win the NBA championship in every post. One, you’re jinxing it. Two, as if we need a two, this is the tightest the west has been maybe ever, dont be so cocky. Like Kobe says, “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

  • mfoznot

    Adding to above said… Please stop saying the lakers are a lock to win the NBA championship in every post. One, you’re jinxing it. Two, as if we need a two, this is the tightest the west has been maybe ever, dont be so c0cky. Like Kobe says, “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

  • LakersPride24

    First off all, if you believe in jinxes, you’re an idiot. Jinxes are for miserable fans like people from Boston and Cleveland. There is nothing wrong with title talk. All us fans of the purple & gold are excited. When you are this good in February, it’s hard not to think about June. This team will not get lazy and look ahead. That’s what Phil and Kobe are there for. They will focus on each game, then just absolutely kick ass in the playoffs. Easy win tonight. The Heat just can’t match up. Pau is gonna dominate!

  • DCLAKER

    I think Turiaf and Farmar will be the factor this game.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #27948 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Title talk is cool but when you have mindless fans GUARANTEEING A TITLE.. that is just plain stupid. So for that they get ripped. The prize is the title but lets not spoil it by putting out guarantees…..

  • mfoznot

    At least we are arguing about getting a title. It’s a nice problem to have.

  • LakersPride24

    ab4sure, Laker fans are not mindless. Well maybe the first few rows of silicone and botox at Staples, but other than that we are smarter than people give us credit for. Fans all around other parts of the country who despise the Lakers and their fans are jealous. They’re jealous of the scenery and the success of the team. The Lakers are the Yankees of the NBA. There’s no middle ground. Love them or hate them. So if you hate that’s fine, but don’t disrespect by calling Laker fans “mindless.” There is nothing wrong with title talk. I mean what’s the difference compared to Boston fans who cream over the Red Sox every year? None. They are passionate for their team, so are we. Get over it.

  • Thomas

    We got this. We have been unstoppable since getting Gasol. Yes all Laker fans were scared during most of the last game against Portland but i believe in Phil Jackson’s coaching ability and trust that he will iron out the creases. Lakers win and the fans get tacos, need i say more??

  • iLakers

    I agree with ab4…if i were at a laker game sitting next to someone who keeps yelling “We’re the 2008 Champions!” in late February, i’d tell him to shut the F up and sit down.

    Lets watch these games and praise them for the things they have done not the things they HAVEN’T been done.

  • mfoznot

    ^^^^^^^^
    Exactly.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #27967 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Read my post more carefully…talking about a possible title is ok but “Guaranteeing a title” is mindless… or maybe not using your mind.. LOL