So I’m trying something new for this preview, linking the names of the “Marquee Matchupees” to their Yahoo Profile. Hopefully this will allow us fans to get a better idea of what to expect from each player. Also, a fun little thing that the Yahoo has is the “Next Game” statistical analysis. It gives the stats from the last game against the next opponent, their career stats against that team, the home or away stats for the player in the current season, and the players stats in games that come after X number of days of rest.

I understand that not everyone likes stats and that they don’t tell the whole story. For example, according to the stats Rafer Alston is a terrible, terrible shooter- but they are an indicator of performance and all Lakers fans should be at least somewhat literate in them.

Marquee Matchups -

Point Guard – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Jason Kidd: Speaking of stats, here’s a guy who makes it his business to stuff the envelope titled box score. Since the last time the two teams met, Kidd’s production has only gone down slightly. He’s averaging about two less points and rebounds, but his scoring efficiency has gone way up. The good news for Derek Fisher is that he should be able to stay in front of him in the half court, the bad news is that these Mavericks are running more.

Even wearing Lakers shades, but this is one tough match up.

Advantage: Mavs.

Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant vs. Jerry Stackhouse: As already noted on the Lakers Nation, Kobe put the extra time in to tweak his shot. If only the refs would put the extra time in the film room and realize that he regularly gets hacked and doesn’t always get the calls.

Advantage: Lakers.

Small Forward – Vlad Rad vs. Josh Howard: As always with Vlad Rad (and all shooters) he needs to be shooting 50% of his three’s to be effective out there, and he hasn’t done that in a while. Howard, on the other hand, is such a diverse talent that he should comfortably win this match up.

Advantage: Mavs.

Power Forward – Lamar Odom vs. Dirk Nowitzki: Lamar had to ask for more touches? With Gasol out we should be force feeding him. He had a solid game against the Rockets and hopefully this is the occasion that he steps up successfully to being a second scorer. As he showed in the previous game, Lamar has the length and the speed to guard Dirk on the floor and is versatile enough to take advantage of Dirk’s tepid defense on the other.

Advantage: Even.

Center – Ronny Turiaf vs. Erick Dampier: As I have stated before, I think Turiaf has been underutilized this season and I really hope Kobe learned from the last game and tries to set up Turiaf more. However, he needs to stay on the court to be effective, and fouling out in just 29 minutes of action as he did in the previous game is not going to get it done. Hopefully, Dampier’s utter lack of any kind of original offensive threat will enable him to play without foul trouble

Advantage: Even.

Bench -

Bass is solid for them, Jason Terry can get hot, and Devean George is always fun to watch when he’s not playing for the Lakers. What scares me about their bench? Tyronn Lue. It seems that every time we play his team he leads a comeback by sinking threes and making plays for teammates. He was instrumental to Atlanta’s victory against us and I just do not enjoy watching him play against us.

On the Lakers end, the “Faster bench mob” has been lacking in the luster department. Although to be fair they’ve lost Turiaf to the starting lineup, the quartet of Luke, Sasha, Farmer, and Mbenga should be playing better than they are currently

Advantage: Even.

Lets play coach!

Key Match Up -

Lamar Odom vs. Dirk Nowitzki: Another example of of stats being misleading. If you look at the box score from the last meeting between us it appears that Dirk owned Lamar. To a certain extent that is true, Dirk scored 30 to Odom’s 6, but Odom played great defense on Dirk all night long. When he has that fade away jump shot working, nobody can stop Dirk, but Lamar did, and should do, a good job contesting them and also cut off his drives into the paint very well.

Everything Else: It’s really up to Kobe. If he “takes what the defense gives him” then the Lakers should do fine. If he wants to give the NBA enough poster material to do an entire series of “The NBA: Where Kobe Happens,” then we’re at the mercy of his jump shot and the whistle of the refs, and neither one obliged for us in Houston.

Statistical Predictions -

Feel free to copy and past this part into the comments section with your own predictions. I don’t promise to keep track of winners or anything but it’s always fun to predict stuff.

20+ Points: Kobe, Lamar, and Sasha.

10+ Rebounds: Turiaf, Lamar, and Kobe.

3+ Blocks: Turiaf, Kobe.

Closest To A Triple-Double: Kobe.

Out On A Limb: Coby Karl will posterize Jason Kidd on a fast break dunk (kind of like this).

Game Information -

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

Television: KCAL

Internet: NBALP

Burning Questions/Sage Answers -

What is going on with all these ankles?

How will Kobe respond to his previous performance?

Next season, do we need Mihm now that we have Gasol? And if not do you have any ideas as how to turn him into something useful? (my idea would be to send him to Chicago for their draft pick this year, either before or after the draft) and another future pick.

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    nice preview, hopefully we`ll win this one tonight…

  • Michael_23

    Dirk has the upper hand against LO. Advantage: Mavs

    Let’s hope that this is the 1 out of 10 games Vlad Rad shows up.

  • MIKE SANDERS

    I hate to say it but it might be time for a little Kobe ball. And please for god sake get Lamar and luke the ball in the post, not Mbenga.

  • MILO

    Listen here Jonny! if you’re going to predict a 20 point night for Sasha, then i will preict a 10point 10rebound night for DJ (not likely right?)but i cant blame you for the wishfull thinking.The way i see it, Kobe will have to look to be a point guard tonight and get D-Fish in a red hot start from beyond the arc.He will also have to get the rest of the team involved wich will open the floor up for him and Farmar to drive.The key to a victory tonight will be for everybody draining the outside shot alowing Kobe to do his thing and dunk over Dampier or whom ever decides to get in his poster.And yes i also hope that Vlady shows up!!!

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/?page_id=2373 Jonny

    what do you guys think about linking the player’s names? is that something you find useful or does it just seem colourful?

    also, if you guys have any other sites for player profile’s that you would recommend over yahoo’s lemme know, either here or by email is fine.

  • megaloco10

    go lakers….

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/?page_id=2373 Jonny

    MILO

    i figured one of Sasha, Farmar or Fish would have to get hot for us to win, and i’m basing my predictions on a laker win haha

    i would be just as happy with farmar getting 20+ or Fish doing it, i had to pick just one though, cause i’m predicting a realistic win haha

  • megaloco10

    againts rockets ronny did good, lamar too but sasha, rad were 0.. hopefully they will be hot today..

  • Kobe08-09

    sorry to say jonny but i dont like your previews and i think its your fault ……..

  • DCLAKER

    I think Vlad is going to be a 3pt.threat tonight,’cause that’s how The Lakers are going to have to win.

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/?page_id=2373 Jonny

    [Comment ID #29758 Will Be Quoted Here]

    some constructive criticism maybe? it’s fine if you simply don’t like it, but suggestions are welcome and I’m constantly trying to improve the preview experience haha

  • 24aluup inya

    No we dont need Mihm now that we have PG, but adding another center to back up Bynum will be nice after all PG will be put in the PF position afetr AB get’s back.Maybe we can trade Mihm and Coby in the off season and pick up a decent back up for AB.Mihm is too injurie prone and will not be able to play for the most part so why not get rid of him?

  • mplakers

    EVERYBODY KNOWS THE LAKERS CAN SCORE. FORGET ALL THIS “SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET HOT FOR US TO WIN TONIGHT”………………….LET’S PLAY SOME F-ING DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD….PLAY SOME D DAMNIT. STOP THE BOBBY JACKSONS AND RAFER ALSTONS FROM GETTING STUPID CAREER NIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bob

    [Comment ID #29770 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i thimk u previews r good man keep it up

  • gmac

    YES… Play D… Even if you arent scoring…

    Lamar speaking out was a good thing. Now he has no way of getting out of taking the initiative in getting to the blocks.

    Mihm… I think the only reason they signed him in the first place was to trade him. Imagaine if they sent him and Kwame instead of J.Crit. Kobe could have mentored the kid – he seemed like a player. But the Gasol trade was still a steal.

    Does anyone know if Gerald Green plays D? Maybe he should be brought in if he does… If he doenst play D. Then forget it.

  • http://ld2k.com LD2k

    Looks like Avery is CONCERNED with fouling Kobe:

    “Last time, he shot 27 free throws,” Johnson said of the Mavs’ 108-104 loss to the Lakers on March 2 in LA. “You can’t get him on the line 27 times. Against Houston, he shoots four. If he shoots 27 free throws, they probably win, right? So we’ve got to do a better job of defending him without fouling.”

  • goodfella

    i don’t see the lakers winning this game or the next, shoot they might even lose that sonics game. this needs to happen for the lakers to win. sasha has to flagrantly foul dirk while going up for a dunk, so hard that it takes him out of the remainder of the game. taht should take care of dirk. as for utah mbenga will need to scissor kick the back of derron williams’ head. take the “cut the head off” from that team litterally. those two things need to happen for a 2-2 road trip.

  • e

    [Comment ID #29770 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i personally think you do a great job on these previews, writing these things are harder than they look, so i give you props…however, i think the whole lakernation gives dfish too much credit and thinks that he can do much more than he’s capable of…and i understand its no one’s fault for thinking so, he gets 20+ pts every now and then and no one can really forget 0.4…but he doesnt do anything like that on a consistent basis.. we also have to realize his age and that its putting a whole new load on him…has a harder time playing defense, has a harder time driving in and putting it in…but apart from that..great job and keep up the good work

  • Kobe08-09

    18 e
    Mar 18th, 2008 at 3:53 pm
    Jonny on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm said:

    Kobe08-09 on March 18, 2008 at 12:28 pm said:

    sorry to say jonny but i dont like your previews and i think its your fault ……..

    some constructive criticism maybe? it’s fine if you simply don’t like it, but suggestions are welcome and I’m constantly trying to improve the preview experience haha

    i personally think you do a great job on these previews, writing these things are harder than they look, so i give you props…however, i think the whole lakernation gives dfish too much credit and thinks that he can do much more than he’s capable of…and i understand its no one’s fault for thinking so, he gets 20+ pts every now and then and no one can really forget 0.4…but he doesnt do anything like that on a consistent basis.. we also have to realize his age and that its putting a whole new load on him…has a harder time playing defense, has a harder time driving in and putting it in…but apart from that..great job and keep up the good work

    i was just suggesting that you can make it better like adding howwe can win it

  • mplakers

    EVERYBODY KNOWS THE LAKERS CAN SCORE. FORGET ALL THIS “SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET HOT FOR US TO WIN TONIGHT”………………….LET’S PLAY SOME F-ING DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD….PLAY SOME D DAMNIT. STOP THE BOBBY JACKSONS AND RAFER ALSTONS FROM GETTING STUPID CAREER NIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vida24

    LETS GO LAKERS !
    OMG and play some D at least for this game …! we need every body to day not just kobe or odom ..but evey body from coby to kobe ! and kobe i except a lot from him this game ..not just points but look for his teammates too ! all said and done ..lets get this win ..we really needed it !

  • Charles Barkley

    YALL STUPID
    yall dont know a thing yall talking about
    im always right!
    you listen to me when i say Arenas SUCKS

  • http://k1k0.com KiKosDad

    Both DFish and Luke almost cost us the game….I would like to hear what both will say on any interview on how effing pathetic and lousy their decision making while on the floor lately.

    We sure got lucky tonight…
    1. Vlade giving us some cushion.
    2. Odumb has his head over his shoulders tonight.
    3. Kobe who almost lost it tonight, looks like he’s losing his clutch…so inconsistent on freethrows, hasn’t impress any on his decisions.

    Overall, we don’t deserve this win. I’ll take it as a fan but it would have hit home if we lost. Imagine how demoralizing this one and that will give them the biggest lesson on giving much importance on defense that we haven’t seen for a long time. No hustle, no communication on D.

    There’s always 5 players on the floor, it doesn’t matter that we lost a handful due to injury. There’s no excuse for not making any effort to adjust and regain our heads to committing the team on help defense.

    I’m disappointed. http://www.stevespurrier.com/Spurrier%20Losing2.jpg

  • MILO