The Lakers play the Cavaliers in the last game of their six game road trip. The Lakers are 5-0 after snapping another Celtics win streak in Thursday’s big win. The playoff game against the Celtics was a knock down drag out affair, I feared that the missed free throws would come back to haunt the Lakers.
The best things about the game; beyond the win, was to see the Lakers standing toe to toe with them & not backing down and their overall team defense.
Today’s game is a huge match up that will be billed as Kobe vs. LeBron or a match up of the reigning league MVP and the early choice of many to win this years MVP trophy; but being specific it is a ‘must win’ game for the Lakers. The team has to show toughness, solid defense and put forth a solid team effort to win.
This will be the second game of the season against the Cavaliers, the Lakers beat them 105-88 at the Staples Center on 1/19. Kobe vs. Lebron match up scoring wise, was almost dead even but despite the dislocated finger suffered by Kobe he played the role of facilitator and then scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half.
He played a phenomenal overall game with a stat line that included 12 assists and 6 rebounds. Pau Gasol played physical he was huge with 26 points and 10 boards. A win by the Lakers gives the tie-breaker against both Cleveland & Boston.
Cleveland is winning, playing good ball as a team and just like the Lakers with Kobe the Cavaliers feed off of what LeBron James does.
LeBron is surrounded by his best supporting cast since he’s been there. A top defensive team & according to Stats Inc., the Cavaliers are first in the association in field goal defense (42.5 percent) and scoring defense (90.7 points per game) and 23-0 at home.
Kobe, Trevor & Lamar will have a chance to guard Lebron. The bench needs to be factor. Pau Gasol & Lamar Odom need to step up in this game just as both players did in Boston. Both players need to finish at the rim with a dunk or a trip to the free throw line.
The Lakers offense need to start from the inside out Pau & Lamar should have the opportunity to shine. The Lakers need to come out and be the aggressors early shut down the lane and force Lebron to make challenged shots on the perimeter. The Lakers will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.
Tipoff: 12:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ABC 7
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Cleveland: WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland (Joe Tait & Mike Snyder)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Wally Szczerbiak (Broken Nose)
- Sasha Pavlovic (Flu)