The Lakers are in Memphis tonight for the second game of the road trip to take on the Grizzlies. The road trip started off on a good foot with a win, as the Lakers dropped a season-high 132 points on the Timberwolves.
The Lakers defense needs to improve as evidenced by the 117 points allowed which were entirely too many points to surrender to the T-Wolves. This will be round two with the Grizzlies this season, the Lakers beat them 105-96 on 12/22/08.
There are several storylines in this series, Pau Gasol the former 2001 #3 overall draft pick of the Hawks, whose draft rights were traded to Memphis, where he won the rookie of the year award and several franchise career marks. Pau Gasol playing against his brother and former Lakers 2nd round draft pick, Marc Gasol, who was instrumental in Pau coming to Los Angeles.
The most important storyline is that the Lakers have dominated this series and that streak needs to continue. The Grizzlies are in the midst of a bad season, the Lakers are a team on the opposite side of the spectrum seeking to do something special.
Kobe Bryant dropped 36 points on Memphis in the previous match-up, two points higher than his average against them. Andrew Bynum is coming into his own, showing a lot of confidence while averaging 26 points and 14 boards in his last five games.
The Lakers need to throw the ball into the low post and allow Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol to go to work. Andrew has become a presence in the paint and he is playing better defensively which has earned him more playing time.
I love seeing Kobe, Pau & Andrew combine for 78 points but I will be equally elated to see the Lakers hold the Grizzlies under 90 points. The Lakers need to embrace the ‘Us against the world’ mentality on the road due to the fact that they’re embarking on a few long road trips.
The Lakers need to focus on challenging shots and playing defense without fouling.
I want to see the Lakers outplay Memphis using excellent player movement & ball movement. The team needs to limit the scoring opportunities of Rudy Gay & O.J.Mayo, but there isn’t one Grizzlie that requires a double team so defensively, the Lakers need to stay on their man and play solid man-to-man defense tonight.
The team has an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.
Tipoff: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL TV Channel 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lanz)
- Memphis: FS Tennessee (Pete Pranica & Sean Tuohy)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Memphis: WRBO 103.5 FM (Eric Hasseltine, Hank McDowell & Elliot Perry)
- Trevor Ariza (Concussion)
- Darko Milicic (Knuckle)