The Lakers have reached the fifth game of the road trip and are in Atlanta to face the Hawks. Los Angeles is 4-0 on this road trip, winners of their last five games clinching the best record in the West. Phil Jackson reached a milestone coaching his 728th game as the Lakers coach in the process.
Thank goodness Pau Gasol made the trip; he recorded a double-double scoring 36 points, 11 of which came in the 4th quarter, and grabbing 11 boards. He was 3 assists shy of a triple-double.
The Lakers were outrebounded 48-37, the reserves were outscored 38-12. The Lakers defense forced 22 turnovers & made the defensive stops when they needed to late in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers need to break this trend of losing large leads which has occurred far too often and twice in New Jersey. The Hawks are struggling right now losing three of their last five games. Their last two loses were against the Spurs and Celtics. A huge concern for the Lakers is the health of Kobe Bryant’s ankle.
There are 2 ½ weeks left in the regular-season and the Lakers are preparing for the post-season with a lot of work to do.
Kobe said that he jammed the ankle but didn’t sprain the ankle. Hopefully, Kobe being the warrior that he is will be able to play and lead this team. The Hawks are a young athletic team that can cause match-up problems at several positions.
The Lakers can play defense but need to be more consistent & communicate more. The team is giving up way too many three point shots and needs to stop the dribble penetration. Hawks point guard Mike Bibby has played well against the Lakers and will try to exploit the deficiencies. The combination of Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar should limit his contribution.
The Lakers will have to control the tempo and get back in transition. The Lakers need to jump out to an early lead to take the crowd out of the game and hold on to it. The Lakers will see a zone defense and need to work on attacking that defense and not settling for jump shots.
They’ll have to defend the pick and roll today.
The Lakers beat the Hawks 96-83 on 2/17 with balanced scoring and Pau Gasol’s triple-double. The Lakers are playing to their advantage by establishing Pau Gasol in the post and let him set the table for everyone else.
The Lakers will win by running their half-court offense and using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement and simply out-work the Hawks.
Tipoff: 12:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Atlanta: SportSouth HD (Bob Rathbun & Dominique Wilkins)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Atlanta: WQXI Sports Radio 790 ( Steve Holman )
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Kobe Bryant (Sprained ankle)
- Acie Law (Back)