The Lakers are in Houston, Texas for the second match-up of their three-game road trip to face the Rockets. The Lakers are slumping, as evidenced by their season-low 38 points in the first half of a horrible game in Portland, which has become the Lakers house of horrors and the place that they’ve lost seven straight games.

The Lakers have also dropped three of their last five road games but hold a 21-9 road record which is the best in the conference. The Lakers aren’t simply playing to be the best in the conference, despite their performance of late; they’re playing for a championship.

It is evident that the Lakers miss Andrew Bynum and need his presence in the middle to be a complete team. As stated by Coach Jackson he won’t be playing until April and his not being there can’t be an excuse for the lack of defense being played or the teams reliance on jumpers as oppose to running the offense and attacking the basket.

The Lakers can’t lose sight of that fact and they’ve got to start respecting their opponent and playing them as if they’re the best in the association that night.

A month ago, Tracy McGrady was lost for the season with a knee injury and it appeared to be a severe blow but Houston has won 11 of the 13 games since. The Rockets are playing well as a team and Ron Artest has increased his scoring output from 15.8 points to averaging a team-high 20.4 points per game.

Yao Ming has remained a presence in the paint and is averaging 19.7 points & 9.7 rebounds per game. The Lakers will have to slow both players and limit their impact on this game. The Lakers need solid games from Kobe & Pau, someone else has to step up in the absence of Lamar Odom who will miss this game serving a one-game suspension.

The task to slow guards Aaron Brooks, Von Wafer and Luther Head; limit the drive and kick opportunities, will be a team effort.

The Lakers need to deny Yao from catching the ball in the post and put a tremendous amount of pressure on the passer. Force Yao to have to move his feet to catch a pass in the painted area by keeping a player between him and the passer. Rebounding & defense is needed from D.J. Mbenga & Josh Powell.

The Lakers will have to control the tempo, the glass, get back in transition and rotate out to three point shooters. An impact from the bench players is needed.

Defensively is where this game will be won or lost.

Tipoff: 5:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Houston: FSN Houston HD (Bill Worrell & Clyde Drexler)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Houston: KILT Sportsradio 610 (Craig Ackerman)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Rockets:

  • Tracy McGrady (Knee)
  • Lakers #1

    LETS GO LAKERS!!
    2 OUT 3 ON THE ROAD IS NOT BAD
    LETS SHOW THE REST OF THE TEAMS IN THE NBA WHAT A REAL
    CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM LOOKS LIKE
    LETS GO LAKERS!!

  • baltimoresbest01

    LOOK FOR ME BEHIND THE LAKERS BENCH. I WILL BE WEARING SOMETHING LAKERS-RELATED AND I WILL HAVE A SIGN SAYING “THE LAKERS NATION.”
    LET’S
    GO
    LAKERS!!!!!!!!

  • Paul Ray Garnett

    The Lakers will lose again. They are not tough enough to match up against the Rockets. GO BOSTON!!!! CELTIC PRIDE!!!!

  • lakersman24

    The Lakers will win today, Based on the sheer fact kobe is going to go off like he did on NY when bynum went out. he looks at these games as a game that he needs to come in and set the tone early. Im sure he’ll will the team to a win along with Pau who will score his usual 18+ points.

    the bigget thing for this game is the BENCH! who has not come in and done the job they have been doing all season, I noticed bench production has been down since the All-Star break..we’ll see if they can break out of this bad slump.

    Phil said it the best…each player needs to assess his game and take accountability for thier mistakes. Triangle Offense is hard to stop when its run correctly and we ran is correctly against cleveland and boston and as u could tell Boston and Cleveland came out of it with losses :) (losers). Granted there will be a few times that we will be in a slump but this slump we have seen from the bench has been horrid and they need to start learning how to work together again. I noticed that ever since Lamar was in the starting lineup the bench has been sluggish….I say start powell and bring lamar off the bench once he gets off his 1 game suspension he seems to be able to control the bench in a way which they produce soo much better. but we’ll see how this goes. :)

  • LakerPoetBR

    I miss the 6-0 road trip…

  • kobe8

    if Kobe takes it to the hole and get free-throws we will win this game but if he settles for jumpers its gonna be tough. And get Pau the ball in the post, I’d like to see him take at least 15 shots in this game.

  • Paul Ray Garnett

    You Laker fans crack me up. Just admit that the Celtics are a better team and move on.

  • KONG!

    i hope Lakers can contain Von Wafer this time

  • mr.laker19

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Hey faggot! Why dont you go to your own site, Reds faggots.com. This is the Nation and it is our year baby so move over. (By the way, we our undefeated against the leprechauns this year)

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]

    How was that long disasterous 22 years of being nothing in the NBA. It must be nice to be semi-relevant again. By the way …. BOSTON SUCKDICS!!

  • LAKERNATION

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Who the f uck is this clown??????? Why do these faggon ass, bandwagon boston fans come here on TLN and talk s hit, saying they are better??????? What f ucking losers.

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Whatsa

    [Comment ID #64205 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LOL owned. Lakers have ALWAYS been a presence in the NBA.

  • Banzai

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Losing to the Clippers…Celtics lose the phrase “better team”

  • Farmars_inner_Jordan

    Wheres Josephine?

  • Rajon Eddie Rivers

    Laker fans are bandwagoners. They dont have pride like Celtics fan. Laker fans can suck our dwebos.

  • Celtics lost to the Clippers

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]
    You Celtic fans coming to our forum tells me something about you guys. You are afraid of losing to us!! But I suggest you go to the Clippers forum first, you might learn a thing or two from Brian Skinner.

  • jCizzle

    isnt luther head in miami? im just saying..

  • PhilsArmy.

    One word:
    Lakers

  • Mitch Kupchak

    I BET JOSPEHINE AND ALL THE REST OF THESE BOSTON HATERS IS JUST ONE PERSON HIDING BEHIND THESE VARIOUS ALIAS.

    WHOEVER IT IS, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.

    COMING HERE JUST SHOWS HOW SAD YOU BOSTON FANS REALLY ARE.

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    [Comment ID #64214 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You guys remember when TD Garden chanted MVP for Kobe? Because we do…

  • Lakerfan101

    [Comment ID #64221 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Hey I think I remember that
    anybody else who remember that????

  • http://yahoo.com King Lebronze James

    [Comment ID #64200 Will Be Quoted Here]

    what the h3ll are you doing here??????
    go back to beantown/boredom!!

    Lakers!!! woooooooooooooot

  • http://www.visionofthefans.com Chris Manning

    [Comment ID #64221 Will Be Quoted Here]

  • LAKERNATION

    [Comment ID #64225 Will Be Quoted Here]

    God d amn thank you CHRIS for this. You took the words right out of my mouth on this one. This proves that this tool is a bandwagoner because this just happened not to long ago. To be exact, the year before gay g, and gay allen came to boston. 2 years ago. And now we here chants of KOBE suck in boston. Yep celdick pride right there.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #64225 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Chris – This is great. I think that Youtube clip of Boston chanting MVP for Kobe should be permantely placed on the home page of thelakernation.com.

    Laker fans would NEVER chant MVP for a non-Laker player! Boston is a disgrace