The Lakers are in Texas for a two-game road trip starting tonight against the Rockets. The Lakers face the 24-15 Rockets, who will be without the services of Tracy McGrady & Ron Artest tonight.

The Lakers, the first Western Conference team to reach 30 wins, showed in the game against Miami that they can win without Kobe & Pau Gasol shooting well, although we all know the team performs much better and the game usually isn’t close when both are on.

Kobe was 5-for-14 from the field and Pau Gasol 4-for-15, fortunately for the Lakers they received a big lift from the efforts of Andrew Bynum, who scored a season-high 24 points and had the the go-ahead basket with 18.5 seconds remaining. Also, Vladimir Radmanovic’s season-high 18 points.

The Rockets have come out of a slump and have played through the injuries and won their last three games. Speaking of injuries that list for the Lakers has claimed another victim, Sasha Vujacic who didn’t travel with the team on this road trip.

One of the best things about the Lakers is the depth that this has and it has shown its importance as the team has been hit hard by the injury bug.

This is the second game of the season series against the Rockets, the Lakers beat them 111-82 at home on November 9, 2008. In that game, the Lakers shot 53.2 percent for the game, 65.8 percent in the second half and held the Rockets to 38 percent shooting. Derek Fisher will have his hands full slowing down Rocket guards Rafer Alston, Luther Head, Aaron Brooks and Von Wafer.

The task to slow the guards, limit the drive and kick opportunities will be a team effort. The Rockets are a solid defensive team but the Lakers need to throw the ball into the low post and allow Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol to go to work.

Radmanovic needs to be on tonight so Shane Battier can stay home with him although the Rockets will more than likely have him guard Kobe.

The Lakers defense needs to improve. 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: 5:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (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:

  • Jordan Farmar (Knee)
  • Lamar Odom (Knee)
  • Luke Walton (Foot)
  • Sasha Vujacic (Back Spasms)

Rockets:

  • Tracy McGrady (Knee)
  • Ron Artest (Ankle)
  • imfasterthanur

    It seems like the injury list is growing every week.

  • Alba Soldier

    The rockets are supposed the be the injury bugged team, but the lakers have twice as many players out of this contest!

  • Farmars_inner_Jordan

    Lets go Lakers!! This is an extremely challenging road trip.. Let’s win the first one. With great defense, comes great offense.

  • Jason

    The injury list is getting worry some. Even though our main players are still fine, having a dwindling bench means the starters are not only going to have to play longer but better. If one of the starting 5 doesn’t perform well there isn’t a back up any more to take the place.

    There’s a lot of pressure on D Fish now, I hope he doesn’t break down.

  • Paul

    “Stop complaining, the injuries could get worse.”

    Sun Yue, do some work, PLEASE.

  • lainok

    this just in…bynum cut himself shaving. thank god gasol and vlade don’t shave.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Sun Yue’s problem is that he is looking not to get stripped or even make a turnover when he should be looking into scoring and making plays. He is still too nervous out there and the defense is picking this up.

  • LEADERFISH

    I will luv to mac on sun yue. very sexy man

  • Dylan Pedgulan

    If Jannero Pargo is not available, perhaps the Bucks would be interested in a trade: Chris Mihm for Ramon Sessions and Francisco Elson. That gives us a back-up pg(Sessions can also bring out the best in Farmar through and open competition) and another quality big.