The Lakers are in Oklahoma City to face the Thunder. Oklahoma City is a talented young team that is in the process of developing into a team that will have to be reckoned with in the future. The Lakers are a league-best 46-10 and 9-1 in their last ten games.
The team’s record is a testament to the coaching staff, the leadership shown by the veterans, depth of the team, rebounding and the fact that the Lakers are a more mature team than last year as stated in Broderick Turner’s Los Angeles Times article. The team hasn’t had a bad week or a lull that has seen them lose three straight games this season.
Los Angeles is coming off of a 111-108 win over the Timberwolves Kobe lead the team in scoring with 28 points he received a lot of help with Pau Gasol & Lamar Odom scoring 25 points apiece the scoring load was shared. According to Elias Sports Bureau it was the third time in the last 13 seasons that three Lakers scored at least 25 points in the same game.
The Thunder have dropped their last five games and allowed 273 points in their last two games an average of 136.5 per game. This isn’t a good sign for them with the NBA’s highest scoring team in town to increase the number in their loss column. The Lakers beat the Thunder 105-98 on 2/10. The Thunder’s Kevin Durant had a double-double scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds his fifth 30-point game in a row at the time, he has averaged 33.5 his last four games.
You can’t speak of scoring and rebounding in double figures right now without mentioning Lamar Odom who has done it six times in the last seven games. He has stated that “I’m just finding my way” which is true but also true is that Odom is making sacrifices asked of him for the good of the team and another scary thing is that his game has improved.
The Lakers are playing to their size advantage by establishing Pau Gasol in the low post and allowing him to set the table for the rest of the team. The Lakers need to control the tempo, the glass, stop the dribble penetration, chasing through picks and rotate out to three point shooters.
Hearing that the team had a back-to-basics practice with Phil Jackson stressing pick-and-roll defensive strategies as stated by Kevin Ding in the O.C. Register’s Lakers blog is big. This is a good thing that will pay huge dividends for the team tonight and in the immediate future.
Tipoff: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Oklahoma City: FS Oklahoma HD (Brian Davis & Grant Long)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Oklahoma City: WWLS 640AM “The Sports Animal” ( Matt Pinto)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- None to report.