The Lakers are in Minnesota to face the Timberwolves tonight as the team embarks on a 11-day six game road trip.
The Lakers defense needs to improve and with every loss this issue continues to arise.
The double-overtime loss to the Bobcats was very disappointing but more alarming to me was that with the team up by three points, Kobe had questionably fouled out; Lamar Odom felt the need to double-team a player and leave an open three point shooter. Also alarming was the concussion suffered by Trevor Ariza.
The team needs to learn from this loss, then put it behind them and focus on winning six straight on the road.
The Lakers received some good news from the league office when it was reported that Andrew Bynum would not be suspended, as many expected. His hard foul was called a flagrant 1 during the game but the league office upgraded the play to a flagrant 2. Bynum didn’t try to hurt Wallace and showed remorse after the game.
As a basketball fan I want to see my team win, but at the same time I don’t want to see anyone injured, Gerald Wallace is still in the Hospital and I wish him a speedy recovery. As much as I am not happy with the execution, I am pleased that Andrew protected the basket which, as the last line of defense, is something that he must do.
Tonight’s game is a contest between two teams going in two different directions. Both teams are coming off of losses in games that each had a chance to win. This is the Lakers second time facing the Timberwolves this season; Los Angeles beat them in Staples Center 98-86 on 12/14/08.
The T-Wolves have turned things around, if you consider that this team has gone through a 13-game losing streak. Their leading scorer Al Jefferson is having a good season, has averaged 25.3 points and 11 boards over his last seven games, the Lakers need to slow him down without double teaming him.
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 that needs to continue.
The Lakers need to use an ‘Us against the world’ mentality on the road, focus on defensive stops, excellent player movement & ball movement.
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)
- Minnesota: FS North (Tom Hanneman & Jim Petersen)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Minnesota: KFAN 1130 (Alan Horton & Kevin Lynch)
- Trevor Ariza (Concussion)
- Sebastian Telfair (Bruised Thigh)
- Kevin Ollie (Dislocated Left Elbow)