The Lakers are back at home to host the Memphis Grizzlies; hopefully playing this team is just what the doctor ordered for this team and can fix what ails them. I’ve spoken of the Lakers defense or the lack thereof all season and coming off of their two-game losing streak, it is what has faltered and caused them to lose their last two games to the Nuggets & Suns.
In both loses, we saw the team play lethargic and horrible defensively, not being able to score in Denver, which was odd and play with no sense of urgency throughout in either game. Lamar Odom had a bad game in Phoenix, he was saddled with foul trouble on some bad calls, it happens but at the same time Lamar can’t have a 4 point 6 rebound game. His bad games need to still see him score and rebound in double digits.
Kobe scored 49 & Pau scored 30 and in most games this would be enough for a victory but the Lakers need to have that contribution from a third scorer and that has to be LO. The team also needs an impact from their bench in every game.
The most alarming things to watch are the lack of focus plays, such as not boxing out the shooter on free throws, allowing too many open three point shots, giving up too many points in the paint, second chance points and not getting back in transition.
The Lakers have now lost two in a row for the third time this season but have yet to drop three games in a row and it will not happen tonight. The Grizzlies have only won three road games this season. The Lakers have beaten the Grizzlies 105-96 on 12/22/08 and 115-98 on 1/31 in Memphis.
Kobe has averaged 30.5 points against Memphis this season while Pau has averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds against his former team. Look for Lamar to bounce back and have a huge game.
I want to see the Lakers outplay Memphis using excellent player movement & ball movement. O.J. Mayo has been solid for Memphis averaging 19 points.
The Lakers need to limit the scoring opportunities of Rudy Gay & O.J. Mayo but there isn’t one Grizzlie that demands a double team. Defensively, the Lakers need to stay on their man and play solid man-to-man defense tonight.
The Lakers need to focus on playing strong defense, forcing turnovers, challenging shots and playing defense without fouling. L.A. has to control the tempo, the glass and rotate out to three point shooters to get the win.
Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Memphis: FS Tennessee (Pete Pranica & Sean Tuohy)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Memphis: WRBO 103.5 FM (Eric Hasseltine, Hank McDowell & Elliot Perry)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Rudy Gay (Sprained Ankle)