TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers vs. Hawks

atlpre

The Lakers return to work and face the Atlanta Hawks. It was nice to see the excitement and nostalgia of the NBA All-Star game, watching Phil Jackson coaching Kobe and Shaq, the most dominant duo ever created.

The Lakers had a successful first half of this season. If someone told the Lakers that you would suffer some significant injuries, but after 52 games you would only lose 10; everyone would happily accept that.

As stated in Broderick Turner’s L.A. Times article, someone from the staff placed a message on a grease board in the locker room after the loss in Utah.

“30 More…42-10…1 p.m. Monday”

This subtle message spoke volumes to the team, focus on the second half of the season, accept your record and don’t lose sight of the season long goal of winning a championship, the next practice.

The Atlanta Hawks have their best record at the All-Star break in a decade. The Hawks have won four-of-five games in February. The Hawks face they’re toughest challenge of the season, a five-game Western Conference road swing starting with the Lakers.

The Hawks took Boston to seven games in the playoffs and almost ended their season. I look forward to the Lakers accomplishing that task. Atlanta will pick and roll the Lakers often and look to get Bibby open shots or good shots for his teammates. The Lakers started the season as the number one ranked team defensively and have since fallen down to number twenty.

The Lakers can play defense but need to be more consistent & communicate more. The team is giving up way too many three point shots and needs to stop the dribble penetration. Hawks point guard Mike Bibby has played well against the Lakers and will try to exploit the deficiencies. The combination of Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar should limit his contribution.

Joe Johnson is averaging 22 points, but he will have his hands full trying to slow Kobe Bryant. Kobe has averaged 27.7 points and 5 assists this season his points and assists will increase with him playing the role of the facilitator.

The Lakers All-Stars will lead the team and will be the focal point of the offense but I feel that Lamar Odom will continue to play well. He’ll matchup with Josh Smith and has to limit his scoring, rebounding and shot blocking.

The Lakers bench plays well at home and will have a solid contribution. Hopefully Adam Morrison can be a weapon off the bench and consistently knock down the open shot to spread the floor.

112-96 Lakers!

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Atlanta: SportSouth HD (Bob Rathbun & Dominique Wilkins)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Atlanta: WQXI Sports Radio 790 ( Steve Holman )

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Hawks:

  • Thomas Gardner (Flu)
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • bassti

    I think the Hawks are the hardest part left in february. I’m not that afraid of the Nuggets and the Suns as I am of the Hawks. Got a bad feeling about the Hawks.
    But I think the Lakers are only losing if you expect it the less.

  • http://www.lakersvolssparks.blogspot.com Margo

    This is like a brand new season for the Lakeshow and the eye is on the prize and they are taking down whomever is in the way!

  • llama5492

    Awesome! I won the Monthly Lakers Courtside Connection contest so I will be there tonight! Hopefully my seats are good!

  • Lakers 24 7

    I doubt Adam Morrison will play. If Radman barely got any playing time, what makes you think Morrison will lol

  • bassti

    I think he might play if the Lakers are leading by around 20 in the 4th quater he might get some time. Just to have 5 men on the court ;)

  • WifelovesLuke

    30 more games! Time to focus on the prize, especially with 17 of those games on the road.

    Hurry back Drew!

  • Michael Perez

    yea, Hawks could surprise the Lakers tonight. they’re quick and very athletic.
    But i believe lakers will win it in a close game tonight.

  • Gasoline

    FUCK KOBE BRYANT! GO PAU GASOL!

  • Gasoline

    Fuck you, racist of shit.

    I´m very glad Bynum got injured because Americans are so racist they prefer Bynum than Pau only because he´s american. Now I´m hoping Bryant gets injured too, and then you American racists will learn that Pau is very important for the team.

  • Retrospect

    Oh dang, you think Morrison’s gonna get playing time already? Haha hopefully.

  • Patrick Jamoua

    According to realgm Bynum is going to miss another 6-10 weeks, it’s over Laker Fans

  • imfasterthanur

    [Comment ID #62203 Will Be Quoted Here]

    For wishing injury upon a fellow Laker, you must be a Celtic fan. Wrong forum buddy, go to Redsarmy.com

    Don’t make it a race issue. Whoever puts on the Purple and Gold is family. Relax you, Nazi.

    In addition, your logic is flawed. If Kobe got hurt, the entire team would struggle, thus, making us miss Kobe even more – defeating your ignorant theory.

  • west818

    [Comment ID #62203 Will Be Quoted Here]

    lmao u must be a nazi or a terrorist. HAHAHAAH

  • roscoe

    Pretty sure if Pau got injured we’d miss him… A LOT.

  • Michael Perez

    kobe, pau, odom, bynum and d-fish are the backbone of the team. with all of them healthy, we are unbeatable. we can just add or substract other pieces around them and win multiple championships.

  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    [Comment ID #62203 Will Be Quoted Here]

    if by some reason Kobe gets injured this game…Estaré más enojado en usted que un toro que mira una tela roja…and I aint even Spanish.

    No offense tho, i love hispanic people, just pisses me off when you disrespect other people.

  • B Dizzle

    Who the hell is this Gasoline character…we all love Pau here and he always comes in this joint and raises shyt about how no one likes Pau…and oh yea…if you say one more time you’re glad bynumite that sexy beast got injured…i will mother f you up!

  • MILO

    bleeding vagina, gasoline,

    both of you need to get a life!!!