TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers vs. Hornets

The Lakers played excellent down the stretch in Oakland, against the Warriors, the 17-3 run laid on them, 33 assists as a team and timely defensive stops in the fourth quarter were the difference.

The Lakers are at home and prepared to face a stiff challenge from this Chris Paul led team; this will be round four versus the Hornets this season.

The Lakers beat the Hornets twice in New Orleans 93-86 on 11/ 12 & 100-87 on 12/23 2008, but were beaten by them in Los Angeles 116-105 on 1/6. No one has to inform the Lakers not to sleep on them or that they’re still a very dangerous team. Make no mistake this is a playoff game and the Lakers need to make a statement.

In the last match up the Lakers and Hornets played almost even for three quarters with the Lakers taking a 3 point lead into the fourth quarter, prior to being outscored 27-13. Chris Paul & David West combining for 72 points and New Orleans defensively taking the ball out of Kobe’s hands and not allowing him to get a shot off in the fourth quarter was the difference.

Kobe had 39 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 block in that game. The Lakers were outrebounded (44-39), outshot (50.6 % – 41.9 % FG’s & 89.2% – 77.3% FT’s) and had more turnovers than the Hornets. Pau Gasol was saddled with foul trouble which contributed to West’s big night.

The Lakers were without Jordan Farmar, received a 3 point contribution from Radmanovic and 27 points from the bench mob, despite an off-shooting night.

Lamar had 1 board in the loss, tonight will be different, and he’ll matchup with David West and has to limit his scoring & rebounding.

The biggest match up will be how to defend Chris Paul. He is an excellent point guard almost unstoppable using the screen and roll play, he’s been expertly reading defenses and destroying them league-wide.

The Lakers will have to show him several different looks, such as double-teaming him to get the ball out of his hands, creating a wall of players in the middle to stop his dribble penetration or force him baseline to trap him among larger players.

The Lakers are playing to their advantage running their offense and establishing Pau Gasol in the low post.

The Lakers have to control the tempo and the glass while rotating out to open & three point shooters. The trio of Kobe, Pau and Lamar will be up for this game and the bench will be a huge factor.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • New Orleans: Cox Sports Television (Bob Licht & Gil McGregor)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • New Orleans: WTIX 94.3 FM & 690AM (Gerry Vaillancourt & Sean Kelley)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Hornets:

  • Tyson Chandler (Toe)
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • Juilliard Dancer

    Lakers are going to make a statement in this game for sure. They will show the West that there is no team in the West that can honestly be a threat to them. They must not go to sleep, but they will win this game because of Kobe’s all around game that is much deeper then just on the court..Ariza made those big three point shots because of Kobes leadership..he felt confident because he’s been given the ball to win the game by Kobe against the Spurs.. Kobe has his whole team very confident and ready to be a weapon..they are not afraid no more and are playing as a Team.. Kobe has his team ready for battle and can take on any style of play in the league.. KOBE IS MVP

  • Dave

    Off-topic, but joyous news last night. Celtics lost, dropped to 2nd place, and Garnet is out for a while. Lets see how well they do with him gone.

  • Juilliard Dancer

    Dave,
    We have to remember that we want boston back in the Finals so we can Sweep them, but the team in the east who’s going to be in the finals is going to be the team who has home court advantage in the playoffs..with the cavs doing so well at home they are on track to getting it. Boston needs to get home court advantage in the east to beat the cavs in the playoffs to get to the finals… we would sweep the cavs too but the the Kobe Lebron final is not yet ready..kobe has the Lakers palying Team Ball, Lebron has the cavs playing lebron ball..Team ball wins and that’s why the lakers boston finals would be better..two teams going at it and the Lakers will demolish Boston bc we are the better team… I want Boston in the finals so KG better get back so we see them in the finals

  • Dave

    Julliard : all excellent points. Its definitely the Lakers to lose for the West with the East in question per your analysis. I just read that Manu Ginobili is out for a few weeks, so the Spurs may fall back in the pack. Too many injuries lately!

  • jason

    first of all..i dont care if we beat the atlanta hawks in the finals as long as we win the title. i believe the best way to beat chris paul is to make him a scorer and guard him 1 on 1 and keep his assists down. He doesnt want to be the scorer so let him get his points and keep everyone else in check, dont let him get everyone else going.

  • dub824

    [Comment ID #62550 Will Be Quoted Here]

    you do know that theyre 12-2 without him right?

  • Dracul

    ARGH!!! Whenever ESPN shows the Laker game (on Fridays), they have a horrible game!!

  • Dave

    [Comment ID #62559 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I did not know that. Is it therefore bad of me to wish that Paul Pierces gets injured? I think it would be fitting if he slipped on some Gatorade that was poured on the court 2 minutes before a game was over. {Game 6 Finals} How’s that?

  • pr0mega

    Dracul – proof or it never happened

  • Majic “Big” Johnson

    Jason,

    Good point, Although it would be sweet revenge to Bomb those green bastards in the finals, at the end of the day we just want the championship!

  • the antoine

    game against orlando and detroit where on espn..

  • mr.laker19

    [Comment ID #62561 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Whatever, the bottom line is that they are worst off without Garnett which helps us reach our goal of 1st overall seed. That is all we should be focused on until the playoffs. Having the best overall record.

  • Dave

    Oh my god, its happening again! The commentator guys are at the Moron Go Casino. And, Billy McDonald is even promoting their ads by stating “Stay tuned for my tour of the luxury suites!” Are you out of your freaking mind?

    Do they have no shame? Absolutely disgusting.

  • Juilliard Dancer

    Lebron had a big night? really reporters, what’s so big about this when you actually look at the big picutre?..so you have 55, do you have any guys on the team who can rebound atleast 10 in the game..no?? you need that to win a championship..any other guys stepping up or are they all just watching lebron, hoping he’s going to beat the Bucks tonight? none of them are going to step up consistently to get the job done as a team if Lebrons off. what’s so valuable about having a player who can’t get it done by himself against a real Team. to me Lebrons not stepping up at all and is not an all around player because an all around player understands it’s not all about your stats.sure he passes the ball out and guys have all day to shoot bc of his train size, but he has to pass it out when they are all wide open.Kobe plays the triangle, he’s not setting up all the shots!stats don’t win rings, Teams do..you can’t win a championship playing like this Lebron! remember what the spurs did to you..they were a real team with superstars, but they understood how to win rings just like KOBE does. That’s more Valuable. Kobe had young guys on his team too, but he developed them and makes them do their role in their postions… look at them all now..Kobe has a team ready and prepared to face any battle and he developed this team. Even when he scores 61, there’s still guys grabbing 15 rebounds. You need an all around team and Kobe is to thank for this..MVP. Lebron you had a horrible night..just another step closer to showing AGAIN, how you don’t win championships.

  • The Nuggets

    How is going here on the blog? How you guys like the way I have made the blog for you all?

  • LAKERS

    Lebron
    Your back up center out rebounded your starting Center and both didn’t get close to 10. You can’t win championships by grabbing the rebounds yourself. You have to make sure your center is a beast under there. isn’t your center like almost 8 foot or something, can’t you make sure that he does something a center is suppose to do instead of letting him be one of the best shooters on the team!
    1 Block in the game for your whole team.. most valuable players make sure that their bigs are blocking and grabbing rebounds. you should call Kobe and see what he does to make sure he has 3 guys a game grabbing close to 10 15 rebounds.
    6 turn overs for you lebron.. that’s quite a bit and the rest of your team has quite a bit too..is it because they are not use to handling the ball much in the game?
    Lebron you are not the most valuable player until you become an all around player not a stat feeler. And you will never be more valuable then Kobe bc he’s the BEST FINISHER and scorer of all time bc he doesn’t just rely on his size, he can make it in any circumstance..sure you get hot every now and then, but Kobe has it anytime he wants. Kobe has the next 7 to 8 rings and that’s because he has set up a dominant team..you are going to be pretty old by the time Kobe retires and you won’t have enough left to ever win more rings them him. KOBE BEST OF ALL TIME

  • LA

    Juilliard dancer and LAKERS
    you know what you’re talking about.Smart. Kobe is MVP hands down. the league just wants a big super star in Lebron James so bad.. he came around long after MJ left so you are trying to market the NBA when the world is ready for another super star..league stop sucking up to lebron cuz you have the greatest player of all time right now on the lakers. Sure he came when the world wasn’t ready for a replacement, but MJ has been gone for long enough now. Kobe has his team set up to take the next 8 Rings and you are still trying to get Lebron the MVP. Look at what Kobe has set up bc of his leadership. He’s going to retire with 11 rings! Come on! MVP

  • The Nuggets

    We are going to have a Lakernation party coming up very soon. I will let you know the details SOON!!!