The Lakers are back at Staples Center to host Minnesota, looking for the sixth straight home win and 50th of the season. Playing the Grizzlies on Wednesday night was just what the Lakers needed to end their two-game losing skid and avoid a three-game skid. The best thing about the game, besides the win, was that no Lakers were injured in the game.
The team looked lethargic at times but nine games in 15 days will have an effect on any team. This is a match up of two teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum, one playing for a championship and the other playing out the schedule.
This will be the fourth game of the season against Minnesota; the Lakers beat the T-Wolves 98-86 on 12/14/08, 132-119 on 1/30 and 111-108 on 2/22. The Last game was too close for comfort. Kobe is averaging 28 points and Pau 21 against the T-Wolves, what is needed is a repeat performance of Lamar Odom’s 25 point 14 rebound effort in the last meeting.
That performance was one of the best stretches of games in his career and continued to show his importance in the starting lineup since Andrew went down. Since that game LO has averaged 6 points and shot poorly from the field. He filled the stat sheet and did other things such as grabbing 14 boards, having 8 assists and amassing a season-high 6 blocked shots on Wednesday.
It is starting to look like as Lamar goes so go the Lakers. Lamar needs to catch the ball closer to the basket and attack the rim. He has to score in double digits and be the third scorer for the Lakers. The bench needs play well and increase the lead.
The Lakers also need to control the tempo, glass and to play solid defensively which includes limiting Minnesota to one shot per possession, eliminating dribble penetration, getting back in transition and rotating out to three point shooters.
Defensively is where this game will be won or lost.
The scoring load for the T-Wolves will be on Mike Miller, Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes.
The trio combined for 46 points in their last game and put up 50 points against the Lakers in February. The trio was aided by a combined 50 points by Sebastian Telfair, Rodney Carney and Kevin Love.
I want to see more of Kobe in the low post. The Lakers need to establish Pau Gasol & Lamar Odom in the painted area and allow them to go to work, both players can set the table for everyone else but both need to be aggressive.
Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West 1 HD (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)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Al Jefferson (Knee)