The Lakers will be back at work tonight at the Staples Center facing the Warriors and seeking to put the last second loss to the 76ers behind them. Several questions remain such as why Andre Iguodala was allowed to catch the ball & why the foul-to-give that the team had wasn’t used?
Two other key factors were the 18 turnovers the Lakers amassed and Kobe having an off shooting night & being saddled with foul trouble. The team needs to put that behind them, beat the Warriors and prepare to take on an “us against the world” mentality and make a statement on their long road trip.
This nasty habit of blowing big leads needs to be stopped immediately. The Lakers need to play better defensively and shut opponents down.
This will be the fourth game of the season against the Warriors; The Lakers beat them 130-113 on 12/28/2008, 114-106 on 1/7 and 129-121 on 2/18. If we were to base the outcome of this game on averages alone, Pau Gasol will amass 23 points and grab 13 boards, Kobe will score 27 points have 6 assists and grab 4 boards and this game will end with a 124-113 Lakers victory.
However, with Kobe dealing with foul trouble last game he will come out and make a mends by scoring early and often as well as play the role of facilitator. This is necessary to get his teammates involved and to build confidence; a contribution from everyone will be needed tonight and on the upcoming road trip.
The Warriors are one of the worst defensive teams in the league as evidenced by the league-high 154 points surrendered this season. The Warriors have no answer for Pau Gasol or Kobe and both should score in excess of 30 points tonight. I want to see the Lakers play every game from now until their season ends with a sense of urgency and as stated by VTB, passion on every possession.
The Lakers need to stop the dribble penetration, play excellent pick and roll defense, control the boards, tempo and rotate out to three point shooters. Both teams can score but the difference is that the Lakers are a better defensive team.
Look for the Warriors to play small ball, get in transition and attempt to run the Lakers out of the building. The Lakers are playing to their advantage running their offense and establishing Pau Gasol in the low post, attacking inside and letting him set the table for everyone else and passing the ball out to open shooters.
Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Golden State: Comcast Sports Net Bay Area HD (Bob Fitzgerald & Jim Barnett)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Golden State: KNBR Sports 680 or KNBR 1050AM (Tim Roye)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Andris Biedrins (Ankle)