The (18-4) Los Angeles Lakers are in Chicago to play the second game of their first extended road trip of the season against the (8-14) Bulls.
Los Angeles never got into any sort of rhythm, didn’t play well or with any energy and lost to the Jazz. Utah was able to avenge a 24-point beat down that the Lakers dropped on them three days prior.
Unfortunately the loss snapped the 11-game winning streak the team was riding, but tonight’s game gives the Lakers an excellent opportunity to start a new one. A positive coming out of the loss to the Jazz was that Pau Gasol posted back-to-back 20 rebound nights.
Chicago is really struggling and the last thing this team needs right now is to face a motivated Lakers team coming off of their first loss in 12-games.
Kobe Bryant is a true warrior once again playing in a game that he really shouldn’t have played in. Kobe suited up with and was clearly affected by a broken index finger, a stomach bug and receiving IV fluids before and during the game. Bryant minus the stomach bug will play and lead the Purple and Gold again tonight.
The Bulls are a young team that wants to get out in transition to score some easy points, the Lakers need to play solid transition defense and control the tempo. They need to force the Bulls to execute their half court offense the entire night. Chicago is a perimeter-oriented team that relies on energy, activity and motion to get the job done; forcing them to be patient and play at a slower pace gives the Lakers the advantage.
The Bulls are a team that will compete and play hard, but this team has no answer for the Lakers dominating front line. The Lakers will see a lot of transition screen and roll plays tonight from the Bulls. Los Angeles needs to own the boards tonight and make it a point to box out their men. The Lakers need to defend until the rebound is secured. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Brad Miller, and even Derrick Rose are relentless on the boards and Los Angeles needs to match their intensity and out-rebound this team.
The Lakers need to play solid defense, challenge every shot, defend out to the 3-point line and limit the Bulls to one shot per possession. They are playing to their advantage by establishing Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum in the post.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL-TV9 (Joel Myers & “Hot” Rod Hundley)
- Chicago: WGNAmerica (Neil Funk & Stacey King)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Chicago: ESPN 1000 AM (Chuck Swirsky & Bill Wennington)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture of Right Index Finger)
- Tyrus Thomas (Forearm)
- Kirk Hinrich (Inflamed right elbow and a twisted right ankle)