The (57-24) Lakers face the (28-53) Clippers in their season finale donning their road jerseys. Technically it is a road game for the Lakers, but come on, it’s the Staples Center and we all know who owns this house. You can call this the battle of Los Angeles or a game between the owner and their tenant, both apply here.
As great as it is having a road game without actually hitting the road, the Lakers can’t look past this team or provide this team with any reason to celebrate.
The fact of the matter is, that tonight’s match up is the 82nd game of the year; a Lakers win in conjunction with an Orlando loss and the Purple and Gold will possess the second best record in the league.
The Clippers are a few hours away from having serious discussions about whom to select in the lottery, whilst the Lakers are making plans for the post-season.
The 2010 NBA Playoffs will be memorable with every participant in the Western Conference being a 50-win team. Despite the fact that the Western Conference is loaded with talented teams. However in the end, the only team I’m concerned with is the Los Angeles Lakers!
We’ve seen our team deal with injuries, inconsistencies resulting in more uncharacteristic losses than all of us care to remember. They hold the top spot in the Western Conference Playoffs and will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Thunder will be a tough out; it will take a solid team effort and five games, but it will happen.
As a Lakers fan you have to be concerned with the teams play, although it isn’t the time to press the panic button. The Lakers now have the luxury of focusing on one team. The Lakers have to play solid defense to include stopping the dribble penetration, shutting down the screen and roll action plays, extending their defense out to the three point line, and controlling the tempo.
Offensively the Lakers need to run their offense through Pau Gasol. It is well-known that it is Kobe Bryant’s team, although Gasol is the best option right now. The Lakers front line needs to play aggressive on both ends of the court. A two game winning streak isn’t the type of momentum that I had in mind for this team going into the post season, but I’ll take it.
It is time to see a lot more dribble penetration from the Lakers as well as seeing the team attack the basket. They have to be more aggressive and stop settling for so many jump shots. The bench needs to get involved by knocking down the open looks that they will receive.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Los Angeles: Prime Ticket (Ralph Lawler & Mike Smith)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Los Angeles: KFWB 980 (Ralph Lawler, Mike Smith & Brian Sieman)
- Ron Artest (Left Heel Bruise/Sprained Left Thumb)
- Shannon Brown (Sprained Right Thumb)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture, Right Index Finger) Out
- Andrew Bynum (Left Achilles Strain) Out
- Sasha Vujacic (Sprained Right Shoulder)
- Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) Probable
- Jordan Farmar (Strained Hamstring)
- Blake Griffin (Stress Fracture of Left Patella) Out
- Baron Davis (Sprained Right Wrist) Out
- Drew Gooden (Sore Right Knee) Out
- Eric Gordon ( Viral Infection) Questionable