The (28-6) Lakers face the (15-18) Clippers in 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.
There’s nothing like having a road game without actually hitting the road. The Purple and Gold will play 12 of the next 15 games on the road and will actually have to get on a plane for those contests.
The Clippers have actually had some success at home, posting an above .500 record of 10-8., but they were the leagues worse team at home last season (11-30). However, the Lakers have played well at home posting a 20-3 record at Staples Center.
The Lakers won another tough match up against the Rockets. The Rockets are a scrappy team that never gives up and will fight to the very end despite the odds or missing players, you have to respect a team like that.
Andrew Bynum & Lamar Odom stepped up with solid performances and led the Lakers to victory with Kobe having a rare off night, but still scoring 22 points.
This will be a back-to-back game for the Purple and Gold, but this will also be a much tougher than expected one because the Clippers are playing much better, winners of three of their last four games. One of those wins was against a certain team from Massachusetts and I’ll admit it, I enjoyed hearing the phrase “Los Angeles beat Boston”.
The Clippers haven’t had the services of number one draft pick Blake Griffin so far this season, but they’ve still been effective. The ambidextrous Chris Kaman has anchored the team, averaging 20 points & nine boards.
The Clippers will run a screen and roll action offensive set that the team calls “2Up”, it is known as ‘horns’ across the league. It is an offensive action that calls for a big player to start at each elbow and a shooter on the baseline of each corner. One of the big players will roll to the basket while the other spots up. Bynum will have to do a solid job defending Chris Kaman.
This set makes Baron Davis extremely dangerous and provides several options. Davis can drive to the basket to score; pass to one of his bigs for a mid-range jumper, pass to a big player rolling to the basket or dish to one of his shooter’s spotted up in the corners behind the arc if he is double-teamed.
The Lakers are on a four-game winning streak and will be looking to win their ninth straight in this series. The Lakers need to control the tempo of the game, stop the dribble penetration and get back in transition.
The Lakers defense improved dramatically with the return of Ron Artest holding the Rockets to 79 points, the average over the last five games was 109 points. They need to make sure they’re on the same page in defending the screen and roll play, limit the Clippers to one shot per possession, extend their defense out to the three point line and play defense without fouling.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL & ESPN (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Los Angeles: Prime Ticket & ESPN (Ralph Lawler & Mike Smith)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Los Angeles: KFWB 980 (Ralph Lawler, Mike Smith & Brian Sieman)
- Pau Gasol (Hamstring) Out
- Luke Walton (Back) Out
- Blake Griffin (Fractured Left Patella) Out