The (54-19) Los Angeles Lakers are in New Orleans to face the (34-40) Hornets.
The game against the Thunder was tough to watch and hard to believe after such a strong defensive performance in San Antonio, but as we all know that from the moment the ball is tossed in the air both teams have the opportunity to win or lose. It proved what we all know, that the Lakers transition game isn’t their strong suit. More importantly, it showed that the first thing that the Lakers needs to do is stop the dribble penetration of their opponents.
The Lakers are now 2-1 on their five game road trip after beating the Houston Rockets, and winners of eight of their last 10 games. The Hornets have had a difficult season losing All-Star point guard Chris Paul for a large part. However, the team did find out that they had solid backup who could lead the show in Darren Collison.
The injury to Chris Paul also gave the young backcourt of Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton time to develop. The Lakers haven’t had any trouble with the Hornets this season; although in my opinion its playoff time and no one should be taken lightly.
Regardless of who starts at the point guard position, the Hornets have been a team that plays an up-tempo game that spends a lot of time out in transition running. The Lakers have to stop the ball and control the tempo. When the Hornets are forced to make plays in the half-court offense said plays will go through Chris Paul and David West.
At this time of the year. it’s all about approaching every game as a Playoff game. The Lakers have to control the boards, defend the screen and roll action plays and make sure that Chris Paul doesn’t engage two defenders at once. The Lakers front line needs to be extremely aggressive off both ends of the court, be patient running their offense and attack the rim. When playing with focus and aggressive, the Lakers can destroy a team in the painted area.
The Lakers will win tonight by playing strong defense, using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement and executing down the stretch. They should have at least four players scoring in double digits tonight. Three and one after four games on the road has a nice ring to it.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- New Orleans: Cox Sports Television (Bob Licht & Gil McGregor)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- New Orleans: KMEZ 106.7 (Sean Kelley & Gerry Vaillancourt)
- Andrew Bynum (Left Achilles Strain) Out
- Kobe Bryant ( Avulsion fracture of his right index finger, Sprained Left Ankle)
- Shannon Brown (Sprained Right Thumb) listed Day-to-Day
- Ron Artest (Sprained Left Thumb) listed Day-to-Day
- Lamar Odom (Sprained Shoulder) listed Day-to-Day
- Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve, Back) Out, but did practice with the team
- Sean Marks (Sprained Ankle) Out
- Peja Stojakovic (Lower Abdominal Strain) Out
- Ike Diogu ( Left Knee Surgery) Out