The (20-4) Lakers, holders of the best record in the NBA by virtue of an Elton Brand tip in basket after a certain team sporting the color green had their 11-game winning streak snapped are in New Jersey to face the (2-25) Nets.
Laker fans are still sky high about Kobe Bryant’s latest game winning shot, but the reality is that Kobe allowed the team to escape with a win after allowing the Bucks way too many points.
His turnaround jumper that sealed the victory in Milwaukee didn’t have the same extremely high degree of difficulty that his game winner against the Heat had, but provided the team with the same results. A last second shot won’t be necessary tonight; the last meeting a 106-87 Lakers win sent the Nets to 0-17 tied for the worst start in league history, a mark the Nets would later take sole possession of.
The Nets did win two of their next three games to break their losing streak, but a turnaround hasn’t happened as the team has lost six straight, soon to be seven.
Make no mistake, the Nets are paid professionals that do not want to lose but the team is in desperate need of more talent to be able to compete. The Nets don’t have the defense or size to match up with the Laker’s front line. The Lakers will destroy the Nets with points in the paint & on the glass in concert with outplaying them in every way.
The only bright spot for the Nets in the last meeting, was Center Brook Lopez scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. While we’re on the subject of rebounds, Pau Gasol, proud possessor of a recent contract extension has owned the boards for the Purple and Gold with no end in sight, securing at least 20 rebounds three times in his last four games. Ironically coming into this year, his career high was a measly 19 rebounds.
Andrew Bynum has played well, but as is the case with everyone can play better and I want to see him consistently recording double-digit rebounding efforts.
I fully expect the Lakers to impose their will on the Nets, focus on points in the paint and allow Bynum & Gasol to go to work forcing New Jersey to attempt to make the adjustment. The Lakers will use excellent ball movement and excellent player movement to execute their offense to perfection, but their defense will once again provide them with a win.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL-TV9 (Joel Myers & “Hot” Rod Hundley)
- New Jersey: YESN (Marv Albert & Mike Fratello)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Bill McDonald & Mychal Thompson)
- New Jersey: WFAN 660 (Chris Carrino & Tim Capstraw)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture of Right Index Finger)
- D.J. Mbenga (Sprained Ankle)
- Yi Jianlian (Knee)
- Keyon Dooling (Hip)
- Tony Battie (Knee)