The (21-4) Los Angeles Lakers are in Detroit to face the (11-15) Pistons. Los Angeles has won three of the five games on this road trip and are out to increase that number to four which would improve their road record to 7-2.
These teams met on November 17th at Staples Center, the Lakers won 106-93 avoiding a rare three-game skid. The Lakers played without Pau Gasol, but Kobe Bryant scored forty points for the 100th time and Andrew Bynum posted a double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 boards.
The Pistons are a solid defensive team that has a 9-4 record at home; attempting to bounce back from a 109-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road.
The Purple and Gold will present a different challenge for the Pistons with the return of Pau Gasol and his all out assault on the glass. He has owned the boards recently and Andrew Bynum needs to join him with a double-digit rebounding effort.
The Pistons are a young team that wants to get out in transition and run the floor. The Lakers will have to force the Pistons to set up and make plays in their half court offense by controlling the tempo, stopping the dribble penetration, challenging every shot and limiting Detroit to one shot per possession. Los Angeles needs to play solid defense and out-rebound this team.
Los Angeles won the rebounding battle in the last game 44-32 without Pau Gasol. The Pistons Ben Wallace & Jason Maxiell are good defenders as well as solid rebounders, but with Gasol in the line up, I see the Lakers expanding their previous margin.
The Lakers guards will have to be sharp tonight against the Pistons to slow down their backcourt of Rodney Stuckey & Richard Hamilton; who’ve played well when healthy, but Ben Gordon & Will Bynum have also played well. Rodney Stuckey was named the Eastern Conference player of the week for leading the Pistons to a 3-0 record 12/7 – 12/13 averaging 27 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
The Lakers will receive every team’s best effort this season and the Lakers will have to match the intensity of their opponent. The Lakers defense and offensive execution should allow them to return to Los Angeles with a 22-4 record fully prepared to beat Oklahoma City and well rested to provide the Lakers fan with the Christmas present of watching another win.
Tip-off: 3:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL-TV9 (Joel Myers & “Hot” Rod Hundley)
- Detroit: FS Detroit (George Blaha & Greg Kelser )
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Detroit: 97.1 FM (Mark Champion & Rick Mahorn)
- Luke Walton (Back) Out
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture of Right Index Finger)
- D.J. Mbenga (Sprained Ankle)
- Tayshaun Prince (Back) Out
- Richard Hamilton (Hamstring)
- Ben Gordon (Sprained Ankle)
- Will Bynum (Sprained Ankle)