The (29-8) Los Angeles Lakers are on the front end of their annual Texas two-step in San Antonio tonight to face the (22-13) Spurs. The Lakers are looking to snap a three-game road losing streak.

The Lakers have the league’s best record, but aren’t playing like the league’s top team. The team isn’t at full strength with Pau Gasol out, but that just means that the other players have to step up.

The Lakers haven’t lost the season series to the Spurs since 2006. This game will the first of four games against San Antonio. Spurs are in a bit of funk, they have lost two of their last four games. However, the Spurs always play the Lakers tough and today’s game won’t be any different.

The task at hand will be slowing down the Spurs big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. The Lakers need to stop the dribble penetration of Tony Parker and force him to shoot a jump shot as opposed to allowing him to hurt the Lakers with the dribble drive or his patented one-man fast break.

Lakers’ Andrew Bynum has stepped his game up with three straight double-doubles to include a very impressive career high 18 rebounds. I believe he matches up well with Tim Duncan and should play well tonight.

The Lakers have to shoot well as a team; Kobe has had some poor shooting nights recently (shooting 33.3% in last four games) dealing with different splints attempting to find a mess between support and protection.

San Antonio does a good job of moving the basketball and playing inside out to find open shooters behind the arc.

I have to say that this is a different San Antonio team than the one the Lakers saw last year. Roger Mason and George Hill all do a good job of spotting up behind the arc and knocking down open shots. The main difference is the resurgent of Tim Duncan and his production in the painted area.

The Spurs calling card has been defense for a while and they’re holding opponents to 95 points per game.

The Lakers came out of the locker room with the right mentality in the game against the Bucks and that is the mentality that this team needs to start every game with. The Lakers are a better team when they come out aggressive and attack the rim early and often.

Look for Kobe to shoot better and lead his team tonight. I fully expect to see the Lakers play well as a team and be very active defensively. The Lakers need to use excellent ball movement, excellent player movement, and find the open man. Andrew, Lamar and D.J. Mbenga will play well in the paint.

The Spurs have a solid record but it must be said that they’ve yet to beat a team with a winning record since November.

Tip-off: 5:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: KCAL (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • San Antonio: My35 (Bill Land & Sean Elliott)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • San Antonio: WOAI-AM 1200 (Bill Schoening)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Pau Gasol (Hamstring) Out
  • Luke Walton (Back) Out
  • Kobe Bryant ( Avulsion fracture of his right index finger)

Spurs:

  • PF Matt Bonner (Hand)
  • SG Michael Finley (Ankle)
  • LA Lakers best Franchise of the World

    Lets Go Lakers!!!

  • Tomas

    1st comment B*tches!!!

    • lakerbunny

      SECOND B*ITCH!

      • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

        triple THREAT!

  • Muslim mamba

    IS ron gonna play???????

    • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

      Is Osama captured?

      • Steve Avery

        Will I make Kobe the STD once again?

        • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

          Sure cuz LEbron is tha best anyways

          • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

            who’s lebron?i thought he was a dancer

      • lakerbunny

        HE’S STILL HIDING IN ONE OF TIGER WOODS’ SNATCHES!

        • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

          of course of course

  • ron ron

    kobe will dominate this game thats for sure

  • lakerbunny

    THERE ARE 584 TICKETS FOR THE HOME GAME AGAINST THE SPURS ON FEBRUARY 8! GO TO LAKERS.COM AND CLICK ON THE TICKETEXCHANGE BUTTON OR GO TO TEAMEXCHANGE.TICKETMASTER.COM AND CLICK ON THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS LINK!

  • BringDFishBack

    Who’s George Mason? Does no one read over these posts before they get put up?

  • BringDFishBack

    And Luke Walton is not out, he’s available. Do your research.

    • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

      do you want a cookie?

  • http://57.amklac MARWAN the ta

    looks like kobe`s bad finger is keeping him from playing defense….nice.

    • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

      agree

  • http://57.amklac MARWAN the ta

    i`ll start it ….the refs the refs the refs!!!!!

  • Rock_um_Sock_um

    this team has a low IQ!!! They make too many stupid ass decisions!!!

  • Kivz

    Lakers suxs!!!! Sorry to say dis…. Dey not gonna win a title dis year :(

  • Phil_WTF?

    Kobe might as well sit out a few and try and rest up. The team isnt playing well anyways and he keeps getting hurt. Expose his scrub-ass teammates!

  • gugy

    Kobe needs to rest for 5 to 6 games.
    He needs to get back in top form. Seriously he is not himself in the last few games.
    Paul needs to man up and play soon.
    These injuries are killing us.

    January is going to be a bad month for us. The good news is we are in January, plenty of time to get healthy and come back strong in April.

    • Phil_WTF?

      Thank you!!!! Finally somebody else said it…. MAN UP!!! That’s why Pau can’t shed his “soft” image… ’cause he is soft!!!

  • http://57.amklac MARWAN the ta

    looks like we are ready to challenge the 96 bulls record of 72-10……..go lakers!!!!

  • drive-for-16th

    Spurs are probably happy to blow us out, they played till the end even when they were up with 40 seconds left they kept launching three to make sure we got blown out and we took it liek a bitch by playing no Defence. Pau is pissin me off sittin there on the bench, hes bad luck on the bench, if he aint gonna play dont show up to sit on the bench. I hope Kobe sits out couple of games. It wil show how badly our team suck without Kobe, I also watched it on nba tv and the spurs commentators were soo fucking annoying. I will not watch tomorrows game, i cant see us get blown out again. Pau needs to man the fuck up and play, look at walton played today he contributed a little. In the first half the bench scoring was 28-4 for the spurs. Fuk Mitch he needs to do something but hes out of the country right now they said. Our defence was shitty as usual, Lets be honest here i don’t see the passion i saw last year, Pau is being a lil pussy he was in memphis, sitting out shit load of games while kobe suffers out there playing through injuries. Theres no word to describe the teams play anymore, thats how bad it is, and NO its not just one game, its a good team we need to beat, the fucking raptors beat them, and were suppose to be the champions, wat the hell is phil telling them these days cause i dont think hes telling anything.

    • lakers2000

      Yes, they were happy. They are happy because they know that they will get their asses kicked later in the season when we get healthy. I predict an absolute tear after the all star break.

    • LakersMike31

      Isn’t Pau playing AGAIN for Spain this summer? I’m gonna throw this out there: Pau expects another extended playoff run w/ the Lakers this year. I think he’s trying to preserve himself not only for the Laker playoff run, but for the World Championships this summer. The World Championships are much more important in international basketball than the Olympics, and Pau is like Elvis in Spain. He has immense pressure to perform for his country. At any rate, on a night like tonight, Pau woudn’t have made a difference. Face it guys. This season, it’s EASY to punk the Lakers.

  • lakers2000

    This may be a good time for Kobe to get healthy. Bynum showed that he is willing to contribute tonight and as much as I would like to see Kobe continue to play, this team needs some confidence in themselves. Let’s see what Bynum can do as the focal point for a few games as well as see what Brown can do with some extended minutes. It’s not the end of the world and we are well into contention, for the moment. Get the damn injuries out of the way now! Go Lakers.

    P.S. It is good to see Walton Back!

  • drive-for-16th

    Fucking embarrassed to be a laker fan these days, everybody just talks shit, they are gonan be a lot of talkin shit tonight by everyone how we suck so bad that we aint the best team in the west let alone the nba,

  • drive-for-16th

    DR.BUSS NEEDS TO DENY PAU FROM PLAYING IN THE SUMMER THIS YEAR. AN ABSOLUTE NO NO. CAUSE LOOK WAT HAPPENED NOW.

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