The (28-8) Lakers are back at the Staples Center to host the (15-18) Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks are playing well, on a three game winning streak and currently on a six-game Western road trip. They are getting it done with defense allowing an impressive 88.7 points per game.
The Lakers without Pau Gasol are in a vulnerable position, but the Bucks have only won a total of four road games. This was evident once again in the annual beat down in Portland. Los Angeles needs to learn from this loss, circle the date February 6 on the calendar, return the favor and issue the Blazers a beat down.
The Lakers on a two-game losing streak aren’t playing good basketball. Once again the Lakers got off to a slow start, their energy level was entirely too low, the team did a poor job of executing their offense, had no balance what so ever and didn’t play solid defensively.
Kobe Bryant has no problem recognizing what the team needs, being the one to initiate or provide what it is missing. However, seeing him shoot 37 times to score 32 points looked more like the Lakers of old as opposed to the defending Champions. Someone else on the team has to step up.
The Lakers reserves have been up and down all season, but scoring a total of ten points in a game is unacceptable. The Lakers aren’t communicating on defense and aren’t on the same page defensively, the result is them allowing too many points to teams that normally score 90-95 points. Moreover, the Bucks are a young team that wants to get out in transition and run.
The Lakers need to continue to establish Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest & Kobe Bryant in the low-post. The Purple and Gold need to start their offense by going inside; allow the big men to re-post and get several touches attacking in the painted area and avoid shooting so many 3-pointers.
It is imperative that the Lakers get back in transition on defense, win the rebounding battle, stop the dribble penetration and rotate out to three point shooters. The Bucks back-court of Micheal Redd & Brandon Jenning will be tough to slow down.
Los Angeles best rebounder, Pau Gasol isn’t playing, but Lamar Odom has been on a mission rebounding although Andrew Bynum needs to get going. They need to come out with high energy, play a complete game get on the same page defensively so this team can go on their upcoming road trip with some momentum.
Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Milwaukee: FS Wisconsin (Jim Paschke & John McGlocklin)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Milwaukee: WTMJ AM 620 (Ted Davis & Dennis Krause)
- Luke Walton (Back) Out
- Pau Gasol (Strained Left Hamstring) Day-to-Day
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture, right Index Finger) Day-to-Day
- Joe Alexander (Strained Right Hamstring)
- Dan Gadzuric (Strained Left Patella Tendon)