The (30-9) Lakers resume the hallway series against the cross town rival (17-20) Clippers. The teams have split they’re previous two games in the four game season series.
If all goes well All-Star power forward Pau Gasol will return to action, although it appears that Clippers Center Chris Kaman is saddled with a back injury that might cause him to miss a third straight game. As unfortunate as it is, the Lakers need to continue to attack this team in the painted area.
Injuries are unfortunate, but are a major part of professional sports. Both teams have dealt with them and injuries will be a factor in tonight’s match up.
The Lakers got a split in their annual Texas two-step road trip on back-to-back nights by beating the Mavericks and ruining Dirk Nowitzki’s record breaking night and setting their own record by being the first NBA franchise with 3,000 wins.
The best part about the victory was that it was a solid team win with everyone contributing, the continued solid production of Andrew Bynum, and as well seeing the entire team in ‘go’ mode, stepping up knowing that their leader Kobe Bryant was literally gutting it out and playing through a series of injuries. It was also great to see that all three players of the Lakers front line had double-doubles.
I believe that this will carry over into this game. The Clippers outplayed the Lakers in the previous game, but the Purple and Gold clad warriors will make the necessary adjustments to avoid a second loss to their cross-town rivals in a 10-day span.
Gasol returning will be great, but Bynum has to find a way to co-exist and still be productive without as many touches. The Lakers need to control the glass and out-rebound this team; however their adjustments begin and end on the defensive end of the court.
The Clippers will run a screen and roll action offensive set the team calls “2Up”, it is known as ‘horns’ across the league. It is an offensive action that calls for a big player to start at each elbow and a shooter on the baseline of each corner. One of the big players will roll to the basket while the other spots up.
This set makes Baron Davis extremely dangerous and provides several options. Davis can drive to the basket to score; pass to one of his big players for a mid-range jumper, pass to a big player rolling to the basket or dish to one of his shooter’s spotted up in the corners behind the arc if he is double-teamed.
the Lakers have to communicate defensively and limit their opponents to one shot per possession. The purple and gold have to limit the impact of Baron Davis and Eric Gordon.
The Lakers need to control the tempo of the game, stop the dribble penetration and get back in transition. The total team effort shown in Dallas needs to continue; Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest need to continue to be aggressive.
At the end of the night the Lakers will be a franchise with 3,001 victories and will continue to build momentum for the future.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Los Angeles: Prime Ticket (Ralph Lawler & Mike Smith)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Los Angeles: KFWB 980 (Ralph Lawler, Mike Smith & Brian Sieman)
- Pau Gasol (Hamstring)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion fracture of Right Index Finger, Elbow & Back)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- PF Blake Griffin (Knee) Out
- PG Sebastian Telfair (Groin)
- C Chris Kaman (Back)
- C Marcus Camby (Stomach Illness)