The (12-3) Lakers are back at the Staples Center tonight to host the winless New Jersey Nets in a back-to-back game. The Nets lost to the Kings on Friday ironically the team with the worst record in the league last year. Unfortunately for the Nets the Kings didn’t show them any compassion and dropped them to 0-16.
The soon to be Brooklyn Nets face the certainty of being placed in the history books as the team with the worst start in league history against the Lakers going 0-17. 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 played hard against the Kings in the second half cutting a double-digit deficit to single digits in the second half behind Sacramento regained control of the game. The Nets scored 96 points their second highest scoring output of the season with Devin Harris & Courtney Lee returning to the line up.
I’m expecting the Nets to put up a spirited effort against the Lakers but still go down in defeat. The Nets allowed 50 points in the paint to the Kings; a number that will be exceeded by Lakers front line. The Nets don’t have the defense or size to match up with the Lakers 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 Nets have unsuccessfully used the going with a smaller faster lineup tactic with 6’5 Trenton Hassell playing Power Forward. The Nets will have to attempt to match up Brook Lopez, Josh Boone & Sean Williams with Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum & Lamar Odom.
The Lakers need to force their will on the Nets, jump on them early, and build a lead by establishing Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum in the post. Both players will destroy the interior of the Nets defense as well as start the offense. Los Angeles will use excellent ball movement and excellent player movement to provide several open looks or shots that the team will knock down.
Los Angeles needs to control the tempo, get back in transition, limit the Nets to one shot per possession and smoother this team on defense and force them to play their best basketball which has yet to occur. My only concern is the bench which should get a lot of playing time in this game. It is imperative that the reserves hold onto the lead that the starters will give them.
The reserves need to attack the basket and not rely on so many jump shots. If the bench is aggressive it will greatly benefit the Lakers with the reserves scoring or going to the free throw line. This will improve the confidence of the reserves and continue to frustrate the Nets.
Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- New Jersey: YESN (Marv Albert & Mike Fratello)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- New Jersey: WFAN 660 (Chris Carrino & Tim Capstraw)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Keyon Dooling (Hip)
- Eduardo Najera (Back)
- Jarvis Hayes (Hamstring)