Lakers were able to exact some revenge on the Mavericks for their 14-point loss to them on 10/30/09. Keeping that theme going, the Lakers will be out to avenge another home loss to a Texas team, they took a 10-point loss on the chin to the Rockets on 11/15/09.
Ron Artest has practiced with the team and there is a chance he could play tonight. The good thing is that he is getting close to returning andthe Lakers desperately needs his defense and overall production. The team defense has suffered mightily with Artest out.
The Lakers didn’t have the services of Pau Gasol for the first two games against the Rockets due to a right hamstring strain. As fate would have it, the purple and gold will again be playing without the All-Star Power Forward for a while due to a left hamstring strain.
It’s no mystery that whenever these teams match up, it will be a hard fought battle. However in this writer’s opinion, this is a statement game for the Lakers because the last time these teams met, the Rockets were the ones to be inspired, and the Lakers took the beat down.
Despite facing bigger players, the Rockets killed the Lakers on the boards (60-38), outplayed, out-hustled and literally out-worked the Purple and Gold at home. It was reminiscent of someone in the kitchen tenderizing a steak.
The Lakers are very familiar with this team, know how to beat this team and owe the Rockets a beat down. Los Angeles needs to control the tempo and not allow the Rockets to get out and run. The guards will have their hands full, but must stop the dribble penetration of Aaron Brooks. The Lakers will have to do a good job defending the screen and roll and as well as rotating out to their three point shooters. Los Angeles needs to play defense without fouling.
The Lakers collectively have to own the glass and out-rebound this team. Someone has to step-up and limit the impact of Carl Landry & Chuck Hayes. Andrew Bynum needs to have a solid game and double-digit rebounds.
The Lakers put on an inspired performance against the Mavericks and I fully expect to see it again. The reserves led by Jordan Farmar’s 24 scored an impressive 66 points, it was great to see and necessary with the Dallas reserves scoring 52 points. This showed me that the reserves can score and that the team defense has to improve.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Houston: FS Houston (Bill Worrell & Clyde Drexler)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Houston: 1140 AM KHTK (Gary Gerould)
- Luke Walton (Back) Out
- Pau Gasol (Strained Left Hamstring) Day-to-Day
- Ron Artest (Suffered Injuries to his head & Left Elbow) Day-to-Day
- Lamar Odom (Intestinal Flu) Day-to-Day
- Chase Budinger (Sprained Right Ankle) Out