The (43-15) Los Angeles Lakers are back at Staples Center hosting the (22-35) Philadelphia 76ers.
The Purple and Gold split their two road games, but some people felt that Kobe Bryant was tired playing in a back-to-back game. He did an excellent job of distributing the ball and getting his teammates going.
However, the entire team didn’t play with a lot of energy and looked tired in the Dallas Mavericks game. Their were also some questionable calls in the game by the officials as evidenced by Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Pau Gasol shooting a grand total of four free throws.
Describing the referee’s calls the term’s confusion, bewilderment. or perplexity could be used if you like, but I’ll stick with calling the Mavericks beneficiaries of ‘several home calls’. Especially when Dirk put up at least 17 free throws.
I understand why Andrew Bynum stated to Lakers reporter John Ireland that “it’s hard to play eight on five”. Right or wrong, you just can’t say it without being fined by the league office.
Kobe Bryant moved up to 13th on the All-Time NBA scoring list with 25,280 points. Bryant will lead the Lakers tonight in an effort to avoid a rare two-game home losing streak.
The 76′ers aren’t playing their best basketball at this time, they have a record of 12-18 on the road and have won six of their last ten games. As their record indicates, the Sixers have struggled all season.
Philadelphia is a young team with a lot of talent although being a team that wants to get out in transition they’ve struggled to run the Princeton offense preferred by Coach Eddie Jordan.
The Princeton Offense is a structured one that calls for constant motion, passing, back-door cuts and disciplined teamwork. Traditional NBA offenses will place a team in an isolation, catch and shoot or pick and roll. All five guys are constantly moving regardless of which side of the floor the action is on and the Lakers needs to be prepared for it.
The Lakers have to play sound, smart defense and not overextend themselves to open the passing lanes, take care of the ball as well as not provide any opportunities for Andre Iguodala to have a major impact of the outcome of the game. He is the 76′ers leading scorer and will have to be contained. The Lakers have to be more aggressive in the painted area; they’ve been out rebounded in the last two games.
The Lakers need to come out aggressive on both ends of the court. Establish the frontline to be a deciding factor in winning this game. The Lakers have to play with more energy, turn up the intensity of their defense.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Philadelphia: Comcast SportsNet (Marc Zumoff & Steve Mix)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Philadelphia: 610 WIP (Tom McGinnis)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion fracture of index finger, Elbow & Back)
- Andrew Bynum ( Bruised Right Hip)
- Sasha Vujacic (Strained Right Shoulder) Out
- Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve, back) Out
- C Francisco Elson (Hernia Surgery) Out
- PF Jason Smith (Right Ankle Sprain) Out
- SG Willie Green (Left Shoulder Injury) Game-Time Decision
- SG Allen Iverson (Personal Reasons) Out