The Lakers are back in action at the Staples Center hosting the Oklahoma Thunder.
Los Angeles looked more like themselves with the return of All-Star Forward Pau Gasol. Gasol in his season debut put his all around game on display and helped the Lakers thump the Chicago Bulls.
The return of Pau Gasol who scored 10 of the teams first 13 points, brought about the welcome sight of excellent spacing, timing, ball movement and player movement which the Lakers offense is predicated on. The 9 and 3 Lakers can begin to build their team chemistry.
The last time the Lakers faced the talented young Thunder team on 11/3/09 Los Angeles executed down the stretch and won in overtime. Los Angeles faces a talented young Oklahoma team with an average age of 25 years, 130 days making them the second youngest team in the league.
The Lakers are playing at a high level and literally destroying teams with points in the painted area. The size and length of the Lakers, with Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol in the line up at the same time, are creating several mismatches for opponents.
The 7 and 6 Thunder are winners of four of their last six games, including an impressive 127-108 win over the Wizards; their highest scoring output of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder team has a talented young nucleus of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and 1st round draft pick James Harden and happens to be one the leagues best defensive teams by allowing 91 points per game.
The team has allowed 108 points in their last two games and will more than likely allow a higher number tonight. The Lakers are playing excellent defense and doing an excellent job of shutting down the screen and roll play.
The Lakers have entirely too much size for the Thunder to defend them in the post. Los Angeles will start their offense on the inside and attack the interior of the defense. Coach Jackson and staff will establish both Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol in the post. Gasol is an outstanding passer out of the post that will get his teammates involved.
The Lakers need to make sure that the Thunder don’t get in transition and force them to set up their half court offense. The Lakers need to limit the Thunder to one shot per possession. The Lakers are executing their offense very well and the scary thing is that the team is getting better. The Lakers will outwork the Thunder and use their experience, maturity, teamwork and execute down the stretch.
Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: Fox Sports West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Oklahoma City: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Brian Davis & Grant Long)
Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
Oklahoma City: 640 AM & 98.1 FM (Matt Pinto)
- Luke Walton (Back) OUT
- Andrew Bynum (Ankle) listed as Day to Day
- Shaun Livingston (Knee) OUT