The (41-13) Los Angeles Lakers are back to work and hosting the (14-37) Golden State Warriors.
The Purple and gold did an excellent job of finishing off the first half of the season, and went into the All-Star break making a strong statement without Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
After the All-Star break the Warriors appear to be more banged up than the Lakers. However, you can’t forget that this team beat Dallas with only six active players earlier in the season.
If he is able to go, tonight’s game will mark another Kobe Bryant milestone with his 1,000th game; he would also break the NBA record set by Kevin Garnett and become the youngest player to play 1,000 NBA games.
Andrew Bynum will also attempt a return from injury and play tonight.
There has been a lot of talk around town about moving Bynum which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you realize that despite his injuries he is only 22 years of age and has a lot of basketball ahead of him.
This is the third of four games against the Warriors; the Lakers are 2-0 this season against Golden State. The Warriors play an up tempo-style and want to get out in transition on every occasion. Consequently, for the Lakers, transition defense will be paramount. The Lakers have to get back in transition and match up.
The Lakers are a rhythm team that ended the first half of the season playing in a very good rhythm. The frontline of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom has been playing well averaging 49.6 points and 33 rebounds I’m fully expecting this to continue tonight.
Los Angeles will run their offense through All-Star Pau Gasol and pound the Warriors in the painted area or allow him to set the table for everyone else. I want to see the Lakers frontline meet the above mentioned averages with the exception of the rebounds which needs to increase to 40.
Los Angeles defense needs to extend out to the three point line, out-rebound the Warriors. The Lakers will win by using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement as well as simply outplaying the Warriors.
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Golden State: CSN Bay (Jim Barnett & Bob Fitzgerald)
* Los Angeles: KABC 790 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
* Golden State: KNBR 680 (Tim Roye)
- Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve in Back) Out
- Kobe Bryant (Sprained left ankle/avulsion fracture, right index finger) Source: Out
- Andrew Bynum (Bruised right hip)
- Lamar Odom (Sore left foot)
- Anthony Randolph (Sprained Left Ankle) Out
- Monta Ellis (Sprained Left Knee) Out
- Corey Maggette (Dislocated Left Ring Finger) Out
- Vladimir Radmanovic (Sore Right Achilles)
- Kelenna Azubuike (left patellar tendon injury) Out
- Raja Bell (Left Wrist) Out
- Brandan Wright (Shoulder Surgery) Out