The Lakers are back in action tonight at the Staples center to face the Rockets. Several people who felt that the Lakers would sweep the Rockets have to rethink a few things. If the question is asked what caused the Lakers to lose Game 1 to the Rockets, the reasons are plentiful.

You can start with horrible shooting, from behind the arc the team shot 2-of-18 their fifth worse effort in this area since 1996 and especially from the free throw line 12-of-19 for 63.6%.  The Lakers had several clean, open jumpers but couldn’t knockdown shots.

You can’t blame it on rust, the Lakers looked bad playing out of sync and disjointed for the majority of the game and never really getting into a rhythm.

There is nothing more disgusting than losing a game where free throws are an issue, had the seven free throws been made we would be talking about a one-point game at the end of regulation.

The Rockets were physical, played solid discipline defense and made sure that they swarmed Kobe whenever he attacked. The outcome of one game hasn’t caused me to lose faith in the Lakers. The Lakers need to play with a sense of urgency to start the game and it is a must that the team moves the ball to find the open man.

As stated prior to Game 1, slowing Yao Ming will not be easy, but the Lakers have done it before so there isn’t a reason why it can’t be accomplished again. Andrew Bynum started Game 1 and will more than likely start tonight. He played better but has to stay out of foul trouble.

The Rockets shot too many free throws meaning that the Lakers need to move their feet and play defense without fouling. Andrew has the size to be effective but has to focus on his defensive principles, being the last line of defense and protecting the rim to stay on the floor.

The Rockets did a great job of protecting the basket and the Lakers need to do the same. The Lakers need to control the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotate out to three point shooters.

The task to slow the guards, limiting the drive and kick opportunities will be a team effort but a lot of it falls on the shoulders of Derek Fisher. Fisher has more playoff experience than Aaron Brooks but the foot speed of Brooks helped him outplay Derek in Game 1.

I don’t think it will happen again, but he needs to be kept out of the paint. The Lakers need to throw the ball into the low post establish Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol let them go to work. This is a statement game and the Lakers will make a definitive statement and rise to the challenge tonight.

Look for a spirited effort tonight from everyone and most importantly at the end of the night a series that is tied at a game apiece heading to Houston.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: TNT
  • Houston: TNT

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Houston: KILT Sportsradio 610 (Crag Ackerman)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Luke Walton (Foot) Might play

Rockets:

  • Tracy McGrady (Knee) Out
  • lakers4life

    i still see no reason why the lakers would win the championship this year.they haven’t improve in terms of mental and defensive toughness.it sucks.

  • IwantLukeoutofLA

    tonight is my first ever laker game!! everyone there needs to get crazy!! let’s show the team that we got their backs!

  • pr0mega

    Our home crowd has got to step up for once.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #70002 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Talk about ye of little faith. They lost one game in a series. It’s not over. Yes, they played like complete sh*t in Game 1 but they can play better (remember this is a team that won IN Cleveland and IN Boston)

    Lakers4Life?? if you’re not going to have faith, then you should probably change the name.

  • Anthony

    He’s right in a certain manner of speaking. This team came out on a mission in the beginning of the season, but never have gotten back to the style of those first 7 games. Although, we did beat Boston and Cleavland twice this year and those are the teams that are supposed to be in the finals (Boston with KG that is).

    So we’ll just see what this Lakers team can do when they really need to do it. They have not played as well as they can more than 50% of time.

  • kobe8

    Bynum off the bench PLEASE.

  • http://myspace.com/badlatinmutha JohnJOhn

    The Lakers will have a more difficult time going threw the playoffs. Utah was a couple of games from being the 2 seed. Same with the Rockets. The whole Western Conference is tuff. That cant be said about Clevelands opponents. Houston could beat the CAVS.

    PS.Lakers4Life?? if you’re not going to have faith, then you should probably change the name……lol

  • franchise98bn

    You know they had this same attitude of “Don’t Panic” after they lost in Game 1 of the Finals. Look how that turned out!!!

  • LakerFaninAtl

    I’m tired of all you bandwaggon fans on this site. Always have a negative attitude. All my friends who are REAL Laker fans have not lost faith and neither have I. Which leads me to believe anyone who visits this site is not a die-hard fan. Of course there are a lot of things we need to do better, but it’s not the end of the world.

    I’d hate to see how many of you “fans” when the Lakers have a rebuilding year. Probably jump ship quick.. like all the Cavs fans will in 2010 lol. I ride with the Lakers no matter what!

    Anyway, Lakers taking the ring this year! Let’s Go!

  • LakerFaninAtl

    And I meant *everyone who visits this site is not a die-hard fan lol

  • DACODACO

    im tired of all these fans complaining and losing hope in the lakers after 2 losses this entire postseason… just because the lakers breezed to the finals last year doesn’t mean they will this year.. with the way the rockets have been playing as of late it makes for a great series.. i have no doubt in my mind that the lakers will take it in 6, and if that does happen the next series will be even better. billups vs. bryant… and the way the nugs have been playing wow.. that is gonna be an awesome series!!
    GO LAKERS. even in the darkest of times i’ll still be a diehard fan…

  • pr0mega

    LakerFaninAtl, being from ATL already makes you an idiot and someone who just follows good teams (like the Lakers often are). Although I somewhat agree that many of the ‘fans’ who post on this site are fair weather idiots who want to trade any player who has one bad game for instant gratification. But there are many, like myself, who live and breathe Lakers basketball, win or lose.

    Anyways, the Lakers need to in this game and make this series a 5 game series. They won’t play as badly as they did in that first game again, it just isn’t possible.

    kobe8 – Why bring Bynum off the bench? He needs to step up and guard Yao Ming, he’s our biggest and strongest player and he has not been playing with confidence lately. You can’t just put a young and coming player on the bench one game and then start him the next. It confuses them and hampers their confidence. Bynum is going to be fine, he just needs ONE good game.

    Lakers 09 Champs!
    -pr0mega

  • gugy

    Lakers will win very comfortable tonight.
    I think the loss was a good thing for this team. They need to be slapped in the butt here and there.

  • oooP

    Bynum- please do not get into foul trouble within the first 2 minutes,
    Kobe- take it to the hole!

    We got this, if you’re going to the game get crazy! Go Lakers!

  • kobe

    I think Bynum & Gasol should really step it up tonight and sometimes i question phil jackon’s decision on bynum he keeps him in the bench after he gets a couple of fouls and then he never brings him back again

  • Oriba

    [Comment ID #70005 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I was at game one, and WE DID have their backs. They just couldn’t deliver.

  • http://myspace.com/badlatinmutha JohnJOhn

    Please LakerFaninAtl say it aint so……….”And I meant *everyone who visits this site is not a die-hard fan lol”……..ATL you aint good enough for the Lakers, why dont you become a Hawks fan that way you both suck. As for
    I think Bynum & Gasol should really step it up tonight and sometimes i question phil jackon’s decision on bynum he keeps him in the bench after he gets a couple of fouls and then he never brings him back again.

    YOu are damn right.

  • http://www.secretstan.com Stan

    I think we’ll take this one. I believe that lost was great for the Lakers team because now they can’t take their talent for granted. I am sure they know that but it’s just a nice little reminder, just because you have a fast car, you’ll go fast you’ll still have to drive it.

  • ROCKETS RULE YA BEYATCHES

    I CHALLENGE ALL CHINAMEN IN L.A.’S CHINATOWN TO GET OUT AND SUPPORT THEIR COUNTRYMAN!!! TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE: GO TO http://WWW.TICKETMASTER.TEAMEXCHANGE.COM

  • Andu

    the lakers need to come out aggressive and attack the rim. they also need to get to the foul line and stay out of foul trouble. Lamar needs to step up big time. he has the speed advantage over the other forwards. kobe needs to facilitate in the beginning and focus on scoring in the end (if necessary). pau needs to be as consistent as he has been throughout the regular season. derek need to know down shots and try to slow down brooks. trevor needs to help with slowing down brooks and know down 3′s. Sasha and Shannon need to come in the game being aggressive on offense and defense. they both need to knock down there wide open shots too.

  • http://steveodesignedge.wordpress.com/ dEDGE

    It was reported that Phil Jackson said after this morning’s shoot around that Lamar Odom would most likely start tonight in place of Andrew Bynum.

  • http://myspace.com/badlatinmutha JohnJOhn

    Chinamen think Lama Odo should star

  • girlloveslakers

    I was at game 1 on Monday. I was one of 5 people in the ENTIRE SECTION who actually got out of their seat and yelled and boo’ed and all that jazz. The chants of MVP died somewhere that night. Have you all forgotten about the BEAT LA chants we’ll have to hear on Friday, that this is a PLAYOFF GAME? It seriously grosses me the f out that HORRIBLE teams have better crowds than our blessed Lakers do. If you’re going to the game, get off your ass or stay home and let a real fan take your seat. Lakers in 5.

  • http://www.keyshop.org Makaveli3

    I see a lot of bandwagoners having laker flags on their cars now, its funny to see because theres some people I remember kept on bashing how much lakers sucks now and they are lakers 4 life now, fuckin hilarious.

  • FT

    All season we get pumped up about games that we label “THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR” well thats just not true, if there was a big game this is it, this is where we show what we’re made of, this is the game to send a msg, Denver is playing great, and so are the CAVS, its time for us to show up for the playoffs once and for all, I’m sick and tired of hearing all the critics, specially when we all know what this team is capable of, after monday NOONE is talking about us winning it all this year, so lets go get it! Boston went through it last year, so maybe this is our year to get tested.

  • Lakerfan_InAtl

    [Comment ID #70025 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I’m not from Atlanta. I just live in atlanta. My sn isn’t Laker Fan From Atl. I’m originally from St. Louis and am a fan of every professional team in St. Louis. However, we don’t have a basketball team and my fathers of the family is from L.A. I’m a pretty young guy and have been a Laker fan my whole life. Even when everyone was on the Bulls when I was growing up. So I don’t just follow good teams.

    Anyway, I agree with you on not putting Bynum on the bench. I also agree.. Lakers ’09 Champs. Let’s go!

  • kobe8

    today we will see how much the Lakers want to win a Championship.

  • Juan

    This is such CRAP from Phil he needs to make up his ming and quit changing the line up , this is not only draining the confidance out of Bynum but why in the hell are we having to adjust to Houston aren’t we the number 1 seed they should be matching up with us not the the other way around . The last time a one seed starting to change the lineup was the Dallas Mavs when Golden State punked them.
    I am also very disappointed in Pau needs to step up he playrd better last year , it looks like he is nervouse or something

  • Lakerfan_InAtl

    [Comment ID #70037 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lmao. I Could never be a Hawks fan. I was at the Hawks/Laker game in March when we took the L and I was arguing with Hawks fans until the last second of the game. Oh yea.. and the Laker fans in Phillips Arena > than Laker Fans at Staples lol.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Whoever thinks Jackson is a great coach is living in la la land!

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Jackson’s choice of line-up changes during the course of a game is just flat out delusional! …He is actually the one that lacks a killer instinct, which is directly relating to why the Lakers are LUCKY to be tied at half-time in this game 2!

  • Big Phil

    DON’T PUT F@CKIN A$$ FLUKE IN THE GAME!!!!!!! WE HAVE A 2ND SH!T SQUAD (FLUKE, FARMA$$, VUJABRICK)…AND BYNUM IS CLOSE TO JOIN THIS SQUAD.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    If there ever was a better example of white trash when it pertains to basketball… ??????????

  • James

    If the Lakers continue this crap, I don’t see them winning it this year. They may barely squeak by Houston, but they will get destroyed by Denver. Having watched Denver, they play awesome defense, heart, energy, muscle, enthusiasm, motivation for the ENTIRE game. The entire Denver team (starters and bench) play this way. The Laker bench is absolutely terrible…luke, sasha, farmar, and bynum is a terrible combination cause they play absolutely no defense. The current bynum is clearly not the bynum before he got hurt. Bynum isn’t going after rebounds or blocking shots. He just stands there and waits for other guys to get the ball or the ball to come to him. Luke is frickin joke…

  • Big Phil

    Will Kobe please stop shooting from outside and drive in damnit…get to the damn freethrow line…sh!T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Farmar Suks A$$

    Lakers lose this game…kiss the championship run, Kobe, Phil goodbye.

  • LEADERFISH

    [Comment ID #70103 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I NOMINATE this as the MOST IGNORANT STATEMENT on TLN. OWNED!!!!

  • LEADERFISH