The (21-7) Los Angeles Lakers are back at the Staples Center tonight to host the (10-16) Milwaukee Bucks. They’re coming off of highly successful 6-1 road trip. They’re solid 11-5 on the road, but have the NBA’s second fewest home games.
The Lakers have also played more road games than both of the Western Conference rivals San Antonio & Dallas; who have played 10. The Lakers are currently behind both of the above mentioned teams in the Western Conference standings at this time. It’s still early in the season, this fact will change soon.
The Milwaukee Bucks have endured a rash of bumps and bruises like every team in the NBA, but their latest might prove to be their most devastating. Brandon Jennings; born in Compton, Milwaukee’s talented second-year point guard has a broken a bone in his foot and will miss up to six weeks.
The Bucks have gotten off to slow starts and have lost their last three games; their most recent was a 106-80 blowout loss to the Trailblazers.
Former UCLA Bruin Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and everyone in a Bucks jersey will have to step their game up, but Salmons, Andrew Bogut and Drew Gooden will have to shoulder the majority of the scoring load.
The Lakers are a rhythm team playing in a good rhythm right now. With all due respect to former Laker Sasha Vujacic; the Lakers are a machine on both ends of the floor. Isn’t it great that people questioning the Lakers toughness is a thing of the past?
The frontcourt is once again competing on every possession; the depth of the team is better than it has ever been and on Sunday validated that fact by exploding for 57 points and grabbing 24 rebounds. The reserves are coming in and giving the starters a huge boost. Hopefully, that will now happen on a consistent basis.
Shannon Brown was a big difference maker off the bench with 21-points in the Lakers 118-107 win over Bucks in Milwaukee. The Lakers front line should be the difference tonight, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom give Lakers the size advantage. They’re averaging 46.6 points in the paint.
It all about the Lakers defense, the Bucks are struggling right now and the Lakers need to make sure that the trend continues. They need to jump on this team early, put up a lead, not allow Milwaukee to get started or get into any sort of flow.
The Lakers need to stop the dribble penetration of the guards, do a solid job defending the screen and roll plays, get back in transition and quickly rotate out to open shooters. This writer wants to see the Lakers take care of the ball, dominate the painted area and out-rebound the Bucks.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom and P. Gasol
Bucks: K. Dooling, J. Salmons, C. Douglas Roberts, E. Ilyasova, Andrew Bogut
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Milwaukee: FS Wisconsin (Jim Paschke & John McGlocklin)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Milwaukee: WTMJ AM 620 (Ted Davis & Dennis Krause))
- Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
- Andrew Bynum (Right Knee soreness) Probable
- Kobe Bryant (Sprained Pinkie Finger, Right Hand) will play
- PG Brandon Jennings (Broken Foot) Out
- SF Carlos Delfino (Strained Neck/Concussion Like-Symptoms) Out
- SF Corey Maggette (Concussion) Out
- SG Michael Redd (Knee) Out