The (35-16) Los Angeles Lakers road show stops in Memphis tonight as the two-time defending champions face the (27-25) Grizzlies.
The duo of Kobe and Pau dropped a 30-30 combo on New Orleans and led the Lakers to a much-needed bounce back win against the Hornets to start the road trip off the right way.
The 30-30 performance Kobe and Pau put on was the first time both scored 30+ points in the same game since March 1, 2009, and for the sixth time since becoming teammates in February of 2008. The Purple and Gold are now 5-1 when this happens.
The most surprising thing about Saturday’s game was that the Lakers committed just four turnovers in the process of limiting their opponent to a franchise-low four free throw attempts.
Tonight’s game is the fourth and final meeting of the four game series. Memphis holds a 2-1 advantage over Los Angeles. Pau Gasol’s tremendous effort (season-high 34 points and 10 rebounds) was great to see. However, i’s this writers belief that the Lakers Nation will see several repeat performances… starting tonight.
As great as it is to see Kobe and Pau combine for 66 points in a win, the Lakers need more balanced scoring. They need to continue to establish Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the post and provide them enough touches to go to work. The Lakers bigs need to catch the ball in the painted area and aggressively attack the basket.
The Lakers have to control the tempo of the game, be consistent in their play, own the painted area, win the rebounding battle, increase their activity level, and out-work the Grizzlies. They have to sustain their focus, energy and effort for the entire game.
Three Grizzlies Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph have had success and the Lakers have to limit their impact. The Grizzlies are hot at home, winners of eight of nine, including four straight while averaging 108.5 points. The Lakers have been getting the job done defensively, on the road, limiting their opponents to an average of 95.3 points over heir last 15 road games.
The last three games between the Lakers and Grizzlies have been close. To even the season series, the Lakers have to stop the dribble penetration of Mike Conley, do a solid job defending the screen and roll plays, quickly rotate out to open shooters and challenge every shot.
The Lakers have to communicate on defense and fight through screens and stay in front of their opponent.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom and P. Gasol
Grizzlies: M. Conley, S. Young, R. Gay, Z. Randolph, M. Gasol
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Memphis: Fox Sports TN (Pete Pranica & Sean Tuohy)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Memphis: 103.5 FM (Eric Hasseltine & Hank McDowell)
- Matt Barnes (Torn Lateral Meniscus, Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Out
- Andrew Bynum (Bone Bruise Knee) Probable
- SG O.J. Mayo (League Suspension) Out