The (18-7) Lakers will be in Conseco Fieldhouse tonight in a back-to-back game against the (11-12) Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are coming off a 92-73 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers routed the Wizards in Andrew Bynum’s season debut. Bynums didn’t post impressive numbers coming off of the bench to score seven points, grab four rebounds, one assist and block two shots. However, having him on the floor dramatically improves the Lakers rebounding and defense.
Bynum’s return also means less minutes for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. It was evident that Gasol was wearing down by playing extended minutes. Bynum still is far from 100%, but he will continue to improve and in turn so will the Lakers.
The Lakers have traded Sasha Vujacic and a first round draft choice to the Nets for veteran Forward Joe Smith as part of a three-team trade. He will get more minutes and help add some punch to the Nets’ bench. It is sad to see “The Machine” traded, but it is for the best. The Lakers receive a veteran big man to add to their thin front line and save nearly $9 million. I wish Sasha Vujacic well.
The Indiana Pacers are really struggling right now. The 73-points that the Bulls held the Pacers to, was a season low. The Lakers owe the Pacers a beat down for their win at Staples Center. The Pacers have used former Bruin Darren Collison as their starting point guard and have played him for 30 minutes per game. However, it has been T.J. Ford finishing games for the Pacers.
The Lakers will be very motivated to hand the Pacers a loss at home. Their defense, energy and execution will carry them to a win. The Purple and Gold have to stop the dribble penetration of the guards, defend the screen and roll plays, get back in transition and rotate out to open shooters.
The Pacers are a good shooting team so it is imperative that the Lakers challenge every shot. The Lakers need to utilize excellent ball movement and excellent player movement and outwork the Pacers. The front line needs to dominate the painted area and win the rebounding contest. The reserves have to get involved and score 35+ points.
Tip-off: 4:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Indiana: FS Indiana (Quinn Buckner & Chris Denari)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Indiana: 1070 The Fan (Mark Boyle & Bobby Leonard)
- Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
- Andrew Bynum (Right Knee) Probable
- SF Danny Granger (Sprained Left Ankle) Day-to-Day