The (13-5) Los Angeles Lakers are in Houston, Texas on the second night of a two-game road trip against the (5-12) Rockets. The Lakers arrive in Houston saddled with a three-game losing streak.
The Lakers, surprisingly, had another lethargic outing losing yet another game that the squad should have won. To avoid the first four-game losing streak since 2006-2007; their energy, focus, effort, and especially their defense have to improve.
Have we returned to Kobe carrying the majority of the scoring load and waiting for other players to step in? All of the Lakers problems can be solved by playing better defensively, doing a better job of moving the ball and running their offense.
Three alarming trends have started for the Lakers; points in the paint, terrible third quarters, and not enough production from the once Killer B’s. Opposing guards are waltzing down the lane without impunity, knowing for a fact that no one is going to step in front of them or challenge the shot.
On more than one occasion, Mike Conley repeatedly either got free to attack or found himself left wide open. The Lakers need to get back to basics and stop the ball, play solid team defense and challenge every shot.
The defensive rotations are way too slow, the squad is giving up way too many open shots without so much as a hand in the shooters face and the big players are not stopping the dribble penetration when the guards are beaten or protecting the rim.
The last time the Lakers faced the Rockets, was the night of the ring ceremony; October 26th. L.A. came out flat and had to rally to win that game 111-110. The Rockets are a depleted team coming off of a loss to the Mavericks. They have dropped six of the eight games without starters Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks.
The Rockets are a scrappy team that always puts up a good fight. The Lakers have struggled against this team before. However, Houston is a team in need of leadership and someone to step up in the absence of their missing starters. There is no better time or team to face than the Rockets tonight for the Lakers to have a bounce back game and snap their losing streak.
Kobe Bryant will set the tone offensively and start the game in attack mode. The Lakers have to play better defensively and control the tempo of the game, defend the screen and roll play, control the boards and the painted area. need to be display a lot more urgency when closing out to open shooters.They. Also, they have to redirect any drive attempt to the basket and challenge every shot as well as limiting the Rockets to one shot per possession.
Tip-off: 5:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Houston: Fox Sports Houston (Bill Worrell & Clyde Drexler)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Houston: 610 AM (Adam Wexler)
- Andrew Bynum (Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
- Lamar Odom (Sore Right Foot) Probable
- C Yao Ming (Bone Bruise in Left Ankle)
- PG Aaron Brooks (Left Ankle Sprain)