The (23-10) Los Angeles Lakers are at Staples Center tonight to face the (14-19) Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers were able to hold off the 76ers for a 102-98 victory in the last game of 2010. However, the win was way to close for comfort. The Lakers played well at times, but had way too many mistakes and defensive lapses.
Tonight will be the third game of the season against the Grizzlies. It is always nice to see the Gasol brothers compete against each other; this writer wants to see Pau Gasol dominate tonight.
The Grizzlies are a talented team, the youngest team in the NBA. Memphis has had an up and down year to this point. They’ve shown a lot of progress; the talent to rise to the occasion and beat the Lakers, Heat and Mavericks. They’ve also displayed a bit of a schizophrenic side that allowed them to lose to the Kings, Wizards, Cavaliers, and Nets.
Both teams are seeking consistency. For the Lakers, it’s all about their defense, energy, effort and execution. The coaching staff have gotten their message across to the players that this is an inside out team. Despite being the third game of the year against Memphis, tonight will be the first with Andrew Bynum in the line up.
The Lakers have to start their offense in the post and establish both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol inside. The Lakers front line needs to dominate and produce 50+ points and 20+ rebounds.
Defensively, the Laker guards have to stay in front of Mike Conley. They have had trouble slowing down small quick point guards. They need to stop the dribble penetration of Mike Conley, play solid on the screen and roll plays, get back in transition and quickly rotate out to open shooters. They’ve been caught flat footed on defense too frequently.
The Purple and Gold have to focus on consistently stopping their opponents; getting a lead and seeking bury the opposition. They have to take care of the ball and drastically cut down their turnovers. Turnovers and points off of turnovers were a big reason the Sixers game went down to the wire. The ball movement and player movement are keys to the team’s success.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom and P. Gasol
Grizzlies: M. Conley, O. J. Mayo, R. Gay, Z. Randolph, M. Gasol
Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Memphis: FS South TN (Pete Pranica & Sean Tuohy)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Memphis: 103.5 FM (Eric Hasseltine & Hank McDowell)
- Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
- SF Rudy Gay (Stomach Virus) Listed as Day-to-Day
- SG Xavier Henry (Sore Right Knee) Listed as Day-to-Day