The (38-19) Los Angeles Lakers start the second half of the 2010-2011 season with back-to-back games; tonight hosting the (34-21) Atlanta Hawks.
The All-Star was played in Los Angeles and everyone should have known that the when star players gather the biggest star will shine the brightest in his house.
Kobe Bryant’s performance should serve notice to the non-believers that the Lakers are far from finished. The Lakers appeared to be on track starting the seven-game road trip solid with four wins before the bottom fell out. It is imperative that they put the previous three games out of their minds and redeem themselves.
The Lakers need to go back to the basics, do a solid job of defending the screen and roll plays, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, get into the passing lanes, quickly rotate out to open shooters and rebound the ball. They have to prove that they are fully prepared to finish the season strong and make a statement that they will be ready to defend their crown.
All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford lead the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are a formidable team on the road; posting a 17-12 mark. Tonight will be the first game against the Hawks this season.
They’re one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are versatile players that can beat you in several different ways. Mike Bibby has had success against the Lakers in the past. Jamaal Crawford is one of top sixth men in the league and tough to contain. The Lakers bench will have to limit his impact on the game.
The Lakers have to come out motivated, play a lot of energy and their activity level has to be very high. They have to start their offense inside and provide Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol multiple chances to dominate in the post. Their big players have to be aggressive and dominate both ends of the floor.
The Lakers have to get more production out of Ron Artest and should not be opposed to allowing him to play in the post. They need production from their bench. It is important that they utilize excellent ball movement, excellent man movement to find high percentage shots. There is no reason for them to shoot several three-point shots with two seven footers on the floor.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom, P. Gasol
Hawks: M. Bibby, J. Johnson, M. Williams, J. Smith, A. Horford
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Atlanta: FS South (Bob Rathbun & Dominique Wilkins)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Atlanta: 790 AM (Steve Holman)
- Matt Barnes (Torn Lateral Meniscus, Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Out