Getty Images | Image By Ezra Shaw

The (13-6) Los Angeles Lakers return to the Staples Center to host the (4-12) Sacramento Kings.

I know exactly what you’re thinking; what is wrong with this team? I know that while watching the Laker’s fourth straight loss more than a few (expletives) were in the air.

Despite the fact that the Lakers have experienced their first four-game losing streak since April 2007, it isn’t time to panic. As all Laker fans know, an NBA season is a marathon and not a sprint. The road to a championship is filled with obstacles, potholes and stretches of bad games. Hopefully, the Lakers will put their bad play behind them.

The Lakers have lost their way, but the reality is we’ve seen the squad go through this before, I’m confident that the  clad warriors will right the ship. Their energy, focus, effort, and especially their defense have to improve. The defense is what ails this team. Pau Gasol’s hamstring is a serious concern; some may recall that at the start of last year, Gasol was dealing with hamstring issues.

The Lakers know that help in the form of Andrew Bynum is on the way. The Lakers need to clean up their defense. They also need to get back in transition, stop the ball, stop the dribble penetration, close down the lane, and rotate out to three point shooters.

The Lakers need to come out aggressive on both ends of the court and play with a lot of energy and not like a collective B-12 shot is needed. They have to take care of the ball, limit the Kings to one shot per possession and challenge every shot. The front line has to play aggressively and out-rebound, out-work and out-hustle the Kings.

Tonight is all about defense and snapping the losing streak. A victory will take a team effort that the Lakers are prepared to deliver in front of the home crowd.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Sacramento: Comcast Sportsnet (Grant Napear & Jerry Reynolds)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Sacramento: 1140 AM KHTK (Gary Gerould)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Right Knee) Out
  • Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
  • Lamar Odom (Sore Right Foot) Probable
  • Pau Gasol (Strained Left Hamstring) Probable

Kings:

  • C Samuel Dalembert (Right Patellar Tendinitis)