All That Jazz The Lakers need to bounce back after a tough loss on the road. The Utah game went down to the wire, but the Lakers let Boozer, Okur and Williams get double-doubles. That won’t win you many games. On the positive side, turnovers were at a season low 11, Odom looked aggressive and we saw the return (albeit briefly) of Ronny Turiaf. Kwame seems to be progressing nicely as well. Now if only the Lakers defense hadn’t allowed all those backdoor cutters…
Nothing But Nets Vinsanity’s been having a good year. 51.4% eFG so far, and he’s averaging 28.4 points/40 min. But at 5-7 the Nets aren’t exactly lighting it up. They lost Friday night in Phoenix 99-93. The Nets were down by 22 in that game but fought their way back in. This was due in part to rookie guard Marcus Williams throwing up a season high 27 points. Still, the lesson from Phoenix is that New Jersey isn’t a team that will just roll over on the road.
99 Problems Yet this is a game that the Lakers should win. They out rebound the Nets on the offensive boards 29.8% to 21.6%. On the season, the Lakers have a slight offensive edge while New Jersey has the defensive edge. But the Lakers should be able to push the pace on New Jersey. I don’t expect to see a repeat of the Chicago game. Add in the Staples Center, and the Lakers should take care of business.
Marcus Williams You probably haven’t heard a ton about this guy, but he’s one to watch. Williams has not been consistent this season, and there’s a strong chance he won’t repeat Friday’s performance. (I certainly hope not.) But he’s shown flashes during the season. Don’t expect rookie of the year, but he will be dangerous in a season or two.
Final Thought I feel my turkey haze has lifted. I’m tanned, rested and ready to sit on the couch eating leftovers and watch some ball. Tonight should be a fun one.