Preview and Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

Rob L. —  January 26, 2007

LO He practiced Thursday. He felt great. He wants to get back on the court. Judging from his radio sound bites, even more so than we want him back. I haven’t seen anything official, but Lamar Odom should be in uniform for the first time since December 10th. And it couldn’t come at a better moment…

This Time It’s Personal Tonight the Lakers face the Charlotte Bobcats. They’re last in the Southeast Division. They have the third worst offense in the NBA. Their defense isn’t much better. But the last time these teams faced off in Charlotte, they handed the Lakers a triple overtime loss, 133-124.

That game took place on December 29th, so the Lakers were without Lamar. The Laker defense was awful in a game that became a shootout. The Bobcats had an offensive rating of 148.7 that night, when they only average 102.8. Part of the reason why is because Emeka Okafor owned the paint with 22 points and 25 rebounds. Gerald Wallace burned them for 28 points, Matt Carroll for 27 and (continuing the Lakers quick guard weakness) Raymond Felton for 22.

Out Of Whack The Lakers also had four players score in double digits. Smush had 12, Luke 14, Kwame 11 and Kobe had 58. Yes, 58. While I normally love that sort of thing, on that night, it was a bad sign. Without the whole team involved in the offense, they seemed to lack focus on the defensive end. You know things are wacky on a night where the Lakers have 8 steals and 11 blocked shots, yet still give up 105 in regulation.

The Good News The team still needs to look out for Felton and Wallace (who recently returned from injury), but this game is at Staples. And did I mention that Lamar Odom is supposed to playing tonight?

That 3OT game should have lit a fire under the Lakers’ butts. I just can’t see how they let the Bobcats take one at home. I’d say this game has a 40% chance of becoming an And1 mixtape on the offensive side. But what I’d love to see, is a nailed-down Lakers defense that’s been re-energized by the return of Odom.


Rob L.