Prediction Time

Kurt —  January 30, 2008

Nine game road trip gets off to a tough start in Detroit tomorrow night. You can see the schedule here.

My prediction: 4-5. I think 5-4 is very doable. 6-3 and I’d be thrilled. 3-6 and, well, I’d rather not talk about it.

What do all of you predict?

Kurt

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42 responses to Prediction Time

  1. I say 5-4. With the wins coming in the last 6 games. Only loss in the last 6 is to Orlando.

    That back to back with Detroit/Toronto is not good. And the Wiz are playing well right now. But then Wins over NJ, ATL, MIA, CHA, and MIN.

    This is Darius, and I approved this message.

  2. We really should come out of this at least 5-4. Any worse and we are really not trying. I cannot see us doing better than 7-2, but there are too many average East teams for us to lose more than 4 games.

    I see us losing to Detroit and Orlando, with possible losses to Toronto (back-to-back), Washington, or Charlotte (back-to-back).

    We really shouldn’t lose to Miami, NJ, or Minny unless we are really in a funk.

  3. Lose first 3, win next 2, lose next 1, win last 3.

    5-4

  4. I would say 5-4 as well. I actually think that 6 of those games are very win-able, but I would expect fatigue to set in on the back-to-backs on the road.

  5. I feel like the only “should-wins” are MIA/MIN/CHA/ATL, but I’m expecting a let down in at least one of those. I’d add NJ to that mix for sure if J. Kidd is traded before they get into town.

    With the subpar level of defense I’ve seen since A.B.’s injury, plus 3 back-to-backs, I wouldn’t be surprised if they cam back 4-5. So I guess that’s my (depressing) prediction.

    Get well soon Drew/Trev

  6. Lamar Odom is back! January 30, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    3-6. That’s the worst case scenario for me. 5-4 and I’d be real happy. Anything better than 5-4 will be great. But I expect them to go 4-5, unless Odom is really bothered like he seemed to be after that fall yesterday.

  7. This is my pessimistic prediction:

    3-6
    wins against:
    Nets
    Heat
    Timberwolves

    Losses against:
    Pistons
    Raptors
    Wizards
    Hawks
    Magic
    Bobcats

    Obviously I hope we do better… we’ll see. Is there a prize for correct predictions?

  8. I’m going to be optimistic and predict 6-3.
    There is NO reason why the Lakers should not be able to beat Orlando!! They are way overrated and they are garbage at home. I predict a loss to Detroit, then 2 somewhere else, maybe not where we expect.

    C’mon…these teams on the trip are very-subpar…..all of them except detroit. Yeah, WASH & TOR are decent, but cmon. If they come back 5-4, that should be viewed as a failure!

  9. I’m a little more optimistic going into this long road game stretch. I’m actually somewhat excited that it has come up already, and thus wil pass soon enough to move on with the season. Detroit is very good, but that doesn’t mean we can’t beat them. We actually man up somewhat well. Orlando is beatable as well, although Dwight is going to be very hard to stop.

    New Jersey however will be the most important game of the road trip. We will be playing for the last time against Jason Kidd in a NETS uniform. This will be a key game for the Lakers, because 1) they are the team stuck in the middle that the Lakers can make this road trip a winning one with a win over New Jersey, and 2) if our players truly step up and show what they are capable of (Lamar and Sasha hitting some big shots), the Nets may be impressed and thus be more likely to make a trade. One concern however is: how will Phil Jackson handle Lamar Odom. Lamar has made it known that he doens’t want to be traded and thus may “force” a Lakers loss by not showing Rod Thorn that he’s really not as good as he seems.

    6-3 on the road trip simply because the Lakers are the Lakers and they have been training for this road trip all season long. This has long been known as the turing point for the season!!

  10. 5-4. Maybe 6-3.

    They’ll understand they’re in a fight for their playoff lives, enjoy the challenge, and come back home a much harder and stronger team.

  11. 8. Orlando has the best center in the NBA. How exactly do we defend him while not leaving a bunch of their good shooters on the wing open? Bynum is sorely missed in that one.

  12. Kurt. Yeah, Dwight will be hard to stop…..just as Kobe will be hard to stop for them. Why should any one player on another team scare us more than what Kobe scares them? We have the best player in the league, and we do need Bynum….but not against the scrubs of the East on this road-trip. Come playoff time, and down the stretch run against Western Conference powers with more complete teams, then yes, Bynum is needed, but not against these weak teams.

    We have a better supporting cast than any of those teams in the east (except Detroit)….and our best player is the best player in the league. The Lakers just need to play better, period.

  13. DET and ORL will be very tough games. TOR and WAS are solid teams. The rest of the games are against teams well below the Lakers level. However, it always seems that bad teams “get up” when the Lake show comes to town — I have a feeling that the Heat will suddenly play well against LA.

  14. The Dude Abides January 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I predict 5-4, and I would be delighted if we do better. I will also qualify my prediction that the Lakers will get one or two additional wins if Sasha gets significantly more minutes than Luke in the games that Luke is dressed. I will also predict that if Sasha gets 30 minutes of playing time more than once on this trip, then he will score at least 30 points in at least one game. The guy has no conscience, and has a ton of confidence right now.

    PS-Balkman got suspended for one game by the league.

  15. 12. I think that Orlando’s supporting cast and team are better than you give them credit for. That is a solid squad, not a bunch of scrubs.

  16. I have been interviewing for the job of my life (I am one of 3 finalist out of 45 applicants and I interviewed really well with the Big Boss on tuesday…so…it looks really good!!!!)…so I have been dedicating time to study and all that at night and have not had the opportunity to watch any games until last night with the Knicks.

    Looked a little shakey…I love the line up when Kobe goes to the 3…Lamar seems more comfortable too with Kobe there…and he really never has to play a true 4 himself…so…I dont know…

    I am thinking 5-4 on this trip is very reasonable….but…with Luke hurt now too??? I’d be happy with 4-5….

  17. Way to go JORDAN!!

    http://www.nba.com/allstar2008/rookie_sophomore_080130.html

    I a ray or light in a gloomy January for LA (figuratively and literally).

  18. Burningjoe: Good luck!!

  19. 5-4

    except i think we drop one or two against the should wins, and pick up some emotional wins against the teams we ‘reasonably lose’ to.

    that injury bug is really hitting us hard. i wonder if that will have an impact in resigning players. will those who remained injury-free fetch more than they deserve, and vice versa?

  20. The Dude Abides January 30, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    re Balkman getting suspended for one game: I’m actually pleasantly surprised. I think if he were on a different team, there would have been no suspension. It’s usually open season on Lakers when it comes to discipline (or lack of) by the league office. Remember the Barnes hit on Turiaf? No penalty. However, the Knicks are on the NBA’s radar (for good reason), so Balkman paid the price. The league office IMO is very sensitive to charges of favoritism whenever there is a Laker issue, and usually bends over backwards to not appear to favoring the Lakers. Barnes on Turiaf, Kobe’s 3-pt followthrough, all the hard fouls committed on Shaq over the years with no penalty, etc.

  21. 6-3

    Det L, Tor W, Was L, NJ W, Atl W, Orl L, Mia W, Cha W, Min W

    100% guessing here.

  22. Orlando has the best center in mankind today so expect us to be battered down the paint OR be rained on on threes. The best we could hope for is that they miss more than they make on threes.

    Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are supposed to be one and the same. Hedo has little post moves while Shard simply does the backing up to create space for his fadeaway. Hedo takes it to the hole more often while Shard shoots the three very well. At 6’10, he is tough to block on too.

    One key to that game would be Jameer Nelson. He is like a little engine that ignites that team. As Kurt said, their bench is also one of the more reliables – not scrubs. (I’m glad to see Mo and Cookie happy there.) If we could solidly cover Jameer with Fish and Farm alternately, deny the entry pass with deflections and kicks, we could have a shot at winning. And ultimately, we should hope that D12 does not catch those lobs.

  23. I say 5-4 but the two wins I pick for the Lakers are the back-to-back games with NJ and Atlanta. I don’t see the Lakers beating Detroit, Orlando, or the Raptors. I’d feel more comfortable about a win against Washington if Butler is out, but that team is playing good team ball without Agent Zero so that is a toss up. 5-4 or 4-5 but I’ll go with 5-4.

    The sad thing is that without the injuries, I’d predict a 9-0 sweep and put money on that. :(

  24. If our role players step up I can envision a 6-3 road trip. Especially if Sasha and Farmar can keep their offense flowing. Hopefully Radman can get in a grove, in his limited minutes last game he was 2-2 3pts. If the Lakers can’t keep their offense fluid, they will have problems on defense end because of the absence of Ariza and Bynum(not so much Walton)….either way lets just hope for the best.

  25. Not sure if anyone else watched Cavs Blazers….

    I can’t help but say… I’ve never seen a player single handedly make a coach like Lebron has made Brown. Wow. Dude is a horrible coach, but Lebron cures all…

    Anyway, to the lakeshow:

    What’s killed the team recently is their lack of D. They made up for that with some good O from Sasha and all around, but I think we need to keep in perspective that we just eeked one out AT HOME against New York. While we’re looking down the schedule, now isnt’ the time to mistake our current squad for what we were before AB went down.

    If we can get some solid D over the next 9 we can do well, but if we play the same brand we’ve had recently, it’s not going to be pretty… at all… with defense like we’re seen recently I think even 4 and 5 is optimistic. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but that kind of defense gives any team a good chance to beat us.

  26. Prediction: 4-5

    Wins: Nets, Heat, Hawks, Timberwolves

    Losses: Pistons, Raptors, Wizards, Magic, Bobcats

    In theory, the Lakers SHOULD beat Charlotte and go 5-4. But for some reason the Bobcats are a tough matchup for the Lakers going back to last year, and that was before they added Richardson. I’m afraid Okafor will destroy Kwame and Wallace is too strong and fast for Odom.

    The keys to a successful trip are simple: 1) Solid defense and 2) Steady contributions from Odom. Getting both of these things over these 9 games is a longshot.

    The game against the Raptors could be ugly. I suspect the Lakers are one of the worst teams in the league at closing out on 3 point shots and the Raptors are the best 3 point shooting team in the league. Second night of a back to back…UGH. It might be a blessing in disguise to get blown out by the Pistons early so Kobe gets plenty of rest.

  27. The motto for this road trip should be: “one game at a time.” If the guys get this, we’ll be ok.

    Assuming we will go 4-5 is rather pessimistic. Remember this is essentially the same team last year with Fish over Smush. If last year’s spiral was caused because Luke, Lamar and Kwame were out, guess what our lineup is now? I think the development of Bynum and Farmar and the jackpot addition of Ariza put us over the top but we are still a decent team that made waves last year.

    My take revolves around 6-3 and at worst 5-4.

    Lineup:
    Fisher vs Smush
    Kobe vs Kobe
    Walton vs Walton
    Odom vs Odom
    Kwame vs Kwame

    Against last year’s team, we are the same team. With Fish over Smush, with an improved Farmar over the rookie Farmar, with the Machine Sasha as supposed to the target practice version, with a contract year Ronny against a happy-go-lucky Ronny, with a something-to-prove Crittenton over a washed up Shammond Williams, with a young Coby over a lame Aaron McKie.

    Assuming Luke will sit out the 1st few games, we will see more of Kobe at the three with Sasha and Farmar at the 2.

    Keep your head up Laker Fan, I can even smell them beating Detroit.

  28. 4-5, 5-4 tops. The Lakers did not play well against the Knicks, who are worse than most of the teams they will face on the trip.

  29. 7-2

    Thu, Jan 31 @ Detroit (L)
    Fri, Feb 1 @ Toronto (W)
    Sun, Feb 3 @ Washington (W)
    Tue, Feb 5 @ New Jersey (W)
    Wed, Feb 6 @ Atlanta (W)
    Fri, Feb 8 @ Orlando (L)
    Sun, Feb 10 @ Miami (W)
    Mon, Feb 11 @ Charlotte (W)
    Wed, Feb 13 @ Minnesota (W)

    Might seem optimistic to some, but since Drew went down we have lost to Pheonix, San Antonio, Dallas, and Cleveland. Those teams are some of the very best in the league, and even Cleveland is red hot right now. In all of those losses we have had the lead in the 4th quarter or have been in a position to win the game towards the end. The wins against Seattle and NY were closer than they should have been… but the Seattle game was the first without Bynum and the Knicks came in playing some good ball in their last 10 or so.

    The only real “Elite” teams on this schedule are Orlando and Detroit.

  30. the other Stephen January 31, 2008 at 1:52 am

    i predict that our injury woes can’t get much worse than they did last year, which means that no one will break a leg on this trip. the awesome logic follows that everyone should feel free to play out of their mind and disregard their own safety on forays to the basket and on their way down from collecting rebounds.

  31. While I hope everyone else on the board is right, I predict 2-7. Frankly, I don’t see any reason for an optimistic point of view given the Lakers’ poor play since Bynum and Ariza went down. What I do see is a Lakers team playing vintage post-injury 2006-07 ball. With our interior defense paper thin, Kwame fat and not terribly mobile, and Lamar inconsistent at best (who knows what to expect from him game to game), I don’t think any of the games are “gimme” any longer. Fatigue and injury will take their toll and the Lakers will lose to some of the teams that everyone thinks are sure W’s (Nets, Hawks, Wolves, Bobcats, Heat). I hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s reality check time.

  32. 8-1
    The power of the spoken word…or typed word…
    As long as the Lakers don’t lose their intensity, they have the pieces to match any of these teams. Yes, even Orlando and Detroit. Lakers match up pretty well with Detroit this season as long as Billups can be controlled.

    Dwight will be difficult to stop without Bynum, but we can always return to the ‘make him beat us’ strategy by making Dwight the only real scorer and guarding the others. You know, its the strategy teams have effectively (until now) used on that Kobe guy.

  33. is this before or after the trade?

    http://www.nysun.com/article/70459?page_no=3

    hollinger is not really gossip, right, kurt?

  34. I actually think we we more likely to beat Det/Orlando than Toronto/Washington (if Butler is healthy) Why? since Bynum’s injury we have become very bad at defending the 3 to teams that like to penetrate and dish. Toronto is the league leader in 3 point FG% and Washington has their share of sharp shooters.

    The keys to this trip:

    1. Steals. Our team steals have dropped dramatically in the last few games reducing fast breaks. (deflections are also down, not surprisingly, hurting the overall defensive efficiency)

    2. Free Throw shooting. Our team FT% has droppped from 75% to less than 70% in the last several games. Good free throw shooting against the Mavs and Cavs turn losses into wins.

    3. Derek Fisher. Something is wrong. I think he’s getting worn out. The spring is gone. No legs on his J. No steals and few charges. He needs to get re-charged or his time has to be cut.

    Do all 3, we are in every game and results will come to whether opponent’s 3’s fall or not.

  35. the other Stephen January 31, 2008 at 7:12 am

    29. hey, hey, hey…kwame isn’t FAT. he’s a STRONG MAN. he ought to be able to tackle and make good hits for the defense…and maybe even run good blocks for the offense as well…

  36. I will say somewhere between 9-0 and 0-9 on this trip, and I guarantee that I am right.

  37. Yeah Ryan, your garuntee amounts to what? Two free Tacos?

    I think a solid 5-4 is reasonable.

  38. I think the team is going to come together on this road trip. They will have an “us against the world” mentality.
    I predict 6-3.

  39. 7-2, but I’ll take 5-4, maybe even 4-5. I saw a quote from mark cuban talking about this shaping up to be the best regular season ever (in the West). We are 18-8 against the West, which is better than the Suns 14-11 and S.A. which is 18-13. This is encouraging. If we can feed on some east coast teams, then that would be butter, but breaking even until Bynum comes back is enough for me.

  40. 33. Hollinger’s stats aren’t gosip, him speculating about where Kidd would go is. If you read the LA Times or other papers about what the Lakers front office is saying, they are not part of the discussion. I’ll take the beat writer with the team’s word over an east coast spec story any day.

  41. I say 6-3.

    Wins: Nets, Heat, Hawks, Timberwolves, Bobcats, Wizards

    Losses: Pistons, Magic, Raptors

  42. i say 7-2. i also predict that there will be some pretty big trades in the L while the lakers are on the road.

    this post is being written before the pistons game, so it’s totally legitimate if it turns out that i correctly predicted the future.

    also: herbie hancock for the win.