Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.5 (9th in league), Celtics 107.6 (13th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102 (2nd in league) Celtics 101.7 (1st in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins
Lakers Coming In Today — or more likely Monday in Memphis — Kobe will become the Lakers all time leading scorer. He goes into this game 47 points short of Jerry West.
Here’s a note from the ESPN’s statistical research gurus (who rock):: Kobe shot 49.1% before the finger injury, 44% since, and he is taking two more shots per game since.
Celtics coming in: Check out yesterday’s post, an interview with Zach Lowe or Celtics Hub, or check out the roundtable we all were part of over at Land O’Lakers. But know that all those
Here’s another fun note from the ESPN’s statistical research gurus: KG is essentially the Pau Gasol of the Lakers in that their record with and without him is dramatically different. Without, 5-6, with they are 24-9.
Keys to game: With just about every game, we say the Lakers need to exploit their advantage in the paint. Today’s game will be won in the paint as well, but for a different reason — the Celtics can match the Lakers in the paint. Gasol and Bynum got pushed around by Cleveland, the Celtics will do the same thing. Bynum needs to stay out of foul trouble and protect the rim like Perkins will. Gasol has to match what KG will bring. The front lines will be where this game is won and lost.
The Lakers can’t be passive, they have to go at those guys. Run the offense inside out. That said, the Celtics shut down isolation, one-on-one offense better than any team in the league, because it’s not really one-on-one — three players at any time three guys have responsibility for stopping the ball. They anticipate where the ball is going to go better than any team is out there. The Lakers have to counter that with passes and cuts out of the triangle offense.
Basically, the isolation offense that the Lakers resort to too much this season is going to cost them this game, but if they run the triangle offense and move the ball they will get good looks. Facilitator Kobe most make an appearance.
Where you can watch: 12:30 start on ABC. Plus, ESPN radio 710am out West.