Archives For

The Travesty Just because I like dredging up bad memories, let’s talk about that Dallas game for a moment. There’s no need for deep analysis on this one, the Lakers stunk up the joint. No one should ever out rebound the team 53 to 28. Never. This could be indicative of how gassed the Lakers seemed after the first quarter. Except that even in that first quarter they were out rebounded 17 to 6.

More food for thought, not a single Laker had a positive +/-. Cook and Ronny came closest at 0 for the game.

The trouble here isn’t that the Lakers lost to the best team in the NBA on the Mav’s home court. The trouble is how they lost.

The Good News Saturday night it’s NOOCH time. As of this writing, New Orleans boasts the worst offense in the NBA with an ORtg of 100.8 (points per 100 possessions). Although their defense is much better at 105.8, good enough for 10th in the league.

But the Lakers offense should get the job done, especially as that Chris Paul guy’s out with a sprained right ankle. New Orleans also plays the Spurs Friday night. It’s a lucky break to catch them on the second half of a back-to-back.

“Lucky!?” you say. That’s right, because this is exactly the kind of team the Lakers have overlooked all season long. In fact, the Lakers overlooked this exact team on December 6th at Staples. The Hornets are in elite company as far as the Lakers go. They are one of only four teams to beat them at home this season. Detroit, Milwaukee and Washington are the others. (Curse you, Agent Zero!)

The last meeting looked like this:

Chris Paul 26pts 123 ORtg 26% tpu (team possession usage)
Rasual Butler 22 pts 145 ORtg 15% tpu
Jannero Pargo 21pts 129 ORtg 16% tpu

The Hornets had an ORtg of 115.4 as a team. The Lakers had an ORtg of just 97.8. Well below their season average. This was due in large part to an off night from Lamar.

Let’s Get It On I am sure Phil and Co. will be focusing on ways to stop the Hornet guards from chewing up the lane. Though this will be an easier task without CP3 on the court.

Key Numbers Tyson Chandler and David West’s rebounds. The final score. (And I mean that. The Lakers need to show they can at least play shut down defense against the worst offensive team in the NBA.)

Rob L.

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.

Rob L.