Los Angeles Is Burning: Short preview for this game because: 1) I spent yesterday at the Long Beach Grand Prix, watching races and drinking Tecate, topped off by a Bad Religion concert (and really, one of the better ones Iâ€™ve seen, despite the fact it was still light out), so letâ€™s just say this morning, Iâ€™m not at my sharpest mentally; 2) Still no home computer after last weekâ€™s literal meltdown, something being remedied this week.
About the Clippers: I didnâ€™t catch their loss to Sacramento the other night, but I did catch what had to be one of their best games of the year, the win against Phoenix last week. The Clips create match up issues for the Mihm-less Lakers because you need to defend both Kaman and Brand on the low block â€“ Brown can do a pretty good job on one of them, likely Kaman, but that leaves Odom, Cook and maybe Turiaf to defend the other strong guy on the block. The Clips would love the Lakers to double Brand off the point, because Cassell can still kill you from the outside if he gets a good look. Same goes with Radmanovic.
The one break for the Lakers is Maggette is not expected to play. Look for plenty of Ross on Kobe â€“ he did a great job defensively against the Suns. The Clippers can be given trouble by penetrating point guards, which means some more offensive load may fall to Smush. Also, good interior passing and quick ball movement around the perimeter can get you looks against the Clips.
Lakerâ€™s thought: Phil Jackson said in the LA Times this morning heâ€™s rather face Phoenix instead of San Antonio in the first round because the flight is shorter. I can think of a few other reasons too. But with the Lakers tied with the Kings, the way you get the seven seed is win games like this one.