Remember, tonight is the Lakers Purple and Gold Bloggers Forum at the ESPN Zone at LALive. Starting at 6 p.m. we will be talking Lakers for an hour, then we will grab an adult beverage, some food and watch the Lakers/Nuggets Part Deux from San Diego.
In addition to myself, there will be both Brian and Andrew Kamenetzky from the LA Times Lakers Blog (you can decide for yourself which one is the cool one), Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Brett Pollakoff from FanHouse, Kam Pashai and Chris Manning (LD2K) from The Lakers Nation, Gary from Lakersnation.com, and Colin Ward-Henninger from The Examiner.
If you’re there, please come up and say hello, I’d love to meet some of you face and not just via email. So introduce yourself. Otherwise I’ll have to have a conversation with Brett, and everyone from FanHouse (Ziller especially) is warning me about that.
I’ll admit, the word that Gasol may sit out the opener now has me a little uncomfortable, in that after weeks of everyone saying “this is nothing” it might be a little something. That said, better he misses some games now and gets fully healthy as opposed to rushing back, aggravating his hamstring and missing more time. This is an injury that can linger, better to be safe than sorry this early in the season.
Besides, if DJ Mbenga is going to get more blocks per game than the Birdman, I feel pretty good about our chances.
I’m done trying to guess what kind of rotations Phil Jackson is going to throw out there in the preseason, or for tonight. But what was good to see last night was how some rather, um, interesting lineups the Lakers still functioned well. The Lakers were getting the shots they wanted in the triangle and getting some good looks freelancing early in the clock. Also, the defensive rotations looked a little smoother. What I liked on defense was some of the trapping and aggressiveness was back, they were going for steals (as much as you’ll see that in preseason). The Lakers forced turnovers on 26.8% of Denver’s possessions, and you’ll win all the time if you do that. (To be fair, part of that was sloppy play by Denver.)
You also have to be happy with the bench play and the depth of this team. Some of the guys the Lakers just “throw out there” at the end of games would and could get a lot of minutes elsewhere, and have experience and comfort with each other few teams do that far down in the lineup.
The other thing to watch for, the Lakers new tradition when they score their first basket.
Your Northwest Division Previews:
Bonus Links: See full schedule here