- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Los Angeles Lakers Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 106.6 (5th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 102.2 (15th in NBA)
- Points: Kobe Bryant, 29.5 PPG
- Rebounds: Dwight Howard, 12.2 RPG
- Assists: Kobe Bryant, 5.0 APG
- Steals: Metta World Peace, 1.8 SPG
- Blocks: Dwight Howard, 2.6 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Dwight Howard, 57.6% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Darius Morris, 45.0% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Forum Blue and Gold.
Preview: The Los Angeles Lakers might be the most intriguing team with a losing record in the NBA at the moment. The experiment featuring arguably the best shooting guard in the league as well as possibly the best center in the Association — although playing injured — has sustained mixed results.
Dwight Howard has produced at his usual rate statistically, but his back issues are limiting his overall play, which consequently is having a huge impact on the Lakers’ defense. In addition, Gasol’s injury was problematic for the team in the sense that it left a huge void in terms of scoring; which forced Kobe to pick up the scoring slack, but also his reduced some of his efficiency as the Mamba has reverted to some old habits in Mike D’Antoni’s system.
The end result is that no one is quite sure what to expect from the purple and gold quite frankly.
Their record not only suggests that they are not a good basketball team, but it leaves one wondering if they even have a shot at being considered a championship contending basketball club by season’s end. Indeed, only four of their 12 victories have come against teams with a winning record. In addition, their home record (8-6) isn’t as formidable as one would expect, while their road record (4-8) leaves a lot to be desired.
To be completely fair mind you, Mitch Kupchak made some incredible transactions during the summer, but he hasn’t had the chance to actually judge all of his assets.
Many people were quick to hop on the Los Angeles Lakers bandwagon because they had four potential Hall of Fame caliber players on board; however fans have only had the opportunity to see three of them play; while one of them is playing despite lacking mobility due to his back.
It’s entirely possible that Steve Nash’s return may in fact help the team perform much better — and let’s be real, this team is too talented not to right the ship at some point — than they have so far this season. But until then, these Lakers have issues to address that range to the stability of their rotation, the lack of communication on defense as well as the inability to consistently get stops late in ball games.
And yet, for all of these problems, a matchup against the Golden State Warriors might be just what they need.
The Warriors are playing awfully well this season and fail to resemble the sub-.500 squad from last season by virtue of their improved defense, rebounding and all things related to Stephen Curry.
But the Lakers have won seven of the past eight matchups against the Dubs and that has to count for something; a psychological edge of sorts if you will.
Heck, amidst all the turmoil in Los Angeles, the Lakers defeated the Dubs on November 9th, the day Mike Brown was fired.
Ah, but how the Warriors have changed since.
The Dubs bounced back from that humbling 24-point loss to the Lakers to win seven-of-eight road games on their east coast trip, highlighted by a victory against the Miami Heat.
Stephen Curry is unquestionably playing some of the best basketball of his career as evidenced by his December averages of 22.3 points per game and 7.1 assists per game on 44.5 percent field goal shooting and a sizzling 48.9 percent 3-point field goal shooting.
The Lakers are going to have their hands full with the Davidson product, and his trusty sidekick David Lee may well prove to give them fits as well as the purple and gold have been known to arrive late for their rotations.
Nonetheless, expect a great matchup tonight as Golden State tries to send a message to rest of the division.