) @ Lakers
Friday, December 3rd
Wolves @ Warriors 107-99 (LOSS)
Lakers @ Bulls 92-84 (LOSS)
Projected Starting Lineups
C - Cliff Robinson (6.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.2 APG)
PF - Troy Murphy (15.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 1.6 APG)
SF - Mike Dunleavy (10.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.7 APG)
SG - Jason Richardson (18.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.6 APG)
PG - Speedy Claxton (9.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.3 APG)
C - Chris Mihm (10.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.4 APG)
PF - Lamar Odom (13.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.8 APG)
SF - Caron Butler (13.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.5 APG)
SG - Kobe Bryant (27.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.6 APG)
PG - Chucky Atkins (11.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.7 APG)
WARRIORS - Jason Richardson
Predicted Stats: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists
LAKERS - Kobe Bryant
Predicted Stats: 28 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists
Three keys to this game: mentality, defense, and Chucky Atkins. The Lakers should come out fighting against the Warriors in this game, after suffering a tough loss against the Bulls on Wednesday. Los Angeles was outrebounded, outplayed and embarassed in Chicago, so this home game against Golden State should result in a win, since the aftermath of a devastating loss should keep the Lakers on their toes for at least a few games.
The Lakers are going to have to play above-average defense to win this game. You can expect Richardson and Claxton to drive the lane and try to draw a foul, so Mihm and Odom should be on their toes in the paint. If the Warriors feel the need to shoot, Los Angeles should protect the perimeter when the ball is in Dunleavy's hands...because anyone can bet that J-Rich is running around near the three, looking for a shot, but there's a good chance Dunleavy will launch a few from outside.
Chucky Atkins will have to cool down a hot Speedy Claxton, who's been on a rampage in his last two games. Atkins needs to force shots and keep him out of the paint, but stay out of foul trouble...because once again, this could be the strategy that hurts the Lakers in the long run when they play a team like the Warriors, who would much rather settle for contact under the rim than outside shots and long jumpers. Also, if Speedy plays Atkins tight on defense, expect to see some bad passing in this game, and possibly Tierre clocking in early in the game to match Claxton's speed.
In a game such as this, I'd love to see Brian Cook in more often. Cook will draw Murphy away from the hoop and hit shots, giving the Lakers an opportunity for the offensive board, and an easy two. Also, Cook has been grabbing rebounds as of late, which could really be a significant factor in this game. If Rudy would just go with a lineup of Mihm, Cook, Odom (natural position), Kobe and Atkins...it could be over by the second quarter. Odom would get more touches and the Warriors would have trouble with transitions...having a passing forward and a shooting forward running downcourt with a quick guard, well, would be tough to pick what option the Lakers choose to run.
And now we run into Derek Fisher...who will definitely be a factor late in the game, if the score is close. I really doubt Atkins could avoid body contact with Fisher, who will more than likely plant his feet before Atkins realizes it...but if the calls go our way, we can worry more about Fish's shot from the arc, and easily anticipate it. Otherwise, he'll build momentum from the Laker crowd (because you'll be hearing cheers for him) and he'll hit 3-5 threes in a row and pull the game closer.
Although, in a way, I'd like to see Fish play this one for more than 30 minutes...I'm hoping he doesn't. If the crowd gets him amped from the start, he can pop threes from all directions on Atkins, and we'll be down early. I feel the Lakers won't let that happen, though, and I'll predict that we regain our composure and take this game from the Warriors, 95-81.
Last edited by Real Deal on Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.