Los Angeles Lakers (22 - 17) @ Los Angeles Clippers (19 - 22)
Date: Wednesday, January 26th
Time: 7:30 PM
TV: KCAL, NBALP
Sonics @ Lakers 104 - 93 (LOSS)
Mavs @ Clippers 97 - 87 (WIN)
Projected Starting Lineups
Coach Rudy Tomjanovich
C - Chris Mihm (10.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 0.7 APG)
PF - Lamar Odom (15.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 3.1 APG)
SF - Caron Butler (14.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG)
SG - Sasha Vujacic (3.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.9 APG)
PG - Chucky Atkins (12.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.3 APG)
Coach Mike Dunleavy Sr.
C - Chris Kaman (7.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 APG)
PF - Elton Brand (19.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.0 APG)
SF - Bobby Simmons (15.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.9 APG)
SG - Corey Maggette (21.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.4 APG)
PG - Rick Brunson (5.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.8 APG)
Predicted Stats: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 0 assists
Predicted Stats: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists
Who Got Game?
Predicted Stats: 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Predicted Stats: 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
Am I dreaming? Are the Lakers winning games without Kobe Bryant? Someone pinch me.
Okay, the pinch was unnecessary...but so is calling the LA Lakers mediocre. Tonight, LA plays...LA...in...LA, but this battle in the West proves to be more than just a game. The Clippers are wanting to take the throne as the better Los Angeles basketball team and make the playoffs this season, while the Lakers are only focused on staying over .500 while their star player, Bryant, is on the shelf with a severe ankle sprain. Possible? Well, it looks to be, as the Lakers (led by...gasp...Chucky Atkins) are still clawing their way to victories, while the Clips just broke a 5-game losing streak against a tougher West opponent, the Mavs.
It shouldn't be difficult to realize that Odom needs to play defense tonight. That means crashing the boards and getting BIG, in playground terms, against a larger Elton Brand. Offensively, Odom can beat him off the dribble...but it's Odom's finishing move that can make or break his night in Los Angeles. If he spins and runs into traffic, he's in trouble...and this was obvious last night against the Sonics.
Expect Chucky to unload threes again tonight, with Brunson defending him most of the game. Also, you may not see Vujacic in the game much, as we all know..."X to the Z" will make him look like a JUCO player out there, especially if he gets physical with Sasha. You don't understand? Well, in other words, you'll be seeing Caron and Jumaine hold it down most of the night against Maggette.
How many coaches does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Well, sometimes I wonder myself, but Rudy has enough on the staff to install one over his own head, and realize that Tony Bobbitt is a Los Angeles Laker. Bobbitt should definitely see some time in games such as this one, where he can get the feel of a guy of Brunson's abilities before stepping out on the court against a Steve Nash, or a Baron Davis. Otherwise, we might as well stick Bobbitt on the block, instead of wasting our time. The man deserves to play...I don't think there's a reason to explain the resolution to that statement.
The Lakers will storm into STAPLES against the Clips tonight, where Odom steps up big against Brand...and the Lakers take a "road" win, 92-87.