Los Angeles Lakers (24-22)
New Jersey Nets (21-27)
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 4:30 PM
TV: KCAL, NBALP
Lakers @ Hawks 114-108 (LOSS)
Sixers @ Nets 107-97 OT (WIN)
Coach Frank Hamblen
C - Chris Mihm (10.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 0.6 APG)
PF - Lamar Odom (15.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.4 APG)
SF - Jumaine Jones (6.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.7 APG)
SG - Caron Butler (14.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG)
PG - Chucky Atkins (13.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.5 APG)
Coach Lawrence Frank
C - Nenad Krstic (7.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 APG)
PF - Jason Collins (6.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 APG)
SF - Rodney Buford (8.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.2 APG)
SG - Vince Carter (21.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.2 APG)
PG - Jason Kidd (13.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 7.6 APG)
Predicted Stats: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Predicted Stats: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists
Predicted Stats: 25 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists
Predicted Stats: 33 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
The duo of Kidd and Carter will really put pressure on the Lakers' backcourt, especially on the fast break. Butler and Jones may find it difficult to hold Carter thoughout the game, because we know Sasha won't see any playing time as long as VC is holding onto the ball. Odom and Co. need to protect the paint at all times, and be careful not to allow Kidd to rack up too many easy assists for Carter, slashing his way to the hoop. The Lakers' defense has been weak against penetrations...so Kidd and Carter will definitely be huge factors for the Nets, if they want to pull off a win tonight in Jersey.
The Lakers are leading the league in rebounds (well...since last week anyways). Surprising? Not really...and with New Jersey's depleted frontcourt, the Lakers should win this battle on the glass pretty easily. Krstic will fight Mihm on the boards, just like he did against Yao in the Olympics...but as long as Chris uses his upper body strength and puts a few bruises on Nenad to gain position, he'll pull down boards all night.
LA needs to take advantage of the mismatch at the two forwards slots. Odom can pull Collins away from the rim and use his speed to attack the basket and draw the foul, and Butler could notch 20+ tonight against Vaughn...well...that is, if the Nets stick Carter on Jumaine Jones, who should try and get Carter in foul trouble, rather than spot up for threes.
This brings me to my biggest factor in the game: the three point shot. How big? Well, the Lakers seem to drool over a nice, clear look at the basket...rather than the open three...correct? Nah...they'd take the three...and that's where this could be a mistake in the game. We know Kidd's defense isn't the same since knee surgery, so Atkins and Tierre (sorry Bobbitt...we probably won't be seeing you ever) should take advantage of Kidd's weak side and penetrate the Nets' defense a little. I expect to see Chucky jacking up threes instead, but it would be nice if he did the most logical thing...to drive, penetrate and create (sounds like what a PG should do).
The Lakers will blow a lead in the 4th, but will fight back to win this one by only two points (thanks to a three by Atkins), 89-87.
Last edited by Real Deal on Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:04 am, edited 2 times in total.