Lakers fans will have to wait a few more days to see their new head coach on the bench. Mike D’Antoni was scheduled to make his coaching debut against the Houston Rockets tonight but after consulting with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, the two decided that D’Antoni should sit out at least one more game. After Sunday morning’s shoot around D’Antoni told reporters, “I do get through practices ok . . . the next step will be a game, and that could be Tuesday, it could be Wednesday, I don’t know yet.”
Los Angeles is coming off of a win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday, scoring a season-high 114 points using some looks from the new D’Antoni offense. With a win tonight, the Lakers will move to .500 on the season. It won’t be easy, however, as the Rockets sport one of the best backcourts in the NBA, in Jeremy Lin and James Harden. Watch for Pau Gasol’s point total tonight as he needs just 12 points to reach 15,000 career points, which would make him the 10th foreign born player to reach the milestone.
#15 World Peace SF #25 Parsons
#16 Gasol PF #54 Patterson
#12 Howard C #3 Asik
#24 Bryant SG #13 Harden
#1 Morris PG #7 Lin
The matchup between Bryant and Harden has been entertaining Lakers' fans for the past few years when the Lakers tookm on the Thunder. Harden is averaging 26.7 points off of 44.1% shooting this season, compared to Bryant’s 26.9 points on 53% shooting. Harden is an expert in penetrating defenses, so the Lakers big men need to help out on defense, especially Dwight Howard. Bryant is known for his defensive toughness but his age may prevent him from keeping up with Harden throughout the game. Increased energy used on defense by Bryant should affect his production on offense, but knowing Bryant, it won’t affect him at all.
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