Put simply, nothing is going right for the Los Angeles Lakers right now. Los Angeles (8-9) is still trying to figure out the new D’Antoni offense, and injuries continue to prevent the Lakers from developing any on-court chemistry. With news that Pau Gasol will not play tonight surfacing, Antawn Jamison will get his first start of the young season. Jamison has played increasingly well over the past two weeks, pushing his averages to 7.4 points, and 4.6 rebounds a game. Chris Duhon will also receive his first start of the season, as coach Mike D’Antoni continues to look for a lineup that will best-fit his offense.
This will be the second matchup between Los Angeles and Houston (8-8), with the Lakers winning the first 119-108 back on November 18. The win was one of the Lakers’ all-around best of the season. Dwight Howard, who has struggled as of late, put up 28 and 13 against Houston’s Omar Asik. Howard is coming off that disheartening loss to his former team, Orlando on Sunday and will be looking to prove something to his team and the fans. The Rockets like to run, so the Lakers must get back on defense if they want to prevent the talented backcourt of Houston from setting the pace of the game.
#15 World Peace SF #25 Parsons
#4 Jamison PF #54 Patterson
#12 Howard C #3 Asik
#24 Bryant SG #13 Harden
#21 Duhon PG #7 Lin
Key Matchup – Metta World Peace vs. Chandler Parsons
Metta World Peace continues to play fantastic basketball, averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game. His defense will be more important tonight in stopping one of the most underrated, young small forwards in the NBA, Chandler Parsons. Parsons is Houston’s second leading scorer, putting up 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 38.2 minutes a game. He is a lanky player (6’9”) that can slash to the basket and shoot from the outside, shooting 43% from three-point land. The Lakers will focus on stopping Houston’s two star players, James Harden and Jeremy Lin, so look for Parsons to fly under the radar.
The game tips-off at 5:00PM PT and will be shown on TWC SportsNet.
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