The Los Angeles Lakers have had a winning streak of three or more games only twice this season. The Lakers (19-25) will be looking to change that tonight as they take on the New Orleans Hornets (15-29) for the second time this season. The first matchup was won by Los Angeles, 103-87, on December 5.
The Lakers are coming off of a huge win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. They played team basketball on offense and solid defense, holding the Thunder well under their average of 105 points per game. The success of the Lakers in the past two games could be due to the fact that the players are starting to accept the role they need to play to produce wins, even though they might not like that role.
Dwight Howard has been vocal about his lack of touches in the offense but his defensive and rebounding abilities are what the Lakers necessitate. Kobe Bryant has taken a step back from volume shooter to become more of a facilitator. Pau Gasol is now coming off the bench and has said he is more concerned with winning games than being in the starting lineup. These salty veterans spent the first half of the season sticking to their ways but have shown they are willing to change.
The Lakers have had success against the less-talented New Orleans Hornets but now every game is a playoff game for the Lakers. The Lakers sit in 10th place in the West, four and a half games out of the playoffs. They must take advantage of this week’s favorable schedule as the Lakers have a tough slate of games leading into the All-Star break beginning on Friday, February 15.
Tonight is a big test to see if we can maintain our focus and intensity. #countondoinwork
The Hornets are led by PF Ryan Anderson who has good size and can shoot from the outside. Anderson made seven 3-pointers in the Hornets win over Memphis on Sunday. New Orleans is very talented but has been ravaged by injuries. They are finally healthy, thanks to the return of Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis. The starting lineup hasn’t had time to play together but once they do, the Hornets will be a totally different team.
#15 World Peace SF #21 Vasquez
#6 Clark PF #10 Gordon
#12 Howard C #0 Aminu
#24 Bryant SG #23 Davis
#10 Nash PG #15 Lopez
The game tips-off at Staples Center at 7:30PM PT on TWC SportsNet and ESPNLA 710.
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