The Lakers continue their Grammy road-trip this week with 4 games on the East Coast. They licked their wounds in between their disappointing loss to D’Antoni and Nash’s former team before winning 2 on the road against the Love-less Grizzlies, and a young Detroit team without Tayshaun Prince. Sitting at 2-1 with 4 games to go, splitting the remaining games of the trip before the All Star break would be a good outcome.
Tuesday at Brooklyn 4:30pm PST
Earlier in the season the ownership of the Brooklyn Nets looked themselves in the mirror and made a similar decision that the Lakers made a month earlier. They fired head coach Avery Johnson who was .500 on the year. This came after Johnson won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month the previous month. Unlike the Lakers the Nets did not move immediately to find a new high profile replacement. The Lakers could have kept Bernie Bickerstaff on, since as we know now he is the only one of the 3 Lakers head coaches that had any real success this season (if he actually wanted the head gig). The Nets are still under the influence of promoted interim head coach PJ Carlesimo. The Nets have responded too, winning 12 of their last 16 games. The other interesting plot is the Nets are still supposedly interested in trading for Howard, of the Lakers wanted to make another radical decision this season.
Thursday at Boston 5pm PST
The two iconic NBA franchises have both been struggling this season, in no small part to each team’s aging rosters. The Spurs are the old team which are bucking this current trend. The Lakers are struggling, but they are fortunate to have not lost their best player for the remainder of the season. Rajon Rondo is out with a torn ACL. The Lakers problems could get worse if their injuries take a similar turn. But maybe playing their historical rivals can jump start the Lakers’ energy.
Friday at Charlotte 4pm PST
The last time the Lakers squared off against MJ’s current franchise, Kemba Walker almost carried the Bobcats to a victory at STAPLES. The Lakers fought and scratched their way back into contention, and an eventual win despite not securing two defensive rebounds in the final possession. The Bobcats have fared worse since this matchup, only earning 2 wins since Dec. 18th compared to the Lakers 10 wins.
Sunday at Miami 12:30pm PST
The Lakers last matchup against Miami was a tough loss. The Lakers turned the ball over at higher rate than their predictably high turnover rate. But with 3 minutes to go they still had a chance to win, before Lebron converted a long offensive rebound into 3. At the time, it appeared like an encouraging loss. If the Lakers struggle in their first 3 games of the week, this will not be a statement game for the Lakers. If they can’t beat the team on the floor with them any given night, than it doesn’t matter how they do in perceived statement games against Miami or OKC. Not beating the rest of the teams in the league is a more telling statement, than only one game against the league’s best.
Splitting would be an encouraging result, and against all reason I think they’ll get those wins in Charlotte and Brooklyn.
LA Sports Hubsters, How will the Lakers fare this week?