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Thoughts on the Wizards

Not that the Lakers ought to take any team lightly after the events of this week- do I really need to remind you what happened?- but there's no question if they look past and/or dismiss the Wizards, the purple and gold will lose their third straight home game.  Unfortunately, it's not simply a question of showing up to play.  Washington may only be a 38 win team, four games over .500, but they've won eight of ten and are playing very well, having leapfrogged Toronto for the fifth spot in the E.C. while simultaneously holding off a red-hot Philly squad (no, that last part isn't a typo) and nearly catching the Cavs.  Antawn Jamison  and Caron Butler have been particularly good over the last couple weeks.  This is no freebie.

Stuff to look for:

  • The Wizards love to get the ball up and down the court, so the Lakers might want to dial things down a little from the franchise record 45 three point attempts they took on Friday.  Whether they go in or not, that sort of launch-happy style puts an incredible amount of pressure on their defense.
  • With that in mind, the Lakers need to find a way to establish the inside early, whether the Wizards zone them up or not.  Early in the Charlotte game, Kobe spent a ton of time in the post taking advantage of the mismatches that generally come to him down there.  Whether it's that, getting LO (who is still feeling like crizzle) on the block or whatever, it needs to happen.  And against the zone, the Lakers need to be far more disciplined in finding the soft spots in the high post- moving themselves, and the ball, and forcing more action from the defense. 
  • Keep an eye on DeShawn Stevenson's beard.  Lord knows what might pop out. 
  • Check the audio for the entire conversation, but when I asked Phil if he's seeing from the players what he would want in terms of demeanor and attitude following the Charlotte and Memphis games, he said "Not all of them," though didn't elaborate as to who might be lacking when asked. 
  • The process of scouting for the playoffs has started, as it's becoming at least slightly more clear which teams will match up against each other, or at least what the possibilities are.  Jackson said that as a team they've suffered through some restless nights due to recent results, but realize they still control their own fate over the last few weeks of the season.
  • Gasol worked out today, and seems to have come through fine.  He won't play today, but is getting closer.  The/a problem right now is pushing off on that ankle.
  • Jackson also mentioned he apologized to DJ Mbenga, who fouled out of Friday's game in a big hurry.  PJ said he missed one of Mbenga's fouls when talking to his coaches, and didn't realize Mbenga was on his fifth.  Had he, Jackson said he likely would have pulled him in order to preserve Mbenga, or at least his last personal, for later in the game.

Audio: Phil Jackson- Download phil_jackson_3.30 preWAS.mp3

BK
BK
 

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

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Game link anyone?

Wes

We HAVE to win today. We're now tied with Houston and Phoenix and we'll fall to the 6 spot if we lose.

AK/BK

How's LO feeling today?

Never mind I see where you guys mentioned him in your post. That's why you should never skim a K Bros pre-game breakdown.

I think tonight is a big game. As good as this season has gone, and regardless of who we have healthy, a third bad loss in a row at this point in the season could really damage our psyche. Phoenix has now figured out how to play with Shaq, and if we don't win the division, a 6 or 7 seed in the playoffs isn't out of the question. I would really like to avoid San Antonio as long as possible in the playoffs.

omg this is was funny:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/report_cheap_chinese_nba

HOUSTON—Reports from several NBA teams indicate that cheap, flimsy Chinese basketball players frequently break down and fall apart when faced with the normal wear-and-tear of an NBA season. "We got one a couple years ago, but the foot broke," said Rockets GM Carroll Dawson about Chinese center Yao Ming. "Now it just sits there. We don't even use it anymore." Said Bucks guard Michael Redd: "It was fun playing with Yi Jianlian for the first few weeks, but then it seemed like every time we got too rough, he stopped working and we had to get him fixed. Maybe we just got a crummy one." Some NBA GMs, however, claim that it is still worth it to buy Chinese players, as European players remain expensive and many domestic models are unreliable, unrefined, and occasionally malfunction and shoot someone.


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