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Sunday brunch: Feast on hot Lakers links, syrup not included

November 22, 2009 | 11:05 am

Kobe and Durant
 You've watched your Sunday news programs. You're settling into a day of football. That doesn't mean you can't take in a little Lakers news in anticipation of tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples. This is the age of wireless internet and endless gadgetry. Multitask. The Lakers have a few things on their to-do list, if you ask Phil Jackson. He'd love to see fewer turnovers (14.7 per game, 13th in the league). And there's no such thing as too much defense, either. That could be tightened up (at nearly 102, the Lakers are 8th in the NBA in points per 100 possessions).

Of course, Jackson is also quick to note that it takes more than 12 games to really understand where a team stands on big picture issues. Call it a tribute to sample size. 

The visiting Thunder roll (sigh) into town with a 7-6 record, having won four of six. Not exactly world beating, but a major improvement over last season, when Oklahoma City didn't notch its seventh win until January 14. It's been almost exactly one year since Scott Brooks took over as head coach, and they've improved consistently since. Having pushed the Lakers to overtime in OKC and won roadies in San Antonio and Miami, the Thunder won't be intimidated by LA's Sunday whites. In the first go round, the Lakers didn't have Pau Gasol. Tonight they will. Andrew Bynum, who turned an ankle Friday against Chicago, says he'll play, too, though Saturday at practice PJ wouldn't confirm it. 

As FB'n'G's Kurt Helin notes, Kobe Bryant vs. OKC's Thabo Sefalosha is becoming one of the more intriguing Kobe vs. _________ matchups around the league. How Bryant attacks him will be one of the more interesting aspects of the game.

Promotional Note: We'll be on 710 ESPN's pregame show starting at 4:30, until sometime in the 5 pm hour.


(Photo: Kevin Durant guards Kobe Bryant. Credit Stephen Dunn, Getty Images)