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Lakers have mixed record in back-to-back games

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As if the Lakers' current eight-game trip isn't grinding enough, the travel also includes three sets of back-to-back games. That obviously makes logistics, such as hotels, flights and meals, even more difficult to manage and makes something like an Andrew Bynum missed flight even more disastrous. Let's not forget practice -- Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the team hasn't had a full practice session since Jan. 19 at the Lakers' facility.

And then there's maintaining the energy level, something that was on high display in the Lakers' 115-103 victory Tuesday over the Washington Wizards. But the Lakers have a game again tonight against the Indiana Pacers, marking the team's second set of back-to-backs on this trip. The Lakers (34-11) have had 11 sets of back-to-back games so far this season, meaning 22 of 45 (48.8%) of their games have come on back-to-back contests. Consider the results (after the jump).

*Nov. 3-4: A 101-98 W @ Oklahoma City; a 103-92 W @ Houston.       

*Nov. 12-13: A 121-102 home W over Phoenix; a 105-79 L @ Denver.    

*Nov. 28-29: A 130-97 W @ Golden State; a 106-97 home W over New Jersey.   

*Dec. 11-12: A 104-92 home W over Minnesota; a 102-94 L @ Utah.    

*Dec. 15-16: A 96-87 W @ Chicago; a 107-106 W @ Milwaukee.  

*Dec. 19-20: A 103-84 W @ New Jersey; a 93-81 W @ Detroit.  

*Dec. 25-26: A 102-87 home L to Cleveland; a 112-103 W @ Sacramento.  

*Dec. 28-29: A 118-103 L @ Phoenix; a 124-118 home W over Golden State.  

*Jan. 5-6: A 88-79 home W to Houston; a 102-91 "road" L to the Clippers.  

*Jan.12-13: A 105-85 L @ San Antonio; a 100-95 W @ Dallas.  

*Jan. 21-22: A 93-87 L @ Cleveland; a 115-105 W @ New York.

Here's some number crunching based on that data. The Lakers have won four complete sets of back-to-backs so far this season and have gone .500 in the remaining seven sets. In the six sets that involved a back-to-back home and away game (including the Clippers), the Lakers have only won both games once. In the five sets that featured two back-to-back road games, the Lakers won both games three times but they have split the difference in the two most recent sets. That included a 105-85 loss Jan. 12 to the San Antonio Spurs followed by a 100-95 victory the next day to the Dallas Mavericks. It also included a 93-87 loss Jan. 21 to the Cleveland Cavaliers followed by a 115-105 victory over the New York Knicks.

Surely, those results don't take into account everything. The Lakers' road sweep against Golden State and New Jersey just confirms those teams aren't good. The Lakers' loss to Utah on Dec. 12 also came the day after Kobe Bryant suffered an avulsion fracture to his right index finger (are we still talking about this?). The Lakers' losses to the Clippers and San Antonio came without Pau Gasol (left hamstring); the latter loss came with Bryant missing the entire fourth quarter because of back spasms.

If pure numbers tell us anything, it says the Lakers should win tonight against the Pacers. That's not just because of Indiana's 16-29 record and that the Lakers have never lost their second game on a set of back-to-back games that featured two road contests. 

There are numbers that illustrate the Lakers performing better on the second day of a back-to-back. Consider the increase from the players' regular scoring average to their average on the second day of a back-to-back: Bryant (28.3, 29.5), Gasol (17.3, 20.09), Ron Artest (11.3, 12.1)  and Lamar Odom (9.6, 10.1). The only exceptions among the Lakers starters include Andrew Bynum (15.5, 13.7) and Derek Fisher (7.1, 6.3).

Comparing the efficiency ratings from the regular season to the second night of a back-to-back presents a different story. Gasol (25.4, 32), Bryant (23.8, 24.5) and Artest (12.5, 13.8) are more efficient after zero days of rest, while Bynum (19.6, 19.3) Odom (17.4, 15.3)  and Fisher (8.0, 5.5) see a dropoff.

It's likely the Lakers won't be thinking about these numbers tonight, and they shouldn't be. But these trends still reveal the inconsistency during the team's sets of back-to-backs, something the Lakers can correct, starting against Indiana. 

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: The Lakers are going through an eight-game trip that features three back-to-backs. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

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Don't forget, the fiasco/loss in Denver also came without Pau. Just sayin'.

As far as the Hinrich trade, I see both sides. Would seem to be an upgrade, but we do lose expiring contracts that may help in the future or when we trade Bynum, Farmar and Sasha for CP#, ha, ha, ha. Now that would be too good to be true, ha, ha! I don't chat anymore because of the new Regs, but I watch and enjoy you all. Good luck to us tonight against those pesky Pacers!

Frankly not sold at all on all this hinrich trade trade.. My reasons:

- 4 point guards? If shannon sees increased minutes than I don't see a reason to make a move.. Dfish can still open close games and shannon/farmar are more than capable to fill in between.. shannon will only improve with more minutes so no reason to reduce his PT

- hinrich ideal pg but triangle will not bring out the best of his abilities.. His shooting and defense will be more important but again shannon can more than hold his own there

- more payroll taxes?? I'm pretty sure unless its a MUST buss will not take on more longer contracts esp considering there may be a good # of quality points this summer (but maybe LTLF can give us a rundown)

- enough new parts to deal with now integrating artest and bynum/gasol playing together and they may just be starting to jell so this could set back new chemistry

- there's no question lakers improve with hindrich and only reason to pull the trigger would be securing a point guard for the next few years considering shannon has a player option nxt year and dfish shannon are expiring contracts but at what cost and for how much?? There's too many questions heading to next season so maybe its better keeping options open for this summer... Lakers winning ring will also play big factor in how everything pans out at our pg position

And another thing... sasha's contract is UNTRADEABLE this year.. Absolute dead weight with no trading value just like lukes so for the love of god no more sasha in trade machines talk!!!

yellowfever,

>>> - 4 point guards?

Shannon's role is primarily as a shooting guard. Most often when he is on the floor, Kobe moves to the 3 and Farmar is at the point.

If the Lakers acquire Hinrich, he would be the backup point guard, with Farmar either being traded or moved to the far end of the pine.

In short, this deal would have little impact on UPS' minutes.

LAL-Fan, Yellofever

You brought up Farmar and Hinrich's similar 3 point FG%. If Heinrich were to play on this team with Kobe and Pau, he would have open looks galore (similar to Ariza last season), which would most likely result in a significantly higher 3 point FG%. He is also a MUCH better defender than both Fish and Farmar. Although I agree with you that the triangle that features Kobe does not need a prototypical PG, Hinrich has all the tools to thrive in this system (with his basketball IQ, stellar defense and outside shooting). He only has 2 years left on his contract after this year and his salary actually goes down every year. ($8 mil his final year).

Since the Lakers have been shopping Farmar around for almost a year, I find it highly unlikely that he will be re-signed, which leaves Shannon and Fish as the remaining PGs. Fish is too old, and I think it would be a mistake to re-sign him after this season, which leaves the team with Shannon at PG (assuming he exercises his player option for the second year) and no real backup. My dream scenario is for Hinrich and Shannon to share the PG duties after this season.

Normally I would be content with our current roster because the team should improve...alot once Kobe and Ron get healthy, but considering the fact that the other contenders like the Cavs, Celtics and Spurs are also trying to make big trades, I think it would be a mistake for our front office to be complacent and not make attempts to improve the roster.

Nice photo--except there are no NBA venues along route 395.

If the Lakers acquire Hinrich, he would be the backup point guard,...

Posted by: Rick Friedman | January 27, 2010 at 03:37 PM
-
A backup PG at $9.5M a year?? Seriously??

point guards? If shannon sees increased minutes than I don't see a reason to make a move.. Dfish can still open close games and shannon/farmar are more than capable to fill in between.. shannon will only improve with more minutes so no reason to reduce his PT

yellofever

When Fisher is in the game the Lakers seemed to be playing 4 on 5 !!!

JonK good to have you back.

Oklahoma, Minnie, Memphis, the Clips, Chi-town, & the Queens all have some type of talent we could benefit from on our team..

I think Mitch will explore all possibilities but none of us know what's gonna go down..

Salmons was mentioned and I kinda like his game for his ability to get to the basket and shoot the 3..I would not be mad if he came on board...I just think we need somebody who is not scared and he is that typa dude. Whenever he goes up against Kobe, granted Kobe plays off anyone he doesn't respect, yet Salmons plays a very very strong game offensively and isn't a slouch defensively..I think the luxury that we have is our versatility so I think if we make any changes to the PG position immediately, we can maybe manage to get through the remainder of the year being victorious cuz what one player cannot do, we have others who can do other things that may overshadow their weaknesses and still be effective and win games, even the trophy!!!

That's my thought at this moment in time..

CORRECTION TO MY POST:

I meant to say, I think if we DON'T make any changes to our PG position......


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