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Back to back games is a familiar concept for the Lakers

February 22, 2010 |  8:03 am

The Lakers have become accustomed to this drill before, but the challenges always persist. Their next set of games -- Tuesday against Memphis and Wednesday against Dallas -- marks the Lakers' 15th set of back-to-backs this season, an area the team will face five more times this season.

They've been 9-5 in the first game and 10-4 in the second, an area that appears impressive. But keep in mind that the Lakers lead the West with a 42-14 record, meaning nine of the 14 losses have occurred on back-to-backs. It's a never-ending challenge in perfecting a routine that's not really routine during the normal schedule, what with squeezing travel and preparation into a much tighter time frame. And it's something the Lakers experienced the most since playing 22 sets of back-to-back games during the 1999-2000 season.

I had noted about a month ago some of the Lakers trends involving their performances in back-to-back games, mainly comparing the Lakers' scoring performances and efficiency ratings on between the first and second day of back-to-backs. Interestingly, there was a mixed bag among players faring better and worse during the normal course of the regular season.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant chalked it up to just "preparation." That area includes Lakers Coach Phil Jackson being more cognizant of minutes during the first set of back-to-backs, while guard Derek Fisher says the team is more aware of trying to play efficiently, such as limiting the number of mistakes.

--Mark Medina

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


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