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Five things to watch in Lakers-Golden State matchup

6a00d8341c506253ef0133f580e6e6970b-320wi1. How will the Lakers respond on their first game back from their most recent trip? Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and guard Kobe Bryant maintained last season that one of the biggest challenges of the regular season was responding properly on the first game back after a significant trip.

Bryant said the stresses of travel can catch up to players, including adjusting to time-zone changes. So it will be interesting to see how last week's three-game trip affects the Lakers in their 6:30 p.m. Sunday game at Staples Center against the Golden State Warriors.

Jackson gave the team, which traveled overnight from Minnesota, the day off. Seems a good idea to let the players grab some rest, but their off days may have contributed to their poor effort against Minnesota and Denver.

It wouldn't be surprising if this also factors into their game against the Warriors, but there's plenty of incentive for the Lakers to put this one away early. Golden State has struggled when it has suffered poor starts. This season, the Warriors have lost four out of five games in which they trailed at the end of the first quarter, including the Lakers' 107-83 victory against on Oct. 31.

2. The Lakers have health concerns. There's center Andrew Bynum (knee), who Jackson hopes can return Dec. 10 against Chicago, and the long-term absence of Theo Ratliff, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The Lakers didn't exactly escape the team's three-game trip unscathed, either. Against Minnesota, Lakers forward Pau Gasol sprained his ankle, and Shannon Brown was poked in the right eye. Meanwhile, Ron Artest has had a sore back, and Lamar Odom has nursed a sore right foot and a sprained left thumb.

Because of the Lakers' dwindling frontcourt depth, it's unlikely Gasol and Odom will get much rest, unless, of course, the Lakers enjoy a large lead. Given the Lakers' large backcourt, Brown might get time off, although he returned to the game against Minnesota after having his eye treated. Given the impressive play from Matt Barnes (24 points on seven-of-seven shooting, seven rebounds and six assists against Minnesota), it wouldn't be surprising if Jackson Artest some relief. Artest has averaged 23.75 minutes per game in the last four contests.

3. How will Artest match up with Monta Ellis? Even if Artest is on pace for a career low in offensive numbers (9.8 points per game), the Lakers need him on the defensive end. He should play a big role Sunday night defending Warriors guard Monta Ellis, who's averaging 27.7 points per game, second in the NBA behind Kevin Durant. With the exception of holding a banged-up Brandon Roy without a field goal, Artest has admitted lacking, thus far, the lockdown performance that he's wanted -- Denver's Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points on 14-of-25 shooting in the Lakers' 118-112 loss last week to the Nuggets, and Minnesota's Michael Beasley dropped 25 points on nine-of-22 shooting in the Lakers' 112-95 victory Friday over the Timberwolves. In Artest's defense, he gave Anthony very little room to operate, and Beasley just seemed to be padding his stats.

But the matchup of Artest and Ellis won't hinge solely on whether Artest limits Ellis' numbers. Just limiting  Ellis to operating on an island could be crucial, considering that Golden State has lost three of its last four games partly because only four Warriors players have posted double figures. Case in point, Ellis dropped 40 points Friday against the New York Knicks, but the Warriors still lost, 125-119. In the Lakers' first matchup against Golden State, Artest and Kobe Bryant shared duties guarding him. Though Ellis scored 20 points on a nine-of-20 clip, Bryant and Artest forced Ellis to work for his points.  It might be more difficult this time around since Stephen Curry will also man the backcourt after missing the last contest because of an ankle injury. But the same approach could yield similar results. 

4. Can the Lakers maintain their improved defense? There were plenty of up sides to the Lakers' three-game trip. They came out of it undefeated. They forged stronger bonds on the road. And more importantly, they improved their pace. It's hard to take much away from these three consecutive wins when two of their opponents were sub-.500 teams. But the Lakers played at a much more deliberate pace than their run-and-gun style that's resulted in a league-leading 112.5 points per game.

On paper, it would appear as if the Lakers and Golden State will feature another track meet, considering the Warriors average an eighth-best 102.83 points per contest and are known to be high-tempo. Yet in their previous matchup, the Lakers managed to hold the Warriors to 83 points, they held every Golden State player below a 50% clip, and Lamar Odom limited David Lee to zero points and three shots (Lee will be out tonight after an inadvertent bite from New York's Wilson Chandler resulted in a bacterial infection.). There will be one difference to the second matchup: Warriors guard Stephen Curry will play Sunday night and has averaged 20.4 points on 46.3% shooting, but the Lakers' pacing should be able to offset that.

5. The Lakers' well-oiled offense can easily exploit Golden State. As Minnesota Coach Kurt Rambis  told The Times' Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers can "turn your defense into nothing." That was apparent in the Lakers' last meeting with Golden State as four of the Lakers' five starters cracked double digits and shot above 50% from the field. Their 25 assists pointed to effective ball movement. And the team's frontline dominance, with Pau Gasol (29 points on 10-of-19 shooting and 12 rebounds) and Odom (16 points on six-of-nine shooting and 14 rebounds), showed that the Warriors, like most teams, didn't have the size to match up with the Lakers' bigs. An absent Lee will allow the Lakers to exploit that even more. 

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant, left, makes a pass in front of Golden State guard Monta Ellis during the Lakers' 107-83 victory Oct. 31 at Staples Center. Credit: Jayne Oncea / US Presswire

 
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Yup - still got it..............

hobbit - welllllll..... it's possible I took some of your comments the wrong way then. If that's the case - then my badness........

I hope we do not have another 8 for 28 night from Kobe.

One thing to watch in tonight's game:

The scoreboard!


GO LAKERS!!!

Monte Ellis is back from his injury? I heard it would be at least 2-3 weeks...

No matter...They will need more than Monte to beat our boys...

MM, i read an article that said that Barnes fell short of the Lakers most RECENT record of most consecutive shots in a game which was andrew bynum going 8 for 8 from the field on January of 2009. Yet, you stated that Gasol had a "dominating" performance scoring 29 points on 10-10 shooting. Where's all the attention for a perfomance like that? Bynum was 8-8, Barnes 7-7, but Gasol was 10-10 with no fuss.

I'm confused...

@LEW

Miami is Dolphin Territory. Plus LBJ coming to Miami isn't the same as him being in Cleveland. He was a kid from NE Ohio who was "chosen" the lead the local crappy franchise in Cleveland to a championship.

Plus being in small market franchise helped put more seats into the Q.

Miami is a big town but they aren't into basketball that much compared to the Dolphins even with the Phins struggling. It's the complete opposite in Orlando where basketball is in the only sport.

Same reason why the Rams and Raiders when they were in Los Angeles could never get the same publicity as the Lakers and to a lesser degree reason why Clippers are even more the butt end of jokes that went well with their years of futility.

"Where's all the attention for a perfomance like that? Bynum was 8-8, Barnes 7-7, but Gasol was 10-10 with no fuss."

Bynum scored 19 points but only had 5 rebounds. Plus he had only played 28 minutes due to the blowout.

Bynum had much better games than that.

From Andrew Bynum:

“I have more individual work to do, but the knee feels good,” Bynum said. “I’m definitely going to take my time. I don’t want to come back too early. When I’m back I want to be healthy.”

Take your time Kid...it's a long long season...and we need you at the end and in the playoffs...

Please keep working with Kareem...he will not steer you wrong young Padawan...Keep the 'Faith' no matter who Luke's father is...lol

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

On a different note...I'm not a big NASCAR fan...but gottta give props to Jimmy Johnson on 5 Cup Series Titles in a row...that is very impressive...

That has to be considered a Dynasty...and I give major credit for all dynasties, no matter what sport...

congrat to all Johnson fans in our blog...

Game Day, sans famille, just me, my grill, and a couple of Red Stripes. Psyched for tonight - it's always a track meet when the Warriors come to town. Here they are again - between the pair of games to end the preseason, and then just this past Halloween, also with the Lakers in their Sunday Whites, Golden State seems to have already become an old friend.
This time, however, the great Stephen Curry is coming to town. This kid is special, he's a joy to watch
Say what you want about this great crop of point guards the leagues is currently boasting, especially in the West, with Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Russell Westbrook - not to mention Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo in the East - make no mistake, Stephen Curry will be right up there with those guys, probably sooner than later. When he and Monta Ellis get in going, look out - it's a ballgame. Should be fun - and a good test of the Lakers discipline as they'd be wise to try and slow the game down. I'm afraid there will be no tacos tonight. But it's all good...(cue track)
From Diego to tha Bay
Your city is tha bomb if your city makin pay
Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way
Dre puttin it down for
Californ-i-a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTDotA7TgZw&feature=related

From Oakland to Sacktown
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put they mack down
Give me love!

musicsmyweapon24 - That's because that was a typo, which I have since corrected. Gasol went 10 of 19 from the field

@JEFE101… LOL! The Lakers’ version of I had a dream and it was all purple and gold. Count me in. I’ll start visualizing your dream each night before I fall asleep. Reminds me of when I think it was the Cincinnati Reds fan’s who voted their entire lineup as starters for National League All-Stars. And wasn’t there a time when the NFL champs played rookies in an All-Star game or something like that? Anyway, great dream, Jefe. Totally had me smiling a big Lakers grin all morning. Thank you!
…………………………………………..

@JOHNNYV… Thanks for the link to Billy Wirtz column. It’s nice to see the pendulum of ignorance slowly coming to rest with most knowledgeable Lakers fans now clearly understanding how valuable Andrew Bynum is to the Lakers’ defense and championship aspirations. He is the one factor that can separate the Lakers from the pack of elite teams and transform them into a dominating dynasty.

The team’s porous defense and Phil’s bluntly honest statement that he did not think their defense was good enough to three-peat without Drew should have put to rest the arguments that Pau is a better center or defender than Drew, Lamar should still start when Drew returns, or the Lakers should have traded for Andrew Bynum for Chris Bosh, who is proving every game that Miami only has a Big 2.
…………………………………………..

TOM

MM,

Thanks for the Lasenby interview. Always good to hear Tex Winter stories and about the early Jerry West/Laker days.


I also enjoyed hearing Lasenby talk about the "great system-coaching vs. great players debate between Tex and Jerry. That's reminiscint of the old "taste great/less filling" debate. Maybe we can get Blitz and MVP to choose sides and debate which is the most important having a great system/coach or having great players.

@LRob

An Army of Lions led by a Lamb NEVER wins against an army of lambs led by a Lion.

That should be my position.

I'm sort of catching up with some blog reading today. A lot of back and forth, not sure if I really have too much of an opinion, i skimmed a lot of MVP and Blitz's stuff, no offense guys.

FCM- have you considered reposting some of the profiles from earlier in the year? i think a lot of them went up before a lot of people were back from the summer. Maybe a bit more exposure could draw out some more submissions.

Mine is in process, though. I'm working on getting some pictures, then i'll send it in.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Game day...Yea! The Raptor's beat the Celtic's by one!!...Mamba pls, put me on that 5 Laker's on the All-Star Bandwagon. Looks like a fight to the finish with Da Bears and Packs. The Vikings are self destructing.. Chili and Favre will be gone, and we're getting old.

I hope we do not have another 8 for 28 night from Kobe.

Posted by: keen observer | November 21, 2010 at 01:48 PM


Would it matter if we won the game?

I like us to play well tonight....low turnovers, run our tempo and we'll be fine...

Blake might have to create some tonight....

I was glad to see Rothlisberger step up today, what a quick turn punch, then down goes rothlisberger...like a danny ainge...plop
Mayweather is working for the big purse....he knows it's his last!!!!!

Keen O....I think we can safely call Manny Pac the kobe bryant of boxing.....he misses alot of his shots....but he lands all the biggies, the ones that destroy the opponet....

Mamba gonna post tonght

"And please, don't equate bashing Nick Van Exel to bashing Magic to make a point. That is just plain krazeee...."

Yea well that was a point MVP888 tried to do to me and failed so yes I guess that a failing too. My apologies.

Posted by: KB Blitz | November 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM
=====

Which, of course, you deliberately took completely out of context and spun in such a manner to massage your fragile ego and impress your pathetic fan club.

Hey, what do you know? You did it again!

CCX, sorry about him. He didn't mean it.

MM,

Gotcha! Makes much more sense now!

GO LAKERS!

Fan Up, Everyone!!!

game evening baby-

Lakers game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LvTpjK-MEY

LO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuUy2ShGLyo&feature=related

enjoy the game every one, body & all-

LEWSTRS,

“I have more individual work to do, but the knee feels good,” Bynum said. “I’m definitely going to take my time. I don’t want to come back too early. When I’m back I want to be healthy.”

I'm getting a bit worried about Andrew Bynum's maturity. He was recently got a ticket going 110 miles an hour on the freeway. Now, if you or I got caught going 110 miles an hour, we'd be in jail, but Andrew's a Laker, after all.

Still, 110 miles an hour when your life means a Championship or not is just stupid.

I wonder if Andrew maybe doesn't love the game enough. He's in no rush to play. Does that mean he lacks heart? I'm unsure.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

phred, I haev a category called Laker blog profile that you can navigate on the right hand side. I'm not really supposed to repost content since it kind of recycles what I've already done....fill free to put in a punch line that all my posts are recycled anyway. But yeah I'm out of Laker blog profiles so please send them my way to [email protected]

"Which, of course, you deliberately took completely out of context and spun in such a manner to massage your fragile ego and impress your pathetic fan club.

Hey, what do you know? You did it again!"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yea what do you know? You just keep spewing about health and HCA isn't as important as that yet try to spin Phil's words so you could paint your dead friend as being right.

Yea apologies to Cyber and the blog for having such a damn liar spin things so his Phil BUSTED views could have any sense for me to battle with.

You decided to "crush me" by blasting Van Exel and I do the same to you by using Magic and you accuse me spinning around. In other words: Don't be mad that I did it to you.

What a spin zone you are yourself.

More bad news for Miami. Haslem has a torn ligament in his foot and could be out for weeks. They'll missed his interior defense, grit and rebounding. I hate to see anyone injured so I hope he comes back soon.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/news/story?id=5836434


Somewhere Dan Gilbert is smiling.

Somewhere Dan Gilbert is smiling.

Posted by: LRob | November 21, 2010 at 04:57 PM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before Miami's game with Boston there was a Cleveland radio DJ who hired a witch doctor to curse Lebron James. With my profession I'm not one to believe in such voodoo (though personally I hoped it would help slow down LBJ and his mindless zombie fans) but maybe that curse is really happening to the Heat. Or maybe it is karma for what LBJ did to Cleveland.

Or maybe it's one of those "wait until they playoffs they are going to rock" kind of things.

MM consistent five points in every game qualifies him to be a Coach


--in the fantasy league. LOL!

LRob -

That does suck. I have liked him since his University of Florida days (BTW - Remember Andrew DeClerq? lol). He was one of the few people on Miami whom I respect - just grabs his lunchpail, his hardhat, and gets to work. I hope he gets better soon too.

"With my profession I'm not one to believe in such voodoo "

KBBlitz -

I would be highly amused if you were in a profession that *did* require you to believe in voodoo. I was also amused trying to think of a profession in which someone was obligated to believe in voodoo (besides a witch doctor). :-)

Hope you're having a good day!

I would be highly amused if you were in a profession that *did* require you to believe in voodoo. I was also amused trying to think of a profession in which someone was obligated to believe in voodoo (besides a witch doctor). :-)

Hope you're having a good day!

Posted by: Caliphilosopher | November 21, 2010 at 05:09 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A profession that require to be a bit believing into that would probably be in an archaeologist ala Indy Jones. When Indy Jones first came out in 81 I actually was thinking to be a fedora hat, bull whip wearing person without the fear of snakes. But hey when we were that young we all held some sort of fantasy.

The ball bounced a different way it seemed though.

--in the fantasy league. LOL!

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | November 21, 2010 at 05:05 PM
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He's also last place in our fantasy league too. No offense MM lol.

MM - I don't see the Laker Blog profile category you referenced on the right hand side. Can you be more specific.

Or if anyone else knows how to access it...do tell.

Thanks.

@Blitz - I'm not with that witch doctor curse thing either. I hope UD's okay. I also hope the Lakers and all teams are fully healthy for the playoffs.


@Cali - yes, I remember DeClerq. He hung around the league for several years...Bos, GS, Orl...etc. He def maximized his talents. You're right about UD being a hard worker. He was one of the few guys on the Heat with the talent and desire to do the grunt work. Howard & Magloire have the desire but the talent is gone.

"With my profession I'm not one to believe in such voodoo "

KBBlitz -

I would be highly amused if you were in a profession that *did* require you to believe in voodoo. I was also amused trying to think of a profession in which someone was obligated to believe in voodoo (besides a witch doctor). :-)

Hope you're having a good day!
Posted by: Caliphilosopher | November 21, 2010 at 05:09 PM
--------------------

Lol

KB Blitz -

I'm curious - would you mind telling me what you do now? I also have come a long way from what I could see myself doing in freshman year.

And just in case: I didn't mean the "Hope you're having a good day!" in a sarcastic sense. Just wanted to make sure you knew that.

Professions that require the belief in voodoo:

1. bag boy on late night shift a Vons supermarket.

2. anyone who's ever worked with studio execs (writer, director, producer).

3. any teammate of Chris Dudley (although I hear that teammates of Alex Radojevic and George Zidek also showed signs of belief, if not downrigtht religious fervor).

63 Footer -

I take it that you have experience with at least one of the aforementioned choices? (I pick #2)

interesting reading;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_Voodoo

FCM- I can't find the link to the profiles you mentioned. And I never knew it was there to look for before either, so perhaps i'm not alone. But you know best. I understand how you wouldn't want to be seen as recycling content, at least more than a few words here and there...

63 Footer - does Produce Manager for Ralphs count...

LEWSTRS - "does Produce Manager for Ralphs count..."

For that you not only have to believe in voodoo, but Area 51, and the Rasta Fairy.

cali - what, you didn't know that I'm next-door-neighbors with Chris Dudley?

63 - Huh?? There's no Rasta Fairy?? I feel duped....

mark-wahlberg, don't tell me you are happy about the injury to UH.

LROB. heres the link you were looking for.

http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/lakers-blog-profile/

63 Footer -

Perhaps you are lol. I just went for the intellectually lazy choice and picked the middle of the 3 options. I'm assuming that Danny Schayes lives in the same neighborhood as well? :-)

Interesting on PJ's strategy...

To offset the Warriors "One pass, two pass offense"...

He wants our offense to at least pass the ball 3 times...to keep them embedded on defense...so they can't get the outlet for their quick 1-2 pass offense...

So PJ adjust his offense to counter their offense...

Ah soo...

Oh...gotta bad feelin' bout this game.

Is this the night that Matt shows why teams keep passing him around?

And the night that Jacks em' Brown shows why he should stick to show time dunks?

But hey, given all those away games and tough opponents,
the Lakers sure have a great record so far.

And the Celts lost, for the third time!
The league certainly cut them a lot of slack.
They haven't played anybody!

Good luck against the Warriors.

Well, we learned that you hate Michael Jackson,
but how's it working out for ya Wes...you know, the Gold Bond and that special problem?

Go Kings!
Go Boise State (Gee, if they were the La La Land Boise Staters,
they'd be ranked #1 or 2,
and wouldn't have to be any better than they already are...
too bad they won't have the opportunity to spank the always overated
choker Trojans this year)

Sonnybelfast

justa - the Rasta Fairy comes at night when a little boy or little girl loses a dreadlock - the child puts the dreadlock under their pillow and in the morning instead of the dreadlock, there's a spliff!

cali - shhhhh, don't tell anyone that you know my place.

LMAO @ 63 Footer...you know where I can get some extensions....

63 - OMG LOL!! That is so far past wrong.....

I've interviewed a Santeria archbishop and am friends with a Lacuna priest.
-
Voodoo works and voodoo is real, but it is a particularly dark system that I'd rather not involve myself with.
-
Anyhow, LeBron may have more to worry about than he thinks.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

Well, the first 4 points are kind of moot, aren't they? Is anyone really worried about this team? Are there any concerns? This team is so loaded, it's not even funny. And we thought they were loaded LAST year! The bench is awesome, and the 3 B's just fabulous. Complacency is their only issue.

justa - the Rasta Fairy comes at night when a little boy or little girl loses a dreadlock - the child puts the dreadlock under their pillow and in the morning instead of the dreadlock, there's a spliff!

cali - shhhhh, don't tell anyone that you know my place.

Posted by: 63 Footer | November 21, 2010 at 06:09 PM


LOL I just woke up and saw this....Hilarious!


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