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Five things to watch in Lakers-Grizzlies matchup

1. The Gasol brother matchup. Wait, didn't you read this already? Yes, the Lakers' 124-105 victory Nov. 2 over the Memphis Grizzlies featured the Lakers' Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol matching up and it proved to be no contest. Though Lakers Coach Phil Jackson certainly used this storyline to needle Pau, he outscored his brother, 21-11, and outrebounded him 11-8. The same thing should happen tonight considering Marc has been limited this season because of a sprained left ankle and, well, Pau is better. But this matchup will bear some extra significance simply because Gasol's been riding heavy minutes lately. Drawing energy from something like this could prove critical should he bear a heavy load again.

2. Zach Randolph is back. One thing that's different about the second meeting between Memphis and the Lakers involve Randolph. He missed the first outing because of a bruised lower back and the Lakers enjoyed a 59-36 rebounding edge over the Grizzlies. The easiest ways to correct some of the Lakers' recent struggles involves dominating the glass, something they've failed to do in their two consecutive losses. The Lakers shouldn't have a problem doing this, but it won't be as easy the first time around

3. O.J. Mayo is on the bench. He should actually be thankful for this considering Kobe Bryant absolutely embarrassed him in the first meeting with 23 points on seven of 13 shooting. Bryant may have to work more for his points if he's guarded by Tony Allen, who had some success against him in the 2010 NBA Finals as a Celtic. It will also require the Lakers to have solid bench play, another drop off from the team's past two losses.

4. Can Ron Artest stop Rudy Gay this time around?Another opportunity awaits for Artest, who is currently going through another transition phase in handling his reduced offensive role. The Lakers still value his defense, but he's yet to demonstrate his full potential yet this season, including allowing Gay to score 30 points on 12 of 18 shooting.

5. Will the Lakers' outside shooting improve?Another easily identifiable issue in the team's past two losses: Shannon Brown has gone four of 17 while Derek Fisher went only three of 21 in the past three games. Keep this in context though. Brown has shot 48.6% from the field thus far, while Fisher has fared at 40.9%. Should the Lakers orchestrate better ball movement and energy tonight, the rhythm should start returning.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Justa...Justa...You should honestly come take your powers back, cause I can't put them to good use out here in the UK...


Mr. Laker -

Might I ask a few questions of you?

A) If Andrew were to be fully healthy when he returns, would you consider him to be the type of player that can clog the lane on defense?

B) As far as Bynum giving worth on his contract, hasn't he already done so (as you have alluded to in the previous season?

C) If he is hurt, and all other teams know this as well, which team would be a willing trading partner?

"Bay to LA

True or false: You said the same things about Derek Fisher last season.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | November 30, 2010 at 04:04 PM "

Yes, I thought they would be better with a better point guard last year and I still think the same this year. A championship is the sign of the best team, not the perfect team.

Posted by: Bay to LA | November 30, 2010 at 04:32 PM
======

The defense rests.

My closing argument: Championships aren't everything, they're the ONLY thing.

DING DING DING - We have a winner!!

Congrats 888!!

Dfish fans do not be misled!!

Dfish shooting numbers while vastly improved this year are just average production from what you should get from a guy shooting WIDE OPEN JUMPERS... Other guards in the league have much better averages while having to either create their own shots or fight through multiple picks to get open.. Most of dfish shots are taken from no movement or by just occupying an empty space on the floor while the defense has to shift and compensate for kobe..

The reality is dfish shooting has been so pathetically bad in years past that now that he is actually hitting shots he should at least on a normal basis he suddenly appears spectacularly good

Signing this guy for 3 MORE YEARS was a colossal mistake that will come back to haunt us in the next few years... Paying a guy money on past performance or loyalty is a stupid business decision (much like the yankees should not pay jeter close to his asking amount) Dfish is most definitely on his very last legs and should be almost useless n obsolete after this season but he'll still be in stuck in our books for 2 more years. If u think its bad now just wait till next year or the year after that

I don't know why kobe lobbied for dfish resigning but then again he has never had a decent complementary guard in his entire career... Kobe had a washed up harper washed up shaw young dfish then the famine years of smush smush smush and farmar farmar... After that dfish returned and he looked like the second coming of christ...Again perception not reality... And now for the first time in his career kobe is getting a taste of a guard with true point guard skills in blake

The triangle is another system well suited to a guy like dfish who's extremly slow with diminishing skills.. (And why guys like luke are able to get any PT) And Kobe simply does not get enough credit for what he brings to table to elevate the play of his teammates... Kobe attracts so much attention defensively that even guys like kwame smush and george and cook were able to flourish at some point.. Go back and analyze the careers of EVERY SINGLE laker that left in their post KOBE years... Ariza in houston/hornets... george in dallas.... cook in houston.. And kwame smush and especially DFISH. There's not another guy who has performed even statistically close.. Dfish was an absolute failure in golden state and utah and those teams could not wait to unload him...a complete afterthought in this league... It wasn't until he got reunited with kobe that he was career was resurrected and now he's being considered as one of the alltime laker greats??!!!


"The defense rests.

My closing argument: Championships aren't everything, they're the ONLY thing.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | November 30, 2010 at 04:39 PM "

So I take it you were against letting Farmar and Mbenga go? And against signing Blake, Barnes, Ratliff, etc?

@C.

Look if you buy a luxury car for $100,000 dollars and it looks great, sounds great, you get good compliments from the neighbors, but it can only take you to work a little bit more than half the time is it still a good car.
Now you trade it in and lose some money and get reliable compact that starts everyday and takes you where you need to go 99% of the time! It might look pedestrian but it gets you where you need to be!

What is the better Deal! Which car do the Lakers need as the Big Men are logging heavy minutes!?

Trade him to Mark Cuban, he is always willing to do stupid trades, or trade him straight up for Yao Ming!

Trade Him For Expiring Contracts Now,
Look at the 2011 Free Agent List, Plenty of Big Warm Bodies on the List,

BandWagon!!!

@C.

Look if you buy a luxury car for $100,000 dollars and it looks great, sounds great, you get good compliments from the neighbors, but it can only take you to work a little bit more than half the time is it still a good car.
Now you trade it in and lose some money and get reliable compact that starts everyday and takes you where you need to go 99% of the time! It might look pedestrian but it gets you where you need to be!

What is the better Deal! Which car do the Lakers need as the Big Men are logging heavy minutes!?

Trade him to Mark Cuban, he is always willing to do stupid trades, or trade him straight up for Yao Ming!

Trade Him For Expiring Contracts Now,
Look at the 2011 Free Agent List, Plenty of Big Warm Bodies on the List,

BandWagon!!!

"Dfish fans do not be misled!!

Dfish shooting numbers while vastly improved this year are just average production from what you should get from a guy shooting WIDE OPEN JUMPERS... Other guards in the league have much better averages while having to either create their own shots or fight through multiple picks to get open.. Most of dfish shots are taken from no movement or by just occupying an empty space on the floor while the defense has to shift and compensate for kobe..

Posted by: yellofever | November 30, 2010 at 04:57 PM "

Excellent point. My intentions aren't to trash Fisher, I'm just trying to say that at some point, things that worked in the past may no longer be the best answer.

People have compared his stats to Farmar, Blake, etc in the past but it's an unfair comparison. I think some of us remember how badly Fisher's shooting struggled when he was on the second unit back in 04. When he no longer got the wide open looks that playing with the first team afforded him, he suddenly became one of the worst shooters in the league and that was right in the middle of his prime.

Maybe Farmar never played consistently enough to earn the starter's role, but Blake is clearly a better option.


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