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Lakers vs. Bulls: Five things to watch

Derrickrose_300 1. Dealing with Derrick Rose

Easier said than done. Rose has reached elite point-guard status in the league, now averaging 25 points and eight assists a game. The saying goes you don't stop great players, you only hope to contain them. The question is how will the Lakers deal with Rose? You have to stop him before he gets into open space in transition and team defense is critical in the half-court game since very few players in the league can stop him from getting into the lane with one-on-one defense.

With the Lakers down to two healthy big men -- Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom -- it will be interesting to see if they try to funnel Rose into traps and away from the lane. It's no secret that Derek Fisher and Steve Blake have trouble handling quick and athletic guards, plenty of which play in the NBA. Derrick Rose is quick, athletic and strong, with the ability to finish at the rim. Keeping his forays to a minimum and making him give up the ball are critical.

2. Controlling the tempo for the sake of Gasol and Odom

With Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff and, now, Derrick Caracter out of action, it will be key for the Lakers to control the tempo by running a disciplined offense that maximizes possessions, keeping the Bulls from getting into transition and limiting their turnovers. The Lakers have plenty of firepower on offense, so controlling the boards and not hoisting up too many long-range jumpers that lead to long rebounds will be critical.

3. How Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer play together

With Boozer having recently returned to the court from injury, combined with a lack of depth in the frontcourt for the Lakers, this will be interesting to see unfold. Boozer's presence in the low post actually takes away from Noah's game, since he's best when moving down the lane off a pick-and-roll play or rolling through the lane while Rose occupies the defense with his forays from the perimeter. Word in Chicago is that Noah's game has been thrown off a bit by the return of Boozer, who had 29 points and 14 rebounds in a 99-90 victory over Oklahoma City earlier this week. Still, the two make a formidable combo up front for any team to handle.

4. Speading the workload around the triangle

With Gasol and Odom having to log heavy minutes tonight, look for Kobe Bryant to shoulder a bigger burden on offense. This doesn't always work to the Lakers' advantage, because when Bryant goes into scoring mode, it often disrupts the flow of the triangle. Shannon Brown had 21 points the last time these teams played, a 98-91 Lakers win on Nov. 23rd. Then again, when Kobe gets his game going and becomes more of a facilitator than a scorer, he single-handedly changes the complexion of the game.

5. Chicago farewell for Phil Jackson

This should be the coach's final game in Chicago, barring a meeting in the NBA Finals, which I wouldn't count on, but in the Eastern Conference one never knows. Not to get too sentimental, but he had some good times in that city (not counting the contentious end of his run there). I don't think this will have any direct impact on the game, but it's part of the pageantry that goes with the NBA.

--Dan Loumena

 
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OK I'M BACK IN CONTROL!

LAKERS PLEASE BRING YOUR A GAME!!! THE BULLS ARE NOT PLAYING AROUND!!!!!!

drats, I wanted for just once to hold the power!

- - -

Dan 'The Man': Nice win by your Blazers last night. The Magic have more holes than a pound of swiss cheese...


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

I've never said this before about a Lakers game but...I have a very bad feeling about this game. Kobe if you do not Activate.....

mamba: don't jinx us! Actually, I kinda have that feeling too. The Bulls match up great with us, D-Rose is a killer, Deng's playing better, Booze and Noah are a handful. Their crowd is going to be pumped up and they'll want revenge for their loss in L.A. last week.

I bet Kobe will be on tonight, he scores 20 points and becomes the leading scorer in NBA history to score all his points with one team, moving another Celtic down the list in Havilicek. That will keep him motivated, along with being an ESPN game, I hope...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Word in Chicago is that Noah's game has been thrown off a bit by the return of Boozer, who had 29 points and 14 rebounds in a 99-90 victory over Oklahoma City earlier this week. Still, the two make a formidable combo up front for any team to handle.
-----------------

Yes, I have Noah on two of my fantasy teams and his numbers are way down since Booze return. C'm on Jo time to pick up your game....AFTER THE LAKERS LEAVE TOWN.

I've never said this before about a Lakers game but...I have a very bad feeling about this game. Kobe if you do not Activate.....

Posted by: mamba24 | December 10, 2010 at 04:12 PM

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Unfortunately I'm kinda feeling the same. My worries are with Pau playing in a daze.

Did someone say something about animals? How about the jungle?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFGWU7fu32A

Always loved the whistling at the beginning and end of this one

I just think it's a tough line up for Pau to deal with without Drew. Noah or Boozer by themselves is one thing, but Pau is going to have to bang against one or the other, and sometimes both, all night long. They can tag team him. Taj Gibson is no slouch either.

What the Hell was I thinking!!!! GOOD FEELING!! GOOD FEELING!!! I have a very GOOD FEELING about this game tonight!!!! The Lakers will DESTROY the Bulls. Now all of you channel that feeling....NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You all notice that when the Heat play on BSPN...there is an hour pregame show...

But when the Lakers are the scheduled game...only 30 minutes...

PJ you to win your last game at Chicago...gotta go out as a winner...so they can make a statue of you outside...

Yes, CyberCosmiX, excellent win by Blazers last night. Wish they could have avoided that six-game losing streak! That was tough to watch, especially losing to New Jersey.

Mark G, you're so right. I wasn't sure if Taj Gibson was going to be a solid pro, but he's dynamic off the bench. Hard worker, etc.

I'm getting the live chat set up next.

You can watch it live at http://sportsneak.com/basketball/lakers-vs-bulls

They have a backup/replay link at http://sportsneak.com/basketball/lakers-vs-bulls-backup

This has been confirmed.

LRob - Here's one before the game...I want the boys to have their swagger tonight...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6PFRea9Ihg

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

Dan - Taj Gibson was great for me on my fantasy team...but I just waived him...his minutes will drastically shrink because of Boozer coming back...

So I signed Glen Davis...eek...I'm still getting used to this 'fantasy' concept...

So far the move makes me look like Mitch...baybee....

LRob - Here's one before the game...I want the boys to have their swagger tonight... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6PFRea9IhgPosted by: LEWSTRS | December 10, 2010 at 04:39 PM
*
Yes SIR!!!!! We're Jammin with LEWSTRS tonight!!!! That will get that swagger up and going!!!!@!!

We really should have hired another big guy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Prediction


The game winning shot by Derek fisher was good and terrible for the Lakers. It was good in the short term but terrible for the long term including this road trip and the Christmas game for the Lakers.

That shot further emboldened Phil Jackson's resolve to play Fisher..............NO MATTER WHAT......................it will exacerbate our already weak defense at the point and with the anemic Gasol managing the middle.


The beginning stretch begins in about 13 minutes as I do not see the Lakers beating Chicago.................or anyone on the road with these two huge deficiencies in the lineup.

I hope I'm wrong............but I don't think so

Hey gang,

Live game chat is up and running, I believe.

Catch you there.

The beginning stretch begins in about 13 minutes as I do not see the Lakers beating Chicago.................or anyone on the road with these two huge deficiencies in the lineup. I hope I'm wrong............but I don't think so
Posted by: pfunk36 | December 10, 2010 at 04:50 PM
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PFUNK36 You must believe sir! Now channel positive thoughts!!!! DESTROY BULLS, DESTROY BULLS!!!!!!!!

Hmmm, Derek Fisher . . . he's still a good fit with the Lakers' personnel and triangle offense. Although the Lakers do have problems when facing elite point guards, but who doesn't? Unless you guys trade him for a defensive stopper out front . . .

Anyway, a new post is up. I'll admit it, the post is a little weak compared to Mark Medina's postgame wraps, but I've got to move on to some other work now.

Catch you later.


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