After the Lakers laid an egg in their visit to Hoosier country back in early December, it will be impossible for the Pacers to sneak up on the Lakers tonight at Staples. Or it damn well ought to be, at least, especially in the context of LA's upcoming schedule, which grows pretty damn brutal over the five games that'll follow this one. With that, a few thoughts, slapped together:
- At last reading, Lamar Odom is "questionable" for tonight's game because of that bone bruise in his right knee, but it's unlikely he'll play tonight, and I'm thinking the absence could easily stretch into next week. But if there's a positive aspect to injuries, it's that they can force a team to pay extra attention to the basics. On Wednesday against the Warriors, we saw it with LA as they steadfastly pushed the ball into the post, refusing to get caught up in the perimeter chuck fest that Don Nelson loves to promote. While the Pacers have more size than Golden State- so do most of the teams I run with at the rec- the Lakers still can push an advantage inside, whether with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum or through penetration at the perimeter.