Lakers-Bulls Preview

Los Angeles Lakers Status Check:
Record: 17-23
Division: 4-3
Conference: 9-16
Road Record: 5-13
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: 108-103 loss to Toronto
PPG: 103.1 (5th)
Opponents PPG: 101.6 (26th)
Offensive Rating: 108.4 (8th)
Defensive Rating: 106.8 (20th)
Pace: 94.8 (2nd)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .510 (7th)
Turnover Percentage: .140 (18th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .732 (14th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .289 (10th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .239 (2nd)
Opp. eFG%: .496 (17th)
Opp. TO%: .124 (28th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .177 (1st)
Leading scorer: Kobe Bryant (29.6)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Lakers Injury Report:
Steve Blake: out (abdominal surgery)
Jordan Hill: out (hip)

The struggling Lakers visit the United Center, looking to become the next team to benefit from Chicago’s home court woes. Los Angeles is truly struggling away from home, having dropped their last five away from the Staples Center.

It’s not just on the road that the Lakers are having troubles though, it’s everywhere. The Lakers are 17-23, 2-8 over their last ten games; they are third in their division and on the outside looking in on the playoffs currently. They have had some injuries, but their real problem all season has been their defense. LA ranks 20th in defensive rating (106.8), even with Dwight Howard, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Pau Gasol scored 25 points on 15 shots but the Lakers fell to Toronto Sunday night. Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, but went just 10-32 from the field, including 3-12 from three. Bryant went to the line just three times, and had six turnovers.

Dwight Howard will be well rested after getting ejected in the second quarter. Howard played 17 minutes, recording five points and two rebounds before getting his second technical late in the first half. In the three games leading up to the Raps contest, Howard was averaging 22.0 points and 15.3 rebounds.

In 14 games against Joakim Noah, Howard is averaging 19.7 points and 12.9 rebounds. Noah averages 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds against Dwight. In those 14 games, Howard’s team is 9-5.

Steve Nash tallied 16 points and nine assists against Toronto, while Earl Clark posted 14 points and 14 boards off the bench. The Raptors shot 54.8 percent from the field and finished with 27 assists.

“I didn’t feel like we were ready to play,” Nash said about the Toronto loss. “We cut too many corners at too many different times in the game and had too big a hole to climb out of. We’re just not finding any consistent level out of our group.”

The Bulls are coming off an overtime loss to the Grizzlies, in which they shot 36.5 percent from the field. Jimmy Butler led Chicago in scoring, with 18 points in his first career start. Memphis recorded 21 fast break points to pull out the win, after Chicago outscored them 29-16 in the fourth quarter.

That fourth quarter was a nice change of pace, as it’s usually the Bulls that are blowing a double-digit lead. Joakim Noah was glaringly missing from the comeback, as he played a season-low 27 minutes before being benched throughout the fourth and overtime.

Injury note: Luol Deng did not participate in shootaround Monday and is expected to be out tonight.

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5 Responses to Lakers-Bulls Preview

    scott r January 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    No travelling plus a day off means the Bulls should be rested. Those words would bring joy to my ears if Deng wasn’t doubtful for the game.

    I don’t believe less than 80pts in 4 quarters will give us a chance for the second straight game in a row. A couple players are gonna need to have a huge game for the Bulls to pull out a win. Even against this particularly bad Lakers team.

  2. chuck collier January 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    i dont think the lakers will even make the playoffs.

  3. chuck collier January 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    one need one good trade before deadline to take us over the top.

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