Gametime: 7 p.m. EST
Ratatat - "Drugs" (via JandixonMusic)
The Lakers come to Charlotte tonight on the heels of an embarrassing drubbing at the hands of their hated rivals last night. The Celtics absolutely destroyed Los Angeles with good ball movement and strong defense. And now the Lakers must face the Bobcats, a team that plays them consistently well.
Los Angeles is beaten up, riddled with injuries to some of the most important players. Pau Gasol is out for the next 6-8 weeks with a torn plantar fascia. Dwight Howard is still trying to get back to 100 percent after shoulder and back problems. And promising young player Jordan Hill is out for the season.
But that's not the only reason why the Lakers are having a disappointing season. Their play has been inconsistent from one side of the court to the other. Their defense is a major weakness, incapable of playing with enough focus as a team to overcome individual weaknesses. The perimeter is a key weak point for them.
Their offense is much better than their defense, but a) that's not saying much and b) it too is not a home run. In Lakers wins, Kobe Bryant averages about 7 assists. This is more of an indicator of ball movement and off-ball movement to take advantage of offensive spacing to move the ball around.
Could the Bobcats win tonight? It's possible. The Lakers could be tired after last night's game. They also could be extremely upset with themselves and want to destroy the next team they face (Charlotte). Charlotte's backcourt is their strength and the Lakers struggle on the perimeter. Should be an interesting game, if nothing else.
For a look from the Lakers side, here's the game preview from Lakers Nation.