Sometimes the NBA schedule gives you a gift. For the Los Angeles Lakers, starting their three game road trip tonight in Milwaukee could be a blessing in disguise. Not that this will be a cake walk by any means. Instead, the Lake Show could be getting the perfect matchup to help and rectify some recent woes.
While the Lakers enter the game as the highest scoring team in the NBA, the Bucks are currently the least scored-upon team in the league.
Something has got to give. (Insert additional clichéd line here)
Being that the Lakers two consecutive losses have come against teams that like to push the tempo, getting a dose of half court hoops could be a refreshing change.
Too often in this young season the Lakers have relied upon simply being able to out score the opposition. While, yes, this is the entire essence of winning games in the NBA it is not a recipe for sustained success. Defending, rebounding and efficient offensive execution are the keys. For the most part the Lakers have the efficient offense and rebounding thing down. Now defense…well…about that.
If the Bucks are able to run up the score on the Lakers then we’ll know things are much worse than previously thought. While Milwaukee isn’t offensively inept, they do rely on balanced contributions from all five starters led by L.A. native Brandon Jennings who is dropping 15 a night.
Typical of a Scott Skiles coached team, the Bucks are a gritty group that would rather play a low-scoring slug fest instead of trying to run and gun for 48 minutes.
Keeping Andrew Bogut off the glass will be a team task. Pau Gasol will make the Aussie big man work when the Lakers are on offense but it will be a team effort kepping Bogut off the boards. Of course, that is easier said than done with Lamar Odom nursing a foot injury.
One year ago it took a vintage Kobe Bryant buzzer beater in OT to best the Bucks in Milwaukee. Chances are this could be another close contest and KB24’s heroics could be called upon once again. What is important is not how the Lakers win but simply that they put an end to the two-game skid. It took nearly two years for the Lakers to lose three straight since acquiring Pau. A loss tonight would make it twice in the last 7 seven months a slide of this length has occurred.