A Look Ahead: Los Angeles Lakers On Three-Game Road Trip


After suffering a tough 108-101 loss to an undermanned Oklahoma City Thunder team on Sunday night, the Lakers are now faced with a three game road trip: Charlotte, Miami, and Memphis. There might not be much to expect from a 16-42 squad especially away from home, but two of the three games look to be winnable.

Tonight, the Lakers square off against the Charlotte Hornets, who suffered their fair share of losing for most of the past month, but are looking to start a two game win streak against the Lakers. The Lakers have proven to be an abysmal road team this season (7-22), but at the same time the Hornets aren’t among the best teams to play at home (13-16), which could possibly make this game a winnable one.

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The Laker bigs will really need to be on their guard against big man Al Jefferson who is averaging 17 points and almost 9 rebounds this season. A key to victory for the Lakers would be to keep Jefferson off the glass and snatch up as many rebounds as possible; the Lakers defense has been everything short of great this season, but if they control the glass, this should be a game they can put in the win column.

Following their game tonight, they will head out to South Beach to face the Chris Bosh-less Miami Heat on Wednesday. Forced to sit out the rest of the season due to blood clots on his heart, the Lakers will face Michael Beasley, and Hassan Whiteside who is averaging close to a double double per game.

The Lakers will also be tasked with guarding Dwyane Wade who recently returned to action from injury but cannot be taken lightly. Wade is a player that can score at will, so without a doubt, the bulk of the scoring will be coming from him. The best thing for the Lakers would be to let Wade get his and focus on really locking down everyone else. Allowing players like the frequently poor decision maker Mario Chalmers to handle the ball and shoot would also be in the best interest of the Lakers.

Finally, the Lakers will hit Memphis on Friday to face the Grizzlies who are rolling. With a record of 42-16 on the season, they are 23-6 at home and have won 6 of their last 10 games (one of those games being against the seemingly unstoppable Atlanta Hawks).

The Lakers will be facing one of the best big men in the game, Marc Gasol, who has dominated the paint this season and added some mid range to his game as well. Led by sickeningly underrated point guard Mike Conley and fueled by the workhorse Zach Randolph, the Memphis Grizzlies pose a huge roadblock for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Based on how things have gone for the Lakers this past month, it would be optimistic to say this game will be close. The Grizzlies are playoff contenders with a promising chance of, at the very least, making it out of the first round, whereas the Lakers most certainly fall short of such accolades this season. Losing at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies is nothing to be ashamed of this season.

If the Lakers can win their two prior contests before meeting up with the Grizzlies, this could be considered a successful road trip (if you’re not on Team Tank).

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