Looking Ahead: Lakers in Need of Home Cooking


Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March has not been very kind to the Lakers this season. After ending the month of February on a three game win streak, it appears that the Lakers have returned to their losing ways starting the month off with a five game losing streak. While losing may sting deep, the bright side is that rookie Jordan Clarkson has been doing well, and the Lakers are still in good position to get a pick in the next draft. This next week for the Lakers should be interesting as they start a much needed home stand.

First, the Lakers square off with the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, March 10. Not to say this should be an expected win (because nothing is guaranteed, especially for the Lakers this season), but the Pistons are lacking in consistency.

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The Pistons are a different team as their roster was reshaped after the trade deadline adding players such as Reggie Jackson and ex-Laker Shawne Williams, but there is no shortage of offense with this team. Also, ex-Laker Jodie Meeks provides a lot of firepower from behind the arc. Detroit is also adept in the paint. Players like Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Tayshaun Prince are all skilled rebounders and scorers in the paint. Despite playing at home, competing with the Pistons will most likely be a grind.

Next, the Lakers take on the abysmal New York Knicks, who much like the Lakers, continue to fall in a downward spiral. This is probably the least glamorous game on the Lakers schedule (and most likely the least glamorous game to be scheduled on television that night), but this is also probably the team that the Lakers stand the best chance to win against. With Carmelo Anthony shutting it down for the season after the All-Star break, the Knicks lack offensive firepower. This is a roster that has no real threats and is likely to implode on itself mid-game if put under too much pressure.

However, despite the shortcomings of this New York team, the Lakers have plenty of shortcomings of their own that can leave them wide open to defeat. As much as losing is being welcomed in LA this season to ensure a quality draft pick, beating Phil Jackson’s Knicks is something that would definitely lift the spirits of the Lakers and their fans.

Finally on Sunday, the Lakers will play the dynamic Atlanta Hawks who have been taking the league by storm this season. How is this possible with a roster chock full of B+ players? It has taken the league by surprise and what they are doing- ball movement, unselfishness, three point shooting- is definitely working. This past week, the Hawks put in serious work against the Houston Rockets and then proceeded to manhandle the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Hawks are likely to dominate the Lakers based on the stat sheet but the Lakers did manage to pull off an exciting win in Atlanta a few months ago with Kobe Bryant scoring 28 points on 55% shooting.  Hopefully the Lakers can bring some of that excitement and energy back home to Staples in a victory against the Hawks.

Next: Kobe and Julius Randle to Spend Summer Training Together