Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Mike D'Antoni will make his coaching debut as the Brooklyn Nets enter Staples Center for what should be a great game.
Los Angeles Lakers (5-5, 100.5 ppg, 95.5 points allowed)
- Dwight Howard (20 ppg, 60% fg, 1,8 apg, 11.4 rpg)
- Pau Gasol (14.3 ppg, 43% fg, 3.2 apg, 9.4 rpg)
- Metta World Peace (13.1 ppg, 40% fg, 2.1 apg, 4.9 rpg)
- Kobe Bryant (26.4 ppg, 52% fg, 5.4 apg, 5.7 rpg)
- Darius Morris (6.4 ppg, 39.6% fg, 2.9 apg, 1.8 rpg)
Brooklyn Nets (6-2, 97.5 ppg, 92.5 points allowed)
- Brook Lopez (17.8 ppg, 53.8% fg .8 apg, 6.4 rpg)
- Kris Humphries (8.5 ppg, 48.1% fg, .8 apg, 9.8 rpg)
- Gerald Wallace (7 ppg, 54.5% fg, 3.5 apg, 3.5 rpg)
- Joe Johnson (15.3 ppg, 35% fg, 3.5 apg, 3.6 rpg)
- Deron Williams (18 ppg, 43.6% fg, 8 apg, 2.6 rpg)
The Los Angeles Lakers will dig into a meaty schedule after cruising to a 4-1 record since Mike Brown was fired, and the six game homestand comes to a conclusion against the
Brooklynettes Brooklyn Nets (6-2). This is a game that could have looked dramatically different if the dice had fallen in any number of different ways. This could have been the Dwight Howard vs. Andrew Bynum matchup with a revamped Nets roster touting the duo of Howard and Deron Williams in their march to claim New York as their own. Even more drastic, the Nets lineup could have been without not only Howard, but Deron as well. But, as these things go, Mark Cuban had Shark Tank business to attend to when Deron visited with the Dallas Mavericks, and Williams remained a Net. So, here we are, with what should be a great matchup in the first half of the Lakers back-to-back, and Howard cares not if Williams feels spurned over the process that eventually landed him in Los Angeles
"If he's upset because I made a decision for me, then so be it. If he doesn't want to be friends because I'm on another team, then so be it. There's no need to smooth things over." - Dwight Howard via ESPN LA
Hollywood knows drama alright. Capping off the narrative storylines tonight, Mike D'Antoni will make his coaching debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bickerstaff Renaissance Era has come to an end with a triumphant 4-1 record, now, D'Antoni takes control of the team he's been brought in to lead. It begins.
The Lakers offense wants to pick and roll all night and party every day while working to pass the 110 point benchmark that Mike D'Antoni has keyed in on for this roster. With defensive stalwarts like Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez providing the mortar of the brick wall of Brooklyn big men, the tandem of Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard should both be in for big nights. Still, the strength of the Nets is clearly in the remaining starters: Gerald "Crash" Wallace, "Iso" Joe Johnson, and Deron "Retired Jerry Sloan" Williams. Also, the Nets have a bench that will give them buckets with Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson, and Marshon Brooks to fill in the rotational blanks. Brooks, specifically, is having an efficient sophomore season with a remarkable 66.7% field goal percentage. The Lakers perimeter defense will need to account for not only his mid-range game, but keep in front of him as he's a threat around the rim. Of course, there's always Dwight Howard lurking in the background, but he can only account for so many mistakes.
With Steve Nash out, Darius Morris will have his hands full, having to guard another elite point guard tonight in Deron Williams. Morris' defense will be key in the matchup, just as it was against the San Antonio Spurs and Frenchman Tony Parker. With each game the 2nd year player seems to be gaining support from those who observe the Lakers but if he can manage to take another step forward tonight he may find himself 2nd in the depth chart behind Steve Nash until further notice. He still has out of control plays that make us all shake our head, but the occurence of them has reduced. Also helping his cause? He's currently shooting 43.8% from beyond the arc. Paired up against a top tier point guard, this is a great opportunity for Morris to give the partly-new Lakers coaching staff no choice but to keep riding with the kid. It will have to be an effort similar to what he did to the aforementioned Parker, and not the on-again-off-again show against Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns.
With the Lakers looking to continue to play a new brand of basketball and the Brooklyn Nets seeking validation as an elite Eastern Conference squad, this should be a great game to conclude the six game stretch the Lakers have had at Staples Center.
Nine Inch Nails - All That Could Have Been
Breeze still carries the sound
Maybe I'll disappear
Tracks will fade in the snow
You won't find me here
Ice is starting to form
Ending what had begun
I am locked in my head
With what I've done
I know you tried to rescue me
Didn't let anyone get in
Left with a trace of all that was
And all that could have been
And run far away
Far away from me
The two of us
Were never meant to be
And promises and left behinds
If only I could see
You meant everything
Everything to me
Gone fading everything
And all that could have been
- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons
What kind of noise are Brooklyn Nets fans making? Check NetsDaily out and let them know who wound up with the best center in the league.
Plot Twist: Weigh in on what happens tonight!
Deron Williams fires off 20 points and 15 assists (15 votes)
Dwight Howard dominates and captures his first 20/20 game of the season (73 votes)
Brook Lopez pulls down more rebounds than Pau Gasol (13 votes)
Kobe Bryant lights up the Nets for 40 points (35 votes)
Andrew Bynum descends from the rafters and Rock Bottom’s both Brook Lopez and Dwight Howard while Shaq spray paints n.W.o. over the Lakers logo center-court. (109 votes)
245 total votes