2010-11 Game Preview #12: Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers


So, very, very slow day at work and noticed that there's still no Game Preview...

Bulls (7-4) vs Lakers (12-2), 9:30 CT on NBA TV




Off Rtg

106.7 (15)

117.6 (1)

Def Rtg

103.2 (9)

105.8 (12)


94.3 (12)

95.7 (5)


.511 (10)

.530 (2)


.149 (25)

.127 (2)


.298 (7)

.322 (3)


.220 (20)

.228 (18)

Opp eFG%

.482 (11)

.472 (4)

Opp TOV%

.148 (9)

.129 (25)


.747 (13)

.690 (28)


.244 (17)

.196 (4)


My goodness those are some scary numbers from the Lakers.  They have become the offensive juggernaut many expected last season.  Even worse, they've largely maintained their defensive acumen from last season despite the absence of Andrew BynumPau Gasol is being talked about as possibly the most productive player in the NBA.  Kobe looks to have recovered from the injury issues that plagued him last year.  They have 3 players shooting over 50% from 3 on the year (Odom, Brown, Fisher).  They have 2 more shooting over 47% (Blake and Barnes).  Even Ron Artest is hitting 37% of his threes.  Before we start conceding this game, though, these very impressive numbers have been put up against a fairly week schedule.  Their Strength of Schedule is a woeful .437 (compare to the Bulls .566). 

I'm not going to call this team paper champions.  After all, they've won the last two championships and entered this season as co-favorites.  Even before the announcement of the extended slumber party in Miami, I had my doubts about this Lakers squad giving Phil his fourth three-peat.  What was, only a couple years ago, a real strength in their bench had become a serious liability by last season's playoffs.  Their approach to fixing that issue has worked well so far.  They brought in free agents Matt Barnes and Steve Blake to help on the perimeter.  Both have played well so far in addition to the continued improvement of former Bull Shannon Brown.  This team is deep on the perimeter again and killing it from three point land (.434 on the season).

Another historical strength of the Lakers is their sizable advantage inside.  Odom and Pau provide a potent PF-C combo.  However, missing Bynum, those are the only 2 players currently in the rotation over 6'7".  Even with Boozer still out and Taj nursing an injured foot, this still isn't quite the mismatch we'd expect.  I think we should see plenty of small ball by both teams tonight.  I'd love, though, to see plenty of JoMer to try to do some damage on the boards. 

To win this one, the Bulls are going to have to close out on those three point shooters and win the rebounding battle.  Slowing down Kobe and Pau would, of course, help too.  For those of us staying up past our bed times to watch this one, here's hoping for an exciting game and a Bulls win.     

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