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Game Thread #10: Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers

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Special Sunday night game on ESPN. Against the Lakers, so you should all visit ForumBlueandGold, one of the best NBA blogs around.

More specifically, there's this post explaining how the Lakers do better when the pace is increased. I didn't crunch the numbers on the Bulls end, but it seems that they have also succeeded (at least offensively) in a faster pace as well.

Then there's this podcast that Kurt (of FB&G) appeared on recently, saying that Kobe is not quite all the way back from offseason knee surgery, but is fundamentally sound enough to produce at a high level. Supposedly he's playing the 'initiator' role in the triangle offense and doing more facilitating, so watch for that. And while he is damned good, the slowed-down Kobe should hopefully be easier to stay in front of than Tracy McGrady was on Thursday. I can still seeing him getting to the line plenty though, which worries me.

I just noticed there's already a fine game preview, Kurt's shamed me once again :-D

I'll be looking for this as well:

What may decide the game is how well the Lakers defend the good Bulls guards: Kirk Hinrich (shooting 57.4% [eFG%] overall and 50% on threes for the season) and Ben Gordon off the bench (he can run hot and cold, but just ask the Rockets how good he is (34-point second half the other night). Defending the point has been the Lakers biggest weakness this season.
This is an open game thread, and though it's meant to be a friendly place I can see it turning ugly if there's another loss tonight...