Lakers vs. Nets Preview: Lakers Seek Second Straight Home Win Reviewed by Momizat on . The Lakers look to string together back to back wins against the visiting Brooklyn Nets tonight at Staples Center. Expect the Nets to compete in this one as bil The Lakers look to string together back to back wins against the visiting Brooklyn Nets tonight at Staples Center. Expect the Nets to compete in this one as bil Rating: 0
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Lakers vs. Nets Preview: Lakers Seek Second Straight Home Win

pau-gasol-kevin-garnettThe Lakers look to string together back to back wins against the visiting Brooklyn Nets tonight at Staples Center. Expect the Nets to compete in this one as billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhov went all in on his bid for a championship by acquiring dynamic guard Marcus Thornton at the recent trade deadline. Despite sitting at just 25-27, the Nets occupy the fifth seed in the Eastern conference standings and are looking to make a push into the top four.

On the flip side, the Lakers are in talent evaluation mode as they are headed for the lottery this year. Mike D’Antoni made this abundantly clear as he played his two newest Lakers, Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks, a combined 56 minutes in Friday night’s game. Both young players responded well and will be in the mix for more minutes in the Lakers’ injury-riddled backcourt.

Frontcourt: For the Nets, Kevin Garnett gets the nod at center and while it isn’t his natural position, he fills in nicely in a role he has excelled at. Garnett has always been praised as a defensive anchor and whether he’s playing the four or the five, he will undoubtedly leave his fingerprints all over the ball game. He continues to be a force defensively, but he is looking more and more like a veteran of 18 years on the offensive end. At this stage in his career, Garnett can no longer create his own shot with regularity, but has made up for it by becoming a deadly midrange shooter. The Lakers need to take away Garnett’s shot and dare him to create off the dribble if they are going to force him into an inefficient shooting night.

Paul Pierce will start the game at power forward in what might inadvertently turn out to be a mismatch for the Lakers. Even at 36 years of age, Pierce remains highly effective as he has never been dependent on quickness or athleticism. He is a fantastic shooter with deceptive strength that allows him to bully his way into the lane or to the charity stripe. For good measure, he also employs a healthy collection of spins and fakes. Even now, Pierce can be an explosive scorer and will be a handful for Ryan Kelly from the opening tip.

Rounding out the frontcourt is the Nets’ lone 2014 All Star representative in Joe Johnson. While he’s had a decent year, he’ll have to work for every point against younger, more athletic Lakers be it Wes Johnson or the newly-acquired Marshon Brooks.

Backcourt: Deron Williams struggled early in the season, but has picked up his play following a short stint as a reserve. That being said, he is a far cry from the player he was in Utah where he, at times, looked like the best point guard in the game. Nonetheless, the Lakers have struggled with containing dribble penetration in recent years and will need to defend as a unit to minimize Williams’ pick and roll opportunities.

Shaun Livingston should get the start next to Williams as a secondary ball handler and facilitator. Livingston will take his chances when he has them, but he is not a natural scorer. Look for Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd to deploy Marcus Thornton early and often as a change of pace guard.

Keys to Lakers’ Victory:
Crash the Glass: As a result of Brook Lopez’s injury, the Nets are very undersized. Lopez has never been a good rebounder, but the positional shift caused by his injury has had a pronounced effect, leaving the Nets second to last in rebounds per game. The Lakers need to exploit this advantage, especially on the defensive glass. They have been very poor at limiting offensive rebounds and second chance points lately and should look to right the ship in this contest.

Establish Pau on the Block: Pau Gasol returned to action on Friday night and played very well following a seven game absence. The Lakers would be wise to get him early looks on the low block as he is at his best when he can get established in the post. Gone are the days that Kevin Garnett can frustrate Pau and the truth is, only D’Antoni’s insistence on using him as a shooter can really take him out of this game.

Brooklyn Nets (25-27) at Los Angeles Lakers (19-36)
6:00 PM PST, February 23, 2014
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

Nets Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Deron Williams
SG: Shaun Livingston
SF: Joe Johnson
PF: Paul Pierce
C: Kevin Garnett

Key Reserves: SG Marcus Thornton, C Andray Blatche

Lakers Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Kendall Marshall
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Ryan Kelly
C: Pau Gasol

Lakers Nation Interviews MarShon Brooks: Getting To Know The Guard That Idolized Kobe

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  • Madsen 35

    I am going to watch the Houston versus Phoenix game on ESPN tonight.Jim Buss has ruined the Lakers the inept incompetent Lakers FO have ruined the product and now they are not watchable.Team full of scrubs and no superstar power along with the worst coach in the NBA will keep me away.

    I was a loyal Lakers television viewer up until Jim Buss took over and put this piece of crap product in front of me.Losers in the FO and they prove how dumb they are by not firing Mike D’Antoni after all these losses.

    Lakers are doomed without Kobe,they will be a lottery team for the next decade at this rate.Incompetency is at a all time high in LA.I hardly ever watch the Lakers play anymore.Tanking will drive away all the longtime fans nobody accepts a team throwing away games.No reason to pay my hard earned money to see a team suck so bad they are called tankers.This is unacceptable move the Lakers to Bolivia.

    • jeremy

      I thought they were pretty fun to watch on Friday. The new guys really brought life to the team. I’m excited to see what they bring the rest of the year

    • jeremy

      Well you want to much from the lakers every team has down years. Not every team can be the spurs. This team is not full of scrubs without gasol Kobe won’t have 2 more rings and I bet a lot of teams will want Meeks hill kaman and young

    • Jim213

      Somewhat agree, FO’s lack of dexterity =o has resulted in a less than competitive season though injuries hurt too. But if FO makes the right (BUSINESS!) moves come off season things will improve. Kobe’s contract stings somewhat but can’t blame Kobe for his contributions to the BRAND.

      But if a stretch provision can be used this off season (nothing against player, strictly business) it would free up more cap space for next season though they’ll still owe him the salary but it’ll give FO more leeway (salary cap wise) this off season. Doing this would be similar to the accrued salary of the three players under contract next season for those who wanted Kobe to take a paycut (as long as FO does what’s best for BUSINESS!).

      Not having draft picks does hurt the team (assets) but the brand builds thru FA and not like other teams. But given the CBA it be best to use draft picks from now on as hopefully FO learned a lesson this trade deadline given that other teams wanted to low ball the team mostly given THEY’RE over the cap. Best to not forget those teams down the line but FO had their hand tied. SMH

      But if the RIGHT! business moves can be made to do what’s best for the BRAND! FO should have leeway to go after some good starting role players + another big (hopefully) possibly without breaking the bank if they STOP OVER PAYING certain mediocre players who can’t play up to expectations (non top 10 Lakers) which we see today leaves the team with their hands tied (not being able to move around salary wise) which IMO is the main issue.

    • Gregory Choa

      See ‘ya, don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

    • Daryl Peek

      Bandwagon Lakers fans are the worst

  • jeremy

    I’m excited to see how this different line up works. Wes at PF and the young gun at SF

  • Devon Samuels²⁴

    I will still waitch my Lakers play I will never turn my back on them I was a fan in the ’90s I was a fan after the 3 peat run & im still a proud Lakers fan now like i say these kind of seasons will sepreate true to phoneies/bandwangon fans can’t show up now don’t show up where we winning again Go Lakers 4 Life!!!

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Kent Bazemore is starting tonight in place of Ryan Kelly and Wesley is playing power forward and Kent is starting yay i love it.For all those Mitch Kupchak haters this just goes to show you never talk crap about Mitch after a trade.He got a 24 year old starter out of the deal.

    Kent plays like a older version of Marcus Smart and that Smart kid is projected to be a top 6 pick in the best draft in a decade.

    Yeah Bazemore has won NCAA defensive player of the year and he dominated on defense in college and he is capable of getting ten steals in a game that’s how good his defense is projected to be.Kent Bazemore is the better prospect between him and MarShon Brooks,Xavier,Wesley,Young,Kelly yes his ceiling is way up their.MDA is a genius for starting Bazemore the way he dominated the Summer League in 2013 has translated to the NBA now that he is getting big minutes with the Lakers.This is a breakout star.Lakers stole Bazemore from GSW.Great trade.

    • jeremy

      I thought kent would be tony Allen 2.0 but with better offensive skills. I also like the move why not play your best players with young back we need time for brooks and Kent. Plus with Kelly struggling he doesn’t deserve to start

    • Chrmngblly

      Well, we are all anxious to see. I would absolutely sick our newest defensive dog on their best shooter and see how it all turns out. I would normally think Bazemore was too short to guard the 4-spot, but I suppose Kent could face-guard Pearce, at least. I would really like to see one of these two guys stick, if not both.

    • Daryl Peek

      I don’t like Johnson at the 4. KG is old and just about done but he will abuse Johnson. Makes no sense. Hill and Kelly could be off the bench quick.

      • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

        Garnet hasn’t played the 4 in a while, mostly playing the center position… Nets lineup will probably be Garnet,Pierce,Johnson,Livingstone,Williams. So starting Wesley at the 4 makes sense for the Lakers.

        • Daryl Peek

          I can’t roll with that. Johnson has said he’s not comfortable at the 4 and we have been getting punished in this first half with Kidd running a bigger line up.

          Bazemore on Paul P? Meeks on AK47?!?

  • Fat Albert

    The 76ers waived Earl Clark hours after acquiring the forward along with center Henry Sims and a 2014 second-round pick in a trade for Spencer Hawes on Thursday morning. The move trimmed the Sixers’ roster to 15 players, the maximum number allowed on NBA rosters.

    Clark was the 14th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in 2009. The 26-year-old has also played for the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. He was in the final year of his contract.

    The 6-foot-10, fifth-year veteran out of Louisville averaged 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds this season for the Cavs, with 17 starts. However, he has only played in four of the Cavs’ last 10 games. Against the Sixers on Tuesday, Clark didn’t attempt a shot or score a point and had one rebound in 6 minutes, 53 seconds.


    • jeremy

      So you want to buy out kaman when he one of our best players. For a guy who was up and down for the lakers. I think lakers are better off with a proven vet and not a up and down player like Clark.plus with the health of gasol we need kaman. I doubt laker will cut and sign any new players. So this team is staying put

  • Daryl Peek

    D’Antoni got me on tilt with his ultimate small ball ISH tonight. NO WAY. Kidd went big on purpose. SMH

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