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Game 34: Bucks/Lakers

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2009/2010 NBA Season


28-8 (20-3 home)
15-18 (4-11 road)
January 10, 2010
Staples Center
8:30 PM
Radio: 1250 WSSP TV: FSN Wisconsin HD
Probable starters:
Derek Fisher
PG Brandon Jennings
Kobe Bryant
SG Michael Redd
Ron Artest
SF Luc Mbah a Moute
Lamar Odom
PF Ersan Ilyasova
Andrew Bynum
C Andrew Bogut

(11th) 108.4 - OFFENSE - 102.7 (25th)
(2nd) 101.5 - DEFENSE - 103.2 (5th)
(7th) 94.4 - PACE - 93.1 (12th)


Silver Screen and Roll / Forum Blue and Gold / Los Angeles Times

News/notes after the jump

Four Factors: It's the defense
It's no secret the Bucks get it done thanks to their defense, and the Lakers really aren't that different...except, you know, a lot better overall.  Their overall offense is solid (11th efficiency) but they don't do anything incredibly well from a four factor standing point: the 7th best turnover rate and 9th best rebound rate, but middle of the pack eFG% and just 24th overall in free throws per field goal attempt--so no, apparently the Lakers don't get all the calls.

Defensively, the Lakers are best in the league in terms of eFG% and 4th stingiest in terms of free throws conceded per field goal attempt--which has translated into the second best defense in the league behind Boston.

JS: Gasol still questionable
The Lakers have lost two in a row and could be without Pau Gasol (hamstring) for the fourth consecutive game Sunday night.  That's perfectly fine with the Bucks, who match up much better in the frontcourt when Ersan Ilyasova is guarding Lamar Odom rather than Gasol or Andew Bynum,

"Obviously, it's different preparation for different guys," Bucks center Andrew Bogut said. "We're preparing for him to play, and if he doesn't, we'll adjust accordingly.

"We played them pretty well last time and we're on the road now, so it's going to be tougher. But we feel we can match up with them. Kobe (Bryant) is shooting the bulk of their shots now, so if we can contain him, we have a chance to win."

Gasol put up a beastly 26 points and 22 boards in 49 minutes in the Lakers' overtime win at the BC three weeks ago.  Andrew Bynum has put up double-doubles the past two games in Gasol's absence, and is averaging a very solid 15/8 for the season.  The fact that Gasol has been having his best year on the boards (17.6% rebound rate) doesn't help Bynum's rebounding numbers (14.0% RR), but it's still kind of bizarre that Bynum went 23 straight games without a double-digit rebound game from November 17 to January 6.  Considering his size and playing time (32 mpg), you'd have thought think he'd accidentally grab 10 rebounds more often, especially given how much of a monster he was on the glass two seasons ago.

JS: Alexander makes trip
There's virtually no chance Joe Alexander is in uniform tonight in Los Angeles, but the mere fact that he's traveling with the team on the six game road trip is an encouraging sign. Charles Gardner writes:

He stayed after practice to do some 1-on-1 drills against Bucks forward Carlos Delfino. Alexander has not played this season due to a right hamstring injury, but he has returned to practice sessions during the past three days.

"He looked pretty good again today," Skiles said. "He'll work out, and the day in Portland (on Tuesday) we'll get him in contact again. That will be his third contact practice at that point, so we'll continue to inch closer."

Skiles said it was possible Alexander could be active at some point later in the trip.