Before we meet our nemesis on Christmas Day we have to face four teams on the road. Will these games pump the Lakers up even more or will it it wear them down before the well anticipated one game rematch with the Celtics?
Friday, December 19th
Well, lets see. Lakers first game is against Miami who are currently sitting very safely at 500 (12-12) 3rd place in their division. I can tell you one thing, this game will not be easy. Yes we were without Gasol last night but we should have won by a much larger margin than two points against the Knicks. The always reliable D. Wade, the newly acquired Shawn Marion from Phoenix and lastly, Rookie of the Year prospect Michael Beasley are ALL reason to run and hide. Haslem has been playing inconsistently as his mind has not been in the game due to his Grandmother recently passing away. Her unfortunate death along two others in his family all occurred in the last month.
Saturday, December 20th
The next game will be against Orlando. Oh boy, this will easily be the toughest road trip game of the four. Magic currently sit comfortably in 1st place (19-6). Jameer Nelson will give Fisher one hell of a workout as Nelson is averaging 16pts. It will be a 3pt shootout. Turkoglu had a GREAT season last year however, his production has slowed down a bit this season but he is still deadly behind the arc with a hand in his face. Rashard Lewis, the team's No. 2 big man is averaging 19pts with 7 boards, a slight improvement from last season. The No. 1 big man, as we all already know thanks to his McDonald's commercials is Dwight Howard. Howard will never disappoint fans especially when they're at home. Howard was on the IL with a sore left knee for about 3 days but he is now back on the lineup. He's averaging 24pts with 14 BOARDS! Yes, I said 14 boards per game! This man is unstoppable, he will own the paint. As every player's coached response would be when ask the question, "How will you stop...", the Lakers response will only be to "contain" Howard come this Saturday.
Monday, December 22nd
The 3rd game will be in Memphis facing the Grizzlies. Memphis is currently 9-16. Don't let the record fool you, actually, yeah nothing to worry about here. This will be a game of brothers, the Gasol brothers to be exact. If Marc Gasol is given starter like minutes then Marc will give his older, much more experienced brother some competition statistically. This will be a night commentators will be using first names to avoid confusion. Rudy Gay is known to be quite the shooter with killer results, leave him open and he WILL hurt you. Rudy is averaging 20pts and rarely misses free throws as he's been 100% behind the line in his last four games. Hakim Warrick has proven to his team, if given some considerable playing time, will score and is not afraid to shoot the rock. Last but certainly not least, Mayo. O.J. Mayo, another Rookie of the Year candidate, is playing beyond his rookie year. He is the leading rookie in the points column averaging 21 PPG. I am drawn to like Mayo solely because of his catchy name but I choose to dislike his skills on the court. So, to contest this player, I will not drink O.J. nor include Mayo with my Subway sandwich for lunch on Monday.
Tuesday, December 23rd
The last road game is in New Orleans. I would typically choose the Hornets to be THE toughest team when faced on the road but I feel that Orlando is a bit stronger. The Hornets are currently 15-7. This game will be show testament of how ready the Lakers are for Boston. If Los Angeles wins this game then we are taking the victory Thursday. Let's start with the biggest player (at heart) on the team, CP3. This man is just plain ridiculous. He will penetrate through any defense and will score over any defender. We all know his potential game in and game out. Chandler's stiff neck is still bothersome and will affect his true jumping ability. This will obviously favor us. Peja's back spasms might still be an issue come game time. David West is averaging 20 PPG with 7 boards per game. James Posey off the bench gives the Hornets tremendous depth. As Lakers fans bitterly remember, Posey can get away with murder downtown. We CAN NOT leave him open when he comes off the bench.
This road trip will not be an easy one but if constructed successfully will give the Lakers an opportunity to show the Celtics how pissed off we REALLY are come Christmas.