Regular Season Series: First meeting
Streaks: Lakers W 4, Magic L1
Time: 12:30PM PST - TV: ABC
Lakers have completely turned things around since the Boston and San Antonio losses. This current 7-game road trip has been a thing of beauty having won the first 4 games. Only Orlando, Charlotte and Cleveland stand in their way for a perfect 7 before flying back home to host the 60th NBA All-Star game.
Since the Lakers are playing so well, skeptics and critics have been pleasantly silent. They usually come out of the woodwork when the champs lose in any consecutive order or lose from high profile games.
If L.A. wants to continue this winning streak they're going to have to beat the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Orlando will have to get over their own issues before entering this game. They keep losing at home and against top competitors. L.A. and Orlando have same home records of 19-8.
Dwight Howard has been a monster this season averaging 22 pts w/ 14 rebs but Orlando's Kobe syndrome is not equaling to deserving victories. One man can't win you games. Howard will most likely get his 14th straight double-double but if Orlando continues to play through Dwight then Orlando will play through another loss while helping Howard's personal numbers.
Let's face it Superman's kryptonite is his teammates shooting percentage. He needs help and no one's stepping up. As of lately Jason Richardson is making as many shots as a closed bar, Turkoglu & Nelson are playing inconsistent ball and Brandon Bass is hurt but is expected to play Sunday so this will put a damper in Ryan Anderson's numbers. Maybe the Magic bench can help. Reddick might put up surprising numbers, Arenas might have his "Hey I use to be Agent Zero remember?" game and Earl Clark might continue to shoot well enough to hurt the Lakers coming off the bench.
Okay the reality of all of this is that the Lakers have way too much depth to not come out victorious over the Dwight Howard Magic. Kobe is hot and is coming off a game where he shot 71% (FG), Gasol is increasingly playing stronger and is finishing shots with a vengeance, and Bynum is getting comfortable out on the court and getting more minutes in hopes that his knee can handle them.
Lamar is still being destructive on the court whether he is or isn't a starter. Shannon Brown will always show coach that when given the minutes, he'll give him high octane results. Just give Brown some minutes coach! If this game slips away for Orlando, LO and SB have no problem being the final nails to their coffin.