Lakers invade Motown

Essentials

  • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (8-8) at Detroit Pistons (6-9_
  • Date: November 29, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons were lit up at home in their last contest with the Chicago Bulls and as a result, they will be looking to bounce back tonight when they host the Los Angeles Lakers.

Mind you, the Purple and Gold defeated them by double digits less than two weeks ago at Staples Center thanks in large part to Jordan Hill’s monster performance. The big man produced 24 points and 17 rebounds for Los Angeles.

The contest spoke volumes about the Pistons’ ineptitude on defense. Indeed, the Lakers have been one of the worst offensive teams in the league in 2013-14 and yet, they had their way against Detroit in mid-November.

In the head-to-head contest on November 17, Los Angeles scored 114 points against Mo Cheeks’ group. They accomplished this by manufacturing 44 points in the paint and converting 10-of-25 shots from 3-point range.

Pau Gasol and company shot 52.2 percent form the field and only committed 13 turnovers. A quick glance at the box score would lead you to believe that these Lakers are an elite team based on the way they dominated every offensive category against the Pistons.

This kind of performance simply cannot be reproduced on Detroit’s end if they truly hope to contend for a playoff spot. The Pistons simply are not good enough to steal games in which their defense basically fails to get off the bus.

The Pistons find ways to score points, but they are not a juggernaut and as a result, abysmal defensive showings basically doom them.

The Lakers are a great 3-point shooting team and consequently, they can make it rain from long range when left open. They accomplish this via dribble penetration, pick-and-rolls and post-ups.

They hunt down 3-pointers like it’s nobody’s business because that’s what the coaching staff emphasizes. They are a top-five team in terms of conversion rate from downtown and attempts on these types of shots.

Thus, Detroit has to run them off the line and force them to settle for mid-range jumpers or concede the long-range shots and take everything else away. Los Angeles cannot have it all, otherwise the Pistons will be playing the exact same game they participated in earlier in the month: a game in which they got smoked.

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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers THN-LAL

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