After their game in Utah on Saturday, they fly to Philadelphia before a back-to-back, Thursday in Boston and Friday against the Knicks. Philly is playing some of the best basketball in the league and they like to get out in the open court and run, but they lack size in the frontcourt. This is a game the Lakers need to slow down the tempo like they did in Denver while utilizing their height and strength in the post.
In Boston and New York it’s the same thing, slow down the tempo so their opponents cannot get out in the open court getting easy fast break points, and pound the ball inside. Boston will be a battle considering it is L.A versus Boston, but if the Lakers weather the initial surge by the Celtics, they will come away with a win.
Both Boston and New York are struggling to play fluid basketball. The Celtics were dealing with injuries to Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, both are back in the line-up, as the Knicks do not seem to be clicking, losing 11 of their last 13 games. So look for the Lakers to take advantage of the ragged play of the Celtics and Knicks.
Yes, this is a long and tough road trip for the Lakers, but it will be a good way for the team to measure and grade themselves in terms of where they are in the middle of the season. Also, after they play the Philadelphia 76ers for their third game in four days, they will have two days off before they face the Celtics and Knicks in a back-to-back.
If they play hard for the three games, that two-day rest before Boston and New York should fuel them for the rest of the trip. They finish the road trip in Toronto to play the Raptors before returning home to face the Atlanta Hawks.
If the Lakers stay focused and poised, they have a chance to exceptionally successful.