The Indiana Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers in their only visit to the Fieldhouse on Friday. Normally the Lakers are in town once a year but since the teams only played one game last year in L.A. due to the lockout, the Lakers haven't been to the Fieldhouse since Dec. 15, 2010.
In that game, Pau Gasol (28 points) and Kobe Bryant (31 points) were double trouble, leading the Lakers to a 109-94 win against a Pacers team that started Brandon Rush, Josh McRoberts and Darren Collison. My, how times have changed.
One thing that won't change is that the Lakers still present plenty of matchup problems including in the front court where Dwight Howard and Earl Clark deliver both size and talent in an area where the Pacers often have an advantage.
Obviously, Kobe Bryant's ankle will play a role whether Mamba plays or not (and until the ball is tipped, regardless of reports and/or Kobe's absence, I'll assume he will play). With Pau Gasol still on the shelf, the Lakers are pretty thin with help coming off of the bench. The Pacers will have to make L.A. work at both ends of the floor and find a cure for the turnover bug to control the pace of the game. Indiana was able to do that their first meeting this season, sneaking out of L.A. with a 79-77 win after George Hill turned the corner on Gasol to beat the buzzer with a scoop layup.
For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll. Also, leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.
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