January 22, 2012 – By Scott
The Los Angeles Lakers have not had the best of luck in their recent two-game road trip all the way across the country in the Sunshine State of Florida. On Thursday, they suffered an 11-point loss to the Miami Heat and then on Friday fell to the Orlando Magic by twelve.
A trip back to the Staples Center should be something they are looking forward to as they try to end this two-game skid and get back on track. Well, they get that opportunity play at home on Sunday night as they host the Indiana Pacers.
Scoring, well from someone other than Kobe Bryant, has been the issue for the Lakers (10-7) as of late. They are averaging 92.1 points per game on the year, but in their last three games (including a win on Jan 16 over Dallas) they have failed to break the 90-point mark. In the Mavs game, they only scored 73 which was their lowest point output of the season.
Most of these shooting woes are from beyond the arch where for the season they are shooting just 25.7 percent. And in their recent two losses, they hit just 6 of 20 from three-point land.
“I tell them (teammates) that they have to keep shooting them,” Bryant said. “They are much better shooters than the statistics are showing right now. We just have to keep shooting them.”
Indiana (10-4) has six of their last eight games including Friday’s 94-91 win over Golden State. They, on the other hand, have been shooting really well from three-point land hitting 38.2 percent.
Both the Lakers and Pacers are in the top 5 in the NBA defensively in points allowed. Indiana is giving up 89.3 and Los Angeles is giving up 90.1.
But the Lakers are going to need to find a way to give Bryant some help offensively. Two of their better shooters in Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace have been struggling, especially from beyond the arch. Fisher is hitting just 24.1 percent and World Peace is hitting just 12.1 percent of his three-point attempts.
NBA Basketball Betting Lines have tagged Los Angeles as 5 1/2-point favorites on Sunday night against Indiana. The OVER/UNDER in points is set at 180.