The (11-45) Los Angeles Lakers embark on a three-game road trip and have taken a three-hour forty six minute flight northeast (63 degrees from North) 1,746 miles to Chicago, IL to battle the (28-26) Bulls at the United Center. Tonight’s run will be Kobe Bryant’s last game in the city of Chicago. In their previous game, the Lakers were competitive kept it close, but ultimately came up short against San Antonio losing 119-113. There were two positives for the purple and gold; six Lakers scored in double digits (Kobe 25, Lou Williams 21, Jordan Clarkson 20, Julius Randle 11, Brandon Bass and Nick Young contributed 10 points each) and L.A. outscored San Antonio 64-59 in the second half.
Although the usual suspects that have plagued the Lakers all season remain constant, allowing 44 points in the paint, outshot (Spurs 54.5–percent 48-88, Lakers 49.4-percent 40-81), outrebounded (Spurs 39, Lakers 36), San Antonio had a higher assist total (Spurs 30, Lakers 20) also L.A. committed 16 turnovers resulting in 17 points and the purple and gold defense remains nonexistent. While in the second city the Lakers could visit Millennium Park, Navy Pier, 360 Chicago, Art institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Skydeck Chicago and the Field Museum. While in Chi-Town the Lakers could have an original Chicago-style Hot Dog at Portillo’s, head over to Garrett Popcorn Shops, have a Ms. Hering’s Chicken pot-pie at The Walnut Room inside Macy’s (the first restaurant to ever open inside of a department store), sink their teeth into a dense, chewy Bertha’s Famous Brownie from Palmer House (birth place of the original brownie in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair), order a Numero Uno deep-dish pizza from Uno Pizzeria & Grill (a Chicago mainstay since 1943), also creating a great pizza Geno’s East (Chicago’s original Deep Dish Pizza), Lou Malnati’s, order the famous Italian Beef Sandwich at Al’s Italian Beef, barbeque from Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern (Which Dates back to 1932) or Lem’s Bar-B-Q (a south-side Chicago staple since 1954).
The Chicago Bulls rank 17th in the NBA in scoring (averaging 101.4 points per game), first in rebounding (averaging 48 rebounds per game), 14th in assists (averaging 21.9 per game) and 18th in defense (allowing 102.1 points). The Bulls, led by Pau Gasol’s 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists built a 28-point lead and beat the Lakers 114-91 on 1/28/16. The Lakers lost the season series 0-2 in 2014-15. This is the 148th meeting between the Lakers and the Bulls, the Lakers lead the all-time series 86-61. The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 games at the United Center and have dropped four straight.
The purple and gold hoping to snap a four game losing skid. Chicago is 17-10 at the United Center this season. In order for the Lakers to have success it is a must that the Lakers do a solid job of moving, passing and cutting. Los Angeles must trust their offense, keep the ball and the defense moving, improving their spacing on the floor, constantly screening their opponents and playing faster and more decisive. The purple and gold must improve on their minuscule effort defensively, develop an indispensable sense or urgency. It is vital that the Lakers get back in transition, crucial that the Lakers stop the dribble penetration of Derrick Rose, communicate on defense, surround Pau Gasol and make him play in a crowd, do a solid job defending the pick-and-roll play, challenge every shot, quickly rotate out to open shooters, box their men out and rebound.
Lakers: L. Williams, J. Clarkson, K. Bryant, J. Randle, R. Hibbert
Bulls: D. Rose, E. Moore, M. Dunlevy, T. Gibson, P. Gasol
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
• Los Angeles: ESPN, TWC Sportsnet (Bill MacDonald & Stu Lantz)
• Chicago: ESPN, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago (Neil Funk & Stacy King)
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
• Chicago: ESPN 1000 AM WMVP (Chuck Swirsky & Bill Wennington)
• Kobe Bryant (Soar Right Shoulder and Dislocated Finger) Probable
• Anthony Brown (Sprained Right Ankle) Questionable
• Jimmy Butler (Knee) Out
• Nikola Mirotic (Stomach Hematoma Surgery) Out