The Los Angeles Lakers return from a three game road trip in which they won one game and lost two, putting them at 3-4 to begin the 2013-14 NBA season. The bright spot of this road trip is Steve Blake‘s return to heroism in a buzzer beating, game winning shot over the hated Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets to lead the Lakers to a 99-98 victory Thursday night at Toyota Center. Sunday night at Staples Center, the Lakers will look to get a home win and get their season back on the right track by beating Kevin Love and the vastly improving Minnesota Timberwolves, but this will be no easy feat.
Second half woes continue to be a concern, as this aging Lakers team is blowing lead after lead during the second half, including almost blowing a 14 point lead over the Rockets in their one win on this previous road trip. They are not going to be able to play catch up with a young and energetic Timberwolves squad. Since the addition of the electric scorer Kevin Martin to relieve some pressure off of Love and Ricky Rubio, the Timberwolves have found themselves sitting a pretty 4-and-2 to begin the year with some impressive early season wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks (a team the Lakers just lost to). It will be no easy feat for the Lakers’ slow footed front court to cover Love on the perimeter and inside the paint while contending with the Pek-tacular Nikola Pekovic inside as well. This being said, the Lakers do have the ability to pull out a win tonight if they can cool down Martin and the Lakers bigs can keep up with the T’Wolves in the paint.
Tonight’s win or loss all comes down to whether or not the Lakers can keep up in the second half, or if the arthritis begins to set in.
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