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Gamethread: Los Angeles Lakers

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been on a little bit of a slide recently, losing to the Utah Jazz then the suddenly solid Indiana Pacers. The culprit, surprisingly, has been their offense, which has averaged under 100 points in the losses. That might not sound like a problem, but for the Lake Show it's almost unheard of.

You could probably argue that the primary culprit is former Grizz star Pau Gasol, who's scored just 12, 21, and 13 points in his last three games. Pau has a reason to be tired -- he's a big averaging over 39 minutes per game -- but going 5-15 with 5 turnovers against Roy Hibbert and Josh McRoberts is nearly unforgivable.

Tonight might be the night to turn it around, since Pau brings it against the Memphis Grizzlies. I don't know if he still resents the franchise (he shouldn't, since we gift-wrapped him two rings) or just wants to beat up on little brother Marc, but normally Pau upstages even Kobe Bryant in Memphis.

Speaking of under performing, Marc Gasol has been far from impressive this year, and will need to bring his A-game to stop his far more agile and skilled brother. If the Grizz want to have a chance, they'll need he and Zach Randolph to hit the boards just like they did against the Heat.

The last word, though, will probably end up coming down to Rudy Gay, as it has much of the season. If Rudy can smoke Ron Artest, the Grizz stand a good chance. If he's shut down then there's no longer a guarantee that O.J. Mayo can bail him out from the bench.