Kobe Bryant looks to capture 30,000 career points tonight. He would become the youngest player (34 years old) to reach this milestone. Wilt Chamberlain was 35 when he scored 30K.
Bryant will be without both Steve Nash (left leg) and Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees). However, the Lakers cast stills boasts Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace.
Howard has been averaging a double-double this season, but has been dismal from the line. In the last five games he shot 42% at the stripe. A “Hack-a-Howard” strategy is being successfully employed by the Lakers’ opponents. If the game gets close, the Hornets will chop Howard every time.
Metta World Peace averages double-digit scoring, and is a league leader in steals (20th). He recently recorded 1,000 3-point field goals for his career.
Under new coach Mike D’Antoni the Lakers have adopted a faster offense that focuses on transition points and quick ball movement, capitalizing on opponents with slow reaction times, and trying to spread the floor. D’Antoni’s offense relies on his players to constantly move the ball until a scoring opportunity presents itself, then strike quickly. The Hornets must react quickly to close passing lanes, forcing the Lakers into isolation offense, then trap the ball-handler. Easier said than done when the ball-handler is Kobe.