December 21, 2009 in Sports

Lakers hit the road

Tom Enlund Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 

Seven weeks into the National Basketball Association season, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally rediscovering the trials and tribulations of life on the road.

The Lakers played 17 of their first 21 games at home, but they now are in a stretch in which they will play 18 of 27 games on the road. The Lakers opened their first extended trip Dec. 12 in Utah, traveled on to Chicago, Milwaukee and New Jersey, and concluded it Sunday night in Detroit with a 93-81 victory.

And while there are quirks to any team’s schedule, the Lakers’ is out of whack even by NBA standards.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said during the team’s brief stop in Milwaukee last week. “You just have to go through it. It’s going to be a tough January and February, but you just go through whatever it’s all about.”

Last weekend, when they played Minnesota and Utah on consecutive nights, it opened a stretch in which they will play 22 of 32 games as part of back-to-back sets with a majority of those games on the road.

Shock and awe

Bombs away.

That was pretty much the New York Knicks’ attitude as they set a franchise record by hoisting up 47 three-point shots in a loss to Chicago.

New York fell two attempts short of the league record by Dallas in 1996. The Knicks, who took 39 shots from inside the arc, set a league record for a first half by taking 29 threes.

“They were hitting so many at first, I think they got a little happy,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni.

A chip advantage

Atlanta coach Mike Woodson says he has “no choice” but to be comfortable with his contract status.

Woodson is in the second year of a two-year deal and, despite the Hawks advancing to the second round of the playoffs last season and being off to one of their best starts in franchise history this season, contract talks appear to be on hold until the end of the season.

Woodson, who has said that if he does his job everything else will fall in place, was asked by reporters if that meant he was betting on himself.

“I’ve always put the chips on me,” said Woodson.

Pearls of wisdom

Utah is 3-1 while playing on national television this season, a fact Jazz coach Jerry Sloan alluded to before last week’s game against lowly Minnesota.

“You find out who you are in games like this,” said Sloan. “(It seems) we just want to play on television and probably want to play well against the (top) teams. If you’re going to be good, you play against everybody.”

The Jazz lost to Minnesota.


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