Here’s a few quick thoughts before the tryptophan wipes my mind blank for 48 hours:
* Trivia question: What former Laker guard has the most blocked shots in his career? Answer at the end of this entry.
* I didn’t get to see last night’s win, so I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts about the game.
What jumped out at me off the stat page was holding Michael Redd to six points, 18 below his average, an amazing defensive feat, by both Kobe and the Lakers as a team.
* Everyone, it seemed, expected yesterdays move Sasha put on the injured list to make room for Jumaine Jones return. But the move to put Brian Grant on the list to make room for Vlade was more of a surprise. That said, I think it’s a smart move.
Grant really hasn’t found his place yet — I pictured him in the role many people see Karl Malone filling, a veteran guy inside who could grab rebounds and play good defense, letting the young guns do their thing. Problem is Grant is a natural power forward who has has been asked to play center until Vlade returned, and he has been below average in that role (a PER of 12.6, when the average is 15, while opponents PER against him is 19.5). Grant admitted his knees are bothering him. Maybe, with time off, he can come back and play up front with Vlade and fill in the role we envisioned for him.
* Unfortunately, Grant being out keeps Lamar Odom at the four. He’d be better off at the three, with Butler coming off the bench.
* What NBA player is the most valuable to his team so far this season? Kobe, according to the statistics.
Over at 82 Games they have what is called the Roland Rating, a system that shows how important specific players are to their teams, based on how that team performs with said player on and off the court.
The early 2004-2005 season stats are out and Kobe is on top of the list. Not really a surprise, but the stats back up the perception.
* Trivia question answer: Ron Harper, who played his last two NBA seasons with the Lakers, has 729 for his career. If you were thinking who has the most as a Laker, that’s Michael Cooper with 523. (Thanks to Hoops Analyst for doing some research.)
* Thanksgiving means I get to spend my day like my five-month-old daughter spends all of hers: Eat, pass out, repeat. I can’t wait.
Enjoy the holiday and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!