0 for 2

 —  December 21, 2004

Big six-game home stand and the Lakers are now 0-2. And a painful 0-2 because both games were teams the Lakers need to beat. As I am really swamped at work today (maybe it slows down in your office for Christmas, but not around here), today’s post is a collection of notes and observations. Please feel free to add your own, I’m running out of synonyms for disgusted.

• In the November game against the Lakers, the Grizzlies were allowed open looks at threes and shot 44% from long range — last night it was 43%. In November the Griz had 17 offensive rebounds, last night it was 18.

What did George Santayana say about history?

• Rudy T. said recently he is comfortable with the Lakers current incarnation as a three-point shooting team (they are third in the league in attempts and makes), but he wants the threes to come off dish-outs on penetration. The problem with that was shown last night, rather than a motion offense you have one guy — usually Kobe — driving into the teeth of the defense and everyone else standing around at the three point line hoping to get a shot.

When you face a team, such as Memphis, with two big guys down low to shut off that penetration, this system falls apart. Fortunately, the Lakers don’t face any teams in the near future who have that kind of post presence. Oh, wait…..

• Before I rip too much, there are nights a team is just cold shooting, and last night was one for the Lakers. Their eFG% was 35.4%, and for Kobe Bryant it was 12.5%. Not that Memphis was shooting lights out, its eFG% was an unimpressive 42.3%. But, thanks to the offensive rebounds, they had 12 more shots than the Lakers.

• When teams are cold shooting its nice to have that fall-back option — particularly one in the paint — where you can throw the ball and know something good will happen. The problem for the Lakers is their fall-back option is the one they use virtually every time down the floor — Kobe driving off the dribble.

• The Lakers need to find another way to get into the offense and do it more quickly. Right now they walk the ball up, then the other team tries to deny Kobe the ball. When he finally gets it there are 8 to 10 seconds left to run the offense, leading to awkward shots.

• Why was Chris Mihm sitting in the fourth quarter? He was playing good defense (six blocks), scoring points and wasn’t in foul trouble. There are times that I really am starting to question Rudy T.’s rotation.

• Actually, there are times I’m really starting to question Rudy T. on a lot of things.

• I was going to do an entire post about who should go on the IR when Brian Grant came off for the New Orleans game. Vlade took care of that for me. But in a couple of weeks we can ask the same question about Deavon George.

• The off-season shakeup of the Lakers has hurt more than just the win-loss record, it’s hurt Dr. Buss where it counts: Last season the Lakers sold out their first 18 games at home, so far this season they have sold out just 5 of their first 13.