Another busy day at work, so here are some quick thoughts.
â€¢ Why, if Kobe has a good first quarter, does the rest of this team seem to go in a funk? Weâ€™ve talked about Kobe needing to get other players involved early, but there will be nights when heâ€™s hot early and the rest of the team needs to step up later and they never seem to.
â€¢ Sasha was a +12 against the Sixers and Luke was +11, and while some of that came in garbage time some did come against the Philly starters near the start of the fourth quarter. The zone defense they went to helped.
â€¢ Lately Iâ€™ve needed to keep reminding myself that the moves last summer â€” keeping Kobe and trading Shaq â€” were moves that looked ahead three years and were not going to help the Lakers this year.
â€¢ I also kept telling myself that I was hoping for 3-3 on this road trip, and so far they are 2-2. The bad news is the last three games have been defensive disasters, the Lakers were just lucky to win one of them.
â€¢ I fear that Thursday night in Miami could be another blowout. Check out this note from ESPN.comâ€™s Mark Stein: Miami hasn’t lost a game in regulation since Feb. 1. The Heat’s only two losses in the past 17 games came in overtime â€” and both without Shaq.
â€¢ The guy with the front-line job of stopping Shaq â€” Chris Mihm â€” has a sore back that has limited his play lately.
â€¢One other thing about Shaq is you can always count on him for a clever quote (and you wonder why the media likes him better than Kobe). This one is pretty funny.
â€¢ The Lakers have used 243 different lineups this season, according to the Dallas Maverickâ€™s stats people. That puts the Lakers toward the bottom half of the league â€” Charlotte has used the most at 597 and Seattle has used the least at 170.
â€¢ Apropos of nothing else, the book Iâ€™m reading right now, 1968 by Mark Kurlansky.