Fast Break

Kurt —  January 13, 2006

It’s not often the over-hyped games turn out to be entertaining, but the Laker/Cavs game lived up to that. A few thoughts from the game, and other stuff.

• Sure it’s the one-on-one match up fans wanted to see, but why did Cleveland switch and put LeBron James on Kobe for those last three shots? LeBron is not a great defender, especially if you can get him moving laterally. That’s what Kobe did on the first two of those three consecutive end-of-the-game shots he hit — those first two Kobe got separation and clean looks at the basket.

The last one was just Kobe being Kobe — James and Ilgauskas were both in good defensive position.

• Actually, the reason LeBron probably ended up on Kobe is because he asked to be. You have to like that he wants the challenge. Cavs GM Danny Ferry needs to add a defensive stopper to his shopping list (not that those are easy to come by).

• That’s the Lamar Odom I want to see every night.

• Quick props out to Luke Walton as well, he led the team by a large margin as a +12. The reason — the team ran the offense when he was in the game (plus he was aggressive with his own shot when the opportunity presented itself).

• How does Gooden come all the way across the lane and get that rebound giving Cleveland a chance to win? Put a body on your man.

• This has happened several times but I’ll go with this example: When Kobe re-entered the game with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Lakers stopped running the triangle. I lay this more at the feet of the other players than Kobe, when he came back in they just seemed to want to throw him the ball and watch. The Lakers need to get Kobe his shots within the offense, when that happens everyone else gets better looks.

• I think Detroit is pretty good.

• In case you missed it, Ronny Turiaf is expected to sign with the Lakers at some point over the weekend. This is great to seen not only because it’s a good story but also because he’ll bring that energy inside the Lakers sometimes lack, especially off the bench.