Friend of the site Nate Jones â€” better known as Jones on the NBA, he of his own blog and Fanhouse â€” sat behind the Lakers bench last night. He posted some observations in the comments that I thought deserved their own space.
I sat right behind the Lakers bench last night. First of all, Ronny Turiaf is the man. Heâ€™s pretty much the only player that will respond to fans and idiots in the crowd during the game. The guy is just hilarious. Iâ€™ll be glad when he gets back so Brian Cook can take his rightful place at the end of the bench.
Speaking of Cook. He is terrible. A power forward who is a poor rebounder, shot blocker, and defender. Total opposite of Ronny. Plus he shoots like he has a Kobe Bryant green light. I also feel like he doesnâ€™t know the offense that well. Or at least it looked that way to me last night.
Rip v. Kobe was fun to watch. If the Lakers can get scoring from others, then Kobe can do more of what he did to Rip last night. Watching those two, I can tell that it has to be very annoying to guard that guy. He runs off of a ton of picks, and pushes, grabs, and slaps his way to open positioning. Kobe pointed out what he was doing to the refs and the refs started calling Rip for offensive fouls. Rip hates getting shown up by Kobe because they were rivals in the PA area during high school.
Jordan Farmar is the difference maker on this team. When he is in the game he totally changes the way the Lakers play. Heâ€™s aggressive on defense and then pushes the ball at every opportunity. He gets everyone on the team pumped up with his exciting play. Also, in only his second year, heâ€™s already directing everyone else on what to do. When Bynum was slow getting back off of a rotation making it so Farmar was guarding one of the Pistons bigs in the post, Farmar got in Bynums ass about it. Bynum got a little offended until Lamar basically came over and told him to shut up. On every free throw situation, Jordan comes over and talks to Phil. You can tell that Phil and the coaching staff are just in love with him.
Lamar Odom is also sensational. Heâ€™s a totally different player now that he doesnâ€™t have to match up with guys like Tim Duncan and Rasheed Wallace everynight. Iâ€™ve written this before, but Odom is at his best when the Lakers are running and he can get out on the break and do his thing. He had 5 or 6 opportunities like that last night. They gotta find a way to have Farmar, Mo Evans, and Lamar on the floor together, because those guys love to get the rebound and push the ball. Very fun basketball to watch.