Game Preview and Chat: The Cleveland Cavaliers

Kurt —  December 20, 2007

Records: Lakers 15-9; Cavaliers 11-15
Offensive ratings: Lakers 111.3 (7th); Cavaliers 104.7 (20th)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 106.0 (12th); Cavaliers 110.4 (26th)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Cavaliers: Daniel Gibson, Aleksandar Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Lakers Notes: I’m not going to say anything, I don’t want to jinx how they are playing.

The Cavaliers Coming In: I don’t think you can overestimate how good LeBron James playing — he is shooting an impressive 51.6% while using a league-high 32.5% of his team’s possessions. His PER of 30.5 is not only higher than anyone else in the league, it’s better than anyone had last season. Or the season before that. Those are approaching Jordan at his peak numbers — in 90-91 MJ shot 54.7% using 33% of his team’s possessions and with a PER of 31.6. And LeBron does not have a Pippen or the rest of the supporting cast to draw attention and defenders away from him.

What is LeBron doing differently this season? Well, he’s getting inside for close shots more often (34% of his shots were in close last year, this year it is up to 39% according to 82 Games) and he has also developed a better and more consistent jump shot according to a breakdown done recently by The Painted Area.

That’s the good news in Cleveland. There are two key areas of bad news that lead to the Cavs being much worse than last year:

First, the Cavs have only one other player right now with an above-average PER — Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and that’s in part due to the fact he’s such a good rebounder. Outside of LeBron, nobody is contributing much on offense. Daniel Gibson can shoot — he has hit 50% of this threes this past year — but anyone who watched the playoffs last year knows not to leave him an open look.

The bigger problem is the defense — last year the Cavs had the fourth best defense in the NBA, and that got them to the finals. This year they are 25th. Teams are shooting at a higher percentage, those teams are also getting fouled more often meaning more uncontested free throws, and last year the Cavs created a lot of turnovers, this year not so much.

That defense is the key reason the Cavs are spiraling downhill — in the last 10 games the Cavs are 2-8 and got crush by 18 by the Knicks last night.

Keys To The Game: I think there are two schools of thought when dealing with a team like the Cavs where one guy generates so much of the offense: 1) put the clamps on him and make someone else beat you; 2) let him get 50 or whatever but make sure nobody else does well. Personally, I’m partial to system number two, I remember that as the most successful strategy against Jordan until his teammates became good enough to beat you too, and from the experience of the last few years we know that the Lakers playing team ball is more dangerous than Kobe going off for 50.

I hope to see the Lakers play their basic defense — give Odom and Walton and Ariza the impossible job of guarding LeBron, help them with doubles, rotate in the paint and don’t give up dunks. But, don’t let LeBron start getting Ilgauskas or Gibson or anyone else hot. Try to make sure LeBron isn’t efficient, but make sure nobody else gets even warm. (That said, the Lakers could go with option one, we shall see).

For the Lakers, I think the bench is the key — the Cavs suffered an embarrassing loss to the Knicks last night, and this is a thin team when they are not tired. The Knicks pulled away in the second quarter with their bench, and the Lakers bench is much, much deeper.

Also, the Lakers should score plenty, the Cavs have been a terrible defensive team this season, and particularly of late. This all comes down to executing on defense for the Lakers — and ultimately that means defending James on the pick-and-roll, that’s where he does most of his late game damage. Easier said than done because James can pass, but Drew and the bigs need to step out and take away those lanes. If he gets a head of steam toward the basket, forget about it.

Tonight’s Game: Where The Lakers Bench Happens: Cleveland is capable of putting together a very good game — remember they beat the Celtics this year. And LeBron should be pumped for a nationally televised game. And the Cavs should want to redeem themselves for a very poor showing last night.

All that said, if the Lakers as a whole and the bench in particular play like they have of late, the Lakers are 2-0 on this trip heading to Philly.

Where you can watch: Game time is 5p.m. (Pacific). In Los Angeles tune into KCAL (9) or you can join the rest of the nation watching the TNT broadcast.

Kurt

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58 responses to Game Preview and Chat: The Cleveland Cavaliers

  1. New drinking game…

    Drink every time they compare Kobe and Lebron to Magic vs. Bird.

    The hype is nothing but annoying. I can’t even tell you how much I hate the mainstream sports media right now.

  2. I think you try to make it difficult for Lebron by double teaming him, particularly if he is posting up and trying to make him take jump shots. But you still just play your normal defense. The exception I think comes if he is having a night where he is looking like he is going to put up 81 pts like Kobe did. Then you have to stop him.

    I am looking for the Bynum on Ilgauskas. Should be an interesting match up.

  3. Kurt, first I want to thank you for all the hard work you put into maintaining this blog, where would we all be if not for the FB&G? When I was a kid, a tradition was at the end of the year, it’s always nice to thank the people who do things for you, like the mailman, (used to be the milkman)etc, so…thanks to you, too! hope you and yours enjoy a great holiday!

    now, to tonight’s game, I agree that last night’s Knicks defeat over the Cavs will affect us, but actually in 2 ways-
    1) the Cavs just got trounced by the leagues worst team, so look for them to redeem themselves, in a big way, so they’re gonna bring it tonight, lots of hustle!
    2) the Knicks victory and their abissmal season mean that they are looking at this next 2 weeks as a make or break part of their season, and what better way to do that then get a couple quality W’s, from the likes of the Cav’s and the Lakers? (so watch out when we get to NY!)

    tonight would be a great opportunity to see Trevor get some minutes against leBron, give him a real challenge, and a real chance to showcase his skills against a top tier offensive guy. I’d really like to see Trevor get some minutes against LeBron and start to establish his definsive prowess.

    Andrew will have another chance to showcase too, he should be able to beat Zydrunas up and down the floor, which shoud give him some nice looks at the hoop.

    like you said, our bench has to be the difference maker tonight, wouldn’t it be great to see them build on the lead so the starters sit for most of the second half, saving their legs for a road back to back.

    (ok, so where’s the intentional mistake? been looking for it…you got the TV times and channels right…hmmm)

  4. I just added this to the preview, thought I’d toss it in here as well:

    This all comes down to executing on defense for the Lakers — and ultimately that means defending James on the pick-and-roll, that’s where he does most of his late game damage. Easier said than done because James can pass, but Drew and the bigs need to step out and take away those lanes. If he gets a head of steam toward the basket, forget about it.

  5. I think Kurt is right, Let Lebron get his, but stop any assists. As we should know from Kobe Trying extra hard to stop him often just results in foul troubles for some of our key players – deserved or because the refs are watching Lebron/Kobe so closely.

    We should guard him straight up and make sure to clog the passing lanes. Let Lamar battle him on the boards.

  6. Mike in the Mountain West December 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Does anyone think Kobe is cocky and driven enough to request a chance at defending Lebron?

    I imagine he fantasize about it but what’s great about Kobe is that, generally, his drive doesn’t overpower his smarts.

  7. I don’t think it would be cocky… Kobe is one of the best one on one defenders in the league. If he wants to expend energy to stop Lebron, let him lead his team by example. Kobe often asks to defend the opposing teams best players, I don’t see why it would be that unusual.

  8. Kobe regularly guards LeBron when the teams match up. He revels in those types of challenges. That said, he’s still nursing a groin injury, so I wouldn’t expect to see Kobe on him too much.

  9. I still say let Trevor have a shot tonight, great opportunity to focus on becoming a defensive stopper.
    let Kobe start on LeBron, then bring in Trevor so we have a relentless duo on him all night.
    and there’s no reason Kobe and Trevor can’t be on the floor at the same time, bring Trevor in for Luke, let Kobe switch on to another guy and put Trevor on LeBron.

  10. Every game I try and find a reason why the Lakers would get beat. kind of a “what to watch out for”, so to speak. I don’t know if the coaching staff does it, but I would think so because this team is young, the season is long and I’d guess it would be quite easy to fall into a “going through the motions” period and bam, you’re down by 20.

    Anyway, I have to think that the Cavs will be super pumped after getting whooped by the Knicks last night. Couple that with this being on national TV and I think you have the perfect recipe for a team coming out with high energy and a sense of desperation.

    My keys to the game:

    1) Match/exceed the Cavs energy. Explained above.

    2) Let Lebron get his since he’ll be the one coming out with the most energy and shut down the rest of the team. We’re all very familiar with the whole “Star player going for 50 but losing/squeaking out a win” thing so I think that’s the way to go tonight.

    2-0 baby!!!!

  11. Mike in the Mountain West December 20, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    The reason I was calling it cocky for Kobe to guard Lebron is because of his groin injury and because Lebron has 2 inches and 20 lbs on him. Kobe is the one of the best defenders in the league but there is only so much you can do to overcome size and injury.

  12. http://dwil.wordpress.com/2007/12/20/lebron-james-and-the-bump/

    I find this post and the comments quite interesting. I fully agree with the view that if Kobe was bumping PJ like Lebron bumped Mike Brown, this issue would be much bigger.

    Basic summary: Lebron sees Mike Brown, fake-looks away, and then walks into him on purpose. Wouldn’t you think if any other NBA player, say the Smusher, did that, they’d be in serious trouble with their organization?

  13. 12. I agree any other player not of the Super super star caliber (Duncan, Kobe, Wade, James) would have some problems if they did that. But if the coach gets fired because James is unhappy with him and where he is taking the team it wouldn’t be the first time a super star got a coach fired. Magic got westhead fired, and Magic was just in his second season.

  14. 7. The reason I didn’t mention Kobe on LeBron was the injury — if Kobe is anything less than 100% LeBron will abuse him. I’d give him a shot, you know Kobe will want the challenge, but you have to be willing to yank him off LeBron if it isn’t working. And, I would be careful because whoever gets LeBron could get if fast foul trouble.

    13. This is a players league, and if a star player wants a new coach it almost always happens. Phil Jackson is maybe the only exception in the league to that. And that’s because Phil sells tickets, because Phil makes the money to command that respect. He’s also got the rings. (I suppose Popovich may be in that category as well.) Mike James has none of those things.

  15. The game isn’t going to be on tape delay for KCAL because it is on at 5 is it?

  16. 12) Is there a YouTube of the “bump” anywhere?

    Just curious to see it for myself.

  17. Mike in the Mountain West December 20, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    If you follow the link to the story there is a video of the incident at the top.

    It’s pretty clear James was sending a message and his sitting out two weeks with an injury to his non-shooting hand looks a little different in this new light. This also illustrates the difference between LeBron and Kobe, a difference in attitude and style.

    Kobe is a smart guy but LeBron is shrewd.

    Kobe wants to win championships but LeBron wants to be a “global icon”.

    I get the impression LeBron is less interested in winning and becoming an historic figure in basketball than he is in becoming a “global icon” and basketball is the path. He knows he has to win some championships to get to the next level and realizes his current team just won’t cut it. He also saw what happened to Kobe’s reputation after this summer’s rants so he’s taking action that speaks louder to his team, organization, and coach than it does to the media or the public at large.

    I wonder if LeBron’s ever read Machiavelli’s “The Prince”?

  18. I don’t want Kobe on LeBron for many reasons:
    1. Kobe is not 100%, and guarding a player like LeBron is taxing and can aggravate injuries, especially considering Kobe’s competitiveness and willingness to play hurt.

    2. LeBron will be extra motivated when seeing Kobe guard him. If Kobe wasn’t hurt, that would not be a bad thing as LeBron might try to go for his 50 and fail(playing right into strategy #2), but since Kobe is hurt, LeBron will get his 50, wear Kobe out, and put Kobe into ‘I’m-better-let-me-show-you-in-the-next-few-games’ mode.

    3. Playing Kobe against LeBron, even a hurt one, goes against strategy #2. If you can only hope to slow him regardless of who you play, you want your better defenders take out other guys from the game. Let our bench guard LeBron and take advantage of his FT%(70%ish)

    Regarding the bump, only PJ, Sloan, Poppovich, and Riley would have a fighting chance against LeBron, and the odds aren’t that great for them either. PJ might have the best chance as PJ may be shrewd enough to flop, and pretend his hip injury was just aggravated.

  19. Laker’s record against the Western Conference is 11-5. That is tops among all Western Conference teams (I didn’t bother figuring out the eastern conference records against the WC)

    Thats a pretty solid fact going for the Lakers. Especially considering it has been against primarily the top half of the conference.

    I really think with the experience the gain this year, Lakers are going to be a very very strong team next year.

    I still think the Lakers are going to have some growing pains this year and won’t fully breakout, but next year I think we have a great shot of multiple playoff series victories.

  20. I agree that next year is our year… the point for this year is to gel well enough to be prepared mentally for the playoffs, gain some grit and experience and “grow” further. Quite frankly, there is no other team out there who can do both rebuild and contend at the same time.

    And we are the second youngest in the league…

  21. Kobe vs LeBron will always be a matchup media will showcase and hype even more. Its the best matchup since Magic and Larry indeed. LeBron is a freak. If he could pair up with Dwight Howard in the near future, its game over for the next decade. That’s what he should look to do.

  22. My dad has been scanning a bunch of his old slides and found a bunch of photos he took from the 1973 season when he had tickets under the basket at the old forum. In particular, he’s got shots v. the Bucks. A couple good pics of Wilt v. Kareem, one of which where Wilt has a severe wedgy in the old short shorts. Also pics of Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and several others. I’ve temporarily uploaded them here if anybody wants to see them:

    http://www.jdhastings.com/1973lakers.html

  23. That’s very unlike Kobe, missing all those FTs.

  24. Last season, a lethargic effort like tonight’s first half by the Lakers would have resulted in a huge halftime deficit. They really have improved that much from season to season.

  25. The Guy Formerly Known As Lamar Odom December 20, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Looks like the Lakers have gotten the fast break down. It took them a little bit of time to adjust (all those turnovers at the beginning of the season), but they have been playing really well as of late. Those easy baskets have really helped them. They are a very versatile team. Now all they need to improve on is their defense, and sometimes they have to calm down chucking all those 3’s, but they’ve been getting better with that lately.
    Some analysts are saying Kobe is “coasting”. I dont think he is. But I will say this: he is saving his energy by shooting less and playing less minutes. This will benefit him and the team come playoff time. Look out, cuz Kobe will turn it on this postseason, and it will be great.

  26. Oh well. we knew that shot coming, so did everyone else, and it came up short.

  27. The foul on Fisher is horse-dooty. I’m very upset.

    But Kobe’s rebound was the sickest offensive rebound I’ve ever seen on a free throw.

  28. This is where it gets ugly. Fish had 2 HANDS on that ball! How can that be a loose ball foul on him?!

    LeBron’s the good guy, Kobe’s the bad guy…

    Let’s drink to that.

  29. Well Boobie makes 2. That’s probably the most undeserved FTs in all his life. Fish should have been shooting those.

  30. I take back what I said about the Milwaukee game… I’m fine we lost that one…

    THIS ONE WE SHOULD’VE WON!

    Oh well… Lets beat em 76ers up!

  31. that last call was one of the worst ive seen in a while…how the hell is there a foul when someone grabs a ball with TWO HANDS!!!!

  32. Kobe clutchness?

    Kareem shoukd get to Bynum and explain that its easier to make fts without your hands around your throat.

  33. The Guy Formerly Known As Lamar Odom December 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I don’t know what’s sadder, being Kobe and missing that 3 at the end, or being Lebron and knowing a guy named Boobie is more clutch than you.

    2nd chance points!!!!! That killed us tonight.

    And please, PLEASE, tell me PJ didn’t draw that play where Odom goes for 3 out of the time out. That was just……….unwise.

  34. man, that loss hurt, too…

    this shows what our second unit needs on the court as well, execution and discipline (instead of resorting to 3 pointers) not to mention some defense.

    cavs’ answer to the second unit was playing a tight defense which paid off well with that run in the beginning of the fourth quarter.

  35. great call ref! did they reinstate donaghy?

  36. Am i acting as a fan here or am I seeing eye to eye with everyone else in the world… why does it always seem like the teams get bailed out at the expense of the Lakers? It always seems like if a wrong call is made during a game, it goes against the Lakers. If this is just what i choose to see, being the Lakers getting bad calls against them, how many other bad calls are there in the NBA that I look over?

  37. Slightly Less Tipsy December 20, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Lakers played pretty lousy tonight. Some bad calls/non-calls – especially how the Cav’s bigs were allowed to manhandle Bynum down low – but nothing the Lakers should not have been able to overcome.

    I’m not sure what it is about these Kobe/LeBron matchups that always seem odd to me. The whole tone of the game is just kind of forced.

    Has Lakers v. Cavs ever NOT been nationally televised?

    The Lakers better get it up vs. Philly. Anything less than a road split is very disappointing heading into the X-mas day game.

  38. Kobe was clutch just getting the rebound after the Bynum miss. He can’t hit every darn 3 pointer when the team is 2 points down.

    Bynum was good enough getting that offensive rebound that set him up for the free throws. Too bad he bricked, but I don’t think Kwame would’ve gotten that board.

    Lamar was terribly efficient, and had a double double.

    Fisher produced a line nearly indistinguishable from Kobe’s tonight.

    Our bench was gone tonight though. Nobody from the bench made anything close to a contribution. But that’s to be expected. Two nights of hot Sasha warrants a cold one (else he’d start!)…

    Oh well. Now we’re 1-1. So 4-0 is out now. 3-1 or 2-2, we’ll see.

  39. If you feel like Lakers games are scripted…

    Its because they are.

    Lakers basketball. Where truthiness happens.

  40. Yes, that last call was horrible, but the main reason the Lakers lost was the inability to keep Varejao from getting offensive rebounds. We got killed on second-chance points all night. The secondary reason for the loss was the poor play from the bench, but they can’t have a great game every time. The third reason for the loss was Kobe’s groin. He is obviously playing hurt, and gave a courageous effort. Back to that call at the end, I have never before seen a call like that. Two players coming from opposite directions for the ball, one guy grabs the ball with both hands an instant before the collision, and they call the foul on the guy who caught the ball with both hands. Ugh…that call was so bad that I wonder if that ref had some money on the game.

  41. i feel like the bench let us down tonight.

    the combo of farmar/sasha/vladman/ariza did bascially nothing in the second half. there go sahsa’s scoring streak, 0/4 tonight… vladman is still struggling and farmar had some bad turnover…

    at the last stretch of the game i felt the lakers should have gone for 2 instead of 3s… kobe missed, then fish missed, odom missed, then drew missed two freethrow, kobe rebound THEN missed again… and all along they were just down by two.

    cleveland didnt win, the lakers lost it. but this is a good reality check. people are too hype in the lakerland now, and this is a GOOD GOOD reality check. we under perform yet once again and should have this one in our bag.

  42. I think you can pin this loss on 3 key factors…
    1) Offensive rebounds
    2) The 2nd unit stunk it up tonite, offensively and defensively
    3) The coaching insisted on not helping to stop Cleveland’s long run. This is Phil’s philosophy and I sure hope it pays dividends this year, because it makes no sense to me to follow it blindly – regardless of who is on the court.

  43. I can understand letting a team play through an 8 even 10 point run… but a 16 point run in the fourth come on.

  44. It was unfortunate enough that the refs made that terrible call in the end, but they let them get into a 16 point run and didn’t make shots in the end. Plus, they let the Brazilian version of Corbin Bleu (Varejao in case you’re wondering) get all those offensive rebounds. It’s a tough loss, and I’m hoping they’ll step it up tomorrow against the 76ers (aren’t they a gas station?).

  45. During the stretch when Bynum was on the floor with bench guys? I think that was a time PJ was testing our guys. Especially Drew. Not only has Drew been getting legit starter minutes, but here we see him as the lone starter on the floor. That’s star treatment. It’s harder when the offense doesn’t go through him like it would a guard, but it’s still a sign he’s not all the way there. I was disappointed Farmar was a non-factor.

  46. the other Stephen December 20, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    DOWN WITH LEBRAWN. GO BACK HOME, VAREJAO.

  47. 44. I think he is more like Carlito Cool of WWE than Chad (Corbin Bleu) of HS Musical. LOLz though…

    Yeah, Varejao did this to us last year too. If you could remember, he did around 500 flops and the refs called every single one. LeBron flopped onto Lamar once in this game as well, and the refs bought it.

    Or dare I say sold it… hmmm…

    Is there not a review of that last rebound? Fish was too much of a gentleman to insist he had position. I mean, I amdire the guy but if there was a good time to earn an ejection, it would have been this one.

  48. I was flying back east for the holidays while this was on. I was so pissed I got stuck on some 1981 trashy plane without a tv at each seat….

    Moving along…

    To everyone with the PJ/4th-qrtr-run comments – I’m strangely OK with his let-them-play style. It forces players to fail, which is… to learn to succeed (or what it takes to..). I think that’s lost on a lot of players, but it brings out the best in others. I think that will pay huge dividends down the road for Farmar and Bynum. Not sure about the rest.

    Come to think of it – you know how when teams are down 5 with 3 seconds left the good coaches always call timeout and run a real play and the announcers kindly remind everyone it’s like practice for the playoffs? That’s exactly what PJ’s doing – and I like it. So it costs us maybe 8 points (and a loss) in December. So be it. It’s the closest you’ll get to the playoffs without it actually mattering.

  49. 47-Oh, that’s his name in the movie (Chad)? I only watched it because of Vanessa Hudgens =P

    But moving along, the let-them-play style is all part of Phil’s plan. It’s better to learn from the mistakes now than in the playoffs.

    I was watching Inside the NBA, and Charles made a positive remark on D-Fish knocking Daniel ‘Doobie’ Gibson down. It was a funny edition especially towards the end. Sorry for being a bit off topic, but it helped lighten up the mood after that bitter loss.

  50. The Lakers would have won easily if the bench players didn’t collectively have their worst game of the season. I am not that disappointed at that loss, but I was kinda surprised that Kobe didn’t take over down the stretch (maybe he is saving himself for the playoffs) and I certainly expected more from Lamar in the second half. And yeah, that call on Fish was terrible.

  51. That call on Fish would have tied the game and the Cavs would’ve had the presure to score to win. Remember Fish is stroking it from the FT line this year at 90%+ clip.

    In overtime was where Kobe would have took over… and we would’ve won.

    Of course its irrelevant now, and its useless to dwell on the past. Lets beat Philly and New York so we could have a merry xmas and lets not eat too much turkey so we could be prepared for Phoenix on Xmas Day.

  52. I think their were a few reasons why the Lakers lost this game. They didn’t box out Verajao all game long. There were way too many offensive rebounds for the Cavs. The Lakers were the best rebounding team coming into this game butI they were pretty bad tonight on the defensive glass.
    Kobe’s leg was really bothering him tonight in the fourth quarter. I don’t know if he re-aggravated it or if it was just really sore in the 4th quarter. I don’t remember him driving to the basket in 4th. Though that offensive rebound on Drew’s missed FTs was pretty impressive.

    I didn’t understand that call at the end either. Two guys coming from opposite directions going for a rebound collide. It should have been a no call. Bad call, but they happen through out the game, but that one just happened to be the game deciding call.

  53. The Guy Formerly Known As Lamar Odom December 21, 2007 at 9:40 am

    I think Kurt jinxed us: ” I’m not going to say anything, I don’t want to jinx how they are playing”

    I’m king of the jinx. Trust me, that’s an inadvertent jinx. When it comes to the rules of jinx it gets complicated. It’s best to leave jinx alone.

  54. poor sasha, reality hurts, but I felt like he was aiming and not stroking it tonight.
    one positive I noticed was early in the game Andrew complained about a call,(on our offensive side) but the teams were running back the other direction, and their center was racing ahead cause he knew he had nobody on him, Andrew could see this, and that he hurt the team, their guard saw the center busting his ass down the middle and hit him with a pass which resulted in a layup.
    later in the game I saw young ‘Drew hustling his butt up and down the floor, so I think he learned from this, and we all know that experience is the best teacher. (someone can tell you all day long, but when you experience it, the lesson sticks).
    it reminded me of the Kareem/Parish duels we used to see back in the 80’s.
    I also agree that we shouldn’t have gone for so many 3’s towards the end of the game, drive, and look for Andrew, and if need be, kick it out…but…
    live by the 3, die by the 3

  55. Why Kobe will not win the MVP:

    His 1st 5 minutes of the game on offense were deplorable. He takes 3 shots with 15+ seconds left on the shot clock from 20+ feet on the court with a hand in his face.

    He needs to involve his teammates in the offense as they are all capable of having a big game. I don’t think he looked for Bynum enough either.

    Also, what was Odom doing standing behind the 3 point line at the end of the game. Where was #10 and #18? Shouldn’t Phil have subbed in shooters?

    Also, sideshow Bob outplayed Bynum. Didn’t think I’d say that this morning.

  56. 55 – agree with everything you said. Like the last Warriors game, Kobe made poor decisions when it came to his shot selection. I don’t want to see anyone shooting 20+ times a game if they’re shooting shots like that, even if they’re doing so at a 50% clipping, which Kobe isn’t.

    Hurts going 2-15 from 3, too. But those games will happen and when they do, we need to exicute in other areas, like limiting second scoring opportunities.

  57. “Lebron outshines Kobe” – says the media.

    They’re always trying to push buttons, aren’t they?

    The Cavs won. That’s what happened. It wasn’t one guy vs. another guy. It was the Lakers vs. the Cavs.

    Honestly, the star vs. star hype is getting old quick.

  58. I’m glad Kobe went for the win on that long 3. If he hits it we are 2-0, he didn’t and we lost. Because of the momentum, I did not want to go to OT. I think the Cavs would have pulled it out if the game went to the extra frame.

    Bad call indeed on Fish, but it shouldn’t have been as close as it was. On a related note, with the way that we were shooting FT’s, there’s no gurantee that Fish hits those FT’s anyway…not with the way we were shooting those all night.

    The bench came up snake eyes, but that’s going to happen with bench guys. It hurt, though because we really do depend on their production.

    We wasted a good effort from Lamar last night. He seems to be WAY mor comfy playing PF.

    Happy Holidays everyone.