It’s hard, as a Laker fan, not to be in your happy place after last night’s Laker win. The LA offense returned to solid level of efficiency (109 points per 100 possessions) behind 58.8% shooting. And against the very good Spurs defense, those are good numbers.
But what was key was the Lakers defense — pushing Parker out of his comfort zones (6 of 15) and playing Duncan solidly (6 of 14). Manu is still not Manu (2 of 8). And, simply put, if at least a couple of those three aren’t getting their shots the role players don’t get the looks they want.
I didn’t sit, Tivo remote in hand, really focused on this game last night as I might normally. But, fortunately, we have KD at Behind the Boxscore to do that for us:
The defense, yeah, it was there too. I don’t know how to do this without sounding like I’m straying too far into hyperbole, but the dismissal of Smush Parker and lucky addition of Derek Fisher might almost be nearly as important as the dismissal of Kwame Brown and the lucky addition of Pau Gasol for the Lakers.
Parker was that bad, especially defensively, and Fisher is just that solid. Meanwhile, Brown was horrible offensively, while passable defensively – and though Gasol is an all-world talent, this team’s point guard switch did so, so much for these Lakers.