We can nit-pick this team if we want (and we my a little bit), but we Lakers fans need to step back for a second and enjoy this moment. We need to savor watching this team play, the passing, the breaks, the dunks and the beauty of well-played basketball. Don’t just think about the next game with Detroit or ahead to Boston or anyone else. We should live in the moment, because this is a very good moment.
The Lakers are 7-0 and just beat the second best team in the Western Conference (in my opinion, even if it hasn’t translated that way in standings yet) on the road on the second night of a back-to-back with travel in between. Did it get a little sloppy in the fourth quarter? Yes. But last year’s Lakers team lost that game and probably gave back the lead by the end of the first half.
Another big game tomorrow, but fellow fans, we need to savor what is happening now.
• About that fourth quarter….
Here’s what I take away: Lurking under the surface of this new defense and disciplined offense the Lakers have been showing lives the beast that is the worst parts of last season. It comes out when they get tired. The defense falls apart, the Hornets (who were very good and to their credit showed a lot of desire and passion in the fourth) made a big push, Kobe reverted to “save the world” mode and suddenly this looks like an old Lakers movie where we didn’t like the ending. They survived it, this time.
The team, and the coaching staff, has to recognize this demon is still lurking and work hard to keep it in the shadows.
• Today is a good day to tune into AM 570 KLAC, the Lakers flagship. They are going without commercials in an effort to raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. That is a very worthy cause.
• Reed was in the comments noting the lack of Drew with the game on the line:
Very frustrated by the lack of Bynum to close games (tonight and the weird late big subs last night). He was so obviously what we needed. Drew anchors our defense – Paul shredded us inside with him out. And look at the +/-. Does Phil feel pressure to close with Odom?
I think this was in part due to Bynum looking more tired and slower than any other Laker in the fourth. He had become a liability. But it does seem to be an interesting trend.
• There are things this team really needs to work on, like the chest bump:
(Thanks to the wonderful Heather and a few others for sending that in.)
• Good point about last night from the always smart Ryan at Hornets 24/7:
I may have found out Phil Jackson’s mystical power. Somehow, opponents of the Lakers are only shooting 67% from the free throw line this season. Tonight? Hornets well below their average at 65%, Lakers well above it with 82%. Could the pace of Lakers games impact this maybe? I don’t know. Just figured I’d bring it up.
• The other thing about the Hornets — they missed a lot of good-look threes last night. Not sure we can count on that in the future.
• That Dwight Howard guy is pretty good. Did you see the stat line from last night — 30 points, 19 boards and 10 blocks. Didn’t see the game, but damn.
• I am one of the people with the new Google/T-Mobile G1 phone, and because I can here is a brief review after having it for a couple weeks: It’s a lot of fun. Love the way it works and feels. Enjoying a lot of the apps. (The football tracker ones are getting some use, I think the ones that scan a barcode than shop for that item online and at other store sill get a lot of use with the holidays coming up.) I think you need to have a Google-centric life (I use gmail, even for the account on this site, as well as Google calendar); I’m not sure how well it works if you are using another email provider. I love the combo of the touch screen and the slide-out keyboard, I’m a slow texter but this has helped me pick up the pace. My only compliant so far is the browser seems to crash or not load pages a lot.
Basically, I recommend it. And with it being an open-source phone, people are building new apps for it all the time.
(If you’re about to ask “why didn’t you just get an iPhone?” I’ll tell you it’s because of AT&T. Used to have them, got terrible service in my home and had a lot of drops elsewhere. I wanted an iPhone but not enough to go through that again. And the G1 has met my needs in a lot of areas.)