Lakers vs. Pistons Live Blog powered by nomuskles

nomuskles —  November 15, 2008

Our Lakers are about to face off against the Detroit Smurfs. I mean, the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers are back home on the Staples Center court and one of the side stories tonight is that Mamba will be moving past Larry Legend and possibly The Glove on the all-time scoring list. In my humble opinion, that accomplishment doesn’t really mean a whole lot because evidence suggests that hanging a lot of points on your opponent individually doesn’t necessarily lead to championships. Kobe has proven he can score, but Lakers fans should be looking for him to fill up the rest of the stats and improve on Hollinger’s beloved PER. As the late Marvin Gaye might say, Let’s Get It On.

1st Quarter

As expected, Stone Hands Kwame will be in the starting lineup for the Smurfs. Newly acquired Allen Iverson will also be making his first appearance in LA as a Piston. Does it ever bother anyone else that the jargon used to describe player movement is similar to the word choice used to describe the buying and selling of consumer goods?

11:15 – Stone Hands gets booed as he gets the ball in the post and he ends up coughing it up. I feel really bad about calling him stone hands since he totally proved me right.

11:04 – Bynum shows that he has anti-stone hands as he catches turns and lays it in. It wasn’t the most graceful move but it involved a lot of concentration and control.

9:30 – The Smurfs are a lot faster to shoot with AI in the lineup. They have caught the Lakers flat footed and the score is 10-2. AI hasn’t missed.

8:43 – Tayshaun drills a pull up jumper in Radman’s eye from above the free throw line. That was an intense bucket.

8:29 – Kobe gets stuck in the high post doing his up and down routine and RIP won’t go for the fakes. Kobe decides to jump into Hamilton and create contact and somehow draws the whistle and the bucket. If the refs are going to call it that way all night, RIP is in for a long night.

8:10 – Tayshaun Prince is the Smurfs point forward—he’s handling most of the point guard duties (heh, I just said, duties). He decides to dribble out the shot clock (in part due to the Space Cadet’s excellent defense. no really. I’ll wait while you roll on the floor with uncontrollable laughter) and then takes a low elevation fadeaway from about 18 feet. It’s the Smurfs’ first miss of the night.

7:48 – great two-man game between Bynum and Pau at the mid post and high post. Pau got Bynum an assist when Stone Hands went for the Bynum up-fake. Rasheed had to come over to guard bynum and Pau spaced to the left wing for the open jumper. Splash.

7:07 – great hustle play by stone Hands to get his team a second chance opportunity. Smurfs don’t convert.

6:48 – Bynum misses two in a row. One of them a gimme from 5 feet over Kwame’s stellar I’m-Not-going-to-jump defense.

6:13 – Bynum gets his team a second chance. And then a third chance. And then Kobe finds Bynum dashing toward the basket. Bynum keeps the ball high and lays it in off the window. With a couple stops and some buckets, the Lakers only trail by three. Stone Hands is no match for the mobility and activity of the young kid. 12-9 Smurfs lead.

5:33 – Out of a timeout, the Pistons had no idea what to do and the Lakers caused a 24-second violation. That’s not good coaching.

5:18 – Kobe spins around Rip and there is no one within 10 feet. Kobe gets a two handed slam. 12-11 Smurfs up.

4:58 – Kwame gets deep position against Bynum (Bynum probably should’ve worked harder before the catch) but blows the turnaround.

4:35 – Bynum goes after another offensive board. Stone Hands has got to be feeling a little silly. Pau will convert that possession into two free throw attempts. He gets one of them.

4:13 – On a semi-fast break, The Spaniard throws up a terrible alley-oop to the Mamba from the three point line and somehow Kobe is able to get the elevator to go one level higher. He throws it in with one hand without breaking his arm on the backboard. Unbelievable. Mamba had to throw it throw it back against the momentum of the ball to prevent it from bouncing off the glass. Kobe should do the Sam Cassell big balls dance right now. Lakers take the lead and the Smurfs take a timeout.

3:57 – Pau gets whistled for a foul on the post entry into Rasheed. Kobe was about to come from the weakside to get the blindside steal. That’s what we’ve been talking about with the willingness of the Lakers to leave one man open on the opposite side of the floor in order to force more pressure on the ball handlers.

3:18 – Smurfs figure out the defense on this possession. Rasheed runner in the lane off a nice feed.

2:44 – Wallace this time from outside drains the three. Don’t let that guy go off. 17-14 Smurfs take the lead.

1:45 – Lamar hits the long two. Nice stroke on that one. Remember last year when he couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn?

0:55 – Lakers bungle that possession and violate the 24-second limit.

0:50 – Ariza is guarding Stuckey (who really does look like 50 cent). Iverson drills the fadeaway from the right baseline over Farmar.

0:31 – Odom appears to get away with a feet shuffle on the wing and takes it strong the basket. He draws a foul on Stone Hands. Misses the first badly. Fabio err… Walter Hermann enters the game. Odom misses the second off the back iron.

0:00 – Kobe has the ball as the clock winds down. Stuckey’s defense causes him to rethink his shot attempt. He passes it but Iverson intercepts it and he sprints the other direction. AI somehow gets this funky running lob slash floater shotput to go as the buzzer sounds. Sick. 23-16 Smurfs withstand the Lakers run. Will they open up the lead or will the Lakers make the necessary adjustments?

2nd Quarter

11:35 – The Lakers use all of the 24 second shot clock to get a terrible shot out of Ariza from 25 feet.

10:57 – Iverson auditions in front of the Hollywood producers as he flops his way to a foul in defensive transition. Farmar is the victim of his acting skills.

10:32 – Farmar gets two points back from the Rasheed three that just dropped.

10:10 – Farmar throws a nice lob to Ariza in transition.

9:31 – Perhaps gasol should consider guarding Rasheed on the three point line. I think that’s Rasheed’s third from deep. 33-20.

8:53 – Odom takes it away from Fabio.

8:41 – Out of a timeout, the play is… for an Ariza pull up jumper? He drains it.

8:18 – tayshaun drains his straightaway three. Lakers have to be losing that stat category. 36-24 Smurfs.

7:39 – Machine make baskets. 36-27.

7:23 – Ariza gets hit in the man bits. Warren Sapp makes Stu look silly. Stu asks him about his baseball career in high school and Sapp tells him to stop reading Wikipedia because he never played baseball. He played basketball

7:07 – Gasol converts!

6:45 – Gasol trails the play and looks like he wants to dunk it but at the very last second, he drops it off to Odom for the finish. Beautiful. Odom gets the next one inside as well. 43-34 Smurfs.

5:57 – Jason Maxiell Boston Celtics Lamar and Pau. That is to say, he exploits their stand and wait rebounding technique. He dunks the miss with some attitude. Timeout golden warriors. 45-34.

5:29 – Ariza picks Maxiell’s pocket with some ninja surprise. Kobe converts a turnaround jumper from the elbow at the other end.

4:41 – Stuckey Cent takes Ninja Surprise off the dribble. To create space he lowers his shoulder and sends Ariza into the first row of photographers. The refs decide this is a move disallowed by the rules of the NBA. Stuckey goes to the bench.

4:18 – Ninja Surprise uses all of his activity to generate a second possession for the Lakers which Pau misses. Ninja Surprise says, “I got this.” And dunks the ball off the Gasol miss. 47-38 Detroit showing LA who’s boss.

3:45 – Phil allows Bynum to come back into the game. I think good things are going to happen.

2:22 – Some sloppy possessions by both sides. Pau gets marshmallowy and loses control of the ball. Kobe demonstrates the proper way to draw a foul. He’ll shoot two after the tv timeout. I got distracted and missed what happened with the free throws.

1:45 – Lakers (i.e. Super Kobe) miss the jumper. Lakers trail 51-40.

0:50 – Hamilton barrels into Fisher on the drive and kick. Fisher accepts the out-of-control call and it will go the other way.

0:30 – Kobe dribbles it away. Tayshaun gets three layup attempts and converts the last one.

0:01 – Kobe gets to his spot on the right side about 10 feet out and banks it off the glass as time expires. 53-44 Lakers trail the Smurfs.


Billy Mac and Norm Nixon look a lot more comfortable outside than they did last week when they were fighting off the blustery wind.  Did anyone see Quantum of Solace yet? Should I go see it? Bond films aren’t usually my thing, but the trailers look good, if unrevealing.

3rd 25%

My prescription for a comeback: More Ariza and Bynum. Ariza is having his normal positive effect on both sides of the floor and Bynum makes the Smurfs pay for their small lineup. Hamblin says the Lakers adjustments will be to try and contain the guard penetration. Really? That’s it? Your plan is to try and stay in front of AI? Isn’t everyone’s? Isn’t the whole point of his career that you can’t stay in front of him? This is my definition of a flawed plan executed to perfection.

11:16 – Bynum erases Rasheed’s layup.

10:46 – Stone Hands watch: Kwame makes the dunk off the feed from Hamilton.

10:24 – RIP makes the short jumper.

10:06 – Dfish makes his first jumper of the night. He and Radman are 1-12 tonight combined according to Stu.

9:34 – Kobe hits the PUJIT over Wallace. 57-50 Smurfs up.

9:07 – Lakers are running a lopsided polygon offense. Poor shot results.

8:45 – AI’s jumper falls from inside the three point line off the dribble. On the plus side, he didn’t penetrate. ::rolls eyes::

8:00 – Kobe takes it left off the dribble and dunks it left-handed. Beautiful.

7:38 – Stone Hands bricks his free throw after getting the bucket against the Bynum foul. 61-54 Smurfs.

6:45 – Bynum now believes that Tayshaun is a magician. Prince beat Radman left and squeezed past Bynum on the baseline for the two hand jam. I’m not sure why the space cadet was shading Prince to his strong hand but maybe he believed that was the smart strategy. Hindsight is 20/20. 65-56 Pistons.

5:00 – Bynum swats Hamilton’s layup about 35 feet into the second row on the sideline. Rasheed hits the buzzer beater three ball over the outstretched arm of Gasol. The bank is late tonight! 70-58. Lakers are in trouble.

3:22 – Trevor slashes to the bucket and finishes in traffic. Nice, but you can’t rely on that all the time. 70-60.

2:40 – The band is playing the defense chant, about four fans are cheering along.

2:00 – Stone Hands Brown blocks Gasol’s turnaround set shot in the paint. The Spaniard might need to trim that caveman beard to help him get more lift on that shot.

1:33 – Lakers get a fast break layup off a turnover. Lamar converts the tough finish.

0:49 – The Machine breaks defense. He let’s Rip run back door for the easy flex cut feed.

0:15 – Pistons open up their biggest lead of 15.

0:01 – The Machine misses from deep. And the quarter ends 77-62. Pistons are just frustrating everything the Lakers are trying to do.

4th Quarter

11:43 – Stone Hands receives the love from the crowd. They boo him vociferously and he rattles both of his free throws home. One of them was an accidental bank.

11:15 – Stuckey Cent draws a foul on the Machine.

10:38 – Farmar’s stepback goes from the top of the key. 79-64.

9:48 – Smurfs run their end of quarter offense. Four down and the lakers get a steal. Farmar with the fast break layup at the other end.

9:25 – The Machine needs a firmware revision. He fouls again. Rip will get two free throws. He makes both.

8:55 – The nomuskles sister has called this one for the Pistons. Thought you should know.

8:07 – Lamar takes Prince on the block and converts the lefty jump hook and the ensuing free throw.

8:03 – Machine gets a jump ball surprising StuckeyCent in the backcourt. They’ll toss it up in the Lakers offensive end but Rasheed gets the tip.

7:28 – “At least they’re getting it inside now.” –Joel. I smell the declaration of a moral victory. Bynum converts his two freebies. 83-71.

6:45 – The Lakers got a great look for Bynum from Kobe under the bucket but Bynum missed the contested shot and in the disorganized transition, Prince hibachi’s the three ball. Timeout Zen Master. I still say, less Machine, more Ninja Surprise and Bynum. Also, where is Mamba? Are his legs tired from Beijing? Actually, it’s just the constant double teams that are giving him fits. The secondary defenders are cheating off their men early and cramming the lane. The Smurfs watched the game tape from last season’s Finals and learned a trick or two.

5:01 – Finally Mamba hits something. He hit’s a three from the left wing. 91-74.

4:30 – Odom gets the intentional foul to stop the clock and send the Pistons to the line. Unfortunately, that’s not what he was trying to do. He was just trying to get around Wallace in the backcourt after the rebound. Mental fatigue. Lamar sits down. I’d expect to see Chris Mihm and Josh Powell soon.

4:18 – Kobe hits a three ball from the Nokia theater.

4:03 – Kobe is going to just shoot three’s the rest of the way here. He misses another.

3:44 – Moral victory: Kobe stuffs Rip’s jumper back into Hamilton’s face. Anti Victory: Lakers still losing by a the square of four.

3:34 – Mamba fixes a broken play, splitting the double time and gets fouled on his layup. He misses the free throw short. 93-79.

3:08 – DFish hits his second three point attempt on the possession. Rasheed gets an easy dunk as the pistons break the trap. And this one is done folks. We’re going to go ahead and invoke the mercy rule for the live blog.

On a more positive note, I would highly recommend the Flight Path Museum for anyone in Southern California. The museum is on the LAX campus (you enter off of Imperial Highway past the end of the 105 West and pays tribute to aviation history of the Los Angeles area and the airport itself. I visited the small museum today and had a great experience with a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide. While not overwhelming, the museum is informative and contains many notable artifacts from commercial aviation history. Make sure you take a peek at the Spirit of Seventy-Six, a non-working DC-3. Admission is free but you can donate, if you wish. My visit happened to coincide with the departure of the USC football team and was fortunate enough to be invited onto their charter plane to check out the cockpit of a modern 757. More interesting to viewers of this site is that the tour guide said that the Lakers often leave from the same area of the airport. Check it out if you have a free hour or want to rent out the space for an organizational event.



to Lakers vs. Pistons Live Blog powered by nomuskles

  1. Great work, as always.

    On an unrelated note, Pierce has a new site up:

    “Despite his immense talent and desire, Paul spent much of his early career without the admiration regularly heaped upon more showy, self-interested superstars. He never talked about himself in the third person or about his own greatness.”

    And yet his official website, which is under his control (indirectly, at the very least) does nothing but talk about how great he is by pointing out that he never talks about how great he is. Celtic pride, ladies and gentlemen.


  2. nomuskles, looks like the Lakers did not make the necessary adjustments after 1st 25%, huh. Hopefully you will not have to invoke the mercy rule anymore this year.

    Strength, Hope, Experience


  3. If only Kwame Brown could have played that well while he was on the Lakers.


  4. What a downer. But I think it might be a good learning experience for the team. Anyway, I really liked what happened at the end. The game was practically over, yet the team kept playing. I liked it not because I thought they could win, but because it was obvious that it was not sitting well with the team. They would not have done this last season. But this season is a different story. Hopefully they’ll turn this loss into a lot of wins.


  5. Thanks for the live blog nomuskles. I think this loss was actually good for us. I was afraid that at some point we were going to get too cocky and end up losing to Minnesota or Sonics.

    I also think that, this loss will help Phil Jax and the coaching crew know where the holes are to patch them up.

    Some of the things I do not like (and not only from the last game) are:

    1) Derek Fisher is a leader and important voice on our team. He establishes some sort of order, accountability and professionalism from players. However, Derek Fisher should not get more than 6-8 shot attempts per game. We know he can shoot but we can not afford to give him that many shots, especially when we have much more capable scorers on the team. Fish needs to take it easy!

    2) Radmanovic is supposed to provide us with the deadly outside shooting in order to prevent opposiing teams from doubling/trippling us in the paint. Vlade delivers big some nights, but other nights he is just utterly bad! His inconsistency and lack of composure/concentration is the weakest link for this team

    3) Kobe Bryant is certainly the best player on the planet and has the skill to just destroy teams on his own. He has come to understand the importance of team ball and trusting his mates. However, Kobe occasionally forgets about all that and goes back to his Mamba mode. That is not good for the score, for the psyche and for the chemistry of this team

    4) Lamar Odom gives us the best back-up big man in the league. He provides all around game to compliment the skills of the bench and is clicking rather well with the second unit. We have to try Odom at 3 though! Perhaps not against teams like NO, DET or BOS, but certainly against MIN, CHA and alike

    5) Ariza has been my favorite player so far. This dude seems to do everything we need. I just want to warn against some kind of complacency. He is still raw and needs a lot of coaching on his game. Energy level and athleticism are there combined with will and hustle. But Ariza needs to improve his basketball IQ and he can certainly become a 2nd or 3rd banana type of player in this league. We have the talent to smoothen his basketball education

    6) Andrew Bynum can only get better. He is a beast already. So let me get this right, We have a very tall, stong, big skilled center who dominates the glass and blocks shots and has a repertoire of skills on offense. Why the hell in the world do we limit this kid’s numbers and touches on offense. I am sure his shots are much more likely to go in than D-Fish or RadMan

    7) Pau Gasol is another beast on this team. His style of play is different though. Pau can be a nightmare for any opposing PF because of his length and skill-set. And he certainly has the right heart. I think with the amount of talent we are certainly underutilizing Pau’s skills

    8) Jordan Farmar’s future is as bright as anyone’s at his age. But I have a feeling he is trying to get there too soon. Farmar always tries to make spectacular plays and rushes his decisions sometimes. With more maturity the starting role will come

    9) Sasha is a good shooter and hustles on defense. But I think he is confused in terms of what his role is on this team. He plays less and has to adjust to that. At this point we need Sasha to just play hard on D and spot up on the three point line, because we already have the lane packed

    These are some of the things we can improve on. I know it is just on game and we should certainly not get aggravated with conclusions. And let’s face it, none of us really believed that this team was 75 Win material. But they can certainly go in the mid 60s.

    I think we Phil knows all of those things and is trying to deal with them. He has his hands full in terms of too much talent, but that can never be a bad thing.

    At this point I am glad that our weaknesses were exposed. Because it gives us more time and information to work on our shortcomings.

    With that said, I believe Lakers will have a lot of double digit winning streaks this year and do not expect their offensive and defensive efficiencies to drop off. As soon as we establish our offense flowing properly everyone in the league should watch out


  6. I was half afraid that Kobe was gonna pull it off. He was damn close with all that activity all of a sudden, showing up on the game cast on nearly every play.

    But this was also Detroit’s best games so far, where everything worked out for the best. If Detroit keeps this up, they’ll really tire those celtics.


  7. Went to the game last nite, couple of thoughts

    1. The Pistons spread us out well. They ran the high screen and roll with AI and either Sheed or Kwame. What I was impressed with is how they got the ball into the middle of our defense. This was the first game a team consistently comprised our defense in that way.

    2. The Pistons made lots of shots, I was amazed at some of the ones Tayshaun and AI hit over our defenders. They did get a fair share of open looks off penetration, but they made shots too, credit to them.

    3. Darius touched on this after a different game, but it was really evident last night- the ball dies too much in the halfcourt with the starting unit. Not only Kobe, but with Pau as well. We need to move the ball more in the halfcourt. A big part of the problem was simply not making shots.

    4. I was a little disapointed in Drew Bynum’s lack of discipline and focus on defense. He floated over to a position where he was slowly attempting to double prince on the strong side. This let Kwame gain deep position and ge easy hoops on ball reversals. This was partly Bynum’s fault, but the team as a whole did not rotate well. Of course, rotations look slower when the other team is making its shots, and spreading out our D.

    5. The Lakers will be alright. This will be good tape to show them to keep them from getting to hight on themselves.


  8. Kwame A.,
    I noticed Drew not being in good position on the baseline as well. Our traps simply were not there against the Pistons. Part of that was that the initial defender was not doing a good job of shading the offensive player and directing him to the trap, but the second part of that was the strong side big not closing down the baseline effectively and shutting down the penetrator. I remember one play in particular where Prince went baseline and Bynum didn’t step up effectively, letting Prince get all the way to the basket and do that reverse two handed jam on the other side of the basket. Needless to say, our defense was not sharp against the relentless dribble attack of the Pistons. Sure, Detroit hit a lot of shots (and I know that can lead to more frantic close outs and the want to crowd the ball handler more; both of which lead to easier penetration) but we still need to play with more discipline and energy on defense. Last night it just wasn’t there. You can’t win ’em all, I guess.


  9. Detroit played a nearly perfect game. They did a really good job of countering LA’s traps.

    Fish and Kobe got us off on the wrong foot by forcing shots that didn’t need to be taken.

    Drew and Pau didn’t get enough touches.

    The Lakers never really got in a good rhythm.

    There are a lot of lessons to be learned with last night’s game, which I’m sure Phil will hammer home before Tuesday.


  10. Complete non-sequiter: Apparently OSU’s men’s bball coach is the brother in law of the president elect. Good to keep in mind when they get a mysterious 50-10 free throw advantage against UCLA in the PAC 10 tourney next year.


  11. “They took Pau and Andrew off easy baskets by muscling them off their spots,” said Jackson.

    “We could play their ‘bigs’ straight up, which allowed us to focus everyone else on the perimeter guys,” said Prince. “We knew if we could control their ‘bigs,’ we would win the game, and we did.”

    Seriouly what can the Lakers do to stop these kind of games? No way should Drew at 285 and Pau at 270 be pushed around by Brown and Wallace like they both were last night. Very frustrating to watch it happen again. I thought Pau should have had at least 30 and 15 last night against Wallace and Bynum was just plain slow and completely overpowered by Brown (of all People). I mean if our two Bigs are going to let players push them around were going to get torched over and over again. Something has to change with the way these two think. You cant teach toughness and heart i know that. But Whats it going to take for these two to push back once in a while? I know we have some great BBall minds on this blog. What do you guys think Phil should do at this point? Is it just a “experience” factor? Drew yes Pau not really i guess.
    Id like to hear some of your responses to our Bigs getting “Muscled off their spots”
    Was this the reason for so much one on one play last night? what do you guys think?
    Thanks All


  12. 10) Yeah; he’s been a coach somewhere out East for several years


  13. Last night’s game started with the Lakers shooting jumpers and continued that way throughout. It seemed like Phil just let things develop and didn’t get real upset with the Lakers not running the triangle. Perhaps he wants an example to refer back to when talking about our half court offense and he was getting frustrated with the team’s tendency this year to ignore the triangle in favor of individual talent. After all, the triangle is supposed to be our backbone and we should always be able to come back to it. It seems this year the triangle is an old habit we are trying to ignore.


  14. Little while ago I read an article that pointed out that today’s NBA training camps and Exhibition season don’t offer all that many full practice sessions on the court.(May be bad memory but I believe there were only 8 full on-court practice session in training camp for Rockets,for example.)
    It might be interesting to find out from anybody who attended Laker Pre-Season practices what Phil and Co. worked on. If he assumed that w/no real new faces,everybody had the Triangle concepts down,the team might have spent more time on the D and running the break than they did working on the Triangle. If this is what happened,it explains why the offensive sets look so poor. Phil wanted to get the D in in camp and take care of the offense during the season.(Whereas in the past,new players meant focusing on teaching the Triangle and working on D during the season.)