Preview & Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

Kurt —  December 23, 2008

Records: Lakers 22-5 (1st in the West) Hornets 16-7 (2nd in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 112.3 (3rd in league) Hornets
Defensive ratings: Lakers 102.5 (4th in league) Hornets
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Hornets Chris Paul, Rasual Butler, Peja Stojakovic (a game time decision), David West, Tyson Chandler.

Lakers notes: Just a couple quick thoughts out of last night:

It was another win that was not very pretty, but after the last couple of games I’ll take that W.

If you ever watch a baseball player who is in a hitting slump, it seems right before they break out of it they have a couple of games where they just hammer the ball but right at fielders for outs. Lamar Odom looked like that to me last night, it was the most aggressive he has been in a while, but all the benefits of that did not show up. (He was a team best +18, but 15 of that came in the run to end the game). I hope it continues.

More Sasha at the backup point, please.

Personally, I’m sort of done with the Luke as a starter experiment, but I’m not sure that Radmanovic is a great improvement (better shot, slightly better defense, worse ball movement). I’ve not loved the idea in the past, but maybe it is time to give Ariza the start, he is already closing games out. (Which is what matters most.)

Last meeting: Back on Nov, 12, the Lakers went into New Orleans and beat the Hornets 93-86. It was a vintage early-season Lakers performance, on the second night of a back-to-back they jumped out big on the Hornets early and crushed them. The Hornets end of the bench made a run on the Lakers end of the bench to make the score look good, but the game was never close.

Remember those days….

Thoughts from At the Hive:Rohan from At The Hive shared his thoughts on the team right now.

After a rough stretch to open the season, the Hornets are finally starting to hit their stride. Their offensive efficiency is almost on par with last year’s, but more impressively, the defensive efficiency has ticked up despite Tyson Chandler missing time. The primary reason seems to be more forced turnovers. Obviously, Chris Paul is getting a lot of the attention for his league leading steals rate. But the team is also forcing more shot clock violations per possession than last year. Also, the addition of James Posey has led to far more drawn charges as you might expect. As Tyson gets more consistent minutes, I think we’ll see the Hornets’ increased allowed FT/FG return to last year’s (very) low levels. For now, this is a top 10 defensive team. They’re certainly not at the Lakers’ level defensively yet, but I can see them surging into the top 7 or 6 as the season moves forward.

On offense, the Hornets have taken a step back mostly due to turnovers and offensive rebounding. Chris Paul has had an unexpected uptick in turnover rate. I’m considering it a statistical anomaly for now, considering his very low turnover rates for 3 straight years. But I won’t be surprised to see many of our next opponents, including the Lakers, opt for the hard trap on him. The offensive rebounding plunge has been mostly due to Tyson Chandler’s absence. He’s missed time this year for his ankle, for his kid, and for his neck- quite the medley of random ailments. Excluding Chandler, the Hornets are not a very good offensive rebounding team anyway, so Tyson’s absence has left a gaping hole. Recently, the team has been on the O-boards more frequently. Still, this team still has a ways to go before reaching last season’s offensive rebounding levels.

The Hornets Coming In: In case you didn’t see it above, Laker killer Peja is a game-time decision tonight. He has missed the last two Hornet games due to back spasms. Which really suck by the way, if you have ever had them. If he doesn’t start, look for James Posey to start instead. Not much of a relief for the Lakers.

The Hornets are 8-2 in their lat 10 (better than the Lakers 7-3). The reason is largely that NBA Player of the Week Chris Paul is hot as can be. In the last 10 games he is averaging 20 points shooting 53% eFG% and adding 11 assists. David West is feeding off that and averaging 19 and 8 over that same time.

(Off topic slightly, also 8-2 in their last 10 are Houston and San Antonio. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if the Lakers are playing well I don’t think the Spurs as constructed can beat them in a seven-game series. But Houston, if everything is clicking, could be another story.)

Keys To The Game: Last meeting, the Lakers got a little bit lucky: The Hornets got some open looks at threes that just didn’t fall. The Lakers can’t count on that again, and they have not closed out on shooters consistently at all in recent games.

Specifically, stay with Peja at the three-point line. I’m looking at you, Luke Walton, you were the king of sagging off your man last night in Memphis, tonight the results will be much worse.

The Lakers have to defend the pick and roll tonight to have a chance. The Hornets use Tyson Chandler to set the pick and roll to the hoop, or West to set and pop out for a jumper. What is most dangerous is they often do both on the same play, and allow Chris Paul to use one or both picks as he sees fit. As he probes and prods looking for his spot, the Lakers have to stay disciplined on their assignments and be quick in their rotations. The Hornets know how to play off CP3.

The Hornets do not run well, so the Lakers may be able to get some transition baskets tonight. Especially if the bigs run well.

Where you can watch: 5 p.m. start out west, with KCAL9 here in LA and NBA TV nationwide. Unless you want to use NBA broadband, in which case you get the Grinch tonight.

Kurt

Posts

113 responses to Preview & Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

  1. I can understand the Lakers being in the market for a PG, but I don’t think moving Lamar is the answer. Certainly not for another SF. Last I checked we already had 3 of those plus Kobe can play that position.

    Some of the starters (in particular Fisher) played a lot of minutes last night. I hope that they have something left in the tank to at least make this a good game. Bynum does not have worry about a big that can shoot tonight, but he will have to be able to guard the PNR and recover back to his man.

    Ideally you want to make Paul a scorer. I would rather see Paul go for 35 and 5 then 25-12. Thats easier said than done. I say make Paul beat you by shooting Jumpers. Have the bigs show slightly on the PNR (but
    don’t let the guard go right between the big and the player going under screen which I saw a couple times last night) then recover back to the basket, hopefully enticing Paul to shoot a J.

    I at least want an entertaining game. So no blow outs, though if there is one you can guess which side I want it for.

  2. This game is on NBA tv. What the hell? They haven’t played well on National TV.

  3. Lakers fans need to stop dominating the NBAtv voting I guess. I think we’ve played nationally on NBAtv every Tuesday except one this season.

    Also, last season I recall PJ putting Ariza on Paul and gumming up the NO offense. I think we’ll be seeing that again tonight.

  4. zephid,
    In response to a post on the previous thread:
    “That’s the fun in professional sports: you have no idea what can happen in any given moment”

    That’s not quite true. A lot of the fans absolutely know for a fact that if the Lakers lose on Christmas the best that we can hope for is a repeat of last year’s Finals.

  5. 4. Wait a minute. I thought that if we lose on Christmas we were headed for the lottery.

  6. I think the Lakers are going to see a lot of timing plays, alley oops, back door lobs, etc. I think Andrew could be effective to deter some of this but he’s got to be focused on the action, watching things unfold all around him and not get caught just staring at the ball, or the player with it.
    I also think Trevor could be disruptive in defending this.
    I mentioned this a few days ago, but I think one main difference between today’s Lakers and the Lakers who opened the season is that we used to be much better on these same ‘timing plays”. did any of you notice how badly we failed at these in the Miami game? how many lobs went out of bounds? or off the backboard? too many TO’s.
    we need to get out timing back as well, we used to thrive on these plays, but now…
    maybe we can learn from watching the game tapes afterwards, if they school us on it, not unlike we learned the way to implement a Defensive scheme after the Celts series.
    I’m one of those frustrated NBA Broadband subscribers who wonders why, if I paid the fee, should I get blacked out because NBA TV is running this game… aren’t they the same company?
    thank God for justin TV, eh?
    Kurt, I know you hate trade talks, (at this time), but I’ve been seeing articles around about the lakers looking for a back up PG, and even talks of moving LO….when will we be able to discuss this?

  7. Agree with Sasha at the point. FWIW, he played the point in Europe before he was drafted and then made into a shooting guard. Putting Ariza on Paul is also probably for the best. Fisher doesn’t have a hope of keeping Paul in front of him.

  8. Interesting piece by Roland Lazenby on the Laker’s defensive issues…
    http://lakernoise.com/2008/12/new-laker-noise-same-old-laker-problems/

  9. Entertaining interview over at the Lakers.com Basketblog with Hornets’ writer Jim Eichenhofer.

    http://my.lakers.com/blogs/2008/12/23/lakers-hornets-preview/

    Particularly liked this, in response to whether the Hornets are licking their chops to get revenge on the Lakers for the loss earlier this season:

    “I’m sure the Hornets are motivated by several factors entering this game, with one of them being the loss you mentioned. New Orleans has won six straight at home and is 7-1 here since that night. The fact that the Lakers are now within range in the West standings is another reason why this feels like an important game.

    But I don’t think anyone should be “licking their chops” to play the Lakers, despite their recent losses. A two-game losing streak might be considered a mini-crisis in L.A., but the Lakers are still 21-5 [sic], still have the best record in the West and still have Kobe Bryant. I think Hornets fans and players have the utmost respect for Kobe for several reasons: He’s consistently had big games against this team, including a 50-point outing in NOLA two seasons ago; he was obviously the reason Chris Paul did not win the MVP award last season; and he has a knack for draining huge baskets, including that killer three-pointer he made in the Nov. 12 matchup with about a minute remaining.”

  10. 7.Regarding Sasha, I honestly don’t love the idea of him playing more at the point, I just like it better than the other options. I don’t see any of the available free agents as worth that much for us. I don’t want to waste a player in a trade for a PG when we can solve this issue with a pretty good free agent crop after the season. (Well, unless the trade is too lopsided to ignore, but that is highly unlikely.)

    We’re talking a couple of months here. I think we try to make Sasha work in that role before going another route.

    6. Maybe after Christmas. But I promise you, whether or not Odom is on the market, you will see that story every other day between now and the February trading deadline.

  11. And, I have no idea why the photo isn’t working today.

  12. I think a win tonight can help the team get some swagger back.

    I’s been mentioned that maybe the Lakers haven’t felt challenged. Well, here’s a game, before “the” game, that should awaken their competitive spirit.

    That doesn’t mean a loss kills it, though (depending on who you ask).

  13. Is the photo another olympic pic, you have been money on those lately.

    Wondahbap- I agree. A win in this game, and we come home 2-2 on the trip, but with 2 wins in a row, maybe a little humility and hopefully a lot more focus.

  14. 13. Yes Olympics. But I can’t get it to load for some reason. I blame the Grinch. He’s a mean one.

  15. I put this up in the post too, but here are some thoughts on the Hornets from At the Hive:

    After a rough stretch to open the season, the Hornets are finally starting to hit their stride. Their offensive efficiency is almost on par with last year’s, but more impressively, the defensive efficiency has ticked up despite Tyson Chandler missing time. The primary reason seems to be more forced turnovers. Obviously, Chris Paul is getting a lot of the attention for his league leading steals rate. But the team is also forcing more shot clock violations per possession than last year. Also, the addition of James Posey has led to far more drawn charges as you might expect. As Tyson gets more consistent minutes, I think we’ll see the Hornets’ increased allowed FT/FG return to last year’s (very) low levels. For now, this is a top 10 defensive team. They’re certainly not at the Lakers’ level defensively yet, but I can see them surging into the top 7 or 6 as the season moves forward.

    On offense, the Hornets have taken a step back mostly due to turnovers and offensive rebounding. Chris Paul has had an unexpected uptick in turnover rate. I’m considering it a statistical anomaly for now, considering his very low turnover rates for 3 straight years. But I won’t be surprised to see many of our next opponents, including the Lakers, opt for the hard trap on him. The offensive rebounding plunge has been mostly due to Tyson Chandler’s absence. He’s missed time this year for his ankle, for his kid, and for his neck- quite the medley of random ailments. Excluding Chandler, the Hornets are not a very good offensive rebounding team anyway, so Tyson’s absence has left a gaping hole. Recently, the team has been on the O-boards more frequently. Still, this team still has a ways to go before reaching last season’s offensive rebounding levels.

  16. 8.

    I like Lazenbly, but it hardly takes a genius to say that the way to improve our defense is to get better defensive players and play man.

  17. I like the idea of Ariza in the starting rotation. To take it a step further, Phil has also used Odom quite heavily at the end of games, which may indicate that Bynum may see more playing time with the second unit but not necesarily lose his starting job. Thoughts?

  18. 16. Lazenby didn’t just say man, he said “man principles.” Either way, I think it goes back to what Bill Bridges wrote a couple weeks ago, the Lakers need to mix it up. They need a couple different defensive looks to throw at people.

  19. Sadly, I gota take the hornets tonight. They are playng really well cmpared to a laker team that is struggling big time. We need a way to defend the pic and roll, which may hunt the lakers tonight. I also think the lakers may possibly struggle to score tonght with that hornet defense. We will see what happens, but my money is on the hornets by 7.

  20. We are not discussing trades here, people (there have been two deleted comments). For those of you new here, please check out the commenting guidelines page linked at the top.

    Fans are going nuts because they are frustrated, but where did these rumors start. One is a totally unsourced rumor at Hoopsworld and one line in Roland Lazenby’s post where he speculates they need to get better defensive players to play better defense.

    That, my friends, is a long, long way from an actual trade. Right now, at best, the Lakers are starting to think about it. Speculation is not going to hijack threads in this blog. That rule stands.

  21. i think one of the more interesting part in Lazenby’s piece is his discussion about the coaches disagreements about our defense and the bit about the insider saying that, “ackson has chosen to give Rambis this much power because he wants to help him get a head coaching job.”

    I know we are currently still experimenting with the line up and working on perfecting whatever defensive schemes we have, but it seems to me from the piece that it’s much more complicated an issue than just one of execution. The coaches don’t seem to agree that it’s the best defensive strategy and there may/or may not be, depending on the source (the insider), other motivational factors in the plan.

  22. My money is on the Lakers tonight. The game will not be easy but Bynum is due for a non-foul trouble game and I believe that Odom had a breakout game last night.

  23. Trade talk is definitely not the way to go, I prefer lineup talks ;)

    This is a game I’ve been waiting for. Let’s see if we can ‘turn the switch on’ for our W.Coast Rivals (sort of).

  24. Bah enough of this gloom and doom. This forum is becoming less I’ve always been a pessimist, but this latest batch of gloom is too much. Let’s offer some reasoned suggestions for improvement, focus on what we’re doing well, and enjoy the ride.

    When you do nothing but criticize your team and trash its players, coach, and system, somewhere along the line your fanhood should be questioned.

    On a side note, Mayo vs Kobe last night reminded me of Kobe vs MJ in 97. Mayo is the closest I’ve seen to Kobe in terms of poise, work ethic, desire, and winning attitude.
    It saddens me a bit, because it’s an indication that the Kobe era might be entering its last legs. I often feel cheated that I missed the days of Showtime and Hakeem, but I feel privileged to be able to see Kobe, Wade, Lebron, and Paul play in the same era.

  25. ^sorry, that should say “this forum is becoming a less fun place to be, because of all the frustration and senseless comments.”

  26. Magic, I agree. The fact the coaches are not sold yet and may make a change is interesting. But we’ve seen this team play man-to-man and it didn’t impress either. Whatever system, the players have to really commit to defense, that would be the place to start.

  27. Oh dear, 2 fouls for Kobe…

  28. Anyone with a non-laggy link?

  29. We are in great trouble with Kobe having two fouls…..

  30. I have to watch the nat’l broadcast. These Hornets announcers are terrible. Especially the color analyst.

  31. check out justin TV, lakers watch is a good feed

  32. “We are in great trouble with Kobe having two fouls…..”

    Not working out that way so far is it? Pau is just feasting inside.

  33. 30

    Couldn’t agree more, they are really awful. Unfortunately I’m stuck with them…

  34. Thanks Chris, I was having trouble with the Nat’l feed.

  35. You too, J-tag.

  36. LO’s foul on Brown is one of the problems I have with LO. He had all day to slide over and make a real defensive play, instead he waited and instead got foul. He does that too much. Stepping up might have disrupted Brown even if Lamar doesn’t touch him.

  37. That was in incredible block by Ariza. Man that guy is a great athlete…

  38. Where was Ariza during the Boston series? We could’ve used that…

  39. Good defense and and overall energy tonight, hope they keep it up.

  40. Ariza’s J looks good tonight!

  41. kobe dunk. that was nice!

  42. we better be careful with all the fouls. our guards are racking them up and now pau.

  43. The Lakers came to play tonight, lots of energy from the team.

  44. The hornets are a very good second half team, we need to close out this quater well and keep the energy up in the second half.

  45. Ball movement and defensive rotations are better than they’ve been in weeks. Ariza has made a huge impact off the bench.

  46. Kobe’s eating up Posey, I’m sure this is his mini-Christmas rematch.

  47. Once again I am at work and will be watching the game later. Are we crushing them on the offensive glass as it appears? And what is right with the defense, just energy?

  48. Pau for 3!!!!!

  49. GASOL FOR THREE!

  50. Wow…what happened to us. Whatever it is, i like!!

  51. if we keep this up for another 24 minutes, this will be the type of physical, grind-it-out win that no one thinks the lakers can get. on the last game of a 4-game road trip, no less.

  52. When Gasol is hitting 3 pointers you know its going great! Haha

  53. More energy and quicker rotations. They are still packing the paint but when the ball gets kicked out they are stepping out and contesting shots. The only downside is that Kobe, Fisher, and Sasha have 8 fouls between them.

  54. Kurt,

    It’s more of the same. The same thing that happens every time we play the Hornets. Especially in Nola. Killing them on the boards, David West can’t handle the length, and we look like the Lakers all of a sudden. i guess the competition theory is true. We’re passing well and hustling on D.

  55. Kurt: Lakers are really doing a good job on the boards indeed. As far as the defence goes, it seems to me that they are not in constant scramble mode as has been the case sometimes. It’s more about challenging the shot without overcomitting. The energy is there, but at the same time they are not overdoing it if that makes any sense?=)

  56. Where’s Darius been?

  57. That last post was directed at Kurt BTW

  58. Lakers just need to be challenged.They tend to play to the level of the competition.They did that some last year too.I wish Pau and Drew would look to each other for passes inside more.I think that would be killer.

  59. Love the effort tonight. Only thing that worries me is the foul trouble of fish and the minutes he’s asked to play.Best first half in weeks. Keep it up!

  60. The domination on the glass continues…

  61. Good first have. Love the 3 by Gasol. I read somewhere where he often beats some of the shooters on team in 3 pt contests during practice.

  62. *half* not have. Too much to drink maybe (actually I’ve only had juice to drink tonight)

  63. That was an emphatic dunk. The Lakers are having fun tonight. This seems like the first time in a couple weeks that they seem to be having fun.

  64. The Hornets are unraveling. That was a boneheaded play by Tyson Chandler.

  65. Drew looks very good! Pau is playing out his mind and Kobe is doing a little bit of everything

  66. The hornets are losing it and apparently Chandler is mad at the ball for some reason. Maybe the ball stole his wallet.

  67. These Hornets commentators are driving me nuts.

  68. anyone see posey throw kobe to the floor and pop his jersey while standing over him? maybe he should check the scoreboard

  69. Joel. No kidding. They are really really annoying. I think I have heard them say one insightful thing all night.

  70. I wonder where the trolls are right now…

  71. The Lakers are only winning by 18 against the hornets. If they play like this against boston…..

    It seemed too optomistic in here. So how’s that.

  72. Finally it looks like we can say the lakers played a great game. They havent played this good in a long while….

  73. They need to keep feeding Hilton Armstrong, that’s been a very productive strategy so far…

  74. This is a perfect warm-up for X-mas. But Boston will be a much tougher nut to crack

  75. Pretty scary instance there with Kobe almost slipping up.. can’t believe there were some people in the crowd actually laughing at it

  76. Fisher’s impression of Kobe.

  77. i just heard stu lance, is farmar really out for the season?

  78. Kobe has made some ridiculous shots tonight, even by his standards.

  79. There’s another one…

  80. After those two losses, a lot of people started talking cr@p about Kobe being on the downhill and out of the MVP conversation. The last two games, he is really ON!

  81. To be honest I think the MVP trophy already has LeBron’s name on it…

  82. the Jello’s jigglin’

  83. That was a great win played very well. If we bring it like that on xmas day I will be happy win or lose. Though of course I would like to see the Leperchauns go down.

  84. You can tell, Kobe can not wait to play the Celtics

  85. A win’s a win, eh? :-)

  86. They just asked Pau what the difference was between LA and Memphis. one word… Kobe.

  87. The Hornets just can not match up with the Lakers. I don’t understand how any one could pick that team to challenge us in the West. We’ve stomped them twice in NO and play the other 2 games in LA. George Shinn should pay Jerry Buss rent.

    Nice win. Competition brought out better focus.

    What the hell is GP wearing?

  88. Remember, these last two games don’t count at all unless they win on Christmas. So that game is really worth 3.

  89. I am very happy for Lamar. Sincerely hope that it is not just one game random error. If he keeps it up, Lakers are in fine shape even without Farmar’s playmaking

  90. Boston and Cleveland both picked up wins today too, and it seems that it’s up to us to stop the C’s from threatening the Rockets’ streak last year.

    I’m not sure if there’s a basketball god or if god has a vested interest in the NBA, but fun to have C’s streaking and us finally getting some momentum and having incentive to stop their streak short of our 99-00 streak.

    I know it’s just ‘a regular season game,’ but I don’t want the C’s to talk trash, so I hope we take the next game as seriously as possible ;)

  91. Talking about milestones..
    PJ got his 999th carreer victory tonight! One more for 1000 on Christmas day.

  92. Yea it is a bit interesting that we had a streak of 19 straight wins in the 2000-2001 season i believe. We won the last 8 games of the regular season and the first 12 in the playoffs before losing to the sixers in game 1 of the finals. And the celtics of won 19 straight games and will try to beat our streak playing us on christmas day.

  93. Ariza’s block was sick

  94. @90

    That’s new… Farmar is playmaking? maybe for himself hahahaha

  95. oops my previous comment was meant for Mamula @ 92

  96. oops numbers changed again…

  97. On the Phil note, if we beat the Celtics on Thursday, Phil will be the fastest coach in NBA history to 1,000 wins (1,423 games, Riley is currently the record holder with 1,000 wins in 1,434 games, so unless we tank the next eleven, Phil will beat him).

  98. I like the fact that CP3 shot 6-16. The game recap says that our swarming defense is back. If that’s true, then that’s excellent news. Maybe the closed door meeting the team held a couple days ago will keep everyone on their toes.

  99. Lord was that pretty to watch. I was smiling nearly the entire game. When we want to, we can beat teams down. And that, I think, is where the frustration comes from during slumps — that we know how high our ceiling is, and that as of now that ceiling hasn’t even been reached.

    I can’t think of a better scenario going into Christmas Day.

  100. Was it just me, or did the defense only look marginally better? It seemed like the hornets consistently had open shots, but just missed them (not having peja hurt). Granted, they were usually perimeter shots, which is good, but I didn’t see marked improvement in our rotations.

  101. I thought today’s game showed more of a struggle on the Hornet’s part than a strong showing from the Lakers on D, although this is not to say we played horrendous defense or anything along those lines…

    Was it just me, or did CP3 seem unable/unwilling to make the skip pass for the open corner 3? The Lakers were doing a great job of prevent the PNR oop from CP3 to Chandler, but in doing so, we almost ALWAYS left the corner 3 open…strange game in that sense, at least to me; the pessimist in me thinks that if Peja were playing, NO would have exploited this far more often…

    On a side note, did anyone else notice the lineup of AB, Vlad, LO, KB, and Ariza at one point? I don’t think it really impacted our game for better/worse, but it was fun to see our team roll out such a tall team with KB playing the facilitator role for a few minutes in the 4th

  102. I don’t know about that, Reed … I was really pleased with the defensive effort tonight. There was some sharp trapping, and more often than not our players weren’t overcommitting or scrambling to close out.

    All in all, this was a thoroughly satisfying win with a little bit of everything I wanted to see: great games from Pau and Kobe, solid contributions from the bench, stellar free throw shooting, a strong presence in the paint … on and on, really.

    This was probably the best the Lakers have looked in weeks, and it came at the end of a tough road trip to boot.

  103. Reed, the Hornets did miss a lot of decent looks, but they were the looks you want a team to take. If they beat you with jump shots, well, that just happens.

  104. Reed might be right, a lot of open shots were missed, but there were also some solid rotations (Was Ariza’s the only blocked 3 pointer? I thought I saw another but was with family and may have just caught a replay).

    Maybe the improvement wasn’t complete and nobody should start taunting the Celtics yet. But the team definitely looked better, and may be forming a mental edge over a potential playoff opponent. And I’d rather have them improve marginally and heading in the right direction going into the next game than the alternative.

  105. The D was somewhat worse towards the end, but as far as the game as a whole goes, I have to side with Joel R on this one.

    I was also really pleased with Pau’s total ownage of David West on the defensive end (yes, I’m half spanish and biased, but still;)).

  106. watching Pau and Andrew last night and the difference between the way they approach the game made me think/remember the way hakeem olajuwan used to play. he attacked his way to a loose ball, and when he got it and was swarmed by opponents, he attacked his way out of it. he was a rare one the way he kept his intensity all the time he was on the floor.
    I see some of this in pau, he plays hard, in the trenches, in tight crowds, he uses his length to get the loose balls, but then he fights hard to either get up another shot, or get the ball back out to set up another play.
    this is such an asset, and if young Drew could show half as much intensity, he would be a dangerous force on the floor, especially if he and Pau were playing that hard together.
    I hope over time we see that in Bynum.

  107. I dont think it is always about preventing open jump shots. But just being able to take a team out of their rhythm on offense. The lakers seemed to do this against the hornets. So even though the hornets missed a lot of open jump shots, you have to credit the laker defense.

  108. the other Stephen December 24, 2008 at 9:34 am

    bees!!! =D

  109. Reed-I thought the attention to getting through the high screen and rolls was better than it has been in weeks. Fish was really trying to get over and stay with Paul, and Trevor did a great job of this. I’d like to see that Sasha at the PG lineup, and the staff allow Trevor to take a shot at guarding these quick guards. That was a fun game.

    One other thing, Kobe, since the second Sacramento game, has been locked in from the perimeter, his arch is perfect and he is such a great streak shooter. Hopefully he is hot Thursday.

    Boston fans were chanting “beat LA” last night, got me hyped up.

  110. Even though the Hornets missed a lot of wide open 3s, we finished the trip 2-2 and if two other shots fall, we might have been 4-0. Me thinks that we need to beat Boston or they may have a serious chance to make a run at our 33 consecutive games won record from the ’72 title team… Here’s hoping all Laker fans get what we really want for Christmas – a win on Thursday and a title in June!

  111. New post up talking with Jeff of Celtics Blog.

  112. Anythonggoing on with lakers?

    No celtic comments?

    I need my f b and g fix please