Lakers vs. Hornets Live Blog powered by nomuskles

nomuskles —  January 7, 2009

1st Quarter

The Space Cadet is starting tonight instead of Ariza or Luke (injured).

12:00 – And we’re off an auspicious start! The jump ball is whistled dead and goes the Lakers way, although I have no idea why and Joel doesn’t bother to tell us why. That’s great. Something confusing happens and neither announcer deems it necessary to clarify the situation.

11:45 – First possession the Lakers go to the oft used Fisher-in-the-low-post set. Fisher gets two point-blank tries and blows them both. Shocked, I say.

11:27 – The Hornets will throw up their initial shot with a David West jumper over Pau. Nope.

11:02 – Too close. Peja’s fake the three, one dribble to the midrange pull-up shot is short.

10:33 – David West draws first blood. Same pull-up jumper over The Spaniard this time goes in. 2-0 Hornets.

9:49 – Disjointed offensive possession by the Lakers. Kobe got stopped and Fisher ends up trying to penetrate from the corner. Bynum gets the feed inside and draws a foul. The Lakers bench is still standing and wishing they didn’t promise to stand until the first field goal is made. Bynum misses the first makes the second.

9:20 – Radmanovic throws his easy layup off the backboard like a young man meeting Scarlett Johansson. that is to say, it was spastic and overeager. Speaking of Ms. Johansson, she is not not not ugly. Yeah, that’s right. I busted out the rarely used triple negative.

8:57 – Double team on Pau and Fisher benefits with a wide open three. The Bench Mob can finally sit down. I was starting to feel bad for them. If they made it 4 minutes without a field goal, does Sun Yue just say, “aww forget it. I’m sitting. You guys are professional basketball players and can’t score. That’s pathetic.” 4-4

7:50 – Lakers look like they could use a Garmin Nuvi. They are lost. And then Kobe bails them out with a behind the back dribble that frees him for a jumper over Rasual Butler. Bucket. 6-6.

7:11 – Chris Paul has been relatively quiet. I feel it’s time for him to show his stuff. I’m psychic. It’s official. He gets a good screen and hits a 17 foot jumper.

6:19 – CP3 to TC6 (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it) alley-oop. 12-9 Hornets “stinging” the Lakers. Bad Pun Alert #1

5:50 – Pau’s turnaround hookshot comes up shorter than the Federal Budget.

5:03 – Kobe runs through a gauntlet of teal-clad defenders, draws a foul, and hits the running tear drop to spite his face. I’m pretty sure that cliché doesn’t apply here. Oh well. You can write your own live blog. Kobe converts the three point play 16-12 Hornets still lead.

3:04 – Lamar uses his own “crab dribble” (Lebron clearly traveled, btw) and picks up a couple free throws. FSW shows a great slo-mo of a chris paul tear drop on a prior possession. The ball never rotated more than a couple degrees. Great demonstration of the difficulty and skill of that shot.

2:35 – Sasha subs into the game and takes about three seconds to decide to shoot. THE MACHINE WILL STOP AT NOTHING! NOTHING! He drills the short corner three. Lakers still trail 24-18.

1:50-James Posey says, “BUT MOOOOOOOOM” Except in this case, Mom is Joey Crawford. I’m not sure he’s going to win this argument. Just sayin’. Kobe gets fouled out at the top of the circle (whistle sounds) and then when Kobe runs past, Posey fouled Kobe again as Kobe went up for the shot. Crawford whistles Posey for a technical and Posey can’t believe it. I’m okay with the call (Posey’s second foul was fairly late) but I also understand his confusion. If players can go for a second or two and still get continuation, defenders should be able to go for a second or two and still foul. New rule: a player can earn TWO fouls on the same play. Write that down. I’m a genius. After the free throw situation, Kobe’s Lakers are still down 27-20.

1:40 – Flopper award goes to: Chris Paul. Sasha hits him on the arm as he shoots and Chris acts like he got hit by Brian Urlacher. Sorry dude, that was too much.

1:13 – Sasha picks up a second foul going around a screen and he tells Phil not to take him out. Phil plays genie and grants his wish.

0:46 – Sasha wants to get embarrassed. He’s on an island against Chris Paul. The instectoids don’t take advantage.

0:15 – CP3 again on an island against Sasha. Chris bangs into Sasha 35 feet from the bucket and gets another foul. That call was questionable at best. Questionable or not, that was Sasha’s third and we’ll not be seeing him again for a long while.

0:10 – Lakers will try and get the last shot of the possession.

0:03 – Lamar gets a lefty scoop to fall.

0:00 – Peja has a wide open shot to end the quarter that is too long. Radmanovich puts on his Chevy Chase impersonation and falls down face first into the lap of the first row ticket holder. I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe he wanted some popcorn. The result was Peja had too much space to shoot and the ensuing vacuum screwed up his usually text book form.

2nd Quarter

11:11 – Posey shows off his Olajuwon moves and hits a running hook over Radman. The Space Cadet’s a stout defender, to be sure. ::throws shoe at tv::

10:13 – Bynum shows some “energy” and dunks the ball around Hilton Armstrong. I’m not sure why this play isn’t run every time. David only beat Goliath once. The other 99 times Goliath would’ve eaten David as an h’ordeuvre.

8:51 – Lakers force a 24-second violation. It wasn’t great defense so much as disjointed offense. Without Chris Paul directing traffic, the Hornets had a little difficulty getting the ball into threatening position.

Whoa. Vlade Divac must have found some wonderful eateries in Europe. He’s carrying a lot of extra baggage. And, no, a psychiatrist would not be the right person to see about it.

8:15 – I <3 Ariza. He forces a steal at half court and then hustles for the ball. Sitting down he throws it to a streaking Radmanovich who finishes the layup with Posey fouling him hard. Beautiful sequence if you’re a Lakers fan. Lakers closing the gap, 35-36.

7:15 – Maybe it wasn’t CP3’s absence before that caused problems. They have a careless turnover even with him on the floor. Chandler felt the relentless pressure of Lamar and threw it into the backcourt.

7:03 – Lamar does his patented make one, miss one routine. Any other imitators will need to pay him royalties. 38-36 Hornets.

Kobe and Pau are back in. and of course, the right shot is a Lamar 3 pointer. What bizarro world are we living in? even more bizarre, Lamar nails it. First lead for the Lakers.

Hornets don’t let them keep it.

5:43 – Perhaps it’d be a good idea to pretend to guard David West from 18 feet. Just a thought. The Lakers can’t even manage to look like they are guarding him. 43-39 Hornets.

Lamar ignores PJ’s wish for a timeout and drives hard to the rim earning a bucket and a foul. Lamar converts it. Phew. 43-42 Lakers behind again.

5:00 – Hilton Armstrong is a beast on the boards. Well, that’s what LO is going to say, anyway. Armstrong gets an offensive rebound and a nice running hookshot to go. ::currently shoeless::

4:18 – The Lakers fans dust off the AIRBALL chant for Peja. That was muy feo. Where’s Pau??? He has been a virtual no-show.

3:59 – Fisher gets creamed drawing a charging foul on a 3 on 1 break. That’s going to leave a mark.

3:44 – Kobe has just turned the ball over for the second time on a sideline trap. Stu tells us that Kobe needs to avoid going to the sideline. Ya think? It would also help if the rest of the Lakers didn’t stand and punch their time cards on the other side of the court waiting for a Jesus and Lazarus moment.

3:14 – Kobe tries his hand at a three. It was pure all the way. Devin Brown, you got served.

3:03 – Lamar hyperextends his knee on a weird defensive play. He goes back to the locker room. He might not be back for a while.

2:22 – BYNUM! Hello young fella. He’s showing some energy again as he follows his own miss and gets fouled on the putback. Great stuff. Let’s see more of that! 50-48 going into a timeout with free throws coming. Bynum hits both and we’re tied.

2:11 – That was the fastest defensive two second call ever. Oh you’ve never heard of the defensive two second call? Me either. But Joey Crawford has. What a bald-headed ninny.

1:40 – Kobe is doing the right thing, passing when he’s double/triple teamed and his teammates aren’t hitting squat. Fisher misses so badly it leads to a NO fast break.

0:54 – I think that’s three or four straight turnovers by the Lakers. Yikes. 57-50 Hornets.

0:34 – Paul shows off his unstoppable teardrop again. This time it’s a cross-cultural learning project as he takes the Spaniard a la escuela.

0:01 – Paul hits a ridiculous shot over a couple defenders on the inside.

0:00 – Kobe gets the last shot on a great inbounds pass to half court and drills it as the lights come on. I’m not even going to mention Devin Brown is a knucklehead and fouled Kobe right before he took that shot. 61-56 Hornets take the lead into the intermission.

3rd Quarter

Lamar’s status is unknown. Officially it’s a hyperextension of the right knee. Pau is 0-4 with 0 points.

11:13 – Kobe matches david West as both of them hit three pointers. 63-58 Hornets.

10:50 – Maybe Kobe will just score another 81 points tonight. He seems to be the only Laker willing to make a bucket. Lamar will not return with an MRI coming tomorrow.

10:32 – Tyson Chandler has a beautiful free throw technique. It’s a little bit like a break dancer at the charity stripe.

10:01 – Six Pac! CP3 tries to find chandler rolling for the alley-oop and bynum spikes the pass into the first row of spectators.

9:30 – David West. How about we guard him? kthxbye. 69-65 Hornets.

8:57 – Pau doubles his scoring total with two free throws. 71-67 Hornets.

8:35 – West showed up to play tonight. He puts some man sauce on that one. A nice jump hook over the outstretched hands of Gasol.

So far Paul has 23 points and 10 assists with 0 turnovers. That’s some nice contribution.

8:01 – The Kobes score again. I’m calling them the Kobes because he’s the only one who seems to be able to score. David West answers back.

7:22 – david West is human after all. He misses.

7:10 – Rainbowwwwwwww. Kobe nails it from long distance. 77-72 Lakers trailing.

6:22 – mistmatch? Chris Paul vs. Andrew bynum at the arc. Awkward. Hornets don’t make them pay.

6:00 – Kobe’s rain dance paid off. His long three rattles home after almost bouncing out.

5:35 – chris Paul gets a three point play. Kobe just goes down and hits another three. 80-78 Hornets. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!! (zoolander fans?)

5:04 – Lakers tie it up. Not for long. Peja burns them with the corner three.

4:27 – Kobe isn’t playing against David West but he is taking the challenge personally. He drills another jumper. 83-82 Hornets.

3:48 – The crowd is ready to erupt as The Spaceman has a wide open three and he decides that it’s too early for histrionics. Brick.

3:17 – Fisher drains his three attempt. Lakers take the lead

2:52 – All of Staples Center breathes a sigh of relief as Peja’s wide open three (radman, I’m looking at you) misses. A Chris Paul foul takes us to a timeout. I’ll remember to breathe now.

2:06 – This game has long since turned into a defense-optional affair. It’s like all this talk about the effect of 7SOL has somehow made these teams want to shoot threes all over the place.

1:33 – Great hustle by Bynum to track down a long rebound, get it ahead to Kobe, who passed up a three to feed Pau under the rim for an easy dunk. Great play.

1:04 – Lakers prove to be bullet-dodgers as Peja misses what seems like his umpteenth open three.

0:35 – Kobe and Bynum two man game. Kobe drills a long three.

0:30 – Chris Paul whirling dervish shot in the post against fisher. Money. 87-92 Lakers up.

0:00 – Lakers finish the 3rd up by 3. 92-89.

4th Quarter

It’d be nice if the Lakers played better defense on their penetration. Whoever is defending West and Peja need to not sag in. they should just stay on their man.

11:30 – Hornets strike first with two Rasual Butler fouls.

Josh Powell sighting. He has two negative plays to start the quarter. He doesn’t stop West from getting an offensive rebound and he gets called for a traveling.

10:21 – Great hustle. Ariza tries to get his miss and it gets tapped out towards the New Orleans bench. Pau saves it. Kobe wastes the possession and throws up a prayer hoping to get fouled. The zebras (outdated moniker) don’t bail him out.

9:52 – david West needs more muscles. He clearly doesn’t work out enough. Yikes. He and Derek go to the same body sculptor.

9:51 – I learned something new. You can’t closed-fist contact the basketball. Hilton Armstrong is guilty of this little-known infraction.

9:10 – Kobe does the righty scoop in honor of Lamar and gets it to go.

8:50 – David West answers with a nice 15 footer of his own.

8:31 – If at first you don’t succeed… Ariza takes his billionth shot from downtown and finally hits it. 94-99 Lakers lead.

8:10 – David West gets his 30th point.

7:39 – Rasual Butler ties the game at 99 with his short corner three. Kobe’s on the bench and the Lakers will need to figure out how to score without him setting the court aflame.

7:10 – Or not. Kobe will check back in.

6:38 – A weak chant of “defense” breaks out. Lakers follow suit and allow david west to get his 34th point.

5:58 – Ariza gets a great steal and Fisher has himself a contested layup. He feels there is contact but the refs don’t see it that way. He is unable to convince them of the error of their ways and earns a technical. Wasted opportunity. 104-99 Hornets up after the T.

5:52 – The majestic Bynum has checked back in to re-ignite the twin towers. Posey beats them with a three from the corner. 107-99.

4:48 – Mr. West is going to win this one by himself. He raises up over The Spaniard to put the Hornets up 109-99.

4:07 – Ariza is left all alone…again. And he misses. Again. ::smacks forehead:: Did someone order a Coors Light? The Lakers are ice cold.

3:02 – David West might have gone to Xavier. I’m not sure. The big ‘X’ tattoo seems to indicate the possibility. He is now sitting on 39 points. 1 shy of his career high. 111-102.

2:29 – Lakers get a much-needed stop. Bynum bulls his way into an offensive foul. That should pretty much do it.

1:53 – 24 second shot clock violation on the teal marauders. No big deal for them.

1:22 – You know what’s awesome? Watching Chris Paul being guarded by a big and the big looking around like someone played a practical joke on him. Senor Gasol, I raise my glass to your befuddled bewilderment.

0:45 – Kobe saves some dignity by taking Rasual Butler’s. Kobe two-hand blocks Butler’s breakaway layup. Sick play. If Kobe did that at the park, Butler wouldn’t be allowed back on the court till Friday. Too bad it doesn’t mean anything. Hornets are too far ahead. Fisher hits a three off the turnover.

0:30 – That’ll do it. What a sad fourth quarter that was.

0:00 – 116-105 is your final count here. Man, I would love to thump David West on the ear right now. He killed the Lakers tonight. I guess that is a back-handed way of tipping my hat to him. Lakers fans go home disappointed. Hopefully they’ll make it up tomorrow night in Alameda County where we’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of Nellie Ball.

Things the Lakers did well:

  • Limited the Pick and Roll leading to an alley-oop
  • got open looks

Things the Lakers could’ve done more awesomely:

  • stopped the Juggernaut that was David West
  • hit a shot in the 4th.

nomuskles

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29 responses to Lakers vs. Hornets Live Blog powered by nomuskles

  1. As always, incredibly entertaining live blog. Good job, nomuskles! I CTRL+F-ed the page for “kobe” and his name popped 34 times (or something), everyone else (bynum, fisher, pau) racked up less than 20 hits. Says a lot, eh?

    oh, and first!

  2. good job. would have been a great job had we won.

    Kobe needed to go off for 60 tonight…

  3. the other Stephen January 7, 2009 at 2:03 am

    so with farmar, luke, and odom out, all of a sudden our bench is looking quite thin again. and when you pause to consider the clippers, who have six injured players to our three, it seems like a hospital ward in los angeles.

  4. the other Stephen January 7, 2009 at 2:12 am

    someone hold me. losses i can take, but injuries invariably remind me of worse days. and good job on the live blog, by the way, nomuskles. funny, as always.

  5. A live blog from nomuskles always makes me smile. Tough game, though.

    We just didn’t have enough artilery against the Hornets. And their big guns were firing on all cylinders. I remember just the other night when we beat Utah, I said that when Kobe and Pau combine for 61 and then we have a few other guys go for double figures that we’re going to be impossible to beat. Well, against the Hornets, we let West and Paul go for 72(!) and they had two other guys go for double figures, so guess what?…the same thing holds true. Let’s hope our guys heal up soon. We are deep, but that’s 3 rotation players that we lost, and Odom’s a real key guy for us. I can live without Farmar and Luke, but it’s going to be tougher to win if we don’t get LO back soon.

  6. Cool, a nomuskles live blog tonight. Just what I needed after this game, Thanks a million nomuskles, your a life saver indeed.

  7. LA – LO = missing a piece…

  8. whatever happens tonight, No Sun, Powell or Mihm please! Sun is no good yet, and Powell and Mihm are too slow to stick with the Ws.

    Instead I suggest we go small ourselves. Corey Magette plays a lot of 4 for the Warriors and we can put Ariza and Radman on him (SpaceCadet only in case of absolute necessity). Bynum needs to show that he is the best young man in the game right now. He was pretty excited to play Oden, I hope he feels the same way about Biedrins. There is no reason why Drew should not have a 20 pts 15 reb night against this team. Same goes for Pau. I would be skeptical about playing both Pau and Bynum together for a long period of time though.

    At the guard spot, D-Fish must be exhausted. He has logged 40+ minutes on avaerga since Farmar went down, and play 42 yesterday while chasing CP3 around most of the night. That will take a lot out of any player, never mind a 12-year NBA veteran. Sasha, for god’s sake, please avoid ridiculous fouls!!! Kobe… well, you know better than me.

    So at the end of the day we should use a 7-man rotation with Fish, Kobe, RadMan, Pau, Bynum, Sasha and Ariza. Depending on how the game develops I would limit Fish’s minutes and have ONE of Pau/Drew in the game for long stretch. This should provide plenty of minutes for Sasha, RadMan and Ariza to prove their worth.

    I am counting on a Win tonight. I pray that it will be an evenly balanced effort in which all Laker players score in double digits, but none of them score more than 28.

    It is always good to see Ronny! I love that guy

  9. mamula, I disagree about Powell, I don’t think it’s speed we need from him, it’s crashing the boards, and he would be a good matchup when Ronnie is on the floor.
    this injury to LO, if it’s not too serious, might be a blessing in disguise for a couple reasons…
    1) we’ll get to see more of Josh Powell, who might really surprise us with some consistent PT…he shows great hustle and a nice mid range game, but he hasn’t been able to get enough minutes to show us if he can be counted on for long stretches.
    2) all these rumors about LO being on the block will give us a chance to see how well our team plays without him, and I suspect we are all going to see just how much he will be missed.
    and with this possible lingering injury, I suspect his trade value just plummeted, which I think will be a good thing for us long term. personally, I’d like to see him stay with the organization for this whole season.
    when do you think we’ll hear the status about LO? a few days?

  10. Personally, I am not against playing Josh Powell. I think he is a solid role player, who brings energy and toughness (not quite like Turiaf but in a similar mold, Ronny was fun but also foul-prone).

    What I am against, though, is playing Josh Powell tonight vs Warriors. I think Knicks and Warriors are the only team that pretty much run until gas is there no more. With such teams, conventional wisdom and standard execution does not work. In order to beat them, we have to accept a bit of their pace and impose a bit of ours. For that, we need to be able to run if necessary. Josh Powell and Chris Mihm are not really runners. Our big guys Pau, Drew and LO are some of the best running big man that cover the distance relatively quickly. Other such big men are Amare, Bosh, Josh Smith, Marion etc.

    I agree with your latter points about Powell being examined for his potential contributions in the playoffs and also on the value of Odom to this team.

  11. 10, I respectfully completely disagree. When the Suns were running with Mike D’Antoni at the helm, it was the plodding, deliberate, boring Spurs that knocked them out of the playoffs three years in a row. If teams try to run with the Warriors and the Knicks, it falls into their game; those teams are built to play that style. That’s why you see a guy like Al Harrington, who in a traditional system could barely get floor time, putting up 30-10 nights in NYC. He’s built for that system, being a tall, quick forward with range and an excellent jump shot.

    What we need to do instead is exploit their weaknesses, which is a lack of size and lack of discipline. We need to limit the offensive rebounds, prevent easy transition scores via turnovers and bad shots, and pound the ball inside and get fouled to prevent them from getting into a rhythm.

    For this reason, I think Josh Powell will be a great fit, because he’s absolutely destructive on the boards, averaging 14 per 48 minutes, which is higher than anyone on the team. He also averages 10.5 FTA’s per 48 minutes, which is again, best on the team. This is mostly during garbage minutes, but it still tells us good things about Josh Powell’s potential given consistent minutes. By slowing down the game and making it more deliberate and grinding, we force the Warriors to play our style of game, which they are not built for. If we can do that, we will win easily.

  12. The Lakers settled for wayy too many 3′s in the fourth quarter. We missed odom’s driving layups late in the game.

  13. I am absolutely beside myself with amusement reading the comments positing how much we missed lamar tonight. I’ve always been a lamar supporter and I never understood why he became such a scapegoat at times, especially last season. To hear that there are so many other supporters of Lamar, now that he is probably going to be out for a significant stretch makes me suspicious of the accuracy of our short-term analysis.

    And yes, I think everyone in the building can agree it was Kobe by himself out there. Others will need to step up for the Lakers to get wins.

  14. I missed this game. Can someone tell me why Fisher took 18 shots and Pau only took 8?

  15. This game was a great in the sense that it made many fans realize how important Lamar is to this team. We really could have used him in the 4th!

  16. 15, meet 13

    Problem in the 4th was not hitting shots (13 points!). Odom wouldn’t likely have made a significant impact.

  17. 16. Odom would have made a difference in one way, a defensive change of pace on West. Not sure it would stop a guy that hot, but anything would have helped.

  18. Good work nomsukles!

    As far as D.West- I don’t know why Phil didn’t have Drew Bynum get some chances against West. Pau just couldn’t stop him, maybe give him a different look.

  19. kwame -

    Bynum rolling out 20 feet to guard D West is not an option. The Lakers will lose the battle of the boards and interior defense. I’d actually recommend putting a smaller, speedier SF on him. Unfortunately, Walton would have been perfect. Double-team in the post

    I’ve said this many times about our defense: “There will be times when a team is hot from the outside and will beat us (see Detroit, New Orleans, and Sacramento this year). The Lakers and PJ can live with these losses.”

    Laker fans: Live with this loss. There is no reason to concern yourself with the Lakers’ performance last night. Considering they lost when: !) The Hornets were hot from the outside; 2) CP3 had to play a perfect game, and 3) Two and 1/2 Laker players (LO=1/2) who average about 20+ minutes a game could not play.

  20. The way I look at it is, it took Paul and West to both have their best games of the season in one night to beat the Lakers. not to mention an injured Odom out of action for the 2nd half and of course Walton. Farmar as well but I dont think he is as missed as Walton. Did I also mention that Gasol was non existent on offense during the whole game…yea that aint gonna happen the next time we play them. But the point is, they still didnt beat us by much. We were winnng after 3 quarters. I feel there is so much positive we can take out of this game. New Orleans have proved they are probably a threat to us in the playoffs, but I am not convinced that team can beat the Lakers in a seven game series.

  21. David West was just ridiculously hot. Yes he had some (probably too many) open 20 footers, but most of them were contested, he just didn’t miss a shot from 20 ft last night, it happens. And unlike Kobe who handles the ball so much that you can double and triple team him to make someone else beat you when he is as hot as he and West were, you can’t trap west at 20 feet because he gets the ball off of pick and rolls and drives by Paul. It happens, i’m not too upset about that lost. Though I think Pau should have gotten more looks inside.

    Lamar being out is going to be tough. Hopfully it is nothing too serious and he will not miss too long of a time.

  22. West has the strength and length of a 4 with the quickness of a 3, which makes him such a tough cover. We have the perfect answer in Lamar, who fits the same mold. Bynum doesn’t have the quickness to guard West, IMO. I’ve always been surprised by how well (historically) Pau has been able to cover West, but when West gets hot like last night, Odom is our best shot at stopping him. Odom is our anti-West, with the perfect combination of length, quickness, and strength to counter all of West’s moves.

    Of course Odom is a solid player, but his usefulness is increased against the Hornets, because he’s the only one with the physical tools to stick West.

    I expect to see Powell tonight. Phil has always shown a distaste for smallball lineups, and historically has done well against them by refusing to go small. I think Powell can be a great contributor, I look forward to seeing his activity on the boards.

  23. I’ll have a new post up in a few, but here is the official report on Odom:

    Lakers forward Lamar Odom was examined today by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and MRI results show that Odom has a bone bruise in his right knee. Odom will not play in tonight’s game in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors, and his status beyond that is listed as day-to-day.

  24. 14 – Because Pau didn’t find a way to get involved in the offense.

    17 – Absolutely correct. West’s comfort zone is shooting the jumper. He was completely on, but he did exactly what he likes to do. The drives he made looked uncomfortable and were mostly unsuccessful. If he’s killing you with the 18 footer, you have switch the D & force the drive.

    Anyway, like was already said that wasn’t a terrible loss. The Hornets just added a little flavor for later. Time for the Warriors preview…

  25. Nice job, NOMUSKLES. Loved the comment at 4:07 in the fourth (“Ariza is left all alone…again. And he misses. Again. ::smacks forehead::”) because I felt _exactly_ the same way at the time.

    I love Ariza’s hustle, but sometimes I don’t think he quite “gets” the offense. I’d like to see him think about getting the best shot for the team in the triangle, rather than just trying to do it himself. I realize this is a difficult skill (and part of the difficulty of mastering the triangle), but I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, especially when we’ve been talking about whether he should start (which I lean against).

    If it wasn’t for Kobe’s incredible 3rd quarter, it would have been much easier to dismiss this as a “those guys are HOT” loss.

  26. Is it just me, or Chris Paul kind of a dirty player? I don’t mean dirty in the sense of Bruce Bowen…okay, maybe I do. A better adjective might be dangerous. A lot of Bowen’s game has to do with taking the footwork/feet out from under a player. He positions himself so that a player has to go a certain way or has to step back rather than step into or onto Bowen. This results in more than a few turned ankles.

    I think Chris Paul is just as crafty a player as Bowen when it comes to placing his feet and legs at just certain angles to disrupt other players’ trajectories. There was the jump ball last month described here http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-37-66/Chris-Paul-s-Crafty-Jump-Ball.html. No one was hurt there, but it shows how he’s very conscious of his placement. If you watch the play on LO last night, CP3 clearly stepped into Lamar’s path before Lamar got there himself. LO couldn’t react quickly enough and bam! Twisted knee.

    I’m not saying it was a dirty play necessarily or that he intended to hurt Odom. It’s just unfortunate that such crafty footwork to disrupt other players’ games can lead to injuries. I hope LO gets better soon. Always love the liveblog, great job!

  27. Thanks for teh great news Kurt. Was really worried about LO.

  28. Odom injury post up. Look for the game preview in a few hours.

  29. Thank God its day to day. I really was worried it could have been worse. But now tonights game is gonna be even more difficult to win now..