Preview & Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

Kurt —  January 27, 2009
Charlotte Bobcats v Los Angeles Lakers

Records: Lakers 35-8 (1st in West) Bobcats 18-26 (11h in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 114.0 (1st in league) Bobcats 103.1 (27th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.6 (5th in league) Bobcats 105.1 (7th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Bobcats: Raymond Felton, Raja Bell, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Emeka Okafor.

On the Road Again: After tonight’s game the Lakers head for the six-game “Grammys” road trip (yes, the most meaningless award show of them all will fill Staples for a while). It’s a road trip that includes games against Boston and Cleveland. It all is the start of the toughest couple months in the Lakers schedule. With this trip, it’s a good thing to have Jordan Farmar back, who looked sharp in his return. Sometimes you learn things being forced to just watch, we’ll see if that’s the case here.

Speaking of Boston — this is the worst idea ever. EVER. I refuse to run the photo, but whatever NBA exec thought that a good St. Patrick’s Day selling point was a Lakers shirt in Celtics green — with a shamrock on the sleeve — firing is not good enough. I’m not a fan of extraordinary rendition, of going Jack Bauer on people, but this may be the exception. This could have come from the good people at Adidas, I don’t know. But somebody really didn’t think this through.

Way Off Topic, But StillI think this is a pretty good idea — shouldn’t Moses Malone’s jersey be retired in Philly?

The Bobcats Coming in: The Bobcats come into Staples with lots of old “friends” of the Lakers — Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to start. And while those two have had to adjust from the high-flying style of last year’s Suns to the grind it out style of Larry Brown they seem to be doing it very well — both had 18 points in the loss to Indiana a couple nights ago.

This team really has the feel of a Larry Brown-coached team (and not just because he openly covets everyone not on his roster). The Bobcats play hard, and particularly on the defensive end. They grind you down with a slow offensive style. And they are getting better — they are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

The key has been the much-better play of PG Raymond Felton — a 43% (eFG%) shooter on the season he is hitting 50% in the last 10 games, He has always gotten teammates involved (about 7 assists per game) but when he is scoring and not just dishing the ball the Bobcats are harder to defend. Basically, they run him off a ton of pick-and-rolls, nothing fancy but it works when he is on his game. And lately he has been on his game.

For a much more in depth look at the Bobcat guards, check out Queen City Hoops, which breaks it down in way, way more detail.

Keys to game This team is not going to be a pushover. The Bobcats have beaten Boston, New Orleans and Utah already this season. They will play hard, they will not just melt away, and they have some matchups that could frustrate the Lakers. Yes, LA should win, but don’t bet on a blowout.

Tempo is going to be key — the Lakers play at the fifth fastest pace in the league and average six or seven more possessions a game than the Bobcats (27th fastest). If the Bobcats are getting their way, the game does not have many possessions, they grind out a defensive win. It’s very Larry Brown of them. The Lakers, especially the reserves with Farmar back at the helm, need to blow past this team and get some easy buckets in transition, if they do it will be hard for the offensively-challenged Bobcats to catch up.

While the Bobcats do play good defense, their one weakness is on the boards — they allow opponents to grab 27.7% of their missed shots, which is in the bottom 10 in the league. The Lakers, with their long front line, should be able to exploit this and get some put backs and second chances.

The Lakers need to defend the pick-and-roll well, one of the keys to their offense is Felton getting into the lane. We know how quick PGs can give the Lakers fits, but LA can do a good job defending this (see Parker, Tony). If Felton is getting into the lane the Lakers will have issues.

The other tough match up is Gerald Wallace (who is a tough match up for anyone, he is good). I tend to think of Wallace as a stronger better version of Trevor Ariza, they have a somewhat similar game. One thing the Bobcats do is get him the ball in the post, but that may not work with long guys like Walton and Ariza on him. Wallace is a beast in the post or slashing into the lane but shoots just 36.6% on his jumpers — they key is getting him to shoot those and not layups.

If the Lakers can get a lead in this one they should be able to hold it, but to get that they will need to run the offense and hit the open man — the Bobcats love to block shots and leave their man to do it. There is space against them to score, but you have to be smart.

Where you can watch: 7:30 start and it is Fox Sports here in LA and NBA TV nationwide. Hey, NBA fans, why would you vote to watch this game instead of San Antonio and Utah?

Kurt

Posts

250 responses to Preview & Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

  1. How could Philly not have already retired Moses’ number?

    Those early-80s Sixer teams were all tough, but the ’83 version (Moses’ MVP year) was just incredible. Moses was at his bruising peak and pre-injury Andrew Toney was amazing, plus they had Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, and of course the Doctor.

    I hated playing that team that year, because you could just tell the Lakers had no answer for them. Kareem really got muscled around by Moses in the Finals that year and it directly led to Kareem’s increasing his offseason weight training, which he always maintained helped him extend his career, so I guess there was a silver lining.

  2. Firing the guy who made that shirt is not enough… He should be forced to be the Lakers towel boy for a while… All that while using purple and gold hair!!!!

  3. So, anyone care to guess the odds that Raja hacks a good one at Kobe’s damaged fingers. Actually, anyone care to guess WHEN Raja takes said-hack. I’m thinking sometime in the first half.

  4. Being a Laker fan transplanted to Dallas, I love that the Lakers have been featured in many of the NBATV games so that I can watch them play without shelling out for league pass, but I agree with you that spurs/jazz is a better game.

  5. Kurt, I’ve been a reader of your site since the very beginning and I have to commend you on the quality of your game previews. You could have a future in scouting. :-)

  6. The reason NBA fans always vote for the Lakers is because they don’t like me watching on League Pass Broadband!

  7. Speaking of Gerald Wallace, I just saw him walking the streets of Beverly HIlls – I suppose that is how he is preparing for the game tonight…

  8. What the NBA should have done is put a picture of Kobe dunking on Pierce with the message “Happy St Pat’s Day” right below it. That’s the only way I want to see my Laker logo with any green.

  9. The Bobcats are gonna be really tough indeed. I think one of the keys to beating the Lakers is playing aggressive defense. No one can outscore the Lakers. But hard agressive defense can slow down the offense a bit. Miami Heat was a team that played hard against us and held us to 87 points in Miami. The also almost beat us at Staples, a game in which the offense also struggled even though we scored over a 100. Im picking the Lakers, but it will be close, by about 3-5 points in the low 100′s, high 90′

  10. Shawn Marion for Brad Miller and Kenny Thomas. Look it up…

    http://www.hoopshype.com

  11. Bill, that rumor has been out there for a couple days, but I’ve not seen confirmation yet. Hoopshype has it as a rumor. And, for the record, KT is going to kill that deal. Nobody is going to take on another full year of the worst player in the NBA at $8.5.

  12. Lakers vs. Bobcats is traditionally one of the most frustrating nights of the Laker season for me in recent seasons. Right up there with losing in the Rose Garden. Thankfully the Bobcats traded away Matt Carroll though it probably just means Morrison is going to light us up or something. Even in wins I never like the way the Lakers play against the Bobcats.

    So I’m setting my expectations low for this one. I was far more confident the Lakers would be focused and ready for Boston and Cleveland than I am about this game.

  13. the other Stephen January 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    i know he’s coming off an injury, but i’m excited to see augustin play. with him, felton, wallace, and diaw, and okafor in the game, you have three great passers, and probably their best offensive line up. switch him out for bell, and you get an excellent defensive combination. the bobcats have really jumped up in efficiency since the trade.

  14. just saw the marbury chat on espn. he says kobe is the mvp, best player on the planet and that kobe is the player he´d love to play with the most. i know, coming from steph it doesnt mean a lot, but still nice to know :).

    by the way… starbury.com looks like the worst shoe-website on the planet…

  15. The problem with the Bobcats is a guy by the name of Michael Jordan. Unquestionably the greatest basketball player of all time up to now and unquestionably one of the worst excuses for a Basketbal Executive.

    I say get rid of MJ and hire someone with some business smarts.

  16. Some defensive factors to watch for in the game …

    Over the last 10 games Bobcats are :
    - defending the 3pt line well (opp 3pt% = 32%),
    - forcing turnovers (opp TO = 15 per game ), mostly Felton and Wallace in the passing lanes,
    - but only defending interior poorly (opp 2p% = 48%), possibly because they don’t sag/help on penetration as much as we do.

    Feels like this may be a matchup of Laker’s ‘ball pressure’ vs Bobcat’s ‘strict man to man’ defense.

  17. “Hey, NBA fans, why would you vote to watch this game instead of San Antonio and Utah?”

    Because only diehard NBA fans like to watch the Spurs. Casual fans won’t have anything to do with them. The 05 & 07 Finals ratings said it all. Honestly, I’m a diehard and I can rarely stand to watch them in the reg season.

  18. Palani,

    I hope you don’t mean for us. Not only can he not play PG, he can’t play period. There’s a reason NO team wants him, nor plays him.

  19. Anyone read Bill Simmon’s article today? Jeez, could he take a few more open swipes at our Lakers. No one is saying Bynum will be GOAT at center, but he is only 21 and improving…as the 3rd or 4th option on the team. I know Simmons is Boston biased, but show a little bit of respect. Here’s hoping Drew and the Cobra helps shut down the Cs come June.

  20. Simmons gets hundreds of emails from crazed Laker fans who probably do say Bynum will be the GOAT at center, among other things that he probably can’t put in an article. This blog is an exception, but overall the Lakers fans’ representation across the internet is that of a mob of fanboys that can’t be reasoned with.

  21. simmons will eat his words soon enough. bynum looks really good right now. hes just one of those guys who needs a few touches at the beginning of the game to get his motivation. right now the deal the lakers gave him this summer looks almost as smart as the one the pacers closed with granger.

  22. Kurt-I can see the Ariza-Wallace comparison, but Ariza is evolving much faster than Wallace has. Ariza’s jump shot is ever improving and this will only allow him more opportunities to use his slashing skills. I can’t wait to see those two going at eachother tonight.

  23. It is kind of sad that there are so many rabid Laker fans saying things like that (“Bynum will be the greatest center of all time”) because it gives the rest of us (rational fans, that is) a horrible name. I can’t blame Simmons for what he wrote…those types of fans are relentlessly annoying.

  24. Adidas is also making a purple and gold leprechaun doll with fake boobs and botox. You know, for kids.

  25. i think the number of times simmons mentions bynum in his article is to let the reader know that his intention is more to poke fun at the (fairly) insane current hype surrounding bynum than actually criticize the kid’s ability. as a celtics fan, i’m sure he’s hoping bynum eventually busts, but even he would have to admit that the kid’s got some talent.

  26. 24-Those types of fans can be annoying, but when its Cubs fans, or Celts fans, or Yankee fans its endearing. I just think people associate a lot of negative connotations with LA and ascrbie them to the Lakers. Add in the Kobe factor and it is what it is, but on some level, the blind homerism is somewhat a testament to the support of the team, and that doesn’t bother me.

  27. Gr8 Scott: I agree. simmons must get tons of laker mail (and also, he IS a boston fan). basically he goes out of his way to dump on anything laker (even when it’s unrelated to the point of the article.) I’m pretty sure he does this partially just to piss off all the rabid lakers fans who send in things like “Bynum is #1 Center. In your face” etc…

  28. People actually claim Bynum will be GOAT? That’s pretty funny. I’ll be satisfied if he plays Kendrick Perkins even in the Finals. You know, kinda like he played him on Christmas.

    Bynum as GOAT … I guess a couple of former Laker centers would chuckle at that (does Kareem even chuckle?). Not to mention what Wilt or Mikan might say if they were still with us…

  29. Bill Simmons got it totally wrong. The best 5 players in the nba in 3 years will be Labron, D Howard, CP3, Wade, and SunYua. Bynum and Ariza don’t even come close. He really needs to get with it.

  30. Bynum needs to get ready for his upcoming matchups against Z (if healthy) and Perkins. They could be his counterparts if we meet either team in the finals . Perkins strength, aggressivenes and lower centre of gravity could negate bynums length advantage. Z is also strong and long, I want to see how well he does posting them up. It could be the difference come June .

  31. Bynum as the greatest center of all time? Come on… If Bynum turns out to be the fourth best Laker center of all time that would be quite an accomplishment…

  32. Wilt, Kareem, Mikan, Shaq… uhm, 4th best is like, not happening.

    If he can be a strength, not a liability, I’ll be perfectly happy.

  33. Simmons’s piece the other day on his dog was one of his best efforts. Make sure you check it out.

  34. 33, exactly, that’s why I said it would be ‘quite an accomplishment’…

  35. any links for the game besides justin.tv tonight?

    Stupid AT&T doesn’t carry NBATV

  36. Yeah, nomuskles is right. Simmons’s article about his dog was the most sincere thing he’s ever written. I stopped wishing ill on every boston sports team for a second. I don’t blame him when he trash talks the lakers though:

    A- Its a rivalry. Fans are supposed to take cheap shots, especially if
    B- He lives in L.A. He hears it every day.

    He’s also a little right. Insofar as since the 42 point game, casual national viewers have kind of annointed Bynum the number 2 spot on the team, forgetting about Pau. I love Bynum, but I don’t know where he fits in the league wide heirarchy, I just know how great he is for this team. If I lived in Boston and had to listen to the hyperbole about Rondo, I’d probably get sick of it too.

    Anyways, he also says it just to rile up the people who are going to take it personally.

    Has anybody mentioned the fact that the Bobcats have OWNED us lately? (I think winning 4 of the last 5, including the last 2 at home)?

  37. By at home I mean “in Los Angeles”

  38. i’d appreciate a link too.

  39. As we were on the subject of Fisher’s contributions last post, I have a thought: could Vujacic eventually become the replacement at starting PG?
    He’s tall, can obviously shoot the three, and is a scrappy defender. The only things I can see that he may need to improve on is avoiding silly fouls and maybe be a bit more willing to swing the ball on the perimeter after a kickout. I can see him playing 25-30 mintues at PG, and Farmar can take the remaining minutes of the bench, where he call push the pace.

  40. sasha doesn’t have the ball Handling skills to play the point for long stretches. We would be forced to have Kobe bring up the ball.

  41. Only took 16 seconds of game time before Joel used the word ‘length’…

  42. poor luke

  43. And less than 2 minutes before the first Phil timeout. That has to be a record!

  44. 43- okay, good start, but how long before he declares something a “Break for the Lakers}

  45. yeah, here’s another non justin tv link. Just scroll down.

    http://atdhe.net/

  46. Andrew looks good again.

  47. lowest scoring team in the league… so far the lakers D is making them look like a pretty good offensive team.

  48. *I don’t like how Kobe is forcing the jumper. Just because a 6’2″ guys is guarding you doesn’t mean you shoot the first available jumper over him.

    *We should be posting Gasol on the weakside on almost every possesion. Having Diaw on him is some sort of Larry Brown practical joke on France.

    *Luke looks good so far. Nice hesitation and dump off to Bynum for the dunk.

  49. i agree… kobe seems to be forcing it mainly because its raja bell.

  50. Looks like we might be in for a bad jumpshooting night for the Lakers. They’ll need to get the ball inside in order to score. Hopefully Bynum and Pau stays out of foul trouble.

  51. giving up all dunks and layups. THat’s got to tighten up.

  52. Why do the Lakers always make Charlotte look like a championship team?

  53. layups vs jump shots…

  54. Juwan Howard is still playing? Wasn’t he on the ’78 Bullets?

    Lakers overlooked this team YET AGAIN. Come on, man. How many consecutive years do we do this with them?

  55. I wonder if it’s partially psychological. The Lakers always seem to have bad shooting nights against the cats. They had a number of open shots in the 1st but can’t seem to put them down.

  56. I must say even though we’re missing our shots, they are just a tick off. Kobe’s missed 4 jumpers by a total of 5 inches…he’s just been a hair long on all of them. We do need to defend better (my Reggie Miller comment), but it’s not going to matter if we can’t make a shot. I have a feeling some of these looks are going to start to fall and we’re going to adjust our D by sagging off all their guys that only want to drive.

  57. Drew has 62.5% of our points. If this holds and we score our average (not sure which is the weaker bet), he’ll score 72 points!

  58. Who botched that alley-oop? Anyway, interesting game, but it’s not going to be too interesting in the end I hope.

  59. its a good thing the lakers will never meet them in the playoffs…

  60. I’m not sure when we became a team that fronts people, but it’s not working.

  61. When is our defense going to adjust? Seems all the cats shots are in the paint.

  62. as long as we win the championship this year… then for all i care, the lakers can lose the bobats every single time.

  63. What’s the deal with Gasol?

  64. Phil to Lakers at half time:

    Stop trapping on the perimeter.

  65. The Lakers make some weird decisions on defense. Fronting with nobody on the weak side to provide help, doubling Okafor on the block… What are these guys up to?

  66. Wow, i’m just amazed at our inability to stop the constant drives and shots under the basket.

    What happened with Ariza?

  67. i’m surprised raja gave up on kobe after he stole the ball… i was expecting him to do some kind of crazy hard foul.

  68. Adam Morrison couldn’t jump high enough to really hit Pau in the face.

  69. Don’t cry Morrison!!! :(

  70. Just got here – what happened to Ariza????

  71. Looks like the Lakers are gonna struggle to score tonight, though as long as they keep the bobcats out of the lane, they should win.

  72. I don’t think they have an answer to our bench…

  73. i think ariza was hit in the head somehow as he was trying to fight through a screen and so he was in the locker room for evaluation.

  74. I’d like to know about Ariza too… is he okay?

  75. Ariza out for the rest of the night. :-(

  76. Ariza has a concussion.

  77. Gasol’s having an off night and Diaw is a litle too quick for him, good thing he can’t finish.

  78. maybe bring in powell then… he’s got a pretty smooth jumper.

  79. talking about an off night…3 of 14
    wow…

    come on pau

  80. Drew is a monster

  81. their offensive flow is really good btw…
    21 assists on their part

  82. Diaw is shooting just as bad though.

  83. Simmons had it wrong from the beginning. The 5 best players in 3 years will be: Bynum, Ariza, Farmar, Josh Powell, and Sun Yue. That’s in no particular order by the way.

  84. So the good news is that concussions don’t usually require three weeks of rehab…?

  85. Unless of course you have Vitti as your trainer.

  86. Tomorrow’s headline:
    Lakers lose to Bobcats AGAIN

  87. Concussions can have a profound impact on the player’s psyche if precedents in other sports mean anything. I hope it’s nothing bad though.

    To think that this was just a day or two after us having a full lineup.

    Let’s see if we can get this in the 4th.

  88. A frustrating game to say the least. Lakers are getting no ball movement on offense and cannot keep the bobcats out of the paint.

  89. we so deserve to lose this game.

  90. In Trevor’s defense, being hit on the head during what was supposed to be a regular workday would probably upset anyone…

    I disagree with a lot of comments, I think the Lakers are playing good defense so far. It’s just that the Bobcats are making their shots anyway. *bangs head on wall*

  91. Well at least the D has picked up the last couple of plays. Now only if they will start to run the offense. Wheres Bynum he is having a good game.

  92. i believe in the machine. he’s going to put down a few 3′s and get us a W.

  93. Pau’s lack of toughness in this game has cost us

  94. good defense? they have like 44 pts in the paint! on what planet is that good D?

  95. I say get pau out of the game, he has done nothing but hurt the team the whole night.

  96. To clarify my previous comment… our defense is okay, but out offense is horrible. This is painful to watch… just win for me guys. Please.

  97. joits: excellent point. Bynu would do a better job in the paint than Gasol

  98. Timely technical for us.

  99. Why isn’t Bynum in the game. Obviously, Pau isn’t tough enough against the opposition.

  100. Machiiiiine! :-)

  101. 103. Does Gasol always have a lack of toughness or just in games where he’s not playing well?

  102. fish should NEVER try to go to the basket… haha

  103. wallace with the crab dribble

  104. Another drive by Fish to the basket foiled!

  105. Darius, exactly. What the hell does that even mean? Anonymous could you explain what you mean by Gasol is not tough enough? When Kobe has a bad shooting night, does that mean he is not tough enough? or is that just go for Pau?

  106. You have to expect that from Fish though, you knew it was coming at some point. And Pau is just having a bad game, not so much a lack of toughness, he just cant hit a shot and hes had good looks. Lakers are gonna have to hope the bobcats just choke, because they are playing bad tonight.

  107. Can some1 pleaseee post a link to the game?

  108. its just not meant to be

  109. Gameover, Bobcats win

  110. I’m kinda half-half on Kobe at this point. Kinda glad he’s got that finger injury so he won’t go 1one1 the rest of the way (he still just might), kinda sad that he’s got that injury since we can’t really count on him to pull this one off (he still just might).

    Anytime you have such hope, that should just be proof that your player is clutch. I kinda wish this extended to our whole team.

  111. 112 scroll up for links.

  112. How dare you? There are several minutes left.

  113. I guess you’re not watching the same game I am. Pau constantly getting beat to the ball….He’s having a bad game cuz he’s getting roughed up by Okafor. He’s not comfortable cuz he’s too SOFT!

  114. See ya wouldn’t wanna be ya!!!!!

  115. Can you even say the Lakers are ever favored to beat the Bobcats? Over the past 3 years they are 2-4 with a -5.2 point differential. And that includes a 1-point win.

  116. Two missed FTs is a break for the Lakers

  117. Can’t get myself to like Bell, even after reading Seven Seconds or Less. For all the talk of Kobe being cocky, Bell just looks cockier.

  118. Diaw trying to trade baskets with Kobe?

  119. harold what were you saying about kobe? No matter how often he does this he still always amazes me.

  120. gasol, you moron

  121. The only problem with the Kobe iso play is that our 2 bigs are not in a position to get a rebound.

  122. Yea, I hate Bell to, hes cocky

  123. Wow, talk about missed free throws. If we pull this through, it will be because the Bobcats choked badly.

  124. FISH!!!!!!!!

  125. YES! OT. Big shot FISH!

  126. Fish: Clutch.

  127. We were just talking about Fisher around here were we not.

  128. GO FISH!

    (Sorry for the double post)

  129. I APPRECIATE YOU MR. FISHER!

    As soon as he made that 3, I thought of the Derek appreciation post on here.

  130. How good was the timing of Darius’ article about Fish?=D

  131. how fitting after the fisher post

  132. Have we had any OT games this season? maybe one?

  133. Someone was saying something about Fisher…? :-)

  134. 119. I’m not even sure what you’re talking about. Is Pau getting roughed up when he’s missing jumpers he’s made all year? I can admit that he’s gotten beat to some loose balls, but how does that relate to toughness? Earlier in the game, he dove for a loose ball and it got tipped away and the Bobcats got the ball…how is that related to toughness. If you’re going to watch a game with pre-determined conclusions about players, I’m not sure if you’ll ever be able to state an objective comment.

  135. im watching via “Box Score”

    what is goinnnnggg onnn?

  136. I said ain a previous commentthat the bobcats won after they went up by 7 with 3 minutes to go. But in a comment before that, I also said that if the Lakers would win it would be because the bobcats would choke.

  137. Darius, why isn’t pau in the game during OT????

  138. @anonymous… because he’s not making his shots

  139. Stop! Kobe time!

    This team is determined to give me heart attack…

  140. Anonymous: He looked a bit tired, and also Andew’s been on fire. If you look at the +- Pau has a team leadin +10, so it’s not just about his own production.

  141. 146, if you expect Pau to be a big mean strong Kendrivck Perkins, he isnt and never will be. Pau is Pau, a finess player.

  142. +/- doesn’t mean crap if your team loses

  143. 146. Seriously? How many times has Bynum not closed out games? Your logic is 2+2=whatever you want it to. Basically, if you’re going to say one thing about Gasol and then use that one reason for everything that doesn’t go his way, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  144. Anonymous: If your team loses, what does? Points, assists, boards? What an insightful comment…

  145. Kobe with 5 PFs.

    Still a game to be played…

  146. Pau can be vicious once you get him angry, but he’s not an enforcer and never will be. That’s Ariza’s, Sasha’s, and Bynum’s role.

  147. And Gasol checks in for Bynum, as if PJ is reading and taking sides on this blog.

  148. Hmm…I don’t know if I like substitution. Drew is playing very well. We should keep him in.

  149. Kobe plays against Bell different than any of the other “kobe-stoppers” (Battier, Bowen, Artest), because he respects those guys. With Bell, its quite personal, and brings out the really really focused Kobe.

  150. Can we stop with the petty arguement. Gasol is an all star big, who cares if he is finess player or a brusier. Just watch and enjoy the game.

  151. i got no problem with fish taking jump shots… he just cannot make layups in traffic.

  152. Nice curse Harold.

  153. Ouch. Kobe out.

  154. Fouling out on that??? Come on!

  155. Let’s see if we can hold a lead for 40 seconds without Kobe.

  156. I haven’t been watching..where is Trevor??? Why not close the game with him in for kobe who just fouled out on a bad call?

  157. You made a predetermined conclusion that Gasol is soft and not tough enough. You then use that conclusion to explain what happens in the game and then use that as evidence to defend your original conclusion.

  158. I should just stop typing.

  159. Aqzi: Trevor is out with a concussion.

  160. all i gotta say is “where is ‘drew?”

  161. How many “Odumb” comments will we get, I bet dr ray eye is on it already.

  162. We go into double overtime, I dont know how we win without Kobe…someway, somehow, gota pull it out here…

  163. I would actually have liked to have seen Farmar come in rather than Luke. Farmar is one of the only perimeter players besides Kobe that can create for himself or run the P&R and attack. Having that threat in the game right now would be helpful.

  164. lol Harold.

    LO and his high basketball IQ rears its ugly head.

  165. take away kobe and where are the lakers…

  166. Rhetoric question, how come the Lakers have such a hard time with the Bobcats? We may never know…

  167. What a bad inbounds attempt…

  168. Thinking the same thing about Jordan, although you don’t want his lack of size in on D defending a 3 Darius.

  169. ahahahahah its not a good sign if diaw is taking all ur crucial shots

  170. c’mon luke… what the hell was that?

  171. 5 more minutes. This game is like my morning snooze button when I don’t want to get out of bed. Just 5 more…

  172. Here is where we see what our team is made of. Double OT, everyone’s tired, no Kobe. Who steps up and who doesn’t.

  173. If Raymond Felton played the Lakers every game, he would be right up there with Paul and Williams in the ‘best PG of the 2005 draft’ conversation.

  174. Nothing against Pau, but that Pau for Drew substitution earlier was not a good move. Pua is having a bad night. Drew had all the energy and made all the defensive plays that got us our shots on the other end. After he left, we couldn’t get the stops or the shots.

  175. Fish
    Sasha
    Luke
    Pau
    Drew

    Thats what I’d run out there in Double-OT

  176. Thanks Mimsy.
    Who will step up here? I bet andrew wants it.

  177. Now might be the time to bring Farmar off the bench.

  178. Let’s face it…Pau has trouble against opponents who rough him up…yeah, he has great games…but against who? Chicago 34 pts…who guarded him? Noah? Toronto, 24 pts Bargnani? Yup, he’s an imposing force out there…Golden State 33 pts…watch out for Brandan Wright….

  179. Double over-time… we may be dead without Kobe :-(

  180. Game over…no kobe, no win!!!!!

  181. Andreas G: If you can read, I said +/- doesn’t mean crap if YOUR team loses…like lose the GAME!!!!

  182. Anonymous = best poster of the day.

    You just make things that much more interesting around here. Thanks for your contributions.

  183. Anonymous.. We don’t need all the negitivity man c’mon

  184. wow a 3 Guard line up, without kobe

  185. Pound it to andrew. Pound it to andrew.

  186. Not saying anything. Not typing anything.

  187. Did someone put a curse on us when it comes to the Bobcats? I don’t get why we constantly lose to them.

  188. Our only hope is that they double andrew who kicks it out for a couple threes. Not gonna happen.

  189. Yea, this is why I set my expectations low for this game. I actually kinda like they played extended minutes without Kobe in a close game.

  190. +/- For Kobe: W/L

    Simple, really…

  191. Ugh…it’s only going to get harder after this on the road.

  192. WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE FREAKIN’ BOBCATS?????

    I just don’t understand it!!!

  193. Horrible game for the Lakers. You know though, they didnt play that well against the Spurs either, Spurs just played bad. Not surprising, Lakers got outhustled and deserved to lose.

  194. Hard to search for positives in this game, but one thing had to be Bynum’s growth. This kid is stepping up. He’s a force on the offensive side and a force on the defensive side. I just wish the Lakers would actually give him the ball more instead of relying on their 3s.

  195. Lakers were outplayed by the Bobcats! nuff said….allow 56 pts in the paint?? come on!! You can’t expect to win if you’re gonna allow that…

  196. Speaking of bynum’s growth, did anyone else notice grey hairs? Is kareem stressing him out a little too much?

  197. Horrible game for the Lakers. Give the bobcats credit, they outhustled the Lakers and deserved to win. I think there is no doubt this team is lacking some toughness, we dont seem to win close games.

  198. Thanks Wagner!…i’ll be here all day….and don’t forget to tip your waitress!….night all

  199. Key to beat Lakers:

    Get Kobe in foul trouble!

  200. Other positive: we won’t see them in the playoffs, but maybe in like 3 years.

  201. Another positive: the Bobcats have no fans to come in here and gloat.

  202. Adventures in the Inaccuracy of the Plus/Minus Statistic: Part Deux

    Pau Gasol +7
    Andrew Bynum -10

    With that in mind, here’s the difference in the game

    Assists, LA 19, CHA 31
    Rebounds LA 42 CHA 53

    What does this mean? Well they got easier baskets then us, they cleaned up their defensive rebounds (and offensive rebounding is perhaps our teams greatest strength), our top scorer fouled out, and our 2nd top scorer had a terrible game.

    I have a feeling this game we really missed having Ariza and Jordan at 100%.

  203. Damn people, suddenly the Lakers can’t win a close game? Um, not that long ago wasn’t everybody complaining that the Lakers kept winning close games and weren’t blowing everyone out?

    And, every time the Lakers lose somebody is going to fall back on the toughness card. Some teams are just matchup problems for you, and out hustle you, and that has nothing to do with toughness.

  204. and they say this team would be “good” if kobe was not on the team. seriously this team doesnt amount to much without kobe.

  205. 204- I loved the way Drew played too. His moves, as exelhdvr has pointed out all season, are looking more and more instinctual, and less mechanical. Great sign for the future.

    Also, hope Trevor is o.k., Juawan has old skool elbows and sets old skool screens.

    Phil outthought himself tonight. I know bringing in Farmar wasn’t a crazy idea, but I’d left Luke in and try to let him feed Pau and Drew. Spot up Fish and Sasha on the weakside for the ball reversal, but hey, it could’ve worked with Jordan. My only thing is, in clutch situations, Pau should be in over LO, no matter how bad Pau is playing. Pau has earned that right, and LO was not doing anything special to warrant time over Pau.

  206. A bad shooting night by Pau was more or less cancelled out by the Bobcats’ free throws.

    I think this team is just well equipped to deal with our Lakers, especially now, with Raja irking Kobe (first foul-out this season), and Diaw who is difficult to stop if he has all aspects of his game going.

    Anyway, it’s amazing to realize that Kobe with 3 fingers is better than the next person on our bench.

  207. This game shouldn’t have even been as close as it was. The Bobcats outplayed us. However this is what the’ve been doing lately. In their last 15 games they’ve beaten us, Boston, Portland, Phoenix, and Detroit. And they lost to the Spurs by 2. I’m not making excuses, I’m just making the point that they’re playing well and we didn’t step up to match their effort for the entire game. We made two big pushes in the entire game but *that* is not enough against an NBA team that is playing well. Not against any team.

  208. bynums stats tonight are impressive though. 6 blocks most of them in OT, good growing game i suppose.
    we got outrebounded too much this game but kobe just makes things run during crunch time. it’s alright though not a bad loss (Even if a loss is still a loss)

    hey the bobcats beat the celts too

  209. wow, wallace is on his way to the hospital with a possible collapse lung. that’s bad. wish him the best.

  210. The Machine needs some re-calibration. Either that or someone needs to push emergency stop button so that he won’t just keep jacking up shots like no tomorrow.

    This lost might also be karma I guess. I feel bad for Gerald Wallace. Damn he sounded painful.

  211. Forget the supposed ‘lack of toughness’ (yawn), forget Kobe fouling out, forget the Bobcats’ improvement over the last several games – this team obviously has some sort of hex over the Lakers. No matter how bad they are or how good the Lakers are, they always cause headaches and often win. It’s absolutely baffling. Raymond Felton in particular seems to start channeling Isiah Thomas whenever he faces the Lake Show.

  212. Well, I think this answers the question of how to beat the Lakers. Deny Kobe and Gasol early, get them tired, force other guys to make key shots out of position. Keep them away from their sweet spots.

    Run an offense that forces the Lakers to switch until they break down. Keep up the pressure. Feed the hot hand.
    ——————

    Derek Fisher played a heroic game–making key baskets and a remarkable full court pass to Gasol. Andrew proved that he was for real. Sasha was a disaster in the end. Under pressure at the end, Lamar was Lamar and Luke was Luke.

    Vladamir was inspired for the short time he was in.

    The Bobcats ran Brown’s plan to perfection and exceeded the Laker’s intensity.

  213. Yeah, this loss doesn’t sting that much that I would have thought, seeing as how good the Bobcats are playing lately.

    And we’re still in the single digits in the loss column, and only a full game behind for the best record in the league.

    While it was a bit disappointing how the Lakers played tonight, I don’t think this is enough to warrant any major alarm. I’ll start panicking when we pull off a 10 game losing streak for a 38-19 record =p

  214. It just seemed like the ball was not bouncing our way tonight. Like PJ said, it was just the luck of the dice. Bynum, nice game tonight for him indeed.

    You can’t win them all.

  215. oh and i find it kind of ironic the final scores are exactly the same as the kings vs cavs final scores.
    except we got the shorter end of the stick

  216. And also.. I hope Gerald Wallace is alright. Collapsed lung? Sounds fatal.. or painful at the very least *knock on wood* D:

  217. 213. Thank you Kurt. It’s amazing the kind of hyperbole that gets used after a loss. I count 10 games that were decided by 5 or less points. The Lakers won 6 of them. Not that bad people.

  218. I think we need a tribute piece for Sasha, Lamar, Vlad and Luke.

    That post for Fisher worked wonders.

  219. 176 &179 If you were referring to Luke throwing a
    bad inbound pass, the fault was Lamars. He drove for
    the basket and then stopped. Once you start you must
    continue. Luke’s mistake was trusting him.

  220. Kurt,

    Indiana- 117-118 L, Washington 106-104 W, New York 116-114 W, Miami 87-89 L, Orlando 103-106 L, Indiana 121-119 W, Miami 108-105 W, San Antonio 111-112 L.

    In games decided by less than 5 points, the Lakers are only 4-4….that is not a sign of a championship team. The great teams should usually come through in the tough games. And mostof those wins are against bad opponents, which really dont mean nothing.

    Lakers to me do not play good defense down the stretch too often. The color commentator for the Lakers said it, how many times do two guys try to stop penetration, leaving the shooter for the wide open 3? I am sick of seeing it. Things like that needs to stop. You got a 3 point lead, dont give up a wide open 3!

    All I am saying is, the Lakers got to get tougher, and a lot of that is mental, not just physical. Talent is not the issue, and scoring is almost never the issue besides tonight. A lack of toughness is there. I am not doubting this team, I believe they will improve and start to pull these wins out more, I am just saying its not all there yet.

  221. The Lakers loss tonight will be more painful after Bynum gets suspended for a few games. The slow-mo replays of his idiotic hit on Wallace, plus the news that Wallace is hospitalize, is going to cost us.

  222. Get well Wallace . Great game for drew tonight, his post moves are looking more polished. I expect to see him fed more and more in the post as his teammates trust him. Did everyone see how many shots he altered? Hes too long and strong. The kids a monster!!!!

  223. 231- What were you watching? Bynum’s foul was not purposeful in the least. If you watch the replay, he didn’t thrust his elbow into Wallace at all. It was more a matter of Wallace running into his elbow at a high velocity and unfortunately, just hitting him in the wrong spot. I will be shocked if a suspension results.

  224. Bynum did not intend to knock a guy out, but he did not go after the ball either. I watched that a few times and he was late getting there, turned sideways and I think was trying to foul. Not to have it end up like that, but he was not giving up the layup.

  225. 212 Zephid: what was the inaccuracy of the +\- part one?

    Also it’s toigh to blame Luke for that inbound play, maybe he missed a pass to Sasha but nobody else was getting open and Sasha would have been forced into a hero shot-a fadeaway corner three as the buzzer sounded. Not what we want to see.

    Otherwise I am also very pleased withandrew again tonight.

    For those of you defending pau with regards to softness, I am not taking any sides but he obviously did not play well tonight…instead of going through the softness argument let’s take it from a different angle: what causes pau to have bad nights? I hope it’s just the classic fact that everyone has bad nights, but is there a common trend? How did defenses play him last year in the playofs and what worked and what didn’t? I can’t analyze it myself but it would be interesting.

  226. Ah, the latest installment in the riveting series, “X is not the sign of a championship-caliber team… just because I, some random fan, say so!” How… riveting.

  227. 224. You can’t win them all… unless, apparently, you are the Bobcats playing an OT game with the Lakers.

  228. It aint just me guys, Phil Jackson himself said in an interview that the Lakers are not playing at the same level as Boston or Cleveland, so why I might be some random fan, Phil Jackson is the coach who knows his team better than anyone, right now, the lakers are not a championship team, they got too many holes.

  229. Joe, there are two sides to that. What did you expect Phil Jackson to say, that this team is championship ready? Even if they were he wouldn’t say that, he didn’t say that about his greatest Bulls teams. This is a young team and he is trying to keep a fire under them, and the Cavs and Celtics allow him to do that.

  230. 238- Phil Jackson loves to play mind games with his teams. I would take many things he says with a grain of salt. Maybe it’s true, but for Phil’s purposes, it’s most likely a way to motivate his team to rise to that higher level more often. They are clearly capable of that as evidenced by their impressive wins over Boston and Cleveland.

  231. How people use one game to immediately say, “OMG, this isn’t a championship team!” is astounding. It’s one game. We were outhustled, and we deserved to lose. If we had ended up beating them, it would have been because the Bobcats choked at the line. We’re bound to lose close games down the stretch during the season; there will inevitably be games like this in which we’re outworked.

    On a more positive note, Bynum is showing major improvement. I think I’m agreeing with the correlation between posts here analyzing players and their play perking up. Fish hitting that clutch three to send us to OT was indicative enough. Posts on Sasha, Vlad, Ariza, and Walton are probably warranted ;-)

  232. So, with time winding down in the first OT, and up by 3 points against the Bobcats, why are we not fouling as they bring it up?

    We shoot free throws better, and it burns up that precious time.

    Another one of those simple things that you rarely see coaches do. Is there some kind of code, or am I missing something here?

  233. As a Bobcats fan, the homerism on this blog is ridiculous. The foul by Bynum was extremely excessive and the sign of a budding DIRTY PLAYER. I sure hope the NBA suspends Bynum to teach him a lesson that thuggery is NOT part of basketball and anyways why is Bynum so timid against someone his own size – say a Kendrink Perkins??

  234. The foul on Wallace is one of those things where our reactions depend a lot on the consequences. If the guy hadn’t been injured no one would even be thinking about suspensions, or even calling it a flagrant. Bynum is a big guy with long strong arms. When he has momentum, and you have momentum in a different direction, colliding with him is going to hurt and is likely to know people over.

    I hope Wallace gets better, bruised ribs and collapsed lung both sounds very painful. But suspension? Save that for players who intentionally injure others.

  235. The Dude Abides January 28, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Ugh. I have no idea why Phil took out Drew with two minutes left in OT and a 5-pt lead. At the very least, after Kobe fouled out with 40 seconds left and a 3-pt lead, why not bring back Drew to guard the paint so Pau and his 75-inch wingspan can guard Diaw at the 3-pt line? Drew was dominant down low at both ends, especially in OT. That bad personnel decision cost us a win, and perhaps will cost us Drew for a game because of Wallace’s injury. I’m sorry, but putting Luke Walton in for a crucial defensive possession instead of Andrew Bynum is coaching malpractice. Or is this another of Phil’s “big picture” in-game decisions?

  236. Hey Kurt,

    The reason that I complained about the Lakers winning close games was that they are essentially toss ups. I think someone pointed out that the Lakers are 6-4 in games decided by 5 points or less. Isn’t this why people like Hollinger are constantly reminding us that point differential is a better predictor of future success than the actual record of a team? If you win a bunch of close games eventually you will regress back to the mean. Kobe appears to be a huge advantage in these cases but he has lost some games with his last second shots too. Even if he were to shoot an insanely good 50% on buzzer beating threes, that translates to a .500 record.

  237. Bynum was going for the steal. I think he expected gwallace to take another dribble before jumping for the lay-in

  238. The Boo Birds really come out after a loss.

    I am very encouraged by the recent play of Bynum. He seems to be very active on both ends of the court. I do not know what switch was flipped for him to be showing this kind of energy, but we should get them to glue it to the on position.

    And I wonder if Bynum’s improved play is having an effect on Gasol.

  239. Last night was just a bad game for Kobe to foul out. Besides Bynum, Kobe was the only player that had any sort of consistent offense going. When he fouled out, all we needed was one basket or even one trip to the foul line to seal the game and we could not get it. And the fact is that even though Bynum has come on lately, we are not accustomed to featuring him on offense. So while he may have been our best option down the stretch, we are not used to force feeding him (like we are Gasol) and I don’t think we were conscientious enough of him on offense or intent on getting him the ball. By the time we really went to him on the block for buckets, it was too late. We were already down by 5 (or 7?) and even though he got a 3pt. play, it was of non consequence.

    We can make excuses about the game or come up with faulty reasoning about it, but the fact is we lost. It happens. I was mad last night and really frustrated when watching Boris Diaw due his Bernard King impression, but it happens. These guys get paid money to play this game too. Some can claim that this loss is indicative of something greater, but I don’t agree with that in the slightest. If you really believe that, were you on these boards saying the same thing on Deceber 26th? How about last Tuesday morning when Lebron had just left with a loss? The fact still remains we’ve lost 9 times. NINE(!) in 45 games. If anything can be taken away from a game like this it’s that we lose once (or twice) every 5-10 games and this was the loss. Now let’s go on the road and win some games. I have a feeling that we’ll be ready.