Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  October 16, 2009

Thoughts from last night’s Laker game and whatever else crosses my mind.

• The word on Lamar Odom is that it was nothing serious and he is day-to-day (but aren’t we all). For those that didn’t see, he was kicked in the shin by Jon Brockman in a rebound scrum under the basket. Just a shin bruise (not on the bone), but because it was preseason he sat.

• The Vegas game was clunky like you expect a preseason game to be. That said, the Lakers had a plan for a night — post up. Lots of Bynum on the block early, and if not him Kobe.

• With the ball in the post for essentially clear outs, and without Gasol getting the ball in the high post, the Lakers offense looked a little stagnant early — people clear out for Bynum on the low block so he can work, same for Kobe when he posts. but when Gasol gets the ball in the high post people move and cut because they know he’ll get them the ball.

• That changed when Mbenga came in with the second unit (nobody clears out for him), that unit with Brown and Sasha was cutting and moving. Not coincidentally, that is when the Lakers pulled away. By the way, so far this season Sasha seems back — he needs to start doing that in games that matter for me to give big props, but it’s a good sign.

• You have to love Bynum’s explosiveness and effort. Granted, the Kings don’t really have anyone who can really handle him on the block, but he was aggressive and took advantage of that. As it should be.

• Alex V. was right in the comments — right now, this season of Top Chef feels like preseason basketball. We know who the four finalists should be (my man Kevin, Jen and the two brothers) and it’s just a matter of waiting for the others to fall by the wayside until the real games start.

• Not to go all Joel Meyers, but when you haven’t seen them for a while, you forget what a long team the Lakers are, and how much trouble that causes other team’s shooters. Also, they should be a great rebounding team because of it. (I really should have worked harder to find a way to put the word “upside” in that bullet just to make it the ultimate cliché.)

• Artest seems often like he’s thinking, not just reacting in the offense. That will change. (And the handful of times he was in a position to just react, he made good plays. He is physically so strong down low going for boards.)

• Stephen Jackson got called for two fouls guarding Kobe, and he wasn’t even in the building this time.

• They found the Balloon Boy. Can we stop talking about him now? CNN, I’m looking at you.

• The regular refs need to be back for the regular games. Figure it out. By the way, the amazing Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus breaks down the numbers on the new refs, and it’s a good read.

• Ugh, Dodgers. 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position doesn’t cut it. Need to clean that up today.

• Really wish I could have made Blogs With Balls in Vegas. Stupid “real world” got in the way of the fun.