Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  November 9, 2009

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers
Centers? We don’t need no stinkin’ centers.

• This season, 36% of Kobe’s shot attempts have come out of the post. Last season that was 14%.

• I don’t expect the percentage to stay that high for Kobe when Gasol and Bynum return and need post touches — Phil Jackson said as much postgame the other night — but if team’s don’t adjust the Lakers should keep giving it to Kobe on the block.

• Without two key starters, it’s about getting the wins and little else. And the Lakers did that efficiently this weekend. Did you see the Orlando score last night? Without Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis they lost big to the Thunder. (Granted, the Thunder has the scoring talent to beat anybody if they are hot for a night.) The Lakers have shown their versatility and gotten good bench play on their way to two wins in potentially dangerous games. All a good sign.

• Phoenix on Thursday will be a much better test of this team. If you haven’t seen them, the Suns are back to spreading the floor, Nash is playing like his MVP years and Amare seems like he is all the way back. (That said, this is a team that needs some key older players like Nash and Hill to stay healthy through the long grind to compete come the spring.)

• The Lakers played solid defense last night. But it’s against the Hornets, a team it’s fairly easy to make into shoot jumpers. Can anybody but CP3 get to the rim and finish on that squad? (By the way, for those into advanced stats, great one from Royce Webb, one of the ESPN.com NBA editors: CP3 has created three estimated wins so far this season on a team with two wins. That is not a good supporting cast.)

• Kobe is shooting 58.8% the last two games. That came after shooting 46.2% on the back-to-back road trip. That ties back into the first note — he is getting the ball on the block and in places he wants. And in the last two games he has had defenders he could post easily on him.

• I like that early in both games, the Lakers got the ball to DJ Mbenga on his cuts. Not because Mbenga used those chances well, but because it forced the defense to respect him as an option.

• It is amazing how far the Hornets have fallen. New Orleans was seventh in defensive efficiency two years ago, ninth last year, and this year they are terrible on the defensive end. And that’s not all just missing Tyson Chandler (although that is part of the equation).

• There’s been a little less Xs and Os on this site so far this season, but that is because with the roster in flux it has been hard to take away a lot of lessons. There is more post play, much more Kobe in the post, obviously. But to take that away and discuss how it will be with Pau and Drew back in the fold is hard.

• I have loved the way the Lakers have gone after the mismatches.

• Got to root for the Globetrotters — Flight Time and Big Easy — to win the Amazing Race. Not just because of the hoops connection, mostly because they seem to be having more fun than any other team on the race. And that’s what it should be about — enjoying the journey, no matter how stressful.

• Honestly, I find the Fisher/Brown debate both tedious and moot. Fish is the starter. Brown and Farmar will have the season to prove they should be the man next year. The team is 6-1, no changes are coming in the near future.

Kurt

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