Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  December 2, 2009

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Let Shannon Dunk!

• Late in the second quarter against the Hornets I had a blasphemous thought — I’m tired of the Lakers blowing teams out, I want to see them challenged. I feel conflicted. Finally, after years of the Lakers seeming to take the little guy too lightly and playing to their opponents level, they are blowing out weaker teams at home. It’s what fans have been asking for. And I’m getting bored with it. I want some team to push the Lakers, to really test them. Maybe Miami can do some of that Friday night. Maybe it’s next week when the Lakers host the Jazz on Wednesday. Or on next Saturday, when the Lakers play the Jazz again but on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. I know it will happen soon, and I’m looking forward to it.

• I love that Phil Jackson was willing to sink or swim with the bench guys at the end of the Hornets game. They have to start holding leads, when the Lakers do go out on the road more that rest for the starters will matter.

• I love that the Hornets were fouling and doing all they could to ruin the taco giveaway. I also loved that in the locker room after the game all the Hornets players were saying “What taco giveaway?”

• T. Rogers made a good point in the comments this morning: Serious knee injuries in two consecutive years might have mentally broken a lot of players, but Andrew Bynum has fought through them to come back stronger than ever. That is a credit to the kid.

• What the heck happened to Brandon Roy?

• AI in Philly? The team needs backcourt help, AI still has some game and provides instant scoring. Everyone else on the team is a pretty good defender and can cover for AI somewhat. But you might as well take Eddie Jordan’s complex Princetonesque offense and throw it out the window.

• An interesting breakdown from Kevin Pelton of the early season statistics league wide — teams are playing at a little faster pace than last season, and hitting short-range shots better.

• For those that remember The National, a look back.

• Check you iPhone App store or the Android Marketplace for a specially designed Lakers app today (it’s $3.99, and there is one for each team).

• Lakers fans need to understand this about the national perception of the Artest/Ariza swap — what happens in November and December is not going to change minds. Yes. Artest has been a perfect fit so far and, even with his latest “revelation,” he has not disrupted the team like some had feared (myself included). Yes, Ariza has struggled being “the man” in Houston. But remember that Ariza was a key to the Lakers championship, and for all Artest has done he has yet to do that, to play that well on the biggest of stages. That is the only thing that will change some minds.