Preview & Chat: The Miami Heat

Kurt —  December 4, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id=”3130834″]
Records: Lakers 14-3 (1st in West) Heat 10-8 (5th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 107.5 (14th in league) Heat 105.8 (20th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 99.2 (2nd in league) Heat 106.2 (15th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Heat: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Quentin Richardson, Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal

The Lakers Coming in: I think we need to make a distinction when we talk about the Lakers (this came up in the comments): We need to distinguish between the “bench play” — when Odom, Farmar and Brown play parts of the second quarter — and what commenter chibi has trademarked as the “Taco Unit,” the group that includes everyone and blows leads in the fourth quarter.

Against the Hornets Tuesday, the Lakers started to pull away with the bench guys in during the second, a group that is mixed with some starters. The Taco Unit blew a lot of that lead — and almost the tacos — in the fourth quarter. We just need to look at these situations separately.

Aside that, this stat from the Elias Sports Bureau sums it up: Only one other team in NBA history has scored at least 100 points and held their opponents under 100 points for seven straight games. Now, to burst your bubble a little, that team was the 200-01 Milwaukee Bucks.

The Heat Coming in: This is cool: Check out the Blue Note themed Heat roster video.

This has been an inconsistent Heat team — they beat Orlando and Denver earlier in the season (not last night, they got thumped), but then almost gave New Jersey a win. Maybe that’s to be expected with young players like Chalmers and Beasley in key roles, but still they have Wade and Jermaine O’Neal (who, stunningly, has both looked good at times and already missed time due to injury).

That means as much as ever, the Heat are asking Wade to step up and take on more. Especially in the fourth quarter — like Kobe last year the Heat look to get everyone involved early but late it is all Wade all the time. But Wake is not as efficient a shooter this season as he has been in years past — he is shooting 45% (eFG%) and while he is still getting to the line (10 FTA a game) his True Shooting Percentage is 52%, two points below the league average.

Part of the reason for the Heat’s inconsistency is they shoot a lot of long-two jumpers. They take six fewer shots per game at the rim than the average NBA team but make up for that by shooting more jumpers, three more per game from 16 feet to the three point line, than the average team. Of course, the long two is the least efficient shot in basketball.

One of the Heat’s biggest weaknesses is their bench — they get fewer points per game from the bench than any team in the NBA (according to ESPN Statistics). That was evident again last night, when after a tight first quarter the deep Nuggets just pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back.

What the Heat try to do on defense should remind people of the Showtime Lakers teams — defend the paint and get back in transition. Basically, take away the easy baskets and tempt the other team to be jump shooters. However, they don’t defend in the paint all that well, especially if you have bigs who can pass and motion in the offense. (Which the Lakers have.)

Blogs and links: The True Hoop Network has Hot Hot Hoops covering the Heat.

Fitting with out theme earlier today, here’s another little trip down memory lane.

Keys to game: What the Heat do on offense is not a surprise, but that doesn’t make it that easy to stop: It’s a lot of pick-and-rolls and isolations for Wade. On the picks the Lakers bigs need to show out consistently and not let Wade turn the corner with a head of steam. Rotations from the bigs to keep the paint full of long arms also will be key. When Wade sits (and also when he is in, just not as often) it’s a lot of isolations for Beasley, particularly out on the wing. Good game for the strong side zone when that happens.

While those two drive, the rest of the Heat spread the floor as spot up shooters. The Lakers need to be careful about who they leave open.

Richardson, a solid defender, will get the Kobe assignment. Richardson did well on the slumping Brandon Roy the other night. The Heat love to trap the other team’s primary ball handler (especially off picks) so Kobe needs to be aware and make the smart pass.

Finally, as always, the Heat may be athletic but they do not match up with the Lakers inside. Pound the ball in on offense and the Lakers should get some easy buckets.

Where you can watch: 7:30 start at Staples Center, you can choose between Fox Sports or ESPN, and on 710 ESPN radio.



230 responses to Preview & Chat: The Miami Heat

  1. Seeing this post scared me since my first reaction was, “Did he die?”

    Big Game James was my favorite Laker ever. He got the job done and let others have the limelight. There’s much to be said for that approach.

  2. It will be nice to see how the Lakers come out in this game, given that it’s our first one against more solid opposition for a while. Hopefully we see one of those games where the starters really have it clicking from the outset, letting us run normal rotations and dictate the pace and terms of the game.

  3. That picture with Kobe guarding Wade, and Fisher coming over to help is a nice reminder of how we are different this season… we have Ron the Rottweiler on defense now. 🙂

    Go Lakers!

  4. Great post by the K Bros on the Bynum-passing thing.

    After reading that, I think what strikes me is that Bynum just doesn’t have the experience to read and react the way Pau, kobe or Lamar can. I don’t hold that against him because it’ll develop, but it raises something else: I hope he is learning the skill of watching tape at this young age, the way Kobe learned with Tex Winter as a youth. That is the skill that will improve all other skills, especially his recognition and ability to react during games.

    I also think, as the Ks touch on, that the depth of the team is an issue here because he gets that fewer number of reps- both in games and in practice. When Shaq was here, he was the focal point. I could see them holding whole practices on how to get him the ball and what he should do after. But on this team, there isn’t going be a team wide session on Drew’s offensive sets.

    Hopefully the veterans around him can understand this and help him out a bit.

    None of this is meant as criticism really, just what I’d like to see from the young man as he matures.

  5. thisisweaksauce December 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    The Taco Unit. I can’t stop laughing.

  6. Han – that was awesome.

    I’m tired of all these home games – I hate waiting for the 7:30 start.

  7. Nicely done, Han. That is definitely going on the ol’ Facebook.

  8. Han, that is awesome. Well done. 🙂

  9. Taco Unit is certified. One thing I can’t help but notice though, is how Sasha’s got his guide hand on his shot way out in front in the picture. If that was consistent, it would be hurting his shot and something so slight could occur when put in “pressure” situations such as professional basketball games. Maybe this has something to do with his shots during games. His release normally looks okay, but no dice. But I digress…

  10. That picture is artistic/sports genius. Burst out laughing in the library – damned LSATS

  11. @5 han,
    great picture of the Taco Unit
    Are they still the Taco Unit on the road?

  12. lol… on the road they’d be the taco truck.

    hope we’re not jinxing them!

  13. re the K bros article

    almost 2 years and we’re still kwame bashing?

    Bynum’s attitude seems a little troubling.. seems like he’s very concerned w/his own production rather than the team’s success.. there was another article recently where he expressed frustration that his man (david lee) was getting open looks because he (bynum) was helping on defense..

  14. With Gasol back it is easier to help on defense and still guard your man because of all those fatness in the middle, so I don’t think that will be a problem.

  15. And while we are waiting for the game, Gasol gets some well deserved recognition.

  16. Wow…the Bulls are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with their PGs. While watching the Bulls-Crabs game, I wondered who the little old fat guy is who plays for the Bulls. It’s Lindsey Hunter! I thought he was out of the league, but I guess he’s playing because Hinrich is hurt. He looks and plays like your dad in the rec league at the gym. His speed reminds me of Brad Miller’s.

  17. This Cavs team is really obnoxious, I am starting to dislike them as much as the nuggets…What is up with all Lebron’s dancing

  18. I love watching Aaron Gray play; he’s like the second coming of Bill Wennington.

  19. The puppets are back!

  20. Buddy Holly is undefeated as Nets coach!!!

  21. rofl, Michael Beasley defending Andrew Bynum. R O F L. Black Hole it up, big guy.

  22. 2 possessions in a row Beasley has guarded Bynum. I really hope that’s not by design.

  23. Whew…a little worried by Drew’s tumble there.

  24. I can’t understand why Kobe is guarding Wade. Anyway, now he has his second. Time for him to guard Q, Phil.

  25. Link please

  26. Hmm. Lakers need the defense to kick in here. Things are a little ragged.

  27. Dude,
    Because Artest is too slow to keep up with Wade? Only guessing here though…

  28. I guess the Laker statistician has his orders to give more assists to Drew. Kobe’s last dribble drive layup starting at the top of the key? Drew got an assist.

  29. Bob Macadoo rocking the bow-tie!

    Lakers haven’t done too well on these Friday ESPN games (see Dallas and Denver). I have a feeling we turn that around tonite.

    Seems like a game Ron can be effective offensivley.

  30. That would be the logical reason, but it still doesn’t make much sense. Let Ron-Ron blanket Wade and try to force him into pull-up jumpers. Ron can wear him down while Wade’s on offense, and either Ron or Kobe can wear him down when he’s on defense.

  31. omg Jamaal Magloire just dunked on us. Time for seppuku.

  32. Chalmers is the only reason the Heat are in this game early.

    Kobe’s been picking up a lot of fouls this season. Being too aggressive on D? But going for steals or just solid d?

  33. I agree, I think Artest would do a better job wearing Wade down than Kobe, just because of his greater strength and sheer size. He’s also very good at playing defence without fouling, which always helps.

    Maybe next half. 🙂

  34. 32. Zephid, don’t you know that coming into the game, Magloire is shooting 100% from the field this season? He’s an absolute terror under the basket. Hasn’t missed a shot.
    /only taken one shot this season

  35. People saying Artest appeared on Kimmel in his boxers didn’t watch the segment.

  36. Darn it ESPN

    Come on, there’s an NBA game going on! There’s a basketball game going on, stop talking about artest!

  37. Have the Lakers hit a shot outside of the paint yet??

  38. lol, Ron Artest with the goofiest looking turnaround of all time.

  39. Urgh. Seriously. It’s ten ****ing years ago. Can we drop this and focus on the actual game that is gong on, please?

  40. some very dodgy calls going on

  41. Why do they run talk radio during the game anyways? Its distracting. Next they’ll have bababooey interviewing a stripper.

  42. That was so frustrating,

    ESPN just went Time out to Time out simply talking about Artest and Alcohol.

  43. BALL DON’T LIE! (missed oop after Magloire gets away with elbowing artest)

  44. Oh no, you did NOT just elbow Ron Artest in the head! How dare you?!?

  45. Ummm…Drew…let’s dispense with the 15-20 foot jumpers please. You’re not Dirk or Pau. Also, I thought swinging your elbows and making contact was an offensive foul?

  46. If you’re local, the game is still on FSNW. We don’t have to watch ESPN, and we can switch to ESPN when they start interviewing some random celeb for five minutes.

  47. Swinging your elbows is only a foul when Kobe’s swinging his elbows.

    And then it is a suspendable offense.

  48. come on, guys. hit a shot

  49. Sadly, I am not local… I am stuck with Van Gundy’s rabid persecution of cognac-drinkers. 🙁

    At least I get it in HD.

  50. Not going to win a lot of games shooting 36%.

  51. Its a testament to the Laker offense that they have 23 points despite being incapable of hitting anything from outside of 5 feet

  52. There it is. COme on Kobe.

  53. I want a dvd of nothing but Pau Gasol participating in fast breaks

  54. man I was so ready for Artest to explode when Magloire landed that elbow.

  55. Jordy’s playing great. Knock on wood.

  56. I have no idea who Jimmy V was. Why is he in annoying commercials that are ruining my Laker-game fun?

  57. 56- he waited until the next possession, got below the rim, missed a lay up between 3 Heat big men, got his own rebound from those same 3 bigmen without getting off the floor and layed it back in. That was his revenge

  58. mega-flop by Farmar right there.

  59. Lamar finally shoots a three without hesitating 😀

  60. Way to check for blood, Pau 😀

  61. omg, Pau Gasol with the Grizzly Bear growl + the Check4Blood.

  62. Gasol check for blood…

    Farmer looking as good as ever…

  63. Check for blood Pau!

  64. 58, Mimsy, Jim Valvano was the long time coach of NC State who died of cancer 8 weeks after winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and setting up the V Foundation to find the cure for cancer. You should watch his 1993 Espy speech; very moving.

  65. 60. Zephid, that was crafty veteran smarts by Jordy. A mega-flop would be the proper term if it had been Wade who did it 😀
    Also, Pau was hit in the face on his basket for an obvious foul, no call.

  66. Wade has 1 point?

  67. Ah… Thanks Zephid, the commercials make a lot more sense now! 🙂

  68. LOL “Get yourselves in whack!” -PJ

  69. So we have Artest elbowed in the head, we have Pau getting smacked in the face… is anyone taking bets on how long it will take until the refs start calling fouls on these head shots? I’m thinking my money is on “early 4th quarter”…

  70. wade literally running over fish

  71. Thou shalt not call charging on Dwyane [sic] Wade when a blocking call can be made. Also, Beasley goes over the back on Fish, no call. I guess the refs need to keep it close.

  72. Andrew seems sulky. Two defensive plays in a row where he either didn’t get back on defense in time or didn’t rotate.

  73. lets hope this jump shooting a one half abberation

  74. Holy sh—! KOBE!

  75. Can I get a whistle up in here?

  76. Is it just me, or did that ref actually look a bit scared from that Kobe death-glare?

  77. 74. Yeah, he’s making Magloire look like an all star. With his 3-4 FGs in the first half, Magloire’s FG% has dropped to 80%. It would be 100% if Jordy hadn’t blocked one of his bank shots.

  78. 77. I really think they let Laker opponents get away with fouls because they subconsciously empathize with them. The Lakers are just so good. It’s become a pattern the last two seasons. The Lakers have one of the three or four lowest FTA/FGA ratios in the league, despite taking more shots in the paint than anyone else plus the extra FTs they get when opponents have to foul at the end of the game when the Lakers are ahead.

  79. You know what’s annoying the crap out of me? How Bynum doesn’t contest 50% of shots around his way.

    Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. However, what I HAVE noticed is that Bynum does not contest shots in which he has a possibility of being embarrassed (ie. dunked on). Additionally, he does not run out at the shooters as Odom and Pau do. He raises his hand lackadaisically and takes a lazy step towards the shooters.

    I noticed it many times, most glaringly in the game against the Hornets. Granted, the game was all but over, but the fact that he appeared to not care (when Powell/Mbenga always give effort) bothered me.

    That’s just me.

  80. Dude, I agree. I know it is a tough game to call, but refs sure seem to swallow their whistles on some things that seem fairly obvious.

    Regardless, tonight the Lakers just look a little out of sync. Not sure what that is about?

  81. A couple of first half notes:

    *The Lakers are gambling too much in the passing lanes and it’s opening up penetration and in turn offensive rebounding chances for the Heat. The team needs to play more disciplined and stop exposing our bigs to uncovered guards where they can’t help while still recovering to rebound.

    *We need to reverse the ball more. When we’ve stalled on offesne, the ball has stuck to one side of the floor where the Heat’s help defensive assignments are clear and they can play a lot of in between defense where they help, contest, and then rebound. Also, the best way to take advantage of our size advantage (and the Heat trying to full or half front the post) is to move the ball from the wing to the top to the opposite wing and then looking for the pass over the top of that fronting defense after each successive pass. The times we’ve done that, we’ve gotten layups/dunks.

    *We are going under the screen too much on Chalmers. He has not yet proven that he can come off the screen, turn the corner, and finish at the rim/create a good look for a team mate. But he has proven that he can hit the jumper in rhythm when the defender goes under the screen and gives him the space to fire away.

    *Are we overrating Shannon Brown? This is a thought that I’ve been having recently as he’s falling into the trap of shooting a tad too much and settling too much for the outside shot. I love that he’s got confidence in his jumper. But, I also think he’s most effective (in the half court) when he’s just made a pass and then moving to open space where he can play off the attention that our better players are getting. He’s playing mostly with starter caliber players now (sharing most of his court time with Pau and/or Drew/LO/Ron or Kobe/Farmar) and those guys can get him better looks than he can create for himself. I love the WOW plays as much as the next guy, but we also need steadiness from that spot and he’s been a bit up and down in my eyes the past few times I’ve seen him play. On a side note, JVG called the Artest/WOW sub a reaction to the Beasley match up, but I saw it more of a reaction to that missed jumper that Shannon fired up when there were other options available that were better choices (I mean it’s not like Beasley had done anything to hurt us with WOW on him during that stretch).

  82. noah called Lebron out on his dancing and unproffesionalism, called him a bitch, good for him

  83. 81, so you must really hate the fact that Kobe contests 0% of shots in his area.

  84. @Jman,
    It annoys me a lot less than all those quick and unnecessary fouls did 😉

  85. Darius, Ron Artest is a big gambler. Sometimes when he plays too close up to his man, he gets beat and then does Kobe’s move where he goes for the pickpocket instead of trying to get back into position.

    I think Beasley made a couple of good moves against Brown when he was being guarded one on one. He didn’t make any shots, but he made some good passes out to his teammates.

  86. Zephid,
    I agree about Ron’s gambling. But, he is very adept at creating the steal or forcing the mishandle by the player he’s guarding when uses that tactic. I think it’s the combination of his big body leaning on you, his long arms, and his great instinct for getting his hands on the ball.

    As for Beasley, yeah he did make good decisions when Shannon was on him. I’m with you there. But he only went to the post once (and that was more of the mid post) and he still turned and faced and on the other possessions he just floated around the perimeter.

  87. What’s going on with the ESPN feed? This is the grainiest HD-feed I have ever seen… I’m pretty sure there’s no severe weather conditions going on tonight.

  88. JVG has mentioned twice the Lakers being too competitive. It’s nice to see no let up in the team and the hustle we know will lead to wins.

  89. On a different note, Wade is having a rough night.

  90. really would like to see some more farmar right now

  91. Off-topic: Boozer is playing like an All-Star… wonder if Miami will force its way with him or wait for the unhappy Bosh this summer.

    Chris H, Mimsy, the rest of the gang…

    I’m disappointed you took Miami so lightly that you did not post for and in behalf of me… hope we win this sloppy game. But its your fault =p

  92. Sorry for the double post, but Wade’s got to be feeling upset when he sees Kobe’s supporting cast and then compares that to his own. Besides Wade himself, I think only Beasely and Chalmers would get more than 10 minutes of run a night if he played for the Lakers.

  93. Whops. Sorry about that Warren. We’ll do better next time.

    Sloppy, indeed… this is about to get ugly.

  94. Zephid (85),

    That’s not true. Kobe’s showcasing his championship on ball defense tonight for national TV.

  95. what’s with all the missing layups?

    anyone can comment on this, i am watching the game via gamecast.

  96. 96, yea, Kobe is playing great defense. But he still doesn’t contest shots. If you watch closely, he plays really close, low in his stance, hands up, but when Wade goes up to shoot, Kobe just stands with his hands half-raised; he doesn’t even fully extend his arm.

  97. Ron is like a black hole in this game.

  98. Yeah, We have a 12 minute game now… I know we wanted more competitive games, but these types of games are just killing me.

  99. Lakers are only in this game because of missed FTs and turnovers forced. Of course, they are having issues because they’re missing shots they usually make, so I guess it evens out…

  100. The music is getting annoying.

  101. Kobe time?

  102. holy shit kobe bryant.

  103. Yeah, Kobe time. Definitely Kobe time.

  104. Yup, Kobe time indeed

  105. Two things have been very ordinary in this game so far

    -The Lakers 3rd quarter D (with the exception of Kobe’s on the ball effort against D-Wade)

    -The officiating

  106. yeaa… i’ve been waiting for the ‘4th quarter’ kobe.
    although i am expecting to see it during the playoffs, not now.

    but all is good.

    Kobe Time!

  107. wow big shot by Farmar there.

  108. I’m really liking Farmar’s play and effort tonight.

  109. im starting to be a jordan believer, its taken 4 years

  110. Lamar ruined it with a 3 second call, but Brown and Farmar both made good decisions in transition. Held up the ball and waited for better shots.

  111. that’s just unfair by Kobe.

  112. As long as Kobe is unfair in our favour I am perfectly okay with it 🙂

  113. It just looked like he had no chance of putting up a good shot… but then again it’s Kobe.

    Pau has disrupted a couple of passes in the lane this quarter, I like his activity on D.

  114. Big Guns = Kobe 🙂

  115. Gasol, check4face

  116. Oh shit…. that went to the eyes!

  117. That looks painful. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.

  118. Is it wrong that my first thought was, “wow, that is a really exaggerated Check4Blood there, Pau.”

    Hopefully it’s just a poke in the eye and nothing serious.

  119. Damn…looks like Pau’s in a lot of pain. Hope it’s not one of his eyes.

  120. Zephid, the eye pokes scare me, if you take what happened to Amare into account.

  121. He’s looking at Gary, he’s talking… hopefully it’s only pain and no actual damage. *crosses fingers*

    Does anyone know what kinds of sacrifices you offer the basketball gods when it comes to eye injuries?

  122. Now the game is cutting too close for comfort…

  123. LO-you can’t be getting kicked out of games

  124. On the other side, Pau is back in. Good sign?

    Lamar, bad timing there. Really. I know he kicked you and shoved you, but still… very bad timing!

  125. We lose Pau, now Lamar…

  126. Bynum just isn’t moving his feet and cutting off passing lanes. The Heat are just slipping the pick and getting in the lane because Bynum isn’t covering the passing lane. Gasol and Odom were quick enough to cover this for each other, but Bynum has gotten beat 3 times in a row, twice for JO dunks.

  127. I wish Ron notice his own FG percentage right now..

  128. LO out, Pau back in, that is OK with me.

  129. Kobe, Kobe. . .

  130. Fisher with a rebound leads to a Kobe basket and 1

  131. Kobe, wow.

  132. #134, chibi “Kobe #1”

    The Jman supports that message.

  133. Kobe: Yes!

    Bynum: Good pass! Wrong man! Close!

    Nice up and under move though…

  134. that o rebound by D Fish was HUGE. Massively, unmistakeably HUGE.

  135. themonkey, to be fair to Ron-Ron, he’s been hammered a lot on his drives into the paint and only been to the line for one FT.

  136. Oh, you can’t let Wade do that! Get in front of him!

  137. I think that every time the Mavericks watch Wade do that they die a little more inside…

    And, oh yes, can we please take Fisher out for the rest of the game? He cannot guard Wade, and is shooting Long 2’s…

  138. Is Fisher planning on helping at all on these screens?

  139. comon we know its going to be a high screen and roll everytime

  140. Still can’t stop Wade once a screen is set…

  141. Ugh…Drew isn’t rotating at all. Pau made Dwyane [sic] Wade alter his layup attempt. If Drew had rotated over, he might have had a block. Also, that was a blatant hold by Chalmers on Kobe on the high screen that freed up Wade’s drive.

  142. wow, that was by far the worst possession I’ve ever seen, ever.

  143. that was an absolute terrible possession

  144. What in God’s name was that?

  145. This game is over. Time for bed.

  146. I am going to have a heart attack tonight.

  147. 146

    Also, does Fisher know that Wade has been going left off that high screen since Adam was a boy? Gimme a break!!!!

  148. Why on earth did we wait that entire possession to get a shot off?

  149. not good execution on offence or defence in the clutch

  150. Kurt, How about if you keep your negative comments to yourself about wanting the lakers to be challenged? Now they’re playing like crap again.

  151. Well, if the Lakers lose, they deserved to lose. Hopefully they can use this as motivation to become better at defending the pick-and-roll.

  152. And here I thought it was my fault for not getting the Warren comment in on ti— FISHER!!!!!

  153. Still time to salvage this one.


  155. A Fisher three, unbelievable!

  156. Whether this game is won or lost, Miami played well to their credit but this game was one of those lack of effort games again, where they say “the little things” win you games, well the Lakers didn’t do the little things tonight. The defense tonight was pretty much standing around watching the Heat do whatever they wanted on offense.

  157. Great free throw defense tonight

  158. Someone wake up Zephid, the game is not over yet.

  159. comon kobe u owe us a game winner

  160. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  162. Ummm….yeah….that guy is pretty good

  163. The BANK is open tonight. KOBE WINS IT

  164. Damn, no tacos.

  165. KobeWOW, did you guys see that shot!

  166. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  167. Oh my god.

    Kobe just gave me a heart attack.

    I love this team.

  168. STOP! KOBE TIME!!!!

  169. Hey NBA, time to start airing this other guy’s buzzer beating 3 in your commercials.

  170. Kobe will get the headlines, but don’t forget Fisher’s HUGE 3 to cut it to 1.

  171. OH MY GOD!!! KB24 for the win!!!

  172. That was one of the most amazing shots I’ve ever seen. His feet landed about 4 feet left of where he took off… his legs were extended 45 degrees to the right. Wade gave him a little shove on the takeoff. Just unbelievable.

  173. Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo December 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    We are spoiled.

  174. I don’t care what anyone says- in the final seconds of a game, Bryant/Fisher is the coldest, nastiest guard combo in the L.

  175. That Kobe guy is good!

    Ha, espn has Sasha listed as a +/- 6 with the rest of the stats at 0.

  176. kobe needed to have a new highlight so we wont see lebron too often,

  177. 184. magic, I think you mean a +6, right?

  178. My client was found not guilty today. My celebration can begin now that Kobe buried that shot.

  179. I am happy now… and Joel you are right about that Fisher 3, a very important shot indeed, but I also liked Kobe’s 3.

  180. If Wade had taken that exact same shot as Kobe in the same situation, and Kobe had pushed him on the hip the same exact way that Wade pushed Kobe, the refs would have called a foul on Kobe. It’s amazing how you can’t even breathe on Wade or they’ll call a foul. Anyway, I’ll take the win, but Drew needs to go back to the drawing board on his defensive rotations.

  181. 171, for shame. For shame!

  182. Fisher got a highlight for that 3. Well deserved.

    I am happy to report that the basketball gods respond favourably to offerings of Laphroaig. 🙂

    In other news I just saw the Lebron dance number on Sport Center, and now I really dislike the guy. Showing up and taunting an under-manned opponent in that way is both disrespectful and childish. He’s not helping his public image here.

  183. So will Kobes 3 replace Lebrons 3 in the Orl/Cavs as the best shot in this decade? I mean Lebron was wide open and he didnt have to bank it in.

  184. Let’s call our dear moderator out on this one:

    Zephid wrote on December 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm
    This game is over. Time for bed.

    And I also agree with Josh, just spot on:

    Josh wrote on December 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    I don’t care what anyone says- in the final seconds of a game, Bryant/Fisher is the coldest, nastiest guard combo in the L.

  185. And this is why we watch this game

  186. i thought my dad was going to have a heart attack when kobe buried the shot, never seen him before excited like that. i guess i shouldnt let him watch laker games.

  187. lakergirl: It won’t, but it should.

  188. lakergirl:

    Decade? Not even close. I can think shots from Kobe himself that easily trumps those two.

    See: Portland, 2004.

  189. matuldi klinsmann December 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    last shot should have been and 1 btw.

  190. What makes this win even sweeter is that we finally got that 8th straight win, we couldnt get past 7 last year, and with all the home games coming up we can easily kick it up over 10.

  191. How huge was Wade’s missed FT, if he makes if Kobe probably is fouled before he can take a shot. That was another great shot by Kobe

  192. Yes, I do mean +6. I don’t know what’s more amazing, the Kobe 3 bank or that Sasha got a +6.

    I still can’t believe we pulled out that win. Thanks to Kobe and Fish’s play in the 4th quarter. Those 2 amazing daggers by 2 big play killers.

  193. Kobe doin work…2 4 on my shirt forever.

  194. 1) That game was over. I was so angry at the abortive “play” Kobe and Pau couldn’t figure out in the last half minute. It was over. The rest was formalities if we were going to force a couple threes…

    2) On the other hand, once I saw Fisher get the ball in that spot, with his man giving him space, I knew that was going in.

    3) As soon as the ball left kobe’s hand it felt like a bank shot. It was straight on so that even as it went long, it felt good. I don’t know if he called it but that’s the benefit of shooting from that spot!

    WOW. Great way to start the weekend.

  195. Look at Drew, rocking the pink shirt!

  196. That wasn’t even a shot- it was a runner in traffic

  197. #191

    I share your feelings about LeBron. The icing on the cake was his post-game interview with that stuttering sycophant Bucher where he called Joakim Noah out for being ‘disrespectful’.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy to see a great player fail as I was last year when LeBron was ‘cheated’ out of what he assumed was his birthright – a Finals showdown with Kobe. That stupid pre-game photo ritual is what you come to expect from a HS team that blows every team out of the gym, not a team of professionals whose primary goal is a championship.

    But I digress… back to the hailing of the genius that is KB24

  198. i have to say that i think kobe banked it deliberatly, he had force hit so much it was a line drive

  199. Say what we do about how the refs favor D-Wade, but the guy is not a sore loser. He just said that Kobe is the one guy in the NBA who can bank in game-winning threes off one leg, going to his left 😀 He mentioned that if it had been anyone else making that shot, his team would be feeling a lot worse in the locker room.

  200. Kobe should have done the “This is my house” gesture 😀

    I remember seeing a replay of Wade doing it over and over again after his shot over the (now with 1 more win!) Nets.

    On a related note, my neighbor came rushing to our house when they heard me shout after Kobe’s shot banked in. They thought I got shot or got into an accident or something haha

  201. simonoid 196- if you are referring to the game where kobe makes the same 2 30ft fade aways against portland in the last game of the regular season; 1 to force overtime buzzerbeater and the other 1 to win the game buzzerbeater, I woul say hands down that was kobe’s greatest triumphent moment of his career!
    As for this game, I love that we were going to the post in the last 2 minutes of regulation and then once PJ signaled “time management” they went to their cluch players. It reminded me a lot of the dynasty lakers. The only think I don’t understand is Sasha playing. I wished Shannon could have recieved those clutch minutes so he can get used to it with his development as a key player. If anyone feels like explaing please be my guest but I would have been happier with Jordan than Sasha!
    BTW- Great win, great Friday, great night to be a Laker fan!

  202. On twitter, like half the league was apparently watching this game and reacted to Kobe’s shot

  203. That guy has hit more amazing shots than I’ve ever seen. And I’m 47… I’d love to see a commercial with Kobe making these types of shots and McEnroe yelling “You can’t be serious!!”. Kobe …there is no substitute.

  204. Jeremy (210) – of course, what else could I have been talking about? =)

  205. BTW .. Laker hater txt’s me after Kobe’s airball, “Nice Airball”… I text’d back after last shot, “He called glass”… I love Karma.

  206. Kobe hit more amazing shots in this one game than most guys do their whole career.


  207. texas rob- Without sounding so typical, the only highlight reels that interest me equally if not more than kobe’s would be “THE #23”. Kobe is my idol but I think he is either highly disputed by MJ’s highlights or trumped by them. We all have our opinions though.

  208. Jeremy — I hear you, And I can’t deny… I’ve watched Kobe more than #23, but clearly I’ve enjoyed Kobe’s more.

  209. Derek Fisher is a professional. Kobe is a legend. Wow.

  210. hahahaha- Zephid hasnt been back- he really did go to bed early didn’t he. He’s got a morning surprise in store for him!

    I just feel bad that Kurt didn’t get that exciting game he was pining for the other day. Maybe against the suns?

  211. just noticed that we are 3-0 for close games. (2 o.t wins and this miami heartbreaker) not bad to start the season.

  212. JD, check #169…he saw it. but that would have been sweet.
    did you see in Kobe’s FSN post game interview he mentioned about some of the front row people leaving early, can you imagine??? having front row for this game, and leaving early to beat the traffic???

  213. Best way to summarize how the Cavs act and how the Lakers act?

    Cavs: Act like you are entitled to it.

    Lakers: Act like you’ve earned it.

  214. 221- ah youre right! Glad he was bluffing. I basically thought it was over also but once I had accepted that there was no downside to seeing the thing out… Classic.

    Is kobe’s interview online somewhere?

  215. 222 – ladlal:

    Funny, people were saying the same things about us and Boston last season.

    Celtics: Act like you’ve earned it.

    Lakers: Act like you’re entitled to it.

  216. Lakers + Miracles = Kobe Bryant

  217. WhiteLightnin’ December 5, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Dude, like the “Dwyane [sic],” it really ties the room together and it’s very appropriate and slightly unsettling. Further, Wade showed how much classier he can be than LeBron tonight.

    The Lakers know how to win.

  218. New post up, I think you’ll like the video.

  219. This post’s photo selection has been superb.

    D-Wade, Kobe and Fisher.

    Sums up the game’s final 6 seconds or so 🙂

  220. Just to add a touch of intrigue to the O’neal/Odom thing…

    1) O’neal was the guy during the “Malice at the Palace” that was in the original altercations with Artest during the game. His shove was the one Artest walked away from to go lay down on the scorer’s table. Remember that O’neal was suspended 25 games, later reduced to 15 by a Federal Judge.

    2) Odom and Artest are long time, childhood friends.

    Makes you wonder what O’neal was saying/doing to get Odom so worked up in the first place…

  221. Apparently Wallace and O’neal are the same guy in my mind…

    Can we blame that on an early Saturday, pre-coffee? Thanks…