Lakers vs. Suns live blog powered by nomuskles

nomuskles —  December 28, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id="3800274"]Otherwise known as Where Amazing Didn’t Happen At All.

After getting mauled by the bear that is the Cavaliers and gutting out a win against the Kings, the Lakers swoop into Phoenix to take in their third viewing of The Steve Nash Show. Will the Lakers rise above the ashes or Icarus their way to a scorching?

Artest remains out.

1st Quarter

11:46 – Pau hits a nice turn around jumper from the right block. Great to see him start with good lift in his legs. Pau seemed a bit taken by surprise by the intensity of the Kings’ big men.

10:58 – Lakers run an atrocious “fast” break off a turnover. No spacing and the suns clog the middle.

10:06 – Grant Hill = Speedster? Hill beat the lakers down the floor for an easy bucket. LAL 2, PHX, 6

9:28 – The Lakers have turned into the Washington Generals. Derek charges down the floor and shoots an airball from 5 feet against Amare. This game is full of rec league hallmarks. Jason Richardson airballs a wide open three on the ensuing possession. I want to throw my face through a plaster wall right about now.

6:42 – Kobe gets smacked on the hand and it falls off! Just kidding. He’s in a little pain but he’ll hit the free throws. Lakers are settling down and figuring out how to use their height. Pau got a nice offensive rebound on a missed free throw by Bynum. LAL 12, PHX 10.

5:49 – Bynum gets a three point play. Rumors of his hibernation are being debunked a little here. He’s finding his height useful here against the smaller Suns players. Who would have thunk it?

1:55 – Jared Dudley throws a post entry pass to Josh Powell. I bet he wishes he had ctrl+z available there. LAL 20, PHX 20

1:30 – Whoa! Ammo nails a nice looking threeball. Sign him up for the three point contest at all-star weekend! Okay, maybe not yet. But hitting the long ball is helpful in opening up the middle for the bigs. LAL 23, PHX 20.

0:00 – Steve Nash pays himself some royalties at the end of the first after throwing a patented left-handed pass from the top of the key to Lopez who gets the shooter’s bounce as the lights go red. LAL 23, PHX 25.

2nd Quarter

Lakers defense has been pretty active but a few mistakes and missed communication have led to some easy layups/dunks. They’ll need to tighten that up and continue to find ways to improve the offense.

11:15 – Louis Ahmandson rides his bike to the scorer’s table to check in. Almost immediately he gets to watch Academy Award winning acting by Channing Frye as he mimes a tall person being hit by a sledgehammer in the chest as Gasol backed him down.

10:27 – The bench is doing well here. And by well, I mean they are struggling mightily. More ctrl+z material as Channing Frye tries the tomahawk. With furious anger he throws the ball down it goes straight up. And over the backboard. Dunk Fail. LAL 23, PHX 32.

9:12 – Farmar gets his Ariza on by knocking the ball out of a passing lane, takes the ball to the hoop. But then, he gets his Lamar on and throws the ball out of bounds. Farmar had Mr. Fantastic (Shannon) running with him but threw it about 4 feet behind him. LAL 25, PHX 35.

8:12 – A couple minutes ago, Lamar had his hand smashed in between his crotch and Barbosa’s backside (don’t ask) and has some sprained fingers on his right hand. We’ll see if Kobe points to his own broken finger and tells Lamar to man up. LAL 27, PHX 39.

5:02 – Bynum is forced to hold down the bench due to foul trouble.

4:48 – Kobe threw up a wonderfully ugly airball. It’s easy to blame the finger here. That finger should be admonished. Has one entry ever said the word ‘finger’ so many times?

3:16 – Suns shooting 41% so far, and brick it up nicely here. Hard to talk too much trash. Lakers are shooting below 35%. LAL 38, PHX 48.

2:30 – Kobe reattached his finger to his hand and immediately stroked two jumpers. Just as we should remember to appreciate Lamar, of course we should not forget Kobe’s evolution as a player and LAL 43, PHX 48.

1:56 – Amar’e dunks the crap out of the ball. Too bad the ball didn’t get the memo. It bounces out past the three point line. He and Channing Frye work on designing membership cards. LAL 45, PHX 48.

0:10 – It turned into the Amar’e and Kobe show here at the end. Kobe has hit 10 of the Lakers last 12 points and Amar’e has the last 10. Why did anyone else even suit up tonight? LAL 50, PHX 54.

0:02 – Lakers take Kurt’s advice and make Steve Nash a scorer. He obliges by drawing a foul on DJ Mbenga under the hoop with 2 seconds to go. Dear Mbenga, you don’t need to jump to block the shot of a 36 year old 6’0” point guard with no vertical. Shoot, I wouldn’t need to jump to block it. LAL 50, PHX 56.

3rd Quarter

11:10 – Channing Frye hits a beautiful shot from outside. He “nets” two points only, however, because his toes were on the line. LAL 50, PHX 58.

10:00 – Lakers and Suns are “hot” here to open. The teams have combined for only two misses in 8 shots. Mr. Nash had an unorthodox fading jumper from the wing. LAL 54 PHX 64.

8:58 – I enjoyed this possession. I’d characterize it like a nice red wine. With enough space and air, the offense worked well. Pau drew the attention of multiple defenders and Lamar took advantage by cutting to the middle. LAL 58, PHX 64.

7:37 – Adam Morrison looking like a seasoned veteran. Pau dishes the ball off to him block to block after Ammo recognizes he has Steve Nash in the post. It would have been fun to see Adam throw down a hammer there. I’m not sure he’s capable but I would be inordinately entertained. LAL 62, PHX 67.

5:15 – En tu Ojo! Steve Nash drills a three straight down the tube over the outstretched tentacle of The Spaniard. LAL 64, PHX 73.

4:51 – Derek loses his cool a little. After a blocking foul he pushes Nash out of the way.  Good call. Nash hits the T. LAL 66, PHX 74.

3:58 – Lakers are reaching vaunted heights here. They’re going to give up a four point play. Channing Frye hits a three and fisher gets called for a foul underneath.

3:39 – A nice little run here for the Suns (if you’re a suns fan) as they are now up by a whole bunch after some sloppy play and a Jason Richardson three pointer. LAL 66, PHX 82.

2:48 – Lakers try and stop an 11-0 run as Kobe misses with his left but Odom tips in the putback. LAL 68, PHX 84.

1:18 – Kobe wins the battle with Frye but his face loses.

0:56 – OOOooo. Amar’e absolutely demolishes the rim with a dunk. He just ran by Bynum and then threw it THROUGH the basket. Actually reminiscent of Dwight Howard’s superman dunk a couple years ago.

0:00 – Kobe gets the ball (UGLY miss by “shooter” Channing Frye) with 6 seconds to go and races down the court. Unfortunately he’s not 19 anymore and his layup is blocked. Great hustle by three Suns players to get back and contest it. LAL 77, PHX 89.

4th Quarter

11:55 – Chants of “Beat LA” rain down. Jared Dudley hits a nice corner three. Lakers are looking a little umm..sad out there. LAL 77, PHX 92.

10:39 – Dear Sasha,  I’ll send you a postcard from the rim. Please give my best to my wake. I’ve left it for you. Regards, Leandro Barbosa. In two steps Barbosa had him beat so bad Sasha gave up and just went down to the offensive end.

9:31 – Timeout called. For those of you who believe in The Secret, now would be a good time to start Secreting or whatever it’s called. LAL 84, PHX 98.

9:21 – Jeebs! Dudley just rakes Bynum across the wrist and the refs call a jump ball. I’m not sure how that qualifies as a jump ball. It gets more awesome. Dudley has to go against Bynum but can’t outjump him. So he does what anyone who’s ever gone against a giant does. He waits for Bynum to tap it backwards and then intercepts it. I’m not sure what the rule is but the refs let it go. I’m not sure that the Lakers can complain about the refs missing two calls when they have barely shown up tonight.

6:40 – After a Dudley three and a Barbosa jumper it’s time to shut this thing down before I stab myself in the pancreas with a macbook. If the Lakers make some sort of miraculous recover, I shall make sure to update and credit to you Secreters. LAL 89, PHX 108

Happy New Year everyone! Don’t take this one too hard. It just wasn’t meant to be.

nomuskles

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42 responses to Lakers vs. Suns live blog powered by nomuskles

  1. I think the problem with the offense is poor 3 point shooting leading to poor spacing.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=nba3ptpct&sort=3p%&league=w&split=0&order=true&row1=37&qual=true&season=2010&seasontype=2&avg=none&pos=all

    LO is second worst in the league among those with 50 plus attempts (and is taking twice as many as last year). He’s not alone. Check out 43, 45, 51, 56, and LO at 57. Thats just in the Western Conference.

  2. I figured we would lose this one, the Suns had to win this one big time, after 2 loses at Staples. The Suns are not a team we have to worry about come playoff time.

  3. Tyler, I have been toying with the idea of the Lakers acquiring a 3-pt shooter outside what we already have to space the floor… but with the kind of payroll we already have and the league not eager to help us, we have to be creative in the deal.

  4. Celtics losing to Clippers and now the Dubs, its still fun to be a Laker :D

  5. and denver losing to sacto…portland losing to philly. i’d take the suns over gsw, philly and sacto any day the way they played us this night.

  6. Who is the only starting point guard in the league shooting under 40%. That would be D Fish after another 1 for 6 game. So if he can’t keep other pg from scoring 20 plus and he is the WORST starter in the NBA at 38% why is the guy still playing? No way you can win a title when your point guard is last in the league in shooting and being out scored by 15 a game. Time to hang it up.

  7. Because Ken, who are you going to replace him with? In the last 10 games Fisher is shooting 39.4% overall but 37% from three. Brown an almost identical 39.7%, but a weaker 33.3% from three. Farmar is 38.5% overall, 23.8% from three. Farmar has played probably the best defense but none have been great. So again, what is your better option here? Fishers job is there for the taking, but someone has to prove themselves better. (By the way, I need to stop to getting into this particular argument, it’s pointless.)

  8. Lakers knew this problem before the season began. What made them think Fish would be faster or Farmer get his head on right. You can not repeat with minus numbers from the PG position. Every pg is eating us up and the fouls on the bigs is the result. Every team knows the Laker weakness and its getting worse. Watch what Ellis does to Fisher tomorrow night. 30 plus.

  9. By the way I am a 40 year Laker fan. Many have been lulled to sleep by the Lakers record. The most home games in the NBA by the way, Lakers are now 3 and 4 aganist top 10 teams. That is a stat you can’t dismiss. The team i see with holes at PG, bench and ?????? at center is the 4th best in the NBA.

  10. I am particularly concerned with our record against above-.500 teams, but let’s just give this team some time to figure things out.

    It’s obvious this team is in kind of a post-championship, end-of-year funk right now. Not much energy or focus. A bit disappointing because I thought the CLE spanking would be a wake-up call for the Lakers, but alas.. we still have more than half the season left ahead of us.

  11. Thanks nomuskles for the live blog, as entertaining and fun as ever, also with Warren’s comments, I will be OK, just for today.

    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

  12. I remember there is a quote from Kobe in which he said everything start out on the road. So let hope that is the case when we have a nine game road trip.

  13. dave in hillsboro December 29, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I’m sure Ellis will drop 30+ tomorrow, but I think the Lakers still win that game. Both teams on back to backs, both teams traveling tonight, but the Lakers get to sleep at home and the Warriors game ended later. Also, Artest will hopefully return with renewed focus and energy, while the Warriors may falter after stunning the Celts yet again. Love them Dubs for that, though. It was a great game. I remarked that it’s games like that which make League Pass totally worthwhile, even if all the local team’s games are blacked out because Comcast Sportsnet NW and DirecTV are petulant children unwilling to resolve their differences.

  14. Ken, drrayeye and I have already been working the phones for our upcoming PG-of-the-future. Right now, we have to live w/ Fish.

    Weird night in the NBA. Good thing my money was on OKC beating NJ by atleast 7.. And Durant bombed them for 40.

  15. At least we don’t have the PG version of shaq
    FT .554%

  16. Warren – I totally agree about us needing a 3-point shooter to spread the floor better. [Edited for trade speculation]

    As for the game last night, we really missed Artest because of the versatility he gives us on defense. Phoenix was able to spread us out very well and our bigs had a hard time getting out on the shooters. And they absolutely didn’t miss in the second half.

    As for people getting on Fisher, he is definitely not to blame because it’s not like their guards were isolated and beating him 1 on 1. Phoenix runs the pick and roll 95% of the time and last night was more on our team defense being poor.

  17. The shooting woes are the obvious source of many of our struggles. I do not think any teams are afraid of our outside shooting and that is making life tougher on our bigs.

    However, I think something that is not discussed much is that we have not had a fully healthy team for many of our games this season. We lost three without Pau, we just lost one without Artest and I think Luke’s absence may be the the one storyline that no one is talking about.

    Luke is not going to solve our shooting issues, but I think he does give us more options and depth in our rotations and he is a good facilitator whatever else his shortcomings may be.

  18. I was at the game watching warmups last night, and Luke was out there shooting around. Not sure how soon he’s scheduled to be back, but he’s healthy enough to make a J without a hand in his face. He was also chucking shots from halfcourt, so he’s got enough back health for that.

    He really is the oil for the bench machine, and a glue guy.

  19. Strange times when we’re actually longing for Luke Walton to return to the bench…

    Hmmm… we need a PG who can shoot 3’s higher than 40%…. Dare I say….

    START SASHA?!

    Yea, his defense is terrible, but it’s not that much worse than Farmar, Fisher, or Brown’s. Plus, if he gets more shots, like 6-7 per game (like Fisher) instead of 1-2, maybe he’ll actually get into a rhythm. And after that, it’s not so hard to teach him to keep his hands out of the opponents jersey and stop hacking away on drives.

    Our starting PG may just be sitting on the bench; he just needs the chance.

    Time to start another movement! Start Sasha! Start Sasha!

  20. Zephid,

    I’ve always assumed your ‘start sasha’ chant was tongue in cheek. Are you serious about exploring this possibility?

    I think it would be a fun experiment. And as you say, I don’t think he is a downgrade over what we’ve had so far.

    As for Luke – if you are looking for him to be your third or fourth best player – bad news – but the guy has consistently helped the bench.

    Anybody else think Ammo looked decent last night when playing with a good crew around him? Not great, but he made some nice plays.

  21. I just don’t have it in me to worry at all at this point. This is nothing compared to the frustration last year’s team would give me and we know how that worked out.

    The bench play is concerning as it has gotten consistently worse (besides Odom) over the last 2 years.

    However I will wait until the end of January before I even start to make judgments about this team.

  22. Ken & all the Fish-haters or Fish-traders,

    It’s this simple, if Jordan or Shanwow want to be our starters, then they have to consistently produce & lead the second team. Fish may not be a lot of things, but one thing he does well is lead/run our offense. For those who question his D, notice that just about every other game he draws a key charge on the other team at a critical juncture. And one more thing in his favor – he’s not afraid to seize the moment and usually has good results.

  23. no choice on the fisher front. he’s the lesser of the evils. if we have farmer or shanwow running the point, the ball will never go inside. they’re shoot first guards.

    lakers are frustrating right now but every team hits a rough spot and for the lakers… that means getting blown out by potential playoff opponents. that makes things seem worse than they really are.

    at some point they’ll get back on a roll again…

  24. Dudes, start Sasha? We’re better off having Kobe starting at PG. At least no PG is gonna tear us up a new one every night. Hah! Kobe, Shannon, Artest, Gasol, Bynum. There you go. Problem solved. The triangle needs no real PG anyway.
    Come to think of it, this fits.

  25. Has Bynum been bothered by some problems in his right knee?

    http://www.ocregister.com/sports/bynum-226158-lakers-knee.html

    That might help explain some his recent lackluster play if he is not confident in his knee.

  26. Looks like Artest will not play tonight. He is seeing a neurologist today.

  27. Fisher has been mostly terrible this season. He’s only connecting 33% from 3. The problem has been fishers decision making and shot selection. I’ve seen too many times when the lakers are making a run and gaining momentum, fisher runs down court and launches up a contested 22 footer and misses. Fisher can’t finish if he takes the ball to the rim and lately point guards have been torching fisher…Beno Udrih 23 points?!? Mo 28.

    I’m not saying start Farmar, I’m saying give him more minutes, and consistent minutes. Tell Farmar, you are playing at least 18-25 minutes a night and limit Fish’s minutes to 20. We know fisher isn’t going to get any better, however Farmar has so much upside. But his inconsistent play has a lot to do with his inconsistent minutes. One game he plays well in 15 minutes the next game he plays 4 minutes. Then the next game he does to much as soon as he get in the game so Phil won’t take him out.

    And shannon is not really a point guard. He can eat up a couple minutes at the point but should be Kobe’s primary back up.

    Lamar is taking way too many long jumpers. He’s not really slashing to the basket or taking mid range jumpers. Its really disappointing.

    And Phil looks confused out there. Ron gets hurt for two games and Phil doesn’t know who to play. He should have kept Lamar as the 6th man. Started brown and moved Kobe to the 3. I feel like in the suns game Phil was just throwing players in and praying one will hit some shots. In consequence there wasn’t any ball movement, hence the low amount of assist. The lakers really turned up their level of play when Pau returned from injury and Phil shortened the rotation.

  28. But Joel, you can’t leave the rotations short like that for 82 games, with roads and back to back issues. The bench issue bothers me less than many because you can hide it better in the playoffs, but right now you can’t unless you want to burn your team out. Phil has to loosen the rotations and hope somebody steps up.

  29. After watching that game last night I have cemented in my head that Farmar will not be around after this season. He looks like a lost child out there and is horrible in running the fast break this season–holding on to the ball way too long. I know Browns numbers aren’t spectacular but he needs experience. Once he gets some quality time and starts to know his role you will see the talent that this kid has. Hes only 22-23 years old–hes a player that needs to be developed. Sasha is just an idiot when it comes to playing defense–just useless.

    Kurt–your right about the shooting percentages but take into consideration that Fish plays with the starters and gets the benefit of getting way better looks and time to set. When Brown plays with the second unit its like a three ring circus. I’ve noticed that Brown plays excellent ball when he is in with Kobe(who doesn’t?) and plays very solid D.

    If it were up to me why not start Brown and have Fish come off the bench and Sahsa/Farmar behind them. Any thoughts??????

    I didn’t think we would miss Luke that much but man I can’t wait until he gets back.

  30. Should the coaching staff consider “benching” Kobe for a couple weeks to recuperate from his injuries? Obviously we all know that he can play through anything but they seem to be noticeably effecting his play and we need him healthy for the playoffs… not killing himself now.

  31. I can’t believe on saying this but I would think about giving Sasha more playing time at the point. That is really an indictment on how poorly the Fish/Farmar/Brown combo has been playing. The Sasha of 06-07 is dead and gone but at least his decision making has improved, can’t say that for Farmar or Brown.

  32. Joel give Phil more credit!

  33. The Lakers need to buy out or waive Sasha, if only to halt any suggestion (serious or otherwise) of starting him.

  34. Kurt,

    I definitely agree that he can’t keep the rotations at 8 people for 82 games. But he needs to figure out a rotation and stick with it. I understand Luke is out for a bit longer, and that does make a difference. But I was just making the point that the lakers really struggled in the beginning of the season when Phil was experimenting with different line-ups and was playing just about every active player. He did that in the Suns game as well and we know the result.

    I’m really not start Sasha ban wagon yet either. Phil needs to really see what he can get out of Farmar and brown in consistent minutes. Define their roles and then see. Make Farmar the primary back up pg and Brown primary back up sg. Its still early in the season to figure out things. But its just frustrating to see the lakers getting blown out in every loss and not playing together.

  35. Start Brown!

  36. So, some of you say start Farmar. Some of you say start Brown. Some of you say keep Fisher as the starter. Some comments on Lamar’s play (inconsistent/poor shot selection) – which should be no surprise. Powell and Sasha and Morrison have played poorly (on the whole) this season. Bynum is not doing well lately. Walton has been injured. Artest is out for the last two games.

    And Jackson is criticized for not having a set rotation at this point?

  37. Kurt (7),
    The numbers you throw out are apples and oranges. Fisher is playing AT ALL TIMES with Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Odom, and Bynum on the floor. If Farmar or Brown were playing with the starting unit and getting those consistent minutes where they could play off the great players and not have to create for themselves and their teammates you would see much better numbers than what Fisher is putting up. I mean you saw what Farmar did the one game he got to start last season. They already are putting up better numbers than Fisher to begin with. Fisher isn’t being guarded and might be putting together the worst season for a starting PG in NBA history all while playing with amazing talent around him. You are mad at yourself for getting sucked into this discussion again… but I ask why? Shouldn’t this be the only real discussion we have on this site? The Lakers are starting the worst PG in the entire NBA. The Lakers have one giant major whole and we should be getting on Phil for not trying to solve it with Farmar, Brown, or Sasha. Or we can get on Mitch for not doing something about it in the offseason or hope he can make a trade to fill in this giant Laker hole. Everyone knew before the season started the Lakers had the worst PG in the NBA… this isn’t a shock here. Although even I didn’t think Derek would be playing this poorly. I at least thought he could be an average shooter.

  38. Frankly it doesn’t suprise me that teams have the odd off night in the nba. Three to four games a week would be so taxing on the body yet we expect these guys to fight hard every night. I take comfort in the knowledge that this team has proven that they win when it really counts.

  39. Andrew, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  40. The Dude is going to his first ever game at Staples against Golden State this evening. He is very excited, and will probably buy a beverage for the occasion. Any FB&Ger who wishes to greet The Dude should be careful not to throw him out of his seat, as said beverage might spill. The Dude will be rocking his gold FB&G t-shirt in Section 207, Row 12, Seats 17 & 18 (with Dude’s bro).

  41. new post up, with a scary ass picture of Gasol

  42. don’t forget to give a wave of affirmation for us. and try to outcheer people there in front. i know you will.

    am confident about our chances today against the dubs. they are tired…well so are we. kobe just has to be unstoppable kobe of late. pau will have to be the 18-12 guy. bynum can replicate those numbers anyday. ron-ron please come back. and i am one with phil tinkering with the bench.

    kurt, any previews?