Archives For December 2009

Bridge Talk

Bill Bridges —  December 14, 2009


* Bill “Tonya” Simmons recently mused that he’d like to see the Lakers suffer an injury to help the cause of his beloved Celtics on his Podcast of 12/8. Kobe’s knees were specifically mentioned by Tonya “Harding” Simmons. Given that his fans must also be obsessed with Teen Wolf, Karate Kid, Real World, and Survivor, how much encourage do they need to snap? I mean Barack Obama might wish that Kim “Dear Leader” Jong-il die from pancreatic cancer, but he would never say that on his Podcast, would he?

*Tonya revelled in his God like powers as he willed an injury on Kobe Bryant – and a few short days later it actually came true! Unfortunately, it wasn’t a devastating knee injury as he hoped but a fractured finger. Still, a fracture of the index finger of the shooting hand isn’t something to laugh at. Tonya noted that even renowned NBA tough guy Kenyon Martin was out of action for two games for a minor dislocation of his left pinkie of his non-shooting-hand. The injury was so painful for Kmart that he was seen huddled on the bench with his left pinkie pressed against his neck to make his ouchie feel better. Then surely a fracture of the index finger of his shooting hand must put Kobe out of action for a month or so – at least long enough for Tonya’s beloved Celtics to build an insurmountable lead for best record and home court advantage for the Championship finals. So it was with more than a little chagrin that Tonya’s smile as Kobe walked off to the locker room quickly turned to bewilderment as Kobe came back with an ugly splint on the finger – and then proceeded to sink both left and right handed shots. Tonya is certainly used to histrionics of players being wheeled off in a wheel chair and then returning, heroically, moments later. This he understands. However, Tonya thought that the Heroic Return Device is only used when the injury is actually being feigned and not real.

* Although he failed to will permanent damage to Kobe, Tonya must have been pleased to see Greg Oden hobbled once again with a KNEE injury – the better to gloat about the object of his man love – KD. The other 99.999% of us are extremely saddened, not least because Oden seems like such a good, humble guy. We are sad for him and for us as we were looking forward to seeing Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden mature, develop into great centers and carry on the tradition of “Battles in the Pivot” in the same vein as Wilt vs. Russell, and Walton vs. Kareem. Joy for Tonya is a tragedy for the rest of us.

*After a string of gutless performances culminating in a 146 – 115 drubbing by the Hawks, did Reggie Evans do the “Kaman” on all of his team mates? If, so what did he find? Apparently he remarked, groping for words, “I thought that only Chris Bosh was the RuPaul of the NBA, but I found that all of my team mates are also RuPauls”. To avoid more “Kamans”, the Raps promptly won the next 3 games before reverting to more comfortable ways with back to back 22 point losses to Milwaukee and Atlanta.

*Blazer fans must be hoping that Rudy Fernandez is doing a Benjamin Button. Last season he was “Rookie Manu”, a sixth man full of athleticism, energy, and potential. This season he is “Old-man Manu”, a creaky invalid with a bad back. What happened to all of the years of “All-star Manu”? Must check Rudy’s hair when he returns.

*For all of the talk of replacing Fish. His line in the win Wednesday vs. Utah was 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 3 fouls. Oh and the Lakers won by 24 in a dominating performance. I submit that this is exactly what you want from your 5th player (plus maybe a couple of defensive rebounds in the 1st half). Play steady, play defense, move the ball, don’t force your own game, don’t be afraid to take the clutch shot if the moment comes. Who else is better than Fish? The Lakers options are 1. Kobe, 2 Pau, 3 Andy (switch this order up depending on opponent and match ups). Artest gets a few kick outs, post ups (ouch), and drives. The point guard gets the scraps. This pecking order is as it should be. The last thing you want is a Jamaal Crawford in that role taking 15 shots.

*No, we will not talk of Tiger. This is forum about basketball and not of Golf and other lurid pursuits.

*But we can make a stock tip. We would recommend Sanofi-aventis, stock symbol (SNY), the makers of Ambien.

—Bill Bridges

The Black Hole?

Darius Soriano —  December 13, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id=”7041823″]

Examining Andrew Bynum’s post play is a task with several layers to it. On one hand you have a highly efficient post player whose ability to score on the low block is a highly coveted trait that any team would love to have. On the other hand, you have a team that runs a read and react offensive system where passing to (and from) the post is one of the main (and most effective) ways to initiate and create offense for other players because the post entry dictates a myriad of cuts and screens off the ball designed to get those players good shots. So, evaluating Bynum on the low block can be a bit tricky. As Bynum’s touches in the post have increased, he’s become more of a focal point in our offense. However, with that focus there is also the question of how he can be most effective when he has the ball and how he can most help the team.

First, let’s explore Andrew Bynum’s post game and how effective he truly is at scoring the ball. As you can see from the statistics, Andrew Bynum is a traditional (and quite effective) low post player. He takes 50% of his shots right at the rim with 86% of his shots coming from within ten feet of the basket. He is shooting 57% from the field with a TS% of 61.3%. Bynum, by any statistical measure, is showing an offensive potency that only a handful of other post players currently are. Plus, he’s getting more refined and is showing a smoothness and polish with a diverse attack. He has shown the ability post up on either low block, finish with both hands on his jump hook, and has exhibited a variety of counter moves where he use his defender’s aggression against him to create any easy opportunity to finish. He’s developed a very nice face up game where (if given space) he can shoot his developing jumpshot or (if crowded) can power dribble to either hand to explode and finish at the rim. He’s showing better footwork and a greater ability to feint moves to get opponents off balance and throw off their timing so he can make his finishing move that much easier. When it comes to offensive basketball, the guy is a beast.

However, that ability to score effectively is really all Bynum is accomplishing when he has the ball in the post. Bynum averages 1.3 assists per game. His assist rate (% of possesions ending with an assist) is a paltry 7.5. Among Centers that play 25 minutes or more a night, that assist rate ranks Bynum 19th and places him right below Brook Lopez and Dwight Howard and right above Chris Kaman – not bad company as far as scorers go, but not really a great group of passing big men either. However, that 7.5 assist rate is quite poor when compared to other Centers on this list like Tim Duncan (15.93) and Marc Gasol (14.77). And Bynum’s rate is horrific when compared to teammate Pau Gasol (20.2, though listed as a PF). (On a side note, the player that leads the league in assist rate for PF’s that play 25+ minutes? Lamar Odom at 28.49)

And that comparison to Pau is the one that matters the most to Lakers fans and also what has earned ‘Drew the nickname of The Black Hole. As we all know, the Lakers run the Triangle offense. And as I stated earlier, this is a read and react system where motions, cuts, and screens off the ball lead to player movement. Then we expect to see the ball handler reading the option(s) in front of him and make the correct reads that lead to getting a high percentage shot. Obviously, like every other team, the Lakers have go to players that become the focal point of the offense. So, the Lakers are going to feature Kobe and Pau (and Bynum). But because this is an equal opportunity offense, even when those players are featured we want to see them to operate within the flow of the offense and execute all its options. This is explemplified by how Pau operates within the Triangle as he is the best player at evaluating all the options of the offense after he gets the ball in his hands. And when looking at how Pau contributes to this offense by both scoring and passing, we wonder why Bynum is not doing the same things. What is Pau doing that Bynum is not? The obvious answer is passing. But the truth is a bit more hidden than that.

The thing is, that even though Pau and Bynum are similar players within this offense, they are very different in terms of style. Yes, they both score on the low block. Yes, they both show a capable jumpshot. Yes, they both have a diversity of moves that make them effective offensive threats from multiple places on the floor. (It should be noted that Pau is better at all of these things, but Bynum is close to his level in all these aspects.) However, they operate much differently within these similar skill sets. Essentially, Pau is a more paitient player that likes to read the defense. Many times when Pau makes a catch, he likes to hold the ball. When he faces up, he loves to jab step and analyze what his next move will be. When he has his back to the basket, he’ll consistently look around the court to see what the defense is doing and then make a read as to what to do next (pass to a cutter, pass back out and re-post, shoot, etc). He wants to know “Is the double team coming? Where are the cutters moving from? How is my man playing me?” and then react with the appropriate move. But Drew is a different player.

When Bynum makes a catch, he’s thinking one thing – Where is my opening? He’s decisive and goes fast. Rarely does he wait. Rarely does he hold the ball (unless he’s waiting for the side to clear). He’s the type of player that has confidence and an understanding that can’t be stopped on a cosistent basis when he’s guarded one on one. So, as far as he’s concerned, Bynum knows that all he has to do is catch the ball and make a move and it’s likely that he’s either going to score or get fouled. And honestly, this is a good approach. When you teach a young big man to play post offense, there are certain concepts that you stress. Fundamental ideas like keeping the ball high, keeping a solid base, and using your defender’s leverage against him. But, you’re also stressing to be decisive. Often times, when on the low block, waiting can get you in trouble. Big men are notoriously slow developers when it comes to passing and reading defenses. Unlike guards who operate from the wing and have the defense in front of them the majority of the time, post players often find themselves in the eye of the storm. The ball goes into the post and that player is surrounded. He’s got a guard digging down. He’s got the player defending him on this back. He’s got the potential of a double team from the weakside middle. He’s got the potential for a double team from the weakside baseline. And those are only the defensive concerns that a post player is analyzing (and only some of them, to boot). But reading the defense is only one factor because after a post player makes the catch he’s also got to be concerned with where his teammates are – Where is my skip man? Is there someone diving? Is the post entry passer stationary or sliding? Is he sliding towards the top of the key or to the baseline? That is a lot of information to take in. So, you teach them to be decisive and to make their move when they see the opening. And that is what Bynum is doing.

And at this point in his career, it’s likely his best approach. Understand that by going quickly and decisively, Bynum elimates many of the defensive strategies that are used against post players. Many times Bynum’s move comes before a double team can be established. He’s already executing his move when guards try to dig down on him or when players try to come from the weakside to double team. Also, because of his counter moves, there are times when those late double teams don’t even come to side where Bynum is executing his shot. Going quickly also elimates some of the openings that are byproducts of our offense. Bynum rarely hits the dive man from the weakside because he’s already going into his move which then makes the cut of his teammate is inconsquential. Going quickly also means that you’re less likely to see Andrew kick the ball back out or skip the ball to the opposite corner (other staples of our offense) because the defense hasn’t dicated that pass nor have our offensive players actually established those positions on the court.

In the end, I think we all agree that Bynum is not using all aspects of our offense. And I too would like to see him pass more and utilize his teammates better. I think one of the reasons that our offense is not as efficient this season as it was last season is because Bynum has taken on a greater role within the offense and he’s not executing ther finer details with as much precision as Gasol/Odom. That said, Bynum is still young and still learning. As he continues to establish himself as an offensive force, the double teams will come faster and force him to pass more. As he gains experience he’ll read defenses better, understand what the opposition’s strategy is against him, and become more patient. But it all comes in stages. Our young Center is learning and getting better each season. The passing will come as his development and maturation continues. And if it doesn’t, then the monicker will stick. But, I think those skills will improve and we’ll all look back at the times that Bynum was single covered and not passing (because he was scoring so easily) as the good old days.


Preview & Chat: The Utah Jazz

Kurt —  December 12, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id=”4673476″]
Records: Lakers 18-3 (1st in West) Jazz 13-9 (5th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 108.7 (11th in league) Jazz 109.9 (6th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 99.1 (1st in league) Jazz 107.3 (17th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Jazz: Deron Williams, Wesley Mathews, Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur

Since we just played them two days ago, this will be short and sweet today.

Yes, Kobe is going to play: Of course he is, he’s Kobe. If his hand needed to be amputated there was a 50% chance he’d suit up. He went through the full shoot around in Utah this morning and is ready to go.

That said, he admitted after the game last night that today would be the worst of it, so we’ll have to watch and see how it effects his game. (If it’s anything like last night we can expect some lobs that end up as highlights on

The other thing to note is that Kobe seemed subdued after the game last night. Kobe accepts challenges head on like few other athletes ever have, but you have to expect a little frustration with another fluky finger injury to his shooting hand. The thing is, by the time of tip off tonight, he will have put that frustration behind him like few other athletes can.

Blogs and links: Check out Salt City Hoops.

Keys to game: This is one of those games that when you look at the schedule before the season and check it as a likely loss: back-to-back games, flying at night then playing the next day against a good team and at altitude. Throw in that the Jazz are a proud team that was embarrassed by the fourth quarter of the Wednesday meeting and you can expect they will be playing with fire. (By the way, if this is close or the Lakers lose, that means nothing about how well they are playing or what would happen in the playoffs, these teams see each other too often for one December game to be a statement.)

What the Lakers did in the fourth quarter of that game on Wednesday was play good pressure defense on he perimeter, with Bynum behind them to protect the rim, and that took the Jazz out of their preferred rhythm. The shots they got were not always the ones they wanted (and when they got good shots they missed them). There were three 24 second clock violations.

The Lakers can do that again, the question is will they have the focus to do it again. What can be missing in back-to-back games is the energy, the desire to play that kind of defense again. We shall see.

Defense will be the key, the Lakers should be able to score, the Jazz remain a struggling defensive team. That said, they should expect a physical game and to not get calls — something they should get used to with the road games.

The Jazz may also be deeper than we saw a few days ago — Price will be playing tonight, Korver is a game time decision.

Where you can watch: 6 pm start at nuclear waste arena, you can choose between Channel 9 or 710 ESPN radio.

[picappgallerysingle id=”3643526″]
Here’s the bad news: Kobe suffered an Avulsion Fracture on the first knuckle of his index finger on his right (shooting) hand (it happened when Corey Brewer went for a steal of a pass to Kobe from Fisher, deflected the ball and it hit Kobe’s hand at an odd angle). This means a small bit of bone is pulled off by the tendon as it seperates from the bone. This is the same injury he had on his pinky finger before, but Kobe himself admitted this is going to take more getting used to because of the location where the ball releases on his shot.

But, he’s Kobe — he’s going to play through it. He’ll be playing in Utah tomorrow.

This is not a situation where there is some magic trick to heal it. It is not serious enough for surgery, so he’s going to keep playing and learn to adjust. Kobe got a foam splint on it at half, came out in the third quarter and early on took a three from the top of the key that he missed, but when he ran back down the court he looked over at the bench and gave the thumbs up sign. He hit a three a couple trips later down the court.

Still, he’s taking a sore finger out on the road for five games.

“I’m concerned. But you just try to play through it and figure things out. Tomorrow will probably be the worst of it, then you just go from there.”

“Yeah, you just get used to it. That’s all. It’s just a different technique to shoot the ball.”

We’ll see how this impacts his play. The good news is, compared to last time this happened, Kobe is surrounded by better weapons (like Gasol and Bynum). Also, he has a more developed post game where he uses his left hand a lot.

In the second quarter, Kobe tried to go back in and play without a splint, but became almost exclusively left handed. He made some plays, including a perfect lob to Shannon Brown for his highlight dunk of the night.

“The debate — who has a better left hand between me and Pau — is over. There’s no contest. No contest.”

[picappgallerysingle id=”4210002″]
Records: Lakers 17-3 (1st in West) Timberwolves 3-19 (15th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 108.8 (11th in league) Timberwolves 97.2 (29th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 99.3 (2nd in league) Timberwolves 108.7 (22nd in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Timberwolves: Johnny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Damien Wilkins, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson.

The Lakers Coming in: Last home game for the Lakers before they head out on a five game roadie, starting in Utah tomorrow night.

Kevin Ding made this point: If you haven’t seen it, Amare Stoudimire is working with David Spade on a video viral campaign to get him to Dallas. With the huge vote head start he has, Amare is going to be the starting center for the West. Bynum, though, has to be the backup with Yao out.

Also, World Cup — I was pumped when I saw the United States’ pool draw. Slovenia, that’s a win, right? Sasha Vujacic says not so fast….

The Timberwolves Coming in: One of the things we often talk about with the Lakers is how they have built a roster that fits the triangle offense. The Timberwolves want to run the triangle under Kurt Rambis, but their personnel is a horrible fit for the version the Lakers run.

What you end up with it is more like the Rambis Rhombus.

The issues start with a talented rookie point guard Johnny Flynn. He is a talented player, but is a more traditional point guard who likes to penetrate and shoot/kick out. Coach Anthony Macri, one of the guys who works with David Thorpe and his training facility, and he wrote a great breakdown at Basketball Prospectus.

Minnesota’s second-leading scorer, Flynn has been impressive in his rookie year. He has a knack for getting into the lane and finishing plays, and he tends to make good things happen with the ball in his hands. As he improves his shooting consistency, he will become even more effective. However, Flynn’s real strength as a ball-dominating speed guard does not necessarily translate into the traditional triangle parameters. Whether the Wolves can adjust their triangle to his abilities is a question they have yet to answer.

The T-Wolves have been playing better of late, and that is for two key reasons. One, they are getting away from the triangle a little and letting Flynn do what he wants. The other is the return from injury of Kevin Love, who helps provide an inside presence, shoot from the outside, and pass well. He is sort of the Pau Gasol for the T-Wolves offense. Again Macri.

In theory, Love’s talents as a passer should be excellent in the offense, and because he can also be active and effective from the foul line area, he can be a very good scorer in the triangle. In his first few games back, he has proven to be a valuable contributor. As the season progresses, his exact fit will be easier to ascertain.

So where are the Wolves falling short? Three major areas: fast-break and secondary-break actions, lack of precision in their offensive execution and a failure to embrace what triangle innovator Tex Winter would call the “ping” pass.

Keys to game: Tonight comes down to execution — the T-Wolves show flashes of it then spend a five minutes (or a quarter) doing whatever they want. If the Lakers simply execute they should be fine.

The Lakers need to not let Flynn get to the rim at will, he really is an amazingly quick penetrating point guard who is going to have a good future in the league (my only question is his fit in this offensive system). Fisher/Farmar are not going to be able to stop him alone, Bynum and the other bigs will need to take away and alter his shots closer to the rim. Also, if he lines up for a long two or three pointer, let him take it (he’s not a bad shooter, and he will get better, but he’s less effective that way than with his penetration).

Bynum needs to be focused on Jefferson, who runs thee floor well for a big man and loves to get early deep position (from which he scores pretty easily). With Love, they use him at the pinch post and flashing into the lane, the Lakers need to make that pass hard to complete.

While Jefferson and Love are both good players, they are really both fours, not long and strong enough to stop Gasol and Bynum down low. The Lakers need to exploit that early and often. The other key is turnovers — Flynn, Brewer and the rest can create them and then get easy transition buckets. The Lakers need to take care of the ball.

Hopefully, this is the kind of game where these guys can get some burn:


Where you can watch: 7:30 start at Staples Center, you watch on Fox Sports and listen on 710 ESPN on your AM dial. I’ll be at Staples so look for updates here in the comments, and I’ll be helping out with the Daily Dime live chat.

Hot Rod

Gatinho —  December 11, 2009


For the next two weeks, while Stu Lantz deals with a family situation, the Lakers will have a new guy beside Joel Meyer helping out calling the action.

“Barhopping, fast-talking, wisecracking West Virginia basketball cult figure of the 1950s.”

“Hot Rod” Hundley played for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers. Known for his flashy play, Red Kerr called Hot Rod, “Pete Maravich before Pete Maravich”

A two-time All Star, he would play with West and Baylor in the nascent stages of their careers and witness the birth of professional basketball in Los Angeles. From 3,000 in the Sports Arena, to seeing Doris Day and Jack Nicholson sit court side for the Finals.

Hot Rod found the ball in his hands in the 1962 Finals with a chance to dethrone The Bostonians. With Baylor and West covered, he passed to sharp shooting Frank Selvy for a baseline mid-ranger.

I still call Frank long distance, and when he answers the phone, I say, ‘Nice Shot, Frank!” and hang up on him. I will never let him forget he missed that shot.”

“The cowhide globe hits home!”

Hot Rod would apprentice under “Old Golden Throat” as a color man until he would become the “Voice of The Jazz”. He would hold that title for 31 seasons and would call over three thousand games. He retired last year, his last game being the Lakers knocking the Jazz out of the playoffs.

It’s great to see the Hot Rod has come home.


Radio Is A Sound Salvation

Kurt —  December 10, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id=”7205911″]
Tonight I’m going to do the same thing I do every night: Try To Take Over The World.

That starts with being part of the ESPN Radio NBA Game Night pregame show. Tune in around 7:00 Pacific, 10:o0 East Coast time, and you can catch about 30 seconds of me talking Lakers defense. Also, the clip should be part of the post game show (and the site will get a few national radio plug). Here in Los Angeles that is on 710 ESPN, everywhere else check out your local ESPN affiliate.

Of course, I have a long way to go to take over the world. Or even catch up with Jerry Buss, who now owns the NBA franchise worth more than any other.

Defense. It’s All About Defense.

Kurt —  December 10, 2009

[picappgallerysingle id=”7101010″]
The Jazz scored just six points in the fourth quarter last night. The Lakers went on a 20-point run and the Jazz couldn’t buy a basket. How does that happen?

First, the big key was rebounding. In the first half the Jazz grabbed 50% of their missed shots for an offensive rebound, the Lakers were complacent and on the glass was where it showed. When things got going in the fourth quarter, the Lakers took care of the boards.

But there was more to it. Here is a breakdown of the first 14 possessions the Jazz had in the fourth quarter, which culminated in two points. As you will see, it was a variety of factors.

• Eric Maynor is being hounded by Farmar out high, but he drives to his left (Farmar sticks with him) then kicks out to Boozer for a wide open 15 footer on the baseline, which barely hits the rim. Boozer just flat out missed that one.

• The Jazz work the ball through some options but the Lakers don’t allow anything to develop, so it ends out up at the top of the key with Farmar switched onto CJ Miles, who decides to attack the mismatch and drive. He gets an okay look but misses a 12-foot runner late in the clock.

• The Jazz run on a Lakers miss and get the ball to Boozer down low (who had pulled a Bynum and ran down to get early deep position), Odom defends it well so Boozer passes to Milsap cutting through the lane, who is fouled by Bynum. He hits both free throws, so there are your two points.

• CJ Miles tries to isolate on Sasha, does a good job driving and gets a 10-foot runner but misses again. At this point maybe CJ should stop with the runners.

• The Jazz pass the ball to Boozer at the elbow and he makes a beautiful bounce pass to Mathews who is cutting the baseline. Bynum rotates quickly and his length causes Mathews to switch to a reverse layup, which he misses. This is why it is good to have a guy with a 7’6” wingspan protecting the rim.

• Eric Maynor comes off the top of the key pick from Boozer and gets to the elbow wide open the misses the pull up jumper from 15. That was about Maynor not yet finding his shot in the NBA.

• After a time out, Maynor has the ball on the wing and passes to Mathews coming off a weakside pick, and he has a wide open17 footer, which he misses. The Jazz youngsters are crumbling, so they stop going to them and rely on the guys that count from here on.

• D-Will gets some room to operate after Farmar gambles on a steal, but he has so many options he stops and starts his dribble while deciding and gets the carry-over call.

• No hesitation this time, D-Will drives on Farmar, who defends it well so there’s a kick-out pass to an open Millsap just past the free throw line, who misses the open 16-footer. We need to say here what a great job Farmar did defending the very strong Williams, a guy who gave him trouble in the past. This was maybe Farmar’s best defensive game as a Laker.

• Boozer gets the ball 10-feet out off the right block with Bynum on him, he faces up and tries to shoot a jumper over Bynum but has to adjust the shot with so much arc he airballs it. When it mattered the Lakers went with Bynum on Boozer and Odom/Gasol on Okur, and that matchup really worked.

• The Jazz post up Deron on Farmar on the block, but when Deron goes for a little step-back shot Farmar makes a great play and blocks it. The Jazz recover and try to reset, but they never really get going under some pressure defense and it’s a shot clock violation.

• Boozer gets the ball at the free throw line and again tries the face up jumper over Bynum. He misses again. But the Lakers throw the ball out of bounds trying to run off a rebound they never really controlled. On the reset Okur gets the ball on the low block and kicks out to a wide-open Brewer 17 footer that rims out.

• The Jazz are being harassed and can’t get set up, so D-Will drives and once inside hands off to Okur, who is surrounded, can’t get the handle, tries to go up but drops the ball, grabs it, and by that time we have another 24 second violation. Great defense from the Lakers.

• The Jazz again are having a hard time getting set up, so they go to Brewer coming off a high pick from Okur, but Odom steps out and the Lakers trap him, so Brewer throws a late, desperation pass back out of it that Farmar easily picks off.