Preview & Chat: The Orlando Magic

Kurt —  January 18, 2010

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Records: Lakers 31-9 (1st in West) Magic 26-14 (4th in East)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 108.6 (11th in league), Magic 109 (9th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 101.1 (2nd in league) Magic 103.8 (6th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Magic: Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard

Shannon Is Dunking: In case you missed the news this morning, Shannon Brown is in the dunk contest. He will be up against Gerald Wallace, Nate Robinson and DeMar DeRozan (who I think beats out Eric Gordon in the dunk off).

Congrats to Shannon. It will be interesting to watch on Feb. 13 — dunking in game and dunking in an exhibition are two totally different things (well, except for the being able to dunk part of it). The Dunk Contest is a showman’s exhibition, Brown is by nature a little bit reserved. We’ll have to see what he comes up with for the contest.

Magic coming in: I wanted to touch on just a couple things about the issues the Magic are facing.

The Magic’s offense is predicated on the other team needing to double-team Dwight Howard, or dribble penetration — either way it should free up three point shooters or get high percentage looks at the rim. Except that Dwight Howard is taking three less shots per game than he did last year, they are not getting him the ball in the post well enough. Last season Jameer Nelson’s penetration tore up the Lakers in the regular season, but he has not been the same player. So a lot of those penetration chances are going to Vince Carter, who has never been an efficient scorer and is not near the passer Nelson is. When they do get the three, they are not hitting as many — Nelson shot 45% last year, 37% this year, Hedo shot 35% last year, Carter 30% this year, Rashard Lewis is shooting the same percentage but is getting one less attempt per game.

I’ll add that while everyone talks about how much they miss Hedo, they miss Courtney Lee. He played 26 minutes a game in the playoffs and gave them some athleticism and solid play, things they seem to consistently miss now.

These things seem fixable to a degree, but like the Lakers those fixes need to start coming now so that there is something built solidly before the playoffs start.

Magic blogs: We’ve already linked to Orlando Magic Daily today, but you should also check out Orlando Pinstripe Post (the former Third Quarter Collapse), which is a high quality team blog with good writing.

Keys to game: Often, when teams that faced off in the playoffs the year before come together the next season, you get a little bit better brand of basketball. All those hours learning the tendencies of the other team, studying the offense, come back in game situations. And, as Bill Bridges pointed out in the comments:

Play Howard straight-up. Stay on the 3-point shooters and force them to shoot off the dribble as only Carter is dangerous off the dribble.

The Lakers have the luxury with Bynum, and Gasol behind him, of single covering Howard and really making him work at both ends of the floor. Plus, bringing in DJ Mbenga for a little hack-a-Howard can work for a stretch, also.

Carter was supposed to provide the ability to create shots off the dribble — particularly late in the shot clock — that the Magic lacked last year. The problem is, Carter’s true shooting percentage is down to 50.2%, well below the league average. He is shooting just 44% when he gets to the rim, 41% from 16 feet out to the arc, then 30% from three. While he can create off the dribble he is not finishing well enough to boost the team’s offense.

The Lakers cannot let Jameer Nelson get going. They also need to defend the pick-and-roll as Orlando likes to run that with Howard setting the screen (so he can roll and get deep position) or Lewis (for the pop). The Lakers have seen it all before, they know how to defend it, they just need to bring the focus this game.

Where you can watch: 7:30 p.m. start on TNT nationally, and ESPN 710 radio here in LA.



130 responses to Preview & Chat: The Orlando Magic

  1. This one’s for Warren.

  2. Brought over from last post:

    I’d say Orlando just had great on-court chemistry last year, partly by their design and maybe also by stumbling upon something special with Hedo in this prominent role.

    Howard covered for some Hedo’s/Rafer’s/Lewis’s defensive issues by being an intimidating shot-blocker. And Hedo – being not half the athlete Carter is – was their glue guy in my opinion. Solid ballhandler and passer, a good set-up man on their dangerous drive-and-kick plays and high pick-and-rolls plus often also their go-to guy in crunch time. And in a few games I saw of them, it seemed to me that he kind of sparked the Magic whenever they went on a run. Maybe like a Nick van Exel on those mid-90s Laker teams, not the best player, but often the one who made the team go.

    In Toronto Hedo has Bargnani and Bosh crowding the mid-range or even longe-range area, has no real clean-up defender behind him and less playmaking chances with Calderon and Jack handling the ball a lot.

    So I guess the lesson is that on-court chemistry is a delicate thing to achieve. Who thought Memphis would click the way they’ve done? And we probably don’t have to look further than the pretty smooth Gasol-Odom combo vs. the Gasol-Bynum combo (in limited time together).

    As far as the Magic’s current roster goes, their depth is probably their biggest strength. During the long regular season this may end up helping them climb back to the top of the east in the stretch run (although Boston, when healthy, and to a lesser degree Cleveland are also solid in spots 6-8). But during the play-offs I’d say their well-working top seven from last year is more valuable then the increase in talent at the end of the bench.

  3. I’m not sure what Orlando’s chemistry is like right now as I haven’t watched them as much as when TurkeyGlue was there. I wonder if we’re missing the point though with all this talk about offense. Orlando’s offense wasn’t exactly great last season, and it’s basically the same statistically this season. Their defense is what got them to the Finals, and it seems to be what has slipped the most.

    As for Vince, maybe this is simply the year his game starts going downhill. I know he’s kinda soft and not exactly known for being a winner, but damn, 39% from the field? That’s not a character flaw or a bit fit, that’s just wretched shooting.

  4. This is off topic, but I had a question, since my favorite basketball minds are on this site: Has anyone read Roland Lazenby’s books?

    There’s something about the way he writes (that I’ve gathered from his articles) that seems to push the honesty factor that humanizes athletes that makes me curious about his books. Sometimes it feels forced, but in the end effective.

    With his new biography on Jerry West coming out I was wondering if anyone else on the site could give me a review on his books, or shares my opinions on his style.

    And go Lakers, let’s finish the day with a W!

  5. I think Joel touched on a great point there. Weren’t the Magic 1st in defensive efficiency last year? Well, they’re 6th according to Kurt’s numbers above.

    So while a slip from great to good isn’t the end of the world, it certainly mirrors Orlando’s consequent fall in the standings: from great to “merely” good.

  6. Brian, I read Mad Game, and it was fairly good. I like the more casual reads like Jack MacCallum’s 7 seconds or less, but Mad Game was much more fun than the Last Journey by PJ or The Gold Standard by Coach K (can’t spell his name).

    The worst of the basketball books I’ve read so far is SI’s Basketball Book (something about it I just don’t like), and the most interesting was FreeDarko’s Basketball Almanac. I’ve ordered Chris Ballard’s book, and afterwards I might treat myself to ‘When the game was ours’ but international shipping and handling really is painful 🙁

    Back to Orlando; I think Hedo-Vince thing might have been one of those lose-lose things that happened… quite contrary to Ariza-Artest, which seems to work out for both teams…

  7. 6

    Has Ariza really worked out well for Houston though? So far he’s shooting 38% from the field, 31% from 3, and 65% from the line.

  8. With the 8 game road trip looming, this win is critical. We play at Cleveland next and I know players say they don’t think ahead, I’m sure that some payback for the Christmas day beatdown they received has to be on their minds…which leads me to my next point – this is not the team we played in the Finals. Yes, Nelson, Howard and Lewis are back, but White Chocolate and VC are new. This Magic team looks good, but by no means are they the cream of the East, let alone their division. I hope we can continue to carryover the 2nd half defense we played against the Clippers. I also like how Phil has been slowly increasing our bench player’s minutes in preparation for the upcoming trip. He knows that he can’t ride the starters for 34+ minutes each night when you have to travel and play 8 games in 13 nights. Play Howard straight up and limit the PG penetration and we should be able to win this one before starting THE ROAD TRIP.

  9. unrelated, but is anybody watching the Celts/Mavs?

    First time I’ve watched the C’s this season, but they don’t look too hot. Dampier lit up Sheed for 11 points in the 3rd quarter, and Jason Kidd is shutting down Pierce defensively.

  10. Looks like Boston and Dallas are going to get in the way of the beginning of the first quarter. Gotta love TNT.

  11. There is nothing sweeter than watching a beatdown on Boston. Dallas is picking them apart on both ends of the floor right now, the Gahden is silent. I’m already ecstatic.

    4 – I’ve read a couple of Lazenby’s books, and I’m a fan, if only because he gives you a new perspective and inside information you can’t get anywhere else. I’m always uncomfortable taking everything at face value, because every writer on earth has their own biases and angles. So it mostly depends on how you read into what he says, how you interpret it. Is his writing style thriller-esque? Probably not, but your interest in the subject itself carries you through easily. And it’s never a tedious read. Overall, I find Lazenby’s books fun reads and informative.

  12. OK, C’s lose, now let’s take the wind out of the Magic’s sails, put some doubt in their mind, and get the W tonight.
    DO NOT be looking ahead to the Cav’s, get the W tonight! focus, be aggressive.

  13. Our night is starting off good with the Dallas beatdown of Boston, huh? Honorary Warren 1st post, let’s play some basketball.

    Go Lakers…

  14. When the Lakers play well, it’s just a thing of beauty. Seriously – if you don’t appreciate that wonderful passing and post-play, you just don’t like basketball.

    Edit: That’s so not a foul.

  15. Every time I see Dwight Howard’s shoulders, the mental image of a Belgian Blue pops into my head…

    I like the start of the game so far. Good ball movement, effort on defense, Pau looks great as usual.

  16. The offense seems to be in a glod flow and rhythm to start the game.

  17. are the black shoes a new thing for Pau?

  18. anyone have a stream for the game right now?

  19. Fisher channeling his 2001 self.

  20. Fish finishes? Ron Ron posts and scores?

  21. Gotta love Vince getting burned by the blazing speed of Fisher… 😛

  22. -Love the perimeter D, great activity. Also loved getting the ball inside to the big men early, especially Pau.

    -Wow. Something about the Magic bring back vintage Fisher.

    -Kobe put on Jameer. Jameer promptly gets an open three. I see a trend. From now on, Kobe should only be placed on the team’s worst 3-point shooter, even if it’s D12 himself.

    -Howard’s quickness just gives Drew fits. It’s no coincidence he’s always in foul trouble early.

    -Pau is much quicker at rotating than Bynum right now.

  23. Bynum out with 2 quick fouls, and Lakers hot from beyond the arc. Deja vu, anyone? 🙂

  24. it’s so quiet in the arena..

  25. Are Gasol and LO also wearing the new Kobe V’s? They look similar to Kobe’s shoes (looks like green, glittery material).

  26. You have to like that we’re shooting 67%, have 30 pts, and Kobe only has 1 fg. This bodes ill for Orlando.

  27. Man, if we could shoot from deep like this consistently…I really think, despite all the Bynum and other nitpicking, all this team needs is better shooting to realize its potential.

  28. Snoopy: I was thinking the exact same thing. Nothing else would matter; if the Lakers shoot the three well it’s over.

  29. Just ducking in before running back to the TV (laptop decided to go comatose on me) to say I agree with Snoopy. (#26) We have had difficulties establishing some reliable and dangerous perimeter shooting this season. Combine the now good shooting with the very active ball movement on offense and all of a sudden, we look like the team I remember winning it all last year.

  30. One fly in the ointment: you’re really seeing the difference between Bynum and Gasol manifested in Howard getting some easy buckets down low w/o Gasol in there.

  31. Equal opportunity offense thus far, with nobody in double figures.

    And leading by 10.

  32. I’m loving me some Shannon Brown tonight!

  33. I think Shannon finding out that he’s in the dunk contest has really boosted his confidence.

    LO, stop shooting 3’s. Thanks.

  34. Did I see LO shoot a PUJIT?, run the Triangle out there.

  35. kehn: As a Spaniard I’ll defend Pau to the death, but I think that Drew’s two fouls might have had something to do with it in this case. He seemed reluctant to pick up a third. (Also, Howard’s been playing terrfic.)

  36. Wait . . . Doug Collins coached Michael Jordan? I did not know that. I don’t think he’s ever mentioned that before.

  37. Pau was about to run back to his man because he expected Fisher to go under the screen. While Fisher tried, you can’t just stop playing to give the referee a stare down during game play because you thought there was a foul .

    #35, yes, before PJ. Collins hates Phil because he feels that he could have taken the same talent to the championship.

  38. Too many uncontested lay ups and dunks. We look great offensively, but the same energy is not on defense.

  39. Andreas – good point. Howard’s been pretty much unstoppable tonight – really bringing a complete arsenal. He’s gonna be truly scary in 3-4 years…

    (and looking good in forum blue and gold 🙂 )

  40. 35 – Yeah, Collins coached Jordan, but didn’t ANOTHER coach get somewhat better results with him?

    36 – Sarcasm alert – 35 was jesting.

  41. Lazy defense to close the half. 2 wide-open 3s for Anderson and the lead is somehow down to just 5.

  42. The beautiful ball movement of the first quarter evaporated in the second. Andrew sat on the bench or was a non-factor leading into the half. The consistent and focused defense somehow fell apart into mad individual scrambling. Kobe is the least ball-hogging player on the Lakers so far this game.

    And we’re still in the lead. What the he…?

  43. emh10
    Doug mentions that every time he is behind the mic…

  44. I can’t get on Fisher after the way he played, but if he just held the ball after the steal (or passed to a better finisher), there wouldn’t have been a 5-point swing.

  45. the Magic’s got to be feeling good about this game.

  46. ShanWOW, the leading Lakers scorer and 2nd best in the game in like 7 minutes, wow!

  47. wil,

    Oh, I know.

  48. Psst, wil… sarcasm alert… 🙂

  49. Barnes blocked the ball and Pau’s head.

  50. Some drought here…

  51. stop shooting jumpers!

  52. Such a goaltend..

  53. no way that wasn’t coming down.

  54. Now the energy is there on defense, but there is no execution on either end.

  55. There are certain images that define players. Jerry West, as the Logo. The split legs dunking image that signified MJ’s logo. For 2009, Kobe’s was that clenched-teeth-constipated face.

    Bynum’s will be two arms at his sides in a helpless shrug, a half-smile half-bewildered look on his face.

  56. Guys, when the shooting has gotten cold…stop shooting. We do have these 7-footers inside. Real tall, can’t miss them.

  57. Do these guys realise that Rashard Lewis is guarding Gasol?

  58. 14-6 so far in the 3rd? What’s going on??

  59. Ugh. The Lakers have fallen apart.

  60. i’m about to put my foot through the monitor

  61. This is indescribably bad. No effort to get to rebounds or 3 point shooters and limited ball movement on the other end.

  62. Odom comes on to guard Lewis, and his first act is to give up an uncontested 3. Awesome.

  63. Also… gotta love how we facilitate Orlando’s comeback by taking contested jumper after contested jumper

  64. 3pts are falling for the magic, and not much falling for the Lakers.

  65. maybe the Lakers need a new coach … I wonder if they are finally tuning out PJ … hey, how about Doug Collins?

    After all, didn’t Collins coach Michael Jordan back in the day?

  66. kobe…you’re in a slump…attack or pass

  67. Kobe’s jumper is waaaaaay off tonight.

  68. Nice push out of bounds by Kobe.

  69. oh shannon!

  70. 3/14 from Kobe =(

  71. Can someone with a DVR watch these “travel” calls? They called one on Kobe which looked perfectly legit, and they don’t call it on Lewis and Carter which were more suspect. Thanks.

  72. Because kobe decided to pull his BS “let’s be passive to start the game” crap instead of coming out aggressive! You can’t be asleep for 2 qtrs and then just expect to wake up and turn it on!

  73. okay we’re in this…and kobe cant’ have any worse a shooting slump like in the 3rd quarter. GO LAKERS! A win is a win though this is going to be with an asterisk.

  74. Kobe is overcomplicating every move right now…no need for him to dribble, spin, dribble, spin, and so on before putting up an off balance shot.

  75. Man, these Kobe Lebron Nike commercials are starting to get pretty bad.

  76. #65, that’s the usual for “sequels.” Last year, it was refreshing and entertaining, now it has that whole “trying too hard” feel.

    Does anyone know how long (estimated) it would take before Kobe’s injuries will heal? Or, at least, to the point where he’ll be back to his efficient self?

  77. Lamar seems like he’s hustling to offensive rebounds today, according to Gamecast.

  78. Wow, Lamar sure looks like he was worth all the trouble in the summer, doesn’t he 🙂

  79. Phew. Now keep up the energy. We’re still giving up some open 3s, but at least we have momentum.

  80. Farmar for 3!!!! Wohoo!!!

  81. How is it physically possible to be an NBA player and shoot 3 for 17?! My 8-yr old nephew can shoot better than that! Absolutely amazing…

  82. Magic implosion?

  83. Our bench is really starting to get into a rhythm.

  84. Farmar with the last seven points. Nice.

    Now, maybe two more with freethrows. Super nice.

  85. Farmar Time!

  86. Stan Van’s head just exploaded

  87. what happened?

  88. Do my eyes deceive me, or is the bench carrying the starters?

  89. farmar-brown slowly becoming a nice proposition for me

    if we hold on, wow the bench just won this one for us.

  90. Zirk,
    i’m pretty sure your nephew doesn’t play with a broken pinky, a bad back and against nba level defense though…

  91. If Reggie Bush’s Saints and Lamar Odom’s Lakers both win championships in 2010, will there be some kinda Kardashianship parade from New Orleans to L.A.?

  92. Kehn, if that happens, then Kourtney Kardashian wins the Oscar.

  93. Two consecutive Magic possessions in which Nelson just ran by FIsher.

  94. 81,
    We all know kobe has a broken finger (index finger BTW) and that he’s a true warrior. Nobody is arguing that. But guess what? He’s had the broken finger for AWHILE now and has played very efficiently with it, even having some great games! So the finger excuse just doesn’t fly anymore. Especially if you’re 4 for 19! Finger or no finger, that’s ridiculous!

  95. Agreed, Zirk. We should try to get something in exchange for him before the trade deadline or we will never win it all.

  96. zirk,
    I was taking you literally there.

    on the pinky, I think he never had surgery for it, he’s just playing with it and adjusting.

    i was on the level of you saying it’s not physically possible… so i highlighted the physical aspects of what you were saying.

    Then comparing it to your nephew…

    now if you had mentioned it was bad shots and things like that, then I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t comment on it 🙂

  97. well, even if Kobe is 4/19, i can live with that when we have other players with 14, 11, 11 and 10 attempts.

    And a few more with 7…

    – if fish makes both, he’s got double digits too!

  98. I still think we’re winning this game. And that is beautiful and gorgeous, and very worthy of a true champion.

    Kill them in “the rematch”.

  99. kehn, I hear McGrady is available. Maybe the Rockets will take Kobe off our hands.

  100. i notice Artest hasn’t seen play in awhile – is he alright?

  101. Apparently I missed a baaaad 3rd quarter, but I’m liking this 4th.

  102. No, let’s just shoot 4 for 19 every game! Then we’ll win it all, right? Good call Kehn! That must be the winning formula!

  103. Kobe tried to kill us this game. His shot was terrible. Thank God for the bench. Lamar, Farmar, and Brown played great tonight. Why won’t Kobe stick with the black bandage designed by Gary Vitti? He has had his worst games with the white bandage looking thing on his hand. He needs to throw that crap away.

  104. Ok. Let Shannon Dunk. Not shoot FTs. Though it’s probably good to have the experience of missing them at the end of a game.

  105. zirk…let it go. The Lakers are winning the game despite a bad shooting night from Kobe. Your nephew wouldn’t be 1-100 on an NBA court and probably, neither would you.

  106. Interesting how Kobe sometimes gets so many minutes on his off-nights… 43 tonight.

    I didn’t see the game… but only 20 min for Bynum and 23 for Ron-Ron. Sup with that?

    Real glad we got the win. Bring on the Cavs!

  107. Off topic, but with the way Marc Gasol is playing, that Pau trade is looking more and more like a win-win for both clubs, considering the amount of salary saved for Memphis…

  108. I wonder when the Lakers last won with Kobe shooting so badly. Especially against a playoff – bound team.

    It’s truly impressive how his teammates took up the slack.

  109. Kobe needs to put up 50+ the next 3 games. On Lebron, and jus to remind the knicks and raptors who he is

  110. Niiice win, I was just a little worried at the 25 second mark, what a waste of energy for me, revenge is sweet…

  111. I’m not trying to make excuses but it seemed to be obvious that Kobe’s finger was bothering him tonight.

    Also, how great has the tandem of Farmer and Brown been to help our bench? They have revived our bench the last couple games. And I know Fisher is someone who comes through in the playoffs but I feel that Shannon Brown needs to be getting more of Fisher’s minutes. That guy is the man!

  112. harold,

    I’m sure popovich would still say something against that 😀

    somewhere along the lines of you don’t trade cornerstones for potential.

  113. Nice to see ShanWow and Farmar playing like we know they can. Kobe should buy them some steak and lobster because they bailed him out big time. Kobe is shooting worse now than when he broke his finger. Delayed reaction?

  114. Good win. I loved the bench play. I hope they stay consistent on our road trip.

  115. Shannon Brown should justifiably get a lotta the ink and credit for delivering this win, but Lamar was just an absolute beast in the 4th quarter. Game-high 15 boards and did all the little things to help out the team in close-out time.

  116. weird game.

  117. Props to Shannon and the bench. Just had to love their movement and cutting after that scary stagnant 3Q.

    And thanks to the comments on Lazenby, I think I will pick up the J. West book.

  118. Wow if our bench can just produce like this in the playoffs…

    Great PG play today from both Fisher and Farmar. I really hope Farmar hits his stride, but I’m still wary of a new contract longer than 1-2 years. There’s a target I think we could get for Farmar (after the season, in a S&T) but that’s probably not for this thread.

    Great win. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform on this road trip, Cleveland and Boston will be the only true “tests.” Watch out, Lebron, the Enforcer is coming to Cleveland.

  119. Great win for the guys tonight. Loved the bench play and the fact that the guys kept their composure despite a horrible 3rd quarter. A few notes:

    -Farmar and Brown played great, as everyone saw. I was scratching my head a little as to why they only played like, 7 minutes in the 1st half, but Fisher also played pretty good in the 1st quarter. I didn’t like most of Shannon’s shots, but he got into such a rhythm that they just kept falling for him. Same pretty much for Farmar. Their shots don’t look pretty (completely the opposite of Lewis; his shots look perfect every time), and perhaps that’s why they shoot so inconsistently.

    -I got to thinking about the 3 guard rotation and Fisher starting over Brown and Farmar (admittedly it was pretty obvious that the Magic went on runs when Fisher was in the game in the late 2nd and early 3rd). Farmar and Brown have both been playing pretty well of late, but, I think they play so well together that it would be a poor decision to split them up and start one in place of Fisher. Easily our best lineup of the night was Farmar-Brown-Kobe-Odom-Gasol, mostly because of the Magic’s matchups but also because Farmar and Brown played so well off each other. Splitting them up may take away the chemistry that they have together, so perhaps it’s better that they stay together on the bench and keep Fisher (or perhaps… START SASHA?!).

    -Dwight Howard beasted all over Bynum. When Bynum was guarding Howard 1v1, Howard was just too fast and strong for Bynum to hold off without help, which starting killing our rotations and leaving shooters wide open. It was only when Gasol started guarding Howard that he got bothered a little and started putting up some bad shots (plus the Magic went away from Howard for a good quarter and a half).

    -Shannon Brown should have a session with the rest of the guys on how to close out shots. There were three or four times when Brown was the rotating man and had to close out on one of Lewis or Redick or Anderson, and Brown ran full speed at the shooter, and swung with his arm with his body going past the shooter. You could tell that this really bothered Lewis and caused him to brick a couple late threes that could’ve really hurt the Lakers.

    Overall, great performance. The defense was solid when it needed to be, and our bench came up huge in a pressure situation. Sure, Kobe shot like crap, but you take the crap shots with the game winners. I look at it this way: all these terrible shots are simply practice for the game winners; if he gets enough reps in during the regular season, he’ll have practiced taking terrible shots enough such that they become easier to make during the postseason. At least that’s my excuse.

  120. I don’t get people who totally overreact and savage Kobe for having a poor shooting night on the rare occasion.

    Its like a teenager screaming and cursing at their parents for serving dry toast for dinner one night, despite the fact that they’ve fed the teenager gourmet 3 course meals almost every night for 14 years.

  121. Zephid — The two quick fouls, one of which (on Barnes) was very bogus, certainly didn’t help Andrew’s cause tonight. He came back early in the second and was very tentative because it appeared he didn’t want to pick up a quick third.

    It’s an academic argument, but I wonder how that game plays out if Drew doesn’t get sent to the pine on a Joey Crawford special early on. Drew was playing well before he got into foul trouble, and not all of Dwight’s points came at Drew’s expense.

  122. themojojedi

    Read my comment. Kobe’s bad shooting nights coiencide with the white tape. If you look at tape of the game he couldn’t even tighten his shorts because his hand is so sore and he has no grip with the tape. Get rid of it, it hampers him. He should have done what he did the other night (stop shooting). His and Lamar’s shots took us out of two good runs. We went from a 13 point lead to being up by 2 because of Lamar missing a dagger three and Kobe missing two or three PUJITs. That’s not what we need. We need the Payton Manning build up the lead to a point where they can’t catch us and coast from there. Did you watch Dallas close out Boston. That’s what you want.

    Good points Chris J
    Bynum was on a role before he got the phantom call on Barnes by that bastard Joey Crawford.

  123. Busboys4me

    My criticism wasn’t directed at you, in fact I agree with everything you said except that “Kobe tried to kill us this game”. I don’t think Kobe’s intention is ever to TRY to kill us, although that might occasionally be the result.

  124. Maybe we should trade Kobe for Fish, this Fish guy blew by carter, scored 10 points on 50% shooting, got 3 steals, and stablize the offense, and played 10 less minutes than Kobe.

    Gosh, what was Phil thinking, he must be crazy to play that Kobe guy that many minutes.

  125. I was at an office party and go to only see what was going on in the game (terrible because I couldn’t hear analysis) but can someone please tell me why Bynum didn’t get more playing time? I saw in the box score he only had 2 fouls so I figured he would have played more or at least used up all of his fouls on Dwight like he did in the finals.

    From what I could see Pau once again played solid D on Dwight (for those of you who said Pau cant guard him and other big centers you’re wrong he just does it when he feels like doing it).

    Also saw Shannon was a damn firecracker off the bench, shot selection wasn’t great but he continually shoots the same shots so it shows he has the confidence to make them. He and Jordan were both solid off the bench and carried an off night shooting for Kobe which was wonderful to see.

    Maybe Orlando should take a note that Dwight needs to average more than 9 shots a game?

    Finally need to see this type of team effort thursday night in Cleveland or there is no chance in hell of winning.

  126. Lakers with a well fought win. 3rd quarter was really suspect with bad shots and the inability to put dump the ball inside to Pau or Bynum. Phil Jackson said in his postgame (heard on the radio) that the team got out of sorts in the third with the team trying to do things on their own and only working one side of the floor instead of swinging to the other side. Which was true.

    Farmar and Brown played really well and make a great combination off the bench. Farmar is probably the #1 scorer off the bench (above Odom because he looks for his shots and points first where Odom fills in the stat sheet). I think they make a great team and I agree with Zephid that it would not be good for the bench play if Fisher went to the bench. His contribution today was a bonus for the starting lineup and he played a great first quarter (shooting open jumpers, steals, and even a driving layup- even though it was on vince carter). I hated his decision to drive in the 3rd with kobe trailing behind him… I really thought he would dump it off, but hey, if the lakers were perfect, it would be really boring.

    Props to Pau Gasol for bothering Dwight Howard. And thanks to the Magic who apparently didn’t work on their post entry passes.

    My brother in law is a magic fan and i watched the game with him today. When the Magic were on their run, he looked at me and said “Don’t worry, Lakers are doing this for the national t.v. ratings. Magic won’t sustain it at all.”

    Regarding this road trip – (don’t hate me for saying this guys) – high possibility that the Lakers can start 0-2 on this road trip. Cavs are a toss up of course on thursday night and the Knicks are on Friday. 2nd night of back to backs have not been good to us this year. My prediction is the Lakers go 6-2 on the trip.

  127. FYI fish was a minus 15 again while Brown was a plus 18. Entire defense breaks down when Fisher is on the court. Farmer was outplaying Fisher by a mile and was very angry when Fish replaced him in the 4th quarter. When will Phil give up the past with Fish.

  128. themojojedi

    Sorry. And yes you’re right, he’s not trying to kill us, his hubris won’t allow him to shut it down or take too much of a back seat.