Preview & Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

Kurt —  February 3, 2010

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Records: Lakers 37-12 (1st in West) Bobcats 24-23 (6th in East)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.1 (10th in league), Bobcats 102.4 (25th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102 (2nd in league) Bobcats 102.3 (3rd in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Bobcats: Raymond Felton, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Nazir Mohammed

Walton out tonight:His back is bothering him again so he will watch this game from the trainers room.

Bobcats coming in: You’d be making a big mistake thinking “it’s just the Bobcats, the Lakers should blow them out.” First, because the Bobcats always give the Lakers trouble.

And second, because the Bobcats have been a hot team of late. They have won primarily with a very aggressive defense this season — they basically are tied with the Lakers on the season — and have been getting their offense from two sources.

One is Gerald Wallace, who has been playing like an All Star for the last 10 days — averaging 23 points a game on 58.7% (eFG%) shooting and 52% from three. Wallace also is a power on the offensive glass while on the other end he has 15 blocks in the last 10 games.

The other is Stephen Jackson. He has been scoring 22 a game and providing some other scoring punch to the team.

Keys to game: If the Lakers go to their isolation offensive trends of late tonight, they will be in a lot of trouble. Charlotte’s defense will be the problem. Darius adds some details:

Larry Brown has been one of the better coaches at disrupting the Triangle offense over the years. This goes back to the ’04 Finals and has been a recurring theme in any Lakers/team coached by Brown matchup. Mostly he loves to have his players disrupt passing angles by side fronting the post in the hub of the Triangle, denying pass to the corner on the strong side, and then sagging from the weak side to deny the pressure release when we look to swing the ball. This leads to poor timing in our sets and makes our guards over-dribble (which has been a problem this season even without the defense forcing this action). Our guys are really going to have to be crisp with their movement and work to get open. Not to mention the ‘Cats are the #1 team in defensive efficiency this season.

While Darius has the floor, he has a couple other points:

People always mention LeBron, ‘Melo and Pierce as the guys that Ron Artest was brought in to contain. Well, few would put Gerald Wallace in that class (I don’t) but he’s a dangerous player and a guy that can hurt the Lakers. Wallace has an all around game and Ron is going to have his hands full with a guy that will be very active on both ends of the floor. Wallace is playing at an extremely high level this season — proven by his inclusion on the Eastern All-Star team — and Ron is going to need to especially watch him on the glass has Wallace is getting about two off. rebounds a game. On a side note, look at the guys that Ron has been asked to guard lately — LeBron, Pierce, Caron Butler, Iguodala, Granger, Rudy Gay, and now Wallace. And before the All-Star break he’ll likely see plenty of minutes on Richard Jefferson, Brandon Roy, Melo, and AK-47. Wow. No rest for this guy.

Another guy to look out for is Raymond Felton. The forgotten PG of the Deron/CP3 draft class hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations coming out of college, but he’s having a solid year as he seems to finally found his game as a pro. His assists are down, but all of his shooting numbers (except for FT%) are up even though his scoring is down. That tells me he’s playing more under control and not forcing too much. This is like the influence of Larry Brown on his game as Brown is notoriously hard and demanding on PG’s but it looks like Felton is taking to Brown’s tutelage.

Another note about Felton, he comes off the pick with the quickness and strength of only a few in the league. He just explodes. What is challenging for the Lakers is Wallace often sets the high screen and Diaw also comes out by the arc to pull his defender away from the basket. The Lakers need to defend Felton well without getting into foul trouble and keep him out of the paint.

Another key — taking care of the ball. The Bobcats are second in the league in creating turnovers (per possession), jumping passing lanes and using long arms and athleticism to disrupt plays (see Darius’ note). That can fuel their running game, something they don’t do a lot under the controlling Brown but they have the athletes and can get some easy buckets in transition that way. You can’t give them easy buckets — their defense is not going to give you any. It’s how they can score enough to beat you.

Where you can watch: 7:30 p.m. start here out west, on Fox Sports. Plus, ESPN radio 710am.



147 responses to Preview & Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

  1. This one’s for Warren!

  2. warren encore!
    got it in 2 languages, a sure win!

  3. Charlotte and Portland, those are the two teams that always seem to play better against us.

    What bothers me lately is that our team as a whole is suffering from Odomitis… Pau, Bynum, Odom, and even Kobe, who goes from triple-double-ish to nearly-no-assists/rebound-ish.

  4. Fun fact, the Bobcats have all-time winning records with just 4 teams: the Kings, the T’Wolves, the Hawks, and the Lakers. Prepare for a battle.

  5. Luke having back problems again bothers me… I hope it’s a lot less this time.

  6. I probably won’t be able to watch the livestream for this game, so that should help, as the Lakers always seem to play better when I’m not watching them. 🙁

  7. I LOVE Gerald Wallace’s game, in both matchups against Lebron this year he has basically shut Lebron down and scored against him at will. The battle between he and Ron Ron will be fun to watch.

  8. Totally unrelated to the Lakers/Bobcats, but it makes me chuckle every time I see news of Danny Ainge tweaking Rondo in the press.

    From ESPN: When asked if Rondo’s comments represented a show of leadership, Ainge said, “I don’t think that’s leadership. … I think leadership is how KG [Kevin Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] handled it. … Even though it may be true, that’s what all of a sudden brings speculation.”

    First Ainge downplays Rondo’s importance after last season’s playoffs, when Rondo was arguably Boston’s most-important player. Then they re-ink Rondo and all seemed well; kid goes on to become an All-Star, and then Ainge goes and craps on him again.

    I can only hope that these cracks from his GM bounce around in Rondo’s skeleton-in-a-headband-looking head, totally ruining his confidence and trust in the front office.

    There’s a time and place for constructive criticism, but from a distance it seems like Ainge is tweaking the wrong guy. When those other fossils join Rasheed in putting both feet firmly in the NBA grave, Rondo would still be a decent piece around which to rebuild. But if they piss him off enough to where he demands a trade, Boston’s looking at another multi-decade championship drought.

    In other words, “Keep it up, Danny.”

  9. It will be interesting to see after the game if anyone asks Kobe about Gasol’s not so veiled “Kobe shoots too much” comments.

    My guess is Kobe takes the high road…but the next time Gasol sits out with a boo-boo a normal player would play with, my guess is Kobe might shoot a little dig in Pau’s direction (Lord knows Phil will).

  10. By the way – everyone should prepare themselves…there’s a really, REALLY good chance the Lakers lose this one:

    1) Just got back from a road trip
    2) Opposing team playing great ball
    3) Opposing team that’s a bad matchup for LA
    4) Seeds of internal discontent in the LA locker room.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if LA gets another loss here…

  11. Yeah, if you know recent lakers history, you know that for one reason or another these ‘Cats bring their A-game against us. As Darius mentioned, Wallace could definitely give us problems. I don’t care if he gets 20 and 20, just so long as he doesn’t get more than his average on o-boards. Man, I wish the game wasn’t so late/early where I am (Israel – 10 hours ahead). Anyways, also like Darius said, they’re a very solid defense group, so we probably won’t score a hundred. We just need in edge in the details – o-boards, FT’s, TO’s, those things, and we should have a win by around 3-5 points. Really wish Walton could play too – he’s excellent at all those little things and he’d help the bench look better too.

  12. @9 Burgundy
    This will be a tough game. But I think reason #4 is (as usual) being overhyped by the media and us zealous fans.

  13. 9. #4 on your list should be watched closely over the course of the next couple of games. Is there really discontent that carries over from game to game? Usually when you comment about something in a off handed way as a teamate, it can be taken to a whole different level by the person whom it concerns.

  14. RE: 10

    I tend to agree with you. This certainly isn’t anything remotely approaching the old Shaq/Kobe conflicts. I think it will blow over in a day or two…but right now it’s still fresh…so there might be a little carryover tonight.

    By the way, Tyson Chandler is out tonight, so Lamar/Drew/Pau are going up against Diaw/Diop/Nazr Mohammed. Drew might have trouble with Nazr/Diop’s size, but Pau should be able to have a field day with his quickness.

    If he gets the ball, that is…

  15. perhaps kobe shoots too much but gasol does himself no favours by either being not agressive enough and either waiting too long to take his shot and getting double teamed or asking for a re post

  16. Pau is too mild-mannered and doesn’t have the personality to drag out conflicts. He speaks out, I believe, when he genuinely wants what (he believes) is best for the team. Nothing to worry about, in my opinion.

    The Bobcats were enough trouble before. And this post reminded me of how the Brown factor. To be frank, I’m surprised more teams don’t study how Brown plays the triangle and imitate it.

  17. 15,
    Gasol, or anyone for that matter should not be rushed to take a shot. In fact, the ball in Gasol’s hands w/o an offensive move from his is a great option since he’s such an above average passer out of the post (now if people would move w/o the ball). Also, why shouldn’t Gasol ask for a repost? If he and the rest of the Lakers know where the double teams are going to come from, they can take advantage of the defense. The other 4 players shouldn’t stop moving just because the ball is in the post.

  18. 16.Portland comes in mind…

  19. Update: JA Adande is reporting that Gerald Wallace will not play due to a hamstring injury. Big loss for the ‘Cats if this ends up being accurate.

  20. #10
    You forgot the most important reason. It’s the Bobcats!

  21. 1.i am currently on my flight back from new york … thank god the plane has wifi … i need a link to tonights game … can anyone help me please?

    2. didnt kobe get into an argument with steven jackson in a preseason game??? didn’t they say something to the press about the first time they meet up this season??? i know its against the gameplan but if im correct we will probably see another 40 point game by kobe.

  22. Pau is absolutely correct when stating that he needs more touches. Only 10 shots between he & Bynum against Memphis was pathetic, 2 say the least. Especially coming off of the game that Bynum had against Boston. Even Phil Jackson criticized Kobe 4 excessive shooting in that last game. Once again, Basketball 101: The game is much easier when played inside out. As talented as Kobe is, with such a high B-ball IQ & with so much talent surroundin’ him, it’s a shame that he’s not even averaging 5 dimes a night. Disgusting.

  23. OMG your plane has WIFI?! Doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with that?

    Michael, please tell me the airline so I know never to fly on their flights.

  24. Right Mimsy – I was thinking the same thing 🙂 A beating by the Bobcats is kind of like death and taxes, right?

  25. I see a lot more “wrong” with the notion that I’ll be able to bring down a billion-dollar airplane with a pager I bought for $50 at RadioShack…

  26. simonoid, your name should be:


  27. Talking about a plane going down when someone is currently on one, is a little inconsiderate you think.

  28. @ TRA:
    Pau needs to hold onto the ball. He and Bynum need to establish position and go after the ball in the post. They were very lazy against Boston (Pau) and the Grizz (both). Lots of turnovers from their lack of play.

  29. #29
    Apologies. I was trying to make a joke, but you’re right, it was a bit inconsiderate. Sorry about that Michael.

  30. Jerry West just said “Kobe is the greatest talent the Lakers ever had.”

    I think he’ll be the greatest Laker period after he wins his second 3peat n 2 years. As well as the greatest EVER. Sorry Mike…

  31. Simonoid (Paranoid, thanks Kaveh) February 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Agreed, sorry Michael – we do all wish you the best for the flight. But seriously, about this signal-transmitting business… gotta tell them (Southwest, United, or whatever) to cut it out, it’s no good.

  32. coming from an aircraft electrician, The Aircraft should be using UHF (ultra high frequency waves for its communication navigation signal) apposed to a digital signal that would be scrambled by wifi. It is only a precaution to make sure that the system doesn’t get scrambled by cell phone waves not iminent doom.

  33. Doesn’t exactly look like Pau’s hating Kobe all that much?;)

  34. Dangit I really wanted to see Gerald Wallace against the Lakers defense tonight, would have been alot of fun to watch and would have made things much more interesting. But on that note the Lakers definitely should win this game now.

  35. Stu says he’s not concerned about the amount of touches that Pau gets, only about the amount of shots that he takes. My view is the exact opposite: As long as Pau gets the ball frequently, it doesn’t matter if he sees fit not to take a single shot – the team will still benefit from the opportunities that he creates for others. (Not saying that he shouldn’t shoot of course, but you catch my drift.)

  36. Kobe is certainly going into the bigs early.

  37. Even though the ball was tipped in, that’s a ball I want to see Derek bring back out top and get the offense set or give it to someone who is more capable of scoring on the fast break like Kobe.

  38. LOL Zephid, Stu agrees with you. When Artest botched that point-blank layup, Stu said: “It’d help if he jumped.”

  39. Keep up the comments guys & girls – I’m stuck with GameCast only, and ESPN has inexplicably frozen right after the jump ball!

  40. Fisher now has 1,000 career 3’s. I think he surpassed 1,000 missed layups for his career a long long time ago…

  41. ?Fisher is the worst passer on fastbreaks I have ever seen.

  42. 40. Fish’s problem is he is nowhere as good as he thinks he is

  43. Was that someone passing Ron some oranges behind Kobe just now? I had no idea anyone ate during games.

  44. I hate to blow my own horn, but I think Pau is proving my point by putting on a passing display;)

  45. I don’t think Kobe has taken a shot yet, has he?

  46. boy is that a fact james

  47. James, to me it’s just the simple fact that a player has to know his strengths and weaknesses, as bad as this sounds I would rather him take a PUJIT there because for him it is a higher percentage shot, or he could do what a point guard does and take the ball to the top of the key and run the offense. He really drives to the cup thinking he is trevor ariza alot of the time.

  48. Has anyone else noticed that the games have been very sloppy lately on both sides?

  49. Can we stop the dribble penetration?

    And yes very sloppy 1st period.

  50. Can we actually play like we care for once?!

  51. Yuck, ugly first quarter.

  52. So strange to see Bynum actually getting rebounds…I like this!

  53. Yeah 8 rebounds in the first quarter is impressive for Bynum.

  54. So far, Felton is doing an amazing job of taking what the defense gives him on the P&R. Fish goes under the screen and he makes the jumper. Fish/Farmar chases over the top and the Big helps, he makes the pass to an open teammate. Fish/Famar chase over the top and the Big sags, he gets into the lane for a lay up or a runner. The Lakers will need to disrupt him if they plan on getting some stops.

  55. Andrew has 9 rebounds already! Go Andrew!

  56. I hate how we always play like we can just turn it on anytime. The problem is we can. (at least kobe can)

  57. Big men getting feed tonight, shouldnt be hungry after this game.

  58. Can someone Box Out or do we just wait for the rebound?

  59. #60
    Yes, they should. We play better when they get the ball, they need to stay hungry.

  60. pau just not himself lately, missing too many gimmes

  61. Looks like Phil is shuffling the lineup a bit – for those watching the game, is he just looking at matchups, or is there something else at play? Just looking at the in-an-out stints of Shannon and Ron in particular.

  62. Um, eh, so… I’m going to go sacrifice another chicken for Kobe’s knee. Anyone willing to help by lighting a candle?

  63. boy has Kobe had some bad luck this year

  64. Why is Lamar always taking out our guys!? That was Bynum’s demise in 08′ and now basically the same thing w/ Kobe. Hopefully he’s okay.

  65. Would be nice to see some defensive effort in the second half.

  66. More information re: Kobe’s knee would be great if anyone has it. Those of us stuck at work in Australia need to know!

  67. Was it the knee or ankle?

  68. #64. PhilAus,
    Really, Phil just stuck with the Farmar/WOW/Artest combo longer than normal and sat Kobe. Normally, Kobe would play SF with that group but coach went with Ron instead. Could have had something to do with Ron playing well (he is) or with the fact that the offense was running a bit more smoothly during that stretch. Plus, Kobe did start out the game cold from the field.

  69. #70
    I don’t know. I hope the ankle, since they heal faster. I am desperately scouring the interwebs for updates…

  70. That definitely looked like the ankle, he was trying to reach for it if you see it in the replay, knowing him its probably nothing he hasnt played with before, plus it’s always encouraging seeing a player walk off the court with their own power.

  71. For those not watching, Kobe is walking on the knee but with a old-man sort of gait. He went to the Locker Room about 12 seconds before the half ended. Didn’t look that serious and I would expect he starts the 3rd.

  72. #71 Darius

    Thanks for the insight. Being stuck with a text description of this one is frustrating! Usually I can stream something on the work network, but it’s not a happening thing today.

  73. So Bynum had no boards the second quarter?

  74. meanwhile, KB was a quiet 1 for 7 for the half.

  75. Kobe apparently good to go for the 2nd half. Do we brace ourselves for one of those nova quarters after the slow 1st half & the injury?

  76. #78
    Not the way he’s limping, we don’t…

    Unless of course he does it from the perimeter.

  77. I think Pau needs to go to the eye doctor. I have never seen him be so off on easy shots and fumbling the ball like this since he’s been in LA.

  78. what a horrible game this is

  79. Lord above, this is ugly…

  80. Dunk the ball once will u Gasol… nobodies jumping, they’re getting out rebounded

    And why doesn’t Charlotte play like this all the time?

  81. One thing I love about FB&G is that we all have our pet Laker hates. Not enough touches for Pau, Andrew’s inability to see out of a double team, Fish’s PUJITs and fast break management, and defense of the P&R, and…a lot of other things.

    My main hate of season ’09-’10: Inability to box out. Just a lack of willingness to get contact, hold it, and secure the ball. Every scouting report of the Lakers goes on about their “length”, but we give up SO MANY offensive boards.

    OK, end of rant.

  82. Nothing makes me more upset than a turnover on a pass to a cutting Fisher. He’s not going to make it even if it gets there, so don’t force it.

  83. If anyone has been needing to demand the ball for more shots its Drew, Pau needs to start finishing before he demands anything. This goes back to the Boston game too.

  84. #84
    So basically, no heart?

    I’m in agreement, at least for this game. Bleh.

  85. 83. Seriously though everyone remembers that sick move down the lane against Boston when Rasheed Wallace was guarding Pau, he dunked with such fury and he for once jumped so why cant he do that everytime he gets downlow, the guy is long enough to do it.

  86. Nazr Mohammed is literally 700 years old and he’s dominating us. Good job.

  87. Is it bad that i kinda wished that kobe’s ankle was bad enough he’d have to sit out and rest not only his ankle, but the rest of his injuries? Part of me thinks all these injuries are going to linger and hurt us down the road. I love the guy and he is a absolute warrior, but come on kobe take a rest.

  88. Pau is kind of like Greg Maddux. He’s not a power player by any definition. Maybe he’ll throw that 91-93 mph fastball sometime but he’s no Broxton.

  89. Can we get a foul refs?

    Thought this was a home game?

  90. #90
    I think that thought has crossed all out minds…

  91. If Brown could hit that shot consistently, it would really open things up.

  92. Does anyone really want Kobe to rest with Denver right on our heels for the second best record in the west? I would HATE to not have home court against that team come playoff time because of how difficult it is to play there. (yes we won there last year but Denver is a better team this year)

  93. But remember, Lakers8884, besides you and I, not many people think home court is a big deal. I have no idea what they’re thinking, but I’ve read that plenty of times on this site.

  94. See what happens when we move our feet alittle. We get easy baskets and create turnovers.

  95. Shannon has really played nicely tonight, he has taken the shots as they have come to him instead of forcing them and he has made many many nice assists tonight, especially that last play to Lamar.

  96. Ball movement!!! 2 plays in a row even.

  97. Without a healthy Kobe we aren’t winning anything, so yes I will take a healthy Kobe. We can beat Denver without home court with Kobe fresh, but it would be tougher in my opinion with home court and a beat up Kobe. I feel like that is borderline obvious. You can’t honestly watch Kobe right now and think this is gunna be ok. He is in terrible physical condition he needs a couple weeks. Take it now and then be good to go for the home stretch. In my opinion he shouldn’t be fooling around in the allstar game either.

  98. Luke, no matter when it is Kobe needs to play he is the glue to this team because when things get tough they all turn to him but Kobe already said his finger is getting better even with playing and resting would be doing essentially the same thing as he is now so why question him? He knows his body than anyone else so I trust his decision. Ankle injuries are common so he can deal with that easily like most players do.

    Kobe has played pretty well lately, he was unstoppable against Memphis and he had a near triple double at Toronto so I think I’ll take my chances with him playing now. His shooting numbers may not always be great but that happens, you see different defenses and different defenders, lately though his shooting has been better.

  99. Lamar sure came to play tonight

  100. Lamor is having a nice game.

    With Downtown Shannon Brown hitting too.

  101. Also Kobe is not sitting, it’s not who he is, so I dont see why people even keep bringing it up, let the guy play his game he knows what is best for himself.

  102. Why are they caring and working so much harder than we do?

  103. We’re still looking at the rebound instead of boxing out.

  104. Good question, Mimsy. It’s too bad I’ve had to ask myself that question in about 90% of the games this season.

    Just because you’re the champs and it says “Lakers” on the front of your jersey, it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to ANYTHING and that other teams are gonna piss themselves at the thought of playing you.

  105. Lakers8884, honestly I don’t know what the right thing for him to do is. You are right he does know his body best, but I think we all know that Kobe wouldn’t sit even if he did need to. He has said several times that if he can run he is gunna play. Its funny cus his toughness is what I love about him, but at the same time its early Feb. I don’t think a week or so would kill us. It might even force some of the other guys to step up and come into their own. I’m not gunna pretend I know whats best, but my opinion is that he should chill and get some treatment for his injuries before it is time to be hitting our peak.

  106. Luke, I know what you mean I have the same thoughts but I think he knows what is best for the team so I trust his judgement.

    CRAZY to think the Bobcats are hanging with LA without Gerald Wallace.

  107. I don’t think the ‘Cats are working so much harder than the Lakers as much as they’ve got the Lakers playing their style of game. This has led to a comfort level for the ‘Cats and the Lakers looking uncomfortable. I actually don’t see too much *intensity* from either team in this game. This is a bogged down game and that’s a style that Charlotte excels at.

  108. #109
    No, it’s not. It’s the Bobcats.

  109. Augustin being abused. Noiiice Stu.

  110. Farmar is not shooting well tonight, but besides that he is playing very good basketball.

  111. Haha yeah Mimsy I know but the biggest part of their team really is Wallace, Jackson is a great player but Wallace is probably the biggest reason for their current success he’s been playing like a monster.

  112. Thats the way to redeam urself Farmar…

    Don’t foul!

  113. This is what we’ve been waiting for:

    Lakers bench 36
    Cats bench 21

  114. >Why are they caring and working so much harder than we do?

    I had a terrible time parsing that at first, Mimsy, because I’ve been thinking ‘why are we, here, caring and working so much harder than they (the Lakers) do?’ ; )

  115. dont like how shannons been playing lately

  116. I just tuned in in the 4th qtr, but has Brown been chucking this badly all game? If Kobe eats first on this team, Brown should eat, like, 8th.

  117. Shannon relying too much on his athleticism. Play within the system, not yourself.

  118. Very sloppy basketball. Gotta stop being so careless. It’s all about execution down the stretch.

  119. Good to know that Shannon is the new Vlad. Every time he touches the ball, it’s going up.

  120. Game like this seems like Phil could go big with Odom at 3 and Artest at 2, if Kobe is not able to go.

  121. Lakers sloppy, just standing around. Please put Fisher back in. Farmar just struggling right now.

  122. Nice little mini-meltdown here…

  123. Looking at the boxscore

    I would have thought that Bynum deserves crunch time minutes with the way he is playing.

    Is his defense really that bad?

  124. Wow…the Lakers don’t really want to win this game.

  125. Its like they know they should lose.

    Finally the crowd wakes up.

    Refs blind like always.

  126. Kobe is shooting line drives every time…if Charlotte ties it up here, let’s hope Kobe figures it out.

  127. I dunno if Bynum’s defense was that bad, but Pau had been sitting for a long time. Pau did make clutch plays on both ends in the last minute of play.

    Lamar had the magic touch around the basket tonight, great defensive play by Farmar to clinch it. And kobe barely did anything tonight!

    wooo we beat the the Bobcats!

  128. I think Kobe went for tacos 😀

    woah nice shot by the bobcats

  129. Nice D Farmar. Shouldn’t have dunked it though, stupid play.

  130. i am watching this game on my grainy atdhe feed, and even i could tell that dribble was on the baseline…oh well.

  131. Is it me or was that the quickest ending to a long game?

    Congrats PJ-Best Coach In History-

  132. I didn’t mind the dunk. Go up by 5 with 4 seconds left. If you pull it down they can foul you with 2-3 seconds left and Farmar is not a great free throw shooter.

    By the way, Kobe only had 5 points…

  133. phew! charlotte always plays us tough. i guess a win’s a win?

  134. Ladies and Gents, we had a Lamar Odom sighting. For the past week I’ve been saying lamar has to play inside, today he was aggressive around the rim and not settling for jumpers. He got offensive rebounds and put packs, took the ball to basket, posted up. Lamar has to continue to give himself opportunities, if so, the lakers become difficult to be, even in a game where kobe goes 2-10 or whatever he was this game.

  135. Was Kobe just not well, or did he pull a Phoenix and did this just to prove a point?

    The latter is a phase I had hoped he put behind by now, but I wouldn’t put it past him yet.

    And honestly, not sure which would make me feel better – that he played hard but that it just wasn’t his night, or that he played bad just to prove a point.

  136. Joel yes! +7 on your rec.

    Harold, the majority of Kobe’s shots were open looks, nothing awful.

  137. Re Mohammed’s numbers tonight: he did get a couple hoops on pick and roll plays, but the vast majority of his points came off dribble penetration by Charlotte’s guards. When Drew forced the guard to miss the shot, Mohammed was either there for a putback bucket, or he’d grab the rebound and get fouled. One time, Drew forced the PG to pass to Mohammed after penetration, and he laid it in. Also, Mohammed usually doesn’t play very many minutes (foul trouble), but the officials let him get away with innumerable shoves on Drew and Pau when they took shots from the post. He got away with only two fouls tonight, when he frequently fouled Pau or Drew at least twice when they caught the ball in the post.

  138. 138. Harold, in the first quarter, Kobe made a conscious effort to get Drew and Pau going and took only one or two shots himself. I think his own timing suffered, as he didn’t score until a few minutes remained in the second quarter.

    Then, with about 25 seconds left in the second quarter, Lamar stepped on Kobe’s foot while Kobe was moving toward the basket on defense. Kobe sprained his ankle, and was pretty much useless for the rest of the game, except as a decoy. I’d love to see him sit for a couple games, and then only play for about ten minutes in the All-Star game.

  139. 138) Stu remarked that “Kobe’s walking like me” as he hobbled off the court and into the locker room. He didn’t move much better the rest of the game, he was just off and couldn’t even get the lift for his free throws. I was really surprised he played as much as he did.
    hopefully whatever happened to kobe’s ankle is just a minor deal for him and isn’t going to linger around.

    If kobe sits, does that mean Ammo will start?????

  140. That wasn’t the prettiest game i’ve ever seen, but the Lakers pulled out a tough win against a tough team that plays us pretty well. And Larry Brown is a damn good coach. Steph Jackson is a damn good player and Nazr seemed pumped to play us. Still a win.

    Pau was getting hammered down low and I could have sworn he was pushed a whole bunch of times by Nazr. Still fought hard. Which was needed. He seemed to have an edge.

    Good but quiet game from Bynum. 17 and 14 with 5 o boards. Not a bad game from him.

    Lamar played the type of game that we wish he’d play every game with 19 points and 6 O boards. Each point was needed with kobe practically out of commission.

    Glad for the win. Glad for the way we won, showing that other people can step up and win without Kobe at full strength. How many injuries does he have now? 18? If it’s possible for him to be back to healthy if he could rest, I’d love to have him rest. But it’s Kobe, and I’m sure he’ll play if he could crawl.

    @zirk, I am one of the ones that believe that you don’t have to have home court advantage to win a championship. Probably because a Phil Jackson coached Laker team has won the championship without it before. And Championship teams need to win on the road regardless.

    But a lot of people in the last few threads have been saying that we haven’t even gotten to the All Star Break, and it seems so many people have already conceded home court, not only to cleveland, but possibly in the west as well.

    Let me ask you this, if the Lakers are seeded 2 in the West, do you still cheer for them to win against the #1, or would u concede the series? Let’s remember that the Orlando Magic beat up the #1 home court advantage Cavs last year. So home court is great, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

  141. If we meet Cleveland in The Finals, me thinks we will need every edge to prevail.

    Like home court advantage, for example.

  142. Well earned victory … The 1st game back @ home after a long road trip is always the most difficult … Good team effort … Everyone involved … Bigs were definitely more aggressive. Pau even had 3 blocks & Drew rebounded well … If L.O. performs like this on the reg, we’ll b impossible 2 beat … After getting criticized by Phil, Pau & Fish regardin’ the Grizz game, figured on Kobe being more of a facilitator this game (6 dimes. Should get that every night with this roster) … Love the aggressiveness of Shannon, but needs 2 play with smart aggression … On 2 The Next 1 (Nuggets).

  143. Is Gasol getting weaker as season goes on or am I blind. Dropping passes, going from 14 bounds before his latest BIG injury to 5 a game now. Sorry this guy is the softest big man in the league. His own brohter beat him up. Look at his last 5-games. (Edited for trade speculation.)