Preview and Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

Darius Soriano —  March 29, 2010

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Records: Lakers 54-19 (1st in West), Hornets 34-40 (11th in West, 20.5 games behind Lakers)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 109.0 (10th in NBA), Hornets 107.1 (16th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 102.8 (4th in NBA), Hornets 109.8 (23rd in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Hornets: Chris Paul, Marcus Thornton, Morris Peterson, David West, Emeka Okafor

The Lakers Coming in:  After getting back on track against Houston, the Lakers are looking start a new winning streak.  As I mentioned yesterday, the Lakers brought back some offensive wrinkles that they have not used consistently this season and it led to better offensive execution.  As the Lakers get closer to the playoffs, fine tuning their offensive and defensive sets are imperative for playing strong basketball when the games take on an even greater importance. 

On the injury front, it looks like Walton and Bynum are on track to return to game action a little after this road trip is over.  If they’re both able to return to the line up by the Spurs game on April 4th, that would give them six games in the regular season to prepare and get their sea legs back for a playoff push.  That sort of timeline is not ideal (I would have liked for both players to get about 10 games in) but I’ll take what I can get and just hope for good health for the entire team heading into the post season.

The Hornest Coming in:  The Hornets finally have Chris Paul back from injury after he missed 25 games with a knee injury.  However, even now that he’s back, the Hornets are still struggling to get wins.  Yes, they beat Dallas in CP3′s return to the court, but they’ve since lost two straight games.  And those losses fit right into the pattern from before Paul’s return where they had only won two of their previous eleven contests.  The Hornets just aren’t a great team right now and are missing the adequate depth to give them a chance to win over the course of an entire game.

Despite the losses though, the Hornets do have some positives surrounding their organization and they came to the forefront because of Paul’s injury.  Rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton have shown that they are very good NBA players that deserve time on the court and can help this team down the road.  While young, they have talent and have games that translate to this level.  Collison’s ability to run the P&R and be an all court threat with his shot and Thornton’s scoring ability may not have ever been put on display to the extent that they were had Paul been healthy, so if there was ever an injury to a top 5 player in the NBA that actually helped a team learn more about itself (other than the fact that they’re bad) it was this one.

Hornets BlogsHornets 24/7 is a great place to start for solid info on the team from New Orleans.  Also check out At the Hive.

Keys to game:  Offensively, the slowing down the Hornets starts with containing their guards and dealing with still underrated David West.  The Hornets guards are excellent P&R players and now that Collison has shown how good he is, there is little drop off when Paul comes out of the game.  The Lakers will need their “A” game tonight when defending the P&R and will need to make up their minds early about what they want to give up.  Both Paul and Collison are capable shooters and are dangerous in the paint as well.  So, will the Lakers chase over the top and give up the driving lanes or will they go under screens and make their guards hit jumpers?  Either way, they must commit and stick to the plan and trust the scheme.  Because miscommunication or errors will lead to buckets.

Slowing West will be on Odom (and I think Ron will get some minutes on him as well) and we should take comfort in the fact that LO is the type of rangy defender that can give West problems.  West loves to shoot the mid range jumper and is a capable driver when you close out too hard on him.  He’s often the screen man in P&R situations and will usually “pop” to an open space where he can get him jumper off.  The Lakers will need to do a good job of helping the helper tonight to avoid letting West get comfortable when shooting his J.  West also shows a good post game, though, so LO will also need to be strong on the block and shade West in a manner where he can’t easily get off his righty jump hook.

One other note defensively: Kobe will need to be more than just a free safety tonight.  Both Peterson and Thornton are capable shooters that will make the wide open jumper.  Kobe can’t find himself watching the ball too often when Paul/Collison are working the P&R.  Because those guys will take advantage of over helping and hit the open players for good shot attempts.  We don’t need the Kobe that was guarding Quentin Richardson in the Miami game.  We need the dialed in version of Bean tonight.  Let’s hope we get him.

On offense, while the Horntes possess solid post defense with Okafor, he is undersized so the Lakers need to go into Pau early and often.  Similar to the way that the Lakers attacked Houston, I hope to see Pau get some post isolations in space on the weakside so he can have room to operate without those pesky Hornets guards digging down and reaching in for steals.  And while Okafor is a good shot blocker, he’s much better getting blocks when you attack the rim and expose the ball.  Emeka has excellent timing, but if you feint and diversify your attack, it is easier to get shots up.  Luckily, this is  trademark of Pau’s post game so he should be able to establish some sort of success.

As for our other main threat, this is another game where Kobe should be able to play efficiently.  He’ll either be guarded by Mo Peterson or the rookie Thornton so Kobe should be able to both go to the block and use the motions of the offense to find creases in the defense to get his mid-range game going.  The same is true for Artest as whichever player isn’t on Kobe will be on Ron and #37 will have a big strength advantage over both players.  We may actually see some effective post ups from Ron tonight especially off of his scissor cut into the lane after feeding the post where he acts like he’s clearing out the side only to stop short and get a post up.

From a team wide perspective, this is a contest where controlling the defensive glass will be key.  Okafor and West combine for over 5 offensive rebounds a game and earn their team many extra possessions by either grabbing rebounds or drawing loose ball fouls.  Considering our front court depth is shallow right now, we don’t need LO or Pau picking up early fouls just contesting rebounds.  Our bigs need to box out, secure the ball, and push the tempo back the other way.  I do think this is a team we can take advantage of in transistion so I’d like to see us exploit them by racing the ball upcourt more.  Especially on the second unit when Aaron Gray replaces Okafor.  Neither of those players will win many footraces, but Gray will come in last almost every time.

Where you can watch:  5:00pm start time in the West on KCAL, also on ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

Posts

107 responses to Preview and Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

  1. im first … does it have to be for warren?

  2. For Warren!

    Hope to hear from the real Warren in the near future.

  3. time to switch it up

    this one is for zerb!

  4. hahaha … thanks TJ

  5. I hope some of you read Hollinger’s Per Diem today. Its always a great sign for a team when analysts are grasping for straws when looking for reasons a team won’t win in any sport. Comparing a slight sprain of an achilles to a dislocated knee and a torn MCL? Really Jon? Really? And then bringing up Luke Walton? Luke Walton? Really? A guy who when healthy this year was playing 3 minutes in close games? Really? A guy who was playing behind Vlade Radmanovic? A guy who was replaced by a dude in Trevor Ariza who couldn’t get playing time for every other team he had played for in the NBA till coming to the Lakers? Really Hollinger? Really?

  6. thisisweaksauce March 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Aaron,

    Since many of us don’t have ESPN Insider, please enlighten us by summarizing the article, or anyone else who does have ESPN Insider.

  7. Michael Zarabi, I apologize but I’m not going to let your comment through where you’ve cut and pasted Hollinger’s entire article into the comment field. I’m uneasy about that because the insider service is a pay for read deal it makes me uncomfortable when writers get their entire piece of work just forwarded for nothing. Sorry, I hope you understand.

    #6 – Hollinger basically said that every West contender has some issues. Including the Lakers. He cites the injuries to Bynum and Walton as being ours. He goes on to say that Bynum’s injury history shows a slower timeline of recovery and that based off that history Lakers fans should be worried. He further says that we just got wiped out by OKC and that we could easily see them in the first round and that we don’t want that. He goes on to mention Walton and how we miss him too, just as a facilitator for our second unit. And, since our already weak bench is further weakened by Odom starting and, with Luke out, having to play Sasha and Powell minutes.

    My take on this is that Hollinger is not completely off base (if Bynum missed extended time that would hurt us and having Luke back – if only for spot duty – would be helpful) but it does come off as pessimistic for Lakers fans and follows the line of thinking he expressed on his twitter account on the night that we lost to OKC and Denver got beat by Boston – essentially that he thinks the NBA champ is coming from the East.

  8. i may actually follow the thread today… u know, before the Fisher bashing starts…

  9. i really hope fisher has a good game tonight…hopefully he’ll contain CP to some degree…hopefully kobe the playmaker shows cus when he does we almost always win…hopefully pau wont be soft…hopefully shannon and farmar will contribute good minutes…hopefully sasha plays…hopefully morrison scores 20 :]]]

  10. Very interested to see how focused we are 2night considering the fact that the Hornets have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Hopefully, we won’t play down to the level of competition (as we usually do) & instead play efficiently as we did for the majority of the game against Houston & the entire 2nd half against S.A. Being that we’ve basically clinched the West & I don’t believe we have a realistic shot @ catching the Cavs for the overall best record, maybe the opportunity to win 60 games will be the motivating factor. Lets see how it pans out.

  11. After one quarter it looks like its going to be another one of those games. Pau is dominating, but other than that everyone is missing open shots. There were a few turnovers that led to baskets, and quite a few defensive breakdowns. But most importantly they are giving another team confidence. I just hope bench can perform in the second quarter.

  12. Ray – should I start the fish bashing now??!?!
    0-3, 0-2 3pt

  13. Down 5 after the first quarter. They were up 4 on their way to a fairly decent quarter until the closing minute or 2. Lot of defensive mistakes, and a lack of communication, but that should improve over the course of the game.
    On the offensive end: Pau scores 14, Artest 7, kobe 1. How’s that for balance?
    Go Lakers

    @12, Fisher missed his shots but the rebounds led to a couple of Pau’s makes. and uh since Fish has been out Farmar and Shannon haven’t done too well and havent run the offense

  14. And the lakers start with another defensive breakdown that led to a 3.

  15. Darius or other high basketball IQ posters: The frame by frame offense I’m interested in disecting is to see if Farmar and Brown are shooting pull up jumpers or contested jumpers when they have enough time to reset the offense for a better shot or make an extra pass. It seems that Kobe always finds an open guy right when he goes into a shooting movement and I wonder if they could do the same.

    Darius, I’m sure you don’t have to make an eleborate post as your previous one was but a little insight on how you think that goes tonight would make this in game thread very interesting.

    Other thought: Aren’t we supposed to be the one’s that are swinging the ball with beautiful movement for wide open corner 3′s. I thought that’s what the lakers do not what get’s done to them. Come on guys look alive (everyone except pau and ron)

  16. I think we can sum up the 1st quarter by seeing that New Orleans shot 4-8 from deep, where we managed 0-6. To still only be down 5 behind that kind of stat is a pretty good thing I would think.

    What is a touch more concerning is that, barring Kobe’s 1 made FT, only 2 guys actually got the ball in the basket.

  17. Go hornets!!!

  18. So I guess spending the night at the bars instead of resting is working out real good.

  19. Repeat of OK. This team just dosen’t seem to care at this point of the season.

  20. Let’s dump farmar and get Westbrook or Collison.

  21. I missed the 1st Q. And the start of the 2nd.
    So can someone tell me how we managed to score 5 points in 6 minutes?

  22. Well i said I just hope the bench can perform. I mean I hope they can perform well. 7 point leads quickly goes to 13. Then kobe comes in he quickly trims it to 8 and they build it back up to 12 just as fans. The lakers had more defensive breakdowns and a turnover that led to another basket. Smh.

  23. Kobe making a statement to teammates – stfu already. I’m shooting the ball since no one will step up.

  24. Darius, what is our record when Fisher makes a layup? I’m sure we’re unbeatable when that happens.

  25. Mark – Don’t worry, the Lakers missed the first half of the 2nd quarter too…

  26. Did you see that, a Powell assist to Fisher basket, and Fisher was under the basket.

  27. I don’t care if we have offensive wrinkles, but as long as we have Kobe, we are technically wrinkle-free.

  28. I though LO got an offensive foul, traveled, went too early in the clock, and through up a prayer but it was an and1 to finish the half. Absolutely amazing.

  29. Another half where the lakers don’t play well offensively or defensively. I’m going to miss the second half and I hope thats not a good thing.

  30. james go ahead. bash all u want. might want to point out though that his shooting isn’t why we’re losing this game right now. but im sure people will look at the box score and see the guards of NO making threes, and will make the connection that fisher needs to guard all of them better.

    whatever makes you happy. Still have a half to go.

  31. I have a friend that is currently a friend of Darren Collison’s. He told me the other night about how, at UCLA, Collison and Farmar would fight during practice, and how in general Collison hates Farmar. Could be an interesting match-up to watch tonight.

  32. I’m watching the first half now after getting home late from work. I hope to catch up to the actual game by the middle of the third.

  33. Lakers are down, and not playing superb, but this is manageable. Some of the outside shots will start dropping, and the defensive mistakes should decrease. That’s what I’m hoping for at least.

    Pau didn’t really get the ball too much the second quarter… after scoring 14 in the first quite easily. I noticed that when Farmar and Brown were in, the ball rarely if ever went inside. I couldn’t tell if NO made some defensive changes that really affected the change in the ability to run the offense efficiently, or if it was simply a lack of effort on the guards part to get the ball inside.

  34. Our major problem this season has been aggression in rebounds and our incapability of shooting the 3-ball.
    In losses, our rebounding avg is 42.1 and
    29.1% 3-pt FG.
    In wins, 45.2rpg, and 36.5% 3-pt FG.

    But what’s more mind-boggling is this:
    Lakers average just 92.2ppg in Ls (45.6% AFG),
    while they zoom to 106.1ppg in Ws (51.7% AFG).

    That’s a pretty big disparity in between – +13.9.

  35. I know we are not supposed to give up easy baskets, but LO save your fouls for when we really need them, that is three on him now.

  36. whether we win or lost this game, please i beg everyone, do not start a rant about how bad our PGs are.

    The hornets has probably the best PGs combo in the NBA (billups & ty lawson or ellis & curry – comes to mind)

    while lakers has the best frontline combo, so i just hope that we get bynum back 100%, not like last year.

  37. Man I wish we could get Smush Parker back in a Lakers uniform.

    Sometimes you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

  38. You know that spirits are low when fans are pining for Smush…

  39. Just when I wondered why Kobe has only 6 shots, he makes back-to-back jumpers.
    Did Emeka airballed a free-throw? I heard the crowd groan.

  40. R,

    that statement alone illustrates how fans are short sighted.

    I hope you were joking.

  41. Have to rediscover Pau again ….. Kobe & especially L.O. have to get more aggressive ….. I’ve contributed more sitting in my living room in the 1st half than our bench ….. Open shots will fall in the 2nd half ….. Easily within striking distance

  42. Does R stand for “R you serious?”

    Kobe’s got it going now!

    __The only thing I liked about Smush was when he tipped a ball out of Steve Nash’s hands one time but other than that I would take Shannon over him any day.

  43. Nice matchup with Paul guarding Kobe. I hope it doesn’t stay long, or Kobe will have 82 at the end of the game. Just kiddin’

  44. Nice start to this quarter, but man, don’t we manage to get into the penalty quickly sometimes?

  45. Just can’t quite seem to break through to tie or take the lead yet

  46. Fish comes up with a great 3 on 1 defensive play and then they kick it out to convert a 3 insead! How Unlucky!

    Great play anyway Fish, stopped the 3 on 1 without taking a charge.

  47. What is our bench doing? The box score is showing that they aren’t contributing much at all.

  48. magic days- nothing… minus Josh Powell finding Fisher for a lay-up.

    LO with a back to back bad play. He needs to be strong in the fourth.

  49. magic days, its not just the bench. besides Kobe and Pau playing well, everyone else isn’t doing that hot.

  50. I said forget it and went to live action…

    *The Lakers aren’t using any teamwork on offense right now. Everything is a post iso for Pau or Kobe.

    *We’re struggling to play defense without fouling. That last move by West was a solid hesitation and he got Odom off balance, but otherwise it’s too much reaching and late rotations into the paint.

    *We have to communicate better on the P&R. Paul is crafty and fantastic at keeping his dribble alive, but we can’t just leave him to recover to someone else just because he hesitates.

  51. Why are Shannon and Jordan repeatedly refusing to pass the ball into Kobe in the post?

  52. 9 games left in the season and this team looks washed up.

  53. If you’d told me Pau would have 24-17 by the end of the 3rd, I would not have predicted us to be down double digits…

  54. I’m trying to figure out if my Laker goggles are on, but is NO getting the benefit of the calls? Cuz Pau looks like he’s getting hacked (and no one better call him soft today), while NO gets bumped and its a foul.

    comments?

  55. AusPhil- My thoughts verbatim.

    Ray- Maybe its my Laker goggles but I feel like we never have the call in our favor do to the fact that we have a Jordan like player on our team named Kobe but he never get’s calls like MJ. As for Gasol, hell yeah he’s getting hacked! Also, the flops are going in NO favor.

  56. Oh man, we are down 14 heading into the 4th, I hate games like this with a passion.

  57. Well at least we have more rebounds than they do…34(12or) to 30(5or). This team needs shooting practice. We are shooting a horrid .385. Ugh.

    I know that’s stating the obvious, but we really are near the end stretch and if their shooting doesn’t improve as a team, we are not going to repeat.

  58. turnovers are making this game look real fugly

  59. I’m really up to the point where I can tell if the Lakers don’t effin’ care. They are looking bored and just saving their body for the playoffs.

    Scratch that, the Lakers except Kobe.

  60. #54. I never really complain about the refs. I think their letting them play tonight and the Lakers aren’t adjusting that well. The types of fouls that we’re committing are reach ins while the Hornets are using their bodies well. There is a difference and it’s called positioning – ‘Nawlins has it and we don’t.

  61. It’s not like the hornets are playing that great – lakers just stinking up the court. They better not be like this in the playoffs.

  62. I think it’s almost time to make the conclusion that the lakers aren’t as good as we thought they would be and how good we want them to be. This poor play has become a pattern. The bench shows up every couple of games and without bynum we don’t have a bench because lamar is in the starting line up. Since the 30 game mark of the season the lakers haven’t been better then Dallas Orlando or clevend. The lakers simply struggle against good teams and when the do beat good teams they never play more than 2 quarters of good basketball. This team has serious issues.

  63. What a weird, frustrating quarter to watch. Lakers got within 2 through solid play and then had a chance to tie, missed it and have gone downhill since. Being in the penalty most of the 3rd ended up being a big problem.

    @54 yeah I’d at least say Pau should be getting more calls. The fact that the Hornets were in the penalty and getting free throws for loose ball fouls on Laker shots made it appear like NO was benefiting a lot more for sure.

  64. I think it’s over.

    Commentators playing with the names of our roster: Mbenga- Mbingo___ Odom- Floatem. wow

  65. By the way our pgs have 5 points and have given up over 30. That’s about even right.

  66. 62 – I fully agree. This team is not repeating and that is going to just be sad because they are stacked with talent. Well – that isn’t totally true since the bench absolutely sux!

  67. Darius,
    Is a “voice” needed right now? I mean, Phil isn’t the Van Gundy type of guy, but at least you see his players work hard virtually every game. I hate to compare, but is there a need to be “vocal” right now?

  68. Phil went with Kobe to start the 4th, I am imagining in a roll of the dice to try & eat into the lead. And even though he started hot, the lead grew.

    Rotation-wise and overall, I don’t think we’re where we thought we’d be by the end of March. Too little consistency, and so many minutes played by the starters. We all know that the playoffs is a whole new ballgame, and one that can suit LA with the emphasis on matchups, and longer breaks between games etc. But as a fan watching game-to-game, I don’t think we’ve seen the team come together like we hoped.

    Those games like the Spurs win, and a couple of other times where the defense has gelled, and the offense has clicked, have been few & far between when you look at the schedule.

    All that being said, I’ll still keep hoping for a big turnaround here in the 4th!

  69. It’s like the Lakers collectively thought to themselves, “Great win against the Spurs! Now we don’t have to try for the rest of the road trip!”

  70. Even Phil said that 4-1 is not really championship caliber….now they’re about to lose 2 and still have to face Atlanta.

  71. Maybe Phil won’t coach after this season if the players aren’t responding to his coaching. Obviously they are not because he said they do everything he tells them not to do.

  72. Was that really Jordan Farmar??wow

  73. Is Kobe hurt? I saw him mess with that wrist after he went down hard on that and1 lay-up. Hopefully he’s just taking a break.

  74. Not over untill the fat lady sings. You guys are giving up too early – that goes for the game and the championship both.

  75. In case you missed it, Nets wins over the Spurs (ssssss), escaping the “Worst team in NBA history” title.

  76. #67. A leopard is not going to change his spots. Phil shows trust in his players to execute and expects them to do it. It’s why Phil has always loved veteran players. And old anecdote that I always remember with Phil is that he does so much coaching in practice and preparing his guys for situations that the game should never be a surprise. Does this team need a different approach? Maybe, but I do trust Phil to give the team what it needs. Recently he has been calling more timeouts, calling players out in the huddle, and giving them that little bit extra. And as we have 10-0 run, maybe some of what he’s teaching is working.

  77. 11-0 run…5 min left…

  78. New ballgame!!

  79. Ron’s missed 3s are killing us.

  80. Dammit, how many open shots are we gonna miss? Wow, just wow.

  81. Unless Farmar is shooting it, its been a bad 3 so far.

  82. Great effort by Kobe and Pau.But somebody has to step up.

  83. Thanks, Darius. Because it seems to me like these Laker squad has lost some of the respect of everyone else in the league. I know Phil’s style is unconventional, and I am not going to touch on that, but sometimes you got to do something different to send a statement.

  84. Kobe and Pau= 50pts(50% shooting)
    23 rebounds
    8 assists

    Rest of the team…..well, let s say not especially efficient…..

  85. Game over Fisher is back

  86. One thing: Is it a law that the Lakers have to walk up the ball every single time? How bout speeding up the process just a tad when you’re down 10 with 2 minutes to go?

  87. any links?

  88. Now they want to start hustling??!!! What a joke!!!

  89. Our free-throw defense just couldn’t get it done down the stretch.

  90. I’d like to thank kobe for imposing his will on this game to make sure the Hornets didn’t make this an ugly one like the Thunder did.

  91. “the other team just played like they wanted it more” is going to be the canned response tonight.

  92. 74 games into the season plus 100+ games last season, and it seems like the Lakers haven’t learned yet.
    I hate to rant, but it’s March for goodness’ sake, shouldn’t we be clicking right now? November, December, January, February, I’m ok with that if we’re not too engrossed with playing playoff basketball. But it’s late March and with 8 games left, this isn’t what I expected to see. It’s just disgusting.

  93. Lakers are fooling themselves – they keep saying wait until the playoffs but it’s going to be the same outcome. This is their MO and it will carry over into the playoffs.

  94. “the other team just played like they wanted it more” is rediculous.

    Lakers: want top seed and good momentum for the playoffs.

    Hornets: want cp3 to stay healthy and get a good draft pick (the worse record the better)

    How can they want it more than defending champions?

  95. Pau Gasol is 1st in this night ESPN daily leaders & Kobe is 2 nd.We lose.
    Time to start thinking seriously what to do next year with some players ….

    I m going to sleep.I m really pissed off.

  96. this game shows how much we need bynum.
    not because our starter will be better.
    but because odom will be the 6th man off the bench and it will definitely help our bench production (walton could be helpful too)

    our bench is just not productive at this point, and since this has been a recurring plague, i think Kuptcak need to be really tough this off season, even if we win the championship (which i think we still will)

  97. 40- Ray, yes I was kidding about Smush.

  98. 34 has some interesting numbers that demonstrate the disparity between the Lakers in their wins and losses.

    I’ve noticed that the the last few games the Lakers either shoot the lights out from downtown or brick it. Really they either have a 3pt% of 50% when they win or about 20% when they lose. 7/29 tonight. Lots of completely open, good looks did not go in tonight. there was some bad luck there, but why take so many three pointers in the first place…

    Tonight for whatever reason the Lakers never got over the hump. Whenever they made a run to get the game close, they’d come up short offensively on a decisive possession and then give up a 3 or consecutive baskets the other way, the deficit would grow back to where it was before and then the cycle would happen again. As a team they did not play consistently for more a couple minutes at a time. Gasol and Kobe played well throughout, sucks that a 26 and 22 performance by Pau goes to waste.

  99. The Lakers are now only two up in the loss column on Orlando. We’ve known that we’ll have no homecourt advantage if we face Cleveland, but would hate to see us lose that advantage to Orlando based upon poor play down the stretch.

    Surprisingly, no one seems to talk about that scenario, only the fact that homecourt is unlikely at risk in Western Conference.

  100. Won’t matter since the Lakers might not even get to the WCF the way they are playing.

    Also, Bynum not returning for a while – so he’s already going to be out longer than expected.

    His past also points to him not recovering quickly so he might not even make the playoffs. Who knows? I know Lakers need a big man – but he is injury prone and still has not proven to be a beast.

    If Lakers don’t go far this year we’ll all be looking for some good trades/acquisitions by Mitch.

  101. I stated b4 this road trip began that the key element for each game would be the play of L.O. 2nite, he was definitely a no show. Take away the Thunder game (in which no one came to play), L.O. has been instrumental in the victories over S.A. & Houston. Shot the ball terrible 2nite (FG, 3 pt FG’s and FT %’s) & was outplayed by David West. It’s well known that what makes us such a tough match-up for everyone is our Twin Tower affect (Pau & Drew). Even with Drew being out, when replaced in the lineup by L.O., we still pose all type of match-up issues because Lamar is a 6’10″ nightmare to deal with due to his versatility. But unfortunately, when he doesn’t play well (2nite, for instance), on top of Drew being sidelined, we are all of a sudden @ a disadvantage.

    Much respect to Kobe & Pau. Excellent games. Ron Ron & Fish pathetic from beyond the arc. Bench contributed nothing. Seen this outcome a mile away. It’s crazy how these teams, and fans within the arena for that matter, get up for us. Like a college atmosphere. Due recognize that the 2 teams that we’ve lost to so far on this trip are 2 teams that we hadn’t lost to all year. Once again, for the record: LACK OF FOCUS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T TAKE THESE 2 TEAMS SERIOUSLY LEADING UP TO THE GAMES. WE DIDN’T VIEW THEM AS A SERIOUS THREAT.

    I expect to see a much better effort (and victory, for that matter) against the Hawks. But keep in mind, it’s dangerous having a team hanging ’round the city of Atlanta for an entire day/night b4 a game. If you need an explanation for this, you must not have ever been to The A.

    Laker 4 Life ….. Go Hard Or Go Home

  102. Lamar showing up would have been nice. Watching on dvr, Lamar starts the game as if he’s not even interested in the game and basically sleep walking. If Lamar brought that hustle that he played with in the 4th quarter, this game would be very different. Without Drew and Luke, Lamar needs to bring it for the Lakers to win especially since the Laker bench don’t contribute anything.

  103. lakersfansincemagic March 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    did anyone notice that kobe was super pissed tonight? he probably was cursing at phil

  104. The facts and nothing but the facts.

    When your point guards are out scored 30 to 15 you will lose.

    When your starter is 2 for 11 and if you throw out the Houston game he is scoring 5 points and shooting 24% you will lose.

    When your bench is out scored 36 to 12 you will lose.

    When most every team in the league has 2 point guards far better then your starter you will lose.

    Just the facts.

  105. R.

    Thank god. I watched most of the game, and what really stuck with me was the lack of flow for the Lakers tonight. It hurt getting LO in foul trouble and he looked really out of it today. With a minimal contribution from a 3rd or 4th player (at least a consistent contribution) it would have been an easier game, or at least a better outcome.

    That being said, there were a lot of calls that went the NO way, and while I really don’t like calling out the referees, Pau didn’t get benefit of calls an all star deserves when he is down low.

    But Pau was a monster today, and thats a good sign. If Pau and Kobe are clicking like they were today, that is a good sign for the Lakers.

    I think if LO got into it more, it would have been a different story. Though I’m sure people would love to blame Fisher for this one (because every loss is his fault), it really was LO’s ineffectiveness that stifled the Lakers.

    But I guess everyone here is right. This loss is indicative of how the Lakers aren’t going to make it to the WCF. I don’t know how, but thats a reasonable assumption.

  106. boy that Popovich is smart. After watching Laker point guards and knowing that Parker will be back for playoffs, he is dumping games because he would rather play Fisher then Billips or Kidd.

    Smart man.

    Relax its kinda a joke.

  107. Game recap is up. On a side note, it’s games like this that make me not want to write recaps.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/03/29/lakershornets-kobe-pau-all-alone-in-loss/