From Kevin Ding, OC Register: After their ring-ceremony night and the Phoenix Suns’ home opener that was a Western Conference finals rematch, here was the first chance for the Lakers to stumble into the complacency that plagued them in their last title defense. The Lakers dominated from the start in a 107-83 blowout of the lowly but previously 2-0 Golden State Warriors on Sunday night at Staples Center. The Lakers’ early attack made sure this Halloween game soon was revealed to be merely an exhibition game in costume. The Lakers (3-0) led by 20 points after one quarter and by 32 points in the fourth even though they eased up for a while in the second quarter when Coach Phil Jackson sent the reserves out there without Ron Artest or Pau Gasol to stabilize.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: The Lakers played well enough to earn some rest for their starters: With exception to Gasol, every Lakers starter played less than 30 minutes. They all sat out for the first 3:24 of the second quarter. And they all sat out for the final 6:50 of the game. Gasol had to log heavy minutes for a few seasons. Jackson doesn’t feel 100% confident in playing the bench entirely. It also spoke to the fact that the Lakers lack frontline depth outside of their starters, the fact Artest shot two-of-11 from the field and Jackson wants to limit the minutes as much as possible for Bryant (knee), Odom (played the most minutes during the preseason) and Fisher (Jackson keeps him under 30 minutes every game).
From Dave McMenamin, Land O’ Lakers: The Lakers smothered the Golden State Warriors with defense Sunday, holding a team that came into the game averaging 120.5 points per game on the season to just 83 points on 40.9 percent shooting. Warriors head coach Keith Smart marveled at the Lakers’ perimeter defense in particular. “They’re difficult because when those guys are playing at a high level, one, they kind of take you out of where you want to get the ball from,” Smart said. “You have a point guard in [Derek] Fisher who makes you work to get the ball in a scoring area; you have Kobe [Bryant] who will make an off guard work to get the ball in his area; you have [Ron] Artest who is going to do the same thing and then you have the length of [Lamar] Odom. They have a group out on the perimeter that can take you out of the comfort zone that you want your offense to be in.”
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: He hardly was a clock puncher, registering 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, seven rebounds, and a pair of assists. The best number in his line, though, was the 27 minutes he logged. That’s a sweet number for the Lakers, the kind hopefully paying dividends as the season wears on. On the court, the work of Odom and Gasol (as well as Derek Fisher, who missed only one shot on his way to 14 points) mitigated the need for Bryant to do much heavy lifting. It was a similar scene for Bryant in Phoenix, where the Lakers were very effective distributing the ball through their bigs in the post and saved Kobe heaps of labor, except Sunday’s run was even less stressful. On any given night, it’s great for the Lakers to find ways to limit his minutes. It’s also a plus if other guys are able to lighten his load. To get both in consecutive games?
From J.A. Adande: It’s not that Lamar Odom improved so dramatically. All that’s happened is a resetting of the scale on which we measure him. No longer do we judge the gap between expectations and accomplishments. Instead of criticizing Odom for what he is not, we simply acknowledge him for what he is, a guy who helps his team win in a variety of ways. When he entered the league in 1999, the combination of that 6-foot-10 frame and slick ballhandling skills prompted visions of nightly triple-doubles. When that didn’t materialize and his off-court problems overshadowed his on-court progress, he was considered a disappointment.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: I hope trick-or-treat-based obligations didn’t force you to miss the beginning of tonight’s game. If they did, you missed those fleeting moments at the beginning of the first period when the outcome was still in doubt. Against a Golden State Warriors team lacking Stephen Curry but still possessed of the awful defensive skills they learned under Don Nelson, the Lakers scored on six of their first seven trips to grab a 14-to-2 lead. On two of those possessions, Derek Fisher took someone off the dribble for a hoop, which for an NBA defense is about as red as red flags get. From that point it was clear to everyone involved that the Lakers could name their score tonight. With the starters getting heavy rest, the champs sailed to a 107 to 83 blowout win.
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: Combined points (13), rebounds (10), assists (four), steals (two) and blocks (one) for Odom in an all-around terrific first half. He held his counterpart David Lee without a point and just two rebounds, and was on triple-double watch before sitting out the fourth quarter. Incidentally, the first triple-double of Odom’s career came against the Warriors on 4/11/06, when he scored 15 points with 13 boards and 10 assists. “I thought (Odom) played really well,” said Jackson. “We were concerned, David Lee was on the All-Star team last year, and basically Lamar was very effective against him on both ends of the floor. He’s a guy that we rely on to rebound the ball … he wills himself to the ball and that’s great.”
From Rey Moralde, The No Look Pass: Okay, people have asked about how our favorite candylover does, Lamar Odom, during Halloween games. The NBA season seems to get earlier and earlier as the years go by (I remember them usually starting on early November but these days, they start at the last week of October) so Lamar must not have played very many Halloween games, right? Well, we thought he would do well during Halloween games because of the amount of candy we thought he would’ve consumed before gametime (or would consume after). Lamar has been in the league since 1999… and he’s actually only played in four Halloween games (including last night) in his career. Let’s take a look if there is any correlation.
From Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Warriors World: I’m not claiming that his contributions inherently hold top value. I’m saying: The Warriors have nobody to replace this guy. Reggie Williams cannot create offense. In Curry’s absence, Monta Ellis can only create a very narrow kind of offense–I call it “One 360 layup forward, two turnovers back.” Charlie Bell? Perhaps his eventual expiring contract can blossom into offense, but until that day, he’s a blight on the boxscore. Without Curry, the Warriors lack cohesion. Monta starts driving, chucking and not passing to guards who should be Monta Ellis. The ball rotates with the smoothness of a square wheel, three-pointers develop a magnetic attraction to the rim. In short, the team implodes and Nellie’s ghost envelope’s the evening–even if he’s off somewhere feeding a mai tai to a sea turtle.
From Janis Carr, OC Register: Luke Walton, who re-aggravated a hamstring pull in the exhibition finale, is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday’s contest against Golden State. But that’s not what Walton says. Walton, who has missed the first two regular-season games, said that while he isn’t experiencing any more pain, he doesn’t expect to play until Tuesday’s home game against Memphis. “It feels good and I didn’t feel anything and as long as I don’t feel anything that means I’m making progress,” said Walton, who took part in Saturday’s practice and 3-on-3 game afterward.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: NBA commissioner David Stern has made clear that he wants dramatically increased revenue sharing to be the new economic structure for his league after this season, following the leads of the NFL and Major League Baseball. For Lakers owner Jerry Buss, that means basically giving a lot-lot-lot of earned money away to his competitors … for nothing tangible in return. So how much are the Lakers going to fight that revenue sharing? “Not only are we not going to fight it, we’ll support it,” Lakers spokesman John Black said Sunday night, “due to the benevolence of our owner, who is willing to sacrifice for the overall good of our league.” There you have it: The Lakers, the league’s royalty whose purple and gold robes already make everyone in the NBA some nice coin, are on-the-record on board with giving up a lot more. At a time when there’s almost no good news coming out about how the NBA could avoid a lockout after this season, that’s a definite something.