Lakers/Warriors: Did We Really Need to Play the 4th Quarter?

Zephid —  November 21, 2010

(With Darius and Phillip having the night off, you’re stuck with me, Zephid, giving you your game recap)

Well, I really drew the short stick when it comes to game recaps. To be completely honest, I mostly stopped watching after the 3rd quarter (I feel the same way about writing this recap as Stu Lantz feels about 4th Quarter free throws, Do we have to?). The Lakers were so good, so dominant, that the only thing left in doubt after about the 6 minute mark of the 3rd quarter was the margin of victory. It’s not like the Warriors are a bad team; They’re above .500 and are in second place in the Pacific Division. But if the Warriors had played well and the Lakers had played average, they may have had a chance. When the Lakers play really well and the Warriors play poorly, they have absolutely no chance.

With David Lee out, the Lakers had a crushing advantage in the interior (as opposed to just a normal advantage). 56 points in the paint, including 28 from Gasol, was simply too much for the under-sized and under-manned Warriors. Gasol also had a perfect game, going 10/10 from the floor and 8/8 from the line to go with 9 boards, 5 assists, and 4 blocks, one game after Matt Barnes posted a perfect game against the Timberwolves. Gasol simply had his way with Biedrins for most of the night, using his full repertoire of jump shots, hooks, and scoops.

You can’t really point to any particular Laker and say he had a bad game (except Sasha, because he’s Sasha). Even Artest, who didn’t do much on offense, played lock-down defense on Monta Ellis, helped by the solid hedging of Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol on the inside. Fisher had a strong shooting night, going 4-6, and was very active on the defensive end, gathering 3 steals and a bunch of uncounted deflections. Kobe had a pedestrian 20 point, 6 board, 5 assists night in 27 minutes, but he never forced the action and played very good help defense against Curry and Ellis. And Lamar had himself another double-double of 15 and 10 with a steal and 2 blocks.

Then there was the bench that once again came in and extended the lead. It’s almost getting to the point where you expect every Shannon Brown shot to go in. He had 17 points on 7/10 shooting and 3/3 from three point range, adding to his resume for Most Improved Player. Once again, Steve Blake ran the offense, netting 6 assists, while Matt Barnes brought the energy with 3 boards, 2 steals, and a block. Really, I could copy and paste most of the game recaps about the bench from the past few weeks, and it would be almost the same; these guys have been that consistently good.

There’s really not that much you can take away from a game like this. The Warriors put up a stinker and the Lakers played one of their best games of the year. Those two things added together get you a 28 point blowout. The Lakers played stellar defense and ran their offense spectacularly. Now if only they could get 32 assists on 44 baskets while holding the other team to 35% shooting every game…