From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: For Lamar Odom, the emotions immediately following a 139-137 triple overtime win over the Suns were bittersweet. On one hand, he was happy with the outcome , and for the most part, his performance was excellent. On the other hand, Odom committed a critical — and avoidable — shooting foul against Channing Frye behind the arc with 1.1 seconds left in the first bonus period. Frye drained all three freebies to force a 121-121 tie and force another five (and by extension, 10) minutes of play. Even in the face of victory, LO couldn’t get past placing his team in such jeopardy. “I will remember the foul call,” said Odom afterward. “I always tell you guys basketball is a humbling experience. Because I can think about throughout the game, ‘Yeah, I’m playing good. I’m having a good one.’ And then, right before you know it, I’m the dope.”
From Sebastian Pruiti, The Basketball Jones: Like last week, this week’s Savvy/Shabby is going to take a look at late game execution. However, this week is a little bit different, because instead of looking at late game execution on offense, we are going to be taking a look at late game execution on defense. First, we’ll going to look at a stop the Lakers got in triple overtime that helped them finally pull away from the Suns. Then we’ll look at a curious foul taken by the Utah Jazz in a one-possession game. Lakers Get A Stop After a big Kobe Bryant three-point shot, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves up by one with two minutes to go. On the next possession, the Suns went to their bread-and-butter: the pick-and-roll. The Lakers were able to get a stop and turn it into two transition points.
From Zach Lowe, The Point Forward: When Jerry West popped by SI.com’s office on Wednesday for a brief chat about his struggles with atrial fibrillation and some NBA issues in the news, I wanted most to hear him talk about the NBA’s current labor situation even though I could have asked him questions about the 1969 Finals all afternoon. West is in a very unique position to discuss both the relationship between players and owners and the competitive balance between large- and small-market teams. Most of you know that West served as the top personnel guy for one of the league’s richest teams (the Lakers, where he presided over seven titles, the signing of Shaquille O’Neal and the semi-controversial drafting of Kobe Bryant) and the small-market Grizzlies, where he nabbed Pau Gasol and pushed the team into the playoffs.
From Kenny Masendy, Ed The Sports Fan: Also, there is something to be said if clutch is a trait that can be developed. Sure, you have to possess the ability to make a play at the end of a game, but is there something to be said about picking your spots, when to attack, when to lay off, when to shoot, pass, penetrate, etc? To me, there is, and when you have invaluable resources at your disposal, all it can do is enhance your ability to be great at the end of a close game. Case in point, Kobe Bryant, and the endless amount of resources he’s had over the past 15 years that have contributed to him being the killer we see on the court today. When it comes to taking a shot, there is not anyone I want to shoot more than Kobe Bryant, but it is not because I solely think he’ll make it. No, it is because I know he is not scared, whatsoever, to take any kind of shot and live with the result. That is something that cannot be measured by how many he has made or missed. The man is not afraid to take any type of shot there is to win a game, and if you think that’s not a big deal, watch enough basketball and see how many times these dudes pass up on wide open shots to finish a game, simply because they don’t have the balls to shoot.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Rewind, fast forward, pause or freeze frame any highlight reel of the Lakers’ 139-137 triple overtime victory Tuesday over the Phoenix Suns. Regardless of any clip you stumble upon, plenty of them will emerge that show the 18,997 at Staples Center waving yellow “Los Lakers” towels in a never-ending roller coaster ride. There was excitement: Kobe Bryant’s made a pull-up jumper over Channing Frye that clinched the victory. Ron Artest’s somehow leapt for a one-handed dunk. And Lamar Odom provided enough coast-to-coast drives to leave him wanting to eat pancakes afterwards. There was tension: Pau Gasol made two free throws forced triple overtime, Derek Fisher’s hit two free throws to give the Lakers a three-point lead before Phoenix extended to double overtime. And Odom’s foul that gave Frye three foul shots to force extra regulation left many biting their fingernails.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Lamar Odom presumably got his pancakes. Maybe Phil Jackson finally got some sleep. The Lakers were told to stay home Wednesday, a much-deserved rest after their first triple-overtime game in Los Angeles since 1969. Even though the Phoenix Suns came in with a mediocre 35-33 record and managed to rip through a 21-point deficit, the Lakers were dramatic, even convincing, with their win-at-all-costs mindset without Andrew Bynum. Lakers 139, Phoenix 137, triple overtime. “My takeaway from all of that is the rest of the NBA needs to get ready,” TNT analyst Chris Webber said. “We always talk about Kobe [Bryant] is old, we talk about everything else. You can talk about the roller coaster this year, but these guys are for real and the NBA needs to take note.”
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: Since Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol represented L.A. on February 17-21, the Lakers have won 13 of the 14 games they’ve played, including six on the road and all seven at STAPLES Center, a winning rate of .928. They’ve done it primarily with excellent defense, allowing 100+ points only twice, both times in overtime games at Portland (106-101) and in the triple OT offensive thriller against Phoenix on Tuesday night (139-137). With 11 more games to play, L.A. has a chance to improve upon the 30-4 mark established by Phil Jackson’s Lakers in his first season in Los Angeles. That .882 success rate is the highest of Jackson’s tenure: