Lakers/Bobcats: Bombs Away!

Darius Soriano —  January 31, 2012

Boxscore: Lakers 106, Bobcats 73
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 120.5, Bobcats 83.0
True Shooting %: Lakers 67.6%, Bobcats 39.7%

The Good:
The Lakers made three pointers. Lots of them. Of their 26 attempts, 12 of them found the bottom of the net. That 46.2% from deep is the best the Lakers shot from deep all season and if you remove Kobes 2-11(!), the rest of the team made 10 of 15(!!) from behind the arc. Simply a tremendous output for a team that’s struggled to make the long ball all season. When this team can consistently make their outside shots, the offense goes from “meh” to “downright dangerous” in an instant. The Lakers big three are going to continue to draw hard double teams or, at the very least, have secondary defenders lurking and ready to pounce on them when they make a move. By hitting these shots and making the defense pay, opponents will end up having to make the hard choice of single covering guys that do damage against single coverage or allowing shooters to take wide open shots. The Bobcats chose the latter tonight and the Lakers made the shots that were the difference in the game.

Beyond the hot shooting though, the best numbers for me were Kobe and Pau playing 27 and 28 minutes respectively. Kobe got to be a spectator the entire 4th quarter and Pau only played 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the final frame. Considering the heavy workload these two have been putting in recently, those minutes played numbers might actually be the best stat of the night.

(On a side note, honorable mention goes out to the Lakers reserves – especially the 5 man unit of Bynum, Murphy, Barnes, Kapono, and Goudelock. Outside of Bynum’s stellar +18 on the night, the other four players were all at least +22 and combined for 40 points. They ran the offense well, moving the ball onto the open player consistently and not hesitating when the shot was there to be taken. As the game wore on their comfort level with each other was obvious as they were moving well off the ball, helping each other get open and then doing their best to hit the man that broke free. Obviously their hot shooting won’t be there every night (and Bynum won’t always be able to provide that dominant inside presence that gives them all that space on the wing to operate), but tonight it all came together for this group and it was great to watch.)

The Bad:
Another lethargic 3rd quarter from this group. After taking a 22 point lead into half time, the Lakers came out flat after the break and let the ‘Cats shave 9 points off the lead heading into the 4th quarter. The Lakers played sloppily (7 turnovers), settled for jumpers too often, and relaxed on defense – often times barely bothering to rotate to shooters much less contest shots. The Lakers were lucky that their lead was big enough to be able to survive such a bad effort and that the Bobcats didn’t have enough offensive firepower to make them pay even more than they did. Considering the Lakers scored 30 or more points in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters, their 13 point output in the not only sticks out like a sore thumb but tidily tells the story of how hard the Lakers tried that period. Against better teams the Lakers won’t be able to pull that off and they need to be better coming out of the half.

The Ugly:
I hate to bury the Bobcats here because as I wrote in the game preview, they’re simply not a good basketball team and are missing two of their better players. But tonight, they simply didn’t do much well and were too quick to settle for the first open shot rather than trying to work for a good open shot. Some of their players showed flashes (Kemba Walker had his moments when attacking off the dribble and Gerald Henderson showed good fight on defense and that burgeoning offensive game) but for the most part they looked slow and disinterested on defense and disorganized on offense. I don’t really blame Paul Silas here (he really is working with a talent deficient group) but outside of their push in the 3rd period this team just didn’t look like a team.

The Play of the Game:
If I could string together all of the Lakers 3 point makes in a single clip, that would go here but instead I offer up a Kobe to Bynum connection. Towards the end of the first half – and after Kobe had torched their defense for 24 points – the Bobcats started to send a second defender in Kobe’s direction to dissuade him from getting to his spots. On this particular play, the Bobcats’ big man came across the lane to show Kobe a strong side zone look but instead of Kobe pulling up for a jumper, he rose up and fired a pin point pass to Bynum for a dunk.

Darius Soriano

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28 responses to Lakers/Bobcats: Bombs Away!

  1. I really liked Pau’s lob to ‘Drew too, nice to see him directing traffic, as Stu noted – all in all, a team game, though I would like to see more production from Pau (he looked tired tonight, that rest will do him well)

  2. The perfect game against an imperfect opponent. Doesn’t matter. A great win (3rd quarter notwithstanding) that we sorely needed. Should be nothing but happy chatter tonight.

  3. 2-4 sounds about right for this road trip.

  4. Kobe calls goudelock “mini mamba”. He should reply “thank you Kobe system”.

  5. Watching the Lakers hit the incredible amount of 3-pointers that they did was so, so bittersweet.

    I’m happy that it SEEMS our league-worst 3-pt. shooting percentage will even out; I couldn’t believe it after like the 3rd or 4th three-pointer dropped in…

    but since I never thought I’d see a three again, it almost felt like we were “wasting” them vs. the Bobcats, as if we could have saved them against a good team!

    wow, is that what an incredibly subpar season so far does to you?

  6. @Lakers4Ever: I liked that lob as well. What made that play possible despite Pau’s court vision was also the attention Kobe drew by cutting across the lane, making Diop sag off the deciding few centimeters (Yeah for the metric system!) to give Bynum the space to slip in for the dunk. That’s what I ideally envision with Kobe taking on less of a scoring burden – he will always draw defensive attention that can be used to get others great opportunities, even if he doesn’t touch the ball for half the possession.

    Yahoo’s basketball blog linked to an interesting article about how the Rockets’ training staff has adjusted to the compressed schedule:

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2012/01/compressed-schedule-forces-rockets-to-revisit-routines/

    It would be interesting to know whether the Lakers staff has gone to similar measures. The Rockets have won more than I thought they would considering their roster and also having a new coach, it seems to be working for them.

  7. Re: the lob

    I think Stu Lantz said something during the telecast last night that, for all of the “lob city” chatter about the Clippers, the Lakers actually either lead the league, or at least are ahead of the Clips in lob-dunk/layup baskets–is this true?

    SJM

  8. Hey – we are the 6th seed right now !! We could also be catching Denver at the right time. They lost 2 strgt, and had huge turnovers last night. Kobe is 69 behind Shaq.

  9. MJordan might want to let someone else run the team. Bad roster. Maybe Lakers can unload Metta on him.

    Another night where Metta had more fouls and more turnovers then points. Oh well maybe he is our lucky charm. Or maybe when he is not on tbe 2nd team they go crazy and play great with over 40 points.

    I think I figured out Brown’s theory. It called hide a Laker. By starting Fisher and Metta, teams won’t know they exist due to focus on Kobe, Pau and Andrew!

    Brilliant. A split this weekend would ge great.

  10. i think my favorite part of last night’s win was watching the Lakers deliberately punish the bobcats for putting b.j. mullens on drew.

  11. It’s both sad and scary that all we had to do was start hitting those open shots, and all of a sudden we get a blow-out.

    Now we need to keep hitting those open shots.

  12. Another reason to dislike MJ is that he is firmly part of the anti-Laker camp with Gilbert, Cuban, and a host of others. They get together in top secret locations to plot how they can thwart Laker trades, and FA signings. Of course Cuban is the only one who really benefits.

  13. Lakers won convincingly last night and at last my dream was fulfilled, seeing Kapono/Murphy and a new weapon, Goldilock with raining threes. Those threes are effective decongestant to our two bigs – how will u effectively defend the Lakers advantage if it worked as efficiently as last night. However, they are still too lax in defense, more block shot, box out and rebounds from Pau Gasol.

    I smell something brewing up in the Laker trade rumors. This is the time of the year when Mitch makes some surprises tho’ old Sheed, thug K-Mart are shopping for a home team. Ramon Sessions, Agent Zero are also on the chatter board while the traditional urban rumor i.e. DH and D’Will are also in the radar but they want more money on the table. I empathize F/O’s reluctance in spending now especially with Lakers winning two in a row. It also appears that we have two PG’s in the offing Blake and G-lock. What is the best move?

  14. The Lakers are not only the center of attention on trades and new faces but also the intrigue from within.

    http://hoopshype.com/columns/lazenby/is-mitch-kupchak-growing-weary

    It’s hard to educate a young owner who wants to take over a billion dollar business and start it by being penny wise and pound foolish.

  15. Ken, that actually sounds pretty realistic did Brown hide Metta on the 1st unit. How many chances will he really get with our big 3? I hope Kobe plays more like he did in Orl, Mia on this road trip. 1ast. last night isn’t good

    And Mike Brown has been coaching. He kind of settled on a ten man rotation. Start Metta, replace Morris with Goudelock. Play Murphy rather than McRoberts for spacing and put Drew with 2nd unit. He ran the 1 in/4 out Orlando offense with the second unit. Goudelock, Kapono, Barnes, Murphy, Drew. I’ve seen new plays for Pau. Maybe Lakers really needed practice.

  16. The Lakers did what they were suppose to do vs the worst team in the league (the Bobcats lost 2 games in 4 days to the Wizards last week). Best thing about last nights game? Gasol & Kobe played less than 30 minutes each.

    Now the test begins. Don’t know about you guys, but I’d be a happy Laker fan if they can go 3-3 on this 6 ame, 11 day road trip.

  17. Edwin: That article about Kupchak was not exactly uplifting : ) Neither is the prospect of our choice of saviors between K-mart, Rasheed, and Agent Zero. Is Dennis Rodman available? : ) Please let us bask in our glory of beating the Bobcats and do not bring up any macro issues : )

  18. Bynum:

    “These are big games for us coming up,” said Lakers center Andrew Bynum after putting up 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Bobcats. “We need to prove that we’re able to win, or else they’re going to start doing things.”
    ___

    From Dave McMenamin posting a Land O Lakers

  19. robinred: that is a funny quote !! Hey Darius: Perhaps u and I were wrong and maybe we need to lose a few more NOT I do not think AB is an authority on such matters.

  20. Robert,

    I guess AB doesn’t agree with your basking/no macro issues plan, eh?

    ______

    I am glad the Lakers won an easy one, and I am glad that Goudelock is helping.

    But the team the Lakers beat last night is barely an NBA team right now. They were one of the worst teams in the league going in and are playing short-handed, as Darius noted. I would not read much into it. Grammy Trip is:

    DENVER
    UTAH
    PHILADELPHIA
    BOSTON
    NEW YORK
    TORONTO

    There are road games later in the month at Dallas and Oklahoma City, and Atlanta and Portland come here in Feb as well.

  21. OK – I think with the past several posts – the basking in the Bobcat W glory, is officially over. Ken, BuzzLightYear, and Mattal: time to start re-posting. We are ready for reality now : )

  22. I agree that a win over a crappy team is nothing to celebrate necessarily, but last night they beat the tar out of a crappy team, which is what a team that aspires to playoff success is supposed to do, and something the Lakers have not always been good at.

    Fun game to watch, everyone scored but poor Luke, and the blowout allowed two good things to happen: the starters got rest, AND the bench got some playing time. Not that I expect either to be the savior down the road, but Barnes and Kapono both have to feel good about their shots dropping last night. Being able to count on even 10-14 points a night coming from them (or other random bench players) is a good thing.

  23. Any win in the NBA is a great win. They are all equally important. It is even better when you can rest your older star players while winning. That being said, it is the Bobcats.

    This team needs to be judged against how it plays against better teams and on the road. There is so much stress amongst Laker fans because as constructed we are not quite a championship contender and there is all sorts of advice as to how to make us better or whether we should “blow it up”. Its tough to accept being a 4-5 seed.

    This team is not getting blown up as long as Kobe is playing. He will retire a Laker on his terms. How Mitch adds meaningful players through trades at this point is beyond me. He should be lauded for the CP3 trade and if these other owners are against him, it makes it even harder. Litigation should have begun immediately when Stern nixed that deal. I cannot believe the lack of anger over it.

    Ill get excited again when these type performances are against the better teams. Part of me still thinks some additions can be made that can make us contenders to atleast make the finals as the West to me is just balanced from 1-7 and if we make the finals, Kobe could will this team to another title.

  24. George Best: Great post. A little optimistic but that is what we need. My only point would be that u r correct about “Kobe’s terms”. He will make the terms. We will need to meet them, and if we do not, that is where less pleasant convos arise.

  25. The best part about the win was the starters gave up the 26 pt. lead. and the bench came in we won by 33. Much needed confidence boost for that group. Practice has helped 5-1 calling it said 7-2 next 9 games before

  26. Anonymous, things seem to be coming together albeit last 3 games albeit not against elite competition but rotation is tighter, roles are being defined, drew is scoring again. maybe this roady will bring the team together. there’s a reason all these signing rumors are coming out at this time. let’s the players know this is it. if you can’t show us something wholesale changes are on the way

  27. I think I said right before the season started that this team will need at least a month, probably more, to figure things out. We have a new coach who is running a new system, and new players on the roster, it’s going to take them time to get to know each other and to learn to play together.

    In hindsight, I should have said closer to two months. In addition to those other factors, the Lakers have had a very tight schedule, and haven’t been able to practice together to the extent they would during a normal season. Trying to fit in practices while playing frequent games wears on players, and might in some way account for the poor outside shooting (tired legs).

    So in all, I’m still feeling pretty good about this team. I think once they get everything together, our Lakers are going to be very good. They just need to get there, and it’s not realistic to expect that to happen over-night.

    Just a thought. :)

  28. Relax guys that was the Charlotte! Portland just beat them by 40 plus tonight. Denver and Utah is a reality check.

    Kevin really? I would call 3 and 3 a massive success. No way, no how 5 and 1.

    Sorry but driving with your eyes closed can cause pain.