Lakers/Grizzlies: Double OT Slugfest

Zephid —  March 13, 2012

Lakers 116 – Grizzlies 111 Box Score

The Good

In a gutsy, hard-fought game, the Lakers escaped Memphis with a win after playing two extra periods. Dominating for most of the game, Andrew Bynum brought the Lakers back from an early deficit, shooting 7-9 in the 1st half, finishing with a monstrous 15-18 for 37 points and 16 rebounds. For much of the 2nd quarter, Bynum and Marc Gasol seemingly traded punches for their teams, each team going exclusively into their big guys, Bynum’s power game against Gasol’s running hook shot and turnaround jumpers. The younger Gasol couldn’t keep pace, however, finishing 10-25 with 20 points and 10 boards.

Additionally, Kobe played a very controlled game, shooting only 5 times in the 1st half. It was in the 2nd half where he tried to take over, to somewhat mixed results. Many times, Kobe’s offensive brilliance allowed him to take and make shots that only he could; other times, Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter really bothered Kobe, forcing to take several heavily contested shots. Kobe, however, adjusted his game and became a playmaker in the 4th quarter and both overtimes (more on that later).

Honorable mention goes to Steve Blake, who made 3-4 three pointers and ran the offense fairly smoothly. The Lakers defense also should get some credit, overcoming a 17 point deficit in the 3rd quarter to come back and tie the game in regulation before going on to win in double OT.

The Bad

Getting that deficit, however, I would not describe as “good.” Darius mentioned in the preview that two big things the Lakers had to watch out for were to 1.) not turn the ball over, and 2.) force the Grizzlies to shoot jump shots. Well the Lakers did the 2nd one fairly well, only to have Marreese Speights go crazy with his jump shot, sinking 9-13 at one point and finishing 12-20 for a season high 25 points. Tony Allen also started the game hot, going 5-8 (great by his standards), all on long jump shots.

The Lakers were still their own greatest enemy, turning the ball over 18 times, leading to 24 points for the Grizz. Many of these TOs were simply careless passes on the perimeter, things that shouldn’t happen in practice let alone a game. Credit the swarming defense of the Grizzlies, however, for taking advantage of these mistakes.

The Ugly

I think someone needs to check the stats on how well Metta World Peace shoots each game after either a.) making his first shot, or b.) missing his first shot. Against the Celtics, he made his first three, had a great game, and was a huge factor in that win. Today against the Grizz, he missed his first three, and went on to finish the game 1-7, missing all 5 of his attempts from 3 as well as three free throws. Today also marked another game where Troy Murphy, Matt Barnes, and Andrew Goudelock were mostly non-factors, and Josh McRoberts somehow played 6 minutes with 1 board and 1 assist. And this section wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include OJ Mayo, who shot 7-25 for the Grizz, including 0-8 from three, doing a lot to help the Lakers in the second overtime.

The Play of the Game

While I can’t point to a single play, I can point to a single set that the Lakers ran multiple times to excellent results. With Kobe handling the ball on the wing, Gasol comes to set a screen. Kobe goes over the screen, drawing both Gasol’s man and his own defender. Holding the ball for just a moment, Kobe hits Gasol with either a crisp bounce pass or a pass over the top. Gasol, with an open lane to the basket, sees Bynum’s man rotate to him on the closeout. Then, putting up a picture perfect lob, Bynum throws it down ferociously for two easy points. As Darius said, when the Lakers big 3 run that side pick and roll, it’s like a cheat code. The Lakers easily ran this set 4 times this game, including once in each OT session.

This just goes to show how irreplaceable each of these three guys are. Very few guards could draw the defense as well as Kobe, very few bigs can force the defense to close out and have the skill to make a pin point lob as Pau, and very few centers have the athleticism to throw down anything in the vicinity of the rim, even in traffic, as Bynum.

Overall, this was a tough win by the Lakers, and in a season in which road wins are rare, it makes this one all the more worthwhile.




to Lakers/Grizzlies: Double OT Slugfest

  1. As frustrating as this was to watch, particularly the third quarter, I was happy to see the team grind it out and fight for the win. They earned this one through blood, sweat, and effort, and that persistence and grit made me happy.

    Bynum did his Shaq-impersonation beast-thing again, Pau was “meh!” in regulation but gold in over-time, and Steve Blake should be our starting point guard. Kobe was Kobe, especially in the fourth quarter and over-time.


  2. man are Magic ownership and fans going to be angry when Howard leaves as a free agent for New Jersey after effectivly forcing them to keep them at trade deadline.

    Someone on twitter made the comparisen of the guy who thinks that the stripper really loves them. Sums up the Magic


  3. James,

    Marc Stein also pointed out the obvious on Twitter:

    “Should be clear by now Dwight wants to finish season in ORL so he can opt out in July and head straight to Brooklyn w/out Nets being gutted”

    Now they WANT to move him, but it’s hard to imagine anyone would touch him knowing this. Magic FO’s gamble is going to bite them in the ass so bad. Ouch.


  4. What a win! This is a win the team can build off. Truly gutty win and yet another reason why management should let this team play on without trading any of our core pieces. We can likely move up to the two seed…and anything is possible. Go Lakers!!


  5. Frank the Tank March 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Howard now saying he wants to finish year in Orlando. Hmmm.


  6. Some nights you just got to celebrate your team. This is one of those nights.

    To be down 8-9 most of first half, battle back, then lose it, only to get back within one at half, only to lay a complete egg the first half of third, I thought, “Here we go again.”

    But they showed grit, and mettle, and once we got to OT, you just knew they weren’t going to let it slip away.

    Short of a deal for Deron Wiliams (highly unlikely), I’d argue there is nothing out there that changes the complexion of this team meaningfully enough for this season. Would rather see an incremental Sessions type of deal, and accept that this is our hand until we can get a killer PG.

    Tonight, though, celebrate a heart-attack inducing double OT!

    Go Lakers!


  7. Howard’s fooling no one except perhaps Orlando’s management. If he stays, Nets don’t have to gut their team to get him after the season’s done. If the Magic had any sense, they’d accept reality and trade for whatever they can get from the Nets now. But I doubt they have any sense.

    Can’t fault our FO for this. They were willing to swap Bynum for Howard, but probably even Howard saw that adding Gasol to the mix would fatally gut the Lakers. And sometimes a player just doesn’t want to come here.

    Sorry D12, but from now on you’ll always be known as the center who was afraid to follow in the footsteps of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq…


  8. At least we can put this D12 business behind us now and focus on the team and minor tweaks. The writing has been on the wall for months, let’s just pray Cuban can’t work magic and scoop up Howard and Deron in free agency.

    This Lakers team can be dangerous come playoff time if Kobe and Bynum can duplicate the numbers they put up tonight.


  9. Bynum. This is why you love the guy. This is why you keep him. I will always fear that the next injury is coming for him, but I loved watching him play tonight. I loved seeing the “big three” playing together. Kobe was great and Gasol was pretty good at times, and then Bynum was fairly “dominant” at times.


  10. Bynum looked dominant mostly due to the brilliance of KB24 and Pau. Don’t let the stats fool you – he is still only our third-best player.


  11. We better hope Dirk is washed up because Dwight and DWill are heading to Dallas. Dwight says he isn’t singing an extension but is gonna stay in Orlando until the offseason. Wow.


  12. I think the Brooklyn scenario is more likely now, as most have said.

    I will be interested to see of Brown cuts Kobe/Pau/Drew minutes tomorrow. I doubt it.


  13. Howard better think long and hard about his next move. He basically killed Orlando’ chances of getting something for him by refusing to sign an extension. If he walks his “good guy” image will be soiled.

    Either way I am glad the Lakers seemingly done that pursuit.


  14. Darius,
    Literally walking into my house and am gonna clik the link from my iPad.


  15. Bynum was a beast. Growing up before our eyes. 36 points on 18 shots EFFIENCY. No Randolph or Rudy so not sure what a win means only that it’s a road win.

    I’m more optomistic now. Offer Pau or Drew for Dwight. Better than anything out there

    Bynum last 5 games: 26 pts 12 rebs 74% FG 1 blk


  16. KBergCBS Quite clearly, Dwight wants his cake and eat it, too. Some Magic officials privately disgusted with his comments tonight, sources say.


  17. Darius,
    I just read the article. Yes… I knew all that from some people connected a while ago. But some of what they tell me doesmt pan out so I didn’t say anything. I’ve heard just as Jon Ireland had heard they were gonna play in Dallas no matter what as of this last summer. Just like Miami. I didn’t want to believe it I guess although I did think it was a possibility. Do we trade Bynum for Dwight and hope we can ruin his former plans? We are the Lakers for goodness sake.


  18. rr,
    Yea… That’s really messed up for Dwight to say. But wouldn’t Kobe do the same thing. Kobe is a killer. He would make sure his knew team was set up as good as they could be. I don’t blame Dwight. To be honest I blame the owners. This is the owners doing this. They forced the players to do this. They are never really free agents. They can’t get paid what they are actually worth. So sad. Shame on you Owners!!!


  19. Aaron: sad part is Dwight said he wanted a trade before the season. He already said what he wanted and orlando thinks they have a chance at keeping him. Call me crazy I think Lakers have a chance after tonight. Nobody can offer anything better but if it requires taking bad contracts I say no


  20. I actually feel pretty bad for Orlando in this situation. They want to keep the guy, but they have to know in their heart’s that he is gone, right?

    If they are smart, then they will try to get draft picks as well as dumping one or more of their rotten contracts. I have to say that I agree with Aaron in that the owners brought this on to themselves. I don’t think the players give a rat’s behind about owners any longer.


  21. Kevin,
    My brother just texted me… “Would you now trade Pau Gasol for a Dwight Howard 5 month rental?” that’s a great great question.


  22. Aaron: tough call dr. buss is a gambler if trading for howard convinces them lakers win the finals i think they’d do it I’ve always been of the mindset lakers are thinking big so we’ll see.


  23. With all the mind games D Howard is playing now with the Magic, why would we want him? He is a flake and he could walk on us just like he will on the Magic. “Roll the dice…” really? Hey maybe D Will starts looking at L.A and playing with Bynum instead. I mean another year and Andrew will be better then Howard anyway.


  24. Kevin,
    I think we need a whole thread on if the Lakers should trade Gasol for four months of Dwight. if we wanted to trade Gasol we could trade him for players that will be Lakers for years… Or we can put together the greatest frontline in NBA history for the last two months of the regular season and hope to win a championship and dare Dwight to leave a championship team in Los Angeles. I take the side that the market for Howard is so bare now that we can trade Gasol for him… At least in a package deal. And that is might be smart to roll out a front court of the two best big men in the NBA (by far) along with the second best basketball player of all time (Kobe) and dare Dwight to leave Los Angeles.


  25. Michael H,
    Yes if healthy it looks like Bynum might be better than Dwight but it seems like DWill and Howard are attached at the hip and Willaims is from Dallas. I don’t think we can get either one of them long term. Also… The nets can sign Howard in the offseason … So that’s another spot Dwight and DWill can meet up. So if we want DWill or Dwight we need to be able to get both of them and it seems like they both want to be in Dallas.


  26. Orlando is 28-15 and has beaten Miami and Chicago in the last ten days. I think they probably would have kept Howard even if he had been smart enough to say “No comment” today.

    And I think there is little chance that they would trade him straight up for Pau, whose deal doesn’t end until after the first year of the new tax rules.


  27. KenOak,
    Yes… But what I meant by that was they made these rules that are very unfair. They basically took away free agency. It’s not “free” for a player now to go to another location to work. The owners painted the players into a hole they are trying to wiggle out of. It’s like prohibition in the 1920’s. You might as well send out evites for bootleggers and a welcome mat


  28. it seems like they both want to be in Dallas.


    Literally every media guy talking about this is saying explicitly that Howard wants to be in Brooklyn–Stein, Woj, Berger–all of them.


  29. rr,
    I’m sorry man I don’t know what to tell you. I have inside information that says otherwise. And other people connected have heard the same thing from different sources than I have. So I am thinking what I have heard is true.


  30. Aloha Aaron,

    There was an article I believe in Hoopsworld a couple of days ago that said that D Will to Dallas wasn’t a done deal. Also was talking about how Dallas would have to literally cut everyone except Dirk in order to sign both D Will and Howard and how that may not be all that appealing to them.

    Perhaps he looks at how well Kobe is playing and how Bynum is growing as a force. Would it be that much of a stretch to want to come here? He already said he wouldn’t mind playing here.

    Of course all of this is for conversation this summer. For now we need a little upgrade to make our run.


  31. Aaron,

    If you are that well-connected, fill us in on what the Lakers are planning to do about PG.


    Berger may well be a jerk, but it seems logical to assume that ORL management is not thrilled about 12’s comments. Based on a quick blogosphere tour, their fans certainly are not.


  32. PG= point guard, or Pau Gasol–take your pick.


  33. This had me chuckling..

    Danny Ainge: “I wouldn’t even consider that” to the question “Didn’t you guys offer [Rondo for Gasol?]”

    Of course Danny boy.. whatever you say.

    Funniest deadline rumor so far – Bulls wanting Pau. What are they gonna give us, Boozer, Watson and a signed MJ jersey? Give me a break.


  34. Always thought Dwight wanted the cameras in his face and to be as big a star he can be. The main reason I thought LA was out was the Shaq factor. That’s why I don’t get NJ because it’s cold and second fiddle to NY. Dallas has no state taxes and Dirk probably Deron and good weather but that’s Dirk’s town. If LA was to get him and win with him now way he leaves. Bynum is turning into a beast probably more unlikely Jim trades him. I’d trade Pau for D12 straight up take that chance. Talk about twin towers. Pipe dreams rarely happen though

    If the big 3 does wind up staying together don’t spend a 1st on sessions get jamal crawford instant offense.


  35. Read the comment section. This is what we can’t become in this site. We can’t be giant homers. That should be our mission statement. I don’t want us to become that…. But I also want to read it over and over until I finally stop laughing. The language and vibe on the site appears very trashy.


  36. I had a post on the sideline PNR a little while back, with links to screenshots of it. And must indeed be a maddening play for the opposition.

    The best counter is probably leaving who ever is on the weakside wing to pick up Pau, especially if that is Artest.

    If that rotaion isn’t feasible (it is if the wing just cut through the bucket to clear out), then that same wing defender has to pick up Bynum, while his man helps on Pau. That is no easy task though, and Bynum will still get his dunk or a put-back on most plays.

    Imagine having a dead-eye shooter on that wing spot…


  37. Matthew, San Diego March 14, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Gotta mention that this win is without two of their three best players in Zbo and Gay. Add that to beating Minny twice without Love and Heat without Bosh in this recent stretch of inspired play.


  38. Andrew Bynum recorded 37 points, 16 rebounds, and shot 83.3 percent from the field. The last time a player hit those marks in a single game was Alonzo Mourning on February 23, 2000, in a win against the Nets. Mourning totaled 43 points, 16 rebounds, and went 13-14 from the field (92.9 pct). Oh…and I never make coaching judgements… But if Bynum plays a second more than 20 minutes tomorrow he should be fined. Drew played 49 minutes after four consecutive forty plus minute games. Jesus. Let the guy stay healthy please!!!


  39. rr,
    Haha. I’m not that plugged in. I’m waiting to find out just like the rest of us. But our old buddy Mr Scott in Cleveland gave us a clue “I don’t want to even think what it would be like not having Sessions around after the trade deadline. He is too good. Just too good. I don’t want to think about it” We read you loud and clear Bryon 🙂


  40. anti Dwyer Abbott March 14, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Despite all the ”efficiency” worshippers and snide haters KB24 still the man,52 minutes at age 33.Gotta respect the guy.


  41. Frank the Tank March 14, 2012 at 1:53 am


    I clicked that link and read the 2 comments. Apparently one of the commenters thinks the grizzlies will “murder our lilly asses in the playoffs.” I LOLed. A grizzly fan talking smack about the Lakers and the playoffs… It must be 2012.


  42. The way Bynum is stepping up, I would be very sad to see him traded for anyone. Hope he will be a Laker for life.


  43. I’m actually afraid to say that we shouldn’t trade Bynum for DH12 straight up. I said it when the season started and people were thinking I was insane.

    However, Bynum’s as healthy as he will be. Is this good enough? I really don’t like DH12’s game…


  44. Where’s Robert? When I first saw the Howard headline I was worried he threw his computer out the window and jumped off the ledge. Hope he’s safe and didn’t do anything too destructive.

    Berger is top-notch. Berger and Woj are two of the best in the business in terms of breaking stories and having reliable sources. The entire media loves Jeanie (as do most Laker fans) and is piling on Jim Buss, Berg isn’t unique in that regard.

    Only thing I’m unhappy about is with Orlando most likely keeping Howard, Deron Williams is off the table too. The Nets won’t panic-trade him now. But I’m glad the chase is over, in any case. Orlando gambled and – while we can’t say until this summer for sure – it looks like they’ve lost. All indications were Dwight always wanted to leave, but wanted to be liked so desperately that he was afraid to come out and openly demand it. He wanted to leave without being the villain. Orlando talked itself into believing they could keep him, and now they’ve most likely set themselves back. Now we’ll see how much a little bit of money matters to Howard.


  45. D12: The most recent interview, the Magic’s poor handling of this, and the fact that Orlando is winning all increase the threat of Orlando “Pulling the Cleveland”. I have been + still am holding out hope for the blockbuster, but the Magic letting him walk via FA has always been the top threat.


  46. Magic: Let me take the other side. The Magic are 3rd in their conf; The Lakers are 3rd in theirs. Conventional wisdom suggest that in both cases, they are clearly behind the top teams, but both have playoff experience etc. Both teams could go for the title now, but that would be at the expense of the long term. So if they keep D12 + we tweak – how are we different?


  47. D12’s luster is fading quick with the way he’s handling this – we’re almost witnessing the Decision v2.0

    Or maybe I’m just too old to appreciate all this ‘new generation’ stuff.

    Chicago can have Pau if they give us Rose in return. 😀

    It’s too bad that LO had to be shed, he would’ve helped us cut down minutes, but in a way him being sent off helped force feed minutes and touches to Bynum and probably accelerated his growth.

    Kobe, 52 minutes, Bynum 49 minutes? MB should be fired if he doesn’t pull a Pop and DNP’s those two… or at least TRY DNP-CD’ing Kobe. Those are the four weakest knees on our team.

    Kinda makes you wonder what kind of team we could’ve been with Kwame and Marc. And Crittenton, was it? With LO masquerading as a poor man’s Pau, that combination might have been cheaper and deeper.

    Anyway, great win. Just hoping that Kobe Pau and Bynum having their own ‘equal opportunity offense’ is not an anomaly.


  48. On another note, I would be very scared to play Memphis in the playoffs. Can you imagine what that team will look like with Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph in the lineup? I honestly don’t think the Lakers can beat them in a 7 game series.


  49. The bench is just so inconsistent;must drive the coaches up the wall. A good PG would help as would another 2/3. Brooklyn looks to be in the driver`s seat but needs to keep DWill. at all costs.


  50. Driver’s Seat: The next 29 hours will determine if we are in the “Driver’s Seat” or “Under the Buss”.


  51. Rudy,

    You can only put so much players during the game. I think it’ll be a good series to watch. I don’t think the lakers will lose but it’ll be a tough good close fight. Bynum will be the key in that series. He has to be dominant both offensively and defensively.


  52. Renato Afonso,
    Listen… I don’t understand what there is “not to love” about Howard’s game. He is awesome. Just awesome. He just doesn’t have a good low post game. That’s it. I guess that does matter in the post season when teams crack down on the PnR offense. But yes… If healthy it appears Bynum might be the better player with more upside. Those words haven’t been mentioned since Bynum’s breakout season before his first of two knee injuries.


  53. I can’t wait until the trade deadline is over simply because I’m tired of talking about other team’s players as much as (or in some cases) more than Lakers players.
    As for last night’s game, that was a hard fought win. As I mentioned in the preview, the Grizzlies match up well with the Lakers and play a style that is conducive to winning every night. There’s a reason they’re 4th in the West even w/o Randolph. Remember too, Gay played pretty poorly to start the year and was out for a lot of last season too. That team knows how to play without him and their coach doesn’t allow for any excuses. He gets them to play hard and to their strengths each night.

    Also, regardless of how you thought the game should have turned out or how easy it should have been, the Lakers fought back to win. It was only a week ago it was the Lakers that were giving away big leads and playing terribly. Last night they never gave in – even when down big – and battled through two overtimes to win. Shouldn’t we feel good about the effort and the result?


  54. @Darius: We should feel awesome about the effort and result from last night!! It was ultimately very encouraging to see us run PLAYS during crunch time that utilize our matchups and our all-world bigs. Awesome stuff.

    I am really looking forward to the trade deadline passing…I am hoping for some depth added to the Lakers for the playoff run but am hoping Pau stays in the fold for as long as we can afford him!


  55. Darius: As someone who has been skeptical of the roster all year, I feel very good about the results. MB’s results are decent given the tools he has. KB + AB have both exceeded expectations coming into the year, in terms of health and performance. Pau is a little below his par, + the rest of the team is what it is. We are “6th” best + to expect more with this roster, is to expect everything to go right + then some.


  56. Robert @62. I don’t see that. If we play well and get anything from the 1 and 3, then we are no less than the 4th best team in the league. That means that we are competing for a title. If we get into the finals with The Heat or Bulls, then we have a chance to win it. Only 1 guy scares me from the Bulls. How do they handle Pau and Bynum?

    Add in a decently quick penetrating PG with a shot and I think we could conceivably beat the Heat.


  57. “Shouldn’t we feel good about the effort and the result?”

    I do. In a lockout shortened season with players going down constantly with injuries it is much more difficult to get a read on teams. The idea the Lakers would lose to some of these teams if so and so was healthy is speculation.

    The Lakers always get the best effort from every team they play. And whenever someone from the other squad is out another guy seems to have a career night. Does Speights get 25 and 7 if Randolph plays? In fact, those look like Randolph numbers. I’m not saying its the same. But lets not act like the Lakers played the Grizzlies’ cheerleaders last night. I am completely satisfied with this win.


  58. KenOak,
    “Add in a decently quick penetrating PG with a shot and I think we could conceivably beat the Heat.” Sessions!!!! If we don’t get at least Sessions I will be sick. That guy is getting better…. Is still only 25 and now has an outside shot. He is a true PG who has played on awful teams. Imagine what he would look like on this Lakers teams? I believe Bryon Scott when he basically told the Lakers they would be stupid for not trading for him.


  59. KenOak: Whether we are 4th-8th is debatable, so I “could” buy 4th, again if all goes well. The fact is – we are not in the top 3. I have published the stats with regard to the odds of the 4th best team winning the title, and it is about 6% (ESPN currently has us @4%). That is not where I want to be. We need change, and we have 27 hours left.


  60. Putting Andrew Bynum in Perspective

    Andrew Bynum recorded 37 points, 16 rebounds, and shot 83.3 percent from the field. The last time a player hit those marks in a single game was Alonzo Mourning on February 23, 2000, in a win against the Nets. Mourning totaled 43 points, 16 rebounds, and went 13-14 from the field (92.9 pct).

    Andrew Bynum joined Shaq, James Worthy and Gail Gudrich as the only Lakers to score as many as 37 points on greater than 80 percent shooting.

    We better start to appreciate what Andrew Bynum is turning into before he gets hurt again;)


  61. 67,

    Robert, it is too late to achieve your dream. DH already declared he wants to stay and also equivocally said that he does not want to play with the Lakers (see S.I.). Those who don’t want to be with the Lakers, leave them alone and don’t wait for them. It is time to reward those who are loyal to the team despite constant putting them on the market and frequent bickerings about their past play off performance, their health risk, this season they have showed grit, guts and the best attitude of what a professional athlete can offer. While other stars have been using the Lakers as an opportunity to bargain and manipulate their team to catapult to fame. This is not confined on players aspiring to be Lakers but also our former players like: Trevor, Lamar, Shannon and Jordan who may have realized what life is, outside the Lakers.

    Let’s build our roster around our own Big 3, get a PG and beef up the 2nd unit. That’s the best alternative.


  62. Too much credit is being given to Memphis after two OT’s and without their stars, Gay and Randolf. Hey, if they are playing then perhaps, Speights and Gasol would not be there. My point is, basketball is still five players vs. five players on the other side. If players are missing we just have to move on and play based what you are expected to do. Who would expect Speights reach a score of 25? How come Tony Allen who was superb player in the first half did not play in the two OT’s? We can also put a spin that if PJ were the coach, it could be a smooth sailing. It is what it is, we won defended the 3rd position standing. Come playoffs time, nobody will remember what happened on those two OT’s.


  63. I can’t wait until the trade deadline is over simply because I’m tired of talking about other team’s players as much as (or in some cases) more than Lakers players.

    We know.

    I, OTOH, am tired of watching and talking about guys like Derek Fisher and Troy Murphy, and pretending they will do things that they can’t actually do more than once every five or six games. So call it even.

    After the deadline, however, I agree we should move on.


    Shouldn’t we feel good about the effort and the result?

    Sure. It was a fun win. But as you are well aware, one indicator of team quality is the ability to blow teams out or at least win by double digits. The Lakers rarely do this anymore–everything is hard for them. Kobe, Pau and Drew play 40 minutes, game after game.

    Part of that is the competitive balance in the conference. Part of that is the schedule. Part of it is adjusting to the new offense. But most of it is just lack of talent on the roster. That is why people talk about other team’s players–they care about the team.


  64. The bench giving this team absolutely nothing on the road and inconsistent play is the biggest concern in my book. Even with a Blake/Fish combo at guard this team could compete with anybody with some type of scoring ability coming off the bench. No help from the second unit means too many minutes for the BIG2, which may lead too burnout come playoff time.

    The trend of high minutes will continue because Brown cant afford to rest them and pray that LA will survive. The Western Conference playoff hunt is too close with only 24 games remaining on such a short schedule. No time for rest if the starters are the reason you win 90% of the games. Brown is not crazy, his best chances of winning are riding his horses whether he wants to or not. The FO is to blame for not providing him quality bench players so he can rest the big guns on occasion.

    I am happy that Pau has accepted his role on offense as the third option, but the emergence of Drew has turned him into a role player making superstar money.


  65. Bottom Line: In the 30 career games Andrew Bynum’s line features 20 or more points & 10 or more rebounds, the Lakers are 24 & 6, .800 ball. Sounds like a winning formula to me:


  66. I, OTOH, am tired of watching and talking about guys like Derek Fisher and Troy Murphy, and pretending they will do things that they can’t actually do more than once every five or six games. So call it even.

    Who does this consistently? Who claims Murphy is going to do well next game or that Fisher is steady? Who thinks they’re reliable players that are part of the solution to what ails this team? Few on this board, that’s for sure.

    If lusting after other players helps soothe your (or anyone elses) pain and/or frustration, fine. The horse is dead, though.


  67. There’s no question in my mind who the better center is… It’s D12 by a landslide. But with the uncertainty of him signing long term, the second best center (when healthy) in the association is nothing to moan about. And when that center is featured prominently, the Lakers are pretty unstoppable.

    My concern remains on the defensive end. Defense wins championships. Although Drew has an occasional “great” game on D, his penchant to score points is far greater than his desire to be the “stopper” in the middle.

    D12 mitigates this problem in a huge way. He enjoys shutting down opposing players and is quick enough to help cover blown assignments. Drew is a decent enough post-up defender, but is not nearly quick or mobile enough to provide adequate help to others.

    To sum it all up: Drew is a jogger while D12 is a sprinter. It’s up to Lakers management to decide if we’re racing for the win today, or pacing ourselves for the long run. I say, win today, walk tomorrow.


  68. It was only a week ago it was the Lakers that were giving away big leads and playing terribly. Last night they never gave in – even when down big – and battled through two overtimes to win. Shouldn’t we feel good about the effort and the result?

    We should, and I do. After watching the game last night I was actually proud of my team and the effort they put in. That’s been a while, and it was a nice feeling. 🙂

    Now, on to the next battle!


  69. Edwin @70: Yes it is the “best” alternative. First, will we do it? And where will that leave us? I know you know this, but we will have traded Shannon+LO for Sessions (maybe) + this is a title? Further the off season will be horrible. Pau’s value will further decline, and we will have $60 (the whole cap) tied up in the Big 3. No FA. It is depressing to think about, so I am not going to for 26 more hours. D12 or Bust !!


  70. Great W last night, I thought to myself late in regulation that this is the type of game that the 2008-2010 teams won. AB and KB were huge and unrelenting. Glad Pau showed up late, but his passing, again, was terrific throughout. Hoping for an easy win tonight, but, expecting another grind it out game decided down the stretch.


  71. Darius,
    Since… as Jon Hollinger so beautifully put it… The Lakers are playing with two of the biggest holes (offensivley, Artest is still great on defense) historically ever seen in a starting lineup… I think we should be allowed to covet thy neighbor as often as we like until the trading deadline.


  72. 78/Robert aka D-12 or Bust, you mentioned we’ll have $60m tied up in the Big 3, are you forgetting what Dwight will be making if we do trade for him? That figure will be even higher, even if its a straight swap for Drew, which has next to 0% chance of happening. We’d be forced to take on Hedo’s ugly contract in all likelihood, which hurts us even more in that regard.

    Our holes are at the 1 and 3, NOT the 5. Swapping Drew for Dwight is only a marginal net gain at best. If you were to rank players on a simple 1-10 scale, and consider Dwight as the best overall center with a 10 rating, Bynum is easily an 8 at worst, most would rate him a 9. So that would be a net gain of only 1 to 2. However, using the same scale, our starting PG is hands down the worst in the league (Sorry Fish, I still love you though) so naturally he’d be a 1. If you replace him with an average PG, a 5 if you will, that would be a net gain of +4. And getting an average PG is much easier and cheaper than a complicated trade for Dwight, with absolutely no guarantee he’s going to be here next year.

    The good thing is that the holes in our team are fairly large, so we really only need average players to plug them up for a substantial return on investment. We don’t need a highly risky, complicated trade for only a very marginal increase at the center position.


  73. Darius, I think for the next two days you just need to put up some trade-spec-allowed threads as it is the talk of the league who’s going where, and who’s staying put.

    Then enforce trade chatter in the game and recap threads with an iron fist. It’ll be over soon.

    As for the Memphis blog, I was unlucky enough to listen to Memphis’ commentators last night, and that post essentially echoes what they were saying. It’s another way we’re spoiled in not having outrageously homerriffic announcers. They constantly referred to the Grizzlies as “we” throughout the game, a pet peeve of mine. You may be team employees, but you’re not suiting up, drop the “we” please.

    The highlight really was in the 4th quarter or 1 OT, when Brevin Knight, their color commentator, was mentioning the foul disparity, saying “It’s not like we’re a jump-shooting team…” right as Mayo clanked one off the front of the rim, leading to a Lakers rebound and quick outlet. Uh huh.

    Marc Gasol, to pick an “inside” player completely at random, didn’t have an attempt within 5-6 feet of the hoop. Sometimes foul calls go against you and you still manage to have a 17-point lead, that’s all I’m saying.

    Now, as to the Lakers’ performance, I only got to watch from about the 5:00 mark of the 3rd, but I have to say they’re really starting to look good on defense for the most part. They still have a tendency to break down in the last 3 seconds of the shot clock, but the open jumpers or lanes that would have been there last year just…weren’t. They’re not great, or even close to it, but rotations are crisp and closeouts on shooters/drivers are looking very good. So good on Brown and his staff there.

    As far as offense, I think Kobe’s just calling plays now, with suggestions from the coaching staff. That pick-and-roll with Gasol, drawing Gasol’s man, leaving the weakside big to rotate to him, leaving Bynum with some Smurf guarding him, that’s just beautiful basketball. Imagine if they had a knockdown 3-point shooter on the opposite wing, they could run that play literally every single time down the court and score about 70% of the time. Kobe single-covered on the wing, Gasol’s man recovering on him 10 feet from the hoop, Bynum lurking in the paint, and (dare to dream) 2007-shooting-level Jason Kapono drifting on the periphery with passing lanes from Gasol or Kobe.

    So bring on some moves already. I want to see the next play in this chess match of a season.


  74. 76, dEdge, you said: It’s up to Lakers management to decide if we’re racing for the win today, or pacing ourselves for the long run.

    ~~ Lakers have no say on DH deal, actually they’re hostaged by it in making other decisions.

    @78 According to Robert, our salary cap reaches 60M just on three players alone, well it’s already 59M at this year so what is the difference? If Howard was here, don’t you think we also reach that figure with their garbage players who are not really our Big 3. I don’t think Jameer Nelson or Turkuglo can be considered to be a Big 3 if they were with the Lakers. It is also absolutely a bad idea to trade Pau + Drew to get DH a reluctant and a wishy washy superman plus those medium-rare stars. Why sweat out with these outlandish superstars whether it was Lebron last year or Howard this year? Where is the beef or shall we say, the rings in their resume? Lakers and Celtics can boast of their rich tradition in collecting rings, hanging HOF’ers jerseys on its rafters plus our inherent big market, so we can brag a little as a precious franchise. To be snubbed or disrespected by these stars, it does not fit our mojo. Our Big 3 can do it just give enough support in the role players. My philosophy Robert, we can aspire some things or even dream about big things but if they are not available for one reason or another then we should learn to love and work things out on what we have.


  75. The horse is dead, though.


    Sure is, and that’s the point. Talking about focus and execution and tactical adjustments all the time with this roster is like trying to revive a dead horse.

    It will help some, but the focus of the discussions simply reflect the reality of the team.


  76. Wow. D’Antoni resigned in New York. Is Phil Jackson coming back to coach?