Lakers/Rockets: L.A. Is Not Clutch City

Rey Moralde —  March 20, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 104, Rockets 107
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 114.3, Rockets 117.6
True Shooting %: Lakers 60.1%, Rockets 62.3%

So much for momentum after that terrible home loss against the Utah Jazz. Maybe they only turned it over 23 times in 3 quarters in this game! And maybe Kobe Bryant made four shots to improve upon his three made field goals from Sunday. Well…?

The Good
I suppose we’ll get the good news out of the way first. Ramon Sessions was so good that he stayed until the end of the game (more on that later). Ramon had 14 points and 4 assists as he pushed the tempo, burned people that guarded him, found his teammates, and ran some good pick-and-roll sets. When he came in halfway through the 3rd, the Lakers were down by 1. He didn’t come out of the game after that and he helped push the Laker lead to 95-83 in the 4th. That game should’ve been in the bag, right?

Pau Gasol was very productive with 21 points (although only 4 rebounds). Of course, I expected him to be a more prominent part of the offense in the waning minutes but…

And that 40-point 1st quarter was fantastic (their highest-scoring quarter this season). THAT should’ve put the game away but…

Jordan Hill also made his debut! I suppose that’s also a good thing. And then he got packed.

The Bad
The late-game sets for the Lakers have been as predictable as WWE; they go to Kobe Bryant at the end. It’d be nice if he can call his number as a decoy once in a while. Maybe they panicked because Andrew Bynum was not in the game. You know? ANDREW BYNUM GOT EJECTED in the THIRD QUARTER. Bynum should know better than to talk Mass Effect 3 or whatever the hell he was talking about to the referee (though I kinda don’t get why the ref would eject him as he was ALSO engaged in the conversation). The most recent Western Conference Player of the Week got ejected in a close, road game. Can’t do that.

Ramon Sessions was fantastic while he was in there so I don’t understand the need to go away from him at the end of the game as if he has chicken pox. Isn’t the reason why Sessions was acquired so that Kobe wouldn’t have to handle the ball as much? So much for that. After that aforementioned 95-83 Laker lead, Sessions might as well have watched American Idol because he was not involved in the last 6+ minutes, PERIOD.

Oh, yeah. Kobe Bryant playing hero ball. 10 for 27 at the end for 29 points. These weren’t just wide open misses. A lot of these were forced shots. Come on, Kobe. We know you’re great but geez. Stop it.

The Rockets outrebounded the Lakers, 40-31. I’d like it if the Lakers can put some effort into boxing out. Luis Scola tipped in a missed Rockets freethrow for crying out loud. Sure, Andrew Bynum was ejected and all… but Pau certainly didn’t help the cause by only having four more rebounds than me tonight.

Other things? Playing the high screen-and-roll wrong with Steve Blake getting caught at the sideline (which resulted in Courtney Lee… she sounds hot… steals and dunks seconds later). Bad perimeter defense, especially at the end (3-pointers by Chandler Parsons, Goran Dragic, and Lee). And, of course, that 3-point stab by Dragic that took a 104-101 lead with 28 seconds left. Yeah. I don’t know what else to say now. The offense was mostly stagnant other than the first quarter and when Sessions was making that second half push.

As for the Rockets production? Lee killed the Lakers all night (23 points). Dragic had an awesome floor game (16 points and 13 assists). Luis Scola was steady at 23 points, even though the Lakers were doing their best Derek Fisher tribute on him. Even in the 1st quarter, the Rockets were scoring at will. It was just overshadowed by the Lakers dropping a 40.

At least, 14 turnovers is better than 24?

The Ugly
Well, I just wanna say this: I don’t know what’s worse (or uglier). Either the fact that this is the 3rd road game in a row where they had a double-digit lead and lost… or that they couldn’t beat a Rockets team without Kevin Martin (their leading scorer) AND Kyle Lowry (the point guard the Lakers targeted for a while).

The Play Of The Game
That fastbreak in the second quarter where Kobe Bryant did a bounce pass to a cutting Metta World Peace. I can’t believe MWP dunked it.

I’m annoyed. You saw the ugly section. The last four losses the Lakers had were very winnable games (DET, WAS, UTA, HOU). The Lakers get a dynamic PG in Ramon Sessions, only for him to just coolrelax in the last few minutes. I kinda wish they wouldn’t pack the paint as much when the Rockets were playing the perimeter more. And I wish Mike Brown would go to players other than Kobe during crunch time. It’s just all very frustrating. And, tomorrow night, they got the Dallas Mavericks. So we only have tonight and tomorrow morning to complain.

Strangely enough, the Mavericks haven’t beaten the Lakers this season in two games. So maybe this is a good sign? No?

So just chill… ’til the next episode.

(Also… the last seven games I was scheduled to recap, the Lakers have won. They lost today. So, yes, you are free to blame me as well.)

Rey Moralde


to Lakers/Rockets: L.A. Is Not Clutch City

  1. Lakers gave up 16 offensive rebounds. Kobe missed more than he made tonight. made 2 tough shots to tie the game. Then what happened:

    Pau gave up a blow by to Scola when Lakers were within 2. Pau gave up a offensive rebound to Patterson when the score was 100-99.

    I been saying Lakers defense is failing them lately. Lakers shot 50% but the Rockets scored 107 in regulation w/o 2 of their best players. It’s Defense not offense, Kobe, Mike Brown this time around.


  2. Pau is playing soft.. because he is soft. Tired of hearing otherwise from his apologists.


  3. Lakers will never be a winner with Mike Brown as the coach.

    Never. He us clueless.


  4. Ken: I agree sometimes Brown needs to call timeouts to stop the bleeding but he made some nice rotation changes tonight. Fans are still waiting on the major one starting Sessions.

    Rockets last few possessions: score 97-89

    Dragic 3 97-92
    *Kobe miss
    Rockets miss-offensive rebound-Lee 3 97-95
    *Kobe turnover
    Parsons 2 97-97
    **Kobe miss 2x
    Scola layup 97-99
    Parsons FT 97-100
    Lakers make 99-100
    Rockets Lee miss-Patterson O reb- makes 1 FT 99-101
    Lakers make 101-101
    Rockets Dragic 3 101-104
    *Kobe miss
    Rockets Lee 2 FT 101-106
    Lakers 3 104-106
    Rockets 1 FT 104-107

    Rockets scored on 7 consecutive possessions to end the game. Lakers have to get their defense straight and they will.


  5. You know how things are after wins. Everything looks good.

    And after losses? You start questioning everything.

    Now we can’t afford these losses, especially after losing Fisher and Luke to some extent as they were definitely guys that players respected and/or liked.

    Wins would have given us time to build chemistry, but losses like this just divide the team further even though they don’t need much help there.

    I hope somebody steps up again and call a state of the Lakers meeting or something – and although that’s something Kobe should be doing and what Fisher had done, I am not sure who will or can do it now.


  6. @5 I agree with you

    This are the days that fans, supporters and players need to be united and sort of cooperation within them. Teamwork needs to be address. We need to discuss matters but men, don’t blame on one person only blame it on the team coz all for one and one for all. Now, that we don’t have fisher they don’t have a speaker out there. If fans(us) are pissed because LA losses, so are them!!!


  7. It looks like the fans are turning on Kobe…its sad to see.

    May as well buy him out, when the fans are screaming for more of the player who was expendable to the cavs..well let’s just say an era has come to a close.

    I’d like to root for Kobe elsewhere, I don’t see him retiring as a laker


  8. Vhanz

    That’s what a coach is suppose to do. Brown is just watcher as thing implode he stands and watches.

    You can see the team doesn’t reject the guy and why should they. Allowing Blake to pass to the other team 3 times in two minutes and doing nothing about it.

    Kobe and Brown will continue to suck the heart out of this team. Nothing can change that this year.

    You have to have guts to stand up to Kobe and Brown us clearly lacking.


  9. 5,

    How can you respect Luke on the bench as a cheerleader? He is useless in the last three years. occupying a roster space, big contract with less playing time. Lakers lost also a lot of games because of Fisher as the PG.

    Based on what I saw tonight, Blake was also an awful PG. We cannot blame the FO on this because they tried to get CP3 at the start of the season and didn’t get it. They tried to trade Blake in order to get Beasley, didn’t happen too. The biggest blunder right now is not using the talent of Blake and Murphy which is perimeter shooting. If we still have Craig Hodges as the shooting Coach, he could have trained these two guys as Lakers official gunners in the perimeter, hone those skills until they ready to use it as weapons in every game. Well, Brown is too dependent on Kobe and every team in the league have known that old formula for the last 10 years. Brown again dependent on Bynum, that is no longer a secret too. Will it not be great if we have 5 players out there who could perform 5 different forte’ or tasks? It like listening to an orchestra, once it is concentrated on the violin alone or the flute only, it becomes monotonous. There has to be harmony in using different instruments.


  10. This was not a good omen. Sessions completely controlled the game with Kobe on the bench, then Bryant returned and Sessions stopped being aggressive, stopped penetrating, and just passed the ball to Kobe and ran to the corner. Whether this is Ramon’s fault, Kobe’s fault, or Mike Brown’s fault, there is no point in having a guy with Sessions’ talent if he is gong to just defer to Kobe.

    Oh, and would someone please tell coach that Troy Murphy cannot be relied on to get a rebound to save his life, and perhaps your new, young power forward ought to be given a chance to do what he does best (rebound and defend).


  11. Regarding Pau and Scola:

    Pau has to push back. Simple as that. The best way to get the refs to clean up dirty play is to show them things will escalate if they don’t. Of course, that is not Pau’s nature. We can’t even get upset about it at this point.


  12. 10-27 says it all….

    Kobe needs to let the point gaurd run the team at the end of the game. Mike Brown has to stop calling ISOLATION for Bryant.


  13. The Lakers should fire MB if for no other reason than it’s easier to fire a coach than fix a roster.

    Yes, I am joking.


  14. Pau Gasoft made an appearance tonight…smh


  15. Edwin, what would be the point of having CP3 on the roster with Kobe being … well, Kobe?

    I guess we will never know how it would’ve worked out but I really question having two guards in one backcourt who MUST dominate the ball.

    On the other hand, has Paul signed an extension with the Clips yet?

    And, for that matter, Ram Sessions can leave after this season, no?

    Hmmmmmm …. !


  16. I think Sessions was an excellent pick up by the Lakers. The problem is they waited too long. For Ramon to really pay the biggest dividend he needs to be the starting PG with the ball in hands directing everyone else, including Kobe. If Rondo can direct three HOFers on the floor surely Sessions can direct one.

    The problem with that is Kobe needs to get used to being mostly off the ball. It is clear that Ramon driving to the rim or Andrew catching a pass in motion to shoot are much better looks than Kobe’s contested midrange shots. It can be argued that those two shooting on those situations should be options 1 and 1a. However, it is hard to imagine the team making such a big adjustment so late in the season. By this time in the season teams are supposed to have the identity and patterns firmly established.


  17. Sessions seems to be working out well. Barnes is playing better. Bynum has emerged. Kobe has dragged the team down lately but, he does have games like this, then bounce back with a great game. I’ll be concerned if this continues though. May be a sign he needs some rest.

    I don’t know what to make of M. Brown. He will criticize Kobe in the news one day, retract it the next, and he never seemed to have a clue what was going on with the F.O. at the trade deadline. Seems to be just happy to have a job.


  18. Kevin,

    You cannot entirely blame on Kobe. That’s the call of the Coach. Kobe was asked to shoot the last possession. MBrown is using the Lebron formula on Kobe when he was in Cleveland. It is still a good formula but Brown has to manage it carefully by distributing the offense making Kobe as a decoy. That’s another Coaching decision.

    In the other thread, you were saying we lost this game because Fisher, the clutch PG was not in the line up. This time, Kobe is no longer a clutch. What does the Coach say about that? As James Worthy said, they lost the game before Kobe missed those shots. In addition to that he said, they are plain mediocre as a team.


  19. Something to be said for comradare this team looks like the Heat from last year. New faces new philosophy and they were failing in clutch situations but they bonded and went on a run. Their mistakes were fixable and so are the Lakers. It’s a tough season can’t get too high or too low. I fully expect Lakers to win tomorrow.


  20. R,

    We will never know the chemistry if it was not tried. To answer your question, I think Paul would be a better facilitator than having Gasol as the exchange of the trade.

    I think there is better chance of getting Paul than D’Will or D12 in the next two years. He and Bynum will be the face of the Lakers. Because Paul is already in LA and he knows that he will run out of juice and worn out every inch of his flesh but will never get his dream Championship with the Clippers. Clippers are always a draft team in July, that’s their version of Championship!


  21. Lakers will never be a winner with Mike Brown as the coach.

    Never. He us clueless.


    Precisely, Ken.

    There are not enough pejoratives in my arsenal to describe how I feel about MB. He has absolutely no clue how to coach an NBA team, which is strange since he has done so for a number of years (apparently). Turnover machine Blake absolutely killing us, and he keeps him out there while Dragic goes wild. Brings in Murphy when we need a rebound (and Hill just minutes before had exhibited his acumen). Taking the ball out of Sessions’ hands when he is dominating on offense. The list goes on.

    Bottom line, this team is going nowhere until he is fired. Period.


  22. I look at the way Sessions play, i think he will play well for team like OKC, Phoenix,.., Sessions will have to learn to play with Kobe , i agree when Kobe came in the ball stops moving around, samething when Lin playing with NY, when Camelo came back, they lost. Nothing we can do about it, because Lakers pay too much money to Kobe, he is the one to take the last shot. Can anyone change that ? I don’t think so.

    The interesting if Lakers can’t improve with Sessions, is that Fisher fault like we thought ? We’ll find out. One thing i am confused about Mike Brown, is he offensive coach or defensive coach ?


  23. @Edwin

    From what I heard, Luke was a locker room glue guy, especially for new guys. But as that was right after our championship against Boston, so things might have changed even though he wasn’t much a contributor then either.


  24. Come on! Yeah it’s a bad loss attributable primarily to one obvious reason.


    Is Mike Brown responsible for that too?

    Anybody think the Lakers were going to lose that game if Bynum plays the fourth quarter?

    This team is not going to finish the year with an exciting win loss percentage or overall record. Not going to happen so get over it.

    20 games left to try and earn a third or possibly even second seed in the west. It’s not as if those other teams are playing more consistently either you know.

    The playoffs will be a totally different animal and the Lakers will be a tough match-up over a long series where adjustments to the opponent are made every game and the Lakers front line will be an imposing factor for most teams.

    These games don’t mean anything except to get the team in the best working order possible.

    The Lakers will be a factor. They will have a chance.


  25. 22,

    Harold, Luke has a good personality, in fact the spokesman of the Lakers to the press. He is very much respected by his teammates as a nice guy in the locker room. Where did you need a glue guy with this Lakers? They are talented but complacent, lethargic and slow. Their feet are already glued on the court! j/k only….

    Well, nice guys who can’t score, can’t help the team wins, can’t defend….you can’t hide ineptitude in NBA. Nice guys are always traded because they cannot contribute in substance for the team. Luke should have been hired as the Asst. PR man of John Black. I don’t know if John Black is still employed with the Lakers.

    Harold, my definition of nice guy is Brad Miller. He knew his time is up so he was honest, so he announced his retirement today. As a productive player, I think Brad Miller is much better than Luke Walton. Learn how to quit at the right time on a profession that requires dexterity, speed and shooting prowess, if you still have the B’ball IQ, then be a coach, a GM or a broadcaster.


  26. There was one thing I liked about tonight – coach Brown finally played Barnes at the 2. I believe that’s when we built a 12-point lead early in the 4th.


  27. Edwin: I was saying Kobe didn’t shoot well but he wasn’t all to blame. The fact people aren’t talking about 2 7 footers giving up 12 offensive rebounds per game (16 tonight) is alarming. Kobe is held to a higher standard and deservable so but Bynum & Pau have rings too. They were/are vital parts to Lakers success. If your going to harp on Kobe’s shooting have to talk about Pau not entering the paint as of late and the bigs giving up too many offensive rebounds.

    I just joined this thread this season so I’m fairly new. But I’ve said since day 1 all I want to see is progress and we’ve seen some. Kobe will be the great player he is no matter what if he doesn’t have the brass to take the blame and does just enough to not get blame in the clutch (like lebron) it’ll fall on others. And we see how emotional the rest of the team is.

    So Lakers are fine. No practices Kobe’s turmoil on and off the court Pau’s trade rumors new coach and everything that’s going on I’m surprised Lakers are the 5th best team in the league. As long as Brown rests the big 3 some Lakers have as good a chance as anyone.


  28. @ 7….we are yelling for our best point guard in a decade to play because that’s what is hurting this team…when Bynum is shooting 12-14 and Kobe 3-20 and now this it is completely acceptable to bash him…he’s getting old and has talent around him that he refuses to use…root for another team your Kobe man crush won’t be missed


  29. I do like how Sessions barks out orders on the court. You can see him directing traffic out there. When he starts it’s only a matter of time until he takes control of the offense.


  30. Sessions comes in and is terrific–but the Lakers aren’t. The Renegades are perplexed.

    I’d suggest they study chemistry. All they need to do is watch the Laker games.


  31. @Edwin

    I don’t disagree with you there. Just saying that Luke will be missed and he did play a role although that role will never have warranted his $5.8 mil contract.

    But seriously, there are times when even such minor presences are missed, and I think that absence will be much greater on a team that has Kobe who isn’t as blessed socially as he is basketball-wise.

    Anyway, somebody in that locker room should air things out before it gets cancerous.


  32. @30, drrayeye – Actually, yes, Sessions was terrific. The team went on two different runs when he was in there, but went away from what was working (ball movement, passing it to Pau or Drew in the post) when Kobe came back in the game in the 4th (although Drew was gone), when Blake and Kobe came back in the game in the 2nd, and in the start of the 3rd quarter. Blake was abysmal on offense, but that was expected by almost everyone not named Mike Brown.

    What was not expected was that Blake wasn’t all that good on defense (four points, five rebounds, and nine assists for Dragic in 18 1/2 minutes), although he was still better at defending Dragic than Fisher would have been. I expected Blake to fight through screens a lot better than he did, but he let Dragic get into the paint almost at will on the P&R and was too slow to recover and help the helper, leaving the helper’s man wide open for easy looks.

    I’ve already commented twice that this Laker team could end up like the 1995 Rockets after Drexler was acquired in a mid-season trade and their team played .500 ball the rest of the season before gelling in the playoffs. The sooner the entire Laker team adjusts to having a real point guard, the better…which means that Sessions needs to be in the starting lineup ASAP and play 34-36 minutes per game.


  33. In complete agreement with both drrayeye and Dude.

    Sessions was responsible for our team going on runs and building a lead. Unfortunately chemistry goes out there door once Kobe comes back in. The smart guy from Red94 (I believe) wrote about this in tonight’s Daily Dime on ESPN.


  34. Frank the Tank March 21, 2012 at 1:25 am


    We lost similarly to the Wizards and Detroit a week or 2 ago, before the trade. Was our chemistry to blame then?


  35. Why is this bashing i can’t understand ,i would be more worried if Kobe stepped asside for the whole 4th rather tha missing some shots,Chemistry blah,blah ,blah Hou are fighting for a playoff spot no wonder theyre hustling and crashing on the glass ,overall we got a descent 50% shooting,some of the bench steped up we ,we recorded only 14 TO’s the big 3 played less than 35m thats good .
    The next time anyone try to bashing on Kobe shooting remember 30k point and counting,playoff time who you rather have the shots sessions or Kobe be real playoffs is whole different story when the deffence tightens up in the playoffs this would be another day in the office for Kobe ,and the great stars like Westbrook will be benched in the 4th qtr remember…..So chill and let Kobe being Kobe he knows how to win 6th


  36. anti Dwyer Abbott March 21, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Refs robbed Pau of a blatant foul,refs gave Dragic a free airball walk/double dribble on two back to back possesions at the end plus cold Kobe and Bynum ejection.
    Moving on.
    As a side note Kobe hatred is what is keeping you tick I guess..


  37. @ Edwin Gueco #9

    Excellent points bro.

    Personal thought: Didn’t we get rid of Fisher? Why is he still playing in Blake’s uniform. He needs to step up and stop with the lazy passes and matador defense.

    You can’t teach a motor or desire. You either have it or you don’t. Pau and Drew don’t have rebounding drive, they rebound because they are taller than everyone else, not because they want it more. That fact was obvious against everyone of the games we have lost recently. At this point of the season, we need the young legs to fill in where Drew and Pau lack due to their playing time. Hopefully Hill can help in this area.

    Our problem is we still have three weeknesses but only one spot to fill them (through waiver of course). We need a back-up point guard better than Blake has performed, another big capable of playing meaningful minutes when and if Pau or Drew gets into foul trouble, kicked out, or God forbid, hurt. The final piece would be a capable scorer off the bench. The team will gel, hopefully that’s good enough.


  38. “As a side note Kobe hatred is what is keeping you tick I guess..”

    They were without their leading scorer and also their playmaker. Should have been a blowout. And here, re the “hate”:

    Player: FGA/FTA (per 36)


    KAJ: 15.8/5.5
    JWi: 15.7/2.7
    NN: 13.5/2.8
    MJ: 12.2/6.0


    KAJ: 16.5/5.4
    BS: 15.7/3.6
    JWo: 14.2/3.3
    MJ: 11.6/6.0


    BS: 15.9/3.7
    JWo: 15.7/4.1
    MJ: 13.6/6.7
    KAJ: 14.1/4.2

    So far we have:

    KB: 22.0/6.3
    PG: 13.0/3.8
    AB: 12.4/5.5
    RS: 11.1/10.3

    So Chucker Bryant is shooting too much. And worst of all:

    Player: FG%/TS%/eFG%

    KB: .430/.525/.461
    AB: .578/.606/.578
    PG: .503/.548/.507

    His .430 is the worst of his career save for his first two seasons in the league while his TS and eFG are the worst of his career.

    And I also blame Troy Murphy: 08-09 and 09-10, 3PTA PG, 4.9 and 4.6. This season is 1.4, and he can’t say that it’s because he can’t shoot, since he’s making those 1.4 at the rate of .424. And as we’ve all seen he has passed up more than his fair share of open looks. He needs to be told to shoot the damn ball. And so you know, for the 2 seasons quoted, he shot .450 and .384, so he’s in the middle there now.


  39. I would rather be trying the JJ Hickson experience than relying on Murphy (maybe I’ll shoot maybe I won’t act) another minute.


  40. To me this is as much on Kobe as it is on Pau and Brown… Pau needs to step up and be physical with or without Bynum.
    Kobe needs to quit this isolation crap in late game situations, but this is also Brown’s fault. What he is basically saying is “i’m the coach, but Kobe runs the show” and that is complete horse..raddish.
    Kobe is the reason L.A. has a title contender status, but if he is not helping in a particular game, he should stay on the freaking bench and let the 1-2 combo of Sessions and Gasol finish the game. A win on the column is much bigger to the Lakers now than any other record the dude may be chasing. Individual accolades are great and all, but its a team sport, so that comes first.
    I, therefore, call upon his teammates to be more vocal and call Kobe on his egotistical play!
    I love Kobe, but right now there are more than a handful of players i’d rather have on our roster, and that is solely because of his attitude.


  41. Frank the Tank (35) asks,

    “We lost similarly to the Wizards and Detroit a week or 2 ago, before the trade. Was our chemistry to blame then?”

    Chemistry has been fleeting for the Lakers for some time. It tends to revolve around Kobe’s attitude–with Fisher as the governor of the carburator. With the governor gone, the engine is sometimes running too rich–and some times too lean.

    Before the trade, with a more triangle oriented offense, the Lakers had as much chemistry as they have had in a long time: they had some of their Mojo back.

    Losing the governor and putting the pedal to the metal is producing a bucking bronco–sort of like water in the fuel tank.

    Can Sessions replace Fisher as governor of the carburator? I don’t think he’ll even try.

    Can the Lakers run full bore, mostly with Sessions, right through the playoffs–once they get some water out of their fuel tank?

    I guess we’ll find out.

    My own view is that a Fisher governor, Kobe and the two bigs, playing half court ball would have come in handy once the playoffs start.


  42. Turning point of the game Lakers leading by 12pts Houston calls a TO Mike Brown did not do any changes. MB should have expected that houston would change their defense on Sessions as he was responsible for that 12pt lead. But MB just waited for what they are going to do until it was too late. In my opinion he should have countered it by bringing in Kobe. Pound the enemy while they are down build on that 12pt lead and see if you can rest your starters earlier if the lead grows bigger. Further, when lakers were already down, they have bo other play but to call Kobe iso. Cant blame Kobe for that the coaches called his number and he just complied.


  43. Phil Jackson Predcited It

    He said last year he “didn’t want to coach Kobe when he stopped being Kobe.” I don’t think anybody can do it. I can’t blame Mike Brown.


  44. Andrew Bynum Now Charles Barkley?

    Has anyone else noticed that with Drew becoming the best CENTER OF ALL TIME since the all star break his personality has changed. Maybe it’s the same he is just mre comfortable being himself. I don’t know. But he has this light hearted defiance of a young Charles Barkley. I don’t know if I love it or hate it. Smiling and slapping hands with court side fans on the road after the referee moronically kicks you out of the game? There has been many other actions like this since he has turned into Shaquille Oneal with Hakeem’s hands and feet. I’ll take the good with the bad I guess. Also, at what point does Kobe have to tell himself “This is my team but Drew is our best player”? Cause the numbers are trending that way.


  45. Slappy,
    Those real numbers are real scary.


  46. 3 games…with Sessions. With no practice time at the beginning of the year, the coaching staff tailored an offense that had a Fisher/Blake tandem at the PG. Meaning, it would be HEAVILY Kobe-iso centric. So the team adjusts to this reality for 60% of the season.

    Mitch then pulls a Sessions out of the hat for basically Walton and a crappy 1st rounder. Once again, no practice time and I guarantee the same playbook that was PREDICATED on the understanding that Fisher/Blake would be the point guards, ergo, Sessions dropping the ball to Kobe and running to “Fisher’s Corner.”

    Give Brown more than 3 games to adjust to the new reality. We have a whippet quick PG, someone who can break ankles as opposed to having them broken. We simply don’t have the practice time necessary to re-do the playbook. It’s sad, but the team de-evolved into running sets with a poor PG tandem (Fisher/Blake) but must now evolve with Sessions. These things take time.

    But Kobe, for his own sake, needs to cede some control to Sessions. Ramon could add miles to Kobe’s game if Kobe would let him run the offense.


  47. Okay… If Kobe likes the new Bynym I guess I do…

    Much like he did last season when he said Bynum “earned his stripes” following a hit on Minnesota’s Michael Beasley that resulted in a two-game suspension for the young center, Kobe Bryant defended Bynum’s actions following the loss to Houston.

    “It’s a part of the game,” Bryant said. “One of his big strengths is the chip on his shoulder that he plays with, so you can’t expect him to have that one night and then knock him for it the next. I don’t know what he said or anything like that, but I like the chip that he plays with.”


  48. DY,
    That couldn’t have been said better unless I wrote those exact words 😉 You’re spot on!!!


  49. The Renegades are perplexed.

    I’d suggest they study chemistry.


    It’s a team game, and adding one guy won’t solve all of a team’s problems. Here are some of the Lakers’:

    1. The Lakers don’t protect the defensive glass–Houston had 16 ORBS last night.
    2. The Lakers don’t force TOs and turn the ball over a lot. That is a combination of being old and missing Odom’s handle, and playing out of the Triangle. 24 TOs against Utah.
    3. The Lakers still have a weak bench. Sessions has improved it, but he is just one guy. Hill can help too, if Brown will use him.

    Three things that I think people are missing: First, Odom last year was an all-star level player who complemented Bynum, Pau and Kobe well. One problem the Lakers have is skill overlap. If you look at the numbers, the Lakers’ numbers with Bynum, Pau and Kobe on the floor are not that impressive. One reason for that is that all of them, even Kobe, need the ball on the block–Odom was a face-up guy. And all of them are slow. Odom obviously would not have been that guy THIS YEAR, but the downgrade from 2011 Odom to 2012 Murphy is massive.

    Second, Sessions is not much of a defender or spot-up shooter, so he is not a perfect fit for this team. He is SO MUCH BETTER than Fisher and Blake that he needs to be out there 35 minutes a game anyway, but it is not as if the Lakers replaced Fish with Deron Williams.

    Third, it was covered by the fixation on Fish, but Blake is almost as bad as Fish was. People are seeing that now that Blake is being compared to Sessions rather than Fish.

    All that said, the additions of Sessions and Hill mean that I, personally, will be cutting Kobe and Brown less slack. Kobe needs to let Sessions initiate the O sometimes down the stretch. It’s fine if Kobe still shoots, but he needs to be curling, coming off picks, working down low, etc, with the keys in Sessions’ hands a lot. No need for contested jumpers off of isos with a minute to go.

    And Brown has a couple of more bullets in the gun now. They traded a franchise icon in part to make it easier for Brown to integrate Sessions and got a playable backup big in exchange. Brown needs to get something out of Hill to get Drew and Pau more rest and to get another guy on the court who can run the floor with Sessions, and Brown needs to make the Sessions/Kobe pairing work.


  50. We lost similarly to the Wizards and Detroit a week or 2 ago, before the trade. Was our chemistry to blame then?

    Exactly. I have a long post stuck in moderation, but the Lakers’ issues–protecting the D glass, turnover ratio, too many Kobe isos, speed, inability to hold leads–were all there when Fisher was still on the team. Sessions is not going to cover all that by himself–he’s not Derrick Rose.


  51. I watched the last 6 minutes of the game again and Sessions had it going with the PnR he made 4 consecutive good plays to put Lakers up double digits. He had done the same thing past 2 games without interference but this time was different.

    Then Kobe had a extremely bad stretch 4 straight possessions. Still the Lakers were up had a chance to win the game but Houston got 4 offensive rebounds the lasts 6 minutes.

    Defense wasn’t good and it looked like everyone had on cement shoes they couldn’t stay in front of their man espicially Kobe. I said before that last year D’Antoni played Stoudemire heavy minutes early and paid for it late. Mike brown did it this year I’m sure its taken its toll on Kobe and Pau but with rest they should be fine.

    Lakers last opp. 4th qtr points
    Rockets 34
    Jazz 28
    Wolves 31

    Lakers seem to be tiring late so it’s imperative the team runs the offense to get good shots and not iso’s ending in long jump shots where no one gets back on defense. All these problems are fixable and Lakers have time to do that.


  52. rr: what a buzz kill the outcome of last night’s loss to the rockets turned out to be.

    note to bynumbers: you got your contract extension, now grow up.

    kobe: you lost the mamba mask; losing a little of the mamba magic?

    coach brown: appearing to be clueless doesn’t even begin to describe your situation.

    front office bartender bunch: continue to surprise us with your better than you look activity.

    Go Lakers !