Preview and Chat: The Houston Rockets

Darius Soriano —  March 20, 2012

Records: Lakers 28-17 (3rd in West), Rockets 24-22 (8th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 103.9 (16th in NBA), Rockets 105.1 (10th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.3 (9th in NBA), Rockets 105.1 (17th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Rockets: Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, Chandler Parsons, Luis Scola, Samuel Dalembert
Injuries: Lakers: Metta World Peace (questionable); Rockets: Kyle Lowry (out), Kevin Martin (doubtful)

Center of Attention: Andrew Bynum’s been playing very well of late and the league took notice by naming him the Western Conference Player of the Week yesterday. Bynum’s averages in the five-game stretch from the Celtics to the Jazz game were 26 points and nearly 15 rebounds while shooting a shade over 61% from the floor. For the month of March, his averages are nearly as strong, scoring 24 a game with 13 rebounds, while shooting nearly 66% from the field and 75% from the FT line. With that level of production, it’s no wonder the Lakers have announced that they’ll pick up their team option on Bynum’s contract for next season, which will pay him $16.1 million.

(As an aside, if you look at Bynum’s averages for the season (18 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 57.8% shooting) and you run those numbers at Basketball-Reference, you come up with an interesting list of names that have put up the numbers that Bynum has if extrapolated out over a full season. When I lowered the rebound  threshold to a 12.5 average in this search, Bynum joined a list with these names: Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq, Gilmore, McHale, and Dwight Howard, and Amar’e. That’s it. That’s the list. Needless to say, Bynum’s having a fantastic year and for all the hand wringing about what he doesn’t do consistently or the fear about his health, he’s playing excellent basketball this season and deserves all the accolades he’s receiving.)

The Rockets Coming in: In their last six games, the Rockets are 3-3 with one quality win (over the Thunder) and one suspect loss (to the Cavs) in that stretch. Those last six contests are important because they represent the games that Kyle Lowry has missed since being diagnosed with a bacterial infection that will keep him out for at least a few more weeks. Adding to the Rockets injury woes is Kevin Martin’s absence with a strained right shoulder. Martin’s missed the last 4 games and is doubtful tonight. Martin’s had a below average year (by his standards), but with him and Lowry both out, the Rockets are down their starting back court and have had to make a go of it with reserves. And while Dragic and Lee have filled in admirably, it’s when they sit that the Rockets are being exposed as their third string players are then forced into action – especially third string PG Courtney Fortson . Over at Red 94, a review of Fortson’s play was explained as such:

Courtney Fortson has been pretty painful to watch in his two appearances thus far, and by that I mean that I teeter on the edge of cardiac arrest when he dribbles.

If the Rockets hope to make the playoffs (and from their perspective, that looks to be the plan as they traded bench players for Marcus Camby), they need to get healthy, and when those players do return they need them to play well. If that doesn’t happen, the odds of the Jazz or the fast closing Suns passing them in the standings are high.

Rockets Blogs: Red 94 is a very good site devoted to covering this team. Also check out The Dream Shake.

Keys to game: As is the case in most contests, the Lakers must look inside against a Rockets team that possesses adequate players, but not those the caliber that the Lakers offer up front. Dalembert, Camby, Scola, and Marcus Morris will be their primary big man rotation, and none of them are particularly good matchups for Bynum defensively (and all of them will also have various problems with Gasol). The last time these two teams met, Bynum had a 21 point, 22 rebound contest on 8-15 shooting while Gasol had 14 and 7 on 7-11 from the floor — and it’s not out of the question for the Laker bigs to put up similar numbers tonight should the touches come their way and their activity level persists at the level it’s been in recent games. The Laker wings must simply cooperate by seeking out their frontcourt mates early in the shot clock.

This isn’t to say that Kobe can’t get into the act. Courtney Lee will play Kobe tight and will use his quickness and athleticism to try and battle Kobe for position on the block, while also chasing him off screens. However, Kobe still has a size and strength advantage that should be exploited in post-up chances and in the open court in early offense. Kobe had a horrid shooting game on Sunday and he’ll surely be looking to bounce back with positive effort tonight. If he’s patient when he has the ball in this hands and works for position when he doesn’t, I’ve no doubts he can get similar shots to the ones he got against the Jazz — but with better results to follow.

Defensively, the key tonight is rebounding. Houston’s offensive rebound rate is very similar to that of the Lakers (they rank 14th to the Lakers 13th in the NBA) and all their big men are very good at keeping the ball alive by back tapping to their guards when the opportunity arises. Bynum and Gasol must be strong in attacking the defensive glass, secure the ball, and then look for their outlets quickly. With Fisher now out of the fold, both Blake and Sessions play at a quicker pace and both look to push the ball up court quickly to take advantage of run-outs by the wings. Barnes (who I have penciled in as the starter should Ron miss this game with his hip bursitis) has benefited the most from this uptick in chances for early offense, but Kobe has also been looking to run out more lately. However, before these guys leak out, the ball must be rebounded.

The other defensive key will be slowing the Rockets’ P&R attack. Dragic is quite crafty when running this action, doing a good job of diversifying his attack with the ball. He’s a capable finisher when turning the corner with a jumper or on the drive, and with Scola and Dalembert he has good options to pass to should the Lakers rotations not be on time. Scola is particularly adept at finding open space around the elbow to shoot his jumper, and while he hasn’t shot the ball as well this season he’s still a threat that must be honored. Camby and Dalembert can also knock down the mid-range J, so both Gasol and Bynum will need to be quick and smart with their rotations and not get caught retreating too far to the paint to guard against penetration. Of course they need to protect the rim, but that can’t come fully at the expense of not recovering, or else they will give up the open shot to guys who can knock it down.

After a tough loss on Sunday the Lakers need to get back on track tonight. Their road woes are real, but the schedule is not forgiving and if they want to keep their lead in the division (and the home-court advantage in the playoffs that comes with it), the Lakers need to win games like this one. The Rockets are down two of their better players and don’t have the big man depth or talent to battle with the Laker twin towers for 48 minutes. The bench will also need to step up and bring stronger performances than they have lately in support of the big three and there’s no better time for that to happen than this evening.

Where you can watch: 5:00PM start time on KCAL. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

207 responses to Preview and Chat: The Houston Rockets

  1. Andrew Bynum: hands down “Most Improved Player” award. I see no competition. Please don’t give me Jeremy Lin, lol.

  2. This should be a easy win Rockets are missing some important players. Offensive Rebounding is vital as always. Chandler Parsons can play let’s hope Lakers don’t make him a all-star tonight.

  3. Darius,
    Wow… Those Bynum numbers really put things in perspective. The anomaly is he is the only dominant big man not drafted number one overall right? Amare is a PF who can’t defend or rebound. I wouldn’t call him a dominant big man Andrew Bynum was drafted tenth overall. The guy is one of a kind for many different reasons.

  4. #3. I actually fixed it because the search was wrong before. The actual list is only Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq, and Howard. That’s it. That’s the list. Three guys plus Bynum. We’ll see if Drew’s numbers hold, but if they do he’ll be joining a pretty short list of guys.

  5. Here’s hoping Kobe doesn’t jack up more shots than Bynum & Gasol combined tonight. Anyone can have a horrid shooting night, just hope Kobe doesn’t feel he has to make up for Sunday’s horror show (3 for 20) all in one game. His bigs are shooting too well (last game, Bynum 12 for14 & Gasol 8 for12).

    If there’s one thing we sure know following this team, we can never view an upcoming game as an easy one. Just check out last loss on Sunday vs. the Jazz, that was suppose to be an easy one too.

  6. Darius,
    Wow… That list just got a lot shorter and better. Is Bynum so underrated as a big man today because he wasn’t the number one overall pick every other good center is? I mean a guy this dominant should be hands down considered a top ten NBA player. I’m sure basketball people see him as that it’s just the media of course as always.

  7. Tonight I’m looking to see Bynum with more shot attempts than Kobe and Sessions playing 35+ minutes (hopefully starting as well).

  8. Those stats (18 pts, 12.9 rebs, 2 blk, 57.8% FG%). It’s gotta include guys like Wilt, who set the FG% record, and easily exceeded the other numbers – I’m guessing this list is necessarily post-197(2?), because blocked shots weren’t kept before then??

    The numbers for Andrew, and the company he’s keeping, are great regardless, of course. Just thinking about that portfolio of stats.

  9. Reports say Fish is joining the Thunder.

  10. Ah – answered my own question by monkeying with the search (by omitting blocks).

    It added 3 new lines for 3 of Wilt’s seasons, and added 1 season for Charles Barkley (had only 1.5 blocks, unlike Wilt’s non-counted ones).

    That’s it. Shorter list than I would have expected. Remains pretty impressive company.

  11. #1
    I think you may be on to something with that.

    Bynum has improved tremendously this season as he’s learned to adjust to double and triple teams on the fly. it’s true that the jump he’s made can be easily attributed to him getting the bulk of the minutes and shots that became available when LO was traded. However, his ability to maintain efficiency with increased usage rate (not to mention his insane “clutch” shooting) are impressive in their own right.

    Here’s a look at the stats for this year vs last year.

    Bynum last year vs this year
    10-11: 11.3ppg 9.5 rpg. 57% shooting on 7.7 shots in 28 mpg
    11-12: 18.1ppg 12.9 rpg. 57% shooting on 12.5 shots in 36 mpg*

    *If he stays on his current 24ppg average, he should just squeak into the 20ppg range. Also, unless he suddenly starts averaging only 7 rebounds a game the rest of the way he should definitely maintain his 10+ rpg average.
    Basically, Bynum has morphed from a solid 10/10 guy into an elite 20/10 guy this season, and that is a significant improvement.

    Now, you can argue that he’s been a 20/10 guy all along (he has consistently shown flashes of brilliance going back to the 07-08 season… although – sidebar – consistently showing flashes is in it of itself inconsistent) who never got the touches or the minutes to demonstrate it consistently, but the fact is that he (should) make the jump this season, and if he does, he should be rewarded for it.

  12. #8. Yes, I’m assuming the blocked shot numbers exclude Wilt in several seasons. However, it should be noted that he only exceeded the 57.8% on FG’s 5 times in his career.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html

  13. thx darius. in a few hours, time to kick off the shoes, prop them up on a cozy ottoman, kick back a couple of cold brews, turn down the volume on KCAL, turn on some background “War” music, “Summer”, “All Day Music” , “Peace Sign”, nod yes to whatever the wifey is saying and just chill and enjoy the game..

    Go Lakers !

  14. I’m praying Fisher really does sign with OKC. If he plays 15 minutes backing up Westrbook and not just is a assistant coach on the bench in a uniform we just might now have the edge against them in the playoffs

  15. Bynum has had 32 20/10 games in his career, including 13 this season. The Lakers are 25 & 7 in those 32 games. That’s better than 78%. Sounds like a winning formula to me. Wonder how many of his teammates know this? Someone tell Kobe.

  16. 15– I don’t know Aaron, Fisher would probably be matched up against Steve Blake, so there wouldn’t be much of a talent difference there. Plus, it’s pretty scary for the Thunder to have one of THE Lakers from our championship runs on their team. I’m sure Fisher has a lot of knowledge…

  17. Btw… The odds OKC wants Fisher to be another coach on the bench and give insight into the Lakers roster and play book is very high. Since If Fisher is in the game down the stretch that means Westbrook or Harden isn’t. As a Lakers fan I’m very happy about that possibility :)

  18. Let’s hope Fish logs heavy minutes with the Thunder …

  19. I think the reason Bynum isn’t given the respect he deserves is the number of years he has been in the league. People forget that he is the youngest player ever to play in an NBA game. Plus, he came in without much actual playing experience in AAU or high school. This was a really young player and person, but people simply point to the number of years in the league and say he is a disappointment and hurt all the time. Once you get that label it is almost impossible to get rid of it.

  20. Jesse P. aka Nonisser March 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    On Bynum:

    I think it’s also because he really hasn’t proved himself in the playoffs.

  21. Jesse P. aka Nonisser,
    Bynum was arguably the Lakers best player in last seasons playoffs. But let’s forget that amd just say Kevin Love and Blake Griffen did have some epic playoff performances. Or at least they would have maybe if they ever played a single postseason game.

  22. Nonisser,
    As we saw this year there was a pretty big difference between Derek Fisher and Steve Blake from a shooting and agility stand point. Fisher was a notch below even a Steve Blake. Nevermind the fact that if Fisher is in the game as the back up PG he will kill their offense since he isn’t a true PG. I just don’t see how Fisher is going to get any playoff burn for that team. If they sign him (and to me that’s still a big if) I can see them playing him a few games when he signs to appease him and then just keeping him planted on the bench as a defacto assistant coach. Thats my take… Only time will tell.

  23. Jesse P. aka Nonisser March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Aaron: Okay, so Kevin Love and Blake Griffin haven’t been to the playoffs and Bynum has. Bynum hasn’t been outstanding in the playoffs. Lets not pretend Bynum hasn’t been a work in progress up to this season (and still is). I’d say Griffin and Love’s (more so Love) games’ are more developed at this point.

  24. BigCitySid,

    While your interpretation of Bynum’s stats (20/10 performances) seems fair at face, the insinuation is that Bynum requires more touches to reach that threshold more consistently (leading the lakers to a 78%W record). But if you remember from earlier in the year, Bynum often failed to eclipse 20 points largely because of his inability to deal with double teams. And on occasions when he’s rebounded shy of ten, its usual his own apparent lack of interest in boxing out/ seeking the ball.

    A similar argument was made with Kobe a while back about his number of shots (+25, bad). That argument was patently deceptive because it took away the game context. Many games where Kobe has taken 25+ shots were poor team offensive performances, and so Kobe would often enter hero mode. This argument was prominent in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, when he was teamed with a bunch of worn spare parts. Just some things to consider.

    There are three kinds of lies…

  25. Jesse P. aka Nonisser,
    Considering Bynum has had a PER above 20 each of the last four seasons I would say he has been very consistent. Before last postseason he hasn’t been healthy. Last season he was and was great in both rounds. He was the lone bright spot against Dallas where Lakers fans around the world were screaming for him to get more touches.

  26. kareem,
    Well… Since Kobe himself said Bynum has only been featured in this offense since the ASG I am going to go with BigCitysid on this one ;)

  27. I see fisher as a consultant if he signs in OKC. He won’t finish games and since they have not post game Harden will get him open looks. If he’s not on the Lakers he should just walk away.

    As long as Bynum and Pau get their touches they’ll have impact hope they focus on guarding the paint more too. Kobe shoots to compensate for lack of production on the preimeter. That’s why Dude, Aaron, Ken & co. think Sessions should start right away he’ll get everyone easier looks and maks sure Bynum gets post touches. he’s a true PG.

    kareem: Griffin’s game is still raw. He has one post move which is his patened spin move hook over his left shoulder. Love has progressed fast and can make a case to be the best big man in the game. Dwight has seemed to plateaued.

  28. Besides Kobe, I’m really hoping for a bounce back game from the entire team after that turnover fest we displayed ‘gainst the under-manned Jazz on Sunday Night ..

    Steve Blake has to bring something to the table tonight. His passiveness is slowing down the 1st unit. I understand that he’s trying to b a pg n the purest form, which calls for him to get everyone involved and to limit turnovers / mistakes, but by refusing to shoot and deferring so much, a MISTAKE is what he’s actually making. By playing this way, he has us at a disadvantage because offensively, taking into effect MWP, we’re playing 3 ‘gainst 5. As other commentors have noted previously. With all due respect to D-Fish, I was under the assumption that we changed that aspect of our starting unit once we traded him. Here’s to hoping Blake can knock down a few j’s tonight. Preferably 3′s, which will keep the opposition d honest and free up room for our Bigs.

  29. Kareem,

    This isn’t directed entirely at you but addresses some of the things you mentioned about Bynum.

    Last year, Bynum had to share big man touches and minutes with Odom and Gasol, this year it’s just Gasol. His FG% hasn’t changed from last year, only his FGA and MPG have increased. Since his FG% remains unchanged, it is fair to say that more shots (and minutes) have allowed him to reach that 20(/10) plateau more frequently this season. this lack of change in FG% indicates to me that Bynum hasn’t suddenly become better at scoring the ball. Rather, he has become better at putting himself into positions from which to score the ball, as well as more adept at handling defenses that are ever more vigorously trying to deny him these positions.

    The knock on Bynum was that he was a black hole on offense and couldn’t handle double teams. that was true, up until this season. now it’s less true with each passing game.

    This is because he has finally been able to reach the arc of his career where he has played well enough in a large enough volume so that teams have had to consistently double team him, and he has been more and more successful at adjusting his game accordingly so that now he can find ways to score even when double (or triple) teamed.

    This of course means that there are now a greater percentage of possessions that the Lakers now have in which Bynum is a viable scoring option this year than in any season prior, and that is down to how he has improved this year.

    He still doesn’t block out on DRBs, and he doesn’t fight for position on ORBs as much as (i feel) he should, but that doesn’t take away from the transformation that we’ve seen in him this season.

    And that, i feel, is why he deserves strong consideration for the MIP award 7 years into his career.

    I realize that advanced stats purist will probably see my argument as rudimentary and perhaps even incorrect. I would hope however that advanced stats would show a similar story to my hypothesis: that Bynum has improved in his ability to create chances for himself, rather than improved his ability to convert those chances.

  30. @ 25,

    Actually Kareem I think you need to consider another factor. Rebounding & defense is the hard and often unappreciated work in the NBA. The casual fan & even some who call themselves knowledgeable don’t respect that part of the game as much as scoring. Bynum is still a young guy, and for one of the few times in his career he’s healthy…and capable.

    I believe Bynum sometimes becomes frustrated when he’s doing the grunt work and Kobe is constantly hoisting up turn around off-balanced 25 footers while being double-teamed w/o once looking his way.

    Hopefully as Sessions controls the ball more & more each of our Big 3 will get the touches they should in their sweet spots.

  31. Bynum has a rep.

    Part of it is because he was picked by Jim Buss – supposedly – and people don’t like the guy who is replacing Jerry Buss. They also didn’t like Kobe because he was supposedly replacing their ‘god’ Michael Jordan. This starts to look like human nature.

    Part of it is because he was so young he was practically destined to fail at a center position where aggressive banging is the cornerstone. I said at the time he was drafted that it would be at least four years before we could start to judge him. After the first 6 months people started banging on him because he wasn’t playing.

    Part of it was that he was playing for Phil Jackson in the triangle offense – just the coach and offense for a very young and inexperienced player.

    Once he was out of Phil’s sight line for finishing games, he just wasn’t going to be able to overcome that until Phil left – sorry, them’s just the facts of the case.

    Part of it was all of the above and then he got hurt. That was the cherry on top of the icing. This guy was just never gonna work out.

    With that rep it was going to take a complete changing of the guard for him to emerge. Lo and behold, along comes Mike Brown and he just blossoms. Hummmm…I wonder why?

  32. Everyone,
    Question of the night… Does Steve Blake score his first point as a starter this season? Is tonight the night?

  33. Anonymous: tough call. cp3, howard + more are free agents in 2013. They make just pick up the option.

  34. Fisher signing with a contender doesn’t worry me. If he’s on the floor, you just have Sessions attack Fisher and that will negate whatever clutchness Fisher brings.

    But more importantly, for Fisher to see any PT during crunch time, he needs to be at least the first guard off the bench and get some playing time before crunch time. And that’s at least. Unless you are the starting PG, there probably isn’t good enough reason for you to be out there during crunch time, so he really won’t be a threat to any team at the end of the game barring injury or foul trouble to the starting PG.

    As for Bynum, if he was truly ‘scouted’ by our ‘basketball guy’ Chaz and Jim Buss, it gives me some confidence about Jim Buss taking over. Unless Jerry Buss lost his marbles or at least lost his competitiveness, Jim probably showed enough promise for Jerry to hand the franchise to him, so that’s something too I guess.

  35. Anybody have any K-Cal links? I try to maintain a rule about listening to away commentary that was started because of Blazers and Jazz commentary.

  36. Is Bynum Shaq already in the refs eyes? He gets hacked ever time he goes up to dunk amd it’s never called.

  37. I second that Teecee.

  38. Well, Kobe’s already two thirds of the way to his FGM total from last game. Good early signs.

  39. Clyde has so far called the Lakers “young and atheltic” and MWP a “good shooter”

  40. blake just threw a lob pass to dalembert

  41. Good move by Brown putting McRoberts with Pau instead of Murphy

  42. drexler wouldnt have traded Pau straight up for Scola…may have to mute

  43. The Rockets are an interesting matchup for the Lakers because they have SO MANY of those swingman types that Kobe refuses to guard closely. I know he’s not the stopper he used to be, but this is definitely a team he plays that floating safety role against.

  44. Finally!!!! No 6-0 back up SG. Barnes is in at SG!!!

  45. great start for our big 3. also, barnes <3 sessions

  46. Was it just Fisher killing our offense?

  47. WOW Lakers have a 40 point quarter.

  48. A 40 point quarter? Is it 1987? Have to be happy with that, although you would imagine some of the shooting will revert to the mean. But nonetheless, a very good start.

  49. Barnes is on FIYAH!!!

  50. Probably the best Quarter of the season Offensively ..

  51. ramon yet to hit a jump shot for the lakeshow

  52. Lakers have only scored 10 points this quarter

  53. Offense just slows to a crawl without Ramon on the floor. We need another true PG (I know I’m being greedy ;) ) Well done Mike… Now you have a second unit. Your first unit can’t score… But who cares? We have that awesome all important second unit!!!!

  54. Whenever Murphy and Pau are on the floor together the defense sucks

  55. less Murphy more Hill

  56. did the rockets go into a zone or something?

  57. Blake just had a Goudelockesque initiation of the offense there. Gave the ball to Kobe after 14 seconds went by on the clock.

  58. Great bounce pass by Kobe to Artest for the slam.

  59. Can someone pull up the plus/minus for Blake/Sessions the last three games please????

  60. Well, that was almost as bad a quarter as the first quarter was good. Losing any quarter by 10 is concerning, but when I suggested that the offense would revert to the mean, I wasn’t expecting a 16 point outing. Since starting out 4 of 6, Kobe’s gone 1 of 7. Never a recipe for LA success.

  61. Gotta hold on and win this 1. Especially considering the fact that the Pacers are putting the beats on the Clippers midway through the 4th.

  62. Rockets 58% FG Lakers have to get stops and conitnue to move tha ball on offense

  63. Dude,
    Want to come to my side on who should back up Session’s at the point?

  64. Aaron:

    Tonight–Sessions +8 Blake +2

    Jazz–Sessions +1 Blake -9

    Wolves–Sessions +8 Blake -3

    Overall–Sessions +17 Blake -10

    Careful though–I know you like Andrew, and while he was +15 against Minny, he was negative 2 against the Jazz and negative 4 tonight…

  65. Blake’s at zero in plus/minus today, and Sessions is +5. There’s no way he should still be playing this many minutes. I can’t understand it, as our offense slowed to a standstill when MB brought him back in for the final 5:47 of the half. Oh well, at least he didn’t have a Fisheresque toe on the line when hitting a three….oh wait.

  66. Against the Jazz Blake -9
    Sessions +1

    Against Minnesota Blake -3
    Sessions +8

    Rockets 1st half Blake +2
    Sessions +8

  67. If you guys are using ESPN’s numbers for plus/minus, they’re incorrect. The ESPN box score doesn’t even have all the minutes played yet. Yahoo’s numbers have Blake at zero and Sessions at +5, which reflects the 56-51 score at halftime.

  68. Yup, just checked that up too.

    Past 2 1/2 games, Blake -10, Sessions +20.

  69. Aaron – Blake runs the offense just fine with the 2nd unit, and he did very well in the first seven minutes of the game. He should be playing 15-16 minutes per game maximum. Goudelock, OTOH, appears to have hit the rookie wall. His play over the past couple weeks has been quite lousy by any way you can measure it.

  70. Wow on the Plus/minus. Sometimes it’s that simple. Haha. I don’t blame Blake. He isn’t a true PG. in this offense you need a PG to run the show. It obviously makes a huge difference. Imagine the difference if it were Session’s/Fisher. Hahaha.

    Dude,
    When are you gonna jump on the GLock as back up PG bandwagon. It will be fun… I promise.

  71. Aaron, maybe I’ll jump on the G-Lock at backup PG bandwagon after the guy improves his PG play and becomes a below average backup PG.

  72. The Dude Abides, Thanks for the tip on the plus/minus numbers

  73. Blake is now killing us at both ends.

  74. I don’t remember Blake ever being this bad before he came to the Lakers. He’s really dropped off a cliff.

  75. Blake making a good case for Sessions to start.

  76. Murphy + McR: 14 mins; zero points, zero dimes, 1 Reb; Throw in Blake + you have 30 mins; 2 points, 3 dimes, 1 Reb. The bench is getting outscored 17-10.
    PS: I saved time and copied this from a game thread earlier in the year.

  77. Dude,
    Ha… He just has to be better than Blake at initiating the offense via the PnR. When you think he is let me know

  78. i am starting to think I was wrong re Blake starting

  79. That’s just great PG play Coach Brown. There are simply no excuses left.

  80. Sessions is likely coming in now, as it’s his time of the game. However, I will be ranting if Blake finishes the game.

    Edit – Good God, I was wrong. He left him in for one more useless possession.

  81. Blake really sucks. I’m all for Sessions starting and Goudelock as the backup

  82. Mike Brown is just plain stupid. He continues to play Blake with turnover after turnover. He refuses to play Sessions. This is just stupid like I have been saying all year.

  83. Listen guys…. Blake isn’t this bad. He is just now exposed with the starters going against the other teams first units the entire time he is on the floor. He has always been a back up. That’s where he belongs. Go easy on him.

  84. starting to worry a little about Kobe, hasen’t had his legs since the Heat game

  85. You can change the players but if the coach isn’t smart enough to play them and not smart enough to make adjustments it dosen’t matter.

    Brown gets out coached game after game after game.

    How can anyone defend this guy?

  86. Brown is stubborn again for starting the slow ineffective Blake. Why isn’t Hill playing? He is a much better player than McRoberts/Murphy!! Why doesnt Goudelock get some minutes? Brown is an idiot!

  87. Wow, Pau drops an easy pass for a layup under the basket, and they give the turnover to Sessions. Hey Stu Lantz, the best way for Sessions to learn the tendencies of his teammates is for him to get the bulk of the playing time NOW.

  88. Ken,
    I just don’t see it. He doesn’t want to imidiatley start a young PG who just arrived in LA. I don’t agree with him but I can understand it.

  89. I just hope that MB is just doing his best impression of PJ of not coaching much in the regular season, then doing the adjustments in the playoffs. If not, boy are we screwed, and not just in this game…

  90. Re: Jordan Hill

    Another example of Mike Brown not wanting to put a new guy into the fire. He is better than anything we have coming off our bench at the 4 or 5. He needs to be playing.

  91. Gotta get the offense going back through the Bigs …

  92. By the way this will be 6 games in a row Kobe has shot under 35%. Mask or no mask there is a problem.

  93. You know you’re a major homer when Clyde Drexler is trying to convince you to stop whining about a call…

  94. Kobe minutes are catching up to him. He doesn’t look right

  95. why was Bynum ejected? and MB inserted Hill

  96. Another example of the worthless coach Brown is. He can’t control his players or is not smart enough to get AB off the court.

    Brown can’t control himself so the players act like him.

  97. I don’t mind those two BS techs on Bynum. He is getting fouled a lot and needs to demand some protection.

  98. Wow, that was an amazingly bad T on Drew. Looks like the rabbit-eared ref could easily have walked away, instead of walking over to eavesdrop on what Drew was saying to Scola.

  99. 99

    There’s a problem with your math. Kobe shot between 42 and 45% the 5 games before Utah.

  100. Dude,
    I’m fine with him being kicked out. He will have energy for tomorrow in Dallas. But wow what a bad T. I mean I’m guessing the ref didn’t realize Bynum already had one. That ref is definaltey being fined by Stern for that. Wow.

  101. Kobe has tunnel vision right now. Fisher is better than blake. Bynum gets ejected. Game is mucky but Lakers are still going to pull it out. Big things coming from Sessions in the 4th.

  102. @102 – Camby was shooting FTs and Bynum and Scola were talking to each other as they were lined up in the lane. The ref came over to eavesdrop, then he and Drew talked for about 10 or 15 seconds. Didn’t look to be any hostility while Drew was talking. The ref then walked over to the scoring table and called a T on Drew.

  103. Joel
    Are you sure. I had him at 34% for this 5 games.

  104. Lakers closed out the third quarter on an 11-3 run. Lead 79-73.

  105. This 4th quarter could be somewhat defining for Sessions. It’ll be in his hands for the first 3-4 minutes at least you would think.

  106. Stars get attention in other ways than on offense. So Drew better get used to it. A better foul for Drew, is driving to the hole and getting a charge. Shaq said he used to get one every now and then to make people get out of his way.

  107. To the tune of “milkshake” I’m singing “my PG is better than yours”

  108. Ken,

    I just looked it up. His last really awful shooting game was the 9/31 stinker in Washington.

  109. Pls, let’s not blame Coach Brown for Drew’s ejection. Pure immaturity on Drew’s part. Too many times tonight he’s forced the action when the opportunity wasn’t there. Including his last play when he was called for that charge. Hopefully his ejection doesn’t cost us.

  110. No Drew is leading to some issues on the defensive glass (as if LA needed any more issues in that area!).

  111. The bench is playing well and Brown sends Pau in at the 8 minute mark.

  112. Heh. We might have lost this one with Fisher, I’m thinking.

  113. sessions winning this game single handedly

  114. Class is in Sessions.

  115. Well, it certainly has been a defining stretch for Sessions. I think that this is pretty much EXACTLY what we were all hoping for.

  116. RS7 puttin’ n Work … Putting this team on his back here n the 4th.

  117. I’m not going to wax euphoric or anything, but between hitting that “3″ when HOU had the lead down to six, and making a couple of nice hustle defensive plays here in the fourth, Murphy has really contributed to keeping the lead with the “big three” out….

  118. Love how Sessions doesn’t force things, always makes the right play. TBF it helps when you have the athletic tools to create angles others can’t create.

    How was this guy not averaging 20/10?

  119. @119, Kevin – You can’t get much done for very long with Murph and McBob in the game at the same time.

  120. This team is starting to find an identity. Good game by all.

  121. After watching Sessions score or set up the last 12 points I agree with Brown. Blake should play all 48 minutes. He is so much better.

    Right!

  122. gasol getting HACKED by Scola

  123. Even watching the game, I remain amazed by the ability of this team to turn double digit leads into no lead at all. Just baffling to me.

  124. Stop deferring to Kobe, Ramon! That is something Steve Blake would do. Run that P&R!

  125. The moment Kobe comes back a out of sequence 3 point brick and it’s down the toilet.

    When is someone going to control this guy. 33% shooting again tonight.

  126. @131, that was helped by the three that Dragic got after Pau got butchered by Scola down low on that layup.

  127. where that extra point come from?

  128. Preach Dude preach!!!

  129. Abbot Article Alert.

  130. Kobe is losing another game. The guy has simply lost it. Way to many minutes by the terrible coach. No way this team gets out of west. No way.

  131. Kobe 7 for 23 1 for 5 in 3′s coming after a 3 for 20 game.

    10 for 43 last two games.

    Is this what we have to look forward to the next few years?

    Problem!

  132. And people still think Lakers can’t use Fisher. SMH

  133. WHY IS MURPHY OUT THERE!!

  134. Thanks Andrew!

  135. pau is such a bonehead. can’t box out and allows a 3 pointer

  136. Wow. That was the first defensive brain fart I’ve ever seen from Artest. PnR for sessions to kick out for a Kobe three ;) Just watch

  137. Man, MWP left Dragic wide open there. For some reason, MB has him guarding Dragic now, and it’s led to a drawn foul down low and a wide-open three.

  138. Time for Kobe to take a fade away 27 footer over four or five defending Rockets!

  139. Ridiculous loss.

  140. LOOK AT DRAGIC STATLINE.. AND PEOPLE BLAMED FISHER

  141. I love how the refs didn’t want to put the lousy Rocket FT shooter on the line when the Lakers fouled him, so they waited four more seconds to call the foul once the good FT shooter got the ball.

  142. ESPNLandOLakers: RT @LakersBlog_SSR: Write whatever you want Abbott, I give in.

  143. Kobe 9/26 today. Is 30-33% the best we are going I get out of him?

  144. Nevertheless, that was an insane shot Kobe just drilled.

  145. Didnt we have a 10 point lead before Kobe came into the game?

  146. All I can say is, if we lose to the Spurs come playoffs, you know starter time management will come up.

    Maybe the two Mike’s were separated at birth… we need the other Mike… D’Antoni.

    Now we need Fisher, it looks like we may need a 0.4 again.

  147. “Time for Kobe to take a fade away 27 footer over four or five defending Rockets!”

    I was wrong! Kobe only took a 25 footer.

    But it underlines a salient point. The Lakers are too effing predictable in crunch time. If I can figure out what the Lakers (ie Kobe) is/are going to do down the stretch, duuuuh, probably the pros can, too.

  148. After this loss – we now have the exactly the “6th” best record in the NBA, which is what we are. If you are upset – you are not alone. If you are surprised – I am not sure why.

  149. We didn’t have a time out left?

  150. Bad coached teams lose. How many games this year has Kobe thrown up another brick on the last shot. He doesn’t care who is wide open he will shoot and miss 80% of the time. This is not a team that can beat good teams. They out smart Brown and the Lakers blow lead after lead.

    It’s called adjustments and Brown is not smart enough to make them. Game after game we see it. Another blown game by a stupid coach. Expect Lakers to lose against Dallas tomorrow. This is what they have become a one and out 2nd tier team.

  151. Terrible loss…nice shooting Kobe…

  152. I don’t get mad after too many losses, but this one…. thanks Andrew! thanks Kobe! thanks interior defense! thanks for running no Sessions pick and roll the last 6 minutes!

  153. “this is starting to look like a mediocre team.” – James worthy. You got that right big game James!

  154. You can blame Kobe all you want but kobe isn’t calling the plays late 4th.

    And Fisher would have been useful. 2ND STRAIGHT game lakers couldn’t close down the stretch

  155. So the Lakers were up double digits half way through the third with the second unit do damage. I didn’t see the end of the game. What the heck happened?

  156. It’s so important not to have a weak link on the court. So important. Because Bynum got kicked out (not totally his fault) we had Murphy closing playing the entire fourth quarter. Not gonna win on the road with Murphy closing games. Also they beat us up inside because Gasol doesmt have enough meat on his backside. Again… Not his fault… He isn’t a Center. And when games slow down the stretch there is a lot of banging under the basket.

  157. Kobe Bryant came back in the game…that’s what happened!

  158. 16 offensive rebounds for Houston. The one late to Patterson that put him on the line when the score was 100-99 Houston was big.

  159. Did someone says that’s why we need Fisher? Haha… He wasn’t closing games for us anyways people. Haha. But yes… The lakers crunch time offense is not good. Too much Kobe ISO. Half Kobe and half the other guys for not being aggressive and letting him fill the void.

  160. What are you smoking Kevin?

  161. Hope Bynum mans up and takes some responsibility for this loss. Could’ve definitely used him out there down the stretch on both ends of the court … Another terrible shooting night from Kobe. What is he now, ’round 42% for the season … RS7 had the game under control, but once Kobe re-entered, the offense went stagnant … Our co-tenants got spanked n Indiana and we couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Now on to Dallas, who has been playing extremely well as of late and they’ll b rested … Good Luck

  162. I’m looking forward to the third straight loss tomorrow! Can you say 8th seed?

  163. You have to ask yourself How does Kobe get the ball? A play is called for him. Out of timeouts this happened about 4 times.

    Then you say how did Scola blow past Pau? And how did Patterson get that offensive rebound when lakers down 1?

    It’s more than just Kobe shots.

  164. Kevin – Fisher is the worst PG in the league. If he was in the game tonight we would have never led.

  165. Good thing is these things are all correctable. Would be nice to have Fisher to help with that.

  166. we really cant get away with playing McRoberts and Murphy in the playoffs they just are too flawed, we better hope Hill is good..

  167. MannyP: some fans will never understand what he did for the Lakers in the 4th quarter. Fisher is a better player than Blake. I said this minutes after that happened.

    Last 2 games Lakers have lost the 4th quarter where Fisher shines. The effort Blake is putting out there you can’t tell me Fisher wouldn’t be better.

  168. Murphy helped in the first few minutes of the 4th. Look the PnR on Murphy and Sessions, Murphy was spreading the floor, he already hit a 3 there. I blame the loss on their defense, MWP leaving Dragic and too many offensive boards. On to the next one, its gonna be tough tomorrow.

    Regarding Fisher’s presence-It really doesnt make sense, putting Fisher and Sessions out there with Kobe @3?…I’d rather have MWP for defense @3…

  169. You guys… One win everyone is pumped. One bad loss and everyone us ready to jump off a bridge. When Session’s is inserted into the starting lineup, plays 36 minutes a game, and Hill replaces the awful Murphy/McRoberts tandem we will be looking pretty. Don’t you worry. I am always right ;)

  170. Slow down, Kevin. I didn’t see Fisher winning those games in Detroit, Washington or the many other road games the Lakers have lost this season. Let’s not overrate him now that he is gone. Fish won a home against Dallas earlier in the season. I don’t remember much else.

  171. Dragic stat line:
    41:13 min, 7-13 FG, 2-4 3pt, 0-0 FT, 16 pts, 7 reb, 13 ast, 5 TO

    Stats broken up by who was defending him:
    MWP
    1:45, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3pt, 3 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast, 0 STL, 0 TO

    Blake
    18:39, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3pt, 4 pts, 5 reb, 9 ast, 2 STL, 2 TO

    Sessions
    20:49, 4-7 FG, 1-2 3pt, 9 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast, 0 STL, 3 TO

    Sessions did just fine guarding Dragic, who is a pretty good PG. Blake had trouble keeping him out of the lane, leading to help from his teammates that left Houston’s shooters open. Blake gave up nine assists to Dragic in 18 1/2 minutes! On that huge possession where Dragic hit the game-tying three with 28 seconds left in the 4th, MWP was guarding him, and left him wide open in the left corner when Lee drove the lane while being closely guarded by Sessions.

  172. at least one thing came out of this: cant just blame derek anymore. so lets find out what the root of the problem is.

    what was the difference between first quarter and the rest?

  173. if we had Fisher tonight we would have lost by more than 10 an dragic would have a new career high.

  174. I missed the game tonight, just now checked the box. Feel like I saw it though…Kobe 10-27, Bynum only 11 shots, Gasol an efficient 10-14.

    Feels like Groundhog Day.

  175. I agree with the others Kevin, Fisher’s trade has nothing to do with this loss. I find bad coaching as the dilemma of this team. Once the score went down, he could not ask his players to play a lock down defense or an aggressive offense. Everything what Lakers did were too predictable from passing lanes, absence of box out in rebounds, long threes which are bricks cause poor defensive transition and lastly, the bonehead immaturity of their Center.

    First things first, Lakers need a band aid solution – play Session for 40 minutes. Use the young people to run the offense like Goudelock, Ebanks, D. Miles plus Drew mixed with the starters or 2nd team. Lakers are just too slow with Blake plus Drew and Gasol.

  176. I just said in 173 post these problems are fixable.

    But having Fisher was big the offense ran smoothly down the stretch. You could count on him late.

    Trogers: Since those 2 losses Lakers are playing like a team. Ball movement was great and closing games it was teamwork. You can’t poo poo Fish after all he’s done for Lakers no matter how much father time caught up with him. Who would you rather have taking a last second shot Fish or Kobe?……….. Answer says something huh.

    It really speaks to lebron’s greatness. How Mike Brown just put him in a iso up top or pnr and he made plays late. I think that’s what Brown is doing with Kobe late just hoping he makes the right play late instead of just drawing one up. When plays have been called good things happen I’m sure Lakers will get back to that.

    Notice Pau isn’t looking for contact lately. His offense has been jumpers and when in the post they’ve been fadeaways.

  177. @180 – Drew and Pau were dominant in the first quarter, the team was moving the ball, and Kobe was facilitating. The Lakers had a 20-16 lead when Sessions, Barnes, and McBob replaced Blake, MWP, and Bynum at the five-minute mark. Sessions, Kobe, Pau, Barnes, and MWP (who came back in for Kobe a couple minutes later) absolutely torched the Rockets in the final five minutes of the quarter.

    In the final 5:47 of the 2nd quarter after Blake replaced Sessions, the offense went Kobe-centric and they had trouble scoring, getting outscored 12-8. What I would like to see more often is a Sessions-Bynum pick and roll. They didn’t try it enough in the first 6:13 of that quarter, and the offense stagnated a little. The team needs to trust Ramon with the ball in his hands in the halfcourt offense.

  178. Another thing with Mike Brown, Troy Murphy is a gunner not a known to be a rebounder. Steve Blake is a gunner in the perimeter but he rarely shoots. Kobe should be restrain from shooting too much threes but more on managed fade away jump shots. Bynum should be restrained from forcing shots when doubled, tripled. Gasol should learn how to box out, rebound by tapping the ball to a Laker i.e. if he cannot get it with two hands. It is so frustrating to see him being manhandled, out hustled and outsmarted by small forwards and guards.

  179. Fish is gone man … why go on and on about the dude? He’s gone … and he ain’t coming back.

    Gone … get it??

    BYW, Derek Fisher is GONE!!

  180. haha – meant “BTW” of course.

  181. @184, Kevin – Pau didn’t look for contact a whole lot tonight because he wasn’t getting the calls even when he got that contact. The most egregious was when he drove around Scola at the baseline in the 4th quarter, Scola grabbed him to slow him down, Pau freed himself for a reverse dunk that became a layup when Scola pushed him in the chest with both hands, causing Pau to miss for a long rebound, leading to transition for Houston that ended with a wide-open Dragic three from the corner. Pau needs to keep plugging away, because eventually you will get a few calls when being hacked.

  182. Lakers will bounce back these things are fixable. I’ll quit bringing up Fisher but his value was understated like Lamar’s. You need glue guys to win Lakers have none.

    Dude:I’m sure Pau will keep plugging away. But he’s not protecting the paint guys are driving right past him and Kobe. Their defense has been poor maybe it’s minutes I don’t know. Pau just needs to be more aggressive and take it to the hoop instead of shooting fadeaways like he’s done the past few games.

  183. @180 – refs

    …and some MB poor coaching too.

  184. Kevin, what’s your definition of a glue guy?

  185. first we blame Fisher when he’s on our team and now we blame another loss when he’s gone. hilarious….let it go kevin.

  186. Fisher is old for the new Lakers and gone for good. He should have been dropped from the roster at the start of the season. His weaknesses were hidden in the triangle, now that it’s pick and roll time, running game it is time to bury the name of Fisher to yesteryear’s glory. If he joins the Thunder or Heat and Lakers meet them in the playoffs, better change the offense because Fisher can no longer be trusted at this time. He will sell the Lakers to anybody who would hire him. It is sensa-Sessions time and Mitch should not stop in seeding youth to help the aging Lakers.

  187. The major problem this team has is not new at all. In fact if you go back to last years playoff series against New Orleans and Dallas (with Phil at coach and Fisher at point guard) the problem was exactly the same.

    DEFENSIVE Foot speed!!! But contrary to what most people think, the biggest problem was not ONLY the point position but rather Gasol and Bynum. Since Bynum got healthy and moved into the starting line-up, this combination has proven over 2 years and 2 coaches to be ineffective (on the defensive end only) They can’t consistently stop even average teams from scoring and secure rebounds in the fourth quarters of tight games because they rotate too slowly.

    To improve our defense Brown needs to pair Bynum in the starting line up with a faster power forward (McRoberts or Hill) and bring Gasol off the bench( like San Antonio uses Ginobli). He should also move Barnes back into the starting line up (faster feet that MWP).

  188. Dude: Guys who can galvonize a team. When they speak the rest of the team listens. Players who you can count on. With Fisher gone how is the guy to take over his leadership role voice wise?

    i.e. Bowen, Fisher, Kerr, Posey, Battier, Horry, Odom, Chandler, B. Wallace, Shaw

  189. 194,

    I was wondering with that rotation too Mojo why didn’t he play Jordan Hill in the 4th? He only appeared for cameo appearance at the end of 3rd. Hill knows the Rockets offense, I wonder if Lakers used Jordan as a resource player or again another overconfidence when they led 40-25 at 1st Q. Another reaction of “we got this game bummer”.

    This is the symbol of Mike Brown to the Lakers. He is a great coach at the beginning of any game and a “choker” coach also in blowing leads at the end. Opposite of Pat Riley! Like his interviews, he has all the answers to basketball theories but could not apply in a game.

  190. Robert,

    Orlando, with the immortal Dwight Howard at the 5, scored 59 points–at home–last night. Always two sides to the story. Also, Howard made it clear he does not want to play here–he chose to stay an extra year in Orlando. There was nothing the FO could have done to make the team as good as we all want it to be–nothing. You can talk about it every day if you want, but it is what it is.

    Couple of points:

    1. Again, Sessions is a not a cure-all. He is not much of a defender and is not a spot-up shooter. But he is pretty good. The question now is whether Brown will have the cajones to use him right, which means two things:

    >>Kobe is going to HAVE TO play off the ball some in crunch time.
    >>Blake is almost as bad as Fisher. Brown needs to accept that and play Blake 12 minutes a game.

    2. They got Fisher off the team. Now Brown needs to deal with the offense. The ball needs to be in Sessions’ hands a lot late.

  191. We could have used Hill’s rebounding in the 4th quarter, that’s for sure. He’s one of the best rebounders in the entire league, and we only outrebounded Houston 22-16 on their misses for the entire game. We couldn’t secure any rebounds at either end of the floor in that crucial 4th quarter stretch when Houston made their run.

  192. What is Kobe to do when the players on the floor throw him the ball and clear out? No one comes up for a pick and roll, no one rolls hard to the basket when their man leaves them and doubles Kobe.

    Passing the ball in crunch times is the reason commentators and basketball fans say Lebron chokes in the close games.

    Ramon was physically in Fisher’s position on the right side of the floor with Kobe at the top of the key. Kobe is not going to pass that ball to Ramon until he proves he can shoot. So far Ramon has shot a few air balls from distance.

    Two mistakes by the coaching staff: 1) Not immediately informing the table and referees when the extra point was given to Houston (that’s the job of assistant coaches). 2) Not in possession of a timeout at the end of the game. Or, if they had a timeout remaining not informing the referees that make or miss they wanted a timeout.

    I guess Andrew got his rest this game.

    Ramon is going to need to time to learn how to run a team that has expectations. He takes the ball to the hole because that’s the easiest offensive play a new pg can run. He’s learned how to find Barnes consistently but he needs time to learn how to find everyone else in rhythm.

    I still like the Lakers chances. They could catch fire. Look at it this way, the Lakers don’t know who they are so no one scouting them does either.

  193. Game was lost when Kobe came back in with 4 minutes, everyone started standing around waiting for Mr. ISO to throw up some bricks…all momentum was thus lost..

  194. Brown stupidly left HIll on the bench when the Lakers could have really used a few rebounds… what a DUM DUM

  195. How many games are lakers going to take big leads only to have opposing coaches make adjustments and brown just walks up and down and does nothing. No time out to change in players nothing just that stupid look on his face.

    How many games is he going to keep starting bad players.

    How many games he is going to let Kobe go 1 on 5 at the end of games.

    Brown had Vostok the Lakers 6 to 8 games with his Lame duck do nothing coaching.

    Nice hire Jimmy. This guy us just terrible.

  196. And yes, the team is still slow and has other issues.

  197. @197 – If you’re talking about a locker room leader, you can subtract Bowen, Kerr, and Ben Wallace from that group, but it appears your definition is rather nebulous, as you’ve also included “guys you can count on.” If you’re talking about someone who can hit a key shot, our Big Three are all good at that. If you’re referring to someone who can no longer play basketball at the NBA level but is a vocal locker room and sideline leader, then yes, Fish was one. Yes, he is still capable of hitting a big shot, as Kerr was still capable of doing at the of his career, as was Horry.

    Some additional player will still have to step up into a leadership role. Maybe that’s Pau, maybe that’s Sessions. I’d like to see Ramon demand the ball and then ask for a high screen and roll during crunch time. The coaching staff should really be having him practice the P&R with the starting lineup.

  198. According to ESPNLA, Jim Buss will be on 710 radio at 430 Friday.

    I assume Ken will be getting on the horn

  199. @204 – Ken, I’ve never heard of this expression before: “Brown had Vostok the Lakers 6 to 8 games.” Can you explain what it means?

    Anyway, it’s clear that the 2012 Lakers are much worse in crunch time than any other Laker team since before our 2008 run to the Finals. I don’t know if that’s on the coaches or on the players, but we’re losing more big leads in the 4th quarter than any Laker team in recent memory.

  200. KHJohn,

    I like your suggestion in putting Gasol in the 2nd team, however we have not seen Jordan Hill play so it’s really dangerous to put him as starter. Well, Mcroberts may have the hustle but he lacks confidence in going to the basket. The poor fellow has been benched for a long time, then suddenly exposed at this time. Therefore, he has no rhythm, sloppy and foul prone. BTW. what happened to the other Andrew G-Lock. If he played he could have provided help in the scoring. Isn’t it that Lakers can dress 12 players, why do we put the other three in the freezer of DNP, where is the wisdom in benching these players when you can play additional two more players. Is that a good strategy Coach? Ebanks could have run with these foxy Rockets compared to turtle Metta.

  201. Did the team tune MB out?

    I feel like we’re oh-so-close to seeing a shoulder-bump thing.

  202. Sorry Dude I can’t type on this iPad when I am mad. Should have been cost the Lakers.

    Watch Bulls without Rose if you want to see a well coached team.

    I am getting fed up with this team.

  203. Dude: I think it’s the unfamiliarity with late game offense. They’ll get back on track. Not having Drew late hurt he would’ve got the ball. Problems are fixable.

    Still 3rd in the west still time to fix things still time to keep decreasing minutes.

  204. Pau on the bench? really? i dont see how putting him on the bench helps. he’s a top player in the league. and the first quarter showed that the Lakers are formidable when it clicks.

    i didnt see the third or fourth quarter bc of gym time, so i wanted to know what the difference was offensively. or was it defensive?