Lakers/Clippers: Battle Of L.A. 2012, Part 3

Rey Moralde —  April 4, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 113, Clippers 108
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 121.5, Clippers 116.1
True Shooting %: Lakers 63.1%, Clippers 54.3%

You can call it a rivalry if you want. But a lot was definitely on the line. Who was going to get a stranglehold on the Pacific Division? The Lakers had won three straight (albeit against weak competition) coming into this game while the Clippers had won six straight, their longest since 1992. Well…

The Good:
Cool beans. Kobe Bryant.

I like the Kobe Bryant of April 2012. Doesn’t try to do too much. He lets the game come to him. He lets the other guys do most of the work. And he only strikes when needed. And, boy, did they need his strike today. His last jumper with Randy Foye draped all over him put them up 4 with 24 seconds left. His line was also efficiency personified. 31-5-6. 13/19 shooting. Only 2 turnovers. That was magnificent. It hit me hard; made me lose my breath.

Andrew Bynum just beat up the Clipper frontline on the offensive end all day. There were times where you can still see him loaf around on defense but I will take his 36 points from 13/20 shooting seven days of the week. It’s like he got the star from Super Mario Brothers; no Clipper could touch him, much less defend him.

Ramon Sessions had a pretty good all-around game, too. He continues to pad the stat sheet with 16 points, 6 boards, 8 assists, and 2 steals. His basket where he tapped on DeAndre Jordan with 47 seconds left was a huge basket as well. Chris Paul had a fantastic game himself but Sessions did his best to keep up. This performance is certainly better than what you’re going to get from previous Laker point guards.

Metta World Peace should also get props for taking on CP3 late when Lakers got caught with a switch on Paul. That little wrinkle prevented the Clippers from doing further damage. MWP also made some key baskets (and that key steal from Paul!) that stopped runs from the Clips. He has come up big this season in terms of making big plays, whether it’s a 3-pointer or a stop.

I also like that they played a relatively clean game on the offensive end. They didn’t get their first turnover until the second quarter and they only ended up with 11.

Big, big win by the Lakers. Clips can have all the highlights that they want but, in the end, it’s about winning. One of the more satisfying Laker victories in this up-and-down season.

The Bad:
Stop switching.

Chris Paul made life hell for the Lakers when he would get the bigs to switch on him. Leaving Paul with either Pau Gasol or Bynum in an island is not the ideal situation for the Lakers. Paul made them pay in those few minutes he got the desired switch. Luckily, Metta recognized it and took on Paul himself down the stretch.

The defense continues to regress for the Lakers. 108 points scored tonight by the Clippers. The Lakers didn’t play intense defense until late in the game. It would’ve been nice if they could force more than 10 turnovers. They certainly couldn’t stop the Clippers in transition. That let the Clippers back into the game. Losing big leads have become a Laker signature as they once again played it down to the wire. Maybe the Lakers should propose to cut the games down to three or even two quarters so that they don’t lose big leads like this.

None of the Lakers got double digits in rebounds (Bynum led the team with 8). The Clippers outrebounded them, 46-44… but killed them on offensive boards, 18-12 (Blake Griffin had 7 offensive boards). Box out, gentlemen. It’s good for your game.

It’s difficult when someone like Caron Butler is making contested shots. But that doesn’t mean you should leave him open also. Butler went off for 28 points (didn’t score in the 4th, though, because Vinny Del Negro chose to sit him out longer than he should… but check out Clipper blogs if you want to break THAT down). Even if he’s making shots, make life difficult for him.

The Ugly:
I didn’t think it was possible for someone to die twice… but Pau Gasol got killed by two Blake Griffin dunks today. The first one was a putback smash in the first quarter and the second one was in the third quarter where Blake just absolutely hammered the manhood out of him. Pau tried his best to play it off like it didn’t bother him but he was really never the same after the second plastering. Gasol was, for the most part, a non-factor with 12 points. Though he had a nice block late in the game (THANKS, JODIAL!).

The Play Of The Game:
I told you. That Kobe shot. I couldn’t even do that on a video game. Well, except maybe if you play AS Kobe in NBA2K12 or NBA Courtside.

Also, Bynum getting the ball under the basket at the end of the 3rd… only for him to back up to the 3-point line and shoot from behind the arc? Hilarious. That would’ve been easily THE play of the game if he made it.

The Lakers are now 2 1/2 games up on the Clippers. It really should be 3 1/2 because they also own the tiebreaker by virtue of winning this game as they win the season series, 2-1. I really do hope they face each other at some point in the playoffs because this game was undoubtedly fun. Right now, I’m going to enjoy this win and not worry about any upcoming drama or games for the next 24 hours. Or few minutes.

If you want to worry about the next Laker game NOW, they’ve got Houston at Staples next. Houston beat them the last time they faced each other. Yeah, the same game where Bynum got ejected and gave high-fives to the people there after the ejection. Now that the Lakers have won four in a row, I’m sure expectations have been tempered once again? Yes? No?

In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this win. And you should, too. Enjoy it like you just received your very first video game console.

Rey Moralde

Posts

63 responses to Lakers/Clippers: Battle Of L.A. 2012, Part 3

  1. Classic Kobe-Shaq game. Bynum is much bigger than everyone the way Shaq was in his days. Size is the comparison not skills.

    Bynum had 12 FTs that should happen more often.

    The team has been playing like a team for about 5 games now. That a great sight to see.

  2. Pau won his last battle with Griffin late in the 4th, when he snuffed his shot and then forced him into a travel. I like that Pau just plays ball and doesn’t get caught up in the posturing.

  3. Can’t criticize MB too much tonight (although as Darius tweeted Blake is consistently getting murdered by opposing SGs), as the Lakers seemed to take advantage of favorable matchups. Bynum decided that the ankle was okay and absolutely dominated Jordan. Beautiful to watch. Loved Sessions aggressiveness late and the defense down the stretch. Also liked Bynum sticking up for Pau. Griffen is getting really unlikeable.

  4. I got you, Jodial. I had forgotten about that for a bit. Was thinking of those big baskets by Sessions and Kobe a little too much.

  5. Pau Gasol got Killed by Blake Griffin dunks two today ¿?
    Please,
    The second time literally almost killed him.
    Blake will have problems soon if he continues doing that with his arm.
    If blake plays so dirty on Bynum or Ron He dont have teeth in this moment.
    Yesterday Pau played like a man against Blake and referees.

  6. “but Pau Gasol got killed by two Blake Griffin dunks today”

    Pau got killed by the refs!!!!! Offensive Foul, I must say… Overall, I think Pau did MUUUUUUCH better than Griffin, an average player that think he’s a star.

  7. I think it is a lot to ask Blake to defend a lot of NBA shooting guards. Nick Young is 6′ 7″ and there wasn’t much Steve could do. G-Lock is only 6′ 2″ so that would be a problem as well. Perhaps it’s time to try and work Devin back in a few minutes agame or even Morris who is a legit 6′ 5″. It could be a real problem for us in the playoffs.

    Also loved MWP taking on Paul down the stretch. He is handy to have around.

    Lastly give me Pau over Griffin any day. Griffen had the highlight dunks but scored 15 on 16 shots. Horrid numbers for a big. Pau definitely played good D on him as did Bynum as well.

  8. Tweet of the night:

    Metta WorldPeace @MettaWorldPeace
    I play Defense for the ladies!!!!

  9. “Tweet of the night:

    Metta WorldPeace @MettaWorldPeace
    I play Defense for the ladies!!!!”

    All will be right with the world when he starts kissing his biceps again after a made dunk or 3.

  10. This was a great win.

    Can you imagine if we actually had used the TPE to get a back up PG or a scorer on the bench? – sorry – needed to give Darius something annoying to read tomorrow morning : )

  11. Bynum gave us a demonstration of what happens when a team chooses not to double or triple team him.

  12. Warren Wee Lim April 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    The symbol that this team has shown over the last couple of games is that we can beat any team we want if we want it enough. Pau takes the W over the highlights and so do I.

    And please, Pau for Blake Griffin? I’ll take Pau Gasol any day of the week.

  13. Warren Wee Lim April 5, 2012 at 12:00 am

    The Dude, whats your twitter handle?

    @wwlofficial

  14. Not on twitter, although it’s been suggested on Dodger blogs that I should do something with my profane Vin Scully impersonations ;)

  15. Warren Wee Lim April 5, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I suggest you get involved and follow @forumblueandgold @drewunga @basquiatball @davem234 @wwlofficial among others.

  16. Frank the Tank April 5, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Robert -

    We did try.. We almost had Beasley and it was reported we tried to get Crawford when that didn’t work. When neither of those deals panned out, we made the last minute deal with Houston. This is about the 30th time ive read you say that we didnt try to use the TPE – but we did. So please just let it go. This is the team we have for the rest of the season, and you should be pretty happy with it.

    Also, Matt Barnes should be backing up the 2. Steve Blake should only play spot minutes backing up PG. I think that’s actually a pretty good 9 man rotation, and it also would maximize the amount of floor time Barnes would get.

  17. From last post
    ______________

    Robert,

    We have four consistent and legitimate scoring threats on our team. Name a team with 5. Maybe Memphis with Gasol, Gay, Mayo, Randolph, Conley (borderline). The fact is, most teams have 4 but talent is somewhat redundant so many play high production players off the bench. Harden on OKC is a good example, as is OJ Mayo on Memphis. The one clear exception is San Antonio, which has nine (!) players averaging 8 or more points a game.

    The difference with the Lakers is that we run all our top talent on the starting unit, which puts the impetus on our coach to thin our scorers out in combination with our “second unit.” Describing them as role players + starters is accurate, but I think other teams have this same “problem”; meaning no team is 5+ deep with all-star caliber offensive talent. We need to adjust our expectations and Brown needs to adjust the lineups.

    The best suggestion I’ve heard, rotations rule of thumb:

    1) Avoid sessions/Blake back court, which means Kobe should be playing with Blake all 12-16 minutes he’s on the floor.

    2) Get Gasol more alone time as center (16 minutes Bynum is off the floor), freeing up the lane and landing him more post touches. I think Murphy and Barnes should see the majority of minutes that Gasol plays center. Meaning that Sessions should get called on point.

    These moves would pair Kobe and Bynum together quite a bit, which means they need to share the rock. If last game is any indication, its definitely possible.

  18. I’m starting to suspect that there is a players’ pact or something.

    Kobe lets others score, but if the game is headed towards a blowout, they intentionally let the gap close so Kobe can still be Kobe.

    Makes everyone happy except fans who’d take blowouts over exciting finishes.

    Not sure which camp I belong to, by the way.

  19. Frank: Yes – it is the team that we have for the rest of the season. However I started my cry for more talent at the beginning of the season, which gives me a ticket to whine for the rest of it : )
    Kareem: The problem is that that we are down to an 8 man rotation, + 2 of those 8 are very weak. Blake has minimal value at all unless he hits 3′s and McRoberts is extremely inconsistent.

  20. Here’s another theory as to why the Lakers keep the games so close against bad teams: They want Ramon Sessions to get more accustomed to playing in crunch time. Lol probably not but Sessions getting crunch time minutes could be the silver lining to all these close game. Sessions has made some suspect plays in crunch time (missing critical ft’s, turnovers), but the more he plays in these close games, the better.

  21. Man, KB just played an outstanding game tonight. Feeding the bigs, moving the ball, taking good shots. Drew eviscerated DJ. Good win.

    Just no more Blake at the 2, it ain’t working. Steve just getting abused by 2s on D. Plus, it seems like he passes up shots on O that a normal 2 would take, meaning Lakers are scrambling with shot clock issues too much with that Sessions/Blake backcourt. Agree wit Kareem, that backcourt needs to be avoided and Steve should get all of his mins at the 1.

  22. Michael H,
    I came on here tonight to type that same thing. Haha. Too funny. This is why the Lakers are better against teams with good Centers. They try and guard Bynum with single coverage and soft doubles. That keeps Bynum playing hard on both ends of the floor. When teams swarm him all over the court he starts loafing.

  23. Frank the Tank April 5, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Robert-

    I’d say we have significantly more talent than the beginning of the season.. as well as a lower payroll. Hmm. Don’t get me wrong, i was extremely bummed when the Beasley trade fell through, but that was almost a month ago.. and we might still nab him this summer or next year. But for now, this team is right in the hunt for another title. We Laker fans are so spoiled.. Being a top 5 (or 6) team in the league is the best a lot of franchises ever get.. Enjoy the ride. This team will only get better, Wait until we have time off between games and more time to game plan. NOBODY wants to see these Lakers in the playoffs.

  24. Frank the Tank April 5, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Aaron -

    This is fantastic. If Kobe keeps playing the way he has the last 3 games, you have to double him. And if Bynum does as well, then the Lakers are a serious force. This is going to be an exciting postseason.

  25. Darius,
    Since Ramon has been inserted into the starting lineup it looks to me this is the best our offense has performed since the Lakers went 15-1 in the playoffs in 2001. What are the stats on that as far as offensive efficiency? Again… This is a test to see how my brain can compute past and present all at once. We will see also how good my memory is. I really think we haven’t scored so effectively in over a decade. I’d like to compare those 16 playoff games in 2001 and the first 16 games with Ramon as a starter.

  26. anti Dwyer Abbott April 5, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Kobe is the best closer in the game for a decade despite advanced stats inflicted naysayers.

  27. -”Also, Bynum getting the ball under the basket at the end of the 3rd… only for him to back up to the 3-point line and shoot from behind the arc? Hilarious. That would’ve been easily THE play of the game if he made it.”

    What the bleep are you talking about! That was as stupid and immature as the last three he jacked up with a mere 6 point, 3rd qtr lead! Stop glossing over these offenses. This is the kind of hypnotic amusement that leaves you wondering what happened to championship aspirations only until you wake up and realize you were under this team’s drama spell. Wake up bloggers, fans, etc. This idiot, (Bynum) is a combustible danger to the idea of rings….the only thing!

  28. Frank the Tank April 5, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I think the main issue with advanced statistics is that it is impossible to use them to measure ones balls. Hollinger, Abbot, et al. could not factor them in, considering they collectively have none.

  29. Frank,

    the main issue is that advanced stats are still extremely simple in capturing all of the data produced during a basketball play. For instance, whether the offensive player faces a double team (strong/soft/ trap), time left on the shot clock, time held onto the ball during the possession, whether or not the shot is to bailout a failed offensive set (as Kobe has often been forced to do), what are the offensive sets/strategies being run by the team, what defensive strategies are being employed by the defense, where on the floor does a player get the ball to operate from, etc…

    You get the point. These advance stats exclude soooo much information about your average basketball play, that to use them authoritatively would be folly. Perhaps after all is said and done, LeBron or Carmelo is still a better closer than Kobe, but these metrics don’t really prove that to me.

    What might be an interesting study is to identify all of the “clutch” possessions ending in a shot that two “comparable” players face during during the course of a season, and establishing criteria to rate the difficulty of the offensive possession (where is a pass caught, spot-up attempt or self-created, etc.), the tenacity of defense (double teams, fronting, space given), and then shooting metrics. I think that would do a lot to validate or invalidate the statistical approach. Has this work been done already?

  30. Something else to add to the conversation. Last night Kobe seemed to be really encouraging the team almost as if he was coaching. Maybe I have been missing this side of #24 in previous games, but he was definitely motivating players to push through. Has the exit of Fish made Kobe a better teammate? The bad cop good cop roles they fulfilled is history, allowing Mamba to be a kinder gentler version of his old self. The team is still Mamba’s and will be until he retires. The emotional state of this team needs leadership and I believe Kobe is evovling to take on the task head on .

  31. Kobe’s efficiency is the key thing here. With Sessions, Pau and Bynum on the floor, he is starting to get open looks and easier shots. If he can continue to adjust to this new role, he and the Lakers are going to be hard to stop. He is no longer able to do what he used to do in isos, but it isn’t needed. Offensively this team has quite an arsenal now and Sessions gets a ton of credit for that.

    Defensively, they all need to be more invested and disciplined – Especially Bynum. We’ll see if they can turn it up a notch come playoff time. The upcoming San Antonio games will be an excellent test.

  32. I wrote on another blog few years ago, i hope Bynum can develope mid-range game, so team can’t double-team him anymore, because he can score inside,outside. Last night it is good to see Bynum shoot the ball. Dallas coach said they want Kobe beat them but not the big guys of Lakers. I look at the game Miami&OKC last night, men, both teams did not have a big guy who can score inside, you have to play very well to beat other team, one mistake, one missed shot, and the game is over. Kobe should wake up every morning and feel happy because he has two big guys.

  33. Blake should not be playing SG except under the most favorable situations. That means Glock, Barnes or Ebanks. MWP is driving me crazy.

  34. Frank the Tank April 5, 2012 at 7:20 am

    MWP has been playing well as of late.. Did you see his clutch steal and D against CP3? I don’t get the hate.

  35. I think part of the Laker issue on defense is that when Sessions is in the game, the pace speeds up. This is yielding significant dividends on the offensive end because it is leading to the easy baskets the Lakers so desperately needed to be able to compete against the elite teams. But it is hurting them on defense since they are none too quick in defending in transition. I think its an adjustment they are still trying to make. Its a lot easier to get back on defense when you playing a slow grind it out game.

  36. I read you almost every day and I’m very disappointed with you since you accepted Griffin’s illegal dunks over Gasol. If they were legal, I agree, that would be “the ugly”, however they are both clearly offensive fouls and the 2nd one is also flagrant since he hit Gasol’s neck. Griffin is a dirty player and gets way with murder every game. Unbelievable !

  37. 3 straight games over 50% FG for Kobe. Shooting 61% last 3 games.

    Sessions turns the ball over alot. Some careless ones last night like the outlet pass to Pau. 9 out of 12 he’s had 3 turnovers or more. He is avg. 19 pts and 9 ast last 3 games.

    Last 10 games Pau is at 20 pts 10 reb.

    Lakers best 4 players are all playing at a high level together at the right time. Barnes, Blake, Ron, McRoberts are all trending upwards as well.

  38. I actually thought the Laker defense was solid going down the stretch of the game. Once the Lakers stopped switching on the CP3 pick and roll, the clippers had no offense.

    It’d be nice to see the Lakers full court press Paul in the backcourt and make the ball leave his hands. If it does, they can body block paul from getting it back until late in the shot clock, and the clippers will be relying on Randy Foye to make the right play. I don’t think anybody on the Lakers would be unhappy with that.

    For all the talk that Paul is the clutchest (Henry Abbott)/smartest (Bill Simmons)/ most efficient (Henry Abbot/Bill Simmons again) 4th quarter player ever – don’t forget he ball hogged so much on some of those possessions that another teammate didn’t touch the ball once. He literally took his other guards out of rhythm because with 5 minutes left they didn’t expect the ball to come to them. Oh – and clutchness comes both ways – and Paul was completely unable to defend Ramon on the pick and roll.

    Thats the 2nd time in the last week that teams are falling on Pau’s neck – Perkins did it, Griffin did it – without Pau getting the appropriate call. No wonder he’s pissed. If he were a little guard and bigs were falling into his head ejections would’ve been made.

    That said – while the offense didn’t go through him – Pau and Bynum effectively destroyed Griffin on the defensive end the rest of the way. Thank god Griffin can’t play defense.

  39. Kobe took less than 20 shots 7 times in 43 games before Sessions. 3 were in the first 5 games. 34 of the next 38 games he had more than 20 shots.

    He’s shot under 20 times 5 games in 12 since Sessions arrival. Sacrificing his game for the better of the team.

  40. any_one_mouse April 5, 2012 at 9:29 am

    A wonderful article on the game yesterday – this is what I would call an insightful report. Touches upon pretty much everything that we fans have been griping, arguing about :) Must read:
    http://tinyurl.com/bssaghc

  41. oldschooltrue April 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Puhleeeeeeeeeeeeease! Is everyone blind to the fact that Blake’s second dunk was an offensive foul where he drove his forearm into Pau’s neck in a ‘clear out’ and then grabbed his shoulder to throw him to the ground?

    Is the NBA turning into the NFL with the ‘highlights’ of those helmet to helmet head shots on defenseless wider receivers from d backs? This needs to be stopped before someone seriously gets hurt.

    I don’t know if its the attention for dunking or Kenyon Martin and Reggie Evans, but Blake is turning into a seriously dirty player. The shove to Pau from behind that sent him into the camera man should have been a flagrant two.

    I’m really disappointed in Blake.

  42. Funky Chicken April 5, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Blake Griffin is the perfect embodiment of the Clippers. Freakishly athletic, skilled in the art of talking smack, devoid of any notable prior accomplishments, unaware that a dunk (however spectacular, or illegal) counts no more than any other basket, and simply awful defensively.

    Sadly, these same traits are common throughout the league, and championed by the likes of ESPN.

    The Clippers are an easy team to dislike….

    Kudos to Pau for standing his ground (though I wish he were stronger with the ball and would stop letting small guards strip him so regularly), to Kobe for showing great leadership in calming his teammates and understanding that “revenge” is best accomplished with a win, and even to Bynum for standing up for Pau, even if he did so with a smile on his face.

  43. For Frank who said Metta played good!

    Butler has a career high in the first half and was wide open. Zero d from MWP.

    After making one 3 he if corse just kept shooting missing his next four.

    2nd half Foye, Young twice and Butler went around him baseline and to tbe bucket 4 TIMES for layups.

    He had the one steal on Paul but otherwise he was slow and horrible on defense and bad on offensive. I believe he personally was outscored 29 to 7.

    Metta and Blake were the two worst players on tbe floor last night.

    I suggest you go back and watch the game again.

  44. Is it me, or does it seem like in the sessions/Blake a lineup Blake always seems to end up guarding there 2 guard? If you’re going to play that god awful combination, why not have the bigger and more athletic sessions guard the 2? I know that mb and sessions talked about this earlier after the trade, sessions has guarded 2′s in the past.

  45. One of these days, with all the dirty shoves to the back and forearms to the chin that he does, Blake Griffin is gonna catch an elbow and lose some teeth.
    It’s coming.

    He can afford the caps.

  46. Don, it’s not just you. The Sessions/Blake tandem is horrible defensively. Teams are licking their chops when they see the two paired together on the court. I don’t think Sessions could do much of a better job than Blake does against opposing 2 guards. They both are just too small, which obviously rules out Goudelock as well.

    The solution? Play Blake strictly as back up point and play Barnes at the backup 2. That negates any mismatch the opposing 2 guard would have against Sessions or Blake, and maximizes Barnes playing time.

    I’d like for Brown to try to work in Ebanks in that equation somehow, but it’s too late in the season for that now. It’s pretty clear at this point that, barring injury, Ebanks, Goudelock and Morris aren’t going to see any more minutes for the rest of the season, outside of garbage time.

  47. #46. Welcome back, Ken. Though, after your last comments about me and the site, I didn’t think we’d see you again. Nice new name, too.

    #48. I’ve read that Bynum does well in practice shooting threes. I think the concern is that, at this point the season, shooting that shot really isn’t his role. It doesn’t mean it can’t be in the future, but now may not be the best time to start. I will say, though, he has good form on his jumper as he showed last night in knocking down that 8-10 foot jumper. A shot that makes him incredibly more difficult to guard.

  48. Cdog @39
    The funny thing about all the praise from Abbott and Simmons for the way cp3 plays at the end of games is that if Kobe plays that way- he is a ball-hogging offensive flow-stopper.

    The dunk that Griffin shoved off against Pau’s head was a definite offensive foul to any objective viewer. The one where he came over the back was a foul, in my opinion, but could have gone either way. Does this mean that all anyone has to do is come crashing in while jumping as high as possible to avoid an over-the-back call?

  49. Fellas the second dunk Blake had over Pau I will agree was elbow to the face high and should have been waved off and called an offensive foul. But the first was a thing of athlectic beauty captured from the backboard cam. Pau does what he normally does and not jump for rebounds and dude just jumps over him like he has springs in his shoes. If Pau would have been boxing out correctly, and just attempted to get at least 2 inches off the ground the ref would have called over the back. It’s not going to win championships or count more than 2 points. But the degree of difficulty, you have to admit, was off the charts on that play. Its OK to be a homer, just give props where props is deserved not because you dont like a player.

    Close your eyes and picture Kobe doing that to Timmy D. in the upcoming weeks. If your perception of the play changes then you are just hating and taking the dunk way out of context. A dunk is to hype the crowd and get your teammates amp up. It did both because Clips went on a run after the play. Pau is percieved in the league as soft and he will always get pushed around when teams try to take him out of his game.

  50. It’s pretty simple. Gasol needs to put someone on their back every now and then. Sorry to be blunt. But the reality is the refs are not going to come to his rescue. For all the talk of Bynum being a “dirty” player notice no ones tries that stuff on him. And before the morality police jump on me, let’s remember our own Kobe Bryant was intentionally raking defenders across the face for awhile on his follow through.

    I don’t think Griffin is a “punk” or a “dirty” player. I think he does what he thinks he can get away with. If the refs let him get away with it, he will do it. If the defender let’s him get away with it, he will do it. Gasol held his own defensively against Griffin. But if he doesn’t want to be targeted the way he is by guys like Griffin and Scola he needs to push back.

  51. LoL Darius-
    As soon as I read that post, and saw the layout and spacing, I knew it was Ken. Then I read it and would have bet the house….Thanks for the confirmation!

    I want Bynum to give up the 3′s completely and work on that 15 footer around the free throw area. If he hits that consistently it will be that much easier to get him touches and wide open shots.

  52. 48)
    Wow. Great insight. Great story. We might have an historically great Center on our hands.

  53. Enjoyed the Lakers activity last night watching the “mano-por-mano as if we’re back the Showtime in the 80′s. I wonder if our former great D’fish could elicit that kind of activity in facilitating and dissing his own shot if nobody is open, I think Sessions is just pure sensa-session-al and the running game is just contagious.

    What you see in Blake Griffin is how we felt at Kevin McHale, they’re dirty but good in execution. As Kobe’s reaction, don’t complaint just match the intensity as an answer. I think Pau proved in the end that the good guy wins in a good movie. The bad guy loses the battle but he contributed excitement to the show.

    Again another plea to Mr. Coach, can we see Glock, Ebanks and Hill in the next game? Youth should replenish the energy on season ending games to regain strength when it is needed most during the playoffs.

  54. Last night was awesome, pure and simple.

    My biggest frustration with the Lakers this season has been: A) Not playing with a sense of purpose for four quarters; and B) Establishing what works, and then promptly ABANDONING it for major chunks of the game.

    Last night, they were focused and ready, but more importantly, they found what worked and STUCK to it.

    If they can get religion on that point, they can do some damage, as it’s real hard to simultaneously defend Bynum down low, Kobe off ball and Sessions penetration, not to mention everything that Pau brings.

    It’s clear that at least for one game, that truth sunk in, and you could see the chemistry forming in their crisp passing and efficient rotations.

    Now, if we can only teach McRoberts to simply grab the rebound, instead of always going for the awkward angle, one armed dunk that never goes in, my day would be complete. :-)

  55. Imagine what this team could do minus the d league Blake/McBob combo? Sky is the limit folks. Trust the smartest guy in the room on this.

  56. @ 59 Aaron

    Hubris…ever heard of it?

  57. as much i hate to see him chuck 3s, one side benefit of Bynum taking those threes- he clearly is practicing his stroke. he looks much more comfortable with his jumpers, not to mention his free throws, which looks a lot cleaner of late.

  58. Warren Wee Lim April 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    re: Ken

    I believe he is unfamiliar with what is called the IP address which is for him to find out.

    Anyhow, what I want Bynum to develop is that mid-range jumper he made after making a flash off the inbounds. That’s a shot he’d have over Shaq and Dwight… getting that 3x out of 5 will make him unstoppable.

    Also, Bynum shooting threes count as a turnover, I don’t care how much he has hosed Barnes and Blake at that over practice.

  59. The playoffs are coming. Blake will find himself in the second row spitting out a camera man. Blake tries to intimidate and while its easy to pick on a Pau during the regular season in the playoffs you try that crap you get served and trust me he will. Back in the hey day of the Celtic Knick etc Blake would have been crushed. Just watch guys he tries that intimidation crap and someone’s enforcer will remind him its the play offs now

  60. 62, and the spell check.

  61. The Show really gave a great effort on the 2nd night of a back to back. I thought that Griffin definitely led with his elbow on that 2nd dunk on Pau. A clear offensive foul, IMO. Then he acted like a punk by standing over Pau. Whatever happened to taunting technicals?

    Props to Bynum for a great game. Kobe was very sound as well. These types of games give us hope that the best is yet to come.

  62. Griffin plays very agressive,bordering on the dangerous. As someone who`s in the air and off balance a lot, he`s really inviting someone to cheap shot him. Not a good move for someone who has already battled injuries during his short time in the league.