Lakers/Hornets: What Matters Is Victory

Rey Moralde —  April 9, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 93, Hornets 91
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 113.4, Hornets 111.0
True Shooting %: Lakers 59.1%, Hornets 55.4%

The Lakers have lost two straight coming into this game against New Orleans. At this point, there are no sure wins for the Lakers, even if it’s against the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. Sure, Eric Gordon, Jarrett Jack, and Emeka Okafor were all out. But Phoenix killed the Lakers with Michael Redd, Shannon Brown, and Sebastian Telfair. To make things a little dicier, Kobe Bryant was out for the second straight game with that teno-shin thing. Well…

The Good:
If I had one game ball to give to, it would be to Ramon Sessions. Sessions finished with 17 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists. But y’all know he hit the 3-pointer that gave the Lakers enough cushion to win the game with 26 seconds left (which punctuated a 10-0 run late in the game). It was the same Pau Gasol back screen that got Kobe free against New Jersey last week.

You gotta give Pau Gasol some credit for carrying the offense. He scored 25 points from 10/21 shooting. Those jumpers looked so pretty today and worked the post like only he could. They don’t win this game without Pau (of course, it’d be nice if he can make some freethrows; 5/9 tonight for Pau).

Bynum was pretty frustrating to watch in the first half but he started passing out better on the double-teams in the second half. He ended the night with another double double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He really has to get used to seeing that many double-teams in a game.

Steve Blake has been much-maligned for a while now and I don’t even blame the Laker fans for getting even more frustrated with him due to so many missed defensive rotations and assignments. But he continued to play scrappy, drew a couple of charges, and even made a couple of bank shots up close. Blake finished with 8 points and 4 assists. While it’s far from excellent, it’s his best game in a while and those are some encouraging signs.

Again, Metta World Peace has a flair for the dramatic. I can’t say enough on how many big plays he has made in the clutch this season. His 3-pointer with 1:31 left in the game took the lead for good for the Lakers. Of course, we’ll talk about his… um… questionable play later.

Matt Barnes did his usual dirty work with 9 points and 8 boards. And Devin Ebanks had some nice hustle plays. He scored 6.

Good job by the Lakers with the boards, too. 46-35 edge (12-8 on the offensive end). Pretty good considering the Hornets themselves have some big guys.

The Lakers will take the win. But my goodness, this is the Hornets we’re talking about here.

The Bad:
Most of these were open looks but the Hornets made an incredible 9 for 15 3-pointers. So many bad defensive rotations that had been typical as of late for the Lakers. Marco Belinelli scored 20 (4/7 3-pointers). Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 11 assists. Vasquez, a 32 percent 3-point shooter, made 5 out of 6 behind the arc. How does this always happen… never mind.

Either the Lakers should go after Carl Landry this offseason or kidnap him and leave him in a dark cave. He scored 20 points, grabbed 11 boards, and dished out 5 assists against them. They couldn’t stop him in the second quarter, where he scored 12 straight points for N’awlins.

The Lakers were also very careless with the ball early on (Al-Farouq Aminu had 3 steals in the first quarter). Good thing they took care of the ball later on but things looked very grim from the start because of it. They eventually settled down to have only 12 turnovers. Of course, the Laker defense, being as threatening as a poodle these days, only forced 7 turnovers.

For much of the first half, the Laker offense looked discombobulated. I felt drunks could execute an offense better (while the outstanding Mark Medina from the L.A. Times tweeted and asked how did I know if they were sober). But it was hard to watch for a while. So much sloppiness and settling.

By the way, MWP. Maybe you shouldn’t roll an inbounds pass to the Hornets frontcourt up 2 with 1.2 seconds remaining. That might be a good idea.

And, no, Jason Smith didn’t tackle anybody.

Give the Hornets credit, though. They played very, very hard.

The Ugly:
You know what’s good torture? Try tying up someone to a chair and make him watch the first half of this game while Justin Bieber’s music is playing in the background the entire time. He would probably die before he could sing, “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhhhh!”

The Play Of The Game:
The Ramon Sessions 3 with 26 seconds left to pretty much put the game out of reach. As mentioned, it was basically the same play that got Kobe Bryant free for a 30-footer against New Jersey that put THAT game away. Great stuff.

It’s the first of three games between Lakers and the Spurs on Wednesday. Not sure if Kobe will play but I wouldn’t mind another holdout just so he can rest more of his tired legs. As of this writing, the Spurs are playing the Jazz without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili so we don’t know if the Spurs will still have their winning streak intact.

I know us Laker fans will say that the Lakers should’ve beaten the Hornets by a thousand (including me, yes). But it’s just been such a hard season for them that the Lakers and the fans should just take every victory at this point in the game. I just want some momentum for the Lakers going into the postseason. Hopefully, they do well against them old rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, in the next two weeks or so.

Now comment away. Talk about how better of a coach you’ll be than Mike Brown. Talk about how Kobe Bryant looks extremely dapper in his suit. And talk about how Gustavo Ayon from the Hornets looks like a Create-A-Player from NBA2K12. I’m going to get dinner and watch Monday Night Raw. Ciao!

Rey Moralde


60 responses to Lakers/Hornets: What Matters Is Victory

  1. Funky Chicken April 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    The final play, out of a time out, with 1.2 seconds left simply confirms what has been evident for quite some time: Mike Brown is simply a horrible in-game coach. Un-freaking-believable.

  2. Considering four of the last eight games are against OKC and San Antonio every win the Lakers get from here on is a big win. I don’t care if they won by 1/2 a point. All wins are good wins going forward.

    I think the either Barnes or MWP screwed up that last play. I just can’t believe it was drawn up that way.

  3. From last post-
    Nice stats there Kevin! I can’t wait until Kobe gets back in the line-up so that Bynum can start getting easier shots and maybe get that percentage up near 60% again!

  4. I can’t wait till Kobe comes back and the playoffs start. You know… So we on this site can worry about one game when we should be actually worrying about one game. Sample size of two.

  5. I think the last play was more MWP’s fault than the coaching. Also, if Kobe is out any longer, I would hope that the Lakers continue to let Sessions dominate the ball. When they spaced the floor and let Sessions drive towards the basket, good things seemed to happen. I also liked Ebanks’ energy. He wasn’t exactly hitting his shots, but his hustle went a long way.

  6. And the Lakers should have Kobe on the active roster for wedsdays game…they should rule him out and he should not suit up. If Pop plays any of his “big three” Kobe should head back, throw on his shorts and destroy that sorry excuse for a contender 😉

  7. Aaron-
    Here is what’s friggen hilarious about you…If Bynum would have come out and just destroyed everyone and everything in front of him over these last two games you would have been parading around this board proclaiming him the undisputed greatest player on our team. You would have been going on and on and on and repeating the same mantra over and over and over.

    It’s okay man. Everyone on this site wants Bynum to play really well. We want him to be great! We also see him through a clearer lens than you do- even though you accuse us of seeing him through a Kobe fan’s eyes.

    Kobe makes Bynum better. Just like he made Shaq better. He spreads the floor and makes it a little more difficult for teams to collapse on Drew. He gets Drew easier baskets just like he did for Shaq. And guess what!? Drew makes Kobe better too! It’s awesome. It’s like this great symbiotic relationship! You see, Shaq made Kobe better too!

    Now can’t we both just agree that our two best players make each other better?

  8. I can agree our two best players make each other better!

    Part of ‘drew’s problem is he’s still a larvae – a little baby.

    Even though he’s a seven year pro!

    When’s the little fella’ gonna grow up?

  9. #1 and #5 – I think it’s a combination of both. An incredibly stupid play call by the coaching staff, and an incredibly stupid decision by Ron-Ron to roll the ball toward the New Orleans basket.

  10. Why the hell is Goudelock not starting at the 2? He scores more and spreads the floor. Yes, he’s undersized, but for him to be stuck on the bench is absolutely senseless. He is mini-Mamba. Instant offense. And we need someone who can score at the 2. Instead, Mike the Clown puts Ebanks there, whose natural position is really the 3. I understand you want to play Matt Barnes there, but he can help at the 2 guard.

    Mike Brown, you are ruining Goudelock.

  11. #9, yes Brown is an idiot, but he’s not that much of an idiot. I don’t think he drew that up at all. Purely MWP’s fault. You could see Brown jumping up and down in frustration.

  12. 6. Aaron: agree there Kobe should sit a Weds. to rest his shin but to get a look at where he can attack Spurs defense. Bynum usually takes it to Duncan he can build confidence that game. Really hope 24 sits this one out.

    Kuester drew the play for Sessions 3. Brown drew the play w/ Ron inbounding. You know how because only Brown would be silly enough to try a hail mary pass to Barnes to end the game. That’s what I think that play was designed to do but ron improvised in a ron kinda way.

  13. I think the Lakers will end up in the 4th or 5th playoff spot not based on their recent play, but based on Memphis’ remaining schedule. I think they’ll end the season 8-2 and the Lakers will finish 3-5 or at best 4-4.

  14. Anything can happen but the way things are shaking up looks like 3,4,5 will be Lakers, Memphis, Clippers. That means Lakers see Houston, Dallas, Denver. I’m more than excited about that.

  15. Funky Chicken April 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Mike Brown clearly did not tell MWP not to throw the ball in the back court. That is bad coaching. With less than 2 seconds left, you tell your player to make sure he throws the ball towards his own basket. Brown clearly did not do that, and actually positioned a Laker next to the opposing basket. That is an indefensible strategy.

    That MWP made a boneheaded pass does not excuse this abominable coaching. Stop cutting Brown slack for his obvious shortcomings. With a six point lead and seconds left, you emphasize not giving up a three and not throwing the ball inbounds towards the opponent’s basket. The Lakers did both, and damn near gave away a game to one of the worst teams in the league.

  16. Lakers will end up the 3rd seed. I’m gonna bet on it. Trust me, they surely will.

  17. I wouldn’t bet on the Lakers if my life depended on it that’s for sure. Memphis will end up the 3rd seed. They only play 4 teams over .500 and three of those games are at home. They’ll end up 8-2 or at worst 7-3 which will leave them a game ahead of the lakers.

  18. I turned the game on late in the 4th quarter, forgot to DVR it. MWP was about to throw the last inbounds pass when my 2-year old son suddenly grabbed the remote and switched the channel. When I got it back to the game, there were Sessions and Morris looking dumbfounded while Stu proclaimed, “That was the worst play I have ever seen.” I thought the game had somehow been lost until the score came up…but I have to give my boy props for sparing me having to watch that sequence in real time.

  19. It’s tough seeing the Lakers suffer against these teams we should be handling easily. They have the pieces, I just hope they can put it all together come playoff time. I’m optimistic, but reality is D-Fish may have better odds of getting #6 before Kobe does. Even Turiaf may have better odds in getting a ring this year.

  20. How did Peace’s last in-bound of the ball make it into the bad section and not egregiously ugly? Their man was actually between ours and the ball in their frontcourt. Unbelievable. Learn something from this MB–Peace absolutely NOT to be trusted with having a bb IQ. Landry has always done this to the Lakes, Can’t recall the circumstances, but didn’t we have a chace at him?

  21. @18 – I agree, that was inexcusable — never, never, never allow a 2-year old near the TV remote 😉

  22. Remember when Mike Brown claimed he couldn’t “afford” to sit Kobe? Looks like Kobe unintentially called his bluff. This may be a blessing in disguise. If Bynum really wants to be “the man,” he needs to practice dealing with constant double-teams. Kobe’s absence also gives Sessions and the rest of the bench a chance to perform. This stretch is a great opportunity for the team to learn how to play tough games without Kobe on the floor.

    Interestingly, Popovich decided to sit his “Big 3” to prepare them for the closing stretch and playoffs. Maybe Mike Brown should continue to do the same with Kobe.

  23. Love this quote from Phil Jackson on Bynum:

    “Bynum is not quite mature, but everyone should relax and watch him grow up,” Jackson said via email. “This year has been a big step for him offensively…nice to see…and when he takes up the mantle as defensive captain the Lakers can get back in the hunt.”

    So, so classic Phil. Acknowledges growth while also taking a parting (/motivating) shot.


  24. Can we finally appreciate how good Kobe is and how he makes his teammates better. Just ask Bynum.

  25. Phil Jackson has a message for everybody criticizing Andrew Bynum. Settle down. The former Lakers coach told The Times he enjoyed seeing Bynum’s development, even if it had been filled with inexplicable turns the last few weeks. “Bynum is not quite mature, but everyone should relax and watch him grow up,” Jackson said via email. “This year has been a big step for him offensively…nice to see…and when he takes up the mantle as defensive captain the Lakers can get back in the hunt.” Los Angeles Times,0,4768114.story

    Amen to that Phil! It remains to be seen if he can grow up and mature to be a franchise player/top Laker centers of all time, but he definitely has the tools. Putting it all together is another story. As a Laker fan, I hope he does

  26. Kobe has about 3 good years left in him. We are wasting one on this Mike Brown Experiment. He might be a good coach for rebuilding teams with a star in grooming. For veteran, battle-tested, championship caliber team, he is looking more and more like some corporate manager desperately talking his way into keeping his job. He is making excuses for himself and taking credit for what players have achieved, and benching players to make them scapegoats.

    I hope the FO do the right thing next year, just get a legit battle-tested coach, someone who has the confidence to take blame and wiz to really make in-game strategies. This Mike Brown guy is just using these players to build his own resume and gear himself up for next job.

    I feel sorry for Kobe, he really wants to win another championship, and he still has enough supporting cast, just not the right coach.

  27. I’ve taken my shots @ Drew when warranted (especially since the All-Star Break), so in no way, shape or form am I trying to defend him, but he was seeing double & triple teams last night. Can’t be an exceptional Offensive Center (which he is in today’s NBA) when the ball is being forced out of your hands on a consistent basis.

    With that being said, he definitely needs to learn how to be more effective passing out of the double n triples. And in order for this to occur, he needs to start reading defenses better. That way he’ll be able to recognize them beforehand, which, in turn, will allow him to find the open man much easier once the traps take place.

    And KenOak is correct when he states that ‘our two best players make each other better.’

  28. “This year has been a big step for him offensively…nice to see…and when he takes up the mantle as defensive captain the Lakers can get back in the hunt.” Los Angeles Times
    -Phil Jackson

    When Bynum takes up the defensive mantle… Amen Phil!

  29. @21 – I agree, Dude, and I should know better…but my hands were occupied taking care of my beverage.

  30. What an excellent recap, thanks rr.

    Btw, it was pathetic seeing Chuck Person drawing the play while Mike “useless” Brown just watch.

    Oh well, better this way…

  31. I’d love to see the before/after splits on Sessions’ PER on Cleveland and on LA.

    Seems like he’s been playing at borderline All-Star level since the trade with his numbers up across the board. It would be interesting to see what his current PER would be for the year if he’d played all of his games with the Purple and Gold.

  32. Albert: Kobe may have a few years left. He’s playing in a shortened season he”s going to play in the olympics this summer then jump right back into the season at 33. I’d rather him not play in the olympics. I’m hoping all that basketball in a short stretch doesn’t hamper his playing next season. That’s why it’s important Drew turn that corner fast or someone else becomes the next one. It was supposed to be chris paul. : (

    By the way another over 30 sg starting to get nik nak injuries is wade.

  33. Aaron,
    Your comment will continue to be deleted unless you eliminate the baiting and name calling. Thanks.

  34. Resting one of the big 3 should have been done early in order to induce the subs to play better, however Lakers can’t do it when Fisher was the PG. It became possible last night because of Sessions court management in handling the ball. What Lakers really need is another PG to handle the 2ns unit. If they can’t get another player, then go for Morris/Glock on a shared responsibility, in that manner they gain confidence when playoffs begin. Blake is really a spot shooter on the perimeter, that’s his forte’, the same with Murphy, he’s not a power forward but a spot shooter. Define their responsibilities.

  35. KenOak,
    Having said that… I am predicting during the playoffs with the added rest Kobe will regain some effectiveness amd shoot dramatically better than 42 percent… Causing teams to start doubling again (hence oppening things up for Bynum). So I think you will be right in the playoffs. But def not so far this season. But in the playoffs they probably will be doubled equally… So then yes… Bynum will be helped by Kobe as much as Kobe is helped by Bynum.

  36. Kevin,

    I have noticed Wade’s injuries piling up as well. His reckless stlye of play is catching up with him. It is clear he has lost some of that trademark explosiveness. He better take a page out of Kobe’s book and get his footwork and post game down.

  37. KenOak,
     I have never made judgements about any player or any team based on single game. I do think it’s slightly embarrassing to make any judgement after one or two games. We have a season of 66 games and usually 82. I will never and have never made an opinion with such a small sample size. To say defenses don’t collapse just as hard on Andrew when Kobe is playing is to flat out lie. Just a week ago the Lakers played the Hornets at Staples with Kobe AND BYNUM HAD THE EXACT SAME TREATMENT AND THE EXACT SAME TYPE OF GAME.  Bynum was doubled and tripled every time he touched the ball. It’s literally hard to make a case Kobe has really helped Bynum more than lets say Pau Gasol has helped Amdrew by his play on the court. The only person you can say is really helping Drew is Sessions.  He is the only one getting him easy shots by driving to the basket or organizing the offense to allow for a Bynum post up. You can’t compare Shaq and Kobe. When they played together Kobe was in his prime, driving to the basket (getting dunks for Shaq) and getting double teamed getting space for Shaq. If you are one of the few who has not noticed… Kobe is no longer getting double teamed very often.  When Bynum is the guy getting the most deffensive attention by far on the team… By definition… He is the one making life easier for Kobe more than the other way around. 

  38. I will say PnR defense was better yesterday. 3rd quarters are getting concerning. Since March 7:

    32 – 19 WAS, 29 – 20 LAL, 28 – 28 TIE, 28 – 20 MEM, 30 – 16 NOH, 24 – 20 LAL, 30 – 25 UTH, 23 -22 HOU, 28 – 23 DAL, 22 -18 POR, 24- 17 MEM, 24 – 24 TIE, 34 – 19 OKC, 28 -18 NOH, 32 – 22 GSW, 21 – 20 NJN, 29 – 26 LAL, 34 – 22 HOU, 37 – 26 PHX, 29 – 21 NOH.

    Lakers are a older team so the engines may take a little longer to get going after sitting. But then I looked up Mike Brown’s Cleveland 3rd qtrs. in the playoffs. This is 2009 3rd qtrs. vs Stan Van Gundy

    Game One 30 – 19 ORL, 25 – 19 ORL, 26 – 22 ORL, 22 – 21 ORL, 24 – 22 ORL, 30 – 28 CLE ( they were already losing by 20 at half game 6).

    2010 Celtics series Game One 36 – 24 CLE, 31 – 12 BOS, 31 – 27 CLE, 27 – 20 CLE, 30 – 19 BOS, 25 – 18 BOS.

    Don’t know if those 3rd quarter numbers are average but with Lakers our blowout leads are usually lost in the 3rd. And all momentum seems to get away in the 3rd. I blame some on fatigue but we still see no adjustments from Brown.

    TRogers: I agree.

  39. Kevin: Yes – do not like that Pau and KB are playing in the Olympics. They should not be doing that.
    Albert: Agree on at least 3 years (shooting for 20 year career). MB is probably more than an experiment. I am more concerned about roster, rather than coach at this point.
    JayZ@25: YES
    Edwin: Blake/TM should be spot shooters, but they don’t even do that very well. Less time is the best : )

  40. Kevin,
    Yes… But the Spurs the last couple seasons have sent double teams to Bynum so Duncan doesmt have to defend him. We will see. I think if Kibe is healthy he should play. If he isn’t he should rest. But if he is healthy and Pop plays hs “big three” Jobe should be out there. I put the big three in quotes because they don’t have a big three anymore. Duncan just isn’t the same player on both ends of the floor. They don’t even go to him in the post much the last couple years. But Parker is still a star and Manu can be at times when healthy. It’s gonna be a fun three games against them. I predict we win all three. I just don’t see them with that much talent. Amd we will be pumped to play them.

  41. Aaron: If Bynum is a franchise player anything a team throws at him he should be able to handle. Kaman and Gortat. Kobe should sit a week his competitive juices will be flowing so if it’s his call he plays. About spurs is ginobli/jackson who does brown have blake guard.

  42. RRM: Just saw your sentence at the end about all of us stating how we could coach better than MB. Love it. For my part, I will not claim I can coach better than MB. I will also not claim I can be a better GM than MK. What I will claim is that if I was a billionaire’s son, I could be at least tied for the best owner in the league. It would take one meeting with Mitch, where I told him that he was now in charge + I was out of the day to day operations : )

  43. About that last play….

    I’m not defending it, but it looks like it was a “trick” play. The Lakers trotted out 4 players on the court, with Barnes basically hiding out by the bench, but on the court. I think the Lakers were hoping that the Hornets would not see Barnes, and would use 5 defenders on the 3 Lakers on the court + MWP the inbounder, so that MWP could easily throw the ball over to the uncovered Barnes and let time run out.

    I’m pretty sure that is how it was drawn up because you could MWP getting more and more frustrated as the ref wouldn’t give him the ball, pointing out there were only 4 Lakers on the court after the timeout. MWP was forced to point out Barnes, which clued in Smith to go cover him. Which resulted in the near-debacle.

  44. ROBERT: I’m glad some people are paying close attention to the recap!

  45. Kevin,
    Hahahahaha. Was Shaq a franchise player? I think he was. Thats just my opinion but I think Shaq was a franchise player. When he faced hard doubles and triples he didn’t score much either and he too would succumb and not play a 100 percent in those situations.

    And Gortat and Kaman?? Hahahahaha. He wasn’t playing Gortat or Kaman. Haha. You watched the games right? He was being guarded by the entire team. Want to know when he was single covered? Every time he played an actual quality Center. Like when he played all star Center Marc Gasol. Remmeebr those three games? Well… The Grizzlies all three times felt they had a good Center So they would guard Bynum with single all star center coverage. Well… In three games Bynum averaged around 34 points on 67 percent shooting. Not bad? And let’s not talk about how he does against Deandre Jordan. Another guy who’s team though was good enough to defend the leagues best offensive Center. Kevin… Common man.

  46. Is Jordan Hill still hurt he played the game before the trade? Can’t believe he played 3 minutes before this mysterious injury.

    Aaron: I see where your going with this but you can’t keep comparing bynum to guys like shaq and kobe. Fans including myself are finally happy to see Drew reach some of the potential we’ve been waiting for for 7 years. But one dominant game vs Dwight Howard or one player of the week award doesn’t mean he’s arrived. When Shaq was 24 he played hard so did kobe. That may be my biggest knock on Drew he doesn’t play hard. All Laker greats gave their all for the franchise Bynum does not. Kaman was taking it to him and Pau guys were just troting into the lane untouched getting layups. That never happened with Shaq.

  47. I agree with Brian @44.

    It was a dumb play after Smith decided to go cover Barnes, but before that, it looked like Barnes was in the backcourt alone and no one was covering, while World Peace kept yelling at the Ref to give him the ball. It looked like a trick strategy to me that backfired when World Peace forced the pass after Barnes was covered.

  48. Kevin,
    I see what you’re saying. But you need to know only one thing about me… I don’t care about careers. They mean little to me. Last year means little to me. I’m a today person. I said during the draft we should trade Lamar because his trade value would never be higher and I figured he would sit on his but all lockout. I don’t care how good a career Kobe had. Doesn’t mean much this season. I don’t care who Andrew Bynum was before this year and I don’t care who he will be after this year. This season he has Brenda franchise Center type player. The eye test says so. Advanced stats say so. That doesn’t mean he is perfect. Shaq was definatley not perfect.

  49. Kevin,
    Omg. Haha. Did you just say Kaman was taking it to him? Lol. Kaman hit two long jumpers on him. Haha. That was it. Kaman actually was taking it to Gasol in the low post the four times they matched up.

    And Ask Orlando if Shaq played hard. They spent seven years calling him lazy while he was in Orlando. He didn’t play hard many nights. Fact.

  50. Aaron: you’re right landry, smith, kaman were all taking it to Pau and Drew was a swat machine out there. He was challenging all rim shots. *waves white flag*

  51. Kevin,
    That’s what happened. Are you really disagreeing with that? You can’t be can you? You did watch the game? Right? He one time Andrew guarded Landry (because mike brown said Gasol wast gettin it done) Bynum blocked Landry’s shot. Those are the facts. Landry in the post on Gasol shot something like 6 for 8. Those are the facts.

  52. wtf, now you are talking about sample size. can we all stop beating the dead horses?

    or “i am smarter than you” brouhaha?

  53. Priceless Kobe

    @si_vault: This is Kobe Bryant at age 11 guarding a large Italian man during a exhibition game in Italy:

  54. Aaron: Lakers would be the best team in the league if Drew played like Chandler or Noah. He does a damn good job scoring but brings no fear factor on defense. Still like our chances in a halfcourt game with improved pnr defense.

  55. More than anything else these last two games show the Lakers don’t have a backup 2 guard capable of playing 12 minutes in the NBA.

  56. starting PG’s last 4 games vs Lakers

    19 pts – 12 ast. 48% fg – 55% 3pt

    have to make them one dimensional

  57. Kevin,
    If you beleieve what you just wrote you not only disagree with me… But Stu, Brown, Kobe, and every NBA player who gets into the paint and kicks it out when they see Andrew Bynum and his two plus blocks a game standing there.

  58. Kevin,

    what aaron wants you to write: oh, youre right Aaron. how could i have been so wrong.