From Andy Kamenetzky, ESPN Los Angeles: I get to keep living in Los Angeles! Sweet!!! After a tortuous start to the season, the Los Angeles Lakers finally recorded their first win. Obviously, the caliber of opponent does matter, and the Detroit Pistons are in fact a horrible team. They’re not particularly good on either side of the ball, nor are they a collectively experienced squad. Thus, beating the snot out of them doesn’t qualify as a sign that all of the kinks have been worked out and the Lakers will be just fine moving forward. I’m guessing Wednesday’s game at the Utah Jazz will be considerably more challenging. However, just because the Lakers are supposed to destroy lousy opponents doesn’t mean it’s a given to happen, especially considering how they’ve looked during the opening trio of contests. Based on the chatter online, Lakers fans were plenty capable of envisioning a loss, or at the very least, a dogfight win. Thus, coming through to meet expectations is a meaningful step forward. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but a small degree of normalcy has been established, and that’s a nice feeling. Here are three takeaways from the game.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Lakers followers had been on edge lately, clamoring for more points, better defense, better coaching — just about everything. They got the Lakers’ most complete game, by far. The offense wasn’t the same cumbersome mess it was while the Lakers went 0-3 for the first time since 1978. The defense actually held Detroit to 35.4% shooting. There were even plays to remember, Kobe Bryant sending a behind-the-back pass to the post, where Pau Gasol quickly lobbed the ball to Howard for a dunk. It gave the Lakers a 79-44 lead, with 4:49 left in the third quarter. ”It feels good to see what we’ve been working on come to fruition out there a little bit,” said Bryant, who had 15 points and eight assists. By beating the Pistons (0-3), the Lakers avoided another uncomfortable statistic among their early-season stumbles. They had not lost their first three home games since 1959. Crisis averted.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles: Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown thinks it’s possible Steve Nash will only be out a week because of the fracture to his left leg but said the team isn’t putting pressure on him to rush back. “You obviously hope he’s back as soon as possible,” Brown said Sunday after the team’s shoot around. “But the one thing you don’t want to do, you don’t want to compromise his long-term health for him coming back quicker than he should. So, (trainer) Gary Vitti and the staff are on top of it. We’ll just wait and play it out from there.”
From Mark Travis, Silver Screen & Roll: Dwight Howard was the star of this game for Los Angeles, as he played his most complete game as a Laker thus far. Howard still isn’t back to normal, which makes the fact that he put up 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting even more incredible, but it didn’t matter last night. Howard’s only two misses came on a missed chippy and a missed dunk and it was clear on both plays that Howard couldn’t elevate like usual. Dwight also only had seven rebounds, a modest total for him. In games that he played at least 33 minutes in, Dwight has only had seven or fewer rebounds 23 other times in his career, with four of those games coming against Detroit.
From Mark Medina, LA Daily News: There’s nothing that leaves Jerry West more anxious than losing. Considering West serves on the Golden State Warriors’ executive board, the former Lakers Hall of Fame player and general manager finds it inappropriate to discuss the team’s play entering Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons with an 0-3 record its 108-79 victory Sunday against the Detroit Pistons. But West could relate to the unsettled feelings. The Lakers also lost their first three games when he coached their 1978-79 team.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: If you have cable, you shouldn’t miss any more Lakers games. Cox Communications agreed to terms with Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes on Sunday, becoming the final major cable operator in the Los Angeles market to pick up the Lakers’ new networks.