Preview and Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

Darius Soriano —  December 18, 2012

Records: Lakers 11-14 (12th in the West). Bobcats 7-16 (11th in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.6 (5th in the NBA), Bobcats 98.5 (25th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 102.1 (14th in the NBA), Bobcats 107.3 (Last in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Chris Duhon, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
Bobcats: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, Byron Mullens
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Nash (out), Steve Blake (out), Jordan Hill (questionable); Bobcats: Tyrus Thomas (out)

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers are coming off two straight wins. That alone is enough to be a bit happy. What’s better, however, is that Pau Gasol practiced yesterday and is slated to play tonight after reporting no pain in his knees. He’ll take his place in the starting lineup next to Howard with no restrictions on how many minutes he can log. The Lakers went 3-5 in the 8 games that Pau missed so getting him back tonight is a great thing for a Laker team that’s missed his size, unselfishness, rebounding, and playmaking.

With Pau back it will be interesting to see how coach D’Antoni handles his rotations. In the last two wins, Ron has played a lot of PF with Ebanks playing SF for long stretches. With Jordan Hill out (and questionable for tonight), that’s left Jamison as the only reserve PF available to play. However Pau’s presence pushes everyone down a rung in terms of minutes at the 4 spot. Will Ron still get minutes at PF? If he does, what does that mean for Jamison’s minutes? How early will we see Ebanks? These are questions that will only be answered as the game goes on, but it will be interesting to see how the minutes are divvied up and how the rotations are adjusted.

The Bobcats Coming in: Through 12 games, the Bobcats were one of the feel good stories of the league as the boasted a 7-5 record and were playing a good brand of basketball. Since that point, however, the Bobcats have yet to win another game and are currently riding an 11 game losing streak. A lack of talent and depth have caught up to them and while they’re still playing hard, they simply don’t have the horses to play with a lot of teams in the league over a full 48 minutes.

This isn’t to say the ‘Cats don’t have some useful talent, however. They have six players who average double digits a night, led by 2nd year pro Kemba Walker’s 18 a game. This year’s #2 overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also averages double figure points (10.5) while shooting a very respectable 48% from the floor. Add to these two Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson, Byron Mullens, and Bismack Biyombo, and the ‘Cats have a nice nucleus of (mostly) young talent who can be very good role players on above average teams. What they lack, is that one superstar level player that you can build a franchise around.

All and all, though, this team plays hard for 1st year coach Mike Dunlap and if they do ever get that one elite player, their fortunes would likely turn pretty quickly.

Bobcats Blogs: Queen City Hoops and Rufus on Fire both do a very good job covering this team. Give both a read. I also did a 3-on-3 with the boys from QCH, that you can read here.

Keys to game: From a metrics standpoint, the Bobcats are one of the worst teams in the league. Defensively they are the worst in the league and their only calling cards are that they block a fair amount of shots and don’t foul too often. Otherwise, they give up the most three point field goals a game while allowing the 3rd worst percentage from behind the arc. Their penchant to over help leads to open jumpers every game and the Lakers would be wise to try and take advantage of this habit.

The best way to accomplish that is to move the ball quickly to the open man. Against Philly, Kobe was very good about passing out of the P&R quickly to the opposite side guard and that led to either an open jumper by that man or a quick pass to the corner for an open shot by him. Duplicating this tactic tonight should get the Lakers open shots, should the ‘Cats help in the lane to deny dribble penetration.

The Lakers would also be wise to look for Howard early against either Biyombo or Mullens. The latter shouldn’t see many minutes on Dwight (unless the ‘Cats are fine with him fouling out). The former, however, is a good defensive player whose length and athleticism can give Dwight issues. That said, he too can be baited into fouls and with the side benefit of getting Dwight into the flow of the game from the outset, I’d see how that match up goes.

The other benefit of getting Howard the ball (or penetrating the lane when an opening is there) is that the Cats are a poor defensive rebounding team. If the Lakers are able to occupy back line defenders in the paint, Pau, Ron, and even Kobe should be able to sneak in for offensive rebounds and create good second shot chances. The Lakers should be able to work the interior against this team, especially if they make quick decisions against a rotating defense. They must understand that the three point shot will be there later in the possession and that by moving the ball, they can get easier shots.

When the Bobcats have the ball, the Lakers must be aware of Charlotte’s quick guards and how  they want to create shots. As mentioned, Kemba Walker is their leading scorer and he has no fear of attacking a defense in isolation or in the P&R. He has a nice pull up/step back jumper and he uses his quickness to create space in order to get his shot off. Ben Gordon isn’t having the best shooting year, but he’s historically the type of player that hurts the Lakers. HIs ability to spot up and find creases on the D on the weak side means whoever is guarding him must show discipline and not leave him so open that he gets consistently good looks at the rim. It doesn’t take much for Gordon to find his stride and get hot, so he must be accounted for when he comes into the game.

Another key outside shooter is Byron Mullens. I’d imagine that Pau will guard him tonight so Dwight can patrol the paint. Mullens is a Center in name only, as he loves to hover around the three point arc and fire off jumpers as his man instinctively goes to the paint. Of Mullens’ 271 shots, 104 of them have been three pointers so he must be guarded when he drifts outside. Pau will have to show that his knees really are feeling good because he’ll be spending a lot of time around the perimeter chasing this guy around.

The last two areas that are keys tonight are pace and rebounding. The Bobcats play at a top 10 pace and will run when given the chance. They have athletes at every position and the Lakers must get back in transition, especially off long rebounds from missed three pointers. Rebounding is also important because the Bobcats are so poor at it. The Lakers should be able to hit the offensive glass hard but need to balance that with getting back on D. If they can effectively corral their own misses at a good rate while not giving up too many fast break points, this game should be there for them to win.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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150 responses to Preview and Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats

  1. First comments for Warren are 2 for 2 this year. So, here’s the obligatory “for Warren” comment. Enjoy the game, folks.

  2. darius: i picture a head coach juggling in one hand a bowling pin, a rubber chicken and an anvil. in the other hand, a feather and a samurai sword. with this left foot he is bouncing a air guitar and with his right foot he is skip ropping while mitch kupchak and jim buss are swinging the proverbial rope. nice job if you can get it and got it he must in order to run this operation we call the lakers as presently concocted; injuries and all.

    like you said darius, enjoy the game.

    Go Lakers

  3. The first part of this piece is very interesting. It’s taken some time but SA has finally figured out a 2-center combination in Duncan and Splitter offensively. Different players from Gasol and Howard, but there might be some lessons to apply:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8757066/tim-duncan-tiago-splitter-greg-monroe-andre-drummond-more-nba-frontcourt-odd-couples

  4. LOL Darius on your comment above! – gotta stick to them pre-game rituals man!
    Great to have Pau back, early X-mas tidings for us!
    Go defense!!

  5. We’re gonna see Sessions in this game. Lets go for 3rd straight W.

  6. 1/2decaf1/2regular December 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    must destroy sessions and all feeble minded opponents alike!

  7. Good to see our head honcho personally post for Warren.

    Go Lakers!

  8. Kobe Alert: Kobe notched his 398th regular season game over 30 points against the Sixers. He is #5 on that all time list. The Laker record in those games is 260-138. KB has scored 40 in 115 regular season games (3rd all time). The Lakers are 77-38 there. In the playoffs, KB has scored thirty 88 times (2nd all time), with the Laker record being 57-31. He has thirteen 40 point games during the playoffs (tie 4th), the Laker record is 10-3. It appears as though the myth of us losing, with him scoring large, is just that. Last game, KB did tie Glen Rice for 12th on the three pointers list and is 3 behind Jason Richardson. He also moved into 70th place for defensive rebounds, with 4888. He is now within 100 free throws of the Big O for 3rd there. In many categories, the only players above him on the list, are legends, which is exactly what he is.

  9. I’d like the Lakers to use this game to get their defensive rotations solid. Especially, now that Pau’s back and a more solid rotation is forth coming.

    Defense, rebound and get back on made and missed shots.

  10. With Pau returning tonight and Nash on the horizon, we’ll finally have the opportunity to view this team as the FO invisioned it to be (minus Blake). Though the injuries caused us to falter in the first quarter of the season record wise, what we can take from said injuries is that we were permitted to get an idea of what our bench will look like and who can be effective, if slotted with the correct personnel, off of the bench.

    Meeks shouldn’t average less than 25 mins per game (majority with Nash and Dwight). Hill, when healthy, has proven to be a solid contributer and should see steady mins next to Pau. Jamison, whose had his ups and downs, might be able to flourish more consistently playing along-side Nash, Meeks and Dwight. D’Antoni has even found some time for Ebanks of late (though that might change with the return of Pau). Duhon (flaws and all) is a reliable 3 pt shooter thus far and while I believe that D-Mo would be better served in the D League, if he’s used, it should be as defensive pressure PG.

    Tonight, I’ll be working late, but should be arriving home right in time for the start of the 2nd half. Hopefully, we’ll have a healthy double digit lead by then and be well on our way to 3 in a row.

  11. Fans can’t take this game for granted. This team has given Lakers fits, I believe the Laker career record vs the Bobcats is below .500

  12. And yet another, starting line up. Last two seasons rotations are something else. Sheesh, Phil leaving really left this organization bamboozled.

  13. MWP just had perhaps his best game as a Laker…makes sense to take him out of the starting lineup.

  14. Stupid stupid stupid benching your hottest player to start a bad player in Devin.

    Stupid.

  15. Get Devon out of there Mike are your kidding me. What a joke this coach has become.

  16. Please get Ebanks outta there.

  17. Why in the world is D’Antoni going all Mike Brown with his rotations???

    We have a big enough issue just re-incorporating Pau, why add to that?

  18. Manny: “bamboozled” – Perfect word selection + Yes it did

  19. Why, why tinker with the starting lineup. Unless, they are showcasing Ebanks for a trade. One can only hope this is the case. Otherwise, this is a pound foolish move.

  20. Seriously, Joe. Pick a freakin lineup and rotation and stick with it! Geez.

    This just in. MDA’s starting lineup for the next game is going to be Morris, Duhon, Sacre, Ebanks, and Clark.

  21. We still have Kobe and nobody else does

  22. Kobe has played like a million minutes already this year, still looks like the most active guy on the Court.

  23. Way to spot them 6 points by starting a d league player Mike.

  24. Kobe is leading the league in minutes. DH is 6th Metta is 17th

  25. Someone put the GAS back in Gasol.

  26. Get at it, Pau!!! Welcome back, my man. Lakers have missed your double doubles and over-arching basketball acumen.

    Wow, it’s pretty easy to throw a lob, huh. How many has Dwight had since Pau’s been out. I count zero.

  27. Good to see Pau blocking some shots.

  28. This is the Pau Gasol that we have missed seeing. Good to see him back in action with healthy knees. Where was the foul there at the end of the quarter?

  29. I better not see Ebanks out there again I will scream. Nice to see another big Mullins have a another good start aganist our bigs. First time this year right?

  30. Lakers defensive rotations were better in that quarter than we have seen consistently his year. Appear to actually be trying. Bobcats made some tough shots. Lakers conversely are not shooting well (except Kobe).

  31. That was pretty to watch! Pau to Dwight to Pau to Dwight for the dunk!!

  32. Pau just looks a lot more refreshed. Also – not sure if you all heard why Metta was on the bench – MDA just wants to get Pau touches at start of game then have a 3 man rotation w/ Metta coming in to spell Pau, then stay in when Howad goes out – not a benching at all. Allows everyone to get mins and to rotate Pau and Howard to both get some clog free space in the lane.

    More rumouors that Lakers may move Ebanks – so there may be incentive for MDA toshowcase Ebanks a little.

    Pau is looking good – totally different guy from the start of the season.

  33. Too much whining on this board.

  34. Pau looks rejuvenated. He’s running the floor well.

  35. ^^^ Even as bad as this season as been, the whining here is beyond the pale sometimes

  36. With the way that MWP has been playing…I really feel like the world is gonna end this Friday.

  37. Don’t know how much this game means other than building good habits. But Lakers are mastering the hockey assist.

  38. For those worried about Kobe’s mins after last week – this period is showing how ideally he’s going to get rest – that was a nice 5 min burst where he was able to sit AND the Lakers increased the lead thanks to Pau/Howard/Metta to anchor interior and score. 2-3 rests like that a game and Kobes mins and wear and tear start to drop a lot.

  39. MWP is really playing some good ball on both ends of the floor. The 2nd unit was able to push the lead at the start of the 2nd Q. Good job!

  40. Way better spacing and movement on offense tonight so far – guys moving with energy

  41. Dwight is looking good, as well. He’s making himself available with strong rolls to the hoop.

  42. Lakers need to find discipline in this offense. Too many times they freelance and go through the motions letting teams back in games just like last game.

  43. Boy is this a bad, lazy team on defense. Worst shooting, scoring team in the NBA scoring at ease. What the heck!

  44. Sudden momentum switch. Lakers have got to keep the pedal down.

  45. I would like to see Pau start driving to the basket rather than just taking these face up jumpers.

  46. Yeah Dwight and Pau are spacing much better between the two of them and working well together – doesn’t feel like they’re crowding each other so much

  47. And the Lakers achilles heel rears its ugly head once more. Transition defense.

  48. Why is he Dwight laughing. Real funny. Another ex lakers making FO look like genius. Sessions making them look like a 12 seed. Oh yea they are. Amazing 20 to 5 run with no time outs. Nice job Mike.

  49. Pathetic close to the qtr. Shocking. This is what happens when you dick around at home against a team that you should bury. From up 11 to down 5 at half. Geez.

  50. Well the last 5 minutes of that quarter was an absolute disaster.

  51. Terrible half on defense. 58 point to this team that lost 11 in a row? mike No D has really made his mark here. What happened to Laker pride?

  52. Sessions and Walker have outscored Morris and Duhon 28-4. Like I said after the 76ers game, lack of production at PG remains a huge issue for this team.

  53. Lakers substitutions in the 2nd quarter did this to us. Seemed like a plethora of lakers players were in n out, in n out the full 12 minutes of the 2nd.

  54. This offense allows lakers to disengage when they have leads. Long jumpers lead to long rebounds and run outs. Same thing happened in Philly lakers got lackidasical took open shots early in the shot clock missed and philly got easy transition points.

  55. It is a really curious thing that D’Antoni made no attempt to coach in that quarter, didn’t he want this job?

  56. The Lakers relaxed a bit and Charlotte got hot. It’s funny how teams come into Staples and play so well. Lakers have a poor homecourt atmosphere. Too many laid-back fans.

  57. Bobcats hitting contested J’s is not sustainable. Hitting wide open ones and getting good shots in transition is. Lakers need to dial their energy back up on D to what it was early in the game when those contested shots were falling. Do that and their lead will rematerialize.

  58. How in the world is that guy that wide open???

  59. What a joke. This would be worse loss of season. is mike getting exposed like in New York. need defense so you again bench Metta. Just stupid.

  60. Duhon is killing us, why does D’Antoni not see this?

  61. What a joke. This would be worse loss of season. is mike getting exposed like in New York. need defense so you again bench Metta. Just stupid. Put Metta in before they fire you mike

  62. The inability of this team to get defensive stops is SO frustrating. Our only stop of the quarter so far were those two missed free throws.

  63. Duhon is just killing us, he is no where near his man on D, not even in the same gym.

    D’Antoni just looks on.

  64. D’Antoni refuses to call timeouts. He’s as bad as Brown. No timeout shaky rotations. Started ebanks then meeks the 2nd half. A few games back started hill then jamison 2nd half. Starting to think Lakers made a mistake firing Brown.

  65. The Lakers may lead the league in at least one category: giving atrocious teams confidence in themselves.

  66. that’s the most noise I have heard at staples since Game 7

  67. Just when you thought we had seen the worst of it comes this pungent emission.

  68. I am now convinced. The coach is worse then Brown. Bad line ups, no defense sets, no time outs. The curse of Jim Buss just jeeps on giving. Hope your happy Gerry.

  69. So like a 30+ point swing – what’s up with dat?

    Morris should be guarding walker

  70. Guys relax, I mean bobcats do have three Allstars on their squad, Mullen, walker and sessions.

  71. Chris Duhon is just awful defensively. Blown by literally every time

  72. lots of time left. if the big guys had hit their gimmes and dwight wasn’t blowing dunks it would be a lot closer. Charlotte having a center who takes 6 3’s and makes 3 doesn’t help either

  73. MWP Offence – A for Effort, but F- for effectiveness

  74. I just figured something out. This team has no consistency. I mean no consistency. No, I really mean none at all. How they can be losing to a horrible Bobcat team, by more than 10, at home, is just beyond bad. But then again, Gasol is back, maybe that explains some of it.

  75. Morris is owning Walker right now, if only D’Antoni could figure out what we, the collective ignorant fans could see – that Duhon was getting abused and needed to be taken out ages ago.

  76. This should be Morris’s speciality gentry team – handle quick guards

  77. I always said Howard should take his frees a few steps back like nick the quick use to. Seems to be working.

  78. this is what happens when you don’t preach defense

  79. It is just incomprehensible that a team with MWP and Howard can be this bad defensivey.

  80. Meeks seems to miss more WIDE open 3’s than any other good three point shooter in the league.

  81. Question, can the Lakers overcome D’Antoni’s failure to match up properly in this game? Damage is done both in terms of spotting the Cats a huge lead and in giving them confidence.

  82. Been saying that all year Funky; others think our personnel is not that good

  83. I give the guy hell because I expect a lot from him, but those last two plays by Pau show just how valuable and great he can be.

  84. Since belatedly removing Duhon (a painfully obvious move) the Lakers are on like a 400 – 4 run or something like that.

    GO LAKERS!

  85. the difference is Metta being put on mullens – negating the 3pt shooter pulling gasol or howard out of the key – Metta is picking up easy steals and the big guys can get the rebounds again

  86. MORRIS!!!

    This kid has had his struggles but his energy on D has seriously cued this comeback.

    Someone pass the news on to D’Antoni.

    GO LAKERS!

  87. Funny how getting stops helps on the offensive end. It’s so pathetic that we can’t bring this quarters effort defensively every game.

  88. Interesting that moment Pau went out on DH in the mo changed. Wonder if Mike Daa can see that.

  89. First off, wow, what a dunk.

    Second, Biyombo catches that thing anywhere near the basket, FOUL HIM.

  90. dumb dumb dumb dumb

  91. Lakers taking absolutely unforgivable long jumpers against a very bad interior D team.

    GO TO THE BASKET!

  92. It just surreal to be cheering for a team with Kobe, Howard, and Gasol, engaged in a heated battle with a playoff atmosphere … against the Charlotte Bobcats.

    This team is a train wreck, and it’s mesmerizing. Someone will have to look up the all time worst payroll-performance ratios, I think these Lakers might have a spot there.

  93. Dwight in just one of the least intelligent players I have ever seen. Keep him on the bench.

  94. Lakers inexplicably continue to shoot long jumpers, and NOT foul Biyombo who couldn’t hit a foul shot if his life depended on it.

  95. Sessions making FO look stupid,

  96. Kobe and Meeks with terrible shots on back to back possesions.

  97. I’ve said it time and time again. The biggest problem with this team is it’s stupidity at times. Just making terrible decisions time after time. No basketball IQ. Do we really need to shoot a 3 every time down with 20 seconds left on the clock? Oh yeah, I forgot who coaches this team…

  98. Yeah, Sessions is -37 tonight – that is why FO had no interest in him. He would be -50 if the Lakers stopped taking unforced bad long jumpers and just went to the basket where they would encounter little resistance.

  99. Games vs Bobcats shouldn’t be a 50-50 chance Lakers win. Kobe, Pau and Dwight aren’t enough to handily beat a team with d leaguers and average ball players.

  100. So we just play Kobe the entire game and we MIGHT have a chance to win…got it.

  101. But Joe, we need to play Kobe the entire game against good teams like Charlotte. Oh wait…

  102. oh yea – kb

  103. horrible close out, but at least they’re cleaning up theboards

  104. Howard is just the dumbest player since Sasha. Wonder if he is laughing at this. What a fool.

  105. Horrible play by Dwight, that ball had no chance of going in.

  106. Horrible play by Kobe, but to be fair, dude has to be exhausted.

  107. Pau still on the bench. Horrible coaching.

  108. They deserve to lose. Stupid stupid play from a bad coach. Everyone knew it was 1 on 5 Kobe. Bad basketball team. Bad.

  109. These last 5 mins – to have Nash back to organize the offense and calm things down would make a world of difference

  110. UNBELIEVABLE, LAKERS WIN, LAKERS WIN!!!

    Wait, we barely beat the Bobcats who suck…probably deserved to lose…getting depressed.

  111. that is three straight 30+ for KB and 3 straight wins

  112. Wow. Everyone in the arena going crazy like we just won a ‘chip. Really? I wouldn’t be surprised if the team starts popping the champagne in the locker room. Afterall, we did just beat the juggernaut Bobcats by 1 at HOME!

    I’ll take the W simply cuz we can’t afford to lose more ground in the standings, but this was pathetic. The team should be ashamed of itself. Will they learn from this? Highly doubtful.

  113. Wow, is there such a thing as a moral defeat?

  114. News flash: this is not a playoff team…

  115. Jerke not to poo poo Nashty coming back, but dude would have been getting destroyed all night by Kemba. I just hope that his effect on the offense will be worth it.

  116. That makes three straight unimpressive wins against totally undermanned teams. The Warriors will likely run them out of the gym on Saturday.

  117. Lakers’ PGs were outscored 48-9 by Sessions and Walker.

    MDA is doing some things I don’t like, but that ain’t a coaching issue.

  118. Bobcats know what every team knows. Lakers can’t play transition defense and can’t stop penetration.

  119. Let me close by saying:

    1. I echo the thought that we need wins, any wins, so I gladly take tonights no matter how ugly it was.

    2. Even with Nash back, my personal view is that D’Antoni is going to continue to misuse this roster and we will continue to lose a lot of games. Ultimately, for much of this game, D’Antoni let the Bobcats abuse match-ups, and didn’t seem aware it was costing us the game. I have ZERO confidence in D’Antoni.

    3. The Lakers D is a work in progress, it started strong tonight and then all but disappeared – later it suffered from the aforementioned bad match-ups that just got abused for a good 40% of the game before D’Antoni woke up or Bickerstaff slapped him up side the head or something.

  120. As close as that game was – Lakers only shot 39% – if they shoot their average this is a comfortable 10pt+ win.

    Only 11 turnovers – 5 of which are Howards and a couple of those hurt.

  121. A win is a win, however ugly it is. I don’t care how they win during these tough times. What was more depressing was being down by 18 to the mighty Bobcats, how in the world is that possible even with the way we’ve been playing.

    However bad teams are, it’s almost like they’ve been waiting to feast on the Lakers. Guards destroying us again, no surprise there.

    We play the hot GSW next, on that showing tonight we’re in for a beating.

  122. Pessimist or optimist – everyone should enjoy this – we are on a 3 game winning streak !

  123. Jerke, you can cherry pick a stat in any game that’s ever been lost, to make the exact same claim.

  124. the good news is that Howard has been making his free throws lately..

  125. @kenoak – i don’t disagree on that point – but his running the offense assures that lakers get a lot better shots than what they did down the stretch – and pushes that lead to 7-9 instead of letting it kick around 2-4 pts and waste the rebounds/defensive hardwork. I have no problem w kobe taking shots – but he seemed overexcited to shoot (coulda hit Dwight rolling easily to the hoop on that last shot) tonight. Not just him but too much killing ants by other guys letting the clock wind down and letting the defense load up vs making an effort get the offense going. plus decision making (MOrris getting that offensive foul was dumb) would get an upgrade.

  126. Lucky victory, but considering how we’ve started this season in regards to the win-lose column, I’ll definitely take it. Three days off before our next game, so we should be able to get in some good, much needed practice time in preparation for G-State.

  127. D’antoni’s line-ups and rotations are the most frustrating thing about him to me. Jordan Hill being the odd man out again?

  128. Zirk,
    Jordan Hill is out with back spasms. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees his minutes drop, especially if Ron plays more PF. I mean tonight Jamison got a DNP-CD.

  129. Just watch me Blizzard lol. In all seriousness though – there is gonna be some ugly wins – and as this team gets healthy – every team will be bringing their best shot every night against the lake show.

    Lakers took a punch tonight – were down 18 – and manned up on defense over the last 18 mins or so and won the game that way since the offense went in the hole. Should they bring that effort the entire game? Should they shoot better and play smarter offense and not take dumb offensive fouls 30 ft from the hoop ala Dwight – absolutely. But the Lakers just got a good emotional win tonight regardless – w Pau looking effective in the offense (despite only shooting 3-10) and MDA found a good 3 man rotation w Dwight/Pau/Ron that looks workable long term especially if Ron keeps shooting reasonable from outside, and MDA made a key adjustment putting Ron on Mullens. Now they get 3 days of practice for the first time under MDA with all players including Nash being able to practice – and Nash possibly playing this Sat against GS.

    Complain all you want about the “quality” of the win – but when it comes to making the playoffs – ugly wins count as much as the blowouts.

  130. The Lakers tried hard to lose this game. Glad they got the W. They need to move up the standings badly. A three game win streak is still a streak. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a turnaround.

    I have to admit I’m nervous about Golden State. They are exactly the kind of team that gives the Lakers trouble. But who knows? Things may turn out alright.

  131. Agree with TRogers here. Golden State’s personnel is perfect to further expose the Lakers.

  132. Thanks for clearing that up, Darius. I knew he had been out recently with back spasms, but I thought he was back and available again.

  133. why was Ebanks starting, I mean forrealz??

  134. Well, Darius coach basically gave Hill the kiss of death in the post game interview, dont know what to make of that. This is another character win for this team i dont care it was the Bobcats but the Bobcats for some weird reason always give the Lakers fits, the team is getting it togheter slowly but surely now its a matter of sustaining the effort of the last 18 minutes on a consistenly basis, for stretches the team looked like world beaters, tough game in SF but winnable if they build on the good things of this game, Pau was rusty but anyone can see what he could bring, intrigued by these new rotations i kinda like them.

  135. im sure GS will bring a strong game, but LA might be a tougher matchup for them than one thinks. This isn’t the old GS – LA actually plays slightly faster than GS – and compared to Lakers front line GS is undersized w David Lee being the tallest at 6-10 (and he’s a sieve on defense) and then it goes to Carl Landry at 6-9 and everyone else is smaller. If lakers can keep Klay thompson and Stephen Curry honest then it should just come down to matching energy and playing reasonably smartas there should be matchups in the Lakers favour in the post

  136. @form – they said during broadcast – to set a 3 man rotation with Howard, Pau, and ron playing up front all game. Pau subbed out after a couple mins, ron came on, and the Howard returned etc.. MDA prob liked the energy EBanks had in last game but there are also rumours Lakers may try to move EBanks seeing him as the one useful piece that they might be able to move to get back some waivable contracts and open up a roster spot for any other moves they want to make. there may be some showcasing of him going on but going 1-4 w a 1 pf, 1to, and 1 reb doesn’t exactly endear you to the coaching staff to start the game.

  137. that was my convoluted way of saying MDA wanted to use Ron up front and possibly showcase Ebanks

  138. That last Kobe shot where he could hit a clearly open rolling Dwight is what I really didn’t like. I mean we know Kobe is good but why would he do that? In my opinion the only good thing about this game is the W. They had me swearing at them all the 4th quarter. They can’t close Bobcats? Man that’s serious. I mean the D is so porous, I could foresee what would the Bobcats do. I knew Kemba would drive, I guess lakers knew it too. But is he such an Iverson that we can do anything about it?

  139. People are whinning on D’anthony but he is trying to figure out the roster he is talking about moving Meeks to be the starting sg and move Kobe to the 3, i have no problem whatsoever with that move Mike Brown would not had thought of that in a million years because he was incapable of adjusting to anything and rather had Meeks rode the pine one thing people dont seen to realize is that Meeks can play D and having Metta come off the bench the way he is playing its not a bad idea at all. People need to chill the hell out this team will be fine. When the season started this team was stale now we are seeing flashes now they need to sustain.

  140. Fern,
    Yes, I just read that as well. My 2 cents have been for a while that Hill is a Center only in D’Antoni’s system. As much as I think he’s a natural pairing with Pau, I know that he’s not a floor spacer in any way and that he’s best used as a screener in the P&R as the lone big man. But, when it comes right down to it, that’s what Pau needs to be doing when Howard isn’t in the game. I think down the road the team will still use Hill but as I stated above I would not doubt if his minutes go down a bunch. And, that’s essentially what D’Antoni said after the game. If I were Hill, I wouldn’t like it. But he’s been professional about his minutes in the past and I’d think that’s going to continue.

  141. This 3 game stretch reminds me of the cupcake homestand after brown’s firing. This team has major problems coaching is one of them. D’Antoni continues to play kobe 40 mins a night we have to hope his shin doesn’t flare up or a bruised heel or something. Is he going to play nash 40 mins when he gets back too? This coach is insane and out of touch never know what you had til it’s gone. This team will miss brown. But running with this roster won’t work too much freelancing and D’Antoni can’t make any adjustments other than “when nash comes back”. Lakers barely beat bobcats, philly and lost to cleveland. Hornets took lakers to 6, last year nuggets went 7 this year lakers aren’t making it out the 1st round. This Lakers team will go down in history as one of the most overhyped teams ever.

  142. Dear Fern

    Basketball teams should start their best players. Ebanks is not in the top 10. In 5 minutes Lakers were down 6. Why spot a team.

    2nd half again no Metta. Start Meeks. Why? Now Mike says he want to keep Metta on bench and only use him as a 4. Huh? that should work well aganist Clips, OKC, Griz. Great idea. How about making Clark a point guard!

    There should be a lifetime ban on anyone named mike every coaching the Lakers.

  143. I think the Lakers are improving in the sense that MD’A can now go to his bench for specific results and get them. Tonight he was able to call on Morris and Meeks to cool off Walker and Sessions. One thing that has to change, IMO, is the team’s penchant for taking 3’s without first probing the interior. When those shots don’t go in, it’s off to the races for the other team.

    Good to see Pau back. He was understandably rusty, but moved well and did some nice things. And even though they shouldn’t have struggled against such a weak team, it was good to see them catch themselves and claw back for a victory.

  144. Basketball teams should start their best players.

    Good thinking, Ko. Clearly, you see far deeper into the game than mediocrities like Popovich who insists upon bring Manu off the bench… or Scott Brooks who didn’t start James Harden. Or Carlisle, who didn’t start Jason Terry. Or even PJ, who brought Odom off the bench but allowed him to play in crunch time with Pau.

    Please: in the last couple of games, you’ve called MWP a ‘piece of garbage’, then complained he wasn’t playing enough. You’ve also griped about Jamison, Darius Morris, and Meeks, then changed your tune when they played well. How about giving D’Antoni some latitude to experiment with his lineup?

    It may well be that our best starting lineup is not our best finishing lineup… not sure why this possibility seems like bad coaching in your book.

  145. Is Mike trying to kill Kobe with the minutes? And, I cringe with all the talk of Kobe playing the 3. He’s already having defensive issues… asking him to guard SF’s in addition to the rest of his workload doesn’t make sense to me. Kobe is human and he’s 34. It’s a slippery slope for sure.

  146. Lil

    Ok. If he wants to start Meeks I am ok but not Ebanks you start off down by 6, Go back and read back posts. Last 4 games I have been all over Metta’s good play. Jamison was a bad signing. As for Pops he is the best NBA coach and rests his stars with all players on the same page and has set lineups. Mike is running Kobe into the ground and read stories about Mike in NY he changed lineups daily. If you want Metta playing the 4 and Kobe the 3 (post game Mike) then let’s see how that works aganist a playoff team. Not many wins there so far.