Lakers v. Thunder: Kobe Sharing Is Caring

Phillip Barnett —  January 27, 2013

With about 6:38 left in the game, Kevin Durant found himself wide open and knocked down a three-pointer that gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a one-point lead. In recent games, recent months and even recent seasons, a back breaking dagger after a missed defensive assignment would have meant the end of Lakers chances moving forward. Especially in games against the Thunder. Down the stretch, Oklahoma City has simply been better than the Lakers. Russ had previously been able to knock down his 15-footer, Durant was able to get anything he wanted and the defense was able to create the turnovers down the stretch that led to easy baskets which put the Lakers in compromising situations.

Instead, the Lakers kept at the calculated approach they had in the previous three and a half quarters. There would be no desperation threes, there would be no forced Kobe jump shots, there would be no more easy layups for the Thunder. The Lakers continued to run one of three sets down the stretch: 1) A Kobe iso from the right wing which allowed him to read what the defense was giving him and make decisions based upon what his options were. This directly led to three of Kobe’s last four assists — and he had 14 on the game for the second straight night. 2) They ran horns on considerable amount of their possessions. Pau’s assist numbers weren’t astronomical, but he did pass the ball well out of horns and was able to knock the 15-footer from the elbow when Thunder left him open. 3) They didn’t run it as often, but the Nas did run the 1-4 and 1-5 pick and roll a few times that either led to a Nash layup or a Gasol/Howard field goal attempt around the rim.

After the Durant three, the next two Lakers offensive possessions were a ridiculous Artest 15-footer that he drilled and Kobe driving baseline and hitting a cutting Earl Clark for a dunk out of a Kobe wing iso. From that point, the Lakers never gave back the lead. As the rest of the game unfolded, everyone on the floor contributed. Howard would go to the bench with his fifth foul with about 6 minutes left to play and Earl Clark came in and did a great job defensively on Kevin Durant. He forced him into some tough jumpers and worked hard to try to keep the ball out of his hands. Steve Nash took a Kobe pass and used a nice hesitation dribble to get all the way to the rim. A couple of plays later, Nash hit a cool running floater from 18-feet out.

Pau also did a great job defensively with Howard off the floor. There was one possession in particular where Westbrook had gotten a gain of steam heading toward the basket, Gasol slid over, got his hands up and changed the shot. On the other side of the floor, he had another solid game off the bench. He recorded 16 points, four rebounds and four assists — which should have been a bit higher accounting for a couple of missed shots and shots that led to free throws.

They benefited from a few missed calls from the refs (both Durant and Westbrook got clobbered on the head on field goal attempts), they shot an abysmal 55 percent from the free throw line and lucked out with Durant and Westbrook missing a lot of shots that they normally knocked down, but even with all of that, it was still a huge win and a well played game from the Lakers. The Lakers now have one more home game before they hit the road for their Grammy trip. New Orleans is up next with their first three road games coming against Phoenix, Minnesota and Detroit. This is definitely a win they can build on, and in a perfect world, they will.

Phillip Barnett

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68 responses to Lakers v. Thunder: Kobe Sharing Is Caring

  1. That was like a Laker game! What a great game.

    I haven’t posted often because I only had one thing to say. This team has talent but they don’t play together. It isn’t effort that is lacking, it is cooperation.

    Move the ball. Move bodies. Share. Help on D. Help the helper. I have been convinced that with a Sesame Street philosophy of sharing and helping they could win.

    As Coach D says, the ball finds energy. Sharing the ball leads to better shots, better attitudes, better flow, and even better defense.

    Two games does not make a season, but what a difference, Kobe playing with aggression AND getting his teammates involved, instead of nights where it is just one or the other. Pau playing and not thinking. MWP playing hard at both ends and grabbing boards. Nash, as he should be at this age, playing a key role but not taking over.

    HEY THIS MIGHT WORK!!!!

    Playing as a team, these guys are damn good.

  2. Great win. Lakers best lineups lately have been with Pau at center and D12 on bench. Pau’s value is at all time low. If anyone gets traded it should be Dwight. Not going to speculate on any specifics but he could certainly bring back a 3&D small forward, backup center and allow lakers to dump bad contracts.

  3. Kobe “Magic Mamba” Bryant

  4. Great Win.
    WWL: I have never posted first to see if someone wanted to go with “for Warren”. I made an exception today.

    So – for the record – the Kobe Alert is now 1-0 – and a huge game it was : )

  5. Good win

    Cant understand why duhon is not in the d league

  6. Agree that Pau has been excellent recently and much more effective than DH, but it the team can keep this up for a while, think you got to give it a bit of time…For one, they look like they are still much better defensively with DH and you don’t want to lose that. And with DH you still have to feel there is more upside once a) his back heels further and b) he gets a bit more mentoring from this organization and the plethora of very high IQ vets he is surrounded by.

  7. Duhon is still playing in the NBA, because the team can’t afford the money or the time to integrate a better player, with Blake seemingly on the mend.

  8. Ohhh Delonte West?

  9. This was a great win. I would recommend we relish in this and take a rest from suggestions for change and complaints for an hour or two : ) And this is coming from someone who complains a lot : )

  10. Once Steve Blake is back, the Lakers will be unstoppable. ;-

  11. It

    It would be faster to bring back Sasha. I never thought I would look forward to Blake. Hard to believe this team can’t find a back up PG. I see 2 or 3 on every team.

    Great win. Zero credit to The Franchise.
    Another 8 point, 2 for 10 FT night with 5 senseless fouls. This is not back issues. THIS is a HEAD issue.

    Should win next 4 games.

  12. Jesus rr, please. I know there is no ink on the internet but you wasted something in writing and submitting that comment. Anyhow, according to Kristen Blake

    https://twitter.com/kristenblake2/status/295668472841641984

    I guess we’ll find out soon if Blake as a backup 1 is better then Duhon. Coach D seems to think a lot of his skills.

    Personally, feeling pretty good about Kobe initiating the O in the post and then using the threat to find shooters or guys cutting. It also opens things up so Nash’s shooting is the first option for him. He is then available to make a decision on the move if the defense runs out to him. It’s like a half-court fast break that doesn’t require youth and athleticism to work. You just need to be smart.

  13. Forgot to record it. Anyway to watch the game other than downloading it through torrent?

  14. LAKERS FORMULA FOR WINNING

    1. Ignore the D’Antoni Offense. Slow down the game to a tempo that the players can play well. No run and gun. No Showtime.

    2. Kobe Bryant is their point guard – like Magic Johnson. He can score, assist and rebound like Magic. But more importantly, he insures that the other players are involved and scoring and playing as a team. He places enormous pressure on the opposing team’s defense since he is a scorer. This opens up tons of room for the other players to move.

    3. Steve Nash is their shooter – like Steve Kerr was for Michael Jordan. Steve Nash is a deadly shooter – shooting over 50% for 3-pointers and 2-pointers. He places pressure on the defense because they have to defend him at the perimeter – and not just collapse in the middle to choke the bigs. Steve Nash is the shooter the Lakers have been looking for for years. He is a secondary point guard to help Kobe when the offense breaks down. Gasol and Howard can play together so long as Kobe is the point guard and Nash is the shooter.

    4. With the offense distributed among the players and the offense being more wide open and flowing, the players can play together as a team on defense.

  15. Lakerhype…

    They may replay it late tonight on one of the ESPN networks. As they say, “check your local listings.” Only caveat is that those replays are usually edited and heavy on commercials.

  16. Well at least Steve Blake will be the backup PG and not SG like last year.

    We ALL know how THAT turned out.

    Other than that, great win guys!

  17. NO 91, MEM 83. In Memphis. Just an FYI for everybody.

  18. Great team win! Everybody that played contributed. Kobe was awesome. Nash can score and needs to shoot the ball a little more. If D12 gets going we’ll really be dangerous. MWP and EC were solid on both ends of the court. Glad to see Meeks and Jamison play well. Overall I think if we play this style of ball we will be A-okay;)

  19. It’s a good start.
    If only Kobe and Nash can learn from each other more: Kobe channeling his inner Gatsby by passing the ball more; Nash revealing his inner Mamba and shooting more.
    Go Lakers!

  20. Great win, but I’m reluctant to calling this a turning point because I felt that way about the wins against Golden State and New York….you saw how that went. All we can do is take it 1 game at a time. Quietly, Pau Gasol has played pretty well off the bench.

  21. Dwight is no different than most players that come to the Lakers, in that they have to learn how to play under pressure. He’ll figure it out in time. MWP took three years, therapy and medication to learn how to handle it. Pau took a few years, too. Steve Blake still hasn’t been successful. So, Howard is not the only player to crumble on national TV against an elite team. I believe that he’ll figure out how to play in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

    One win at a time, the Lakers are climbing the leader board.

    Happy birthday Dr. Jerry Buss.

  22. Is kObe “magical”? More like the Big O …. not “pass first” but pick em apart every which way cold and efficient.

  23. Not a true turning point unless the Lakers can win at least 4 of their 5 next game, as most of them will be against easier opponents. Every time this year the Lakers get a big win and we think its the turning point, it never has been. They just go back to playing terrible. The question is how bad does this team want to make the playoffs, and do they really trust each other and will do what it takes. I believe they have the ability to still make the playoffs at this point, we see what they are capable of. Just not sure if they can keep the consistency going.

  24. Is Kobe a better point guard than Steve Nash?

    I wonder if this idea of having Kobe play primary facilitator came from D’Antoni, Kobe, or someone else’s. If it was D’Antoni, even the biggest D’Antoni basher has to give him a little credit. If it was Kobe, well, hats off to him too. Unconventional to say the least. Who would have thought a top 2 all-time shooting guard and a top 8 (maybe?) all-time point guard would work better in reversed positions?

  25. The idea of Kobe being the facilitator probably germinated from the hours of film that Kobe and Nash watched together. They probably saw something that they could exploit for the team’s betterment.

    Not sure this team has figured out how to play off of each other, but they are finally showing signs of progress in that area.

  26. Guess I’ve just become too jaded over the course of the season to believe this is any great turning point. On the other hand, with the relief of expectations (from my POV), I was able to enjoy some great execution, take pleasure in the little things, and appreciate a win that will probably be the highlight of the year at season’s end.

    Lost in the talk of Kobe’s excellent facilitating is the fact that Kobe picked apart one of top 3-4 (if not the best) perimeter defenders in the league with his phenomenal footwork in the post. His constant ability to keep Thabo off balance and squeeze past him was essential to creating those highlight assists.

    Kobe’s leadership also is one of the elements of his game that is sneered at more often than applauded. But when Dwight and Pau started sniping at each other following a defensive breakdown, it was 24 overriding both of them and pulling the team together.

  27. Durant and Westbrook went 16/48 in this game. Just something to keep in mind.

  28. The reverse Nash-Kobe is working well, I must say. Kobe draws a lot of double-team and with his passing skills, we’re able to get easy buckets.

    Ok, I’m not trying to get excited, but it has been 2 (two) games in a row where we pretty much delivered like we should. Let’s keep it running.

  29. SCHEDULE
    New Orleans here

    Grammy Trip
    @
    PHX
    MIN
    DET
    BKN
    BOS
    CHA
    MIA

    I think by the time they get back home we will know whether they can actually make the playoffs. They are four full games out of 8th, and 3.5 back of Portland in 9th. Dallas has been winning since Dirk came back and is only .5 back of the Lakers.

  30. I used to think Olajuwon had the best footwork I’d ever seen. Now, it’s Kobe, by a mile.

    As brilliant as he was on offense, it’s easy to overlook what he did on the other end of the floor, guarding the game’s quickest PG and harassing him into a horrible shooting night. That was a game for the time capsule.

  31. These past two wins are squarely on kobe’s shoulders. I’m a little on board with Dantoni’s assessment the other night that this is not a “sacrifice” of kobe’s offense. This is basketball being played the right way. Kobe can get his teammates more involved in most games, and even if they miss a shot or two, he should continue to move the ball when he draws multiple defenders, not take contested jump shots with two (or three) defenders draped on him. If he’s in single coverage, and he drives towards the rim, i’m all for that too. Take what the defense gives you, and man up on the other side of the ball. kobe played better defense the last few games, and the rotations have been better as a result.

    These past two games were as dominating a performance as I’ve seen from kobe, more impressive than streaks of 40 plus points or even his 81 point barrage. He completely controlled the game, and set up his teammates in positions to succeed.

    there has been a lot of d’antoni bashing ( a lot of it deserved) but one small adjustment that i think shouldn’t be overlooked is that he’s sitting kobe more until the last 6-8 minutes of the fourth, and that is paying dividends in terms of kobe looking more fresh, and having more lift on his shots late. i still HATE that duhon plays at all, that steal with single coverage late in the fourth just enforces the truth that duhon really should be buried at the end of the bench. never thought i’d say this, but i’m looking forward to steve blake on the floor.

  32. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous!

    Go watch kobe’s game against the suns in game 6 of WCF, and still tell me that these two REGULAR SEASON GAMES, were two of his most dominant. It completely belittle’s what he’s accomplished, and to say there’s “right way” to playing is just short sighted and myopic. Yes, getting assits is nice, makes everybody feel nice-and-fuzzy, but points are points. They all count towards the ledger!

    His 81 point game was one of the most amazing feats displayed on a basketball court. Period. Dont take that away from him, please!

  33. I still think, that this way of playing may still be step one in a process onto something close but a little bit different with Nash in a bit more prominent role, but with Kobe and Nash playing off each other as initiator like a well healed orchestra. You are already seeing some way more impressive stuff when Nash gets the ball as the other side is so out of position having just doubled Kobe that Nash is seeing space like he hasn’t seen in like, forever, leaving him either open shots, easy penetrations or great passing angles. I too would like to know who came up with it, because it is brilliant and if nothing else makes this team a whole bunch more interesting to watch, and really puts them right back at the top of the heap in terms of bringing a new angle to the game.

    IT, I agree it is noteworthy how bad durant/westbrook shot, your point being, I suppose that this is not sustainable, and that next time they will shoot better. But next time, the Lakers may get more out of DH or Earl Clark or Steve Blake…who knows. Its not like anyone thinks that now the lakers are just favorites to win the west or anything, this was just one small but important step.

  34. Kobe is playing PG for several reasons.

    Without a pick being set, Nash lacks the foot speed to blow past his defender. Defenses have been playing him one on one in these situations, and as a result, he is not able to put pressure on defenses by attacking his man or by attracting a double team. Kobe does not have this problem.

    When Nash tries to initiate the high P&R, defenses are trapping him immediately, which, again, stalls the offense and wastes seconds on the shot clock.

    When Kobe is doubled, his first option is to find Nash, who has no problem getting by his defender when the defender is running to close out at the three point line.

    Kobe at PG also allows him to initiate the offense from the post.

    I believe that this is indeed the turning point of the season. This team is beginning to look like a contender, not only to make the playoffs, but to go all the way. Despite all the turmoil, or I should say BECAUSE of all the turmoil, this season just might turn out to be one of the greatest seasons in Laker history.

    GO LAKERS!

  35. McMenamin:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/35614/lakers-rise-as-dantonis-offense-ditched

    ==

    “This isn’t necessarily any offense,” Nash said after the Lakers’ 105-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. “This is bringing the ball down, calling over a pick and playing the game and because we have good players on the floor, when (Bryant) distributes we can make them pay for leaning too much to Kobe. When they lean too much to us, he makes them pay.”

    If you think of the only other part of the season when the Lakers looked this good, it was their 4-1 record under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff. The reason they looked so good under “Bernie Ball” was because the veteran coach basically rolled the ball out and told them to trust their instincts. They’re doing that again now even better because that air-it-out meeting in Memphis seems to have built trust in one another to go along with those instincts.

    D’Antoni’s been praised by Bryant himself as an “offensive genius,” but he’s had to sacrifice his ego to realize his system wasn’t ideal for this group, just like Bryant’s had to cool down his individual scoring, and Nash has had to deal with not always having the ball in his hands for the first time since Jason Kidd was his teammate, and Howard has had to adjust to less shots, and Pau Gasol has had to accept coming off the bench.

    “There is an adjustment but I think the key for us is to not look at the past and how we played in the past individually and say, ‘Hey, I had success doing it this way,'” Nash said.

    Just like D’Antoni has had to bend from how he’s coached in the past.

    ==

  36. Here are a couple of other things that Dantoni has done that deserve some credit for the turnaround, which I am posting partly because his faults have been very well documented. Lets call this “In praise of Mike Dantoni”

    1) He has effectively said to the team, that you can just play like you used to as that wasn’t working either and there are now new pieces anyway, and in challenging the Lakers personal, has helped facilitate (force?) a process where the lakers are playing some of the most pleasing and effective ball in a few years, and players are being forced out of their comfort zone and finding a whole new way to play, that involves a lot better ball movement and shot selection.

    2) In questioning the type of player that should be in the 4, by using Earl Clark, MWP and Jamison there, he has developed some interesting options for the team going forward, and found a place for 3 guys to work on this team in ways they have never succeeded before on a a bball court, and given the team a blue print for success as a small ball team, so that throughout the game the team has the possibility of beating you in many different ways and with many different looks. This has also had the effect of developing a bit of a bench where it seemed there was none.

    3) He has shown way more openness about how the team will play on the offensive side, allowing many of his principles to be scrapped or put on the back burner. And the last couple of games he has employed a rotation that has the twin towers without Kobe or Nash on the floor, (the Anti-Dantoni line-up) to start the 4th quarter, which line-up interestingly has been a key part of setting up the 4th quarter success.

  37. “It’s definitely exciting because we feel more like a team,” Nash said after the OKC win on Sunday. “I think the last two games, it feels familiar. It feels like we’re pulling in the same direction and that’s a beautiful thing when that happens in this game.”

    @mcten: Kobe: “We’re doing a good job right now of just being real with each other and holding each other accountable. That makes a huge difference”

    These quotes says it all. The guys are finding an identity out there and that is good. They finally realized that they are not athletic and young but they are a bunch of guys who have tons of high basketball IQ and to utilize this in their favor they have to slow the game and methodically slice the opponents defense.

    Turning point? Maybe, a win against the number one team is one good reason to celebrate #GoLakers!

  38. Funny how when a player has a bad shooting night its defense. Guys Russell was at home, a Saturday night, with posse and an early Sunday game. Do the math.

    Kobe’s current game may have saved the season. Half court, slow down, penetration to cutters and for the first time this season, no 3-point attempts by Kobe. This could work.

    Not catching OKC, Spurs or Clips. Teams on the way down, Griz, Blazers, Houston. Minn. .500 clubs 2nd half Utah/Denver.

    I see Lakers in 7th. If it’s Clips that’s the same as home court. 50/50 on that. Just one backup PG from making real noise.

  39. I marvel at Kobe’s ability to do whatever he wants to do on the basketball court. Throughout his career I’ve believed that he could average 10 assists a game if he so chose to do, however his forte has been and IS scoring.

    Let’s not forget how mangled Kobe’s fingers are, they didn’t just magically repair. Remember he stopped driving to the basket because he couldn’t control the basketball and got stripped. He even had to adjust his shot to compensate for the injuries to his hands. Through determination and a desire to remain relevant; Kobe has learned how to offset injuries, age, mangled hands and media antipathy to continue to drive the Lakers towards excellence.

    I have been blessed to watch two great Lakers play their careers from their first rookie pre-season game, through triumphant championship games, and heartbreaking losses: Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. There was enough of a gap between the two, that I know that it is not a given that the Lakers will get another player with the will to win anytime soon. My journey with Magic was abbreviated due to health issues, so I’ll never know how long he could have played or how many championships he might have won. So I’m just going to continue to enjoy each and every twist that Mr. Bryant adds to his legacy.

  40. Had a quick look over at DailyThunder and man, the condescension there is astounding. Taking into account the injury and coaching issues of the Lakeshow this year, comparing a team that is backing up from the Finals and is up there as genuine title contenders to a team which is reloading and clearly looking for an identity is ridiculous. Yet the comments over there, including posters, amount to us being bottom-feeders and this beign entirely on them losing the game. All this victory amounts to for L.A. is a number in the W column, which is really all we should be looking for right now. While I understand how fans of other franchises (especially small market ones) would be disgusted at the L.A. media cycle, the way they dump on this team from a great height and remove any credit from this Lakers team is borderlining on being as obnoxious as the stereotypical Laker fan. I’ve been there in the past and from what I’ve seen it is capable of being a classy place, but that blog was almost as bad as Blazer’s Edge or Clips Nation yesterday. The Lakeshow fans aren’t that disgusting are we?

  41. we are winning it all dis season guys #faith#

  42. One thing important about Kobe’s last two performance, other than their sheer brilliance, is the sacrifice. Everyone on this team has had to sacrifice. DH is not the #1 offensive option. Pau is coming off the bench. Jamison is a role player. Nash doesn’t dominate the ball.

    But Kobe seemed to be sacrificing nothing. He was still leading the NBA in scoring and taking heroic numbers of shots. Now, Kobe, the leader, is adjusting his game. His teammates are not only getting more shots, they are staying involved on possessions, cutting to the basket, watching Kobe knowing that instead of a Kobe fall away the ball may end up in their hands.

    The impact of this change cannot be measured. Now it is a team where everybody is adjusting and doing their part. Now everybody on the floor is engaged on every play. Now they have a chance.

  43. I’ve never been the one to fuel KOOO/KenO’s fire but the things Dwight did in this game can all be done by Jordan Hill. Seriously.

    I don’t wanna be the party pooper and bring all of you to cringe but the Lakers merely reverted to the Kobe-PG system which accentuates the effective use of Pau Gasol. This is both good and bad. This is both happy and sad. In the end, the W is the most important thing.

    Moving forward, I would still insist on the Lakers being a cost-effective team. That means something has to happen still. The elation on the board is too “high” for now for my comments or ideas to hold meaning. I will simply reserve them for a better day, perhaps after we lose to Phoenix or so.

    Oops. Gawd I have become a troll.

  44. here we go baby…go 6th, 7th or 8th may do…go lakers!!!

  45. Rusty Shackleford January 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

    My question is, “How much is Kobe going to have to do for this team?” They don’t have anyone to stop the other teams’ ball handler so he’s filling that role. Nash hasn’t been near as effective as what we all expected so now Kobe is looking to distribute to take some pressure off of him. Does he need to average 28ppg, 11ast and 9reb for this team to have a chance? If so then why are they paying 3 other players big money to be role players? Nash & Howard were supposed to alleviate some of the burden.

    A good effort and win. It was frustrating to me to hear the dumbass on Sports Center say, “They’re a better team when he does this.” in reference to Kobe’s 14 assists. His statement rang of, “When Kobe actually passes the ball the Lakers have a chance to win.”

    Another thing – the refs need to do a better job of calling the foul on the actual player that if foulding Dwight when he catches the ball under the basket. The guards that are raising their hands to take to foul are coming in well after the big wraps Dwight up. Kendrick Perkins should have had 5 fouls on his tab by the end of the 3rd quarter.

  46. WWL the moodkiller…

  47. Do you guys think Darius Morris could work as the backup 3?

  48. With Blake back and with these 4 superstars that all want/need pretty decently high PT and with a depth chart that already will have in the 5-9 spots, (in no particular order) MWP, Clark, Blake, Jamison, and Meeks, and with a coach who tends to favor shorter rotations over longer ones, I don’t think you will be seeing very much of anybody else, barring injury or suspension, including Morriss, duhon or ebanks, except perhaps in very special situations where there is a very weird matchup problem, and even then I think Dantoni will prefer to work that out with those 9.

  49. Re watching the fourth quarter, it was really crucial when the Lakers went the first five minutes without Bryant and Nash, and with Durant and Westbrook on the floor, and won the five minutes by two points.

    Ran a lot of horns and Pau ran the offense. Got a couple of threes and held off OKC with Meeks and Duhon and got the old guys rest.

  50. @Chearn – Jan.28th, 1:23am – wonderful post man
    as for me, i´m still savoring this big win

  51. one thing that may have been lightly regarded in this game is that our bench outscored okc´s,
    33 -17!

  52. Tom Daniels,

    I have been touting that group, that started the 4th quarter. Its still a small sample size, but they were key against Utah as well. If the Lakers can get a good 5 mins each at the start of the second and fourth quarter say, with Nash and Kobe on the bench, that will go a long way to making this team a very tough out.

  53. Regarding the issues with Dwight on the O end…
    Knowing what Pau is capable of in the post, from the time the possibility that we might have both he and Dwight on the team together, I was hoping Dwight would be getting the ball on the move. There is lots of talk about tossing lobs, and I believe this is a good way to go. Just as good for the team, in my opinion, is having Dwight dive in the manner we see Earl Clark and Jamison do. A well timed dive by Dwight gets the defense scrambling trying to deal with both he and Kobe attacking the basket. It also opens up for what ever combo of MWP, Clark, Pau, and Nash to make teams pay for getting scrambled. While his back is this big an issue still, Dwight needs his defender to not get set and swipe at the ball like they are when Dwight catches in the post and then makes a move. He should make a move and then get the ball with his hands at chest height or higher.

    Really like how Clark has been diving to the basket with Kobe in the post. He’s pretty good on the catch and flush while moving. Over time, he should get even better at turning the play into hockey assists for Kobe too.

    Nice to see Jamison contribute in the manner we were hoping. Those unorthodox flips of the ball on the move are a great oddity to behold. Watching him take jumpers and free-throws, he shoots like a normal human. On the move he short arms, quick flips and changes release points in a way that would drive a teammate crazy if they weren’t so effective. Not a lot of players look like Jamison. It’s fun to see.

    Metta is on the “the better team wins” kick, which is great as it’s his version of taking it one day at a time. He is right. I still think OKC has the better team over the haul with one caveat. The Lakers have a heck of a lot of room to grow. Everybody who brings up Westbrook’s and Durant’s bad shooting have a good point. I think you all should also pay attention to how Artest defended Durant. MWP had his chest up in Durant’s space all game. It’s basketball’s version of Mike Tyson using his leverage, strength, and compactness to get inside of big guys and just taking them out of their game. It takes away much of Durant’s length advantage and some of his quickness. The Lakers will never stop Durant but I think a team with players like LBJ and MWP, players that are both big, strong, and active can make Durant less efficient. You don’t stop Durant but some teams might make him less efficient.

    I wasn’t as aware of what was causing Westbrook problems. He seems to be rushing his shots a little more then usual and missed shots he tends to make against us. Dude usually kills us. It would be interesting to see some footage of his offensive plays to see if the D was a party in rushing Russ’ shot. Lets just say, it would be nice if Westbrook winds up on fire against us in only 2 or 3 games out of seven instead of 4 or 5.

    Why did I use a seven game time period? Lets just say, I still have no expectations. I’m still of the mind that this season is simply an opportunity to watch great players find their way together and hold hope for some fun performances. Last night was one fun example but I need to see the Lakers play like this for another month or so before I stop wondering if these are anomalies or not.

  54. For some people obsessed with Kobe nothing is enough,OK let him average 40-15-10 then Lakers be champions.Why are the others getting paid for,whining and bickering?Kobe the defense guy,Kobe the offense guy,Kobe the nurturing guy,Kobe the Dwight FT instructor,Let me just say this Kobe is way better than MJ in some ways.

  55. Chearn: Great perspective, beautifully stated. I too, share the same good fortune to have watched en toto the respective journeys of the two greatest Lakers ever.

  56. KOOO,

    Good point about Westbrook.

    The Lakeshow fans aren’t that disgusting are we

    All fanbases have classy folks and, uhh, other kinds of folks. Good team, bad team, big market, small market.

  57. while Kobe is posting up, I DO feel there needs to be weakside action like screens and such.

  58. With DH`s shoulder and FT stoke a problem,he `s going get 10+ FT`s a game,and his % will determine many close games.

  59. DAntoni – “I don’t like the post up shot. The post up shot is the most inefficient play in basketball”

    Kobe – “We play through the post. We are an inside out team”

    Regarding Kobe taking over PG duties the last few games –
    Nash – “there was no discussion about it”

    Hmmm, sounds like Kobe has taken over, not only the PG duties on offense and defense, but the coaching duties as well. The offense the last couple games has looked more like the Triangle than D’Antoni’s offense (slowing down the pace, initiating the offense through Kobe in the post, Nash taking on the DFish role). Phil Jackson might not be sitting on the bench, but his coaching philosophy is alive and well with Kobe running the show.

    Ignoring D’Antoni just might be the catalyst to save the season.

  60. Let hope these two win will help build the momentum and mental buffer that they will need for the road.

    All bet are too risky until they have a three in a row road win streak.

  61. A win against a top team cant be ignored but the Lakers need to make sure they dont lose focus against fringe playoff teams like Denver or else its going to be tough to win 45 games. There is still too much inconsistency to get too excited. Ill be happier when the Lakers win five in a row. The key will be Gasols abilty to hit the 15 footer and Nash must make more 3 pointers.

    I continue to be amazed at how good Kobe is and for all his talent and performance he gets way too much criticism. To me he is the greatest player in the history of the NBA even slightly over Jordan.

  62. I think its really funny that the team has essentially said to Dantoni – hey were not gonna listen to you and we are gonna play they way we want to play.

    This is warranted as Dantonis system was not working for this group and intereting to see what the actual value that Dantoni is actually bringing to the team – cant teach defense, offense doesnt work – the players are actually saying that they are just going out there and doing there own thing instead.

    I think this has a lot more to do with Kobe saying F-This I want to win than Dantoni saying oh hey ill change things so please dont give dantoni that much respect

  63. Did D’Antoni actually say that the post shot is the least efficient shot in basketball? If so, by what metric?

  64. The system does seem more triangle than MDA offense. Nash is much more versatile shot making and assisting than Fish ever was. I still worry about extended minutes for starters +Pau.

  65. Hey i’m not suprised, I do see some triangle elements. So many reads and counter-reads.

  66. Patrick Dimalanta January 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    People… let’s not kid ourselves… Westbrook and Ddurant shot a combined 16-48 from the field.. including some wide open looks for Durant that he is normally money from.

    I enjoyed the win… Do I think it is a turning point? absolutely not.