Preview and Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

Darius Soriano —  March 6, 2013

Records: Lakers 30-31 (9th in the West), Hornets 21-40 (14th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.5 (8th in the NBA), Hornets 102.7 (13th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.9 (18th in the NBA), Hornets 106.9 (27th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Dwight Howard
Hornets: Greivis Vasquez, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez
Injuries: Lakers: Pau Gasol (out), Jordan Hill (out for the season), Metta World Peace (he says he’s playing); Hornets: Jason Smith (out for the season)

Hornets Blogs: Hornets 24/7 and At The Hive are two very good sites that you should check out.

Keys to game: Coming off a game last night and with key players nicked up (Kobe, Dwight, and Ron are all dealing with various ailments), this game is by no means a walk in the park. The Lakers are only 4-7 on the 2nd night of a back to back this year and have struggled in areas where fresh legs typically come into play — on defense and on the glass. So, even though the Hornets are not a very good team — even at home — it is not like the Lakers can simply lace up their shoes and expect to get a victory.

That’s especially the case with the Hornets having nearly their entire roster available and ready to go. Their starting lineup offers a variety of play makers and good finishers offensively (they are a top 15 offensive team after all) and those players will put stress on the Lakers’ scheme to defend well and for full possessions.

In the last contest, Greivis Vasquez really hurt the Lakers using a well paced individual attack that combined patience, savvy, and good finishing ability. Vasquez found cracks in the defense to get inside 10 feet where he used a variety of floaters and crafty finishes to score points and put the defense on its heels. With no one to really had Steve Nash on, expect Vasquez to be in attack mode again to try and exploit his match up.

Besides his own scoring, though, Vasquez was also great at setting up shots for others. He tallied 15 assists in the last game, with Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Robin Lopez, and several other Hornets all benefitting from his ability to create good looks out of isolation and P&R sets. It’s the latter action the Lakers will really have to worry about in this game as the Hornets offer a variety of options out of this set that can exploit their defense.

Rookie Anthony Davis is showing a polish as the big in the P&R and he must be accounted for as a finisher both on the roll to the hoop and in popping out where he can shoot or pass with good results. Eric Gordon has the ability to torment defenses from long range (he hit 6 three pointers in the last match up with the Lakers) as he camps on the back side. Gordon can also take the initial pass and create off the dribble against a closing out defender in order to create a good shot for himself or a teammate. Aminu is a fine slasher off the ball ala Earl Clark and can do well to find easy baskets as teams overcommit to Davis and Gordon. All in all, the Lakers better be ready to defend this play with sharp rotations and strong communication.

Offensively, it really is difficult to say what should be the Lakers best plan of attack.

Kobe has a hurt shooting arm and while he had some good success against the Thunder, there’s no telling if he can effectively hit shots before we see him operate on the floor. The Nash/Howard P&R has been struggling in the last few games and projecting how they’ll connect before hand is also a fuzzy forecast. The hope would be that Kobe can play close to his typical level and that he can be a featured offensive player against Gordon by working off the dribble in isolation and out of the post.

It’s also hopeful that Nash and Howard can take advantage of Vasquez and Lopez in the P&R by making them both slide their feet in space and recover as the action progresses. If they can then combine for some good looks, they can stretch the defense thin and that can lead to good shots for other players all over the floor. Shots that, hopefully, can be knocked down against a defense that struggles to get the stops they need to win games.

Another key, as usual, will be the play of the bench. Against the Thunder, the Jamison/Meeks/Blake combo was solid but none raised their game in a manner that was needed. Lately, however, at least one has been able to outperform their season numbers in any given game to boost the team’s chances. Against this Hornets team — one that doesn’t have a lot of strong depth themselves — the hope is that one of that trio can break out and give the Lakers that added dimension. Especially coming off a night where the team’s key players saw a lot of minutes.

As noted after the Thunder game, tonight’s contest is one of the ones the Lakers need to win. The post-season is the ultimate goal and the team will not get there by dropping winnable games whether they’re on the road or not. Going back to Los Angeles with a split on this two game roadie is what was expected a few days ago, here’s to making that happen.

Where you can watch: 5:00pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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138 responses to Preview and Chat: The New Orleans Hornets

  1. Kobe Alert: Bad elbows, bad fingers, sore knees, sore ankles, and bad calls, do not matter, this guy just keep on going. Did he hit that first shot from the tunnel or was that my imagination? : ) In any case, KB registered his 410th thirty point game. The Hornets, who we play tonight have 318 such games from all players since their inception in 1988, which is a full 8 years before Kobe entered the league (the all time Hornet leader in this category is our own Glen Rice with 54, and as a side note – Eddie Jones registered 7 such games with them in the year 2000). Kobe needs 14 more FTAs to move by Kareem for 5th in that category. He needs 36 FG attempts to have 24,000 for his career, which only 4 others have done. No wonder he has a bad elbow. KB needs 2 Def Rebounds to move by L Nance for 63rd all time. He needs 266 points to catch the NBA constellation known as the Big Dipper.

  2. darius: should be a given on back to back, one would expect the reserves to give it their best provided they are given the opportunity by the coaches. early and often to help set the tone and to allow for some rest for the starters; provided the walking wounded are set to start tonite vs the hornets. there are so many variables going on simultaneously at this point in the season is it any wonder that our expectations are just that, expectations with little and no certain predictability.

    ain’t nba basketball grand? especially our beloved lakers. can’t wait for the results of another winnable game.

    Go Lakers.

  3. I wish the rotation could grow to 9 players… but I don’t think it will happen til Pau returns.

  4. Back to back, on the road, and missing two of our rotation players, no matter. If the Lakers want in this post-season, they need to beat this lottery team.

  5. Due to the injuries the Lakers rotation needs to be 10 strong tonight.

    Robert, you’re right Kobe keeps playing through injuries and still exhibits a high love for the competitive part of basketball. Let’s hope he plays an optimal game and gets some rest.

    Have to appreciate Howard playing through the pain, because the Lakers have no backup for him.

    The Lakers needs Jamison, Meeks and Clark to be more efficient to not have to play from behind and get a win.

  6. Good activity on defense as a whole and Dwight in particular. Now if Clark can regain the ability to catch the ball, they will be in business.

  7. That Bryant kid has a bright future in this league.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the “All Star only against the Lakers for a night” has already appeared—someone please wake Roger Mason up or at least guard him….

  8. Really bad feeling about this game … they’re going to lose, and it will be devastating to the playoff chase.

  9. Looking really bad out there against a terrible awful pelican team and allowing 62% to them, just nauseating.

  10. Second game in a row Dwight has had “get me out of here” fouls. He’s not into it. Bynum did the same after the trade deadline just stopped caring. Dwight body language is bad. Doesn’t help that Phil is undermining D’Antoni maybe showing Dwight what he could of had.

  11. New Orleans are shooting 63% in this game.

    Honestly has there been a worse defensive Laker team in recent memory, I can’t think of one (my comment is not based solely on this game of course, we have sucked the entire year on D)

  12. I have read a lot of excuses on this site for this team this year. Wonder what will be todays excuses if they lose to this bad team. How about bad Laker players as one. Clark. Meeks. Artest. Blake.Howard Terrible roster people. No layoff this year.

  13. I see a Laker team that has given up out there right now, they are just not competing/trying – very disheartening.

  14. You know, im triying to be positive but watching this game it makes very hard not to explode in fit of rage an cussin, despite all this team troubles being down to the Hornets this big is just beyond embarrasing nobody can tell me that this botton feeding team is better than the Lakers, allowing 56 points with 3 min left its just too much we lose this game it will be really really hard for me to care what happens to this team the rest of this season. Im apalled.

  15. 34-10 in this quarter, with 2 minutes left. I mean … wow.

  16. Take out the entire team and play any player that is not in the rotation. If the Lakers are going to lose to the Hornets/Pelicans by 20 then they might as well do it with players that are supposed to lose by that much.

    Now who wants to talk about passing the ball to players on this team? No one on this team cares but Kobe!

    I’m so sorry for Kobe with this roster! Clark has gone about as far as he can go this year.

    Play Ebanks and Darius, please!

  17. Rusty Shackleford March 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    A collective BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO is in order from all Lakers fans.

  18. Wow did you see how fast the 24 year old Kobe ran on that break!

  19. Can anyone explain to me what exactly Steve Blake is doing out there that Jodie Meeks (who is stronger defensively) was not doing? Blake has zero points and is -15

  20. LosFelizLaker March 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I think I need to fax them my win-loss breakdown of the remaining schedule.

  21. Yes Kobey money i also seen the 34 year old kobe 5 turnovers

  22. This is the Lakers’ tiny margin for error coming home to roost. These last 6 minutes could be the nail in the coffin for the season.

  23. There should be no doubt Dwight has checked himself out of the last 2 games.

    Fighting for a chance at the playoffs Dwight is playing with no heart. Drew checked out on the team after the trade deadline passed last year.

  24. @ Robert

    Your plethora of Kobe nuggets is a bright light in a very dark place.

  25. Steve Blake got a running start at a half court shot and didn’t even come close…to the basket…nada….not even a few feet close…sweet jesus that is awful, dude needs to hit the weight room.

  26. Disgusting vomit inducing half not much more to add.

  27. What Joe you expect him to make it?That was a prayer

  28. In the first half of the last 2 games the Lakers have allowed 138 points in 48 minutes.

  29. How do you allow 69 point last night and 67 tonight in the 1st half to a bad offensive team when you must have a win.

    Gutless team with a terrible coach.

    Blow up this team including the front office and the coach.

    These guys don’t deserve their own cable station and the paying customers. Shame on you Laker Organization for putting this garbage on the floor. Shame.

  30. @Fern I expect him to be able to get the ball into the same zip code as the basket, not necessarily make it, he had plenty of time and a running start. My 16 year old son shoots that shot all the time for fun and generally gets at least rim 75% of the time.

  31. We will not be a good defensive team until MDA is gone period. I’ve never seen a Laker squad this consistency bad and give up these routine 60pt halts and 40pt qtrs. HE HAS TO GO!

  32. Despite the bad defense all season long its the season long festival of turnovers that have killed this team more than anything else, they must had allowed literally more than a thousand points away on turnovers, almost every single loss have been because of this and most wins have been despite them. I never seen a team with this talent turn the ball over this much my entire life.

  33. Down by 19 .. Allowing 67 1st half points (after allowing 71 last night) .. Also allowing 60% Shooting in the half to .. The Pelicans

    Hopefully, the Cavs can hold on against the Jazz.

  34. Btw the Lakers will come back and win this game, therebi said it, its going to be story of two halves.

  35. To be fair, it was probably a bit optimistic marking this back-to-back as a “must win” for the AARP Lakers. Either way, they’ll have to make it up by beating a better team (in Milwaukee on a BTB?), or hoping the Jazz lose one more (they just lost to the Cavs). Either way, the playoffs aren’t looking good right now …

    I disagree with D’Antoni’s decision to bench Dwight, even with three fouls. There’s no way this team can compete, for 10 minutes, with 2 small forwards and two point guards on the court.

  36. Wow. Allowing the Hornets to shoot 56% is a recipe for a loss….

  37. The Jazz lost!! They are going to win this just watch

  38. Someone needs to tell them they are blowing a golden opportunity with CLE stealing one from UTA tonight

  39. Blizzard im fine that Howard was benched at the rate he was going he was going to foul out with 6!minutes left in the half.

  40. @Fern they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell … flush this one.

  41. i cant watch the game live because of work and i normally wait til i get home to watch it on my dvr, but i couldnt resist. this is a golden opportunity to gain some ground on the jazz and possibly the rockets.

    any reason (besides transition d, turnovers, going cold for a long stretch, poor effort) why they are down so much?

  42. Rooting for Mavs at the moment. Seems to be a more productive exercise today.

  43. Fern, regarding Dwight … you may have read that the Lakers’ defense with Dwight off the court would be league-worst, and by a mile. They have no hope with him off the court for an extended time — may as well gamble he doesn’t foul out.

  44. If Dwight is this hurt he needs to just sit, he looks like Chris Mihm out there, pre-surgery

  45. Not watching the game live, but watching espn gamcast. I would imagine majority of Howard’s could are dumb reaching fouls he has no business committing.

  46. The Hornets are even laughing at how many easy looks they are getting

  47. This the worst coached Lakers team.

  48. A Hornet team that avg 94 ppg looking like world beaters.

  49. Paging: anyone but Kobe…

  50. What’s Meeks shooting percentage from 3?

  51. Meeks shoots nearly 38% from 3 this year, but is streaky

  52. Lakers won!!!

    The 3rd Q.

    By 1 point…

    oh…

  53. @eric basically, Dwight got his third foul with 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, and the wheels fell off. No superlatives you can think of could capture how awful the Lakers’ defense was during that stretch. (And actually, their offense wasn’t much better.)

  54. 60 something games in the team still has no rhythm or cohesion. Might not ever get it.

  55. Cut 1 point off of their halftime lead .. Wow

  56. Looks like the only way to get D’Antonio fired is for D12 to make that as condition to resign with the Lakers. If this doesn’t happen, there is no hope of winning anything in the next few years.

  57. This is painful ;(

  58. When something happens much of the time, like the Lakers playing very poor defense, then the logical conclusion is that they are a poor defensive team.

  59. Damn is Howard dumb.

  60. I swear the FO owes us the fans an apology. This is 100 percent inexcusable, are they watching what we are watching. $ spent of league pass down the drain.

  61. D’antoni is a specialist for a certain brand of offense. That’s all. He has never been known to be a master of egos or personalities, and he is famous for having teams that don’t play defense.

  62. While blame is being assigned, can we pause and appreciate how epically terrible Steve Blake has been tonight after some decent play after he came back. Not really sure why MDA wouldn’t throw Duhon out there for some of his minutes, Duhon was actually running the offence fairly well during his spot up minutes (before being benched on Blake’s return…as is zero mins per game, nothing…)

  63. Where would this team be without Kobe?

  64. Let’s look on the bright side, shall we?

    At least the Lakers will probably finish the season with a better record than this team:

    2004-05 Los Angeles 34 48 .415 4th Pacific Division – - – DNQ

  65. R: Perhaps, however the 2005 team had just lost a superstar and their coach. We supposedly added a couple of superstars and a coach this year.

  66. If were talking about the bright sides:

    1. The Jazz lost today
    2. Houston is down by 10 in the 3rd.

  67. this is what happens to an old slow team with coach who only plays 8 guys on back to back.

  68. Quite the turnaround! Holy crap.

  69. We still have Kobe and nobody else does

  70. Let me repeat, WHERE WOULD THIS TEAM BE WITHOUT KOBE???!!!

  71. Incredible will by Kobe. He never quits.

  72. Jayz: Don’t even want to think about it. Let’s get that extension signed.

  73. Kobe, Meeks and Dwight have shown up in the 2nd half.

    Whether they win this game or not, I would say 3 things:

    1. MDA playing Blake with Nash over Meeks in the 1st half given how bad Blake was playing is confounding.

    2. Kobe Bean is still top 5 in the NBA and night after night shows up.

    3. Dwight showed up in the 2nd half, i’ll give him that.

  74. why are the Lakers constantly in this position? Meeks!

    Let’s go Lakers! Kobe is exhausted and his arm is hanging!

    Way to patrol the paint Howard!

    Why don’t the Lakers start the game with this energy?

    Coach go offense defense with Nash.

  75. Kobe layup ties it

  76. Quit shooting metta brick!!!!

  77. Is ball movement impossible for MWP? Dude must know he is an awful shooter right?

  78. Boy is Metta a stupid player. Two times ruins mo. Amazing when Kobe and Meeks on fire.

  79. I know who the refs bet on

  80. WOW, Kobe gives the Lakers the lead.

  81. Need a stop AND a defensive rebound.

  82. I love Kobe.

  83. What a great block by Dwight Howard.

  84. That play was old school Dwight!

  85. I am as hard as anyone on the guy, so I will say it again, Dwight showed up in the 2nd half.

    Of course Kobe willed the Lakers back in this one in every way, scoring and dishing.

  86. A little luck for the Lakers as well, both Rivers and Davis couldn’t go in the 2nd half and they were both balling.

  87. Howard’s block was on point!

    Wow! I haven’t seen that out of bounds play since traveling team ball.

    Okay, MWP!

    For the 27th time this year…maybe this game will be the game that makes the light bulb go on.

    Lakers win, Lakers win!

  88. Wow. Easiest 2 points Kobe has EVER had!

  89. Blizzard this one for you: I CALLED iT!!!!!!!!!!

  90. Great out of bounds play leads to a Kobe breakaway slam dunk.

  91. Metta! He always shows up after making a bone-headed play…

  92. Did NOLA seriously get the half courts switched in their head? They’re professional basketball players.

  93. How ya like D12 now?!

  94. @Darius
    I’m really loving your tweets tonight. *hissing sounds* lmao!

  95. Fern, you did, ha … no idea how, but you did.

  96. A game and a half behind the 8th yeaaahh HUGE gut check. WOW

  97. Never a doubt.

    Me a big liar!

    Best ever 4th. 31 to 9.

  98. so kobe is either a machine or an alien.

  99. Well earned, come from behind TEAM victory.

    More to say about this later, but right now, on to the Rockets-Mavs game.

  100. Put another one in the Kobe career highlight vault

  101. Lakers outscore the Hornets 33-9 in the 4th quarter and roar back for the win. Great comeback. Hornets go scoreless over the last 6;46 of the game.

  102. I dogged him last game. I will praise him now. Dwight was a beast in the fourth.

    Kobe Bryant is not entirely human. Other than a nagging turnover issue, I cannot recall him playing any better than this in recent years.

  103. Dwight Howard was amazing playing all of the fourth quarter with foul trouble and able to anchor defensively. What a block. And he’s not 100% physically? Im sold.

    Best inbounds play ever drawn up by Mike D’Antoni. Hahaha

    oh. Kobe is pretty good at basketball.

  104. Robert: Anyone who ever complains about Kobe ever again should just shut there damn mouth.

    That dude is a champion.

  105. Unnnnn believable!!! Damn MWP, but Kobe, D12, and Jodie Meeks!!!! Wow!!!! Let Earl Clark finish games and we might have a chance.

  106. I dont know Blizzard i had a gut feeling plus this Pelican team is terrible lol. This win could be the thing this team needed they came togheter as a team those last 8 minutes, cant say enough about Kobe just wow he is playing at MVP level. I was very very frustrated at the half but i had that funny feeling lol

  107. Need to use those high Kobe/D12 screens at the beginning of games to open up the lane. Once they start doubling Kobe you can worry about getting the rest of the team involved on O.

  108. Kobe’s 2nd half: 25 points on what seemed like 100% shooting but was probably only slightly less than that, 11 assists, a few rebounds, 1 turnover and a block

  109. Amazing. Where are all the Kobe haters now? *crickets* Yeah, they know where they can stick it!

  110. And Dwight looked like Orl Dwight down the stretch, as good as i see him all season. Outstanding!!!

  111. wow.

    did kobe even miss a shot in the 4th?

  112. Gotta give the team some ups for that, in the 4th Q of a back-to-back, regardless of opponent.

  113. Dwight looked pretty good. 20 points 9-16 shooting, 15 rebs 3 steals 4 blocked shots…he did look like orlando dwight out there.

  114. Harold—According to stats and info Kobe was 7-8 from the field in the fourth quarter–he had one shot blocked…18 points by my count in the quarter

    Of course tomorrow some stats guru will say Kobe hogged the ball too much and played hero ball down the stretch.

  115. not sure about ‘hero ball’ but he sure is a ‘hero’ and can surely ‘ball.’

  116. Good Lookin Mavs .. Rockets suffer a L

  117. In the last two games Kobe’s stats vs:

    OKC, 30pts, 3bds, 2asts, 2tos, 0bs, 1ba
    NOLA, 42pts, 12bds, 7asts, 6tos, 1bs, 2ba
    Totals 72pts, 15bds, 9asts, 8tos, 1bs, 3ba

    Not bad for a 17 year veteran at 34 yrs old.

    Kobe will do anything to be prophetic! Ha, he said the Lakers will make the playoffs.

  118. Annnd Houston just lost too. This win even against the lowly Pelicans showed a lot of grit and i think this is the first time i seen some real sync between Kobe and Dwight. Now, if they finally realize that what they did those last 8 minutes of the game have to be done every play every quarter and stop the tos this team will be really really tough to beat, how many tos they commit in the 2nd half? I dont think they even made 3 on the entire half thats what im talking about. They ended with 11 for the whole game.

  119. I just read this is the biggest comeback win for the Lakers since 2002 wow

  120. Fern, way to call the win.

    Robert, I could sure use a Kobe update about now. LOL

    The Hawks just waived F/C Jeremy Tyler. Does anyone know anything about this player? Can he help the Lakers more than Sacre? Or more than playing Clark out of position which only drains his energy at his natural position?

  121. Two down, one to go. Go Sacto….

  122. Funky Chicken March 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I’d still like to know how a team desperately trying to get into the playoffs comes out and plays maybe its worst and most lethargic half of basketball in a must win game against a truly awful team.

    Against anything other than an incompetent opponent this is a loss.

  123. darius: another winnable game……howard did this, kobe did that and jodie meeks did the other.

    games like tonight build both character and confidence. it’s been a while but kobe has once again brought the team back from the brink of defeat. tonite rekindled those memories and more importantly for this team, this win has proven there are other capable players on this team. relentless is another way to describe kobe bryant and without that we would be whistling and not singing his praises once again.

    of course, one game does not a season make but this game in particular brought out something in howard we haven’t often seen this season. let’s call it what it is, timely tenacious defense. in foul trouble virtually the entire game, howard was not hesitant to invoke his will; especially in crunch time.

    also saw the wisdom in the way coach d called a timely timeout after howard secured the block on brooks late in the game. he’s got that hesitant; self effacing way about him but you can see behind those beaty eyes, there’s a basketball brain inside there working small wonders.

    and of course, how else to explain mental lapse? to a large extent went a long way to solidify the game in the closing seconds. i mean, who sets up defensively guarding their own basket? let’s just call that having a pelican moment or two or three really good ones along the way. leave it to kobe to figure it out.

    so to put this game in a nutshell, things have a way of working themselves out with effort and tonight we saw that with this, that and the other.

    Go Lakers

  124. Kings up by 3 at the half….could be an extremely good night for the team!

  125. Wow… this season has been tough on the heart, but isn’t it all shaping up like some kind of cornball Disney movie? God I hope so, because you know how that would end….

  126. Incredible turnaround, now I regret missing the game. Kobe is simply amazing.. Almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the preview that Lakers was actually down by 25 and came back to win it. Certainly not what I predicted but a win is a win and its encouraging to see comments about Dwight’s improvement. For those who missed the game too, you can find very good quality highlights by searching NewLakersHD in Youtube. Thanks god they won or things could get ugly.

    Now we’re just 1.5 games back from Utah and 2 from Houston. Great night esp aft a back to back and coming off a loss. What a rollercoaster ride this season has been. Remember when the team was 1-4 and 18-25?

  127. Warren Wee Lim March 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I was reading thru the comments and it seemed like 2 different games and 2 different opponents.

  128. Howard’s ex-teammates are again thrilled with him:

    Howard told KCAL, a Los Angeles CBS affiliate, in an interview this week: “My team in Orlando was a team full of people who nobody wanted, and I was the leader, and I led that team with a smile on my face.”

    Howard clarified those comments Wednesday.

    “I’m not surprised by it,” Redick told ESPNLosAngeles.com Wednesday evening before his Milwaukee Bucks played the Los Angeles Clippers. “I would be more surprised when Dwight starts taking responsibility. That would be the most negative thing I can say, but that’s the truth.”

    —-

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9025882/jj-redick-not-pleased-dwight-howard-recent-comments

  129. rr,
    Did you read Dwight’s post game comments on that subject? He basically said that he meant his team was full of underdogs and that he told those guys all the time he wouldn’t trade them for anybody. Which, when watching that interview, seems like the more likely interpretation. Yet, his comments were spun into “Dwight disrespects his Orlando teammates”.

  130. Did you read Dwight’s post game comments on that subject?

    _____

    Yeah, but it wasn’t a “spin” thing–Lewis, Nelson, and Redick all offered very pointed criticisms of Howard that went beyond whatever was intended by the comments.

  131. rr,
    My point was that it seems like those other players’ comments were made based off how Howard’s comments were presented to them. I’m not saying what *those guys* said isn’t true or was spun. I’m saying it’s a lot easier to say negative things about someone when told that person said something negative about you.

  132. Seems like Dwight Howard is the “most hated” player in the NBA these days. Despite the fact that he is fighting his way through recovery from a severe surgery , his body of work is judged as if he were completely healthy, even by his own fanbase. He is totally disrespected by the League’s referees, who allow tons of contact against him, but don’t allow him to retaliate and protect himself. And slap T’s on him whenever he raises an eyebrow.

    I know he made his bed hard with his actions in Orlando and now has to lie in it. But Dwight is giving a good effort and wants to succeed. We Laker fans should support him a little. He’s not 100%, and probably won’t be until next season. I hope he’s still an LA Laker then.

    Dwight was terrific last night. I hope it continues.

  133. Kenny T

    I Agee but his immaturity and knack for saying the wrong thing in addition to his non win at any cost mentality sometimes overshadows his positives. Tonight we saw what he and Kobe can really be when they are on the same page. He has everything that Drew didn’t but lacks Drews ability to score in a variety of ways.

  134. Chearn

    Jeremy Tyler is a very gifted, athletic offensive player but is also very immature. He is the kid who went the overseas professional route instead of college. His work ethic has been questioned now and overseas. He was recently traded from Golden State. My personal view is he is Demarcus Cousins without the complete game (Derrick Favors lite). Could he help us? Heck yes!!! Kobe will make him better. He’s better than Sacre by a mile!! He has nice size and height. He would also limit the toll on Clark (moving him back to a 3/4) which he needs right now (he looks spent).

  135. I love looking at the timeline in the comments section. You can read the changing mood as the team comes back. Certain commentators stop commentating, others start up. Manic-Depression is a terrible thing.

    Enjoy the ride, stay rational, make a baby, discover a cure for some disease. This may be my favorite Kobe season and like many on here, I have seen them all. Soak it in. We will never see another like him.