Around The World (Wide Web): Lakers Gut One Out In New Orleans

Ryan Cole —  March 7, 2013

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Kobe Bryant poured all his energy into the fourth quarter. What came out was something miraculous. The Lakers put together a season-saving comeback, roaring back from 25 points down to stun the lowly New Orleans Hornets, 108-102, on Wednesday night. Bryant, 34, shook his head at Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni after playing the entire third quarter, an indication Bryant refused to come out of the game despite logging 39 minutes the previous night despite a sore right elbow. Bryant was winded midway through the fourth quarter, when he was dominating the ball and going all out every possession, but he found something else to keep him going – desire to connect this team for more unlikely success in the postseason.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA:  There has been a bit of a turf war in the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room since the first day of training camp this season. Kobe Bryant wanted to make it clear he wasn’t being pushed out the door. Dwight Howard wanted everybody to know he had arrived on the scene. “I got a question earlier about whose team this is,” Bryant said back on media day. “I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’ No, it’s my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away, this organization can ride on as if I never left.” The first three quarters of the season played out with Bryant seemingly pushing his hardest because he knows he doesn’t have much longer to play and Howard seemingly not wanting to push too hard because he knows how much longer he has to play. There were conflicting agendas and personalities, enough drama to fill an HBO series and not enough wins to punch a playoff ticket.

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Forget for a minute that it happened against the New Orleans Hornets, the team with the worst home record in the Western Conference. Disregard for a few seconds how the Lakers found themselves down 25 points — 25 points — to the team paying rent in the West basement for much of the time this season. The Lakers might have finally found something in their goofiest twist yet, their largest comeback since 2002 with a 108-102 victory Wednesday at New Orleans Arena. All it took was a 20-0 run to end the game, amid 12 consecutive missed Hornets shots and five New Orleans turnovers in the final six minutes. Yes, it was against the woeful Hornets, but had there been a happier Lakers locker room all season? Doubtful.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: The Los Angeles Lakers mounted a miraculous comeback against theNew Orleans Hornets Wednesday night in the second half of their road back-to-back. Both offensive and defensive execution crisp and the 20+ point hole the Lakers were buried in wound up a narrow victory that was a stunning victory. In part 1 of this edition of The Playbook, we’ll take a look at how the Lakers defense, and Dwight Howard, held the Hornets to a mere nine points in the fourth quarter while their offense chipped away at the lead. Howard’s domination the Hornet’s pick and roll game is most notable, but the team as a whole did a great job and played with a defensive intensity and cohesion that has been a rarity this season. Still, the fact that Howard had four fouls through the majority of this stretch, and didn’t pick up his fifth until late in the quarter, speaks volumes to how active and precise he was on defense after a tough first half. Now, onto a comprehensive breakdown of how the Lakers dominated on defense with their engaged big man anchoring the paint.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Whenever someone famous tries to clarify a previous statement, does it really help?Nonetheless, Dwight Howard felt obligated. In a recent interview he said about Orlando that “…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.” I can’t imagine why his teammates would take that as an insult (•cough•), but they did. Just because he said nobody wanted them? Because that’s not what he meant, Howard told the media Wednesday, including Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Ryan Cole

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6 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Lakers Gut One Out In New Orleans

  1. The exchange at the end of the last thread is very interesting. I am not one to usually try to find middle ground : ) However: The win was great and it “could” be something we rally around, that gets us on a run, that allows us to make the playoffs and then maybe some noise therein. That is the “optimists” view. However the “pessimists” correctly point out that the NOH are one of the worst teams in he league, we almost lost to them, and it required Kobe heroics to pull it out. I think it really comes down to whether you pushed the reset button or not. What I mean by that, is most of us had huge expectations coming into the year, and if you never fully let go of that, then it is hard to get too excited by coming close to the eight slot. Yes most of us realize that we are not the huge force that we had hoped, but even so, it is hard to go full blown optimist over wins that put as at 500. On the other hand if at some point in the season, you basically pushed reset, as some have, and you said to yourself, the season is over and if we make the playoffs it is gravy, then this probably seems like a great run. There is a further divide over how we got here. If you think it is all due to injuries (the Jim Buss theory), then you think that our performances are grand and heroic. If you think our early season woes were largely self inflicted, it tends to lead to less excitement about a win or two here and there. Keep in mind this is discussion on a blog. If I were in the stands at a game, or in the locker room as a member of the staff, I would be full blown optimist, and would cry heresy at those that weren’t. I am not in one of those locations right now, so I think both points of view are valid : )

  2. I’d like to give Steve Blake mounds of credit for recognizing the play and placing the pass to Kobe in perfect stride.

    Nice!

    Just wait…a few years from now Dwight will be making the Kobe face when he makes a great offensive/defensive decisive play to win the game.

  3. Still amazed at that comeback. Amazed also how a team scores 7 points, shoots 12% while missing many wide open shots. Lakers defense or one of the worst shooting quarters in years? 7 points?

    Also amazing considering Nash and Blake scored a combined 5 points yet the Lakers still won.

    Lakers amazing defense or fumbling, bumbling NO offense? Thinking a combination of a beyond superman act by Kobe and a real life Pelican Laying a Giant Egg.

    Please play a normal game tonight.

  4. Rusty Shackleford March 8, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I turned the NOLA game off at halftime. It’s great that they came back and won but that would have just been too much for me two nights in a row. I’m bummed I didn’t get to watch Dwight play well. Hopefully they can do themselves a favor and not put themselves in such holes to start games for a while. It has to be draining even in come-back wins.

  5. Robert, that’s an interesting take. In my case, it’s probably even more complicated because I tend to fall into both camps, depending on the situation.

    While watching games, I tend to be in full “fan” mode, refusing to accept that the team can’t dig out of a hole (either an in-game or a season long hole), so I get emotional and thoroughly enjoy the good play and get very frustrated by the bad play.

    After the game is over, I tend to take off my partisan hat and try to look at the team more dispassionately. Wednesday night was a case in point. During the game, I was miserable for most of the game, then completely thrilled. But once the game was over, I switched to what I think is a more objective view, and put the overall game into the broader context (yes, a great comeback and a historic effort by Kobe, but also a disastrous first 41 minutes by the Lakers followed by a colossal choke by a bad Hornet team).

    I find myself in a middle area, where I firmly believe the team will make the playoffs, but also convinced that it probably will result in a first round wipeout. So, call me optimistically pessimistic, or vice versa….