Preview and Chat: The Chicago Bulls

Darius Soriano —  March 9, 2013

Records: Lakers 32-31 (9th in the West), Bulls 35-27 (5th in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.8 (8th in the NBA), Bulls 99.8 (24th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.9 (18th in the NBA), Bulls 98.8 (4th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Dwight Howard
Bulls: Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Injuries: Lakers: Pau Gasol (out), Jordan Hill (out for the season); Bulls: Derrick Rose (out), Taj Gibson (doubtful), Rip Hamilton (questionable), Kirk Hinrich (questionable)

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers have finally moved above the .500 mark. And while they’re tied with the Jazz from a record standpoint, they remain in the 9th spot due to tie breakers (the Jazz have already won the season series). That said, the Lakers continue to gain ground on the teams in front of them as the Warriors and Jazz are struggling some (especially the Jazz) and the Rockets are still adjusting to the trade that sent away two key players from their power forward rotation.

That said, it’s best to repeat this again: even though the scoreboard watching will continue in earnest, the Lakers must still be concerned with what they can control — their own play. In the last two games the Lakers have found themselves down big to lottery bound teams and needing huge performances from Kobe (and Dwight and Nash) to make improbable comebacks to win games. These wins have made for exciting viewing but isn’t a formula for long term success. The Lakers must find ways to play better earlier in the games and bring a consistency to their performance if they hope to not just make the playoffs but to be dangerous once there.

Because even though this team is clearly developing a belief in itself and individual players are showing what they’re capable of — especially Dwight who is improving every game — they must find ways to be less reliant on the brilliance of these guys and instead find success from more of a team standpoint. Of course there will be nights where the Lakers need their stars to carry them, but that can’t be an every game theme. This group must find a way to start defending better as a group while also developing a workable attack on offense that isn’t so reliant on Kobe going nova.

The Bulls Coming in: While the big question surrounding the Bulls is when (if?) Derrick Rose will be back this season, they continue to play well enough to win games. They’re 3-2 in their last 5 games and just came off a nail biter against the Jazz where a last second three pointer by Marco Belinelli won the game.

This team continues to be a defensive monster, boasting the 4th most efficient defense in the league with Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Jimmy Butler representing strong wing and interior defensive options for defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau to deploy. So, even though they also have average to below average defenders in their lineup (Boozer, Belinelli, Nate Robinson), the combination of scheme and defensive anchors in the aforementioned players means this team continues to get it done on that end of the floor.

Where the Bulls are struggling, however, is on offense. Without Rose to create good looks, the Bulls have become more reliant on players who should be complimentary talents rather than number one options. And while Boozer and Deng can be go to players on any given possession, they’re being asked to carry a tremendous load on O and sometimes they’re simply not good enough to do so.

So the Bulls end up grinding out a lot of games and while that’s a strategy that’s worked this season, they are essentially performing at their ceiling as currently constructed and with Rose not yet ready to rejoin the lineup. Their disciplined and gritty style keeps them in nearly every game and their best players ability to play heavy minutes mean that they get favorable match ups against team’s second units, but the fact is that that they’re not likely to go far in the playoffs playing this way. Regardless of how hard they fight — and they do fight hard.

Bulls Blogs: Both Blog-A-Bull and By The Horns are great sites that offer strong analysis on the Bulls. Give both a read.

Keys to game: The Bulls are a bit banged up right now and a lot of how this game goes will depend on who is available to them tomorrow. If none of the injured Bulls suit up, they’re likely to only play 8 players and that will test their stamina in the first game of their road trip after a tough contest on Friday. Not to mention that at least one player who may not go — Kirk Hinrich — had a fantastic game the last time these two teams met and was a big reason the Bulls won that contest.

Disregarding the injuries, though, this game will simply be a battle of strength on strength to see whose top unit can come out on top. The Lakers boast one of the better offensive attacks in the league while the Bulls have a top tier defense. Whichever team can best play to their strengths while getting enough on the other side of the ball will likely win this game.

For the Lakers, they’re going to have to find ways to score against a defense that is specifically designed to slow down the  types of actions they run. The Bulls love to flood the strong side box with an extra defender and that type of scheme will cause problems for an iso heavy attack like the Lakers have run for Kobe in recent weeks. Beyond dealing with the 2nd defender, Kobe will also have to deal with Deng and Jimmy Butler as a primary defender and both offer length and lateral quickness to slow him down all over the floor. Kobe’s been brilliant lately, but he’s going to have to do it against some very good defense in this game.

Beyond the Bulls ability to slow a perimeter threat like Kobe, they also have Joakim Noah operating in the middle of their D and creating havoc when defending the pick and roll. Noah is one of (if not) the best hedge and recover big men in the game and his ability to slow down the ball handler and still get back to the paint to bother a rolling big man and/or rebound is key to the Bulls’ scheme. Nash and Howard will have a difficult time cracking his presence in this game, but to do so they’ll need to be precise and make quick, smart decisions with how they move and pass within this action. Nash’s ability to make the right pass/shot read will be one of the more important factors in this game, especially with Kobe having to deal with the level of defender he’s going to face.

Defensively the Lakers aren’t facing the strongest offense but this team does have some weapons to account for. Look for Robinson to really attack Nash in isolation and out of the P&R to try and get into the lane where he can get off good shots for himself or hit a teammate for an open shot. Robinson is no Rose, but he offers a similar skill set in that he’s quick and explosive with his movements and is not bashful when trying to create off the dribble. The Lakers’ help must be ready to deal with Robinson trying to get into the paint and when Howard steps up to try and contain him, the back side rotations must be sharp to make sure that Booze and Noah don’t feast at the rim with easy baskets.

Deng and Boozer must also be respected when attacking in isolation and their defenders must be ready for their pet moves. Boozer loves to work from the elbow area and from the left block where he’ll use his face up and turnaround jumper to get baskets. His man must be ready to contest his shot and would do well to make Boozer put the ball on the ground or become a passer rather just a rhythm scorer off that jumper. As for Deng, he too will attack with his jumper but also has a nice off the dribble game that must be respected. As mentioned earlier he’s taking on a bigger load on offense and with that responsibility is more wiling to attack to score or to get to the foul line. He has range out to the three point line, but his man would be wise to make him prove he can hit that shot before running at him hard and giving up a driving lane that can expose the Lakers’ help schemes.

The Bulls aren’t the Raptors or the Hornets. They’re a team that will continue to grind away and will not get too up or down nor tighten up if the Lakers make a big push at any point in this game. My point is that the Lakers can’t simply make one good push in this game and expect it to be enough to win. The Bulls will be aggressive on both ends and will make the Lakers work on every single possession for the full contest. If the Lakers aren’t ready for that type of fight, they will feel the repercussions and not be happy when the final buzzer sounds.

Where you can watch: 12:30pm start time on ABC. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

113 responses to Preview and Chat: The Chicago Bulls

  1. Will D.Rose play? Read he was already cleared by his doctors to play but still hesitating to play.

  2. I believe there is just about zero % chance that Rose will play.

    Dwight-Kobe alert: Ramona Shelburne has this quote from Howard “It’s going to make me a better man and a better player from watching Kobe,” Howard said.”

    While I hope Howard will watch his quote happy trigger-finger, then I think we are getting more and more good signs on this front. It seems the story-line goes something like this:

    Howards All-star imitation behind Kobe’s back – icy relation
    Howards Time-out imitation in Hawks game – seems perfectly good natured
    Latest quote – Howard seems to want to be more Kobe, maybe the transition from imitation to learning has begun?

    Will we see Howards spewing venom at seasons end? One can only hope.

  3. Reality left the Laker locker room at least two games ago–so let’s pretend that the Lakers have legitimately re-entered the playoff conversation. In fact, a win technically puts the Lakers in sole possession of eighth place in the West, one behind the Rockets, and two behind Golden State. .

    If this warped reality continues, the Lakers could imagine starting the playoffs on the road–at Staples center!

    Did I just write that?

  4. Kobe Alert: For 2 consecutive games, we have witnessed Kobe get at least 41 points, 12 dimes, and 6 rebounds, while shooting 50% or better from the field. Since Kobe entered the league, the number of times this has been accomplished by all players in the NBA is 7, inclusive of KB’s 2. During that span, nobody else has done this more than once, and the fact that Kobe did it in back to back games – mind blowing. In scoring 41 against Toronto, KB registered his 119th forty point game (3rd) and his 412th thirty+ game (5th). The forty point games are amazing especially when looking at the time span they cover. Kobe has led the league in 40+ games during 6 prior seasons and is leading the league this year as well. The first time KB led the league in this category was 2002-2003 where he had 17 forty+ games. That year, TMac had 11, and A Iverson had 5. In 2011-2012 KB led the league with 5 such games, while K Durant was second with 4. This year, KB leads with 7 and KD has 6. In 2013 TMac and Iverson are both retired from the NBA and neither recorded a 40 point game after 2008. In 2002, Kevin Durant had not yet entered Montrose Christian High School. Can’t be possible can it? But it is. Against the Raptors, Kobes launched his 24,000th shot. In recording 12 dimes, he moved by Nick TQ and into 33rd. He is now pursuing Moses in 3 categories, Elvin in 2 categories, and Hakeem in 1 category. He also needs just 183 points to reach TBD.

  5. All: Kobe Alert is in mod above. Sorry was out last night, and did not get it in the top slot, but I see we have a gladiator there, so perhaps that will work out well !

  6. Lakers need a domination game where the starters sit in the fourth. Let’s see if D12’s effort today matches his recent words.

  7. Its about time Dwight starts to learn from Kobe this last 2 games should show him what is drive, determination and what is to be a real franchise player, a positive sign is that like us he is on awe of Vino. This team is too unpredictable to guess anything, ideal scenario would be a nice easy win with a lot of rest for Vino, this level of God- like play its not sustainable in the long run. The Lakers as a team need to get some easy wins so we dont have stalled Vino if we get to the playoffs.

  8. Rose is being cleared but being cleared and being in basketball shape are 2 different things, i dont think he will be playing for a while with the Bulls firmy playoff bound and paying reasonably good. There is no rush.

  9. Rr,

    “LT’s Bulls post, which fails to mention Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson–in other words, every really good defensive player the Bulls have–is a good example. Butler has played more minutes than Hamilton, and Noah and Deng are among the league leaders in minutes played.”.

    You missed my point entirely. Perhaps the bias is on your part when it comes to MDA’s defense.

    My point is even when the Bulls start three below average defenders (Nate, Hamilton/Marco, Boozer), their defense remains elite. Thib has masterfully taken advantage of the zone rule change, and has revolutionized how defenses are played in the NBA. He knows how to hide a players weaknesses on the defensive end, and also prefers giving minutes to defensive players over offensive players. You seem to give too little credit (and blame) to the role a coach and an effective defensive system can have. Sure, the Bulls are deeper defensively than the Lakers, and their two constants in the starting unit have been Noah and Deng, who are excellent defensive players……but nobody is suggesting the Lakers should be on par with the Bulls defensively. Not even close. The Lakers just need to improve from the bottom of the pack to somewhere in the middle of the pack. Is that unreasonable? Is it too much to ask from the head coach of the Lakers?

    With Dwight playing solid defense since the break, and Kobe remaining an elite defensive player, the defense is still giving up 40 point quarters, and the opposition is getting open looks at will, and still, no adjustments have been made…no occasional zones, no early traps to keep the opposition guessing and out of rhythm. You can accuse me of confirmation bias all you want, but MDA has only confirmed his reputation as a poor defensive coach since joining the Lakers, and needs to step up his game.

  10. LT mitchell,

    I know we’re like broken records here, the personnel pulpits. The Lakers have one solid defensive player who’s coming off a serious injury and an aging core, otherwise. I’m pretty sure had either Jordan Hill or Pau Gasol not gone down with injury for the majority of the season, we would be in the “top half,” and potentially much better defensively.

    Jordan Hill’s decent pick and roll defense and work on the offensive boards would seriously bolster two of our greatest defensive weaknesses, quick point guards in the PnR and transition buckets. Moreover, a second strong rebounder on defense would limit the number of second chance opportunities created whenever Howard rotates to reject penetration.

    Meanwhile, Pau is only an average defender now, but you can’t teach height, and he has that in spades. One of the defensive weaknesses of the Lakers is their propensity to turn the ball over on offense. Gasol undoubtedly helps in that department, as well as in the ‘LAKERS HAVE NO BACKUP CENTER WHEN HOWARD SITS’ department.

    Now you can continue like so many others to ‘prove’ your forgone conclusion that MDA is a terrible coach, or you can be balanced. Perhaps MDA could utilize zone schemes; yet the Lakers defensive weaknesses are not the half court when Howard is in. They are transition and semi-transition situations. These can and will only change with the personnel.

  11. Robert

    I am shocked to read you were out last night! I always pictured you in in a dark dungeon filled with hundred of basketball books and the walls filled with Kobe pictures and you wearing a professors purple and gold smock. Matter of fact I am not sure you really exist! I suspect you are “actually Kobe” using the pen name of Robert.

    Love your posts Kobert, enjoy meeting you some day. I will bring the adult beverages.

  12. Kobert, love it.

  13. Raja Bell waived today by the Jazz. Not eligible to play with a new team in playoffs but can sign through the end of regular season.

  14. Ken: Love it – LOL. There is some truth to what you say. I do have a few Kobe pictures and a bunch of Laker memorabilia in a man-cave type environment from which I do most of my posting. I do not dress in purple, rather usually am dressed in black, which comes from my heavy metal concerts (mindcrime knows about this), as well as I always wear black when I play poker – which is often (KenOak knows about this vice I have). Like everyone on this board, I spend way too much time on the Lakers, but also like most of us, I can’t help it. It is an obsession, and like you Ken, I go back a ways on that (also like you though I deny just how far back I go when speaking to any Raiderette types I meet in Vegas). Thanks to everyone for putting up with me, my alerts, and my occasionally controversial views on how the Lakers should be run.

  15. LT Mitchell:

    I know it’s hard to believe, given some of the bad quarters lately, but LA actually is what you wish they could be–a middle of the pack defense–or at least close to it. They currently rank 18th out of 30 in defensive efficiency. That isn’t great, but it isn’t the “bottom of the pack.”

    That said, I agree the defense is the problem, and should be better than it is. We actually miss Pau more on the Defensive end than anyone thought. Playing him at the backup 5 would be a huge upgrade defensively over Clark, simply because Clark is a 3-4 and Pau is a true 5.

    In fact, I’m hopeful that Pau returns soon and that, when he does, they use him at the 5 when Dwight is out, and give him some run as backup “4” so that he can ease back into minutes slowly. I’m cautiously optimistic that, if Pau can return and they can keep his minutes limited early, he could actually have more of an immediate impact on defense, simply by supplying a true “five” for the bench.

  16. Kareem,

    You point out that the Lakers do not have a backup center…..yet when Dwight is on the bench, the Lakers defensive strategy seems to be based on having a center to protect the paint. In other words, teams are penetrating at will when Dwight sits, and no adjustments have been made by MDA to account for the fact that there is no backup center. This would be the perfect time to throw an occasional zone, or more traps, to deny penetration, especially when the opposition is shooting 60% and scoring close to 40 in a quarter, but MDA has stated that he does not believe in zones. This close minded attitude reminds me of his attitude towards post ups on offense. The players forced him to change his offensive approach, and now it’s time for MDA to change his approach on defense as well.

    Regarding Dwight, he has been one of the top defensive centers in the league since the all star break, but the defense has still been at the bottom of the heap. Again, more excuses.

    I have given credit to MDA for instilling confidence in his bench players, as well as the spacing on offense…..but I refuse to make excuses for him on the defensive end. This team, with all it’s limitations, should still be a middle of the pack defensive team…not one of the worst in the league. Is that too much to ask?

  17. So we can’t get R.Bell this year?

  18. Formal- No we could sign him but only through the balance of the regular season. For him to be eligible in the playoffs, @ least as far as I understand it, Utah needed to waive him by March 1st. Pretty sure the fact that they waited until the deadline had passed is not a coincidence.

  19. Damn, i bet the Jazz releasing today so he cant play in the playoffs out of spite lol. If we win today, we are in sloe posetion of the 8th with some upward mobility, need to keep that in mind and not comeout flat out of the gate again. And as much as im in awe of Kobe being in “God”mode we need to start winning games without having to activate the Vino cheat code. Its that too much to ask?

  20. Had a chuckle of hearin Magic and Jalen Rose changin the tune from all the doomsday they were predicting early in the season, now they are saying this Lakers team might be on the middle of something special. Thats why i never believed all that bs about the Lakers demise and that they were going to miss the playoffs and it waa January and February.

  21. As for today´s game, the Bulls are a tough team & as Darius noted, we cannot come out of the gate unfocused & unmotivated. That´d spell two steps back…
    @Ken- Kobert! funny stuff as usual big K
    @mindcrime – agree with you with regard to Pau´s return, and may it come asap!

  22. Robert: your KobeAlerts are the best dude

  23. Not eligible to play with a new team in playoffs ..
    ______

    If this is the case, then it would make no sense whatsoever for us to sign him.

    As for today’s match up with the Bulls, being a fan of D. Rose, it’s upsetting for me that he won’t be participating. However, I stand behind him 100% in regards to not coming back from his ACL Tear until he’s mentally ready. Being that athleticism is a major component of his game, he needs to be sure, psychologically, that his legs will be able to withstand the rigors of planting, cutting, lateral movement, multiple jumps at a time and, as he mentioned, exploding off of either leg. His ability, as a right-handed player, to jump off of his right leg and finish at the rim, with authority, with his left hand is something that is not easily done. I just hope that he doesn’t succumb to the pressure regarding his eventual return, sticks to his guns and makes his debut when he’s not just physically, but mentally prepared.

  24. Thanks Robert. Never miss your posts because of the content and you spell so well.

    As to poker I have a good game every Saturday at a Cigar store in Huntington Beach. Good group of guys with a few attorneys mixed in(free advise!). Even have our own dealer.

    Love to invite you. Let me know. Kenochetti@yahoo.com

  25. darius: kobe bryant is showing us what a personal guarantee looks like.

    from the standpoint of coming from behind, would it behoove laker nation to expect nash and howard to help solidify the guarantee starting with today’s game vs the bulls? this would be that opportunity to take the bulls by the horn, so to speak and make that a collective guarantee.

    another great write up on expecations for lakers vs bulls darius.

    Go Lakers

  26. Tra, it´s hard not to be a D. Rose fan, he´s great; i agree with you as to his return, nice post

  27. Chance to be 2 games above .500!

  28. LT mitchell,

    I think rr brought this up before, but we have a bunch of bad/slow defenders. Any decent offensive team would dominate traps with speed, creating 5 on 3 situations.

    With zone, I don’t think we need zone when Dwight’s in. And I am of the opinion that zone wouldn’t work when he’s out. When he’s off the court, we barely have a power forward defending at the 4 and 5. Two 6’9″ front men with limited defensive chops are not the best anchors for zone or any other defense. I’m not making excuses, I’m contextualizing. And to correct you, the Lakers are not “the bottom of the pack” defensively. They’re 18th, near halfway in the league. And I bet that since the all star break they’ve done better than that.

  29. Not a hair p ball!

  30. Someone tell Captain Pringles to pull Ron out of the game before he shoots again….

  31. Peace is just the worst player on this team he ienike 3 for 22 going back 3 games. Chicago is laughing at him giving him wide open shots. He is to dumb to admit he is terrible. This team will go no where with this stiff shooting 15 tines a game.

    Shoukd have dumped him last year.

  32. I was about to post this before, but its even more pertinent now. While defence is an ongoing issue, shooting % after their big 4 has also been pretty important. To an extent we go as far as Earl, Metta, Jamison, Meeks, and Blake’s shooting % will take us, and recently, with the exception of some good shooting spurts by Meeks and Jamison, the shooting % of those 5 has been a big issue.

  33. Nash and Howard 5-5…rest of the team 2-13.

  34. Mindcrime were you Max on Laker Talk last game? He referenced Pringles.

  35. Ken:

    Nope. I live in the upper Midwest (within a couple of hours of the original hometown of the Lakers), so that’s after my bed time.

    Three words to describe the wasted opportunity that was the first quarter.

    Too. Many. Threes.

  36. Lakers don’t give up 30+ in a 1st Q and actually have the lead – team of destiny!!!

    Incidentally, I echo the concerns about MWP’s atrocious shooting. My bigger concern though is that when the ball is passed to him all ball movement dies, it is either going to be a low percentage shot or a bull in the china shop drive with no ability to finish. Dude needs to learn to keep the ball moving and cut to the basket and he will find himself with easier shots.

  37. Lakers would be up by 15 if someone would listen to me!

    Tie Metta the Bricks right hand to his forehead during games.

  38. I thought the game would start 4:30 AM here in the Philippines?!

    I woke up at 4 AM and the game already started. Whats with the early game start?!

  39. Ken, your constant negativity adds nothing to these threads. Just go away.

  40. LT,

    I have said many times that I don’t think that D’Antoni has done a particularly good job, so, no I am not especially biased, and my point about your post was IMO accurate.

    Simply put, if the Lakers had Deng instead of MWP and Butler instead of Meeks, that wouldn’t make D’Antoni into Tom Thibodeau, but it would make their perimeter defense quite a bit better. It’s fine to say that MDA should be doing more of this or that; I agree with some of those points. But the players have to have the ability to execute the schemes.

    Kareem already covered the rest.

  41. It doesn’t matter whether the Lakers are winning championships or battling just to make the playoffs, guys who were questionable just to get an NBA contract always go off on us. Robinson is scoring like Kobe here.

  42. It’s amazing Metta has a green light. D’Antoni has to reel him in a bit he kills the offense.

  43. Neil: Clark is a decent bench player and nothing more. We went through this last year with Hill, where for a while people thought he was our savior. You can’t blame them, we do not often get young up and coming players, so any whiff of that spurs excitement.

  44. That 3rd foul on Dwight was cheap and the same ref just ate his whistle on Kobe last score, Nate jumped right into Kobe space, not straight up and down. Not even a debatable call. Honestly I wouldn’t care if they called it both ways.

  45. Yeah Nate Robinson always seems to find a way to light us up regardless of the team he’s on. Like the way we haven’t dug a whole early and the poor 3pt shooting percentage is starting to show some mean reversion.

  46. Sorry. The Nate comment above was me.

  47. And an uncalled offensive basket interference to cap off the 1st half, Bull’s player clearly hit the rim while the ball was on it.

  48. This crew is just terrible. Three terrible calls for phantom moving screens on LA–meanwhile, Kobe and Dwight are getting abused by anyone and everyone when they attack the rim with no call.

    Still. Too. Many. Threes.

  49. I know this has been said before in previous game threads but the refs really do suck this season. That MWP offensive foul where Deng trips by accident…lakers cant get calls while nate charges into the paint like lebron and gets the foul.

  50. My view that NBA refs just feel like they are not accountable was confirmed when Kobe reasonably asked the ref why he didn’t get a call when Nate jumped into him and the red just stared at him and didn’t utter a word until Kobe asked him 3x and then he said something like I didn’t see it or something ridiculous like that.

    This is the culture Stern has created by making criticizing refs a capital offence.

  51. Why do we shoot so many darn 3’s??? ..

  52. Man, if Thibs is coaching this Lakers team, they’re gonna be good defensively. Look at these bunch of Bulls’ player.

    Only Noah is known for his defense. Its a matter of coaching and players committing on DEFENSE!

    Thats why we won 16 banners.

  53. Nobody went to the analytics conference. 3’s and at the basket are the most efficient shots. All the good teams shoot a fair number of 3’s now. So its not so much about too many 3’s as the bulls are leaving them wide open and they are being missed. Its more a question if we have the horses to be a 3 point shooting team. Right now its border line, as the Lakers do shoot a decent % from 3. Its just that given the make up of the shooters, its pretty inconsistent.

  54. Agreed that there was some pretty bad reffing there, that didn’t help the lakers.

  55. I know it’s MDA, but there has to be a time when a player recognizes what’s a good shot and what’s an awful shot. It’s inexcusable for MWP at this point in his career to recognize stuff like that, it’s just not winning basketball.

  56. vhanz: Perhaps you should have woken up even earlier. Your comments and views would have blended in nicely during the last thread : )

  57. The only reason that the Bulls are considered a good defensive team is because they foul on EVERY play. Thibs has been getting away with the same garbage since Boston.

  58. Are the announcers reading our thread?

  59. Thanks PurpleBlood. Yeah, D. Rose is definitely one of the most Liked AND Respected individuals in the Association.

    Typical low scoring game against the Bulls. Hopefully, we can get some type of seperation from them during the 3rd quarter. We’ve been coming out on top recently during these close games, that tide is bound to turn eventually. D’Antoni was correct in arguing with the refs about the calls being made against us on our screens. A couple of those calls were bogus.

  60. Nate Robinson is flopping around like jello out there. NBA so badly needs to start giving players Ts for that.

  61. Hmm… I would like to see somebody not formerly named Ron take a shot…

  62. If its me or im seeing the Lakers playing defense. If it wasnt for all the missed 3s this should been a 30 point game, i know the Bulls are short but if we gave up 116 points to the Raptor i cant be nothing but impressed with the defensive effort today.

  63. Peace is now 6 for 24 the last 2 games.

    3 for 12
    3 for 12

    2nd most shots on the team.

    Why O Why?

  64. Dwight rejects Deng and then starts rapping along with the Ludacris song that’s playing through the Public Address Speakers.

    My halftime post is stuck in Moderation, but we’re finally getting that seperation that I was looking for.

  65. @Robert

    I guess so, stupid alarm clock LOL.

    Meanwhile, Nash still Nashty.

  66. In addition to turning on the game and seeing Los Lakers are up, I am in awe of the nickname Kobert.

  67. team winning, playing well, on both sides of the floor, Nash dominating a bit more then Kobe= no comments on thread..interesting.

  68. Dont get complacent again please.This team dont need another 4th quarter battle, lets have a easy game for a change.

  69. Nash is playing well offensively today, needless to say it´s good to have that contribution

  70. It seems silly many, including me, were throwing dirt on this team saying they weren’t going to make the playoffs and Dwight can’t become dominant again. Such fandom.

  71. 8-0 run… besides Kobe no scorers on the floor and JVG continues to discuss only Asik..nice.

  72. MWP’S defence has been as good as his offence has been bad this afternoon. Makes it hard to take him off the floor to keep him from shooting.

  73. It must suck when you get a killer block and the guy just grabs the board and scores anyway.

  74. Excellent 3 quarters so far, really happy with the effort on both sides of the floor.

  75. Good third quarter by the Lakers, increased their lead and excellent work rebounding.

  76. i find utterly and totally disgusting the announcers willingness to discuss things not related to the game for 5-7 minutes at a time. very little infuriates me more than that.

  77. @Joe

    Absolutely right, I experienced that even in a pick up game. Its like in a blink of an eye, momentum change.

  78. it´s good to see The Duke of Earl kinda climbing out of that slump

  79. So this is the Bulls, Nate Robinson leading them in minutes and their main offensive weapon. You’ve got to be kidding. How are they not in the lottery?

  80. Harvey M,
    I completely agree. It freakin drives me crazy too!

  81. Jamison gets 4 more points and MWP gets 2 and we have 7 guys with 10 or more points…what you want to see.

  82. Nate Robinson is a really good player, he torches the Lakers no matter what uniform he wears, and the Bulls are still a playoffs team because of their defense, even if the Lakers keep it going today i dont think they will reach 100.

  83. Annd they letting the Bulls back in the game, why im not surprised?

  84. Chicago so physical on the glass could you imagine what this game would look like with DH beasting this afternoon? He’s been just brilliant.

  85. Good timeout. Get Kobe in. Can’t play Meeks, jam, Blake at same time too long.

  86. Thibs won’t let Kobe beat him. Let’s see how Lakers counter.

  87. Kobe looks really tired.

  88. The Kobe- Dwight tandem is becoming more and more lethal every passing game. And the defense have been the best i seen it since i dont even know when.

  89. zirk..yup.

    On a related note…lets please close this out!

  90. I’m hardly a fan of Howard thus far this year, but it must be said: He is in full beast mode today. 14/21/3 blocks. If the team as a whole could have bought a 3 (currently 5/26), it wouldn’t even be this close.

  91. Meant *without* DH beasting

  92. Everyone plays well today. Hopefully the Lakers have finally found how to play together (other than the MWP’s outside shot of course).

  93. Kobe connects again with Howard for a slam dunk. Howard having a good game today.

  94. Mamba and DH12 doin´ the two man game!
    & this one is in the fridge!!
    solid game

  95. Staples Centre crowd getting pumped to cash in on those long, long, long awaited tacos.

  96. In a year of great quotes this might be the best from Kobe re: his rel’ship with Dwight. “It’s not like we are best friends either. But, we have a good understanding. ”

    No need for sugar coating.

  97. Its a beautiful day in LA as the mighty Lakers have returned.

    Owe it all to Kobert.

  98. Game over, well balanced attack and superb defense (cant believe it) and not that bad in tos either, i dont think i seen such a good game all around from the Lakers in a loong time, if the 3s were failling they would had won by 30, but hey that happens. Really looks like they are on to something.

  99. And for those bashing on MWP shooting, what was Boozer stat line again? Thank You

  100. Without the unselfishness of Nash and Pau Kobe and Dwight taking the lead roles and dominating wouldn’t happen. Front office always finds great team guys to play alongside their stars. Kobe carved up the bulls defense all game, especially in the 4th. This team will be a tough out.

  101. @Fern

    Did Boozer play?! I thought MWP was guarding Mohammed LOL, Ha.

  102. Ken: I may use that in a couple posts and see how it goes. Perhaps I can use Kobert for alerts and when I speak about Kobe, and when I post about the FO or other such things I will use Kobert’s evil twin Robert : )

  103. darius: yo quero taco bell.

    empezando a parecer como los lakers garantizan una appreance de playoff (starting to look like los lakers guarantee a playoff appreance.) Si los playoffs empezaron hoy (if the playoffs started today) y cosas comienzan a caer en su lugar (things starting to fall in place). still will like to see pau gasol (todavía le gustaría ver a pau gasol) but the timing and the events are starting to fall in place.

    otra victoria de domingo (figure it out)

    Vamos Los Lakers.

  104. He sure made him look like Mohamed.

  105. david h – con todo respeto amigo, estás escribiendo para el diablo en español! :D
    pero lo que vale es tu esfuerzo y aún más, otra victoria de nuestros queridos Lakers!
    vaaaaaamos la purpura y dorada!

  106. After 60+ games has the cracken been finally released? Sure looks like it. It may have taken 60+ games, but sure looks like Kobe&Dwight may have finally gotten it.

    And we only have the Hornets to thank for all this.

  107. OK – Vamos – Vamos – bueno – pero

    A donde?

  108. pb: ¿Qué digo, 10 grado español y luchó para conseguir un plus c.

    it’s another sunday, praise the lord.

    Go Lakers

  109. oops forgot about daylight savings and missed the game…

  110. They won even though the Kobe Alert was not the first post.

    Maybe they really have turned it around.

  111. This was one of the better wins of the season, with almost everyone contributing, Lakers (and Dwight particularly) playing solid D, scoring from multiple positions and multiple sets, and the possibility for more upside if the 3’s were falling. And against a good team. They were pretty short handed, mind you. Still not ready to annoint these guys as championship contenders, but very gratifying to see them play well, show real chemistry, comfort in roles, and a coherent style of play. And still with the possibility that with Pau back and Hill next year, that this can still be an even more imposing group.

  112. Kobe was brilliant today! Took what the defense gave him and didn’t force his shot. Dwight was sensational. This is the guy we were so thrilled about getting. His improved health is showing up in his play. Nash did his thing. Lakers are finding ways to win.