Preview & Chat: Lakers vs. Rockets

Darius Soriano —  November 7, 2013

The Lakers continue their road trip tonight, not yet fortunate enough to escape Texas after being blasted by the Mavs on Tuesday. No, they stay in the lonestar state to do battle with the Houston Rockets who have a ton of talent and expectations to match. So as the Lakers look to find an identity with a group of players who are either aging, hurt, inexperienced, unproven, or combinations of several, the Rockets have their identity in place. They are a powerhouse team with talent one through eight who wants to play fast, get layups or threes, and control the paint on both ends of the floor.

The story to this game isn’t really about those things, though. At least not really. Because while we can focus on the ascension of the Rockets and the decline of the Lakers, all that really does is bring us back to what everyone will want to focus on tonight: Dwight Howard. It’s through Dwight in which every other story travels. The flip in fortunes this season? Dwight. The difference in defensive ability of both teams? Dwight. The fact one team is a favorite and one is predicted to barely make the playoffs (if at all)? Dwight.

It’s more complex than that, of course. This version of the Rockets exists due to years of planning. James Harden was traded for with resources over time via smart drafting and deft trading. Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik are on this team due to smart cap management and savvy exploitation of existing contract structure rules. The roles players added this past season are the icing on a cake fully prepared this past summer and the ones before it. Many of these details are exactly why the Rockets have Dwight. They built this team through a combination of skill, good timing, and some luck. For what it’s worth, the Lakers will do the same over the next several years.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. There’s a game to play tonight and going about winning that game will be a tall task.

The Lakers are a team that relies on role players to play above their career norms to be successful. Take Xavier Henry as an example. When he plays well – scoring points, drawing fouls, playing strong wing defense – the Lakers are hard to beat. Add to him a nice game from a Steve Blake or a Jordan Farmar and the Lakers become even tougher. If Wes Johnson steps up and Meeks makes shots, this team is quite tough. If it all happens in one night, you have the Clipper game. Those things rarely happen in on the same night, though. And when all those things go the opposite, you get a bad loss.

The latter is more prone to happen on the road. Why? Because role players play worse on the road. Throw out whatever theory you want, but it’s the truth. Shooting percentages drop, effort wanes, and the results suffer. Tonight, of course, the Lakers are on the road. So a simple way to get a win is for those role players to find a way to up their games in an environment that they typically wouldn’t.

The more complicated explanation is the strategy and X’s and O’s that go into that. The Rockets are a big team and play a lineup – at least with their starters – that the Lakers must try to match up with. Head coach Kevin McHale plays Dwight and Asik together a lot and that is a recipe for controlling the defensive paint while also working very hard on the offensive glass. The Lakers can try to counter with Shawne Williams and that may work in stretches, but he will have trouble keeping Asik off the glass and will not challenge on the offensive glass the way that Kaman or Jordan Hill would. Whether D’Antoni adjusts his lineup to put Hill or Kaman in with the starters remains to be seen, but don’t rule it out.

I also wouldn’t rule out moving Steve Blake out of the starting group. Blake has had issues defending SG’s or SF’s with size and skill. Tonight, the Rockets will throw James Harden and Chandler Parsons at the Lakers’ wings and slowing them down will take more size and athleticism than Blake can offer. It may be more than any combination of wings the Lakers can offer, but that’s another story. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick Young or Wes Johnson replaces Blake and allows the team to better match up with the lineups the Rox deploy.

From a scheme standpoint, the Lakers must be prepared for what will be a straightforward game plan by the Rockets. They want to shoot in the paint or from behind the arc while limiting their opponents from doing the same thing. Look for Harden, Parsons, Lin, and Beverly to either hoist threes or attack off the dribble to get shots at the rim. Look for Dwight and Asik to roll hard out of every pick and roll and then camp near the paint for offensive rebound chances if they don’t get the initial shot. In order to defend this style the Lakers must pack the paint on initial actions and then recover to contest shots from behind the arc. In an ideal world, a Rockets possession would look like this: penetration is thwarted, the ball is kicked out, a Lakers’ defender closes out on the shooter to force the man to put the ball on the floor and then help comes immediately to force the ball handler to either take a mid-range jumper or to pass the ball out. If the ball is passed, the Lakers would repeat what they just did defensively until they force a miss and grab a rebound or force a shot clock violation.

Again, that’s ideal. I don’t expect that much, but it’s what the team should be trying to execute.

Offensively, the Lakers must find ways to penetrate the paint and threaten the defense enough create good shots all over the floor. Whether that’s through their own P&R actions, through post ups into Pau or Kaman, or through dribble penetration, it must come. Collapsing the D should create enough open shots from the wing to give the Lakers a chance to hang around in this game should they hit them. This will require guys like Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Williams, Young, and Nash to score well. Maybe that’s too much to ask, but it’s what is needed to make this a game.

And, ultimately, that’s what the Lakers should hope for. “Winning” is the goal, of course. But keeping the game close enough where they can deploy the right strategies in the final minutes is the most realistic goal they can actually hope for. A 5 point game with 3 minutes left may lead to hack a Dwight (or Asik). It could lead to a more focused few minutes of offensive and defensive possessions that go the Lakers’ way. It could lead to a Rockets’ meltdown of possessions that don’t produce quality looks. The variables are many and that’s what the Lakers need to play for. Make it a close game where down the stretch any number of things can turn the game. In other words, don’t let the game turn into what it did with the Mavs where it’s over by the half.

Whether the team has this in them is questionable at best. The road game, the Dwight factor, and the difference in quality between the rosters heading in all tilt the Rockets’ way. We’ll see if the Lakers can surprise us like they did on opening night, though.

Where you can watch: 6:30pm start on TNT. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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144 responses to Preview & Chat: Lakers vs. Rockets

  1. All on point, Daruis. There should be no sacred cows on this roster. D’Antoni needs to be flexible enough to use the roster’s depth to work more favorable match ups. After all, it isn’t like Blake and Nash are performing at winning levels . . . .

  2. This is a game where I expect the Hack-A-Howard to be a primary weapon when defending Dwight.Offensively, I agree dribble penetration is key for us to get good shots, however we can’t forget to go inside and try to get some easy baskets or fouls. If we just continue to jack up long shots we will get ran again.

  3. As someone posted to a previous thread Lakers starting lineup should be

    Farmar, Meeks, Henry, Gasol and Hill.

    Line-up give Lakers best chance to compete and win.

    Nash, Blake, Kaman, Young and Johnson should be in rotation.

    Any dependency on Nash for more than spot minutes is ludicrous.
    Nash has so many deficiencies he shouldn’t be counted for anything
    other than a salary cap hit.

  4. So far the only developing news is Melo looks to be over the hill. The first couple games this year he looked a step slower. I haven’t watched any after that but his stats haven’t been good. It makes sense considering he has never been in shape and is now approaching 30 years of age. If things don’t change with Melos legs that leaves lebron without a number two player to join with his summer. This would force LBJ to opt in and wait till 2015 to try and find two other stars to play with.

  5. Aaron: Agree on Melo. He’d be a terrible max player signing; not worthy of a Lebron partnership. Tell LeBron’s real estate agent to forget Malibu this year . . .

  6. Kamen, Henry, Pau and the two clankers starting tonight

  7. Aaron: So – this summer – it was LBJ here we come. Now we are not getting LBJ if A) Miami 3 peats B) Wade has some successful Euro knee surgery C) Melo tanks D) LBJ develops sentiment and goes to Cleveland. I do not like our odds. How are we going to avoid the dreaded 8 year record away from the NBA finals at this rate?

  8. The flip in fortunes this season? Dwight. The difference in defensive ability of both teams? Dwight. The fact one team is a favorite and one is predicted to barely make the playoffs (if at all)? Dwight.

    Hilarious .. But unfortunately, true. As usual, excellent preview Darius.

    I believe that I read – or heard – somewhere that Kaman will get the start tonight in the place of Williams. A move (Williams being benched) that I feel should be permanent. With this being the case, there should be no need to double down on either Dwight or (definitely not) Asik. What’ll be interesting to me is how the coaching staff goes about hiding Nash if the lightning quick Beverly – who will also be applying that pressure defense – starts.

    This team has shown not an ounce of heart outside of Staples thusfar this season. Will that change tonight? And …

    FWIW, from what I’ve read and heard, I respect the way that Dwight is handling himself leading up to this so called ‘reunion’ game with the Lakers.

  9. Nash $18 million guaranteed.
    Farmar $1 million guaranteed

    Guess who starts?

    Melo looks less than max money but its early.

    LBJ looks maximum max money but will he burn out carrying the
    Heat load this season?

  10. Why in the hell the Lakers would max a 30 y/o Melo,i imagine Mitch thinking whats the road to take the Lakers back where they belong? I know!!! Lets sign another 30 y/o and max him!!, and newsflash!! Melo dont have a lick of Defense on his entire body.And Lebron coming to the Lakers lol lol lol lol lol lol lol. Not happening. I really doubt the Lakers are going to go back to contenders next season, and i dont believe the Lakers are stupid enough to go and blow all their cap space in an insane shopping spree next summer right after getting out of that mess. The Kobe/Pau era is almost over, if you been a fan long enough you know there will be a transition period could be 2,3,4 or more years. I suspect some people here would die if they had to go thru the gasp!!!! 12 years between Magic and Shaq/Kobe or the seven years until the Kobe/Pau era. All this happened before and will happen again.

  11. Kaman and Pau should work ok against this Houston frontline bit against other teams they would be run out of the gym even worse than in Dallas and GS.

  12. Tra he said “Unfortanely the Lakers have the biggest fanbase in the world” them fightin words lol.

  13. In the state this team is at this stage i doubt they would be much better off if DH stayed. You have the “clankers” as Keno put it and you mix that up with the mother of all ft clankers and it would had been a disaster. Put all those putrid fg%s from our starters and add around 50% ft shooting from Dwight to spice things up. Thats a spicy Meatball!!

  14. I’m very interested to Henry vs. Harden. If there is a guy Henry should study, it’s Harden. Their respective size is nearly identical, as is there not quite elite athleticism. Both are powerfully built 2s, who use their strength and mass to withstand contact on forays to the rim very effectively. Harden, of course, is way more polished as a shooter, ball handler and creator. Henry should study Harden in the triple threat position, where like Ginobli, he uses his left-handedness to attack with the Euro two step, moving deftly away from defenders to get to the rim. And since I mentioned Ginobli, Henry should look at Ginobli’s change of direction in traffic going at the rim: he takes big steps moving laterally or at attack angles seldom seen. Beautiful stuff admired by no less than Kobe Bean.

  15. I dream of Johnson or Williams taking a flagrant foul on Dwight going in for a fast break dunk.

    Where is Matt Barnes when you need him.

  16. Not as rosy about Houston’s prospects with DH. Rockets are definitely contenders, but not overwhelming. Agree Lakers are better off with DH gone. He is a head case, can’t shoot free throws, commits stupid fouls and is rapidly losing athleticism advantage over the young ones behind him.

    However, Lakers sending oldies Nash and Kobe to recruit him was a joke.
    Even DH recognized teaming with younger Harden was the better on court decision.

    On balance D12 leaving Lakers was best for everyone. Most likely he will not be worth $20 million in 5 years.

  17. Spot on analysis…the paint has to be attacked more consistently even if it is a pseudo attack to open up the 3 ball…

    And I would like to us do what I suspect many teams will end up doing…fouling DH intentionally and making the game drag on early and make them “lose possessions.”

  18. Keno: Barnes? We could not keep him because he would not work with Mike Brown. Who in turn we dumped to make room for MD. Who in turn could not seem to get along with DH, AJ, et al.. The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that a optimist thinks all the guys who are gone were worthless and the cause of their own demise. An pessimist acknowledges that some of the problems remain in the FO and on the current bench.

  19. Game starts at 6:30 correct?

  20. Robert I just want any guy willing to take a hard foul to make a point.

    Not sure we have one now.

  21. My cousin’s step brother dates a girl who works with a maid who cleans the house of one of the illegitimate children of a doctorwho plays cards with Lebron’s gardener’s best friend from grade school. He said Lebron plans on joining the Lakers next year.

    Then again, my sister’s boyfriend’s cousin heard from the hair stylist of some due that was in prison with a guy whose lawyer knows a guy who once drove Lebron to the airport that Lebron wants to stay in Miami for life.

    On the other hand Lebron could chose to go with another team.

    So, there you have it. True story.

  22. Treylake,
    Most of us would agree that Dwight very likely won’t be worth $20M in five years. However, some feel we would have been better off to “eat” those last two years to get 3 years of a starting, dominant center.

    He is clearly dominant on the defensive end and – like a shutdown corner – allows the remainder of the defense to worry about other things, but he can’t hold up a defense all by himself.

    It is on the offensive end where I really question Dwight. Sure he gets his points and rebounds, because of his athleticism – not his smarts. However, his game doesn’t change with the changes in game situations, he is not a closer, and he doesn’t spend a lot of time expanding his offensive game. When you tie this up with sometimes “dumb” fouls, bad freethrow shooting, and a questionable chemistry component, then there is a real question about building anything around him.

    In Houston he is not yet complaining about doing the exact same things he was asked to do in Los Angeles. The question is whether that is growth, recognizing he cannot again change his situation, or simply building up steam that will blow later?

    All this has absolutely nothing to do with the game tonight.

  23. MDA needs to shorten the roster to get more minutes for players (not just Hill). Blake and Williams need to drop out of the main rotations. 2 point guards is enough in the normal rotation. I like Williams but think they need Kaman’s scoring and Hills rebounding/defence. There will be injuries so these guys will see time. When Kobe returns one of Young, Meeks or Henry will need to sit.

  24. @ Daniel November 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm, yes on channel TNT.

  25. In Houston he is not yet complaining about doing the exact same things he was asked to do in Los Angeles.

    Maybe it’s because Houston is a location that HE chose. Unlike the trade to Los Angeles, where he never really wanted to end up at (no matter how much of an act that he put on once we acquired him).

  26. Nick Young is in the starting lineup tonight replacing Xavier Henry.

  27. Who calculates the TNT game times? Same guy who developed Obama Care ?

  28. That’s smart, Henry would be driving into Asik and Howard. Good move by D’Anotni.

  29. Hmmm vintage Nash sighting, this could be interesting.DH “offense” still at a 10 y/o level.

  30. Nash looking way better tonight.

  31. The clankers came alive!!!! Now Gasol is clanking all over the place.

  32. Dropped in and checked the score 20 lakers 8 houston.what the hell thought we would be blown out in the first quarter.this is going to be a curious season.

  33. This starting lineup is where they need to be. Now give Hill minutes and they have 9 descent players.

  34. 36-19 after one. I’m pretty happy with this so far.

  35. I had the weirdest dream. Lakers were up by 17 at the quarter, man I need to stop drinking my wine !

  36. Nice first quarter by the Lakers, hope they continue their good play. Steve Blake off to a good start.

  37. 23 points for the starters in the first. I haven’t checked the other games to confirm, but I have a feeling that has to be one of the best quarters for the starters this season. No accident that it was probably Blake’s and Nash’s best quarter as well.

  38. Like i been saying all along if Blake and Nash get it going this team is much better, add our bench and we can beat anyone on any given night. Worried about all this hot shooting though, its gonna go cold at some time. Best D i seem al season by far.

  39. Really liking seeing Wesley Johnson out on the perimter defense.

  40. Lineup change Mike

  41. Houston just subbed their best line up in – why not do the same ????

  42. This team has proven to be dangerous when shots are falling.if we can come up with a reliable plan b we would be ok.but we will probably rise and fall with hot streaks.

  43. Histeria already? We are winning by 16 and this lineup can run with the Rockets just fine, want Nash,Pau and Blake off to the races with this bunch?

  44. Matchup Fern. Your tallest guy is 6 9.

  45. You watching Fern? Basketball 101.

  46. Playing well and then in one back to back sequence we get treated to what I believe is the number one detriment to the NBA’s credibility. Uneven officiating. Xavier Henry drives and gets absolutely hammered—no call. Harden takes off on the fast break the other way, makes the layup, absolute baby-soft touch foul gets called. Absolute garbage. Easily my biggest complaint about this league, even when my favorite team benefits.

  47. Dont matter in a run n gun like this it dont matter much since they are not playing any post game. I want to see Pau or Kamman running at this pace and see what happens.

  48. That xavier hemry no call was garbage for sure mindcrime.

  49. Now u put them back in when the game slowdown

  50. Pau looks really off. More turnovers then points

  51. Second quarter. Nine fouls on LA, zero on HOU with over five minutes to go. Ridiculous. It would be one thing if HOU was pounding the paint, but they are firing up jumpers for the most part.

    LA needs to take better care of the ball.

  52. Love the fans groan after DH clunked his fts, welcome to our world lol. The Lakers need to stop the stupid fancy passes.

  53. So does anybody think we will trade Gasol at the trade deadline? If we don’t, we probably won’t resign him. He looks invisible out there. $19 million for a guy who shoots 40 percent from the field lol.

  54. Lakers getting a little careless with the ball in the second quarter and the Rockets spending a lot of time at the FT line.

  55. Pau is completely worthless out there. Zero points and 3 TOs

  56. Did i just saw Dwight setting up a PnR? I thought he hated then.

  57. Gasol is struggling tonight and needs an easy basket to get that gremlin off the rim.

  58. I cant believe a nba player more so a star like Harden cant throw a alley oop i knew how to throw those when i was 12.

  59. 15 fouls to 2 on the quarter aint right i dont care what anybody says, the Rockets getting the star treatment

  60. I hope the Steves continue to probe defenses and make plays for others. That’s their roles and team needs that.

  61. I hope they saved some of those 3s for the 2nd half.

  62. Lakers ride 11-14 from 3 point range for a 14 point half-time lead.

  63. In spite of the fouls good half. No more Young. Zip defense. When Meeks is on like this you have to roll with him.

  64. Is it too early to complain about the refereeing? I expected the Rockets to shoot more free throws this game, and even to shoot a lot of free throws – but this is on pace for the Rockets to shoot 50-55 FTs and the Lakers 10-12.

    Seriously? Easily half of the foul calls against the Lakers in the 2nd half were iffy to out right terrible calls. Apparently James Harden is the new Wade – guarding him is a foul.

  65. Can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen such a 3pt shooting display in a half. Love the way that the rock is moving. Everyone is involved.

    Too many fouls in the 2nd quarter (a few of them questionable at best). Fortunately, they’ve missed several free throws.

    Houston’s overall team defense – unless they can improve it down the line – will be their eventual downfall.

  66. Joe one team drives to the basket and one stands 30 feet away and shoots.

    Expected.

  67. Hey Mike Young is terrible on D. Not getting better after 5 years. Get him out if there.

    Unless Pau wakes up I smell a loss here.

  68. Really sluggish start they wont shoot 11-14 from 3s again this half, Pau have to knock those shots down.

  69. Keno – Houston took just as any 3s as Lakers did in first half so belief that only Houston is going inside is erroneous.

  70. I miss Dwight. He is so funny to watch.

  71. Lol those Rockets fans are getting their dose of DH tonight huh? If i did not knew better i would believe it was last year.

  72. Gasol may be struggling offensively, but he has done a great job with zero help when guarding D12

  73. Sub Meeks for Young now please.

  74. Nash now looks done.

  75. Parsons fouled the hell out of Blake – no call.

  76. Pau looks gassed and it’s only the 3rd. Wouldn’t mind seeing Hill here.

  77. On other end Blake called for b.s. touch foul on Harden that doesn’t impact play at all.

  78. Looks like we are losing this one, nothing is working and Pau is beyond horrible tonight. I knew that 1st half barrage was going to dry up

  79. Had this coach made a change at the 7:00 mark when the older Lakers were gassed, this would be a different game. At that time, the Lakers were up by 14. Energy and efficiency dissipated, yet he stood pat with the lineup.

    Non-existence strategy, if they don’t make a layup or a three.

  80. Here come the refs!

  81. Nick Young has played well tonight on both ends and same in last games blowout. He should be in this game right now, Lakers need a scoring punch.

  82. And now Farmer called for phantom foul. It’s been like this since the 2nd Q. 34 to 8 are the FTs now.

  83. Gasol is just horrible. Came in shooting 40% and 1 for 9 tonight. This game is not gonna end well.

    Can’t play Pau 40 minutes Mike. Try Hill.

    No one out there to save things.

  84. Farmar at is doing so many good things out there this game.

    Incidentally is Lin the worst defensive guard in the league? How is he not playing for us?

    Just as I say that Farmar makes a terrible play on O and Lin a good one on D.

  85. Pau is To skilled to just be standing around. His complaint the last two year was that the presence Dwight and Bynum forced him to float around the perimeter and that’s all he does now.. He doesn’t roll hard to the basket like hill nothing. How in the heck does jordan hill post up more than pau

  86. That play by Farmar may cost the game. Really foolish.

    As for Howard. He should be ashamed. Watch him come up with one of those phantom shoulder injuries.

    Boy do they need Kobe back .

  87. Adter 3 quarters i see that Houston offensive sets are just give the ball to Harden and let him do whatever the hell he wants, if they really want to contend they need to get rid of Assik and get a stretch 4, Josh Smith would had been perdect for this team. This is were we are going to miss Kobe.

  88. Yeah not liking the bullshot calls especially when harden creates the contact amd a foul gets called

  89. How could that be a foul on hill!!!

  90. Was that not a backcourt violation? Lakers are not going to get a single call this game. Crawford has long hated Kobe (every game Danny refs Kobe gets 0-2 FTs) but even when he is not playing he is purposely screwing us.

  91. I’d be on Kaman’s side if he decided to gripe about minutes tonight. He was effective before foul trouble. That’s the bad part of an 11 man rotation. Young and Kaman had it going but everyone needs to play.

  92. No one can stop Harden and Pau no show. Tomorrow should be interesting.

  93. Lakers are out of control but playing hard.

  94. Lakers need to hack Howard if Houston gets the lead.

  95. Wow Gasol looks like Nash’s father out there.

  96. Wow Pau just speechless…

  97. Nash should stop shooting. He can’t hit anything.

  98. All those times last year that D’Antoni kept Pau on bench to finish games when is was not justified, but now he is going to leave him out there. Really?

  99. Worst game in Pau career. He lost this game. Another 3 for 12 game for Nash. These two guys are clearly done !

  100. Why not put young in to create off the dribble?

  101. Were done, need our closer. This is going to suck untill we get him back, Pau is not cutting it.

  102. If this is the gasol we get until Kobe comes back I don’t see how he finishes the season a laker. The guy doesn’t want any part of the game. He looks scared.

  103. Pretty impossible to win a game when the other team shoots 30 more free throws then you. Some if that is on the Lakers, but a decent chunk is on Crawford’s awful crew.

  104. This is where D’Antoni loses players. Kaman was the Lakers best big in the 1st half and winds up with 18 minutes. Young was a key to the Lakers run and gets 22 minutes. Lakers need players who can get their own shot late put those guys in. There should be no scenario where Wes takes the most shots on the team.

    Players need to get traded or a guard/s (Henry or Blake) cut out the rotation.

  105. Looks like a 2 and 5 start. Back to back for Pau and Nash? Oh boy.

  106. Wont be surprised if we are 10-15 games under 500 whe Kobe gets back. There is no leadership down the stretch, Pau and Nash are not up to it anymore.

  107. Is Dantoni serious?nash and blake against lin and beverley?this matchup screams”famar! Farmar! Blake and Farmar!if we squeeze by itll be luck.not coaching.

  108. Only good thing is not having to watch Dwight the stiff everyday.

  109. Mike d’antoni insists on playing nash, blake and meeks. Why is young not on the floor? How about putting in hill instead of gasol?

  110. Seriously these refs have buried any shot we had in this game, what a disgrace.

  111. Good thing Buss didn’t waste paying a top coach this year.

    Mike D’anscapegoat.

  112. Well from just looking at the stats…it’s obvious that if only James harden would pass the ball more to Howard the Rockets would be winning. What a ball hug. /s

  113. Yeah Howard blocked that, but Parsons fouled the hell out of Wes there….ahhhh forget it.

  114. I hate to talk about refs but that out of bounds call that was beyond horrible. 15 to 52 on ft attempts?something is not right im sorry

  115. Lakers down 2 with a chance to win or tie it up for possible OT, go for the win.

    Horrible possession. One more chance.

    Steve Blake catch and shoot 3 gives the Lakers the one point lead.

    LAKERS WIN

  116. Inexperience on Dub’s part. All he had to do was up-fake – as opposed to going straight up – and he would have drawn the foul on either Dwight or Parsons.

  117. And the Meeks makes the dumbest play of the game

  118. In an ideal world it goes to OT and Farmar and Hill find their way back on but this isn’t an ideal world.

    EDIT: And as I post that Blake nails one.

  119. Oh hell yeah! You go Blake!

  120. BLAK333333333!!!!!!!!

  121. Amazing!!!! Quality over quantity!!!!

  122. Woooooo!!

  123. SB for 3 and the Win .. YES

  124. That is just some sweet karma. Hack-a-Howard saved that game for us.

  125. Wow. So, the Rockets are championship material eh?

  126. Amazing. Game of the last 2 years. So how do you like Dwight now Houston? No idea how they won.

    Great job Blake. Harden plays no defense!

  127. Yeah, we beat the Rockets at their house.

  128. And just like that, it feels better again.

    Wins over LAC & Houston. Those are 2 great things done thus far this season!

    Ugly second half, but I’ll take it.

  129. lol. don’t know what to say about this game. glad we won though. oh man. Lol. fun stuff.

  130. Bllaaakeeeee!!! And the Rockets got a taste of what we endured, how many games we los bc the hack-a- howard? Welcome to hell Houston. Hahahahaja

  131. Lakers settle old debts. Wins over Clips and Rockets. Feels good.

  132. SPROCKETS CRASH & BURN LOL!

  133. The reason the Lakers won is bc the Rockets have Dwight Howard.

  134. So that’s how they’re going to win it? on a steve blake 3? I’ll take that.

  135. Props to the team and D’Antoni for the W.

  136. Tied with the Clippers. Boy they won with Pau and Nash going 4 for 21.

    Amazing!

  137. I reiterate that the only reason it even came to a last second 3 is the brutal refereeing tonight. But a W is a W. and it is sweeter this way.

  138. Lucky Wes was able to scramble out and pick up that errant pass by Meeks. Had a slower player been in that position the ball sails out of bounds. Good job by Meeks not getting rattled after that turnover, keeping his head up he makes the game winning pass. Nashty, with a veteran screen, lol.

    Speaking of Nash, if his leg has nerve damage, he might have to adjust his shot to a set shot.

    Great shot, Blake! Well, we’ve gotten our one good game out of Blake. Don’t look for another good shooting game out of him for another 7-8 games.

    If only we could of had a shot of Kobe’s face when Blake’s 3 went through the net; with Howard charging at him. #Priceless

  139. Joe – Agreed on the reffing.

    And on the win. Very sweet indeed.

  140. The only thing better than watching Dwight’s ineptitude cost his team a win was listening to the “Inside the NBA” crew rip Dwight in the postgame show.

    Hack-A-Dwight makes for awful viewing, and to see him miss free throw after free throw so the opponent can get back into the game is just tortuous when he’s on your team. Thank God he’s Houston’s problem.

    Credit to the Lakers for playing hard on the road…

  141. Meeks has been a pleasant surprise so far this year.

  142. How do you win a game when your opponent shoots 37 more freebies than you do? Dwight Howard shoots 16 of them. Have fun Houston. And have fun Howard with your new alpha dog shooting guard.

  143. Ten Lakers played & 10 Lakers scored; TEAMWORK IS A BEAUTIFUL THING!

  144. Lot of 3s tonight. Blake hits a 3. Lakers are now 3-3. Now the team goes to NO for the 3rd road game out of 3.

    I think I’ll celebrate by staying up until 3.

    Good win. Let’s do it again tomorrow night.