Last night’s game had it all, some good, some not. It was solid in spots and completely rudderless in others and in the end, there were even moments of brilliance. Kobe caught fire in the fourth quarter, Pau found his assertiveness and in the end, a victory over New Orleans on a night when Utah lost to Oklahoma City. This was a much needed win. The Lakers are up in Portland tonight – the second half of a two-game back-to-back plus the fact that they’re 6 & 25 in the Rose Garden is just a bit worrisome.
Sam Amick for USA Today on a resurgent Pau Gasol.
Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers has a podkast and transcript, the zen of Pau.
Drew Garrison at Silver Screen and Roll writes about last night’s two-man give and go with Kobe and Pau.
Mark Medina for Inside the Lakers writes about the load Kobe’s carrying, trying to will the team into the playoffs.
Anybody who knows me knows that Craig Sager and Phil Jackson are two of my favorite fictional characters. Here, Aaron McGuire from Gothic Ginobili does it up right.
Dave McMenamin at ESPN has an injury update for Steve Nash and Jordan Hill.
This just had to be included – Eric Freeman from Ball Don’t Lie supplies video from MWP’s ‘too sexy for my cat’ speech last night.
Ross Gasmer from Lakers Nation has some Mike D’Antoni quotes from last night.
One of the things I miss most about Phil Jackson is the two-finger whistle. There were times when his bemused refusal to call a time out could frustrate and in all honesty, he seemed to lose his team’s dedication at the end of his last run. Still, he had the ability to focus and organize his teams. There’s something to be said for system basketball. The Lakers increasingly strayed from classic triple-post principles in the later-model Phil lineups but they still operated out of certain fundamental concepts. The injury factor has been joined at the hip with a lack of framework this season and while there are reasons offered, it doesn’t change the fact that a central tenet of coaching is unity. Tonight, the Lakers bring their chances to the Rose Garden – four games to go, four games for the right to continue playing.