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I owe Mr. Andrew Bynum a half-hearted apology. Half-hearted because he contributes more than I thought, but still has some glaring deficiencies. After the past few games, and really the entire season, I have been a little bit down on the young’n. I believed that his lack of fitness and tenacity have been hurting the Lakers all season. I was disappointed that many of the problems the Lakers faced against Boston in the finals, including inconsistent effort, seemed to still be present. The comments around here have been pointing out Andrew’s lack of results on the boards and last night’s game hardly disagrees with those sentiments. He has not been garnering rebounds at anything nearing a respectable rate. Why is that? Was it laziness? Was it lack of fitness? Something else entirely?

I re-watched the game against the Magic and how Andrew faired when pitted against his supposed future rival in Dwight Howard. Instead of watching the ball, all I did was watch Bynum (and some of Howard for comparison). After closely examining Bynum, my overall opinion of him has not changed, but I understand his strengths and weaknesses different than before. While it’d be hasty to judge Andrew on just one game, especially against a force like Howard, it’s what I’ve got so we we’ll go with that. (The frustration of losing another one has driven me to look at the details a lot more closely.)

Andrew was not a terrific rebounder last night mainly due to lack of positioning and effort. Being focused on the negatives of the game due to the loss, I already had a hunch this was the case. Watching more attentively to Bynum opened up my eyes to a couple of other tendencies I hadn’t noticed before. Andrew takes a lot of offensive possessions off. He often sits on the lane opposite the side of the ball and does nothing to demand the ball. When he does catch it, he’s often like an archer at 1000 meters: too far out of his range to be effective. Another trend I noticed was Bynum is far more effective on the defensive end than I give him credit for. Many plays finish without Bynum earning a stat in the box score, but he actually contributed greatly to the success of the defense.

Observations

Rebounding: First and foremost, I considered his rebounding. If you read the notes below from the first half, you’ll notice, as I did, that Bynum doesn’t set himself up to be in good position to rebound at the defensive end, nor does he chase down rebounds. And on at least one play Bynum was too tired to reach up and grab a rebound that went straight over his shoulder to Howard. I’d say, without a doubt, Andrew’s lack of interest (or ability?) in rebounding is his single-most frustrating attribute. Andrew has two major habits that contribute to his shortcomings in rebounding. On defense, he doesn’t always block out a person. Sometimes he just puts a hand on a player from the other team, not getting a seal (more often) and sometimes he just stands around under the basket (occasionally). A lot of times, he relies on his height to cover up his lack of effort to establish position. Andrew’s teammates also cover-up for his disinterest by hustling after the rebounds themselves. Kobe, Lamar, and Ariza hustle for rebounds and often snag ones that seem Bynum’s for the taking. I might be remembering it wrong, but I believe Bynum was much more interested in skying for rebounds last year. 

The other habit I noticed was Bynum will go to the basket during offensive penetration looking for an offensive rebound (until he gets tired). His height was good for a couple of offensive rebounds, especially when Howard left Bynum to help his teammates. That being said, he does not go after rebounds (offensive or defensive) fiercely. He only grabs the ones that fall in his hands. Last night, Andrew did not hunger for loose balls; he passively collected rebounds that came his way. The bad news is this indicates a lack of desire. The good news is, he’s young and maybe he’ll figure out how to go after rebounds as time goes on. Cross your fingers Lakers nation, this is one of the main factors that will effect how high Bynum’s ceiling really is.

Offense: I hadn’t noticed before, how many possessions Bynum is just a non-factor. He touches the ball infrequently and when he does, it’s often in the midpost or further, where he doesn’t have as many moves. I realize that his defender was usually Dwight Howard and that it can be intimidating and fruitless to force it. However, Bynum received so few touches in the framework of the offense that it didn’t matter what kind of moves he could try against Howard, he never got a chance to show them off. You would like to blame the guards for not getting Bynum enough touches, but if you watch Bynum closely, he doesn’t work to establish position the way Shaq used to. He doesn’t make himself a big enough target where a post entry pass will be successful so the ball goes away from him. If he learns how to establish deeper position, he’ll be much more effective. It should be noted that Bynum has a more polished offensive game than Howard. Bynum has learned how to recognize and counter different defensive postures in the low post. Howard rushes himself and doesn’t have anything resembling a reliable midrange game. Howard doesn’t do a great job feeling his defender and exploiting the weakness. When you’re as athletic as he is, maybe you don’t have to. Low post offensive moves is the only place where Bynum has some advantage over Howard, and yet, he never showed off his full capabilities because he couldn’t receive the ball in scoring position.

Defense: Bynum’s defense is where I was surprised the most. Bynum was involved in countless pick and rolls and performed admirably on most of them. He was aided in this game by Howard’s low skill-level with the midrange game. Andrew could just sink down off the pick and allow his teammate to get around the screen while he slowed the dribbler and kept tabs on Howard. His presence discouraged Nelson and Hedo from attacking the basket time after time. There were a few times where Nelson exploited the PnR but for as many times as the PnR was run, the Lakers really didn’t suffer a lot due to Bynum. If Shaq or Kwame was in there I’d bet on at least twice the success rate. Bynum was also there a few times to alter shots that would end up missing as he better understands how to rotate in help situations. Early in the year, he frequently showed up late and got into a lot of foul trouble. Bynum’s presence in the game was definitely a positive defensively but he didn’t earn many stats in doing so. This is where I owe Bynum the biggest apology because he really expends quite a bit of energy trying to stay in a strong position. There are lapses, but much more often he’s doing the right thing. Howard is also good on the defensive end, although he plays a lot more by feel. Like Bynum, he changes shots and provides support for his guards. Lakers didn’t run pick and roll too many times with Howard as a defender, but at least on one occasion they exploited him for Bynum’s alley-oop lay-in.

Conditioning: Some folks will never been endurance runners, but Bynum would benefit greatly from more conditioning. Because he’s sucking wind, Bynum picks his spots to give bursts of energy. He plays hard when he’s involved in Pick and Roll and he plays hard when he’s got the ball. Those are the only two times he turns it into high gear. Setting screens, going after rebounds, and boxing out are not where he spends his energy. Better conditioning would improve all aspects of his game and it’s probably the crux of most of his weaknesses. You’ll notice that he mostly disappears on the court in the second half of the second quarter when he gets fatigued.

Conclusion

At 21, Bynum still has more years to grow, but he will only do so if he shows the willingness to do so. Based on this season and last night, I’d say the magic 8-ball is “not enough information.” If Bynum can correct some of his lazier habits he can be a cornerstone for the team in the future. But if he cannot, he will be merely good, not great. Conditioning is one of those things that NBA players should have in spades and Bynum is frankly lagging in that department. I consider that to be a lack of effort on his part to get in shape, which does not bode well for him putting in the effort to become a great player and improve all aspects of his game. Contradictorily, if you read the LA Times recently, they did a spotlight on Bynum and Kareem’s work together. They review tape at Bynum’s house going over specific ways in which Bynum can improve. Kareem mentions that Bynum will be aided by seeing how he can move without the ball, especially when Kobe is double-teamed. This is something Pau does well and Bynum would do well to learn. Beyond that and conditioning, Bynum needs to work on displaying tenacity in chasing down rebounds and establishing himself on offense BEFORE he has the ball. If he can do that, his contributions to the team will be much more significant. I am greatly encouraged by his defensive presence and hope that he continues to develop into a much smarter and effective defender as the year progresses. We all hope that Bynum turns into an all-star but he’s got a few obstacles to conquer before he does. 
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Below is the Delayed Blog I put together. After three hours and only finishing the first half, I gave up taking detailed notes.
Positive plays by Bynum in bold.

1st Quarter

Tipoff: Dwight Howard employs the Shaq-like quick tip into his own backcourt.
11:40 – Defense: Bynum forces a pass on screen and roll with Dwight Howard and Hedo Torkoglu. Magic earn a good look from the corner that misses and Bynum faces Howard outside the restricted area to prevent Howard from getting the rebound. The lack of good position forces Howard to concede the rebound to Kobe who hustled for the ugly rebound.

11:34 – Offense: Quick bucket in semi-transition for the Lakers as Kobe took the ball all the way and as Bynum was jogging (not running) trailing the play, kobe found him. Only then did Bynum kick it into gear and finished with a strong slam. It was basically uncontested as Howard came over to help against Kobe.

11:15 – Defense: Andrew gets stuck on Jameer Nelson on a pick and roll play at the top of the circle. Bynum gives him to two steps of cushion to prevent penetration and then provides a late challenge to Nelson’s shot which splashes in. The key to the play is actually Dwight Howard using his size and his hands to make sure Fisher can’t get back to Nelson by taking Fisher down into the paint. In my opinion, it was an illegal screen (which is rarely called in the NBA). Since it isn’t called, it’s a very effective move. Bynum hasn’t shown an ability to provide that kind of screen consistently and should be on his list of things to add to his repertoire. Besides the mismatch of Bynum on Nelson, the Magic actually have Rashard Lewis moderately open as Pau is shading in to help Bynum against penetration and Hedo Turkoglu is wide open in the corner as his defender is Radmanovic and he goes into the paint to help Fisher guard Howard. The effective screen and roll compromised the defense. It’s not necessarily Bynum’s fault, but he was involved in the initial breakdown.

11:08 – Offense: Another quick hit from the Lakers who show much more energy early in the game. Kobe fed Andrew with deep post position against Howard. He had beaten Howard down the floor and earns himself a slightly contested layup. 4 points so far for Bynum. Great job on this play of hustling down the floor in transition.

10:55 – Defense: The Magic try another pick and roll on the side with Nelson and Howard but Nelson goes away from the pick and Fisher deflects the pass. Bynum did a good job discouraging Nelson from penetrating while guarding Howard at the same time. Result is a turnover. Bynum is already starting to get winded. His defensive position is too upright.

10:50 – Offense: Bynum lags behind the play as fisher brings the ball up. Bynum is the pressure release out high at the free throw line. With Dwight Howard sagging off him to guard against Gasol’s presence in the low post, Bynum decides to shoot an uncontested 15-footer. Not a bad decision, as no one else had a better scoring opportunity, but it’s off the mark. I have to believe Andrew’s conditioning played a part in that one. Pau’s work down low earned Bynum that shot. Lakers fans would hope bynum could repay him with a bucket.

10:28 – Defense: The Magic don’t bring the ball near Bynum and Howard doesn’t go for the offensive rebound. Then again, neither does Bynum. Kobe shows more tenacity going after the rebound and corrals it. We’ll call that a rebound Bynum was in position to grab but didn’t find it necessary to chase. That’s the first laction from Bynum so far. Many more to come.

10:20 – Offense: Bynum sets the laziest screen in history doesn’t get in position to set a screen and Kobe doesn’t get any space because of it. Bynum doesn’t roll with any kind of authority and Kobe passes the ball to the other side of the floor. Pau has a mismatch against Rashard Lewis on the block. Pau shoots a turnaround that Howad goes over to challenge. Andrew floated into the paint and grabs the rebound and gets an easy putback. +1 for being in the right place at the right time, -1 for providing nothing early in the possession.

10:10 – Transition: The camera stays on Bynum and shows how low his lower jaw is hanging as he’s sucking in oxygen. Dwight is clearly not dragging as much on his close up.

10:00 – Defense: Courtney Lee and Dwight Howard pick and roll. Drew had actually fallen down, tripping over Radmanovic and was thus out of position. Kobe goes underneath the Howard screen so completely that Courtney Lee has a wide open shot from 19 feet. Bynum is bent over at the waist (fatigue) while the shot is going up and only stick one arm on Dwight Howard to see if he’s going to go after the rebound. When he doesn’t, Bynum is content to let Pau get the rebound. -1 on the whole team. No one boxed out their man. Seriously? Two minutes into the game and Bynum already wants to put his hands on his knees?

9:42 – Offense: Bynum takes the play off. A tipped rebound is gathered by Jameer Nelson and Bynum provides matador pressure. All five magic players beat him and Fisher to the other end of the floor.

9:36 – Defense: Four lakers in the paint in transition. Two Magic players in the paint and three on the perimeter. Sounds like a recipe for success? Rashard takes a three that misses. Guess who couldn’t get off the ground to get a rebound that goes over his shoulder to Dwight Howard? Mr. Andrew Bynum. He doesn’t put any effort into boxing howard out while the shot goes up, and then is surprised by the fairly hard bounce. His lack of fitness is killing his effort right now. When Howard gets the ball, Bynum walks to cover the space between him and Howard. Luckily for Bynum, Howard lost the ball starting his post move. +1 for being a big enough body that Howard can’t just bowl him over. -3 for lagging in transition, not boxing out, and giving up an offensive rebound.

9:14 – Offense: Another lazy screen for Kobe. Pau goes to work on the block and shoots a running jump hook. Bynum walks the entire possession. Howard’s lack of discipline in going after a blocked shot means Bynum is again free to try and snag an offensive rebound. He is fouled in the process. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the opportunity was a result of work. It was a result of drifting and height.

9:01 – Offense: Bynum does an okay job making himself available to teammates, but he does not try and back Howard into the paint to establish good position when he’s on the block. Instead, The Space Cadet splashes one home from three. Bynum makes no attempt at a rebound.

8:36 – Defense: Howard receives the ball against Bynum in the post but is a little bit outside the paint. He turns and faces. Bynum, in all his wisdom, gives Howard about four feet of space in a good defensive stance. Howard decides to shoot the Tim Duncan bank shot from 8 feet but misses ugly. +1 to Bynum for knowing Howard isn’t a great shooter.

8:23 – Offense: Bynum expends a good amount of energy. Pau finds him in the low post and Bynum feels he has a chance to score. Great footwork getting closer to the basket with one dribble, faking the drop step baseline and then coming back into the lane with a jump hook. The only problem is Howard. Scary athletic play. Howard swiped down to try and stop Bynum’s shot from going up. When he missed, he had time to gather himself and leap (from about two feet away) and reject Bynum’s jump hook. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make a play on Bynum’s jump hook like that before because he releases it from above the rim. Bynum perhaps should’ve tried to go more into Howard’s body. +1 to Bynum for making that happen. +a little more to Howard for being who we thought he was.

8:12 – Defense: Bynum is providing baseline support against penetration with his arms close down by his sides. Turkoglu takes a dribble to the baseline getting around Gasol. This brings bynum over a little bit further to stop the penetration. Hedo makes the pass to a cutting Howard. Bynum reaches and draws a foul. Bynum’s mistake was only at the end when he reached. He was playing the penetration perfectly but Pau needed to recover more quickly to stop the pass from splitting him and Bynum.

8:10 – As Howard shoots free throws, Bynum has his hands on his knees and is in no mood to go after a rebound.

7:46 – Offense: Bynum isn’t involved in the play but drifts toward the rim to see if he could get another rebound. There isn’t need as Kobe hits that difficult left handed shot. +1 for putting himself in a satisfactory position.

7:39 – Defense: Pick and Roll with Nelson and Howard. Because Howard isn’t a threat from outside, Bynum just sags off and guards the paint. This might be due to laziness, but it’s a good strategy against Howard. He’s much more dangerous rolling to he basket than popping out for a shot. PnR doesn’t result in much for the Magic and they reset. They actually run the triangle offense to get Howard an isolation against Bynum in the post, but outside the paint. Bynum stays at home against Howard and Fisher comes over to help and Howard’s spinning jump hook with his right hand is off the mark.

7:12 – Defense: more pick and roll, this time with Hedo and Howard. Bynum plays it well, again, by sagging into the paint to prevent penetration and the roll. Hedo passes it back out to the perimeter. Rashard Lewis takes it into bynum’s body and throws up a shot hoping to draw a foul. Bynum didn’t go for a shot block, just kind of stood there. No whistle and the shot drops in anyway. Bynum was in no position to get the rebound if there was one. Perhaps due to the contact and thinking he was going to get a foul call, he found himself down by the L of Lakers on the baseline. +1 for providing a resistance to the penetrating Lewis. -1 for then disappearing from the play. SVG is annoyed that no foul was called.

6:49 – offense: bynum is on the weak side with Kobe who shoots the ball from 20 feet. Bynum makes no effort to go after the rebound while Pau actually has inside position against rashard Lewis. -1 for effort. Ariza would’ve gone after it, which is why I <3 Ariza.

6:40 – Defense: Nelson and Howard run pick and roll again. This time Nelson figures it out and dribbles all the way to the bucket. Bynum initially shows but Nelson keeps going and as Howard rolls, Bynum goes back to Howard. Nelson gets a free layup. Kobe was the help man but he was reluctant to leave Courtney Lee all alone on the three point line in the corner. He actually got frozen and guarded neither. Not really Bynum’s fault as Howard is such a threat and he had to make a decision on who to guard.

6:34 – Offense: lakers play 4 on 5 as bynum doesn’t get into offensive end before Derek jacks up a three.

6:11 – Offense: Bynum expends zero energy as Kobe has an iso on the other side. Kobe settles for the jumper that won’t go.

6:09 – Defense: Bynum does a great job racing with Howard down the floor in transition. He actually beats Howard down the floor. Dwight gets the ball in the low post, again outside the paint (Bynum fronted Howard nicely while he was in the paint to prevent him receiving it there). Dwight throws it out to the perimeter because he’s too far away. He and Hedo run pick and roll. Andrew and radman switch. Hedo shoots a jumper that is lightly contested by Bynum. Howard pushes Rad out of bounds and slams home the putback. -1 to the refs.

5:37 – Offense: Bynum facilitated the offense from the high post well, but doesn’t go towards the basket to exploit the Magic rotation. Pau goes up for a shot and Bynum is already retreating even though no one is guarding him. -1 for effort and/or awareness. Howard gets away with a foul on Pau that isn’t whistled. Lakers lead by 3. 13-10.

5:29 – Offense: Bynum isn’t part of the offense and Fisher’s airball is caught by Howard. Howard did a good job keeping the non-effort Bynum on his back. Good job by Howard executing the fundamentals.

5:20 – Defense: Howard isn’t involved in the offense and Bynum does a good job staying with him. Pau provides help on penetration and gets called for a foul. During the second free throw, Pau and Bynum both block out well.

5:04 – Offense: Bynum makes himself available in the low post, but doesn’t work to get good position and receives it too far from the basket. He passes it out and the ball won’t come back to him. Howard makes sure to block him out as the shot goes up.

4:42 – Defense – Excellent play by Bynum here (and all the Lakers). Turkoglu and Howard run pick and roll on the wing. Radman gets caught on the pick so Bynum slides over to stop Hedo’s penetration. Hedo drives baseline but Hedo runs out of real estate as Bynum moves his feet extremely well. Pau slid off Battie to take away Howard’s roll (Kobe then comes off Nelson to take Battie at the top of the circle) and radman and Bynum trap Hedo. Hedo ends up throwing it wildly into the backcourt to get a violation. That was textbook defense by the Lakers and it was due to Drew being able to cut off the penetration, something he has not been skilled at this year. +2 for moving feet brilliantly against a faster man.

4:14 – Offense: Bynum isn’t involved in the offense. He stays on the weak side not doing much of anything, which is sort of what he’s apparently supposed to do (keeps spacing optimal). However, Rad gets stuck at one point at the elbow with his back to the basket – not his forte. Bynum could’ve curled to the basket and put the Magic defense in a compromising position. Instead he just hangs out on his side of the lane. A long jumper goes up and Bynum doesn’t go after the rebound. Turns out okay as the Space Cadet drills it.

3:58 – Defense: Bynum gets caught out of position as Dwight Howard acted like he was going to receive in the post but instead spun around Bynum and goes for the alley-oop. Bynum was caught severely flat footed. Not only that, the pass is off the mark so Howard can’t convert, but because Bynum has given up, he is nowhere to provide any help and Battie gets an uncontested dunk. -1, but it should be pointed out that every big has probably been beaten at some point by Howard’s quickness. It’s the lack of effort to get back into the play that earns him the minus.

3:44 –Offense: Kobe is double teamed and Bynum does not make himself available at all.

3:34 – Defense: In transition, Bynum does a great job preventing Howard from establishing good position and boxes him out. Unfortunately, the magic get a three to fall.

3:20 – Offense: Quick offense this possession as pau receives it down low and Howard goes over to help. Bynum moves quickly to the basket but isn’t in a position to receive a pass, which is fine. He’s there to get the offensive rebound or get an interior pass should the defense get out of position. A slight problem with him going to the basket is that Hedo came over to help and clogged the lane for Pau. Unfortunately Pau gets the ball slapped out of his hands by Howard. That’s not really Bynum’s fault, that means Hedo’s man is open now if Pau could’ve found him. Bynum gets subbed out for Odom.

The couple games of “rest” for Lamar seem to have done him well. He is hustling on defense and making sure to box out his man when the shot goes up. He’s also much more active on pick and roll defense then Bynum.

2nd Quarter

12:00 – Offense: Bynum is back in as Pau and Kobe get to rest. Bynum immediately goes to work against the smaller Gortat. (Howard is still on the bench.) Bynum misses the jump hook in the lane and misses the put back when the rebound falls to him. He doesn’t convert but good energy to start the second.

11:38 – Defense: Gortat smokes Bynum down the floor which Stu makes note of. Then on pick and roll on the wing, Gortat and Anthony Johnson play it to perfection. Bynum shows on Johnson on the sideline and Johnson finds the rolling Gortat who shoots left-handed over Lamar. Nice bucket for the undersized center.

11:15 – Offense: Bynum goes to work on the same spot in the post (still a little too far from the basket). He sets up the drop step and goes to it. The turnaround jumper from 10 feet over Gortat splashes home. +1. 8 points for Bynum so far.

10:55 – Defense: Bynum is guarding Gortat on the interior who never receives the ball. Bynum is playing lazy defense, standing straight up and down. Fisher intercepts a pass on the play.

10:43 – Offense: Bynum on the weak side is content to watch the rebound go to the Magic.

10:37 – Defense: Magic in quick transition. Lakers completely go to sleep. Ariza gets beat off the dribble by Hedo. Sasha reaches in without moving his feat. Lamar is there to challenge the layup but Hedo feeds Rashard who is wide open for three in the corner and he nails it. Fisher tried to get to him but was super late. Bynum didn’t box out anyone even though Gortat was standing right next to him. -1 for not boxing out.

10:20 – Offense: Ariza drives and dunks over Gortat and gets the foul. Spectacular play. Andrew not involved.

10:10 – Defense: After a foul. Magic run late into the clock. Hedo takes it strong to the hoop and Bynum is super late on the help. Hedo draws a small amount of body contact (Bynum was trying to jump sideways). The foul goes against Bynum. Questionable call but fairly common. Bynum reacts demonstrably.

9:49 – Offense: drew isn’t in view. Lamar gets called for a moving pick.

9:35 – Defense: Bynum lets Gortat roll to the bucket on the high pick and roll. Gortat doesn’t get the ball and Drew is lost. He’s running around not guarding anyone. The shot goes up and because he’s got such a height advantage, he manages to take the rebound away from Gortat. Good job trying to recover, but he shouldn’t have needed to recover on that one.

9:20 – Offense: Ariza and Bynum run a weak side pick and roll. Bynum sets a good enough screen to earn Ariza an open jumper from 19 feet that he drains. +1 for Bynum’s screen.

D 9:10 – Pick and roll. Gortat gets a moving pick call. Bynum was in good position to stop penetration by Johnson.

O9:00 – sasha shoots a three that doesn’t go. Bynum uninvolved.

D8:40 – bynum does a great job blocking Gortat out. The ball goes to his side but he just lets Fisher get the rebound. He never takes a step towards it.

O8:44 – PnR mismatch at the elbow with Fisher. Andrew slips the screen perfectly and his height allows him to receive the alley-oop pass from Fisher. Magic read it, but couldn’t do anything about it. Bynum is fouled and misses the dunk. +1 on footwork to get open. Jason Lezak interview. Free throws: Bynum gets the first and the second.

D8:38 – howard is back in. Andrew shows well on a pick and roll with Nelson. He’s in a great defensive stance and forces Nelson to pass. No one has picked up Howard who found his way into the paint and bynum is far away and tries to recover. Luckily, the Lakers deflect a pass that goes out of bounds. Good sequence by the Lakers. To force the Magic to operate with only 10 seconds on the shot clock. More PnR with Nelson. Andrew contests Nelson’s shot that misses. Lakers can’t get the rebound (Howard’s activity caused it) and it goes out of bounds back to the Magic. +2 for Bynum so far. Magic get a jumper and Bynum actively boxes out Howard. No one boxed out Hedo, but Hedo doesn’t catch the rebound and it goes out of bounds. Lakers catch a break. +1 more on effort from Bynum.

O7:55 – Bynum not involved in the offense. Fisher draws a shooting foul.

D7:40 – Bynum involved in PnR with Howard and Hedo. Howard gets away with a questionable screen. Hedo takes the jumper and makes it over Bynum.

O7:15 – Bynum isnot’ involved as Kobe has a mismatch iso against JJ Redick.

D7:10 – Howard/Nelson PnR. Bynum rejects Nelson’s runner. Hedo tracks down the ball. Bynum holds his ground against Hedo’s layup and causes him to miss. Howard picks up the rebound and is fouled by Fisher and Bynum. Bynum lucky not to pick up his second. Bynum is alert on the free throws. +1.

O6:53 – Lakers run the triangle. Weak side screen and roll Bynum and Kobe. Bynum rolls and help is late so kobe lobs it over the top for Andrew to drop it in. easy deuce. Great pass by kobe. SVG calls timeout.

D6:38 – Bynum and Howard have tea together at the weakside elbow and after a while, the Magic turn the ball over on a traveling call without either big man moving more than a foot in any direction.

O6:22 – Bynum’s size shields Hedo from getting to Ariza who shoots the three. It misses. I’m fairly sure Bynum meant to do that, so +1.

D6:15 – Howard establishes DEEP position in the middle of the paint with Bynum on his back. Jump hook good for two. Bynum didn’t fight for position at all. -1 for letting Howard get so deep. (Again, to be fair, no one is able to keep Howard out on every possession.)

O6:06 – Drew does not establish himself as a target in the post—standing with his knees locked. And then he just floats around the lane like a piece of bark floating in a river. However, when Fisher drives and Howard goes to help, Drew does go towards the basket for the possible rebound. Fisher makes a reverse layup.

D5:45 – Magic go early in the shot clock with a Redick three. Bynum boxed out Howard and Ariza gets the long rebound. Ariza misses the contested layup on the one-man fast break. Bynum didn’t get above a light jog and when he got to the free throw line he saw what was happening and turned around the other way.

O5:30 – Howard/nelson PnR again. Kobe holds Nelson going around the pick. Bynum still plays his sagging defense. Kobe picks up the foul. Drew will sit for Pau. Howard immediately goes to work against Pau and draws a foul in the lane. Bynum 12 points, 3 rebound. 5/9 from the field. 16 minutes. Not bad so far.

Pau and Howard are both active. Pau does well during this stint. Howard struggles a little bit. He might need a breather too. He goes out at 2:28. Bynum comes back.

O2:23 – Bynum uninvolved.

D2:03 – Bynum involved in Gortat/Nelson PnR. Nelson gets a jumper to fall.

O1:50 – bynum uninvolved.

D1:33 – Bynum boxes out no one.

O1:25 – Bynum runs the floor well but doesn’t’ get it right away. He then disappears from the play.

D1:15 – Bynum barely boxes out Gortat. Lakers get the rebound.

O0:54 – Bynum just kind of leans on his man when Pau’s fadeaway in the lane goes up.

D0:35 – Bynum does okay defending the paint. But doesn’t do a good job boxing out, or going after a rebound. Magic get a second chance and convert it. Drew did force Nelson to kick it out on the penetration, but Courtney Lee nails it from three. It was a great pass and nothing anyone could do about it. The Lakers were in scramble mode.

O0:10 – Last try for the Lakers. Bynum is momentarily matched up against Nelson but Fisher takes the three instead. Bynum isn’t in the mindset to go after the rebound as Gortat puts a body on him.

D0:05 – Orlando’s last second look is way too good. Point the finger on this one at Kobe who left Courtney Lee wide open and decided to guard no one in the paint. I was livid when I saw this the first time around. The Lakers give up way too many good looks due to laziness because they think the clock will run out. Lakers lead 44-52.

Dwight Howard has 9 points, 7 boards, and 2/7 FGs. Not exactly lighting it up. Bynum’s size has bothered Howard enough that he’s a little bit off his game.

3rd quarter

Bynum has a good start the third quarter. Showing good hustle. A few nice offensive moves. He is in a bad defensive positions a couple times and is forced to foul Howard. Still shows no nose for how to get himself in position to get rebounds (offensive or defensive). Howard struggles a little bit but does good work as well. When Bynum goes to the bench, Howard shows more activity and picks up a few rebounds. He’s also more aggressive offensively.

4th Quarter

Defensively Bynum struggles. He doesn’t rotate well, doesn’t play the PnR well, and has mixed results one on one with Howard. At 6:15 – Bynum let’s Dwight get an offensive rebound (no box out) and then Dwight gets an alley-oop because Bynum is flat footed.

Offensively, he draws more attention from Howard, which allows others to have just a little more space. One of Bynum’s habits that comes out is that Bynum floats towards the basket when the shot goes up if no one guards him, but he doesn’t go to the rim with purpose.

During Drew’s second stint after a quick breather, Drew never touched the ball on the offensive end. It’s a result of him being on the opposite side of the ball and not making himself a big target in the post. Drew doesn’t get into the game for meaningful minutes in crunch time.

1st Quarter

The Space Cadet is starting tonight instead of Ariza or Luke (injured).

12:00 – And we’re off an auspicious start! The jump ball is whistled dead and goes the Lakers way, although I have no idea why and Joel doesn’t bother to tell us why. That’s great. Something confusing happens and neither announcer deems it necessary to clarify the situation.

11:45 – First possession the Lakers go to the oft used Fisher-in-the-low-post set. Fisher gets two point-blank tries and blows them both. Shocked, I say.

11:27 – The Hornets will throw up their initial shot with a David West jumper over Pau. Nope.

11:02 – Too close. Peja’s fake the three, one dribble to the midrange pull-up shot is short.

10:33 – David West draws first blood. Same pull-up jumper over The Spaniard this time goes in. 2-0 Hornets.

9:49 – Disjointed offensive possession by the Lakers. Kobe got stopped and Fisher ends up trying to penetrate from the corner. Bynum gets the feed inside and draws a foul. The Lakers bench is still standing and wishing they didn’t promise to stand until the first field goal is made. Bynum misses the first makes the second.

9:20 – Radmanovic throws his easy layup off the backboard like a young man meeting Scarlett Johansson. that is to say, it was spastic and overeager. Speaking of Ms. Johansson, she is not not not ugly. Yeah, that’s right. I busted out the rarely used triple negative.

8:57 – Double team on Pau and Fisher benefits with a wide open three. The Bench Mob can finally sit down. I was starting to feel bad for them. If they made it 4 minutes without a field goal, does Sun Yue just say, “aww forget it. I’m sitting. You guys are professional basketball players and can’t score. That’s pathetic.” 4-4

7:50 – Lakers look like they could use a Garmin Nuvi. They are lost. And then Kobe bails them out with a behind the back dribble that frees him for a jumper over Rasual Butler. Bucket. 6-6.

7:11 – Chris Paul has been relatively quiet. I feel it’s time for him to show his stuff. I’m psychic. It’s official. He gets a good screen and hits a 17 foot jumper.

6:19 – CP3 to TC6 (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it) alley-oop. 12-9 Hornets “stinging” the Lakers. Bad Pun Alert #1

5:50 – Pau’s turnaround hookshot comes up shorter than the Federal Budget.

5:03 – Kobe runs through a gauntlet of teal-clad defenders, draws a foul, and hits the running tear drop to spite his face. I’m pretty sure that cliché doesn’t apply here. Oh well. You can write your own live blog. Kobe converts the three point play 16-12 Hornets still lead.

3:04 – Lamar uses his own “crab dribble” (Lebron clearly traveled, btw) and picks up a couple free throws. FSW shows a great slo-mo of a chris paul tear drop on a prior possession. The ball never rotated more than a couple degrees. Great demonstration of the difficulty and skill of that shot.

2:35 – Sasha subs into the game and takes about three seconds to decide to shoot. THE MACHINE WILL STOP AT NOTHING! NOTHING! He drills the short corner three. Lakers still trail 24-18.

1:50-James Posey says, “BUT MOOOOOOOOM” Except in this case, Mom is Joey Crawford. I’m not sure he’s going to win this argument. Just sayin’. Kobe gets fouled out at the top of the circle (whistle sounds) and then when Kobe runs past, Posey fouled Kobe again as Kobe went up for the shot. Crawford whistles Posey for a technical and Posey can’t believe it. I’m okay with the call (Posey’s second foul was fairly late) but I also understand his confusion. If players can go for a second or two and still get continuation, defenders should be able to go for a second or two and still foul. New rule: a player can earn TWO fouls on the same play. Write that down. I’m a genius. After the free throw situation, Kobe’s Lakers are still down 27-20.

1:40 – Flopper award goes to: Chris Paul. Sasha hits him on the arm as he shoots and Chris acts like he got hit by Brian Urlacher. Sorry dude, that was too much.

1:13 – Sasha picks up a second foul going around a screen and he tells Phil not to take him out. Phil plays genie and grants his wish.

0:46 – Sasha wants to get embarrassed. He’s on an island against Chris Paul. The instectoids don’t take advantage.

0:15 – CP3 again on an island against Sasha. Chris bangs into Sasha 35 feet from the bucket and gets another foul. That call was questionable at best. Questionable or not, that was Sasha’s third and we’ll not be seeing him again for a long while.

0:10 – Lakers will try and get the last shot of the possession.

0:03 – Lamar gets a lefty scoop to fall.

0:00 – Peja has a wide open shot to end the quarter that is too long. Radmanovich puts on his Chevy Chase impersonation and falls down face first into the lap of the first row ticket holder. I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe he wanted some popcorn. The result was Peja had too much space to shoot and the ensuing vacuum screwed up his usually text book form.

2nd Quarter

11:11 – Posey shows off his Olajuwon moves and hits a running hook over Radman. The Space Cadet’s a stout defender, to be sure. ::throws shoe at tv::

10:13 – Bynum shows some “energy” and dunks the ball around Hilton Armstrong. I’m not sure why this play isn’t run every time. David only beat Goliath once. The other 99 times Goliath would’ve eaten David as an h’ordeuvre.

8:51 – Lakers force a 24-second violation. It wasn’t great defense so much as disjointed offense. Without Chris Paul directing traffic, the Hornets had a little difficulty getting the ball into threatening position.

Whoa. Vlade Divac must have found some wonderful eateries in Europe. He’s carrying a lot of extra baggage. And, no, a psychiatrist would not be the right person to see about it.

8:15 – I <3 Ariza. He forces a steal at half court and then hustles for the ball. Sitting down he throws it to a streaking Radmanovich who finishes the layup with Posey fouling him hard. Beautiful sequence if you’re a Lakers fan. Lakers closing the gap, 35-36.

7:15 – Maybe it wasn’t CP3’s absence before that caused problems. They have a careless turnover even with him on the floor. Chandler felt the relentless pressure of Lamar and threw it into the backcourt.

7:03 – Lamar does his patented make one, miss one routine. Any other imitators will need to pay him royalties. 38-36 Hornets.

Kobe and Pau are back in. and of course, the right shot is a Lamar 3 pointer. What bizarro world are we living in? even more bizarre, Lamar nails it. First lead for the Lakers.

Hornets don’t let them keep it.

5:43 – Perhaps it’d be a good idea to pretend to guard David West from 18 feet. Just a thought. The Lakers can’t even manage to look like they are guarding him. 43-39 Hornets.

Lamar ignores PJ’s wish for a timeout and drives hard to the rim earning a bucket and a foul. Lamar converts it. Phew. 43-42 Lakers behind again.

5:00 – Hilton Armstrong is a beast on the boards. Well, that’s what LO is going to say, anyway. Armstrong gets an offensive rebound and a nice running hookshot to go. ::currently shoeless::

4:18 – The Lakers fans dust off the AIRBALL chant for Peja. That was muy feo. Where’s Pau??? He has been a virtual no-show.

3:59 – Fisher gets creamed drawing a charging foul on a 3 on 1 break. That’s going to leave a mark.

3:44 – Kobe has just turned the ball over for the second time on a sideline trap. Stu tells us that Kobe needs to avoid going to the sideline. Ya think? It would also help if the rest of the Lakers didn’t stand and punch their time cards on the other side of the court waiting for a Jesus and Lazarus moment.

3:14 – Kobe tries his hand at a three. It was pure all the way. Devin Brown, you got served.

3:03 – Lamar hyperextends his knee on a weird defensive play. He goes back to the locker room. He might not be back for a while.

2:22 – BYNUM! Hello young fella. He’s showing some energy again as he follows his own miss and gets fouled on the putback. Great stuff. Let’s see more of that! 50-48 going into a timeout with free throws coming. Bynum hits both and we’re tied.

2:11 – That was the fastest defensive two second call ever. Oh you’ve never heard of the defensive two second call? Me either. But Joey Crawford has. What a bald-headed ninny.

1:40 – Kobe is doing the right thing, passing when he’s double/triple teamed and his teammates aren’t hitting squat. Fisher misses so badly it leads to a NO fast break.

0:54 – I think that’s three or four straight turnovers by the Lakers. Yikes. 57-50 Hornets.

0:34 – Paul shows off his unstoppable teardrop again. This time it’s a cross-cultural learning project as he takes the Spaniard a la escuela.

0:01 – Paul hits a ridiculous shot over a couple defenders on the inside.

0:00 – Kobe gets the last shot on a great inbounds pass to half court and drills it as the lights come on. I’m not even going to mention Devin Brown is a knucklehead and fouled Kobe right before he took that shot. 61-56 Hornets take the lead into the intermission.

3rd Quarter

Lamar’s status is unknown. Officially it’s a hyperextension of the right knee. Pau is 0-4 with 0 points.

11:13 – Kobe matches david West as both of them hit three pointers. 63-58 Hornets.

10:50 – Maybe Kobe will just score another 81 points tonight. He seems to be the only Laker willing to make a bucket. Lamar will not return with an MRI coming tomorrow.

10:32 – Tyson Chandler has a beautiful free throw technique. It’s a little bit like a break dancer at the charity stripe.

10:01 – Six Pac! CP3 tries to find chandler rolling for the alley-oop and bynum spikes the pass into the first row of spectators.

9:30 – David West. How about we guard him? kthxbye. 69-65 Hornets.

8:57 – Pau doubles his scoring total with two free throws. 71-67 Hornets.

8:35 – West showed up to play tonight. He puts some man sauce on that one. A nice jump hook over the outstretched hands of Gasol.

So far Paul has 23 points and 10 assists with 0 turnovers. That’s some nice contribution.

8:01 – The Kobes score again. I’m calling them the Kobes because he’s the only one who seems to be able to score. David West answers back.

7:22 – david West is human after all. He misses.

7:10 – Rainbowwwwwwww. Kobe nails it from long distance. 77-72 Lakers trailing.

6:22 – mistmatch? Chris Paul vs. Andrew bynum at the arc. Awkward. Hornets don’t make them pay.

6:00 – Kobe’s rain dance paid off. His long three rattles home after almost bouncing out.

5:35 – chris Paul gets a three point play. Kobe just goes down and hits another three. 80-78 Hornets. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!! (zoolander fans?)

5:04 – Lakers tie it up. Not for long. Peja burns them with the corner three.

4:27 – Kobe isn’t playing against David West but he is taking the challenge personally. He drills another jumper. 83-82 Hornets.

3:48 – The crowd is ready to erupt as The Spaceman has a wide open three and he decides that it’s too early for histrionics. Brick.

3:17 – Fisher drains his three attempt. Lakers take the lead

2:52 – All of Staples Center breathes a sigh of relief as Peja’s wide open three (radman, I’m looking at you) misses. A Chris Paul foul takes us to a timeout. I’ll remember to breathe now.

2:06 – This game has long since turned into a defense-optional affair. It’s like all this talk about the effect of 7SOL has somehow made these teams want to shoot threes all over the place.

1:33 – Great hustle by Bynum to track down a long rebound, get it ahead to Kobe, who passed up a three to feed Pau under the rim for an easy dunk. Great play.

1:04 – Lakers prove to be bullet-dodgers as Peja misses what seems like his umpteenth open three.

0:35 – Kobe and Bynum two man game. Kobe drills a long three.

0:30 – Chris Paul whirling dervish shot in the post against fisher. Money. 87-92 Lakers up.

0:00 – Lakers finish the 3rd up by 3. 92-89.

4th Quarter

It’d be nice if the Lakers played better defense on their penetration. Whoever is defending West and Peja need to not sag in. they should just stay on their man.

11:30 – Hornets strike first with two Rasual Butler fouls.

Josh Powell sighting. He has two negative plays to start the quarter. He doesn’t stop West from getting an offensive rebound and he gets called for a traveling.

10:21 – Great hustle. Ariza tries to get his miss and it gets tapped out towards the New Orleans bench. Pau saves it. Kobe wastes the possession and throws up a prayer hoping to get fouled. The zebras (outdated moniker) don’t bail him out.

9:52 – david West needs more muscles. He clearly doesn’t work out enough. Yikes. He and Derek go to the same body sculptor.

9:51 – I learned something new. You can’t closed-fist contact the basketball. Hilton Armstrong is guilty of this little-known infraction.

9:10 – Kobe does the righty scoop in honor of Lamar and gets it to go.

8:50 – David West answers with a nice 15 footer of his own.

8:31 – If at first you don’t succeed… Ariza takes his billionth shot from downtown and finally hits it. 94-99 Lakers lead.

8:10 – David West gets his 30th point.

7:39 – Rasual Butler ties the game at 99 with his short corner three. Kobe’s on the bench and the Lakers will need to figure out how to score without him setting the court aflame.

7:10 – Or not. Kobe will check back in.

6:38 – A weak chant of “defense” breaks out. Lakers follow suit and allow david west to get his 34th point.

5:58 – Ariza gets a great steal and Fisher has himself a contested layup. He feels there is contact but the refs don’t see it that way. He is unable to convince them of the error of their ways and earns a technical. Wasted opportunity. 104-99 Hornets up after the T.

5:52 – The majestic Bynum has checked back in to re-ignite the twin towers. Posey beats them with a three from the corner. 107-99.

4:48 – Mr. West is going to win this one by himself. He raises up over The Spaniard to put the Hornets up 109-99.

4:07 – Ariza is left all alone…again. And he misses. Again. ::smacks forehead:: Did someone order a Coors Light? The Lakers are ice cold.

3:02 – David West might have gone to Xavier. I’m not sure. The big ‘X’ tattoo seems to indicate the possibility. He is now sitting on 39 points. 1 shy of his career high. 111-102.

2:29 – Lakers get a much-needed stop. Bynum bulls his way into an offensive foul. That should pretty much do it.

1:53 – 24 second shot clock violation on the teal marauders. No big deal for them.

1:22 – You know what’s awesome? Watching Chris Paul being guarded by a big and the big looking around like someone played a practical joke on him. Senor Gasol, I raise my glass to your befuddled bewilderment.

0:45 – Kobe saves some dignity by taking Rasual Butler’s. Kobe two-hand blocks Butler’s breakaway layup. Sick play. If Kobe did that at the park, Butler wouldn’t be allowed back on the court till Friday. Too bad it doesn’t mean anything. Hornets are too far ahead. Fisher hits a three off the turnover.

0:30 – That’ll do it. What a sad fourth quarter that was.

0:00 – 116-105 is your final count here. Man, I would love to thump David West on the ear right now. He killed the Lakers tonight. I guess that is a back-handed way of tipping my hat to him. Lakers fans go home disappointed. Hopefully they’ll make it up tomorrow night in Alameda County where we’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of Nellie Ball.

Things the Lakers did well:

  • Limited the Pick and Roll leading to an alley-oop
  • got open looks

Things the Lakers could’ve done more awesomely:

  • stopped the Juggernaut that was David West
  • hit a shot in the 4th.

Chat: The Minnesota Timberwolves

Kurt —  December 14, 2008

I wish I had something, but the Lakers pregame consisted of nothing exciting from Phil and Odom, after hearing what Teixeira was offered, saying his boy is going to play baseball. But more to come, and start chatting here.

12 minutes to tip: Staples Center feels like…. A T-Wolves game. Not the most energetic crowd. Most of whom want to talk Boston on Christmas day.

Aside that, Gasol has a nice handle, better than I tend to think, and Kevin Love is working on NBA threes. About an hour ago, Sun was out working with Rambis: Kurt stood at the elbow (high post spot in the triangle) and Sun worked on making the pass from the point, going around the high post on a curl, then pulling up for a midrange jumper. Classic triangle stuff.

3 minutes to tip: By the way, I said Phil didn’t say anything interesting in pregame, that wasn’t totally true, he did say that he thought Radmanovic probably wants to assassinate him.

10:11 First quarter. The Wolves are basically in a zone, one the Lakers can exploit inside, as evidenced by the offensive boards.

By the way, lest you think this is all that glamorous, I am sitting between China Hoops and Basketball News China.

6:20 First Quarter: The Lakers really are forcing the Wolves to be jumpshooters and they are not good at that. So far, eFG% of 25%.

8:08 First quarter: Mike Miller just waived off a sub after the second foul, and McHale looked confused before deciding to go with Miller’s wishes.

Okay, at the 5 minute mark, going on Mike Miller Watch. Especially after that impressive pass to two kids in the front row.

The Lakers respect him so much they have Walton on him. The Wolves are trying to do the smart thing, trying to keep Miller on the weak side and whipping passes to him, except nobody they have is that good a passer.

By the way, outside of Jefferson the Wolves are 1 of 7 from the floor.

Walton, to his credit, is keeping an eye on Miller and forced a dribble and pass on the one kick-out he just had. That said, Miller was never fast, but he seems a step slower and with that less confident.

1:56 First Quarter:
Kevin Love sighting!

:25 First Quarter: So far Love has an assist on one of those beautiful outlets and ripped a rebound away from Pau, He looks good, strong and just knows how to use his body.

And I thought, with the naked eye, Farmar was late (not his fault). Secondly, Ariza has clearly lost all confidence in his outside shot. He really is looking to drive, he passed open a pretty good look at a three to drive into traffic.

10:30 Second quarter: This is just not pretty basketball, despite the really pretty and one by Ariza.

9:35 Second quarter: Jefferson loves to get the ball on the left block, spin into the paint and shoot the running jump hook, but Bynum’s length is really starting to bother him on that shot.

And right now is when I’m glad I’m here and not watching at home, because you all are about to be subjected to George Lopez.

6:54 Second Quarter:
Against the Wolves, you can really see what the Lakers new defense can do. They are smothering what Minnesota wants to do, and this is not a team with other options to easily fall back on. The Lakers length is killing them.

On the other end, well, the offense really is just sloppy with the ball and missing good looks. You get the feeling they are just going to turn the spigot on and pull away, but that has yet to happen. Consistency……

4:20 Second Quarter. That two plays that led to the Bynum ally-oop were on Love. Ariza made the steal because Love did not come to meet the ball and didn’t see Ariza, then he spectated back up the court when everyone else ran.

By the way, Criag Smith is just a strong man.

Can you say enough just how well the two Lakers bigs run the floor.

And I told you about that running hook of Jefferson’s and Bynum. An Ariza will shoot the three if you go nowhere near him.

Halftime.
Two things are keeping this close. One, the Wolves have grabbed 44% of their missed shots. That’s crazy high. Second, the Lakers are shooting just 42.% eFG%. Not because of the Wolves so much as just not hitting things that normally fall, trying to get inside and passing up open looks.

5:00 Third Quarter: Watched the first half of the quarter from floor level. One thing that always impresses me live is just how little room Kobe needs to get off a shot and how he shoots with a hand in his face. It really is an amazing thing to watch.

Talked with Lakers.com guy Mike Trudell, he formerly of Minnesota, and he said that what Bynum did to Jefferson in the first half was the best he’s seen anyone defend the big man. Using his left hand then coming with the right when Jefferson shot threw him off. Jefferson adjusted and is just not going to that shot in the third.

Also, here was his theory on why Mike Miller looks so flat and just isn’t aggressive: When in Memphis the ball would go into Pau Gasol in the paint, and so when the double came the ball came flying back out to an open Miller. When it goes into Jefferson, it doesn’t come out much, so Miller just loses energy because he’s not involved on offense. However, he hit two threes in the third quarter as he got passes from guys whipping it around the wings and the Lakers not reacting.

0:01 Third Quarter: The Lakers should run more high pick and roll with Farmar. He’s back to exploding to the rim and he can run that play well.

The Wolves are shooting 41.8% eFG% and turning the ball over on 20% of their possessions. The Lakers should just be blowing them out of the water. When was the last time the Lakers scored just 69 through three?

11:30 Fourth Quarter:
Learned Kevin Love can jump high enough to goaltend. Who knew?

Actually, Love is doing some nice things out there, but right now they are asking him to cover Bynum, and that is just not something he can do. But he sets great picks, works hard on the boards and defense and, well, looks like he belongs more than a lot of rookies.

6:08 Fourth Quarter: Jordan Farmar got a little banged around out there, he was laying down with ice on his knee. That or he’s doing his best Steve Nash impression.

3:13 Fourth Quarter:
Adding to our growing Mike Miller theory, when Jefferson passed back out to Miller (catching Fisher off guard, he had sagged down for the trap) Miller drained it. He may want the ball to go inside out and isn’t getting that now.

Jefferson, by the way, looks tired. He is walking up the court, moving slow and just looks worn down after banging on Bynum all night.

1:30 Fourth Quarter: And the crowd heads for the door. However, the remaining people apparently love the noise meter.

Jefferson cannot even hold off Gasol now, and he should push Gasol around.

1:14 Fourth Quarter: Honestly, I could have gone the rest of my life without hearing Criss Cross do “Jump, Jump” again and been just fine.

Jefferson just drained a corner three. That guy is going to play for a good team someday.

I look forward to seeing the Lakers fourth quarter shooting percentage, I think it was better.

20 wins in 23 games. Not a thing of beauty, but a win.

Lakers vs. Suns, Live Blog

Kurt —  December 10, 2008

Lakers v. Nuggets Live Blog

Kurt —  November 21, 2008