Record: 30-23 (33-20 Pythagorean), 5th seed in the West
Record last 10 games: 4-6 (lost 5 straight)
Offensive Rating: 106.5 (15th in the league)
Defensive Rating: 104.6 (6th in the league)
No Trades Is Good Trades: On message boards and talk radio yesterday I kept hearing this sentiment, â€œIf we had just gotten X we could have made a serious run in the playoffs this year.â€
No, we couldnâ€™t (unless Minnesota decided to trade us KG for Slava and a pick, which seems a tad unlikely). The Lakers wisely are about being in position two or three years from now to make a deep playoff run, and Jamal Crawford, with his huge contract and nonexistent defense, is not how you get there.
Frustrated as we may be at times with this yearâ€™s Lakers, no move is still better than making a move â€œjust to shake things up.â€
By the way, great note in the LA Times this morning: â€œThe last Laker deadline-day deal came when shooting guard George McCloud was acquired from New Jersey for Joe Kleine and draft picks in February 1997.â€
About Last Night: Thatâ€™s two good games in a row. Isn’t that fun to watch (even on TNT)?
As a team, the Lakers had an eFG% of 59%. Odom was driving the lane liked we’d all been praying for and was hitting the outside shot when the D laid off him, he had a true shooting percentage of 59.4% and was +21. Kobe, 10 assists and just 1 turnover, a TS% of 62.6% and was +30. Cook and D. George had good games. Kwame Brown played as well as we can expect and was a +23. Even Turiaf got in the game to blow off some of that energy he expends on the bench.
But again the key was defense â€“ the Kings had an eFG% of 45.1% for the night, well below the 48.6% they shot for the season. The Lakers had 10 steals (while the Kings had 2).
As a side note, Smush had a tough defensive night on Bibby, and was -2 for the game. I think he gets too far up in the face of quick guards, trying to use his quickness to cover them but heâ€™s not fast enough at this level. Smush is tall and long, he should stay just a little off the guy and use that length.
About the Clips: Clipper fans are worried. And they should be, this team that showed so much promise has been losing games at a pace like, well, the Clippers. But now theyâ€™ve solved their problems by bringing in Vin Baker! Heâ€™s a four-time All Star and Olympian! What? That was in the 1990s? Oh, never mind.
The Clips havenâ€™t been playing as bad as youâ€™d think lately â€” they almost beat Dallas the other night. In the last 10 games, as a team, they have a true shooting percentage of 52.6% while holding their opponents to just over 50%. Keep that up and youâ€™ll win more than youâ€™ll lose.
Elton Brand is a stud â€“ he has 30 double-doubles this season. Chris Kamanâ€™s hair is Gallagheresque, but the guy is a solid center â€“ he has a true shooting percentage of 56.7% (Chris Mihm is 56%) and he pulls down 16.3% of the rebounds when he is on the floor (Mihm is at 14.3%).
A few guys to watch: Vladimir Radmanovic is a guy who seems to still be trying to find his way around the offense but is always capable of a big shooting night; James Singleton has looked good coming off the bench in the parts of a couple recent games Iâ€™ve caught; Shaun Livingston should give us some highlight reel passes but his defense is suspect.
Keyâ€™s to a Laker win: Play like they did last night and they should get a win â€“ this team has been fun to watch. That said, this is the second game of a back-to-back and that opens the door for the inconsistent Lakers team to return. I just hope we left that version of the team behind.