It dawned on me that I put up information about other teamâ€™s offenses and defenses in previews, but I havenâ€™t done that for the Lakers. So:
Record: 32-30 (27-35 Pythagorean), 8th seed in the West
Record last 10 games: 6-4
Offensive Rating: 109.3 (9th in the NBA)
Defensive Rating: 107.2 (17th in the NBA)
About last nightâ€¦.. that game reminded me why I donâ€™t really like Byron Scott as a game coach. Speedy Claxton on Kobe in the fourth quarter? With slow doubles coming? If there is one rule in playing the Lakers, itâ€™s make Kobe give up the ball in the fourth quarter and force someone else beat you â€” heâ€™s still going to get his points but do everything within your power to slow him. Unless youâ€™re the Hornets, apparently.
Not that Odom couldnâ€™t have beaten them if Kobe had been forced to pass. Missed a few easy ones (he was 6 of 14 from the floor) but he was a beast on the boards and had a good game.
While weâ€™re throwing out praise, Luke Walton has now played several of his better games in a row. When the Lakers took charge in the fourth quarter last night the lineup was the starters save for Walton taking Cooks place. Cookâ€™s defense was killing the Lakers last night.
Commenter Kwame a. mentioned it before the game was played, and the Lakers listened â€” good job using Kobe and Odom in the post to take advantage of mismatches.
Kobe and Mihm were tied for the team high with +7s last night. Smush and Walton were +6.
I love, by the way, the Byron Scott got booed in the introductions by the Hornets fans (he has suggested the team stay in Oklahoma City).