Records: Lakers 7-2 Rockets 5-4
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 106.3, Rockets 108.5
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102.8 Rockets 106
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Rockets: Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes
The Lakers Coming in: That was not a pretty loss in Denver . They never are, but this was particularly ugly. But I continue to say you can’t really extrapolate anything, good or bad, from one game in November into what will happen in the spring.
The difference between the even first half of that game and the third quarter was simple — seven turnovers. That’s how many the Lakers had in the third quarter, and they led to easy baskets the other way that got Melo and other Nuggets going. From the people at ESPN Stats and Information, for the game Carmelo had 8 layups or dunks (making seven) and Denver as a team had 12 layups in the game. The Lakers as a team had four and Kobe one. That will kill the Lakers against any team, particularly a good one like Denver.
The Rockets Coming in: Trevor Ariza gets his Championship Ring tonight, and the guy deserves a huge ovation from the fans for all he did on that run. We may be better now with Artest, but Ariza is still missed.
The Rockets have gone 2-2 since we saw them last, but the most recent game was their own ugly loss to Sacramento. Our resident Rockets fan Stephen says these struggles may be signs of the Rockets roster (sans Yao) catching up with them:
Rockets are starting to show significant weakness that good coaching can exploit-if the player will execute. The Rockets perimeter D is getting abused, leaving the bigs scrambling to help and hopelessly out of position on rebounds.
The offense is very much hit-or-miss in that if the 3s fall, the Rockets are very good, but if the aren’t, they don’t have a viable option B. Brooks sprained his ankle against Dallas and has been somewhat hesitant since. Budinger will be available for this game and he’s been a typical rookie, can’t miss one game, can’t throw it in the ocean next.
The one guy who is playing well — and had a good game against the Lakers last time around — is Carl Landry. If you compare his year-over-year shooting numbers he’s a little less efficient this year, but that is because he is having to take on more of the offense and create his own shot more (60% of his baskets this year are assisted, down from 67% last year and 73% two years ago). The Lakers also need to keep him off the boards.
Blogs and Links: Check out Rockets Buzz. Also, I’ll be throwing in some comments on the ESPN Daily Dime live chat tonight.
On an off-topic point — maybe the amazing thing that Brandon Jennings has done is not 55 points as a rookie (it was against the defenseless Warriors) but the buzz and interest he has created around Bucks basketball. That is something hard to do.
Keys to game: The Rockets are one of those teams that just tends to match up well with the Lakers, and tend to play them tough. On paper it shouldn’t be this way, the Lakers length and quickness on the wings should be ideal for attacking Houston, but they always struggle. I don’t expect a cakewalk win tonight.
With the Rockets playing weaker perimeter defense, tonight might be a good night to move Kobe out of the post a little and have him attack from the wing. Part of the reason for that is getting some motion back in the offense, something Stephen adds the Lakers need to do to win.
The key to this game for the Lakers is simple-MOVE. Move the ball,but above all move Laker bodies. The more one-on-one play by the Lakers the better for the Rockets. The Lakers need to swing the ball, find cutters, above all move their butts. Even if Kobe goes into low post and works over Shane or Trevor, they can’t just stand there watching, they need to set picks for each other, cut to the basket, curl around the FT line. Do this and they won’t get caught flat-footed watching the Rockets race past on a fast break. And you’ll be surprised at how many offensive rebounds will fall into your lap.
The Rockets are still thin in the front line, so some early touches for Bynum where he goes at Chuck Hayes trying to draw fouls would be a help.
Last meeting between these two was some of the best pick-and-roll defense the Lakers have played, with Bynum stepping out and not letting the speedy Brooks turn the corner, then the Lakers recovery and rotations were tight. They need that again tonight.
And don’t leave Lowry, Ariza, Battier and Budinger alone at the three point line. Don’t. That’s what gets them going.
Where you can watch: This game tips off at 6:30 pm Pacific, on Fox Sports here in Los Angeles, and on 710 ESPN radio.
chris h says
this one’s for Warren!
looking forward to a nice ovation for Trevor tonight.
Thanks for the preview -quick edit: “Tevor Ariza gets his Championship Ring tonight” missing the ‘r’ in Trevor
Thanks Pinky (or are you The Brian…), fixed.
Good things are already happening, weve got the Warren first post up and Trevor getting his ring makes me happy inside.
This is not relevant to this post, but Pau Gasol will have a guest appearance on CSI Miami tomorrow, the ‘Point of Impact’ episode. So we can still see him in action, kind of.
I know this is off topic too but… Phil Jackson is just an interesting case. We will never know how much impact his “unique” tactics have on his success. But yesterday he partly blamed the Lakers not getting the ball into Bynum for the loss. He brings it up the next day instead of telling them during the game and reminding them to get the ball to Bynum in the post. I wonder why he does this. Anyone have any thoughts?
…because obviously if a coach wants the ball in someone’s hands he can make sure the ball ends up there. But Phil wanted it in Bynum’s hands more however didn’t order the team to run the offense more through Andrew.
“When you’re an elite team, you always want to play the best,” Denver’s Chauncey Billups said. “That’s just competitive fire, competitive nature. The way we played them the last game here in our building [in Game 6] was just embarrassing. So we just wanted to come out and just keep that rivalry alive.”
The Lakers aren’t convinced one exists.
“I don’t think it’s a rivalry at all,” Bynum said. “They might feel that way, but we don’t.”
7 – I take it you were in the Lakers huddle? Coaches say a lot of things that don’t play out on the floor. Often times, the defensive execution changes the picture. I’m sure most of the Lakers would have loved to get the ball to Kobe in the post, but the excellent ball denial and sagging off the shooters made it difficult. There’s no way to know what Phil talked about in his huddle.
Going to the game tonight, definitely looking to give Trevor some love for last year’s performance, it was a beautiful thing. And then looking forward to the Lakers getting back on track.
Still no Pau? That’s okay. It’s still November. Kobe and the others are going to be eager to prove that the loss to Denver was a bad fluke and sheer coincidence. I smell blood in the water.
Trevor gets his ring tonight! He definitely earned it, and I really hope the Staples Center crowd greets him properly. He was a key part of the championship team, and I’ll argue against anyone, any time, that we could not have won without him.
Cheer for Trevor for me when he gets the ring, would you? He’ll always be a part of the first championship I got to see after I started following basketball, and I’ll always like him and wish him success just because of that.
Thanks for getting that. I was watching for the preview to get the Warren-post up, and completely missed it. I blame my new video game for distracting me. 🙂
The team did try to get it to Kobe often in the post. That is easy to see. The team didn’t try to get the ball often to Bynum in the post… that was also something that was easy to see by any fan and coach Jackson himself as he was quoted saying the same thing. So my question is does anyone have any ideas as to why Jackson during the game wouldn’t instruct them to go into Bynum more often. This is something Jackson does often and it is hard to argue with his kind of success. I was wondering if he has ever answered publicly that sort of question.
chris h says
I was also thinking about PJ when it was a blow out and PJ sat the starters, except for Andrew, I was wondering about that at the time. I do think that PJ thinks about building a team over the course of the season, and he uses the season not to get the best record, but rather to bring each player up to what he hopes will be a complimentary piece to the “whole”.
and of course we all know his philosophy is to end strong, have it in the end playing the best ball of the season, and his 10 rings speak to his approach having some merit, to say the least.
so what i found myself wondering, what was he hoping to teach Andrew in the 4th qtr against the Nugg’s? was it to be more demonstrative about demanding the ball? (because as the only starter, he was the #1 option on the floor)
so we might have been wondering the same thing.
Great point. I forgot about that. He left Andrew in in the 4th for a while. Great point. I think you might be right. Phil likes for his players to decide where the ball goes. I think you are right.. he wanted Andrew to demand the ball more… more than he wanted to force his players to feed Bynum in the post more. That might be it. To be honest watching Jackson make decisions is as entertaining as watching the game. He is the most unique professional coach in any sport. He is a genius.
Last season, FSW on Laker Live, Rick Fox broke the season into 4 twenty game sections in a discussion, Phil Jackson and how he coaches.
The 1st 20 games are for settling on a rotation and finding out who plays better with who.
The 2nd 20 games are for separating yourself from others in your conference.
The 3rd 20 games is to rest the vets who will be needed in the playoffs.
The final 20 games are to intensify practice and get yourself into a winning momentum for the playoffs.
This is what PJ does apparently.
Sort of unrelated, but PJ likes retirng Jordan’s number, according to ESPN.
What do you guys think? I think you can retire a number if it’s your own guy, but to have a number retired league-wide would mean that he went beyond the game of basketball, something very profound that transcends the league… and that’s not something MJ has done.
Anyway, I think the Lakers will/should retire Kobe’s number when he’s all done, but which number do you want to have retired? 8? 24? Which do you think Kobe would like to retire if given a choice?
8, the one with 3 championships and 81 points?
24, the one where he was the unquestioned leader of the team and won 1 championship (and counting, hopefully)?
and, uhm, just to make this post not completely off topic, I really could use a win to get that Denver loss out of my system…
Harold, I think the whole MJ number retirement idea is a Nike idea. LBJ announces the idea the night he is playing Nike guy D Wade on the day that Nike announces that Wade will wear the 25th anniversary Air Jordans. Oh, and MJ was at that nationally televised game. Too many coincidences for my taste.
If we retire MJ’s number league-wide, we officially make him super-human. I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally am not willing to pay him that tribute. No true super-human would have agreed to those disgusting and deeply disturbing under-wear commercials.
Now, for the Bulls to retire that number makes perfect sense and they should do it. But the entire NBA? No.
I’m glad I never watched those underwear commercials 😉
I think if we were to retire a number league wide, the one person that comes to mind is Mutombo.
Please STAND and APPLAUD for Trevor Ariza when he gets his championship ring tonight for his invaluable contributions last season. (Then you can boo him as soon as the game starts.)
Absolutely no way the league will retire Jordan’s number league-wide. No way teams like Portland, NY, Utah, Seattle, all these teams that Jordan beat to get his championships retire his number.
It’s like us being forced to retire KG’s number.
When we lost the first time this season it was an embarrasing loss just like the one to denver. Also, kobe didn’t play well at all in either of the games. The bright side is that he (kobe) did come out explosive in the following game to dallas. Hopefully we will be able to say the same thing tonight about the follow-up to denver. (+ a victory would be a nice way to dawn a new week for us lakers fans.)
@kurt, i have no doubt that it’s a Nike idea. On top of all the coincidences mentioned, MJ was there for the DWade game when Dwade was wearing those sneakers, and I’m very sure that Wade was also prodded to dunk a bit more than necessary to showcase the shoes 😉
Just that since PJ chimed in, I thought maybe we could give it a spin as well, and expand the thought into whether basketball needs such gestures and if so, who’d be most fitting.
But i digress, that’s for another post on another day when we don’t have a game. And I really like this edit thing!
I wish I saw that piece. That is very interesting. I wish they went into depth on PJ like that more often.
I was more in favor of the Lakers singing Artest over Ariza than anyone else however… I was also more in favor of the Lakers giving minutes the last 2 years to Ariza over Vlade and Walton than anyone over the last 2 years. If you thought I hated Fisher you forgotten how I hated Walton and Vlad Rad more. Ariza’s implementation into the Lakers starting lineup towards the end of the season last year was the difference of winning and losing in the Denver series and Orlando series. The upgrade he provided at SF was the reason we won a championship with a injured Andrew Bynum.
…so yes… people. Please give Ariza an ovation not just before the game but during the game too.
I love what Phil does as a coach, I simply don’t have the patience for it in the moment.
The breakdown by Rick Fox, quoted by sT (Thanks!), is brilliant. A solid, real world approach to the long season and the actual goal.
Speaking of actual goals, retiring Jordan’s # league wide is moronic, at best, and insulting to other greats at worst.
If you retire Jordan’s number, league wide, than you are essentially saying two things:
1) That Jordan was, in all ways and by leaps and bounds, a bigger contributor to the NBA than Russell, or Kareem, Wilt, or Magic and Bird, etc… please. Jordan was the only A+ player during an era were the old guard (Bird and Magic) were retiring and the young guns (Shaq and Kobe) were just getting their games together. He had a fantastic 8 year run, but against who really? Hakeem, and um… Malone and um… old Magic, sore Bird, and um… young Kobe.
But even worse is #2) He is as important a figure as Jackie Robinson. Really? Did Jordan integrate basketball, and by extension the entire country? Was he looked at by millions of oppressed citizens as a symbol of freedom, equal rights, courage, dignity, and hope for a better tomorrow?
Retiring Jordan’s number would, in my opinion, belittle not only all of the other great NBA players in history, but also belittle Jackie Robinson’s legacy.
Of course Jordan is obviously ego driven and selfish enough to want this.
Craig W. says
Your point about Jackie Robinson is all you need to say.
What other numbers are retired league-wide in any major sport?
The individual has to do something far beyond the sport they are in to merit any consideration for this type of honor. MJ doesn’t qualify.
If they were to retire someone, I think Bill Russell deserve it more. He have pretty much better competitive drive and make his team so much better. If Bill were to be in Jordan era, i doubt Jordan would get that much ring.
If you were Jordan, wouldn’t you feel it is an honor to see so many 23’s worn in his name on the high school, college, and NBA level? Let alone how many people (world wide), wear a chicago jersey just because of him. For him to agree to that is just wrong on so many levels.
Since I didn’t grow up in the US, I had to go ask my husband who Jackie Robinson was. He told me, “he was a baseball player”. I replied, “Okay… but what did he do?”, and my husband then told me Robinson was the first black man to play Major League baseball.
Okay, that is pretty big.
If he is the only one yet in any sport to have his number retired league-wide, he and his family have every right to feel deeply offended by the suggestion that MJ’s number is retired league-wide. Jordan might have been great, but not great enough to change the sport forever.
Great, we are getting ready for some basketball now. Jordan’s number should not be retired, that is just crazy in my mind. Oh, I wish that I remembered whom I got my info from here at FB&G (my comment 15), you know, as a reference source.
GO LAKERS… (cap lock got stuck – lol)
That breakdown makes perfect sense. Hasn’t Phil always insisted that there are two seasons?
1st season – 40 games: first two 20-game periods.
Mid-season – 20 games: third 20-game period for resting veterans.
2nd season – ~40 games: last 20-game period and playoffs (~20 games).
Warren Wee Lim says
31st comment??! Thank God for chris h…
I’m not very worried about the game tonight as I am with Ron over-doing the Ariza-Artest rivalry… relax Ron, you’re on the good side now… its the other guy who has to worry about his rep.
I will laud Trevor from afar… thanks for the memories. Come back in 2 years =P
32nd! I’m stuck in moderation again…. 🙂
where is the link
LOL @ Artest throwing Trevor’s shoe towards the baseline…almost into the stands
Bynum is off to a good start blocking shots, getting position and moving well without the ball
Bynum’s pick and roll play has really gotten better. His roll has become very strong.
anyone have anohter link?
Is there a site to watch archived Laker games? Like tonight’s?
ESPN box score seems to indicate that Yao Ming has taken and missed 1 shot in 0 minutes of play. Interesting…
when Sasha is playing semi-decently, why does he come out while Farmar, who can’t throw the ball in the ocean, gets to stay in? can’t he do an adequate job of initiating the offense?
Cool, I went to Lakers.com and there is a ‘TV companion’ now that can be fired up, to enjoy box scores from and more.
at least we’re hitting FTs this game…
both links seem down – any others?
Bewildered by stupidity of not making Bynum focal point of tonight’s offense.
Nice to get that 4th foul on Battier so early in the 2nd half.
espn’s gamecast still has ariza’s pic in purple and gold 😉 was confused for a sec.
What color do they have Artest in?
Fisher has 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks, he just needs to stop shooting the ball, otherwise he is having a good night.
I don’t love checking GameCast to see our starting backcourt shooting 7 for 27!
Fisher is bent on shooting us out of this game and also giving all kinds of and-one to Brooks. Fisher needs some bench time
Gamecast has showing one messy sequence that starts with TA stealing Kobe’s ball…
curiously enough, they got Artest’s photo right in Purple and Gold… Although his face is so big you only see the gold collar.
You know things aren’t going well when the Lakers are needlessly jawing at the refs.
Attempting to derive some conclusions from GameCast (a dangerous process I know!), it seems that we just cannot stop them scoring. Does it look like that to those of you actually watching the game? Or are Houston making really tough shots?
im starting to feel the aaron sentiments
Lakers can’t buy a bucket.
Are teams figuring Kobe out (in the post)? He seems to be very inefficient this past two games… and now a 3 second?
Also, how did Sasha get 4 rebounds? That’s pretty good 😉
Lakers can’t buy a rebound either
With this lineup on the floor, I think the goal should be deep post position for Drew and a kickout for a 3 if necessary. That’s the only way I see out of this current scoring slump. Then of course we need some stops at the other end…
farmar and sasha seem to be playing with chips on their shoulders and their way to prove themselves is to try to score as much as possible when they are out there
It seems with this lineup, Phil is forcing them to go inside to Bynum.
Did Kyle Lowry really just grab consecutive offensive rebounds?
Just checked gamecast now. Are we in a shooting slump or has Houston’s defense been that good? And why do they have such a huge rebound advantage?
Kobe is having an . . . um . . . off weekend.
have to credit houston’s defense and spot-up shooting on the other end.
the lakers are playing like they’ve never played with each other before. unbelievable.
Just checked the boxscore. 30 for Brooks, 3-12 for Fish. But hey, he’s outrebounded Brooks. Always a silver lining.
Wow. Who is David Andersen, and what is with our unique talent to make no-names seem like All-Stars?
On the positive side, Bynum has just been beastly lately. Artest looks like he’s having a good game too.
I’m curious – how did Staples react to Ariza? During the presentation and during the game? Please tell me they were classy.
Let’s collectively wipe this weekend from our memory.
Time to rest the starters before next game.
The whole team is having an off weekend, well except for Bynum. Everyone else are like whatever….
Our shots weren’t falling which is going to happen some nights but there’s no excuse for our defensive effort. The Rockets got all the loose balls and offensive rebounds they wanted.
We just have to forget about this game and play better. Hopefully this will wake us up and get us to play harder.
I did not like Kobe going straight to the locker room, he may have banged knees with another player. Bynum is a regular 20-10 guy now.
Thats it. Ive had enough.
Clearly Pau is too injury ridden… and Ron has just not worked out for us. Trade them both and farmar and …. well that should be enough to get Brandon Jennings. 55 points from him and we could have killed the rockets.
Rudy is absolutely right. Our defense this game was atrocious. A -22 rebound differential? Hopefully these past two games do not become a trend.
Aaron Brooks’ amazing night, while expected, is also noteworthy.
Getting out rebounded by 22 is not gonna cut it in the NBA. Granted we didn’t shoot very well, but rebounding comes down to effort.
Totally agree, Ramy. Maybe throw Kobe in there and we might even be able to steal Redd. At least Redd won’t give you many of those oh-fer’s from three.
Really bad loss tonight. Again the team doesn’t get the ball to Bynum enough and tonight they also didn’t get it to Artest enough who was playing great. For those who like Fisher for “leadership” that is where I would like Derek to make sure the right guys get the ball. That is what being a leader is all about. Kobe and Fisher need to make sure the team takes advantage of certain matchups.
You’ve got to be kidding me Derek Fisher open or not does not need to get 12 shots a game versus Lamar Odom’s 4. The point guard play and lack of effort are killing this team right now. Everytime Farmar comes into the game he takes a terrible shot or turns the ball over. Insert Shannon Brown into the starting lineup give Derek fisher bench time to mentor Farmar and give the ball to Bynum, basketball is not really a difficult game but the Lakers sure as hell made it these past 2 nights. Fisher’s shot selection had particularly been horrid lately. Between him and Farmar it makes me want to vomit, at least shannon gives effort and tries hard every play he’s in the game. And give me a break this team was soooo much taller than the Rockets yet they get outrebounded by 22, talk about weak effort. As far as I am concerned this whole team is crap right now except for Artest, Kobe, Bynum Powell and Sasha, everyone else never shows up when they are needed.
Not a good way to start my week, not at all… I’d love for us as fans to wipe this from our memory but the team needs to be punished in practice for their laziness in transition, terrible rebounds (both jumping and boxing out), and getting out to contest open three’s (i know bynum and artest are big guys but they BRISKLY jogged out to contest three’s a couple of times without fully extending their arm). If i were PJ i would make them fear practices after a lazy loss like that. I don’t agree that they need rest its only november! They need conditioning now and rest at the all-star break. If that means they are going to be sore for the next game then i can deal with that. At least they will be slow for a reason. PJ seems to be all for giving up a game to teach a team a lesson; it might as well be a lesson they won’t forget.
Whether anyone will admit it or not these stupid losses kill the chances for homecourt advantage in the playoffs, and as much as people wont admit it, Homecourt really is crucial. Especially say if the Lakers are playing a certain Boston team in the Finals, because really that’s the only team I think that could beat the Lakers in a seven game series and I feel it would come down to homecourt.
celtics also lost they’re last two
I’m blaming Warren for this loss. Obviously the whole 1st post by proxy isn’t working. Warren, you need to step up your game and be the first game post again. Laker nation is riding on you.
But it wasnt near as ugly as these last 2 losses for the Lakers, I think LA could beat Boston in the finals since they have Artest to guard Paul Pierce but when Boston loses usually they cant score enough but their defense still holds court which keeps them in it. When LA loses their offense is crap and their defense is crap, example the Denver game. I know it’s early in November but bad games like this cause bad habits to develop even for the Playoffs, just like when LA played Houston last year and Denver in the playoffs.
80 – i agree with you. While it’s all well and good to say that early losses don’t mean anything until they represent a trend, we should be taking advantage of our early, allegedly soft schedule to separate ourselves from the rest of the league in the chase for homecourt. When we’re not, it’s troubling
73 – After the game, Phil said Kobe left to treat a groin injury and that he hadn’t wanted to put him back in for that last stretch but Kobe insisted on playing. Just heard another update. He has a strained right groin but he also says it won’t be a problem. Hope he’s right.
@Eric, I agree the lakers played poorly. To me it was mostly a lack of effort which needs to be fixed but to say that these loses kill our chances at HCA is a little bit of a stretch. The C’s lost by nine and gave up 113 points to Indiana last night, that doesn’t seem like they’re defense “held court”. We have 3 loses, in the WC the Suns are the only team with fewer, in the EC the Heat Hawks and Bucks are the only teams with fewer. All those teams only have one less, so our chances for HC are not dead
T. Rogers says
The Lakers have to make better adjustments. I thought Trevor played some very good defense on Kobe. It makes sense. The guy probably knows all of Kobe’s moves.
I think one thing that should be pointed is how taxing post play is. Kobe has been trying to set up on the block. But fighting for position every time down can drain his energy. I say that because he looked a step slow tonight.
Also, I feel the Lakers should have hit Andrew more than they did. Ditto for the Denver game. Drew has been playing quite well. Against a team with such a small front court Andrew should have hit the 30 point mark.
I won’t panic. No teams are looking terribly impressive in the early going. Boston has dropped some games, as has Cleveland. Orlando has been hit with the injury bug. The Spurs have looked a little aged. It would be nice to see the Lakers start separating themselves. But I don’t see that happening until they get the Spaniard back in the mix. For now they just have to fight through. They could use some of Houston’s hustle, though.
They said it was a groin injury for Kobe, not good, I can not wait for more info. I do not even care about this loss anymore. Just what we need, Bryant and Gasol out at the same time, now that will kill our homecourt run for sure.
@isolate, I agree with what your saying as far as that last boston game went, but traditionally they dont lose like that and they rarely have the past 2 years. What worries me is Boston ALWAYS seems to come up with these winning streaks that enable them to get homecourt and they dont suffer these stupid effort losses like LA does. Just like last year LA never won more than 5 in a row, and as much as I hate Boston if KG had been healthy last year I bet they would have had the best record during the regular season with as weak as the eastern conference is. Losing to Denver didnt bother me, but losing to Houston like this did. Games like these do come back to haunt us later in the season, look at how the Lakers lost by one game to the cavs last year in the chase for the best record. While I dont consider the Cavs a threat, playing in the Eastern conference gives Orlando Boston and the Cavs an easy way to stuff their wins column, thats my whole point.
That makes sense, this does seem to be a little more of a trend, in that we have had a couple of these kind of “effort” loses every year for the past couple seasons. I don’t know why our team “culture” is like this. Kobe is 100% effort all the time and hard work, i don’t know why our team hasn’t taken on more of his personality.
Yeah I don’t get the whole go into the post thing to save energy or your body, are the last two games a manifestation of Kobe being tired from being so aggressive in positioning early in the season? Any thoughts?
Also, while these losses may not kill our chances for HCA, every game still counts. HCA will come down to a few games as it always does and we can point to all the missed opportunities, even early in the season, if we’re not on the right end of that difference.
Ok this answers my question – injured during the NO game? Why is he playing at all?
Everyone should chill out. It’s only November.
Here is the thing about Fisher and others shooting tonight: The Rockets started doubling the post — they did it early, they did it late, they varied where and when it came, but they tried to take away the Lakers inside game. You make them pay for that by hitting outside shots. Fisher missed those, but so did everybody. Vujacic, Farmar and Brown from the outside were 4 of 13. Teams have made an adjustment to the Lakers post game this season, now the Lakers need to make the counter moves, and that starts by knocking down perimeter shots.
And Eric, you’re right, Boston doesn’t have bad losses to teams like the Pacers…. oh, wait.
HCA matters, but it also is not decided yet. And the Celtics “always” have these runs of good games? They’ve been good for two years now, and last year they stunk in the playoffs. Unless you were talking about the Bird era Celtics in the 1980s, they did have a lot of good runs, but I’m not sure it’s relevant.
The Lakers simply lost because they didn’t have the big guy, that’s right, Luke Walton.
New brief post up. I’ll get more into the Lakers defensive issues tomorrow.
Thanks Don, this is not very good at all, you know Kobe will just keep playing and playing on that bad groin muscle and it will not get any better while he does that. Can he be forced to sit? Now, I just want to make the playoffs (8th seed is fine) with a healthy Bryant and Gasol, you know?
Kurt, they stunk in the playoffs last year because they didn’t have Kevin Garnett, if he had played I’m not sure the Bulls would win more than 1 game and the Magic wouldn’t have won more than 2 games because the Celtics owned the Magic last year when KG played. Im not defending the Celtics because I hate them but look at the runs they go on and look at how they lose, that Pacers loss was an exception if you look at that past 2 years they typically lose because they cant score enough points but their defense is always there. And I watched that Pacers Celtics game it really wasnt that bad of a loss, I was cheering for the Pacers but the refs were giving the them some questionable calls, and Dahntay Jones dropped 25 points while shooting 15 three throws, when was the last time both of those things ever happened in a game? The Runs I was speaking of Boston going on last year was when they won 20 games, 12 games and 7 games in a row during the regular season last year. Playoffs are a different case, but as for winning home court advantage they have the odds of winning it on their side because of how weak the Eastern Conference is. They still finished 62-20 imagine if KG hadnt missed all the games he did Im sure they would have had the best record if he had been healthy. I DESPISE Boston, but losing one game like last night will come back to haunt LA, unless they correct these games where they give minimal effort and think their talent will win games on its own.
9 Games stick out in my mind from last year alone, the first loss against the Pistons, the ugly loss at Sacramento, the second half no show against New Orleans, Once again the lack of effort at Denver on Feb. 27th, the lack of defense against the Suns on March 1st, The Blazers owning them in Portland twice last season (which I know always gives them trouble) and a Hawks Bobcats 2 game span that was dismal at best. Say they give better effort in 4 or 5 of those losses and the odds of winning HCA is MUCH better. That’s all I was saying, because during the playoffs the Lakers will be fine, but against Denver and Boston HCA would be welcomed.