In a game that Kobe ended up not playing, his replacement provided a nice impersonation. Shannon Brown, fresh off a less than stellar dunk contest on all-star Saturday, showed that he seems to do his best work in live game action. Shannon stepped in for Kobe, played a great all around game, and ended the night with a team high 27 points on 19 shots and added 10 rebounds for good measure. Sure some of his shots were questionable and I think we’d all like to see less jump shooting, but he played a pretty efficient game (he would have been even more efficient on offense had he not missed five of his six 3 point attempts) and poured in the shots when the Lakers needed them.
A few other notes from this game:
*The Lakers started off the game quite well and jumped out to an early lead over the depleted Warriors. Fueled by Shannon’s shot making and Bynum’s post scoring, the Lakers were showing off the talent that I thought would lead to an fairly easy win against an overmatched opponent. The Lakers were playing a bit faster than I would have liked and, to a certain extent, were playing the Warriors’ style but it did not matter as their size inside and superior skill was too much for Golden State.
*A twelve point first quarter lead would shrink to only a three point margin at halftime as the Lakers bench couldn’t hold the lead in the second frame. Forced shots, an abandonment of going into the post with any consistency, and overall sloppy play on offense fueled the Warriors fast break and the Dubs clawed their way back into the game. The biggest culprits in this were Sasha (and his failed attempts to be a play maker in the half court) and Artest (and his lack of touch from everywhere while continuing to fire away). It still baffles me that the Lakers bench doesn’t always play to their strengths as a unit by going to Gasol/Bynum/Odom in the post and letting them create easy shots and would rather try to create off the dribble and play a more freelance game. This style can work when players are making shots, but when the shots aren’t falling the entire team suffers with stalled offense and a lack of floor balance that leads to poor transition defense.
*Bynum really didn’t show any rust in his first game action in over a week. He was overpowering on several possessions and showed nice touch around the basket. I think it’s too early to say what Bynum’s effect is on the flow of the Lakers offense. The Warriors are a team that does not have the size to bang with ‘Drew on the block, so Bynum should be aggressive against this team and look to score. Also, when Bynum was operating on the post, cutters were not as active and the Warriors defense didn’t come with hard double teams that would force ‘Drew to be a passer. Combine that with Bynum’s tendency to use his dribble quickly and then attack when the opening presents itself and you’ve got a recipe for shot taking rather than ball movement.
*Shannon and ‘Drew were really the only players that deserve any sort of credit on offense. The rest of the players didn’t play very well at all and made shots for the rest of the guys were few and far between. Pau, Ron, and Odom were a combined 13 for 39 from the field and never found a groove on offense. Some of that credit goes to aggressive interior defense by the Warriors (especially Turiaf and Biedrins) and timely help from the Warriors guards. But overall, the Lakers front line was not sharp with its shooting and that kept the game closer than it should have been for most of the night.
*Besides the good interior defense, the Warriors should also be given credit for sticking to their plan on offense. They continued to push the pace the entire evening and took advantage of the openings that the Lakers gave them. Maggette barreled his way to the basket, Morrow was spotting up in transition, and CJ Watson was accurate from behind the arc and the mid-range. The Warriors fought hard all night, but just didn’t have enough to beat a better and deeper Lakers squad.
In the end, I’ll take this win and move on. Outside of Shannon and ‘Drew, no one player performed that great on offense and only Odom had an above average night in any one aspect of the game with his 18 rebounds. Overall, this was a pretty forgettable win but sometimes that’s what you get in an 82 game season. They can’t all be the supreme performances like the ones we got against Utah, San Antonio, and Portland.
They played the like the just came off a vacation. Pau looked HORRIBLE, Sasha was invisible, Lamar’s shot was strong but he boarded like an animal, Fisher played physical and seemed to get into Curry’s head, Bynum and WOW were great though.
Well at least Ammo got some playing time in his last game as a Laker. His line was typical, even with the extended minutes, he missed everything he shot and was given a phantom assist. It was actually a put back shot missed so badly that he was credited with an assist to Bynum. That’s a capsule of his career, he was given credit for talent that he obviously never had. Good Riddance Ammo, can’t say you will be missed.
This is the ShamWOW we need. Let’s welcome back Kobe and welcome Boston to town by beating their brains out. Since it doesn’t look like we will get the player we want, let’s beat them with what we got.
Warren Wee Lim says
Can any of you see the Lakers trying to acquire a backup SF (via Ammo) due to Walton’s injury?
Oh and nice game Mr. Wow.
After a 5-14 you have to agree that it was far from being Pau’s best performance of his career, but I loved the 6 straight (uncontested) points he scored for us late in the fourth when we were only up by one, before Wow took over in his best possible impersonation of Kobe.
We were sloppy, and we didn’t run the offense the way we were supposed to. Obviously after the AS break these things tend to happen so let’s wait to the Boston game to see what’s going on with our offensive flow.
Regarding AB and the others staring at him instead of cutting to the basket, it’s just human nature, when you get used to something, it’s hard to change the mindset, and right now doesn’t matter if Drew is willing to pass from the post, the rest of the players don’t think he’s going to do it, so they don’t bother anymore.
Great performance, but I fear this might give him the confidence to shoot more bad shots… Lets hope not
Craig W. says
Not only were the Lakers simply standing still when Andrew got the ball, but the 2nd unit fell back into 1-on-1 iso play – no triangle.
After three games where they were successful, you would think these guys would give it a try in this game – but no, let’s just play it like an all-star game.
Warren Wee Lim says
Wonder how we’ll do it against the Celtics.
If there’s anything this game proved, its that we are very very fluid with Pau + Lamar up front. With Drew, not so much.
just a note in passing: the Ls are now two thirds (2/3) of the way through their regular season schedule (just in case you’re still thinking ‘second half’).
I think you legitimately have to ask why the aggressive cuts stop once Bynum is back. Do the other players really lose the will to cut when they see the ball go to Drew? Do they really believe that they won’t get the ball back most of the time?
The questions that are dogging Bynum right now – great scorer, questionable passer – are the same ones that dogged Kobe for much of his career. I think Drew will continue to grow and become even more beastly. I just hope it’s an all-around beastly.
Pau gets a pass for a less than stellar offenisve performance, the man hit his freethrows when it mattered. Drew performed better than I thought he would & Shannon did his best “I know I jacked up the SD contest so let me try for a different impressive display” performance. Lamar, boards, nice…a demonstration of how good/active players can affect the game without points (like Steve Nash’s line last night of 4 points but 16 assists).
The real question now is…will Kobe or won’t Kobe go Thurs? It would be great if he could rest considering the additional days off he would get game due to the team not playing again until next Tues in Memphis. But the Celtics…I fully believe the team can win without him, but you know his competitive nature is dying to play this one.
Id rather he miss it. The Lakers playing the Celtics without Kobe would be a great test.
Kobe should rest until he’s 100%, he’s already missed a few games and LA has a 6 game lead on Denver in the conference and about the same on the second place team in the East.
Catching the Cavs would be great but at what cost?
Some random thougts on last night.
1-Brown can be a star if he controls his bad shots. He can go to the hole, shoot outside and run the court.
2-LO is a beast and should be playing 40 minutes a game.
3-bynam is a one-way player and appears to be very selfish.
4-Farmer will never start for this team. He is a walking turnover, 5-more last night. He should play for the Clippers.
5-Morision is the worst player in Laker history. When you have Sasha and Ammo on the court at the same time you have a bad D-league team with no athletic ability. $11 mill for those two and another $5 for the broken toy Walton. Gee think Lakers could get one good point guard for $16 million?
6-What Artest lacks in talent he makes up for in nasty. I really love to hate Ron.
7-Finally for all the bashing I have given Fish he has reaaly stepped up the last 4-games and looks like a all-star next to a drunk Farmer on the court.
8-Any hope of Ammo, Sasha and Jorden for a used car or a TV announcer to replace Joel or CJ Watson or anything?
SASHApova was awful last night. Hope Mitch can find a sucker for the last year of his contract.
I personally think Sasha was being awful on purpose. He wants to remain a Laker at all costs. Can’t wait until next season when his contract expires. He’s been worthless since signing his extension and does not deserve to remain on a championship team. Same goes for Walton. He’s been injured more than he has played. I know both these guys contribute something to the team, but their contributions are no where near where their salaries are.
Joel B. says
“Regarding AB and the others staring at him instead of cutting to the basket, it’s just human nature, when you get used to something, it’s hard to change the mindset, and right now doesn’t matter if Drew is willing to pass from the post, the rest of the players don’t think he’s going to do it, so they don’t bother anymore.”
No, that’s inexcusable. Players aren’t supposed to stop doing their job no matter if drew will pass or not. Plus there were numerous times when drew got the ball in good deep position and looked for any cutters or open guys before he went to work. But no one was cutting no one tried to provide any open passing lanes for drew. That’s the problem (a good problem to have because good things come out it sometimes) with Pau, at times he looks to make the play for others to much. Pau has an advantage over his defender all most all the time, and sometimes his recognition of when he just needs to go to work and not worry about the others is about 2 or 3 seconds slow.
Hey but that’s what makes pau, pau and drew, drew.
But i thought ron had a really good game. He played really good defense on maggette. His shots were timely and knocked them down when the lakers needed them. Kobe likes him so much because he has that shooters mentality, they always forget about the last shot. Point being, he started the game 1-7( about 6 of those were good shots falling way short) then he finished the game 4-6. He also had 6 assist 5 boards. So ron continues his good play on both ends of the court.
New post up. More Warriors recapping – Golden State and other types too.