*As most of you noticed, Kurt took this morning’s post and shared some insight on how Forum Blue and Gold was started, how it has grown and a little on what it represents. Today is the website’s sixth birthday and the website couldn’t have been started by a better guy. Even though he has the new gig over at Pro Basketball Talk, he’s still loved around these parts.
*Last night, the Lakers improved to 8-0, tying their second best start in franchise history. Yes, a win is a win, but last night’s was one of the ugliest we’ve seen in recent history. Via e-mail from Darius: “[There were] So many isos and Kobe in gunner mode….ugh. Seriously, last year all over again.” One of the things about Kobe getting hot in the first half is that he tends to try to carry it over to the second half, and sometimes, it’s to no avail. Last night was a prime example. He closed out the second quarter hitting a few jumpers and an and-one with fewer than two seconds left on the clock. He began the third quarter with a make three pointer and the gunning was on. He would go on to take six more shots in the quarter — none of which were taken within the offense. Of course, the whole offense looked terrible last night, and Kobe’s natural reaction is to try and take over in those kind of situations. However, when the opponent is the Minnesota Timberwolves, you’d like to see this Lakers team try and slow things down, and see what kind of opportunities present themselves, instead of trying to create opportunities that aren’t there. Now that I’ve added my two cents, here are some post-game reactions from around the web:
*It appears that the Lakers weren’t the only team who struggled last night. The Miami Heat blew a 22-point lead, thanks in large part to Paul Millsap — a career 10 percent three point shooter — knocking down three consecutive three pointers and a put pack to tie the game as time expired. It is this Miami team, according to Magic Johnson, that has the Lakers off to an 8-0 start. Via the Los Angeles Times:
“I don’t think the mind-set would have been the same if Miami hadn’t done what it did, because what Miami did sparked everybody,” said Johnson, a Lakers vice president who just sold his share of the team ownership. “It sparked Dr. Buss, because, remember, he was going to cut back but he decided to spend the money, so give him a lot of credit, and then it just trickled all the way down. I think it sparked Phil [Jackson] too, and especially the best player in the world. Kobe [Bryant] has now got everybody else on the same page.”
*On that same note, Dexter Fishmore of Silver Screen and Roll feels like Raja Bell deciding to play for the Utah Jazz instead of playing along side Kobe and Co. has put the Lakers in the position they’re currently in. Clark believes that the Lakers bench with Matt Barnes is a lot better than it would have been with Bell:
“[…] on the 14th, the Jazz dropped an offer on Raja (for three years and about $10 million) considerably larger than anything the Lakers could put on the table. Not unreasonably, he called off the meeting with Kobe and signed his name on Utah’s dotted line. I don’t think at the time any of us were driven to tears by this. I mean, it’s just Raja Bell. On the other hand, none of us then suspected how beautifully the series of events he set in motion would ultimately play out for the purple and gold.”
*Lastly, the HoopDoctors named the Lakers as the team of the week and made this fantastic highlight video of the Lakers season up until the Portland game. Enjoy.