From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Known as the NBA’s leading politician, Derek Fisher found his platform again. Fisher hit the winning shot at the buzzer, turning one night’s defeat into victory – and then instead of stuffing that small success into a duffel bag to take home with him, Fisher unfurled it to display wall-to-wall and examine in the Lakers’ postgame locker room late Wednesday night. All too often we settle for a smile or a celebration when things go right for us. That’s a fine way to remain powerless and dependent on good luck to get that next big break. A far better means to a happier end is to think about what went right – and why it went right – so we immediately increase the odds that we can do more good.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: As the Lakers huddled together on the sideline with 3.1 seconds remaining, Fisher planned out what he would do should he receive the ball. It wasn’t likely that scenario would play out, considering the first option would go to Kobe Bryant on the perimeter or Pau Gasol inside. But with each of them heavily marked, Lakers forward Matt Barnes inbounded the ball to Fisher near the top of the key. As soon as Fisher caught the ball, he noticed Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe marked him as if he would shoot from long-range. Instead, Fisher drove through the lane and lofted a left-handed layup that reminded him of his coast-to-coast drive that signified his clutch Game 3 performance of the 2010 NBA Finals. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan nearly swatted it, but just missed.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: The Lakers have listed backup center Derrick Caracter as day-to-day after spraining his left ankle in the team’s 87-86 victory Thursday over the Clippers. “It’s cool,” Caracter said in a brief interview before walking out of the locker room. He collided with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, fell on the floor and limped for two possessions before being removed with 1:33 remaining. Though he didn’t return after getting treatment, Caracter is listed among the reserves as well as Lakers center Andrew Bynum as players expected to practice Thursday morning before departing in the afternoon for a six-game trip beginning Friday at Chicago.
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: No, the first option for the Lakers in what would become the game winning sequence in Wednesday’s 87-86 win over the Clippers was not Derek Fisher receiving the ball near halfcourt with about three seconds to play, then putting it on the floor and driving to the bucket. I don’t exactly know where it was on the list, but it definitely wasn’t first. In the video below, Fish breaks down the final play, adding a lot of interesting details about how he prepared himself mentally for what he might have to do if he got the ball depending on how the defense responded, the difficulty players have in defending situations like that, and whether he had a chance to see the clock before starting his move (a strong hint: no, he didn’t). As Fish can do, he’s able to provide a fair amount of detail, essentially noting the anatomy of an end-game possession. Interesting stuff…
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: The Lakers rightly ought to go on to win a bunch of games this year, but not many will be grittier than this one. They spent much of the game running through mud- playing hard, but they certainly not well, and there wasn’t much energy to feed off in the arena, with the Staples crowd basically split in half between L.A.’s two squads. But while the offense bogged down, the defense stood up, forcing critical turnovers. And when they absolutely, positively needed points, Kobe Bryant came through with two big jumpers, and Derek Fisher finished off the Clippers with- and I totally called this as the Lakers came out of the timeout- a driving layup on a play starting well beyond the three point line.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: Pop open the Derek Fisher greatest-hits mixtape and make room for another track. Sure, it was only the Clippers and the calendar says it’s still just December, but Fisher’s intangibles care not for your calendars, son! Whether it’s a June night in Boston or a regular-season playdate with the Clips, Old Man Fish stands ready to rock your world whenever you least expect it. Tonight, it’s safe to say, none of us expected it – not after 47 minutes and 57 seconds of the Lakers sucking out loud and Fish doing little to remind us he was even in the building. But those last three seconds… ahh, yes. That’s when Fish grabs a game and makes it his.
From Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Everyone else on these Los Angeles Clippers had disappeared down the hallway and toward the locker room, leaving behind one more snapshot from decades of disappointment. Only, Blake Griffin wouldn’t move. He stood there, ball tucked under his arm, and stared across the Staples Center floor. He wore that ghastly, gaunt Clippers face, and watched the NBA champions cackle. “I was just thinking, ‘Wow, that really happened,’ ” he would say quietly at his locker later.
From Scott Howard Cooper, NBA.com: Ron Artest has come up with a way to top Ron Artest. Before he even gives away his 2010 championship ring in an online raffle to raise funds and increase awareness of mental-health issues in schools, the Lakers small forward is already focusing on another unprecedented donation that would mean millions of dollars and immeasurable attention to the same important cause. He told NBA.com he is seriously thinking about handing over at least half, and maybe all, of next season’s $6.79 million salary.