With six minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Bobcats held a 73-51 lead. The Lakers had been playing awfully throughout the game up until that point — and the bad stretches included no new problems: the defense was shoddy, guards were able to get into the lane at will, the rotations were slow, there were a plethora of turnovers and there was very little movement on the offensive end. Even when guys found themselves open, shots weren’t falling and the long rebounds led to fast break opportunities. From the beginning of the Celtics loss to the end of the first half of tonight’s game, the Lakers were minus 33, with no signs that things would change.
To start the third, the Bobcats pushed their lead to 16 points, the Lakers took a timeout, and then watched as the lead balloon to 22 points with six minutes left in the third. With 18 minutes left to play in the game, the score was 73-51 and I was (admittedly) ready to walk a plank — and things began to turn. Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison really closed out the quarter well. From the six minute mark in the third until the end of the game, Meeks and Jamison combined for 14 points and seven rebounds on five-for-eight shooting and three-for-four from deep. They were the spark for the comeback, but it was Kobe and Earl Clark who really drove the stake into the collective hearts of the Bobcats.
During those last 18 minutes, Kobe scored 16 of his 20 points and four of his eight assists. He got a lot of touches from 15-feet and in from both sides of the floor and just picked his spots. Much like the first half, when Kobe touched the ball, there was very little movement off the ball despite Charlotte throwing double-teams at him on every touch. Unlike the first half, Kobe became more aggressive looking for his own shot. He was forced into quite a bit of contested, turn-around or fall-away jumpers, which weren’t exactly ideal, but largely needed with the offense being as stagnant as it was in the first half.
Kobe ended up turning the corner on the baseline a couple of times to get to the rim with the double coming from the middle of the paint. He hit a shot over Byron Mullens outstretched arms after a 2-4 P&R with Earl Clark. The jumper was sandwiched between the two baseline layups, which ultimately cut the Bobcats lead to one. With about 2:20 left to play, Bean hit a tough jumper off the glass over Gerald Henderson to give the Lakers a 94-91 lead, and a transition layup with about 0:45 left to play pretty much iced the game for the Lakers. Kobe shot 5-10 during that stretch, and the misses were largely shots taken with no one else moving off the ball.
The team was also to come up with some huge stops during the last six or so minutes of the game. Howard was able to alter some shots at the rim. They forced the Bobcats into some contested jumpers that weren’t taken on their end of the floor all game and forced a couple of 24 second violations.
This wasn’t the prettiest win of the season for the Lakers. In fact, this is the second time this season that the Lakers were down huge to the Bobcats and came back to win. During their first meeting, they fell down by 18 and had to claw their way back to a win. Now, they’ve secured a winning record for this Grammy trip as they look ahead to their match up against Miami (who is currently up by 25 points against the Clippers, Lebron looks so good). A 4-3 trip isn’t bad, but a 5-2 trip would be much better. The game against Miami is on Sunday, hopefully a miracle is in the works.
Great recap, i was about to turn the game off when it went 73-51 but gave it 5 more minutes and the comeback started to get shape, dont wven know what to expect on the Miami game with this jeckyl and hyde team, we have won 7 of 9 and secured a winning record on the grammy trip that counts but a a win in in Miami would be huge!!we let that first Miami game slip away if the team that shows up on Sunday is the team that played the last 17 minutes of this game we have a shot but then again it was the Bobcats.
Cant say enough about Earl Clark…. The Lakers need to keep him no matter what.
What in the world has happened to MWP lately, he’s looked terrible for the past few games now.. Literally bricking shots and getting punked on by his guy.
After seeing what the Heat just did to the Clippers, we’re in for a hiding on Sunday.
On Laker talk tonight it was mentioned that Metta the past 9 games is shooting under 24% and more amazing from 15 feet or more is shooting under 20%. Also playing poor defense. They won tonight because he was on the bench in the 4th quarter.
24% ! 3 for 13 last night and 5 for 13 tonight. He is now the single worst starting offensive forward in the NBA and has been averaging 11 shots a game. More then Dwight, Nash, Clark.
This guy is done. He must come off the bench or moved for anything. 10 games is not a slump it is a realty.
Mark Sigal says
A win is a win, but tonight was a gut buster. Very painful to watching until the very end.
Thank God we have Kobe “The hissing Black Mamba” Bryant. #CountOnKobe
Metta is abysmal. His mind is on something else. He should play inside and post up rahter than shooting 3s.
i watch a lot of metta hes my favorite laker and he does stuff that cant be accounted for….he is solid
I agree with the Ron criticisms. I love the guy, great guy, but he is dreadful right now. He takes far too many shots and most of them are shots that are not good shots that are out of the flow of the offense. I just don’t think he’s movable at all and I think it may be time to give Ebanks a shot. It can’t be much worse then the production Ron has had lately.
Ooowww. Just woke up and had the weirdest dream!
Deemed the Lakers were down to the NBA worst Hornets by 20 in the 3rd quarter! Hold on it gets funnier!
Dreamt Kobe went scoreless in the 1st half and Metta shot 13 more times! Oh man I have to stop eating those spicy sandwiches late at night. To many silly dreams.
So anyway, how did the Lakers really do last night!
Warren Wee Lim says
Great comeback – when we could’ve quit midway.
Also, that stat you’re keeping track off that involves me only gets counted if I actually make the 1st post… or atleast someone does try for me… coz the gameday chat thread is usually up before my sun is up.
Metta just needs to suck it up too.
Watching the Kobe postups this game and the ones before I noticed that everyone has a specific role on these particular sets. Ron, Earl, and Jamison are the slashers and Steve and Jodie are the spot ups. But I’m just completely puzzled as to why Dwight is completely out of the picture in these plays. He’s been brought down to just being a spectator hoping to grab misses and clean them up like he’s Reggie Evans or something, which most of the time doesn’t even work at all. He has the athleticism, mobility, and the soft touch to be able to dive under the basket, seal his defender, get great position, and finish under the basket. He has the potential to get so many points just by doing this and I’m sure that Kobe is more than willing to reward Dwight. Some of it might be Dwight’s fault for not being more aggressive, some of it D’antoni for not getting him involved in the offense, and some of it might be the players just plain ignoring him. But for this team to be better and not play catchup every single night, they need to utilize Dwight by doing little things like this.
Leave it to Pau to be the only one to tell the truth. D’Antoni does not utilize his players correctly. They need to try Ebanks and let Ron heal himself. His slump is turning into a Steve Blake and Derrick Fisher type player.
Watched the replay and cant see why that last Kbe FG with 40 seconds left was not an and1
Kobe is the most abused, most disrespected all star in the history of the NBA. Kareem would have come in a close second to that. Compared to the love/special treatment given to Magic, MJ and now Lebron.
Watching the game just now, MWP looks injured, the way he moves, something with his feet. Still fighting though: rebounds, put backs, post ups. I hope he’ll get through it.
@Spartacus dont forget durant and westbrook 🙂
Warren Wee Lim says
I agree that Metta has no lift lately. Thats affecting his jumper, thus the bricks.
Rusty Shackleford says
That block Gerald Henderson had on Meeks was fantastic.
Kobe “Jordan’d” Jordan’s team; from the post the entire 4th quarter.
Dwight wants nothing to do with offense while playing through this injury. I don’t think he can hold on to the ball with the shoulder feeling the way it is.
Joe M says
Lakers got lucky, that’s how they come back. This team still has major issues and will be exposed tomorrow against the Heat. 4-3 road trip isn’t bad though. First lost against the Sun’s is still a killer.
Nice recap –
`The team was also to come up with some huge stops during the last six or so minutes of the game. Howard was able to alter some shots at the rim.´ Go Defense!
Regarding last night´s postgame thread:
@RR & @mindcrime: (IMHumbleO, two of FB&G´s most knowledgeable posters) you fellas surprised me by commenting that the victory wasn´t cause for any real celebration; I´d like to put in my two cents on this one:
Though seriously ugly, the comeback W was a W nonetheless, & it´s certainly no surprise we need `em drastically! Also, after that horrendous effort against those dudes in green and the awful 1st half (and then some) last night, grinding it out & wresting the game away from the Bobcats made me scream & shout over here, a release of sorts that was redeeming in a way; from the bad medicine we´ve had to swallow with Pau getting injured, DH12 having (logically, to me anyway) played poorly in Boston and from our season-long nemesis, inconsistency, seemingly rearing its ugly head throughout the first 30 minutes of the game.
Lastly, any Laker victory is a cause for celebration for me, as I´m certain it is for all of us here.
I completely understand your level-headedness on this guys, but I also know you´re both die-hards like most of us here and I figure you had to have pumped a fist or two, right? 🙂
See y´all tomorrow –
Well…yes and no. Charlotte may well be the worst team in the NBA; Washington has looked much better since Wall and Nene came back. So, the fact that the Lakers were down 20 against the Bobcats at all tells us something about where they are. It is hard for me to picture any legit contender ever trailing Charlotte by 20.
OTOH, I think the team does deserve credit for not quitting and coming back and pulling the game out. After the crushing loss in Boston, all the sniping in the media, with the Miami game looming, it would have been easy enough to phone it in and say the heck with it, and everybody–D’Antoni, Howard, Kobe, Nash and all the other guys–deserve a nod for the fact that they didn’t do that, IMO.
As to the fandom issues, I am a die-hard for life and for sure, but I tend to get a little more visibly invested when the team is actually good. When they’re not, I tend to try to be more detached and analytical. But this team has actually made me a little nauseous a couple of times–seriously.
First pump? Yes. Followed by feeling bummed because (1) Pau is still out and clearly missed more than even I thought he would be (and that was a lot by the way); (2) we were down twenty-two to the freaking Bobcats; and (3) MIA awaits tomorrow, early, on a Sunday (that’s three strikes I think.)
The Pau injury, in particular, is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
As for knowledge, as I’ve pointed out in earlier posts, RR and WWL are far better at the number-crunching and analysis, Slappy is the medical expert. II don’t even try to keep up with those guys on the advanced information. In fact, I’m actually the opposite of RR—I tend to be an overeactor to all things good or bad, and people like RR end up having to peel me off of the ceiling.
Rusty are you sure Howard wants nothing to do with the offense?
What does OTOH mean?
Funky Chicken says
A win is a win, so that’s nice. On the other hand (or OTOH, for texters), we just played 6 of the last 8 quarters with truly horrendous basketball. That 2 of 8 quarters was enough to go 1-1 in that stretch is owed far more to the incompetence of the opponent than the strength of the Lakers.
And while I can share in the “at least they didn’t quit” sentiment, the fact that a Laker team gets any kudos for not quitting against maybe the worst team in basketball just shows how badly this season has gone….
On the other hand
rr & mindcrime,
thanks for getting back & I hear you loud and clear –
(`peel me off the ceiling´ lol!)
Howard’s dad is in this now:
“My dad is a grown man. If that’s how he feels, then we’ll leave it at that. I’m not going to get into it.”
Howard Sr. told the Atlanta Journal Constitution he was disappointed with the way Bryant publicly criticized his son, and that D’Antoni didn’t do anything to curtail it.
“The problem is the coach,” Howard Sr. told the newspaper. “(D’Antoni) needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here.’ Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been (former Magic coach) Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. (Howard) wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.”
Funky Chicken says
Oh god. Maybe espn should send a reporter to Spain to find out how Pau’s folks are dealing with their son’s situation. This season has become a bad reality show.
@ Funky @ RR–
Sounds like Dwight’s dad and Cam Newton’s dad should start hanging out in the treehouse together.
I don’t know what else Dwight could have said other than what he did–about as well as he could have handled it….
What we need now is someone track to down Jelly Bean and ask him what he thinks–Then we’ll have the complete story….
Dwight handled it fine, as did D’Antoni:
“That’s cool,” D’Antoni said. “He should, he’s the father, he should defend his son. But I thought we had that [meeting] in Memphis. Maybe we have to do it again.”
My revised prediction for final season record:
The Lakers desperately need to win at least 3 of their “scheduled” losses. Another hope is that the Spurs and Rockets will have clinched by the time Lakers play them in April that they’ll rest their starters. That may bring them to 43-39.
Rusty Shackleford says
Formalhault – did you watch the game? He only flashed to the strong side of the block maybe a half dozen times. He’s injured – I’m not forgetting that. 7 shot attempts when Pau Gasol is out due to injury is a clear indicator he’s not asserting himself on that end of the floor. He can’t hang on to the ball.
Scott Burks says
The Bobcats do stink, but LA still had to come from 20 points down in the 3rd quarter! And it looks like Kobe’s calling out Howard actually is working. Look at the games Howard has had since.
A Laker soap opera involving a father and son, comments made in the press, and a mess on the court. I think I have seen this movie before.
harvey M says
I think everybody will win more games than that. I am thinking Houston ends up with 47, Utah with 45-46 or something like that. Remember that the teams that need to win to make the playoffs will be hungrier.
But I think Lakers have a chance to win a bunch too, if they can get it together as their schedule really eases up, after tomorrow. Also, don’t completely sleep on GSW as a team that can be caught. Its pretty unlikely but Lakers play them twice and after tonight I don’t think they even have a positive point differential. So they are more like a 500 team, with an overachieving record. The lakers are 6 behind in the loss column, so if they get those 2 its only 4 back over like 30 games. But they have many extra home games. So its possible, but unlikely. I think GSW could also end up around 46 wins. And overall, injuries may be a factor in all of this.
While its easiest to pass Houston as they are only 3 ahead in the loss column and there is one game left with them and as a result a chance to win the season series and the tie breaker with them, I unfortunately think they are the best team. Bottom line it will be tough as the teams they need to catch are either pretty good (Houston and to a lesser extent Utah) or too far ahead (GSW)…The only chance I see is for the Lakers to really step up and win a bunch of their home games (like 15 of 16).
harvey M says
good night for the playoff hopes. Utah goes down fairly badly in Sacremento (Milsap and AlJef were in foul trouble) and GSW loses badly to Dallas. GSW is not a cinch just yet. Utah has a point differential of -.7 and has 24 losses so only 3 ahead in the loss column. If somehow the lakeshow pulls out an unlikely victory tomorrow they will be in pretty good shape.
In case you haven’t been watching, the no star Nuggets have won 9 in a row and are 6 out. Best home record in NBA. Mean while GS and Griz are falling like rocks. I predicted Griz would blow up after Gay trade and figured GS would go numb when scouted. I think both these teams will play under .500 rest if season. They just aren’t that good. Believe it or not Lakers could go as far as 5th or 6th as Houston, Utah and Portland are .500 teams rest of year.
If the front office adds a small forward who can shoot and a big who can just rebound they can go by those teams. OKC and Spurs are 1
and 2 for sure. Denver may finish 3 and fading Clips 4th. Remaining 4 are wide open. Without moves Lakers are fighting for 8th.
FO can’t ignore the horrific play of Metta and the need for a banger(Denver has 3) to rest Dwight 15 per game. It’s up to them so we will see if they are a Fantasy League FO or still have the ability to find help. Talking to you Mitch!
The no star nuggets will choke in the playoffs like always, but they are too high up in the standings to even bother talking about them, Utah and GS are crumbling those are our targets right now, and Kooo im sure that Mitch have earned the right to make whatever decision he think its right for this club, how many chips the Lakers have during his tenure?THANK YOU. I dont think we need to make a single move any move the Laker do right know it would have to involve Clark and unless the Lakers could trade him for Lebron or Durant straight up that its just not going to happen, Artest needs to be benched in favor of AJ, MWP is been shooting what 27% the last 8 or 9 games and his defense is not what it used to be, i rather go with AJ offense right now than what Artest is giving us. Im tired of him shooting 15 times a game, im tired of him grabbing a rebound and going off to the races. The biggest thing he have going against him is how diciplined and smooth our offense looked against the Nets, the Lakers dictated that game even being a tight game because they didnt had MWP chucking 18 shots. About tomorrow i dont know we played the Heat really tight at home if we somehow win tomorrow we are officially on a roll
harvey M says
Don’t agree that Houston is a 500 team but the others may be or are close enough to that. Other thing is they play each other, so I don’t think there is an issue that 46 wins or so, makes it, and there is an decent chance that that is good enough for 7th. 44 or 45 may also be enough for 8th. Given what the lakers are, I don’t see any home game as a clear loss, so they need to really convert at home= 14-15 out of 16 W’s. They have 15 road games counting tomorrow, so even if they lose tomorrow 8-6 over the other 14= a total of 22, 23 more wins. So that is the formula, intense but doable in my opinion. The biggest enemy is themselves (and the injuries) as I believe they have showed (and given the pedigree of their roster) that going 22 or 23 out of 31, is doable and should get them into the playoffs somewhere.
Darius Soriano says
The game preview for the Heat game is up.