After four days of rest, practice, and preparation the Lakers took down the Warriors 102-95 to get within a game of .500 and show off some very good play on both sides of the ball.
The star of the night was Pau Gasol, whose 24 points and 10 rebounds paced the team. Pau, who seemed to most benefit from the time off, played with a good base and strong legs all night which allowed him to really shine offensively. Pau showed good lift on his jumper, leading to good success from mid-range. That success then fueled the rest of his offense as it forced defenders to close out on him, allowing the Spaniard to effectively use his dribble to set up some nifty post moves that kept defenders off balance all night.
The other stars offensively came off the Lakers’ bench. First was a very productive Jordan Farmar who has seemingly left his slump from a few games back all the way behind him. Like Pau, Farmar used an effective jumper as a springboard to the rest of his offensive attack, using quick moves off the bounce to get into the lane and create shots near the rim. On several possessions, Farmar was able to blow by the initial defender and either get up a short runner or scoop shot in the paint before the second line of defense could get to him and the result was some nifty shotmaking that was key to fueling the Lakers’ offense when the more methodical Steve Blake went to the bench.
As for Young, he was once again excellent in providing a nice scoring punch from his reserve role. Young poured in 21 points on 15 shots, hitting 3 shots from behind the arc while also doing damage in the paint. On several possessions, Young curled his way into paint in the half court and made quick decisions to attack the rim in the open court and the result was an inside-outside game that I’d really like to see more of from Young. When he doesn’t solely settle for long jumpers — which can be exciting shots when they fall, but not the most efficient option — Young becomes quite dangerous and the type of all court threat who can carry the team for short stretches on the floor and ignite the crowd with the flair he brings.
Where this game was won, however, was on the defensive end of the floor. The Warriors were down their top two point guards (Steph Curry and Toney Douglas both sat out with injuries) and later lost Andre Iguodala to a strained hamstring, so we must acknowledge the Dubs didn’t have their full roster, affecting how they built their attack. That said, the Lakers were smart in how they defended the Warriors, pushing them to the corners and showing ball handlers and post players a second defender early in possessions to try and disrupt what they wanted to do on that side of the ball.
This strong side zone look flustered the Warriors for most of the night as the Lakers were able to force them into turnovers via traps on the sideline and by picking off hastily thrown cross-court passes when they tried to reverse the ball. The Lakers’ wings — Young, Blake, and Henry combined for 6 steals — were very good at dipping to the paint to help down low and then quickly rotating back to the opposite wing to either pick off passes when the ball was swung or pressuring ball handlers into mistakes on the catch. The Lakers turned 19 Warriors’ turnovers into 22 points and that activity and production were a big impact in how this game was decided.
All in all, this was a very good win for the Lakers despite the Dubs missing some key guys. After all, without Kobe, Nash, and Kaman, it’s not like the Lakers are at full strength, but they were still able to establish their identity and dictate the terms of engagement of this contest. Strong guard play and Pau playing well were the catalysts, but just as important was the team sticking to their game plan and executing it to a level that put the Warriors on their heels. Moving forward, with our without Kobe, this is the type of effort and attention to detail the team needs, especially when they don’t have four days to prepare.
D’Antoni deserves credit. He’s made former castoffs Henry and Johnson contributing rotation players. Blake and Meeks are having career years. Wins against the Clips, Rockets and Warriors. They’re still 12th in the standings but that isn’t a indicator of how they’re playing, it’s that the West is so tough.
Thank you Kurt Rambis, didn’t think the lakers would play a lick of D this season.
Michael h says
I think well rested was the key. Our opening schedule was brutal. 12 games in 20 games with 3 back to backs all on the road. and the only teams we have played with losing records are the Nuggets and Pistons so it was tough. But we looked energized tonight. Pau played with energy all night. I think the rest helped. Hopefully he is over his ailments and is getting his conditioning back because we need this Pau more often.
Robert called it. Nice win. Maybe we new to sit Pau on back to backs.
Kenny T says
Lakers’ coaches need to encourage Xavier to practice finishing with his right hand. If he could use his off hand more proficiently, it would really help his game a lot.
Nice effort by the team tonight. Given the circumstances, they should have won, and they did.
Mark Sigal says
Assuming Kobe’s Kobe when he comes back, this could turn into a very entertaining season. ?
No doubt, the Lakers caught the Warriors on a night where W’s were dealing with bad chee. That stated, there’s a lot to like about this year’s team. They play hard, they play aggressive. They are more athletic, they look to push tempo, they pass. They are better on the wings. Hill has injected a lot of sustained energy and confidence. Last season was joyless and soul-less by contrast. Sometimes you just have to enjoy basketball for basketball sake.
Think of it this way: they are wearing the Lakers jersey proud. Right?
Could bot watch rhe game, duty called, but looks like a reamly solid win. MDA deserves a lot of credit figuring this rotation out and get them to click
Is this weird? I am just starting to realize that MDA is actually the Lakers coach; I keep thinking of him as interim and waiting for Phil to come back or someone else. But, MDA is a Lakers coach. Betcha all knew that.
GOOOoooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!
It was ironic Steve was being interviewed while Farmar was killing on the court. Obvious question to Nash, “Will you be as effective as Blake and Farmar this season?”
Slim chances Darius will say this about Nash during any game this season, “On several possessions, Farmar was able to blow by the initial defender and either get up a short runner or scoop shot in the paint before the second line of defense could get to him and the result was some nifty shot making that was key to fueling the Lakers’ offense ….”
Medical retirement (Nash would receive full contractual compensation) completely removing Nash’s salary from the next season cap is the best contribution Nash can make to Lakers . As proven last year, a Nash/Kobe back court is a defensive disaster. A soon to be 40 yr old washed up point guard and a 35 yr old 18 yr NBA player is not a recipe for “on ball” pressure to generate turnovers. Nash can’t check a coat at this point in his career.
Go Lakers!!! Dang, feels gooood!
MDA needs to stop with shawne Williams. Play Ryan Kelly. He’s a stretch 4 with better fundamentals shot and discipline. Xavier also got buried. He needs some time.
Farmer had more points. More assists 8 to 4 and was a plus 21 while Blake had more turnovers then assists yet played 10 more minutes and was a minus 14.
No wonder he was upset.
Warren Wee Lim says
I long for Jordan Farmar to have games like this… and finish it. Great win last night and just what we needed.
Wins: Clippers, Warriors, Rockets, Hawks, Pelicans
Almost Wins: Grizzlies, Spurs
Losses: Mavericks, Warriors, TWolves, Pelicans, Nuggets
We played the strongest schedule per ESPN so far. 6-7 so far and looking good.
Wins: Clippers, Warriors, Rockets, Hawks, Pelicans
Almost Wins: Grizzlies, Spurs
This stacks the deck,considering that two of those wins were by one point.
Bascially, getting Nash off the floor and Hill on it has the Lakers looking more like a 40-win team than a 30-win team, and how much effect Kobe will have is unknown.
That said, as I pointed out in the other thread, I agree with Kevin: MDA deserves some credit for some things happening with the team, and I also think that the contract factor is helping, at least so far.
I have a post stuck in mod, but WWL forgot the Pistons. Looking ahead, the team plays Sacto at home Sunday, and Sacto will be coming off a no-travel b2b since they play the Clippers tonight. Then a three-game Eastern trip against three of the early disappointments: Washington, Brooklyn, and Detroit. Portland (now 11-2) comes to LA next Sunday.
Warren Wee Lim says
I wouldn’t be surprised if we went 5-0 on those 5 games you mentioned rr. 11-7 would be nice.
The Lakers have the type of team, so far, that can compete with just about anybody and lose to just about anybody. I will not be surprised if they win–or lose–any of the five games between tomorrow and 12/1.
MannyP: Thanks. We need to win the next 2 and we will go 4-1 on this little 5 game set I talked about.
Brooklyn is playing horrible and we just beat Detroit – so we could get on a little roll.
If Kobe comes back in the middle of the roll, that will set the stage for the next Kobe debate : )
rr: Yes MD does deserve some credit
JohnnyP: Yes he is the coach. The key is going to be whether he is a bonus or a liability on terms of signing big time free agents in the future.
Treylake: While I disagreed with you on Kobe, I agree with regard to Nash. His contract next year is a liability. Another difference between these two is the Laker fan respect factor. While I respect Nash as an overall player, I don’t have a lot of Laker equity invested in him. He will retire a Sun/Maverick. Guys who have played/coached on multiple ring teams for me always deserve a little extra respect. Derek Fisher for example – added that for rr : )
Baylor Fan says
I am not sure what D was played in the first half. The Lakers were shooting lights out and still could not get separation. Blake’s biggest contribution is to control the pace and not have the Lakers try to run too much. That allowed Pau to remain effective longer in the game. This is turning into a much more enjoyable team to watch and one that might even contend for a playoff spot depending on the health of the teams above them.
While I understand the fact that Nash wishes to hold off on any thoughts of retirement due to his competitive nature, there’s no way in which I can envision him coming back and helping the team at this point. The same injury that’s inflicting him now is the same exact injury that shut him down during the playoffs last season. If he couldn’t rehab the injury and heal up sufficiently enough in the 5 MONTHS that he had off from the time that we were eliminated from the post season to the start of this season, then what gives him the belief that he’ll be able to do so DURING the season?
I’m still of the belief that this will be his last year in the Association. Even during last night’s game, while he was being interviewed – and subsequently denying Peter Vecsey’s report that he’s contemplating retirement – one could see and gauge from his own words and body language, that even he knows that the writing is on the wall. Regardless of the “18 months left of basketball” that eluded to.
Well grizzlies are done. Marc gasol out indefinitely. We might be able to get a 6th seed, a lot is dependent on Kobe obviously.
The only thing nash is going to help us do is tank and I’m guessing we don’t want to do that.
We might be able to get a 6th seed,
Unlikely. Minnesota and Portland will almost certainly make the playoffs; Dallas is 9-4, and that is before you get to OKC, SA, HOU, LAC and GS.
Memphis will obviously miss MGasol, but they picked up Kosta Koufos, who is a decent ballplayer, and they may give Ed Davis some burn. The Lakers are in the mix with DEN and NO.
pat oslon says
GREAT DEFENSE & FRESH LEGS WERE THE KEYS TO VICTORY!
WE SHOULD BE FRESHER THAN THE KINGS SUNDAY BECAUSE THEY PLAY A TOUGH ONE TODAY AGAINST THE FLIPPERS!
bryan S. says
Gasol: That is the Spaniard I want to see! Majestic in bearing, poetic in motion. A hardwood El Cid, Garica-Lorca in sneakers! If only there were no back to backs . . . .
Personally, I hate to see any good young player sidelined due to injury. Especially an individual such as D. Rose, who just came back – after sitting out a year – from an ACL tear and who happens to be 1 of my favorite players in the ..A. So, as odd as it may sound, it’s ‘good’ to hear that he suffered a Meniscus Tear. As opposed to another dreaded ACL Injury. I’m far from a Doctor, but hopefully the tear isn’t too severe and he’ll be back on the hardwood by the AS Break.
Silly me getting too high on Henry early thinking he would be the next D’Antoni breakout star…