Thus, coaches recommend playing hard for two halves
Had this game been kicked off at the beginning of the third quarter (which is admittedly hard to justify, but I'm sure the refs would have had their reasons), the Lakers would have come out of this one looking pretty good. The second half featured a Lakers squad allowing only 33 points and playing with a general tenacity one might even refer to as "tenacious."
Unfortunately, the refs not only demanded there be a first half to kick things off, but they even declared that the Clipper points allowed in said opening half would count as "keepsies." And when you allow 57 of those red and blue babies (creating a 15 point margin to chip away), that's generally not a formula for success. Throw in a Laker squad that grew arctic cold down the stretch (Lamar Odom contributed the only Laker field goal of the final five minutes) and the 90-82 loss seems predictable. It also didn't help matters that Mo Evans and Ronny Turiaf combined for 7 bench points and outscored the rest of the bench by 7. Stuff like that will negate Kobe's 29 and LO's 21.
Still no word as to which ring Penny Marshall officially threw her hat into. She literally was wearing one, but it read "Bronx."
More to come later. (AND NOW ADDED, AFTER THE JUMP)
As noted before, it was a tale of two 24-minute sessions. Why the schizoid performance? "I have no idea," shrugged Ronny Turiaf. "Maybe we didn't have that much gas in our tank. I wish we could have had just a bit more push, like a basket, or a call going our way, or a loose ball going our way. Just one simple action that could have pushed us over the hump." Alas, no such game changer was presented (or created, depending on how you view such things). Noting how the team made a big comeback to get back in the thick of things, Turiaf at least could walk away from the game with a lesson learned. "That we have to play focused basketball for 48 minutes."
Ronny understanding the concept of sustained effort makes Kobe Bryant's life a little easier, since that's one less inexperienced teammate he'll have to schedule for a sit down. "That's something that we'll have to address. Phil has kind of touched that point several times. I'm sure tomorrow at practice he'll give his barking orders to the fellas." Beyond Jackson's lectures, Kobe's also been taking guys aside lately to pound his vet knowledge into their callow heads. "We gotta understand the sense of urgency that we have to play with and the fun that comes from these big games. These games are fun. We've got to go out there and play with a sense of purpose and some type of energy and play harder."
You think so, doctor? I mean, five Laker starters managed on one sequence to get outrun by a guy whose laziness has reached damn near folklore status. "The play that was really significant was Tim Thomas running down the loose ball and being able to save it and we had nobody down there."
Considering the only real hustle Thomas has shown throughout his career has consisted of conning teams into multi-year deals, jaws should be dropping right now.