Live from Staples - Lakers vs. Nuggets
The Lakers have never lost a game where Mom co-live blogged. They've also never won. Something's gotta give.
-AK (who's doing the whole shmear)
It was nice to hear Kwame get a rousing round of applause during his introduction. Hopefully, it'll stay the same, even after missing his first shot attempt.
Sorry, I had an internet outage, which lost me the game copy notes I had written but unsaved. Dang technology!!! But I did get these choice... wait for it... Nuggets from Mom.
"It's all about the footwear and those light blue shoes the Nuggets have on are just hideous."
"They need to pass the ball to Derek Fisher. I think I'm on to something here." (Fish had 16 points by now)
"They didn't deserve a basket after that. You can't that many tries and not get a basket." - After Denver snagged FIVE offensive boards on a possesion without converting the bucket.
1:02 - Ronny passes out from the paint to a beyond wide open Farmar camped out behing the arc. With days to convert, Jordan does just that. Mom: "He was practicing that before the game." Practice makes perfect.
34.0 - Like Fish, LO's also off to a hot start, hitting the lefty layup and knocing down the and-one try. 11 points, 4 dimes and two boards. If that's what Lamar meant by picking up Andrew's low post slack, it;ll do the trick. Mom: "You gotta like Lamar."
End of the first. Lakers 39, Nugs 29. 10 point lead with Kobe racking zilch of those points? Not much to complain about there. After a raggedt start, the Lakers have clamped down on Denver's offense. Great contributions from Fish and LO, which can hopefully save Kobe's energy to shut down the fourth.
Sorry, I've been having a little more wireless issues at Staples, which has interfered with me updating. But it's worth noting the fantastic bounce pass Kobe threw a cutting Ronny in the paint. Kobe also got way the hell up on a block attempt that was penalized as a goal tend. Might have been a quick whistle, but what are you gonna do. In the meantime, Ronny got a swat right before that, his third and counting of the night.
You guessed it. Another net interuption. I just switched servers, so hopefully, that'll help the issue. Time out on the court. People are being put on the jumbotron to the tune of "Viva Las Vegas" for a Vegas ad. Mom is amused.
5:31 - Poor Kwame. Dude put a shake and bake move on Camby and rack the bucket, only to see Dick Bavetta wave off the basket for using the off arm. But at least they're booing the call, not Kwame, which suits Mom just fine. She didn't approve of Kwame's reception during the Phoenix game. "You shouldn't boo. I'm sorry, that's just not right." But fear not. The next possession saw Kwame take the ball right back into the post, a couple dribbles, then shuffle the ball behind him to Luke for a little floater. Mom: "Kwame's playing just fine."
3:36 - The Critter, in for Kobe, earns a trip to the line after getting knocked down attacking the rim. At the dead ball, Kobe reenters the game, but takes out Walton, sliding himself over to the 3. We'll be seeing a lot of improvisation at this position during this small forward-dry period.
3:11 - Terrific layup by a cutting Kwame, who was set up beautifully by Kobe on an over the shoulder pass in the paint. That would be assist #5 for Bryant, who hasn't been taking a ton of shots but is doing a great job helping his teammates do their share. This would be a huge statement for the Lakers, a night where bodies are on short supply (including Andrew Bynum), but it doesn't turn into the "Shoot Kobe, Shoot!" Show.
2:22 - The Critter snags a terrific rebound in traffic of LO's miss, but misses the immediate putback. I'm thinking he should have waited a second. Not because it was necessarily a terrible shot, but because Javaris often has a tendancy to rush things as it is. He should always look to slow it down a touch, whenever possible, especially with a fresh shot clock.
Mom on the court mops: "I'm telling you, Andy. That mop would sell great on QVC. That's a great product."
7.0 - LO, who's playing the last 20 seconds of the half at the center spot, learns how tough life can be against Marcus Camby. Shot swatted in the paint. But LO recovers to snag the loose ball, then rifles it to Farmar behind the arc. Nothing but nylon. That puts the Lakers up 67-57 at the half. Nice to see a ten point lead beginning the frame end at the same clip. Obviously, you'd prefer the gap increase, but at the same time, this is a very short handed squad. You take the positives and this would be one. See you after Charles, Ernie and Kenny babble.
11:57 - Nalf a minute passes without any scoring from either team, but Mom spots Dyan Cannon in the crowd. "That hair is very distinctive."
9:50 - Kobe goes to the line to shoot a pair. Mom notes that the Lakers will soon be back up by 10, since Kobe always makes this free throws. Right on cue, Kobe bricks the first attempt. Mom is wracked with guilt.
9:01 - Having just set up Fish for the triple, Kobe picks up a fourth whistle. In the past, Phil's been known to let Kobe play in tenuous foul trouble, but not now with so many dudes in street clothes. Kobe angrily takes a seat for Sasha, who wastes no time burying one from distance.
7:08 - Kleiza buries a triple with Luke closing and a hand in his face. That cuts the Laker lead to 7. The Kid from Mizzou by way of Lithuania already has 16 and is coming off a 41-point effort. He's capable of filling it up in a hurry, so Walton or whoever else is guarding him needs to make sure he's keeping close tabs.
6:26 - A short rest for Kobe, who's back in the game and filling up the bucket. He's gonna have to be very careful, though. A fifth foul will put him on the bench for the entirety of the third and a small chunk of the fourth. With the rotation as short as it is these days, playing Kobe is a tough proposition. On the other hand, with Denver getting back into the game, so is sitting him.
5:11 - The alley from Camby sets up Keliza's oop. And no, that was not a typo. And the gap now shrunk down to two: Also not a typo.
4:47 - Bad call on the jump ball between Kobe and K-Mart. The replay showed Martin's hand squarely on Bryant's wrist. Should have been, at minimum, a Denver whistle or, at maximum, Kobe shooting a pair. Don't blame Kobe for his displeasure.
4:20 - Camby gets the ball at the top of the circle, puts it down on the floor, blows past Kwame, then skies for the reverse jam. I hate to say it, especially when the bucket squares things up at 77, but that was pretty freakin' sweet, objectively speaking.
2:49 - Fantastic bal movement from Luke to Kobe to Fish at the top of the circle leads to .04 dropping a triple, regaining the Laker advantage. 80-79 Lakers. Another Fisher three pointe rattles out and in, putting the Lakers up by four. Camby, who's playing a terrific game (and has earned Mom's admirattion) racks another hoop, but back to back triples from a newly inserted Farmar and a red hot D. Fish bumps the gap between them and Denver to 8. Before I can even fnish typing, Kobe dishes off behind the back to Ronny in the paint, setting up Turiaf's layup, his 11th assist and a double digit sighting for the lead.
End of the third: Lakers 91, Nuggets 82. Things started getting a little hairy, but some tightening, along with an 11-2 run over the last couple minutes, got the Lakers back in business, nearly maintaining the same 10 point lead they kicked off the action with. Can they keep it up? We shall see>?
9:10 - Not satisified simply banking 28 points, Fish adds to his resume by sacrifcing his body and drawing the easy charge call against Diawara. Safe to say, MLK Day is treating D. Fish nicely, even when paying in floor burns and bruises.
Mom, on the Staples security team: "Those guys in the red blazers are like Buckingham Palace. They don't smile and you don't get past them."
8:09 - K-Mart fouls Sasha in the act of putting up a triple, then lords over Vujacic on the ground before Bavetta ushers him to the side. Mom is not a fan of such behavior. She's big on sportsmanship and thus has
7:57 - With the Lakers now up by 18, George Karl does me a solid and puts Lakersblog icon Von Wafer into the game!!! I love Coby Karl's dad. Kobe wastes no time burying a jumper over everybody's favorite gunner.
7:14 - The "MVP" chant starts up with Kobe at the line. Mom: "Oh, that's nice." Mom's been down on Kobe from time to time throughout the years, but considers this season one of his "up" times. She thinks he's been showing much more leadership and encouragement than in the past, which is one of the reasons, in her opinion, the team's doing so well. I have to say, I think Mom's on point.
5:03 - The Lakers haven't given up much in the way of points over the last couple minutes, but they also appear out of sorts on the offensive end, prompting PJ to call a time out. The Laker girls break into a routine. Mom is stunned by how many outfit changes they go through during a game. And out of the timeout... IT'S DJ MBENGA TIME!!!
C'mon, Phil, let Coby get a little run against his old man!
Mbenga wastes no time diving to the ground to push along an loose ball the Lakers' way. Dude's literally playing for rent money right now. Within another couple minutes, he's also got a block under his belt, which prompts the eventual T on Linas Kleiza. Coby Karl drains the tech freebie, then points at his dad and says, "you can't ground me for that, Dad!"
Okay, that I made up.
1:36 - Either Coby Karl was trying to pass the ball to his Pops or he got a little fancy on that behind the back.
1:03 - Sweet move by The Critter to the bucket. Ball swtiches hands while in the air Javaris spent plenty of time in. Flashes like these are what keep the fans loving this kid, despite the turnovers.
17.7 - Ronny with the huge block, bringing this taco loving crowd to its feet. By the way, Mom thinks the "We want tacos" chant is the funniest thing she's ever heard in her life. She's in hysterics.
Final Score: 116-99, Lakers! The streamers drop, which Mom loves. "It's like New Years! This is so exciting." Great team effort, with five Lakers in double figures, including Ronny Turiaf and Jordan Farmar off the bench. Von Wafer enters the game. Coby Karl plays against his dad.
And Mom has a blast. What else could you want? Thanks for dropping by. More to come later.