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Lakers 106, Pistons 93: Don't trust anyone over 40. Unless it's Kobe. Then trust him 100 times.

Order, she has been restored.

Breakdown below...

Through three quarters, there was much to love. The Lakers took care of the ball (eight TOs), moved it and themselves (22 assists on 36 field goals), and took care of the defensive glass (35-21 rebounding advantage) The fourth quarter, though, gets it's own special place (see below)

But I digress...

Three Good:

    -Kobe Bryant: He may have missed his first four shots, but their location- really, really close to the bucket- was a solid omen of things to come. Once he warmed up, he stayed that way, finishing with 40  points- the 100th time in his career Kobe has gone for 40 or more- on 17-29 from the floor. Guess that groin wasn't a problem (which is cool, because there's only so long I can write about 24 hour treatment on that part of a guy's body before I start making the sort of immature jokes likely to get me fired). He abused Ben Gordon in the post, but showed more variety in his offensive game. When the lankier Jonas Jerebko was switched onto him, Kobe took him outside and buried a few pull up jumpers, off the dribble or effective screen and roll action. And as has become his custom, the damage was all done substantive activity behind the three point line. Only two attempts from downtown, the second of which gave him the magic 40. Defensively, he did a nice job getting his hands in passing lanes, disrupting action, and so on. Five boards, five assists, and three steals round out a very productive night. 

    -Productive non-Kobe guard play (in the first three quarters, at least): Derek Fisher was 0-3 from the floor, but did a nice job orchestrating the offense, and more importantly didn't repeatedly force shots like he did against the Rockets. If it wasn't there, Fish didn't pull the trigger. More important and impressive, though was the contributions delivered in the first half by Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. "I think it was the aggressive nature they came out and played the game with," Phil Jackson said. "Obviously with two small guards, they had their three guard lineup in and I thought it worked well for us because (Brown and Farmar) stayed aggressive. They had opportunities on the offensive end that clicked for them. That was good, and defensively I thought they did a good job. I liked it." Both Brown and Farmar had buckets in the first quarter, and in the second both continued to push the action on both ends of the floor, combining for six points, three boards, and two steals. Kobe did the heavy lifting offensively in that frame (13 points) but Brown and Farmar were a big reason the Pistons shot only 37.5% for those 12 minutes. Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, and Will Bynum combined to go 2-9. 

    Farmar says he and Brown have a very positive chemistry. "Shannon and I talk about it all the time. We talk about how we both make plays for ourselves, for the team. When penetrating, his man helps and I'll kick it out and he'll make the same kind of plays for me. We get out on transition, get dunks, open the floor. We definitely like playing that way."

    -Lamar Odom: It's not uncommon for LO to lament the tendency to focus on his "aggressiveness" based on shot totals. Tonight, too look at his eight hoists, it could be assumed he didn't have much impact. Not so. Odom only scored eight points, but added eight boards and eight dimes against only two turnovers in 29:13 of run. He was also part of the effort that kept the potentially explosive Charlie Villanueva to a two point night on 1-6 from the floor. Odom was aggressive, particularly in transition, pushing the ball up the floor and finding open teammates, or when nobody picked him up, finishing plays himself (I'm sure fans loved to see Odom cap a coast to coast drive with his right hand). He was effective, as was the whole squad, because they were patient, smart, moved without the ball, and didn't settle for the first available shot. 

Honorable mention to Andrew Bynum, who kicked in with a strong-if-somewhat-quiet 17/12. I'm all for strong and quiet when it leads to that sort of production. 

One Bad:

    -The (aforementioned) fourth quarter: After the game, Pistons head coach John Kuester spoke glowingly of how his team competed down the stretch. "I'm very proud of the group that came in at the end," he said. "They didn't care who they were playing against. They did a real nice job." The Lakers? Well, they did a less nice job and Phil wasn't quite as proud. As much structure and discipline as the Lakers showed through three quarters, in the fourth LA got loose, turning the ball over four times, committing eight personal fouls, and shooting only 25%. Brown and Farmar combined to go 3-11 overall, 2-7 from downtown, and got a little loose with their shot selection. Bynum only had two shots in a time when slowing the game and feeding the big man would have been a rock solid idea. Basically, the Lakers lost focus, which can happen with a 25 point lead. It shouldn't, and next time the reserves are entrusted with a lead that could keep the starters on the bench, the hope is they'll come through. 

One Big Thing:

    -Andy mentioned it in the video, but Pau Gasol still feels confident that his right hamstring is coming around. "I don't want to look past tomorrow," he said after the game, referencing Wednesday's practice, knowing that previous returns have been cut short when the muscle didn't respond well to activity. Knock on wood, though, he's heading in the right direction. Check the video for takes on how Pau impacts things from both PJ and Kobe.



Gasol, on his hammy. Note the interaction with Vic the Brick. Good stuff:

Phil Jackson, on Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol:

Kobe Bryant, on defense, and how the lead went away:

Comments () | Archives (23)

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the nba needs a new rule: if a team is up by 20+ points at the end of the 3rd q. the game should be over. that will make the 3rd more competitive and the game.

of course, they can let, unofficially, the scrubs to finish the games (for the fans who r still waiting for the parking to be less crowded) without affecting the outcome.

it will be called the fridge jiggling jelly rule

obviously the lakers adopted it in the past 3 years. internal memo

this was a plot for kobe to score his 100 x 40+ game, a small reward after dragging his groin over 96 minutes. i want 56!!!!!!!!! points.

congrats. and some of them were pretty spectacular, i will say.

That was nice....

And to think some bald headed green guy mentioned in an earlier thread that Kobe was washed up....

Thats called not thinking before you speak....KG has a few miles on the clock....
But by no means is he washed up or tired.....See you should try it sometime,its not that hard...Try doing it before you type...

Sasha got 4 minutes ....What does that mean?...

Bring on Pau...Like new grease on bearings...

How kind of the scrubs to let the lead slip so Kobe could get 40.

That letdown never would have happened with Luke in there!!

(relax Luke haters, I'm kidding).

Tom D.

A fugly win, but way better than a fugly loss. The Lakers sure seem like they're way satisfied to just barely play well enough to barely win. Cruisin' and snoozin'. They sure don't have that killer instinct of the Showtime Lakers.

Anyway, a few observations. First, as I mentioned yesterday, Kobe finally unstuck himself from his new postup obsession. He mixed it up great, moving to the perimeter again, slashing, cutting, passing, and occasionally posting up. This got the team moving again, and looking like the Lakers again instead of the Washington Generals.

Second, Phil, you're the greatest, but what's the deal with the unbelievably crappy substitution patterns? Want to keep the bench guessing? Experimenting with how the team can make comebacks? Crystal meth? What? I mean if anybody has a clue about what these patterns signify, give us all a shout out. At this point, there isn't a single player or group of players on the bench that have the slightest clue when they're going to go in, why they're going in, who they're going to play with, or what they're supposed to do...and it shows. Phil, step away from the Buddhist prayer beads and the Navajo dreamcatcher and start running some consistent sub patterns, dude.

And yeah, I still think we're going to win it all again. Sorry, Giant Green Roadmuffin troll, wherever you are.

Andrew Bynum who ?

The game starts and ends with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Don't be a fanatic.

Be a LAKER fan.

Not a fan of just a certain player.

What is up with Phil Ten Rings substituting Sasha for Farmar at 4 quarter crunch time? Farmar played great and should not have come out of the game in the 1st half either.

Where are you Laker Tom?

Isn't clear Farmar should be given starter minute to see how he performs?

Don't think Farmar has received 20+ minutes more than 5 times during his career. Once was his rookie year when PJ tired of Smush Parker and another was last year Rockets playoff Game 3 with D. Fish was suspended. The Series was tied 1-1 and the game was in Houston. It was the biggest game of the season up to that point. Farmar played great!

Mark Jackson commented that "Farmar could start and Lakers can win championship with him at PG".

Absolutely disagree with Lakers bloggers who say 23 yr old Jordan Farmar is strictly a backup who should be traded. Sounds like impatience with youth or folks who can't see young player talent until its acknowledged by the media or an all star selection.

BK/AK please acknowledge Farmar's talent so the blind will see.

Memo to the haters -- Jordan Farmar is a tremendous talent who paired with Shannon Brown (another tremendous talent) gives the Lakers a back court that greatly challenges opponents .

In the first half against Pistons it wasn't until Farmar replaced D. Fish that Lakers took off. On a break, Farmar didn't settle for a 3 point shot, but took the ball to the hole and one. Lakers and Kobe got it rolling from there.

Would not be mad if Phil saved D. Fish for the playoffs and started Farmar.
Brown is not a PG, he is a combo guard.

Farmar is PG who could be among NBA assist leaders given minutes.

Don't worry haters Farmar will back up my statements.

Watch the game.
Notice how Farmar finishes and D. Fish doesn't.
Notice how Farmar dimes with much higher frequency than D. Fish or Brown.

"Guess that groin wasn't a problem (which is cool, because there's only so long I can write about 24 hour treatment on that part of a guy's body before I start making the sort of immature jokes likely to get me fired)."


Kobe was a warrior alright. But don't remind Phil.

More {groans} for the groin watch.

But Phil {grin} has some hammy on wry.

Heisler [ ]:


Without Gasol, the Lakers have been reduced to posting up Bryant or Andrew Bynum, and standing around and watching them, coming off two losses in which they scored 79 and 91.

Bryant played Tuesday night with a groin pull so bad Jackson thought he would miss several games, not just this one.

Jackson, asked whether he thought Gasol might be "gunshy" when he returns, suggested Pau has been gunshy enough before he returned.

"You mean he's a hypochondriac and might be a baby and not come out and play?" said Jackson. "Is that what you're trying to say with that question?"

Of course, Jackson may have felt he owed Gasol that one, not only for taking so long to return, but for making him watch Monday's "CSI: Miami," to see what Pau had been up to during his time off.

In the episode, Gasol pulls an accident victim out of a car.

If you listen closely, Jackson is sure you can hear Pau's hamstring go twang!

"I think he got injured on 'CSI' and he's not telling us the truth," said Jackson. "I watched that program just to see and he dragged that kid out of the car. I'm sure that's where he got his injury.

"I've never watched it before. I was totally amazed that people watch it. I can't believe that people actually watch that stuff. . . .

"You know how those sets are [editor's note: There's one you could only hear from a Lakers coach]. You stand around and stand around. But he said he was stretching the whole time. I told him to keep his night job, what the heck."


Good morning,

I'll get to the 4th in a moment, but first let's talk about the guard play in the first half. After getting nothing from Fish in the opening minutes, Jordan Farmar came out and just killed. JF played smart, aggressive basketball, just as the Lakers have always wanted him to. Game-by-game, Jordan has shown improvement since the season began. Is he the best young small in the league? Admittedly not. But inserted into the right lineup, he has become the Lakers' best option at the point.

Those of you clamoring for UPS to get those minutes, please notice that Phil Jackson has been playing Shannon consistently as a 2. The coach recognizes what I've been saying for weeks. That's where UPS most benefits the Lakers.

That brings it down to the politics of what to do with D-Fish. That's right, I said politics. Fish is the Lakers' co-captain, and the point with the most seniority and the most experience. The reality is, only Fish can take himself to the bench. It is time for Fish to display the leadership of which he is capable, and do what Walton did last season. For the good of the team, Fish needs to anoint JF as the right starter, and bring his leadership to the 2nd unit. With all the quick, small guards in the league now, it's the right thing to do.

As for the 4th, the lineup of bench players inserted into the game had no shot at holding the lead. Anyone judging our bench players on the basis of the final 12 minutes of Tuesday night's game should revisit their thinking. Like I said, that unit had no shot, since there were no obvious scorers. Artest is still finding his way and leaving him alone out there as the single starter was a bad decision.

Lakers fans saw a lot to like on Tuesday night. Gasol's probable return on Thursday will be another step in getting the team back on track. The Lakers showed the Pistons that they can play aggressive basketball. They just have to do it every night. The return of Gasol should make that easier. Go Lakers!

The "Refrigerator Rule." I like it. We should make a Refrigerator Rule bandwagon...

Two and three years ago, our bench was like that. Give them a 20+ point fourth quarter lead and they used to finish clubs out. Back then, it didn't even matter if the other team had their starters in trying to stage a comeback. Kobe used to be posted on the bench with bags of ice taped to his knees. That's when the were the bench mob. That's when Sasha used to shoot lights-out. Remember when Luke Walton led the NBA in three point shooting for over 3/4ths of the season?

This is almost the same group of dudes, and it just doesn't happen anymore. Like I said previously, the bench is the main reason this Laker team has no hope of tying Chicago's win total record for the season. Our starters have to play in too many fourth quarters. They are going to get worn down somewhat. Although PJ will manage that to preserve their legs for the playoffs. That is going to necessarily mean sacrificing regular season games.

A couple of years ago, PJ would from time to time refuse to put the starters back in when the bench let a lead slip away, forcing them to figure it out on their own. He would say, "the game was theirs to win or loose...blah, blah, blah". Does anyone remember that? He used to actually entrust the final outcome to the bench.

Can you imagine him doing that this season?

Like I said before, what's up with the bench?

My assessments:

Sasha still can't shoot in a game. Though, he's better this year than last, he is not as good as his contract year by any measure.

Farmar's shooting hasn't improved, though his court awareness has, and his decision making is marginally better.

Powell can shoot way better than I can ever remember him shooting. However, he isn't a guard, so it sometimes goes all for naught because he doesn't dictate flow, or tempo from his position. Also, his passing isn't that great.

Mbenga is an excellent defensive center. He seems to have really calmed down and slowed down and allowed the the game to come to him. He gets (marginally) fewer fouls which allows him to stay on the floor longer. Plus, he now knows that PJ trusts him, so he isn't trying to prove himself all the time. He used to be Kwame 2.0 because of all the rushing. He shows what Kwame could be if that dude ever listened to a coach. However, his contributions do not help out on the offensive end of the floor that much. He is definitely intelligent and coach-able. On a different team, he might actually crack a starting rotation, especially in the East where most of the centers are defensive centers anyway.

Luke is injured again. He has been injured for at least a week or more, but only got around to finding out what the problem is recently. Sometimes you hurt your team when you play hurt. That is what's happened here. We needed Luke to be LO while LO is starting. A task for which he is expertly suited -- when healthy.

Brown. What can brown do for you? Apparently, everything. Only he and Powell are consistent offensive threats off the bench. But, even he gets sloppy sometimes. And, when he is hot, he doesn't shoot enough.

Which brings up a really good point, the second unit does not like to feed the hot hand. Never, this whole season, do they milk the guy who's puttin' the rock in the hole. Its like the rest of them get jealous and fall into some kinda, "I gotta get mine" attitude.

When Drew's on the floor with them and he's got it goin' on, he'll get maybe two looks. If Brown is on fire, he'll get maybe three or four shots. Sasha consistently shoots early in the clock. Most of Farmar's shots come outside the offense. Rarely is there an assist on a made Farmar field goal. Everyone here KNOWS I love Farmar. But, that part of his game has got to change.

So, what's up with the bench? Why are these things happening?

Could it be the loss of Rambis? He worked with all the bigs all the time, plus he was one of the shooting coaches. Do we remember that possibly the best overall shooter on the whole staff, including coaches and players was Rambis -- of all people? Well, he doesn't work for us anymore.

Maybe our shooting woes aren't that big a coincidence.

Anyway, just some thoughts.


Hello All: I have been very quiet (I know unusual). But regular life stuff is limiting my time with you.

However, I did want to say to Laker Tom - your boy is playing well. I give you credit for sticking with him - I have been a naysayer for a long time. But I will also give credit where due.

I hope he can keep his mojo going esp. when Big Spaniard returns.

Cheers all - GO LAKERS!

Great game for Kobe last night, another stellar performance of a Superstar. People in this blog kept on prodding the Laker peripherals like Bynum, Farmar, Shannon, Fisher (as a coach) etc. etc. and ignore the real player that makes this team rocks. He is the Rock of Gibraltar in the Lakers tradition of winning. Without Kobe, we have no iota of chance of winning many games. We lose games if he makes only 20 pts. With a painful groin and a busted pinky, Kobe's batteries keep going and going. While other players with a pinch nerve in the back that could have been taken care by acupuncture within a week gets a vacation for 2 months. The other will be back after lakers got two consecutive losses, yet he was about to go on leave till Christmas if only Lakers kept on winning. lol! Luckily, nobody fouls the so-called the Dinosaur beast or else he goes again under the weather for the next three games. With Kobe, you get the best warranties for a quality product. Mr. Jerry Buss obtains the best return of his money awarded him even if it's 23M.

We are not supposed to be negative on Laker injuries after a win, I just want to voice my concern and address their will power and durability as a Spartan-liked Lakers. Unfortunately, many of our players today except for Fish, Kobe and Artest, ( if they were products) they have Wal Mart quality priced at Bloomingdale range. lol again They have the ample time for movies, for commercials, for reality TV but just cameo half-hearted performance ( in 100 games) as a Laker player.

Congrats to Kobe and Laker fans. A history maker is amongst us. Appreciate him.

Good morning CRUE!!!

Well - that was better. The W always makes it better, even if the 4th was some kind of weird quasi-basketball-palooza.

Kobe Bean Bryant - Mr. 100 - CONGRATULATIONS!! (Now make sure you take care of that groin. Everyone's depending on it - not just Vanessa). Yup - there it is - an immature joke, but at least I won't get fired. Unless I'm ratted out for posting at work...

Pau Gasol - Mr. Hollywood - another congrats! Just watched the CSI:Miami episode - he didn't do too badly. And I must say there weren't any Captain Kirk/Horatio Caine moments from him, so kudos!

Hopefully we'll be back to almost full strength tomorrow - no Luke but adding a Spaniard. That would be great. I'm hating the State of the Hammy much much more than LOCO....


Nothing but another title will suffice.

AK, one word


Gud game

Magia 32,

I agree, and have been trying to take care of it for a week, but haven't had time. Fingers crossed, I get it done today.


Magia 32,

I agree, and have been trying to take care of it for a week, but haven't had time. Fingers crossed, I get it done today.


ouchhhhh, I like your rule, but I would add the use of that dude from Showtime at the Apollo. If a team is up by twenty, the team on the lower end of that has to be 'hooked' off the court while an entertainer in a rainbow colored afro and red suspenders does something silly.

then the Lakers owe everyone free tacos for having to sit through that...tacos cure everything....

somthing mustve got into phil last night...

he finally played farmar and shannon for extended minutes without yankin them out after 3 min stints... hopefully this is a sign of things to come because it already paid dividends and they delivered in a big way.

damn game was slow and boring for first 8 minutes till farmar and esp shannon checked in and immediately lit up the crowd with.

i'm starting to think sasha is completely hopeless... i think its officially sasha panic time... cant defend cant penetrate cant shoot...

Bynum and Farmar have good games last night. Bynum has improved tremendously in avoiding unnecessary fouls and be there in the 4th Q. Farmar was effective in those lay ups. According to Stu Lantz, once you removed the starters, the 2nd unit could not function solely as a viable strike force. They are manhandled by all teams. Last season, we have a better bench mob with Vlad Rad as part of that unit. This year, they need at least 4 starters in order to play effectively. They can't stand alone, they're still babies in need of a sitter. As the season grows older, this unusual rotation has to be addressed during practices.

I watched the Laker games classic of 1979 and 1985, compare the role players then to what we have today. They pale in comparison. Mitch and Kurt are role players, they were not known to be producers but you could appreciate their dependability and heart as players. They spent productive minutes as relievers from the starters. Then in 1979, Mark Landsberger and Brad Holland were just role players, again they blend beautifully with the group. All of these players are not known for their athleticism but they have the guts, the determination to do dirty things, extra efforts on rebounds or defense and most important thing SUPPORT the main cast. Today, it is the other way around, the main cast supports the 2nd unit and baby sit those highly paid bench warmers up to the last minute. It would be understandable if this 2nd unit are rookies, NO, they too got Championship rings by being riders.

I love Fisher as much as anyone but he needs to have his minutes reduced to 15 tops per game, Brown, Farmar and Sasha should get those extra minutes. Either Kobe, Pau or Bynum should be on the floor at ALL times, never a lineup of Mbenga, Powell, Artest, Sasha and Farmar. If we Played Fisher and Odom with the reserves and kept Drew or Pau out there with them, we wouldn't have these drastic drop offs in scoring that were seeing.

Was it just me or was it weird to hear the interviewer on TV asking about Kobe's groin?


"the nba needs a new rule: if a team is up by 20+ points at the end of the 3rd q. the game should be over. that will make the 3rd more competitive and the game."

I just voted down that rule.

Remember when the Lakers were down to Dallas BY 37 POINTS IN THE FOURTH QUARTER and came back to win? Remember?

I do.

Bad idea.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


kobe is tha illest



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