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Lakers steal Oklahoma City's thunder

Thatsentertainment Come to think of it, the whole freakin' night was really about the repeated stealing of thunder, in one form or another. 

In their own right, OKC entered Staples Center on quite the little roll.  7-6 (at the time).  Above .500 on the road. One hellvua young nucleus being hyped as one of the new teams worth watching.  But there's potential and there's reality.  The Thunder may be on their way, but the Lakers have clearly arrived.  A fact clearly, quickly, and- eventually- flashily established during a 101-85 hometown victory.

As BK and I noted during the postgame breakdown, there were fundamentals a-plenty on display to complement the "big top" moments.   The Lakers played excellent defense, took hawkish care of the ball while forcing it out of the Thunderians' mitts, took advantage of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol's increasingly fluid teamwork and whipped the ball around with ease.  Similar tasks to those on the Thunder's "to do" list, but the difference in achievement was very pronounced.

Also pronounced was the entertainment factor throughout.

En route to a 26/6/7 finish, Kobe Bryant began playing a game within the game, one named after an animal and centering around five letters: H-O-R-S-E

Had he just canned this once-verbotten shot, folks would have been satisfied their money's worth had been discovered.

Like I said, that's something for the "sick" and "slick" enthusiasts. But Kobe didn't limit the tricks to just one helping. There was another behind the backboard make, a wicked reverse layup and a lefty floater to beat the first quarter horn. Dude's got quite the flair for the dramatic if you ask me.

But it wasn't just Mamba upping the showmanship factor. Shannon Brown may be a second stringer, but when it comes to an ability to rise folks from their chair, a place in the starting lineup is more than secure. Working off a running alley from bench backcourt mate Jordan Farmar, YouTube landed on his nickname-sake website approximately twelve seconds after pulling off this display of elevation.

And like Kobe before him, Shannon contributed another feat of aerial insanity. The Staples patrons eagerly await the moment when SB checks into a contest, and he eagerly awaits the chance to please them. That appreciation never ceases to provide energy and motivation. (The video begins with him discussing a high-flying block attempt with the lead around 20.)

And then came the concert, which turned the entire night on its ear. Because what's a basketball game without a time out performance of "I Gotta Feeling?" Not this one. Nor this one. This one.  

All cliches aside, this really embodied "only in L.A."

NBA NEWS

    -Eddy Curry's return has been positive for the Knicks.  Hopefully, a career jolt will follow suit.
    -Once regarded as a gangly, annoying one-dimensional role player, Joakim Noah has suddenly evolved into a gangly, annoying All-Star dark horse.
    -Perhaps Gilbert Arenas doth protest too much when complaining about teammates playing with an agenda?
    -Vince Carter is still disliked north of the border.
    -While it's debatable whether the Clippers even need additional firepower, they're nonetheless excited at the idea of getting Eric Gordon back.  In particular, Mike Dunleavy could learn to live with seeing him.
    -Paul Westphal has a good life.
    -Marv Albert denies reports that his crew and 50 Cent's crew went at it.  Which is believable, since Fiddy's crew is still alive to tell the tale.   
    -What Paul Allen's cancer battle means for the Blazers.
    -Boston isn't playing like a true contender at the moment.
    -Dirk's crazy, scheming', jailed ex-fiancee still pines for her former fiance.

AK

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

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LOVE Kobe playing H-O-R-S-E... maybe that shoulda been Spike Lee's doc instead? "Kobe playin' Horse" a Spike Lee Joint

All this primary/second/third option bugs me, maybe because I'm sort of an idealist when it comes to the Triangle.

While I agree with many of our complaints about the bench and about Fisher (pretty much the guys that aren't the A+ players) these guys have been playing together for so long now that their strengths are more than enough to cover their weaknesses. And we have an abundance of A+ talent that not only can score themselves, but know the spacing and movement so well that they become good passers.

I'm sure I can't stop any silly talk about who's a option #1 or #2, but that's just my opinion. If rooted for any other team, we could have this convo ad nauseam, but the Lakers, the Triangle, and the chemistry between the players makes all such arguments mostly moot unless you argue against a specific team or a specific situation in which someone's strengths elevate their stature.

While we are fantasizing those dunks of Shannon, his agent is collecting all those You Tube clips and forming a case for increase in pay. You see there is a price for entertainment and agents equate it with dollars and cents. How about the other 5m players what entertainment do they bring on the table? Better perform in the next games because Jerry Buss has to find money to pay Shannon and Farmar.

Something must be very special about Dirk's ex gf as I find it bizarre from selection stand point, plain Jane as they come, nutin’ to write home about.

Did I hear Kobe say Shannon was only 6'1" tall even though he is listed at 6'4"? hmmm, that makes it even more intriguing.


PAU MAY BE MR. BRAIN OR MR. BASKETBALL and was indeed the go to guy in Memphis, yet he was unable to take his team past the first round of play offs. In a team sports such as basket ball, no man is an island. Even Kobe can’t win without the right pieces. Just enjoy the season unfold, let it flow, far out and mind blowing!!!

V

REPOST

SASHA A SHOOTER? FACT OR FICTIION?

Lakernation has been impatiently waiting for the old machine to get his form back but just how long are we supposed to wait here? His horrible and prolonged shooting woes while at first could be excused as a slump is now much more serious than that and should be the focus of a lot more scrutiny.

First of all consider that the last time sasha actually shot the ball with any consistency was the 2007-08 season.... Now I know all great shooters go through slumps but an entire YEAR AND A HALF??

If u want to talk facts consider that sasha's career shooting average is an abysmal 39% from the field and. 37% from 3pt... Now for a role player who's primary job is shooting open jumpers that would seem not only pretty pathetic but way below league standards.... and then consider he's been playing alongside kobe his entire career makes you wonder even more..

Here are sashas year by year season FG%:
28%, 34%, 39%, 45%, 38%, 32%

And here are sashas year by year 3pt %:
27%, 34%, 37%, 43%, 36%, 38%

The only year he actually broke the 40% plateau was the 2007-08 season after which kupchak gave him that ridiculous contract. That means out of the last 7 years sasha has only had ONE productive season. So as the numbers suggest can't you easily assume that one season was a complete fluke and aberration?

He came in the league with a reputation as supposedly good shooter but where the hell did that idea come from?? Good shooters all share the same common trait and that is a very smooth stroke. All good shooters also have very calm dispositions. Sasha has neither. His release is often hurried and he plays more like a spazz often forcing shots rather than waiting for the shot to come to him...

His one true asset is purely outside shooting and if he can't do that well he has absolutely nothing else to offer. He's is completely one dimensional.... undersized, slow, has no court sense, can't drive or create own shot and is always a liability defensively. There are tons of other guys like him out there who are better shooters for much less money: steve novak, matt carroll, james jones, jason kapono and can u say eric piatkowski? Where did he go btw?

Also with the emergence of shannon bottom line is there's is just not enough minutes to go around thus making him completely expandable. So lakernation might be better off not waiting anymore for something that is more completely hopeless than anything else.

Dirk seems to have excellent taste in women.

He and I should drink a bear together and swap stories. That would be a long conversation.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Regarding the 50 Cent/Marv Albert altercation...

I used to work as a production assistant/assistant director for music videos. I've worked on dozens of rap videos. Rap videos were always the worst and the WORST part of working on a rap video was dealing with the star's "posse."

Almost without exception, the posse was filled with idiots with extremely poor personal boundaries. They consistently believed that because they were somehow associated with the artist that nothing was off-limits to them. If they wanted to, they could walk into the middle of a shoot... because they didn't want to wait to get their cellphone, or whatever.

It was almost always a nightmare and the shoots ended up being much longer, more stressful and exhausting because you were forced to constantly corral a pack of idiots.

[Side note: I almost knocked out a member of Three-Six Mafia when he shook a ladder that I was standing on top of (with my back turned to him) while trying to fix a light. When I landed on the ground and cocked my hand back for a punch, he jumped back like a little girl in fear, screaming, "I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY!" Idiot.]

The one exception to my experience? Snoop-Dogg. Snoop-Dogg was actually extremely cool, friendly, and down-to-earth.

Anyhow, if I was a betting man, I'd say that one of 50 Cent's idiot posse probably ignored basic social boundaries and that's what started the argument.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

AK,

"Joakim Noah has suddenly evolved into a gangly, annoying All-Star dark horse."

Agreed. Some lunatic on the blog suggested that we trade Andrew Bynum for Joakim Noah... which is madness on a variety of levels. Just the IDEA of seeing Joakim Noah in a Lakers uniform was more terrifying that being made to sit through a multi-hour performance of Carrot Top reading T.S. Eliot straightfaced.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

The main thing I took after watching Shannon's interview....his hands are ENORMOUS.

THE PRINCE AND THE BEAST…
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Let there be no doubt that Kobe Bryant is the PRINCE of Basketball, soaring above mortal players, making shots that bank off buildings and carom off street lights, even leaving his NBA 2K 10 virtual self in the dust, forcing 2K Sports to update his game profile to reflect the plethora of new moves. Time to put away that LeBron jersey you bought last year, NBA fan, because it is Kobe who is going to inherit the throne that MJ currently holds. That is why he is the PRINCE of Basketball.
-
Kobe seems to add a new wrinkle or weapon to his repertoire every single game, from the spinning left handed whirling dervish hooks to the Luke Walton inspired 1-footed step-back fade-away in the key but that incredible unbelievable 1-footed jumper rainbow floater OVER the backboard was too killer. Kobe is not only the best NBA player in the world but may also be its best HORSE player.
-
If you wonder why so many of us are so high on Andrew Bynum and believe he will be the #2 leading scorer on the team and perhaps even its #2 option when we need a basket, then study tonight’s game. It was a classic display of why Drew’s almost unstoppable low post power game has become a staple of the Lakers half-court offense. Drew is rapidly becoming the BEAST that the Lakers must feed.
-
Drew was just superb tonight, scoring 25 points on 9-11 from the floor and 7- 7 from the line, along with a team high 9 boards, 2 blocks, and 1 steal, He was active on defense and didn’t show any lingering hesitancy due to the recently turned ankle. You cannot help but notice how Drew and Pau cause other teams offenses problems with their height and length but also how Drew and Ron do the same with their physicality and toughness. Other players just seem to bounce off them like Teflon.
-
Not playing for over a month finally caught up with Pau tonight as he missed a lot of easy shots and seemed understandably fatigued at times. But what a perfect player for this Lakers team and perfect complement to Kobe and Drew. I love the offense going through Pau at the high post with Drew down low. They ran several great plays off that and Pau and Drew seemed to be playing in sync.
-
Finally, I thought Jordan Farmar had another strong game. I like that Jordie has not backed down from playing aggressively. I would rather see him add that dimension to our game even if there are occasional times when he gets a little out of control. I also love Jordie’s speed going to the basket and that 2-handed flush to finish that drive, not to mention the perfect alley oop to Brown for another YouTube moment. Throw in an excellent effort from Fish and the guards NOT named Kobe did fine.
-
Tonight’s win keeps the 79-3 bandwagon alive and kicking. While we know that we are not really going to win 79 games and that the idea of the 79-3 bandwagon is that it is a long season and we have only lost 3 games, but there were moments watching this team tonight when I almost believed it. After all, this is the NBA so anything is possible. I mean, didn’t Kobe once score 81 in a game?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tom


Jamie,
- - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Nice post, I loved watching Drew and Pau feed off each other. I magine the score had
>>> Pau hit his customary 55%? OKC had nobody that could contain our many post players.
-
And I have no doubt once Pau gets his game legs under him, he will shoot even better. The harsh reality for the NBA is that Pau and Drew both make each other better and leave opposing teams with a lose-lose situation trying to figure out how to guard both 7-footers. Lakers fans and the NBA are just now starting to see what a Drew, Pau, and Ron frontcourt can do. The Lakers are taller, longer, and more physically tough than every other NBA team in the league. There is no better Big 3 than Kobe, Drew, and Pau.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Mamba,
- - - - - - - - - - -
Please add me to the Shannon Brown in the dunk contest bandwagon. That boy has the best hops in the entire NBA. Does anybody know what he measured for a vertical leap during the rookie combine? If Jordan had a 42-inch vertical, Shannon must have one near 50-inches. Add those huge MJ-like hands and Shannon can do things with a basketball that nobody since Michael.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Blitz,
- - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Just like Pau isn't as indispensible as Kobe neither is Bynum. You best remember that.
-
This is what I said: “There is only one indispensible player on this team and his name is Kobe Bryant.”
I am having a hard time deciding whether you are a fool, tool, or stool. The only saving grace is I don’t care.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Tom


LAKERS' ANDREW BYNUM MAKING ALL-STAR PUSH
by Mike Bresnahan for the LA Times
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
http://tinyurl.com/y8mczgf
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Amid all the attention heaped upon the return of Pau Gasol, the Lakers'
22-year-old center served notice that, um, he's still playing too.”
-
“He is now averaging 19.9 points and 11.2 rebounds. Gasol is averaging 19.5
points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 assists in two games.”
-
Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks said the combination of Bynum and Gasol on defense
was "very difficult" to penetrate."They're long. They protect the rim, they protect the paint,"
Brooks said. "They're not playing with their hands down. They are a very talented defensive
team that passes the ball very well."
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tom

LakerTom,

I'm still confused that some people aren't enthusiastic at how well Andrew is playing.

Is he our #2 option?

No, he AND Pau Gasol are together our #1 option!!! The Lakers are at their best when they play inside-out basketball. So, our first option should be to pound the ball inside to Andrew or Pau (whoever is open) and upon resistance kick it out to Kobe or Thriller.

That just makes sense to me.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Edwin, agree on all points except the last two words ("and Farmar"). Shannon is going to get a hefty pay raise next year, and deservedly so. He plays on a team with guys like Sasha and Morrison (and Luke) making $5 million a year, and he is already a vastly superior player despite not even coming close to realizing his full potential.

Where I somewhat disagree with you is that I fully believe that the likely source of Shannon's raise next year will be Farmar's salary, unless Jordan takes a pay cut....

Andrew Banard,

I have included Farmar in the dynamics because he is playing good in the last few games with Shannon in the 2nd unit. Of course, they are supported by at least two starters. Jerry Buss and Mitch have to decide till February who to cut or else they will pay the luxury taxes at the end of the season. Right now, they have 91M contract, Farmar is only getting 1.9M tho' expecting increase by the end of the year. If you compare Farmar with the rest of PG's Lakers is lagging behind in that position based on speed, ability and height. Fish has the experience and the command leadership, a very important ingredient of a PG during playoffs.

Right now, Lakers could excel without Sasha, Ammo and Luke in the line up, however it would be an impossible to move them without something in return from the trade. IMO, lakers would like to trim down payroll than increase more. However, i believe the emphasis really to put their money on the starting players like renewal of contracts of Kobe and Gasol; next who to trade by February after or before All Stars; lastly who to retain among the Lakers free agents at the end of the year.

Shannon "Sky" Brown!

Sorry for the typo on your name Andrew Bernard.

Go Lakers. I have a ticket on Tuesday game with the Knicks.


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