Friday's heroics lending a nice glow to the weekend
Wrong footed, moving-left-but-shooting-right, over D-Wade, off glass, game winning three pointers tend not to simply fade into the ether, so it's no surprise that Kobe Bryant's game winner Friday night against the Heat- if you haven't seen it a) click here, b) welcome back to society, because apparently you've dropped off the grid since Friday night- was still a major source of conversation Saturday at practice in El Segundo.
Lamar Odom, watching in the locker room after being ejected with about five minutes left in the fourth after picking up his second technical foul, knew Kobe had won it before he actually saw the shot, thanks to the gap between the roar of the crowd and the delayed TV feed. Odom was also a few seconds behind the other mega-clutch triple of the game's final five ticks. Derek Fisher brought the Lakers to within one point with his first three pointer of the night, but hardly the first of his tenure in purple and gold.
More good news for the Lakers- Pau Gasol didn't practice, but what Phil Jackson referred to as a "bruised eyeball" (the man is a basketball coach, not a doctor) won't keep him out of tonight's game against the Suns. Initially, Gasol worried the damage to his eye, sustained after LO accidentally swiped across his face, was worse, but his vision is fine and aside from discomfort, Gasol doesn't foresee any problems going forward.
Speaking of Phoenix, just as it was the last time they visited Staples, a 121-102 Lakers win on Nov. 12, they''ll be suiting up for the second night of a back-to-back. Tonight, though, they won't be at the tail end of an intense, road heavy stretch of schedule.
The Lakers are expecting a better effort from the Suns tonight- so am I- as Phoenix continues its surprising season after hitting the reset button on the Shaq trade.
NBA news below the jump...
-Bad news for the Blazers, as Greg Oden is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured patella Saturday night against the Rockets. John Hollinger writes that while the long term damage is bad for Portland, in the short run it may not be so bad.
-Blazers Edge has a great breakdown of what it means for Portland.
-Luc Longley spent $2,900 to name a shrimp.
-Tyrus Thomas is used to talk that sends him out of Chicago.
-This? Well, it doesn't look too good, that's for sure.
-Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer looks at the Lakers, and also notes some unhappiness with the work of Marcin Gortat in Orlando.
-Michael Beasley wasn't on the floor when Kobe hit his miracle shot, but showed some maturity when asked about having to watch the end of the game from the sidelines.
-Andris Biedrins is getting close to a return for the Warriors.
-Kentucky's John Wall is a GM's dream in more ways than one.