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Lakers gore Bulls, 96-87: Kobe gives his injury the finger

Remember when we've used lines like "Lakers ground Rockets," "Lakers cut down Nets," "Lakers 86 76ers," "Lakers dethrone Kings," "Lakers grind Pistons," "Lakers clear skies of Thunder," "Lakers stuff Bucks for display purposes, but respect the animal enough to use the meat," and "Lakers use effective rolls of 20-sided die to defeat Wizards?"

This header is kinda like those. But really, after LA's 96-87 win over the Bulls Tuesday night in Chicago, it could/should just as easily read: "Kobe Bryant's finger won't keep him from scoring." After testing and re-testing a variety of splints to protect the avulsion fracture on his index finger before the game, Kobe and trainer Gary Vitti clearly found one that worked as 24 went off for 42 on 15-26 from the floor and 11-15 from the line, all of which you can watch below:

(Via BallerBlogger. I'm always amazed at how fast stuff like this gets cut up and YouTubed) But while Kobe's jumper was spot on, for the team as a whole it was an inelegant affair. The Lakers were a step slow following the opening tip, and never got it going on the defensive glass, evidenced by a box score revealing 14 offensive boards for Chicago's Joakim Noah alone. (He had six blocks, to boot.)

When it was all over, Phil Jackson made it clear Wednesday's recipe- heavy on Kobe, not enough ball movement, not enough rebounding (only three boards for Andrew Bynum, for example), poor opening energy, etc.- wasn't the one he'd like to use going forward. Still, he'll take the win. 

Beats the alternative.

One thing the Lakers did get right, albeit against an offensively challenged group, was defense. After an opening quarter in which Derrick Rose had VIP access into the paint and the Lakers surrendered 31 points, they tightened up considerably. Chicago scored only 17 in Q2, and a scant 14 in the decisive final 12 minutes. On the aforementioned offensive boards and the second and third chances they created kept the Bulls in the game. 

Chicago was limited to 38.5% shooting overall, and just 2-11 from beyond the arc, and they kept Chicago off the free throw line (just 16 attempts as a team). A first quarter injury to Rose certainly contributed to those numbers, but it is, as they say, what it is. 86 points is 86 points.

More notes:

    -Shannon Brown, playing for the hometown crowd, was 4-4 including this dunk finishing on the break.

    -Given his revelations about drinking before games while a member of the Bulls, it's not surprising that Ron Artest was a popular guy before and after the game, covering a very wide variety of subjects. He also lent a supporting word to Tiger Woods, speaking openly of his own infidelity in the process. All part of what I've described on the blog and the podcast as a sort of cleansing process. His own personal therapy, where verbalizing mistakes and character flaws helps him put them behind him and improve as a person. But as Kevin Ding of the OC Register notes, sometimes the nature of the messenger can distract from his message

    -The Lakers head to Milwaukee tonight to play a Bucks squad that has fallen off after a fast start (5 pm PT, KCAL). Bucks center Andrew Bogut hopes the home crowd looks like a home crowd, meaning they're actually supporting the home team. This is what I was talking about when I wrote the other day how road trips for the Lakers, even when the schedule puppetmasters aren't kind, don't always look the same as they might for other teams.

BK

 
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Last week Hollinger wrote that Drew was the main reason for the Lakers improved defense. Really. Not sure which Lakers he's watching.

The Knicks signed Jonathan Bender (and best of luck to him; hope it works out). If the Lakers need another guard I hear Allan Houston may be available.

Drew's D has improved, he is closing better and rotating better, however, this takes him away from the rim a lot and he has not been securing many rebounds. With Drew, he seems to be able to only focus on one or two things at a time, neglecting some other aspect of the game. Give him some more time and it should all come together. His rebounding must improve, even if he is defending away from the basket at times. He needs to BOX OUT better when he is in the paint.

“The big issue is Kobe Bryant!! He needs to get the big men involved. Pau said it last game. The big men need and deserve more touches. It is human nature. If you are capable offensively, you should be involved more. When you're completely ignored offensively, it affects every aspect of your game. Pau got 8 shots! Andrew 10! Kobe 26!
The reason the game was so close was because as dominant as Kobe was offensively, it creates tension and lack of flow as a team when he is completely intent on dominating offensively.
Posted by: Hien Nguyen | December 15, 2009 at 09:16 PM”


A good point, but not the end all and be all. And, cause I have league pass now, as y’all were warned, I actually have some observations. I’m not a sportswriter, so excuse my excessive wordiness and pedantic tone. : )

As I wrote last night, we needed a lot more movement when the bigs were in the paint. This is usually true for the Lakers. Like most teams, definitely Phil Jackson triangle teams, the shooting percentages are higher the close you get to the basket. Also I will argue that the more that we pound inside the harder the other team’s big guys have to work on defense, which usually hurts their offense.

But there were a few exceptions to this last night. One, the Lakers will definitely take what you give them. If you are double teaming the post players every time, they will take an outside shot, and the more open they are, the more will go in. Two, the Bulls had great games from Brad Miller and Noah inside. They got low and took position, and they concentrated on rebounds over shooting. Hinrich, Rose and Deng took over more of the scoring load early, and when they missed, Noah got the rebound. Three, Brad Miller was playing outside when Bynum was inside and pulled Bynum out of position and away from the basket. This allowed Noah to get more offensive rebounds and also caused Phil to play Odom more.

When Odom was in, Miller and Noah had a size advantage down low. I think there were a few possessions where Pau and Odom passed it to each other inside, and those were the ones we scored on, and often drew fouls on. But I think that these exceptions only emphasize how many possessions there were when Pau took the ball and Odom wasn’t moving inside, either just slouching on the perimeter waiting to take another long range shot, or actually being pushed outside by the Bulls. Usually Pau was sitting there with Miller, Noah or both sitting on him. He couldn’t get elevated and ended up taking a lot of fade away hooks and jumpers, or taking it up with one hand. Pau got a lot of offensive rebounds on the game, but most of these were following up his own miss or Noah-blocked shot.

There is some good to all of this. First and foremost, we won. Second, very few teams have two guys like Miller and Noah, so trying to take this strategy and use it when they play the Lakers won’t necessarily work real good. Noah is a beast of a rebounder who can score a little bit, and Miller is a down and dirty post player who can also still hit the occasional shot from midrange. And more to the point, the teams who do have some version of this double headed post threat, few have winning records. Minnesota ran a lot of the same things, but Jefferson and Love couldn’t score enough inside for it to matter, and neither of them could pull Bynum outside. Heck, for that matter, I don’t think either BM or JN are going to be this good the next time we play Chicago. They both had above average games.

Of course, I guess very little of this is news to most people who post comments here, who know way more on this subject than I do, and it is probably also not news to people in Boston, Cleveland and Orlando, who all went out of their way to make moves to give themselves big post players to give them a combination of guys that could both fight for the ball inside and pull guys away with outside shooting. Sure, we’re lucky that Dwight Howard can’t score unless he dunks, Sheed is old and Perkins can’t shoot and that Mike Brown is apparently too stupid to play Shaq and Ilgauskas at the same time, but they are trying.

So, not being a coach, I’m not sure what I would say all this leads to, but I would think that maybe working on post passing between our three big guys is a good idea. This is, of course, what I always say, and I’m absolutely sure there is more to it than that, but still, if they try it and it still doesn’t work at least they’ll have tried it.

Oh yeah, I’m sorry, with all this actual, hopefully things-happening-in-the-game based analysis, I’m sure you guys will have to forgive me for not blaming all of this on Bynum’s lack of ‘eye of the tiger’ or whatever. I just don’t get that.

And justa, right on. Tom Daniels, you da man.

“Remember when we've used lines like "Lakers ground Rockets," "Lakers cut down Nets," "Lakers 86 76ers," "Lakers dethrone Kings," "Lakers grind Pistons," "Lakers clear skies of Thunder," "Lakers stuff Bucks for display purposes, but respect the animal enough to use the meat," and "Lakers use effective rolls of 20-sided die to defeat Wizards?"

You know, I think BK might even be the funnier one.

How about "Lakers bock Knicks"?

When will PJ either start Farmar or play him more minutes? Farmar gives Lakers quickness and defensive intensity. Combined with Shannon Brown its a powerful force.

Farmar, Brown, Odom, Bryant and Gasol on the floor at the same time is a load!

Fisher is too slow, and can't finish at the basket.
That is why Lakers take off when D. Fish is replaced by Brown or Farmar.

and while i'm at it, here's one from the archives that hasn't had much play;

Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irp8CNj9qBI

‘Kobe Bryant, MVP’

He is the Mamba
He is the MVP
Drafted by the Logo
To play with the Big Egotist
Out of high school
Came to this here title city
Was he just a drama queen?
Wanted the last shot
An airball here, and turnover there
A little rough, a little slow
Anyway til Phil came it didn’t really matter at all
Poor Del

Mamba, had a ways to go
But then Phil came to town
With Tex Winter and the triangle
Mamba, the fun has just begun
With a title won and two more on the way
Mamba, youuuu
We should have known it wouldn’t last
But while one is young and good who heeds tomorrow?
Derek one, Derek two and you left defenses in tatters
Look out, our time has come
Make the eastern conference whine
Send the Blazers to petty crime...
Look out, Sacramento, Horry’s got the ball
Gotta take on Reggie Miller and beat the Answer
Mamba, oooo (anyway the Nets blow)
Then we signed Malone and Glove
The Lakers fans could barely wait for the fall

Who knew there’d be a problem coming up
Colorado, Colorado, did you really touch that girl?
Bad PR and pretrials, aren’t that good for team chemistry
Shaquile O’nealo, Shaquille O’Nealo
Shaquille O’nealo, Shaquille O’Nealo
Shaquille O’Nealo don’t you go, so fat and slow
He ratted you out and called you a rake
He’s just a young man, and young men make some mistakes
But we also think your game might be slipping
Jerry Buss, can he go? Who will you let go?
To Miami! he will not let you go- okay you can go
To the Clippers! Kobe can not go- that’s a no
To retirement! We will let Phil retire –let him go
As a new coach! Hire Tomjanovich –I don’t know
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
2005, 2006, 2007 where’s it go?
When will we return to our former glory to our glory?

Mitch do you think you can rebuild so slow?
So I can demand a trade, go to Chicago?
Drew Bynum- Can’t we trade him for J Kidd?
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here
But this stuff doesn’t matter

Cause since 2003
We were just waiting, we were just waiting for this
Cause you know, we just won.

Posted by: phred | August 20, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Todd,...
The Lakers are a better team with DFish in there. His entry pass is way better than either sub. He is the 2nd most clutch shooter on the team and he does the little things to get us going. Brown and Farmar definitely need their combined 35 minutes or so,..but neither has shown the ability to do the yeoman's work it takes to setup the triangle and initiate the offense.

Kobesbad

Todd,

you wrote:

When will PJ either start Farmar or play him more minutes? Farmar gives Lakers quickness and defensive intensity. Combined with Shannon Brown its a powerful force.

Farmar, Brown, Odom, Bryant and Gasol on the floor at the same time is a load!

Fisher is too slow, and can't finish at the basket.
That is why Lakers take off when D. Fish is replaced by Brown or Farmar.


my response: With respect, I disagree. Fisher is the best defensive pg we have.
He's certainly not the fastest nor is he the most athletic. He is the smartest!
He takes more charges than any other pg we have. Your gang of 5 does not
have our best SF (not named Kobe) on the court. Artest *needs* to be in
there. His defense is a game changer!

As you may have seen last night, Odom has a tendency to fall in love with the
3-pt shot. Which is unfortunate, because he's not that good at it. He's best
when he's trying to get to the rim & rebounding like a fiend! This has been
spoken of many times. Odom is too inconsistent, which is why I was against
him as a starter.

Take a second and tell me, against which elite team are you wanting Farmar,
Brown & Odom to contend? I like all three of these players, but when it comes
to crunch time [ i.e. playoffs ] I'm going with Fisher, Kobe & Artest at 1,2,& 3.
Odom is a good PF who can flashes of greatness, but Pau is better.

We *NEED* a Laker coach to put his foot into Bynum's butt and get him to
focus on defense & passing!

Don't worry about it though. Phil is going to train this out of him. When he
keeps getting yanked from games at critical times, because of his lack of
focus ... it will eventually sink in. That or we'll trade him and pick up Bosh.
[ LakerTom, I know this is heresy. ] That Brad Miller guy is looking
good right now ... So is that Noah kid. I bet either one of them would come
to LA in a heartbeat.

Please dont shoot...

Look,i really like Bynum but sometimes i get the feeling that he has the FEED THE DOG mentality...You know the one Shaq had....Feed the dog or i wont look after your house mentality....

This comment was not written by Thirty2 from Adelaide...While he was asleep i got into his computer and wrote this comment...Dont tell him...


OH WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY,I WANNA FEEL THE HEAT WITH SOMEBODY........ps...Dont tell him i just wrote those words to a song under his name....Please dont....

hobbitmage:

YOU WROTE: " We *NEED* a Laker coach to put his foot into Bynum's butt and get him to focus on defense & passing!"

Hallelujah and I can feeeeeeeeeeeeel the power, I see the light!!


hobbitmage:

YOU WROTE: "That Brad Miller guy is looking good right now ... So is that Noah kid. I bet either one of them would come to LA in a heartbeat."

Didn't Noah shake Phil's hands last night after the game? hmmmm.. I like Noah because he had good pedigree, his dad was a champion..

Praise the Lord!!

HEREIN LAYS THE PROBLEM:

I am a huge fan of Bynum, even saw him play at the summer league in Long Beach the year he was drafted. Bynum never suggested nor asked to be enshrined as the "beast". The fault lies with the fans that have created the expectations that are unfair and unfounded. For God's sake he is young kid who lacks playing time experience (floor burn) which is evident. So why get up in arms about Bynum’s performance when we all know he has all the tools to be one the best and I am a very patient man, tik..tok...tik....tok.

Experience and good health are the key to Bynum’s success not our expectations.

And I am a very patient man. Tik..tok..tik..tok

Word is on the street that that Kobe Bryant guy has some real potential.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Did you not watch the Bulls playoff run last season? Noah was a big factor in the Celtics/Bulls series going 7 games. Noah brings alot of energy and heart, and he brought it last night as well, he wasnt going to lay down cause the Lakers were in town.

Hobbit...
I think we agreed on that!

Kobesbad

What I don’t like about Bynum, his lackadaisical approach to defense, Noah was fighting for rebounds, Drew will get one coming his way. Offensive rebounds made a difference in this game if Chicago did not have all those extra positions, no way they’ll be so close by the end of the game. Phil, or someone needs to present this little math to Drew: more rebounds -> more possessions -> more touches -> more points. It’s so simple

Why is Kobe playing like the Kobe of old, when he had Kwame and Cook?

If Kobe continues to play like this he will not only loose his MVP statue, he will also loose his teamates.

Lakers are playing so well with team ball, why is Kobe doing this? It is hurting the team.

Who is goimg to stand up to him?

The coach? His teammates? The fans? The blog?

It is so much fun to warch when the Lakers are dominating, wehen everyone is involved. The last couple of games it has not been fun to watch, because of Kobe Bryant.

Lakers gore Bulls, 96-87- Kobe gives MJ the finger

Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Odom should all get in double figures everytime, everygame.

No way Kobe should get 42 pts, and the rest are single digits. It is not a marked of a great team.

If Kobe wants 40 pts everygame, he should move to NY or Phoenix. This is the Los Angeles Lakers!!!

"Lakers stuff Bucks for display purposes, but respect the animal enough to use the meat"

This made me laugh out loud.

I came up with some new headlines to add to those, some semi-serious, some not so serious at all.

Lakers give Houston a problem
Lakers freeze Heat
Lakers have Jazz singing the blues
Lakers have Nuggets mining for answers
Lakers take fuel out of Pacers
Lakers blot out Suns
Lakers show Warriors how to fight
Lakers reveal Magic to be nothing more than illusions
Lakers shoot down Hawks (with bow and arrow because guns are for sissies)
Lakers watch as Clippers sink themselves
Lakers take Bobcats' 9th life
Lakers gore Bulls (then eat their testicles as a delicacy)
Lakers slow Trailblazers (by giving them dysentery)
Lakers turn Mavericks into Goose
Lakers catch Grizzlies rummaging through league's scrapheap and trap them in dumpster
Lakers beat Celtics... to death with their own shillelagh
Lakers throw tennis ball at Hornets nest and run like hell
Lakers lead Raptors into tar pit
Lakers embarrass Knickerbockers (by laughing and pointing because Knickerbockers are, like, totally out of style)
Lakers use level 5 energy shield to protect against Wizards and gain +2 XP

And there you have it. I should SO be a journalist.

Good Morning Charles...Good Morning Everyone...

seemed like a strange game to me last night, we never were in a real rhythm, but pulling out the victory is the important thing, seemingly...

this road trip will help us get a little edge and hopefully focus to utilizing our strengths again (how about a little inside outside game anyone?)

it's a long way to Tipperary as they say...

the cool thing about these back to backs is we don't have to wait so long between games Cptain Obvious...

we seem to play crappy in Wisconsin (I can't spell Millwaukie, obviously---don't even know if I can spell Wisconsin)...hopefully we rise to the occasion and "bag and tag the Bucks"...

"the natural imbalance, the watutsi, the twist.."

"but follow only if ye be men of valour"

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Saples 24...give it a break. Don't tell the best player in the game how to play. Sound like a Celtic Fan posing as a concerned Laker Fan. Kobe is the only reason for the ring. If he goes elsewhere..we don't win. It's that simple..any questions?

Staples24

shame on your screen name. go to other blogs and tell melo, wade and LeDance the same thing. did u ever tell that to MJ? or to Will?

Sorry guys I don't have the time to read the post today but had to get on today just to let you know how 1 laker fan thought of last nights game. I HATED IT!


Get the stats and it looks like Kobe had another unbelievable game. I thought his play STUNK!


Had to do the MJ thing just because he is in Chicago. The last straw was the signing his autographs for the fans. Hey I love Kobe but when he gets to NY or Chicago...man what a ball hog. Wasn't Lamar just talking last week about sharing the ball or Gasol not getting touches. Talk about taking a team out of a flow during the game, he sure is good at. Maybe the best. Bynum I would snooze too your not going to get the ball.


Good thing Kobe doesn't do that all the time. Other than that Kobe you had a great game.


BD

Next up, the young bucks. Sir Jennings let me introduce you to the Old Man of the Sea. The FisherKing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85LYL05I8_s

looking forward for kobe's 56+ night in Milwaukee. he has to teach the youngster how to score

D. Fish thanks for all of the great shots during your Laker career.


but please for the love of God start someone else Phil.


BD

I thought I'd point this out to those who are criticizing Pau for asking for the ball more...

Of the league's top 25 PER leaders, who do you think has the lowest usage rate (# of possessions a player uses per 40 minutes)? That's right. Pau Gasol.

Let me put it another way. Right now he's ranked #8 in PER, one spot behind Kobe Bryant. This means that, by this metric, he's the league's 8th most effective offensive player. And yet, as the league's 8th most effective offensive player, he's getting the touches of a guy who is about the 150th best player in the league (right now, his usage rate is 143rd in the league, behind scrubs like Willie Green, Kris Humphries, Dahntay Jones, Chase Budinger, Jose Juan Barea, etc.).

This is such a tragically terrible use of one of the NBA's best players that it's almost funny. Except that it's not. The Lakers need to stop ignoring the post - Pau in particular - and go to one of their key advantages, which is skill, size and scoring on the low block.

Hobbitmage

Dfish our best defensive pg?!? Little overboard there? common now even u know that is just crazy talk!

I wonder how great Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Artest had they played with Magic Johnson?

With this five no doubt this would have been the greatest team assembled.

BD and Staples 24...are you drinking the same Kool Aid...or are you just the same Laker Hatin' person? Which one is it?

Just hoping these last two games reflect Kobe trying to adjust to his finger problem.

Impressive acccomplishment, Kobe, to be able to do that with a broken and bandaged finger. Wow!

Now that he shot the lights out last night, let´s hope the Laker get back to some team ball.

Kobesbad,

You said, "Sound like a Celtic Fan posing as a concerned Laker Fan. Kobe is the only reason for the ring."


I siad, "Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Odom should all get in double figures everytime, everygame.

No way Kobe should get 42 pts, and the rest are single digits. It is not a marked of a great team."

What part of this you do not understand? Rings are won by a great system, a great team, not by one individual.

Ouchhhhh,

The coach (10 rings) said it, Pau Gasol (2nd best player on this team) said it, Lamar Odom said it, Bynum said it by his body language, Staples 24 said it.

Do you watch with your eyes close?

You morons, if Kobe wants to score 40 points every night then let him. Doesn't make any sense to have him limit his own plays. If he has a chance to score he is going to do it!

Thats the great thing about Kobe: His awsome ability to create open shots for himself. No one in the NBA can do it better.

DUHH

Laker fan-

Since you love to qoute worthless stats when its to your benefit ... Did you notice Kobe's +/- last nite was -3?

BD/Staples24-

I agree with you 100%. Kobe did that because he was in Chicago so they can compare him to MJ. He doesnt understand its a team game. Ray Ray leads the Celtics in FGA at 12 per game. Thats about how many Kobe took in the first quarter alone while everyone stood around and watched.

Staples 24

Do you even watch the game last night? Kobe created double teams and kicked it out to Artest, who had a really bad shooting night. Artest had the opportunity to score alot of points last night.

You really want Odom to take more shots? He is shooting 40 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line this year. Plus, he had plenty of bricked threes last night.

You must have not watched the Lakers games lately. Bynum is the "black hole". Once he gets the ball, it ain't coming back out. When he starts rebounding, he will get his 15+ points off putbacks.

Gasol had plenty of touches in my opinion. He just did not capitalized, either getting pushed off the block by Miller or Noah, fumbling away the ball, or having his shot blocked.

Todd

Farmar is not an option as starting point guard. He had some bright spots against the Bulls but he made enough mistakes to even those out.

Farmar is an inconsistent outside threat. He cannot make free throws, thus he is a liability at the end of games. He gets bullied by bigger point guards and burned by smaller ones.

And he thinks he is better than he really is.

Thank you Tom...You so eloquently stated what was so obvious to me...Pau got his butt kicked all night..Artest built a stadium with Bricks and Bynum needs to rebound if he wants to get 10+ shots per game. Fish is a better defender against PGs than anyone else we have and Kobe is the reason we won a championship..Team Ball (with Kobe on the team) ..Funny that 131-92 is standing up for Staples 24/BD...I smell a Troll! Maybe a couple of them

Tom...I have not been on the blog in a long time...but I forgot how in tune we are brother!

Umm Kobe scoring 42 on over 50% shooting is bad!!?? So when lebrob scores 40 wayde or melo its awsome when kobe does it its bad for the team. SMH. He's the greatest to lace em up he has the right to drop 42 on somone head and as long as we are winning its cool wit me. kobe dont do this but once every what 8-12 games


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