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Five things to take away from Lakers' 93-84 victory over Memphis Grizzlies

592705371. The Lakers secured a 93-84 victory Monday over the Memphis Grizzlies because of defensive stops

I'll detail later why this game isn't exactly something the team will tack on its resume. But the way the Lakers closed out the game serves as the right momentum boost heading into the Lakers' matchup with the Boston Celtics on Thursday. That game will surely prove how much, if any, the Lakers actually improved since their underwhelming loss last week to the Celtics, but the Lakers surely will feel good the next two days knowing they captured the moment, particularly after avenging their two earlier losses this season to the Grizzlies.

Far too often, it appeared the Lakers would have plenty of runs then fail to stop Memphis from responding. The Lakers changed course in the second quarter by holding Memphis to 16 points. More importantly, they changed course in the final 5:46 of the fourth quarter where the Lakers held the Grizzlies to three-of-nine shooting, forced three turnovers and featured a Lamar Odom stuff on Zach Randolph. Part of Phil Jackson's criticisms regarding his team's play against sub-.500 teams involved the fact that the Lakers often lacked the proper preparation. Even if the execution was far from perfect this time around, the Lakers made the necessary adjustments to secure the win.

2. The Lakers made the game unnecessarily close because of turnovers

Credit the Lakers for securing the win through adverse circumstances. Criticize them for allowing such a scenario to happen. The game wouldn't have proven as difficult had the Lakers not committed 14 turnovers, which resulted in Memphis scoring 15 points in transition. The Lakers entered the contest knowing that area would be a concern, considering the 20 turnovers they committed in a 104-85 loss on Jan. 2 to Memphis and the 14 they had in a 98-96 loss on Nov. 30 to the Grizzlies. It also appeared the Lakers were more cognizant of running a deliberate offense and making better decisions, as indicated by their five first-half turnovers. But the Lakers' failure to secure the ball allowed Memphis to come back, particularly when Kobe Bryant (six total) and Derek Fisher committed consecutive turnovers and allowed Memphis to cut the gap to 78-76 with 7:01 remaining in the game.

592688093. The Lakers also made things difficult by shooting poorly from the free-throw line

Had the Lakers shot better than 21 of 35 from the line, a measly 60%, the refrigerator would've been closed much earlier. Should the Lakers replicate this kind of performance at the line against, say, Boston, well already chalk it up as a loss. The number of attempts the Lakers earned against Memphis showed that the they appeared more aggressive on offense, but that's not going to mean as much should they fail to cash in on free throws. Bryant did his job with a seven-of-seven mark. Ron Artest (two of six) could also be partly excused because two of them came after Marc Gasol's inadvertent elbow clouded his vision. But Odom (four of seven), Gasol (five of nine) and Andrew Bynum (three of six) collectively made the outcome more difficult to secure because of their misses at the line.

4. Odom and Artest hit crucial late-game shots

Just when it appeared the outcome was in doubt, the Lakers secured a sizable lead thanks to some critical shots. It started with Bryant kicking the ball out to the top of the key to Odom, who drained a three-pointer that gave the Lakers an 81-76 lead with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter. On his way to the bench following Memphis' timeout, Odom chattered in an enthusiastic mood, prompting Jackson to smile in amusement considering the game was far from over. The Lakers made sure Memphis didn't answer, not only by making defensive stands but by continuing to hit shots when it mattered. Off the timeout, Bryant drove the lane and missed, but Gasol grabbed the rebound and kicked it out to Artest, whose far corner three-pointer widened the lead to 84-76 with 5:46 left in the game. Two possessions later, a pick-and-roll sequence between Bryant and Gasol resulted in El Spaniard receiving an open look on the far wing. He then fed Odom as he cut into the lane, converted on a three-point play and gave the Lakers a secure 87-76 advantage with 4:43 left.

5. The Lakers played aggressive offensively

Forget about the shooting percentages in some of these finishes. Bryant's 19 points on six-of-17 shooting, seven rebounds and six assists showed his continual effort in keeping his aggressive offensive approach and looking to share the pie with others. The latter facet wouldn't have happened, if not for increased aggressiveness. And whether it was Gasol (17 points on six-of-11 shooting, nine rebounds) continuously getting himself open in the post, Artest (13 points on four-of-11 shooting and three of six from downtown) feeling more in rhythm within the offense, Odom (15 points on five-of-14 shooting, 11 rebounds) constantly moving on offense and Fisher (10 points on four-of-seven shooting) showing more reliability from the field, Bryant had the supporting cast. Some examples of quality offense: Bryant feeding Gasol as he cut through the lane, Gasol and Bryant throwing lobs to Bynum, Artest feeding bounce passes to Gasol and Artest firing a cross-court pass to Fisher for an open three-pointer.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is fouled by Memphis guard Tony Allen as he attacks the basket in the third quarter Monday night. Credit: Mike Brown / EPA

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol looks to score against Memphis power forward Zach Randolph in the first half Monday night in Memphis. Credit: Alan Spearman / Associated Press

 
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The Lakers are have been moving Gasol to the high post and isolating him for face-ups. This tweak has been instrumental in contributing to him becoming more aggressive. The Lakers are steadily improving at every position recently and Ron Artest actually looked focused defensively tonight. Whether they make a trade or not, the Lakers can build some serious momentum moving forward with the return of Barnes and Ratliff looming. I personally am looking forward to a strong push in March and April. WHEN IT COUNTS!

Well, I'm happy with the W, but there's very little good to take away from this game. Except for the last half of the 4th quarter, I didn't even think our defense was very good. The only reason some thought it was good was that Memphis shot horribly, even when they were wide open. Fish and Artest did do another good job of stripping the ball, but there was hardly anything else to give us great confidence about our chances in Boston. Free throws? Ridiculous. Passing/ball handling? Get real. These guys are pros? I've seen high school kids benched for a lot less.

To sum it up, it was a sloppy, ugly game that we somehow managed to salvage at the end.

CornerJ- Dude...Tell em how you REALLY feel about this WIN, no Kool Aid tonight?

Jeez. Had to spend the night at the library and was gutted for missing the game.. now not so much. What the hell is up with our crap free throw attempting lately? Also wow we shot well from the 3pt line tonight by the looks of my updates on twitter. This can only mean 1 thing: we are going to lose to Boston on Thursday. I hate to say it but when we get confident from the 3pt line we begin to forget about our big men, or driving to the basket and then we lose games.

I hope PJ notes this.
Otherwise I wish Thursday would hurry the eff up.

It looked like the Lakers game plan was not to let Z-Bo get off. They threw some double teams at him early forcing him to give up the ball and he never got into a rhythm. Good game plan and good defense by Pau & LO.

The offense was definitely sloppy, especially Kobe's ball handling in late 3rd and 4th. Good 3pt shooting covered up some of the errors. I would've liked to see Drew get a few more shots in the 2nd half.

But a the end of the day a win is a win. The execution may not have been great, but the effort was good.

@Gdub – That Karen Ramirez track is hot. Thanks for posting it.

@mclyne – I agree about Stripes. That “Truth Doesn’t Make Noise” was reminiscent of Zeppelin. I hadn’t heard that one before. Nice.

@ms – Good selections as usual…especially good to hear from Bobby C.

@Magia32 – Oh yeah, I did catch that Humpty Hump the other day…haha.

Hmmm...Boston lost to Charlotte tonight even though Capt Jack was kicked out in the 2nd Qtr. Did they get caught peeking ahead to the Lakers?

Thanks to the Lakers for taking care of the Grizzlies.

And thanks to the Bulls for making the Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge look like an All-Star, even though we all know he's not. Hah!

The month of February is getting more interesting by the game.

At all you Lakerholics, a road win in the Western Conference is a big accomplishment no matter the blemishes you might see in the box score or on the floor. Ask the Knicks about coming West and trying to get some W's.

Take care, everyone.

We were talking about KG drama earlier today. Well another game and more KG incidents. Tonight it was Eduardo Najera, who is one tough dude....
--------------
The Boston Celtics were short-handed, weary and lacking energy following a difficult stretch of games when Kevin Garnett leveled an elbow into Eduardo Najera's face.

The intimidation attempt didn't work against the Charlotte Bobcats. "I just told him he hits like my grandma," Najera said.

-------------------------

Also Spike Lee went off on KG for his behavior at a recent Celtic-Knicks game...

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/02/spike-lee-wants-kevin-garnett-to-quit-cussing-him-out/

Dan the Man,

Glad the Lakers could help out your Blazers. LA is definitely All-Star worthy. The Blazers look to be in good shape with Camby due back any day and now the news that BRoy could play this weekend. Couldn't ask for a better 3-game road trip than the one Portland has coming up...Toronto, Detroit and Minnesota.

Posted by: CornerJ | February 07, 2011 at 10:01 PM
========================

I watch the game... what you mentioned as "Memphis shot horribly, even when they were wide open." is not true at all... the defense in that fourth quarter was so good.. they were contested shots and time pressured shots.. they were nowhere near uncontested open shots...

Go lakers!!!! Go Kobe!!!

KG used to be a very likable guy when he was in Minnie... that all changes when he got to Boston.. that place just make nice people become bullies...

Hey LRob,

I hear you on Blazers fortunes suddenly turning. Their two toughest opponents in the last week, the Spurs and Bulls, have been vanquished. Which makes the loss to the Pacers a little disconcerting. But tough losses happen on the road, inexplicably sometimes.

Then again, the Blazers finish the month with the Hornets, Lakers, Nuggets and Hawks all in a row at home. Then in early March after a couple of sub-.500 opponents they play at the Magic, Heat, Bobcats and Hawks before returning home for the Mavericks. Quite a streak of quality opponents.

Ever notice how the Lakers never play that many quality opponents in a row? There's always a patsy or two amidst their tough opponents. Kind of odd how that NBA scheduling works. . . .

LRob,

Kevin Garnett has completely lost his mind for sometime.

It's another sign that the Celtics have been possessed by the Dark Side of the Force.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

LRob,

Kevin Garnett has completely lost his mind for sometime.

It's another sign that the Celtics have been possessed by the Dark Side of the Force.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Go Lakers.Haters Sucks!!!

poor FT shooting by lakers coz a lot today but we still manage to win the game..if game 7 in the finals and score is tie who's gonna shot in foul line when sasha is not around..most of the lakers aside from kobe ave below 75% in FT...

Ever notice how the Lakers never play that many quality opponents in a row? There's always a patsy or two amidst their tough opponents. Kind of odd how that NBA scheduling works. . . .

Posted by: Dan Loumena | February 08, 2011 at 12:06 AM
-----------------------

I did notice the Lakers haven't had as many back to backs the last couple of seasons. But they do have their share of tough stretches in the schedule like right now on the road...NO, Mem, Bos, NY & Orl

or in early March on the road....SA, Atl, Mia, Dallas.

Right now the biggest advantage the Lakers have is the Pacific Division is weak, so having 4 games vs. Clips, Suns, Kings and Warriors is nice.

Jon K - true and its getting worse every year. I wonder what Mr. Russell and Havlicek thinks of some of his antics!

Nice to see the Lakers steal the ball more aggressively. Good to see the stretches when they played tougher D. Sweet when they set up passes to the bigs and everybody comes away scoring in double digets. Glad they were able to come away with the win.

Still...frustrated by the poor FG shooting. Still don't see the dominance they might have offensively.

Glad they have some time to focus on Boston; Hope they can play their best, put it all together, and come away with a win.

Even with the up and down play...
your early schedule allowed you to leap out ahead...
and it helps that you are in the Pacific Division.
Fool's Gold.

But, I see no reason not to celebrate yesterdays win
over the mighty Grizzlies...

Here's something that will make everyone's day just a little nicer...
It's all about what it means to be human.

Advice: Let er' completely download before you play it.

http://wimp.com/bestmedicine/

Have a nice day.

Go Kings!
Go SF Giants!
Go SF Niners (Nolan passed on local Chico boy and Niner fan Rogers...ouch)!

Sonnybelfast

Even with the up and down play...
your early schedule allowed you to leap out ahead...
and it helps that you are in the Pacific Division.
Fool's Gold.

But, I see no reason not to celebrate yesterdays win
over the mighty Grizzlies...

Here's something that will make everyone's day just a little nicer...
It's all about what it means to be human.

Advice: Let er' completely download before you play it.

http://wimp.com/bestmedicine/

Have a nice day.

Go Kings!
Go SF Giants!
Go SF Niners (Nolan passed on local Chico boy and Niner fan Rogers...ouch)!

Sonnybelfast

Good Morning all!

Nice win last night. I have Ron Ron on my mind this morning. That was quite a shot he took in last nights' game. I can tell you that when I have been struck in the face inadvertantly, I felt a rush of rage that is difficult to explain.

Nice job containing that Ron. He knew that Marcs' shot was inadvertant but still, he is human and the urge to retaliate is a strong one. He has tried so hard to rebuild his image and I'm glad it didn't end there.

Ron will have to face the music one day though. Players know that Ron doesn't want to make trouble. One day he may have to let the league know that it's not ok to bang on Ron Ron. I dunno, something simple like the Fish Scola maybe.

The Lakers can't just be good, and they certainly just can't be good enough.

They have to be excellent.

As in, win the NBA finals on the road type excellent.

Ron will have to face the music one day though. Players know that Ron doesn't want to make trouble. One day he may have to let the league know that it's not ok to bang on Ron Ron. I dunno, something simple like the Fish Scola maybe.

Posted by: JohnnyV | February 08, 2011 at 05:25 AM

Noticing around the league, there seemed to be an inordinate number
of hard shots taken to the face by players yesterday.
Ron's shot, as bad as it was, appeared far from the worst.
Players reacted to their head shots about the same way Ron reacted to his. And yes, I'm sure it required considerable restraint not to react poorly,
and none of them did.

Some will get testy, or accidentally foul too hard,
but I doubt there is a player in the league
who is stupid enough to want to deliberately test the limits of steel Testes,
unless of course, they have some type of suicidal death wish.

Ron physically engaged fans and payed severe penalties...several years ago.

Most people who know anything about Ron Ron
(beyond the crap
pundits would be quick to remind us of if given the opportunity),
understand that Ron is a special, one-of-a-kind person...
and the Detroit incident is water long under the bridge.

I mean, it's not like Ron is an adulterer
who allegedly had to buy his way out of rape charges...right?

Go Kings!
Go SF Giants!

Sonnybelfast

If, on the other hand, were Ron Ron were to return a flagrant,
with a comparable flagrant...
At this point,
I seriously doubt his punishment would be any less or greater
than what other players would receive at this point.

Unless of course it is the Saint who has committed a flagrant...
he usually gets to slide.

Go Kings!
Go SF Giants!
Go SF 49-ers!
Go Sean Stevenson!

Sonnybelfast

LMAO! Sonny, you're a funny guy. You never miss an opportunity to lay out your shtick. Kobe's adultery is long forgiven by his wife and the media. I understand if you don't like him though. You are not alone if you feel that Kobe is a tough person to love.

TNTLakerFan, CornerJ, LRob and Diandra

You all made excellent points about last night's game that I concur with.
~~~~

Here are some fun numbers (from another blogger in another forum)...

If you take the minutes played by each player in each team and divide it by the total number of minutes played, you get the percentage usage of each player in that team. Now, for fun, multiply the usage by the PER to get the contributed PER. Finally add all the players PER contributions in each team and you get a composite number that should give us a reasonable sense of how good is each team (it's kind of like the team's average PER rating per player usage).

Here are the resulting rankings:

Lakers 16.87
Spurs 16.63
Heat 16.37
Celtics 15.85

One thing this tells me that the Lakers and Spurs have enjoyed better health than the Heat and Celtics this season.
~~~~

Here are some more fun numbers:

1992-93 Bulls: 35-17
1997-98 Bulls: 37-15
2001-02 Lakers: 36-16
2010-11 Lakers: 36-16

Man, did those 1997-98 Bulls get hot! They finished with 62 wins.

Nice job by the Laker defense last night. Props to DFish and Pau. Fish, after a shaky start against Conley, picked up his defense in the 2nd half and didn't allow Conley to control the pace of the game. Say what you want about Fish...we all know he can be beaten off the dribble. But so can every other point in the league. It's pretty near impossible to stay in front of a Rose or Paul or Parker. But Fish's strength and physicality wears on those uber-points as the game goes on. He wore Conley down last night and despite some gaudy numbers put by Paul on Saturday, Fish made Chris work for everything he got.

Pau did a good job on Z-Bo...not allowing to dominate on the offensiv glass and limiting his space underneath. The Laker game plan seemed to be to pack the paint on defense and make the Griz beat them over the top. Sam Young had a career night with 22 points but for the most part, the strategy worked.

I'd also like to make note of the job the bench did in the late 1st quarter and early 2nd quarter. Phil went to Blake and Brown when Kobe and Fish were ineffective on defense early on. Combined with LO, who displayed incredible hustle all night, the bench mob helped turn a nine point deficit into a 5 point halftime lead. Great job, there.

Another atrocious showing from our boys in Purp and Yellow. Good thing Memphis sucked even more. dice8up must be blind not to see what CornerJ and myself saw: a parade of open 3:s, which is a Lakers signum. Still, the D went from horrible to acceptable in the 4th. But how 'bout that offense? Only a bunch of threes saved us. Jeez, tons of airballs and missed layups. At one point I tried to stop my complaining infront of the TV and look for positive things, so I applauded Ron Ron for a nice steal only to watch him blow yet another layup. Wow! He must have more blown layups than Yinka Dare!

I've been whining a lot about how stupid this team is not to learn from their mistakes, but seriously, I AM the big moron wasting 6-7-8 hours a week watching all the games hoping for an improvement. But y'all know how it is. We all keep clinging to that unfaithful slut even though she betrays us time after time, just because we love her so much. Ironically, the last championship was the sweetest one I've personally experienced - coming after a looong frustrating season. I hope our boys deliver when it counts, they shure as dung owe it to us!

@ Sonny

As far as Kobe goes... just put the ball in the basket. Everything else is none of my business, since Kobe and I are not friends, relatives, associates, teammates, or enemies.

My opinion of Mr. Bryant is based soley on what he does on the court, and nothing thereafter. He's trying to win a championship, not Prom King. Popularity comes and goes, but greatness is forever.

Also, I have family members that have perpetrated much more heinous actions than Kobe, but the difference is that they are family. They are not a person who is so detached from me personally, he may as well live on the moon. These facts allow me to react and respond appropriately since I am closer to the event, or person, in question. Otherwise, I really wouldn't have a leg to stand on at all.

Basically, your little jab seems petty. Whatever process was used to "seal the deal" regarding the Colorado incident matters not. Papers were signed, lives were changed, and polarizing opinions created. I'm not defending Kobe. I'm defending the people who make mistakes, and try to better themselves from it. Folks like yourself make that second part very difficult sometimes.

Go Lakers!
Go Dodgers!
Go _________!
Go Biff Tannen!


DBDH!

Looking up stats, I found a few interesting numbers. Lamar is in the top ten in field goal percentage. Kobe is #5 at points per game (Durant, Stoudemire, James and Wade are 1-4). Kobe is also #5 at field goal attempts behind Ellis, Durant, Rose and Stoudemire and just ahead of Melo and LeBron.

Sobering stat - Fish is our best three point shooter at #33. Kobe is 11th – from the bottom of qualified players (guys that shoot them). #1 is Shawne Williams averaging 50.6% with 2.7 attempts per game. Fish is shooting 40% with 2 attempts. Kobe is shooting 31.5% with 4.1 attempts. So I am thinking our three point shooting must really suck and also “why is Kobe taking so many three point shots when he is hitting such a low percentage of them?” Ebanks has hit 66.7% with .2 attempts per game. Sasha was hitting 42.9% (#2 on the team) with .6 attempt (don’t get me started). Fish is #3. The only guys on the team that are shooting a worse three point percentage than Kobe are either named Luke or don’t shoot them. I think they should trade for a sharp shooter or give Fish more of a green light (or play Ebanks?). Not to belabor the point but, of the guys that shoot them, there are 32 guys in the league who are shooting a higher percentage than our best shooter and there are only ten guys shooting a worse percentage than our most prolific shooter. I love Kobe and the Lakers, but sometimes you have to face reality. We were shooting them well at the beginning of the season. Maybe Jerry is right and we are getting old? Maybe we just need to shoot more practice shots? Just a thought… I am a musician and know there is only one way to get to Carnegie Hall.

Speaking of practice! How about a few less lunches with celebrities and a few more free throws? This one drives my girlfriend crazy. She played basketball in high school. She feels with all of the money they make they should hit every one - no one is guarding you. I think at least 70% as a team would work. We hit 60% because Kobe made his seven. Take him out and it is down to 50% - “Hack a Shaq” range.

That was a tough gritty game last night and I loved it. DEFENSE!!! That is the kind of game we have to bring against Boston. Seeing Lamar and Ron hit big “threes” at the end was truly awesome! Sure there were some uncomfortable moments, but there was a lot of effort. The Lakers wanted it more. That is what wins basketball games in the NBA. The tension is mounting… Boston on Thursday... It will be a slug fest… I think Ron is going to bring it against Paul, Lamar is going to bring it against the boards, Pau is going to score on Garnet without mercy, Drew will show them who is the bigger team, Fish will hit a key three towards the end, and we will see the Mamba strike!
(and Big Baby will start crying… ;-)

Go Lakers!

I am a Lakerholic.

@ Andy L,

Yinka Dare?

RCOTD.

That is all.


DBDH!

He didn't buy his way out of a charge.

He bought his way out of further time hassles and headache. He knew what she wanted, and decided it was in his best interest to go ahead and oblige. The damage was already done, so there was very little to gain from the win he could have had if it went forward.

Your posts are usually entertaining, but your pathetic brokeback for the bean has got to stop.

@MVP – Interesting PER stats. Yep, the Lakers are definitely in the 98 Bulls rearview mirror from this point forward (at least regular season).

@Bronx – good point. The Lakers had who they wanted on the Griz taking the outside shots. Good strategy especially with not Mayo.

@Andy L – Yinka and an unfaithful slut…the Lakers might be slightly better than this :-)

@DBDH – I agree with your Kobe sentiment 100%.

@Lakerholic – I like your Thursday forecast. Regarding free throw shooting the Lakers had a rough night last night, but I believe they are still one of the top teams in the league. The announcers said they’re #6 last night.

Cancel that! Tim-4-show with the RCOTD.

"...Your posts are usually entertaining, but your pathetic brokeback for the bean has got to stop."

DBDH!

The tension is mounting… Boston on Thursday... It will be a slug fest… I think Ron is going to bring it against Paul, Lamar is going to bring it against the boards, Pau is going to score on Garnet without mercy, Drew will show them who is the bigger team, Fish will hit a key three towards the end, and we will see the Mamba strike! (and Big Baby will start crying… ;-) Go Lakers! I am a Lakerholic.Posted by: Lakerholic | February 08, 2011 at 07:27 AM
*
Yes you are a Lakerholic!! You are also...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!! Carry On.

C'mon guys- don't get manipulated by Marc Gasol being a nice guy just like his brother.

Not intentional!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me????

Ron got hit in the face three times, not once, not twice, thrice!!!

Inadvertant, yeah maybe, the other two times he got hit in the face, that wasn't an accident.

I still do not understand why people poke the bear. Whether in the NBA or St.John's U, if you try and intimidate or throw him off his game, you're only providing more motivation for him.

I wouldn't call it inadvertant, in conflict resolution, we call that Projection. Ron was aggressive and got a clean steal, Marc projected that aggressiveness all over Ron's face, Ron did the exact right thing by using Sublimation, he walked away from the conflict and transferred the energy into positive actions.

Weird game, calling the Barkley rule on Kobe (hasn't been called in 5-7 years, I would say), Shannon running his feet into a player, that was strange too.

As far as Kobe goes... just put the ball in the basket. Everything else is none of my business, since Kobe and I are not friends, relatives, associates, teammates, or enemies. My opinion of Mr. Bryant is based soley on what he does on the court, and nothing thereafter. He's trying to win a championship, not Prom King. Popularity comes and goes, but greatness is forever. DBDH! Posted by: Don't Blame Del Harris! | February 08, 2011 at 07:15 AM
WTH? HELL YEAH!!!!! Preach DBDH Preach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The poor free throw % shows that the Laker's focus is in their heads when at the line, not in their center. Like in martial arts, to be good at any sport you can't think too much or you will lose your emotional equilibrium. The free throw is a moment when you are left with yourself and whatever level of distraction you habitually have, along with your pattern of internal dialogue, the tape of distracting chatter you run continuously.

Also, Lamar's reality show is an example of distraction on the larger scale. He's got a "back door" to escape to if things don't work out this season...

@LRob - How about 3 point shooting? Where are we there?

@Mamba24 - I live in VT - Celtic country. I can drive to Boston in two hours. I want this one bad! Otherwise, I will have to hear it from my singer... ;-) They took us down at home. Payback is a bitch!

LMAO! Sonny, you're a funny guy. You never miss an opportunity to lay out your shtick. Kobe's adultery is long forgiven by his wife and the media. I understand if you don't like him though. You are not alone if you feel that Kobe is a tough person to love.

Posted by: JohnnyV | February 08, 2011 at 06:49 AM

FORGIVEN...BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.

Posted by: Don't Blame Del Harris! | February 08, 2011 at 07:15 AM

Well stated to sonnyboy.

Is anyone excited by Broussards' article about Melo for AB?

I just wonder how the triangle offense will change Melo if he did come here. However we have not had a scoring SF for quite some time, especially one as dynamic as Melo......

Just curious....

I got the League Pass Memphis feed last night and as such never saw a decent replay of the play where Shannon supposedly kicked out his feet for the offensive foul. Was the replay on the Laker feed any more conclusive?

And once more, props to Lamar! He was the difference in the game in the second Q. and in the 4th after Memphis had pulled to within 2. His hustle and rebound after Ron stole the ball from Gay (but botched the layup) was a prime example of not taking anything for granted.

>>>“why is Kobe taking so many three point shots when he is hitting such a low
>>>percentage of them?”

And others would ask, Why does Kobe shoot so many challenged outside 2-pointers?

There's a simple explanation. He has to remain a threat from outside for his whole game to work.

If all Kobe ever did was drive to the rim and never shot outside, then teams would recognize that and stop guarding him outside and just pack the lane on him. Remember the Lakers defense on Rondo in the finals? That's what Kobe would see if he didn't take (and make some) outside shots.

To be fair, one reason Kobe's 3-point % is so low is because he is the go-to guy. If it's late in the shot clock and Pau or Drew are too flustered to take a shot (not to mention Blake and Brown, who've been a bit timid lately, since their shooting cooled off), then they give the ball to Kobe. So he ends up HAVING to take a defended, rushed shot (sometimes a 3-pointer) to beat the shot clock.

When Kobe gets the sort of wide open looks from 3 that Ron Artest and Luke generally get, he makes a much higher percentage.

But once Kobe buries a couple of outside shots in a game (especially if one or more of them are 3's), it makes his defender rush at him and opens up the lane for him. Or it makes the opponent send two defenders at him, which usually leaves Pau or Drew or Lamar open in the lane.

Nice win against Memphis,back to basic,sharing the ball which is a core ingredient in the Lakers Triangular Offence,and good defensive work,however let see what they can do against the Celtics in Boston


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