The Lakers beat the Hornets

The first half of that game made me absolutely furious.  Spitting, hopping mad furious.  However, I make it a point not to talk about officiating, so let’s get on to the players.

  • We lost by 7 in a game we shot 5-17 from three – and a lot of those shots were not contested.  Seriously, the Hornet’s starting Small Forward and Shooting guard combine for 10 points on 3-18 shooting, 2-10 from deep, and only two free throws – yet the Hornets only lost by 7.
  • I’d love to say that our comeback in the fourth quarter was entirely due to grit, but you could tell the Lakers relaxed.  By the end of the third, they were coasting.  Paul, however, never coasted.
  • In fact, Paul was relentless. He started out the game in crazy attack mode, going hard to the hoop, penetrating at will and finding the open (non)shooters. He closed out the game on a tear, finishing 13-19 with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers.  The man was also unstoppable in the fourth.

  • Fisher had one of his nights.  The Lakers force doubles – and we doubled – and Fisher made us pay.  Fisher is a gamer.
  • Tonight West’s jumper was not on target at all.  When he got inside against the Lakers, he did some damage, but none of his mid-range shots were on target, particularly one in the third that didn’t even draw rim.  West certainly had his moments, but he also had six turnovers – three of which were just bad, lazy passes.
  • I’m sure the Lakers fans are going to wet themselves over the contested jackass three Kobe hit, but he was falling apart in that quarter up until then, going 1-4 with 2 turnovers and 3 fouls.
  • The second unit’s effort to corral rebounds was beyond awful.  Three times the ball took a long bounce and was going out of bounds in the corner.  Not ONE of our guys gave chase, a Laker did, and it was their ball.  That’s pathetic.  At least escort it out of bounds guys!
  • At least the starters rebounded well.  The Hornets actually won the rebound battle by 3.  Tyson worked hard on the inside against Gasol and Bynum and stood tall in the end with four offensive rebounds and 10 total despite having been limited by early foul trouble.  West also fought off Gasol effectively, grabbing 11 defensive rebounds and 1 offensive.
  • Other than the Phantom, only Butler played well on the second unit, and he only got 8 minutes.  The Phantom caught fire in the third from three, and his defense on Bryant was absolutely stellar.
  • Armstrong had another 2 turnovers in 15 minutes as he continues his quest to be the most turnover-prone player ever to play the game.
  • I may have found out Phil Jackson’s mystical power.  Somehow, opponents of the Lakers are only shooting 67% from the free throw line this season.  Tonight?  Hornets well below their average at 65%, Lakers well above it with 82%.  Could the pace of Lakers games impact this maybe?  I don’t know.  Just figured I’d bring it up.
  • Chris Paul’s streak of 20 and 10 games to start a season is alive – as is his steal streak.  The guy is a legend.
  • Radmanovic was his usual crappy self this game.  He and Peja can get together afterwards, have a formerly Yugoslavian beer, and talk about all those wide open shots they bricked.  Radmanovic will win on crappy shooting percentage, but Peja’s got him on volume of missed shots.
  • Mike James is awesome – if the word awesome means “useless piece of crap”.  His line of 1-3 shooting 1 rebound 1 turnover, 1 foul, and 2 points does not do justice to how bad he was.  His competition Devin Brown managed to get 10 minutes of playing time and his 0-2 shooting with one steal pretty much does justice to how bad he was.

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