The final score really indicates the way the game was played- 107-94, Boston. We lost this game because Boston has a terrific coaching staff, great players, and they competed. We didn't compete in the first half, Boston was the team playing with a sense of purpose. We looked like zombies out there on both ends and just fell asleep. We worked our way back in the game in the second quarter after we fell behind by double digits because we actually ran the offense and were patient in the half court. Anytime a team wants to push the ball and their successful in executing that type of pace, then you have to do everything you can to make the game slow and boring. You can't get caught up in the way they play because you'll just be playing into their hands, and that's exactly what the players did in the second quarter and why Boston was able to come back.
Lamar Odom- He's really in a funk right now and is receiving a lot of criticism from our fellow fans. To be honest, I can't blame anyone who's frustrated with Lamar's play because it's just becoming ridiculously sad now. The guy isn't a rookie or second year player, he's a veteran and needs to play like one. Our team is young, but at least the majority of them play as if they WANT to, Lamar just isn't displaying any heart. In the second quarter while Boston was up double digits, Lamar is joking with Garnett.
I thought Pierce gave him a hard time with his quickness. Lamar's natural position is SF as we know, but whether or not he has the foot speed to stay with smaller SF's is the question. In the first half you could tell that Lamar was looking to be more aggressive, but once again, he fell asleep. He allowed himself to become distracted and couldn't get it going at any point in this game. His game is going downhill fast, I'm worried just as much as you all are. Poor game for Lamar. Final stat line: 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2-7 shooting from the field in 32 minutes.
Ronny Turiaf- I wonder if Ronny was really even ready for this game. I think Phil started him because of the frontline of Boston with Garnett and Perkins. Ronny did a decent job on Garnett for a stretch and forced him to take tough jumpers. But he wasn't himself out there. He didn't do the dirty work and keep Garnett off the boards. Again, it didn't appear to me that Ronny was ready for this game. Final stat line: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 23 minutes.
Andrew Bynum- Drew was slowed down by foul trouble throughout the game, which was what I felt limited his aggressiveness. If he had stayed out of foul trouble he would've tried to make things more difficult for Perkins, who burned us with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Our guards played poor perimeter defense, which forced Bynum to leave his man a lot. And I also don't think he got enough touches in the post where he should have. Final stat line: 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 fouls in 26 minutes.
Kobe Bryant- Kobe wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. Allen's defense was a result of playing against Kobe four times a year when he played in the West. He knew exactly what Kobe was looking to do almost every time he had the ball and contested every shot. You've just gotta give him credit, he did a decent job against the best player in the league. Kobe was forced to take tough shots because his teammates weren't stepping up. They were looking for him to bail them out on every possession, so Boston was able to gear up because they knew who was getting the ball and where the shots would be coming from. Kobe did the best he could in this ballgame. I've continued to be impressed by the leadership of Kobe also. He's the one slapping all the high fives and trying to keep the team competitive, whether we're going to win or not. Things like this only help a young team, I admire that big competitive heart of his. Final stat line: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 9-21 from the field.
Derek Fisher- I've said this before and I'll say it again, Fish needs to stop settling for long jumpers and attack the rim when the opportunity arises. If he does that, he'll be free to take more jumpers because the defense will be expecting him to drive. I'd also like to see his reactions on defense become quicker. He's been a step slow these last few games and it's hurt us. Final stat line: 13 points, 1-5 from three.
Vladimir Radmanovic- I was impressed by Vlad in this game. He was hot and didn't stop shooting when he had the space. Still, I would've liked to have seen him take advantage of his hot shooting by taking the ball to the rim and either scoring, getting to the line, or setting up a big for an easy look inside. And like everyone else on the team, he struggled with whoever he was guarding. But overall his play was very encouraging. Final stat line: 17 points, 7-12 from the field, 3-6 from 3, 4 rebounds.
Jordan Farmar- Farmar has continued his strong play. He couldn't get it going against Milwaukee, but he stepped it up in this game a little bit. In the second quarter, though, he played out of control and didn't lead the bench well. He wanted to run, which resulted in bad shots and poor passes. He did, however, step it up in the second half and was key to our near comeback because of his aggressiveness in attacking the hoop, which I've liked, and hitting the three ball. I'd like to see him take advantage of that quickness that enables him to blow pass other guards and use it more on defense, though. Final stat line: 13 points, 5-8 from the field, 3 assists.
Players like Luke, Mihm, and Sasha need to step up quickly. All 3 are key for our bench and need to play well in order for us to sustain the strong play from that area.
Final Thought- We lost to a great team without one of our starters and with another one not being full strength. We're second in the league in field goal percentage defense, but we still have a ways to go before we step into elite status as a defensive squad. In the games we've won, we've won because of solid defense and a willingness to hustle. But I didn't see that tonight, and it resulted in a difficult loss. Know your personnel. Every time we'd make a run, Posey was left open and buried a three. You can't play well against your man if you know nothing about his game. Our next game is on Sunday at home and is the first of a little 3 game homestand which includes Seattle and Denver. We need to pick it up.
Next Game: LAL vs NJ
I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.