Heir'z Corner: Lakers Survive Another Close Game to Miami
Final Score: 108-105
Close game throughout tonight. Yet again we created breathing room but allowed another team back in it late with a good chance to come out on top. Losing leads at home consistently isn't a good thing. Neither is giving up over 100 just about every game, especially at home. Best record in the league or not, fans are starting to call us overrated. Call them "haters" if you want but right now I don't see any reason why they could be wrong the way we're playing defense.
Vlad- Good offensive game from him tonight, unfortunately for the second game in a row he made costly decisions late in the game that hurt us, this coming after Phil publicly makes fun of your intelligence? Okay....Final stat line: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6-10 from the field, 4-7 from three.
Bynum/Gasol- I've been more than impressed with Bynum's play as of late. Ever since he came out and said he needs to be more aggressively, or play with more energy, one or the other, he's looked a lot better out there. His rebounding has been better, not just stat wise but he's going up and pulling the ball down with force, and on the nights where he hasn't rebounded well he's been solid on offense. Tonight he dominated based on what we've seen from him so far this season. He could've ended up with a lot more points if he had been fed on a more consistent basis, but games like these are stepping stones for a player like him. I'd like to see him become a lot more mean defensively, though. One play Wade drove to the rim and Bynum was there to meet him but he just put his arms up as if he was trying to protect himself from being hit. This isn't America's Next Top Model; Dr. Buss isn't paying you all that money during a recession to look cute. You have to scare guards into even THINKING about driving to the hole. If you just lay back like a fat cat <-------(Lil Wayne's words, not mine) they won't be intimidated. As far as Pau, this obviously wasn't his night offensively but he did what Lamar does when he's a non factor on offense: do everything else. He had by far the game high in rebounds and he made his free throws. So even on a tough night from the field he stuck out, that earns him kudos from the one and only Heir. Final stat lines: Bynum- 24 points, 6 rebounds, 8-13 from the field, 8-10 from the line. Gasol- 14 points, 18 rebounds, 4-15 from the field, 6-8 from the line.
KB24- This was another one of those nights where he was confused as to whether or not he should be aggressive offensively or set everyone else up. The thing about Kobe is that he falls asleep under the mentality of play-maker and it turns into passiveness. Then once he finally wakes up, it's like being frozen for 100 years; you're awake but just not the same. It takes awhile to shake off all the bugs and get back to normal. Tonight Kobe was passive for most of the game and then in the second half he did his best to shoot himself into a rhythm, which didn't work. If he wasn't expending all his energy on offense his defense on Wade should've been a lot better as well. Final stat line: 19 points, 5-14 from the field, 2-4 from three, 7-7 from the line, 7 assists, 4 turnovers.
Fish- The oldest guy out there played the most minutes? That's a first. Not sure how much longer his body can hold up, especially when you play 8 years with Kobe and Shaq, that alone adds mileage to your age along with gray hairs. Well, if Fish had hair he'd probably have a few but anyway, it doesn't look like he'll be slowing down soon. Final stat line: 13 points, 11 assists, 43 minutes.
Bench- Powell was disappointing me at the beginning of the season. Not because I was so accustomed to Ronny's energy, but because he just didn't play as aggressively as he should to me. Now, however, I'm starting to like his game. His stroke was on point like a nail tonight and went through the basket softly and gracefully like tissue into a toilet. Even when Lamar gets back we should continue to play Powell. Sasha played a great offensive game as well, continuing to show off his slowly but surely progress as more than just a shooter on offense.
Final Thought- This was the fourth game in a row that we gave up over 100 points, the sixth time out of seven games to be exact. This team needs to decide for themselves if they want to not just win, but win convincingly. Best team in basketball or not, our players make dumb decisions on the defensive end. Against a team like Houston you need defense since you know they'll be looking to stop your offense. Then the next night we play an experienced team like San Antonio, which won't make dumb decisions like the younger teams we've played so far this year. We need to Walk It Out on this Texas Two Step. Good news for anyone outside of LA, the next five out of six games will be on national television, including three in a row after the Houston game.