Heir'z Corner: Questionable Call Frights LA, Lose to SpursDamn............Vlad
- Vlad was a complete non-factor tonight, but that’s only because he didn't really get many open shots even though Kobe, Pau, and Bynum were all hot. Final stat line: 2 points, 1-5 from the field, 28 minutes, 0-4 from three.Bynum/Gasol
- Tonight was the best Bynum's looked on the offensive end all season, maybe one of the best games he's ever had. Not because of how many points he scored, but because of the way he was scoring. Tim Duncan is one of the best defenders of all time among big men and Bynum took him to school on more than a few occasions. Normally most of his points come on clean ups around the basket or as a result of someone else setting him up but tonight was really the first time he actually created for himself all game long. It was impressive to watch and makes you hope he feels good about his ability. Another scoring threat is just what the doctor ordered. However, in terms of what we actually expect him to bring to the table for our team he had yet another poor night. Last night it was 1 rebound, tonight 3. Against Houston he played 27 minutes and tonight he played 35, that's a total of 4 rebounds in 62 minutes of play. To say label such a staggering stat as that ridiculous would be an understatement. If anyone still thinks it's because of his knee, get a brain transplant in a hurry before what little matter is left in your head slowly oozes out while you sleep tonight. Pau got us off to a brilliant start tonight, though. The rest of the team came out kind of flat, which isn't surprising considering how many minutes some of the players are lagging and that this was a back to back on the road. I would've liked to have seen us feed Pau on a more steady diet in the second half since he was so hot; once he came back in the last three minutes of the game it was difficult for him to get into a rhythm since we were playing catch up and needed points in a hurry. Final stat lines:
Bynum- 18 points, 3 rebounds, 9-15 from the field, 35 minutes of play. Gasol- 21 points, 10-14 from the field, 5 rebounds, 5 turnovers.
- His fire was admirable tonight in the 4th quarter. This should've been one of those legendary games that we talk about 5 years from now about how he inspired the team during a huddle and delivered to steal the game. We may not have won the game, but that story could still be told down the line. His three pointer over Mason was reminiscent of his three against Houston last night; incredible how many times he can hit big shots with pure ease after he's done it so many times already. It never gets old. Final stat line: 29 points, 10 assists, 11-19 from the field, 2-3 from downtown, 5-6 from the line, 7 rebounds, 4 turnovers.
- He had a great game on the offensive end. Defense was where he struggled, allowing Parker to drive past him continuously almost every play down. Then that foul in the last 11 seconds? That was more crucial than the Ariza call. Final stat line: 16 points, 5-10 from the field, 4-4 from three, 36 minutes.
- Yet another solid game from our bench tonight. I hope with all of these injuries people now recognize just how valuable Lamar's flexibility is to this team. Phil has the option of either playing him at SF or playing him at PF. I'd like to see more of him at SF just so Powell can get more minutes. He definitely had himself a breakthrough game tonight. We've all noticed as he slowly but surely have gained more confidence in his jump shot and Kobe definitely was looking for him in the last few minutes of the game on that screen roll. Ariza played a pretty decent game, never mind that traveling call at the end. It was nice to see his jumper in effect.Final Thought
- I see the 73-9 talks have died down considerably, huh? It's no big deal, though. This season's success will be measured by one thing and one thing only: winning a championship, not our regular season record. I said coming into this game that it would be a test to see how good we really are, and if I had to give the team a final grade it'd be a B+. Their resiliency was amazing considering we're extremely shorthanded right now and it was dreadfully obvious when we had to use Ariza at point guard for a few stretches. We may not have won the game, but just coming back showed how much fight we have and that this team WILL be able to get it done during the playoffs when their backs are up against the wall. Right now nothing but frustration is running through our bodies, but we might as well just do whatever we have to to release it. Once that final horn sounds that means it's time to seek the next prey. That just so happens to be the Magic, who broke the record for most threes in a game the other night, as you guys probably know. Let's break their spirit.