Was that a great win or what? Wins like these are ones you look back on after the season and just smile. You want to reflect and soak in everything from the negatives to the positives and just relive the experience. This was like a playoff win, that’s the only feeling you can compare it to.
Lamar Odom- In a game that had multiple MVP’s, Lamar was THE MVP. He seems to be playing like his old self. Being aggressive with the basketball in transition and knowing he can make good things happen. He couldn’t be contained by anyone on Detroit all game long, and what I liked is that he seemed to play closer to the basket. He was finally able to post up and go to work. This was his best game since he’s returned. I couldn’t possibly be more impressed. Final stat line: 25 points, 15 rebounds.
Brian Cook- Not a very strong game from Cookie, but it didn’t matter, obviously. He only played 19 minutes and didn’t shoot the ball well while only getting one rebound. But like I said, it doesn’t matter. His minutes, if he gets any, will decrease when Ronny is back. Soon, Phil will officially make Vlad Ronny’s backup. Final stat line: 10 points, 2-10 from the field.
Kwame Brown- Kwame wasn’t a spark either. But unlike Cook, I think he’ll bounce back. Final stat line: 2 points, 6 rebounds
Kobe Bryant- I can’t recall the last time he was this passionate. You can feel his intensity from just watching on television. Although he didn’t shoot the ball well, his leadership and heart provided much more of a spark than scoring points would have. He’s been up off the bench a lot lately and trying to show support to his teammates when they need it. I like what he said in the post game interview about leading by example. His defense and passion rubbed off on his teammates in the 4th. Kobe took Hamilton out of the game like he always seems to do when they battle. Hamilton hit a couple of shots, but they didn’t impact the game. I can care less at Kobe’s struggles on offense, he was still Kobe. He still dominated without having to put the ball in the basket. Final stat line: 19 points, 7 assists.
Derek Fisher- Fish couldn’t find his shot all game, but his defense was better. Whenever he drives, he always seems to make the right play, whether it’s setting someone else up for a bucket or absorbing the contact and finishing. I’d like to see more of that from him and less jumpers. Final stat line: 7 points, 3-12 from the field.
Jordan Farmar- I always have a good feeling whenever Jordan has the ball. His decision making was solid in this game and he took it right at Detroit. You’ve gotta love his aggressiveness in attacking the rim, he always goes strong without any fear. He was one, if not the main spark plug in that 4th quarter run. His defense was what stuck out to me, he had 4 steals in this game. Every time he got a steal he took it all the way himself or found someone else. To the average mind, he should start. But he works a lot better with the second unit because he plays well in spurts and can make things happen when the team in struggling. Tonight was one of those nights. He only had 3 field goals, which summarizes his impact. Final stat line: 10 points, 3 assists, 4 steals.
Andrew Bynum/Vladimir Radmanovic- Drew said it best after the game: we have one of the best benches in the league. They both had solid games, hit big shots, and were part of the run in the 4th. Final stat lines: 12 points, 7 rebounds/11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists.
Final Thought- The guys played at a much higher level than they did on Wednesday, this was probably my favorite win of the season so far. Why? Because the bench went on a run in the 4th quarter with Kobe on the bench, and everyone was pumped throughout the night. They were having fun out there, Kobe included. This win came against a team that prides themselves in being the underdog, but it didn’t matter. Our guys stepped up to the challenge and earned a big win. Phil’s substitutions were also better, he didn’t go to any suicide lineups at critical points in the game. In a week where we faced the Spurs, Rockets, and Pistons, we win 2 out of the three. Against Houston we had 10 offensive rebounds, committed 30 fouls, and turned the ball over 19 times. Tonight, those numbers were 23, 13, and 9. Great win.
Next game- LAL vs CHI
Basketball is a game, a journey, a dance- not a fight to the death. It’s life just as it is.