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Lakers Dominate the Warriors (4.18.12)
With the Golden State Warriors undermanned, undersized, and in full on tank mode, the Lakers made sure to work out the kinks in their offense.
The Warriors are a great JV matchup for the Los Angeles Lakers. About three weeks ago, the Warriors allowed Kobe to regain his shooting touch following an ugly 3-21 shooting performance. Kobe dropped 40 on 16-28 shooting that night against the Warriors. This time, the Warriors allowed the Lakers to reestablish their basic principles of offensive execution. After mightily struggling to effectively send entries into the post against the Spurs, the Lakers came out and treated this game as a run through practice for post entry execution.
The Lakers absolutely dominated on the inside, scoring 62 of their 99 points in the paint. Andrew Bynum was a beast, scoring 31 points on 12-14 shooting, with 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. However, Bynum's 4 turnovers were, once again, a problem that needs to be resolved in the next three games before playoffs begin.
With all of the attention on Bynum this season, Pau Gasol showed to the rest of the league why he is the most versatile forward in the game. Pau dropped this line, 7-16 shooting for 22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 blocks, and 0 turnovers. The offense ran through Pau for a majority of the game, and Pau did not disappoint. His perfect decision making was a sight to behold. His high low entries to Bynum were spot on. His over the shoulder no look passes to guys cutting in the lane led to numerous layups. His turnaround and spot up jumper were cash. Pau's hand prints were all over the game. At one point, after Pau performed a wonder baseline pivot to hit a diving Sessions right at the rim for a layup, Stu Lantz stated, "If you've got a better passing 7 footer in the league, I want to know who it is." Pau's basketball IQ is off the charts and nights like these show the world just how great of a basketball player he truly is. How many power forwards get triple doubles? David Lee (25pts, 11rebs, 10asts), Drew Gooden (15pts, 10rebs, 13asts), Joakim Noah (13pts, 13rebs, 10asts), and Serge Ibaka (14pts, 15rebs, 11blks) are the only other power forwards this season to get a triple double. Only Lee's night is even close to comparison. In fact, only 12 guys have gotten a triple double this season, and the only guy with more than 1 is Rajon Rondo with 6. Pau's performance was awesome, and it may have been the most impressive big man triple double of the season.
Following a disappointing loss to the Spurs, Mike Brown commented upon the spacing and execution necessary for effective post play in his post game press conference. The Lakers obviously listened up. The Lacking size, no David Lee or Andris Biedrins, and depth, no Stephen Curry or Nate Robinson, the Warriors were forced to employ a 2-3 zone for many stretches throughout the game. However, Coach Mark Jackson did not employ the zone until after Andrew Bynum killed his team in the first quarter. Bynum started the game hot, shooting 7-8 for 17 points. Bynum scored all of his buckets off of either isolation sets where he attacked quickly, or dunks at the rim for alley oops or putbacks. The Lakers came out ready to play, and they led 32-26 at the end of the first.