Here's my take on the loss:
We need to start winning our road games. We're 6-4 on the road now, which is barely over .500-- that's unacceptable for our calibur of players.
Shaq played terrible tonight-- he allowed WAY too many second chance points and easy dunks for Dale Davis and Ruben Patterson. Although he shot at a high percentage, he forced a few of his shots where he had people wide open on the perimeter.
Payton lacked defensive intensity as well, making another mediocre point guard, tonight Damon Stoudemire, go for 20+ points. He sure didn't look like the Glove tonight. I don't doubt he'll come back intense next game though.
Once again, Derek Fisher scores ZERO points-- he needs to find a way out of this slump. He's our spark off the bench and if he's not doing well, we're losing a key part of our backup lineup.
Kobe was our only source of offense. 35 points on 10/18 shooting. Excellent performance by him. He also shut down McInnis to 8 points. He really seems to be getting his legs back the way he was jumping and running out there.
I'm VERY surprised Kareem Rush didn't play after scoring 12 points for us last night. If there was anytime for him to find a rhythm, it would have been now. We should have given Fisher'sminutes to him tonight.
Horace Grant is aging very quickly-- I can't wait until Brian Cook or Jamal Sampson come back. Horace still gets it done but he's very slow and soft especially on the defensive end.
You gotta hand it to the Blazers (and Mavs as well) who contributed to our losses in back-to-back games right here. Rasheed Wallace came strong and pumped in points over some tough defense by Devean George, as did Randolph, being guarded by Malone. Wesley Person once again played few minutes but came up big in crunch time with two HUGE three-pointers for the Blazers. They may have a bad image over there in Portland, but you can't knock their heart.
We'll have a lot to think about over this 6 day break. Hopefully we will come hard against the Nuggets on the 19th, and set the tone early.
Slava laughed at the suggestion his skills might be affected by the down time. "Are you kidding?" he said. "Basketball is like ball. It's all a circle."BEST VIDEO EVER
... AND AND THE SECOND BEST.