Last night, we opined on all things related to Tuesday's 122-99 win over Indiana at Staples, including Ron Artest's defense, the play of L.A.'s bench, Shannon Brown's thumb, Kobe Bryant's shooting. Plus video, quotes, and poor, Modern Family-induced lighting.
Really, it was quite a spread. But for those with a larger appetite, check out the day's news below:
"...I know that (Ron) Artest won’t win any awards for his defense (though he should be in consideration for DPOY in my opinion) and due to the highlight quality plays that LeBron makes and the all-world defense that Tim Duncan plays, Artest probably won’t even make 1st team all defense this season. But, he’s been that level a player this year and he truly has made a difference on that end of the floor for the Lakers this season. And, tonight, when he again held the other team’s best player in check, he deserves recognition..."
-Lakers unlikely to pursue free agents, LAT
-Artest's weight loss paying dividends for the Lakers, LA Daily News
-Artest polls high in "dirty player" voting, Riverside Press-Enterprise
More Lakers News
-Phil Jackson talks about his support for George Karl and weighs in on Michael Jordan's prospects as owner of the Bobcats.
-Speaking with Sasha Vujacic before Tuesday's game, he's experiencing less pain in his injured right shoulder, but still has weakness in the area. Earlier this week, PJ pointed to a possible return after the road trip, and while Sasha didn't rain on the forecast, he seemed unsure. Shoulder injuries can be tricky. Gaining strength is his top priority.
-Jordan Farmar scored 19 points against Indiana despite a bum pinkie finger on his left hand.
-If you missed it in our recap, Shannon Brown injured his right thumb blocking a Dahntay Jones shot in the second half, but played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and shouldn't miss any time going forward.
Shameless Insertion of Self-Serving Audio
-Our appearance with Mychal Thompson and Andrew Siciliano on 710's L.A. Sports Live and Tuesday afternoon's Road 2 Repeat segment. Any shot LeBron plays in purple and gold? We don't think so.
Columns, Blogs, and Other Strong Opinions
-Mark Heisler of the LA Times tracks the Lakers through Tuesday's first half, when they were more bark than bite.
-Karl's fight against throat cancer is a sobering reminder of how certain issues- life and death, for example- have importance far beyond what guys do on the court, writes John Ireland of ESPN Los Angeles.com.
-Artest wants to be remembered as one of the game's great wing defenders, writes Ding. He's certainly playing to that level of late.
--Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.com writes how a Lakers' performance like the one put forth Tuesday leaves the door open for nitpicking, and one concern is Kobe's shooting:
"...It's March and the Lakers have more than twice as many wins than the Pacers, so they're supposed to beat a team like that by 23, but as they enter the "nitty gritty" as Lamar Odom called it after the game, there's room for improvement.
Kobe Bryant's final line looked a lot better than his 3-for-17 shooting total Sunday that caused him to use the fiercest of all the four-letter words to describe his shooting stroke at Monday's practice, but his 24 points against Indy were padded by going 14-for-15 from the foul line. He was still just 2-for-9 on jump shots for the game. One of those made shots that beat the halftime buzzer might have gotten more friendly bounces on the rim than any shot in an NBA game since Troy Murphy's tip-in game winner against L.A. in Indiana last season. "Kobe's still not shooting in the rhythm that he needs to shoot the ball well but he's looking like it's getting better," Jackson said. Bryant had one 3-point attempt in the first quarter clank long off the back rim. He had another in the second half that he short-armed and barely made it to the basket. Bryant said he couldn't remember the last time he got to the line that much and all of the attempts helped him find his stroke again. "I'm not tripping [about it]," Bryant dismissed.
Still, Jackson said he's never seen a slump like this out of Bryant, so it's worth mentioning..."