Andy expressed his opinions on a mistake-rich effort from the Lakers in Thursday's 114-111 overtime loss to Miami, but he wasn't the only one taking finger to keyboard. Below is a roundup of today's purple and gold news...
BLOGS AND SUCH
"...When Pau Gasol goes for 10 points, Andrew Bynum gets 12 points and Lamar Odom has 13 against flat footed Jermaine O’Neal and Jamaal Magloire then your team deserves to lose. There simply is no excuse to struggle to score when every other NBA team this season has taken advantage of the Heat’s biggest weakness in the paint. While they did collectively pull down 30 rebounds with ease, the problem is that the rest of the Lakers only grabbed 9 more... With the clear advantage in height, the Lakers’ biggest failure was not taking advantage and instead seemed to over-rely on getting Kobe Bryant his shots to upstage (Dwyane) Wade, particularly late in the game. Ironically, that’s the kind of basketball that Miami has played throughout the season and it hasn’t brought much sustained success. Whereas the Heat has limited choices so it’s understandable that sometimes Wade must play “me against the entire team” ball, it makes no sense to do that when the Lakers have such quality big men that could have benefited from the Heat’s porous defense by the basket..."
I'd agree with the first part; the Lakers didn't get nearly enough from their bigs, but it's not because Kobe simply forgot or ignored hot hands up front. Bynum had flashes but turned the ball over five times, while Gasol simply wasn't very good offensively. Moreover, whether Miami was sagging and fronting their bigs or zoning up, the Lakers didn't move the ball well enough to create angles for good entry passes. Kobe's offensive game was outstanding enough to compensate to a point.
Not enough, though, in part because Bryant consistently elected to leave spot up shooters like Quentin Richardson too much space on the perimeter, and paid for it. Win as a team, lose as a team.
NOTEBOOKS AND NEWS STORIES
-ESPN Los Angeles.com: Kobe alters his routine to fix an ailing jumper.
-OC Register: Kobe says he's not going anywhere.
-Charlotte Observer: Lakers vs. Bobcats, Game Preview
COLUMNS AND FEATURES
-Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles.com: The Lakers are still very inconsistent on the road.
-McMenamin, ESPN.com Daily Dime (the man is prolific!): Wade and Richardson own the day, inspired by Ron Artest.
-Ding, OC Register: Kobe didn't get the lift he needed from the supporting cast.
-Ron Green Jr., Charlotte Observer: For 13 days, Kobe's future was in Charlotte.