Forum Blue & Gold: That looked and felt like an exhibition game. Guys getting tried out at new positions (Ronnie Brewer at the four?), turnovers everywhere, sloppy defense. This whole game was played at a preseason pace with preseason energy and preseason lineups, so there is only so much you can take away from it. But here are my notes from during the game.

• Get well Phil. And seriously, you don’t need to go to Fresno Thursday. Nobody does. Stay home and rest.

• Bynum not starting, instead we get Fish, Ariza, Kobe, Odom and Gasol. Drew, you getting the message that the coaches are sending? They said it to the media then sat you at the start here. Hustle in practice matters.

• First offensive set the Lakers have Kobe post up on the left low block, and when the double comes he kicks to Pau 15 feet out on the opposite baseline. Open look and good. I liked everything about that (well, except for a risky entry pass from Ariza) and hope to see more of Kobe on the block and Pau drilling midrange jumpers.

• In the limited time he played (which is good, rest the man) Gasol showed a lot more polish and comfort with the face up game than he did last year. After several years of being forced to play back-to-the-basket he is playing like a man unshackled. And loving it.

• Bynum’s second offensive touch was a catch-and-shoot at the free throw line off a pass from Odom, and he nailed it. Just hitting that 15 footer occasionally will be a big boost for Bynum on offense.

• I loved that when Bynum entered the game they played the theme to “Welcome Back Kotter” in the arena.

• Bynum ran the floor well, getting down early on missed shots and got a couple of baskets because he got good position before his opposite number could stop him (including a dunk off a nifty pass from Fisher while sitting down). Also, as Bchamp said in the comments, he just looked confident on offense, including on a dribble drive dunk from the elbow where he got Okur mixed and drove past him. However, he was pretty average on defense.

• One thing the Lakers are doing on defense was overloading the strong side (where the ball was) and zoning off on the back side. They did that last year, hopefully they feel more comfortable doing it as the season wears on and the assignments and recognition become crisper.

• The Jazz shot just 37% in the first half, and I think that had a lot to do with the Lakers length, particularly inside. That is something we could see a lot of this year, the Lakers are a long team.

• Ariza got burned a couple times early trying to defend the athletic CJ Miles on the wing, and there was little rotation or help behind him in the paint. When Bynum came in, there was little change in that. Rotations and help were spotty all night. To be expected in the first game but the coaches had plenty to chew players on.

• Ariza looked good moving without the ball on offense and he just has a good basketball IQ and good anticipation on both ends of the floor. He’s one of those players that just seems to be constantly finding the open space.

• Hey young readers, do you ever go out for a night of drinking with friends then get home and drunk email, sending off missives to your ex you regret the next morning? Well, Gmail now has the answer.

• The pace of the game picked up when the subs got in from both teams. The starters from both sides did a pretty good job of transition defense, particularly in the first half.

• Welcome back Chris Mihm, your first assignment is to cover AK-47, who was getting the ball out on the perimeter with room to drive. That is a tough cover for Mihm in the best of times, and he is going to be in trouble with it unless they gave him a bionic leg during all those surgeries. Nope, apparently not.

• Josh Powell got that same assignment a few minutes later and showed some tenacity taking the big Russian out of his game some. Powell also showed a nice little 15 footer. He set a couple very solid picks on the perimeter. I think we are going to love what he brings, if the Lakers keep him in the 15-minute a night range.

• It felt like the season when with 9 minutes and change in the third quarter — Kobe got the ball out near the top of the key and went jab step, jab step, head fake then up with the three. Missed it, but it looked and felt like the regular season there for a second.

  • Nabil

    1st post fever!!!!

  • Ryan White

    It was a good game wins & Losses dont count it the pre season so im not worried about that. Everyone looked good. Like we all knew Ronnie Turiaf was gone but it just slapped me in the face last nigh when i didnt see him bouncing arond on the sideline. :(


    [Comment ID #51951 Will Be Quoted Here]

    AMEN dude.

  • lalball81

    What’s with the Gmail thing?

  • Billy Kupchak

    I <3 TLN! :cool:

  • Paul

    [Comment ID #51973 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LOL they make you do some easy math problems before you send your e-mail so you don’t drunk mail someone.

    Hey, remember preseason last year guys? We didn’t do so well. So I can care less. All I want is something to watch, and I do have something to watch on TV now :)

  • Ed24

    The Lakers Waived Dwayne Mitchell. They now have 18 people on the roster.