Lakers Recaps through the week:
Lakers vs Chicago In retrospect thinking an effective Lakers team would lose to Chicago at home was silly. I have a ton of respect for Chicago, but of all the playoff teams they are the ideal opponent for LA. They aren't good offensively on their best night, they're not athletic on the fast break, and they're not explosive from the perimeter. They win grind-it-out-games through exceptional defense, but their defense is designed to shut down explosive teams with sublime rotations, it can't stop the lakers steady star-driven offense. Unfortunately for LA, there aren't any real Chicago-type teams in the Western playoffs. All that said, pretty awesome to be sitting at +2 above my optimistic predictions and to have gotten into the 8th slot already. 3 road games next, including tough ones @ATL and @IND next will make it harder to keep our ground. Great team game by LA despite the 3s not dropping. NEXT.
Lakers vs Orlando: Well, that was a choppy game. Happy for Dwight, he had some jitters but played well (for those scoring at home, he shot 64% from the line in going for 39 points and 39 FTS), and I think these kinds of games are good for team chemistry. Great to see LA handle business on the road for once even if it was against a terrible team. Next we have the other end of a back to back in Atlanta which is BAD news for LA. These next two games are not essential for LA to win, but if we steal either our chances of sneaking into the 6th seed greatly increase.
Lakers vs Atlanta Rough night for the Lakers all around. Nights like these are why I created this set of predictions - to remind us that even when things don't break our way, we're still in good shape. And we are still in excellent shape. We can even drop the next one in Indiana and be totally fine - as long as we take care of the three scrubs after that. Still, winning any of these games would've been a huge boost to our chase for 6th seed... and with Josh Smith out, it feels like a blown opportunity. This was a legitimately bad game for Kobe & Nash and we got killed whenever Dwight was out with fouls - Dwight's +10 compared to a bunch of (-) across the board says it all.
Lakers vs Indiana What a game for Steve Blake - 35 minutes, +21, 5/7 from 3 and 18 points, 7 assists, 4 steals... and 2 blocks? Wow. Also top notch game from Antawn Jamison, who shot 4/7 from distance, had 17 points and was second on the team at +15. This, plus an excellent 20/12 & 4 block game from Dwight was exactly what we needed with Kobe and Pau out... and one of the few games this season I can confidently say we had no chance in without signing Jamison, Nash and Dwight this summer. Most impressive thing is that Indiana, who normally struggles to score, shot 44.4% from 3 and still couldn't slow our scoring enough to beat us. More evidence that the Lakers best playoff chances are against teams with elite defenses but sub-par offenses. Despite the heart breaking loss to Atlanta, this week was another huge win for us, and actually put up up on pace more than the last two weeks as we did it against a harder schedule. And without Kobe!
Lakers vs Sacramento Not going to lie, I was pretty worried about this game. Like the Indiana game, this is another one the Lakers probably lose without their new signings. These are the games from Dwight I really love too... only 6 shots, but 17 boards, 5 blocks and some outstanding interior defense. This was a bunny game on the schedule, but an important one for LA to win and one that may prove very valuable going forward as we got to see some real chemistry building with Nash, Howard & Metta, and Blake/Jamison's aggression has really pulled the bench production together. Another high assist night (28) for the team will also hopefully get Kobe in the mood to give teammates more time with the ball down the stretch as we ramp up for the playoffs. Now we just need to keep playing this way and avoid giving up any bunnies over the next two without Kobe/Pau.
Edited by AirTupac, March 18, 2013 - 09:08 PM.