Lakers beat Wolves and improve to 20-3
Final Score: Lakers 98 Wolves 86
The Lakers continued to take advantage of the easy schedule at home as they defeated the T-Wolves to remain atop the West. We weren’t quite able to get some separation from them but we maintained a sizeable lead in the 4th and put them away when needed. Alright so lets break it down and see how we did in this snoozefest
-We didn’t have a great shooting night as we shot only 44.7% from the field but we did work the ball inside and got our big men going early in the game. Drew and Pau also outran the Twolves frontline a few times and were able to convert some easy baskets
- Kobe didn't have a good shooting night but he made timely baskets and created some easy scoring opportunities for his teammates.
- Fish finished with 6 assists and made some great passes to get our big guys easy buckets. I really like the pick and roll with Fish and Bynum, those two worked it to perfection, I hope we run it more often
- Pau Gasol continues to be Mr. Reliable as he had another solid game with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks. He used his length to bother Craig Smith’s and Jefferson's shots at the rim.
- Bynum was active early on in the defensive end and his length bothered Al Jefferson a lot the rest of the game. Jefferson ended up finishing the game 8 for 24 from the field with 20 points. Drew did a great job of guarding him one on one and didn’t fall for his head or shoulder fakes.
- Ariza played with tons of energy and he was able to get into passing lanes and get some steals to fuel our fastbreak. Now we all know why GM’s around the league consider him one of the best defenders in playing the passing lanes.
- Offensively, he finished strong at the rim on some nice passes and stroked a 3 ball down from and made the defense pay for doubling Pau down low.
- Odom had a good game as he finished with 6 points and 10 rebounds. He used his foot speed to get by Kevin Love and Al Jefferson to get some easy layups. But more importantly he slowed the tempo down whenever there was a rebound off a missed shot and didn’t force the issue unless there was a clear advantage on the fast break. He made sure we pounded the ball inside to Andrew or ran the offense. Looks like he’s taking his leadership role seriously this time, lets hope he keeps this up
- Luke knocked down a 3 ball and was able to take Miller or whoever guarding him into the lane off the dribble but he wasn’t looking to take the pull up mid range shot. In one of his ventures into the lane however, he did drop a floater.
- We were 1 for 7 on 3s in the first half but we improved and went 4 for 8 in the second.
- We started out real slow and it took a while to get our offense going. There was a lot of one on one going on in the initial minutes, instead of player movement and passing.
- Bench mob didn’t play with a whole lot of energy and focus to end the 1st quarter and begin the second quarter. We had a 20-13 edge on them with 1.55 left in the first and they ended up taking a 28-25 lead on us with 5.22 left at the half
- During that 7 minute stretch where we got outscored 15-5, Sasha and Farmar took bad contested shots and committed some unforced turnovers. If we’re gonna be a championship team, we can’t have mental lapses like that because other teams will make us pay for those mistakes.
- I don’t know why we were doubling Jefferson down low when Andrew was doing a great job of containing him. Fish, Kobe and Ariza were the culprits that gave good looks to Foye, McCants and Mike Miller. Fortunately Foye was having a bad shooting night and ended up going 0 for 5 from 3 but McCants and Miller made us pay.
- I thought we didn’t go to Pau a lot in the 3rd. He had a 5 inch advantage of Craig Smith and I thought we should’ve exploited that matchup more.
- At one point the Wolves had 13 turnovers and we only had 11 points off their mistakes. Again, to be the best out there we need to minimize our mistakes and capitalize on our opponents’ giveaways.
- They outboarded us 53-46 and had 16 offensive rebounds. That’s way too many even though Minnesota is one of the better rebounding teams in the league.
- We just looked like we were going through the motions out there and weren’t playing with a whole lot of energy. The game shouldn’t have been as close as it was for most of the game and we should’ve put them away around the end of the 3rd
- Mike Miller is such a good player, I would love to have him on our team. He’s got good handles and more importantly good court vision. Several times he made the extra pass for an open shot but guys like Foye, Gomes and McCants weren’t able to knock down the open looks. He’s a very deceptive rebounder – he had 9 in this game, all on the defensive end. And he played to his strength as he knocked down 3 of 5 3 balls.
- Kevin Love is very impressive. The kid goes after the every missed shot like it belongs to him and he got his hands on at least 5-6 more rebounds that could’ve been his. He’s got a rebounder’s mentality and it showed today as he had 10 boards in 20 minutes of play.
- Kobe is now 4 points shy of overtaking Clyde Drexler for 21st on the All time scoring list.
- Lakers face the New York Knicks at home on Tuesday before leaving on a 4 game road trip.
Edited by MDI, December 15, 2008 - 01:49 AM.