A great start for the second half of the season. The best part of tonight’s 29 point rout of the Hawks was that no starter played more than 34 minutes so they could rest up for tomorrow night’s match-up against Shaq and company. The Lakers got it done both offensively and defensively tonight. They shot 51% from the field, and 92% from the line (22-24).
The most amazing stat was the Lakers 16 steals (13 in the first half alone!). The Lakers also had 13 offensive boards, and dished out 22 assists to their 12 turnovers. They forced 23 turnovers from the Hawks who were held to only 42% giving Lakers fans in attendance free tacos! All five Laker starters scored in double figures, led by Kobe and Pau with 23 each. I can get used to that!
Now, the bests of the night…
Top 3 Laker performers:
1) As good as Pau was, Kobe did it on both ends tonight. 23 points on 50% shooting, perfect from the stripe, 5 boards, 3 assists, only 1 turnover, and five steals!
2) You know you are playing with Kobe when you score 23 points on 7-11 shooting and 9-10 free-throws and still don’t make number 1. Pau also finished with 6 boards, 2 assists, a steal, and a block.
3) Odom played great, but finishes at number three because of his turnovers. Odom had 17 points on 7-9 shooting and 15 boards. Unfortunately all his hard work came with 5 of the Lakers 12 total turnovers.
Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest): D.J. Mbenga was the only Laker who failed to score. He took three shots and looked kind of out of it. He also seemed to try to block a loose ball out of bounds (anyone else catch that one?).
Key play of the game: Kobe’s around the back pass to Gasol for the reverse lay in.
What to look for next game: Who knows what to look for. I don’t think anyone on this planet knows what the Suns will look like with Shaq. Look for the Lakers to run a lot and tire out the big fella. Game is Wednesday @ 7:30 PM (ESPN, KCAL).