The Lakers are quieting the critics. This team is for real. The Lakers played 3 quarters of flawless basketball. The Lakers moved the ball amazingly with 34 assists. The Lakers did have 15 turnovers, but most was due to the second unit getting sloppy in the fourth. The second unit also blew free tacos for all the fans in the fourth by playing no defense.

But the first unit played out of its mind. Kobe, Lamar, Trevor, Andrew, and Fish played like a championship first unit. The Lakers shot 54% from the field and 57% from three point land (thanks Kobe!). All five starters made double figures in points and this is a great win to send us to one of the biggest games of the year. Now, the bests of the day:

Top 3 Laker performers:

1) Kobe Bryant played like an MVP tonight. 31 points, 4 boards, 7 assists, and 4 steals. 11 of 18 FG’s and 6-9 from downtown. Great game Kobe and great passing to Andrew!

2) Odom is back! Shades of 2006 showed up tonight. Odom had 17, 8 and 7 tonight to go along with 2 blocks. This is the Lamar we missed. When he is on his game, he is one of the most efficient there is taking only 8 shots. 0 turnovers too!

3) So many other Lakers could go here, but Ariza played superb. 12 points on 5-7 FG’s, 5 rebs, 4 assists, and all over the place on defense leading to 2 steals and a block.

Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest): Vlad Rad again was out of the rhythm. 3-9 shooting and a couple of turnovers…he just doesn’t impress me as of late.

Key play of the game: Jazz try to zone the Lakers and the Lakers make about 10 passes around the arc to set up the Kobe pass to Kwame for the lay in.

What to look for next game: Look for the Lakers to play with lots of intensity. The Lakers should pound the ball inside to Bynum. This is a huge game. I’m picking the Lakers to win in a low-scoring close game. Game is Sunday @ 7:00 PM on FSN locally.

  • mauriceaj

    wow,i am so surprised, i wouldn’t think the lakers would win this game, when kobe shoots over 50% and Lamar has a good game, we tend to win games…..
    Awesome performance by the Lakers

  • two0one7

    Bang Bang!!

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Holster on both sides BabY^!!!

  • http://JHLaker JHLaker

    GREAT WIN, the score dosen’t even reflect how bad the laklers beat UTAH…Lets beat down some celtics…This is really A true match up game..I like to see the match up with ray allen and Kobe, due to there long history of not likeing each other, (JESUS SHUTELLSWORTH is going to get dunked on by KOBE) The best NBA record team playing one of the hottest teams in the west…Go lakers.

  • Neo-Laker Era

    I have to say that Kwame looked pretty good out there tonight. When Bynum got those two fouls, I wasn’t too happy. But then Kwame came in, and I sighed in relief (I didn’t know he was suited to play). Now, teams aren’t going to be as happy when Bynum gets in early foul trouble because then they have to deal with the strength and defense of Kwame. Call it a post-game adrenaline rush, but I think Kwame will be an excellent back-up for Bynum. Just because Bynum goes down with early fouls doesn’t mean the other team can pound the ball inside. Kwame will be there. I just hope and pray that his hands get a tiny bit softer lol.

  • LO24

    kobe… MVP, MVP, MVP,!!!!!!

  • kobeisLA

    Go Lakers!! L.O,KOBE,DFiSH,BYNUM,ARIZA w0w ! I smell championship,but bring in one more STAR mitch,and we will be good.

  • Kriztian

    Sunday’s game against Boston is a game of matchups. You have:

    Drew on Perkins (Drew gets the nod)
    Odom on Garnett (will be hard fought for both)
    Ariza on Pierce (Ariza will have to bring his A game)
    Kobe on Allen (or should i say Allen on Kobe HAHA)
    Fish on Rondo (which is the key to beating the Celts)

    Knowing all these matchups though, it is important that players dont get caught up in one-on-one showdowns with the opposition. They need to stay within their system and let the game come to them. Another thing that has been shown on how to beat the Celts is exposing Rondo early and often. The teams that have beat the Celts (Detroit, Orlando and Cleveland) gave hell to Rondo and then they couldn’t operate the way the prefer on offense. Lock up Rondo, Boston offense isn’t as effective. When Rondo is given a hard time, that causes Pierce, Garnett and Allen to go into freelance mode which is right where we want them, playing one-on-one ball and not playing like a three headed monster. The way to dismantle a strong unit is to make them, or should i say force them, to play individual and not team ball.

    Ultimately, I think the key to winning Sunday is the battle of the benches. We have a 5 headed monster coming off our bench that plays well inside and out, and Boston has a more perimeter minded bench with Posey, House, Scalabarine, Tony Allen, etc. The battle of the benches should go to LA. So with all this in mind, with defense played for 48 mins, strong bench play and everybody playing as a cohesive unit, look for an hard fought but close LA VICTORY!! GO LAKERS!!!

  • jack

    [Comment ID #20832 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I hope so too. We might need to lessen the turnovers tough against this team. I do understand the Lakers turnoves because of our high scoring offense. lets go lets go. This win wil surrreeelyyy have lots of respect coming for us.

  • Rpoc

    Vlad is arctic cold. I had an intense strong feeling after he sprained those two wrists it would be like this. What do you know! It was.

    As a bonus we have Luke getting hot and cold who’s now injured with an ankle sprain…. again.

    The “machine” as inconsistent as ever.

    At least Fisher and Farmar usually compensate for this.

  • PHANTOM

    Great write up steve… The play of the game was actually when lamar was jumping out of bounds and passed the ball to kb at the top of the key. Then kb took off to the rim having to avoid boozer and then dunking the ball. Sunday will be fun to watch against boston bc boston plays tonight and our guys will be resting. can anyone say payback biatch!!!

  • La Forever

    i wish we win this and yea we will get alot of respect, see how the cavs beat them. And we are a way better team then cavs, but i know they got lucky. THEY STILL GOT RESPECTED FOR THAT I HATE THEM LOL

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    [Comment ID #20836 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Agree with my lil bro

  • kyler_hay

    lets kick some a$$ on sunday i think that WE as a team can take down the three headed monster or do u rather call them ” The three amigos” anyways i think the key for this game on sunday is “baby shaq” vs Perkins if Andrew can have a big game then we will win but the most interesting match up is KG and LO but when it all said n done i think we b victories

  • keep24

    The way I see it, the Lakers have all the pieces they need to compete right now.

    From this point on it all comes down to coaching. It’s all PJ’s to win or lose.

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Yup the key is how odom does against garnett offensively and defensively ..

    Also, bynum needs to have a big game, and stop points in the paint..

    So it wont be a breeze like this game so we’ll have to wait n see.

  • keep24

    I think the best nick name for them is the “Boston Three Party”.

    Is it me or does Kobe still look upset or mad for being here. I caught the post interview and he seemed so depressed with his “we’ll do what we do” and “we have to execute offensively and defensively” …. WTF????

    I think David Stern should ban all similar comments from the league. Player should be fined for saying things like that? What does that mean anyways?

    With Boston coming up I expected them, especially Kobe to say something more meaningful. Is that too much to ask?

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Forreal I seen that to..
    He was like depressed, but at the beginning of the game he seemed hyped.
    IDK…

    We’ll see.

  • keep24

    I think the boy must be bi-polar.

    He has shown all the signs and behaviors that are associated with this illness. Time will tell.

    Also, I think the biggest steal of the century has to be Cook for Ariza! Are you telling me that Orlando could not have used a guy like this?

    What a steal!!!!!!! Thanks Orlando, again! First Shaq and now this! Merry Christmas!

  • http://getgarnett.com jonasjulienjoseph

    Kobe acting like that beacause hes trying to focus on Boston, its just like Kobe do that, if he was playing minnisota next he would just say how of a good game we played, im glad to see hes focused

  • http://www.mr47.com mr47

    I think the hardest matchup will be Odom vs. Garnett. Garnett can decide to just destroy any team, and Odom isn’t the kind of guy that can stop him. Honestly, I would have Odom coming off the bench on this one. I would start kwame on garnett, ariza at the 3 on pierce, then drew, kobe, and fish.

    Vlad looked horrible against the Jazz. He couldn’t shoot and did I really see him go up for the dunk and not catch enough air? That’s as embarrassing as it gets. The problem with Vlad is that he doesn’t look ready to be consistent. Someone like ariza or farmar are good examples of consistent ball. They might not light up the scoreboard, but they try hard night in and night out. Vlad looks dead out there some nights. Annoying.

    Anyway, my play of the game was that kobe spin. That was one of the most beautiful spin moves I’ve ever seen in my life!

  • Lakers

    We dont need to be scared of the Boston Celtics they should be scared of us were the best team in the league with our three headed monster Bynum/Odom/Bryant and we got better help than the celtics

  • http://www.mr47.com mr47

    [Comment ID #20852 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Better help? Yes. Three headed monster in Bynum/Odom/Bryant? No.

    Bynum is not quite there yet, although he is looking good. Odom is inconsistent and I’m sorry but I can’t let a few solid games convince me. I like LO, but every laker fan knows this. Simply put, Garnett is great, Odom is not. We have a shot to win, but more because of our stellar team ball, not because of our three headed monster.

    Has anyone noticed that LO shines when things are going well? He can’t lift a team and make them that much better, but he can add to the already good play. Just a thought.

  • SliqRiq

    Celtics haven’t played anyone yet, when we first played we played lazy and crappy that will be a different story manana!!

    When matched up with Garnett Kwame will push that skinny boy all over and force him to shoot outside, we really missed him that first game.

    Its all good though we’ll get payback, also KG can not cover Lamar on the offensive end so LO will have to take advantage of that and Im sure he will!!!!

  • Majic “Big” Johnson

    I agree with Jonas JJ. I would play into Kobe’s response for the upcoming game against Boston. He is just setting the tone for the game. Stay focused and keep the eyes on the championship!

  • MILO

    Stupid ass Ireland asked Kobe a stupid question???Kobe noded
    http://www.nba.com/lakers/multimedia/0708video.html

  • MILO

    I cant get enough of how Kobe responded to that dumb ass retard.Im sure all these interviews are fu-ck-en anoying…

  • kyler_hay

    that was the most STUPIDIST question that Kobe ever ever replyied to

  • selam

    key 4 next game is i think defence !defence and defence spcially the bench .and boston is more of shooting team when garent is out so they gotta to do really good job defenfing the priemer .and try to shut down eddie house and posey .and last time we played them the big three wasnt a facor that mush it was Kendrick Perkins he had carrer high and stuff so i would expect a lot defence from bynum/brown .
    and we got keep out turnovers under 10 !hopw we gets a win !
    peace !

  • lakerboi

    I think if you look at the match ups, we have an advantage:

    Kobe over Allen
    KG and Lamar equal
    Pierce over Ariza

    So, even so far, then we have:
    Our bench way over theirs!!
    We are way better at the point!!
    We are way better at the Center!!

    Lakers win!!

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    LMFAO…

    What a idiotic question….

    Props on the link B.T.W…

  • Neo-Laker Era

    [Comment ID #20894 Will Be Quoted Here]

    UMMMMMMMMMMMM Lamar = KG?!?!?! I’d love to know what your reasoning is there….

  • http://www.mr47.com mr47

    [Comment ID #20924 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Just as I was scrolling down to yell at this guy over the same thing, I noticed you beat me to it. Thank you.

  • SliqRiq

    KG is better than LO but no way can he gaurd Odom I think thats why he (Lakerboi) gave them = cuz when you look back at all the games when KG played against us while he was in Minn. Lamar played him pretty even so head up you give the edge to KG but no way can he cover Lamar