An ugly win to say the least. How do you take out a team’s star, hold them to 35% FG shooting, and ony win by 3? Ask the Lakers. It was a great first half and a very ugly second half for the Lakers. The difference in the game proved to be at the free throw line. The Lakers only missed 7 free throws compared to the 16 missed by the Rockets. Who would have thought that Yao would miss 6 free throws after the ESPN crew was bragging about his 34 consecutive coming into the game.
The turnovers continue to be a problem for the Lakers. 19 giveaways tonight to go with only 14 assists. The Lakers need to take care of the ball better. Overall, the Lakers played good defense. They particularly played Yao well holding him to 6-18 shooting. They need to get to those shooters though. The Lakers dodged several bullets in the final minute to come out with a W. I got to give the Rockets credit though. When Tmac went out, they did not give up. Instead, Bonzi led them back and they put up a great effort. Now, the bests of the night:
Top 3 Laker performers:
1) Surprise! Kobe Bryant is my number #1 again. 30 points, 8 rebs, 5 assists, 1 steal, and a monster block on Yao which made SportsCenter’s #1 play of the night.
2) Jordan Farmar sparked the Lakers second quarter with 2 big three point baskets. He also had 9 rebounds tonight. He was also one of the few Lakers that didn’t turn the ball over much.
3) Kwame Brown is a player that most of you hated after last night. Tonight, while his offense was pretty awful, his defense was simply put—AMAZING. He was bodying up Yao all night. He held arguably the best center in the league to 33% shooting. He only had 3 fouls tonight and really helped the Lakers because no double teams were needed. Way to go Kwame!
Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest):
Luke Walton once again just wasn’t in the game tonight. He is really having trouble off the bench. 2 points on 4 shots, and 2 turnovers to go with his 3 assists. Should we be worried yet?
Key play of the game: Kobe’s block on Yao.
What to look for next game: Look for yet another tough game. We all know how good the Pistons are. Tonight they came back from a 13 point deficit to Golden State and rallied in the 4th to win by 7. Game is Fri night on ESPN again @ 7:30 PM. (Let me know if you need tickets, have a pair of uppers and premiers left!)