A great X-Mas… finally! Kobe gave us all a nice victory over the Suns today. The Lakers shot over 52% against the Suns and hit 85% of their free-throws, mostly thanks to Kobe. Despite their turnovers, the Lakers played well. They rotated quickly on defense.
The only things I saw that needed improvement were shot selection on offense and defending the pick-n-roll. The Lakers forced too many jumpers today in my opinion. As it was, they still moved the ball well and had 26 assists. Ariza had 2 rim rattling dunks, and Kobe flushed one in of his own to end the third.
It was a sweet win for the Lakers that put them to 18-10 on the season and 9-2 over the last 11. It was also great to see Fish show up big in front of his family today. Now, the bests of the day:
Top 3 Laker performers:
1) Kobe Bryant. 41 minutes, 38 points, 12-20 FGs, 13-14 FTs, 5 rebs, 7 assists, 2 steals today. What a stat line. Unfortunately, it all came with 8 turnovers. Kobe hit dagger after dagger all night on some good defense played by the Suns.
2) Andrew Bynum played amazing today. He simply outplayed Amare. A career high 28 points on 11-13 FGs, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. Great game and great hustle all night through. He started the game 7-7 FGs.
3) So many other Lakers could go here, but Fisher and Ariza in my mind stepped up today. So they will share number 3. Fisher had 19 points and 6 assists. He also had 0 turnovers and 2 steals. Ariza had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, a block, and 2 nice dunks.
Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest): Vlad Rad was slow on D and non-existent on offense. Easy STD for me.
Key play of the game: Ariza’s posterizing of Grant Hill finishing the break or Kobe’s 360 reverse dunk to end the 3rd. Both were top plays.
What to look for next game: Look for a tough game. Utah has been struggling, but they always play us well. That team has talent and loves to run the pick-n-roll. Hopefully the Lakers bring their A game as they go for 4 in a row. Game is Friday @ 7:30 PM on FSN locally.