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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.

  • e

    great game!!!!

    enjoyed every second of it at the staples center…glad to see kobe hearing mvp chants again…and bynum was simply incredible today

    happy holidays everyone!

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    good game
    does somebody knows why kobe wasnt wearing the ZKIII?

  • KB
  • magicbalala245

    What a great game for lakers and Kobe to show how the better team after the 1st game people were saying it was a fluke. Can we say Kobe gonna be getting a MVP trophy this season o yea just like imma quote the crowd “Phoenix sucks”

  • osm0nd

    [Comment ID #20551 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Actually Kobe was wearing his ZKIII’s..

  • xxv112002

    Gooooo!! Lakers!!!

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Raddy was pissin me off

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    And why would the bucks give up M.Redd for Brown.Karl[a D-League Player] and Raddy????????

    We dont even need M.Redd. Just a disruption to our lineup and chemistry.

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    [Comment ID #20556 Will Be Quoted Here]

    are you sure , i think those were the ZKII

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    http://www.nba.com/gallery/071225_3.html are these shoes the zoom kobe 3??

  • osm0nd

    Those are the zk3′s.. no straps.

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    Why would we want Redd , C Karl is way better than Redd.

  • PHANTOM

    That game was just awesome to watch… luckily the lakers were shooting great bc our pick and roll defense looked bad. why we kept going under the screen to give nash a wide open 3 i’ll never know but hey we won and thats all that matters. 1 game out of first baby!!!!!!!!

  • lakerfan81

    Overall a good game by the Lakers. They did a great job of exploiting the suns weakness. Size and interior defense. Their defense was pretty bad in the first half, but they picked it up in the second half. I also did not understand the pick and roll defense either. Nash is too good of a jump shooter to take give him that much space. Also the defense collapses to much when someone penetrates leaving wide open shooters at the 3 point line. This is an area that needs to improve. People need to trust the interior defense more, and rotate better. Though I have no problem with leaving Marion open (unless he is hot). He is one of the players (along with Odom) who should never shoot 3′s, its just plain ugly.

    Phx has some issues that they need to address if they expect to compete for a title. 1. As always defense, Amare is horrible (should have traded him for Garnett, they would easily be the best team in the league but since I hate the suns I am glad they didn’t). He doesn’t box out (8 offensive boards for Bynum)and his mad defense is atrocious. 2. They have no bench at all. They only play 8 players. Their starters play way too many minutes. 3. They are playing Hill too many minutes. I have serious doubt that he will be able to keep playing long minutes without being injured. 4. They have no back up PG. Barbosa is a good player but he is a small SG not a PG. They are not a very good team when Nash is not on the floor.

    Though even with all those problems, I don’t think the Lakers will be #1 in the Pacific division. PHX is just set up for regular season success. You can almost just pencil them in for 55 wins. But I think if the Lakers continue to improve, they will be (are?) the better team.

    I questions LO’s shot selection too, but I do not think you trade this guy, unless it is in a trade that just can not be turned down. He is shooting 49% from the field, is a good rebounder and passer and an adequate defender. He should however stop shooting 3′s. If hes open he needs to show the ball then drive to the basket instead of shooting (like Ariza does, hey maybe those two should take some notes from Farmar and work on their shooting). 0-1 3′s a game is where he should be.

  • http://www.friendster.com lakerfan101

    can anybody tell me why Denver 4th (16-11) and the Lakers 5th (18-10) isnt suppose to be Lakers 4th Denver 5th????

  • Ignard

    Denver is a devision leader

  • Ignard

    division

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    No their not..
    San Antonio is their division leader arent they?

    And I never liked that rule.
    It should be the best records 1-8 Not division leader 1-3
    then 4-8 best records.

  • kingkb24

    good game but another subpar game for the bench

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #20583 Will Be Quoted Here]

    actually, SA & Denver are in different divisions, but you can go look up the standings yourself on BSPN, k? ~lol~

  • Reggie

    [Comment ID #20583 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Phantom I will explain how it works. Even though Denver is in 4th place it really doesn’t mean anything I will explain why. Division leaders are guaranteed at least seeding of 1-4. The Spurs have the best record in the West and they lead their Division, so they are #1. Phoneix leads the Pacific Division and they have the 2nd best record so they are #2. Denver leads the Northwest division but the Mavs have a better record so the Mavs are 3rd in the West. But since a Division leader is automatically guaranteed a top 4 seed they move to 4 spot in the West. After the 4th seed, playoff spots 5-8 make it in according to their records. But at the end of season if Denver is still a 4th seed and the Lakers are the 5th seed with a better record than Denver, the Laker will have homecourt advantage against Denver because they have the better record. So in reality the Lakers are the 4th seed because of the record, but on paper Denver has the 4th spot because they are a division leader.

  • lakersfan17

    Bynum played great.If we could have Bynum play like this all season then we might be a team to be reckon with.

  • DCLAKER

    Though I still think we should get JO(next season when we’ll be instant contenders)but just when I say that I have to ask do we really,I mean,DAMN!!!WHAT AN A@! KICKING THAT WAS FROM THE PACK.I do feel it’s time to let Kwame go he’s been hurt for tooooo long now and he’ll only get hurt again if he comes back.THE PACK RULES!!!

  • MILO

    Dam the Lakers schedule looks tougher than i actualy thought it was.If they can beat Boston on sunday it will really make my day.Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mamba

    [Comment ID #20554 Will Be Quoted Here]

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=981~2421~592&teams=21~21~13&te=&cash=

    u think this would ever happen unless it was a dream
    trade machine does things only if u match their salaries.
    U can trade odom for nash

  • gugy

    Great game, Great job from the whole team. Big hand for Bynum, Ariza and Fisher and of course as usual KB.
    If this team keeps playing like that we do not need any trade by the deadline. Unless if it is to get rid of Kwame and Mihn.
    Keep the good job lakers!

  • http://Farmers.com Jcritt.=star

    I knew it! once phil gave ariza the start ariza scored and played big, including the monster facial!

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Thanks For the input.

  • Nabil

    Yeah, thanks Reggie for breaking that down.

  • http://Foxsports.com Drewbie04

    Phil, please start Ariza from hear on out, he is a beast, and plays lock down D. Walton can do nothing that Ariza can’t do. And please don’t let Mihm play another minute. HE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DCLAKER

    I told people about TA(Ariza)coming to LA was one of the best trades EVER since Shaq came in ’95(correct me if I’m wrong,please)but people were complaining that he wasn’t a good shooter and I said “SO THE F!@# WHAT!” He has one of the best defensive games in the league(Just ask G.Hill).PLEASE START TREVOR and I agree with Drewbie but I would trade him along with Kwame for JO.The Pack Rules!!!

  • http://www.friendster.com lakerfan101

    [Comment ID #20592 Will Be Quoted Here]

    thanks you for the information!!!:D