Ah the NBA is back, and it did not fail to deliver in it’s excitement on Christmas day. After watching the Celtics lose by one, on a KG missed attempt at the end, followed by a subsequent choke out of Bill Walker by KG. Then an absolute embarrassing banner raising day for the defending champions, Dallas Mavericks at the hands of the Miami Heat. I really didn’t know what to expect from my new look Lakers. I was nervous and excited all at the same time.
It was a well played game, minus the free throws and turnovers, in which Kobe Bryant had 8 of those. But am I really surprised at the amount of turnovers Kobe had? Not really, and I’m not going to say anything about his wrist, just the fact that Kobe usually average 3 turnovers a game, just that a few of these came at costly moments of the game. And yet the last one, I’m really not blaming him at all. Why Pau Gasol did not step up to meet the ball is beyond me, when he saw Kobe double teamed in the corner. But at the end of the day, I thought Kobe would also just hold on to the ball, forcing the Bulls to foul him, and yet that’s not what happened. Although most people hate talking about the refs in games, to me they are part of the game, and especially when it means the most (crunchtime) and they absolutely missed the travel by Luol Deng after the steal. It’s funny because at the beginning of the game, the announcers spoke about how the refs would make an emphasis of calling travels this year even more, and they missed that one. Whether you agree or disagree, the bottom line is until the clock strikes 0, the refs are there to make the calls. The problem with us as fans, we have just gotten use to it not happening toward the end of the game. Let them play we generally scream, but when it’s against your team, all of a sudden we want the call to be made. Someone told me, it should not have come down to that…and I agree, but it’s basketball, alot of times it comes down to that. Now that aside, I will not take anything away from the reigning MVP, he hit the game winner and that’s what MVP’s do.
But I will admit I loved what I seen from this Lakers squad, the defense is incredible when everyone is tuned in. I watched Pau get winded late in the 4th, and that’s where not having Bynum hurts us the most. The 2nd year player Devin Ebanks had 8pts in his first start, hitting 4-5 shots. Josh McRoberts did what he does best, played with great energy and got garbage points. But who I was most impressed with was Andrew Goudelock, and Steve Blake. Blake played so good, that Fisher was not in the game at the waning moments. Now we get to see how they respond by playing Sacramento tonight. I believe we will see Matt Barnes and Jason Kapono grab minutes in this game, because they didn’t play at all vs the Bulls. And with 4 games in 5 nights, the Lakers will look to conserve energy during this compacted schedule.
BUT KEEP YOUR EYES ON THIS KID, EVERY NOW AND THEN THE LAKERS GET LUCKY IN THE DRAFT..IE FISHER,WORTHY,MAGIC…I REALLY BELIEVE THIS GUY IS A KEEPER.