All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Another Day, Another Win

Posted by hiphopmama on October 30, 2008

LA Lakers 117, LA Clippers 79

(2-0)

2-0 has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Obviously it’s extremely early. Hell, “early” is an understatement at less than 1-40th of the season completed, but good starts are better than bad starts, right? It’s such a nice change of place from the old days. By that, I mean the winning days, when we had the Terrible Twosome of Kobe and Shaq and made a habit of winning titles. Back then, we could never seem to get off to a strong start, instead picking up steam as the season wore on. It wasn’t an absolute, but it was certainly a trend, as Shaq always found some reason to be absent in those early games and the team was not built to survive without him. Hopefully they can continue this new trend. 

Tonight’s game was a great demonstration of what the Lakers can do, albeit against a Clippers team chock full of new guys still learning to play together. There were seven Lakers players in double figures, including four of five starters (sorry, Radmanovic) as well as Jordan Farmar (15), Ariza (11), and Mihm (10) off the bench. Furthermore, they played all 12 guys, and all 12 scored, with the lowest tally being Josh Powell and Luke Walton’s 4 points. Kobe’s stat line was modest by his standards: 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists (with 5 turnovers – grr), and 2 steals. Auspiciously, he only had to play 31 minutes tonight, bringing his total for the year to 64 minutes over two games. Not that it will last, but that amount of playing time would certainly leave him fresh deep into the playoffs. 

As the stats indicate, the bench is looking good, even better than last year. Picking up Farmar’s option was a no-brainer, and he’s proving it. My doubts about Trevor Ariza are ever so slowly evaporating. And if Chris Mihm can stay healthy, that’s yet another 7-footer to rotate in off the bench. 

Another promising sign is Bynum’s play. I just read about how he worked hard all summer on his mid-range jump shot, and I said to myself, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Well, I saw it tonight, even if it was just on his first shot of the night, when he popped up to the top of the key and comfortably nailed the open jumper. Time will tell whether or not he can consistently produce from that range, but he has given indications of being more of an offensive threat, however slightly. He still looks like he can’t quite believe he is as big as he is, but that will resolve itself soon enough. If he can settle into his role with the team and make a few strides in the post, he will be an incredible asset come playoff time. 

Some stats:

  • Clippers shooting: 30/78, 38.5%
  • Lakers shooting: 41/80, 51.3%
  • Lakers 3-point shooting: 10/19, 52.6%
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