The L.O. Show
Posted by hiphopmama on February 17, 2009
Atlanta 83, LA Lakers 96
And that, my friends, is how you hit the ground running. It took us the better part of the first quarter to get going, but once we did, oh boy. Kobe had an off night, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, but everyone else was in a nice rhythm and the defense did enough to stifle the potential explosiveness of this Hawks team. Joe Johnson was held in check – he was Atlanta’s leading scorer with just 14 points (6-17) – and so was almost everyone else, as the Hawks shot a paltry 36.9%. It wasn’t all defensive intensity and lane-clogging brilliance – the Hawks missed their fare share of good looks – but our energy level was high throughout, as indicated by the rebounding numbers: 67 us, 39 them. ‘Nuff said.
Much of that is attributable to one man: Lamar Odom. He played like a man possessed tonight, fulfilling on his promise to further up his rebounding numbers. He grabbed something like 10 boards in the first quarter and finished the game with 20 to go along with 15 points. Pau Gasol got his first triple-double as a Laker, quietly accumulating 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in just 31 minutes.
My personal man of the match, though, to borrow a soccer term, was Jordan Farmar. Dude was the definition of “spark off the bench” in this one. As soon as he and Ariza came in the game in the first, things turned around and we went from nine points down to one up by the end of the quarter. He absolutely ignited the offense, blazing down the court ahead of everyone else and punishing the Hawks’ defense for so much as blinking on their way back down court. His energy really got the team going when we were languishing a bit, struggling to get our legs back after the break, and after that we never looked back.
As the fourth quarter wound down, the Staples crowd got a look at our two new acquisitions, Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown, and you could feel how much the fans wanted them both to succeed. They were desperate for Morrison to score, which he eventually did on a solitary free throw, although he missed both his field goal attempts. Shannon Brown was the one who really got them buzzing, though, with an almost unbelievably athletic blocked shot which ultimately resulted in free throws for the Hawks. He streaked down the court to defend the fast break, caught up with his man from behind, and exploded off the floor to snatch the ball from his hands. The amazing part was how high he got, and how fast. He was still going up when he got the ball, and he was on eye-level with the rim, narrowly avoiding hitting his head on the backboard. Maybe I’m making too much out of it, but in the midst of some mind-numbing garbage time play, it was just spectacular enough to jolt you out of your stupor. He may not work his way into the rotation much, but a little extra speed and athleticism on the perimeter is always welcome. Welcome to Hollywood, boys.
And in honor of the originator of this site’s name, I’m posting a link to Aceyalone’s “Solomon Jones.” Just because I couldn’t get the damn song out of my head when the Hawks’ big man was in the game. He must have been pretty active, considering how many times I was muttering “big bad Solomon Jones” under my breath during the game. Props to him on that, but even more to Ace One and Rjd2 for the song, one of my faves off Magnificent City. Check. It. Out.