The Lakers will win this game if these things happen:Let's see here. Yes (11-20 3FG), sorta, no, no, yes, yes (Houston 6-10 3FG).
- They find someone (Ariza? Sasha? Brown? Odom?) capable of hitting an open three. If the Lakers are hitting from beyond the arc, they win.
- Jackson makes rational rotation decisions. For example, the second unit doesn't play to start the second half.
- Kobe Bryant has more than ten assists.
- Bynum is told to focus on getting, not sending, to the foul line.
- Odom manages to finish at the rim and hits his foul shots.
- They play effective perimeter defense.
I said they needed two of those to win, and they got three. The Lakers finally played to their potential and pulled out a 108-94 win in Houston. The biggest difference between this game and the first two? Three point shooting. Kobe Bryant hit some ridiculous, completely unfair shots (4-6), but Odom went 2-2 and Ariza 3-4, with Vujacic and Walton both chipping in one each. Only Farmar had on o-fer from three land, which, frankly, is fine considering his overall level of play.
Speaking of Jordan Farmar, he played great defense and had 7 assists to a single turnover. His shooting was erratic, but Fisher's has been as well, and I really think Farmar should start over Fish in game 4. Defense is important, and when your point guard isn't hitting shots regardless, choose the guy who can actually guard the other team.
Something else we learned tonight: Kyle Lowry's favorite food is pancakes. What kind of Philadelphian's favorite food is pancakes?
Yao Ming looks like he's in some serious pain out there. I'd prefer he stay healthy, although I'm not sure how the coaching staff plans to pull that off. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, my friend. Ron Artest, on the other hand, seemed to be trying to take bad shots. He went 2-8 from beyond the arc and did a great job of helping LA win this game. Kudos, Ron.
Angels 4, Royals 1
I missed most of this game while watching basketball, but the Angels are back to .500. It'll be tough to beat Greinke tomorrow, but hey, anything's possible.
Howie Kendrick hit a 2-run "inside the parker," put in quotes because it was clearly a 4-base Jose Guillen error. In his postgame interview, Howie joked that he's been "on the treadmill, getting fit just for this one moment."
Matt Palmer is looking like the 5th starter until Escobar's return, holding a surprisingly good Royals offense to a single run over 5.1 innings. He did walk 3, but struck out 5, and gave up only two hits. Extremely promising. I'm telling you, that cutter's got a ton of movement. I wish I could back that up with some sort of PitchF/X analysis...oh wait! I can!
Image from Brooks Baseball PitchF/X tool. It's useful, even if he is a Red Sox fan.
Click on the image for a bigger version. Anybody getting a foot of horizontal cut is doing something right.
Tomorrows game is at 6:05 Pacific.