I just love looking at the box score for this game. Kobe Bryant goes 11-31. Trevor Ariza goes 6-14. Lamar Odom goes 4-10. You see Dwight Howard with an almost quadruple double, 16 points, 21 rebounds, 9 blocked shots, and 7 turnovers. Turkoglu went 8-13. Then you see Derek Fisher went 2-7 from behind the arc.
And somehow, after all that, those are the only numbers that matter. Two shots, two threes, those six points transforming the Lakers from treading water at 2-2 to dominating a series 3-1. And I sit back, and I wonder aloud about all those times I've talked about how Derek Fisher needs to be on the bench, about all those questionable lineup decisions from Phil Jackson, and about Fisher's "defense."
And all those problems still exist. They just don't matter anymore.
Fisher nailed a three over Jameer Nelson with 4.6 seconds left in regulation. He drilled another one with 36 seconds left in overtime. The first shot tied the game, and the second iced it. Derek Fisher's Twitter just reads "3-1."
Jameer Nelson's failure to foul Fisher with 4.6 seconds left and a 3 point lead is representative of the countless blown opportunities for the Magicians. Hedo Turkoglu shot 8-13 from the free throw line. Dwight Howard shot 6-14. Those aren't just Shaq numbers, those are Shaq-at-the-beginning-of-the-season-when-he's-still-fat-and-lazy numbers. And they should be embarrassing. Dwight, this is the backboard. Backboard, Dwight. If you two work together, you'd shoot 95% on free throws. Hilarious, but my goodness, embarrassing.
Rashard Lewis was pretty much a nonfactor, outside another ridiculous falling away three that he always seems to hit in the fourth. Despite this, the Lakers still managed to win without playing any sort of defense, perimeter or interior, and it's frustrating to watch. But hey, they won.
And now they need one.
Oh, and I almost forgot: The officiating was atrocious, with the Magic shooting 17 free throws in the fourth to 0 for the Lakers.
Angels 1, Tampa Bay 11
It would be hard for me to care any less about this team than I currently do. They are managing to do absolutely nothing correctly. They can't hit, they can't pitch, and they can't field. About the only thing they can do right now is hover at .500.
You'll get better Angels analysis once the Finals are over, and better still once they call up Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez.
- Tonight, I'll be one of seven viewers watching the Stanley Cup Finals. Go Pens!
- I'll be in LA from the 19th through the 27th.
- I'd like to hop in net sometime before I leave...roller hockey, anyone?