Sunday, June 7, 2009
Lakers 101, Orlando 96 (OT)
A lucky win for the Lakers, but sometimes you make your own luck in the playoffs. Lamar Odom had a superb game scoring 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting (and 3-4 from the stripe), with IPNO favorite Pau Gasol chipping in 24, including 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
Kira, Mark, and I were discussing our imagination of Pau's persona, with Kira frequently chipping in with first-person moments of third-person Gasol monologue. In his overtime and-one, she yelled "PAU WANT BALL! PAUUUUUUUUUUU!" as Gasol stood yelling under the basket. Mark later remarked on this supposed conversation:
Gasol: Hey Kobe, we win game?
Gasol: PAU! Kobe, want shower with Pau?
Even the NBA can be fun sometimes.
The Lakers won this game despite making absolutely no adjustments to the Orlando offense, which sought to trade points in the paint for threes. While they missed those threes in Game 1, they weren't in Game 2, yet Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and JJ Reddick (of all people) were left open for critical threes. The Lakers still have no concept of perimeter defense, and they'll lose games in Orlando if they don't force shooters to take jumpers inside the arc.
Trevor Ariza, my favorite player in the NBA since moving to the starting lineup, had an awful night, going 3-13, but came up with 3 steals and continues to be the Lakers best defender on 9 out of 10 plays.
I encourage Stan van Gundy to continue putting Jameer Nelson out on the floor. He's ineffective and sloppy, but hey, Rafer Alston shot 1 of 8, so maybe that's all he's got. Dwight Howard had 17 points and was still a nonfactor, as several of his 4 blocks were Magic fouls anyway. He shot 5-10, something I'll take from an opposing starting center any day.
As far as the Angels...well, if you're going to give up grand slams, at least do so when the other team hits, not walks, its way onto base. The bullpen is historically bad.