Saturday, March 29, 2008

Post Game Thoughts - Lakers

One man can not defeat a team in the NBA.

Apparently he can get damn close however.

Especially if he has 'diplomatic immunity' (thanks to Sean Tuohy for that classic comment about how the referees were protecting Kobe last night).

Kobe Bryant scored the first 12 points of the game for the Lakers. Kobe scored 23 of the Lakers 30 points in the 1st quarter. Kobe had 32 of the Lakers 53 points in the first half. No one else had more than 6 pts at halftime. To put that in perspective Rudy Gay, Mike Miller and Hakim Warrick had a combined 28 pts in the first half.

Then the Grizzlies got serious about defending him, 'holding' Kobe to 21 pts in the 2nd half. Yes Kobe scored 53 points in the game.

But the Grizzlies won the game.

The Grizzlies won a close game!

The Grizzlies won a close game on the road!!!

This game was huge for the Grizzlies draft position...both good and bad. The bad news is that the Grizzlies have now won more games than the Minnesota Timberwolves and are only 1 game ahead of the New York Knicks and two games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Grizzlies opponent tonight.

The good news is that the Lakers loss, remember we have their #1 pick too, moves them behind San Antonio and Houston in the Western Conference and drops the Lakers into 6th place in the league. If the season ends in that manner the Grizzlies will pick 25th in the first round. It also dropped the Lakers to only 1/2 game ahead of the surging Suns for the 24 th pick in the draft. The Lakers are only 1 win ahead of Orlando who is playing in the Eastern Conference.

So Memphis' first pick dropped one place with the win, but it is a lottery after all, and their 2nd pick moved up 2 spots in the draft and that number isn't subject to the lottery.

Of course for those that think the Lakers pick doesn't matter and would rather have a higher first pick then thank Michael Heisley for talking (or at least being rumored to be talking) to Larry Brown.

Darko doesn't want to play for Larry Brown again.

Darko was a fingertip away from a career high in scoring, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked 4 shots (including one where he was isolated near the three point line against Kobe Bryant) and hit 6-7 free throws. I know that doesn't sound possible but Darko was 6-7 from the free throw line. Heck, he could have been 7-7 if Pete Pranica didn't hex him! (Sorry Pete but it had to be said and you knew it when you said it). Darko also had 3 assists in the game.

Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies in scoring with 28 pts. That includes a questionable no tip from Darko. Did he or didn't he? Only his manicurist knows for sure! That also included a fast break lob pass from Mike Conley where Hak and Rudy had a leaping contest to see who could get it (Rudy beat him by a hair for those keeping track of these things).

The game was won however by defense. For the 2nd night in a row Memphis held an opponent to below 40% from the floor for the game. They held the Lakers to 41-104 shots despite Kobe's 18-37 shooting. What was truly scary was the Lakers 45 three point attempts. Memphis only took 81 shots the whole game and the Lakers took 45 threes! They nearly quadrupled the Grizzlies 3 pt attempts (12). Memphis also blocked 7 shots in the game, had 4 steals and played great defense the entire game. That complete dedication to defense made the difference especially on the Laker starters not named Kobe.

Maybe the Grizzlies should release a rumor that Memphis is talking to Mike Fratello about returning to coach the team. That should motivate Hakim and Rudy!

BallHype: hype it up!


LA Ball Talk said...

It was a great game, I must concede! The Grizzlies settled down and played great defense. They ran with the philosophy of one man can't win a game and they locked down everyone else. By the way, leaving Lamar open at the three point line while forcing brilliant transition on the other guys, GENIOUS!! Every coach should know by now that Lamar misses when he's left wide open with a game winner... Great game, great defense!!

SEO said...