Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Win Is Just A Win...

Los Angeles Clippers 91 : 96 Los Angeles Lakers

But not this one for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Not against a cross-town rival team.  Not against a team that is being considered more of a NBA Championship contender than they are.  Not against a team that "stole" the best point guard in the league (Sorry Rose).  And definitely not against the team that's stealing all the hype in Lakerland. 

A screaming Gasol
is a good Gasol

Wednesday night provided a much needed win for the Los Angeles Lakers over the Los Angeles Clippers.  Not only did it snap a 3 game losing streak against the rest of the league, but also a 3 game losing streak against the Clippers dating back to preseason.  One game doesn't make all the problems disappear, but losing one definitely will make more appear.  The Lakers failed to break the 100 point mark again but there are lots of positive signs coming out of this game.

1. Versatile Like Baking Soda

Yes, that would be Pau Gasol. I don't care what you all say, Pau Gasol is the most skilled big man in the league. I'm just as lost as he is when you say he's lost in the offense. Lost yet? He's got more uses in an offense than baking soda does in a household.  He put up 10 assists last game and put up 22 points, 10 rebs and 4 asts this game. Now find me another 7 footer that can do that. He knows he needs to be more involved and so does the coaching staff. Adjustments will be made.

2. Coming Out Of The Closet

Yes, that's where the 3 ball has been hiding. The three point ball for the Lakers this season has been like the appearance of Soulja Boy at a Grammy: non-existent. However, tonight they shot 8 for 16 from beyond the arc. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come for the Lakers, not Soulja Boy.
3. The Finish

The Laker have struggled the entire season finishing games but not tonight. In the final minutes, Lakers had 2 key blocks, a steal and a loose ball which ultimately helped them seal the game with easy baskets and trips to the free throw line. Kobe trusted his teammates late in the game as he fed Bynum for a easy put back which sealed the victory. The only issue in the winding minutes was defensive rebounding as Griffin constantly had multiple chances. 

4. We Are All At Peace

World Peace is good for the world, and Lakers fan. Metta played a total of 38 minutes and had a spirited 4th quarter. His stat line (3 pts, 5 rebs, 7 asts and 86 chest pounds) won't show his imprint on the game, but he hit a 3 and had a steal and a block in the final minutes that propelled the Lakers to victory. His passion, aggressiveness and intensity not only got the crowd going, but also his own teammates. Oh, and those chest pounds can keep on coming as well.  

Highlight: All the joshing between Gasol, Kobe and Paul during the last minute of the game.  It's a rivalry son.

All the talk around the league surrounding the Clippers must have lit a fire under the Lakers last night.  They finally played with passion and urgency as we often saw fist pumps and oh yeah, chest pounds.  They needed this win to put the Clippers back down to earth and remind them that this is still their town.  The league may have forgotten that only a year ago, this team was going for a 3peat.  With the play of last night, the Lakers are eager to remind them, and themselves, that they can win a meaningful game.

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