Wait a second – something seems different here at STAPLES Center?
I’m on the opposite side of the floor … purple and gold has changed to red and blue … hmmm. Oh, Lakers road game. In L.A. Got it.
Lakers: Fish, Kobe, Vladi, Gasol and Bynum
Clippers: Baron Davis, Cuttino Mobley, Al Thornton, Tim Thomas and Chris Kaman
Lakers – DJ Mbenga, Sun Yue
Clippers – Marcus Camby, DeAndre Jordan
The key name there is Camby, among the league’s top defensive players, whom the Clippers stole from Denver because the Nugs didn’t want to pay him. Out with an injury, Camby won’t be in there to try and slow down Pau Gasol, who has barely missed a shot through the preseason and L.A.’s opening stomping of the Blazers last night.
Check out Baron’s words to the fans on the mic at midcourt: “This here’s going to be a different Clippers team … just wait and see.”
OK. Not in the first minute though … Gasol flipped in a pretty half hook from the baseline on possession one, and Bynum dropped a free-throw line extended jumper to make it 4-0. Tim Thomas pushed back with a layup before a driving Kobe found Fish wide open for a three. Swish, and a 7-2 Lakers’ lead.
In other news, the Clippers have a full dance team, and some kind of performance team featuring male cheerleaders, which means there are like 96 entertainers on the floor at times. They might as well invite a few zoo animals, maybe some props…
I’m thinking that Bynum’s going to have a nice game tonight. Last night, when he managed just eight points and three boards in 28 minutes, it seemed like he was pressing a bit … and that shouldn’t be a surprise. It was his first game since January that mattered, and all he’s been hearing all offseason is that he’s the key to L.A.’s potential championship this season. As such, he wasn’t able to relax and just let it flow against Portland. But tonight the spotlight’s off him to an extent … though we’ll be watching.
As it were, Bynum put back a Gasol miss, then drew a foul on the next possession to give him six points in the first seven minutes. Like it.
After the Lakers opened up a nine-point lead, Baron Davis began to bring the Clips back mostly by swiping his hands at Kobe and not getting called for it, leading to six points in transition. At least one of those had to be a foul, but the refs are letting things go thus far. Don’t call me presumptuous when I guess that this didn’t please Kobe, and he’s definitely going to score on the next possession.
OK, I was wrong. Bryant scored the next four points. 22-17, Lakers. Mamba.
Davis just crossed Vladi over and banked in a jumper just because he can. Though that play couldn’t have been more different from my favorite BD play ever, do you remember this UCLA behind-the-back jam?
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