Nope … Still not using any “Anchor Man” jokes here. I mean, no promises, but I’ll do my best.
Tipoff should be in about 15 minutes as Charlotte looks to become the last NBA team to earn a preseason win in a game against a Lakers’ squad that doesn’t exactly fit the mold of an easy win. In fact, when playing hard, this team might be harder to beat than anybody in the preseason, since second units get near equal minutes to the first.
When Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar are the first three guys off your bench, it’s all good … Particularly when Charlotte counters with Matt Carroll, Adam Morrison and D.J. Augustin. Be honest: whom are you taking on paper?
Quick Injury Note: As we said yesterday, Sasha Vujacic will not play this evening. Vladimir Radmanovic, however, is starting. His sprained left middle finger doesn’t appear to be an issue, but we’ll keep an eye out to see if it troubles him during the game.
Sight Disclaimer: I’m sitting directly and literally behind the Laker bench – Farmar and Brian Shaw are within my reach – meaning I won’t necessarily be able to see everything tonight. Right now, the yellow warmups are all standing in front of me, so I couldn’t necessarily tell you who just missed that first show. Fish? Yeah. I’ll work on this. OK I did see Bynum change a shot, grab a board and lay in at the other end for the game’s first bucket.
That allowed the Laker bench to take a seat, and for me to see a beautiful and crisp Kobe-crossover then dish to a wide-open Vlad, who drained a three. Finger’s fine so far. For the ‘Cats, Gerald Wallace is on the bench and Larry Brown’s going with Jared Dudley at the three.
There’s Vlad again, draining another three prior to a Fisher J that made it 14-4 Lake Show early. Saying that Vlad should sprain his finger more often wouldn’t be funny, so I won’t, even though he also has three assists and a steal. As a team, the Lakers started 8-for-10, including Vlad’s 2-for-2 and 3-for-3 from Gasol.
With the score 18-12 at the 5:17 mark, Odom checked in along with Wallace for Charlotte. The difference today is that Jackson left Bynum and Gasol in and stuck Vlad on the bench, giving L.A. a massive front line that quickly connected for four points. The first hoop came on a Bynum dunk after a pretty Gasol feed, the second on an Odom drive to the rack. With all this scoring going on and considering the age of the arena, it’s fair to say that these rims are quite soft. That’s 24-14 Lakers, as L.A.’s getting whatever shot it wants on offense, and hitting 11-of-16.
How about this lineup from Phil: Pau, Lamar, Ariza, Kobe and Farmar. A super athletic group, it’s ironic that they’ve been rather lackluster with transition defense and allowed the Bobcats a 10-0 run to tie things at 24. Make that 12-0, after an Okafor dunk. Go ahead and erase the second paragraph of this entry from your memory please. Thanks. Good point from Ty Nowell – Lamar’s guarding Adam Morrison and Luke Walton’s on Wallace. Why? The bleeding stopped thanks to Ariza, whose and-1 as time expired put L.A. back on top.
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