Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Page 2 of 5

Gasol & Bynum: Low Post Touches

Ever since the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the 2008 Finals, there have been questions and suggestions regarding how much L.A. should get the ball in the post, especially to the Spaniard, who almost literally always has an advantage over opposing fours. According to hoopdata.com, here are Gasol’s average attempted shots from various places on the floor this season compared to last:

2010-11: At rim (4.5); 3-9 feet (4.1); 10-15 feet (2.3); 16-23 feet (2.8); threes (0.0)
2011-12: At rim (3.3); 3-9 feet (2.9); 10-15 feet (2.1); 16-23 feet (3.9); threes (0.6)

This shows us that, clearly, Gasol is getting fewer touches inside, and attempting far more long 2′s, but there’s been a clear reason why: Andrew Bynum.

Bynum last season attempted 4.0 shots at the rim, but is up to 5.4 this season. He attempted 3.0 shots from 3-9 feet, but is up to 5.4 in the first 18 games (and he rarely shoots from outside the paint). Those additional 3.8 field goal attempts per game that Bynum is getting inside have indeed come at the expense of posting Gasol more, but how much this is affecting L.A.’s offensive efficiency isn’t so cut and dry.

This because Bynum converts 72 percent of his shots at the rim, compared to Gasol’s 69.5 percent, but the Spaniard has better touch from 3-9 feet, converting 54.7 percent of those shots, compared to Bynum’s 44.7 percent. How much of a difference can that make on a given game?

There is one obvious difference, however. Gasol’s simply much better than the more classic center Bynum in the high post. Mike Brown touched on this after stating that Gasol is going to get more or less touches in the post depending on the flow of a certain game.

“He can operate (in the post),” said Brown. “(But) he can (also) operate from 15 feet, and he does a great job facilitating just as well as he does scoring. He had 10 assists and zero turnovers (vs. Indiana), which to me equates to a lot of points.”

There are so few NBA players that are as effective as Gasol in either the low post or the high post, but while it’s easy to suggest that L.A. should simply pound the ball to both big men as often as possible, but it’s not as simple as carving out x amount of touches for each per game.

“Everybody including myself should feel like they can do more to help out, offensively and defensively,” concluded Brown. “Right now, losing three games in a row, everybody wants to do more. But we have to understand that wanting to do more just doesn’t mean offensively. We have to want to do more defensively, offensively and some of the intangibles, like getting 50-50 balls and stuff like that.”

Gasol Practice Interview Summary

Certain NBA players always have something interesting to say when interviewed, and as Pau Gasol is around the top of that list, we summarized his comments from the team’s media session prior to Tuesday’s practice:

- It’s Gasol’s feeling that the Lakers can simply play “a lot better as a team.” His way of explaining how they can get it done had less to do with offensive or defensive execution and more to do with trusting one another within the scheme, and enjoying playing with one another. In other words, the little things that come easily when players know exactly what is expected of them make a big difference, but it’s admittedly difficult for L.A. right now as they continue to learn the new system and integrate with new players (Josh McRoberts, Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock) on the fly. Mike Brown also alluded to this, suggesting that the team would be much better once that trust was developed.

- Here’s Gasol’s way of explaining that while the team is upset about losing games they feel they should have won and not playing up to their potential due to whatever circumstances, they’re trying to keep things in perspective: “Losing makes everybody a little frustrated and upset. It’s part of the sport. But we continue to keep our minds confident … it’s just come down to a couple of games that if we would have won, things would be different: 12-6 would have been different from 10-8. But we have to have a little sense of urgency and make sure we value every single game.”

- Gasol called Wednesday’s contest against the Clippers a “serious” game. He acknowledged that the Clips have a better record, but did qualify the statement a bit by saying they’ve had an “easier schedule than we probably did so far.” He implied that he fully expects a win if the Lakers play their game.

- Gasol also spent some time discussing low post touches, with reporters wondering whether or not he felt like he should get more. Check out the next blog post for full details.

Lakers 96, Pacers 98: Jan. 22 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Sunday evening home contest against Indiana, the Lakers looking to break a two-game losing streak (at Miami, at Orlando) with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Barnes, Gasol and Bynum
Pacers: D. Collison, P. George, D. Granger, D. West, R. Hibbert

FIRST QUARTER
4:00 In the entire game against Orlando, L.A. totaled eight offensive rebounds on Saturday night. The night before in Miami, they managed 12. But in the first eight minutes against Indiana, L.A. had already claimed six offensive boards, the key in a 21-12 start.

0:00 Somewhat related to that first note was that Indiana simply didn’t have the personnel to deal with L.A.’s front line. Roy Hibbert drew his 2nd PF early, meaning David West (6-9, 240) and Tyler Hansbrough (ditto) had to guard Bynum and Gasol, which created several of those off. board chances, and put Indy in the bonus just seven minutes in. At quarter’s end, L.A. led 27-14 behind 11 points from Bryant, plus six points and five boards and two blocks from the Spaniard.

SECOND QUARTER
12:00 Adding to Indiana’s misery: center Hibbert broke his nose in that first quarter, and was questionable to return. L.A. was already dominating inside, taking 14 free throws to Indy’s zero. George Hill did open the second by hitting consecutive shots, though a Metta World Peace and-1 (he missed the FT) made it 29-19 with 10:13 on the clock.

6:43 The Lakers have struggled getting bench production especially since backup PG Steve Blake hurt his ribs, so 15 points off the pine in the first half was a most welcome sight for Mike Brown. Leading the way was World Peace, who drained a three after a put-back moments earlier to reach nine points, keeping L.A. up 12 points as Bryant and Fisher got set to return. Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris also offered some good minutes, while Josh McRoberts was active with three boards, two assists and a block against his former team.

0:00 But from that point on, it was all Indy, as West’s fall-away three at the buzzer from the top of the key sank through the net, capping a 19-8 run that cut L.A.’s lead to just three at 52-49. Bryant had 17 points and four boards, though Gasol and Bynum combined for only two points in the second quarter after 10 total in the first.

THIRD QUARTER
7:45 After getting killed at the three-point line in Florida, the Lakers tonight watched Indy catch fire from downtown, with three straight makes suddenly producing a 4-point Pacers lead. Bryant, however, responded with two straight hoops to tie the game at 62.

3:14 To essentially repeat ourselves here, Indy was hanging around almost exclusively thanks to the three-pointer, as George Hill connected on his second and third of the game to bring the Pacers within two points despite consecutive hoops from Bryand (27 points) and Barnes (10). It’s sometimes tricky for L.A. to both pack the paint, and also get out to contest all triples.

FOURTH QUARTER
10:51 Bryant’s buzzer beater to end the third gave him 31 points and L.A. a one-point lead, and a Bynum free throw and Murphy three (against the team for whom he used to average a double-double) pushed the lead to 82-77.

8:00 Early this season, World Peace had impactful minutes off the bench by out muscling opposing small forwards inside, but he’d gotten away from that of late to the tune of too many perimeter jumpers. On this night, however, he returned to the paint, a 14-foot jumper in front of the free throw line getting him to 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Related: L.A. took a 7-point lead.

4:51 Yet another triple made Indy 10-of-17, and Hibbert hit two more field goals in close to make him -for-7 since breaking his nose in the first quarter. In other words, L.A. wasn’t catching many breaks on defense. They still led by one, however, after two Barnes free throws. But with 1:20 to go, Collison got a runner to fall over Kobe, putting Indy up one, sandwiched around perimeter misses from Gasol and Barnes. Thus, Indy had the ball, up 95-94, with 47 seconds to play.

0:02.4 Reminding the Lakers of their only other home loss, on opening day against Chicago, L.A. saw victory taken from its grasp in the final two minutes, as they failed to score a point in several possessions before a meaningless drop-in layup from Gasol as time expired. Gasol missed a 13-foot J with 1:26 left, Barnes missed an open three with 52 seconds left, Fisher missed a floater with 10.9 seconds left and Bryant missed a potential game-tying three with 2.4 remaining. In that time, Indy got a Hibbert hook (he was 8-for-9 in the second half), a Collison floater and two Collison free throws to send L.A. out of the building with its third straight loss, and fourth in five games.

Up next: a Tuesday rematch with the Clippers, L.A. the home team this time.

Lakers 80, Magic 92: Jan. 20 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Friday evening road contest at Orlando, the Lakers looking to bounce back from a Thursday night loss at Miami, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Barnes, Gasol and Bynum
Magic: J. Nelson, J. Redick, J. Richardson, R. Anderson, D. Howard

FIRST QUARTER
3:51 L.A. had more pep in its step than it did in the previous evening’s loss at Miami, but the execution wasn’t much better, Orlando opening an 18-8 lead when Howard hit 1-of-2 free throws. Despite getting good looks, the Lakers just struggled to hit shots, making only 4-of-16, including an 0-for-4 from Gasol (26 points at Miami).

0:00 … And the offensive struggles continued. After Bryant joined Bynum on the bench, rookie Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock checked in, and both promptly missed shots as L.A. fell to 4-for-19 from the field. Gasol did draw a foul in transition when Glen Davis tried to draw a charge, but interference was called instead of a block, meaning the bucket didn’t count. Still, two free throws cut Orlando’s lead to 20-10, which turned into a 12-point edge when Jason Richardson’s baseline jumper fell to close the period.

SECOND QUARTER
10:49 Kobe Bryant checked back into the game with his team now down 26-11, the struggles continuing at both ends. It’s here that we should probably note that Mike Brown actually expected some games like this, where L.A. had a hard time adjusting to a new offense, but he wasn’t as keen on tolerating lack of help on defense, thus devoting a time out when Bynum failed to help Morris on Chris Duhon’s penetration.

3:18 Broken record warning: L.A. continued to struggle to hit much of anything, as Troy Murphy, Gasol and Bryant all rimmed out, with Orlando getting consecutive threes (Anderson, Nelson) and two Redick free throws to open a 40-20 lead.

THIRD QUARTER
9:30 After cutting that lead to 17 going into the half, a 6-0 run out of the break got L.A. within 11. Bynum and Gasol had three combined field goals after combining for exactly zero in the first half, Mike Brown making a nice adjustment to get excellent looks inside.

7:15 The Magic continued to aggressively double-team Bryant, creating continued open looks, which Fisher capitalized upon with a wing three, but subsequent open looks from both Barnes and Fisher rimmed out, not allowing the Lakers to get closer than 13. The Magic also connected on two more threes (9-for-20 total), hurting L.A.’s chance to get the lead to single digits.

0:00 After L.A. worked so hard and executed fairly well to get back into it, Orlando managed a late run to restore the lead to 15, when it had once been 10, after three. Bryant had 21 points on 8-of-15 field goals, but a familiar problem – no bench scoring – plagued L.A. late, only four points coming off the pine.

FOURTH QUARTER
10:00 L.A. had gotten only four points off its bench in the first three quarters when Darius Morris exploded for five points in 30 seconds, first a three and then a layup to bring L.A. within 10 points. During the ensuing time out, Gasol mentioned to Mike Brown that a weak side lob was open with Howard cheating off him, and so it was on the next possession, for a layup.

5:19 Back-to-back threes from Bryant and Kapono had L.A. at last within single digits, but Orlando responded in kind with a 6-0 run of its own to make it 80-66. The corner three from Anderson was his 3rd (he’s leading the NBA in makes) and the team’s 10th, a night after Miami drained nine triples.

0:00 The Lakers battled throughout the fourth, outscoring Orlando 49-44 in the second half, but the 17-point halftime deficit was far too much from which to come back in a 92-80 final. Dwight Howard played 46 minutes towards his 21 points and 23 boards, while Bryant’s 44 minutes resulted in 30 points and eight assists. L.A. will take the long flight back to California, and get set for a Sunday home game against Indiana. See you then.

Lakers Draw Magic on Back-to-Back

With 7:22 left in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s loss in Miami, the Lakers trailed 89-69 in a game that hadn’t been too competitive since early in the second quarter.

It was perhaps the first time in the young season that L.A. hadn’t brought the proper energy needed to win a game, and Mike Brown didn’t want that feeling to sit, so he brought the starters back in.

“I wanted to see our guys fight,” he explained after the game. “I didn’t care what the score was, and the way these games are, sometimes you can’t worry about the next one. I wanted to leave them out there, see them fight — and they did. It’s a confidence builder for me, and hopefully it’s a confidence builder for them.”

The starters did play better basketball in the final minutes, cutting Miami’s lead essentially in half before a 98-87 final score, even as Andrew Bynum admitted that was because Miami stopped playing as hard with the win secured. Regardless, Brown wanted to send a message about what kind of effort would be needed moving forward with the season, starting with Friday evening’s game at Orlando.

By the time the Lakers got to the team’s hotel in Disney World land, it was already 2:30 a.m., prompting Brown to cancel shootaround in favor of getting his players some rest, but his coaches continued to work on the scouting report and game plan.

With Dwight Howard anchoring the Magic middle and a bevy of three-point shooters surrounding him, L.A. has struggled to win regular season games in Orlando, having dropped three straight contests, thought it did of course win 2-of-3 games on the road to secure the 2009 NBA title.

To break the streak, L.A. knows it will have to figure out how to better execute on offense, which has been difficult while trying to adjust to a new system this season. The Lakers have been winning games with defense and just enough offense to get by, but Derek Fisher knows that will need to improve.

“We are getting really bogged down on the offensive end of the floor,” he said. “It’s going to be tough to get back into defense every time. We’ll get there. We have to remain focused on our objectives and goals. You can’t play from behind on the road in a consistent basis. We have to get off to better starts. We have to be sharp in our execution offensively.”

Kobe Bryant has averaged 25.0 points per game against Orlando in 26 career games against the Magic, though the offense out of which he’s currently getting his NBA-best 30.4 points per game he called “under construction” after the Heat loss. Four consecutive 40-point games for Bryant featured a great many touches for Bryant, and while Brown knows he can go to a that, he knows L.A. needs to have better balance on offense in the long run, causing the team to “experiment,” in Bryant’s words.

The Magic, meanwhile have been scoring a lot of points (seventh most in the NBA) thanks to strong perimeter shooting and Howard’s efficiency inside, but have allowed teams to shoot well against them, conceding 44.4 percent field goal percentage against (15th in the NBA) compared with L.A.’s 41.1 percent (2nd).

Howard leads Orlando with 20.1 points, 15.6 boards, and 2.4 blocks, while Anderson has surprised with strong averages of 17.8 points on 41.4 percent shooting from three (46 makes). Hedo Turkoglu has rebounded from a poor 2010-11, averaging 14.5 points with 4.9 assists and taking over crunch time duties, while J.J. Redick is having a career year with 12.4 points himself.

The game tips at 5 p.m. Pacific on KCAL-9 and 710 ESPN radio, and you can follow along during the action right here: Follow Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) on Twitter.

Lakers 87, Heat 98: Jan. 19 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Thursday evening road contest at Miami, the Lakers looking for their second road win of the season (to four losses) with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Barnes, Gasol and Bynum
Heat: M. Chalmers, S. Battier*, L. James, C. Bosh, J. Anthony
*Usual sub Shane Battier starts this one, charged with guarding Kobe, as Dwyane Wade’s ankle had him inactive.

FIRST QUARTER
12:00 To highlight their blackout with all black uniforms (jerseys and shorts in black, with white trim), Miami came out to ACDC’s “Back in Black,” while the Heat played Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” interlude during L.A.’s line up introductions. The Lakers came out in their usual home gold.

7:48 The Lakers had early success in the paint, as they often do when committing to post up opportunities, getting 3-of-4 FG’s from Gasol and two Bynum free throws towards eight early points. Meanwhile, the Heat had trouble getting much aside from jumpers, L.A. successfully packing the paint, making 2-of-7 field goals to trail by three (Chalmers got loose for a three in transition).

0:00 A poor offensive quarter for everyone but Gasol (4-for-7 for 11 points) concluded on a positive, as Bryant hit his first shot in six attempts and added two free throws in a 25-20 quarter. LeBron was on early triple-double watch with six points, four boards and four assists, the entire offense running through him with Wade in street clothes.

SECOND QUARTER
7:53 What’s been an early season problem for L.A. since the outset continued to plague them to start the second, as the bench was simply unable to create many good looks. Aside from a Bynum back down of Bosh, L.A. went 0-for-6, mostly on contested jump shots. Meanwhile, Mike Miller’s transition 3-pointer put the Heat up 33-22.

3:56 Even with Bryant and Gasol back in, L.A. struggled to get clean looks, netting just one point even on consecutive Heat turnovers. Gasol did offer a pretty lefty half hook in the paint to reach a game-high 13 points, but Miami led 40-29. Another big difference came from downtown, Miami converting 6-of-9 to L.A.’s 2-for-10.

THIRD QUARTER
9:56 Kobe’s pull-up 20-footer was the third straight made J for L.A., following his assists to Fisher and Gasol, but the Heat still led by 11 thanks to a 15-point halftime cushion. It may have been closer, but first LeBron, and then Anthony swatted Barnes at the rim in transition, as he attempted layups.

3:00 Playing some terrific basketball was Gasol, a tough baseline shot giving him 21 points on 9-of-15 field goals … yet the Lakers trailed 73-54 after back-to-back wide open layups for the Heat. L.A. simply wasn’t matching Miami’s energy.

0:00 At quarter’s end, Miami’s lead swelled to 21 at 77-56, L.A. shooting just 37.9 percent and going to the line only 12 times.

FOURTH QUARTER
8:30 Looking for a bright spot? Troy Murphy had something to offer, hitting all four of his perimeter shots, mostly off pick and pops, for eight bench points. Alas, L.A. still trailed 87-69.

3:00 Riding the continued hot hand of Gasol (11-for-17, season-high 26 points), and a few long 3′s from Kobe (including one off the glass) and all of a sudden the Lakers were within 10 … though it was too little, too late. The starters were only in the game, having been down 20 early in the fourth, because Mike Brown wanted to use the period for practice, such was the lack of contact they’d been able to have in an actual practice since the season started.

0:00 Your final: Heat 98, Lakers 87. Bryant manage 14 fourth quarter points that ultimately didn’t matter, plus seven assists and five boards, while Gasol finished with 26 and eight boards. Meanwhile, Bynum got another double-double with 15 points and 12 boards, while LeBron led Miami with 31 points, eight boards and eight dimes. Generally speaking, it was simply the first really poor effort from L.A. on the season; the game was, for all intents and purposes, over late in the second quarter.

Up next is a Friday back leg of a back-to-back, against Orlando. See you there.

All-Star 2012 Second Returns

CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW!!

NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2012 – Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls top the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference after the second returns of 2012 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. Howard, who leads the NBA in rebounding (15.6 rpg), is the overall leader with 1,161,797 votes.

The 2012 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

Howard paces centers in the East, followed by the Bulls’ Joakim Noah (141,683). LeBron James of the Miami Heat leads Eastern Conference forwards with 972,580 votes, followed by Carmelo Anthony (779,945) of the New York Knicks. Rose leads Eastern Conference guards with 1,040,210 votes, followed by Miami’s Dwyane Wade (972,015).

Bryant’s 1,110,379 votes leads Western Conference guards, with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul placing second (835,026). Durant’s 973,152 votes leads forwards in the West, with Blake Griffin of the Clippers next in line with 619,913 votes. The Lakers’ Andrew Bynum paces Western Conference centers with 777,365 votes, followed by the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (214,883).

The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences – with 24 guards, 24 forwards, and 12 centers from each conference comprising the list. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference. The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA: Bill Simmons (Grantland), Sekou Smith (NBA.com), Doug Smith (Toronto Star/PBWA), and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 973,152; Blake Griffin (LAC) 619,913; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 354,434; Pau Gasol (LAL) 327,596; Kevin Love (Min) 232,656; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 188,829; Tim Duncan (SA) 133,575; Lamar Odom (Dal) 96,080; Metta World Peace (LAL) 63,055; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 59,646.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,110,379; Chris Paul (LAC) 835,026; Ricky Rubio (Min) 248,423; Steve Nash (Pho) 188,537; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 167,996; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 132,972; Monta Ellis (GS) 105,926; Manu Ginobili (SA) 79,821; Jason Kidd (Dal) 79,783; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 73,429.

Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 777,365; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 214,883; Marc Gasol (Mem) 182,992; Nenê (Den) 144,066; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 92,511; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 66,380.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 972,580; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 779,945; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 281,617; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 268,980; Chris Bosh (Mia) 209,640; Luol Deng (Chi) 166,671; Paul Pierce (Bos) 145,077; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 101,612; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 93,456; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 80,694.

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 1,040,210; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 972,015; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 394,672; Ray Allen (Bos) 274,233; Deron Williams (NJN) 143,941; Jose Calderon (Tor) 84,881; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 64,757; John Wall (Was) 61,160; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 53,300; Joe Johnson (Atl) 40,718.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,161,797; Joakim Noah (Chi) 141,683; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 107,735; Joel Anthony (Mia) 67,210; JaVale McGee (Was) 41,249; Al Horford (Atl) 35,860.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW!!

Wade Out, LeBron Questionable vs. Lakers

Following Thursday morning’s shootaround, Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post reported that Dwyane Wade (ankle) will not play against the Lakers, while LeBron James was sent home from shootaround due to flu-like symptoms.

It’s possible that Chris Bosh is the only healthy member of Miami Thrice, while the Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum primed to start. The lone Lakers rotation player that will be out is, of course, Steve Blake, not expected back for another three weeks or so due to fractured cartilage in his ribs.

L.A.’s coaching staff expects Heat reserve Shane Battier to spend a lot of time guarding Bryant, particularly if James does not play, while Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace will draw the bulk of minutes defending LeBron if he does go.

Fisher’s History of Clutch

With five seconds left in a 70-all game against Dallas on Monday evening, Kobe Bryant saw Jason Terry jump his way for a quick double-team, leaving Derek Fisher uncovered from three-point distance on the right wing.

Knowing Fisher’s history of dropping clutch shots better than anybody, Bryant didn’t hesitate before finding Fisher, and 27 feet later, the ball swished through the net to give L.A. a 73-70 victory (after a desperation attempt from Vince Carter went well wide).

The two most famous shots from Fisher in the clutch are likely burned into the collective mind of any Lakers fan: the 0.4 second buzzer beater at San Antonio (5/13/04), and the game-tying three-pointer with four seconds left in overtime of Game 4 of the 2009 Finals against Orlando, preceding the go-ahead triple he’d nail in overtime.

The two Orlando threes, however, don’t register in the official “Clutch*” stat tracked by the Elias Sports Bureau since 2000, which has Fisher hitting six game winning field goals, three with the Lakers:
*Defined as field goal made in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

- The three-pointer vs. Dallas
- A running three-foot layup high off the glass as the buzzer sounded to give the Lakers an 87-86 victory on 12/8/10 at the LA Clippers last season.
- 0.4

His other game winners came with Utah (2/10/07 vs. NY (104-102 win) and Golden State (3/25/05 vs. MIL (118-117 win), 12/28/05 vs. BOS (111-109 win)).

“This is what I do,” Fisher said of hitting big shots after the win over Dallas. “When opportunities like that present themselves, I’m confident in my ability to step up and make the right play. I’ve been fortunate in my career to come up with some of those big plays.”

Speaking of game winners…

Bryant had six in 2009-10 alone, the most game winning field goals by any player over the last decade in a single season (Carmelo Anthony is second with five in 2005-06). And since the stat has been tracked, Bryant — who has certainly attempted the most that would qualify — leads the NBA with drained 20 shots that have given the Lakers the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime.

Between L.A.’s starting back court, that’s 26 game winners.

LAL – Heat Preview Pod: ESPN’s Arnovitz

Kobe, LeBron, Gasol, Bosh, Bynum … Wade?

We know that at least five of the six stars on L.A.’s and Miami’s respective rosters will be playing on Thursday night in South Beach, but Dwyane Wade (foot) remains a question mark. To break down the potential impact of Miami missing Wade, LeBron vs. Kobe, how the Heat and the Lakers fit into the league’s big picture, the specific matchup, Miami’s new offense and more, we enlisted ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz.

Arnovitz covered the Heat throughout the entire 2010-11 campaign as the editor of The Heat Index at ESPN.com before returning to Los Angeles, and currently serves as an NBA writer, Clippers podcast host and co-editor of the True Hoop blog.

To listen, click play below: