Tag Archive for 'In-Game'

Lakers – Cavaliers Running Diary

Lebron KobeAs always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.

Previous Lakers – Cavaliers Running Diary/Postgame
Lakers – Cavaliers Running Diary 1-19-2009
Lakers 105, Cavs 88: Postgame

Inactives
Lakers: Andrew Bynum
Cavaliers: Tarence Kinsey, Eric Snow, Delonte West

Starters
Lakers: Fish, Kobe, Luke, Lamar and Pau
Cavaliers: Mo Williams, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Ben Wallace and Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Like assistant coach Jim Cleamons told us before the game, the key for the Lakers is to get everybody involved. Cleveland’s too good in general, and particularly at home (undefeated…) for L.A. not to have everyone on their roster contribute in some way.

First Quarter
12:00 I liked LeBron’s introduction. After his name’s announced and the fans start to lose their minds, he does the double-hand slap and salute with each and every Cavs player.

11:20 After Kobe missed his first perimeter jumper, LeBron hit his. Maybe that’ll make King James feel like he has his shot going from outside and keep him out of the lane a little better?

10:41 Mo Williams for three, with his first “Thanks-for-leaving-me-out-the-All-Star-game-Mr.-Stern” shot. Odom would answer with a nice move around Wallace to make it a 5-4 Cavs lead early.

7:43 Bryant used a nice cut to get inside the defense on consecutive possessions, receiving nice passes from nice-passing Gasol and Odom. If you’re L.A., you love that triangle action.

4:45 What stood out most in the first seven minutes was how effective offensively the Lakers were against Cleveland’s vaunted defense. Lamar and Pau between them were 5-of-6 from the field, generally abusing Big Z and Big Ben, respectively, en route to 10 of L.A.’s 20 points. The Cavs, however, shot the ball well too (8-of-15) to see L.A. take a 20-18 lead into a timeout.

1:34 Ty pointed out that “The Q” (Quicken Loans Arena) has this on their scoreboard: “The Diff.” So, when Cleveland’s up 27-26, it says “+1.” Cleveland’s more of a liberal arts city than a mathematical one. Meanwhile, no team has yet to lead by more than three.

Center of Attention: A big difference, literally, between this game and L.A.’s 105-88 win at STAPLES was that the Lakers had their center (Andrew Bynum) and Cleveland was missing theirs (Z), which is no longer the case. And the Cavs weren’t shy about going to Z, who took eight shots and made five for 12 points; all but one of his shots was from the perimeter.

0:23.5 Wally Szczerbiak, he of the broken nose suffered last game, canned his first three despite having a big mask on his face before Bryant tied the game with two free throws. When Gasol was at the line on the previous possession, the Cavs put a Pittsburgh Steelers logo up on the jumbotron in hopes of inspiring boos. That was solid.

0:00 The quarter closed when Pavlovic converted a solid Anderson Varejao baseball pass for a last-second layup that gave Cleveland a 32-30 lead. Cleveland shot 50 percent, and the Lakers 54.5 in a well-played first quarter that looked nothing like L.A.’s opening stanza against Boston on Thursday. Kobe, by the way, guarded LeBron for almost the whole quarter and held him to 2-of-4 shooting for four points, without a free throw attempt.
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Lakers – Rockets Running Diary

Kobe BryantAs always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.

Previous Lakers – Rockets Running Diary/Postgame
Lakers – Rockets Running Diary 11-09-2008
Lakers 111, Rockets 82: Postgame

Inactives
Lakers: Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton
Rockets: Ron Artest, Tracy McGrady, Joey Dorsey

Pregame Notes
1) Lamar Odom will play. That’s certainly the most important note.
2) Tracy McGrady’s on the shelf for a few weeks, and even held a pregame press conference to talk about how he’s been playing hurt all year but didn’t want to come off the court. His health is certainly paramount to their playoff chances.
3) Yao Ming gave me his take on Sun Yue both as a player and a person, and I’ll have a story on that tomorrow.
4) D.J. Mbenga spent some time with me to talk about his relationship with fellow Congo native Dikembe Mutombo, whom he looks up to as a brother, and about their collective charitable work back in Africa. Mbenga’s primary focus is education, which I’ll also put something together about for tomorrrow.
5) Finally, two on-the-court points:
A) L.A. might be best served pounding the ball to Bynum and Gasol and letting the two seven-footers carry them offensively, since Bryant and Fisher might have to exert a good deal of effort in the absence of, basically, any other guards. Plus, Bynum’s had consecutive 20-point games, and Gasol’s due for a good offensive outing after struggling on Sunday.
B) Watch out for Aaron Brooks, Houston’s jet-quick backup point guard who gave L.A. fits even with Farmar and Vujacic in the lineup.

Starters
Lakers: Fish, Kobe, Vladi, Pau and Bynum
Rockets: Rafer Alston, Von Wafer (yup, that Von Wafer), Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Yao Ming

First Quarter
0:00 The Rockets were introduced with Biggy’s “Hypnotize” in the background, which I think should count for at least a point. Josh Powell would say “Bet” to that. However, since Houston’s mascot is a fuzzy grey bear (huh?), we’ll take the point away. What’s wrong with a Rocket?

10:35 Skip To My Lou’s triple gave the Rockets an early 7-2 lead. Tell me you watched the original And-1 Mix Tape … Alston was dirtier than a booger-picking third grader’s fingers.

6:08 L.A.’s best offensive player in the first six minutes? Vladimir Radmanovic, with seven points (including a triple). Vladi also grabbed four boards to build on his best game in a long time in Sunday’s win over Miami.

5:19 Former Lakers second-round draft pick Von Wafer drills a triple to give Houston a 20-11 lead as the Rockets shot an on-fire 9-of-12 (75 percent) to start the game.

3:47 Kobe’s deep jumper capped a quick 6-0 run to bring L.A. within three, despite L.A.’s poor shooting (6-of-14).

1:52 There’s Lamar Odom. We’ll see how he looks… Also checking in was Trevor Ariza, who did nothing against the Heat thanks in part to foul trouble on Sunday.

1:20 Odom took Scola to the hole on his first touch and missed, but Ariza was there for a put-back that made it 24-23 Rockets. One play is surely too early to judge, but Odom’s not moving gingerly or anything of the sort (I just judged I guess … whatever).

1:02 Let’s take this timeout opportunity to let Ty Nowell know that Houston does carry Dr. Pepper in its media room (not to mention Strawberry Fanta). Nowell’s always complaining that STAPLES has been consistently putting out root beer instead of Dr. Pepper.

50.5 L.A. takes its first lead on a Bryant jumper.

0:01 After Skip scored in the paint to put Houston back up 26-25, Bryant missed a jumper at the buzzer.

What Lakers fans shouldn’t like about the quarter is that Bynum struggled to 1-of-5 shooting with Yao’s length bothering him a bit (he even missed an alley-oop), though Pau was 2-of-3 and grabbed four boards. As a team, the Lakers shot 50 percent thanks to a better final six minutes, though Houston got through the quarter shooting 57 percent, led by Wafer’s nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. Well … he did can that corner three to beat Boston last week, so we’ll give him some credit. He’s also charged with guarding Bryant in the second quarter with Battier resting, which should be fun.
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