Running Diary of Hornets v. Lakers Game 5

I’m starting before the 4th quarter, but only so I can fit in everything I want to say before it actually begins (1:00 left in 3rd quarter).

  • How is that only a technical foul on Shannon Brown? Hand to God, anything that the Lakers do, they get the most severe punishment for it. Inversely, anything that gets done to the Lakers gets minimal to minute punishment. Only people who habitually watch the Lakers can confirm this, as they know what kind of treatment Kobe Bryant and his pals get. How’s this for an analogy: the Lakers are to Cinderella what referees are to the Evil Stepmother. To continue the analogy, the ugly sisters (I always found that funny as a kid. Why do they have to be both bad AND ugly? It’s as if Disney wanted the two to forever be associated, and tried to indoctrinate the youth. I wonder if that caused ugly people to question themselves. Wow, that’s a serious self-fulfilling prophecy right there.) are the Lakers opponents.
  • If you’re a fantasy basketball GM, you should always consider dropping flex players when the Lakers are playing. Not because they’re good, but because they give up numbers to scrub players with alarming regularity. In fact, your Anti-Laker All NBA First Team looks something like this:

Guard: Jarrett Jack

Guard: Mario Chalmers

Forward: Trevor Ariza

Forward: Carl Landry

Center: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Laker fans know that those guys, while they could be awful for an entire season, will always torch the Lakers. Imagine if you could have their games against the Lakers as their season statistics? Mind-blowing. They would all be first-round picks in most fantasy leagues! I’m serious. Big Z is like the anti-Pau, and he makes every shot he puts up, too. He punks Pau every time they play, and it’s sad. According to his stats against the Lakers, he’s the Defensive Player of the Year. Easy. And Landry? Don’t even get me started on him. He’s the best power forward in the game when he’s matched up against L.A. Trevor and Chalmers, guys who shoot at a high 30, low 40% clip, become Reggie Millers and Ray Allens. And Jack is all of a sudden the league’s best point guard, hitting every shot, getting guys involved, and killing the Lakers’ defense. Forget LeBron James, give me Trevor Ariza on my fantasy team! First overall pick, 2011-2012. My team’s going to the ‘ship.

  • Did Kevin Harlan seriously just say that? Kobe did not get frustrated with Andrew Bynum’s lack of progression. He was frustrated with the Lakers inability to surround him with a legitimate second fiddle. How can this guy be on National TV? Come on now.
  • Matt Barnes and Andrew getting hammered inside by the Hornet bigs. Finally draw a whistle. Barnes drops both.
  • Andrew gets called for an offensive foul. I bet that same exact play will happen in the next few minutes and the call will be for Andrew, not against him.
  • The Lakers keep trying to hit the homerun, leading 89-74 with 7:22 left in the 4th. Lamar Odom hits nothing but iron as he attempts a momentum-changing three-pointer.
  • Kobe coming back in, heading to the scorer’s table. Wow. The officials are really enjoying this defensive three-second call and completely ignoring the offensive three-second call.
  • Chris Paul back in, dribbles around Matt Barnes and fades away for a 14-footer. Swish. That was nice, but that was also some good defense. Speaking of Barnes, what’s with his hair? He always had that Deron Williams haircut when he didn’t even need to push it forward (most guys do this when their hairline starts to recede. Trust me. I know.). He has GREAT hair. I’m jealous. Then he goes and turns it into a mowhawk. It’s really put me in an awkward position because I have never respected a grown man with a mowhawk, but I really like Barnes. I guess I’ll take it day-by-day?

Karl Malone? Tim Duncan? Overrated. Give me Carl Landry (in 82 games a year against L.A.): the Next Great NBA Power Forward.

  • Lakers up 15, 93-78. Barnes clanks a free throw off the side-iron.
  • It’s fun seeing the difference in commentating from FSN to TNT. I think Reggie Miller took a page out of Stu Lantz’s book, saying his opinion about a call or play through the hypothetical words of a player. Lantz: “And Jarrett Jack gets called for pushing off and heads to the bench saying, ‘If Chris Paul can do it, why can’t I?’ and the officials say, ‘Well, you’re not Chris Paul.’ ” That has to be the most diplomatic form of rebellion I have seen. And it has to be illegal. Libel, maybe? It’s obviously not a big deal, but think about it. It has got to be something that rhymes with illbeagal.
  • Kobe takes it in, gets trapped by 3 Hornets, then finds a cutting Lamar who gets a questionable foul call on an unsuspecting Emeka Okafor, who then gets pushed down by Pau Gasol after the whistle. That was funny. Pau’s not physical until the play is actually over, and then he gets tough. Oh, Pau. Silly you.
  • Carl Landry travels past Lamar, who then fouls him and puts him at the line for two free throws.
  • Very strong stance you’re taking, Reggie Miller. On Kobe: “He’s going to go down as one of the all-time great competitors,” Really? Are you serious? TNT pays you to say stuff like that? Give me a break.
  • Kobe HAMMERS Okafor, who then misses a pair of free throws.
  • I can’t believe Pau is missing those open jump shots. He was money on those all year, and even his entire career. It’s weird seeing his game this series. Even in games when he’s had decent numbers, he still hasn’t been that dominating a player. The Hornets came into this series trying to get him out of his game, and trusted Trevor to use his skills and knowledge against Kobe one-on-one, while giving him a lot of help once he gets past him, but Pau’s been seeing a lot of bodies thrown at him. It’s worked, to some extent, and it has me worried about the future opponents of the Lakers. They have to be watching this. I mean, what else is on at this hour? “The Mentalist?” Nooooo thanks.
  • TNT just advertised the Nuggets-Thunder and Sixers-Heat games for tomorrow. What are the chances that both series’ end tomorrow night? I’d say, if we were putting a number on it, 79%. It’ll be fun watching how Russell Westbrook handles the criticism he received after playing keep-away from Kevin Durant last night.
  • Shannon has to have one of the worst shots of a back-up shooting guard in the league. No, scratch that. His shot selection is the worst part of his game. But while we’re on the subject of position names, shouldn’t players that don’t fit the mold NOT fall into those categories? Consider a shooting guard that can’t shoot, like Keith Bogans or Ronnie Brewer. Yeah, they play the shooting guard position, but opposing players want to see them shoot. And what about guys like Pau? He’s a power forward, sure, but is he really a POWER player? We should call them something else. Ideas? Off the top of my head, maybe Finesse Forward? I like adjectives. And for shooting guards that can’t shoot, let’s call them slot/spot-filler guards. They just fill a spot/slot that their body-type dictates.

Well that 4th quarter wasn’t much to write about.  The Lakers took care of business in the third quarter. They came out and made a concerted effort to get the ball into the hands of their bigs, setting the pace of the game. Establishing the post-up players helps the Lakers defense, too, because it prevents the younger Hornets from getting out in transition. More than ever, this series is turning into Rockets-Lakers from 2008-2009. It really is.

How about those dunks by Kobe? Man oh man were they sweet. When I watched the replay, it looked like he lost the ball when he went up for the one against Okafor. I don’t care, and neither do the people who edit the highlight reels.

The Lakers won today’s game with their brute strength and size, while Kobe kept them afloat when that wasn’t working, and the perimeter players made enough of their shots to build a sizable lead. Expect the Lakers to close out in New Orleans, as they usually do (game 6 against Utah, 2008; game 6 against Denver, 2009; Game 6 against Oklahoma, 2010; Game 6 against Phoenix, 2010.). Or maybe they will come out flat like they did in game 6 against Houston in 2009. After all, this is the doppleganger that I keep referring to.

We’ll find out on Thursday how easy it will be to win in the Big Easy.

Till next time.

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2 Responses to “Running Diary of Hornets v. Lakers Game 5”

  1. laron Says:

    them dunks was eyepopping

  2. daniel "cool beans" lee Says:

    I was more impressed with the second dunk, where he split the defense in the air and finished with his left. I want that tattooed on my dog.

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