Remember that show from the 90′s with Michael J.Fox “Spin City”? The premise was that no matter what happened that was a negative the idea is that it could be spun so that there was some silver lining or that what was bad was actually good?
How about this: Serge Ibaka?
Is it working? I am trying here….work with me.
But seriously the Thunder got knocked back on their heels collectively from the get go and were never in this game at any time. The Lakers, as much as I detest them deserve all the credit in the world. They were dominant in every way and never let the Thunder get any sort of foothold or gain any confidence whatsoever.
When Ron Artest and Kobe went out the Lakers really looked average, but the dirt bags wouldn’t stay on the bench. Such is life in the NBA I guess. The Lakers have a collection of talent that just won’t be denied and we were simply dominated from end to end. I can only hope that the Thunder take this loss personally and get pissed. I want my team to be angry and hungry the next time out. I want them humiliated and embarrassed looking to get this monkey off their back.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am now a card carrying member of the Serge Ibaka fan club though. If I can take one thing away it was that we have a legitimate big man under the basket should Brooks choose to use him. Ibaka got his first taste of big minutes tonight and he responded with a highlight reel of big defensive plays, so many of which won’t even make the box score. He did record an amazing 5 blocks and 13 rebounds, but he was responsible for changing or altering a half a dozen or more other shots as well. He simply protects the basket, and nobody else on the roster does that very well but the man from the Congo. Did I mention he could shoot too? We are used to seeing these raw African big men come into the league (I am talking to you Mo Sene) who can block shots and rebound but usually can’t figure out how to do anything offensively, or can’t stay on the court because of foul trouble. I think Ibaka has a real shot to be different. Tonight he only collected 4 personals in 32 minutes of aggressive play. And he made at least two very nice mid range jumpers. His shooting stats are a bit muddled (4/12) because of so many put back attempts, but make no mistake this guy can stroke the jimmy to some degree. I think the play of Ibaka is the one thing we can take away from this game and feel good about. Do any of you see a slight Shawn Kemp comparison?
- If the jimmy isn’t falling for Krstic and if he isn’t getting the ball to take those jimmy’s he just doesn’t fit this type of game. The Lakers are very LONG along the front line. Gasol and Bynum have arms so long they look like they can touch the rafters. Krstic seems short armed and he isn’t a high jumper. So he needs to hit that jumper to clear out the middle or he is a detriment. Tonight he was 1/2, but only getting two shots up in 14 minutes tells me he wasn’t getting good looks. The Lakers know our game plan would be to get Krstic clean jumpers and so were on the watch for it.
- The Lakers did a fantastic job on us defensively to start out. They rattled our cage and had us pressing. Durant especially was forcing his offense. I was thinking that Brooks needs to start having the conversation with Durant about how he needs to be more of a facilitator and decoy at times. The Lakers were systematically doubling Durant on the catch from time to time. Not every time so that he could expect it, just here and there and it had Durant out of his comfort zone. He needs to know that if he’s getting doubled somebody else is open and make the pass.
- Kevin Ollie apparently had a sore wheel after his first stint and didn’t return. With the Thunder just announcing that Kyle Weaver is headed to Tulsa, and Livingston still 2 or 3 weeks away after getting his knee roto-rootered Westbrook had to play 42 minutes in a blowout. There are no other points on the roster.
- Ryan Bowen: no stats all star. No seriously, a basketball player who looks like an accountant. Good hustle for the end of the bencher.
- I was wondering before the half if we would see D.J.White. We needed offense bad and D.J. is nails with the midrange. My hopes were answered and D.J. was 6/7 for 12 points in 15 minutes along with 3 boards and 2 blocks. For you Scrabble fans out there: D.J.White was at one point being guarded by D.J.Mbenga. I need a vowel.
- The Laker defense extends itself much farther than most teams we play. They are in your grill way up beyond the three point line.
- Pau Gasol is a genius with his passing. 6 assists in 29 minutes. He gets deep post position, gets the pass and hits a guy in stride cutting to the basket. Too easy.
- Harden was really forcing his jumper also. It was really ugly, like he was trying to guide it into the cylinder. When Harden was shooting free throws a fan was soooo loud yelling “Harden sucks” that my wife heard it through the TV across the room. Harden did still sink both free throws.
- I thought that maybe with KD picking up his second foul early that the team might get scrappy like they did when KD was out for 7 games last year and won 5. No such luck. With KD out Artest the pit bull turned his sights on the disappearing man Jeff Green.
- You know it’s bad when the original ‘stache Adam Morrison gets in against your team.
- The Lakers didn’t mess around figuring out how to get good shots. They got up 99 field goal attempts to our 86. Our 19 turns didn’t help.
- Don’t look at Westbrook’s assist to turn ratio tonight. Spare yourself.
- I’m not sure if I heard it correctly, but I think Brian Davis said that our 15 blocks tied the all time franchise record from sometime back in the 80′s.
- I thought Green played some of his best defense of the night when he poked Kobe in the eye and forced the anointed one to call a timeout.
- The Lakers had a 12-5 offensive rebound advantage and 30-20 overall rebound advantage at the half. By the end we won the battle overall and were even with 17 orebs.
- Serge was the only positive +/- guy that got a lot of run against the Lakers first team. D.J. White and Ryan Bowen wound up positive but it was mostly garbage time. Ibaka led both teams in “help value“.