Well looks like we have to settle for 81-1!
Lakers at Dallas
Coming off thier first real test of the season where the Lakers pounded the Houston Rockets, Week 3 kicked off a back to back starting in Dallas. Again the Lakers got off to a slow start and again the Lakers ended strong down the stretch. For 3 quarters the Lakers trailed the Mavericks and by double digits at one point. Jason Terry kicked off the first half with 17 points as the Mavs scored 60 points in the first half to take a 6 point lead. The Lakers then kicked it into high gear fueled by Trevor Ariza who had his best showing of the year and of course the 4th quarter meant Kobe time. Kobe scored 9 of his 27 and led the Lakers to a 106-99 victory as the Lakers only allowed only 39 points in the second half and held Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki to 5-17 shooting for only 14 points. Dirk's ineffectiveness was due in large part to Pau Gasol who added 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers improved to 6-0. After the game Kobe was asked how Pau did in comparison to one of the top players in the world in Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe responded "Well last time I checked Pau Gasol is also one the top players in the world" Heres to the Spaniard!
After an emphatic block by Trevor Ariza on Jerry Stackhouse: Said Ariza: "I hate when people score on me. I had to figure out a way to not foul him and not let him score, so I guess I just blocked it."...when all else fails just block the shot!
Breaking News: Federal regulators have charged Mavs owner Mark Cuban with insider trading for allegedly using confidential information on a stock sale to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.
Lakers at Hornets
The Lakers came into the 2nd night of a back to back against the Hornets hoping to remain the only undefeated team in the NBA as the Hawks were handed their first loss on a buzzer beater by Paul Pierce and the Celtics earlier that night. It didnt look like an easy task as they faced off against another potential threat to the Lakers Western Conference championship crown. Chris Paul and company were set to make a statement against the Lakers but instead it was the Lakers who put an exclamation mark on a statement of their own. The trend was reversed a bit as the Lakers jumped on the Hornets from the initial tip. Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant who had 20 points each got the Lakers started off early as the Lakers jumped to establish a lead as big as 23 points. But Chris Paul fueled a furious comeback as he continued to make history by scoring over 20 points and dishing out over 10 assists for the 7th straight game as he ended the game with 30 pts and 13 assists. Late in the 4th the Hornets cut the Lakers lead to just 3 points but a dagger 3 pointer by the Black Mamba on James Posey helped seal another victory for the Lakers. Andrew Bynum also had a terrific game as he had 4 blocks in the game. The Lakers improved to 7-0.
For as big of a matchup as this was, it baffles me that this was not on any national televised schedule. ESPN instead elected to show the Blazers at Miami...NBA needs a flex TV schedule
Kobe after draining a game clinching 3 pointer on former Celtics foe James Posey: "I just wanted to shoot it in his face," Bryant said of the late 3-pointer. "I knew I was due."....take that Posey!
Phil on the how the Lakers finished down the stretch: "We sucked the joy out of a good victory,"....can't argue with him there.
The Lakers hung to win this game and Phil wasn't too thrilled with Kobe's performance in the 4th beides the dagger shot : "He was doing too much at the end of the ball game," Jackson said. "We should have had him off ball a few times so it wasn't always him on ball. But he came through with the big shot that kind of clinched it."
Pistons at Lakers
The Lakers came into Friday nights contest as the only remaining undefeated team in the league but Allen Iverson & company wasn't impressed. The game also marked the return of our prodical son Kwame "Hands" Brown as he started the game for the Pistons. This game turned out to be the revenge of Kwame. Kwame notched a double double against his former team as he scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards and played stellar defense helping the Pistons hand the Lakers their first loss of the year. Allen Iverson also had a great game with 25 points as he looks to have integrated nicely into the Pistons lineup. Rasheed Wallace also had a tremendous game as he also contributed with 25 points also and went 4-9 from beyond the arc. It also didnt help that the Lakers picked this game to have one of their worst shooting games of the year as they only shot 42%. Kobe put in 29 and Pau had 15 points but the Lakers couldnt get over the hump as the Pistons lead throughout the game and closed the door on the Lakers first loss of the season.
Kwame Brown was booed often, but afterward he smiled and said, “They booed me when I was here.”...some things never change ey Kwame!
Kobe Bryant passed Larry Bird (21,791 points) for 23rd on the all-time scoring list, and then again in the fourth quarter when he passed Gary Payton (21,813 points) for 22nd.
Allen Iverson aslo made history as he passed Elgin Baylor (23,149 points) for 19th on the all-time list.
Blame Phil for the split of the dynasty
At least according to our favorite current resident of Phoenix, AZ. It seems like no matter what the Lakers and Shaquille O'Neal will never be at peace. The Big Shaqtus told the Sacramento Bee (for reasons I can't explain) that Phil Jackson could have intervened and brought the Shaq Kobe feud to an end but never did so.
"I think it was all designed by Phil," he said. "Because, if you think about it, Phil never called us into the office and said, `Both of you, shut the (heck) up.' Never did that in four years. He knew that when I read something, I was going to get upset. And he knew Kobe was going to always come out and play hard.
"So I think it was all done by design."
How bout taking accountability for your own actions? Since when does another grown man have to tell other grown men (Kobe and Shaq) to cut it out, this isnt middle school. My take on it was that both Kobe and Shaq knew what kind of damage they were doing but both because of their inflated ego's weren't willing to back off. You cant blame Phil on this one Shaq. While Phil could have done something about it, he wouldnt have to if both Kobe and Shaq could have taken the mature approach and come to an understanding that this is bigger then them.
"Now that I look back on it, that (stuff) was kind of fun," he said. "It really was. It was kind of fun. `What did he say, what did he say?' I tell people if we would have had a reality show, we'd have had the No. 1 reality show in the world. ''
Well Shaq, I'm glad you thought this was all fun cause it cost us 3 years of rebuilding when we could have been winning championships. Shaq also stated that he wouldn't rule out a possible return to the Lakers when he is a free agent in 2010...while I wouldnt completely shoot this down right away, lets see if Lakers fans would be so welcoming to you the second time around, this could be a plug for your next reality drama!
Byron Scott, a Laker again?
When asked if he would ever consider coming back home if the Lakers head coaching job was ever available, Lord Byron responded, "I'm going to be honest, yeah, I thought about it a lot," Scott said. "That's home for me. That's an organization that will be embedded in my heart for the rest of my life." While Byron praised his current employer he didnt rule out the possibility to return back to the franchise that he gave so much too and which returned the favor. "I love the situation I'm in now," Scott said. "I love this team . . . so I don't see myself leaving those guys any time soon...But I can't think of a more perfect job for me than this Hornet job that I have here," Scott said. "But my next choice would obviously be back home."
Hey Dr. Buss, I hope you're listening...if Phil ever calls if quits we know we have a worthy replacement for him.
Bynum to unleash the beast
Andrew Bynum dissapointed at his offensive performance so far has vowed to be more aggressive. Although he has been an obvious presence of defense, Andrew so far has been dissapointed in his offensive output only averaging 9.9 points per game. Look for the kid to do a little bit more offensively. I have to say, the more I read and hear about Andrew, the more impressed I am with him. To acknowledge this and to take the initiative to do something about it just shows that he is constantly willing to improve himself and you have to respect that aout this kid.
"I really haven't been attacking, so I'm going to start attacking on the block," Bynum said. "Over all the games, I really haven't scored much on the block play." "I'm just not being aggressive," Bynum said. "I think I need to go out there and be aggressive and assert myself on the block. I don't think I've even scored with a post move yet this season."
Phil also has to give Andrew some freedom to operate a little and get him his chances, look for the beast to quench his hunger!
Derek Fisher didn't participate in part of Sunday's practice because of injured ribs he suffered during Friday night's game against the Detroit Pistons. Vladimir Radmanovic suffered a left thigh contusion at the end of practice Sunday. His status is more uncertain. Look for Trevor Ariza to get the starting nod if Vlad Rad is unable to go. Sasha Vujacic, who has a sprained right ankle, practiced Sunday...this lingering injury kept him out most of the pre-season but should be okay for the coming week.
Week 4 Preview
The Lakers look to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday as they welcome Rookie of the Year candidate Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls to Staples. The Lakers then travel to Phoenix on Thursday to face division foes the Phoenix Suns for the first time this season (no worries I will have the Smack Talk Thread ready). Friday the Lakers return home to face a revamped Denver Nuggets team with Chauncey Billups and end the week on Sunday with a matchup with the Sacramento Kings.