minoroots

’08 Lakers crush Rockets, ’87 Lakers battle Celtics

Posted in Hoops by minoroots on 11/10/2008
Kobe & Artest were really going at it. Too bad Artest couldnt throw a pea into the ocean (Chick-ism).

Kobe & Artest were really going at it. Too bad Artest "couldn't throw a pea into the ocean" (Chick-ism). Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Earlier tonight, I witnessed the Lakers turn it up in the 2nd half once again, recovering form an 8-turnover, 14pt deficit debacle of a 1st quarter, to turn it around and win it by 29(!) points. These guys are freaking amazing. As bad as Yao, McGrady, and Artest shot,  the 39pts in the 4th quarter by the Lakers was something to see.

  • Farmar was a real difference maker today. He changes the tempo of the game when he’s in. Really impressed at how much he’s improved in the past few years, especially this past summer. He seemed much slower and less accurate with his shot while at UCLA, but now speed & accuracy are two of his strongest attributes.
  • Kobe vs Artest. Man, they were getting physical in the post. Love seeing that kind of competitiveness out of all-star players.
  • Yao missed 3 freethrows. That’s as surprising as Steve Nash or Ray Allen missing 1.
  • Sasha’s Classic Machine Moment Of The Day (SCMMOTD): Seconds after entering the game, he receives a not-so-good bounce pass from the post, a little towards his knees, which would usually deter taking a quick shot, because it’s hard to set up from such a low position. But this is Sasha. He quickly gathers himself, and with Luis Scola Luther Head running straight at him with outstretched arms, Sasha launches, just barely getting the ball over Head’s fingertips–nothing but net. Classic Machine Moment achieved.
  • Pau has been a beast on the boards this season. Good to see from a guy who sometimes gets the label of being ‘too soft’.
  • McGrady is really struggling. I wonder if his shoulder is bothering him a lot, or if the protector is just there for caution. (UPDATE: Apparently, he had the flu on Friday. Lingering effects, maybe?)
  • Aaron Brooks! This guy was ridiculous at Oregon, always scaring the crap out of me when UCLA played OU because of what he might do offensively. Today? 20 pts off the bench. He’s like, 5’10”. Ridiculous.
  • Trevor Ariza is quickly becoming my favorite Laker, and it’s not just because he’s a UCLA product and wears my favorite #3. “For all the stat geeks, Ariza had a plus/minus of +34 Sunday night.”

Highlights

Right now, on FSN West, they’re re-playing the 1987 finals, Game 4–Lakers vs Celtics, at the Boston Garden. Lakers were down by 14 points, (like today) and right now it’s in the 4th quarter, 12 seconds left, and the Lakers are down 2 (they actually went up by 1, but Larry Bird just hit a corner-three. damn).

Watching these teams battle it out is such a treat. The Lakers fast break is so electrifying. and James Worthy from the wing, driving and spinning into the post!! What a gifted athlete he was. And the brutal toughness of the Celts, and the Garden! MAN, was this place Rockin’! I wish fans at Staples Center today were just as enthused… so many seats at Staples are bought by sponsors or rich douches that don’t give a damn about hoops and ruin the atmosphere for everyone, because they’re too busy checking their e-mails on their blackberries, or they’re too ‘reserved’ to get up and cheer, and stretch out their $50,000 suit shipped direct from Italy. Ugh.

With the Lakers down 1, Kareem just missed the second of 2 free throws and the ball went out of bounds, back to the Lakers. Magic just hit that legendary running baby-sky-hook (6:00min) in the lane –Lakers up by 1! 2 seconds left, Bird from the corner–no good. Lakers win!

Blast from the past - Lakers-Celts

Blast from the past - Bird missed that final shot. LA WINS.

It’s such a thrill to watch these games from the Showtime era, even though the result is already known… In fact, it’s always a fun time re-living the great Lakers moments in history, like the 1999-2003 3-peat Lakers. I still get goosebumps watching the 2000 WCF Game 7 comeback vs the Blazers, and the Horry three over the Kings in Game 4 of the 2002 WCF… Classic.

Tough road trip coming up for the 08-09 Lakers this week. Mavs and Hornets on the road! Would love to see how the Lakers react when they are finally tested. I’m afraid of the 3point shooters of New Orleans making it rain on the Lakers… they really will need to focus on making their rotations and covering each other’s back when someone goes to trap Cris Paul (or try to trap him, since he’s almost impossible to stop).

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