Things to do in Ottawa when you’re freezing and it’s not even December yet…
- Kobe played especially well in the first half, finding teammates for easy buckets when the defense collapsed on him, and breaking down Seattle’s perimeter guys with relative ease. His jumpshot is still not there, but most of all, his legs are nowhere near game ready. KB24 missed a dunk badly after he blew by Ray-Ray, and came up way short on a number of layups. Still, however, dude gave Seattle 23 (making it look easy) and dished out 6 assists. The rust showed in the 6 turnovers he committed.
- Phil Jackson told ESPN before the game that he would limit Bryant to about 32 minutes in an effort to ease him back into action. Kobe ended up playing 41 minutes. So much for that.
- LA rode Ronny Turiaf’s boundless energy in the fourth, as the second year forward was everywhere, grabbing boards, blocking a couple of shots, and even provided some scoring for good measure. Turiaf finished with 13 and 7, and the Staples faithful chanted his name a couple of times in a show of appreciation.
- Chris Wilcox dunks hard. Real hard.
(Speaking of dunking, if you haven’t seen LeBron’s poster on Duncan yet, please head to your local YouTube and get familiar.)
- There is a lot that I would give up to have Ray Allen’s jumpshot. Such a beautiful thang. Shuttlesworth finished the game with 30, but struggled to find his touch in the fourth.
- In case you were worried that Danny Fortson was getting any less crazy, fear not, he’s still as nutty as ever. In the 12 minutes of burn that he got tonight, he tried fighting two guys (Odom and Bynum) and finished with 4 points and 2 boards.
- Rashard Lewis had the quietest 28 points you’ll ever see. So unassuming.
- Seattle threw up 31 three point attempts (making only 11), while the Lakeshow made 9 of 16. Note to the Sonics: Get to the hole, fellas.
- Lamar Odom continued his strong play so far this season, dropping 28 points and handing out 6 assists. If he can keep this up, the Lakers will be a very dangerous team this year (and he’ll be an All-Star.)
- No sign of Jack Nicholson at the game tonight. Must be the lighting (or lack thereof) at Staples.
- The Lakers are an improved team from last year. Aside from a few instances, there’s no more standing around the perimeter and watching Kobe take all the shots. Maybe it’s the limits placed on him by the knee injury, or maybe there’s just more trust now, but Kobe seems to have an easier time getting rid of the ball in the triangle offense. He also didn’t try to rescue his teammates every time the shot clock was running out. Andrew Bynum know what he’s doing out there (and has a bit of a mean streak to him); Luke Walton learned how to shoot over the summer (he dropped 20, mostly from the outside); and Jordan Farmar is going to be a fan favorite (don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Final Score: Lakers 118, Sonics 112.