Friday, November 20th, 2009 at 11:14 am  |  28 responses

Game Notes: Bulls at Lakers

Gasol’s back and there’s gonna be trouble.

by John KrolikPau Gasol & Brad Miller

Pre-game, Phil Jackson says he doesn’t see any potential problems with Gasol coming back into the lineup, even though he’s had very little on-court with the Lakers. He also has this classic exchange with a Laker TV guy about the Bulls’ annual “circus trip”:

“This road trip, it’s given them some tremendous problems over the years.”

“Even when you were there?”


– During the game, Gasol makes his presence felt immediately, snagging the first of his 7 offensive boards and tipping in a miss for the Lakers’ first basket. Not only is Gasol a tremendous offensive rebounder, but the fact he never brings the ball down makes him a force when he gets the ball near the basket.

– Los Angeles wins the first quarter 25-19 despite Kobe, the League’s best first-quarter scorer thus far, going 1-5 from the field. Not only does this bode badly for the Bulls, but the rest of the League might be in trouble.

– Ten points for Gasol in the first 6 minutes of the game. He doesn’t look too rusty.

– Great moment early in the game: Joakim Noah has the ball at the elbow. Andrew Bynum is playing off of him. They stare at each other, and Bynum makes it clear that he has no intention of closing out on Noah. They stare at each other for a few seconds, and Noah finally drains a UFO jumper. “I’ll give you that shot” happens in the NBA.

– Another playground basketball note about Noah-he will occasionally close out on people while yelling at the top of his lungs to try and distract them. Absolutely hilarious.

– Derrick Rose cannot buy a layup. He goes 2-11 from the field in the first half, with a lot of his misses at the basket after double-clutch, whirling dervish attempts. No whistles, and no buckets.

– Bynum has some trouble with the lack of space and Noah’s pesky defense, rushing some shots in the post and finishing 5-12 from the field. It’ll be interesting to see if this is just an adjustment or a symptom of Gasol and Bynum’s strengths overlapping.

– Kobe didn’t have his best game from the field, but was passing the ball beautifully, finding the open man from the post and finishing with 8 assists. His passing’s fallen off a bit this year, but with his full roster around him he looks like he’s ready to pick apart some defenses.

– Kobe also passes Kareem for second all-time on the Laker scoring list in this game-a great moment, and an amazing achievement. Now only Jerry West has scored more poJoakim Noah, Derrick Rose & Shannon Brownints in a Laker uniform than Kobe.

– The 2nd unit looks completely transformed with Odom coming off of the bench.

– When Rose struggles from the field, the Bulls really struggle to get points. It’s a lot of one-on-one play, and with Deng struggling from the field, the Bulls just never got into an offensive flow.

– Hinrich played shooting guard alongside Rose in the 2nd quarter. Normally, I’m a big proponent of undersized shooting guards, but Kobe is one of the few guys in the League who can kill an undersized 2-guard. He takes Hinrich to the post every single time, and Kirk ends up with a game low -20 +/- in only 26 minutes.

– If you’re wondering whether or not members of major publications give each other crap about how many twitter followers they have, the answer is a resounding “yes.” By the way, twitter and live-blogging make press row feel completely different from only a season ago.

– Brad Miller honestly thinks he’s the world’s tallest point James Johnsonguard. Another good moment was the first time he went to the line-a small contingent of Laker fans booed him because he played with the early-decade Kings, while most of the building just didn’t care all that much.

– Bright spot for the Bulls-the ultra-long rookie James Johnson blocked a Kobe jumper, which almost never happens, and used his length to get a post-up basket just before garbage time officially began. He’s got some tools.

– After the game, Kobe says the Lakers “Didn’t miss a beat” with Pau Gasol back into the lineup. Considering the Lakers won an NBA championship the last time Gasol officially suited up as a Laker, the rest of the League should be very afraid right now.

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  • Orlando Woolridge

    Step it up, DRose.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    what the hell is wrong with Rose?

  • horsey


  • Orlando Woolridge

    IMO, I think people were just a little too anxious to crown DR as “that dude” (or to crown his ass, if you will). I like him a lot, but he’s got a ways to go before he can carry a team on his back. It doesn’t help when Salmons is going 2-16 every other game, but still.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    kobe’s numbers may have been good so far this season but we will see it all go down hill from here. every time he gets to the hoop he has to throw up some circus shot to avoid it getting sent back. he’s lost too much athleticism and his jumpers consistency is way overrated. and for chrissake Derek fisher should not be starting for any team in the NBA.

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    Brad Miller fits perfectly with this team, hope he’s still with them when the season ends. And if there’s one player who has improved so much from his rookie year, it’s Noah. I like watching him play, and he seems way more aware of what’s going than a couple of years ago.

  • Orlando Woolridge

    yeah, I’m psyched for Noah. I thought he had bust written all over him. I don’t want to punch him in the face every time I see him play anymore.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Kobe and his lost athleticism is one of my favorite fallacies. Hes only 31 and he has a groin injury. And as of a week ago he was taking more shots in the post than ever, taking practically no three pointers and shooting a carer high from the field. Next. And nice work again, Krolik.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    BTW, John and I both have exactly 268 twitter followers. NOt sure what that means…

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Means you have the same fans…i mean followers.

  • Ricky

    @EBoy: Can I quote you on that?

  • se7enboy

    …i dont know why this eboy guy always talks as if he knew everything…who the hell r u to decide who should or should not start in the league? r u crazy?..so now you know more than a pro coaching staff? ..last time I checkd Jackson and crew had more rings than u.. and now one of the best scorers in the history of the game has an overrated jumper..really? really?..this kids.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy really hates Kobe. Really, really.
    Of course doesn’t have bounce like he did back in the day, he’s played an insance amount of games in 14 years in the League.
    But, he can still get up when he needs to. He’s kind of like Jordan in 96. Athletic and crafty enough to kill anybody. Well, not as athletic as Jordan in 96, but close.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Can I say something nice about Brad Miller? Have you ever seen someone and said, “That guys doing everything he can to maximize what God gave him.”? That’s how I feel when I watch Brad Miller play basketball.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Jordan was bigger and so much stronger than Kobe is AND had a better, more consistent fadeaway. Kobe’s been in the post a lot but he’s been working waaay harder to get his shots than MJ ever had to. He won’t be able to bang like that for a full season and I’ll gladly wager that as the season wears on we see more of his shots coming further and further away from the cup. And se7enboy: Do you watch basketball? Watch any Lakers game and tell me Fish really deserves to be out there. His shot selection is aweful, and any time he shoots when actually open he misses anyways. His defense is also non-existent. Everyone wants to talk about that one big 3 he made in the Finals last year but whenever Shannon Brrown was in the game he was hitting clutch baskets and playing good D throughout the whole playoffs. LA wouldn’t even have needed Fishers 3 if he was on the bench instead of starting and logging most of the pg minutes.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    @ Ricky: please do quote me on that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jordan’s fadeaway was better, but I don’t know about Mike being so much bigger and stronger. But, we will see.
    Brad Long
    I don’t think about that when I see Brad Miller. Given his pudgy physique and propensity for smoking weed, I’m pretty sure he puts in very little work to maximize his talent. You telling me he’s in the gym lifting and running to improve in the off-season? Do drills to work on his footwork in the post? Working on stuff to improve his lateral quickness?
    Hell no. He’s chillling. Kevin Martin maximized his talent. Ben Wallace maximized his talent to a certain extent. Brad Miller is enjoying the good life.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Well I don’t think he was born with that court vision, passing ability, and 18 foot jumper but I’ve been wrong before. And just because you smoke weed it doesn’t automaticly make you fat and lazy, L.O. has always been in great shape. That’s just a sterotype. Michael Phelps ring a bell? I guess if he had Brad’s prison ink and man boobs you’d feel different about him.


    U guys are crazy if you think that kobe is as big and strong as jordan was. Kobe may need to go back to when he was really lifting weights to be in that discussion. Also jordan was still skying over centers into his late 30s something kobe has never done with regularity like all the high flyers do. Kobe’s jumping ability has always been overrated because remember when he won the dunk contents with some dunks that don’t compare with other great dunks. Also the guys only 31 yrs old stop acting like his nearing his forties.

  • se7enboy

    to eboy at 3:31..man..to say that a player like fisher..one of the league’s hardest workers and smartest players should not even be in the NBA is just an insult to the player and to anyone that knows a little bit of basketball, of course his quickness is not there as it used to be when it comes to defend quick pg’s like paul or d-will, but thats obvious after 13 years in the league, and even after that Fish is still in great shape for a 35 year old, and if u even played basketball at any level you should know that quick first step guards liker rose or brooks are really hard stop 10 out of 10 times they try to penetrate….thats when help defense and defensive rotation comes in, its not like Rose/pargo had their performance of the year last night..his job is to use his experience to guide the players to the bigs to reduce their drives and layups..Fisher is the best player for Jacksons and Winter schemes, offensively and defensively..they dont need a 15 and 10 player when they have kobe, lamar, artest and gasol../and back in early 2000′s oneal, rice, kobe, and those kind of scorers..the lakers need a veteran and floor leader kinda like what avery j use to do with the spurs,,and they need a spotup shooter..kinda what paxson did with the bulls in the early 90′s…remember that before the gasol trade (and bynums injury) the lakers were already rollin’ ..that was when the lakers got fisher back from utah (where he was a very important piece of the jazz playoffs the year before) the lakers begun their succesfull run at the same time he came back..not just a coincidence boy..they didnt need smush parker running the Offense they needed fisher. its not about his talent or speed..its about his role in the coach’s plans and the lakers intentions..its aobut really knowing the game. get it? and im not even gonna go into the -kobe overrated jumper thing- its not even worthy..have a good weekend.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Still waiting for Eboy’s “apology” when the Lakers actually did what a lot of people said they would do last year: win the championship.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Brad Long
    Maybe you’re right, maybe the weed has nothing to do with it.
    But, I’m wondering why you think that Brad Miller is such a hard worker. Nothing about his resume says “hard worker.”
    Look at his body. Is he really putting in work in the offseason? He’s been the same player most of his career.

  • http://www.nicekicks.com Chris

    laker/kobe haters never apologize or agree that they were wrong… and they gonna win it again with dfish at point.. andddd stfu

  • J

    I’m not able to watch fully the lakers/bulls game last night. Ive only seen the late 2nd quarter and early 3rd. in that span i didn’t see from kobe that great post up. i wonder if he did that in the game cause Pau’s back inside. MJ post-up was a masterpiece, but man that kobe post up is also murdering opponents. see the lakers/hornets game? he’s eating every defenders thrown at him at that game. i’m a leBron fan and i wish for bron to incorporate that move in his game more.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    EBoy, woah! that the first comment! sorry but it was all completely unfounded nonsense and even though I dont rate fisher much at all except for his D, I agree he probably wouldnt start in the majority of the L but he complements Jaxs LA system a treat, hes almost perfect. But the stuff about Kobe, all far too severe to be considered a serious comment. And as for DRose peoples, I think the team, just like the media, are expecting him to do too much and he’s willing to try it but its not working, and as someone said, Salmons is sucking. Props to Noah, genuinely didnt see the sort of play we’ve had this season coming from him, truly stepped it up!

  • Robert

    Here’s my take, according to Phil; Mike is bigger and stronger than Kobe but Kobe is as strong as many people in the league in his own right. Mike had bigger hands which made it hard to take the ball away from him and he could do a lot of things that no one can with the ball because of those mits but Kobe is the better shooter and the better ball handler.

    Now on my observation, Kobe is at least a half-inch taller or an inch taller than Mike and Kobe has longer arms than him. I remember Mike stood next to Paul Pierce when Mike was with the Wizards and Paul Pierce was clearly taller than him and Pierce is listed at 6’6. That’s more or less the tale of the tape.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Sigh… Kobe & Lakers haters. SMH. What more has to be done to garner people’s respect? Seriously.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    everyone hates a winner.