Game Notes: Hornets at Lakers
The Lakers bring some Raid for the Hornets, but forgot all about the No-Doze.
by Ben Collins
In the most boring game in the history of basketball, the Lakers won 87-78. You probably fell asleep, but that’s fine, because so did Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Kobe dropped 11. Pau had 8. Ron Artest looked like the most capable wing scorer on the floor tonight, which is hilarious. It was a totally disgusting, awful mess for every team, including the Lakers.
But it didn’t matter. Because the Lakers are the most talented team in the Western Conference. That’s just how it is.
They sneeze out baskets. Phil Jackson is so put-together that he got nine players that were under a deep, deep trance to beat a team that made the NBA playoffs. He is who to call when the robots become autonomous, start feeling feelings, start moving in on us. He’ll talk them all down.
He got eight grown men to think this: “When Kobe is off, then we get to play basketball as a team! Hooray!” Really. They’re all saying, “Hooray!” afterwards, like second graders, and no one is upset. They all believe in this. That’s how they’ve won two straight NBA championships.
Someone asked Phil Jackson what he thought about the game. He said this: “We won by nine points, maybe 11. That’s about it.”
He didn’t even know the score. He just knows that the Lakers are better.
The Hornets have no answer and they’re starting to realize that. The Lakers successfully defended Chris Paul tonight by focusing the entire team’s attention on him. This worked because there are no other Hornets. Chris Paul is the only Hornet and that works for exactly one game in a seven-game series.
“Who knows what they’ll throw at us the next game,” Phil Jackson half-asked after the game. Of course he doesn’t. He doesn’t know what their game plan will be; he just knows his will be better.
- Well, that was the douchiest rendition of the national anthem I’ve ever heard.
- Smattering of applause for Chris Paul during intros, weirdly enough.
- Lamar gets his Sixth Man award at home. You can pose for pictures with it on the concourse, if you’re one of those adults who still goes to Disneyland to get a picture with Pluto.
– I am one of those adults.
- I’ll say this one more time, Lakers fans: Nothing says, “I’m don’t really care if we lose to a team with Marco Belinelli starting at the 2 in the first round” more than singing along to this Black Eyed Peas at tipoff.
– Chris Paul is already all over the place. Quick Landry set shot, then a CP dive and hoop. 4-0, New Orleans.
- The white Kareem, Aaron Gray, enters two minutes in. Okafor is already in foul trouble.
- Tough Pau bucket. Corner Fish three.
- They’re seriously running a Paul-Gray pick-and-roll on every possession. That’s not an exaggeration. This one gets Ariza on a dive-cut. 10-9, New Orleans.
- New Orleans is playing Gasol and Bynum one-on-one (with Landry and Gray respectively) and it’s worked literally every time.
- A vicious Landry then a hustleboard on the next possession for a pair of free throws on the putback. 18-11, New Orleans.
- Is it actually possible that this New Orleans team is better than the Lakers right now?
- Aaron Gray again.
- Chris Paul has 645 assists.
- Wait, no, sorry, he has 6 points and two assists. It just feels like that other number.
- Lamar Odom gets a free alley-oop layup out of the timeout. Then a baseline drive for another layup. 22-20, Hornets.
- Kobe, who had no points until now, gets a serious superstar call trying to navigate the lane. He now has one point. Ball don’t lie.
- LO hits a stepback J to end the first. 9-0 run ends the half since Lamar came in the game. 23 up to end one. Considerably less P+Rs for Paul toward the end of the quarter.
- I refuse to believe that this Hornet team would win 20 games with Jarrett Jack as its starting point guard.
- This Shannon Brown to Matt Barnes alley oop layup is, so far, the most exciting play of the game. Exciting night!
- Kobe, Pau and Chris Paul aren’t in and, yep, this is the worst game I’ve ever seen in my life.
- I just fell asleep on J.A. Adande.
- These are the last five Tweets on my Twitter feed:
Aaron Gray has no body fat; doctors measure his body non-fat (it’s 2%).
Did Aaron Gray just try to take a charge while hopping?#youredoingitwrong
Pound for pound, Aaron Gray is a lot of pounds.
Matt Barnes’ haircut is all the rage in middle schools across the continent.
Matt Barnes’s haircut qualifies as a hate crime.
- Keepin’ it classy at SLAMonline.com!
- Speaking of “classy,” there’s a Kobe “don’t hate gay people” PSA running right now in the arena. I am the only person in the world without a real opinion on this.
- 37-33, LA. Bynum and-one then a Bynum eight-footer. The NBA: It’s fantazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
- Here’s a behind-the-back post pass from Kobe to Pau, but Carl Landry ruled the play too exciting and fouled Pau before he got a shot up.
- Derek Fisher coast-to-coast. Finally, Kobe seems a little amped up. Lakers lead 43-33.
- Pau on a sweep-through post move. That’s the world’s slowest 32-10 run. 45-33, LA.
- If it wasn’t for all of these Aaron Gray fat jokes, J.A. Adande would have to get a restraining order from the amount of sleeping I’m doing on his shoulder.
- New Orleans is huddling at this pseudo timeout thing, and Derek Fisher just watched the whole huddle. It was like when Rondo tried to do the same thing, except it was Derek Fisher.
- Paul goes length of the floor and drains a three. 47-41 sounds a lot closer than 47-38.
- 47-41 at the half in the C-Span of basketball games.
– I have roughly 15 gay friends who have done less homoerotic things in their life than that halftime show.
- Pivotal call there: Paul gets three foul shots after Kobe stepped under him on a desperation, shot-clock-beating heave. Nobody likes it.
- Half the fun of the NBA is making fun of the announcers now.
- The Hornets are doubling bigs and it’s working. Gasol is stripped immediately. Bynum can’t see his way over Ariza and Okafor, so he shoots it.
- After a bunch of foul shots (of course), New Orleans is back down by two.
- In ugly games like this, Ron Artest is the ruler of the animal kingdom. He gets a putback. 56-49, LA.
- Lamar has taken over. A J then a runner gets this place noisy. 61-49, Los Angeles.
- Corliss Williamson won the Sixth Man Award nine years ago. Think about that.
- Well, things are happening, but it’s not scoring. It’s a lot like Summer League, actually, in that I’m forgetting everything that’s happening in it. I think this game is giving me the flu. Or maybe glaucoma.
- Chris Paul hits another buzzer-beating three. He keeps doing that! 63-56.
- Just wanted to update you: Kobe has five points heading into the fourth. Pau has 6. I have zero, but I haven’t played 28 minutes already.
- Wow. Chris Paul hits another pull-up J to beat a shot clock, this time double-covered. This guy. 65-59, LA.
- The second the ball leaves Chris Paul’s hands, the New Orleans offense shatters into a thousand tiny little pieces.
- Shannon Brown hits a three that may have put the game away, 72-59. That seems insurmountable, considering both teams are just entering the REM level of sleep.
- Matt Barnes with a flagrant on Trevor Ariza. He misses both shots because it is hard to hit free throws when you’re in a coma.
- Wait, have I said that it’s not even particularly good defense? Yeah, the defense hasn’t been very good. The Hornets are just inept offensively and the Lakers are watching old episodes of Chapelle’s Show on their iPhones while they’re shooting free throws. 77-64.
- The Lakers lead grows with free throws and jumpshots.
- Chris Paul is so good that he got a chance at a four-point play without even making a jumpshot. He was fouled somewhere near the half-court line, out by the Middle East. But he probably wasn’t actually fouled, so Kobe was plenty nonplussed.
- There we go. Kobe took off, spun around Ariza, went baseline and reversed dunked it. That’s it. Remove thine stingers. 81-70, LA.
- Chris Paul is going to have to have some sort of Reggie Miller moment for the Hornets to even have a chance.
- Ron Artest seals it with a 3. 84-74, Lakers.
- 87-78 is your final. Lakers win.
Kobe, on if he asked to switch onto Chris Paul: “Yeah, Fish and I talked about it. Fish is better at chasing guys off screens and I’m better on-ball. We talked about it and we made the switch.”
Kobe, on talking to Phil about that: “We have a lot of leeway with that. He was hesitant at first.”
Monty Williams, on Emeka Okafor’s foul trouble for his second consecutive game: “I’ve learned my lesson from Nate (McMillan). If I answer the way I want, I will get fined.”
Phil Jackson on what he thought about the game: “We won by nine points, maybe 11. That’s about it.”
Yep, that’s about right.