Home > Uncategorized > Lakers Extend Win Streak to 4 Games with Return of Steve Nash!

Lakers Extend Win Streak to 4 Games with Return of Steve Nash!

“What an exciting game tonight! Wow! Lakers cruised to an easy win…” Nope. Nobody can start a “Lakers Recap” with such a statement this year: not yet! I wrote a “Preview” for the game, and at the half, I predicted by text with 2 friends that The Los Angeles Lakers would beat The Golden State Warriors 115-114: I was pretty close! Final: Lakers 118, Warriors 115 (OT).

I purposely stayed off Twitter until after the game was over, not wanting to be hyper-critical of Mike D’Antoni’s latest version to a starting lineup for The Lakers. He may not have designed it for the purpose of hedging against players getting into early foul trouble, but Metta World Peace coming in maybe even earlier than expected for Dwight Howard was a key substitution in the 1st Quarter for us staying with a team with young legs like The Warriors that likes to play fast & loose. They were streaky good all night long, but patience (or lack of it) drew them into turnovers and poor shot selection. But Jarrett Jack was un-be-lievable! That guy almost won the game for them, as Kobe Bryant was trying to do for The Lakers – The Black Mamba chucked up 41 shot attempts tonight! smh

Jarrett Jack 13-19 FGs for 29 points plus 11 assists – off the bench!

Kobe Bryant 16-41 FGs for 34 points plus 10 RBs

I thought Steve Nash was supposed to stabilize the team, help everybody play better, and the spacing on the floor was better, plus he hit 2 key shots to win it in overtime that were nothing short of huge! But Kobe shot 41 times! That’s incredible. But which guy was more valuable to his team? Jarrett Jack or Kobe Bryant?

That Steve Nash played more than 24 minutes of regulation was unexpected: I didn’t even believe he was going to play! And if he played, I was certain he would have limited minutes. But then D’Antoni comes up with this idea to start Darius Morris AND Steve Nash to stay up with the speedy Warriors and it almost worked. Some we had people in foul trouble all night long, yet referees seemed to just let the game go with a hands off approach to calling a reasonable game. Morris had 2 fouls early, but Dwight Howard had 2 too early also. That blessing in disguise brought MWP into the game, able to harass players on defense, stealing the ball away, messing with their minds, drawing them into mistakes…

The Lakers have a bench!     The Lakers have a bench!     The Lakers have a bench!

Coming off the bench with Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks turns out to be a great move by Mike D’Antoni. I have wanted to see Jodie Meeks start, and maybe he will, beside Steve Nash, moving Kobe Bryant up to Small Forward just like what we saw tonight… Most of the time, Jodie Meeks will likely score the most for us off the bench, but tonight his production (12) was mostly felt on defense, MWP finishing with 20 points, and Jordan Hill chipped in with 14! Somehow, Metta, Jordan & Dwight were the only Lakers players with a +/- on the upside! Kobe’s rating was a zero, Darius -1, Pau -2, Nash -3.

So, how did we win this game? I mean, The Lakers played a nice 1st Quarter. But that 3rd Quarter, after going down 61-53 at halftime, it was miserable. I had projected a Lakers 115, Warriors 114 final at halftime, which left me with a 4th Quarter necessity of The Lakers outdueling The Warriors 41-27! Not good odds. But to outscore them 34-21 could only be attributed to the intensity that The Lakers chose to play defense at in the final 12 minutes of regulation – led by Metta World Peace. MWP was everywhere. Dwight Howard was altering shots. And Jodie Meeks seemed to shoot his way out of a funk he seemed to be in for most of the game hitting a key shot down the stretch. The Lakers were down by double digits in the 3rd and never led by more than 5 in the 1st Half, and only built a 6-point lead in overtime.

It seemed to me that The Warriors lost the game due to poor shot selection and committing too many turnovers.

The Lakers had the same problems, but they won the game by keeping the defense of The Warriors from being able to harass our shooters. Most teams have been able to do that, sending an extra defender to pressure the ball, but we now have a Point Guard on the floor that is a threat to score at any time! Steve Nash should shoot more than he does. Steve Nash is a good enough shooter that Kobe Bryant should never again feel the need to chuck up 41 attempts! Steve Nash needs to be able to get the ball back when plays disintegrate and start the offense over again, instead of letting guys go 1-on-1 with the ball, dribbling off the last 8 seconds and putting up clumsy, bad shots! But our shot selection was reflective of The Warriors, so in the end, the difference was… Rebounding? Yep. We were able to take 4 more shots. Otherwise, across the board, nothing else really stands out: turnovers the same, 3-pointers the same, benchscoring similar, free throw shooting similar… Steve Nash hit a 3-pointer late, added a runner in the lane, unguarded, with 17 seconds to go – that was ball game. (BoxScore)

The Lakers now own a 4-game winning streak!

Let’s go, Lakers! Let’s keep the winning streak alive!

Next Game: Lakers vs. Knicks, Christmas Day, If The Lakers can pull off a victory vs. The New York Knicks, who are the class of the NBA this year, they will back at .500, with a 14-14 record with teams looking at them differently now with Steve Nash as our floor general. The playoffs picture is beginning to look better already!

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