Home > Uncategorized > Lakers Escape Detroit with a Late Rally Against All Odds!

Lakers Escape Detroit with a Late Rally Against All Odds!

Where does a real sportswriter begin when trying to explain this crazy game tonight between The Los Angeles Lakers and The Detroit Pistons? Fastbreak points, and points in the paint for Detroit were ridiculous! Which also expresses The Lakers ability to defend them; but, somehow, some way, they kept the game close. At 64-64, in the 2nd Half, Detroit scored their first 2 points outside of the paint! The Pistons eventually got tired (ran out of gas?) is perhaps the only way to explain this victory for L.A. – and The Lakers bench, which has carried them much of this year, was forced to do so tonight, because Jordan Hill was lost early in the 2nd Half to an ankle injury. Really? Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Josh Smith could do whatever they wanted – in the paint. They out-rebounded The Lakers by 10 offensive putbacks! Somehow, as ragged as L.A. played defensively, they saved their best effort for the 4th Quarter – The Pistons, who scored over 30 points in the 1st & 3rd Quarters only managed 15 points in the final period!

Lakers 106, Pistons 102 (Recap).

So, what was the difference? I’m new to Smartphones, and I love the Lakers App – it breaks down overall stats really well. For instance, Detroit took 20 more shots than Los Angeles! (100-80); but, The Pistons made 44, and The Lakers 36. So, how do you win by 4 points when you make 8 fewer shots? You make them count: 3-point shots fell for The Lakers, to the tune of 14-31; Detroit, however, as successful as they were with fastbreak points and short shots in the key could only come up with a 1-8 effort beyond the arc. Differential: Lakers came up with 13 extra points! But hat still leaves a scoring deficiency of 7 points to account for. Anybody? Free Throws? That was an adventure for both teams. Steals & Turnovers were fairly even, but Bench Scoring favored The Lakers 52-37. Jordan Farmar was asked about the success of The Lakers bench to pull out victories: “Progress.” He attributed wins during games to efforts made during practice, as players on the team continue to develop confidence in their shots, and become more comfortable playing with each other.

To the human eye, Pau Gasol & Jordan Hill couldn’t seem to do anything right all night long – defensively. Down 10 points after 3 quarters, it looked bleak for The Lakers. Rodney Stuckey was taking them apart in the 3rd Quarter. But, somehow, Detroit’s motor started to sputter at the worst possible time (for them). Maybe their head coach Maurice Cheeks was being told to allow Brandon Jennings to reassert himself at Point Guard down the stretch. It was weird: it was like their starter went bad. You know that awful noise you hear when you turn the key in your ignition switch and nothing happens? That sound. Yet, The Lakers super-subs just kept on pressing the issue, looking for a way to pull off an unexpected win. I mean, really, Byron Scott & James Worthy were just laughing, shaking their heads (during timeouts, when commentators would look to fill “air time” with their expertise), resigned to a Lakers road loss that seemed more likely than not.

Fortunately, the injury to “Swaggy P” (Nick Young, wrist) in Brooklyn wasn’t too serious, but he found the most unusual way to make his biggest impact on the game: Defense! After the game, Farmar said it might be the first defensive stop Young ever had in his life! Worthy & Scott were calling him “Swaggy D” after the game, taking a charge vs. Josh Smith as the final seconds of the game neared. There were way too many referee reviews in the last few minutes, but through it all, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Pau Gasol found themselves on the Free Throw line with opportunities to “ice” the game, but continued to leave the gate open for The Pistons to stay alive just a little bit longer. The steady play, however, of Shawne Williams (20 points, 9 RBs) & Wesley Johnson (27 points on 9-11, 6-7 from 3; 6 RBs, 3 Blks) on offense saw The Lakers through to victory! Steve Blake just didn’t seem to have “it” tonight (although he still managed 10 assists in limited duty); and Jodie Meeks wasn’t as instrumental in this game as he has been in most of the games this season – so far. As poorly as both teams shot Free Throws that was the final piece to the puzzle, statistically, of who came out of the contest as the victor: Lakers 20-30 vs. Pistons 13-25 answers the question where to find the differential of 7 points from everything else that happened.

The Lakers come home now to play a division matchup against a team surprisingly surging out to challenge the elite teams of the Western Conference: The Portland Trailblazers (13-3). Once again, The Lakers have yet another “test” to overcome, as the league is hopefully beginning to take notice of this team’s growing confidence to win against anybody, at home or on the road. The other “Big City” teams, from New York and Chicago, are playing poorly; unfortunately, The Clippers are playing well – up to expectations (?). Hopefully, for The Lakers sake,  the ankle injury to Jordan Hill isn’t too severe (minor sprain, able to play Sunday?); perhaps Chris Kaman is able to play more minutes, as I’m not convinced Rob Sacre should be used too early in games, if tonight’s game is a fair example of his ability to contribute – still mostly a “garbage time” guy, it appears. The Lakers could definitely use one more quality big man, but it’s not looking like that’s in their plans. Kobe Bryant is still a few weeks away from returning, by the sounds of it. The Blazers do something similar to what The Lakers are doing, playing inside out with Damian Lilliard and LeMarcus Aldridge and kicking the ball out to guys who have been hitting their open shots at a good clip: Wesley Mathews (50% TPA), Nicolas Batum…

Let’s go, Lakers! They’re now above .500, at 9-8. Keep on rollin’!

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