After 14 games of, let's face it, less than impressive competition, the Los Angeles Lakers finally played a game against a team with legitimate aspirations that extend beyond the month of May, and the result was easily the best game (from both sides) that the Lakers have been a part of in this young season. A close contest throughout, it wasn't until the 4th quarter and some timely 3 point shooting from the bench that the Lakers were able to get a real foothold in this game and put the thing away. Unlike previous close games (including those two losses) there was nothing fluky or disappointing about the Lakers performance. They simply ran into a team that took a good shot at the champs, and almost pulled out a victory that would have been decidedly well earned.
A game like this deserves the very best analysis SSR has to offer. It deserves more than throw away comments about how Shannon Brown continues to to be the most dynamic player off the bench in the league. 21 points on 14 shots (the regular kind, not the Dex kind) off the bench, 5-10 from 3 point range (probably a few too many attempts, but who are we to complain), and we can no longer talk about how Shannon is playing well just because he's finally fitting his game into the system. Don't get me wrong, he IS fitting his game into the system, but tonight his game belonged to players with a much higher pedigree. The shots he was hitting, in the style he was hitting them, looked like they belonged to Ray Allen or Kobe Bryant.
A game like this should have thorough analysis of Pau Gasol, early season MVP candidate, getting worked pretty good by his less bally-hooed opponent, Joakim Noah. Pau played as if he hasn't gone against anybody with the tools to stop him in a long time (because he hasn't) and Noah made it difficult for Gasol all night long. You deserve to know details about this matchup (I'm assuming Noah dominated the rebounding matchup, despite only picking up one extra carom), and analysis extending to include the Taj Gibson v. Lamar Odom matchup (won by LO, though Taj did impress). You deserve the full statistical breakdown that normally follows ever SSR postgame report.
Sorry folks, you aren't getting what you deserve tonight. I'm under the weather, the other staffers are living life and unavailable, and my bed is calling my name far too strongly for me to ignore. My apologies, I wish very much that this could have happened for a game that wasn't worth paying attention to, but hey, that's life. In the end, this is just one of 82 for us, just like it is for the Lakers. We'll do better next time, I promise.
In the interim, the floor is yours. Provide your own analysis, and pick up our slack. You fine folks always do. Good night.