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¡Viva Los Lagoneros!

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Artest02
Artest02

Why does the NBA think slapping the word Los in front of a team name is the way to celebrate Noche Latina? It makes little sense. It's not like the jerseys usually read "The Lakers," so what's with adding a definite article? And if "Lakers" doesn't sound especially Spanish to you, it turns out you're right. The translation (courtesy of PAGFL) is Lagoneros, which would actually look quite cool on an alternate jersey. Why not go that route? It would offer linguistic integrity and not look like something drawn up at Taco Bell corporate headquarters.

That's the most interesting discussion topic arising from tonight's game, a 99 to 92 Lakers victory over the Wizards of Washington. A desperately boring affair this was, wrapping up four straight contests against the NBA's great unwashed. The Wizards have little talent and even less motivation. They presented an opportunity for the Lakers to notch an easy win, pile up some stats and get used to playing without Andrew Bynum, and sure enough, that's how it all went down.

Early on, the Lake Show established its grip on defense. The rotations and switching were crisp, denying the Wizards clean looks and forcing turnovers in goodly quantities. In the first half, the Wiz scored only 0.75 points per trip, turned it over on 20% of their possessions and didn't make a single three. Pau Gasol had 10 points in the first quarter to spot the Lakers a six-point lead.

In the second, Kobe Bryant unleashed his Inner Kraken. After starting the game only 2 for 8, he rained down eight straight jumpers, singlehandedly outscoring Washington for the quarter. His scoring burst keyed a 13-0 Laker run to end the half, at which point the lead was 26. Game over, for all intents and purposes. At halftime the Lakers boasted a True Shooting Percentage of 67%, compared to just 42% for Washington.

The last two quarters were long and dull. L.A. got sloppy on both ends. They coughed the ball up on 30% of their second-half possessions. They basically stopped defending. Didn't really matter. The Wizards gradually chipped away, but time ran out on their slow-motion comeback. They're a bad team.

A few notable stat bombs from tonight's game:

  • Pau's free-throw troubles might be behind him. He sank 12 of 14 from the stripe this evening, his highest rate with 10+ attempts since shooting 12-for-12 against the Clippers on January 15th.
  • Lamar Odom didn't shoot much but had a wonderful overall game, with six assists, 13 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. We'll see how the injured left shoulder affects his shooting touch on the road trip.
  • Shannon Brown had one of his best offensive games in a while, scoring 13 points on 82% True Shooting.
  • Derek Fisher, meanwhile, is 3 for 17 over the past three games.
  • The Lakers as a team made 52.9% of their two-point attempts and 52.9% of their three-point attempts.
  • The logo streak rolls on! That's now five straight wins since I changed my icon to purple and gold. I really think it might prove to be the turning point of the season.

Up next is a ferocious five-game road trip, starting Wednesday night in San Antonio. Only 12 regular season games remain.

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

3FGA/FGA

2PT%

3PT%

EFG

TS%

OReb Rate

DReb Rate

PPP

Wiz

86

15

0.22

71

0.18

50

43

53

55

26

64

1.07

Lakers

84

21

0.26

82

0.25

53

53

60

64

36

74

1.18

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