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Lakers show up, win the West

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The Lakers beat the Timberwolves 97-88 and wrapped up the #1 seed throughout the Western Conference in a game that had all of the excitement of a glorified practice.  The Lakers proved this by starting out fairly slow, waking up, jumping out to an 18 point lead by halftime, falling back to sleep, then hanging on to win by nine.  Nothing especially good.  Nothing especially bad - except for the Timberwolves.  They're quite awful.  So awful that this game wasn't even televised in Minnesota.  Ouch.

Considering the circumstances surrounding this game - Kobe missing, Bynum still missing, second night of a back to back, 4 am arrival in Minnesota, and the fact that Minny entered at 15-63 - it's really tough to guage anything from this game.  What are we supposed to learn from a win like this?  Against a team this bad?  Not much, if anything.  Except that our back up guards shot fairly decent.  That's all this boiled down to for me.  This game was kind of very boring. 

Although the Wolves were able to cut an 18 point halftime lead to 4 late in the 4th quarter, never did the Lakers ever give the impression that they would lose this game.  Minnesota is just too bad to make a real run of it.  The game couldn't even be called one in which the Lakers could look sharpen their teeth heading into the Playoffs.  Pau Gasol, who's game is starting to peak, scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.  Lamar Odom chipped in for 13 and 12, including a dagger 3 late  to kill any thoughts of comeback form the 'Wolves.  Ron Artest was ehh, Fish was scoreless, and DJ Mbenga was 5-7 for 11 pts.  My eyes saw Luke Walton and Josh Powell play, but boxscore will tell you otherwise.  But let me remind you again, the Wolves are turrible.  I really can't say that enough.  They are now 2-26 in their last 28 games.  The key to the game was Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic having another decent shooting night.

In what maybe PJ's finest zen move of the season, he had Kobe sit out another game.  This tactic affords the Mamba some rest, relieves pressure from the team struggling to impress heading into the Playoffs, and let's our awful bench guards get some more minutes.  Minutes in which they can play freely, and not worry about getting pulled.  I kid, I don't know whether or not Phil actually did this on purpose, but Brown/Farmar/Vujacic did combine for 31 pts on 11-25 FGA, including 5-11 3-PT FGA.  They didn't exactly have the best shooting percentage last night, but they all hit some timely shots against the Nuggets.  Could it be?  Are they finding...some...confidence?  God, I hope so.  We need their production in the Playoffs.

So, let's recap.  Kobe rests, Minnesota sucks, Pau's still looking good, Congo's cash, back up guards hit shots, boring game, Phil's working zen magic, Lakers win the West.  That sums it up.  Got it?  Good. 

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

3FGA/FGA

2PT%

3PT%

EFG

TS%

OReb Rate

DReb Rate

PPP

L.A.

89

13

0.21

78

0.26

48

32

48

52

33

62

1.09

Minn.

89

18

0.10

56

0.26

47

30

47

47

38

67

0.99