Sunday, June 7, 2009

No Rebounds, No Rings

The Lakers dodged a bullet in Game 2, as they were one Courtney Lee layup away from heading to Orlando for 3 games without homecourt.

Many things went wrong for the Lakers; offensive flow, shooting, foul trouble, turnovers, closing out, and missed calls.

But many things also went right. They did a good job on Howard by crashing in and poking the ball away numerous times for 7 turnovers on the day for D12. Even though he got his numbers he had to work for them.

The Lakers also played the pick and roll pretty well for most of the game, and didn't allow too much penetration. Out of 79 shot attempts for Orlando, 30 of them were behind the arc. The guards for Orlando were a miserable 6-26 shooting. Closing out on shooters quicker is one noticeable thing the Lakers need to improve on for Game 3, as Rashard Lewis kept Orlando in the game by getting hot in the 2nd quarter and carrying that throughout the game.

As for the Lakers' offense, Kobe had too many mental errors (7 turnovers). Also, their offense wasn't as fresh and flowy as it usually is. Kobe, Gasol, and Odom carried most of the scoring load, and the 3rd biggest shooter of the night was Ariza, who went 3-13 for 8 points. The Lakers need more from starters Ariza and Bynum, and the bench, which other than Odom only provided 4 measly points.

The Lakers had 12 steals and 12 turnovers, while the Magic had only 5 steals while amassing 20 turnovers. The Lakers won the defensive battle this time around (41.8% shooting for ORL, still below their average significantly).

The Lakers can do better on a few things, but the list for the Magic seems a little bit longer. There was one reason the Lakers didn't win comfortably like they did in Game 1: Rebounding.

The Magic outrebounded the Lakers by 9, a 23 rebound net swing from Game 1. They also won the offensive rebounding battle 10 to 4. 4 is a disappointing number of offensive rebounds for an entire game in itself (with overtime), let alone with two 7-footers on the court at multiple times in a game. Pau and Bynum had zero offensive rebounds combined, and Pau is usually a good offensive rebounder. He has to get after it more on the offensive glass. A difference of 6 offensive rebounds is 6 more possessions in addition to a huge momentum boost every new opportunity.

The most disappointing stat of all:

Bynum: 16 minutes, 1 rebound.

That kind of production isn't worth $14 million a year, especially when only coupled with as many fouls as points (5).

Game 2 was close as the Magic won the rebounding battle but the Lakers won the steals/turnovers battle, and that will change at home for Orlando. One of the main reasons the Lakers won by 25 in Game 1 is that the Lakers had a good rebounding effort (+14), but if they carry their rebounding from Game 2 on to Orlando, their winning ways might not continue if the Magic take better care of the ball with their expected energy and shooting bump at home.


  1. I think the Lakers are doing an amazing job containing Dwight Howard. They are the first team so far that has been able to dominate the Magic inside, and essentially neutralize Dwight's presence.

  2. They are doing a great job on Dwight, but it has been a combined effort by Pau, Bynum, Odom, and all the guards crashing in from the outside and having active hands to force Dwight turnovers. Rebounding needs to step up in Game 3 though, on both ends of the floor for the Lakers.