Same Ol’ Same Ol? Not exactly. The Lakers actually won. Maybe boosted by Bryant’s All-Star heroics (by heroics I mean not passing to anyone and just shooting the ball), the Los Angeles Lakers began the last ‘mester of the 2010-2011 NBA season with a convincing win over the Hawks 104-80. The defense shut down, allowing the Hawks to 36.6% from the field and out rebounding them 54-32. On the Lakers side – Five players in double figures – Kobe scored 20 and Gasol added a 14-15 double double. More importnantly, the energy was there, starters and bench players alike.
Gasol said after the game that all the panicking about the Lakers’ situation came from outside the team’s locker room. They’re all calm inside. “We know we’re an elite team,” Gasol said. “We know we can be dominating. It just hasn’t happened consistently enough. We’re glad it happened tonight, but we’ve got to do it again and again.”
A few hundred miles north the Boston Celtics had an easy night as well, brushing off the Golden State Warriors with a 115-93 win. I had an argument last night with my friend about who is the best point guard in the league. I said it’s Paul, although Rose is playing better this season. He said it’s Rondo for both. I guess it was nights like these he was talking about, as Rondo scored 19 points and dished out 15 assists. All the ‘Big Four’ clicked, with Garnett adding 24, Pierce 23 and Allen 18. When all of them combine 84 points, it’s nearly impossible beating the C’s. Golden State just ran out of air in the second half. No enough depth to match with the Celtics, winning against the Warriors on the road for the first time since 2003.
Finishing with South Beach, where the trio of LeBron James (31 points), Chris Bosh (22) and Dwyande Wade (23) combined for 76 points and 25 rebounds as they easily beat one of the weakest teams in the league also missing their best player, Tyreke Evans. LeBron, maybe feeling robbed of the MVP in the All-Star game decided he’s pulling an untypical egotystical night, attempting 26 shots from the field while dishing only 3 assists, his lowest number since a November win over the same Kings.
Playing against the Kings is fun – open court all night and hardly any opposition on defense – a full of fun game for the love-to-run Heat. Thursday, at Chicago, is going to be a different story.
We’ll leave you with the shot of the night – Dwyane Wade pulling off a crazy circus shot, making the basket while falling down.