More of the usual tonight for the Lake Show. A big lead was lost. Andrew Bynum busted out the Baby Bynum act. A short handed team was made to look better than what they were. Yet and still Kobe Bryant hits a clutch shot. Metta World Peace makes a big defensive play. The Lakers held on to beat the wounded Warriors 104-101.
Nothing seems to change for the Lakers these days. They’re good enough to beat anybody on any given night. They’re disinterested enough to make any game a close contest no matter the opponent.
All of that and then some was on display in the Bay.
The Lakers led by as many as 16 over the hapless Golden State Warriors. They also lost that lead late with GSW taking over for the first time in the fourth quarter.
Baby Bynum is making more guest appearances than usual lately. As if he couldn’t top his terrible ejection in Houston the immature big man outdid himself tonight. After making a meaningless three in the Lakers last game, Drew must have thought he was onto something.
For whatever reason Bynum thought he was well within his range on a three point attempt in the third. The shot missed badly and Mike Brown was none-too-impressed. Bynum got a seat from the bench for his troubles where he proceeded to clown for the cameras after his inexplicable attempt.
There was nothing funny about another uninspired performance by the All-Star center. 11 points and 5 boards against an undersized Golden State squad is hardly reason to joke. Taking an unwarranted three with 20 seconds on the shot clock is even more troubling.
If Brown saw fit to bench Bryant for no reason then suspending Bynum is in order as far as I’m concerned.
Luckily for Drew his co-workers aren’t as foolish. Guys like Pau Gasol and KB24 are true professionals.
Pau took full advantage of the outmatched Warriors going for 19 and 17. Bryant bounced back nicely from his benching with a game best 30 points. His shooting woes are still troublesome though. Kobe was 9 of 24 on the evening but he hit a big shot late to get this one back in control.
Matt Barnes is rediscovering his game, that’s good news. Since Ramon Sessions put on a purple and gold jersey something has sparked in Barnes. He went for 18 and 10 off the bench against his former squad. Barnes’ activity level is back to the vintage days of when he was a Warrior.
What is troubling is L.A.’s sudden disinterest in defense. Golden State had no business being in this contest but the Lakers lack luster defense kept this one way too close for comfort.
Klay Thompson did right by his dad going for 20 while pops called the action for the Lake Show on radio. David Lee did work with 23 and 9 including a big bucket late.
As for the Sessions effect…well this was the worst we’ve seen of Ramon since he became a Laker. Fitting right into what you’d expect from a Laker point guard this season, his game vanished on the road. Sessions scored just 7 on 1 of 4 shooting. He did dish 5 dimes but also missed some key free throws late.
This win was nothing to brag about. Any team with title contentions should – with all due respect – beat this Golden State team in their current condition. L.A. has forgotten all that stellar defense that dotted the early season. Bynum’s immaturity is becoming a real problem at the wrong time and Mike Brown just seems to have no answers every night.
Still the Lakers have greatly improved their rod woes, winning five of their last six away from Staples and they are in a good spot with the playoff push underway. All that said we’ll get a better feel for where they are come Thursday when the Oklahoma City Thunder roll into town. If ever there was a measuring stick it’s the top team in the West that just so happens to have Derek Fisher on the roster.
Get your popcorn ready. The drama is just getting started.