Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
A 29-point win over the Detroit Pistons is not ever going to be something to brag about. At least it shouldn’t be for the current version of the Lake Show given the current form of the Piston. To be sure Detroit has some promising young talent. But that shouldn’t matter against the battle tested and veteran Lakers squad. And true to form the Pistons’ potential was crushed underneath weight of L.A.’s proven greatness.
Mike Brown got his squad out of the world of the winless in impressive fashion with a never close 108-79 thrashing of Detroit.
For the first time the Lakers looked like they were running the Princeton offense instead of the Valley College version of it they’d been conducting.
Dwight Howard’s first time rocking Sunday whites provided plenty of memorable moments. DH12 dropped 28 in an exhibition of low post dominance. But most impressive of all was Howard’s defensive presence. Many of the Lakers’ shortcomings can be masked by Iron Man being a force in the middle and tonight showed that.
Tonight also showed what kind of a weapon Kobe Bryant can be in the Princeton offense. His offensive efficiency is already much improved from last season to this one and that was very evident tonight. Mamba dropped 15 on only 10 shots including going 3 of 5 from deep. He also dished out 8 dimes and grabbed 7 boards. Bryant exploited the Pistons defense with timely jumpers, back breaking backdoor cuts and some Nash-esque table setting for his teammates.
As a team the Lakers also cut down on those costly turnovers coughing up the rock 15 times. Like tonight’s win that is still nothing to brag about but it is an improvement from the 20 they’ve averaged thus far this season.
For the first time this season we’ve got more positives than negatives to discuss. But that’s what winning does. Coach Brown will be able to rest a little easier tonight. This was nowhere near a must win but you’d better believe another loss would have made for the most premature panic since the Balloon Boy. Hopefully the familiar taste of victory will whet the Lakers’ appetite for more. Digging an 0-3 hole pretty much requires it.