Lakers 112 vs. Raptors 89
After 2 weeks of some uninspiring preseason basketball, the Lakers are finally starting to really gel. For the most part, Phil has been tinkering with different combinations of players out on the court to see which unit can do what. The Lakers are such a deep team that we don’t just have 5 starters with the remaining players filling up the 2nd and 3rd units. Instead, we have 2 very strong units with all 10 guys really able to start or come off the bench. That means that instead of the 5 best players in the starting lineup and the 6th-10th best players in the 2nd unit, the Lakers have the luxury of mixing and matching 10 core guys according to what the situation calls for. Phil can put out big and thick rebounding units like Powell, Kobe, Fisher, Bynum, and Mbenga or he can put out light and quick units like Farmar, Odom, Ariza, Pau and Sasha. The combinations are endless.
For those of you have been watching Laker preseason the starting lineup as of late has been composed of Fisher, Kobe, Radmanovic, Gasol, and Bynum. Then, instead of wholesale substitutions, we’ll have a lineup with Kobe, Farmar, Ariza, Odom, and Bynum. Therefore, Phil is able to keep half the starters in with some quickness added to it. Then, when those starters get tired, the rested starters who came out first can come in later on. This means that the Lakers could potentially always have 2-3 starters out on the floor at all times with the other starters resting more frequently. This is ridiculous. I don’t even know if we will ever be able to get to our 3rd unit of guys unless we’re smashing by 20 or something in the 4th. Our 3rd unit is basically the equivalent of other teams’ 2nd unit in terms of talent.
Now I know the heading says “Lakers 112 vs. Raptors 89,” but this website is not about sports analysis per se. The only thing you need to know about this particular game is…
1. Laker defense is looking gangster a la Celtics or Spurs. The Laker lineup is so big now that we take up so much space on defense. Now we can zone up by sagging off a bit, while allowing a 1,2, or 3 to roam around the perimeter. This will ignite our fast break.
2. Kobe is looking for his shot more and more, thus making these meaningless games more entertaining.
3. Jermaine O’Neal was looking like his old self somewhat. Lookout for him and Bosh this year.
4. Andreas Bargnani is still fake as hell. The Leastern Conference’s equivalent to Dirk Fakevitzki.
5. Two of our most athletic and quick guys, Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza, are becoming our two-man fast break squad. Sick Sick Sick.
6. Jordan Farmar can flat out jump.