D.J. Mbenga Has Career Night Against Timberwolves
Kobe calls him Congo Ca$h. Others call him The Belgian Blocker. Whatever his moniker, D.J. Mbenga just had the best game of his career and has started to really play a vital role on the Lakers in Bynum’s absence. He finished the night with 10 points and 5 blocks in just 17 minutes. It’s not so much what he did, but how he did it.
He’s filling the role left void by Turiaf’s departure this past summer by playing with constant energy and, of course, stuffing the shit out of people. These aren’t “fake blocks” where he’s sneaking up on someone from the weak side. These are on-ball blocks and in succession, too. It’s become clear that Mbenga has Turiaf’s sense of timing along with his added physical gift.
Mitch Kupchak has done an excellent job of shedding un-athletic players for specimens the past couple seasons. We have ditched Radmanovic for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown; that’s plus one specimen points. We somehow got rid of Chris Mihm and received a bag of marbles in return; that’s plus two. Who can forget the Brian Cook and Mo Evans trade for Trevor Ariza. Though Mo Evans was a specimen he lacked skills, whereas Brian Cook lacked both; so that’s plus five. The Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown trade was even more Mario bonus points. Kupchak is just pulling shit out of his ass and just making it happen. He’s basically making Memphis and Charlotte the Laker recycle bin. We just unload our garbage and out comes something tight. Now if only such a thing was commodified and commercialized. What am I talking about? Mbenga and Shannon Brown all day.