lakers looked good vs warriors
the lakers made it a point this off season to get younger and add guys who could create offense to take the pressure off an aging trio of Bryant, nash and gasol (who all sat out tonight). The new additions of Jordan Farmar, Nick Young and Xavier Henry all stood out in leading the team to a 104-95 victory tonight vs the warriors. Henry in particular looked great and was the best guy on the court tonight. He finished with 29 points in 26 minutes on 9-15 shooting and 2-4 from three. HIs jumper looked great and he attacks the basket hard and most impressively is a much better ball handler then I realized. At 22 years of age, he still has a lot of potential and should be given the chance to showcase it this year.
Nick Young was his typical self. He scored 17 in 20 minutes. Showed lots of crafty moves. Settled for some off balance stuff when he could have gotten better looks. But still, a young guy who should battle henry for the starting sf spot once Kobe gets healthy.
Farmar finshed with 12 points and 7 assists in 28 minutes and had one spectacular no look behind the head pass to shawne Williams. He got into the lane at will and was looking for the open man.
Looking at how sub par steve blake ( 2-8 shooting) and Jodie meeks (3 points in 24 minutes, cant create his own shot) looked tonight and realizing those were guys who were asked to play 25 minutes a night last year, Its refreshing to see the Lakers added 3 guys who immediately become better at creating off the dribble then anybody the team had last season outside of kobe and nash.
Jordan Farmar looks like a guy they were really missing. The ball only moves like it should when he's playing PG. He can keep up on defense and hit the three. What's not to like? Considering Nash's age and his difficulties on defense, perhaps he should be Farmar's backup.
Kaman had some problems today and forced some things on offense, but he can really hit shots from the top of the key... something the Lakers have really needed to spread the floor.
It also seems like they're finally running the offense correctly. I'm not sure that'll happen when Kobe comes back. The Warriors are a much better team, but the fact the Lakers won the meaningless game is a testament to D'Antoni's system. However, considering how far everyone on the Lakers plays away from the basket on offense, I'm not sure they'll be able to get enough offensive rebounds. I'm sure Gasol will help, but it's not like having Howard there.
The starting SG/SF issue is interesting. Nick Young took some awful shots. I wouldn't look forward to that. I'll definitely wait a few more games to say much about Xavier Henry. It's nice that they have a hard-nosed guy. He looked a bit out of control and forced a few things, but it worked out.
My bet is that they do better than the 12th place that ESPN predicted.
I mean, only if Kobe comes back almost immediately.
Yeah Lakers looked great. Xavier and Nick should be key this season
I think that Kobe should take his time because with the young offensive players and Nash healthy from the start, they really don't need him to rush back. I believe they should at least stay above .500 until Kobe comes back in December. Kobe will have to adjust and with the younger players he should not have to play more than 35 min.
Mike D'Antoni's style helps offensive minded players play better and we are seeing that with Henry, Young, and to some degree Kaman. It is crazy that 3 or their top players did not even play this game.
Any Mike D'Antoni team will entertain and this year a few unsung guys may put up some impressive scoring stats. Of course everything will depend on when Kobe comes back and if Gasol can find his form again, both are in contract year and for Gasol in particular a strong return would be needed to get him the sort of deal he'd like next summer.
As regards Kobe, there will be no need for motivation and the best thing for the Lakers could be if the team minus Kobe does quitewell and stays around .500 so he then has something to prove when he returns. I'll be watching closely this season for when Kobe takes on D12 and the Rockets, I'll be looking at the odds of him dropping 30 plus points that night.
With Jordan Farmar back on the roster and Dan Davis and more importantly Kurt Rambis back on the coaching staff, the Lakers look to be trying to add some of the Phil Jackson mentality to Mike D'Antoni's run and gun style.
Xavier Henry has landed in a good situation at the Lakers, he has an offence minded Coach, guys who know how to win on the team as a whole, plus he's got the chance to learn from the likes of Nash, Gasol and Kobe so he could really improve his whole game this year and get the minutes to show this too.