Brian broke down the über-impressive second quarter run setting the Lakers' 109-101 victory into motion. Here are some additional thoughts.
-Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times
-Kevin Ding, Orange County Register
-Jonathon Feigen, Houston Chronicle
-Elliott Teaford, Los Angeles Daily News
-Bresnahan (LAT) is reassured by Lamar Odom the Lakers aren't tuning out Phil Jackson.
COLUMNS AND BLOGS
-Ding (OCR) isn't always convinced of Odom's previously noted reassurances, especially when it comes to Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic.
-Arash Markazi (ESPNLosAngeles.com) explains why, despite the team stepping up as a collective after the OKC debacle, Jackson remains unsatisfied with Saturday's win:
- Despite the win, the way the Lakers finished the game didn't change Jackson's opinion of them. They are still poor horses in his eyes; a team unable to play a complete game from start to finish.
"I'm not happy with the win, but we won the game," he said. "We got outscored 32-20 in the fourth quarter. You don't want to finish a game like that."
So the question for Jackson, who claims to rarely get angry ("A rebuke is about as difficult as I get"), is can a poor horse ever become an excellent horse?
"I don't know about that one," he said. "I looked at that fourth quarter and guys weren't getting back and the same things were happening again so we'll have a little talk tomorrow and we'll discuss how to get it done."
-Mark Medina (LAT Lakers Blog) gives Dinah Washington a shout out while praising the win.
-Saurav Das (Silver Screen and Roll) takes a look at the Lakers' defense:
- Defensively, Los Angeles did okay as a team, doing nothing to harm their status as one of the top defensive teams in the League by holding the Houston Rockets to around 43% from the field and below 31% from the line, as well as handily outrebounding them and protecting the paint with 9 blocks. The only reason Houston was able to crack triple digits was good execution (25 assists) and points off turnovers (24).
Considering our fear of Aaron Brooks and other speedy point guards, we actually did a decent job against him. Sure, he put up 26 and 7, but it took him 22 shots to do so and resulted in him shooting under 40%, thanks to Phil finally waking up and limiting the amount of time Brooks had free reign on Fisher by playing Farmar and Brown heavy minutes. Artest locked up Trevor Ariza pretty tight, as was to be expected - Ariza's been shooting atrociously this season and Artest should be the frontrunner for DPoY.
Luis Scola, however, was left free to run rampant; 28/10/5 on 16 shots for an undersized PF? Not good enough by the Laker bigs. Scola was the best player on the court, and considering the offensive and defensive talent our frontline possesses, that should not have occurred.
-Xiane (The Dream Shake) saw the night as a moral victory of sorts for the undermanned and largely inexperienced Rockets.