Trying something new tonight. Well, it's kind of new. New for ESPNLA.com I guess. When I was with NBA.com I had this column called "The McTen" where I would try to find 10 interesting items at a game or an event I was covering and put them together in quasi list form. My two goals for the column was to make each of the items unique and not something you'd see necessarily from other reporters covering the same event and to make the column quick and breezy so it was easy to digest. Kind of like Twitter before Twitter.
The K Bros have built a community with you guys and gals in this blog that deserves something a little bit more than the stodgy postgame notebooks I posted after the last couple of games, so hopefully this has a better balance. I don't like leaving stuff in my notepad if there's a place for it to breath on here and this could be kind of like a variation of the Daily Dime that ESPN's NBA page produces every night, only localized to the Lakers.
(Plus it ties in synergy-wise to my Twitter account and my customized Nike IDs.)
Anyway, we'll see if it works and if it doesn't I'm sure I'll hear from you in the comments.
1. Pau Gasol said back in September that he didn't pick up a basketball all summer until he got in some games of one-on-one with his brother Marc Gasol right before he flew back to L.A. for the start of training camp. Turns out those one-on-one games are pretty rare. "We don’t play a lot of one-on-one because we know how we get," Marc said before the game. "Any shooting competition, any one-on-one we get into really serious things, so we try to avoid that ... It gets pretty physical. We both hate to lose at any sport. Even if we’re playing Ping-Pong or Monopoly or any card game, we hate to lose. But with basketball we’re more sensitive. We definitely don’t play around with basketball."
After Phil Jackson tweaked Pau a little bit at practice Monday by saying that Marc was the stronger of the G Bros., Marc said Jackson was just making an accurate statement: "It’s not a lie that I’m a stronger guy than Pau. There’s nothing wrong with that."
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins put things in perspective as to what the 25-year-old Marc lacks that the 30-year-old Pau has. "He’s not as fleet as foot as Pau, he’s not as tall as Pau and he’s not as long, so they’re a little bit different," Hollins said.
Pau had the better game out of the two Tuesday, finishing with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists to Marc's 11, eight and five. I asked Phil before the game why he wasn't satisfied with Pau's production considering he was having fun at Pau's expense with the brother matchup and he corrected me.
"I didn’t say [his production] didn’t satisfy me, I said his brother is going to beat the [expletive] out of him. He always does," Jackson said. "It’s like the little brother coming up and beating up on the big brother. He just wants to get in there and pound away at him."
Maybe in the past. But Pau abused his bro Tuesday, hitting him with fadeaway jumpers and even throwing down a baseline jam with Marc defending him.
"I’m glad he finally dunked on him," Kobe Bryant said. "I thought he was kind of playing a little soft with his brother a little bit. It was good to see him kind of take one to him. God knows if I had a brother, he’d have a bloody lip."
While Bryant liked seeing Pau beat up on his baby bro, he still wouldn't mind having Marc on his team either. The Lakers drafted Marc with the No. 48 pick in the 2007 draft, but sent him to Memphis in the deal that brought Pau to L.A.
"I actually sit back and think the way they gave up Pau, we probably could have held out and kept Marc Gasol," Bryant said. "It’s like, ‘Damn, we could have had both of those guys.’"
2. Tony Allen was back at Staples Center for the first time since the Celtics squandered a 13-point lead in Game 7 back in June and even though he's a Grizzly now, he can't shake the memory of what could have been with his former team.
"I just was in the weight room and saw the Celtics playing the Pistons [on television] and had to leave there -- I got a little emotional," Allen said before the game. "I just couldn’t help but think about how we let that Game 7 get out of our hands."
3. That dunk Devin Ebanks had in the fourth quarter off the halfcourt alley-oop from Steve Blake? It might have energized the crowd, but it could end up sapping the energy out of Ebanks for Wednesday's second night of the back-to-back in Sacramento. "I was teasing him a little bit," Bryant said. "I told him, ‘You’re not going to sleep tonight,’ because he’s going to be up watching it over and over and over again on TV. So, we can get him a copy."
4. Shannon Brown's shot is back on track. After scoring 16 points and shooting 4-for-5 on 3-pointers on opening night against Houston, the backup shooting guard went 0-for-3 from 3 and scored 13 points total in the Lakers next two games against Phoenix and Golden State. He went 5-for-7 from the floor (3-for-3 from deep) and scored 13 points against the Grizz. "I can [feel my shot locked in], but I have to realize that every game is not going to be the same," Brown said. "I don't think I played that well the last two games so I sat back, evaluated it and found out what was going on ... I think a forced a couple shots that were bad looks." It's worth noting that Brown's shot hasn't just improved this season in terms of percentage, but his makes have been pure swishes for the most part. "It's just repetition and rhythm," Brown said. "I tweaked [my shot] just a little bit, but not much."
5. Ron Artest's shot is just the opposite. For the third time in four games he scored less than 10 points, finishing with five points on 2-for-5 shooting vs. Memphis to bring his season shot total to 12-for-45. Artest insisted that he has no problem with seeing his offensive opportunities limited. "When we're going 4-0, it's like, 'What else do you want to do?'" Artest said. "What else is there to do but win? I don't know what else to do but to contribute to winning. That's the best feeling in the world."
6. It was quite appropriate to see players' association president Derek Fisher wearing a "VOTE" pin on his gray suit being as it was election day. Jackson, who took issue with the wording of California's Proposition 19 before the game, joked in his postgame comments, "I think they were watching the election results in the second half" after the Grizzlies outscored the Lakers by eight in quarters three and four after being outscored by 27 through quarters one and two.
7. Despite winning their last two games by an average of 21.5 points, the Lakers also averaged 19.5 turnovers against Memphis and Golden State. "There were a lot of turnovers, weren't there tonight?" Jackson said. "I think it's just playing at a speed that's a little more elevated than we want to play at."
8. Did you notice Kobe break out the mini Michael Jordan shrug in the second quarter? You can read about that and Kobe's limited minutes in the item I wrote for the Daily Dime.
9. Quote of the night: "We [A.C.] Green and we had Robert Horry backing him up. We had [Rick] Fox backing up [Glen] Rice. We had two people at every position that were quality players ... except [John Salley] for Shaq." -- Phil Jackson recounting the 1999-00 Lakers team, the group he considers to be the deepest he's coached until maybe this season's edition.
10. Stats of the night: Bryant needs to play just two minutes Wednesday in Sacramento to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record for the most regular season minutes played in franchise history with 37,493 ... Lamar Odom scored his 11,000th career point Wednesday ... Matt Barnes pulled down a career-high nine offensive rebounds en route to 16 points and 14 boards for the game.