Hothead Howard Responsible for Raptors’ Rampage?

So, a mere 72 hours ago, I wrote about how the “Old and Slow” Lakers would actually have a chance to beat Miami. What a call that was. Now, thanks in part to the hothead Deee-Wight Howard and his getting bounced early in Toronto, the team was embarrassed by a bad Raptors’ team. While Deee-Wight was still in, the Lakers found themselves down 19-4 in the first quarter. To TORONTO? 19 to FOUR. Kobe Bryant missed like his first six shots and was 10 for 32 for the game and the meta-tag psycho artest thing failed to commit a single personal foul, the one thing he can do well on a basketball court, so all in all, had D-Wight not been ejected, they likely would have still lost.

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One reason was that a big part of how the Lakers managed to keep the game as close as it was, was the great game played by Pau Gasol in his return to the starting lineup. After weeks floundering in the encumbered paint, desperately trying to find position in some spot not occupied by the mammoth Deee-Wight, playing without the encumbrance it was a return to form, with Pau putting in 25 and attempting not a single three. Had Deee-Wight been standing under the basket awaiting a pass to put up the only shot he is able to make, a dunk, Pau would have been relegated to watching, waiting, and shooting the occasional long range dud.

I find it amazing how the defenseless Lakers can made so many mediocre players look like stars. Exercising a great sense of charity, today they did that for seemingly the entire Raptors’ roster. For example, former Knick Landry Fields, who is at best a number nine or ten guy on an average NBA roster but a starter now in Toronto, quadrupled his scoring average of 4.2 points per game, putting in 18 against the Lakers, and Ed Davis more than doubled his lifetime 7.5 average, also putting in 18.

Despite his return to the bench Earl Clark had another good performance, but even with his 14 points, the worst bench in the NBA was again out scored, this time 37 to 22.

Never failing to overstate the obvious, Coach Mike D’Antoni’s words after the game: “We’ve got a lot of issues”.

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