Lakers v Oklahoma City, the Bad, the Good, and the Worse

The Bad:

After a decent first four and one-half minutes where the Lakers outscored Oklahoma City 13-7, the rest of the game was pretty much a disaster, with the Thunder scoring 115 of the final 199 points. Kobe Bryant played 23 minutes and while he did pass off for 13 assists in his new position of point guard, not all his passes were wise and crisp, but he did cut his turnovers down to seven. However, in his 23 minutes he only hit two of six shots, scoring four points for the game. I don’t know for sure, but this could have been the first game of his career where he never shot a single free throw.

Kobe was far from the only Laker who did not play well. Jodie Meeks started fast, hitting two of three early shots, then went one-for-13 the rest of the game. Looking at the box score, one might think that nick young had a decent game, scoring a game high 17,



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but he was a +/- -20 and much of that was due to his absolute total inability to play any semblance of defense whatsoever. He clearly gave up significantly more than 17 points to whoever at any given point of the game had the good fortune to be “guarded” by young.

All in all, lack of team defense, inability to rebound (the Lakers were outrebounded 59 to 41), and the inability to transition back to defense all contributed to a really bad defeat.

The Good:

The good was the Ryan Kelly sighting and the return of Chris Kaman. Kaman played exceptionally well in the preseason and reasonably well in early games, then hurt his back and missed nine games. In 12 minutes tonight he moved really well, positioned well, and hit three-of-four shots for nine points.

When the Lakers drafted Ryan Kelly, I wrote that he would be a perfect fit for Mike

D’Antoni’s system, but foot surgery set him back, and he has had a tough time regaining the coach’s attention or interest. He did get into tonight’s game, only his third appearance of the season, and while very rusty, he did show flashes of what he could do on the court, pulling down three rebounds and blocking a shot in only five minutes playing time.

The Worse:

It never ceases to amaze me how a couple of extremely highly paid professional announcers can sit in front of an


event they are paid to describe to a radio or television audience, and totally ignore the game. ESPN play-by-play guy Mike Breen and color analyst Jeff Van Gundy were paid to describe tonights game to ESPN viewers, and what they did was go on and on about Kobe Bryant’s career and what the future might hold for him, telling story after story, making various predictions, and thoroughly and totally ignoring what was happening on the court.

Do not tv sports broadcasters realize that the viewers are seeing a small image of the reality unfolding in front of them and that tv cameras are moving about, frequently


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missing key elements of the action? Yet these guys go on their merry way, telling their stories, giving their opinions, and failing to describe what is happening on the court. A great play here – by who? A bad play there – by

who? Wasn’t that a foul – why wasn’t it called? Who just left the game – who just entered the game? They don’t care and neither should the audience, or so it seems.

I am sick and tired of this. It happens in all sports and at network and local levels. Bill MacDonald and Stu Lantz doing Lakers’ games on the teams’ local outlet are no different, and the TNT announcers are also just as guilty. Baseball announcers are just as bad in general, but football announces may be just a little bit better, in general, at actually describing the action.

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