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Daily Dribble – November 27th, 2012

US Presswire

Editing Transparently: Last Night’s Numbers is no more and we’re still searching for a daily format that works here at Hickory-High. Matt Cianfrone is trying out this new (sometimes) Daily Dribble thoughts/storify set-up. Let us know what you think, what works and what doesn’t. What would you like to see added?  Now, back to Matt:

Some thoughts from the two late games:

Timberwolves 97 – Kings 89:

  • The double foul is one of the stupidest things ever invented in sports, especially on a block/charge call. It happened to Kevin Love and DeMarcus Cousins. It was Cousins fourth foul and forced him out of the game for a bit.
  • The Cousins - Nikola Pekovic battle was fantastic, just two old school bruiser types going at it. They’re so fun to watch in a game that is filled with so many explosive athletes.
  • Tyreke Evans was pretty great last night made some nice drives and more importantly some passes that for most of his career he hasn’t made.
  • Andrei Kirilenko is a joy to watch when he has the freedom Rick Adelman gives him. He was all over the floor defensively, made some great passes and got some tough boards.
  • When Ricky Rubio returns, the Wolves may be the best passing team in the league. Add him to Love and AK47 and there will be plenty of highlights in Minnesota.
  • Isiah Thomas is so, so fun to watch. There is absolutely no fear in him and his array of floaters in the paint is impressive. I just wish he would get more minutes than Aaron Brooks.

Pacers 79 – Lakers 77:

  • The first half of this game was just plain ugly. The Pacers had no one outside of David West to create shots and somehow had the better offense in the first half. The second half wasn’t much better. With 10:08 left the score was 64-57 Pacers. YUCK.
  • Dwight Howard is getting closer and closer to being back to full strength and it’s showing. He made some great contests of shots in the game, not quite 100 percent Dwight but he is rounding into shape. He also made some nice moves in the post.
  • I don’t get benching Pau Gasol for most of the 4th quarter. The Lakers offense was not flowing well at all, it was basically all Kobe Bryant as Pau sat on the bench for most of the quarter in favor of Jordan Hill and Antawn Jamison. I know Pau wasn’t playing great but he is leaps and bounds better than those guys and neither of Hill nor Jamison was exactly playing out of their minds.
  • Kobe was awful late in the game. At one point with about 5 minutes left he was forced to pick up his dribble and demanded the ball right back to take a deep contested 3. It was a night of characteristically awful shot selection, even on the clutch 3 that tied the game.
  • Howard’s rotation on the George Hill game winner was really late and uncharacteristic of him, but what a great move and shot by Hill none-the-less.
  • That ref who wants us all to know his name was at it again last night. It is a joke that he still is around and last night he made some terrible calls including stopping a Pacers break to call a tech on Kobe. I won’t help him try to get his name mentioned as much as possible like he wants but this .gif was pretty good:

Here’s what Twitter had to say:

  • boyer

    Going 3-7 for 11 pts., 2 reb., and 1 TO in the 4th is awful? Playing 44 min. with the flu, including the entire 2nd half? Man, I sure wish I was awful. Ian, did you even watch the game? Outside of Kobe, the lakers were 12-48(1-17 from 3), and 12-30 from the line. He outscored the rest of his team. This is usually bad when this happens, but why he is forced to do this usually? Maybe because the rest of his team sucks. Dwight was ok, but far from the real dwight. MWP gave good hustle, but that’s it, and who cares if you get the off. rebound if you go 0-2 from the line yourself? Pau went 2-9, and had 5 of his shots blocked. Well, I’m glad you’re realizing the limitations from Hill, who couldn’t even get many minutes for non playoff teams in previous years. The reason he’s in some for Pau is that Pau needs a rest and that maybe the bench guys can give a spark, after this, then yea, put Pau back on probably, even if he’s sucking. Jamison is backup 3 for MWP as well.

    Crawford’s an idiot, and should’ve have stopped the pacers fastbreak; however, they wouldn’t have had the fastbreak if they called the foul on Kobe’s man and/or Kobe didn’t deserve the T either if the right call is made. Also, the lakers had a 4 on 1 fastbreak stopped by hibbert, so it’s not a given, oh yea, it was Pau going up weakly again on that one. And crawford’s block call on Duhon was pathetic, one of the worst I’ve seen, but neither team has the refs to blame for this one. At one pt. in the 4th, kobe gets Pau a wide open left elbow. Pau doesn’t even look at the hoop, and throws a late pass to howard that luckily gets to him for a dunk. I don’t understand why you continue to bash Kobe for his teammates ineptitude on offense. Sure, sometimes they got it and Kobe is usually more than willing to share the wealth as evidenced in the dallas game, but often they don’t, and last night was obviously putrid. If they can’t do anything and are just standing around with the shot clock winding down, and when he drives, he has 3-4 defenders collapsing on him, then a clean look from 3, even if very deep, is a good choice. 5-11 from 3 from a non spotup shooter is tremendous. Almost all of Howard’s pts. from his teammates, mainly Kobe with Nash out, setting him up. And if Howard can’t score, you don’t want him touching the ball as the opps will just foul him.

    • Ian Levy

      Hey Boyer,

      I’m sorry this one got you so fired up. I actually didn’t watch the game, but also didn’t write this piece. These observations are from Matt Cianfrone one of our staff writers this season. I know the way the theme is set-up write now the byline is not very big and sometimes it’s hard to tell who the author of a specific post is. At the beginning of the season I added a feature where the author bio is attached at the bottom of each post. If there’s ever any question about who’s responsible for the Kobe bashing you can always scroll down to the very bottom of the post to check that out.

      I know you and I have disagreed about Kobe in the past. As always discussion is welcomed and statistically it certainly seems like Kobe had an effective fourth quarter. Without trying to open a new can of worms (and without having actually seen the game) I will say that there are times a player can rack up excellent individual stats but take his team out of their normal flow and thereby disrupt the team offense. Monta Ellis might be a good example of this. It sounds like lots of the Lakers struggled offensively last night so maybe Kobe had to take over, but that phenomenon may be what Matt was commenting on.

  • Matt Cianfrone


    I was the author of the piece and therefore will explain myself a bit.

    My issue with Kobe had a lot to do with his shot selection in the 4th quarter. Just because a shot goes in doesn’t make it a good shot. Kobe’s shots in the 4th in order were a 17 footer he missed, a 25 footer he made, 26,12, and 25 footers he missed, then the shot he fouled out Hibbert on which he missed the free throw on and the contested long three he hit to tie the game that wasn’t a good shot just because it went in. Too many Laker possessions in the 4th were just Kobe demanding the ball around the three point line, dribbling around forever and throwing up a bad contested jumper. In fact the only non-Kobe field goal attempts in the 4th were a Duhon 3 and a couple MWP 3s. That’s on Kobe because the offensive flow just broke down because of him. Its a frustrating thing to see for a player so good, especially on the block.

    I know Pau needs rest but even the announcers were wondering why it took so long for him to get back in the game. He didn’t come back in until Dwight picked up his 5th, and it seemed like he was going to be benched again until that happened. And sure enough he came back in and drew two straight fouls and made all his free throws then didn’t get another chance in the post after that.

    Look maybe Kobe got fouled on the break that was stopped but that didn’t get called and that happens plenty in games, not every call is right. You can’t just then say Kobe didn’t deserve a tech because the call was blown though. It was pretty clear that he used a couple of the magic words that are auto techs and he knows better than to do that. So the T was the right call. And I am not assuming a basket on a break like that but you have to let the break finish because otherwise it just rewards the Lakers for Kobe acting like an idiot and saying things he knew would earn him a Tech.I tweeted during the game the Duhon play should have been a charge so I am with you there.

    • boyer

      They might be bad shots for every other player in the league, but they aren’t for Kobe. Sure, maybe they weren’t great shots, but for him, those weren’t bad shots. And given the state of his teammates’ play in the game, this was really the only option that Kobe had. Everyone else played like garbage except howard, who basically needs to be spoon fed to score, and can’t make a FT to save his life, so you often don’t want to pass to him. Several times Pau and Hill were given the ball in great spots to do something with, and either they don’t have the skills to do anything or were too tentative to do anything. As a basketball player, you always want the ball. Why do you think Kobe demanding the ball is a bad thing? Every player should demand the ball, and it’s usually up to the PG to decide who gets it. He’s having a great game, and everyone else is sucking. If his teammates were just having an ‘average’ game, they would’ve been up by at least 10-15 in the 4th, and would’ve won easily. Regardless of whether you think Kobe took bad shots, it’s moot because he was very efficient in the 4th and to say he played awful is ridiculous. He’s basically the only reason they were even close to being in the game, and the pacers were playing like garbage, too. Kobe shouldn’t even have played being sick and all, and played 44 min.

      The lakers had no flow for the entire game. There were several more shots than you forgot it. Jamison and MWP repeatedly had good looks throughout the game. Yes, you need to trust your teammates, but at some pt., enough is enough. MWP at least kept hustling. If the rest of the team, though they played awful overall, displayed that type of effort, they would’ve won. It’s about effort and aggressiveness. Several of Kobe’s shots were talk about were when he was given the ball late in the shot clock, or that’s the best they’re going often to get in a possession, or else he’ll be double/triple teamed when he drives, which makes it harder to score, or he’s super tired/sick, but still better choice than anyone else D’antoni has. His teammates were given plenty of good opportunities to succeed, and they failed miserably other than Howard. Nobody’s saying he played perfectly, and obviously needs to improve on some things, just like every other player.

      Maybe the T was the right call, but the non-foul call was the wrong call. If the officials screw up, then they shouldn’t penalize the players even more. I hate when this happens. The officials need to be held on a standard as well. I”m sure there were bad calls that went both plays. I wasn’t blaming the officials like you are.

      • Matt Cianfrone

        Look I like Kobe a lot and agree his is a special player but he doesn’t magically make a shot better, I mean for his whole career best field goal percentage was 46.9 way back in 2001. So its not like he makes more of them then he misses, especially when you figure he shots way higher than that on layups which means he makes probably around 35 percent or so of his jumpers. Also he shoots about 33 percent from 3 in his career so its not like he is a great three point shooter. Why not work down to the block? He had missed 4 shots in a row in the fourth before the foul he drew on Hibbert.

        Clearly we have different opinions of Dwight’s offensive game. Yes he doesn’t make free throws enough and isn’t completely healthy but he has still shown some nice moves. And Kobe scoring all the points helped the Lakers stay close but so did all the misses, he was 1-9 or something like for a stretch in the third which helped the Pacers stay in the game, and that doesn’t even address his turnovers and defense.

        I am not blaming officials for anything just stating that I thought that you should never blow a fast break for a team dead to call a technical on the other team. No officials are perfect, I played and I know coach so I know that very well. Really I have no dog in this fight (I am a Bucks fan) and just want to see good play and watching that game it was far from it.

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