|Original Photo: AP|
Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) vs Chicago Bulls (1-0)
Final Score: Bulls 88 - Lakers 87
Video: Game Highlights courtesy of NBA.com
Stats: Box Score courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
For my hearts sake, why couldn't the Lakers just convincingly lose by 20? Why get an 11-point lead with 3:45 to play and/or a 6-point lead with under a minute to play only to lose it all in the final seconds by a Rose teardrop that was answered, leaving the home crowd absolutely stunned to what had transpired just seconds prior. Lakers were outscored 17-5 in the final 3:36. Kobe's turnovers and McRoberts McMissing consecutive free-throws late in the fourth quarter certainly didn't help.
I'm not one to throw the refs under the bus BUT Luol Deng DID travel in that last Bulls possession but oh well. It is what it is. Lakers can't leave the game at the mercy of the refs in the closing seconds.
Kobe should've settled for a better looking shot rather than attempt the impossible over three Bulls defenders with four hands in his face.
On the brighter side of things, Lakers played a hell of a lot better than expected. Their season opener by cruel joke was against presumably the best team in the league who are anticipating nothing less than a Larry O'Brien this season.
One of Mike Brown's coaching strengths is in his defensive approach and it showed today, especially in the third quarter where the Lakers outscored their opponents by 8 but unfortunately Rose and Deng found a way to squeeze through the cracks to pull the victory out of their asses.
Kobe Bryant did his usual thing by scoring a lot of points. Lets ignore his 8 turnovers. He had a game high 28 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and dished the ball for 6 assists. Pau Gasol helped by adding 14 points and 8 rebounds with 3 blocked shots but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Josh McRoberts crashed the boards for 8 total rebounds, 3 offensive.
Contribution off the bench
Steve Blake played well scoring 12 points off the bench and hitting two big three-pointers when it really counted. Troy Murphy pulled down 8 rebounds, 5 offensive. Andrew Goudelock in just 12 minutes went 2-3 behind the arc.
Lakers have nothing to be ashamed about. They had the W in the palm of their hands but failed to keep it. Today's loss may be heartbreaking but it should serve as a huge sign of promise for a bright future. I was among those who had forgotten about Bynum not playing because the game was so exciting.
Lakers are strong and once Bynum is off his 4-game suspension the Lakers will be even stronger. Lets not hold our heads down Laker fans, lets stand tall united as a nation because today's loss reminded the league not to take the Lakers lightly. WE ARE THE LAKERS!
Lakers have to leave this game behind quickly because game two of the season is tomorrow night.