Lakers Game Report – November 18, 2012
Lakers (5-5) defeat Rockets (4-6): 119 – 108
Bernie Bickerstaff was back on the bench as Mike D’Antoni continues to recover from his knee surgery. And the Lakers continued to roll, setting a season high for points and pushing their record back to 0.500.
Instead of coaching, Bickerstaff could have opted to retire, and in doing so he would have retired as the Lakers’ coach with the all-time best winning percentage at 0.750 (3-1); however, he gamely chose to roll the dice, return to the court, and in the process ran his winning percentage all the way up to 0.800 (4-1).
In all seriousness, though, what if D’Antoni retires in four years with a gaudy record of 250 – 68 and four rings on his fingers? His winning percentage of 0.786 will have him looking up at Bernie Bickerstaff, and all because of his decision to let BB coach tonight….
Okay, enough fun!
Tonight’s game was the second straight sublime offensive performance by the Lakers, who shot 54% from the field and committed only 13 turnovers. They look comfortable out there, especially the starters.
Interestingly, a total of 980 points were scored in both the five games coached by Mike Brown (1-4) and the five games coached by Bickerstaff (4-1). However, the average result in Mike Brown games was a 98.8 – 97.2 loss, while the average result in Bernie Bickerstaff games was a 103.8 – 92.2 win.
So the Lakers aren’t actually playing in higher scoring games under Bickerstaff, they’re just scoring a higher percentage of the total number of points, which has remained constant.
Dwight Howard’s elevation and overall game seem to be improving as he continues to work toward full health. Tonight he finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds, and just one turnover.
It’s also important to note the contributions of Jordan Hill, who for two games in a row now has led the Lakers in +/- despite coming off the bench. In the two games (vs. Rockets and Suns) he is a combined +36 in just over 36 minutes of playing time.
Finally, it’s worth noting that tonight Pau Gasol became the 10th foreign-born player in league history to reach 15,000 points for his career. One of the nine guys ahead of him is his teammate Steve Nash, who has been stuck on 16,658 for a while now.
Lakers Player of the Game
Tonight the honour has to go to Kobe Bryant, who recorded his first triple-double of the season, and 18th of his career. He finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, and added three steals for good measure.
Tonight’s Top Two Tweets in my Twitter Feed
“Tonight’s Bickerstaff postgame press conference: Smashes guitar, overturns table. BK” – Kamenetzky Brothers (@ESPNLandOLakers), post-game tweet
“Steve Nash doing ‘Gangnam Style’ dance on the bench and Stu Lantz actually knows the dance. Awesome.” – Lakerholicz (@Lakerholicz), mid-game tweet
Tuesday, November 20 vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. PST