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Resuscitive Notes

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  • Looking at the FTA spread simplifies matters too much. (LA shot 40, Sacramento shot 17.) I hate to say it (you know I do), but Kobe earned most of his FTAs. Every time he got into the lane in the final minutes, he got hacked. There's one sequence in which he did not deserve them, before crunch time, when John Salmons seemed to get the ball cleanly. Which leads me to ask...
  • Where the hell was John Salmons in crunch time? We know the preferred Theus lineup used to be PG/Martin/Salmons or Garcia/Artest/Miller at the endgame. It worked quite well, actually. Salmons provides a second strong perimeter defender; Garcia provides a second deadeye shooter. The Kings could have used either. Instead Mikki Moore (God love him) stayed in, assumedly to help rebound and get the spare putback dunk. Circumstances (FTMs on one end, turnovers on the other) did not allow Moore to do what he is capable of doing. I think Salmons could have helped guard Kobe (he played better D than Artest last night, honestly) as well as provided another bailout option on offense.
  • Kobe played strong defense on Martin late. After a string of Sacramento miscues, Martin forced it and got stripped on a double-team near the left elbow. LA was fully content to watch Artest shoot, and Artest was fully content to shoot. Why the ball wasn't in Beno's hands the entire stretch is beyond me. And how 60 games into the season Theus hasn't devised a clever way or three to spring Martin free (like, say, a double screen) is likewise beyond my comprehension. The Lakers know he is your best weapon. How do you not realize it?
  • Comcast SportsNet should devise a graphic which shows a wick slowly burning as soon as Brad Miller gets fouled without a call. You know the tech is coming, it's just a matter of time.
  • Speaking of Miller, that's where the real officiating issues were. Miller should have left the building with 10 FTAs minimum. Gasol was grabbing and flailing and pushing and completely got away with it. Gasol had something like 1 rebound in the first half; he must have realized the refs weren't going to call him for anything, because he got nine rebounds in the second half. Other than this, there were some ticky-tack called on Beno which didn't get whistled on the other end... but the bulk of imbalance happened in the paint.
  • That was almost magical. Almost.