Kobe Bryant had 11 of the Lakers' 27 points in the 1st quarter.
Gasol had 6 points and Bynum had 4. Matt Barns chipped in 4 points, too. Gasol, also, had 5 rebounds.
The Lakers lead the Pacers 27-14 after the 1st quarter.
Metta World Peace opens the second quarter for the Lakers by making a lay-up. This is important because Peace's production for the month of January is in question. As the quarter goes on Peace is aggressive as he takes two more shots in a short time period. He makes one of the shots. In 6:47 minutes of time he takes 3 shots and makes 2 of them.
Peace gets a tip in off a missed free throw by Ebanks.
Peace hits a 3-pointer at 6:43.
Through a quarter and a half the Lakers' bench had 15 points; 9 of those points went to Peace, a positive sign.
The Pacers outscore the Lakers in the 2nd quarter 35-25. The Lakers lead at the half 52-49. Where did that 13 point 1st quarter lead go to?
Bryant and Bynum open the Lakers scoring by putting in 6 points a piece in the first 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter. That would be 12 of the Lakers 14 points for the quarter. Yet, the Pacers are outscoring the Lakers 15-14 at that point and only trail the Lakers 66-65.
Coming out of a time-out Bryant and Bynum continue to do the Lakers' scoring as both go to the line. Bryant is 2 for 2 and Bynum is 1 for 2. That gives the Lakers a 69-65 lead with 5:30 left in the quarter.
Troy Murphy sees his first action of the game with 2:55 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Lakers scoring for the 3rd quarter:
(Where is Gasol's name?)
That's 26 points for the Lakers in the 3rd quarter. The Pacers scored 28 and trail the Lakers at the end of the quarter 78-77.
The Lakers got outscored in the 4th quarter 21-18, and only one question has to be asked: what happened to Gasol?
At the end of the 1st quarter, Gasol had 6 points and 5 rebounds. His stat line for the night was: 8 points and 8 rebounds. But, he did have 10 assists. I'm scratching my head about that stat line.
But, more puzzling than that line is the McRoberts' stat line:
In McRoberts' last 5 games, in which he played at least 15 minutes; he has taken a total of 9 shots in those games. That is an average of 1.8 shots per game in the minimum of 15 minutes of play. Now, combine those stats with the Metta World Peace scoring stats since January 1st. One player (McRoberts) won't shoot the ball, and another player (Peace) can't score a basket (until tonight). Those two players have the biggest roles off the bench, but if one won't shoot and the other can't score...gee, coach Brown is making the Lakers look as if they have no answers.
I mean, take Troy Murphy in tonight's game alone, in the 9:05 of playing time he got; he took 4 shots. The media is talking about the Lakers' offense being sluggish? Well, what is McRoberts doing in the rotation? I'm starting to wonder if coach Brown knows what he's doing. McRoberts' stat line over the past 5 games is absurd! And coach Brown is responsible for playing him over Murphy.
The Lakers need an offensive lift wherever they can get it, and to go with McRoberts over Murphy, at this point, defies logic! The question that has to be asked is this: what does McRoberts bring to the game that Murphy doesn't? Is the difference so big that coach Brown has to stay with McRoberts?
Over the years Murphy is a proven double/double guy, while McRoberts best year was 7 points and 5 rebounds this past season with the Pacers. Is there something we don't know about Murphy that is preventing him from getting the bulk of the bench minutes when Bynum and Gasol are resting?
The season is starting to form with opinions now, and coach Brown needs to answer for his on-court decisions.
McRoberts: I hustle! I hustle! I hustle so much that I don't have to shoot the ball. That's how much I hustle!
Coach Brown: We need his energy out on the court.
Lakers' Record: 10-8.
Conclusion: McRoberts' energy isn't translating into anything positive in the win/loss column.
The Fan's Teeth are Showing: The honeymoon is over!
The Pacers are a good small-market team. They are 11-4, while the Lakers are 10-8.
The Lakers have the big-market "big 3" roster, while the Pacers have the small-market balanced roster. The Lakers' need to hunt for players from small-market teams that have balanced rosters, and are willing to part with a player or two. I mean, you hear a lot about the Lakers going for Howard to make a big splash in the NBA currents. But, why not go for a couple of players to balance out the roster instead of the big headlines. I'm mean, how many Paul George's are out there to be taken?
One more time: why go for the big splash when the Lakers would be doing very well to take Boris Diaw off of the Bobcats' hands. Or take a gamble on Stephen Jackson, and amnesty him before the start of the next season if it doesn't work out. Or how about Carl Landry out of New Orleans? Again, I MEAN, instead of the big slash...make a play for a player like Devin Harris out in Utah. Do the Lakers need some help scoring without giving up any of their "big 3"? Any of the players I just mentioned would work out fine. The Lakers don't need to swing for the fences, but just try to balance out the roster with a good role player.
p.s. Good game from Metta World Peace, tonight!