The Lakers win over the Rockets was a good win in my eyes as I see the transition in the pecking order for the Lakers.
Still coming in at number one, in the food chain, is: Kobe Bryant.
The new number two option is obviously Andrew Bynum.
And the new number three option, of course, is the faithful Pau Gasol. Gee, what team in the league has a Pau Gasol as their number three option? Especially if Gasol fully embraces the role. Ouch!
What started out as a slow shooting night for Bryant turned into a big production night for the superstar. He finished the game with 37 points, hitting 14 out of his 29 shots. But, what was interesting is that Kobe missed his last 4 shots.
Andrew Bynum's numbers were 21 points and 22 rebounds. How is that for a number two option? Boooom! It's on for Bynum!
With Bynum's point and rebounding production; Pau Gasol, naturally, has to go to being the number three option for the team. That is not a bad 3rd option at all. But, the thing that makes it so good for the Lakers is how Gasol is such a professional about what is happening to his role. I have to give Gasol a lot of credit for his professionalism. This guy is not a Lamar Odom type emotional baby. The man is pure professional. And I respect him for that.
Between the Lakers' point guards, Fisher and Blake, the team got 17 points and 10 assists. What more can the team ask for? Peace continues to do well in his role as a bench player, contributing 5 assists. That's good! He's doing the fundamental things and that's important coming from the bench. And Troy Murphy chipped in 5 points and 4 rebounds. I like Murphy!
I think the Lakers have a good team, but I think they need another bench piece.
The Lakers' bench was out scored tonight 27-22, and out rebounded 14-7. But, as a team, the Lakers out rebounded the Rockets 53-38 thanks to Bynum's big rebounding night.
My preference between Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts, in getting the most bench minutes, is Murphy. I really like Murphy's stable game. I know McRoberts gives the Lakers a good boost of energy when he comes into the game. But, I don't like boosts of energy. I like stable veteran play out of the 4 and 5 spot. It's important to have stability at those spots because those are serious defensive positions. Energy will not take the place of stability. And if the Lakers can get Murphy involved in the offense, he brings a good outside shot to the game.
I think, as the season goes on, we can keep our eye on what coach Brown does with the rotation between McRoberts and Murphy. Only one, Murphy or McRoberts, is going to get the big minutes off the bench. It doesn't seem as if though both can get 15-20 minutes per game with Bynum in the mix.
I'm not the coach, but I would go with Murphy all the way.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
From what I see from around the league, there is no dominate team right now. This season is a toss-up for the championship.
The Heat have no center and with no center, there is no championship.
The Mavs gave away too many pieces from their championship team. Who on their team can stop Bynum?
The Celtics have no center. Read what I said about the Heat.
The Thunder have a center. They have two centers. But, they, also, have their two biggest stars, Durant and Westbrook, not really liking each other. Their youth may be their downfall. Perkins lost a lot of weight this year. He won't have the strength to stop Bynum now; as Bynum's body has matured and he can't be pushed around in the paint, like he was a few years ago.
The Lakers have a center, a power forward, the best shooting guard in the league. They have a few good bench pieces. Do not be down on the Lakers! They're as good as anyone else in the league right now.