By Jason Wojciechowski on April 11, 2003 at 4:28 PM
So I just saw the second half of the Lakers dismantling the Kings in L.A. And I got to see the good half, too, since the first half ended with the Lakers up by 1, but the game ended with the Lakers winning by double digits.
Kobe shot well in the second half, though he tooks some bad shots, and Shaq had some spring in getting up for offensive rebounds, though he still looks half a step slow in his offensive moves. I think the Kings "big men" are quicker than most, though, so he can't really use his quickness moves as much on guys like Keon Clark and Vlade and Webber.
Derek Fisher also shot very well, draining threes left and right. It seemed like the Lakers were getting called for fouls every time down the court, but they were earning most of them. Eventually, once it fell into a pattern, I think they got hit with a couple of chippies that maybe weren't fouls.
I thought it was customary for teams to shake hands and whatnot after games.
Even between rivals, the coaches at least do. There was none of that after this game, though. The Kings all left the floor as Derek Fisher was dribbling out the clock, and no one shook hands with anyone that I saw. The funny thing is that Kobe and Peja seem to joke with each other a lot during the game, so it's not like they're all mortal enemies.
Most importantly, this win puts the Lakers into the #5 spot, half a game out of
the #4, for the playoffs. That means a first round matchup, as of now, with
Portland, rather than Dallas, and home court advantage in doing so.
Unfortunately, it also puts them in the same bracket as San Antonio, who, as much as the Lakers have absolutely decimated them in the past two years in the playoffs, I believe pose the biggest threat to the right now. As good as Sacramento is, the Lakers have played them well, I think, but I don't recall the Spurs games even being all that close.