By Jason Wojciechowski on November 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM
Just two games last night, the TNT doubleheader, and neither was all that great. The Cleveland-Miami game was theoretically close, but it never really felt like Miami was going to threaten down the stretch. The Lakers, meanwhile, just dominated the Suns, who you have to feel bad for, playing a back-to-back as the capper of a grueling eight-games-in-twelve-days stretch that included three back-to-backs, all of them with the second game on the road, and a five-game Eastern swing through Florida, the northeast, and the mid-Atlantic. You have to think the game would have been more competitive if the Suns weren't a group of old guys on what was basically a barnstorming tour.
Cleveland 111, Miami 104: LeBron had 32/4/7 and shot 18 free throws to make up for his 40% field-goal shooting. Big Z should probably demand a trade before his stock sinks any lower: 0-3 shooting and five fouls in 24 minutes. This is not an isolated incident for the large white caveman. Mo Williams shot a fantastic 10-15 and 5-7 from three, which he'll do from time to time. That's what jump-shooters do. Dwyane Wade shot an equal number of field goals and free throws (21) to end up with 36 points, and Michael Beasley added 24.
Phoenix 102, Lakers 121: Kobe did his usual work with 29, again not attempting a three-pointer. It's almost insane how many different styles he can play. He can post up, he can play the midrange, he can bomb from outside, he can drive to the hoop, he can pass out of any of the sets he usually shoots from. Truly, he's a complete player. The only player I can think of with any similarity is Carmelo. LeBron doesn't have any type of midrange or post game, and his outside shooting can be shaky. He's obviously far superior at the drive to the basket, so superior that he's a more valuable overall player despite the lack of pleasing aesthetic roundness in his style of play.
Anyway, Andrew Bynum had 26/15 on 13-18 shooting, and missed all three of his free throws. He also blocked three shots. And that kind of game is what gets Lakers fans so jazzed for the next five years with this team. Even as Pau and Kobe and Lamar and Artest age, Bynum is looking more and more like a total stud, a calm, careful offensive player with enough touch to hit a fifteen-footer, enough quickness to put a drop-step on anyone, enough power to dominate smaller players, and those insanely long arms that he uses to make his shots unblockable and to grab rebounds even while out of position without fouling. He's a joy to watch, really.
So that's too paragraphs on two Laker stars. I'll wrap this up. Shannon Brown: 10 points and the dunk of the game; Lamar Odom: 8/12/7; Josh Powell: 14/7; Steve Nash: just five assists; Amare: 2-15; J-Rich: 2-9; Phoenix: 24 offensive rebounds; Laker bench: 7-9 from three. Done.