1st Half Notes
- Tied 44-44. Nice.
- Jack Nicholson's presence hasn't affected Shane Battier as much as I thought. I coulda sworn Shane would be distracted with thoughts of "That's the guy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!" all night, but he's managed to ignore the Shades. Perhaps the Lakers will attempt to make him more noticeable.
- This is exactly what the Rockets want: a low-scoring affair. It's an added bonus that Kobe Bryant has only taken 6 shots. Expect that to change very soon.
- Our defense has been menacing. We've suddenly become physical. Aaron Brooks was getting in Derek Fisher's face at one point in the first quarter, and immediately thereafter, Fisher picked up a technical and two quick fouls while trying to retaliate. Luis Scola had one defensive possession in which he cut Trevor Ariza off from the baseline, then moved over to Pau Gasol and swatted the ball out of Gasol's hands, off Gaol's foot, and out of bounds. Shane Battier has been following Kobe around all night, and if you still haven't read that Michael Lewis article, I suggest you read it soon.
- Scola has also taken 8 shots, 8 more than he had at halftime against Phoenix. He has made 5 of those 8 shot attempts. Maybe we should pass to the mop more often.
- Yao Ming has been excellent. He is playing great defense in the lane, is not losing rebounds, is not turning the ball over, and has made some fantastic plays. Hey Mark Jackson - tell me when you see Andris Biedrins make a 20 foot jump shot! Punk.
- Where is Aaron Brooks? He's 0-1 from the field for zero points. But he does have four assists. Time for him to turn it on; I have a feeling we are going to need some big threes as this game enters the fourth.
- If Pau Gasol keeps taking that turnaround jump shot on the block over Yao, we'll be in good shape. He's not going to make it as consistently as he thinks, and he's much better when he is attacking the basket and using his soft touch down low. The longer he stays out of the paint, the better.
Consider this your second-half game thread.