The Lakers started looking human again on Friday night, clocking their first loss of the season at the hands of the new-era Pistons in a game that was, quite frankly, a little (very) disappointing. I’m sorry, but when the starting lineups include names like Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, Prince, Wallace, Hamilton, and Iverson, I expect a little intensity, flair, and some freaky scoring moves.
Iverson ran red-hot for the first quarter, and Bynum pulled down a ridiculous amount of offensive rebounds in the same period. In fact, most of the starters had a quarter in which they excelled – Gasol assisting his pants off in the second quarter, Stuckey unstoppable in the third – but nobody but Prince was consistent for the duation. As a result, the match never seriously threatened to become exciting, and Detroit held the Lakers at arms length with apparent ease. Tayshaun Prince was a revelation though, and seems to have found his role alongside Iverson, who was skinning his defenders all night and kicking out to open shooters. Rasheed Wallace was the primary long-range punisher, maniacally grinning his way to 4 from 9 beyond the arc.
Only one true standout moment – Kobe (29 points on the night on a 12 of 30 FG shooting display/debacle) with the impossible alley oop finish from a pretty ambitious Gasol pass:
More of that next time please.
– Justin Warren