The “hangin’ tough” edition:
Alabi: one day when you get a little bit older, you could play in a game like this, kid.
Andersen: the poor mans Pau Gasol. Okay, more like the panhandlers Pau Gasol. Tonight was indicative of why the Aussie will never be a consistent go-to guy in the NBA. When up against quality, the untalented will turtle.
Banks: his stroll along the Walk of Fame is about as close as he’ll get to walking amongst allstars in the craft on this road trip.
Barbosa: have to be honest…if I’m Triano, I’m not sure I leave Barbosa on the bench for as long as he did. Leandro had a heck of a first half, playing like Leandro of old on both sides of the ball. His reward? Playing with the creases in his warmups for most of the second half. Inexcusable.
Bargnani: nice(ish) early but the last 5-6 minutes of the game was just atrocious for a guy you want to rely on as your horse offensively. His shot seemed like it was being heaved by a 14year old kid playing as Andrea on his XBox as he’s reaching for the cheesies mid-release. Erratic and ill-advised.
Calderon: 14pts and 8 assists and a return to the Jose of old for at least one night. Regretfully, I have to admit that this performance will be a flash in the pan this season, but under the Hollywood lights and against a veteran pointguard and a guy he knows pretty well, Jose delivered.
Davis: just gotta hope that the kid is soaking in what he is witnessing from the sidelines. Being a Tar Hell makes you think he is.
DeRozan: I have to admit, I’m happy for him. You obviously know I’m not a starry-eyed fan of his, but after a pisspoor effort last season, it was great to see him come out and perform well in front of his hometown family. By his standards, his play tonight was stellar. No fear of Kobe and company, he attacked, he defended well, he made people sit up and take notice….all things you’d expect from a player hoping to one day be elite. Tonight DeMar showed he might be that guy.
Dorsey: he has about as much of a chance of making a name for himself in the NBA as the average resident of East L.A. does of cracking 6 figures.
Evans: 14 rebounds and the return of the mack. Know what I liked? He was up and cheering his guys on and talking smack to the Lakers for the whole game. Again, I know some of you see that all the time, but most of the time I see him just playing a role. Tonight, though, to these eyes he seemed genuinely jacked up and, after all was said and done, genuinely disappointed with the outcome. Not happy with the result, but I’m impressed by him tonight.
Jack: welcome to his first rut of the 2010/11 season. Sit and chew your nails all you want because that is exactly where you should be if you continue giving this team about as much effort as a turtle in a windstorm.
Johnson: the third guy of the night that is the maitre d’ at the crow restaurant that has just opened up around the corner. By leaps and bounds, his best game of the season and one that will have Liston dry humping his cats scratching post. Kudos Amir….what you gave this team tonight is something that had them on the cusp of beating the world champions. Hopefully the final score doesn’t make you want to revert back to how you’ve played all season.
Kleiza: he played like that wind-up toy you had as a kid: started off gangbusters and, right before your eyes, seemed to quickly run down until he seemed like he was motionless. What the hell he was doing on the floor in crunch time is beyond me. He didn’t deserve it in this game or any of the last few.
Weems: seems to be Jays instrument of example this season. Get out there and perform adequately, but if you mess up and blow an assignment or coverage, you best be chatting up a Laker girl because you aren’t moving from where you are sitting the rest of the night.
Wright: didn’t do much stats-wise but the hustle was back tonight. Might be just due to the opposition, but it was nice to see some spark. Still not convinced there is much fluid left in the Zippo, though.
Driving The Bus: DeMar DeRozan
Under The Bus: Linas Kleiza
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