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Orlando gives LA their shot, Lakers miss

Mar 7, 2010, 8:20 PM EDT

Bryant_miss.jpgKobe got his looks at the end. He hit some, he missed the last one, but he got his shots.

Jump shots, that is.

In what was a solid defensive game from both teams, the Magic had a plan — don’t let the Lakers get good shots inside, tempt them with open jumpers. It worked. In limited time on the court, Andrew Bynum had just five shots. Pau Gasol showed open frustration at Shannon Brown and others for not getting him passes in the post (that is a season-long frustration for Gasol).

And the Lakers took their jumpers. And missed them.

Kobe was 8 of 23 from the outside (34.8%) and 2 of 5 from three (with one toe-on-the-line two). Derek Fisher was 4 of 11. Ron Artest 1 of 7. Jordan Farmar 0-3. Shannon Brown 2 of 5. As a team the Lakers were 5 of 17 from three.

On the season the Lakers have been good from the midrange — they hit 43.6% of their shots from 10-15 feet (third best in the Association), 40.9% from 16 feet out to the three-point arc (fifth best). They have not been that good from three, they are 19th in the league.

It was not only a good defensive strategy against the Lakers, the Magic executed it well. They have Dwight Howard who can dominate inside, and he got some good help from Brandon Bass. They have long defenders on the perimeter who contested those jumpers (Matt Barnes, for one).

The Lakers are going to see this strategy again, whether or not they see the Magic again. Nobody can just easily match up with that long Lakers front line with Odom and Gasol and Bynum. So teams will pack it in and take their chances with the Lakers shooting jumpers.

And as today showed, that can be a bit hit and miss for Los Angeles.

  1. Bizzle - Mar 8, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    Shoulda gone for the win, driven and then kicked to Fisher for 3 but I guess the Magic have suffered enough at the hand of Fisher

  2. John Perrone - Mar 8, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    Am I a Laker fan…YES.
    Was there a bit of a foul on every push and defence that the Magic put on the floor to disrupt the Laker plan on getting in-side?
    The answer is YES, but as a fan of the Lakers that might be a whine so I must refrain.
    The officals let it go but is that a good thing or does it smack of bias to any team that the Lakers play???I am bias so I can not say but if this trend stays, then there will be problems!
    John

  3. Jim - Mar 8, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    John, I also watched the game, and as a Magic fan there was equal grab-assing on either side (called or not).
    The officiating was a non-factor in the outcome.

  4. Ricky-bo - Mar 8, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Uh oh the mighty lakers arn’t playin so mighty now.
    Unfortunetly the magic are playin pretty well right now.

  5. FC lkrfan - Mar 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    3 in a row, no prob. Let me remind you Laker htrs out there that Kobe is playing with a broken finger in his SHOOTING hand. The rest of the season will no doubt become more physical/competitive, but thats where CHARACTER/DETERMINATION/LEADERSHIP will prevail. Lakers are fortunate that their star player is all the above.

  6. Tony - Mar 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    D Lakers lost 1 game, SO WHAT!. Enjoy the wins & losses as it comes, the only games that matters in the winner of the NBA FINALS. As a laker fan, I, it hurt when we lose a game but it’s better to lose such games and learn from it that to rumble ur way thru regular season games and lose in the playoffs.

  7. Tony - Mar 8, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    D Lakers lost 1 game, SO WHAT!. Enjoy the wins & losses as it comes, the only games that matters is the winner of the NBA FINALS. As a laker fan, it hurts when we lose a game but it’s better to lose such games and learn from it than to rumble ur way thru regular season games and lose in the playoffs.

  8. Tony - Mar 8, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    D Lakers lost 1 game, SO WHAT!. Enjoy the wins & losses as it comes, the only games that matters is the winner of the NBA FINALS. As a laker fan, it hurts when we lose a game but it’s better to lose such games and learn from it than to rumble ur way thru regular season games and lose in the playoffs.

  9. rnmwater - Mar 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    I am a huge Bruins fan and I am very dissapointed with Matt Barnes he was a complete idiot and was lucky he didn’t get kicked out of that game. Take a note from Afflalo he plays Kobe hard and gives him a hard time without the embarassing tatics that Barnes used in that game. Howland taught you better then that.

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