First meeting of the 2012 season between these two sides. Dwyane Wade will not play today. Shane Battier starts in his place.
- Interesting graphic on TNT – Miami lead the league in turnovers at over 17 per game. Spoelstra had a film session recently to go over every single turnover committed so far this season (101 of them) and tells his team that it is the single biggest area they can improve on.
- Shane Batter is defending Kobe as one would expect
- Miami looking good early. Getting nice ball movement. A lot of drive and kick action.
- Lakers big man looking dominant whenever they get touches near the paint but, as usual, they aren’t getting enough touches. Kobe Bryant has missed his first three or four shots here.
- Kobe Bryant actively looking to leak out on made baskets. Trying to catch Miami sleeping.
- Miami lead 12-10 midway through the period. Bynum has just picked up his second foul and heads to the bench. This could be a momentum defining moment. Look for Miami to build a lead here.
- Lovely pass from Pau Gasol from the high post to the cutting Matt Barnes (left wing into paint) but Barnes blows the easy runner. McRoberts is the one who checked in for Bynum.
- LeBron James posts up Kobe on the left block. About 9 feet from the rim. Kobe bodying him up hard. LeBron feels him out and then swiftly spins away from contact, goes baseline, layup, misses it. Rebound Miami. Chalmers nails a three off the kickout. Miami were slow to find the open shooter but LA’s defense was even slower to pick up their men after the offensive rebound. 8-0 run for Miami over the last three minutes (half of that since Bynum went out).
- Kobe misses another shot. This time a contested pull up jumper off the dribble from 20 feet left wing. McRoberts runs the rebound down, Lakers reset, into Pau right block, easy turnaround jumper from 7 feet, front irons it. Great look, bad miss.
- Artest misses a three. He is now 2-28 for the season from the behind the arc. Uncharacteristic of him (in recent years).
- McRoberts gives LeBron a hard hit after the whistle. Tech not flagrant since after the whistle.
- Chalmers looking to attack the rookie Darius Morris. Took him to the rim a minute a go (miss). Then ran him off a screen on the right wing and drew a foul. Morris looked very dodgy the other night against Dallas. Chalmers and Miami could get some joy out of him tonight.
- Battier and Artest exchange three pointers. Miami lead 21-13 with two and a half to play in the quarter.
- Eddy Curry checks in for the first time for the Miami Heat. Has not played since 2009 for the Knicks.
- Curry gets lost immediately on defense and Pau Gasol ends up with a wide open baseline jumper which he nails
- LeBron right wing, dribbling, sizing up the defense, Pau drops off Curry to provide a shot blocker help defender should LeBron drive, Curry cuts from left elbow, LeBron finds him, layup. Nice cut, great pass. Tough to stop Curry once he catches the ball that near the rim. Wide body. Great finisher.
- Kobe iso left elbow, drives left, pull up along the baseline, hits it. First made shot of the night for Bryant (out of six FGAs).
- Kobe Bryant posts up left block, double teamed on the catch, kicks it out to far wing, Miami rotate beautifully out to Ron Artest, dribbles, contested three pointer, miss. Rebound Curry. Great defense. Followed up by an awful outlet pass from Curry which is stolen back by Artest. Lakers hold it for the final shot of the quarter, Kobe iso top of the key, Miami shadowing over, Kobe moves left wing, Miami coming to double, Kobe sees it, drives hard left, goes baseline, draws the foul.
- Bosh nails a face up jumper from the top of the key.
- Eddy Curry returns to the bench, winded, after less than three minutes. Not unexpected as he returns to action after such a long time off.
- Andrew Bynum out-muscles Bosh in the low post, spins baseline, layup.
- Bosh right wing, jab step left, drives right (baseline), draws the foul. Beat McRoberts easily.
- Lakers 25th in fastbreak points and last on points off turnovers.
- I like the Lakers using Artest and Bynum on opposite blocks offensively while Kobe and Pau rest. Artest could make some wonderful cross screens for Bynum with his size/width/strength.
- Mike Miller and James Jones in there for Miami. Neither one can come close to defending Artest in the post. Got to attack them.
- Darius Morris proceeds to giveaway the next two possessions. A forced runner in transition. Then forces the drive, has nowhere to go, picks up his dribble and travels. Turnover. This is quickly becoming typical of him.
- Miami lead 30-22 after three minutes
- Darius Morris forces a tough contested 20 footer off the dribble along the baseline. Miss. Another wasted possession. Sorry, my mistake, shot clock was down. Bynum put him in a bad situation by making such a passive move and then kicking it out to him in a bad spot (corner) with so little time on the clock. Not D.Morris’ fault.
- Great offensive rebound by Bynum in traffic but he fails to make the lay in. Miller hits a three in transition. Miami up 11. Lakers unhappy there was no foul on Bynum’s putback.
- Both teams exchanging baskets. A long two point jump shot from Norris Cole off a pick and roll against the shot lock. A kickout near three point attempt foot on the line shot from Kapono. A layup in traffic as Haslem dives to the rim off the ball. A Troy Murphy jump shot from the top of the right baseline. Miami leads 37-26 midway through the period.
- Miami putting some full court pressure on the Lakers. Trapping in the backcourt. Lakers handling it badly, trying to pass ahead, almost turn it over.
- A misplaced pass by Kobe robs Troy Murphy of another baseline jumper. Lakers swing it around. Miami’s defense rotating incredibly well, close out on Fisher on the three, air ball.
- Pau Gasol with a lefty hook in the lane off the right block. Lakers down 12.
- Andrew Bynum deep catch, right post, off the sidelines entry pass. Turns, short shot, hits it. Ends a mini-drought by both sides over the past two minutes. Lakers down 9 with under two and a half to play.
- LeBron James responds with a catch and shoot on the right wing, hits it. Next possession, fastbreak, flies through defenders and draws a foul at the rim. Miami back up 13.
- Bynum gets great position inside on Joel Anthony, inside the paint, catch, gathers himself with a dribble, powers up, dunks over Anthony. Miami showed some backcourt pressure again there. Lakers dealt with it effectively and got the ball into Bynum in the post in about 6-8 seconds after the inbounds (off Bron’s FTs).
- Curry back in + Kobe gets some FTs + LeBron hits a three from the top of the key. Lead still at 13 for Miami. Sorry 14. Final minute.
- LeBron feeling it … decides to force the issue, Kobe in his grill, LA become overly-consumed with stopping LeBron’s dribble penetration that they forget Battier who tip toed out to the corner, LeBron finds him after his failed forced move, three pointer on the way, good! Miami lead 52-35.
- Kobe Bryant forces a contested 22 footer off the dribble against Battier. The ball never went below 20 feet on that possession. Miss. Putback Matt Barnes.
- Miami’s defense has been terrific in the first half. The only place LA has gotten any joy against that defense is in the post with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Miami have shut down the rest of their offense.
- Miami are in full control of this contest and should win the game comfortably in the second half.
- Lakers need to go to Bynum and Pau more often (as usual).
- Miami up 52-37
- Kobe misses his first attempt of the half, a face up J, heavily contested, from 17 feet right elbow extended. Battier has played him beautifully so far tonight.
- LeBron James with one his trademark chase down blocked shots against Barnes’ layup in transition.
- Kobe top of the key, one dribble, right elbow, pull up J, hits it.
- LeBron James right baseline, faces up then switches to a back to the basket move, backs down Barnes, spins middle, jump hook, hits it. Lovely move.
- Pau Gasol left block, quickly turns and takes a running hook, nails it. The game needed that, three turnovers in a row (a LeBron misplaced pass stolen by Barnes, a Barnes layup in transition blocked by J.Anthony and a LeBron fumble on the alley-oop) + a missed turnaround short five foot banked by Bynum out of the post prior to the turnovers.
- Miami lead 56-45 with under 9 to play
- LeBron James makes another three pointer. Appearently, that is his 9th in the last three games. Lead back up to 16 as we approach the midway point in the third period.
- Nice ball movement by LA. Double team Pau, kickout to Fisher, dribble penetration, pass to the cutting Bynum, layup. Simple basketball plays.
- LeBron James is on fire … nails a pull up J off the dribble
- Kobe responds with a driving layup
- Nice movement off the ball by Pau Gasol. Miami’s defense swarms to the strong side of the court to dissuade the entry pass to the post to Bynum, Pau cuts to inside the FT line, pass, short jumper, good. Lovely.
- Bosh nails back to back jump shots to give him 15 for the game and puts Miami up 17 (69-52) with three minutes to play
- Gasol gets trapped in the post, forces a turnaround, hits it
- Miami competing well with LeBron resting. Their lineup is Chalmers, Miller, Battier, Bosh and Anthony.
- Surprised LA hasn’t attacked Miller when defending Artest. Great matchup for them.
- Haslem and J.Anthony score layups off of dives to the rim. Miami up 21, final minute and a half. Haslem and Jones checked in for Bosh and Battier after Kobe headed to the bench. It’s amazing how little Miami is worried about Artest’s post game against J.Jones or M.Miller. Lakers still not attacking that matchup.
- Bynum easily seals Haslem who is fronting the post, LA reverse the ball, simple pass over the top, dunk.
- Lakers have got nothing out of their bench tonight. Very little out of Fisher either. Barnes has been up and down. Not enough contributions out of their supporting cast to compete with Miami.
- Miami lead 79-59
Okay, I am going to call it here. I can’t see LA coming back.
LeBron James was absolutely magnificent tonight as he has been throughout the early stages off the season.
Himself and Dwight Howard have been playing at another level to every other superstar in the league to date.