My opinion about last night's game.
Odom, Gasol, Bryant, Fisher, Radmanovic:
Aside from Gasol's jumper looking good, nothing interesting here. 1st game of the preseason.
Crawford, Mbenga, Heath, Giles:
After looking a little lost in the offense in the 1st half and being a little out of control defensively, he had a great 3rd quarter. Very active defensively, getting steals, deflecting passes, and just being a pain in the ass. Offensively he made some really good off the ball cuts that led to easy hoops. Knocked down a 20 footer without hesititaion, which is good to see. Looked lost early, which contributed to the Laker turnover problems, but played to his strengths later. Grade: B-
Looked pretty good. Still gave up penetration, but not as much as last year. Offensively, he knows his role very, very well. Made smart decisions on when to shoot and when to drive. Speaking of which, he went to the hole a lot more than he did last year, and hopefully that continues. He's too athletic to just float around the 3 point line. The offense stalled a bit when he wasn't surrounded by starters, and he needs to learn how to take charge of the 2nd unit. Grade: B-
It was nice to see him get some floor time and play extended minutes. He ran the floor well and battle for rebounding position. Had decent lift on the couple of post moves that he had. But I've yet to see much of his old athleticism. Good to see him back, but he didn't do anything significant, IMO. Grade: D+
Knows the triangle well and showed some good passing ability, but for someone who's renouned as a shooter, dude never seems to knock anything down. Played so-so defensively. Grade: D+
I think I'm going to be a big fan of this guy very quickly. Hustles his butt off and already works very well within the triangle. He reminds me a lot of Ronny, without the shot-blocking but better on the defensive glass. Did everything that you'd like your back up big guys to do. No complaints about his game yesterday. Grade: A
and of course....
Believe it or not, I actually didn't like the way Bynum looked last night. Forget about the stats for a second. His value to this team is in his ability to physically dominate, grab defensive rebounds, and block/alter shots. He rebounded okay defensively, and that's all. He didn't show any of the athleticism that he showed last year. He didn't defend the rim at all. He didn't overpower anybody.
On the bright side, he showed the touch around the hoop that led him to shoot 65% from the field last year, as well as the added bonus of a pretty sweet looking mid-range jumper. He's going to be amazing if he can add that to his physical dominance of last year.
Jury's still out on Bynum, IMO. I want to see that he's still capable of that sort of domination before I'm convinced that he's 100%. Grade: C