The Lakers Win Their Season Opener





OAKLAND, Calif. – OK, now what?

Lakers 2.0 was unveiled Saturday night, with Steve Nash back from a leg injury and officially reunited with Mike D’Antoni, his coach then and now, with a new look to the lineup, and with the sign of desperation of D’Antoni calling Nash’s return a splash of warm fuzzies that will help the defense.

Oh, and with about four months left to fix pretty much everything.

Actually, they don’t even have until the end of the regular season, not at 13-14 and in 11th place in the Western Conference, just 1 ½ games out of the eighth and final playoff spot but also two games away from a tumble to 13th. Especially since this never has been about just making the playoffs. The Lakers need to put together long stretches of consistency when that so far has eluded them in short bursts.

Saturday night against the Warriors at Oracle Arena was a good place to start the climb back: a 118-115 victory for L.A. after trailing by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, Nash surprising himself by playing 41 minutes as D’Antoni took advantage of the return without time restrictions, the Lakers defense taking another beating by allowing 61 points in the first half before Golden State managed 54 the final two quarters and overtime. Not bad for a season opener, the first game with this coach and this lineup, now with Darius Morris starting at shooting guard and Kobe Bryant moved to small forward.

It left Bryant supremely confident as the Lakers try to hack their way through adversity, some self-inflicted (focus and effort, defense) and some handed down by the fates (injuries). He would have been optimistic about the months, sure. But playing with Nash again, for the first time since Nash fractured his left leg Oct. 31 at Portland, was clearly added adrenaline.

“It’s going to be seamless,” he said of the so-called adjustment period to the rotation coming together again. “We don’t really have to adjust to anything at all. He just steps right in and off we go.”

So the Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs are …?

“I don’t know,” Bryant said. “We’ll see. It’ll be tough.”

He was being sarcastic. The real read is somewhere north of “certain.”

“You’re worried, but that’s what continues to trigger the urgency, the attention to detail and stuff like that,” Bryant said. “I have complete confidence that we’ll make the playoffs, but you have to keep that level of concern because it keeps you on edge. We understand the Western Conference is a very, very tough conference with teams that are playing extremely well. But at the same time, I have complete faith that we will.”

D’Antoni, who enjoyed success in Phoenix with Nash running the point, was equally optimistic while admitting the Lakers still have problems to solve. So optimistic that D’Antoni said the return of Nash will improve the defense, contrary to logic around the league.

Nash, a great shooter, will make baskets and that will make it tougher for opponents to hurt the Lakers in transition. That’s one improvement. Nash will be the perfect pick-and-roll trigger man to help Dwight Howard improve in that area, an understandable sentiment given Nash’s skill in the sets. Another boost for the offense equals another cushioning blow for the defense. And, just feeling good about being close to full strength.

“Not to take anything away from the other guys, but everybody gets a little bit more pep in their step,” D’Antoni said. “Our defense is better with Steve because everybody’s happier and everybody has a little bit more energy on the defensive end. Hopefully it goes that way. Again, we’ll have some valleys. We’ll still have some problems. It doesn’t solve everything. But it is a good step forward.”

Saturday was all about the emotions for the Lakers, from the return announced before the game to the comeback during to the insistence from Bryant after. It was one night. But, yes, it was a good step forward.

100 Comments

  1. Laker fan 2012 says:

    Get out of her joshua greenfarb.

  2. Laker fan 2012 says:

    And who else would get the ball at the end of the game the only reason he didn’t make it was because it was a tough double teamed fadeaway and he was tired.

  3. Laker fan 2012 says:

    He took 41 shots because of the bad reffing he should of gotten a lot more fouls called.

  4. Laker fan 2012 says:

    How dare anyone say lebron is better than Kobe. Kobe’s 5 and maybe 6 after this year rings to lebrons 1. Lebron has only hit one big game winners in his career. The three against Orlando. To Kobe’s many game winners. Kobe is considered the greatest scorer of all time by a lot of people and lebron does nothing better scoring wise then Kobe. Lebron relys on his atletisms to score which is why he will be bad when he gets old. To Kobe who has aged very well. Kobe has over 30000 points and is very likely to become one of the top 3 scorers in nba history lebron will probably never do that. Kobe is the all time leader in lakers points, Christmas points, all star points, and maybe all points. Did lebron ever do any of that?

  5. Lakers-R-Us says:

    This is an article about the Lakers! And all of these haters come in here and make their ridiculous comments! Here’s my comment. If you’re a fan of another team; and coming in here to only make a hateful remark about the Lakers! Get the F out of here! I’m trying to read intelligent, basketball related comments; and I come across all these ridiculous, hateful remarks about the Lakers and Kobe Bryant! I guess I have to say I am sick and tired of it! So much of it. Jeez.Get a life.

  6. Skribe says:

    Bunch of stupid haters talkin bout Miami and Lebron, nuthin to do with this article get the f#@%& out Lebron 1ring=Kobe 5 rings….Miami 2 chips=Lakers 16….

  7. Stan says:

    I agree what a ballhog 41 shots and the coach lets him take the last shot in regulation after missing 25 shots? D’Antoni could’nt win in Phonix with Shaq, Amarie, and Nash in their prime, or in N.Y. where he got fired, and he won’t win in L.A letting Kobe take 41 shots without getting to the line once. Is 25 missed shots a record? The Lakers were lucky to win since they went on a 14-2 run to start the 4th quarter with Kobe on the bench where he belongs.

    • cihan says:

      kobe said after the game ” i’m glad steve is back. he creates more open and easy shots for me” wtf man ? such a selfish man with huge ego. kobe treating his teammates like dummies. period.

  8. Laker fan 2012 says:

    I don’t think Blake is as good as everyone thinks, I think Duhon is better and I think they need to trade Blake before he is so old that he has barely any value. And I think he chokes a lot.

  9. Laker fan 2012 says:

    Some players that would help the Lakers would be (that they could get)

    Luol Deng
    Eric Bledsoe
    C. J. Watson
    Josh Smith (maybe)
    Leandron Barbosa
    Ramon Sessions
    Jamal Crawford
    Kemba Walker(probably won’t be able to get him)

  10. Laker fan 2012 says:

    Since they can’t get a really good player unless they trade Gasol if they don’t trade him, and even if they do they need to pickup some free agents. Although I don’t know of any free agents now they need to pickup some good 3 point shooters, some speed, and they could really use a fast small forward and one that’s good on defense and 3′s. And all their backup point gaurds are just okay/bad they need a solid backup point gaurd who’s young and Nash can mentor. Maybe they should trade Blake and recall Goudlock from the D league. They really should have picked up Barbosa he could have really helped them.

  11. Mayan Calendar Fail says:

    JAN 17 and FEB 10…… Mark those calendars…. and Christmas games… Those are key games for the lakers… If they win any of those games they might have a chance maybe… But I’m very certain that they won’t win…sorry laker fans…. You made my day… very funny… After beating all those scrub teams now they are a contender??? Don’t forget to Watch Christmas games…

  12. Laker fan 2012 says:

    If he doesn’t get back to being the 17 and 10 guy from last year I think they should trade pau for j. Smith or L. Deng

  13. happend? thank u okc knick final is just a lebron hater and doesent want the heat to win again. The knicks dont even stand a chance..wait til they get amare back it will screw the whole team up like last yr. Also, the knicks are the oldest nba team ever so they will not make it a full 82 game season. The heat dont even care who they lose to in the regular season..thats why u always see lebron fooling around and laughing after a tough loss in the regular season. Until the playoffs start thats when the heat turn it on like last yr when people wiped them off.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Yah, but the Knicks are a better team than they were last season. Carmelo seems more healthy and is now an MVP-type guy. Lin had a nice run but also got hurt. Or whatever. This season, Raymond Felton is in shape and playing better. Signing Kidd as a role-player helps.

      When Stoudemire comes back (whenver that is), that can only make the Knicks even better. Yah, it didn’t work too well last season. But this season is quite different. Stoudemire is still an all-star type of player.

      So we still haven’t seen the Knicks at their best. There may be future chemistry issues, but they’re still dangerous. I don’t think they can beat the Heat in a 7-game series quite yet, however. But we’ll see.

      I still think it’s going to be a repeat Finals: Miami Heat vs. OKC Thunder.

  14. jerikobe says:

    oh my comment was there//heheh soryy//mwuah..merry christmas

  15. jerikobe says:

    i believe i was the first person to comment in this article and i scrolled down and up.. didn’t find my name..wow
    what is said yesterday ” thanks hordan hill, mwp, meeks and howard”

  16. Rico says:

    relax Lakers fans.
    We won against Sixers without Jrue
    Washington and Charlotte – two worst teams in the east
    Warriors on their back end of back to back games.

    Real test will be against NYK and LAC

  17. killuabest says:

    I am a Laker fan, but only then, when my team is at the top3 spot in west div, its the only time I would say yes to D’Antoni. This one game win over GSW shouldnt be the basis for the team’s direction.

  18. purpngold says:

    There is a sense of confidence on the Lakers now that Nash is back. Nash stabilizes the backcourt and brings more leadership. Just what the doctor ordered. Meta coming off the bench adresses another one of the weak points on the Lakers. We’re still waiting on Blake to make his return to complete rotations and improve the Lakers even more. Give it a little time and we’ll see the monster we all envisioned on paper at the begining of the season…Lets go Lakers..

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Stop saying “we” like it includes everybody.

      I predicted the Lakers (despite acquiring an aged point guard) would not make the 2013 playoffs before this season started. They’re not the same team they were last season. Some of that is Kobe Bryant’s fault for taking a summer vacation and not being 100% ready when this 82-game season started.

      Reasons like that made me know/believe that the Lakers were overhyped. They look good on paper, mostly. But this here is still a team game. The Lakers are horrible as a team. Bryant proves he can still score (but is a volume player). Howard is putting up the same numbers (mostly) that Bynum put up last season (the difference is Howard is also a volume player who is really only optimally effective if he is the #1 option or maybe #2 option with a guy like Dirk Nowitzki).

      Golden State, Denver, Minnesota, and Houston have better chances of making the playoffs than the Lakers.

  19. MVP2 says:

    Kobe has never had a teammate of Nash’s caliber. Shaq was dominant but egoistic. Nash leads by example and is a humble guy by nature. He shows that you can lead without reprimanding or without being contemptuous. That’s why his teammates like him and are willing to follow. Kobe can take a break from being the voice of the team all the time.

  20. The People says:

    No one ever compare MJ with Kobe. Jordan is in a completely other stratosphere. Kobe just keeps shooting. Doesnt care how many he misses, just cares the point tally at the end of the game. 41 shots….nails 16. That is horrid.

  21. The People says:

    c

  22. Justin says:

    Kobe did take too many shots tonight… but what it does when he’s that aggressive is put a lot of pressure on the opponent defense. Thats why you see that his team shot a high percentage as a whole and scored over 110 points again. Kobe aggressiveness equals easier buckets for his teammates because the defense sags off of them, thats why you saw those lobs to dwight where he was wide open, cuz kobe was cutting at the same time. Thats why metta was wide open for that 3 at the end of the 4th, cuz kobe was also right beside him drawing the defender. Don’t get me wrong, i want to see dwight, pau and nash get about 5 more attempts each, which puts kobe back down to 25, but you guys call him a ball hog even when he shoots 25 times. You don’t understand how detrimental it would be if nash and kobe were both facilitating. Jordan was always criticized as a ball hog when he was playing too, he shot the ball more than kobe (23 fg attempts/game avg). Jordan always put pressure on the defense, thats how the bulls had a successful offense.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Don’t even put Michael Jordan and dude in the same breath.

      I’m paraphrasing/quoting what Kobe said in the past about something Ray Allen said about him when Ray was Seattle Sonic.

  23. Heisenberg says:

    To me, the mindset of the Lakers should be: stop all the b.s. and just play and get the W. Take care of business.

  24. Bbbbballlll says:

    Most of the reason why Kobe’s shooting number was so high (on paper) is because he couldn’t draw the fouls to shoot free throws. If you think about it, he averages about that many shots a game, but since he wasn’t going to the line, his actual number was shown.

    He shouldn’t have forced too many, but we came out with the W against a strong GSW team. And that’s a big step forward for this franchise, and I’m not guaranteeing a championship off of one win neither. Just getting excited for once this season.

  25. FromCan says:

    My 16 time champion Lakers will slowly but surely win as many games as they can! They will be in the playoffs and hopefully be in the NBA championship with Miami!!!

    Keep going!!!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Keep dreaming. The Lakers may never win a World Championship ever again, at least not for a very, very, very long time. They traded away future draft picks; they threw their future away for aging stars or whatnot.

  26. rukidnsports says:

    To think that the Lakers are basing their hope for the season on a middle age cripple. Just about anyone can watch Kobe shoot though, so I don’t guess that it will make that much difference.

  27. Lakers-R-Us says:

    What’s with the Steve Nash haircut. Makes him look 21 yrs old! lol

  28. Pokie says:

    They should call the the Lamekers

  29. Ivan says:

    Kobe’s 41 attempts was absolutely horrendous. I understand if he was feeling it and was gonna blow up for a 50 point game or something, then keep shooting. But his FG % was low the whole game and he kept shooting, thats my problem. 16/41 is below 40%. He needs to understand that when you’re taking a lot of shots and you’ve been off the whole game, you need to get your teammates involved. I’m amazed that D Antoni would let this happen. I would’ve benched him and/or at the least draw some plays up to get the other guys involved.

    • LABUMB SHAMES says:

      DON’T CRITICISE D’ANTONI; LAKERS WON EVEN WITH 41 ATT BY KOBE. AS LONG AS LAKERS WIN WHO CARES WHAT THE COACH DOES? GOOD JOB MIKE D’ AND GREAT D BY MORRIS AND C.O. MWP IS MVP OF THIS TEAM

    • I agree! I can’t stand watching the Lakers right now and he’s one of the reasons

  30. DrizzyDre2k says:

    I Think The Lakers Is Still Missing A Piece & His Name To This Laker Team Is Delonte West Trust Me If Lakers Sign Him Its Jst Gonna Get More Easier For Them And More Fun 4 Us Mitch Get West On This Laker Team Asap

    Kobe
    Nash
    Meeks
    Gosal
    Howard
    World Peace
    Morris
    Jamison
    Ebanks
    Hill
    Johnson-Odom
    Sacre
    ……………………………..And Delonte West ! Let Go Of Duhon & Earl Clark & Wait 4 The Return Of Steve Blake Oh Yea It Can Only Get Better 4 My Boys :)

  31. the black mamba says:

    it was a good win for us styll. Hill was a beast . He had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4 of them were offensive. yea, kobe took way too many shots (41), buts thats who he is.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Jordan Hill can’t average those numbers. He, The Black Mamba Jamba, and the Lakers can’t play ANY better than they are now. This is their best!! They’re still .500.

      What happens when they find they can’t play their absolute best every night? There’s still a lot of games to play. The Lakers are going to experience a lot of lows and off-days. And probably more injuries.

  32. John says:

    Trade LBJ,Carmelo A and Chandler to get another championship…..sorry lakers Land no more championship for you guyssssss Move on Move on

  33. sam says:

    One thing I liked about what Steve said after the game yesterday (((every next game in the season is a play off game))) hope the team will understand that.

  34. Faker fans lol you got to be kidding me… You think cuz the fakers won one game they are automatic contenders at below .500 lol wow. For whoever said the heat are struggling look who won 4 straight and about to beat the thunder tommorrow. LAst year at this time the heat were one game worst than what they are now and still went on to win the chip. Lebron is in relax mode and when the playoffs start they put on the switch. Thats what they did last yr. I honestly cant think of a team that can beat the heat in best of 7 series. Fakers will not even come out of the west this year. Its going to be a rematch finals or possibly the other LA team the clips and with the same outcome the heat getting it again.

  35. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Thanks for your biased opinion Jamie. You mad? lol. Jordan Hill outscored both Pau Gasol-9 pts; and Dwight Howard-11 pts. The Lakers need to use these two talented big men more. If they do they WILL win ballgames. I would like to see them pick up their defense! I think that’s crucial for their success. They’re trying to outplay other teams offensively; not sure that will work in the long run. You know the NBA is changing when Antawn Jamison sits on the bench for the Lakers: and Richard Jefferson sits on the bench for Golden State. lol

  36. JAMIE says:

    fact is GSW bombed this game…. 14 up and then lakers two biggest threats with 5 fouls and NO ONE DRIVES ON THEM !!!!!!! wtf !!!!! bad coaching…. if this was pop he woulda said drive until they foul out and we win the game…. stop and pop 3′s were stupid… lakers got away with this and when they play the teams with less rookie errors they’ll be exposed again….. only quarter of the way into the season… old teams are “old ” after all… clippers are the new lakers, lol….

    • purpngold says:

      There is an unmesurable amount of pressure and expectation on the Lakers to win. This is LA. Part of what makes the Lakers a better team is their poise and experience down the stretch. The younger and inexperienced Warriors lack of excecution down the stretch is what cost them the game. The veteran leadership is one of the reasons there is great expectation from the Lakers. With Nash back, its just a matter of time before the Lakers start to gel and strengthen their chemistry. Keep it going Lakers, its good to have Nash back.
      **All I want for xmas is a Lakers win**

  37. Lakers-R-Us says:

    You just said take one step at a time! I agree by the way. Then you turn around and say the Lakers get bumped in the first round. The playoffs are how many months away?

  38. Justin says:

    The comments about kobe’s shot attempts and dwight and pau touches are not issues that are relevant to this team’s success. The defense is. Players are still not rotating down after they get blown by to help dwight and pau down low on defense. The lakers have never needed steve nash to execute better on defense. The lakers offense was already good and now it has just gotten better with the addition of steve nash. Howard Cooper is right that the addition of nash will help the defense because a more efficient offense will eliminate fast break points. But Dantoni seriously needs to do something about how many open shots other teams are getting. Get your players to rotate rather than standing their with their thumbs up… after they get crossed over by these faster guards! Dwight will prevent them from waltzing down the lane and getting a dunk but cover everyone else already!!!!

  39. To "One of the king's subject" says:

    No one’s rushing anything. LA fans are just excited of Nash’s return, and Lakers know, that what was the first step to success. At this level of expectations and pressure lakers organization won’t rush anything. This win in Oakland was just somekind of little test for LA, because GSW are playing great basketball right now. What they need is to keep being healthy, and continue understanting each others tendencies. If they will do that, everything else, like defense, TO’s and etc. will be fixed automatically.

  40. stan says:

    what do you guys think about darrius morris starting at shooting guard

  41. ADIMI says:

    good work for lakers do better job defensivly

  42. dattebayo says:

    Golden State had a terrific road trip and I thought they had the Lakers, but then they gave them the game. Too many turnovers and I don’t know why Thompson is playing so many minutes. He broke off too many fastbreaks and offensive sets to throw up a brick. Laker fans will disagree strongly, but Kobe had a piss poor game and shot them out of this one. Yeah, he hit 2-3 shots to force overtime, but there is a reason why the Lakers got behind.

  43. ADIMI says:

    trading gasol for love

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      No. No one wants injury-prone Gasol.

      Too risky.

      Plus, Love is MVP-caliber when healthy. Gasol is a good player but nowhere near Love’s league.

  44. theking0522 says:

    Typical Lakers fans. Talking trash after they barely win a game in which GS didn’t have Bogus and Curry played horrible. The Warriors starting taking bad shots and missing wide open shots. Nothing to do with Lakers defense. Their defense is still HORRIBLE. We saw it yesterday. Lakers have no chance against OKC, period. Westbrook will eat Nash alive. The grandpa can’t play any defense. Kobe keeps playing lots of minutes. Love it!!! By March, those legs won’t be the same. Lakers are not a championship team and we all can see that.

  45. One of the king's subject says:

    One game and you guys think your ready for the championship. What ever happen taking one step at time. The warriors are a competitive team but just because you guys escaped Oakland barley doesn’t mean your ready for teams like the grizzlies or the thunder or the heat or Knicks. Best case scenario for the lakers bumped in the first round

    • Carl says:

      Says the person who calls himself one of the king’s subjects….HA! Miami isn’t even playing that well right now, OKC lost to the Wolves, and the Knicks lost to the BULLS?! WITHOUT DERRICK ROSE! Be quiet. It’s still early in the season.

    • Basketball718 says:

      Lol I bet any amount of money you just don’t want KObe to win #6 more than the Lakers winning. #Hater

      • Faker fans lol you got to be kidding me… You think cuz the fakers won one game they are automatic contenders at below .500 lol wow. For whoever said the heat are struggling look who won 4 straight and about to beat the thunder tommorrow. LAst year at this time the heat were one game worst than what they are now and still went on to win the chip. Lebron is in relax mode and when the playoffs start they put on the switch. Thats what they did last yr. I honestly cant think of a team that can beat the heat in best of 7 series. Fakers will not even come out of the west this year. Its going to be a rematch finals or possibly the other LA team the clips and with the same outcome the heat getting it again

      • okc knick final says:

        knicks, clippers, OKC, lakers when they have better chem. could beat the heat in a best of seven

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Nahhhhh, no more bringing up the “rings” topic. Cause this is what’s gonna’ happen.

        If Kobe was never traded to the Lakers or whatever, no rings for him. He was just lucky and in the right place at the right time. Let’s say Shaq played with another marquee player at that time. Let’s say Shaq paired up with Iverson instead for that three-peat run with the Lakers at that time. Multiple “rings.” Shaq with Ray Allen. Multiple rings. Shaq with Vince Carter. Multiple rings. Etc, etc, etc. Paul Pierce. Jason Kidd. Kevin Garnett. Etc, etc, etc.

        Kobe merely rode Shaq’s coattails for a three-peat. Shaq was gonna win a lot, regardless of what superstar he was paired up at that time.

        I don’t care if Kobe gets a 6th ring; I don’t care what the Lakers do. Especially since they’re going nowhere fast.

        The Miami Heat are still the current/defending/reigning NBA World Champions. Currently, Kobe is not. He’s not even a Western Conference Champion (the Thunder are Champions of the West). Kobe is, like, nothing. Lebron and Durant and players like that have chances to win multiple championships or “rings.”

        It’s time to focus on future dynasties, of which Kobe will not be a part of (except maybe if he retires and goes to play in Europe or something). NBA-wise, Kobe Bryant is ancient history. Yes, a future hall-of-famer. But ancient history.
        ;-)

  46. dj rgm9 says:

    Next step!here we come Knickerbockers,the real test.I’m waiting at bandwagon,fakefans comments.When Lakers gonna start to gel,how sooner possible,how better for the team.They gonna be scary between the second half of the season!
    No injury’s anymore would be good for the team(knock on wood).

  47. peanut7070 says:

    Good Work Lakers

  48. penelope cruzeiro says:

    KIRIE ELEISON:))

  49. PdaDunker says:

    We’ll see whether coach D’A is right, won’t we? Gonna be a little more interesting al last. Finally…

  50. Bok says:

    I hope Kupchack realize this is not NBA 2K13 that you just put together a bunch of superstars equals championship. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud him for trading Bynum for D12 but he overlooked the bench department which is a critical part of a championship run, not to mention that the West is deep and highly competitive.

    • Basketball718 says:

      You sound foolish, injuries is what kept them away, and we won our first game with him back, don’t forget with no chemistry or anything. GSW beat Miami on the road this year so I definitely don’t want too hear any excuses

      • bigwes95 says:

        @basketball718. did you just use the excuse that they didn’t have chemistry and the injury bug keeping players out, but then say you don’t want excuses? Try having 3 starters out for over a month like the T-Wolves, and then you can THINK about using that as an excuse.

    • aaaaaa says:

      You are completely right. Their bench goes as far as Jodie Meeks, Antwan Jamison, Jordan Hill, and now MWP. Also the thing about bring a bunch of superstars together is that they are all used to having the ball all the time, and now since there’s 3 of them on this team, they need to learn. It took the Heat a year to understand it too, the Celtics on the other hand, I think did a better job of getting 3 superstars that fit together. Paul Pierce needs the ball often, but he’s not as selfish as Kobe (who I know is getting better about it but still takes shots more often than he should), Ray Allen is a spot up shooter so if anyone sees him open just get him the ball, and KG would dominate down low. The thing with the Lakers is that Nash and Kobe both need the ball all the time to do what they do (which wasn’t a problem until now) and Dwight, as it seems to me, understands that he won’t get that ball as much as he did with the Magic, and is still doing a good job (minus free throws). As they saying goes, “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.”

      • Hm says:

        Any normal person that doesn’t even watch basketball could’ve told the Lakers management that this clash of egos would happen. If I recall correctly, taking their average USG% from last year, the Lakers starters would add up to ~115%.
        Kobe should be taking the biggest hit, because he had 35.67% last season, with which he led the league. His current average is 32.99%, second in the league.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      They should have known they were getting Nash who is injury-prone to begin with. Howard is coming off an injury; they had to have known that? Kobe had to miss a game or more last season, due to minor injuries, probably due to the condensed strike-season. Kobe might have to miss a game or more this season because he’s pushing himself too hard trying to catch Jordan’s career-point total. He may already have minor injuries. Gasol also apparently is coming off injury.

      They made the mistakes of getting older, weakening the bench, getting injury-prone players, and giving Kobe the green-light to do whatever he wants.

      Ouch.

  51. Oula says:

    Best of luck L.A. Lakers!!!!!!!!!!Good win !!May God bless you.

  52. Adam says:

    I’m looking forward to Laker games for perhaps the first time this season. I don’t think this makes them instant title-contenders or whatever but I now feel they can become the winning team they should be.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Should be? They released key players which made their bench weaker. They added an aging Nash in their starting lineup. Kobe is a minus player. Ball-hog. Artest, Howard, Gasol, and Bryant continue to have chemistry issues. The team has coaching issues.

      Should be?

      You sure about that??????????????????

  53. teo says:

    I just love the pic. Leadership of Nash is oozing :D

  54. LakersFan says:

    There’s another point that everyone seems to be missing, which hopefully turns out to be true. With Nash back, it takes the pressure off Kobe to initiate all the offense, therefore he will be able to conserve more energy for the defensive end. This season Kobe has taken possessions off on defence, and that’s no surprise. But a rejuvenated Kobe on D will spread through the team. When your franchise player locks down on D, it’s contagous… Time for the lakers to make their run!

    • Hm says:

      He has taken entire games off on D.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      But then, Kobe would will lose energy spending effort on defense and the Laker O will probably suffer.

      Nash and Gasol were back. Kobe still takes 40+ FGA.

      It’s apparently not going to work much at all for this season’s LA Lakers.

  55. Scott says:

    The Lakers will be lucky to get out of the first round.

  56. jerikobe says:

    mwp , meeks,howard, and jhill made that comeback.. thanks guys!!!!

  57. JOSHUA SORRELL says:

    Great win for the lakers… LOL @ kobe taking 41 for 34 points when he took 46 for 81 lol.. still the mamba.. lets make the playoffs and make some noise on our way to a championship. happy that nash almost had a double double.

    • JOSHUA SORRELL says:

      and lol @ season opener I wish it was SCOTT

      • slider821 says:

        if they consider this LAs season opener because everyone was hurt until tonight, the Warriors haven’t yet played their season opener since Bogut is still out. The Warriors don’t use that excuse but LA can because LA is the NBAs favorite child,

      • Hm says:

        Same goes for the Clippers, soon to be the team with the best record in the league.

        They haven’t been able to play Hill yet, therefore they still need to have their season opener.

        PS: I hope that neither Hill or Billups will be forced to play 20 minutes (again for Billups) per game when they come back. That’d be a bad decision because they’re old and because the others have developed a unique chemistry.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        “Lakers Win Their Season Opener?”

        I thought they lost their REAL season opener at home to Dallas with a “healthy” Howard, Nash, Kobe, Gasol — all of them played on the REAL season opener, didn’t they?????

        Don’t get too carried away, Scott. The Lakers won this overtime game, but they deserved to lose it. They barely beat the Bobcats by ONE point. The Warriors will get their payback and defeat the Lakers next time they face them as this season progresses.

        I don’t think that’s a very bold prediction, either. The Lakers will lose to the Warriors later in the season.

        Here’s another one: if Kobe takes 40+ FGA again, the Lakers will lose — either to the Knicks or Nuggets (two REAL playoff-caliber teams).

        Scott probably wishes this was a strike-shortened season when they started in January. Sorry, Scott, this is a regular 82-game season, boy. The Lakers are already close to playing 30 games already. We’re almost at the halfway point, and the Lakers are still not in the playoff picture — I am sticking to my prediction that the Lakers will NOT make the playoffs in 2013.

  58. Dave says:

    This was definitely a great game to spectate.
    What I got out of it for the Lakers…Hmm..

    - Everyone on the team has more confidence
    - Everyone wanted to win
    - Chemistry was better
    - Nash and Kobe are both very good options at the clutch. And yes. They’re 33 and 38.
    - GSW was a tough opponent especially with the way they were playing… beating Miami and all on the road.
    - I’ve not seen Pau and Dwight more happier on the court
    - More pressure is on by fans, media, and management, but now they have what it takes to accept the challenge ahead and take it to the next level.

    My LAKERS are back baby!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Dave, let’s not get too carried away.

      The Lakers were LUCKY to win this overtime game after being down double-digits in the 4th quarter. I didn’t watch the whole game, but the Warriors got too comfortable with a double-digit lead. That should be a teaching lesson — play for 48 minutes.

      This is the absolute BEST they can play; they can’t play ANY BETTER than this. And they’re still a .500 team. They can’t keep coming back from double-digit 4th quarter deficits for the rest of the season. They’re still in trouble. They also apparently got lucky by beating the Bobcats by ONE point.

      Don’t get carried away yet. Those two games could have easily been losses. They can’t rely this much on luck. Some of these close games will pile up in the loss column. This will include an AUTOMATIC loss to the Knicks on Christmas-day. They’ll go back to: 13 – 15. Then they’ll lose to Denver: 13 – 16. You can’t make this year’s West Playoffs with a sub .500 record. Not gonna happen, folks.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        I could be wrong, but don’t start “celebrating” yet. Let’s see what happens in the Lakers’ next two games, which I believe are against the Knicks and then the great Denver Nuggets.

        Then let’s see what happens for the rest of the season when the Lakers face a MUCH TOUGHER schedule; they still have quite a few games against the “elites” of the NBA.

        Watch the losses pile up in the loss column.

  59. Kupchak says:

    Lakers Champs

  60. AnnoYouLater says:

    too early to celebrate…actually there is nothing to celebrate…im a laker fan and i think they only won cuz GSW’s top player just had a tough night and stil they lead almost the whole game…im freaking annoyed by bryant taking 40+ shots attempt wtf!!! whats the point of getting better teamates if ur just gona treat them like dummies and take all the shots…even if he sink most of the shots(which he didnt) it wont still be a pretty sight…he srsly need to let pau and howard get some touches and not only rebound and tip ins…bryant should be just like nash, a facilitator in the 1st 3 quarters then just take over in the 4th… if he dont change ,dont expect lakers making it on the play off…

    • Carl says:

      Relax. Kobe won’t be taking that many shots very often. The offense was seamless. However, the defense is the problem. However, this new-look Lakers with Steve Nash is MUCH more confident in their abilities, which is something that they’ve been missing in his absence. They’ll be all right.

    • Jody says:

      A lot of positives to be taken, mainly Nash’s play with Dwight & Pau when he got the chance. Was not impressed with Kobe for majority of the game as he was taking way too many forced shots. Its like he wanted to remind everybody that it was his team, if their falling then okay, still a little selfish if you have the help he does but you can deal with it… but 34pts on 41shots is not conducive, I’m sure even Morris & Meeks could make 30+ with that many attempts so it doesn’t distinguish you as a better player. For Pau & Metta to be the only two other guys in double digit attempts (11 & 13) is also not beneficial to the team. D’Antoni needs to be stronger and do whats best for the team even if it means sitting Kobe (see comeback at the beginning of the 4th). Still need to tighter on D with Nash on the court though as there were too many lapses in concentration that showed, with 4 defensively sound players on the court then Nash can be carried. Dwight in foul trouble and Kobe switching off or at the other end of the court arguing with the officials is not going to cut it. Love the effort Morris had on D

      • wheres the foul ref?!?!? says:

        did you NOT watch last nights game?….ok yes 41 shots is way too much… some of them were forced but alot of them were good shots that he either a. didnt convert when he should of and B. didnt get the foul call when he clearly attacked basket after basket after basket. 0 FOUL CALLS ARE YOU SERIOUS??? if i took 41 shots i would atleast get 1 foul… atleast 10 of his “shots” were fouls that weren’t called… if they were kobe wouldve probably gone 16-31 and 17-20 from the ft line giving him a total of 53 points and the game wouldve been a blowout nobody would complain and we would all be here arguing how great kobe is… dont expect kobe to take this many shots every game …i trust hell put on his big boy pants and figure it out.

      • Hm says:

        Kobe fans whining about Kobe (for once) not getting the usual phantom calls (and maybe some actual fouls too).

        Priceless.

      • Damien says:

        Waow, I remember at some point during the game, the broadcaster saying that Lebron James had not been whistled for a month or so. Kobe had 5 fouls in this one and no call going his way. You can’t be serious : this guy attacked the basket and any other superstar in the league would HAVE (and not ‘of’ as you guys write too often) had something like 10 to 15 FT. So please, just point out that he should HAVE adapted to the refs rather than calling these plays ‘phantom calls’.
        Learn a bit about the game…

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I saw that last shot Curry took. It looked like a decent look … but it looked almost as if he missed it on purpose.

      We had a bad television-angle, but after Curry stepped back, it was funky how he shot it and released it and followed through.

      But alas, I’m sure I’m wrong and just speculating.

      Right?

      How much did they pay Stephen Curry to miss that last shot and to have an off-day??????????????
      ;-)