The ridiculous, bad-basketball-playin'-ass Lakers lost again last night, 109-102 in New Orleans, to fall to 1-7. Basically, they performed how you might expect them to on the second night of a road back-to-back: they won the first quarter with some fluky hot shooting, then sagged badly in the middle quarters, then did enough during garbage time to make the final score look competitive.
Personally, my favorite moment in the game was this:
That's 6-foot-9, 260-pound Carlos Boozer—two-time All Star, veteran of 12 NBA seasons, survivor of Alaskan winters—shot-faking Anthony Davis into the air, driving past him, and ... going for a sorry little leaning floater that would seem passive and wienery if Eddie fucking House pulled it. And that's Anthony Davis—freak, human derecho, the inexorable and onrushing future—recovering, coming up behind Boozer, and spiking that weak shit into the floor with all the evident exertion typically associated with nosepicking. Dipshit basketball dismissed perfunctorily by indifferent opponents: If you were looking for a visual metaphor for the 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers, you could do worse.
(Davis, for his part, went for 25 and 12 with 6 blocks, and shot 12-for-16 from the floor. He is terrifying. By the time he is 25, watching him play will be like looking at the sun through a telescope, whole arenas of spectators with their eyes and brains boiled from overexposure.)
Kobe Bryant, now the shot-missingest player in NBA history, put up one of those stat lines that you'd instantly recognize as his even without his name attached to it: 33 points on 10-for-28 shooting in 36 minutes. He shot 45 percent from outside the three-point line and a grueling 29 percent from inside it; his shot chart, over there on the left, looks like Bingo Night at Ray Charles's house. It has more red dots than teenage Norv Turner's face did.
Oh, also, with about nine minutes left to play, Ronnie Price (who? I know!) whacked Austin Rivers in the head and got ejected:
I can't really get mad at Ronnie for this. Who hasn't wanted to whack Austin Rivers in the head? Who hasn't wanted to leave a Lakers game early? He's just doing the stuff the rest of us are afraid to do. And, if his absence happened to leave the Lakers with a shortage of lousy point guards who can't help them at all, definitionally, this can not possibly have hurt them.
Nothing can hurt them. They are pain.