Jordan Farmar and the Lakers came out on a mission Friday night in Game 3 against the Houston Rockets . Jordan set the tone with multiple plays in which he ended up on the ground, fighting vigorously for the ball, which more times than not, resulted in points. Not to mention a few hard fought offensive rebounds when the Rockets players were least expecting it. With all these doubts clouding around Farmar, he came out in this game more focused than ever. He proved tonight he could start in the NBA, you could just see it in his body language. He wasn't going to fail tonight. His intensity tonight matched, if not surpassed Sasha Vujacic 's trademark aggresiveness.
Kobe reminded Ron Artest why he was the MVP last year and awed the crowd with a near mid-court 3 pointer as time ran out in the 3rd. I loved Kobe's versatility in this game, he showed in the first he can throw the team on his back and go bucket for bucket with the Rockets. By doing this he also opened up his teammates when the defense started to pay too much attention to him, you can see this in the 2nd, 3rd, then when the 4th rolled around Kobe iced the game with a 3 as the shot clock expired with about 2 minutes left. Then on the following play Odom seemed to have jumped over everyone with a yelling put-back dunk.
Lakers played Laker basketball tonight, shooting effectively from 3 point range even though they had a rocky start with a few in-and-outs. The Lakers took care of buisness at the free throw line which is always crucial in close games, and free throws has been something that they were doing a pretty decent job at. But when shooting free throws you should do better than decent since they are called "free throws". Point is, all the Lakers took care of buisness, everyone from Farmar, Brown, Odom, to Bynum, they all did wonderful jobs tonight on defense as well as offense. I finally saw some flow to the Laker's game tonight, something that seemed to be absent in Games 1 and 2.
Just as I said in previous posts, Artest wasn't going to be making shots at will forever. The Rocket's biggest mistake tonight was not utilizing Battier's skills enough. In the 2nd half it just didn't seem the Rockets could get in sync after falling behind in the 3rd, it was like everyone who touched the ball wanted to swish an amazing shot to get them back into it. That only causes contested, low precentage shots though and isn't going to get it done at home.
Even though they outrebounded us we made most of ever possesion and beat them fairly easily in the 2nd half.
I always felt that part of the reason why the Rockets would always lose leads to the Lakers in the 4th is that they are lacking height to play on Bynum and Gasol off the bench, so that forces Rick Adelman to play Yao more minutes than a 7'6 300 pounder should. Yao is so big the wear and tear on his body is magnified when forced to play high minutes in a game that takes such a tole on your knees as basketball. Yao played 40 minutes tonight when his average this season was just 33. If the Rockets want to come back in this series they have to preserve Yao or expect this series to be a short one.
I now want to touch on something that's always talked about. Who's better? Kobe or LeBron? The answer is there is no better.
Kobe's AVG throughout a 12 year career: 25 points 5 rebounds 5 assists
LeBron's AVG throughout a 6 year career: 27 points 7 rebounds 6 assists
So the difference is 2 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist on any given night. The only nod I could possibly give Kobe is that he is a better shooter, he's been dominating longer, and he is the best closer in the game. While LeBron might very well be the best driver, and big man passer in the league. So with Kobe's shooting presence and LeBron's driving skill they equal to one Micheal Jordan. On any given night these two guys can contribute the same type of numbers. So lets stop with the comparisons because they both excel incredibly in their own, respective styles.