BLAZERS -at- LAKERS - 1/31 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 pm    Post subject: BLAZERS -at- LAKERS - 1/31 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

This is an exhausting one to write up, but I’ll give it a shot.

First, I just want to say how grateful and lucky I am. I have a daughter who hugs me every night before bed. I have a son who tells me he loves me every single day (and he just did a couple seconds after I wrote this). He does this even though he’s halfway across the country. I have a loving wife, mother and extended family.

I can only hope that you have as much and more.

If not … know I love you. I do. This community loves you.

Kobe Bryant made me cry twice before – with a pass to Shaq that we all know on his way to his first ring, and he did it once again on the final make of his career. I wasn’t expecting either of those, but they caught me.

And then there’s this week.

The nightmare we woke up to.

Kobe Bryant dead.

Don’t tell me he’s gone.

And if that wasn’t enough, if you weren’t already on your knees – little Gigi and her friends, too.

Of those dead, Kobe and Gigi were the stories we knew.

Shoot, I probably wrote just about every single made and missed shot, every great assist and amazing defensive play he made in the last decade of his career. All those tens of thousands of words, and this week I’m at a loss for them.

This week he’s made us tear up all over … again and again and again.

It’s hard to accept.

Don’t tell me he’s gone.

But weeks, months, years from now we will accept it. Kobe will be one of those young icons, a shooting star that burned bright, gone the way of others. He’ll be frozen in time like Bruce Lee, Tupac, Marilyn Monroe and those icons forever scorched into our collective memories. A legend. A badass like no other.

It’s a new world with no Kobe. I will accept his death.

But don’t tell me he’s gone.

No, you and I paid attention.

Did he inspire us with dramatic heroics? Of course.

He was a virtuoso, an assassin on the court. I wrote of him as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death riding on the pale horse during his last two championships.

But all that cold-blooded fury and rage he unleashed on the court didn’t just happen.

He worked on it. Hour after hour, night after night, he went hard in the lab, in practice, in training, in free moments learning everything he could. It was a relentlessness that we all admired.

So don’t tell me he’s gone.

He’s talking to you right now if you listen.

What’s your passion in life? What’s your purpose? Pursue it. Go hard. Be relentless.

He wants you to be inspired – inspired by his dedication, inspired by his up-at-dawn drive, his endless motor, his rage against all those who doubted him.

What’s your passion?

For me, it’s time to pursue my writing career. I’ve written a few novels. I’ve actually sold a million books for someone else, but have never sent out any of my own work. Time for me to find a literary agent. Know a good one? I need one.

What’s your passion? What’s your love? The place that makes you feel most at home? As Kobe said, where do you dance beautifully?

Make Kobe’s death your inspiration. Honor him with your effort. Pour your heart into it. Love the very process as he told us once again tonight. Go hard. Then go harder.

Don’t tell me he’s gone.

Don’t ever tell me he’s gone.

Because he’s talking to us right now.

Let’s answer him.

We got this.



To Live In The Hearts We Leave Behind Is Not To Die... This, the game that came after, was a love letter to Kobe and Gigi an hour beforehand. It rained inside Staples Center tonight. We gathered as a city and our tears washed the house Kobe built.

We needed this game. We needed the time to come together. We needed to find some direction again. I’m not sure that we did, but it helped.

The ceremony and tributes lasted deep into the night. After Lawrence Tanner announced the starting lineup with every player announced as Kobe, we finally got to the game. The tip-off helped stop the compass from spinning for a moment and guided us back on course just a little.

The Lakers fought through the emotions, turned blocked shots into transition points and scored at a high clip early on. They led by just 2 at halftime despite a ridiculous number of turnovers. The coaches made sure they played the entire roster in that first half.

In the second half, Dame Lillard caught fire and got the Blazers some separation midway through the third quarter. Despite the crowd chanting “Kobe” and trying to encourage the team to battle back, the Lakers couldn’t get stops.

It was an emotionally draining game, and there was no fairytale ending as they fell 127-119. I’m sure they’ll be exhausted tomorrow.

“We all wanted to win this game really bad, but our guys, I couldn’t be more proud with how hard they played,” Vogel said afterward.

This is going to hang with the team for a while. The questions from the media will linger all season, especially on the road. It’s difficult to say how this might wear on them. Hopefully, they stay strong.


LeBron -- -- He tossed the notes aside and spoke from the heart to the crowd before the game. That was not easy. Thank you, LeBron. Once the lights came on and we were ready to play, he pointed up to the rafters to Kobe’s numbers before tip off, let out a deep, emotion-filled breath and away we went. The three ball was looking good early on. When the Lakers were making a run in the fourth quarter, he got tapped on a big three that went in and out. Some sloppy ball with the 5 turnovers (a couple of those long ones got away from him). It’s difficult to get focused back on basketball and get the team’s energy up. We are struggling to get to the All Star break right now. He needs to rally the troops. No easy task. “It felt like these last three years were the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” LeBron said of Kobe and being able to be with his family. The Stats: He scored 22 points on 9-22 shooting (3-8 from three, 1-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 10 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers and 2 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +7.

Davis -- -- His eyes were still red to start the game. He and LeBron had a long embrace during the pregame ceremonies. Maybe the emotions fired him up, but he came out of the gates aggressive, scoring 18 points on 7-8 shooting to start the first quarter. The numbers are pretty ridiculous with 37 on 22 shots, 15 boards, 6 assists and 5 blocks. He shot the three ball well in this game. He was patrolling the paint. He did all the things we want from him. It was a big stage, a heavy one, and he did a good job rising to the moment. Lillard handled his double teams better than Davis tonight. We need to get a little better at that, but this really isn’t the game to discuss it. The Stats: He scored 37 points on 14-22 shooting (3-5 from three, 6-8 from the line) to go with 15 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, 5 blocks, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 39 minutes. He was a -13.

Green -- -- He was getting smoked defensively to start the second half. Getting stuck on screens too easily and not recovering. He looked slow to me tonight. I preferred seeing more KCP and Caruso. Green would sink just one of his shots, swishing a three in transition. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 1-8 shooting (1-6 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a +1.

McGee -- -- He had a dunk on a long outlet, then a layup on a Euro step. He had a couple of blocks as well to start. Good start, but then he seemed to disappear a bit afterward. He did have a great recovery as the Blazers attacked off a stagger screen to block a shot and ignite a break. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-4 shooting to go with 3 boards, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 14 minutes. He was a -2.

Bradley -- -- Lillard got hot against him. It’s tough having to navigate screens, deal with Lillard pulling up and drawing fouls on you as you try to chase over the top. Our perimeter D wasn’t great. It didn’t seem like the team was quite on the same page at times, can’t blame them. Better last stint by Bradley in this one, including sinking a three with 1:43 left. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-6 shooting (2-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to gow tih 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -5.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Wish he had his shot going just a little bit more tonight. We needed one more person to join the fight, but didn’t quite get that. Good effort defensively by KCP. I would have preferred more than 21 minutes for him, but we were trying to play everyone. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-7 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a -10.

Kuzma -- -- He was playing aggressive in the first half, not just on drives but grabbing boards, as well. I wonder if a lightbulb went off during this game that if he gets boards, he can try to create his own offense on pushouts. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was making him more involved. The effort on the glass was sensational as he pulled down 15, including 5 offensive. I’m sure Kobe was a factor in all that because it was a different beast out there in Kuzma than we’ve seen. “Tonight, I tried to be fearless...just tried to play my heart out,” Kuzma said. “That’s what he did every night and that’s what he would have wanted all of us to do.” Perhaps the pace and tempo he played with also contributed to the 4 turnovers. Vogel still seemed to reward him with more run in that second half. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 6-12 shooting (0-3 from three, 5-7 from the line) to go with 15 boards (5 offensive), 4 turnovers and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -16.

Caruso -- -- He had to come in to help put out the fire on Lillard in that third quarter. We sent doubles to help. Kind of wish we had gone to him a little sooner, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Offensively, not much going on in this one. A nice pass to Kuzma slipping a screen for a layup. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 board, 2 assists and 3 fouls in 8 minutes. He was a -2.

Howard -- -- The refs started blowing the whistle on him in his second stint and that kept him in check. He had all his scoring in the first half with a layup off a Rondo lob, another dunk after gathering another lob and a dunk after gathering a deflected pass from Dudley. No scoring in the second half. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting to go with 4 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 5 fouls in 14 minutes. He was a +6.

Rondo -- -- He’d get his points on a baseline jumper. Some out of sync things going on with Rondo and teammates passing to him. He let an inbounds go to Lillard, either expecting it to go to another teammate or trying to get a running start down court. He also tricked Dwight into passing it to where he was cutting, forcing a turnover when he stopped. We really could have used more PGs or guard creation that made Lillard work on D. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 5 assists, 2 turnover and no fouls in 14 minutes. He was a -11.

Daniels -- -- Every Laker got in during the first half. Daniels gave a good effort while out there early on. He was hustling on both ends. He even got to his own missed freethrow, missed again, but tipped in his own miss. That earned him a few more minutes in the second half. Those weren’t as productive. He had a painful catch of a pass on the sideline in transition that seemed to deflate LeBron a little. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-4 shooting (0-1 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 3 offensive boards, 1 assist, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 8 minutes. He was a -2.

Cook -- -- He changed his number from 2 to 28 to honor Gigi and Kobe. He was tearing up during the national anthem and embracing teammates. After sinking his first three, he put his hands together and looked up to the heavens. Vogel gave him a hug after his first stint. I think Vogel knows this tragedy seems to have hit Cook pretty hard. “It’s like a piece of your childhood was ripped out,” he said. He mentioned he always took pride in how much he knew about Kobe as a fan. He said he was obsessed with him. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-1 from three) in 5 minutes. He was a +1.

Dudley -- -- Everyone played in the first half. I’m surprised he didn’t get credit with an assist, but not too much action in this one. Duds is going to be key in holding this team together. "It was just very difficult," he said afterward. The Stats: He didn’t score or shoot and had 3 boards in 6 minutes. He was a +6.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: He lit up a little when they mentioned the Kobe chant after the game. “They went on a run,” he said of the team. The team was sparked a little, but defensively, they just couldn’t hold the line. “Definitely the heaviest game I’ve been a part of,” Vogel said.

Key Substitution: Vogel made sure every Laker played in the first half of this one. They all wanted to contribute something to the game and he gave them an opportunity. I love that. He’s done a superb job navigating the team through this tragedy, whether that’s giving a speech to the team when they found out about Kobe, giving them time off that they needed, getting out in the sun for some football or making sure all his guys got touches tonight.

Key stats: Probably Lillard's 48 points was the key number on the night. We can’t let him do that even as great as he is. Turnovers were also an issue. The Lakers had 13 turnovers to just 4 for the Blazers in the first half, yet the team still led by 2. They’d finish with 17 turnovers to the Blazers 7. The Lakers would have an 18-5 advantage on the offensive glass.
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:38 pm    Post subject:

Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.
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TDRock
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:46 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:48 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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Dear Kobe,
Thank you for all the wonderful memories.
You and GiGi rest easy now.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:08 am    Post subject:

Been occasionally reading Thoughts and Ratings from you for almost 10 years, never in my worst nightmare did I envision reading a post like this

edit: Will add tho that it's very mamba mentality like to still make this post even tho you probably really did not want too
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:18 am    Post subject:

Much love to you, DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:29 am    Post subject:

Very well written, excellent, inspiring, and heart-felt post DB.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:23 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.


When I think of you DB I think of Kobe going off for 50 in four or five straight. I think of 81 I think of countless games where he took 40 shots in a miserable performance..I think of all the game winners you described..and so on and so forth. Thanks for doing these write ups and giving description to those moments which were so enjoyable to read even though I had watched the game. I love you man.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:57 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:34 am    Post subject: Re: BLAZERS -at- LAKERS - 1/31 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

DancingBarry wrote:
Make Kobe’s death your inspiration.


Damn.

This hurts and heals at the same time.

"Kobe Bryant dead." Ugh. Still hasn't set in fully upstairs. Drop those novels DB. Do it now. Will be among the first in line to get copies.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:31 am    Post subject:


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ElginBaylor
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:05 am    Post subject:

Incredible job DB through an incredibly difficult time. I can safely speak for us all when I say we can't thank you enough for the sacrifice you make to the LG family.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:09 am    Post subject:

ElginBaylor wrote:
Incredible job DB through an incredibly difficult time. I can safely speak for us all when I say we can't thank you enough for the sacrifice you make to the LG family.


You speak for me.

Thank you DB
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject:

Thank you, DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:30 am    Post subject:

Beautiful DB. Thank you for the write up. I am looking forward to your upcoming novel!

Although it was a loss, it was a beautiful night. I took my son to his first Lakers game during Kobe’s rookie season. The Lakers, by far, have been the one of first things that we have bonded with over the years, and Kobe was in the center of that. I’ve never felt emotion over a celebrity death, but this one is different. My son came home last night to watch the game with me. The first game we watched together since he left. Like I said, although it was a loss, it was a beautiful night.

May Kobe, Gigi and the other 7 on board Rest In Peace.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.


Thank you for all you do, DB

Incredibly moving and cathartic tribute.. You expressed everything I have been feeling far better than I ever could..
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:37 am    Post subject:

❤️
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject:

Thanks for all your time and effort writing these up DB.

Seeing Quinn bawling last night made me tear up. I’m slowly moving past the denial and shock of the news on Sunday.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:57 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:19 am    Post subject:

Thanks for everything, DB. You're appreciated here in Brazil. Much love.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:11 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

That was a Kobe mamba like effort on this one, by you. Much appreciated.

In doing the recaps this year for you when you were not able to, I saw how much work it can be. I loved doing them, but they are time consuming. This one you made for this game must have taken even longer. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

I could not watch the game after the half. I had enough of everything and needed to rest, it is rare that happens. But it was a lot for me to take in.

I can not give a great analytical assessment on this one, but I did think the Lakers seemed out of it a bit, especially the role players. They looked like a team that has not practiced or played too much, almost like preseason. We did not seem like we were strategically doing much. Just going through the motions.

This break of play and the emotions has deeply affected the team, IMO. We need to be patient as fans with everyone. I already read some bashing of Frank Vogel, Lebron etc. (in their threads) Not fair. The team needs at least a month IMO, to get back on track. If they can. This is major what they dealt it. Kobe was family and they see first hand how much family he was every day they walk into the building and practice in their practice center. No other team will see how much family he was. These guys will.

Give this team time. They may just make us proud. Either way, I am proud that Lebron and AD represent the Lakers and Frank is the coach. I love Lebron, AD and Frank. How they have dealt with this. Proud to support them. Even if my own emotions do not allow me to really enjoy the game, just yet.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:15 am    Post subject:

ChefLinda wrote:
DancingBarry wrote:
Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.



DB - wow, that was inspiring to read and comprehend. Best T&R ever.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject:

TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
ChefLinda wrote:
DancingBarry wrote:
Wow, that was draining to write up and cover.



DB - wow, that was inspiring to read and comprehend. Best T&R ever.

Yep.
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BigE32
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:22 am    Post subject:

Thank You DB! I have enjoyed your write-ups for years & this one was especially memorable considering the circumstances. Last night I was crying during the tribute and have cried a lot since I heard the news last Sunday.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:46 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
I sat here with my wife and two teenage boys and wept.

Didn’t expect much out of this game...
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