Noah from L.A. sends in the following observations from last night's game:
Zach is a man possessed out there. No outside shots (except the chalupa three), and he dominated Lamar Odom who is both long and strong, and a fellow left hander (which makes a difference on D). Zach should NEVER bring the ball up the floor unless he has a clear path all the way to the basket. I'm impressed with his play. He is using the face up, jab step and duck under move very nicely on guys who aren't slow (like Odom and Bynum). By the way, is it just me, or did Zach look like he really had to think before dunking on the break last night?
Martell - was somewhat disappointing, but I was encouraged by his taking it off of the dribble and both drawings fouls, and finishing (the nice roll in the fourth). He has very poor positioning on defense and really needs to work on his footwork to balance himself on D. He frequently over-commits and a good offensive player (a-la- Kobe ) will pick that apart with a smile every time.
Magloire - Much better game last night than versus the Clips. Nothing spectacular, but he did a nice job of exposing Bynum a few times.
Stephen Graham - I like his game. He did a nice job of cutting, taking the ball to the rim, and knocking down open shots within the flow of the offense (clutch too).
Ime Udoka - His game and Stephen's are very similar - Both good defenders, both strong and quick and can knock down open shots. Someone (it may have been you) made a great point of how Udoka has filled the "glue player" role left vacant by the Kryhapa trade. (Graham does this as well).
Dixon - Nice overall game for him. Exactly what we need from him, and nothing that we don't (except that botched fadeaway drive in the fourth).
Jack - Another solid game. He penetrates well, and handled the pressure from Smush Parker (who is an above average defensive player in my opinion) with poise. His mid-range jumper was on again, but he went to the basket more this game than the last (and had a couple of beautiful dishes in the lane to Zach). He's got to watch that crossover though. With the new rules, they will start dinging him on that more and more.
Outlaw - I was impressed with his random offense, and a few good rebounds. Other than that, not much to say. He needs to work on guarding his man tighter. He is long enough to recover better on defense. On a side note, I never noticed until last night that he has the hairline of a 45 year old man!!
Random observations: Having Joel back will be a huge boost on defense. Once anyone gets beat on the perimeter, there is no second line of defense. Zach slides over as fast as a peripherally challenged 80 year old woman!! Even if Joel doesn't block the shot, he commands an area down there that will make penetrators think twice before going all the way to the bucket.