by Brett Edwards
That was the overwhelming sentiment at last night's Lakers Heat game at Staples Center. Shaq was booed early and often by the L.A. faithful as the Lakers were able to hold off a strong comeback by the Heat for a 100-92 win.
The highlight of the night for the crowd happened towards the end of the first half. Shaq got the ball a foot away from the basket and dunked on the head of 7-foot Laker rookie Andrew Bynum. On the next play, Bynum got the ball in the post against Shaq, did a quick spin move around him and dunked with two hands. The crowd went crazy, Bynum was whooping it up, and Shaq didn't appreciate it, so he caught the rookie with a nice forearm on the way back down, resulting in a double technical foul. Outstanding! In a few years the story will probably evolve into a myth where Bynum dunked on Shaq and swung his package in his face.
Watching the Heat play, they are very similar to the Lakers, in that really they are mostly carried by one player (D Wade), and are just hoping to get enough contributions from the surrounding players to win games. Though the Heat have many more famous players (Shaq, Payton, Walker, J-Will), they are similar to the Lakers in that most don't contribute consistently and Wade carries the load. James "Parker" Posey was the only player that played well besides Wade, hitting 3s and playing solid defense all night.
The Lakers' offense is absolutely atrocious when Kobe is on the bench. They run the triangle as if they will be taken out back and killed if they make a wrong pass or take a bad shot. A 19-point lead very quickly deteriorated to 4. Phil should have at least 3 set plays that they run with Kobe on the bench to get some easy shots, as if they were coming out of a timeout. That's the only way the bunch of trash that was on the floor would have any hope of producing consistently while Kobe gets some rest.
And no, that's not my hat in the photo, it belonged to the fan sitting in front of me.