Lemon Face/Lion Face 11.8.09

Why we do what we do:

Lion Face: Team Cohesion

What’s that?  A more complete team always wins? Are you kidding? This is the NBA. Every single night you see individual performances rack up wins for teams. The Lakers made the playoffs with Smush Parker starting a few years ago, for God’s sake. But tonight was a terrific exercise in what can happen when you do and don’t play together as one central unit. Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Phoenix, and LA all showed what can happen if you warm up the symphony and don’t bust out a ten minute solo. Sure, they all had their stars but more than anything the kind of team focused victories going on are fueled by individual performances, but not cast directly from them.

Lemon Face: Understanding 3 pointers.

The Magic clanged on 13 three point attempts. The Wizards and Warriors, 12. The Suns actually shot well and clanged on 15 attempts out of 27. Same number of iron bangers for the Hornets as they got pounded by LA (and LA also whiffed on 15 of 27. Basically, if you were bombing from three yesterday, you were likely bombing with your fans. That’s a lot of shots that are likely to rebound long, which means if you don’t grab the offensive board, you’re facing the break with a five step head start. It’s one of the most underrated elements of the SSOL approach Gentry is using in Phoenix. They goad you into taking transition threes, which result in long rebounds, which fuel the fast break, which gives them more points, which causes you to respond by taking transition threes…

Lion Face: Tyreke Evans’ 2nd quarter

In 12 minutes of the second quarter last night, ‘Reke Havoc went 6-10, 6-7 from the stripe, 18 points, 5 rebounds (2 offensive), 1 steal. In twelve minutes! I cannot tell you how happy I am that the ‘Reke Havoc era has arrived. If you do not put a body on him, he’s going to shred you every single time. And as long as he keeps nailing free throws, he’s going to have killer efficiency. He’s only now starting to hit his offensive rhythm. If his three point % rises to above 30% and he maintains his aggressiveness in getting to the line? There’s going to be some stitches passed around this league.

Lemon Face: ‘REKE HAVOC NEEDS NOT BE BENCHED! REKE HAVOC IS FOREVER!

Why did he take him out? I get that it was a back to back. I get that the game was over. But he’s a rookie! He could have obliterated that team when it stopped trying! Damn you, Westphal! Run it up! RUN!IT!UP!

Lion Face: Kobe Bryant

Don’t get in his way. Any of you. Don’t cross him. While LeBron’s smiling for the cameras and watching Yankees parades, Kobe Bryant is somewhere shooting jumpers. Working his post game. Improving. Getting better. I have long thought that LeBron had surpassed him for the best player in the league title. I was wrong. Because as good as Kobe is, he works as hard as he can every day to get that much better. Get out of the way.

Lemon Face: The absurd joke that is the Golden State Warriors

There’s not a single Warrior I don’t feel sorry for. Because it’s not just that the team sucks and there are good players trapped in a bad situation. It’s that most of them are pretty good players trapped with a wretched head coach who is slowly killing them. We need to send in Bill Clinton to negotiate the release of the Warriors. There’s nothing this team does well right now. And it’s hurting every player on the team. Jackson’s losing motivation from anger. Morrow’s shooting is being wasted. Ellis is fostering bad habits. Curry is learning bad habits. Maggette’s wasting time he could be contributing.  Seriously, look at this. They have Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Morrow, Curry, Biedrins, Turiaf, Maggette, and Randolph! This team should be good! So if it’s not, then why not? Answer?

This.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.