Blake hasn’t had an overwhelming impact in the regular season, but it’s getting to that time of year where legends are born. Maybe he will have his own game winning put back a la Ron Artest, or his own buzzer beating three like his starting counterpart Derek Fisher.
While it isn’t always necessary or desirable to pick up technical fouls or get ejected, I loved the energy and what it represented. It was a statement by the champs that they will play hard and won’t stand for being disrespected whether they’re down by 10 in the first quarter or up by 20 in the 4th.
On a similar note, I respected Matt Barnes for sticking up for his teammate. It shows how close this Lakers team is and also shows the cohesiveness existing on the bench, which is crucial for continued success. Over the course of the season Barnes has become my favorite new Laker, which is kind of shocking. He has adapted well to the team-first culture that the organization has been trying to perpetuate for the past few years in particular.
He didn’t ask GM Mitch Kupchak about playing time before signing a contract, which is rare; he has never publicly complained about his role on the team, and seems to genuinely relish it; and he has steadily improved throughout the year and brings great energy and feisty-ness off the bench. Matty has been a real asset, and had an incredible one handed dunk in the second quarter off a Shannon Brown pass in the paint.
Unfortunately, the Killer B’s were all ejected last night along with Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood from Dallas. Brown’s was an incident unrelated to the first fight, coming with less than two minutes to play in the game. Brian Cardinal fouled Gasol hard, and Shannon shoved him away after getting tangled up which resulted in an early trip to the locker room.