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Can You Smell What The Stern Is Cooking?!

Does SB Nation have a WWE blog?  Do I even need to write a game wrap about this one?  Was there any doubt about what would happen? The Lakers slog through the 1st half (hey, there's Joe Smith on the bench!) while complaining non-stop to the refs about the calls and exerting very little to zero effort.  

At the half, Phil Jackson finds time to pick his head up from Jeanie Buss's Twitter feed on his BlackBerry to give a thrilling Gipper-esque speech: "Guys.  For sh%ts sake. Guys."  

How zen. 

The Lakers then come out with no noticeable extra energy but amazingly their tackling defense is tighter and their non-stop bitching aggressiveness pays off with trip after trip after trip to the line. The fans at the Target Center reward the World Champs for their half-assed valant road effort with an relative smattering avalanche of cheers.  The Laker announcers gush about Minnesota Nice.  

Wes Johnson played his ass off tonight.  On both ends of the court he outplayed the cartoonishly coasting (on everything) Kobe Bryant and he was rewarded with 6 ridiculous foul calls, a smirking Bryant, and a lesson in how the NBA is rigged really works for the wrestlers with the fancy intros big name teams and players. 

Ugh, sometimes I just don't know about this league anymore.  That was a really, really tough game to take seriously, let alone make it all the way through the 2nd half without wanting to go do laundry or wash the dishes.  At least the game finished in time for me to turn off the Twitter feed before the Charlie Sheen nonsense started. 

Random thoughts: 

  • On the good side of things, Wes Johnson continued his recent streak of good play with an eFG over 50%, 8 rebounds, and no turnovers.  He also played excellent defense on Kobe Bryant and when Bryant wasn't calling his own fouls in the 2nd half, Johnson clearly had his number.  
  • Jonny Flynn had 0 turnovers.  He even played well in the first half.  We'll leave it at that. Actually, there was a play in the 2nd half where Flynn dribbled down the court and attempted to run a 2 man game with Love.  The problem was that the entire action was run within 8 feet of the sideline.  Meanwhile, the other 3 guys were just standing around.  Love was left on the wing being guarded by (I think) Lamar Odom while his point guard  was shut in the corner and his other teammates were standing around.  He tried a cross court pass and got the turnover.  That was not his fault.  It was the fault of the point guard who doesn't seem to understand that the court is 50 feet wide. I swear to Pete the guy doesn't...well, 0 turnovers. I should have left it at that.  
  • I know I said the Randolph trade had no downside, but it would be kind of nice to see Hayward's minutes go to Corey Brewer right about now.  
  • How come it is so hard for Rambis to understand that one of his best two players needs to be on the court at all times?  
  • The Wolves were out-rebounded 53-39 and out free-throwed 27-16.  Kevin Love probably could have had 27 FTAs all to himself if this were Wolves v. GSW again.  
  • Necessary caveat: Yes, the Lakers are a better team and the Wolves lose without the help of the refs.  I get that.  They're the wrestler without the costume up against the Undertaker.  But still...tonight simply wasn't that good of an NBA product.  I think my #1 hope for the CBA fight is that the season gets shortened by about 30 games.  There is simply too much predictable garbage in the NBA to overlook.  
  • 2nd necessary caveat: Yes, there is hyperbole in this post.  Sometimes it just needs to be let out and about.  
Well folks, that about does it.  Wes Johnson played his best game of the year and he ran up against a smirking idiot on cruise control who should have been t'd up multiple times for bitching at the refs in the first 3 quarters, but who was later rewarded for his "efforts" with a series of ticky-tack fouls (and inexplicable cheers from the away crowd) that fouled Johnson out of the game.  At least Kobe didn't put his hand to his ear a'la Hulk Hogan and ask for more...although, would that really have raised any eyebrows during the 4th quarter?