Game 1: This is the worst game I’ve ever seen.

After spending so much time on jeremylin.net since finding out Jeremy Lin got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, my friend asked why don’t we go watch the season opener? I told my friend that I already spent $100 on ballstreams and am perfectly fine staying at home watching the game in HD while avoiding the traffic, exorbitant parking fees and stadium food as well as the price of admission with decent view of the court. Friend said “fug dat” and bought a pair of rather pricy tickets. Wooo I am set.

It was weeks of trepidation while waiting for the day to come as preseason games were filled with so many unknowns. As eluded in the previous “Get on the Buss” article, ownership seems to be in disagreement regarding the team’s direction and leadership. The new coach Byron Scott seems reluctant to start Jeremy Lin while giving some of the same excuse given by the Houston Rockets last season as to why Jeremy should come off the bench.

Before the game, I was worried about a few things:

1) Will Jeremy Lin start the season opener?
2) Will Kobe play nice with Jeremy?
3) Will Houston either “solve” Jeremy or injure him?
4) Will Laker bigs play nice with Jeremy?
5) What camera to bring into the stadium?

So, I woke up excited to watch the game today. Got to work, told the boss I am taking half day off to watch the game. Split after lunch. Arrived at Staples Center early to avoid rush hour, to find cheap parking (found one for $15 on Francisco street near Court Yard Marriot), and to walk around Nokia Theater.

nokiaplaza

Saw the ESPN 710 kiosk where Max and Marcellus is arguing about some Laker/Rockets stuff.

Partook in some tourist food.

Smachburger

After, after dinner, lined up outside the stadium to get an early look at the basketball court and to see whether any players were doing pregame warmups.

crowd outside1

As we were walking to our seats, we found Ludobird.

ludobird

Found our seats and spotted Jeremy working out with trainers.

On the other side of the court was Dwight warming up.

Jeremy shooting off dribble.

Harden started warming up too.

Jeremy working on his drives.

Jeremy warming up with trainer and grinning.

Players got onto the floor.

Coach Scott made a speech welcoming the fans.

Starters are introduced. Although I knew Jeremy was going to start, I was still holding my breath and am finally relieved after seeing Lin’s mug shot on the jumbotron.

The game started off badly. First play of the game was a 10 footer by Boozer that Howard grabbed while the shot was falling. No goal tending was called. Then, some minutes later, Jeremy got shoved and lost his balance and handles but no call. Ref made it up to Jeremy a few minutes later by giving him freethrows for Beverley’s reach in foul.

Lakers assessment: Too much Kobe. Too much Jeremy Lin probing. Not enough off ball movement. What this resulted in was very boring Laker basketball. Bodies and ball movement were stagnant. Typical play is Lin dribbles the ball up court. Surveys the defense for a few seconds. Kobe parks it at the post and raises his arm up, Lin lobs him a reluctant pass, Kobe isolates with either an inefficient fade away for a 20 feet 2 pointer or he passes the ball after making absolutely sure that he doesn’t have a shot.

Houston assessment: I saw two Houston Rockets teams during the past two seasons. When winning, they were running and gunning with 3 pointers galore. When losing, they were either Harden or Howard isolation plays. Well, the winning team showed up tonight. Ball and body movement were as though in fast forward compared to that of the Lakers. Houston had multiple arsenals in the paint, beyond the arc and even players coming off the bench most notably Donatas and Kostas.

In game notes:

1) Boozer took the first shot of the season, a flat 10 footer. Howard grabbed it in mid air but no goal tending was called. In my opinion, the ball was coming down.

2) Lin’s first turnover was possibly resulting from both Lin running out of rhythm and being shoved. I think Lin received free throws a few plays later because the referee wanted to make it up to Lin for the no call by calling a ticky tack reach in on Beverley.

3) 6 minutes into the game, Lin was fighting through a pick when he got elbowed. Lin fell and crashed into the guy holding the ball. This sequence happened right in front of the Rocket’s bench where coach McHale was sitting. At the very moment that the referee called a charge on Lin, coach McHale jumped out of his seat, did a fist pump and clapped vigorously for about 10 seconds. Personally, I felt McHale couldn’t resist showing Lin up.

4) I don’t think I saw Kobe passed the ball to Lin. Not even once.

5) Randle’s a very talented player and is sure to become a fan favorite as fans were cheering loudly whenever he starts his isolation drives which he made one of two. It’s too bad he landed awkwardly and had to be removed from game with a stretcher.

Lin Checking Randle

6) I saw very few minutes of Lin and Davis playing together. Ed’s size is not that much smaller than that of Dwight’s. However, Ed just seemed like a smaller player because he crouches a lot when he’s in the paint. Also, I don’t think I saw a single pick and roll play between Ed and Jeremy. Further, I think the ratio of picks Lin had to run through when defending his man versus the number of picks that was set for Lin on offense is 10 to 0.

Lin Davis

7) There was some ticky tack between Howard and Kobe. Technicals were thrown at both players. Howard made both his free throws. In fact, he iced them. All net. Kobe only made one of two. Fans were showing their abhorrence for Howard during the altercation

8) Harden scored 20 points with relative ease. I don’t think he even broke a sweat. Kobe, on the other hand, was annoyed that he wasn’t the top scorer and did whatever he could to make up for his personal points deficit. I also saw him throw his arms down when Lin was bringing the ball down court too slowly.

9) “Linsanity” lasted for about 3 seconds in the third quarter. Jeremy was free to probe with Kobe on the bench. Defense collapsed on Lin each time he probed into the paint, but the Lakers bigs didn’t start moving their bodies until after the third sequence. And, even with them moving, Jeremy’s four drive and dump onto a big in the paint resulted in, I think, 1 field goal, 2 dropped passes and an air ball by Sacre. Lin did get a 3 point play off a drive which I consider to be the highlight of his night.

(not my video)

Players leaving the court. Lin is no longer grinning but is leaving with his head hanging.

Lastly, I ended up choosing a Sony NEX3N camera to bring to the game. The body is great. The kit lens will be replaced. Maybe the 20mm f2.8.

Regarding the title, some season ticket holder stood up and left with about 6 minutes left in the fourth. As he was leaving, I heard him muttered “this is the worst game I have ever seen”. Another season ticket holder behind me said “too much Kobe”.

Final thought: Jeremy Lin. Welcome back to Houston!

  • cdblue10

    So I need to post here now…:-)

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      You will be very lonely.

  • Laetitia

    Love d it. Great pics and seats too !

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      Spanks.

  • Laetitia

    You’re now the third person whose opinion I rrespect that is pointing to Kobe being the white elephant in the room. I still don’t think he’s as ” bad ” as harden, but can’t avoid the fact that the laker offense is run thro a 36 year old ball hog : l

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      Kobe is a lot worse than I thought he’d be too.

      • Laetitia

        I’m still thinking he’ll come round…I’m not as pessimistic

        • http://etane.net/ etane

          Just heard on the radio kobe’s post game interview. He said he wanted jeremy to orchestrate the offense and to challenge him as great team members challenge each other as kobe had that knid of relationship with fisher.

          Not sure this is a good or bad thing. kobe wants to turn lin into fisher?

          the reason why kobe doesn’t pass to lin is push lin to challenge him? not sure i like this mind game. might work for others.

          • Laetitia

            hate the fisher reference but KB is *soo* into himself that he can’t see any other way to do it. He kills the team, sorry to say. I’m not worried just irritated that Lin has to deal with this shyt alone it seems BS not moving a terse muscle to solve the Kobe problem. grrrrr Coach killah in effect…but then the next guy will he be kissing KB’s butt too?? sigh.

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            another organization that is kissing the superstar’s butt. such is lin’s luck.

          • Laetitia

            like KH said before, they are star struck and it’s Hollywood.

  • DJSlik

    this is way better than jeremylin.net. a lot more room to streeeeeeetch out. i feel like i just moved into a bigger house. and what do you mean CHOOSE your camera? exactly how many cameras do you own?

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      Please remove your shoes. Gotta keep up the resale value.

      I bought the Sony specifically for the game since I don’t think I can get my Nikon past security. Plus, Laeti said only wannabe photographers use Nikon.

      • DJSlik

        I have a Canon t4i but I want a Canon 6D. have several lenses so I can’t jump ship. Is Laetitia ok with Canon’s or am I gay? Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

        • http://etane.net/ etane

          i saw some deals on 6D with some above average kit lens. Good time to upgrade. Personally, I rather stay with cropped sensor. I am married to my 17-55 f2.8 lens.

          • DJSlik

            where on amazon? why is now a good time to upgrade? why do you prefer a cropped sensor? i’m constantly pissed off at my 4ti in low light conditions because i hate using flash.

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            what lens are you using with the t4? might just need a brighter lens. Nikon D750 came out which is a direct competitor with the Canon 6D, and some 6D with 24-105 lens deals came out at the same time. I think it was for $1500. Dun remember who were selling it probably B&H or Adorama or some ebay seller.

            If i went with a full size sensor I’d have a hard time replacing the lens I already got with the same quality glass and zoom range. And, iq wise, I won’t notice the difference between full or crop sensor as crop sensor technology is much better than previous. Put it this way, the 17-55 full sensor equivalent is the 24-70 which is much more expensive and mucho more heavy. and, i am not getting anything more in terms of wide/tele or image quality. so why switch?

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            i don’t see those deals anymore. a bit late. wait for bfd i guess.

      • DJSlik

        fuck you…..sorry, just testing the language limits of the forum and seeing if i get banned. LOL

        • DJSlik

          WOW! it let me cuss! fuckin AWESOME. jeremylin.net sucks!

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            yah i didn’t turn on the filter thing. unfiltered is better. etane.net is NOT a family site designed to generate clicks for cash.

  • jenlee

    In one of your pics, (3rd from the bottom), I saw all 4 sitting together -
    Jack Ma (Alibaba), Jet Li (Movie star), Ari Emanuel (CAA/brother of Rahm Emanuel), and Patrick Whitesell (CAA).

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      You have very very sharp eyes. I only recognize Jet Li (the one in the black cap right?).

  • Dockers

    Mate, this is pretty good review by “your standard”.

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      spanks.

  • Phonow

    Great job etane. Hoping for more posts n pics from you. Esp. the artistic pics–like the GG Bridge stuff. Keep it going!

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      spanks. hawaii is a good place for artsy pics (i think).

      • Phonow

        lol. yup Hawaii has a lot of cool places to see. Our good friend is a photographer. This pic reminds me of your harbor pictures: http://www.christophernovasmithphotography.com/Portfolio/i-VTcHHvW

        You should visit Hawaii– I would love to see the photos you come up with!

        • http://etane.net/ etane

          i take it as a compliment when you compare my pics to your friend’s. =D i still need to learn how to take day pics. it’s very difficult to capture nice contrasty shots in day light. experimenting with filters as we speak… (not literally)

          • Phonow

            Like Wordsworth said, it is hard to shoot photographs in the light of common day. Something like that. ;)

            The GG Bridge shots were my favorite. Beautiful! Take the compliment & do more. Oh, and you need to add “Photography” to your home page. They are hard to find. (nag, nag, nag).

            Um, and try not to spend ALL of your money on equipment. Azns and their electronic equipment. lol.

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            My other hobby is high fidelity audio. even more electronic equipment than photography.

            I should add a photography link to my homepage you mean?

          • Phonow

            Yes, add “Photography” to the “Forum Activity” column. Add your photos there. I notice a lot of people visiting are enjoying your work.

            For that matter, you probably could add a column for Audio equipment/Azn crank. ;-)

            Btw, when I googled your site, I noticed the result:

            Showing results for satanism
            Search instead for etanism

            Hmm, coincidence? I think not. lol.

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            you found out. i am actually a satanist. *drinking goat blood coffee*

          • Phonow

            Morning wub. Cream, sugar, or red?

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            a cube of human heart please.

          • Phonow

            Janis.

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            i am not familiar with janis. this song’s actually pretty good. must be the satin within.

          • Phonow

            Love Janis Joplin.

            Moody Blues– eh, too pop for me, but tangentially apropos :

          • http://etane.net/ etane

            moody blues? i am on a time machine. i barely remember when “your wildest dreams” came out haha.

          • Phonow

            LOL. youngster. :-)

  • chunkychen

    Thanks for the post! Do you have the 55-200mm lens? Might be useful at games like this. Also, love the 50mm 1.8 prime- great for low light shots and portraits.

    • http://etane.net/ etane

      Staple Center bans icl cameras as well as a limiting lens size on non-ilc cameras to 4″ . So, no can do with large tele lenses. I don’t have the 55-200 but do have the adequate 18-140mm. The glass on the 17-55mm is much better though. Oh, I also have the 50mm 1.8 but hardly use it. Too much tele.

      The Sony NEX3N is an ilc but no one can tell with the compact zoom kit lens.