The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 April 2006

Thoroughly scrubbed

Basketbawful defines "scrub game" as follows:

A game in which a team's bench players (the "scrubs") either start or play most of the game. This is typically done near the end of the season when the team's playoff seeding has been determined and the coach decides to rest the starters.

This is not what happened at the Staples Center. The Lakers, were they to lose, would have dropped to eighth and would have had to play San Antonio in the opening round of the playoffs; seventh would have pitted them against Phoenix, a presumably-easier opponent. The Hornets, after two games of experimentation, went back to their regular lineup in the hope of going out on a positive note.

It didn't happen. With about three minutes left in the third, Desmond Mason bopped Kobe Bryant on the head, a foul deemed Type-1 Flagrant. Kobe made both free throws and then followed with a bucket. It is a measure of how things went for the Bees that the four-point play went almost unnoticed. The final: Lakers 115, Hornets 95.

P. J. Brown led the Bees with 16 points; Marc Jackson, playing in David West's forward position, picked up a double-double (15 points, 13 boards). Moochie Norris, spelling Chris Paul in the absence of Speedy Claxton, scored 13 and didn't miss a shot all night.

Oh, and Kobe? Thirty-five, about his average, in twenty-nine minutes.

Macas Watch: Arvydas Macijauskas came on in the fourth and scored four.

So that's the season: 38-44. You can look at it as sub-.500 ball; or you can look at last year, when the Hornets played sub-.220 ball. I have to figure that winning more than twice as many games is a step in the right direction.

Preseason begins in October.

Posted at 11:49 PM to Net Proceeds