3/07/2005 10:58:00 AM|||Kurt|||Bunch of thoughts while watching games, seeing plays and house hunting this weekend: • Defense, which was nonexistent on a recent three-game road swing, was the key to both wins this weekend. Against Dallas they held the eighth best shooting team in the league (48.8% eFG%) to 40%. Against Indiana, the Lakers played great defense in the first quarter, holding the Pacers to 37.5% when they built their lead. By the end of the game, after the Lakers seemed to decide it was won and packed it in, the Pacers shot 47% (close to their season average of 47.6%), but they never climbed out of the hole. • The triangle is starting to run a lot more smoothly, it seems Atkins and Odom are starting to get the hang of it. Mihm also is making good decisions out of the pinch post. • The backcourt combo of Luke Walton and Kobe Bryant in the triangle led to a fast 8-0 run against Dallas. For the game, that lineup was +8 and looked good for the most part (as Some Guy from San Diego said in the comments). That led to another case of “I don’t get the Laker substitution patterns” against Indiana, where those two never saw the court at the same time. • Vlade, if he makes it back, would be great in the triangle. Get him the ball at the elbow and let him put his good passing skills to work. • Proof that was a real team win against Indiana for the Lakers — every player was positive in +/-. • Is there some movie called “Robots” coming out? I wish they’d promote it more, I can’t find anything about it. (Insider’s note: I talked to a friend who went to the big Robot’s premiere on Sunday. The review in brief: Visually stunning but a bit soul-less. Not as good as the Pixar stuff, where the story comes first.) • The Pacers couldn’t do their morning shoot around Sunday at Staples because the L.A. Marathon ran right past it. So, from their hotel in Beverly Hills they traveled to Santa Monica’s Crossroads High, where Crossroads alum Austin Croshere felt right at home. • Jim Gray deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?|||111022190305225967|||Fast Break