Kobe Bryant is injured and Earl Clark is gone in free agency, but the play those two ran in Detroit to end the first half against the Pistons a season ago was alive and well on Friday.
The play above shows Steve Blake inbounding the ball from just inside the halfcourt line on the sideline, and Wesley Johnson ditches a sleeping Josh Smith to streak to the rim before Blake delivers the on-target pass and Johnson hammers it home.
As the announcers on the Lakers feed noted, this should have looked extremely familiar. Because L.A. ran this exact same play in this very same building back in February of last season.
To be fair to the Pistons, there are plenty of new players on the roster and the team has replaced its head coach since the last meeting between the two teams. Credit Mike D’Antoni for recognizing that the new personnel probably wouldn’t have a clue as to what went down last year, and calling the same play which ended up having the very same result.