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Armageddon Avoided

It didn't come quick.  It didn't come easy.  And it didn't come without a boatload of three balls getting hoisted and drained by both sides (interesting nugget of trivia to come later). But when the dust finally settled on the five minutes of extra hoops required to create an outcome, the Lakers were sitting on top of a 126-120 win over the Wizards.  Seven Lakers notched double figure tallies (the five starters, plus Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton off the bench) and the Lakers bested their opponents in the rebounding (44-43), diming (35-29) and blocking battles (9-5).  Kobe Bryant's team-leading 26 points came off a tough 7-24 shooting clip, but he kept a constant eye out for his teammates, helping set up 13 baskets while only turning the ball over once.

Finaly, the trivia.  As mentioned, both squads were scorching from downtown, the Lakers hitting 14-27 (52%) and the Wiz knocking down 17-30 (57%).  Overall, the home team was 50% from the field and the visitors 47%.  Thus, tonight marked the first time where two teams sported a better three-point percentage (with a minimum of 27 attempts per side) than straight up field goal percentage since the addition of the arc itself.  Should any member of the blogosphere end up on Jeopardy! and this answers the Daily Double, the K Brothers expect a cut of the winnings.

The Breakdown is below (courtesy of BK)

AK

The Good:

  • Three Point Shooting, Properly Done: The Lakers were huge in the first half from downtown (11-15, 73%), and while it's more than a little ironic that they had success there given Friday's three point chuckfest, the difference in the two games was striking.  Lots of penetration and post ups, with the ball generally working from the interior to the perimeter.  In the Lakers didn't quite gun at a the prodigious clip of the first 24, but still finished with a 52% mark for the game.  More importantly, they got the ball inside from the get go, and didn't stop trying to go low or penetrate until the game was over.  They got to the line 32 times, double the output from Friday night.  Until their post players get back, this is a team that's going to shoot a lot of outside shots, so how they set them up will be very important.  Sunday night, shot selection helped limit Washington to seven fast break points. 
  • Bench Play: Big minutes from the reserves tonight.  20 points from Sasha, who provided a spark early (nine points in the second quarter) and late (six in the third), and made a big stop on Nick Young in OT that helped seal the deal.  DJ Mbenga contributed with 6/3 with a block in 10:02 of run.  19/6/3 from Luke Walton, who played what was easily one of his most productive games of the season (yes, I'm aware there aren't all that many from which to choose).  Playing big minutes down the stretch, Walton rewarded Phil Jackson and the Lakers with solid production.  8/2 in the fourth, and in OT Walton secured a huge offensive board off a missed Kobe free throw that gave the Lakers a chance to clinch the game.  Walton was a key part of a big effort from the supporting cast, and with Kobe not pouring in points and a sick (literally, not figuratively) LO relatively quiet offensively, the Lakers needed production from other sources.  After the game, emphasized that keeping them involved early was a major factor tonight's production.
  • Vlad Radmanovic: When Vlad makes shots, he's generally a pretty handy fella to have around, and tonight, he hit his shots.  18 points on 7-11 from the floor, including 4-7 from three point land.  In a weird twist, two of his misses were air balls.  You don't see that all too often.   As for his lack of run down the stretch... honestly?  I get it, at least on nights where other available options are playing well.  Vlad can be a huge lift for a team, but late in a game he's not a guy I would feel confident in to consistently make good decisions with the ball, and not a reliable defender.  But to some extent, that's beside the point.  Vlad is there to stretch a D and make shots, something he did very well Sunday night. 
  • Kobe Distributing: It was a very rough shooting night for Bryant, who was 7-24 from the floor.  But Kobe did a great job moving the ball around and making sure there was no repeat of Friday night's sleepwalk from the rest of the team.  Washington was very aggressive in getting the ball out of his hands, but generally speaking Kobe didn't force many shots and in the end, the Wizards paid for the extra attention they showed 24.  Take away Kobe's field goal attempts, and the rest of the team shot a combined 57%. 

The Bad:

  • The Third Quarter: The bottom line is the Lakers gave up 39 points in the third.  Granted, the Wizards were drilling everything from everywhere on the court- when a team shoots 80% from downtown (8-10), they can short circuit the scoreboard- whether they were given open looks, highly contested shots, or anything in between.  But while the quarter ended tied at 86, it didn't necessarily have to go that way.  The Lakers were up by as much as 17, and at a critical juncture in the game, let the Wizards close that lead.  Were they red hot?  Absolutely.  Could the Lakers have been more attentive defensively?  No question.

The Mixed:

  • Defense Generally: Take away that video game third quarter, and the Lakers held the Wizards to 42% from the floor.  Even with it, Washington was only at just under 47%.  When a team is 17/30 from downtown, that'll keep 'em in the game no matter what else is going on.  It was, in a lot of ways, one of those nights where just about everything Washington did in the second half, whether via a clean, uncontested look or the circus shot Caron Butler hit over Derek Fisher at the end of regulation, went it.  Jackson said after the game that he didn't feel they did a terrible job closing on shooters, and in many cases he was right.  But there were still plenty of breakdowns.  I'll have to go back and look at the tape (just like the coaches!) before making a more definitive evaluation of the defense.  From what I saw watching it live, it wasn't as bad as the third quarter would suggest, but still had some holes. 

Regarding the Butler three, Jackson said after the game that they thought about fouling to put Washington on the line, but thought there was too much clock left in the game (10.1 when the shot went down, 16 ticks when the ball was inbounded) to go that route.  And while Butler hit the shot, it was a really tough look.  I asked Fish after the game about the play, and while he was disappointed the ball went down, as a veteran player he understands that if you can force a very difficult look and the guy makes it anyway, that's just basketball. 

AUDIO:

BK

Ronny Turiaf

On the topsy turvy nature of the game

"This is what the NBA basketball is all about.  This is where "amazing happens."  Teams start getting hot in the second half, knocking down three point shots over and over and over.  We did a good job weathering the storm and not panicking."

On getting the 50th win tonight
"We've been talking about trying to get 50 as soon as possible.  We know how tough the Western Conference is and all these other teams are winning basketball games.  It's gonna be on us to keep winning and keep pushing."


Sasha Vujacic

On the importance of personally having a good game after a poor outing Friday against Memphis

"Definitely.  I shot 14 three-point shots (while making only four) and it was kind of embarrassing.  But it's way behind me, you know."

On how a game like tonight's where so many people score make them dangerous

"When we play like that, when we share the basketball, when we play together on defense and offense, when everyone is involved, we are really hard to beat.  I mean, they had an amazing game tonight, so it was kind of hard to keep up.  But the outcome was good and we were happy about it.

Kobe Bryant

On the entire team being so involved tonight

"Teams are just making a conscious effort to throw the kitchen sink at me, so we have to have that trust where guys knock down shots.  We were able to do that, so it keeps the defense extremely honest.

On the defense tonight
"We did everything we wanted to do.  We stopped penetration.  We closed out to the shooters, get a hand in their face.  They shot 56% from threes.  You kinda gotta live with that.  If teams are gonna go 17-30 on contested three point shots.  I mean, there a couple that were uncontested.  But for the most part, they had hands in their faces, hands on their arms and they were knocking them down.   They made, like, three straight fade away threes.  You gotta live with that and know that when the playoffs come around, if you have a team taking contested threes in a seven game series, it's gonna be a tough series for them to win.

On getting the 50th win of the season
It was a hump for us to get over in the last several years, and it feels good to get there."

Also, a few notes I got during pregame but didn't have time to add before the tip...

For those of you wondering if Pau Gasol's being a little too cautious about getting back on the court, I got a look at his ankles today before the game.  I'm no doctor.  Frankly, I struggled to pass high school biology.  But I'm pretty sure the swollen, red left ankle was the one still hurting and the smaller, pinker ankle was the good one.  And I assuming I identified things correctly, I can see why he's still a bit off from returning.  Thing is still pretty puffy.  Gasol said it's still pretty tender and limiting just about everything he can do on the court.  He's looking to gain more range of motion, some more strength, and basically prevent it from getting hurt again. 

As for Chris Mihm, who got five minute of action on Friday night to mark his long-awaited return to the court, his troublesome foot is not only feeling pretty good today, but felt considerably different than past times when he thought a hurdle was cleared.  Before, a court appearance, combined with a practice (like yesterday's) would leave him struggle to walk around without grimacing.  Today, however, the discomfort was minimal.  Having been down this road a zillion times since 2006, Mihm's not allowing himself to get too excited, but he can definitely feel a difference.  "You kind of forget what a normal foot feels like," remarked the center. 

I also learned a little bit more about what's made this injury so difficult to heal up.  Aside from the fact that he rolled the ankle about as badly as structurally possible without actually breaking it (which, by the way, would have been preferable to the torn ligaments when it comes to rehab), Mihm's got flat feet, which made the screw-inserting procedure more complicated (and eventually, more pain inducing).  They attempted to create more arch for him to remove pressure, but the screw head migrated a bit from the heel bone where the Achilles attaches, which excruciating.  This wasn't really something that could be foreseen, since most people's feet have a normal arch, which makes this less complicated.  But in a broad stroke kind of way, this would explain in part why so much trial and error has taken place.

AK

 
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People, people, people,

LET ME PUT THIS IN CAPS SO EVERYONE IS PAYING ATTENTION:

GUNNER HAS ISSUES THAT GO WAYYYYY BEYOND KOBE OR THE LAKERS !!!!!

This is not about Kobe, this is about Gunner. If you have ever even heard the name Dr. Phil, or walked by a psychologists office you can figure this out. We all knew a Gunner when we were 10 years old. He was the one disrupting class, pulling on the girls hair, and sticking his finger in your face and saying "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you". He is about attention, because he does not get it any other way. Believe me this is not about Kobe, or the Lakers and deep down we all know it, especially Gunner.

Sorry Gunner, the truth hurts.

By the way if I am wrong, then prove it. Prove you are really a concerned Laker fan who just has the team's best interest at heart. HINT, HINT. If you want credibility on the blog then call a spade a spade. If Kobe has a bad night or makes a turnover, then call it so. But if he has a good game or good play, then call it that way. That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility.

However as we all know it is not about Kobe or the Lakers, it is about you and therefor you can't prove otherwise.....

On behalf of the rest of the blog........GOODNIGHT!!!!


I don't know what they were watching...coz those shots (most of them) were uncontested. Where literally we make a bonehead decision to cover someone else, and let them shoot open 3s.

But hey they're the pros right? Gotta bow to them.

Love to see a better played game on weds, we can't keep on playing with fire...because as we seen in games past: we get BURNED.

Good game by Didier, Sasha, and Luke. They all deserve all the props they can get. They won the game for us. Esp Sasha with a DPY of the year haha.

I'm not asking for much. I know it's going to be hard to play the best D without legit Cs, or for that matter, a great SF in Trevor. But I do ask that we make mental adjustments. Stop hitting your hand with the hammer kind of thing. And of late we have been letting teams shoot 3 open, let them get in the paint, and that just does not bode well.

In any case, Go Lakers!

What a great game. My voice is gone but it was worth it. Lets hear it for Mbenga!!!!!

to close for comfort plain and simple cant wait for the bigs to come back.

50 wins was so elusive, but we finally got the 50 wins.

GO LAKERS!!

I'm just glad they got the win....now they can use the rest until the next game on Wednesday productively instead of fretting about a losing streak. This Laker team has a lot of heart. LO, Fish and Kobe are all way under 100% but they are still giving it their best shot. As a fan, that's all I can ask for.

I hope Stu Jackson reviews game tape of last night and issues a statement as to why his referees can't call a foul when Kobe Bryant is fouled by 3 Wizards on his way to the basket. It was obvious that the referees were trying to get a reaction out of the Mamba. I wouldn't be surprised if the zebras have a pool going to see which one of them will issue Kobe his 16th T. PJ really needs to defend his star player more often. Hey, I'll be the first to acknowledge that Kobe gets caught up with the refs too much, but most of the time it's because it's because he's taking a beating and not being rewarded for it. Phil should help Kobe when that happens, even if it means getting up from his throne and getting a couple of T's himself.

Uff. AK's diagnosis on Gasol's ankle doesn''t sound too good.

I wonder if he's going to be ready even by Wednesday.

Good thing, it looks like Brandon Roy is also going to be out which should make the Portland game winnable especially on the home court. Lakers have no margin of error left. The only way they still get #1 seed is if they go on an 8-0 winning streak the rest of the way looking at SA and NO's schedules.

If we end up #3 or #2, we''ll end up facing Houston or Phoenix. Still very winnable series but may end up beating up the Lakers going into the second round. If we get #1 seed, then it's probably GS or Denver in the 1st round w/c will be less wear and tear on the Lakers.

"The Lakers were huge in the first half from downtown, especially in the first half (11-15, 73%)"

So when exactly were the Lakers doing good from downtown? :)

AK,
Antawn Jamison, the other Wizard All-Star was not really a factor in tonight's game.
Was that due to Lamar's defense?
If so, I think you owe LO a mention in The Good considering he's still sick (and played 47 minutes! 13 rebounds, 7 assists)

KOBE BRYANT,
"We did everything we wanted to do. We stopped penetration. We closed out to the shooters, get a hand in their face. They shot 56% from threes. You kinda gotta live with that."


ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IF YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SAGGING OFF YOUR MAN, HE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD AN ALLSTAR NIGHT!

LUCKY THAT LUKE CAME TO THE PARTY AND SAVED YOUR BUTT!

50

it was a tough week for lakerland. looks like when we r playing better opponents, we r playing much better. an experienced team like san antonio or detroit will approach every game like is no tomorrow. this is a young team and i guess, individually, some players do not prepare, or learned to, themselves 100%. also after 70+ games maybe it is more difficult.

playoffs r a different story, because indeed, there is no tomorrow.

it is symbolic that after 2 efforts (charlotte and memphis) to reach 50, at the end of the game was still 50/50. so took 5 more minutes for the road to 50+.

AK/BK, thanks for the DJ interview, he had a very good game. if he dunks the last shot, he would bring the house down.

as much as Kobe can be critical of certain mistakes, seeing the interaction during timeouts or while guys going to the line, Kobe is very supportive of every effort or good plays they r making.

50+

50 wins finally!

Anyone have a mailing address for GUNNER?

I'd like to send him my old Commodore-64 keyboard. It still works great.
Really!
The only problem with it is it is missing the CAP LOCK and both SHIFT keys.

(Psssst.....Don't tell him, but it also automatically depresses Ctrl/Alt/Del every time you hit the Enter key.)

Now I know why Gunner (and others) are stuck in their rut. Here's the first sentence of the AP report on the Wizards game:

"Kobe Bryant abandoned his one-man show, got his teammates involved and the Los Angeles Lakers prevailed in a shooting contest."

So long as jounalists spread around the idea that everything boils down to one superstar's decision-making, superstars (and not only Kobe) will be judged by the wrong criteria.

Look at the difference in terms of basketball logic between Friday's and Sunday's games. The Grizz made the strategic decision (i.e. coach to team) that they would let Kobe operate and keep everyone else off the scoreboard. That's what they did in the first half, rarely double-teaming Kobe, who put up the numbers he likes to put up against Memphis. But the tightened defense on the rest of the Lakers caused them 1) to miss shots 2) to lose confidence.

Then in the second half, the began double and triple-teaming Kobe, but the Lakers' offensive rhythm was long gone and the guys Kobe found off double-teams couldn't buy a bucket even when left wide open. Why? The lack of rhythm and the lack of confidence. Was it Kobe's fault? No. He remained the most reliable weapon on offense but passed out of double teams regularly. It was the fault of the Grizzly strategy, which just happened to be effective.

So what happened on Sunday? The Wizards used the opposite strategy by hounding Kobe from the get-go. They may have thought there were lingering effects on the rest of the Laker squad from Friday night's loss. As predicted Kobe passed out of the doubles, but this time his guys were getting into rhythm and hitting shots.

The other difference is that the Lakers made a somewhat unnatural effort (given their lack of size on the front line) to get the ball inside before kicking it out to the open shooters instead of passing it around the perimeter (which was the pattern in Friday's fourth quarter).

When Pau or Drew is in the lineup, the Lakers (and especially Kobe, who would draw double-teams) systematically got the ball in the center who was playing back to the basket. They knew it would lead to something effective or creative. When Mbenga was in last night, they didn't use him that way... until the clock was running down and the ball handlers (not Kobe, in most cases) couldn't figure out what to do. DJ delivered and was one of the savior's of that cliffhanger. But you could see that the Lakers weren't user him in the same way they use Drew and Pau. They simply don't trust him with that level of responsibility. It isn't part of their game plan.

And that's the point. What the average spectator sees as an individual performance is in reality part of a game plan. If a player isn't considered a second or third option, he simply isn't going to get the ball unless he happens to be wide open under the basket. Or if he does get it, it will be with the idea that he's going to pass. When Farmar or Luke passed the ball into DJ as the clock was running out, they weren't expecting him to shoot, but DJ knew that he had no choice and made some key buckets.

In Phil's game plans (which are modified with every timeout), the players work together to apply the strategy. There are times where it appears obvious (after the fact) that Phil wants Kobe to shoot the ball, not because he thinks he's going to make every shot, but because he wants the defense to be focused on Kobe. At moments like that Kobe will appear to be a ballhog, but making the other team worry about the ballhog is the whole point of the exercise. There are times where it becomes apparent that he wants others (Lamar, Vlade) to be the distractor, but that rarely works as well simply because they lack Kobe's range of offensive talent and persistence.

The basic fact is that this year's team and overall strategy is built around having a strong and tall second option in the post to anchor an inside-outside game. The teams that have been on the floor since early January have simply not corresponded to that model, except for the string of games when Pau was there (who made up for a lack of strength by mobility and midrange sharpshooting). It's interesting to watch Ronny try to play that role at the beginning of half-court sets, but he doesn't have the size to do it and it isn't his style of basketball. He gets swarmed and can't establish the space to allow the guards to pass into him. As a result, we see him drifting out to the high post to take a catch and shoot from the top of the key as the guards get stuck on the wings. He has good range from there, so it often works. But that cannot be the basis of the team's strategy, which is built for a Drew or Pau.

Let's pray that Pau comes back with full mobility and strength on Wednesday so we can once again see THIS YEAR'S Laker team in action. And when Drew is back, it can only get better.


>>>ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IF YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN >>>SAGGING OFF YOUR MAN, HE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD
>>>AN ALLSTAR NIGHT!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Gunner on this
one. Kobe kept leaving Stevenson to help on other players
and he got burned time and time again.

Gunner, you often criticize Kobe when he doesn't deserve it,
but on this issue for this game, you are correct. Kobe
needed to let his teammates handle their own man and stay
with his man who had the hot hand.

Tsphere,
well said, well said.

can anyone send me a link to see Life With Luke in Costco...who knows.. he'll probably pass up on so many nice products hoping another buyer would get it...

I would really appreciate if the Lakers would stop torturing us. These close games are brutal.

On a more serious note, I'm happy to see the team get over the hump and win a close game against a decent team.

First 50 win season in a while. Almost certain entry into the playoffs. We remember how to win again and it looks like we have at least 1/2 of another center in DJ Mbenga.

We won despite horrible shooting from the Kobester and great shooting by random Wizards.

bronxlakerfan,

I try not to be paranoid, but I certainly noticed a ton of no-calls on Kobe and I wouldn't be surprised if the refs are taking advantage of not having to hear Kobe bitch about every damn play. Hopefully, the refs will feel karma is restored by the playoffs and he can talk a little bit about calls without being persecuted.

Wow, that game was another nailbiter!

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic right now.

Luke had a good game (great if you judge on his usual playing) but one good game does not mean that he will continue to have them. We need consistency and here's hoping he can put together a string of good games. If Pau plays for the rest of the season I think we can go at least 6-3 in April and at least have homecourt for the first round and maybe beyond. If Bynum comes back with several games remaining we should be in good shape in the playoffs assuming that he is at full strength.

This has got to be one of the most interesting (and frustrating) seasons in Laker history. Here's hoping that the postseason is heavy on the interesting and light on the frustrating.

Go Lakers!

PLAYOFFS............................ PLAYOFFS...................................... ARE YOU KIDDIN ME..........................PLAYOFFS???????????????????

As I have been mentioning for the past 3 weeks, the remaining games for the Lakers will depend on Vlad Rad's scoring performance.

Remember my formula:
In the games w/o Bynum/Gasol, if Vlad Rad scores atleast 15, we win. If not , then we lose.

On Friday night's games against the Griz, he scored 9 and we lost. Last night he dropped 17 or 18, and we won.

We need somebody who can score down low to get the other team in foul trouble, or stop the long rebound/fast break scenarios. We don't have an inside game and LO refuses to stay on the box offensively.

Interesting story in LA Times online. This passage confirms what I was saying the night of the Memphis game (and what some bloggers were wrongfully attacking me on)***

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-heisler31mar31,0,2120115.story


***Everybody handles crises their own way. After the Lakers' loss to Charlotte, Bryant took over as only he can, going for 53 points against Memphis, looking like he intended to keep firing until Gasol, Bynum or both were back.

This was Last Spring's Kobe, as opposed to the This Season's Kobe, the one Jackson prefers.

"We had a discussion yesterday," Jackson said. "He's played such great basketball and he's been such a good team leader, I just said, 'Just don't destroy the relationship that you've built with the players this year.'

"And he said, 'Nah, it's not going to affect what we do. I just had to get out and vent what was irritating about the game. . . .'

"So he was obviously irritated by the game prior to that, Charlotte."

Or as Bryant put if after Sunday night's game, "I needed a game to blow it off. Too bad we didn't play any damn defense. . . .

Kobe is a great player, but sometimes he needs to adjust his leadership style. That Grizzlies game had nothing to do with his needing to compensate; it had everything to do with his being angry and wanting to get it off his chest. His need to use a game for therapy costs up a stingy defeat. He overshot, and everyone knows it. No other Laker felt a part of the game, and thus the offensive production suffered. With no offense, the Lakers were pressing to stay focused, and this compromised our defense. Thus, we lost the game. This, due predominantly, to Kobe needing to "vent".

Now, that said, I hope Kobe wins the MVP and he's one of my favorite Laker players. However, he needs to use better judgment regarding how and when he choses to dominate, or more importantly, make a point to this teammates and the league.

For those of us who rightfully criticized Kobe Bryant for overshooting during that Memphis game, we are vindicated.

It would be nice if Kobe "vented" on the defensive end and channel his energy there.. c'mon, Kobe.. act like a leader of a championship contender, not like you just entered the league.

Anyway, at least it's good that he acknolwedged to his teammates and coaches that he wasn't in control in the previous game and looked to correct it.. he wouldn't have done that earlier in his career.

It looks like strategy that the team is going to sag off and help on penetration and post players.. not just Kobe who was leaving his man.. but, Kobe and others still have to rotate faster to the shooters. Never be in no man's land.

Well, a win's a win, and we really need to keep them coming in. Have you had a chance to see how tight the race in the west is? If not, just look at who's tied for 7th.

Get well Fish, Socks, and Pau - we're gonna need you all much sooner than later!

That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility

Posted by: pslakerfan


Whoa, thanx man

I just don't know what to say, other than thanx.

Troy,

from the link you posted: We had a discussion yesterday," Jackson said. "He's played such great basketball and he's been such a good team leader, I just said, 'Just don't destroy the relationship that you've built with the players this year.'

"And he said, 'Nah, it's not going to affect what we do. I just had to get out and vent what was irritating about the game. . . .'

I really wish I knew what the last part of that sentence
was. What if he had said: ... what was irritating about the game was that my teammates were cold that night ...

We don't know what was irritating.

Tsphere,

I agree with your observation. Kobe has to read what is coming to him. If he's double or tripled team, his teammates has to put up the attack. When there is one-on-one defense and he could dominate, then he should go for medium shots that have the highest percentage or the highest probability of getting the rebounds from Turiaf, Vlad and Odom.

What Troy said on Kobe's game against Grizzlies may be accurate that he overshot, well his teammates should recognize that it is their weapon so they have to dig in for rebounds and make some follow ups of their own. What happens, they get the rebounds then pass it to Kobe. This has been developed a habit by Turiaf, Luke, Mbenga and Vlad. If they can observe the discipline employed by college hoopsters, it's a get-go for the ball and when they get it, don't wait for defense to come but anticipate the bounce and follow ups especially when rebounded neart the post. What Turiaf or Walton is doing, they passed it to the open man who is 20 feet away when he's already within two feet from the basket. How to evade being blocked? those are basketball instincts that should have been developed over the years. Just watch Gasol how he does it. Nobody would teach u how to do body-english shots or bending fakes and apply the reversed shots. These are part of the basketball calisthenics of a professional.

If the Memphis game was Kobe's vent for the year, by all means, let the man have it.

1) He's earned the right to throw 1 game away. After a year of playing within the plan, I'm sure we all would get to some point and say "($)*% this, I'm going to go do it my way tonight".
2) I prefer a 1 game vent to "trade me"
3) I prefer a 1 game vent to The Video "We're talking about Jason Kidd...Ship his *$(*)#$Q out!"

The Lakers are still riding high and waiting for Pau and Bynum. Sure they could be higher but I'll take where they're at now knowing that reinforcements are coming.

A much needed win last night,I predict the Lakers go undefeated in the remaining games.

Mr. pslakerfan

(LET ME PUT THIS IN CAPS SO EVERYONE IS PAYING ATTENTION:

GUNNER HAS ISSUES THAT GO WAYYYYY BEYOND KOBE OR THE LAKERS !!!!)

Hello Mr.pslakerfan i read your posting in great sadness and mourning you are talking about my son and everything you said you nailed on the head Iam Mr. Gunner and let me finish the story Gunner is now 54 year old fat balding slug living in Palmdale in this decrepit trailer park me and gunners mother is just heartbroken over our son.He is a dirty alcoholic drinking up his social security check every month they say he tortures animals in his trailer if i ever catch him oh lord behove me it might be gunners last day on earth anyway this is just a snippet of gunners life iam a old man in my late 80`s and i will finish up later i need to take a nap.

Mr. Gunner

Phil must have some extra motivation to play Luke because Vlad was having a fantastic game up to the 4th and no matter what anyone else says the stats showed he was playing excellent defense on his Butler who only had like 7 points up to that time. Everyone's saying that he didnt get in because of his D, well it was Butler making some critical shots over top of Walton and others down the stretch that led to the overtime. If Vlad would have been in the game in the 4th I think it would have been his game of the year. I think it's unfortunate that Jackson won't show trust in a player that is playing so well.

troy,
I'm not sure you are "vindicated".

Kobe overshot 4 games in a row last year scoring 50 points in each game... Were you vindicated then or happy the Lakers won?

The Lakers were ahead most of the Memphis game so Kobe is correct in that cats didnt play defense we would lose.

And how coincidental, Kobe passes to Odom to win the game and he misses. Kobe passes to Fish to win the game and he misses.

Not saying you are wrong in that he overshot, but besides that if you play a lick of D, the Lakers blow Memphis out because of him not shooting BUT shooting at a high efficiency rate.

THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.... FG%/efficiency rather than just shots.

Ken,

Vlad's D is not great but it's not all that bad. But Vlad's problem is poor decisions in crunch time. He has turnovers (half court passes) and silly fouls late in the game.

Luke, if nothing else, doesn't panic during crunch time, he's probably one of the better Laker crunch time players.

The Machine is finally an assett in crunch time, his defense has improved dramatically (50 foot fouls are much rarer these days). We know Sasha the hot potato shooter, but we're getting to know Sasha, the Defensive Stoppa. Sasha is the Laker's best perimeter defender right now after Kobe.

>>>ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IF YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN >>>SAGGING OFF YOUR MAN, HE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD
>>>AN ALLSTAR NIGHT!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Gunner on this one. Kobe kept leaving Stevenson to help on other players and he got burned time and time again.

Gunner, you often criticize Kobe when he doesn't deserve it, but on this issue for this game, you are correct. Kobe needed to let his teammates handle their own man and stay with his man who had the hot hand.

THANKS LONG TIME. YOU KNOW I GIVE HIM HIS DUE WHEN HE PLAYS LIKE A TEAM PLAYER BUT LAST NIGHT DEFENSE WAS HORRIBLE.

WE'VE SPARRED OVER THE YEARS SO, I RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU KNOW THE GAME OF BASKETBALL.

THESE NEW KOBE FANS JUMPING ON HERE IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS LIKE "PSLAKERFAN" CLAIMING HE BEEN A LAKERS FAN FOR AGES KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT BASKETBALL.

PSLAKERFAN,
"If you want credibility on the blog then call a spade a spade. If Kobe has a bad night or makes a turnover, then call it so. But if he has a good game or good play, then call it that way. That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility."

CREDIBILITY? THAT'S FOOLS GOLD. THE SAME HAS KOBE PUTTING UP A BUNCH OF POINTS AND WINNING SCORING TITLES. MEANS NOTHING TO ME. THIS IS JUST A BLOG FOR PEOPLE VENTING OFF FRUSTRATION. THERE REALLY NO ONE ON HERE CREDITABLE ENOUGH TO EVEN BELIEVE.

YOUR HOLD HANDS CLUB? - SORRY, I TAKE NO PART IN THAT.


"Sorry Gunner, the truth hurts."

YEAH KOBE STILL SUCKS. AND HIS DEFENSE SUCKS TOO.


Nice talking you.

PSLAKERFAN,
"If you want credibility on the blog then call a spade a spade. If Kobe has a bad night or makes a turnover, then call it so. But if he has a good game or good play, then call it that way. That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility."

CREDIBILITY? THAT'S FOOLS GOLD. THE SAME HAS KOBE PUTTING UP A BUNCH OF POINTS AND WINNING SCORING TITLES. MEANS NOTHING TO ME. THIS IS JUST A BLOG FOR PEOPLE VENTING OFF FRUSTRATION. THERE REALLY NO ONE ON HERE CREDITABLE ENOUGH TO EVEN BELIEVE.

YOUR HOLD HANDS CLUB? - SORRY, I TAKE NO PART IN THAT.


"Sorry Gunner, the truth hurts."

YEAH KOBE STILL SUCKS. AND HIS DEFENSE SUCKS TOO.


Nice talking you.

Well said Tsphere.

No one player is perfect, but Kobe is the closest thing to it on the planet right now. He made some mistakes in the game against Memphis, by as previously stated, he was taking advantage of the isolation by Memphis. And the rest of the Lakers couldn't shoot. It was basically last years team, not just last years Kobe.

Why did he have that streak of 40+ and 50+ games last year? Because the rest of the Laker's weren't cutting it. It was the same reason he had to shoot so many that night.

It's bad enough to be without Bynum, Gasol and Trevor, but LO was basically a no show, because he was sick.

Kobe had 53 points, no one can say he didn't do his job that night.

Last night the rest of the Laker's were actually shooting well, and they were doubling and tripling Kobe. Result? 7 Lakers in double figures. (Way to go Sasha and Luuuuuke!)

That's how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility
Posted by: pslakerfan

Whoa, thanx man
I just don't know what to say, other than thanx.
-Fire32-

Well atleast now we know who you will jock ride for the remainder of the season..and say thing like.."How come yall can't be one of the smart bloggers like pslakerfan"

AK,

Next time Pau Gasol shows you his ankle, you better quickly some Dit Da Jow on that sucker before Kung-Pau can ask too many questions. Dit Da Jow works best for ankles and wrists.

We would not be having this problem right now if Pau Gasol was using Dit Da Jow. So frustrating.

GO LAKERS!

AK,

Thanks for the details on Chris Mihm's injury. Interesting.

GO LAKERS!

I would not be supprise if the Lakers loose this game but they didn't. It was ugly but the important thing is we got the win. Let me reiterate the fact that no matter how much we love our team, basketball(sports) is still a business. I am not too worried about Portland coming up because we got a taste of what they can do to us and I think the Lakers will be much more prepared than the last two meetings. On another note, the Ref's are really getting to me with the non-call's for Kobe Bryant. I know he complain's a lot but he has a legitimate gripe but then again the Ref's are in on it too. By the way, Stu jackson is an idiot! He said they reviewed the foul called against the Warriors game and felt that a foul should have been called against D.fish. A non call sounds about right not claiming D.fish pulled the other guy down and what about the flgrant foul called against Kobe or all the non call's the Lakers got the last few games. They are all in on it, the lot of them....punks, that's what they are but just like any other sport....basketball is still a business.

That 15th technical foul is exactly what Kobe needed to win the MVP.

I love Kobe but if I had one criticism I am sick and tired of his whining after every shot. He plays so much better when he is not jawing at the refs.

Last nights game was a nail biter but it was a pleasure to watch Kobe just play the game.

I say next year he gets 15 technicals in the first eight games. Then Kobe can just play ball and win the MVP for sure.

Go Lakers!!!


That 15th technical foul is exactly what Kobe needed to win the MVP.

I love Kobe but if I had one criticism I am sick and tired of his whining after every shot. He plays so much better when he is not jawing at the refs.

Last nights game was a nail biter but it was a pleasure to watch Kobe just play the game.

I say next year he gets 15 technicals in the first eight games. Then Kobe can just play ball and win the MVP for sure.

Go Lakers!!!


Ken,

First everyone complains that the Lakers are shooting too many
three-pointers and that it's the cause of their losses to bad teams.
Then when Phil plays Luke big minutes and Luke does most
of his scoring in the lane, Ken complains because Phil kept a three
point shooter on the bench. sigh.

Ken, the thing is this: BOTH Luke and Rad had hot hands
last night. Clearly it wasn't a sacrifice in their offense to keep
Luke on the floor late in the game. And Luke's scoring was
mostly in the paint, while Rad's scoring was mostly behind
the 3-point line. The Lakers have been short on inside scoring
lately, so keeping Luke's inside scoring on the floor balanced
out the scoring more than Rad's outside shooting would.

Also, Luke is a more consistent defender than Rad. Your
perception that Rad "was playing excellent defense on
his [sic] Butler who only had like 7 points up to that time."
is wrong. Caron scored 17 points total. Of that, 9 points
were scored against Radmanovic, one 3-pointer was scored
over Luke, one 3-pointer (the game tying shot) was scored
over Fisher, and he had two free throws when Sasha
fouled him at half court.

So Luke gave Caron all of 3 points. And Rad gave him
9 points. And they played about the same number of
minutes against him. So who's the better defender?

And Luke is actually a little bit better rebounder than Rad,
which turned out to be a crucial contribution to the Lakers
win... first when Luke rebounded Nick Young's missed
shot, and then when he rebounded Kobe's missed free
throw.

If Luke was throwing up bricks or turning the ball over a
lot like some of his horrendous games from earlier in the
season, I'd agree with you that Rad should be on the floor.
But lately Luke has been gradually becoming more consistent
on both ends of the floor. I don't expect he'll score 19 points
and make the critical rebound to help seal a win every
night, but he's improved enough that I trust Luke on the
floor at least as much as Rad, and maybe more in the 4th.

Sorry to hear the sadness in your heart, Gunner whether that is true or not, I will just rely with your word.

One reason, why people get through you because your posts appear to be an angry done by reckless kid with issues on 'kobiatch' as I quote you. There are times you have point, but most of the time, Kobe cannot do anything right, he's always on the wrong side on your posts. If you temper a little bit your criticisms on him temper by injecting a little kindness on a guy who hurting but still playing on choosing the right occasion when to blame or praise, perhaps people will change their point of views on you. Like last Saturday, you made series of all-caps posts that would really invite annoyance although maybe you're serious with all these declarations. We (Rick F and I) cautioned you months ago with your all-caps angry posts, still you kept it as it is, compouded by strong criticisms on the Laker savior as perceived by many, it really appears you're an angry dude yelling at everyone. (Perhaps, we have the same problem, we could not see what we are typing so you put in all-caps make it readable in the message box. lol!)

Anyway, with regards to your personal problem don't take the law into your hands now that you're in your eighties, there are authorities out there who will put him in legal custody. If Mike T., was straightened out, perhaps there is also hope on your son.

That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility

Posted by: pslakerfan


Whoa, thanx man

I just don't know what to say, other than thanx.

Posted by: Fire32 | March 31, 2008 at 08:14 AM

It's just the truth. I may not like what you say most of the time, but as long as you are fairly honest in your assessment of the Lakers then you get credibility, Gunner does not understand this. Or more to the point, he does not care.....

That is how you get credibility. That is why Fire32 and Sonnybelfast have credibility

Posted by: pslakerfan


Whoa, thanx man

I just don't know what to say, other than thanx.

Posted by: Fire32 | March 31, 2008 at 08:14 AM


Fire32,

I agree, at least you and Sonny are honest and tactful in your posts despite not being Laker fans unlike some people on here who masquerade as Laker fans yet bash or single out ONE player or coach for anything that goes wrong with the Lakers. As long people keep it real, make sense and respect others opinions, the world will be a better place. It's funny how some people who accuse players of being certain things(Kobe is a ballhog)are in fact guilty of their very own accusation(Gunner is a bloghog). Thanks Fire and Sonny for good sportsmanship. Go Lakers!!!


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