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All kidding aside, it really is about how you finish

Because tonight's 100-92 win over the Spurs, a victory that vaulted the Lakers into the NBA Finals, was hardly secured by what they did over most of the opening half.  In fact, the first 20 minutes or so came pretty close to guaranteeing a Game 6 on Saturday.  Lamar Odom suspected his team came out amped to knock out their opponents in a style more suitable for a diamond than the triangle.  "We came out batting like a DH," smiled Lamar.  "Trying to hit the home run, trying to get them right out of the game really early."  But instead of long balls, the Lakers were putting up long jumpers, most of which clanged rim and all of which eschewed the ball movement (especially inside) that's become a 2008 Laker staple.  Down 17 at one point in the second quarter, the Lakers concluded the first half on an 11-2 run, with points mostly coming off layups.  Perhaps inspired (or simply slapped into reality), the Lakers spent the second half knuckling down on both sides of the ball.  Chipping away at San Antonio's lead, slowly but surely putting their foes back enough in the rear view mirror. 

Kobe Bryant's 26 second-half points were obviously huge (making the 39 total even bigger), but contributions came fittingly from every Laker who stepped on the court.  Pau Gasol's 5-15 shooting was offset and then some by 19 boards (10 offensive) and a quartet of blocks.  Vlad Radmanovic led his teammates in the first quarter with five points.  Jordan Farmar provided a big spark of energy off the bench, with his fellow mobsters following suit in their quest to make a mark or two while on the court.  In the end, the team that's talked happily about its all-important bond found success through a group effort, creating a box score that accentuates a truly remarkable season. 

The breakdown is below, courtesy of BK.

AK

The Good:

  • Kobe Bryant: 39 points on 16-30 from the floor, and the dude flat out owned the fourth quarter.  17 points on 6-11 from the floor, and 4-4 from the stripe.  It was a particularly effective brand of "Kobe Takeover," one that suited the team well.  While there were a couple miraculous shots - my particular favorite being the step back J from just beyond the free throw line, over the outstretched arm of Tim Duncan (he's tall) with 2:22 left in the fourth - if there's such a thing as a team effort in a one-man show, this was it.  The Lakers consistently freed Bryant off of screens, running him baseline, getting him loose on pick and rolls, and giving 24 the space to operate effectively.  He was able to see the floor and attack it, and create high-percentage looks (by his standards, at least).  Very little of the isolation that occasionally will plague the team.  He was huge in the fourth, lifting his team and sinking the Spurs in the process.  Lakers getting him the ball in space late - takeover mode, but a good version of it. 
  • Jordan Farmar: He finished the night with eight points on 4-8 from the floor, and added three dimes as well, in only 16:39 of burn.  Most importantly, only one of those shots was from downtown.  That means Farmar was doing more of what he does best - attacking the rack.  He was able to get inside and give the team a lift, both in the second quarter when he contributed six points to a strong effort from the second unit, and in the fourth with a kick to a wide open Luke Walton in the right corner for a three, followed by a nifty driving layup to help the Lakers go from down one to up four.  He needed a measure of redemption coming into the series, and after the last couple games, it's fair to say he's found it.
  • The Second Unit: They didn't necessarily blow up for big numbers - Farmar had his eight points, Sasha had nine (three coming on a pure-Sasha three as the game ended, ticking off a ton of people in Vegas, I'm sure), and Walton logged five - but as a group they were a big factor in L.A.'s ability to both hang early (a nice 6-0 run in Q2 cut the Spurs' lead from 17 to 11), and force the issue late.  All three of those guys had clutch moments.  Farmar I mentioned, along with Walton's monster triple.  Sasha's three with 7:16 to play was a huge moment for L.A., and as it's been throughout the series, the effort was there on defense. 
  • Defense: There were long stretches of tonight's game where the teamBelinda_carlisle_2 seemed content not to run the offense, developed a crush on the jumper worse than the one I had on Belinda Carlisle in the mid-eighties, and as a result had trouble putting the ball in the hole.  The reason, then, they were able to come back from a 17-point second quarter deficit was their work on the other end.  The Lakers gave up 28 points in the first quarter, again due in large part to inefficient work on offense, but then put the clamps down.  20 points in the second, then 15 in the third.  Over the first four minutes of the fourth, the Lakers kept the pressure up and were able to build a lead.  Overall, the Spurs shot 48.6% from the floor, but that mark fell to 38% in the middle two quarters.  Tim Duncan was 7-19, Manu Ginobili 3-9.  Only Tony Parker (11-22, 23 points) was able to do damage efficiently.  (It should be noted that, with 19/15/10 plus a blocked shot, that Duncan hardly stunk Thursday night...)  Popovich credited the Lakers D, not any issues they had offensively.  Once the Lakers really got going in the second quarter, the rotations and switches were strong.  Six blocked shots helped defend their basket.  There will always be breakdowns, but the Lakers didn't give away a lot of points. 

The Bad:

  • Offensive Discipline: As I mentioned, they were jumper happy, especially in the early going, and didn't seem to have the patience required to run the offense.  On the night, L.A. finished with only 16 assists on 38 field goals, a very low figure for them, especially at home.  Obviously things improved as the night went on, but footage of Game 5 will not be sealed in the time capsule so that Future Man might learn to effectively run the triangle.  As has been the trend through the season, in moments where the Lakers aren't effective offensively, they tend to break down on the other end.

The Mixed:

  • Eh...: Not the best of games from Derek Fisher (2-7, 5 points), who both struggled offensively with his jump shot and had trouble tracking Parker.  The latter is certainly understandable.  Lamar Odom did some good things, including a great coast-to-coast layup+1 near the end of the second quarter that helped cut San Antonio's lead heading into the half and another strong driving hoop in the fourth.  Overall, though, it was a mixed bag for Odom.  Not quite as pronounced as Games 1 and 3, but LO had trouble finding his groove.   But as it's been with Gasol, even on those nights where Odom isn't a force, he's still a contributor, which indicates where his game has gone. 

The Commendable:

  • Pau Gasol: He wasn't dominant offensively, but as it was in Game 4, he did some good work on Duncan, and was a powerful force on the glass.  19 overall, including 10 offensive rebounds.  The five assists and four blocks also give an idea of how involved he was, despite a poor shooting night (5-15 plus 2-2 from the line, good for 12 points).  There were other contributions that didn't show up in the, or at least my, scorebook (intangibles, people!).  He was very active on the screen and roll down the stretch, helping pave the way for Kobe's fourth quarter Festival of Scoring.  Gasol still shortarmed some shots and struggled with contact inside, but I think he answered PJ's challenge to play (literally) stronger.  "He played well," Jackson said.  I would agree.

The Classy:

  • Gregg Popovich, with this assessment of the game and the series: "I'm proud of the work our guys did.  I thought they busted their butts.  That doesn't mean you wholesale change things.  It means they're pretty damn solid.  They just played a team that was better.  That's why the Lakers won... The better team won.  You get a seven-game series, you win four games, you're the better team."

VIDEO:

BK

AUDIO

  • Vlad Radmanovic (with a great sound effect): Download vlad_radmanovic_spurs_game_5_postgame.mp3
  • Lamar Odom, Part I: Download lamar_odom_spurs_game_5_postgame.mp3
  • Lamar Odom, Part II: Download more_lamar_odom_spurs_postgame_5.mp3
  • Sasha Vujacic: Download sasha_vujacic_spurs_postgame_5.mp3

    My favorite quote of night.  Vlad Rad was asked what it felt like when the clock finally counted down to zero.  "Well, it felt like zero."  Big laughs, but I knew right away what he meant.  You're happy, but mostly just relieved the "W" was actually cemented before something bad happens.  "You want that game to finish," admitted Radmanovic.  "It was a really tough game.  A lot of ups and down.  Our team showed character again."

    AK
       
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    FOUR WINS FROM THE START OF THE 4TH DYNASTY…

    The Lakers relentlessly rolled over the Spurs tonight after spotting them a 17 point lead. The blatant inevitability of the Lakers closing out the Spurs grew stronger by the minute as LA fans at Staples and throughout Lakersville watched and listened to the Lakers take the Spurs best shot early before steadily and inexorably turning the defensive screws and unleashing the NBA’s most powerful WMD – Kobe Bryant – to close out Game 5, the Western Conference Finals, and the San Antonio Spurs future championship window.

    The Lakers left absolutely no doubt that they’re the best team in the Western Conference. Their next challenge of course is to win the NBA Finals and prove that they are the best team in all the NBA, a stunning and amazing accomplishment without Andrew Bynum. As they have all season long, Kobe’s Clones also came up big, making the types of plays that only Kobe used to make for this team. Other guys making like Kobe. That is what has made this Lakers team so tough to beat and such a pure pleasure to root for.

    Pau Gasol fought like a lioness all night long, suffering from another weenie shooting night but holding Duncan to 7 of 19 from the floor, outrebounding him 19 to 15, passing out 5 key assists, blocking 4 shots, and making several clutch plays in the 4th quarter. Lamar Odom struggled again with foul problems (on several questionable calls) but again came through when needed by attacking the rim for critical layups, grabbing vital boards, and again hitting clutch free throws down the stretch. A great comeback by Lamar.

    Jordan Farmar ignited the Lakers comeback in the second quarter with 3 quick baskets taking the ball to the rim on Tony Parker as well as energizing the team in the 4th quarter with a trio of plays in a row where he made a beautiful feed for a clutch Luke 3-pointer, a steal of a pass from Parker, and then a sensational driving backhand layup over Duncan. Superb game by Jordan who played a solid confident 17 minutes. Add Sasha Vujacic and Vladimir Radmanovic providing great high percentage 3-point shooting and Luke Walton and Derek Fisher contributing in key plays and the Lakers superior depth dominated.

    Watching the Western Conference Championship trophy being awarded was such a pleasure with Jerry doing the pitching and Mitch the catching. Kobe’s smile was worth a million dollars and seeing Drew smiling with his WCF championship cap and big smile was the capper of the night for me. Spurs gone fishing. LOL. Give Pops and the Spurs credit for being classy and complementary about losing to a better team. They know now in their hearts that their championship window has just been slammed shut. Drew will end any remnants of parity in the NBA in 2009.

    Thanks to the Lakers Blog and Lakers fans everywhere for the energy and karma that is the driving force behind this perfect storm of a storybook season for our beloved Lakers. As for the team, congratulations on a job well done but not yet finished. Use the time off wisely and enjoy another couple of team dinners on the MVP. You’ve earned them well.

    Lakers in 4 or 5 games over the Boston Celtics to claim their 15th NBA Championship.

    Tom

    Total, total props for the Belinda Reference. I loves me the Carlisle.

    ON TO THE FINALS!!!
    Two huge come from behind wins, a 30-point-thrashing, a good showing on the road, all against the defending champs...this team is really playing its best ball at the right time. Bring it on- Detroit or Boston, we're ready for the crown. I can't wait to see what Skip Bayless has to say on 1st and 10 tomorrow, since he was so sure his Spurs would win this series and were the better team. Ha!

    Wow.. Talk about a GREAT NIGHT !!!! The game was crazy exciting, LOST was excellent and I made enough off this series were I can afford to blow off a day at work tomorrow and not miss a beat !!! LIFE IS GOOD !!

    Justa, how did you know I was holed up in the cave munching on fingernails? lmaooooooo I tried to be sneaky about it !!!! Since I already know I'm sleeping IN, I'm gonna watch the TNT replay to bask in the moment again. As gay as this will sound, I kinda got choked up watching The Logo speak, the only thing missing was Chick. It was also very very good seeing young Drew there absorbing the moment and smiling ear to ear.

    This is gonna be a Great Summer, Win or Lose.. The King is dead, Long Live the NEW KINGS of the West !!!!!!!


    GO LAKERS !!!!!!!

    ak/bk or anybody

    it was great to see bynum at the game not on any crutches from what i could tell. didnt he have the same or similar procedure as amare and k-mart? and if so how long did it take them to get out and about? regardles its a great sign for the future. thank in advance.

    andand

    PS i know the time i here and now to win it all and bring in number 15. lets do it LA

    im out. hollerin from bmore. peace

    AK,

    Now that the Spurs series are over, how are your relationship with your GF? Are you in heaven or in limbo?


    Pop foresaw this night comin' when Pau was traded.
    It was fate that he'd eventually have his season end by the team he spoke out about when the deal went down.

    Win or lose, they're still the class of the league.
    The Spurs play the game and conduct themselves as if they've all read John Wooden's books.

    They'll add youth and be back... but they won't beat the Lakers.

    sup ak/bk, great breakdown! any chance you can give a head-to-head player match-up between the lakers and the possible eastern conf champs? thanks!

    go lakers!

    YOU GUYS NEED TO THANK KWAME BROWN FOR WINNING THE WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP. HE IS THE CHOSEN ONE WHO TOOK IT FOR THE TEAM. IF KWAME WOULD HAVE STILL BEEN WITH THE LAKERS, THIS SERIES WOULD HAVE ENDED IN FOUR GAMES. THIS SERIES IS FOOL'S GOLD SINCE WE ONLY PLAY FOR NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS, NOT WCC.

    DO BE DA DO BE DA

    I heard on JT the Brick's show that some guys went nutz after Sasha's shot. LOL! I think it was in Vegas - some guys started swinging.

    What a game..not a classic perhaps, but they are makiing the comeback part of their routine. I certainly don't want that to continue but its amazing how resilient they are. I feel like the bench won this game in the first half when the cut the lead down to 11 as BK mentioned in his writeup. They really have evergy and discipline and the opposing team has to work their tails off to score. They will need ALL of that in the finals against either Boston or Detroit. The bench is the key to winning the title and I hope they are up to it.

    They find a way to win each game and I am left wondering how they do it sometimes. Fish was a non factor offensively tonight..Gasol was awful at times with his soft style of shooting (will be unreal to have Bynum's toughness at center with Pau at PF next year) but he is tough when he needs to be in other areas. They were out of synch and not running the triangle tonight early..neeed to get back to that..Oh well.. a young. YOUNG team is in the finals! Can hardly believe it. What a ride and its really just starting.

    They don't want to see us, they want to be us.

    sasha. . .

    i forget when it was, but kobe got into a fight once because he shot a three at the end of a game that was already decided. .

    does anyone remember what game that was?

    just came back from work and watched the game taped...that wen't well.

    I love the Lakers. I love Kobe. I love that they made fun of Sasha for making that last 3-pointer. The Machine!! lol

    GO LAKERS
    IM A BIG LAKERS FAN from kuwait and really dont belive my eyes is this a dream i never saw this one coming in the start of the regular season all i wanted was to be in the western confrence finals and here we are in the nba finals man if we win this year then i think its the biggest championship ever the nba will be in trouble if we are healthy next year from the start of the regualer season next year we shall be pointing at the nba championship as our goal
    as bynum will be inside dominating WOW
    this is big and i think shall we win or lose its a win win situation as the lakers are the second youngest team in nba behind portland and the players will learn what it means to play in the nba finals and we will be ready next year

    GO LAKERS
    A LAKER FAN FROM KUWAT

    === Sam Amico v. Korey, Part 6 (The Final Emails) ===

    So, me and the guy that wrote the crazy emails about the Lakers hashed out our differences and he WILL write a Laker apology article tomorrow morning (he better!).

    So now, Amico is officially off of my "dumb" list.

    If you missed the article, it is here:
    http://www.probasketballnews.com/amico_052408.html

    I posted a 5-email back and forth that we had on the blog here:
    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2008/05/ice-cube-hopes.html#comment-116831288

    And this is the final email he had. In the end, It came down to University of Michigan men hashing it out.
    "You made very valid points, Korey. How could I NOT respond. And you're column will be ready in the morning.

    And I'm not just a Michigan fan. I'm a grad. So I knew you were smart. Haha.

    Honestly, thanks for reading and stay in touch.

    I might pick against the Lakers in the Finals and I expect you to tell me what a moron I am. :)

    Take care,

    Sam A."

    stop showing so much character and just win.

    never,

    "They don't want to see us, they want to be us."

    Finally, an intelligent being emerges. Surprise. A very prescient and insightfful comment. Thanks. Please, no more backwards predictions. LOL.

    Tom

    Peanut Butter Spread,

    If you don't turn the machine off, it just keeps shooting. LMAO. It's TACOS vs. GAMBLERS. Can Jack save Sasha from the Mob? Only the Mob Boss knows. LOL.

    Tom

    AHHAHAHAHA what a sound effect. halarious.

    All Laker Fans,

    Great series win. Now everything comes a circle. The wheel has reached where it had all broken down. Though most of you want Boston to rekindle the age ole days, I personally want Detroit, to PAY THEM BACK IN FULL for 2004. Let us get that done first and then we can have BOSTON for next year.

    Go Go Lakers! Sorry, but I'm "head over heels." What can I say? You know, it's just like, right now, "we got the beat." And the Spurs? They're on "vacation"!

    Really, I apologize. But this year with the Lakers, it's like heaven right here on earth.

    Ok, I'll stop. really. Our lips are sealed.

    Today was a good day.

    HO HUM.......................BEEN THERE....................DONE THAT.......... WITH ONE KNEE.......................

    I think the win is incredible, but there were a few signs that bothered me. A sluggish start allowing yourself to go down 17. Then Odom(13) and Gasol(12) had a fairly low scores. And everyone else was single digits.

    Against the strong defense of Detroit and Boston, you will need more scoring from besides the main three.

    PJ has a week to get the roll players and bench back up to scoring. And having a week is nice cause it allows you to get Ariza playoff ready and in sync with the team.

    So now the waiting begins... once again.

    And since no one can talk with any sense about the Finals matchup, the theme has turned to the future of the Spurs, in strong contrast to the obviously bright future of the Lakers.

    One interesting point made by Adande on ESPN:

    "The Spurs are so businesslike, it makes sense that one of their issues could be found in the currency tables of the Wall Street Journal; the declining dollar makes it less appealing for foreign draft picks to come here when they could be getting paid in Euros."

    That's one more accomplishment of this administration in Washington! By sabotaging the economy, they're going to drive the best overseas talent away from the NBA. Chalk it up to a tough and effective immigration policy. When the dollar becomes totally worthless all those lazy foreigners will stay home.

    At least our group - Pau, Ronny, Sasha, Radman, DJ - have a strong motivation to stay!

    GINOBLI CONTRACT MAY GET CUT IN HALF…

    “Spurs guard Brent Barry, he of the ill-fated non-call during in Game 4, on the league's decision to implement fines for flopping: ‘There goes half of Manu's contract.’"

    Props again to Brent Barry for a pretty sweet sense of humor. LMAO.

    From Jonathan Abrams article for the LA Times
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-spw-spurs30-

    2008may30,0,433326.story

    Tom

    GINOBLI CONTRACT MAY GET CUT IN HALF…

    “Spurs guard Brent Barry, he of the ill-fated non-call during in Game 4, on the league's decision to implement fines for flopping: ‘There goes half of Manu's contract.’"

    Props again to Brent Barry for a pretty sweet sense of humor. LMAO.

    From Jonathan Abrams article for the LA Times

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-spw-spurs30-

    2008may30,0,433326.story

    Tom

    Now the real nervous time starts. NBA finals against 2 eastern conference teams that are not as old as the Spurs but not too young either.

    Learning from 2004, it is not good to underestimate any Laker opponent in the Finals. I know Phil Jackson will drive this into the team's collective -- do not be happy just to be in the Finals.

    If they play the Celtics, the Lakers need to stop their inside game, push Garnett and Perkins out. Kobe takes care of Allen and Ariza and Sasha tag-teams Pierce. The key would be to contain Rondo's offensive aggression and this'll be Fish's job (which I presume would be not as difficult as guarding D-Will or Tony Parker).

    If the play the Pistons, they can defend their individual assignments one on one. They just need consistent defense on the Pistons' pick and roll. They also need a pest like Sasha to keep up with Rip Hamilton. I think Lamar would have a field day with the Pistons. The 2 main concerns would be BIllups and Prince -- they need to become non-factors by becoming passers.

    Most of all, they cannot have the same lethargy they did when they started the Western Conf Finals. It'll be a week lay-off, so they need to stay hyper the first quarter of Game 1.

    What a beautiful night. Sleep well, Lakerland. Another series awaits us.

    p.s.

    Can anyone please post a link to the replay of the game? It's set to re-air in TNT right now, but it's on Law & Order.

    I'd really appreciate it.

    OUR LAKERS HEROES SHOULD HEAR ONLY POSITIVE THOUGHTS
    by TJ Simers for LA Times

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-simers30-2008may30,1,7882616.column

    Amazing how this guy is trying to jump on the Lakers bandwagon to pimp his slowing circulation. Now he is even putting the Kambros in the spotlight to try and win back some of millions of participants on the LA Times Lakers Blog by referencing one the Kambros as he tries to stir up trouble for Kobe’s wife Vanessa. Of course, now we will need to know the full story from AK and BK. How low will TJ stoop? Too low.

    “Last year Vanessa went to the four-letter words, screaming at one of the Kamenetzky brothers, who blogs about the Lakers for The Times, because he looked at one of her kids while waiting for the Lakers' locker room to be opened after a game.

    At the time I just took it for granted she was frustrated like everyone else -- and couldn't tell the difference between the Kamenetzky brothers.”

    Although, I have to admit that last line was the funniest thing I remember TJ ever having written, but then this is close to the first article of his that I actually finished reading.

    Anyway, here is another line that I thought you might enjoy since most of you smartly try NOT to ready Simers:

    “Everyone is so giddy happy over the Lakers, it's like a city full of Vic the Bricks.” Now, that was pretty funny, I will admit. But reading Simers use “we” when talking about the Lakers and calling them “our heroes” is truly disconcerting. I guess in the spirit of love we should let the asshole aboard. What do you guys think?

    Tom

    and to think if things went the other way....deng, gordon and another young bull would have been with the rest of us Laker fans watching the Spurs head to the Finals.......

    KOBE RISES TO ANOTHER LEVEL...

    I'm sure some folks might say that Kobe dominated the scoring too much or he didn't involve his teammates as much in the 4th Q or simply that he wanted the individual glory--

    --BUT...

    As BK pointed it out, Kobe did his whole 'takeover' thing in a very healthy way...somewhat within the offense, using multiple screens and good spacing by his teammates.

    What Kobe also did was that he realized that none of his teammates were exactly getting 'hot' over the course of the game. They all had their moments but no one was consistently scoring as we all (including Kobe) would have liked. And like a true MVP, like a true franchise player and like a true once-in-a-lifetime player, Kobe decided to take over and send a message to the Spurs from the very start of the 4th Q and pretty much put them in a state of high alert: HERE COMES THE MAMBA!!!

    And as a result, the Spurs had to deal with so much pressure on their defensive end due to Kobe's aggressiveness that it did affect their game on the offensive end. For example, Manu had to take turns guarding Kobe (and expend a ton of energy on D) and when Bowen played Kobe it was obvious that Bowen's limited offensive game was hindering the already anemic Spurs scoring. So, the Spurs were always stuck in a dilemma of whether to play Bowen on Kobe or to replace Bowen with a more offensive player, which they desperately needed...and of course, none of the options worked out because of Kobe's reletntless (and very successful...over 50% FG) attacks.

    Plus, there was so much attention given to Kobe that it freed up Gasol to grab 19 boards, including 10 offensive ones, which was HUGE.

    Another aspect of this game, and particularly Kobe's individual game was his mental/emotional growth as a player which was evident in the TYPE of shots that he took. Even though Kobe wasn't getting any calls whatsoever he didn't try to force the issue. In the days of yore, Kobe would keep driving all the way to the hoop amidst multiple defenders and try to PROVE to the referees that he DESERVES a ton of free throws and in the process turn the ball over or get T'd up or simply take his teammates out of the offense.

    But this time Kobe not only did NOT complain about the non-calls but he also didn't force too many 1-on-5 forays to the hoop. He simply pulled up for jumpers from the 12 to 18 foot range, which were all high percentage shots for him all night long. And as BK pointed it out, he even got most of these jumpers as a result of screens, cuts and spacing by his teammates...so even if Kobe's teammates weren't taking a big chunk of the shots in the 4th Q, but they certainly were INVOLVED in helping Kobe get the ball in good spots on the floor with good spacing. And this involvement of the team on offense (even if it was just facilitating Kobe's scoring), it really helped them gel very well on the defensive end.

    So even though it might seem that it was just another game that Kobe simply 'took over', there were all these subtle adjustments that he made that really showed that he is elevating his game to a much higher level. It even shows in the stats where Kobe has shot for a very high FG% (I think 53%) and I think I also heard that this was the highest FG% for Kobe in a playoff series in his career...and it came against the seriously tenacious defense of the Spurs who not only have Bowen, one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, but also one of the best team defenses in the league.

    One of the best qualities of the truly great ones in this game, like Magic, Bird & MJ, was their ability to adjust and somehow figure out a way to deliver, specially during the pressure filled playoff games where every moment becomes magnified many times over. In my opinion, Kobe did that again and again in this series against a team like the Spurs and capped it off with his best performance in tonight's game.

    Keep it up Kobe! Keep it up Lakers!

    RG

    Laker Tom,

    Great post. You summed it up perfectly.

    "Pau Gasol fought like a lioness all night long..." -- truly classic line. LOL.

    Keep it coming.

    Go LAKERS!!!

    RG

    Laker Nation,

    Regards from one your twenty million members in Spain alone...

    I would like to dedicate this win to the highly intelligent individual who wrote that Pau needed something with a Hot Latina, and to the blog moderator that let it slip through...Simply unacceptable.

    Im not going to elaborate on Pau´s strengths and weaknesses...suffice what LakerTom wrote a couple of days ago...I would like just to comment on his alleged mannerisms and complaining to the refs...it is true, but you have to understand that it is a cultural thing in european basketball, something they picked up from soccer players...yeah, and it looks awful....

    But dont be mislead, deep inside he is a relentless competitor, and a hungry animal, and a teamplayer who has played whatever position his teams needed him to play at....

    When he joined the NBA as a rookie they asked him who was his favorite player...he said Kevin Garnett...When asked, Garnett said: I dont know who that guy is....First game Grizzlies-Twolves Pau drove down the baseline to have a monstrous two-handed slam-dunk over KG....

    If they meet in the Finals expect some FIERCE COMPETITION from Pau....it was written, wasn´t it??

    Don,t quite get it, Gasol a lioness?

    Go Lakers.

    Guys dont doubt the Lakers,no one can stop them even celtics and detroit superstars combine.so the crying battle this lakers team and us will be,we believe that our team,our time,our MVP and will never stop fighting because its our championship as well!!!Go Lakers 2008 NBA Champs!!!

    any internet link for the replay of game 5 please,i want to watch how lakers kick and drowned the spurs in the RIVERWALK!!!!

    Nice pic, AK.
    So...you're dating Belinda Carlisle, huh?

    Who'da thought she was a Spurs fan.

    I love how players on this team have the confidence and the desire to step up and make plays, no matter what the situation and no matter how things have been going the rest of the game. This feels so different than 2004 -- the demons have been exorcised!

    Great job Lakers! Now, lock and load for the championship!

    ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN, L.A.
    By Sam Amico
    Pro Basketball News

    LOS ANGELES - The Lakers should take their day off and do nothing but party. They hold a 2-0 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals and appear, in a word, invincible.

    But I am here to tell you it won’t last. I am here to tell you the Lakers are playing over their heads. I am here to tell you the Spurs will win the series.

    I write this after watching L.A. dismantle San Antonio 101-71 in Game 2 at the Staples Center -- a game in which the Lakers turned the fourth quarter into 12 minutes of garbage time.

    I write it just a couple days after watching the Spurs blow a 20-point lead in the second half of Game 1.

    And I write it with confidence despite knowing all that.

    I repeat: The Spurs will win the series.

    Let’s face it, this isn’t the first time they’ve been in a hole. This isn’t the first time the defending champs have looked like everyday chumps.

    In the conference semifinals against New Orleans, the Spurs overcame a series deficit twice (they trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before winning Game 7 on the road -- and were blown out in all three losses). And they match up much better with the Lakers than they did the Hornets.

    So far, the Lakers have made shots the Spurs have dared them to take. They’ve hit runners in the lane, fallaway 3-pointers, layups in heavy traffic. Meanwhile, every time the Spurs take a shot, you can almost see the rim cringe with fear.

    Neither scenario will continue, especially once the series shifts to San Antonio on Sunday night.

    Seriously. Do you really think the Lakers will continue to shoot 55 percent from the field, as they did in Game 2?

    OK, maybe Kobe Bryant will. But as for everyone else -- gimme a break.

    And do you really think Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic will continue to outplay the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, as he clearly has in the first two games?

    Please.

    Yes, Kobe will keep things close. I don’t expect the Lakers to lose four straight. They might be able to steal Game 5 at home. But let’s not kid ourselves.

    If you follow the NBA, you know the Spurs are just now beginning to consider this a series. This is what it takes for them to avoid feeling bored.

    Another thing that won’t continue to take place: The dominance of Lakers forward Lamar Odom. Or should I say the unexplained favorable calls Odom has received from officials in L.A.

    In Game 2, Odom flattened Spurs guard Tony Parker when Parker drove to the basket. Parker sat on the floor and clutched his leg. No call.

    On the next possession, Odom missed a dunk that ricocheted off the back of the rim. Long after the miss, a whistle blew. Foul on Spurs forward Tim Duncan.

    Soon after that, Odom goal-tended a Spurs layup and grabbed the rebound. No call.

    Since when, pray tell, did Odom suddenly become deserving of treatment that’s usually reserved for the game’s brightest of stars?

    And we wonder why no one can win on the road in the playoffs?

    Not to worry, Spurs fans. Duncan will be the one getting the calls at your place -- and everything tends to even out by the end of the series.

    Right or wrong, that’s just the way it works in the NBA.

    Speaking of Duncan, he will eventually become the difference in this series. He is the reason the Spurs will win it -- even if Parker and Ginobili continue to perform like pro basketball’s version of Abbott & Costello.

    That’s because the Lakers don’t have anyone who can come close to guarding Duncan one-on-one. Not defenseless Pau Gasol, not helpless Ronny Turiaf, and certainly not Odom. Eventually, the Lakers will have to double-team him. Eventually, the Spurs will start making perimeter shots when Duncan passes out of the low post.

    Eventually, the Spurs will become the well-oiled machine we all know and love. And once it begins, no one team can stop it.

    Of course, that’s just the offense I’m talking about.

    Once the Spurs find their rhythm at that end of the court, they always play considerably better on defense, the staple of their four titles. Once they defend like they always do (at least, like they do when it really matters), the opponent’s role players suddenly get wobbly-kneed. Then guys like Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton suddenly turn to mush.

    It happens all the time, and when it finally happens to the Lakers, not even Spidey will be able to save them -- no matter how may games Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire attends.

    I know what's coming. I’m about to get bombarded with hate mail from psychotic Laker fans.

    But they should know that I love their team. I love watching Bryant, the best and most explosive player in the NBA since Michael Jordan. I’m not even sure anymore that Jordan was better in his prime. I am not a “hater.”

    Nor am I a Spurs fan. Honestly, I respect both teams the same, and I’d be happy if either advanced to the Finals. I have no problem with the Lakers winning another title.

    But that will be hard to do since they won’t even make it out of the conference finals.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve predicted a Lakers loss in the playoffs. A few years ago, they held a 2-1 series lead over the Suns in the first round. At the time, I guaranteed the Suns would come back to win it.

    Then they lost the next game to fall behind 3-1.

    Needless to say, I heard from every last Lakers fan in the land. And that is why Laker fans should be forewarned -- because after the Suns won three straight to claim the series, I e-mailed every one of those fans back.

    I won’t hesitate to do the same after the Spurs win this one.

    And they will. I just know it.

    _________________________________________________

    Dear Mr. Amico,
    Thanks for the great article. I have attached it above for your pleasure. I will use it as motivation of how not to compose an opinion piece. It's not that you were wrong. You're just a piss-poor writer, scratch that, imposter, and your analysis is not backed with any support, not to mention your pathetic, nauseating attitude is a mix of bile and manure.

    "Eventually, the Spurs will become the well-oiled machine we all know and love. And once it begins, no one team can stop it. "- yep

    "And they match up much better with the Lakers than they did the Hornets." - yah

    "Seriously. Do you really think the Lakers will continue to shoot 55 percent from the field, as they did in Game 2?" at least you had a fact here, no player has shot 55 percent this post, this is a false dilemma.

    "And do you really think Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic will continue to outplay the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, as he clearly has in the first two games?" - well he did

    "Yes, Kobe will keep things close. I don’t expect the Lakers to lose four straight." - Look at you pal

    They might be able to steal Game 5 at home. But let’s not kid ourselves." -There you go again.

    "If you follow the NBA, you know the Spurs are just now beginning to consider this a series. This is what it takes for them to avoid feeling bored." - yawn

    "Another thing that won’t continue to take place: The dominance of Lakers forward Lamar Odom. " - he's a bum

    "Or should I say the unexplained favorable calls Odom has received from officials." - you're pathetic Sir

    "Not to worry, Spurs fans. Duncan will be the one getting the calls at your place -- and everything tends to even out by the end of the series." -maybe he did, maybe he didn't. I'm sure you comforted them

    "That’s because the Lakers don’t have anyone who can come close to guarding Duncan one-on-one. " - nice key to the series.

    "Then guys like Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton suddenly turn to mush." - 6.8, 4.8, 8.4 respectively or 20 from 3 players off the bench

    "It happens all the time, and when it finally happens to the Lakers, not even Spidey will be able to save them -- no matter how may games Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire attends." - attempt at what, "hater"?

    "But they should know that I love their team. I love watching Bryant, the best and most explosive player in the NBA since Michael Jordan." - We don't care, and save your opinions on this too

    "I have no problem with the Lakers winning another title. But that will be hard to do since they won’t even make it out of the conference finals." - Nostradamus

    "This isn’t the first time I’ve predicted a Lakers loss in the playoffs. A few years ago, they held a 2-1 series lead over the Suns in the first round. At the time, I guaranteed the Suns would come back to win it. " Hey big-shot, shut your filthy hole.

    "Because after the Suns won three straight to claim the series, I e-mailed every one of those fans back. I won’t hesitate to do the same after the Spurs win this one." - please do

    "I am here to tell you the Spurs will win the series. " -check

    "And they will. I just know it." - check

    "I repeat: The Spurs will win the series." - there you go again

    "I know what's coming. I’m about to get bombarded with hate mail from psychotic Laker fans." -no comment

    Sincerely,
    Matt the Laker Junky

    kobe has the biggest smile. he was smilling because he was controlling his emotion and tears. he was happy but i know it is not enough that they won the trophy. he wants more.

    good job for the guys.

    GO sasha!
    GO lamar!
    GO kobe!
    GO LAKERS!

    Belinda Carlisle in the mid-eighties? You know its funny...im 30 some-odd-years old and yoou crush can't b nuttin like the one I use to have on Olivia De Havilland. She was hot in the old schol black and white robin hood..anyway..

    Winner..Winner..Chicken for Dinner!

    Good Morning: Charles
    Good Morning: Morning Crew: Edwin Gueco, Bozz, Toad, JohnnyP, Hmrhead,
    PsychedLakerGirl, SimiLakerGirl,LakerGirl, JustAnotherMambafan,
    JustAnotherLakaFan, LakerTom, Vman, Rdlee
    Good Morning EastCoastJessie My Latina Queen

    D@mmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
    WHOPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
    HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN THE SKYS............
    No Roll Call Today. Everyone is probably too exhausted from
    celebrating! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

    Good Morning: Charles
    Good Morning: Morning Crew: Edwin Gueco, Bozz, Toad, JohnnyP, Hmrhead,
    PsychedLakerGirl, SimiLakerGirl,LakerGirl, JustAnotherMambafan,
    JustAnotherLakaFan, LakerTom, Vman, Rdlee
    Good Morning EastCoastJessie My Latina Queen

    D@mmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
    WHOPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
    HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN THE SKYS............
    No Roll Call Today. Everyone is probably too exhausted from
    celebrating! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

    Where are Gunner and TaosHum?

    Go Lakers!
    Go Kobe!

    HEY...............

    MAN I DONT WANNA HEAR THAT BULL CRAP ABOUT SASHA AND THAT 3 AT THE END OF THE GAME.

    DO YOU GUYS REMEMBER GAME THREE WHEN THE GAME WAS ALREADY DECIDED AND FINLEY SHOT A 3 FROM THE CORNER TO PUT THEM UP 19 POINTS.

    FUNNY HOW PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT THAT.

    NOW ON TO THE FINALS LETS GO LAKE SHOW

    AK, my condolences to your girlfriend. Now I want you to milk this heavily!!!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love that the team is so reserved in their celebration, but this is Amazing. Mamba24, I keep asking to be on the 3-peat band wagon. Now I feel I'm more securely on that wagon than every before. This is the start of some great years of basketball. Fantastic, wonderful, marvelous, exhilerating, exciting and great!!

    GOOOoooOOOOOO LAAAAAaaaAAAAAKKKKKKEEERRRSSSS!!!!!!

    WHAT THE %$%%$$ AM I SUPPOSE TO DO FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    COME ON JUNE 5TH.

    *_________________________________*
    The King is Dead Long Live The King Who's
    The King of The Jungle Now BANDWAGON
    *_________________________________*
    (01) Mamba24 - The Kings Valet

    MITCH I APOLOGIZE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! Mitch @ Jerry West together!
    D@mnnnnnnnnnnn! Now tell me you didn't get a lil misty eyed. I DID. GOD I LOVE THE LAKERS!
    WHOPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    Larry(Mamba24)

    What I'm surprised about is how some of us are actually surprised that the Lakers are this good, this quick (I still think they lack a certain killer instinct).

    What do I mean by that? Do you guys remember anything about the summer of 2004? Yes, Shaq was traded Kobe was bashed in a book, he was accussed of running Shaq outta town etc. etc....Does anyone remember that this was Kupchak's vision? Do anybody here remember the article entitled something like "Lakers hope to be Great in '08?"

    If not, allow me to remind you that the Lakers had a plan laid out that had them going under the salary cap in 2008, giving them enough cash to lure a big time superstar to add to the pieces they'ld build through the draft and pair with Kobe...of course that went out the window when the lakers tied themselves up with Vlady and Luke...but still, the front office of this team openly expected a turn around of this team in 2008. Well here they are, I feel bad for bashing Kupchak too, because for a guy that was damn near crucified, he was the one who predicted the Lakers being title contenders in 08....google the article I'm pretty sure you'll find it.

    Although the job's not done yet, I'm stoked that we are back in the finals, the last time he were, I was a senior in High School and when we lost I skipped school for two days because my whole class knew I was a HUGE Laker fan (even though I live in Connecticut/Massachusetts).

    I've met people who said Kobe would never sniff the finals without Shaq, and I argued right back, some heated arguments...I still believe Kobe is in striking distance to leave the game with more rings than Shaq. Make no mistake about it, these Lakers are here for the next 6 or seven years, and if this team improves even more, look for Kobe to get more rest as the seasons go along and his career might even just be beyond 37 years old....four of those I think will be championship years.

    I still think Gasol needs to be aggressive on offense, I prefer the Lakers facing the Pistons...I'm not so fired up about facing the Celtics.

    And guys, isn't this the way the Lakers started the Dynasty in 2000? They started the season through controversy and it ended in glory.

    Laker Tom:"FOUR WINS FROM THE START OF THE 4TH DYNASTY…"

    Laker Tom are you sure you are not a Sports Writer in
    Disguise? I kid you not your stuff is better than 95%
    of the crap published. KUDO's to you man you are
    good.

    Great win against a classy and tough opponent.

    I thought Farmar did a good job of staying in front of Tony Parker.

    Way 2 Go Lakers, I love you! Still NOT DONE -- STAY HUNGRY, stay on your GRIND -- 4 more to Go!


    Love you Kobe, you the Best --- That grin of yours while standing with your teammates said it all!!!

    HaterHEAD Skip Bayless -- Give PROPs but you know he won't!

    NBA FINALS 2008!!!!!

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh! How great that sounds. What a game last night. Even when we were down 17, I knew we would pull it out. Kobe had the look!!

    4 more wins baby!

    I have to admit I was wrong. I had the Lakers in 6. I accept my punishment!

    :)

    --Fearless

    F the Celtics!

    TO CELLO_THE SPURS FAN AND THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS. Do not hang your heads
    and do not feel ashamed. You have been a great and Classy Champion. What happened
    is just the natural order of things. It is now the Lakers time but one day they too will be
    in the position you are in today. Pop, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobeli, Robert Horry
    and all the Spurs Nation you are all class people and we salute you and hope that it does not
    take to long for your team to retool. From The Laker Nation to The Spurs Nation
    God Bless You. Hold your heads high. You went out like the classy champions you are.
    My respect for your team just went up another 100%,

    Good morning LAL friends!
    And what an awesome day it is.

    YESSSSSSSSS - the Lakers closed it out in fine fashion.
    MVP was amazing, truly amazing. And the composure was exceptional!

    Bring on the East - don't care whoever - this is a championship team - this year - our team!!!!

    GO LAKERS!!!

    Good Morning Family!

    Fantastic game last night. I just got back from Vegas, and since I have to go to work in about 15, I'll have more to say later.

    I hope that everyone has a fantastic day today!

    Another late night in the Midwest, but what a phenomenal game! It's so exciting having Kobe Bryant on your team because no matter how many points you find yourself trailing by, there's always the "Black Mamba" who can bail you out. But what's so good about this edition of the Lakers is Kobe has monster help! Everybody played well; the offense was crisp, and the defense was stifling.

    The only thing that bothered me about last night's win was the excessive celebration of the WCF championship. The Lakers have never really put too much emphasis on winning the WCF. The hats, t-shirts, etc., was over the top for a franchise that's been to the NBA Finals 29 times and won 14 titles.

    Laker Tom

    "Lakers in 4 or 5 games over the Boston Celtics to claim their 15th NBA Championship."

    I'd love to think so, and I hope so, but Boston handled us too easily with Andrew in the lineup. We're a lot better now and Boston is looking vulnerable but even with the
    2 3 2, Boston will be a tough out.

    A sweep would be the shock heard round the world.

    GOOD MORNING, LAKER NATION!

    Mamba24 and utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER, thanks again for yesterday's roll call and group prayer.

    Already done!

    I've got so much to write, but not enough time right now.

    Let me just say that I am very happy and I'm glad that Vanessa Bryant screams at T.J. Simers (though it's not so cool for her to swear in front of her children--definite lack of class.)

    GO LAKERS!

    GOOD MORNING, LAKER NATION!

    Mamba24 and utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER, thanks again for yesterday's roll call and group prayer.

    Already done!

    I've got so much to write, but not enough time right now.

    Let me just say that I am very happy and I'm glad that Vanessa Bryant screams at T.J. Simers (though it's not so cool for her to swear in front of her children--definite lack of class.)

    GO LAKERS!

    We have 4-0 Denver, 4-1 San Antonio, 4-2 Utah and how about 4-3 with Boston or Detroit and Kobe scoring last points at the buzzer...

    *________________________*
    LAKERS FOR LIFE THE ENTIRE
    TEAM - BANDWAGON
    *________________________*
    (01) LakerTom - Owner & Driver
    (02) MagicMan - Director of balancing The Force
    (03) Janaya - Director of BandWagon assignments
    (04) Mamba24 - Riding ShotGun
    (05) Jon K. - Buying the whole team a drink from my lucky bar seat
    (06) Keifo - Director of Scheduling
    (07) htj - Director of crowd control
    (08) EastCoastJessie - Will give The team game speech before Game 5
    (09) Korey - Director of Laker Quality Control
    (10) CDUB0512 – Banished Smush from the Lakers
    (11) LakerLegacy – Director of Laker Dynasties
    (12) JustALakerFan – Gave away 2 season tickets to deserving Bloggers
    (13) JustAnotherMambaFan - Gave Kobe the name BlackMamba
    *________________________*
    The Dawn of The 4th Dynasty
    Begins Tonight BandWagon
    *________________________*
    01 HmrHed – Driver & Owner
    02 Mamba24 – There For Dynasties 2 & 3
    03 Toad– Director of Dynasty Banner Hanging
    04 Keifo – Willed the Lakers to Dynasty 3
    05 Benjamin – Willed the Lakers to Dynasty 4.
    06 SamLL – Director of Dynasty # 5
    07 LongTimeLakerFan – Dynasty Historian
    08 Jon K. - Troll Exterminator
    09 VMAN - The Isaac Newton of Dynasty Calculators
    10 SHEKOBE – As good as the He Kobe
    11 DC – Stands for Dynasty Captain
    12 TWOODY – Was at all 14 Laker victory celebrations
    13 Mamba24Fan4Life – Made Kobe change # from 8 to 24.
    14 JustAnotherMambaFan – Discovered Kobe Bryant
    15 Jamie Sweet – Fond Forum Memories Historian
    16 KobesBad – Put the swerve in Kobes game
    17 Dave M. – Helped Lakers steal Kareem from the Bucks
    18 Xodus – Traveled 2000 miles to see a game.
    19 LakerTom – Willed the 72 Lakers to 33 wins in a row.
    20. FLOYD - Rode shotgun with Jerry West, James Worthy,
    21 JesterGuru – Devised the strategy for the Sweep of Denver
    22 Tsphere – Super Delegate Voted for Kobe for MVP 100 times
    23 Edwin Gueco – Blocked Wilts hook shot 3 times
    24 JoninJAPAN(INCANADA) – Director of Tacos
    25 JustALakerFan – Gave away 2 season tickets to deserving Bloggers

    *_______________________________*
    I HATE The CELTICS BANDWAGON
    *_____________________________*
    (01) EastCoastJessie – Owner & Driver
    (02) FEARLESS – Co/Driver
    (03) LAKER TOM – CEO – Made an offer they couldn’t refuse
    (02) Milo Rambaldi--Team Prophet.
    (03) Mamba24 – East Coast Jessie’s BodyGuard
    (04) LakerFaze – Taught KG how to Dunk
    (05) TOAD – Once beat Larry Bird in a game of horse
    (06) LakerMan420 – Told Red Auerbach where to put his cigar
    (07) HmrHed – Blocked KG’s hook twice
    (08) SIimLakerGirl – Reports directly to Jeannie Buss
    (09) LakerLegacy – Made Red Auerbach bow down to 9Rings
    (10) PigMiller– sent LARRY Bird back to French lick IND.
    (11) JEFF - Was born hating the Celtics.
    (12) #4 Not only born hating Celtics but will bequeath the hate to his heirs
    (13) MarkyTheArky – Director of Mirrors and reflections
    (14) JustAnotherMambaFan – Hates them
    (15) THE_D – Thinks Celtics fans should go to AA meetings
    (16) JON K. - Put the chokehold in the Celtics choking
    (17) FLOYD – Fought with Jerry west over who hated Boston most
    (18) NEMAIA FALETOGO - Fan of the Purple Hulk - No not K.G.
    (19) KEIFO - Riding ShotGun
    (20) CBuck - Played Horse with McHale and made him retire
    (21) BZAR - Painted the Parquet floor Purple and Gold
    (22) KOBESBAD - Put exploding cigars in Red Auebachs Humidor
    (23) EDWIN GUECO – Shaved Danny Ainges hair while he was asleep
    (24) JAMIE SWEET - Is not so sweet when it comes to Celtics

    I'm still giddy. I still have a smile on my face. I'm still in awe of what Kobe did, last night.

    Good morning Laker family around the Globe,

    The job isn't finished yet. Four more wins to go. But if I'm feeling this awesome, imagine how the Lakers must feel, this morning.

    Too early for any critiques. I made most of them in the game thread, anyway. I'm just going to spend some time feeling great about what this team has accomplished. And it ain't over yet!

    This is our team. This is our year. Go Lakers!

    Belinda Carlisle, huh? For me in the '80s, it was Martha Quinn.

    WOW!

    --Fearless

    F the Celtics!

    I told y'all...

    Good morning Mamba24, Laker Empire!

    Umm, what am I supposed to do until Game 1? Seriously. I have no f-ing idea.

    Mad props go out to Cello_the Spurs fan for the always classy posts.

    -bozz-

    PJ's genius last night.

    Knowing that Kobe was feeling it, he "risked" the 4th by leaving Kobe in.... EXCELLENT MOVE. Why rest 4 minutes when you can rest 7 full days?

    Then, with about 4-5 minutes left and the Spurs putting up the fight for their lives, PJ takes Lamar out of the game!

    For the first second or two I wondered "what is he doing?"... then I knew...

    "this means Kobe will take it to the hoop every single time" and I was correct.

    What PJ did was to run the screen roll with Pau, thereby nullifying Duncan's inside presence. But that's only the half of it.

    By having Fish, Machine, and Vlad out there during the pick and roll, the defense could NOT help off any of these three guys or they'd risk the three point BOMB. That meant the defense had to stay honest and stay on all three of those guys.

    That made it a 2 on 2 game, and with Kobe running the pick and roll, it was really like 1 on 0.

    As much as I've hated some of PJ's substitutions (or lack of), last night's 4th quarter was a work of genius by Phil and a work of art by Kobe.

    It was also the first night a major media pundit actually said Kobe is more effective offensively than MJ.

    I have to agree. Kobe is more skilled than MJ, but MJ was the better the athlete and thus could do things Kobe could not.

    AN ODE TO A LUCKY BAR SEAT AS TOLD THROUGH THE INSANE RAMBLINGS OF A PSYCHOTIC LAKERS FANATIC NAMED JON K.

    So there I am, 5:45PM PST, stepping into my car, flush with excitement for tonight's game, happy to do my part by driving to my lucky bar seat at my lucky bar.

    Close the door. Put on my seatbelt. Turn the key.

    Nothing.

    Not a click. Nothing.

    I turn the key panicky seven or eight times. Nothing.

    "What's going to happen if I can't get to my lucky bar seat? We need to close out the Spurs!"

    I sceam/yell/growl in rage and frustration at the top of my lungs. I then turn the key once more.

    The car starts up immediately.

    My surprise turns to excitement and relief.

    "I've got to got get to my lucky bar seat!" I think to myself as I drive out from my driveway, but I notice that my gas indicator light is on and I'm far below empty.

    Being a complete mechanical moron when it comes to cars, I begin to suspect that maybe that had something to do with my car problem (though deep down I know it didn't) and I drive to the gas station first.

    After putting in ten gallons of repulsively expensive $4.00 a gallon gas, I jump in my car and flush with excitement of the game to begin in a few short minutes.

    Turn the key. Nothing.

    Turn the key again. Nothing.

    Turn the key ten times. Nothing. Not a thing.

    Turn the key twenty times. Nothing. Not a thing.

    Turn the key thirty times. Nothing. Not a thing.

    The game is beginning. And I'm not in my lucky bar seat.

    Panic begins to well up in my gut.

    I'm about a half mile from the bar and I consider just putting the car in neutral, pushing it into a parking space, and jogging off to the bar.

    Unfortunately, I can't get the car out of "Park". It's stuck.

    I go inside, literally beginning to sweat, and speak to the gas station attendant, whom I know. He can't offer me any advice, just says it's not the battery and is concerned that I can't push it away from the pump.

    I ask someone if he has jumper cables and if he'll give me a jump. He agrees. After a few minutes of charging the battery, I get in again and turn the key.

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    I turn the key another twenty times.

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    I open up the hood and, like a moron, begin hitting various parts of the car, hoping to jar something that's stuck.

    It makes no difference.

    I speak to the attendant again and he suggests getting it towed.

    I go back to the car, turn the key ten more times without response.

    I lean my head against the steering wheel in frustration and emotional exhaustion. All I can think about is the game. I grit my teeth in anger and hit the steering wheel.

    "Just one more time," I think to myself.

    Turn the key.

    The car starts up without issue.

    A broad, foolish, childlike smile forms across my face as I quickly put the car in gear and speed off to my local bar.

    I hurriedly find a parking space and turn off the car. I turn the key to check it. Doesn't click at all.

    "I guess I'm walking home," I think, "It doesn't matter. I've got to get to my lucky bar seat."

    So, I enter my welcoming bar near with a few minutes left in the first quarter. I see we're down and I also see that my lucky bar seat is taken.

    I find myself a seat and continue to watch the Lakers put up ill-chosen jump shots and our deficit climb. I nervously eye my lucky seat, waiting patiently for it to open up.

    It doesn't.

    I watch the Spurs lead climb.

    Eventually, in manic frustration, I go up to the guy in my lucky seat and explain to him the depths of my madness regarding the lucky seat, and I ask if I could switch seats with him and offer to buy his next drink. He's surprisingly courteous and thanks me for the drink.

    I literally sit down in the lucky seat as the Spurs lead hits 17 points.

    The guy next to me says, "This game is over! David Stern wants the series to go to seven anyways."

    I yell at him, "THIS GAME IS NOT OVER! WE ARE WINNING THIS GAME!"

    The man looks at me like I'm a werewolf from Mars as do many of the people in the bar. There is only one Laker Fanatic in the Cleveland area, and his name is Jon K.

    I with each Laker basket, I make a point of bringing my bar neighbor's attention to it, which he takes with surprising grace.

    Several times the normally Lakers-indifferent bar, lights up with gasps of amazement at the offensive fireworks of Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter. I shout my approval and pound the bar with glee.

    Eventually, victory. Sweet victory.

    Surprisingly the whole bar seemed happy with the results and I could not stop grinning.

    Watching Mitch Kupchak receive the Western Conference Finals trophy from Jerry West and Kobe so happy. My whole chest felt this warm glow within it.

    I paid my bill and left the bar with a skip in my step. It was cold and I had a couple miles to walk home, but it was okay. We'd just won the Western Conference Finals.

    Still, I thought I'd check.

    I stepped in my car. Turned the key.

    It started up no problem with a warm, fuctional mechanical growl.

    I shifted into gear and happily rode home.

    Onwards to the Finals...

    GO LAKERS!

    Good Morning Charles, Tim-4-Show, Caliphilo, mrbarneydangles, mamba24, Lakers4reals, AK/BK and all BLOG CRUE

    What a great morning. I'm off work, having coffee and gonna spend time enjoying our victory last night.

    I hope Detroit wins tonight to extend their series.

    Colorado loves the Lakers!

    What-up with Finley, Parker shot a uncontested 3 just before that, Benga should of came over to finley and rejected his butt out of there.

    YET ANOTHER LAKER DYNASTY!

    We are the home of the greatest players -- West, Baylor, Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Shaq, Kobe, Pau.

    We are the home of the greatest coaches - Riley, Jackson

    We are the home of the greatest fans - us!

    We are the MOST SUCCESSFUL franchise in professional sports; only the Yankees can compare but what we have done has been accomplished in a lot less time.

    The Lakers are the most dominant franchise in the history of sports. We will demolish the pathetic Pistons or creaky Celtics in 4 games, easily, with scores of the following:

    If Boston:

    Game 1: 117-100
    Game 2: 114-91
    Game 3: 116-87
    Game 4: 121-76

    If Detroit:

    G1: 119-109
    G2: 123-101
    G3: 118-97
    G4: 130-114

    Kupchak has built a team of incredible talent and youth that will win the next 3-4 NBA titles, minimum. Then he will build yet another dynasty. We used Shaq for what he was worth, then dumped him when he was used up and rode the K-Train. Can you honestly say any other player in history, aside from Magic, is better? Kobe is WAAAY better than Jordan -- compare scoring, championships, etc.

    GO LAKERS.

    I think within the next 5 years we will have added 4-5 titles at the minimum. Meanwhile Spurs, Boston, Pistons, Mavs, etc. will not even be able to win one.

    I thought if you root for a western team and they get eliminated..that during the finals you still want the trophy to stay in the West? That's not the case for a majority of Spurs fans!. Tehere actually rooting for the Celtics of Pistons to win it all. UNBELIEVABLE!

    I can't wait to hear what the skip bayles's and the jon barry's or the greg anthony's of the nba world have to say. I wonder if they'll still hate on the Lakers? Will they still talk stuff like a turn over here, a missed call there and this series could of easily went 4-1 spurs? Or will they finally just admit that the Lakers are legit?

    Jon K.,

    That was epic. We need to start a new bandwagon: Lakers win 2008 Championship and Heisler buys Jon K. a new car.

    Haha.

    -bozz-

    The Dude’s goofy and plays for the Spurs, but Brent Barry has had some quotes lately.

    On the NBA’s admission of a blown call (amongst several) at the end of Game 4:

    "That's awesome," Barry said, "because Doc Brown is waiting for me outside, and we're going to get in the DeLorean and fire up the flux capacitor and we're going to go back and shoot a couple of free throws."

    On news that the NBA will soon start issuing fines for egregious flops.

    "There goes half of Manu's contract."

    Jon K.,
    hahahahaa... now that was grade A blogging.

    Jon K

    Your story was touching how your car somehow was in tune to the way the Lakers were playing and only after we win your car miraculously started without a hitch!

    Part of me wants to say "Shut that BS up..but then again..I had a similar situation my self last night lol

    Darn Fords!.lol

    Hugo Boss:"What a great morning. I'm off work, having coffee and gonna spend time enjoying our
    victory last night."

    All right Hugo Boss I'm not having it. This is the second time you have been off work enjoying coffee
    and a Lakers win .... AW what the hell even when I'm at work I'm off work. Enjoy your coffee and
    your day off sir sorry. LOL!

    Jon K. me lad I think you have the gift son. Seriously I'd shopped that around to various magazines
    that publish short articles. It is very good. Kudo's my bro. Kudo's

    A little commentary on real fair weather Bandwagoners, let's strike the iron while it's hot.

    When Lakers lose, you're not posting but when Lakers win you claim all the glory. Have a little conviction and be consistent at times.

    The same criticism with the fair weather LA Times columnists starting from Bill Plaschke whose first sentence on his article: "From Finished to Finals"

    In the first place, who said that the Lakers are finished, it is YOU with biased jaundiced eye on Kobe. You torched him several times: when he had the infamous Colorado case, the several low points with Shaq debacle in 2004, the Summer rants last year asking for better [;ayers, now you are gloating with success and make us believe that you are a Laker fan. You are the all-knowing Bill Plashche, a pretender, a fake Jim Murray!! Professionalism stems from being consistent with truth and honesty, not with opportunism or hitch-hiking on other people's achievements. We don't need a Bill Plaschke in this reputable LA Times, you are just too honorable in your own world of self admiration.

    Then here comes the man of intrigue, T. J. Simers, here is what he said about the K-Bros and Vanessa Bryant:

    "Last year Vanessa went to the four-letter words, screaming at one of the Kamenetzky brothers, who blogs about the Lakers for The Times, because he looked at one of her kids while waiting for the Lakers' locker room to be opened after a game. At the time I just took it for granted she was frustrated like everyone else -- and couldn't tell the difference between the Kamenetzky brothers."

    I think AK/BK should explain us more of this incident, never heard that before from a sane individual, only insane writers could dig some rubbish in the midst of the celebration. T. J. Simers, you are just a pure garbage that Los Angeles do not need. We already have 'smog' in the city and all your articles are too revulsive. Please go away and move to other places that will adore your misplaced thoughts.

    And in this blog, when the Lakers lost in Game 3 or Utah Jazz tied the series in Game 4, read the posts of our fairweather bloggers ready to jump off the bandwagon. My gosh! where is conviction in your Laker blood?, criticize if you will, but to jettison the Lakers after one loss, WOW hard to be your buddy in times of war because you could just abandon us and sell us to the enemy. Now it's Finals, it is either you are with us or against us, can't be a fence sitter.

    I have said my piece, I want to let it out at the height of this euphoria.

    LoL @ Jon K... Helluva story.. but it still sounded FUN .. Depending on what type of car you have, it sounds like a short in your ignition switch since the problem is intermittant. If its a newer model car, you might look into the starter solenoid( If it was just the starter, you would here "clicking" while you have the key engaged). My money is on the ignition switch. I think in Ohio you guys have a chain called Autozone that can run some tests to pinpoint the problem area. Good Luck Man

    Lakerholic: Win or lose, 1st seed, 8th seed or no seed at all. There is one thing that 29 teams in the NBA agree upon:

    THEY HATE THE LAKERS.

    Ain't nobody rooting for us but US! They'd cheer for the Spurs, Suns, Kings, even the friggin Golden State Warriors. But NEVER for us. It's been that way - at least for me - since the day my Mama's Nissan Sentra parked in a South Central LA driveway for good in February 1985. And it ain't never gonna change.

    Haven't you been paying attention to the Trolling Cast of Characters who have come and gone since DAY 1 of this Blog? They LOOOOOVE IT when we lose, and are beside themselves when we win. They will not bow down and face facts: WE ARE THE HEART & SOUL OF THE NBA - the LEGACY that everybody wants to imitate and duplicate.

    We don't need their love. We don't need their support. We got our own love and support right here with Mamba24, LakerTom, Faith, Fatty, Edwin Gueco, Jon K., the K-Bros, myself, the entire Blog family (even SonnyBelfast!), and (most of) the entire city!

    *________________________________*
    Lakers win 2008 Championship and
    KOBE Heisler buys Jon K. a new car.
    *_______________________________*
    (01) Bozz - Owner & Driver
    (02) LakeraHolic - covets Jon K's car
    (03) Mamba24 - Thinks car is alive
    (04) Korey - Took car for joyride

    What a fantastic season unfolding before us. It is poetic justice that the Lakers are 4 games away from another banner. The special season just keeps falling into place and I can't see the final goal not comming to attritution.

    Go Lakers!!!!!

    Jesterguru,

    >>>Ok, I'll stop. really. Our lips are sealed.

    Nice. The only thing you forgot to ask is "How much more?"

    THEY AINT PLAYING (BLEEPIN) BASKETBALL..THAT (BLEEP) IS FOR SHOW..(BLEEP) FLOPPIN AROUND EVERYTIME WE GET (BLEEP) PHYSICAL. GET THE (BLEEP) OUT MY WAY..(BLEEP) MOVE PUNK..I M GOING TO MY (BLEEP) LOCKER!

    -Rasheed Wallace-

    I cudnt have said it better

    Need it say it? Good morning family!

    Relish the day! Because we have a long wait till Thursday.

    I SUGGEST THAT:

    I read the game blog from yesterday and it was hilarious to hear the fans rant and rave when the Lakers were down. I was busting out loud and I suggest that Korey, Ric Friedman re vist the blog and take a loot at your emotions at DISPLAY.. very funny guys.

    I for one had to for good luck charm watched 3 quaters without the audio as I was afraid that the audio would bring bad luck .. GO FIGURE..

    Hey AK/BK or is it BK/AK.. haha .. A movie based on the game blog would be VERY FUNNY.


    BLACK MAMBA STINGS THE ROMAN GLADIATOR MANU and proved the gladiator is no match.

    No contest between SPURS’s best versus Kobe. Kobe truly was the King for the night holding his court for his subjects.

    Seven Faces of Dr. Lau

    Jon K: yell at him, "THIS GAME IS NOT OVER! WE ARE WINNING THIS GAME!" - POETIC.

    I was saying the same thing all night as I was sitting in a stupid play here in SF checking the score at every chance. I had text messages from haters (stupid celtics fans) telling me we were way down, no chance, etc.

    Our collective positive energy, loyalty and sometimes just plain old prayer can do wonders.

    Hugo, Complex with your days off and sipping coffee - cheers to you guys!! I am going to get a nice Laker Latte right now.

    Mamba: you are the best - thanks for your roll calls - they really start our game days off right. Can't wait for the big game 1 words of wisdom - you have some time to put it to paper.

    AK/BK: way to go - this is a great community and you guys are the masters!!!

    Laker Tom: dude - you are good.

    GO LAKERS!!!!

    Jon K,

    The great Laker fan in Cleveland. I love the story of your car, it will be a memorable one that the laker fanatic was jump starting while the carriage prefered to be mechanical and show no emotions.

    MAMBA24

    ISN'T THERE A COMMANDMENT THAT SAYS THOU SHALL NOT COVET A FELLOW FANS CAR WHO LIVE IN OHIO? oopss sorry for the caps...

    The Last person to get a season MVP, an Olympic Gold, Win a Championship and finals MVP was Michael Jordan...

    Jon K,

    >>>I yell at him, "THIS GAME IS NOT OVER! WE ARE
    >>>WINNING THIS GAME!"

    I think all of us bloggers should thank Jon K for his dedication
    of getting to his lucky bar stool in time to save the game for the
    Lakers. It was an MVB (most valuable barstool)

     
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