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Accentuate the positive

PROGRAMMING NOTE (6.11):  Join us today for Purple, Gold, and Blue at 11 am.  Our guest will be Henry Abbott of ESPN.com's outstanding TrueHoop blog.  Click on the show widget at the side of the page, or go straight to our show page to listen in.

Kobe_vs_celtics_game_3 Given the circumstances, you'll have to forgive the Lakers for not worrying about style points after their roadkill ugly 87-81 victory over the Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night at Staples.  Facing a must-win against a squad that had beaten them four consecutive times over the course of the season, all that mattered was the final score.  Some sort of grand message (announcing their presence with authority, if you will) would have been nice, but beggars can't be choosers.   For every positive development, there's a worrisome one to go along with it.  Kobe's 36 points and 18 free-throw attempts, meet 13 points and 5-18 shooting from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.  20 points from Sasha Vujacic, who drilled seven of the 10 shots he took, meet three points, four personals from Vlad Radmanovic.  Overall, L.A.'s new Big Two logged 56 of L.A.'s 87 points, while the rest of the gang was a scary 11-39, good for 31.   

But while the Lakers didn't exactly flow smooth and swift like the Amazon (for the purposes of this writing, we'll all assume the Amazon flows smooth and swift - no emails, please) with the ball, they came up big where it mattered most, on the defensive side of things.  The Lakers limited Boston to 35% shooting, bottled up Paul Pierce (six points on 2-14 from the floor), and held KG to a 6-21 night.  Only Ray Allen, with 25 points (only three in the fourth) did any real damage.

The grimy nature of the affair, one both teams seemed reluctant to control, Doc Rivers was asked if he felt his Celtics missed an opportunity to steal one from the Lakers.  "Either that, or they should have blown us out.  One of the two." 

Exactly.  So maybe it's tough to draw a lot of lessons.  The most important thing, though, is that the Lakers finally broke through against the Celtics.  They finally have tangible proof they can beat the green.  Tonight's performance, if repeated, won't be enough to sustain them the rest of the series, but it could be the starting point they need to move on to better things.  However you slice it, the NBA Finals are officially a series again. 

AK with the breakdown, below.

BK 

THE GOOD

  • Kobe Bryant: Thankfully, the nights where Kobe has needed to put his team's scoring squarely slack on his back have been fewer and far between this season.  That preserves considerably more energy for a night like tonight: 36 points off a very economical 20 shots (12 downed) and 18 trips to the line.  The Mamba's free throw fortunes weren't all that prosperous (maybe he was just trying to blend in), but he more than made up for those gaffes.  The highlight reel basket may have been a gorgeous up and under slither to the rack, but what personally made me the happiest was how the overwhelming number of shots were from 19 feet or closer.  Mid-range game for days, the lane driven even more and only two treys attempted.  Ironically, even on a night where the situation may have been difficult, I thought Kobe did a nice job of making life (relatively speaking) easier on himself.  His defense on Paul Pierce also stood out.   
  • Sasha Vujacic:  Sasha began the night with a 22-foot air ball and a rare miss at the stripe, prompting a "This ain't good" remark under my breath.  From there, he quickly sank a pair of freebies, then just about every shot he took.  7-10 from the field for a playoff career-high 20 points, the only Laker to hit double digits not named "Kobe," " Bean," or "Bryant."  The three ball he canned with just under 120 seconds to go (on the heels of a very rushed brick to boot) was nothing short of ginormous.  Vujacic's spark off the bench wasn't just vital.  It was literally life saving for a team that couldn't get much going at all. 

    In addition to adding some good D to the mix, The Machine also provided the game's single funniest and weirdest moment. As the third quarter's final seconds ticked away, Sasha found himself on the wrong end of an Eddie House forearm while pressuring his way towards the ball.  Vujacic hit the deck, then immediately jumped up, got in House's face for a brief second, then just as he looked like he was about to head butt Mike Bibby's brother-in-law (trivia alert!), he jetted off to guard his man.  Very bizarre.  I couldn't tell exactly what was happening from our nose bleed perch, but it read like, "Eddie House, you're lucky I have a defensive assignment to attend to, because otherwise, we'd have words, sir!!!"  Classic Sasha.  He also deserves props for recovering from a KG screen that left him absolutely leveled.  For a few seconds, The Face wandered the court like he was punch drunk.
  • The Defense: The Lakers' offense may have been ugly, but it was Giselle-smokin'-hot compared to the 35% shooting Boston scrounged up.  Credit the Lakers for not allowing their woes on one end of the court to translate into continual defensive lapses.  Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce combined to sink a scant 8-35 of their attempts, which obviously went a long way in securing the Laker win.  Credit Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Ronny Turiaf for The Big Ticket often operating from mid-range and beyond, while Kobe, as mentioned earlier, played a big role in checking Pierce.  Ray Allen may have been hot (8-13 for 25 points), but if future nights feature The Big Three as a solo operation, the Lakers will always be in the ball game. 
  • The Bench: Tonight, "the mob" finally represented like they were part of the five families (a "Godfather" reference, for those unschooled in their "Barzini"). Outside of Sasha, they didn't paint the scoring column much, but everyone brought something to the table while on the court.  Jordan Farmar had four boards, five dimes, a high wire block, a handful of nice defensive moments and fired up the crowd by going nose to neck with P.J. Brown (since that's as high as he reaches on the guy) after a loose ball scrum.  A couple of the Taft alum's boards came courtesy of taps from Ronny Turiaf, who added a couple of swats and forced KG into some difficult (and missed) shots.  Trevor Ariza got more minutes, drilled his first jumper, and looked a little more in the swing of things (although the rust is hardly gone).  And while Luke Walton still isn't coming through offensively (dude needs to start making those layups pronto), he set up Farmar beautifully on a very patient pick and roll and held his own defensively, forcing traveling called on Brown and Leon Powe.  Most importantly, they played like a unit, which we haven't seen this series. 

THE BAD

  • The starting front court: When your Lawrence Tanter-introduced small and power forwards combine for more fouls (9) than points (7), that generally ain't a good thing.  Any hopes that home cooking would immediately 180 the struggles experienced by Vlad Radmanovic and Lamar Odom since the series inception were anything but realized.  Vlad one upped Game 2's quick pair of fouls by racking a trio before taking a first-quarter seat.  Three minutes into the second half, he picked up a fourth foul after basically leaning on Kendrick Perkins, providing absolutely no resistance against a converted layup.  From there, he grabbed some wood and didn't reenter the game.  LO made an even quicker first-quarter exit, with two whistles coming in less than five minutes of play.  His second quarter became a cameo after a third foul came in a mind boggling 23 seconds.  After kicking off the second half with precisely zero points, Lamar proceeded to miss six of his eight attempts and turn the ball over a startling four times. Yes, there were nine rebounds and four dimes to ease his pain, but similar to treating a broken foot with Aspirin, it's only going to feel so good.
  • Free throws:  21-34 for an inspiring 62% (rounded up).  Kobe Bryant was uncharacteristically off, hitting only 11 of his 18 tries.  If this was how the Lakers would have shot the ball had Game 2's reffing crew been a little more kind to them, we can all stop complaining.  Farmar noted after the game how, despite their muddy production, had they been better at the stripe, Boston would have been blown out.  I can't decide if that makes me feel more relieved or disappointed.

THE MIXED BAG

  • Pau Gasol: On one hand, he grabbed a dozen boards and converted a couple of huge putbacks as the game wound down.  On the other, he was 3-8 from the line, 3-9 from the field, missed some undeniable bunnies around the rim and didn't block a shot.  Gasol did enough to make his presence matter, but not nearly enough to make it truly felt. 

AUDIO

AK

 
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YES , GO LAKERS , WE CAN DO IT IN 6. BEAT THOSE CELTICS, WHERE WAS PIERCE? PROBABLY SUPPORTING HIS FELLOW THESPIANS IN THE SAG STRIKE OR SOMETHING. GO LAKERS

Don't be so happy people. We're still down 2-1.

(Re-post)

After Kobe Bryant and Sash Vujacic, the Laker whose future looks brightest because of this Championship run will be one who won't have played a minute, or even donned a Laker uniform. Yes, it's the player Kobe wanted shipped out last summer, Andrew Bynum.

If AB17 can return to the form he was playing prior to his injury, Bynum will provide the answer up front that Gasol and Odom couldn't measure up to without him during the Playoffs.

Even if the Lakers attain the coveted Championship trophy, is Odom really the $13 Million man? Is Gasol more valuable next season as trade bait to shore up the Lakers' future? Lamar and Pau have only two to five games left to answer these questions, one way or another.

In a post-game interview with Stephen A. Smith, Kobe was very generous towards Lamar and Pau. Kobe allowed that as neither had ever been this deep into the post-season, they were still trying to figure it all out.
But neither is naturally aggressive. And as we've seen, to the aggressor go the spoils.

Personally, I hope that both Lamar and Pau find their mojo and find it fast. The chemistry of this entire Laker group is a major reason that this season has been such a joy. But in the NBA (as in football), winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Gasol, you need to step up.

Odom, you need to STAND UP, because you've been performing real low.

as i posted earlier:

Is it just me or does PJ need to bench Radman for the rest of the series?

He should know that his role on this team is not taking running jumpers in the paint but taking threes (which he sucks at). He thinks playing defense is fouling. He doesn't box out. He can't chase down loose balls. He can't dribble.

He CAN'T be a laker next year!
Ship the space cadet out!

Lol, these so called professional NBA "anal"yst amuse me. Before this series started all these fools said that the Lakers would steam roll the Boston Celtics. Now the Celtics win two and they're talking about how bad Garnett/Pierce played and how they should feel good since they're big 2 played bad and they still pulled out a victory on the road. Hello Einsteins, how about the other Laker's starters not named Kobe Bryant going for a combined 7 of 28. That's 25% "anal"yst. God these guys are morons. Always doing everything they can to keep themselves look like complete jackasses. All of a sudden it's Boston this Boston that. If the series gets tied or if the Lakers go up 3 and 2 they will be singing a different tune. Typical media, they flip sides more then a Mc Donalds chef do. I can't stand these idiots from ESPN. Can Charles, Kenny, and Ernie please cover these Finals.. They've done an excellent job the whole playoffs. THIS SUCKS!!! Also Jon Barry and that other idiot bald guy are just plain annoying. They said that Pierce and Garnett are guaranteed to play better next game and Lakers will not get away with playing like crap. Well duh.... no one ever mentions how bad the Lakers starters played just how bad Boston played and how they will play better next game. Well when the Lakers pull even and go up 3 to 2 they're going to start talking crap about Boston. Same ole same ole. These guys are just idiots. The bald dude was saying that the Lakers won because they shot more free throws. We shot like 10 more then they did? If you're making that comparison why don't you bring up game 2 where the Lakers shot 18 less. So what are you saying about the Boston game in game 2? Wow... these guys are just morons.

People need to get off Lamar's back. He's struggled through three games but come on, people: Without LO, we ain't even in the Finals.

All you haters who keep jumping on and off the bandwagon stay the f--- off so I can rub it in your face when No. 7 brings it. Dude is working his ass off on D against a former NBA MVP, even when he picks up fouls he still gives it all he's got when he's on the court. LO will come up big in Game 4 and all of sudden y'all will be riding his jock again, lame posers that you are.

Coming back strong.

When Sasha came into the NBA, i always felt that he will become a really good player! I never lost faith in him throughout the years!! Thanks for proving me right Machine! Keep in up! Go Lakers! Go Pau and Lamar! Show them what you got! Lakers for life!

i hope at 2-2, doc will understand that they were blow out and blow off.

this young team maybe is still in a little shock to be in a final. the fairy tail is a reality. this win and sasha's play together with the 2 stand up from Farmar (the technical and the pierce offensive) will wake up the rest of them.

i hope lamar can recollect himself and relax. from the last san antonio games he is kinda out of control.

i hope the game is the final lesson so they can apply it for 3 more wins. no room for lessons anymore, especially at home in the next 2 games.

looks like the spurs, the celts r a little old and running out of steam. the NBA were age still matters.

oh, and one more advantage: celts r playing each second half past their bed time. that matters too.

I was hoping we would have a game where the offense flowed, everyone got involved and we would get a double digit win. Playing the way we did makes me a little nervous about winning 3 of the next 4. I never felt we had control of the game, and if the Celtics would have had any decent run, we would be down 3-0. We have to control the game, put them on their heels. I anticipate this will happen when LO breaks out of his funk, Pau plays with more agression and Luke and Vlad get it toghether. This was a hard fought win, and we'll take it, but the Lakers look like they are swimming upstream so far.

Thank god for Kobe and I just love Sasha....what heart!! Anyway, if we can pull out another win Thursday, ugly or not, seeds of doubt will be planted in the Celtics heads.

Lastly, some of the posters on this blog are absolutely awesome. I rarely read the articles anymore....I go right to the blog. We have posters on this blog who clearly know basketball better than most all the sportwriters. Keep up the good work everybody.

Team defense, driving the lane, and toughness was much improved this evening. Looking forward to Lakers having much better focus, execution, continuing their up-tempo rhythm and pushes, and enhancing their precision ball movement from here on out.

I've heard enough bull about Pau and Lamar's struggles. They played well enough to win the f-ing game! Bigger numbers are nice, but for me, right now, 87 is plenty sweet enough, given the effort on D.

Game four will be totally different than this one, I'll bet the farm on that. But we just won a game of gritty, heart-stopping jungle-ball - something the pundits said would probably never happen.

Damn Celtics should've shut the barn door when they had the chance, 'cause now the ponies are loose.

Let's tie this thing up on Thursday. One game at a time, people!!

I don't know who the Lakers are in the series and I hope what I've seen will not define them.

Our D and aggression were good. There were so many other problems it made for an unenjoyable game and didn't exactly put the Celtics where I wanted to put them.

Still, I guess it's something upon which to build and it's nice to get a win, even one as weird and unsatisfying as this one.

AK/BK

i really think is Ronny's new hair style

please tell him to go back to the classic.

no afros

i know is the finals and maybe he need a look for that, but the energy is wrong. starting with his. if it's not broken, don't fix it.

thanks

Defense doesn't just win championships...they win games.

But tonight's game isn't really won on the defensive end so much as the offensive end. Without Sasha in there, I think you have to think hard about whether we win or not. With Pau struggling, LO being non-existent, and Kobe being Kobe...you knew the Celts were going to lock down on Kobe and make everyone else beat them. Well Sasha did.

To go with that though, we played our best defense of the series. Sure we missed some rotations (most of which was by Vlad, come on Vlad)...but for the most part we gave nothing easy. Sure they shot badly, and some of those were just them shooting badly...but the fact that we pushed them off their favorite spots, the fact that we got PP into foul trouble...thereby legitimately getting him off his game...brilliant!

Putting Kobe on Rondo and Pierce on Allen...not that great. It's certainly not the greatest adjustment in all of the playoffs, but it just works. Why? Because outside of PP, Rondo has been the biggest difference maker in this playoffs. He's been able to roam and create wherever he wants, and on the offensive end, it creates a disadvantage in that the refs respect Allen. But here's the greatest thing about this adjustment...offensively Kobe can do more, because Rondo's just too tired offensively lol.

Rebounds are PURE effort. It's about wanting it more than the other guy. Well we didn't win the rebounding part much...but won it we did. LO and Pau did not have good games...but check out their rebounding numbers, check out when they got those rebounds. That matters. The game is played on many levels, and we were more into it than we have been in the past. I counted at least 2 possessions when Kobe, Kobe of all players, simply would not take no for an answer, that that ball will go in, that we will get that rebound. That's what's been missing in all this.

We didn't play our best. We have yet to do that. But here's the thing. In the history books, when the wins and losses are counted, they aren't hypenated by easy-ness. Winning gritty games shows so much about our team. It means we're stubborn, it means we have the heart of the champion, it means we're close, it means we're ready.

Go Lakers!

GO LAKERS!!!

Kobe was phenomenal. MVP!!! Put the team on his back and never looked back.

But Sasha, man, I can not say it enough, "THE MACHINE!!!" He was fantastic off the bench, couldn't have won without his 20 points and great defense.

As for the freethrows, there wasn't that big of a discrepancy between the Celtics and the Laker's freethrows in Game 3 compared to Game 2 and a lot of uncalled Celtics fouls (PJ Brown's hook on Gasol's arm, KG's numerous illegal screens) that kept the Celtics in the game. I don't know how anyone can argue that the Lakers get help from the referees, but it's been clear as day in the these last two series that the refs clearly are biased against the Lakers. GAME 3 should have been a blowout win for the Lakers.

The Lakers won purely and simply because they've got KOBE, the MVP, the best player on the planet right now and because Sasha stepped up offensively.

Lakers need to adapt their offense; strictly relying on the triangle isn't going to work as that leads to jump shots.

Kobe going into attack mode worked well tonight. But that doesn't mean he should make it a 1-on-1 game, nor should the rest of the team stand around.

SGV back in the house. Watched the game just like you all did. And I tell you what...That was Laker ball in 07-08. We struggle we go down get back up and win. Boston, your in trouble Lakers have no fear... tonight proves it.

I actually feel kind of good about the game. Other then Kobe and Sasha, basically no one played up to par. If everyone ups their games just slightly, and makes 75% of their free throws, I think we win fairly easily.

Nobody has mentioned how the cameras caught a bit of hijinx during a timeout in the fourth. If you looked closely, you saw Joey Crawford coming to the Lakers huddle to tell them something. Unsolicited, Trevor Ariza took his towel and used it to mop the sweat off of Joey's bald head. Good stuff.

16...15...14...13...12...11...10...9...8...7...6...5...4...

Yup, i totally agree. From a psychological standpoint, the Lakers have now taken the monkey off their collective backs -- they know that this year's version of the Celtics can be beaten, even when they don't play their best.

I expect them to 'hold serve' in their homecourt. I won't say it lest i jinx them, though. :P

GO LAKERS!!


Sasha earned his nickname tonight.

Things are looking up - a wins a win and series is back on again - Currently sitting at Heathrow waiting for flight to LA for games 4 & 5 !!! BRING IT ON !!!!!!!

the lakers small ball seems to be throwing a wrench in the boston defense. since we can't really out-muscle perkins and brown... might as well take them out of the equation. maybe get LO to take up the ball up court more often for quick strikes early in the shot clock to get him going.

it seems like a tall order but our bigs need to really stop fouling. it just ruins the substitutions and it kills the bench mob's rhythm.

here's to a cleaner game 4 for us resulting in a blowout!

GO LAKES!

Some things to be happy about:

1) "The Machine" getting major facetime on ESPN.

2) Kobe bricking FTs, Lamar and Pau stinking up the joint, Fisher not hitting a three and we STILL win????

3) Turning KG into a jumpshooter. Did Phil hire on David Copperfield as a "special assistant"?

4) Which would you rather win - the first two or the last two?

5) By far the best line of the night were the fans behind the broadcast table who said when Rondo went down with his ankle injury, "get him a wheelchair!" CLASSIC.

6) Getting to watch a game without KG doing his macho-intense "look at me, I'm so hard" stalking around the court routine. Is anyone fooled by the act? Doesn't everyone know that the most insecure people talk the loudest about how secure they are?

7) When it's all said and done, whether we raise another championship banner or not, we will still live in L.A., and they will still live in Boston. It's really like winning every single day, when you think about it.

This is a strange series. Between wheelchairs, blind officials, a giant 4th quarter lead nearly surrendered, free throw jitters and the low shooting percentages in last night's game (for all but three: Sasha, Kobe and Allen), it all looks messy and inconclusive. It looks like two utterly undominant teams unsure of themselves, with a single guy on the floor who knows what he wants and is sometimes able to go for it all alone.

If the Celtics appear to be more of a team, they also appear to be less able to control a game, more dependent on the errors of their opponent (to say nothing of the calls of the officials). That isn't what characterizes a championship team.

The Lakers look like a team that believes they can do it - especially in fourth quarters - but at the same time are only too ready and willing to accomodate Boston's expectations by committing series of ridiculous errors.

Something weird is going on here. Might the Donaghy story have something to do with it? Or is it just the youth and lack of finals experience of both teams? Fisher, who has the experience, has been way off target all series long, but manages to have impact in money time.

The difference maker from here on out should therefore be the mutual experience of Kobe and Fish as the stress rises for all the youngsters (Cassell won't do much for Boston with his own finals experience). It isn't surprising that Ray Allen, who has the most experience and the fewest mental problems on the Celtics, is their best performer. I expect Pierce and Garnett to remain erratic and to have little impact on fourth quarters in the next four games (in case the Lakers don't close it out in three).

I believe that in all three games the Lakers have shown better ability to influence and control a game at critical moments, though the officials clearly outdo them on that. If that pattern holds up the Figueroa parade needs to be planned. But there are so many odd things going on, I'm not sure there are any patterns. And if the series goes to seven, thanks to or in spite of the strange officiating, the last game will be a true test of both teams.

Perhaps in that final dramatic 7th game a real champion rather than just a statistical winner will emerge. But in all cases, the experience of the stratospheric climate of the Finals will prepare our guys for next year's walkover, when Bynum will supply the one missing ingredient that has made this series a slog for the Lakers.

I wouldn't mind the officiating if it weren't so obvious that it was one-sided at times...

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-nbafix11-2008jun11,0,4603447.story


The comments following the article are sort of cute.

Guess which comments following the article are from Kings fans.

Hint: The crybabies want the title taken from the Lakers...

Admittedly, they got screwed if Donaghy's claims (not the best source...) are true.

*_________________________________*
Sasha The Machine is the Next
Big Thing BandWagon
*_________________________________*
(01) Faith – Owner
(02) Magic Man - Driver
(03) Mamba24 - Chief Mechanic
(04) JesterGuru – Has secret jet fuel for The machine
(05) Edwin Gueco – Director of Sasha’s shot selection
(06) JustAnotherMambafan – Help Sasha come up with the name The Machine
*_______________________________*
"Punch KG "The Big Ticket" bandwagon.
*_______________________________*
(01) EastCoastJessie – CEO – TKO’d KG twice
(02) Mel - Driver
(03) Bozz - Owner
(04) Complex_Brotha - Sparring Partner, Knocked him out
(05) Mamba24 - referee
(06) JustAnotherMambafan - Cut Man
(07) LakerTom - Turned KG's roar into a Meow!
(08) Happy Camper – The reason KG talks to himself
(09) Erik True Laker Fan - Shaved KG’s head
(10) Janaya – put itching powder in KG’s shorts
(11) PsychedLakerGirl – Reason KG wanted to become a Laker
(12) Edwin Gueco – Made a citizens arrest of KG
(13) Keifo – Beat KG at Horse.
(14) Bozz – Convinced KG that he had a career as a Troll
(15) Jon K. Taught all Lakers the deadly throat puncjh
(16) Happy Camper - Made Daany Ainge unhappy
(17) MagicMan – Made the Big Ticket Punch himself….twice!
(18) JustAnotherLakerFan – Will pull the alarms when they come to LA.
(19) JustALakerFan – Stole KG.s shaving kit
(20) JesterGuru – Put a For Sale sign on KG’s. house
*_______________________________*
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
(26) JustAnotherMambafan - Cut Man
(27) LakerTom - Turned KG's roar into a Meow!
(28) Happy Camper – The reason KG talks to himself
(29) Erik True Laker Fan - Shaved KG’s head
(30) Janaya – put itching powder in KG’s shorts
(31) PsychedLakerGirl – Reason KG wanted to become a Laker
(32) Bozz – Convinced KG that he had a career as a Troll
(33) (17) MagicMan – Made the Big Ticket Punch himself.
(34) LakerNorth – Put itching powder in KG’s shorts.
(35) JustAnotherLakerFan – Will pull the alarms when they come to LA
(36) JustALakerFan – Stole KG.s shaving kit
(37) JesterGuru – Put a For Sale sign on KG’s. house

Good Morning Charles
Good Morning Morning Crew: Bozz, Toad, HmrHed, "Pig" Miller, Edwin Gueco
Laker Tom, Vman, Exhelodrvr, SimiLakerGirl, PsychedLakerGirl, LakerGirl
EastCoastJessie The Latina Princess, JustAnotherLakerfan, The Outlaw
Laker Nation. YOU REPRESENTED YESTERDAY! Your faith, love and energy
kept Kobe beiing the Mamba and turned Sasha into The Machine. Well Folks
this crap is over. Lakers in 6 4 The Hard Way @ Charles & The Outlaw
Specila Roll Call as soon as new Thread opens.
LAKER NATION I AM DAMN PROUD TO BE A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING

GO LAKERS!

Kobe!


Kobe!

Kobe!

Lamar is due!

I hope Pierces' mom cook the same meal for him on Thursday and Sunday....

I hope they see that good things happen w/ you drive to the basket....Pau and LO need to focus on playing GREAT defense...The score will come if they play GREAT D.....As long as we have to take the ball out the net we will have issues....We have to defend and push it...

GO LAKERS !!!!

Great win. I am as big a Laker fan as anyone here, and I cannot stand the celtics as much as anyone here, but I also am a realist. We are paddling up stream. I totally agree with Spokanlakerfan - I just do not see our Lakes winning 3 out of 4.

1 down. 3 to go.

Go Lakers!
Go Kobe!

When the series was in Utah, I commented to my office mate that LO would be the finals MVP, if the Lakers won it all. It now seems that if LO is not the finals MVP, the Lakers may not win it.

LO, tomorrow is a workday - time to show up. Tough calls and tough assignments need to be matched with a tough inside presence. The Laker nation is rooting for you!

AK
How the heck does Luke Walton not get on the Bad, for game breakdown.
Stop covering for this clown! Your Phil like fetish for this guy is getting a bit weird!

My dislike for the Celtics and their fans grows daily as this series unfolds. They were unbearable during the 80's and much worse now. I don't care how we win, as long as we do, and finally shut up that obnious and biased city once and for all. I loved it when the cheating Patriots lost the Superbowl.

Let's go Lakers...3 more!

Why do u call yourselves Laker fans,I scanned last nights game thread and these names need to be added to the L.,A. Times Laker Blog Hall of SHAME.FOR their visceral and shameful comments.

1.Rick Friedman
2.Troy
3.Phunk

List is incomplete,more names to be added.Laker haters for-warned

I TOLD YOU
That’s right we won, like you knew we would
But that Celtics team is pretty d@mn good
And KG Big Ticket, I take it all back
You’re a hell of a player, and that’s a fact
And Doc, Oh Doc, I have to say
You’re a pretty good coach, in the NBA
The Truth no lie, The TRUTH be told
One day Paul Pierce, may wear Purple & Gold
Now that the Celtics, have been given their props
Some praise on the Lakers, it is time to drop.
There’s Kobe Bryant, Now let me see
He Is What He Is, What He Is, Is MVP
9Rings Jackson, the coach who uses zen
9Rings does nothing, NOTHING BUT WIN
Last night a star was born, just ask Kobe Bean
He’s more than just human, he’s Sasha the Machine
Kobe and Sasha are the new dynamic duo
Gone fishing I guess, were Vlad, Pau & LO.
But thank god for the Bench, Way to go Bench Mob
What did they do? They did a hell of a job
As Jon K. predicted, The Lakers got their flow
The Celtics tried a run, the Bench Mob said no, no
Game 3 is over, Game 4 will be a joke
This time, the entire Celtics lineup will choke
Then comes the biggie, The pivotal game 5
Hide the women & kids, Lakers skin Celtics alive
Back to the Garden for Game 6 we will go
Where Lakers win the Title, Didn’t yo mama tell you so!
Since they can’t stop the Lakers, from a new dynasty
They try to tarnish the Legend, with some B.S. news story
A felon referee, must have talked to Sonny Belfast
Saying a Laker Title was fixed, Hey Ref kiss my @ss
We won all our Titles, the old fashion way
Kicking everyone’s @ss, in the NBA
If David Stern fixed things for the Lakers, then tell me
Why the hell does Kobe, have only one MVP?
If you really think, that this BS is true
Let your team step up, we’ll kick their @ss too.
Now sit down and shut up and accept the fact
THE LAKERS ARE BAD, AND THE LAKERS ARE BACK

BallDon'tlie I couldn't agree with you more. The whole commentating thing sickens me. Always has.

What do you guys think about the articles where they're talking about how we can't feel great even though the Lakers won the game? They're making a big deal of how Boston isn't going to shoot so bad next time, and that we'd better watch out kind of thing.

I think for us, Boston is perhaps the toughest match up we've had, but I'm not sure why. Are they that good? Do they play that great of defense? Are they a great shooting team? What makes Boston so great?

Lamar Odom and Luke Walton are back!!!!!!!

Back in their listless plays. Trade this guys!!!!!!!!

I am sick of David Stern fixing the game.

Boycott NBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boycott NBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Death to David Stern

damn it was good to see the lakers grind out a win last night. i was starting to worry that perhaps my finals fashion countdown (see signature url) had cursed them for good.

main things that stood out to my head:
--rebounding and ball-pursuit effort was very noticeable. even though gasol and odom had terrible scoring nights, they got rebounds.
--they made their fouls count; no easy baskets for the celts
--kobe remembered how hard it is to win a title. he was breathing hard in the 1st half which hasn't been the norm for him. i love it when he plays like that (except for the missed FT's!)... MAD AND HUNGRY!!
--Ariza, Farmar and Walton won the Pac-10 bench showdown with House and Powe (boston also storing Scalabrine and Pruitt, both from u$¢, on the bench). Farmar's speed and Ariza's nose for the ball kept them in the game when Boston threatened to pull away. it also proved the following theorem:

(11 minutes of Walton + 9 minutes of Ariza) > 20 minutes of Walton

Good Morning, Laker Nation!

Expect more of the same for the rest of the series, an ugly grueling series of Bataan death march victories by the Lakers.

That's the way to beat the Celtics. That's the way it's got to be.

If we can teach Gasol and Odom to play with some determination, we should do rather well in the next several games.

GO LAKERS!

Good Morning Lakerbloggers,

Not a pretty game but a win is a win. Nice to see MVP set the tone and props to zee Slovene machine to pick up the slack for LO and weenie boy. Conversely, wheelchair Pierce and Kevin Gar "not" were no-shows as a product of our team's underrated stellar D.

Our team finally got the green monkey off their backs which calls for a bit of a celebration; but I have a strange feeling that, as usual, the significance of this win will be overshadowed by the whole Tim Donaghy scandal.

Well, some trends are still imminent this post season; Lakers are still undefeated at home and Boston still has road woes. KG still can't hit or won't take the big shots, Rondo looks confused away from home but at the same time Pau and Lamar need to shake off some nerves too. Sam-I-Am is still phoning home. And lastly, I'd like to know where the hell did Leon Powe shrink to last night?

At least the trolls can STFU today. What I find funny is that come Summertime, all these loser haters who constantly barb at Kobe with ignorant comments will be rooting for our beloved superstar in the Olympic games.

...and hey Boston, Wall-E is a Laker Fan and he's more popular than you Curt Schilling!

peas,

Good morning Mamba24, Charles, LAKER NATION!

It was ugly but I'll take it.

It was hard fought, but a W is a W.

We will get more out of the rest of the team tomorrow. They are back home & the crowd will have them amped even more.

GET OFF LO'S BACK. GET OFF PAU'S BACK. They are balling their hearts out - don't discount that.

Onward to tomorrow night!!!!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!

3 to O'Brien........

Chuck23,

"AK How the heck does Luke Walton not get on the Bad, for game breakdown. Stop covering for this clown! Your Phil like fetish for this guy is getting a bit weird!"


No offense, the way you obsess over Walton, even on a night where he actually did some good things defensively (as mentioned in the breakdown), it's fairly easy to accuse you of a "fetish" of sorts.

I'm just saying...

AK

Kobe missign free throws - he must be part of the Stern conspiracy, too! It's the only possible explanation!!

You know what I loved? I loved that Sunday and Monday they were touting Leon Powe as the Cinderella man... because I knew come last night that he was going to get rocked. Seriously. The dude gets touted as King of the World for 9/13 FTs and come Tuesday night, you discover he's not all that great. Awesome. In your face. And I loved, -loved-, Sasha being the star in last night's game with dropping and drilling those 3s, especially when they mattered and even more so after having botched one that he didn't let it affect the next one. So good...

3 TO 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AK,

Way to speak the truth to CBuck!

Regarding Luke's game.... He played well defensively and did some nice little things on offense, however, his ability to aggressively go to the hoop sucked.

A great thing about last night's game was it was the game the 2004 Lakers couldn't play in the Finals, and thus we lost.

There's definite cause for hope in this series.

GO LAKERS!

CBuck,

You're not going to start stalking Luke Walton now, are you?

GO LAKERS!

Grim reality Laker fans...

I dont believe the Lakers are a better team at this point.

We have the best player on the court. they have the next best 3.
Kobe - #1
PP - #2
Kg - #3
RA - #4
Gasol - #5
Odom - #6

1,5,6 = 12 / 3 = 4 = L.A.
2,3,4 = 9 / 3 = 3 = Boston.

Unless Kobe goes gonzo the rest of the series we are done, becuz CLEARLY Gasol/Odom can not be depended on.

Thus, Odom must be a 6th man next year and Gasol must move down to PF. Odom must take a paycut or get traded. I hate to say it, but his true colors are showing vs. the top competition.

I dont want you to dominate K.G. but at least show up. Odom is shriveling before our eyes.

Give Sasha the full $5 mill mid-level, he deserves it.

Trade Radman for a 2015 2nd round pick. He's worthless.

Hobittmage:"1 down. 3 to go. Go Lakers!"

HOBBITMAGE IN THE HOUSE!! Where you been brother?
Long time.

*_________________________*
GET OFF LO'S BACK. GET OFF
PAU'S BACK. BANDWAGON
*________________________*
(01) JustAnotherMambaFan - Owner
(02) Mamba24 - Driver

Jack Nickolson:"I am sick of David Stern fixing the game."

Hey jack I was worried about you last night. That one time
it looked like you were having a stroke. Jack Nickolson
the King of Cool. I couldn't believe it.

Bill Plaschke,

Yes, we won. And we're winning on Thursday.

The beautiful Lakers have learned how to win ugly, and as a result of that knowledge, we are going to win this series.

GO LAKERS!

FROM PALM BEACH, FLORIDA


BONJOUR GUYS,

NO TIME TO WASTE! NO TIME TO WASTE! NO TIME TO WASTE!= PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE=WIN #2

WHEN I WOKE UP THIS MORNING, I SAID TO MYSELF THAT I NEED TO MAKE A KEEN EYE ON SOME PLAYERS OF OUR TEAM AT THE GAME LAST NIGHT CUZ NOW EVERY GAME IS A FINAL FOR US= FOCUS,DETERMINATION AND STRENGHT:

ODOM, ODOM, ODOM: BABY, IT'S TIME TO BE CONSISTENT, YOU HAVE TO SHOW THE VERSATILE YOU ARE IN EVERY GAME. FOR GAME #4, YOU HAVE TO SHOW US THE REASON WHY YOU WANT TO BE A LAKER FOR LIFE. WE EXPECT A GREAT DEAL OF EFFORT FROM YOU FOR THAT FINAL CRUCIAL GAME. LOVE TO YOU!!

GAZOL, GAZOL, GAZOL, CORAZON, TIENES QUE TOMAR EL BALON CON MAS FUERZAS Y DEFENDERTE COMO UN LEO CONTRA LOS CELTICS. TU QUIERES GANAR, CIERTO, GAME#4 ES LA OPPORTUNIDAD DE TU VIDA. SHOW US THE LUCK YOU BRING US DESDE FEBRERO. MUCHO AMOR!!

SACHA, YOU ARE THE RAT AS THE LAKERS AND I= OUR YEAR, OUR TIME= KEEP THE MOMENTUM, SWEETY. BIG KISSES!!

PHIL, PHIL, PHIL, THE MASTER, WHY DON'T YOU USE ALL THE BIG GUYS TO BLIND THOSE CELTICS? WE CAN BEAT THEM IN OUR GLAMOUR WAY. BIG KISSES!!!

KOBE, MY MAN, WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT YOU CUZ YOU ARE A VIRGO LIKE ME WHO KNOWS HOW TO REALIZE A DREAM BUT MI VIDA, AFTER TWO LOSSES BALL FROM YOUR TEAMMATES, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE NEXT ONE QUICKLY= NO TIME TO WASTE, YOU KNOW THAT TOO.BISOUS GRANDE

PRATICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE= WIN#2


LOVE TO OUR TEAM AND TO ALL


SHEKOBE FOREVER

Jon K,

Just to clarify, your comments should have been directed to "Chuck," not "CBuck," who is a different reader.

I agree that Walton's inability to convert around the rim needs to improved upon (as I noted in the breakdown), but like you say, he played well, all in all. In particular, his work defensively was a plus.

AK

Good Morning Fam,

Ok, Pau this, Lamar that. We got the W. Off to the next game and it's time to tie the series.

Love it or Leave it Alone. 4 the Hard Way!

Just a note to Mr. Jordan Farmar:

Kudos to the heart and grit you showed by not backing down from PJ Brown. I can only hope that your other team mates took note of the incident.

Phil Jackson accomplished something finally last night - he figured out how to compete without help from either his starting center or power forward!

Odum and Ga-Shawl took how long to score a FG? AHAHAHA!!!

Nice FT shooting kobee! Time to get ahold of a Steve GNASH DVD and learn the art of FT shooting - it's a basic skill that every MVP should have in their repertoire!

You can bet Pierce and KG will not be having such bad games come Thursday, so last night represented the best chance for a laker win. It was to be expected what with the favorable officiating and home crowd.

Eddie House had the game won last night, and Ray Allen just didn't see him wide open - a very lucky sequence for the confused laker D. You don't leave Eddie House wide open!

Try to represent the West Conf with more pride next time, and for goodness sakes, get that center and PF some decent coaching and maybe a brain wave test!

The SUNS would be up 2-1 in this series right now..


Charles,

We won DESPITE Gasol and Odom's complete lack of offensive production.

And terrible foul shooting.

Why? The Machine (aka "The Terminator--Slovenian Edition").

Thank you, Sasha!

Gasol and Odom won't stay down. Last night was ugly, but it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL to me. That was the game we needed to play. If we could have played THAT ugly in 2004, we would have won the Championship.

Thank you God for letting us win that ugly! Thank you!

This is going to be the ugliest Championship the Lakers EVER win! I can't wait!

GO LAKERS!

Garnett should have fouled out in the 3rd quarter. He committed a moving screen on every pick and roll they ran. I know it's the finals, but those were some obvious fouls.

My goodness was this game funny. Flabby Liar (Pierce) was pwned by KOBE. Four pts? HA HA. Rondo was getting schooled by FISH, so he faked an injury, ala "You can't handle the Truth." Vujacic OWNED you man; call him Euro trash now! What a performance! He's clearly one of the game's greatest shooters. Phil has figured out the Pathetics and now nothing can stop LA. Four straight easy victories and the first of 3-4 straight titles are INEVITABLE. Get ready to feel worse than when the ball went through Buckner's legs, Boston fans.

Boston=losers!

And the Lakers proved that it is THEY, not the Pathetics, that can play outstanding Defense.

The Pathetics justified the name. KG is a SISSY. I get to attend game 4 with my buddies and we have a "KG = SISSY" banner. I hope it makes it onto TV. And we're going to chant "SIS-SY, SIS-SY" evey time KG touches the ball.

We're going to harass the Keltic fans that dare to show their faces. It's going to be so much fun.

Another Laker Dynasty....as I call it, Dynasty V!

I=Minneapolis
II=Lakers of West, Baylor, etc.
III-Magic's
IV=Shaq/Kobe
V=Kobe/Pau

We'll four-peat!

GOOD MORNING LAKER NATION....

DOES ANY ONE WANT TO COMMENT ON HOW THE MACHINE DEFENDED PAUL PEIRCE... I THOUGHT... WE HAVE SOMETHING THERE... IT WAS A FEW POSITIONS BUT... I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING... WHAT U GUYS THINK????

2-14 shooting. 6 points. 5 fouls. Turns out that age old saying is accurate:

THE TRUTH HURTS!

Regarding LO - it's kinda difficult for anybody to get their rhythm in a game when they're getting fouls called on them within the FIRST 2 MINUTES OF EVERY FRIGGIN QUARTER! Darn right LO's scared! Man's just trying to do his job on defense and everytime he jumps within the vicinity of a Boston defender, he gets whistled up. No way that's not affecting his game...

...but, on the other hand, remember my post game comments: the (Laker) kingdom suffereth violence. The violent must TAKE IT BY FORCE!

Lord, we submit a special prayer for Lamar Odom today. Just as Pau Gasol had to accept the truth that Tim Duncan and the Spurs weren't gonna give him anything, LO must realize that neither Boston nor David Stern's Zebra Mob isn't gonna give him anything either. He must TAKE HIS GAME! More important, he must conquer the fear that exists within him - and it DOES EXIST!

But You, Lord, have not given us a spirit of fear. Fear comes from the evil one. The way that You have taught us to overcome our fears is by facing them head on. For a child to rmaster riding a bike, he must overcome his fear of falling off of it. For a man to learn to swim, he must overcome his fear of drowning. For LO to play with the GREATNESS that enabled him to help us get to this point, he must overcome his fear of getting fouls called on him.

You did not bring LO this far to leave him, Lord. You did not bring him through the losses of his mother, grandmother and infant son to let him cower, choke and disappear in our time of need. YOUR GREATNESS IS WITHIN HIM, LORD! Starting now - from practice, to the review of game film right on down to Thursday's game and the rest of the series, grant LO the strength to GET OUT OF HIS OWN WAY and to FULLY EMBRACE THE GREATNESS that You have placed within him.

We, the true Laker fans of LA Times Lakers Blog, offer our repentance for losing faith in LO and our team as a whole and we ask You to forgive us. We are afraid, for we desperately want to win this championship. But we have allowed our fears to overcome us in the heat of battle and we berate and belittle our beloved players. Yes, our guys must play like they've never played before to overcome ALL OF THE OBSTACLES set before us, but help each and every one of us realize that they need our support and our POSITIVE energy.

May Thursday's game crowd cheer our guys on like never before. May our cheers and support tear the roof off of Staples Center. May our support and unity carry our Lakers through to wins in Games 4 and 5...and when we return to the belly of the beast in Boston, may our spirits ring true in our players' hearts as we SHUT DOWN and CLOSE OUT BOSTON ON THEIR HOME FLOOR. May we not be put to shame. May You lead us to cheer for our guys and may You lead us on to victory. It is ALREADY DONE and we PRAISE YOU NOW FOR ANSWERED PRAYER!

AMEN!

I have to give Kobe credit for improving in every game this series.It seems he has finally figured the Celtics out.The bad thing is I can't say the same for the rest of his team.I have loved his supporting cast all year but it seems in the postseason as defenses get tougher they seem to struggle more and more.I guess SA and Boston deserve alot of credit for playing outstanding defense against the Lakers.

I always thought Sasha was gonna be an X factor in this postseason.Last night he was by far the second most important Laker after Kobe.

When I picked my gf's kid up from school I was horrified to see that he was wearing a green t-shirt. I had brought his Kobe jersey for him to wear but that green t-shirt under it definitely drew some stares at the arena. I got him a sheet of NBA team logo stickers and he promptly put the Celtics sticker on the bottom of his shoe so he could stomp on them and show his allegiance.

There were lots of Celtic fans at Staples and especially in my section. There wasn't really much of a buzz in the arena - more like a wait-and-see attitude.

The ownership generally conducts itself with a lot of class in how the game is presented. Evidence of that was on display last night when they opted to make the giant pre-starting-line-up video about the many battles that the Lakers and Celtics have had rather than just putting highlights over lots of screaming and fireworks. It gave you the sense that this is a story that didn't begin this year, nor will it end this year. It's just another chapter.

Last night's chants of choice:
"M-V-P" for Kobe
"Bulls**t" for the refs
"Boston sucks"
"Wheelchair" for Pierce and Rondo

Even though Boston was public enemy no 1, Pau was clearly public enemy no 2 last night. His indecision on the low block and missed free throws really frustrated the crowd. He redeemed himself with cleaning up LO's misses late but his inability to match-up against KG or Perkins highlights how much the team needs Bynum to come back healthy and provide what Pau cannot - interior intimidation on both ends.

Because of my disdain for the soft-double that leads to wide open looks, I yelled "STOP DOUBLING!" early on. My gf's kid yelled it as well but unfortunately it was when Fish was shooting free throws.

NBA TV had a crew of guys walking around wearing screens on their chests showing NBA action. The NBA had merch stands set up outside the arena and across the street to sell Finals stuff. There was also a nice bar/lounge set up outside in the LA Live courtyard.

About 6 sections in the upper decks were set aside for media. Each table had a little desk light giving it a night club/dinner theater vibe when combined with the lighting system that leaves the seats dark but the floor lit up

David Cook sang the National Anthem and was horrible. Quick Change did the halftime show and was great.

Still waitning on Pau and LO. KB24 needs a little help to finish off the celts. The Lakers played some eastern conference ball last night and won. They beat the celts at their game. Aggressive teams don't play well when the aggression comes back at them. Now the Lakers need to take it up a notch. LO needs to stop flipping up lay ups and try to pull the rim down. He needs to get his fire back. Don't be suprised when the Lakers win in 6

IS IT ONLY ME OR You GUYS NOTICED AS WELL:

It seems espn analysts, Mike Wilbon, Scott and forget that kids name whose brother plays for the Spurs, all seem to be pro Celtics... even the loud mouth Stephen Smith is on Celtics bandwagon.

Is it me or the Celtics are really that good that Lakers were hyped up to only be led to slaughter at the hands of Celtics..so that the Celtics would look great at the expense of the Lakers..

Is it me or I noticed that there were many instances through out the game that I saw how Bynum would have made the difference.. BUT we must win the title this year..

Is it me of espn analyst Timn Leg.... is a huge Celtic fans and does not think laker will win..

Props to Shasha and the rest of the bench mob..

is it me or eveyone agrees that Lakes still have not played their best ball in the finals series yet like they did against the Utah anb Spurs..

So looking ahead and one huge consolation is that Lakers STILL HAVE NOT PLAYED THEIR BEST GAME YET.. so watch out..

is it me or


utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER,

Amen.

GO LAKERS!

We should cut some slack for Odom and Pau. Their lack of offensive productivity is a direct result of much energy spent at the defensive end. This also explains why Pau and Kobe were missing their shots at the stripe. They all played hard and came up on top, that's what really counts. Besides. I am sure their chest hair has grown quite a bit after last night's game.

By the way, when Rodo went down, I thought Doc River was trying to pull off another Paul Pierce acting job, except this time it wouldn't work without their home crowd behind them.

BAD CALL

Stern asked the court for 1mil in restitution from Donaghy.

Stern would have payed double that to keep him out of the press last night.

Banner Holder,

That PRAYER was once again great, last night I had to shut down the blog on my computer before all that negativity overrided my confidence in us winning...I actually started to type how powerful words are then decided against doing so...and channel my positive energy to my team...we are winning this series despite what others feel, HE never said it would be easy but I certainly know that HIS words are SURE AND TRUE...

IT'S ALREADY DONE!

sisco,
In compliment to your post, callers and the host Matt Money Smith were talking about the smaller lineup on AM570's Lakers line last night.

Jon K,
Thanks for the reply brother! Dit Da Jon!

lakers_sth,
Thank you for the update! Love that insider info!

Butler,

The Suns would be up 2-1?

The Suns who lost to the Spurs in 5? To the Spurs who lost to the Lakers in 5?

The Suns would have been the first team ever to lose the Finals in three games.

Good morning everybody...all together now...EXHALE!!!

Tough game on all fronts last night but I'm glad we pulled it out. Boston fans are reeling at the fact that Pierce and KG were off and they still had a chance to win but I noticed how conveneiently they ommitted the fact that 4 of our starters struggled.

Expect Thursday to be a much better and close game. Lakers have to stay aggresive.

Lamar needs to play through his fouls...we need his to be agressive and stay on the floor.Pau really needs to be much more agressive on rebounding...a few points would help but I'd rather see him play tough defense inside and grab more rebounds. Fisher...love the guy but he hasn't been on point in 3 games. Sasha...welcome back...don't go anywhere. Jordan...good game. Vlad...I just don't know what to say. Ariza...we need him on the floor more. Ronny...need just little more ooomph. Kobe...nothing needs to be said except MVP!!!

Looking forward to Thursday...another must win for us.

GO LAKERS!

Good Morning All,

Here's what I'm still frustrated over and just dont get... Lamar is taking HIMSELF out of the games by committing silly "reach in" fouls and shooting jumpers.. that ISNT his game. Although the jumpers are needed to keep the defense honest, the reach in fouls make little to no sense when watching the replay telecast. It isnt like LO is chopped liver on the defensive side of the ball, dude CAN play Defense and Block Shots!!! just seems THIS series, he and Vlad have gotten ahold of some killer bud and celebrate BEFORE Tip Off.. They Both appear lost and erractic at best.

Pau? Look, I know you cant make a Jetta, a Porsche but when you have EVERY Celtic big pretty much, pushing Pau out of the way, muscling him up underneath, tossing him around like a rag doll. At what point does your own intestinal fortitude kick in and fight back? Marc Jackson NAILED It last night.. Pau DOESNT set himself when he's at the rim, he relies too much on his height and length and rarely this series, has he played with a sense of urgency. Theres NO WAY KG "should've" blocked his shot at the rim without drawing a foul, but HE DID !! Why? because it was WEAK !!! Plain and Simple. Even the last 4th qtr tip in was more Luck, than Pau actually showing grit and being determined.


I'm thankful for the W and the rebounds Lamar and Pau grabbed in game 3, having said that, you're kidding yourself if you think we can win a title this year without Pau, Lamar and Vlad playing Laker Basketball!!! Those 3 will be KEY for game 4. I dont expect PP and KG to have back to back sucky games although from what I saw last night, it was a combo of Good D and bad shot selection from those 2. I guess I'm still pissed that Farmar had to show OUR Bigs, how to match the intensity level of the Celts by not backing down, regardless of the opponents size ( PJ Brown would've Crushed Jordan in a fight, but Jordan stuck up for himself and I doubt if PJ bothers him again this series ) So far, I've only seen that type of intense play from ONE Laker Big when being pushed around. Unfortunately, we wont have Andrew Bynum back until next season.


I Bleed Purple and Gold and I WONT be a part of any "trade' L.O and Pau bandwagons after the season. Win or Lose.. PERIOD.. but I'm not gonna pretend all is well with their individual play either. I EXPECT This from Vlad, he's more of a gamble but LO. and Pau? No.. It isnt acceptable in the Finals.

That was an awful game by both teams last night. Someone said that neither team could run their offense's consistently and it reallywas true. No offense to either team, but they really aren't looking very championship level.KG was a joke with his "trying to play PG" act. Gasol is , without a doubt, the softest 7 footer I have ever seen. How a guy can get the ball directly below the basket and want to float the ball into the net is beyond me. No aggressive nature whatsoever and even though he is considered an ideal fit for the triangle I would much rather have a bruiser in his slot next year at power forward. I don't see the shooting accuracy from the top of the key he is supposed to have. He's plays scared alot and is slow to put his shot up. LO ..he thinks he's better than he really is. He's out of control out there a lot..and also out of rhythm with his decisions. Doesn't a guy named Fisher play for the Lakers? He shoudl be having a field day out there and he's barely noticealble..

Anyway, I expect teh Celts to win this in 6. The Lakers look like a team that is finding out that youth only carries you so far. An excellent season for them nonetheless but I am immensely disppointed in Gaso, LO, Fisher, Walton, Vlad Rad (pathetic and geekily awkward), ..With their key guys not stepping up the road to future championships looks a lot cloudier than when they knocked off some very good WC teams leading up to the finals.

Great win last night.

The small lineup we always use in the 4th, with Farmar and Sasha Kobe Pau and Lamar in, seems to be our best lineup so far against the Celtics.

What about starting Farmar and Sasha instead of Rad and Fish, and bring them in off the bench?

Paul S,

In compliment to your post...
I was with Laker Legacy and JSNV at McCormick & Schmick's in downtown LA and thats what we were talking about: the moving screens KG was setting. Over and over. Did you see Paul Pierces two pivot feet?

The tone for this game was set early for it to be an ugly game even before it started. Why did the Lakers allow this Cook guy from American Idol who admitted in the pre-game interview that he was a Celtics fan perform the National Anthem. Then why did the Lakers put so much Boston Celtics crap in there pregame montage that really bothered me.

We won last night's game, but there is still a tough road ahead. We're playing the best defensive team we've face the entire postseason and we need to figure out a way to be more effective on offense. We need to find ways to get LO the ball on cuts to the basket rather than off the dribble.

LO and Pau need to go to the Andrew Bynum school of Throwing the Damn Ball Down and top with these sissy layups. Most importantly, we need to maintain our defensive effort, knowing that we won't be able to score our usual 110 points against these guys. They're bigger and tougher, but with effort and skill we can make up that difference enough for Kobe to win the game in the end like he did last night.

CHARLES...

THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE... YEA I WAS HEARING THAT FOR A BIT... AND IT DID WORK OUT WELL... HOPEFULLY WE SEE MORE OF THAT!!!

THANKS PAL....

And they called him the MACHINE! I told you guys he was good!

If this were a script, game 3 was simply been about the Lakers proving to themselves that they could beat the Celtics. Game 4 will be about proving the Celtics are vulnerable. Game 5 will be a dogfight for control of the series.

They didn't practice, they just watched lots of film, probably went over some things Tuesday morning on the court and came out last night with a few simple instructions to follow - the main one defensively being to eliminate Boston's "daggers" those 3-pointers in transition and the main one offensively to be more aggressive and try to draw fouls.

My prediction is that practice today will be about adjusting the offense to solve some of the things that Boston does defensively - much like what they did against San Antonio. I think in game 4, we'll start to see the Lakers chip away against Boston's defense and find a lot more success. If they can win game 4 and even up the series then Boston will look more vulnerable and game 5 will either be a dogfight or the Celtics will put up a good fight but might concede early with the knowledge that, even though they'll be facing elimination, they play a lot better at home.

Ken,

"Why did the Lakers allow this Cook guy from American Idol who admitted in the pre-game interview that he was a Celtics fan perform the National Anthem."

Tar and Feathers. Ok maybe that's too much. Duct tape, rope and another singer while he watches on the ground?

Is the series being turned in our favor?

Lakers defense would indicate part of that is true.

First, Pau Gasol's 'long arms of the law' defense of Kevin Garnett.

KG field goal percentage:

Reg. Season... 50%
Playoffs.......... 50%
Laker series.....35%

Since the 1st half of game one:

KG is 15-52 for 28%

Its more of a trend and not a shooting slump.

1. Gasol is forcing KG to arc his shots more
2. KG is spending a lot of energy on D and D reb. Tiring him out on offense, especially as the game progresses. He's settling for more outside shots

[Pau is shooting 53% for Celts series.]

Duncan shot 42% for Lakers series and 50% for reg season. So this is a 'Pau Pattern'

Lakers continue trend of holding teams to shooting a -5% off of reg season percentage.

Denver -5%
Utah -6%
SAS -5%
Bos -5%

Lakers D is forcing C's to miss shots, but has been leading to more off. reb. opportunities for C's. but are now doing a better job on boards.

Celtics missed 54 shots to the Lakers 29, plus Lakers a missed a lot of FT's. creating even more reb ops for C's

Off. Rebs.

Celts 14; 5 of those were off of missed FT attempts
Lakers 9

So , if Celts continue to shoot at 42% and Lakers at 46%, TO's are equal, offensive put backs are now equal, Lakers will continue to control series.

Fatty's infallible predictions:

C's continuing to falter in 4th
Game four: Lakers win
Game five: Lakers give Father's Day gift of a blowout to Lakers Dads (Celts will be crying for their mommies to save them in boston)

I will be traveling to Socal (Santa Barbara) for the next 5 days. If you happen to see a Buick Lucerne decorated with Lakers stuff and pieces of Celtics fans stuck in my grill, that's me.

Don't forget to wave or honk your horn.

Go Lakers!

Good morning Laker family around the Globe,

Three more wins to go.

I see that I am Public Enemy #1 to some of you for calling out Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Well, their contributions were lacking in the context of their roles on the team. And you can't blame their performance in Game 3 on the refs.

The Lakers had five or six guys in double figures in most of the team's wins, this season. In Game 3, only Kobe and Sasha provided the bulk of the offense.

Yes, Gasol had 12 rebounds, but that was on an off-night for KG. The Celtics gave a lot of credit to the Lakers' Defense, and that certainly can't be overlooked.
But at the start of Game 4, you're not likely to see Lamar or Pau in the ABC/ESPN highlights reel. Truthfully, the highlights reel is the definitive record of what happened.

I've already uttered Utz's prayer for LO several times. I will continue to repeat it. We should all offer one up for Pau, as well. The trophy won't return to LA without the efforts of which both are capable. Kobe's got too many miles on his legs at this point to take us to the promised land without them.

Sasha was the needed "X-Factor" in Game 3. Who will be the "X-Factor" in games 4. 5. 6. and maybe 7? Pau and LO still have time. This is our team. This is our year. Go Lakers!

So, the Celtics feel great about having had a chance to win Game 3, even after Pierce and Garnett played like you-know-what. But Pau and Odom had worse games than those two, and the Lakers shot free throws like grade-schoolers. So I'm not sure where the Celtics' sense of contentment is coming from. According to a Yahoo! article by Johnny Ludden, here's the post-Game 3 mindset of the Celtics: Is this the best the Lakers can do? Actually, Johnny, it's not. But I'm starting to wonder if we've seen the best from the Celtics, who have looked a bit worn down since the 4th quarter of Game 2.

Pierce said, "Our mind set is still to take two games in Los Angeles." Right. But seriously, how much hope can he possibly have that a team with a 2-8 road record in the playoffs will beat a team with an undefeated home record (and who hasn't lost at Staples since March 28) even once in the next two games? Add to that the fact that Pierce looks injured (and has shot abysmally on the road throughout the playoffs) and Garnett suddenly looks tired.

A fatigued Boston can't afford to let this get to a Game 7, particularly since they would have to play Games 5, 6 and 7 in a span of five days. Also, nobody yet knows who David Stern has hand-picked to win the championship (haha). Actually, the main reason the Celtics can't afford to let this get to a Game 7 is because of the existence of one Kobe Bryant, the only player (maybe besides Lebron) who can alter the outcome of a game by himself.

I loved how PJ Brown scared farmar! Little jordan scurried off with his tail between his legs!

Not only does Donaghy reveal that the NBA is rigged, but he tells specifically that the lakers were engineered to get past the Kings in 2002!

Nice legacy, lakers!

Of course,without SHACK on that team, the lakers aren't even in the playoffs.

I think that the players intro sucked and was a real downer.

Staples NEEDS to learn how to pump up the crowd al la Detroit Style or ANY OTHER ARENA style.

janaya

In the spirit of "analyze what they want to do and take it away from them" here are some thoughts:

Ray Allen - He does two things. He comes off screens to shoot 3s. If that's not there for him, he continues along the same path and penetrates towards the basket looking for whoever is open as the defense scrambles to recover. A harder "show" by the big on those picks would probably solve both. Even if Ray gives the ball back to the big who set the screen (probably KG) it'll be on the perimeter and I'll take my chances with KG shooting those long jumpers all night long.

KG - His jumpers fall with a lot more consistency at home. As long as LO, Pau or Ronny can keep a body on him as he works in the post, he'll probably opt for the jumper 7 times out of 10. Something the Lakers haven't done yet is to have one of the guards, not double per se, but step over and see if they can get a hand in there and disrupt the dribble. Fish is very good at this and he had a lot of success doing that against Utah. Basically do whatever's necessary to keep KG away from the basket when he has the ball which, in turn, will keep him from getting offensive boards.

Paul Pierce - You can't count on Pierce getting in foul trouble every night so the best thing to do on him is what they're already doing - give him a lot of different looks (Vlad, Luke, Ariza, Kobe) and keep him from draining those "dagger" 3s.

On the post-game, Money was talking about how Kobe guarded Rondo and let Fish chase Ray - which allowed Kobe to play more free safety considering Rajon's jumpshot isn't that great and he's not likely to burn you. If Rondo can't go on Thursday, you can't really use that same philosophy against House. Even though Eddie takes ill-advised shots, he's a shooter and can get really hot.

New formula for success in the finals:

Kobe outscores 1 of the big 3...

and the MACHINE outscores the other two.

sweeeeeet.

I was interested to know what AK and BK think about Game 6 against the Kings in the 2002 playoffs being fixed. Has anyone here watched the game with new eyes in light of the revelations?

More about the lakers' false title in 2006:

The Lakers attempted 40 free throws to the Kings' 25 in that game, and Los Angeles made 21-of-27 from the line while Sacramento converted 7-of-9 in the fourth quarter alone.

In addition, a foul was called against Mike Bibby of the Kings after he was shoved and elbowed by Kobe Bryant, denying the Kings an opportunity to try for a tying basket. Also in that game, Kings centers Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard fouled out, and Kings coach Rick Adelman was highly critical of the officiating afterward.

"My first thought [upon hearing Donaghy's allegation] was: I knew it," Pollard said Tuesday night. "I'm not going to say there was a conspiracy. I just think something wasn't right. It was unfair. We didn't have a chance to win that game."

In game 1, Boston Big 3 all played well, none of LA's Big 3 played well, Celtics win by 10.
In game 2, One of Boston Big 3 played well plus a bench player - Powe, only Kobe of LA's Big 3 played well, Celtics win by 6.
In game 3, One of Boston's Big 3 played well, only Kobe of LA's Big 3 played well plus Sasha off the bench and Lakers win by 6.

As much as I would like the Lakers to blow out the Celtics or win the series 4-1, 4-2, etc., what the first 3 games have shown is that we have two very closely matched teams this year. And conspiracy or not, the series is likely to go to 7 Games.

If someone is not a fan of either team, this would be a great Finals series. Two even teams fighting it out in close games every game, with the team who is tougher mentally and able to be more consistent over a long 7 game series winning the whole thing. Sure, it's been ugly basketball, but the NBA Finals has always been ugly basketball even during the showtime era. This is going to be a test of endurance, a marathon, since neither team has clearly a better set of players. Even Rivers has been holding his own vs. PJ, something I didn't expect.

At some point, Odom and Gasol are going to get it together. Obviously, neither is yet completely at home in the glare of the Finals spotlight. It may still happen this year but if not, wait until next year. Remember even Worthy and Magic had big turnovers and bad games in the 1984 Finals versus Boston yet Laker management didn't trade either one and the Lakers finally beat Boston in the 85 and 87 Finals. Odom and Gasol were instrumental in getting us the Western Conference crown and they're meeting the best team they've faced all year in Boston. We're not going to win the series unless Lamar and Pau get back their better games so we can only hope that they do. Despite their lack of point production yesterday, Odom had 9 rebounds and 4 asissts in only 28 minutes and Gasol had 12 rebounds, and both had a hand in taking Garnett and Pierce out of sync.

Lakers can put pressure on the Celtics by making a huge complaint about constant illegal screens set by Boston. It has always been a part of Finals tradition for a team to use the media to put pressure on the league office and the refs to make calls a certain way. Now, we can even use new media like Youtube to help put the pressure. Just the thought that the refs may become more strict on illegal screens will change Boston's rhythm enough to give Lakers an advantage in this very closely matched series. Also, a player like Allen relies a lot on screens so this would make him less of a factor.

I wonder why PJ has not even tried using Mihm yet. Is he in that bad a shape? Mihm was a former Celtic and probably feels comfortable playing in Boston plus he's got the experience. He might be useful against PJBrown who has been using his veteran savvy against the Lakers. I think a frontline of Mihm, Gasol and Odom might also be worth exploring and would match up well versus a frontline of Perkins/Brown, Garnett and Pierce. Also, PJ can try a tall backcourt of Kobe and Sasha which has been used before in other series.

I said this before the finals started but it bears repeating.

During the regular season, the Lakers lost twice to the Celtics
because they don't play them very often, so there's no time to
adjust. They roll into down hacking and slashing and the refs
let it go because of their reputation as a great defensive team,
and they roll out of town with a win.

In a 7 game series, it ain't like that. It gives Phil time to make
adjustements. Adjustments like these:

In most of the playoffs, Kobe has spent the first half passing
to his teammates more than shooting, and taking an occational
outside jumper. Boston's aggressive defense has flustered
most of the rest of the Lakers, so they ended up in a hole. In game 3, Kobe came out attacking. So while Lamar
Odom and Rad got in early foul trouble, so did Paul Pierce
and Ray Allen. That opened things up a bit. I'm sure you'll
see more of Kobe being aggressive at the start of games
for the rest of the series.

The first four times the Lakers played the Celtics this season,
Fisher guarded Rondo and Kobe guarded Ray Allen. But
Fish is about as good as Kobe at chasing guys around screens,
and Kobe is MUCH better at harassing a point guard. Kobe's
defense clearly gave Rondo trouble. And the Celts weren't
cross-guarding, so Kobe totally schooled Rondo at the offensive
end.

Playing Kobe on Paul Pierce in critical parts of the game
was also an important change. Rad didn't play very good
defense against him, but Walton and Ariza and Kobe gave
Pierce just enough trouble that he had a bad game (and he
usually plays very well in L.A.)

And one last thing - make Rondo a shooter. If the Lakers
double team Rondo and he dishes to Leon Powe for a
dunk, that's an almost guaranteed two. If they stay single
coverage on Rondo, then Powe (not to mention Garnett,
Allen, and Pierce) doesn't get as many easy touches. Sure,
Rondo shot 4 of 8 with Kobe backing off of him, but I'd take
that over the Celtics getting 6 dunks and two wide open
3-pointers by Ray Allen on those 8 possessions.

Lakers in 6

greenpaz

I liked what you said.

I've noticed PP is not elavating as well since that HORRORIFIC knee injury. His lateral D has weakened.

Perkins is not moving as well and his game is suffering since his ankle sprain. It shows on his D as well.

Kobe has a little more room to the basket and C's are not as quick on rotating out.

KG is not sustaining his high energy the entire game and it's showing on his continued poor shooting.

And now Rhondo man has a real sprain that may keep him out of the series or at least limit his driving to the hole and dish assists he usually gets.

C's are weakening, and the Lakers are starting to pound on them defensively.

The green wave is losing some of its power, and the Purple and Gold are starting to become a Tsunami driving them back to Boston.

 
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