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The second half

Pierce_blocks_kobe So much went wrong for the Lakers in the second half of Thursday's shocking loss, no surprise given the size of the lead L.A. squandered. One big topic of conversation when it was over centered on a Lakers offense that scored only 33 points in the second half, on 33% from the floor.  Obviously it was a terrible performance from the Lakers on that end of the floor.  But how bad, and what went wrong?  Some, like Roland Lazenby, suggest that the Lakers stuck with the triangle too long, abandoning the full floor game that served them so well in the first half. I don't agree, mostly because the combination of effective Celtics offense and terrible Lakers D basically quashed any chance the Lakers had to run (more on that below). But clearly plenty went wrong for the purple and gold.

What follows is a possession-by-possession rundown of the Lakers' second half, um, attack, with a running count of how many points they had during the quarter, and an approximate time of when each possession began.  It can be tough from the press box to see the whole floor on every possession, so I wanted to go back and see, with the benefit of the pause and rewind buttons, what happened. 

THIRD QUARTER:

1. (11:51) Fish takes the ball from the left side, back to the top of the arc. Hard bounce pass to Gasol in the lane, who feeds Odom on the left block. LO misses the layup (could have been some contact).

2. (11:10)  LO on right wing passes to Radmanovic at the top of the arc, hits Kobe on the wing.  One dribble right, then elevates over Pierce for the jumper. Good. (Kobe's first FG of the game.)  TWO POINTS IN THE QUARTER.

3. (10:40) LO on the wing drops the bounce pass to Kobe, playing with his back to Pierce outside the post. One dribble left, sees the double, and hits Pau with a bounce pass as Gasol flashes to the elbow.  Pau misses the open jumper. 

4. (9:50) Lakers work the ball effectively. Kobe on the left wing to LO at the top of the key.  Odom drives right, kicks to Fish behind the arc.  Back to Kobe at the top of the arc, who drives, dishes to Odom deep along the right baseline. Odom drives to the hoop and is fouled by Perkins, who hurts his shoulder on the play.
Odom makes one of two.  THREE POINTS. 

5. (9:19) Lakers run off Garnett miss underneath. Gasol outlets to Vlad, who hits Odom on the wing, back to Vlad cutting through the lane. Layup. FIVE POINTS.  (At this point, L.A. is still up by 16.)

6. (8:50) LO brings the ball up, at the top of the arc dishes to Vlad, who drops it off to Kobe on the wing.  He elevates against Pierce from just inside the arc and hits.  SEVEN POINTS.  (Garnett turns the ball over on the other end. Things look ducky -- Posey enters for PJ Brown).

7. (8:25) Kobe tries to set up against Pierce off the dribble on the right wing.  Nothing there, passes off to Odom, who throws a bad pass to the corner to Radmanovic for an L.A. turnover. 

8. (7:40) Kobe has the ball on the right wing, lobs to Gasol in the post, who kicks to Radmanovic in the right corner. Vlad nearly turns the ball over trying to get the ball back to Pau, who recovers and passes to Kobe. Bryant dribbles right, elevates over Pierce and the help defender for the long jumper, with about seven ticks left on the 24. Miss. 

LO with the offensive board.

9. (7:25) Fish deep behind the arc on the left side dishes to Kobe at the top of the key, who sets up the pick and roll up top with Gasol.  Kobe draws the double, finds Gasol on the roll, who kicks back to Fish behind the arc. One dribble on the ball fake, and Fish elevates for the jumper.  NINE POINTS.  Lakers up 20. 

10. (6:50) Kobe to Vlad, who gives it right back to Kobe. Bryant looks for space on Pierce, doesn't find it, dishes to LO in the high post. LO sees a double and backs it out.  Back to Kobe, who drives and pulls up on Allen. Jumper misses.  Under 10 on the clock.

11. (6:15) Gasol outlets Posey miss to Kobe, who dribbles up court, passes to Vlad on the left wing behind the arc, inside to Pau, who gives it right back as Radmanovic cuts to the basket on Posey.  Nice give and go.  Radmanovic fouled by Posey.  Vlad makes ONE, then TWO. ELEVEN POINTS (Lakers up 20.)

12. (5:45) Kobe brings the ball up the left side.  Swings to Fish, who swings to Rad in the right corner, who badly bricks a three.  (On the other end, House hits a three, and the Celts are on a 5-0 run ... it gets worse.)

13. (5:22) Kobe walks the ball up, flips to Rad on the left wing, and the ball comes back around to Odom.  Rad flashes to the high post, Odom hits him and Vlad immediately drops the ball off to Kobe. He tries to back Pierce down, then goes for the turnaround J.  Pierce blocks it. 

14. (4:50) The ball goes around the perimeter before Radmanovic gets it in the high post. He tries to dribble drive - never a good idea - and the Lakers nearly turn the ball over. Eventually, and luckily, the ball squirts out to Kobe, who finds Gasol underneath for an easy dunk. 13 POINTS.

15. (4:10) Kobe brings the ball up the right side, hits Odom in the high post, Posey pokes it out of bounds.  Posey pokes Radmanovic's inbound away. Take two. Ball to Fish, who dumps into Odom on Posey, who is called for the foul on the floor. Again, the Lakers have to reset, deep in the 24. Gasol feeds Odom in the post, who kicks to Fish, who has to take the long three from the right side. Miss.

16. (3:25) Radmanovic dumps into Gasol on the left block. Baby hook goes in and out. 

17. (3:22) Radmanovic again on the left side lobs into Gasol on the left block.  Same move, same in and out result. Radmanovic gets the rebound, kicks to Fish at the top of the arc.  Dribble penetration, then a tough pass to Odom on the right block results in a turnover. Allen comes back in transition for an easy layup (in part because Radmanovic made absolutely no attempt to defend the play).  Celtics down by 11, PJ calls time out.

18. (2:55) Ariza, Farmar in off the TO.  Farmar brings up left side, and the ball ends up in Kobe's hands at the top of the arc. He drives right on Pierce and misses a tough runner along the right baseline.

19. (2:29) Kobe on the left wing lobs to Gasol on the left block. Pau makes his move into the lane and is fouled by Posey, who rotated over on the double.  Gasol to the line. MAKE, MISS.  14  POINTS. (Lakers up by 12.  On the other end, Pierce beats Ariza off the dribble, Gasol gets the foul helping, for the one and one ...)

20. (2:00) Farmar to Sasha near halfcourt.  He passes left wing to Ariza, who nearly turns it over.  Kobe ends up with the ball in the left corner, draws the double and makes a great pass to Gasol in the lane, who misses the dunk.  Ouch. 

House hits a three in the left corner, as Farmar has to come off House momentarily to try and guard Garnett, who swings it back to the shooter, who sticks the triple.  Penetration and ball movement hurts L.A. there, but JF needs to realize they're better off letting KG take the long jumper than leaving House open: 17-3 Boston run.

21. (1:20) Kobe moves on Pierce at the top of the arc, steps in, misses jumper. 

22. (:41.2) Farmar brings it up, passes to Pau in the post, who feeds Kobe on the left wing. Dribbles out, comes off the screen and feeds Sasha in the right corner.  Vujacic passes out to Farmar at the top of the arc.  He has to heave an awkward three to beat the shot clock. 

On the other end, Pierce makes a great pass out of the double team to a shockingly open PJ Brown underneath.  Easy dunk.  21-3 run ends the quarter.  Boston down two.

SUMMARY: In scoring a grand total of three points in the final six minutes or so, the Lakers certainly went cold offensively and made a lot of bad decisions with the ball that forced them into too many long jumpers or shots deep in the clock, or simply robbed them of shots because of turnovers.  Very little high screen action, something that has worked through the series.  That said, the Lakers also had some good looks. The two shots from Gasol on the low block were excellent looks, and that missed dunk was a killer. Kobe seemed uncomfortable against an aggressive Pierce and was limited to very tough looks, and Boston did a nice job as well at keeping the ball out of his hands. 

They needed other guys to make some buckets to loosen the Celtics up. 

But where the real collapse came was on the other end. Trip after trip, Boston had a seemingly endless series of clean looks, most of which they converted.  L.A. was flat-out awful on that end, which made it tough for the Lakers to run.  When Boston can take shots in rhythm, a) they'll often go in, and b) even if they don't, the defense can set against transition. 

FOURTH QUARTER:

Sasha, Kobe, LO, Farmar, Turiaf on the floor.  Kobe back on Pierce.

1. (12:00) Odom at the top of the arc feeds to Kobe on the wing, as he was pushed out of the post by Pierce. Kobe dribbles, trying to find some space, passes a screen from Odom, and as the defense comes to him, late in the clock he passes from the top of the arc to Ronny underneath, who is fouled by Garnett.  Miss, miss.  ouch. 

2. (11:15) LO dribbles right at the top of the arc and hands to Kobe coming the other way.  Long two, off the mark, fading away from Pierce defending.  Sasha gets the rebound in the corner, feeds back to JF, who gives to Odom at the top of the arc.  LO back to the left wing for Sasha, who misses a three.

Powe, on the second-chance opportunity, hits over Odom in the lane and the game is tied at 73. 

3. (10:10)  LO on the right wing lobs to Kobe on the block, who posts agaisnt Pierce.  He makes his move into the lane, takes a tough runner fading away.  Miss. 

4. (9:40)  Off a Powe miss, Kobe takes the ball up the floor, and from the left wing uses a quick screen from Turiaf to drive right, through the lane, layup.  TWO POINTS. 

Lakers up by two, then Pierce hits a tough jumper over Kobe, game tied again at 75. 

5. (8:53) JF walks the ball up the right side, feeds Turiaf, who gives to Kobe on the right wing.  He makes a move on Pierce, who is called for a block.  On the floor.  Lakers reset.  LO to JF at the top of the arc.  Farmar penetrates, has to kick back to Odom at the top of the arc.  LO looks for Kobe, who is denied by Pierce. Odom is forced to take a three late in the clock.  Miss.

6. (8:13) Odom on the right wing feeds Sasha in the post, who dumps it to a cutting Kobe on the left  wing.  Kobe isos on Pierce, elevates, and hits a jumper over him.  FOUR POINTS. 

7. (7:40) Farmar outlets a House miss to Kobe, who sets up on the right wing, drives left into the lane on Pierce, then misses the up and under. 

Garnett hits a very tough shot over Ronny, coming left and shooting with his right hand, moving away from the basket.  Well defended, but a better shot. Game tied at 77. 

8. (7:10) Kobe has the ball on the right wing against Pierce. Turiaf sets the screen, Kobe hits him rolling to the bucket.  KG cuts him off.  Ronny kicks back to the top of the arc to Sasha, who drives, then kicks to Ronny on the right baseline for the wide open jumper. Miss.

9. (6:33) Turiaf denies Brown, Sahsa rebounds, Lakers run.  Kobe fades to the left wing and hits Odom in the lane.  Kobe hits him, LO finishes.  79-77 LAL.  SIX POINTS.

Gasol in for Turiaf.

10. (5:51) Pierce misses long jumper, JF rebounds, pushes upcourt to Kobe, who breaks down Kobe attacking the rim for an easy jam.  EIGHT POINTS.  LA up by four.

Until Posey hits a three in the left corner, as LO helps on Allen's penetration, and can't recover in time. 

11. (5:18) Farmar at the top of the key feeds Gasol at the top of the circle, who hands the ball to Kobe coming around the screen.  Kobe misses the runner going left, but the Lakers get the ball back as the ball goes off Boston out of bounds.  Six on the clock.  Kobe inbounds to Gasol, who drives right and makes a very tough shot on Garnett.  10 POINTS.  Lakers by three.

KG drives on Gasol, draws a foul on the other end.  Makes both, Lakers up by one.

12. (4:42) Kobe at the top of the key can't use a Gasol screen.  He swings to Sasha on the right wing, who bounces the ball into Odom on the right block. Nice move to his right hand,  but he misses the layup over Posey, who pulls the chair out. That needs to go down. 

The Celtics respond with a House jumper, and the Celtics have the lead.

13. (4:00) Kobe up the left wing, draws the double, feeds Gasol behind him on the left elbow.  Gasol tries to force a pass to Odom on the right block, but it results in a turnover.  The Celtics aren't letting the Lakers set the sorts of screens that will free Kobe. They're laying off the play entirely. 

Lakers force a miss from Pierce from downtown, then give up a horrible rebound to Allen.  With the second chance, Boston gets the ball to Allen in the left corner, who drives past Kobe and makes a tough reverse. 

14. (3:08) Kobe on the left win swings right to Farmar, who goes to Sasha in the right corner.  The ball is knocked away from Sasha, who recovers, but has to take a quick shot at the end of the clock.  Miss, but LO gets the offensive board.  LO kicks back to Sasha, who gives to Kobe at the top of the arc.  Kobe drives, draws a crowd and kicks to Farmar for three on the left wing.  Miss. 

KG hits over Gasol, and the Boston lead is five.  Timeout on the floor.

Vlad in for LO, Fish for Farmar.

15. Coming out of the TO, Kobe drives right through the lane and draws the foul.  Makes the first, makes the second. 12 POINTS.

Great patience on the other end from Pierce, who eventually drives around Gasol for a foul. PP makes one of two, Boston by four. 

16. (1:40) Kobe brings the ball up, Pierce fouled by Pierce on the floor, as the Celts had a foul to give.  Kobe gets the ball at the top of the key off the inbound, the Lakers spread the floor.  Kobe drives on Pierce, makes a very tough layup in traffic.  14 POINTS, Lakers down by 2. 

Posey hits another three in the right corner, Lakers down by five.

17. (1:13) Kobe comes up the middle of the floor, and again the Lakers spread the floor.  Kobe drives, meets resistence, and kicks to Fish, who hits a long two.  Foot on the line- gotta make that a three! Lakers down three.

Pierce draws a block on Kobe away from the basket, goes to the line, and makes both.  Celtics by five.

18. (:47) Kobe up the floor, drives quickly down the left side of the lane, dishes to Gasol, who dunks it home.

I think you know what hapens here. Allen isolates Sasha, drives by him as if he's standing still, Pau is late in helping, and that's the dagger. With PJ on the sidelines calling for the TO, Pau inbounds the ball, and the Lakers will end up having to burn another TO to advance the ball.  Didn't turn out to matter, but it was indicative of the way things were going. 

19. (:15.7) Vlad inbounds to Sasha, who takes, and misses, a long two.  Offensive board to Pau, who kicks to Sasha.  He swings to Kobe, who misses a long two.  Scramble underneath, and the Celtics end up with the ball with three ticks to go.  Fans head to the exits. 

House to the line, makes one, and Boston celebrates.  Sasha misses one more heave on the other end, just for good measure.

OBSERVATIONS:

  • First, on Kobe.  The Celtics deserve a lot of credit for how they defended him in the second half.  The move to Pierce made it much tougher for Kobe to post up, and while he didn't hurt Boston shooting from the post early, he distributed the ball well, and created space for other Lakers to thrive. Kobe, for his part, struggled to find good looks, but was also reasonably patient, given the situation. Many of his shots, particularly a group early in the third, came late in the clock, making it tough to create. When he did try to find space on the dribble, there wasn't much. That led to tough runners and jumpers over an aggressive Pierce. It was not a great night for Kobe, but he also didn't get the help he needed in the second half.  Too many times he set up a teammate and the Lakers got nothing out of it.  Yes, he forced a few shots, but it was hardly a game where you can say Kobe "shot them out of it."
  • In the end, while it was impressive to see the Lakers up 18 at halftime while Kobe didn't have an FG, it likely worked against them in the third.  Between his teammates trying to get him the ball and Kobe looking to find opportunities, the Lakers offense, which had been crisp and aggressive early, became slow and tentative late.  They lost seconds either looking for Kobe, or when Bryant would try to feel out the defense, looking for a hole.  Nobody stepped up and forced the Celtics to play 24 more honestly.  As the second half went on, the confidence seemed to drain from L.A.'s attack.
  • Credit Pierce with some good work on Bryant.
  • The Lakers didn't get to the rim enough, and when they did, too often they failed to finish.
  • Those responsible for stretching Boston's defense, particularly Farmar and Sasha, weren't able to do it. An 0-8 from downtown over the final 24.  There wasn't much incentive for the Celtics to stop packing the paint.
  • The Celtics did a nice job playing off the Lakers screen and rolls, staying off the screener and basically flowing around the play. That seemed to throw off the Lakers since there was often no clear decision as to where to go with the ball after the pick was set.
     
  • The Lakers had some good looks near the hoop and made too few, but generally speaking the percentage of good possessions to bad ones was far too lopsided in the wrong direction. It's not that every trip ended in a bad shot, but too many did.  Often the Lakers were forced to launch from outside, and generally speaking, nothing came easy.  At no point in the second half, did the Lakers dictate the pace of play for any sustained stretch, and at the end of the third, they were totally discombobulated. 
  • I still don't get why D-Fish wasn't on the floor for more of the fourth quarter.  PJ said later that he thought Farmar would be better suited to match up with the quickness of House and provide more ball pressure, but a) Fish could have kept up with House, and b) the Celtics limited the amount of trips he brought the floor up, anyway. It's not like the Lakers were getting all sorts of turnover opportunities because of Farmar's defensive work. Meanwhile, the offense was struggling, and if you're looking for someone to help restore some order and structure, Fisher is a better option than Farmar. Bad move. 
  • Radmanovic might have helped spread the floor at the end, but he also was a total liability defensively. When the Celtics went small at the end, it seemed like the Lakers could have attacked the post more with Odom and Gasol. The flip side is that putting Vlad on the floor opened things up for Kobe, but I didn't like it at the sacrifice of a better defender, someone who could go inside, dribble and move the ball.
  • That said, I don't know if there was a combination that could have saved L.A. at that point. Boston had taken over.
  • As effective as Ariza was in the first half, he was that bad in the second, struggling on both ends at the end of the third quarter.
  • The Lakers were bad offensively in the second half in part because they were unable to generate any easy points.  Not much available in transition - it's hard to run when you're constantly pulling the ball out from the basket - and no ball pressure to force turnovers.  In the rare opportunities the Lakers did have to get into the open court, they were generally successful.  Throughout the year, the Lakers were generally able find moments where they could supplement the halfcourt sets with chances created by solid defense.  Thursday, in the second half, they couldn't.
  • The defense was absolutely atrocious.

BK

 

 
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From the previous thread:

Here's an odd question?

If the Boston Celtics win the 2008 NBA Championship, doesn't that make it a Lifetime Achievement award for Garnett, Allen and Pierce? Please, that'll be the biggest joke of this season.

If the NBA want to revive a rivalry that has been NON-EXISTENT for 20 YEARS! So be it. I say give it to them now, 'coz they'll never have that chance again!

And for all Laker fans...

Stop the trade talk! This season IS NOT over yet!

We root for the Lakers ('til the end)! WIN or LOSE!

GO LAKERS!!!

3rd Qrtr, 5:45 and on is when the real trouble starts. From then on the Celtics seem to do a ton of poking at the ball, and looked like they could steal it away at every possession. Would more passes and less dribbling solve this? 6 or 8 points could have been scored for the Lakers in the second part of the 3rd.
Too many late rotations on defense led to big baskets for the Celtics.Farmer was in too long. Too many missed free throws.
Now I read that PJ has his team look at the first half footage, but not the second half. I think its important they do, recognize the mistakes, so they don't repeat them.

Tim-4-Show is now a 100% believer in these Lakers.

People who start pointing to Kobe not being great because he "allowed" the collapse forget how many times Magic Johnson got beat up by the Celtics.

Not that we don't need more consistent play from Sasha and Jordan, but this narration of the Zapruder film from Game 4 puts this disaster squarely on the shoulders of Lamar, Pau, Vlad, and the coaching staff. They're supposed to be "money" and they weren't.

Neither Lamar nor Pau were mentally in the game. Clearly, Lamar had opportunities to be aggressive and wasn't. Pau is too dependent on that soft baby hook, when he should be finishing strong.

Too many attempts forced late in the shot clock, time and time again.

Too many comments on this blog about Pau playing center when he is really a forward. He is soft mentally and has trouble staying alert.

Jordan got burned too many times roaming off House. Either Kobe or the coaching staff should have given him instructions the first time. Van Gundy noted that on the first one, so the Laker coaches could have, too. I watched and they didn't.

Absolute agreement that Fish should have been brought back sooner. Ray Allen played all 48 minutes. The Laker starters' rest periods were way too long throughout the game, considering that there were two full days off scheduled after Game 4.

But Sunday is a new day and Game 5 can be the start of the Lakers' redemption. As I said in the previous thread, the Lakers we've watched all year have yet to show up for this series. Games 5, 6, 7 and the trophy can still belong to Los Angeles when all is said and done.

BK,

Why repeat all this stuff? Do you want to torture us. I want to forget that second half, not relive it. That said, I predict the Lakers will win three straight. Let's go on Sunday!!!

Rick,

If the Lakers lacked focus and intensity before, I think you'll see it emerge.

It's sort of like the time when the Lakers went on that long road trip. They knew there was little margin for error.

Or how about the time (as Kobe referenced today) when the Lakers were trying to secure the top seed. They had to win 3 straight, two against New Orleans & San Antonio to get it.... and they did.

Ak or BK,

any chance Bynum could suit up ? you think he could be effective if healthy?

LAKERS COMPLETE GREATEST COMEBACK IN NBA HISTORY…

That’s what the sports headlines will say next Friday if the Lakers win the next 3 games. History clearly says that these Finals are over. No team has ever comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals and Boston has never lost a Finals where they had a 2-0 lead. Not to mention that the Lakers just laid the biggest egg in Finals history by blowing a 24-point lead and probably any realistic hope that they could win a championship this year.

But who’s to say that the Lakers can’t win the next 3 games? Momentum is no team’s bitch and can heartlessly and suddenly shift sides, as it did last night when the Lakers built the largest 1st quarter league in Finals history before ultimately losing the game by blowing the largest lead in Finals history. This was just in one game so who’s to say that mighty mo might once again reverse direction and suddenly favor the Lakers? Maybe that’s what will be the ultimate crowning achievement of this storybook season.

While the Celtics have definitely played better than the Lakers without Andrew Bynum, a few different bounces and the Lakers could be the team up 3-1 in the series, preparing to oust Boston and seize the championship. I know Phil, Kobe, and all of the Lakers still believe they’re the better team. Resiliency and mental toughness have been hallmarks of this team all season: improving each game, adjusting and learning how to win on the fly.
Those of us who have watched this team grow all year know and understand that.

The Celtics health has also become an issue as Perkins and Rondo couldn’t finish Game 4 and Pierce “claims” to still have a gimpy knee. These injuries could really start to hurt Boston if the Lakers are able to extend the series, although I am constantly pissed by the national sports media who refuse to recognize that the Celtics are only in position to close out the Lakers in this series because Andrew Bynum is not available. By this time next year, the Lakers will have proved that by winning the 2009 NBA Championship

When we think back to the perfect storm of good fortune that launched the Lakers riveting and rocketing return to the pinnacle of the NBA, what would make this season even more fulfilling and rewarding than to cap off the season by making the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history. And whom better to accomplish this feat against than the Boston Celtics, who would go from the team who made the greatest comeback in a game in Finals history to the only team that lost a 3-1 lead in Finals history.

Other than the first half of Thursday night’s game, the Lakers have not played Lakers basketball in this series, primarily due to the outstanding defense of the Celtics. I have a hunch that the way we lost Game 4 may be the shock that finally wakes the Lakers up and clears away the cobwebs that muddled their minds and game all series long. Don’t underestimate Kobe Bryant’s will to win and the heart of this Lakers team.

Just win 3 games. Starting Sunday night. The Lakers can do this. Yes, we can!

Tom

Laker Hopeful

You're right. Why torture us AK/BK. Please keep this stuff out. Yesterday was a very gloomy day. But today, for some reason I feel hopeful as well. It seems the sun has started to shine through those clouds and I truly believe we can win 3 in a row. But we just have to take one game at a time. Why can't we make history? We're not some mediocre franchise to win when we're expected to win and lose when we're expected to lose. That's why we're the Lakers. If any team, it should be the Lakers to be the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win it all. That's why the Lakers are the only team known worldwide and loved worldwide. You can't say the same for any other team.

For all my beloved Lakers Blog family. Just think of "The Secrete". Think positive and send out positive energy. Envision The Lakers holding the LOB trophy in Beantown over and over in your mind with your eyes closed and we can do this. Envision that cursed whatever garden it is, pin drop silent in game 7 while we celebrate on their homecourt. It's not impossible. Because we're the Los Angeles Lakers and anything's possible with this team.

Please put me on all those bandwagons that says we can do it.

Let's go Lakers.
3 to the finish line.

Kobe was wrong!

Kobe said that last Thursday’s game was a big bedwetting. Kobe was wrong. I rummaged thru all the medical journals and I found the exact ailment that the Lakers had. It is PE, better known as Premature Ejaculation. It is actually quite common among the young, inexperienced players, particularly when they encountered easy scoring in the earlier part of the game. They got so excited that they ejaculated prematurely. So, in the latter part of the game, they found themselves unable to resume their offense. They would try and increasingly desperately try but the momentum was gone and all was left was their embarrassing softness.

The cure of this ailment is very simple. The Lakers were taught with the wrong kind of Buddhism. It is not Zen but another branch of Buddhism called Tantra. Tantric masters can withhold their desire for a long time. They can execute the exact and proper motion over and over and consistently during the course of the game and when the moment arrives, they unload their joy in a big finish.

Let me reiterate! Phil Jackson, as it turns out, is wrong for the Lakers. If it is too late to find a Tantric master to coach the Lakers, may I suggest to trade Phil Jackon for a bottle of MaxiDerm.

Edwin,

I am sick of Lakers fans who want to trade anybody on this team but since it is you who is asking, I will gladly answer your questions best as I can.

When determining whether a trade meets CBA requirements for a team that is over the salary cap, draft picks count as zero until they sign a contract.

As for getting back under the salary cap, there are only two ways to reduce your payroll:

(1) Allow contracts to expire. This is what most teams do, like Memphis. They get a player like Kwame in the last year of their contract and then let them become free agents.

(2) Make a trade where you get back less salaries than you send. Problem here is that you have to take back at least 75% + $100K of the salaries you send if you are over the cap like the Lakers. But you could trade away $5M in salaries in return for players who only make $4M per year.

You have to remember that the Lakers team at that time didn’t have any superstars eating up the salary cap. The Lakers were under the cap. That’s why they could sign Shaq as a free agent and trade a veteran like Vlade for a draft pick. Today, they could not make either move, which really says a lot for what Mitch managed to do trading this year.

The other big change from West’s time is that teams can now pay their own players more money for more years than other teams, which is why most top level free agents have ended up re-signing with the original teams, ala Wade, Bosch, and LeBron. However, each of these guys signed deals that enable them to opt out after 3 of 4 years.

The Knicks plan is to allow contracts like Marberry’s expire to enable the Knicks, who are stratospherically over the salary cap to actually get under the cap to be able to sign LeBron James to a max contract. That is one key reason that Dantoni took the Knicks job in my opinion. Not only is it a chance to be in the biggest pond but also a very likely place for LeBron James to play for the rest of his career.

The current Lakers team is not going to be dismantled or even have any of the core top 10 players traded. All this team needs to be the dominant team in the NBA for the next 10 years is Andrew Bynum and the domino effect he will have on every other player on the team. The Lakers fans that are suddenly or still calling to trade Lamar or Pau or cut Luke or Sasha or fire Phil must be on crack. IF, and that’s still a big IF, we lose, then it only delays the launching of our dynasty until next year when Andrew will be back.

Tom

Win or lose, I still love my Lakers. I'll cheer them til the end. I'm also a little giddy, we went all the way to the finals without Andrew Bynum and our team only played about 30 games together. The NBA could be ours for the next five years (barring any injuries). Don't let the "experts" make you feel down. We have a brighter future than the Celtics.

BK

Excellent Post and link by Roland Lazenby and Tex Winter who obviously read an earlier post that I wrote to your hapless brother AK. Their logic and reasoning mirrors my sentiments exactly. PHIL JACKSON WAS SIMPLY OUTCOACHED!!

THis is not surprising to me however because as you well know I am an active critic of Phil Jackson. Phil's greatest nemisis (as well as yours) is his huge ego and inability to adapt and change given the circumstances.

Your initial analysis in an earler thread talked about a lack of ball movement and Kobe looking to go more one-on-one in the second half as a reason the offense fell apart in the second half. However, the possession by possession break down of the third quarter tells a story that is diametrically opposed to your initial explanation.

In other words when the FACTS are considered your analysis is similar to.......Phil Jackson's........absolutely baseless and submerged in emotion.

Roland Lazenby and Tex Winter himself can't deter you from your mindless fixation on Kobe Bryant as the ready culprit. I understand your disposition however, because your mind has been like potters' clay in the hands of a very manipulative Phil Jackson. Your explanations are even beginning to sound like Phil Jackson.

In response to the beautifully written and logical explanation of Roland and Tex about the abandoning of that damn triangle offense. What was your response?

" I don't agree, mostly because the combination of effective Celtics offense and terrible Lakers D basically quashed any chance the Lakers had to run"

HUH??

BK, A spread offense as they both suggested has very little to do with "running" the basketball up the floor. It simply places Kobe in the middle of the floor (the best position because he can see double teams coming) and surrounds him with THREATS (people you have to respect). Radman from three is a THREAT and he can spread the floor for Kobe, so can Sasha, and sometimes Fish if he's hitting his shots.

This is the adjustment Phil should have made immediately but the guy doesn't think fast enough and very rarely makes in-game adjustments. The sad part is this is not an anomaly for Phil........he has a track record for this kind of behaviour....(note 2004 Finals and 2006 playoffs against Phoenix)

The only thing that has been more interesting to me than Phil's coaching mishaps is the Aftermath.

After listening to Phil in yesterdays press conference unwilling to except ANY RESPONSIBILITY for his coaching decisions it brought to mind June Jackson's quote of her former husband

"My answer to why he's so frequently misunderstood is that he's unclear … it's even unclear to him," she said. "He learned early on to dodge, because people don't want to be pinned down publicly in their statements. So you just become kind of a master of obscurity, which people misinterpret as aloofness. What appears to be his standoffishness is just obscurity and opaqueness. And then people say, 'Oh my God, it's brilliance.' "

Thank God for the National media being in town because unlike this local media they asked Phil very pointed questions and required explanations.

When Phil was asked the direct question of "If he would have done anything differently"? What did Phil do? He placed on the team manager and too much tide when he should of just "Manned Up" and admitted that he is very confused and is looking for a scape goat as all cowards do.

True to form being the "Master of obscurity" he subtly tried to lay the blame at Kobe's feet by saying that somehow they got away from what they did in the first half when they led by 18 and Kobe had no field Goals.

Suggesting that this team with increased pressure in the second half wouldn't need Kobe to score if they would have stuck to his plan. This guy even went further and suggested the audience look to a quote from KG about Kobe.

This is Phil's modus operandi and this dichotomy was used today on ESPN in a split screen. First showing Phil trying to blame Kobe and then Doc Rivers saying how he couldn't understand how the greatest basketball player in the game is criticized so much by the media.

Hey Doc.....Welcome to L.A. where at the base of every Kobe criticism........you will find a quote from Phil Jackson

The Lakers still have a slight chance in this series............but I'm afraid a lot of that chance depends on the coaching of Phil Jackson

........and that's something to watch very carefully


Win or lose, I still love my Lakers. I'll cheer them til the end. I'm also a little giddy, we went all the way to the finals without Andrew Bynum and our team only played about 30 games together. The NBA could be ours for the next five years (barring any injuries). Don't let the "experts" make you feel down. We have a brighter future than the Celtics.

I am thrilled with all the positivity on this blog today. Tim-4-Show, Laker Tom, Jon K, Faith, Charles, and every body else is representing strong.

Think about it. We're just fans, and we're filled with pride. With very few lapses, the team has displayed its pride throughout this season and post-season of unanticipated excellence.

If this team that was in such disarray in September can still be playing in June, the possibilities far outweigh the probabilities. Onto Game 5. The Celtics should be very, very afraid.

pfunk-

While I certainly appreciate the irony of you saying anyone's ego would obstruct his ability to give a reasoned response- there's a pot/kettle issue here- in this case I will absolutely grant that I didn't do a very good job explaining myself in regards to the Roland article, focusing on the issues of pace mentioned by Roland and not where he discusses spreading the floor (the plan was to touch on it there and later, and I didn't). So fair point there. Inelegant work on my part.

As to your other, it was precisely to get a better idea of what went wrong that I went back and broke it down possession by possession. During the game, it's hard to do. If I was absolutely convinced everything I said was 100% spot on and perfect, I wouldn't bother.

Again, though, you refuse to actually acknowledge what anyone actually writes. Do I think Kobe played a great game? No, I don't, but if you give an even moderately honest reading to either the postgame or this breakdown, in neither one do I "blame" Kobe for the loss. Not that I'd expect you to do that, or step away from your myopic view of everything 24 does or doesn't do. I specifically point out here that some of the shots he took were taken late in the clock, which obviously puts pressure on the shot. I note that he didn't get help from his teammates, when Kobe set them up for good looks. I've pointed out through the series that the Lakers haven't done well in finding options for Kobe so he can catch the ball in motion and in position to attack, as he did in Game 3, without the defense being able to set behind him. But again, this would require you to read and not see anything that doesn't praise Kobe to the heavens as some sort of insult against him.

I do think, having watched it again, that the ball movement wasn't nearly as good as it was in the first half because the offense, both with Kobe and his teammates, was focused too much around getting him the ball to get him going, so to speak. They lost time in the clock both with players looking for him, and with Kobe dribbling to try and find space that wasn't there. Plus, Boston cranked things up defensively.

I hardly call that blaming Kobe for anything.

As for the spread offense, I don't think it would have hurt, but there are drawbacks to that, too. First of all, nobody was hitting shots from outside, so the threats weren't necessarily there. Beyond that, I'm never a big fan of having Vlad on the floor late, because he is such a liability defensively and makes very goofy decisions with the ball. Plus, it has a very negative impact on the team's ability to rebound. And a quarter's worth of possessions in which Kobe starts the ball at the top of the key and tries to create an opportunity against a team like Boston is a strategy with some pitfalls as well.

Had they gone to the smaller lineup, pulling LO faster and surrounding Kobe with Sasha, Farmar and Vlad Rad, could things have turned out differently, but they also could have been worse. I think some of the success, both in the fourth quarter of Game 2 and in Game 4, that the smaller lineup had is due to Boston being very careful not to foul anyone (and in Game 2, of course, because everyone was hitting threes), including Kobe coming into the lane because they had control and didn't want to give up free points. The Lakers had a chance to exploit a small Boston team with LO, Pau, and Kobe moving the ball effectively, as they did early.

As to your larger point about Phil, no question he's got a big ego, and often avoids responsibility publicly. But it's not like I've been using this space to praise his work in this series to the high heavens. I think the fundamental problem for LA is that Boston is better. They match up better, they have more depth. A coach, I don't believe, can overcome what is a fundamental disparity. That said, I don't think we've seen much genius in PJ's coaching, whereas Doc seems to have touched all the right buttons at the right times.

Even taking into account that, as Bill Simmons put it, Doc has more toys at his disposal, I think he's used them better than PJ.

So again, I got a giggle at your little swipe about my ego, considering the source, but you're right, I left out an important part of the commentary, and the question of whether or not Phil should have changed lineups earlier is one worth debating. As are other lineup questions, for that matter. No argument there.

BK

I think it comes down to the MVP has got to step up and be a more consistent dominant player. Kobe's teammatates have played well enough to get 3 games in this series. Game 1, 3 and 4. The problem with Game 1 and 4 is Kobe didn't play well offensively. He has got to shoot better then that. I think the Lakers can still win this series. I saw some things in that 1st half they can have success with throught the remainder of this series.

Just take it one game at a time.

I see no reason why 3 in a row can't happen. you can point to many reasons why its unlikely but absolutely zero reasons that say its impossible and i dont plan on giving up yet. lakers win in game 7.

Isn't in interesting that most in the media, fans on radio talk shows, and Phil Jackson himself, can see the flaws in Pau Gasol's game, and understand how he is costing us the finals, but certain bloggers here can't understand this.

Pau is gone this summer. He'll be traded for G. Arenas or R. Artest.

"LO misses the layup ... Pau misses the open jumper ... Sasha, who misses a three"

Dang it, BK, there you go blaming Kobe for everything again!

pfunk,
Hey, someone using your name the other day referenced a ridiculous comment by Bill Walton about it being a mistake putting Lamar on Perkins, when in fact, that matchup worked extremely well in favor of the Lakers!!

LakerTom,
If they can win the next game, then game 6 becomes a "must win" for Boston, as well, because they don't want to chance a game 7 with Kobe.

And Boston has shown an ability to get very cold at times, and very tense, so if the Lakers can win game 5 ...

Rick,

"...the possibilities far outweigh the probabilities."

Don't the possibilities always outweigh the probabilities? Unless you factor in the impossibilities. LOL

As Hillary finally conceded: Yes, we can!

Tom

I think I prefer to be Phoebe without the Old Yeller, and It's a Wonderful Life endings...

Go Lakers!

ex,

I am actually surprised that Hollinger or one of his ilk has not compiled a statistic called "assist opportunities."

Then you could measure a player's playmaking percentage or how many potential assists his teammates convert to actual assist by making the basket.

Another factor is assist oppotunities that turn into foul shots. It would be very interesting to track the assist opportunities a team creates from game to game and on average and include foul shots to calculate resulting points as well as what percentage they convert.

It would also be very interesting to see who are the best teammates to whom to feed the ball. Might have some surprising results. Like: Don't pass the ball to Luke.

Tom

Bloggers, get ready for rampant trade talk this summer. Remember, Kobe is still in control of this situation. He won't like getting showed up on a national stage by losing to the Celts.

Like it or not, get ready for the trade talks to begin in a few weeks. I'll be contributing my analysis on who besides Pau Gasol needs to go.

Lakers have alot match problems with Celtics. 1)Kobe is not fast enough to chase Allen. 2)Pierce is so good both on both offense and defense that he cancels Kobe's impact. 3)LO has neither mid-range nor power game to punish Celtics defense. 4)Pau does not have power game which a center must have in playoffs. Next year, when Bynum is back, I think that it would be nice if Lakers can trade LO and get someone like Ron Artest or Shawn Marion at small forward. That would make a a more solid team.

Guys what is this trade talk anyways. We loose in the finals without bynum and everyone is talking trades. I saw on ESPN that Arenas to LA rumers. What LA team are they talking about? Lets get Bynum back and see how we do. No way would I trade Gasol. He is way to good for the Lakers and the Community.

CrzyFan

IF ANY TEAM IS GOING TO COME BACK FROM DOWN 3-1, IT'S THE LAKERS, BECAUSE:

1) The Lakers were favored to win the series at the outset.
2) Rondo and Perkins are not at full strength.
3) I believe that the Lakers can duplicate their earlier successes. They are quick learners.
4) Championships are for closers only.
5) Kobe Bean Bryant.
6) Phil Jackson.
7) This team is resilient. I am confident that they will not give up, and they will not lay down. Obviously, this doesn't mean they will win, but at the least I expect they will give maximum effort in their attempt.

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

oh boy people who want to start making trades are out of their minds. The Lakers are about 5 minutes of good play from being ahead 3-1. That is no reason to demolish the team...And this series isn't over. Every minute that the Lakers stay in it will put pressure on the Celtics. The Celtics made the comeback last game only because there was no pressure. They dont like pressure and no pressure is greater than slowly watching a 3-1 lead slip away. So a little early success, and some luck, and this thing is a toss-up.

I walked on at a local golf course this morning and got paired up with another Laker fan who noticed my yellow club, bag and Lakers headcover and towel so we started talking about the team. He's had Dodger tix for 26 yrs and used to have Lakers season tix back during Showtime.

One thing we discussed was how, coming into the post-season, I expected the team to gain some valuable post-season experience but didn't think they'd have enough to win it all (primarily b/c of the loss of Bynum) and how, now that the team is in the Finals, I want to be wrong. The team has a choice. They can either play 3 games of their lives or roll over and play 100 or so more next season for the opportunity to win it next year. I think the latter is going to happen anyway but I'd love for this team to show the mental toughness and desire to do the former. If PHX can do it against the Lakers in 06 (albeit with two games at home) then it's certainly possible.

Whichever Laker team shows up tomorrow, I'll be in the house screaming my head off in support.

Hey Lakernation,

I just watched Game 4 on ESPN Classic.

Aren't you all embarassed to call Kobeef Jelly Belly Bryant Jordan?

Pathetic.

Your wannabee Jordan is trying way too hard to be the "best ever".

Too bad, so sad. Your Lakers will lose another Final because Ko-crybaby is trying to be Jordan.

Remember the 2004 Finals? 2008 is even better.

I wonder if Kobeer changed his number from 8 to 24, because 24 is 23+1...hum, "next Jordan"?

I DON'T THINK SO!!!!

Happy "Who's your Daddy?" Day to Laker Nation.

Celtics Win! Paul Pierce named Finals MVP!

Celtics Win! Paul Pierce named Finals MVP!

Celtics Win! Paul Pierce named Finals MVP!

See you girls later.

PS, what's up with Sasha Vu-ya-chick and her girly bandana? Take that thing off, it's embarassing.

LakerTom,
Vujacic and Farmar are in that same group in game 5.

The current Lakers team is not going to be dismantled or even have any of the core top 10 players traded. All this team needs to be the dominant team in the NBA for the next 10 years is Andrew Bynum and the domino effect he will have on every other player on the team. The Lakers fans that are suddenly or still calling to trade Lamar or Pau or cut Luke or Sasha or fire Phil must be on crack. IF, and that’s still a big IF, we lose, then it only delays the launching of our dynasty until next year when Andrew will be back.

Tom


Posted by: LakerTom | June 14, 2008 at 04:59 PM

The fact that you defend Lamar and Luke makes you look like a fool.
The Lakers need a small forward that can shoot the ball and go to the hole with no fear (Caron Butler anyone?).
The Lakers need a power forward that will bang bodies and consistently hit a mid-range jump shot (Elton Brand anyone).
If the Lakers had the 2 above mentioned players, the Lakers could still win if Drew went down with another injury.
We need a true small forward (and Lamar aint it).
We need a true power forward (and Pau aint it).
Lamar is an over-sized point guard.
Pau is an over-sized small forward.
And don't get me started on Luke (and the aforementioned player is were you lose all credibility on this blog; anyone who defends Luke is on mushrooms).
If the Lakers lose this series, the following players will be traded in a block buster deal:
Pau/Lamar/Luke/Ronny for a true glass eating power forward and a true shooting/slashing/scoring small forward.
Lamar and Pau, to quote Steve Hartman are, "mental migets."
The only Lakers that are truly safe for returning:
Kobe
Andrew
Trevor
Sasha
Jordan
Derek
All other players: don't buy a house.
"The Lakers fans that are suddenly or still calling...... or cut Luke must be on crack....."
Go eat another mushroom.

The Arenas to LA rumors are about him going to the Clippers, not Lakers.

As much as I want the Lakers to make history and win this year, I just don't think it's going to happen. I hope everyone who thinks the Lakers can pull it out will be right and laugh in my face for not believing, but history doesn't seem to be on our side.

For those who compare what happened to the 2004 Red Sox, I think that as impossible as that seemed, if you break that series down, it was not crazy to believe that they could come back. Winning game 4 allowed them to get their rotation back to Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling(who was hurt in game 1 which they lost). Martinez ended up playing in 2 games that series when he came in relief. So even though they were down 3-1 after winning game 4, the Red Sox could have been predicted to win the two games that Schilling and Martinez were going to pitch, so the series could have been seen as being tied 3-3 at that point. I think that with basketball, since every game is essentially the same other than for home court advantage, unless something changes, such as Pierce and Garnett getting hurt, it's going to be a huge uphill battle if the Lakers are going to pull it out. Not impossible, but even more unlikely than being down 3-0 as the Red Sox were.

When you look at comebacks from 3-1 or 2-0 (in a best of 5 series) in the NBA, the team that's come back usually has been the better team that for some reason, gave up a couple of tough games or played especially badly for 2 games. Lakers gave up two of these leads, both to Phoenix, once in the 90s and then in 2006. The only time I remember a team coming back from 2-0 was when Denver knocked off Seattle after being down 2-0 in a best of 5.

Again, I hope I'm completely wrong, but I'm not counting on a comeback.

really, this has been two evenly matched teams, with Boston showing a little more intensity and so the 6 point losses. if both are good teams, than either can make a 20 point run on the other. the last game, both teams made their runs.

it's unfortunate that the Lakers have been on the losing side of games that they could've/should've won(it could very well be 3-1 Lakers with a better effort), but the Lakers can still prevail if they can get their bodies, minds and hearts back into doing their jobs because:

#1 Boston is hurt. almost all of the positions on the floor have injuries, from minor to more serious. obviously PP is on happy juice. if the Lakers play aggressor, Boston will have to fade because-

#2 the Lakers have superior talent, even if they obviously haven't shown that. make no mistake, Boston is getting EVERYTHING they can out of the talent that they have, but the Lakers haven't played anywhere near their normal level. some of this is Boston taking it to the Lakers, but a lot of it is just poor execution, plain and simple. the difference in the score of each game has been around six to eight points. there's no doubt that the Lakers playing just a LITTLE bit better than they have been, are easily six to eight points better, or even ten or eleven points better than they have shown, even with great defense played against them. meanwhile Boston won't do much better, especially injured.

the Lakers could very well win the next three, but Phil had better do a more complete job hypnotizing Pau, Lamar, Sasha, Farmar and Walton....heck better do a more complete job hypnotizing the whole team. we need them focused, intense, rabidly aggressive and yet relaxed......or just playing good basketball anyway...

regardless, i don't think that the Lakers or the organization will panic if these finals don't go the Lakers' way, not even Kobe. when Andrew went down, i thought the season had ended. instead, we ruled the Western Conference. this team may still have some fight left, maybe more than anyone thinks, maybe not.

let's see what happens.

Calm down EVERYONE.

What is this "sky is falling" frenzy you've all whipped yourselves into. Trade Pau? Dump Lamar? Bring in Arenas or Ron Ron?

Folks, we got to the FINALS in a year that most people said -- even after getting Pau -- we'd be content being in the WC finals. Don't you all remember writing that? Yes, YOU ALL, yourselves. No one -- that I recall -- came out saying we'd win it all without a true center. All that talk started after the pundits looked at the march through the WC and basically coronated the Lakers before this series began.

Hey, folks: big surprise: the team with the most wins this season and the most all-stars -- the pre-season favorites to win it all are up 3-1. So why the long faces and crying into your beer?

I still think that we win tomorrow and even in Game 6. I think this series goes 7.

And, if it doesn't? We have next year. Same crew (if Mitch does his due diligence) PLUS Andrew and a whole year with Trevor!

And if Andrew is never able to return (physically or mentally) from what turned out to be a serious knee injury, THEN you start thinking about tinkering with what you've got.

And what have you got? A team that made the FINALS!

Not a bad situation to be in, don't you think?

P.S.: BK -- great job on the breakdown. Despite PJ's (smart I think) decision to keep player's minds from dwellng on the (potentially devastating) negative, it IS important for the coaching staff (and us team fanatics) to know just what broke down and how we can alleviate it. There is no Kobe-bashing in that. In this case, the tape don't lie.

I think the Lakes win in Game 5. Four strong quarters of team ball coming up. Then, on to Boston.

Troy,

I’m sure there will be rampant trade talk this summer but it won’t be by Kobe Bryant or anybody in the Lakers organization. That doesn’t mean that the Lakers won’t be looking for a small tweak in the roster here and there but there really is no pressing reason for the Lakers to panic, even if they fail to comeback and win the Finals this year.

The only thing wrong with this roster will be automatically be corrected next year with Andrew Bynum returning and this young, talented, and deep roster having another year’s experience. Kobe said it best when asked if he would gladly take it if he were offered 3 shots to win the NBA Championship during the doom and gloom of last summer.

I understand why fans get frustrated and run to the trade machine but it’s just fools play. You have to keep where we are now versus where we could have been after all the drama and uncertainty facing us last summer. You build championship teams by keeping your core players and allowing them to grow and mature together. That means no trades.

One thing to remember is the judgment and patience of the front office that got us here. The Lakers front office and coaches accurately valued the players on their roster more than other teams did and this season has proved them to be right down to every player. Because we are so young, the untapped potential of this team is off the charts.

Not only will we get Drew back next year, but we will also probably have a fully healthy Chris Mihm and our second round draft pick Sun Yue from China, a 6-9 point guard who reminds a lot of scouts more of Lamar Odom in that he has a well-rounded game and has great speed, quickness, hops, size, and length. If Mihm can finally fully recover, he will be the best backup center in the league.

One suggestion for all of the Lakers fans who are traders might be to join one of the many fantasy leagues. Then they don’t have to bother all of the rest of us who love this roster and don’t want to trade anybody on the team with their futile and frustrating wave of senseless trades that the other team would never make in a thousand years. JK.

Let’s keep it real. There is close to zero chance the Lakers will make a major trade.

Tom

A historic collapse deserves a historic comeback

KARL MALONE IS NOW A 100 % BELIEVER........................... IN KARL MALONE

Here are the weaknesses that need to be met via offseason transactions:

1. Rebounding and interior defense. Toughness and an intimidating force in the four and three spots to inject much-needed sense of gonads for some of Lakers so-called Bigs and a certain space cadets. Candidates: Elton Brand, Ron Artest, Michael Pietrus, and that Sonics PF with the big hands.
2. Floor generalship. Don't counter with the mundane assertion that the Triangle does not require a point. Look what's happening to the meltdown, stagnation and confusion on offense in the finals. Candidates: Beno Udrih, Andre Miller, TJ Ford.
3. Bench improvement. Need the addition of more veterans leadership and contribution. Candidates: open to suggestions.

I think the there are lessons to be learned here, specifically ones I will mention. These are obvious, but I haven't seen them mentioned elsewhere and consider the points worthy of focus.

1. The team can win without Kobe's points. We showed it in the first half. He does need to be on the floor as a point of major distraction for an opposing team's defense.

2. The overused, known template of Kobe facilates in the first half and gets his in the second half is problematic. The opposing team knows that's what were gonna do, so why do that EVERY time?


We need to try different things than our usual patterns if we're going to surprise the other team and make life as difficult as possible for them. As the Patriots have shown us, it's a lot easier to win if you know what the opposing team is going to do. That was an extreme case, but even in less extreme cases (like, you haven't intercepted all the opposing teams play calls), the rule still holds true.


Yes, obviously we had a number of other issues. However, defense, effort and strategy we can control. Whether certain players will show up and whether we make our shots, we cannot.

pfunk36,

You are seriously full of yourself buddy. You're as bad as Mike T. Tex Winter and Roland Lazenby "obviously" read and thought about your wonderful post?

Get real.

While you do have a point worth considering in people criticizing Kobe if his shots miss and lauding him when his shots go in when he plays the same way, I'm not sure either of the K bros is guilty. I'd have to look more specifically on a game by game basis to see what I think.

The K bros have shown themselves to be very responsible journalists in my experience. I've been reading them for 3+ years now.

Beyond that, from what I can tell you're as deluded as Mike T. I'm not kidding. I'm not being hyperbolic.

You're exaggerated sense of self-importance and feelings of righteousness about your ideas has spun out of control like a psychotic episode.

Phunk36
chucky
Laker truth .....equals.........The charade is up moron.The three = one person and a imposter.Your ridiculous comments and constant criticising of AK,BK,Bill Walton and Phil Jackson have made u irrelevant on this blog moron.

Troy,

Lets see, Pau out played Boozer in the Utah series and he held his own against Time Duncan (best PF of all time) against the Spurs. And KG (1st ballet hall of fame)has been held to 17 a game on 39% percent shooting while Pau has also averaged 10 boards and you want to trade hime? He helped take us to the finals! Ya, KG has held him to 14 a game but he is after all the defensive player of the year. Who in the world would be better for our triangle then Pau? Boozer? Come on now. Geez just look at what we did WITH him! Next year when Andrew is starting at center and Pau is playing his natural forward position your'e going to be loving this guy. With Andrew inside, he is going to have so much space to operate that he could be an all star again. Our future is extremely bright with a Bynum/Gasol front court combo.

Oh by the way, we are are still playing. Every game has went down to the wire so its not exactly like we are getting blown out or that we are even done yet. Lets wait and see.

MH

Cuz,

I couldn't agree more. The positivity is wonderful to see. I really appreciated LakerTom's post. I also think it's premature to talk about trades. Let's see how this ride finishes.

I'm focused solely on winning game 5. As a team, I think that's the most important goal... for obvious reasons that I need not state.

There's a good chance we don't see the physical presence that is Perkins. He gives Pau a lot of trouble on the low post so his absence could really help us.


LakerTom:

"...the possibilities far outweigh the probabilities."

Don't the possibilities always outweigh the probabilities? Unless you factor in the impossibilities. LOL


Of course they do, but we need to be reminded sometimes. Sometimes it's hard to see past the probabilities.

"These injuries could really start to hurt Boston if the Lakers are able to extend the series, although I am constantly pissed by the national sports media who refuse to recognize that the Celtics are only in position to close out the Lakers in this series because Andrew Bynum is not available."

Of course, if Bynum had been healthy, the wonderfully visionary front office wouldn't have pulled the trigger on the Gasol trade... It's rather like the season Tim Robinson got hurt allowing the Spurs to tank on purpose and get Tim Duncan as the number 1 pick.

Thanks Tom for your reply. I thought you were really sick when I read the first few words of your post.

I think this team can still come back from 3-1, according to Kobe it's far from over. If Tiger can do it with a bad knee to produce two eagles and a birdie in the last three holes I think that is almost similar to three consecutive wins all the way to Boston. Just take one game at a time.

With regards to trades, Mitch would only do it to Lakers advantage. As I said before, it is premature to talk of trades on players while they are still playing, it could demotivate them.

By the way, we failed to recognize the postings of Magic=Goat, welcome back.

Getting Bynum back is not the cure-all.
This Laker team hasn't played defense since Phil Jackson got here, fundamental defense I mean. In the Shaq days we had the supreme defensive presence in the paint, but we never, ever, defended well, one-on-one and the perimeter.
I am and always will be, a PJ hater. This piece of garbage hasn't coached a single game this series, but is always the first to blame Kobe either directly or indirectly, and this Pied Piper has Kobe's teammates following his lead, with quotes like "We didn't move the ball", code for Kobe stopped passing the ball to us. Kobe is the ultimate scapegoat. Never mind that all the players are having flashbacks to the Suns playoffs. I get so tired of players missing their shots when the oppurtunity arises and look to blame Kobe. Solution, make your shots and quit crying.
It is so sad, and somewhat hilarious to watch the Celtics leave Walton open and dare him to make a shot. This pretty much goes for the whole squad. Make your shots when you're open and play defense.
I really hated what Sasha had to say about the refs. Just because they call fouls on you doesn't mean you stop playing defense. You do what the Celtics do, keep playing "in your face defense" and dare the refs to call a foul on you every posession.

Lakers in 7
and when they do it, I will still hate PJ.

The LA Fakers were NEVER the REAL top seat in the West. It was GIVEN to them by Mr. Stern.There were other teams who deserved that honor, but didn't have strings pulled by the commissioner to ensure them first place by the end of the regular season. I loath Boston, but I'd rather see them win the championship. At least THEY earned their way to the top.

BLOG CRUE
I took 2 days off from Laker basketball and it was great. I've loved this entire season & watched every game sometimes with Tim-4-Show and Lakers4realz. I am now waiting for the Sunday night game. We should be proud of where we came from and hope that next season is ours. In the meantime, we'll see how things unfold. I LOVE Lakers basketball and hope things continue to get better. Goodnight.

Colorado loves the Lakers!

"Suddenly, no longer could Bryant hang back in the Laker defense to help double-team Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett" - Roland Lazenby

Win with double teaming and lose with it as well. Why not apply the switching-swarming defense they did to Phoenix Suns in '06, that could be effective in the screen plays of the Celtics. Well, it ends up to fundamentals of boxing out, matching opponent's hustle in pushing and shoving. Vlad is getting all the blame when he is the most effective guard on PP, and Lakers gets a lot of rebounds when Vlad, LO and Pau play together. The small line up philosophy of Phil worked in Game 3 b/c Sasha shots were going in and when shots are brickin' Lakers don't have second chances in the rebounds with a small line up. No "Bench Mob Rule" in the remaining games, go only with experience and the best scorers.

By no mean this series is over. Yes, it hurted like hell on Thursday, but we can still win it.

I told my Celtics fan co-workers that we blew that game on purpose so that WHEN we win the next 3 games, it will hurt them more.

Of course I was joking, but there are some hope inside of me that we will mae history, the 1st team to come back from a 1-3 deficit in the NBA final.

Even if they can't win this year, the future looks good with the core players. However, we have a few FA to take care of.

Go Lakers!
Lakers4Life

LakerTom,

"I am actually surprised that Hollinger or one of his ilk has not compiled a statistic called "assist opportunities."

Brilliant post. This "assist opportunitues" statistic is one that is very clear cut and could be tracked easily. I'm also extremely surprised that this has never been compiled.

Kobe's analogy about being in the elite eight is a pretty good mindset to be in. If college teams every year can be in the position of having to win 3 straight games or their season is over, why not this team?

Watching some of Tiger's unbelievable shot-making yesterday and today and seeing the new Nike ads talking about his mental toughness just reinforces how that quality is what makes an athlete or team, elite. If the Lakers can muster the mental focus to win this series then they obviously deserve the label of Champion.

Players like Tiger, Gretzky, Jordan, Magic live to be in situations like this. Their greatness gets them there and their greatness is what ultimately makes them winners.


G
O

L
A
K
E
R
S
!

The current Lakers team is not going to be dismantled or even have any of the core top 10 players traded. All this team needs to be the dominant team in the NBA for the next 10 years is Andrew Bynum and the domino effect he will have on every other player on the team. The Lakers fans that are suddenly or still calling to trade Lamar or Pau or cut Luke or Sasha or fire Phil must be on crack. IF, and that’s still a big IF, we lose, then it only delays the launching of our dynasty until next year when Andrew will be back.

Tom


Posted by: LakerTom | June 14, 2008 at 04:59 PM

LakerTom

I am not on crack and I agree we will keep the core players. But I definetely think PJ has to go. This is a new era and the start of a new dynasty but old fashion PJ thinking will hurt more than help.

We will have a great team but I don't trust PJ to run it right or to the fullest and best advantage.

We had a hella of good team this year but the lack of use of all our players hurt. He needs to adjust rotations by substituting for mismatches instead of substituting his usual rotations. Use the bench to suit particular opponent rather than time for usual players in or out regardless how they are doing on the floor. Too much Luke and too little Rad, Ariza, Ira and Mbenga.
When a player is hot you milk the hot hand but if PJ hits a certain time minutes wise he takes player out even when hot. And leaves player in even if he is hurting team.

Each player has a skill set that helps the team and in the case of Luke he can muscle up bulky players like Harpring. But against athletic types he is too slow.

Problem is PJ sticks with his rotation like a kid trying to force a round peg into a square hole.

Use your players to maximise advantage and that is what is not getting done. No matter how deep we are it don't matter if we don't use that depth.

I am still very disappointed that the Lakers, our Lakers lost to the Celtics. I still think a conspiracy is going on with the NBA wanting this series to last 7 games. What happened in the Lakers during the second half. We became a one man team? What happened to all the crisp passes,sharp execution that we were doing in the first half that led to a huge lead? As a fan of basketball(Lakers) I hope we will win game 5 and take them in game 7 on their turf. If we don't I am extremely pleased this year with the Lakers.
Extremely pleased. Conspiracy theory at works!

I see no reason why 3 in a row can't happen. you can point to many reasons why its unlikely but absolutely zero reasons that say its impossible and i dont plan on giving up yet. lakers win in game 7.

Posted by: Kelly | June 14, 2008 at 05:52 PM

I think it takes two things for this to happen.

The Lakers are a better and deeper team and if the bets call game evenly and consistently it is Lakers in 4. A little bias Lakers in 5, more bias Lakers in six, way too much bias and Lakers stand no chance.

Also if PJ uses our players and bench to the right matchups we win a how much depends on bet bias.

Play this series fair and we win the next 3 and championship. Otherwise we will not lose but it will be stolen from us.

Go Lakers. Never quit.

Big Lakers fan, anyone that hates PJ is just stupid. This coach has led the Lakers to 5 FInals appearences, what more do you want...

Lakers are not going to win this series. I am a big Laker fan but am not going to watch any more of the Finals, could you image if they go up by 30 this Sunday and blow it again? THat would be a disastrous to this great franchise... not worth it. Just lose Sunday wire to wire and get it over with, my wish. I'll read about it in the paper on Monday, fine with me.

In the off season, they should trade Walton, Radmonovic, and Odom for someone that can rebound and play good interior defense, a really good power forward. And someone that doesnt fold like cheap lawn furniture in the biggest games of the year...

LakerTom,

I just want us to win. If that means making a few roster changes, then so be it. Remember, we are Laker fans, and we want victory for our team. The individual is not more important than the whole. We learned this last summer with the Kobe fiasco.

We did well, but there is not guarantee we will return to the finals. We could go through another major injury, or maybe Bynum doesn't develop like we want. Regardless, Laker Tom, lets cheer our team, but let us also be open minded to improving our team.

Pau is a nice guy with talent, but there may be better players out there that are more appropriate for our Lakers. Lets at least be open minded to that. That's all I'm saying.

Michael H,

Would you rather have Pau Gasol or Elton Brand. Pau Gasol or G. Arenas. Pau Gasol or Ron Artest.

Be open minded and give me an honest answer.

Laker Tom and Michael H.

Don't you agree that there are some free agents out there that would be a better fit for the Lakers than Pau Gasol. Yes, Pau may have some positives, but wouldn't you agree that, say, Elton Brant would be a better fit for us?

Kobe had a bad game, but people who compare him to Jordan make it completely unfair for him.

1) Jordan during his championship run never had team mates who choked and played scared, he had an assasin side kick in Scotie Pipen

2) Never would Jordan get the foul calls against him that Kobe does, that foul on the drive by Pierce with a minute to play in a finals game would not be called on Jordan in 100 out of 100 times.

Cousin Benjamin,

>>> The team can win without Kobe's points.

Very astute. The Lakers defense got stagnant when every possession put the ball in Kobe's hands. The other four guys on the floor have to make plays. That's why the Lakers kept ending up so deep in the shot clock. If you're open, take the shot. It's easy for the Celtics to smother Kobe when they know he's the only one who will put the ball up in the air. In Game 4, there were too many passes, too many missed opportunities.

I'm a Lakers fan, but I cannot drink the Laker kool-ade like some others. It's absolutely laughable to read myopic comments like "why can't we win three in a row." I'll tell you why - (1) It's NEVER happened in the history of NBA finals! There is a reason for that. (2) Boston has beaten the Lakers 5 out of 6 times this season. There is a reason for that. (3) Boston is 12-1 at home in the playoffs. The Lakers are 4-5 on the road in the playoffs. There is a reason for that.

People want to latch onto injuries for misguided hope - But Rondo and Perkins weren't even on the floor when the C's made their game-winning run in the 4th quarter of Game 4. Blind loyalists also state "the Lakers have the better talent" On what basis can you possibly make that claim? It certainly can't be based on the six games the teams have played against one another, as Boston has dominated us.

Look, I support the Lakers 100% and will be cheering them on Sunday night. But I know the chance of them pulling this off is remote, miniscule, and next-to-none.

This article link is for all you Phil Jackson apologists.

http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/10864601


refute it. lets see your responses

Take out the dinner plates, because LA is going to be SERVED!

I´m an american living in Spain but up to this point not a big fan of Pau. However, I do think that he can play better and hope that he does. That goes for LO as well. These two and Kobe need to attack the rim!!! If you get stopped so be it but attack the damn rim!!! You´ll then get foul shots which you need to make (thats why they call them FREE throws). When they stack the paint that should give Fish, Sasha, Radman and all our shooters some good looks.

Until they win 4 its not over and only you guys can do it. Not the fans, not the coach, not the Laker girls nobody but you!! I believe you can and I will be up at three in the morning to watch the game live.

Lets go!!! Stick a knife in the hearts of all the Celtics fans and put an end to the ghosts of the past. Just one game at a time.

MESSAGE TO KOBE, LAMAR, PAU AND THE REST OF THE LAKERS TEAM.

We have seen how our Lakers team have evolve throughout this year.
We have seen your ups and downs
We have been witnessed to some of the most spectacular games ever seen in the NBA with our Lakers team involved.
An for that we really love this Lakers team.
Pls. do not be disappointed too much with just that single lost. It is just a game and you can still come back.
Pls. do NOT throw the towels just yet.
Just play the game that you really like to play.
Do not give up, Give your best shot, win or loss we will be by your side.
Just do it for your fans now. Yes, you have fans not just hundreds of thousands but millions around the world and we are one of them. DO IT FOR US, YOUR FANS.
WE STILL WANT TO SEE YOU GUYS PLAY.
PLEASE DO NOT END THIS SERIES AS YET.
WE STILL BELIEVE.

Lakers should look forward, and being a young team, learn from the game 4 experience. The keys to the bad loss in G4 were: (1) allowing Posey and House to "explode" for 30+ points combined, Lakers managed, more or less, to control Bostons "Big 3", (2) Sub par offensive game from Kobe (17p. on 6/19). After not scoring a FG in first half he took too much on himself, it looked like the team was waiting for him to take control, but the Celtics were waiting for him as well, knowing that he will try to work on his stats, so the beautiful team play went totally one-dimensional in the 2nd half. That is the reason why the Lakers offense disappeared, I think. (3) Coach Jackson had too much trust in KB24 and as he did not deliver so the PJ trust showed to be fruitless. Instead he should have reacted and tried other options, post Pau, bring Kobe from the wing on the move to the basket, whatever. Last 5-6 attacks by LA were absolutely the same, Kobe gets the ball on his half and try to create. Not going to do it, as simple as that, at any point of the game. Finishing second won't be a disappointing, but this things is not over yet, winning three straight games is not a miracle, winning 22 games in a row as rockets did was possible so, play one game at time, even one quarter at the time. Celtics have shown everything they got so they know what to expect, at least.


just believe.

i believe in our lakers. it is not impossible. we are going to
win.
:p

NEVER SAY DIE.

I have witnessed this type of situation in 1991 in the basketball league in my country. it is the spirit that will lift us back there.

we are going to win this.

BELIEVE. It won't be a miracle. It is destiny!

Rebuttal:

"the Lakers have superior talent, even if they obviously haven't shown that...."

If they haven't shown it yet, isn't obvious that they celtics have superior talent?

"The Lakers are a better and deeper team and if the bets call game evenly and consistently it is Lakers in 4. A little bias Lakers in 5, more bias Lakers in six, way too much bias and Lakers stand no chance......Play this series fair and we win the next 3 and championship. Otherwise we will not lose but it will be stolen from us."

Great teams rise above bad calls. PJ & Kobe complaining is annoying, but working the refs is accepted strategy.
But a fan posting that something was stolen from you by the refs? Just not true. Why can't you admit that (so far) the Celts have been the better team? Again, so far.

Shouting out to all the LA fans who aren't giving up!
Keep it real! However it turns out, let's take it like fans of the two best teams should....with dignity!

Lakers are a Big Dissapointment to say the least. Sickening even, blowing a 24 point lead. I doubt any body could think they can win the championship after this. They should be ashame. If it was the showtime era of Magic Johnson they wont blow a big lead like that. Kobe, Pau and Odom you really are Chokers.

martha watson,

Please expand what you mean by "strings pulled" for the Lakers. Please, I'm curious.

The Future starts Tonight.

Tonight's win is about making it right, launching into the future with the kind of mental toughness that only comes from responding to adversity.

Tonight is the difference between a hot summer spent healing or one of confident optimism.

It may be most important to Pau and Lamar. They cannot let it end like this, they have things to prove.

For the vets, young guns, and the fans, tonight is a must win even if it's a last win of 08. Next year, tonight will make a difference.

Good morning Laker family around the Globe,

The most historic turnaround in the history of the NBA starts tonight. No looking back. Only looking forward to the Lakers' close-out in Game 7 and the return of the O'Brien trophy to Los Angeles.

It all starts with Game 5. Listening to the remarks of Kobe and D-Fish, I like the style of leadership on display. We know actions speak louder than words, so we'll be watching for the responses from Odom, Gasol, VladRad, and the Bench Mob.

There's plenty of motivation beyond just getting a win tonight. No one could stomach the Celtics walking out of our house with the trophy. For some Lakers, their next salary and next uniform are on the line. And for the coach, the thought of being forever tied with Red Auerbach would be endless sleepless nights.

The Lakers know that in the first four games, they've gotten away from all the things that brought them to the Finals. Their DNA as winners has been building since training camp. The return to Championship caliber basketball starts tonight. This is our team. This is our year. Go Lakers!

Reading the post from yesterday, my only comment before The Clostout Game is: KEEP MAKIN EXCUSES.

I only see a handfull of true Laker fans, the rest of you are a bunch of soybean latte, bean sprout burger eating cheap fans.

When the Lakers win, the comments are: Kobe is the best, Lakers own the league. Chest thump.

When the Lakers lose, the comments are: Kobe was robed, the League owns the Lakers. Pacificer cry.

Let's go C's! Pierce named MVP! Kobe hates on Pierce.

Let's go C's! Pierce named MVP! Kobe hates on Pierce.

Let's go C's! Pierce named MVP! Kobe hates on Pierce.

"Lakers have superior talent"

What!?

Whoever wrote that is the typical lame, bandwagon Laker cheap fan.

Lakers have "superior talent"?

Outside wannabe Jordan, who is more talented player by player?

Also, there is an intangible that you Lakergirls can't see because you're blinded by your "superstar's" gigantic ego...........

CELTICS PLAYS FOR EACH OTHER

KOBE PLAYS FOR HIMSELF

The Celt's leaders, Pierce, Garnett and Allen collectively, are playing for the TEAM, not individual greatness.

That's why, sonny and princes, the Celtics are the superior TEAM.

Man, you Laker girs are pathetic.

Dear Lord, we offer a simple prayer for today's game.

Sink or swim...
Win or lose...
Live or die...

May we play like GIANTS for 48 minutes and not like GRASSHOPPERS. You are still on the Throne. And You are still Able.

We praise You and thank You for answered prayer...AMEN!

Today should be a great day on many levels. Let me try and explain to you Kool-aide drinking fans:

1) Celtic - Laker dream matchup for the NBA has been a tremendous success for the league.

2) Classy superstars like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and "Walter" Ray Allen finally wins a championship.

3) Classy career role players like PJ Brown and Scott Pollard finally earn a title.

4) Kobe Jelly Belly Bryant is finally exposed as a career Wannabe Jordan who tries way too hard to be the "best ever" and still can't win a championship as Batman.

5) Celtic and Lakers are relevant in the NBA again.

I say it's a win-win for all who loves the NBA regardless of who we root for unless you're a player hatin' Laker cheap fan.

Troy, stop calling yourself a Laker fan. You are a FAKER - plain and simple!

Your blatant negativity - disguised as B-ball intelligence but truly masking your FEARS - has been a disruptive force on every In Game Blog during these finals.

Trade Pau Gasol? What are you smoking? This is Pau's first major playoff push in his career...and the lesson's he's learning will pay off in dividends as his seasons with the Lakers wear on. Besides, he's a POWER FORWARD forced to play as a CENTER due to AB's injury. Some setbacks in his game are to be expected.

Pau will not be traded - nor SHOULD HE be traded!

Or, have you forgotten, had we stuck with Kwame - Hands of Stone - Brown, WE WOULDN'T EVEN BE BLOGGING ABOUT NBA FINALS GAMES IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Stop hating and stop faking. Cheer your guys on or get the heck off this blog and go spit venom on us with Butler and the rest of the 28 other teams who weren't good enough to get to the Finals this year!

1-28.

Believe it.

Go Lake Show!

Respectability.

If they lose the series 4-1 in LA it will be a horrible end to the season and too much like 2004. Not respectable.

If they lose the series 4-2 in Boston it will be better than 4-1, but it will still appear they were beaten handily, losing a game at home and failing to win even one time in Boston. Not respectable.

If they lose the series 4-3 in Boston in game 7 they will have achieved respectability. Losing one in LA but winning one in Boston and taking it to a 7th game only to lose to the home team is completely respectable.

If they win the series 4-3 in Boston they will achieve fame as the team that made the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history. And more than respectable.

John

Trade Pau Gasol?

What!?

Another cheap Laker fan.

Pau Gasol is the reason why the Lakers are playing in the finals, otherwise, the Lakers finish as the 6th seed and lose to the Spurs in the first round.

OMG, what a fool.

If you're going to blame anybody on the team, blame your so-called leader Kobeef Bryant.

Let me explain son.

Gasol had a monster game in the first round, simply monster game. 30+ point and 15+ rebounds.

You're leader, Kobeef, started getting insecure about his "legacy" remembering how the other Big Fella stole Kobe's show in 1999-2004, so Kobe imposed his will on Pau.

What has Gasol done since? Typical role player numbers just the way Kobe wants it.

Blame Kobeer, his is the unquestioned leader on the team.

I like this Utzworld fella.

Gotta give credit to a true fan.

Man, Kobe "The Finger Pointer" is being slammed on ESPN.

So much for Kobe's Legacy.

Actually, Kobe's Legacy is being solidified...Wannabe Jordan.

Let's go C's! enough with the name calling...show some class.

Just reported on ESPN's pundets: So much for Wannabe Jordan's "put me on the best player" crap-o-la.

Why was Kobe guarding Rondo at the end of the game?

Another reason why Kobe IS NOT AND NEVER WILL be Jordan.

Kobe is just like all of the Wannabees in the past. What makes Kobe worst than the other past wannabees is Kobe actually think he's better than Jordan.

hahahaahahahahahahahahaahaha...pathetic. You don't see Pierce/Garnett/Allen even try and make that comparision.

Anybody remember when Kobeef first came in the league, he started the comparision then.

Kobe said "there are only 2 player in the league blah blah" clearly trying to make a comparison between Kobeef and Jordan. Man, how pathetic.

Im angry at Kobe and CO. for their poor showing and I know it would take a miracle to win the championship this year. I am only consoled by the fact that they can contend for championship for years to come. So to all you Celtic fans out there, rejoice all you can,while you can. Coz it would be another 2 decades or more before you can taste another championship

Another reason why Lakers lose today.

Your so-called "superstar" called out his teammates as a bunch of "bedwetters".

Geez, that'll instill confidence in the team.

Celtics: 87 Points and wins the finals
Kobe: 50 Points and blames teammates

Tim Donaghy. One game or you would be swept. The whole world is looking at the refs more than the game. Don't worry. If Stern survives he will keep pushing Bryant. Even if all his Jordan projects end up like Penny Hardaway. Keep paying $600,000 for houses and keep waiting for same-sex marriage. Some people gotta believe.

I’m sure there will be rampant trade talk this summer but it won’t be by Kobe Bryant or anybody in the Lakers organization. That doesn’t mean that the Lakers won’t be looking for a small tweak in the roster here and there but there really is no pressing reason for the Lakers to panic, even if they fail to comeback and win the Finals this year.

[...]

Let’s keep it real. There is close to zero chance the Lakers will make a major trade.

Tom

Posted by: LakerTom | June 14, 2008 at 07:42 PM

I do agree on that, but there's a couple of things to focus on:

1) being a contender, the Lakers will attract better players than in previous years. Mitch has to wisely use the MLE on a solid defensive player, a veteran if possible.
2) with Drew back next year, I'm concerned about Lamar. He played at his best in the final part of the season, but as a PF. IMO he is suspect as a SF. Remember that couple games early in the season when Phil started Ronny and put Lamar at SF, and he struggled? This may become an issue.
3) get rid of Vlad Rad.
4) Lakers need to improve their defense. Trevor and Drew will help in that, of course. but I think they should go beyond their comebacks. Develop some kind ov a defensive system. Look around for a free agent.

Artest or Arenas on the lakers. Are you kidding me? I can't think of any two other players who may be available who would NOT fit with this team.

utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER,

Amen.

Faith would be easy if it was never challenged. Faith is precious because it is difficult.

I have faith.

GO LAKERS!

Utzworld,

I respect your optimism and your blog "prayers", although I don't always see them as being pertinent to a sports blog. But still, it's your right to post them, and you have good intentions, so I don't respond negatively to them.

Well, shouldn't it be okay to challenge some of our players if they deserve it, or consider personnel changes if it will improve the team?

Sometimes a great player just isn't the right player. Allen Iverson is a great player that couldn't get Denver or the 76's over the hump. Ray Allen is a great player, so to is Garnett, but neither could get their former teams over the hump. Look, Pau Gasol is a great player, but he couldn't get Memphis a single playoff victory, and it doesn't seem as if he's going to help the Lakers grab the Championship. So it isn't unreasonable to consider that maybe he isn't the right guy for Kobe's Lakers. Who knows, maybe that will change, but it hasn't happened this series, IMO.

Anyway, lets celebrate what you and I do have in common, a true desire to see our Lakers win.

Go Lakers!!!

Lets all applaud our YOUNG team. Lakers chew up (and spit out) 30 point leads for breakfast. Listen Boston, you hear that thunder. You know what it is, but not where its coming from. Game 4 really wasn’t that big of a deal if you watched this season (Loose to Memphis and Charlotte, beat New Orleans and San Antonio). Once the team learns, I think you will find, they’ll be running up 30 point leads, but not loose’n them. Just put Boston on a higher perch to push them off of. When we are fighting in the NBA Finals for the next decade (add 10 years to all of our players ages, and were still younger than the Spurs), where will these leprocons be? In the retirement home looking up from the cellar. Lets fight for 144, and try to send these gremlins to the Florida lepo colony AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.

Then bring on Lebron, CP3, Dwayne, and some 15 year old kid we’ve never heard of, these will be the REAL opposition AHEAD. For all Boston’s chirping, this is the sad reality for them. This is it for them. Now we win game 5, doubts start settling in. Get it done in Boston leprocons say. Kobe erupts in Game 6, and they hear the pounding footsteps behind them, now they’re thinking, (and they don’t even have Bynum now), gotta get game 7 if I’m EVER going to win. And then . . . it fades away? Now THAT would be devastating. Time to grow Lakers, fight like men for 144, and we’ll see what happens. The future IS BRIGHT. But We’re Los Angeles. We’re greedy. We’re hungry. We want it NOW! Bring the LIGHT ! Fight to the death for every second of 144! Lets GO GET IT DONE. LAKERS to VICTORY!

 
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