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Live from Staples: Lakers vs. Rockets

UPDATE: Heard from Drew before the game.  Sort of.  The kid mumbles, and was short on pith, so we'll have to review the recording to get super-exacts.  But I can report that he's feeling no pain right now, including with lateral movement and the like.  Still no return date, but everything seems hunky dory.

Assuming they haven't forgotten how to find the arena, the Lakers ought to get a boost playing in front of their home crowd for what feels like the first time since Eisenhower left office.  They'll need it, because the Rockets are a good team playing with motivation in a tightly bunched Western Conference playoff ladder.  The last time they met, March 11th in Houston, the Lakers used a strong second half to overcome a nine point deficit at the break, led by Kobe Bryant's scoring/invasion of Ron Artest's gray matter.

Looking over the ol' DVR recording, a few things stuck out about those final 24 minutes:

  • The Lakers were extremely aggressive on the offensive boards. The Rockets may be undersized, but they rebound well.  The Lakers need to make Houston work to secure boards on their end. 
  • Artest is talented, but will take shots that make Kobe seem conservative and judicious by comparison. High Volume Ron is a good Ron or LA.  The more time Artest spends dribbling and creating, the better off the Lakers will be.
  • The Lakers did a great job pressuring Yao on the block with double teams to force the ball from his hands.  Yao averages over 13 shots a night.  That game he had only nine.  Generally speaking, the Lakers were effective in making the Rockets shoot jumpers to try and beat them.

Keep in mind that in Houston, LO was serving a one-game suspension for leaving the bench in Portland.  With Odom back, the dynamic defensively for Houston changes.  Probably more Battier on 24 than Ron Ron.  More reading: Forum Blue and Gold's game preview, likewise from The Dream Shake.

Chat box below.



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LeBronze and the Crabs are currently down FORTY to the Magic.
LeBronze is shooting 5 for 17.

I guess Kobe isn't the only one who can have a shooting slump.


Orlando is dining Crab soup tonight!!

Guys, saw Magic having Crabcakes for free??

WOW, it was FUN to watch the Cavs getting rammed into pulp.... Now all we need to do is get a W and close the diff to 1 game....

I am so freakin' excited!!!
Just realised at half time that the game is on ESPN in Australia!!!
And we're playing defence!!!
And the Cavs lost...
What a great day!
I love L.A !!

Farmar is a bad players. He really shouldn't play too much. He's messing up the chemistry out there. After all these years is this the player we were all high on. I'm sorry but he really is no starter material.


I was right, it was a "Great" day! The Magic dined on crab legs and the Lakers aborted the rocket blast off.

Houston, We have a problem! Ya Baby!!!

Good news: We won that is ALWAYS a good thing.

Bad News: With the exception of Mbenga almost the whole bench stunk. Luke did make some plays in the 4th to his credit.

Concerning News: The losses today (including the Rockets) made Portland into the 4th seed which will make most people nervous. Of course the west is stacked enough so anything can still happen but still needs to be brought up.

Good: Kobe being VERY efficient. Pau may not have shot well 8-19 but still got 23 and 10. Mr. Consistent.

Why don't the Lakers get a new broadcaster. I was talking to my brother that these games aren't as exiting as they were in the begining of the year. He said that it's the announcers. I don't blame Stu I blame the other guy. Lakers should get Spero do the tv broadcast. I should start muting this guy and put Spero and Michael Thompson from now on. Im not as exited as I should be. This announcer is starting to sound very tired. Why is he tired? Does he need to get a girlfriend or something??? Come on now!!! Get some balls dude!


Farmar should go back to the development league. Man he's regressed big time recently. What's going on with Farmar. I used to like him. I still think he can be a good player. I see a lot of potential. I guess he needs to work harder or something. Focus on the game and not on the girls Farmar!!

Mmmmm, mmmm, Mbenga...
Mmmmm, Mmmm, Mbenga...

That's what hard work and a good attitude looks like...
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mbenga...

Smart game from Kobe. Great games from Fish, Lamar, and Pau.

The bench still needs work, but if Farmar took a page from DJ's book, he'd do much better.

Props to Phil for changing his rotations


Probably the best news is that AB might be back to play a couple of regular season games. That, hopefully, combined with the Bench Mob playing fewer minutes, might give us a real shot at the Title!

I had to see how you summed up the game at the end of the chat.

"I'd sure hate to be some guy who wrote that they didn't have a chance. That would suck." LOL!

What an absolutely masterful game from Kobe, another efficient night from Gasol, and some nice burn for Mbenga!

Great win to complete the season sweep, ESPECIALLY with Cleveland losing SO BADLY!

Cavs are now 2-6 against the Lakers, Celts and Magic.
Ouch... that's not a great stat.

The Lakers have a couple of tough roadies coming up. SAC is playing spoiler, and you know they're going to come out to play, and we know portland.

But I really don't see the Lakers losing at Sacramento again, and it looks like Portland is gonna be a statement game. This team has one every statement game so far this year, this won't be any different.

The Cavs definitely have a tougher schedule than us. We'll see what happens, you never know =).

My favorite parts of the box score:

Kobe: 7/11 FG 4/6 3 pt and 7 assists
Pau: 38 minutes, relatively low for Gasol!

I can not wait for the playoffs!


Shoot 39% & still get a win... Good sign for the Lakers. I'd rather have them slowly pull away in the 3rd & 4th instead of the "quickly build a 20 point lead then blow it" that's been a habit lately.
Anyone think Orlando is more likely to steal a game in Cleveland than the other way around in the playoffs?

Ok u guys we are back into the race for home court.!!! Now we gotta take care of those wana be lakers on sunday. they play us tuff so we gotta just play hard and let the bench take car of it. kobe played great he has great games vs the rockets i dont know why but he does. Let all support spurs and celtics in order to get what we want.



i hope after this game that the battier/kobe dialogue is put to rest. more they emphasize how good, he, bowen, artest and bell r, shows how great kobe is. i know, the media always need something to talk about.


Amen. I'm sick of reading how "cerebral" Shane Battier is and what a good defender he is. He garnered so much attention for coming up with the "hand in the face" defense on Kobe a while back. I've always thought that tactic was extremely unsportsmanlike in addition to being dangerous. It's good defense until somebody loses an eye! Shane is a good ballplayer, but nobody stops Kobe.

Nice game from The Show tonight. Pau did a good job on Yao. Ron Artest is out of control. At times he looks like a bull in a China shop. Can't believe that Rick Adelman still has a job as an NBA head coach. Imagine, him sitting Yao down the stretch! You win and lose with your best! By the mid-point of the 4th Q., Houston's players looked totally disinterested on the bench. That W.C. Fields nose of Adelman's says a lot about him.

I digress...GO LAKE SHOW!!!

BK + lakers_sth,
it's not that I dont like your explanation (BK).

(lakers_sth, i hope you realize that trying to define something but pointing to an example isnt exactly a defintion.)

As a computer scientist by trade, I just had to challenge the theory and see if you could actually "define" what a blog is.

If you think a blog is simply posting a new thread on fresh material then fine. I would contend that there is no universal explanation for what a blog, the internet community is still trying to figure out what are the dos/donts and what are the rules.The only thing I can say consistently is that there is a moderator who writes extensive opinion on whatever topic.

As for a message board or a forum, who knows what the difference is? Trying to define what each is without overlapping is ridiculous.

I think you should acknowledge that part of the allure of the LA Times blog is it combines the goodness of all of these message mediums.

There is one person to keep people on topic for the most part. This is different than a message board or forum or whatever since users cant make things too crazy for general consumption.

However, the posts vary wildly and discussions within the blogs generate the most interesting angles that counter support your main points.

This "blog" did the best job of keeping everything compact and user friendly in my opinion.

I go to the mercury news or sf-gate 49ers blog and i never post there. Why? There is no discussion to be made usually. It's just one guy posting random thoughts and reporting. i get that from ESPN.

Finally, who are you to really say what "caters to the masses"? Not that I'm saying you dont know what you're doing, I'm saying what do you have to do back-up your current strategy? Are you motivated by ad-hoc things of what "users" want? If so, since you are not the user it's hard for you to realize what's enjoyable and what's not to "the masses". Are you motivated by LA Times coin? If so, i can't argue with that. It's a recession!

I'm not sure you can even generate that metric accurately but I'm just saying whatever metric you are using (hits, visits, sponsor clicks, whatever) I hope it supports the newer way of many many threads per day.

Again, it;s not that I'm mad or dont like your explanation. I just dont think I've ever heard an explanation! haha..

Well other than "we think we're doing what's best". and you know what, if that's what you guys think and is the only reason then thats cool.

It just seems that you have a large contingent of people that like what you do ALOT (like me) but also dont like some of the newer features you incorporate (like me). If anything, push that up to the big-wigs. That's $ to be exploited for you guys in the end.

Again, it's a recession!

Ever since Shane was doing that face guarding gimmick last year, people have been praising him as a defensive genius. Kobe has shut him down and shut him up. Maybe people will now realize it was more of Kobe having an off day than Shane being a Kobe stopper.

Lakers need to win the rest of their regular season games. Portland has been playing really well especially at home and we all know that they think they have a rivalry with the Lakers. Lakers need to go to Portland and ride these fools at their own barbecue.



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