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This week's 710 ESPN.com Podkast, and Game 3 thoughts

On the docket for this week's 710 ESPN.com Lakers poddy: Thoughts on LA's trip to Utah, what the Pau Gasol drives past Carlos Boozer Lakers need to improve on against the Jazz and down the road, Jordan Farmar's future (or, potentially, lack thereof) in purple and gold, and a little bit on Andrew Bynum's social life.  That, and talk of the Wonder Twins

Click on it.  It's good for you, and is environmentally friendly.  Just like 710's postgame show, which we'll be on for an hour following the game.   

Now on to Game 3.  Some thoughts:

  • If you see the scruffy bearded man at the right of the page, please pass him the ball.  Pau Gasol was 7-11 in Game 1, 9-11 in Game 2 (that's a tidy 73%), and is a mismatch for any player the Jazz can put up against him.  Carlos Boozer?  Paul Millsap?  Jarron Collins?  Doesn't matter.  But, as has been the case for much of the year, after pounding teams down low early, the Lakers tend to get away from the post as games go on.  Not tonight.  Given Utah's strength on their home court, ball control and offensive efficiency will be huge.  One phenomenal way to accomplish that is to make sure the guy making nearly three of every four shots he takes gets a few more touches. 
  • With that in mind, Gasol needs to be more careful with the ball.  Five TOs in Game 2?  Way too many.  Gasol needs to stand up to the pressure he'll get from the Jazz and make decisive choices either with his shot or the pass. 
  • Utah is a far better team at home (+9.5 point differential) than they are a bad team on the road (-4.2).  They shoot at a higher percentage, turn the ball over less, score more, rack up more assists, and keep the opposition off the scoreboard at a far better rate.  That means the Lakers have to clean up the TOs (17 in Game 1, 21 in Game 2), or the Jazz will likely get enough free points to take Game 3. 
  • Kobe Bryant has displayed some great instincts in game management over the first two installments of this series.  He's distributing well (17 assists) and scoring efficiently (50% shooting).  Tonight, I figure he'll finally crack the 20 shot barrier, but don't expect him to do anything to threaten the offensive equilibrium that has served LA so well thus far.  After all, with the team shooting about 58% in the series, nothing on that end of the floor is broken or needs fixing.  But I expect Kobe to come out with some aggression, both to help quiet the Utah crowd and to remind the Jazz that, if need be, he's around to take over the game.  
  • The insertion of Andrei Kirilenko into the starting lineup for the Jazz might help make Trevor Ariza's life a little tougher offensively, making it difficult to equal the incredible efficiency of his first two games. (Though is it fair to expect the guy to shoot 81% the rest of the way?)  On the other hand, it could make LA's job easier defensively.  With AK47 in the lineup, Utah has no viable shooting threats beyond Deron Williams.  Expect LA to pack it in and try to cut off D-Will's lanes off penetration, making it tougher to get those easy layups underneath.  If the Jazz hit shots early?  Fine.  Let 'em keep trying.  I'm willing to bet the Utah can't score enough to beat the Lakers if they're forced into a jumper-centric offense. 

See everyone at the Live Blog.  7:30 tip, PST.

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

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The media world is expecting the Lakers to lose the 3rd game. We say: “no mas, no mas, no more.” Yes no more Kwame, no more Smush, no more Cook why will the Lakers lose a pivotal game? Kwame was replaced by Pau; Smush gave way to Farmar and Farmar opened the door for Shannon; Cook was exported to other teams in exchange of Ariza and after those changes, God rested….and left a word: go forth and multiply those O’Brian trophies. Utah’s will to compete will diminish in Game3, there is just no answer for new mighty winds coming from LA. The winds of change has swept the Salt Lake City, this will separate the team seeded No. 1 and the 8th seed.

Lakers, we compel you to win tonight, no more mercy, no more charity. This is our time.

(BTW, thanks KBros for less threads today. As you can see you, it energized the Laker nation. The more energy, the more enthusiasm is elicited from your visitors. Most of the radio sports junkies I heard on the road, read your blog and gauge the fan reaction in LA. Why? The voice of the Laker fans is all represented in the Lakers Blog.)

Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!


Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!

I would LOVE to see Boston lose to start the night off right!

Go Lakers!!!

I must go to a blues bar for the first half of the game. But while I'm away . . .

GOOOooOOOO LAKERS!!!!

Nice to see Rappaport getting some burn in the Celtics-Bulls game. Boston just isn't the same without him.

I think if the Lakers cut down on this thread-the-needle passes to the bigs in heavy congestion, that will cut down the turnover number by, oh say, 10.

Perhaps Bynum's knee concerns will cause the offense to run a little more on Pau and therefore get him those touches everyone keeps talking about.

I think I hear an ice cream truck outside. Weird.

Hmmm... Lakers are already holding a pre-sale for tickets to round 2 of the playoffs. Talk about confidence. Sheesh.

btw - STHs get a 2 hour headstart on the rest of the world. I'm not getting suckered in this time. In this economy, I couldn't even unload the tickets I bought at face value.

Pau does need to get the ball, this guy be getting at least 20 shots per game IMO although the team can be sooo balanced. What Gasol does too is potentially get opponents in foul trouble. He just has to have a certain degree of grits because sometimes he's incredibly soft.

By the way AK, please don't sue me but I am taking a feedback Journalism Class at UMASS Amherst and the class requires me to keep a blog. I'm knew to the blog-thing but I kinda plugged one of your previous posts in there today about Game 3. I'm not even 1/32 as crisp as you guys but with time, practice and improvement I hope to be good enough. Its 1/3 of my grade. Want to know what I'm talking about? http://ssgt24.wordpress.com/

Feedback/bashing are all welcomed.

In case anyone missed it, PJ threw himself under the bus again at shootaround today for his poor substitution patterns in game 2. It'll be interesting to see what the new rotations will be.

blitz,

You don’t really read my posts, do you? My point isn’t that Jordan and Sasha are not performing properly. It’s your calling them “chokers.” I might expect such lack of loyalty and appreciation from a Fair Weather Fan or a troll but not from a knowledgeable long-time fan like yourself. If you’re just trying to get my goat, all you’re doing is lowering my opinion of you, which has always been high even though we banter back and forth.

Here’s the thing. You can be a fan or a customer in my opinion. Some teams have a lot of customers but few fans. Customers are sold products and services. They can opt to buy or not to buy. They can even be fired, which I have done many times in business when a customer was more trouble than they were worth. But basically, you are paying the team and if you don’t like what is happening, you can just stop paying – or watching in this case. Most of the current Celtics fans are just customers. Same with the Cavaliers.

As Mamba always says, the Lakers are different. I am a Lakers fan – not a Lakers customer per se, although I do own a KB24 jersey. But as a Lakers fan, I consider myself part of the team, just like the players, coaches, and front office. As such, I try to be a good teammate and to treat all of the players with the respect that the are due. While I may have dropped that standard during the Smush Parker and Kwame Brown era, those times are long gone and there is NO player on this team that deserves to have a Laker fan call out as a choker. That is just classless and inexcusable. It is the ultimate in being a bad teammate. I like you, blitz, and I would like to continue to do so. But only if you cannot treat your own players with some respect and keep your criticism constructive. OK?

Thanks.
Tom

Hi guys!

Almost game time - woo hooooooo!!!!!

Pack in the paint.

Take care of the package.

Don't forget to give it to Pau.

Keep your eye on the snake in the grass.

GO LAKERS!! WE GOT THIS!!!!!!!

What's the over/under of Ben Gordon taking a huge paycut to join us next year? Tell me that the odds are good...

-bozz-

The question on the pre-game show is who's more likely to get into the hall of fame: Horry, Mutombo or Webber.

SERIOUSLY??????

Big Shot Bobby - no question.

GO LAKERS!

Listening to you guys on 710 ESPN! Good Job! P.S. Get a Twitter!

Matt

Let's go Lakers. Let it be known throughout all the basketball kingdom that you are the greatest in the NBA.

Olf,

Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!


Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!
Let's Go Bulls!

I would LOVE to see Boston lose to start the night off right!

Go Lakers!!!

Posted by: olf | April 23, 2009 at 05:56 PM

DID THE CAT BIT YOUR FINGERS?

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE HEART OF A CELTIC!

Olf,

I would love to see the Lakers lose to finish my nite ... and Im 24 minutes from it!

Well,
Once again we see the lakkers lose a game to a team that had no business winning. The Lakers fell back into thier old regular season bad habits of Kobe not guarding his man and putting unecessary pressure on the rest of the team to cover for him once again. Pau Gasol played around with the ball in the post and had it stolen instead of taking the ball strong to the basket against a smaller Carlos Boozer, Kobe kept taking shots while struggling instead of getting easy shots by taking the ball to the rim. The Lakers shot jump shots and did not take advantage of driving to the basket with Utah in the penalty in the last 7 minutes of the game, the Jazz went to the rim. The Lakers gave up a 13 point lead, championship teams finish these type games like Cleveland and Denver are doing. LeBron leads his team and never allows Cleveland to give up a big lead because he reads the game situation and puts pressure on the defense when in the penalty by driving to the basket. Kobe is not leading the lakers right now, he should not allow his team to give up a lead like that. The lakers played with fire, got burnt and lost regular season games that they should have won but in this second season being the playoffs, if you play with fire, you will get burned. Utah now feel they can play with the lakers and will have a great chance to win game 4 and tie the series. We as fans talk about how good Kobe is and defend him in the eyes of other fans but frankly Kobe has not really shown smart leadership and the ability to take over a game when it is in the balance in a while and as much as I hate to admitt it, LeBron does.

Charles and Kenny just touched on the lakers bad habit of not defending..hmmmm. my point exactly, and they are 100% correct.


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