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Breakdown Takedown Shakedown


Ah, the unintentional comedy stylings of Bob Seger.

Along these thematic lines, I conducted an Internet shakedown for breakdowns of the upcoming Lakers-Rockets series, and took down a trio.  The first comes from Forum Blue and Gold's Kurt Helin, who notes, among other points, the importance of running Yao Ming into the ground, an objective made potentially easier with the second round's breakneck pace.

       The other thing is you can still wear Yao down — he is in far better condition than he was just a couple years ago, and the crazy number of television timeouts in the playoffs help. But he is just never going to be doing triathlons. The Lakers did get to him this season, and with the every-other-night nature of this round the Lakers may be able to wear him down some. Gasol and Bynum can run the floor well, the Lakers need to push Yao and make him sprint.

• In case you didn’t see the schedule for this round: Game 1 at Lakers: Mon., May 4, 7:30; Game 2 at Lakers: Wed., May 6, 7:30; Game 3 at Rockets: Fri., May 8, 6:30; Game 4 at Rockets: Sun., May 10, 12:30; Game 5* at Lakers: Tues., May 12, TBD; Game 6* at Rockets: Thurs., May 14, TBD; Game 7* at Lakers: Sun., May 17, TBD.

The second preview comes from Fox Sports' Charley Rosen.  The venerable scribe thinks the Lakers should take the contest in six games, but can envision possibilities for a Rockets upset.  Among the reasons...

     Since fronting bothers Yao so much, Houston has taken to setting him up for 10-foot jumpers — Kobe Yao which are virtually unstoppable and uncannily soft and accurate. Also, Yao's sheer mass will clog up the middle on defense and discourage layups. 

When and if (Andrew) Bynum gets nailed with early fouls, Yao can easily out-size and overpower (Pau) Gasol. While (DJ) Mbenga is big and strong, he's also crude and extremely foul prone. And Luis Scola will wind up with uncontested jumpers from the stripe whenever Yao is doubled.

Besides, Scola is too rough and tumble an interior scorer for either Gasol or Odom to handle one-on-one.

Fellow "Lakers in six guy" SI's Scott Howard-Cooper notes Phil Jackson and Rock Adelman's not-so-fond stroll down Memory Lane.

   Speaking of "it could get ugly," Phil Jackson and Rick Adelman have a history, and it's not a polite one. The heated Lakers-Kings playoff matchups earlier in the decade, most notably the historic seven-game Western Conference finals of 2002, included Jackson poking at his coaching counterpart. Jackson is never going to be popular at a coaching convention, but he has been particularly below the belt with Adelman.

Finally, a few notes of my own.  This morning, I fired up the DVR and watched the last meeting between these squads.  The 93-81 win featured an army of cats blazing "Banging with Mbenga" T-shirts and a wide array of reasons why the season's 4-0 clip against the Rockets wasn't a fluke.  Some observations...

  • The Rockets don't post Yao Ming down low at the start of possessions nearly enough.  He's their biggest advantage, but for reasons I or Mark Jackson (calling the game) couldn't wrap our heads around, he spends a lot time up high or at the tippy top of the box.  Aside from the potentially easy buckets the Rockets miss, they dont get to capitalize on Yao's passing skills, that ability to find teammates wide open after his close proximity to the basket forces a double team.  Again, I don't get it.
  • In lieu of dumping the ball deep inside, the Rockets often rely on guys like Ron Artest, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks to create shots for themselves.  That tendency explains in part why the Rockets both struggle to score and turn the ball over a fair amount for a team that limits its own possessions while plodding.  It's often quite predictable and pretty ooogly.  For all the discipline Houston exhibits defensively, they're often sloppy while in possession of the rock.

    During the game, it was noted that Artest's career clip from the Staples floor is a paltry 37%.  Not Artest sure if that tally also includes games against the arena's red headed step children, but in any event, Ron Ron shoots bad bad while in L.A.  Throw in the way he often monopolizes the ball and- were I the Lakers- I'd try to force the ball into his hands far from the cup whenever possible, then wait for him to make a mistake.  Between a propensity for being goaded into terrible shots and an overestimation of his playmaking abilities, this doesn't strike me as a stretch.
  • Brooks may be the more explosive and potentially dangerous player, but the offense tends to run steadier with  backup Kyle Lowry running the show.  (And by the way, remember a while back when I wondered if the Celts would have been better off trying to trade for Lowry instead of waiting out Stephon Marbury's release?  I stand by my questioning of their approach.)
  • Aside from the obvious candidates (Yao, Ron Ron), there are two Houstonites I'd peg most with the potential to most likely to cause Laker headaches. 

    First is Luis Scola, whose combo of controlled scoring prowess, rebounding and effort can seriously impact a game.  Plus, he may spark fits of jealous rage from Sasha Vujacic over their matching hair do/head band looks.  Hell, the two could even play brothers if you were casting a movie about hippie roundball players.  Is Scola trying to horn in on The Machine's action?  Is this series big enough for both of them?  They won't spend much time guarding each other, but it may still be officially "on." 

    The other would be Lakers Blog icon Von Wafer.  I know it sounds wholly predictable that I'd champion the Lakers Blog icon/K Brother fave, but all joking aside, Von has a serious green light off the bench and is averaging nearly 17 points against his old employers this season.

    Plus, dude's got a mohawk!  You just can't sleep on that.

More thoughts to come as we get closer to Game 1's start.

AK


 
Comments () | Archives (83)

The comments to this entry are closed.

AK/BK,

Thank you for answering my question on you podcast, just got finished listening to it. Pretty funny, by the way. I agree that LO most likely won't see time on the floor with drew and pao, especially this late in the season.

And btw, LG is a SHE, not a he. Its pretty simple, LG stands for my middle and last initials (and Laker Girl, so it all worked out). LG = Girl. =)

LG (how many times have I typed that?)

If the Lakers cant beat the Rockets in 5 games, shame on them.

I'm betting the Lakers will be up by 15 in at least 3 games of this series. And I'm betting they'll cough up the lead a few times.

But since they literally have no one to guard Gasol or Odom this matchup should be quick and painless as long as focus is there and respect is paid to the opponent.

You dont win a season series 4-0 for nuffin.

I'd be shocked and disappointed if the Lakers dont dismantle these cats.

If the Lakers play focused, hit their shots and rotate well on D they should finish the Rockets in 4 or 5. But when was the last time they played like that for an entire game? January? February?

I agree they better keep Yao on the move. On every houston miss I want to see drew or pau run to the front of the rim & go one-on-one and get some fouls on Scola (hey shes cute).

I remember watching a Rockets/Suns game this season Yao had fallen down and was holding Shaq's shorts to keep him from beating him down the floor. Pretty funny to see.

Cautiously hopeful.

Go Lakers!!!

I hate Bob Seger. The fact that he's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an absolute travesty.

He's a lyrical whiner, a mediocre songwriter, and repeats his chorus ad naseum in 99% of his songs.

The guy's a hack.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

K Bros: Will Von Wafer grant y'all an exclusive interview? After all, he IS our "icon."

Lakers in five and Ron Ron Bill d'Artest at one point running into the stands and assaulting a nachos vendor after prolonged exposure to the Bio-Chrono Weapon.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

sup Korey...

There is a difference in these big blown leads. Phil is a coach once he gets a per say 18-20 point cushion he will go to the reserves alot.. Alot of these other coaches will keep there players in the game until the game is over. I watched the game 6 houston and blazer game and houston kept there regulars in until the blazers took there regulars out.

I have a feeling that the bulls will win with a game winning buzzer beater not over time ben goiden will make it if that happens lakers willl lose in the finals to the cavs god told me
zzer beater in

I hope Kobe throws one of his cheap elbows at Artest! My bad ... I forgot Artest is bigger than him. He only throws them at small guys.

I hate Sampson!

We'd be better served by ending this series as quickly as possible (my prediction is 5 in almost the same fashion as the last round). Either Dallas or Denver is going to be riding a wave of excellent play into the WCF and I think that series is going to be our toughest challenge yet. Not wanting to look ahead though as this series should be tough, entertaining and reveal yet again why the Lakers have been championship favorites since the beginning of the season. Monday night is back to ballin' time!

I think the so-called experts are being conservative saying the Lakers will win in six. People want to give the Rockets "respect." The truth is we have their number and should handle them easily. The only way we lose more than one game is if the refs let Scola, Battier and Artest get away with murder. These guys aren't as physically tough as the Jazz and we should take them out easier.

AK,

Excellent pre-game analysis. I agree with all of your points. Naturally, I’m predicting the Lakers will sweep the Rockets 4-0. Rebounding literally and figuratively from the nightmare against the Jazz, Drew will be the big difference maker against the Rockets. He is the one Laker who can slow down Yao Ming on offense and very possibly get him into foul trouble on defense. More importantly, Drew’s presence frees Pau to match up against Sola, whom he will dominate, and Lamar to return to the bench, where his leadership is needed.

I also don’t see Kobe falling for any of Ron Ron’s psycho-crap. Sag off the sucker and let him bomb away. Interesting that Phil gave Kobe the NY Times article about Battier. Don’t think we’re going to see any 5 for 24 nights from Kobe this series. I would like to see the Lakers run Yao into the ground and attack the rim to get him into foul trouble. While it may take Drew a little more time to get his defense all the way back, I like the idea of him attacking Yao aggressively with quick and decisive moves. Wear Yao out by the 4th.

As for bulletin board material, both Ron Artest’s and Tracy McGrady’s controversial quotes have probably already given Rick Adelman heartburn. Ron Ron didn’t really learn anything from his mouthing off during the last game against Kobe, did he? And I wonder how funny it is going to feel for Tracy McGrady sitting on the bench as his team makes it past the 1st round for the first time in history and is playing against the team he has predicted will win it all this year. TMac is not going to enjoy watching this series from the bench.

Your recap of the Lakers and Rockets history was interesting. Two teams named for communities they long since abdicated, the Lakers and Rockets have never been rivals. The funny thing with rivalries is that it usually requires two teams in order to have one. Furthermore, it often requires two teams that have traded hard fought playoff victories. That’s why I laugh at the Trailblazers. How can you have a rivalry if you’ve never beaten the other team in the playoffs. The Lakers actually only have one rival – the Celtics – although you could also argue that the Spurs are a rival, but only with an asterisk.

The Trailblazers, the Jazz, the Hornets – these teams may “think” they have a rivalry with the Lakers but nobody wearing purple and gold really “think” they have a rivalry with them. Same goes for Suns, Nuggets, Clippers, Mavericks, or any other NBA team where rivalries are cheap and division and conference banners hang. They make sell out the arena, give everybody free T-shirts and noisemakers, and act as if there is a rivalry, but in reality they are just another speed bump on the Lakers road to the NBA championship.

Tom

Yao establishing himself down low requires him to expend more energy - farther to run, more pushing/shoving involved down low. I think they are trying to maximize his effective time on the court, and him playing up high is one way to do that.

rdlee - I totally agree. I read the Rosen article and it seems to me that he's giving the Rockets the slightest chance, half-heartedly. Rosen was a guy whose bread and butter was his elbows, on the playgrounds, various minor league teams, etc.. Yao's huge but he's more finesse than physical. IMO, Deke was a big loss in this series.

Ex,

I suspect that rationale does play a role, except I don't think it's effective and actually leads Houston to wasting more of Yao's time. If I were Adelman, I'd rather Yao play five fewer minutes a game and tailor full blast to his strengths than piddle around so much with that advantage taken away. He's gonna get tired either way, but this way, it's often while not helping as much as he could.

AK

AK,

Series comes down to Kobe meeting the challenge of Artest and Battier by letting his superior team mates deliver fatal play. 100 points will be victory threshold. Yao Ming can play 40 minutes in playoff games so Lakers depth may not be a factor.

Can Kobe allow his team mates to contribute?
Hopefully yes.

Hmmm. . .

I hope the Lakers are paying attention better than me. I've watched all of the Lakers / Rockets match-ups this season and I just realized that Kyle Lowry & Carl Landry are two different guys.

Go Lakers!!!

LakerTom,

"How can you have a rivalry if you’ve never beaten the other team in the playoffs."

Excellent point. I have another question ... How can fans talk smack about another team when their team has only beaten that team 2 times in 11 head to head series?

Interesting Korey since when you have been so pessimistic (as in can't win the series in 5 games shame on them).

The Celtics went to 7 games against the Atlanta Hawks.....yet won the championship!

As long as the Lakers win the series that is what matters.

Though I say Lakers in 5 6 at most.

Again: DON'T MIND TOO MUCH ABOUT THE LOSSES! THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS AS LONG AS THE LAKERS WIN THE SERIES IT IS ALL GOOD. THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE EASY AFTER ALL!!

Justin,

Game 4 We did not cough up the lead like you said we left in the regulars in there. BUT people here CRIED and WHINED about Andrew Bynum receiving *ONLY* 7 minutes in that game and wanted Jackson to use his bench more. 4th Quarter Game 5 SPEAKS FOR ITSELF when he used more of his bench and they choked (even with Kobe).

Some people just don't know what they want. If Jackson doesn't use his bench more he failed to use them. If Jackson used his bench more he will cough up leads.

Again don't put Powell/Mbenga/ (Bynum if he is in foul trouble again) in the game until there is like 2 minutes left and the lead is big enough for the bench not to choke.

131,

"I hope Kobe throws one of his cheap elbows at Artest! My bad ... I forgot Artest is bigger than him. He only throws them at small guys."

Dude, you used that line last week. It's a new series, try to be a little more original.

And i don't buy any of what Charley Rosen said as far as a possible upset.

First of all, we don't front Yao. I watched every game against Houston and we maybe did it a hand full of times. When he's in the post, we either play him straight up or bring the double team from the baseline.

Which brings the next point about Gasol guarding Yao. Of course Yao overpowers Pau, but El Spaniard is very crafty when he has to defend him. That matchup is not much of an advantage for Houston.

And finally, Scola is too much for Odom and Gasol to handle? Really? Flip that over and I think the Lakers have a much more clear advantage when Scola has to guard Gasol or especially Odom.

The only reason Scola had so many open jumpers in the Blazers series is because Portland payed an inordinate amount of attention to Yao. They used both bigs to front and play behind Yao, obviously leaving Scola wide open. While the Lakers will give Yao special attention, they won't double him as much and they have the length and quickness to recover if Scola is left open.

I still standby the Lakers in 6, though, I won't be surprised if they end it in 5.

131,

"How can fans talk smack about another team when their team has only beaten that team 2 times in 11 head to head series?"

And here's one more: How can a "fan" talk smack on another teams' blog, who has already advanced, when their respective team is in a game seven as a #2 seed against a #7 seed?

131-92,

>>> How can fans talk smack about another team when their team has
>>> beaten that team 2 times in 11 head to head series?

Since the Celtics are going to be eliminated from the playoffs today, I will break a rule and reply. The reason we can talk smack to your team is that 10 of those 11 head to head series you so earnestly refer to happened over 20 years ago, which means that as a typical bandwagon Celtics fan, last year’s was the first Celtics championship that you saw. And after tonight, you will quickly realize that it will also be the last one you see.

FTT!

Tom

>>>How can fans talk smack about another team when
>>>their team has only beaten that team 2 times in 11
>>>head to head series?

Well, let's see. The Lakers have been in the finals 29 times.
The Celtics have only made it to the finals 11 of those seasons.
If your team had actually MADE the finals some of those other
18 seasons, it would probably be more balanced out.

And again this year... the Lakers will be in the finals, hoping
for Kevin Garnett to recover so the Lakers can whup their green
asses all the way back to Boston, but the Celtics won't come
close.

I do think your boys will make it past Chicago tonight, but in the
next round you're toast.

And once again, the Celtics will duck out of the playoffs early
rather than suffer the humiliation of getting swept by the Lakers.

K Bros: Will Von Wafer grant y'all an exclusive interview? After all, he IS our "icon."
Posted by: utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER | May 02, 2009 at 12:58 PM

uhhhh I dnt think so...maybe your icon..but certainly not mines

Yao being tired?

Not watching Houston play that much, I can't comment on how his play declines late in the game.

NBA stats say he avg. 34 min. in the reg season.
36 minutes per 1st round game, but in his last three games he played, 42 - 41 - 44.

TV time outs seem to give him more time to rest up and more time on the floor

Scola will have his hands full with Pau. Scola will be pulling double duty as the Center. We will see Yao and Scola fade away gracefully as the series goes deeper.

The bench mob is gonna be a Factor. Rotate the players in a slowly, I dont wanna see 4 reserves in at the same time.

Lakers in 4 1/2. If we beat ourselves, Houston only gets half of the credit.

I agree Jon k. Bob Seger is overrated. Turn the Page is his only great song.

GO LAKERS!

Rob,

My apologies. I dont remember sayn that but if I did Im sorry. Thank you for keeping me in check. I just know how much Kobe hates people to touch him.

I remember how upset he got when Rondo touched him tryn to get a loose ball. Rondo should have backed off and let Kobe pick it up.

Or last series when Utah tried to trap him and they put their hands on him. He followed that up with an elbow. Did not see it mentioned on here. Im assuming if a Celtic would have done that he would have been considered dirty or a thug. But not if Kobe does it. Apparently Laker fan thinks Kobe is special and its ok for Kobe to act like a Celtic. Would this be considered a double standard?

Also did not see any mention of Pierce getting hit in the face and no foul called! Eddi the WNBA rule book expert pointed out that any hit to the head wheather intentional or unintentional is a flagrant. Not only was a flagrant not called but no foul was called. Why not the outrage like there was when Rondo committed his foul tryn to stop a game tying basket? Would this be considered a double standard?

Is a 2-9 head to head record enough to be considered a "rivalry?"

As a Rockets fan, I think this series is going to be better than most people project. I know the Lakers won all four regular season meetings between these two teams and that alone should make LA the favorite in this series. They earned it. Having to go through LA to get to the NBA Finals is not surprising at all. If my Rockets want to be the best, they've got to beat the best.

I believe they will play better and much more loosely now that their first round drought has ended. The last three games between these two teams were actually quite competitive games. So anything can happen. Houston has a chance (not a GOOD chance, but a chance nonetheless) of pulling this off. For all we know, the Rockets could have saved all their victories against the Lakers for the playoffs.

But I'm afraid defeating LA in a 7-game series is going to be too tall of an order for the Rockets this year. I'm gonna stick with my original prediction and say Los Angeles in 7 with each team grabbing one road win.

BTW, I'm not a Laker hater; just a big Houston fan who's excited for his team. Here's to a good series. Let's get these games going!

Jon K.

I totally agree. Bob Seeger is a commercial hack. And in "Old Fashioned Rock N. Roll" he says not to take him to a disco because he won't go out on the floor. Well that song sounded a lot like dance music to me!!

But, on to more important things . . .

LET'S PLAY TO MAKE TEX PROUD!!!

GOOOooooOOOO LAKERS!!

ChicNStu,

"I agree Jon k. Bob Seger is overrated. Turn the Page is his only great song."

Agreed, however, "Turn The Page" does annoy be because it's basically another Seger whinefest where he complains about how rough it is to be a Rock and Roll star. Give me a break.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Jon K-
"We may as well use the best trash talk possible. We may as well use the best mind games possible."

i'm cool with that....

LakerTom,

Your right ... I didnt see any of the Celtic titles in the 80s. But the good thing is YOU did. Like im sure you saw all 9 in the 60's. Does the name Don Nelson mean anything to you? I bet you still have confetti in your pockets from that game in '69. How bout ballons did you take them home or are they still collecting dust in the forum? NOT ON RUSSELLS WATCH!

If something happened over 20 yrs ago ... does that mean it didnt happen? So I guess the Lakers still play in Minneapolis.

Since I have only seen 1 Celtic championship, I can take comfort in the fact youve seen them all. That makes me really happy.

Since you said the Celtics are gonna lose tonite ... Im sure they will. Cuz your never wrong. Im sure you thought we were gonna give you a beat down last yr too. Oh but your boy Bynum wasnt there. So I guess that will be your excuse again this yr cuz I dont see him!

AND REMEMBER NOT ON RUSSELLS WATCH YOUR NOT!

Long time,

If your right and my math is right that means you lost 15 times. So that means you have less than a break even record in the Finals. Hardly anything to brag about. Are you a Buffalo Bills fan too?

DIDNT JERRY WEST ONCE SAY ... HOW CAN YOU CALL IT A RIVALRY WHEN THE SAME TEAM WINS? Now theres a smart man and aclass act!

ChicNstu,

Not a huge fan of Bob Seger – give me Springsteen or Mellencamp any day - but Night Moves has to be one of the top 100 rock songs. At least where I grew up.

Tom

131,

I appreciate having a Celtic fan in the discussion. But you are just trash talking, probably mostly about titles won when you weren't even born.

Aren't 9 of those 11 not just 20 but actually 40 or more years ago? I have huge respect for the sixties Celtics and think Russell gets shafted when greatest players ever are discussed. He is somewhere 1-5, he was the motor of that dynasty. That was a great team. We all will give you that era, the Celts simply owned it.

Now, on to eras where the ball wasn't actually made from a pig's bladder.

Since 1969 it's 9 titles for the Lakers and 5 for the Celtics.

Let's see - Magic vs. Bird. That era had 5 titles for the Lakers and 3 for Boston, with the Lakers going 2-1 head to head.

Since then? 3 titles for the Lakers and one for Boston. And Boston was a non-factor between 1987-2007. A complete non factor for 20 years.

If you come in here, show a little respect for what has been the pre-eminent franchise in the NBA in the post Bill Russell era. Playoffs almost every year. 15 Finals trips. 9 titles.

Good luck today squeezing into the second round. I would enjoy nothing more than an LA - Boston Finals. But I think we all know which team will be missing from the Finals again this year.

Jon K.;

Bob Seger is ultra famous - hence, he is in the Hall of Fame. He uses a proper formula for writing hit music - hence he has lots of hits and is ultra famous. Writing hit music is not an accident, as one must run correctly 24.7.365 - hence he hit the proper formula for writing hit music by working harder than the next unknown. He probably never puts anybody down, so is liked by his peers and was accepted into each and every door needed to spur a strong work ethic. I could go on, but. . . . what do you do besides blog?

Scola is like an Ugly Sasha, or Bizarro Sasha, if you prefer. More diversely skilled and consistent, less physically attractive. At least Sasha can be safe in the knowledge that he's prettier. Personally, I look forward to him cutting that damned hair.

If Drew should get into foul trouble (god, I hope not) and Pau has to guard Yao, I'm not worried. Pau's done a pretty good job in their previous match-ups. Hell, Pau got Yao to foul out during the Spain/China match in the Olympics. He just needs to be the consistent guy we know and love. I expect Pau AND Drew to shine in this series.

Just want to say, you Laker fans are right. What duffas goes around claiming 11-2 when 9 of those were: before the ABA NBA merger, the 3 point line, and people only dribbled with their dominant hands?

LOL, you guys are owning 131-92....I used to like the Celtics, but the way these guys act, and the way 131-92 acts, you might as well count me out. We old Celtics fans know a good franchise when we see it. Props to the Lakers, the modern day "Celtics". I wish my Celtics weren't one and done like they have been for the past 30 years. RIP Len and Reggie, I'd rather see them playing than that timberwolf masqerading as a Celtic.

'you people'....don't say i didn't warn you...this Rockets team is way more physical than the soft fakers and they will punch you in the mouth...obviously you haven't paid attention...lets see how overconfident you are after game one...make sure you come back and take your medicine

I've watched Chicago and Boston, and i think the reason Chicago can't beat Boston in closed games because of Boston's offense, the screen and roll is still tough for most of the NBA teams because players are young and most teams don't play defense. You have to play perfectly to defend it, if you make mistake next time, opponents will come back and have a chance to beat you.

The future of Lakers coach, he should use screen and roll offense, because you will get more wins against NBA teams, even in the closed games. A good shooter like Kobe will be good in screen and roll offense, he doesn't need to take tough shots with defenders in front of him, with open-look in 1,2 seconds , i believe that Kobe will make the shots.

I give credit to GM of Houston and Orlando. Orland had point guard out of the season, but the manager is smart, he traded with Houston to get Alston, not a bad trade. Houston got young good point guard in return, but Houston still have another point guard Brooks, he is quick, agaisnt him, Steve Blake is just a back up point guard in the NBA.

We all know Lakers need a speedy point guard 4,5 years ago, but it did not happens. If Lakers get a good speedy point guard , we did not have to talk about defending Steve Nash, Tony Parker,..., Steve Blake.

With Artest and Battier expending so much energy trying to deny Kobe, it might explain Artest's low shooting percentage at Staples as AK brought out.

I still stand by the pressure is on Ron Ron B. Artest to perform, without McGrady taking the lead in shooting and Von Wafer McGrady trying to pick up the slack.

There is Good Ron and Bad Ron.

Bad Ron REALLY forces bad shots and makes poor decisions.

Good Ron goes low in the post, smartly muscles his way in and makes Lamar foul him.

I think his problem is that he sees himself as a Kobe like offensive player, as many kids on the playgrounds try to do. They and Ron want to be like Kobe. The problem is that those kids and Ron as much as they try, can't be like Kobe.

Tom;

Not so fast - Boston's win last year is completely legit, and since they made mincemeat of our Lakers, Sssshhh. Now you predict a Chicago win and pre-blast? Are you kidding?
Please take your medication.

Scalabrine looks like a middle-aged rec league player who belongs in TV commercials as the butt of jokes. He's an embarrassment to SC alumni everywhere.

Laker Fan

"Scalabrine looks like a middle-aged rec league player who belongs in TV commercials as the butt of jokes. He's an embarrassment to SC alumni everywhere."

Scal is an embarrassment to SC? OJ is an embarrassment! What has he done to cause the alumni to be embarrassed? He doesnt look like you think he should look? With SC proud bk tradition?

Laker fan you want respect show some.

You guys count post Russell? I count post Shaq!

Ron Artest is overrated and is just a good player. Other than win a DPOY award, he's hasn't done anything else significant and doesn't warrant the ink that he's receiving for this series. Quick, can anyone on here tell me what's he's done against us this year??? Even by his own admission, he didn't really do anything against Portland except in game 6 when they clinched it.

I doubt that Artest will be a headache for us in this series and will help us more than he helps his own team. In fact, the Lakers have more to worry about with Yao, Scola, Battier, Brooks, Landry and VonWafer than they do Artest. Personally, I think too many members of the media give Artest way too much credit as a player. I also think that Artest isn't even in the top 5 players that defend Kobe well. I would put Bowen, Stephen Jackson, Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince, James Posey, Andre Iguodala and even Raja Bell ahead of Artest when it comes to guarding Kobe. Don't believe me? Just look at the head to head matchups between Kobe and Artest and you'll see what I mean.

I say that Artest will have an impact in one game in this series which the Rockets will possibly win in Houston. After that he'll just be another would be Kobe Stopper thrown on top of the heap and we'll hear about how they'll be a threat next year which I doubt as well. The only player left in these playoffs that will give Kobe any trouble is LeBron which speaks volumes of how much LeBron has improved on the defensive end of the floor.

Lakers in 5.

Ok Gentlemen

Lets not let 131 bring you down to his level.

Somebody once posted. " Do'nt Argue with a classless idiot. He will bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience".

GO LAKERS!!

131-92

i don't care. i have an actual life. i do enjoy the competition in the game however!

the competition on the LakersBlog is pretty meaningless, unless one is a troll with nothing else going for him....

so-

i congratulate you on your trolling success and all the attention you have garnered. "your" team will win or lose no matter what you do, so i'm not really sure where the extra pride is coming from, still i don't deny it of you. enjoy!

nothing changes the fact that that Celtics squad, win or lose, is made up of nutcases, weenies and criminals. their style of play shows it, in the same way that the Lakers players are trying to play the right way(basketball-wise), regardless of success or failure.

are the Lakers or their fans perfect? no more than Boston and Boston's, the difference is we don't need to troll you to find meaning and happiness, we're enjoying or own thing! we don't care about your team or your fandom. we do enjoy the rivalry and would love the chance to beat you guys in the finals. you have to get there first.....

good luck! may the best team win!....or maybe you just want to poop on others, in either case you're representing your team. good job...

i'm stimulated enough to type this, but not enough to spend time comparing penis length, so respond if you like, i may or may not.

Hinrich of the Chicago Bulls remind me of Farmar in the first half of game 7 playing tonight. His indecisiveness and TO enable the C to come back from 9 points down. The Bulls will not win tonight because it lacks bench output..

Even though it looks like the Celtics are going to win tonight, I hope that they'll give the Bulls some credit for making it a tough series because unless I missed something, I really haven't heard Doc Rivers or Celtic players give any credit to the Bulls. I've heard Doc Rivers say in the post game press conferences that his team isn't doing that or doing this and giving the Bulls very little to no credit for some of the things that have happened in this series.

I think that it will be a very interesting series against the Magic in round 2. Great series between the Celtics and the Bulls.

Dear Mr. 131

Remember how we felt last year after Game 6? Dwight Howard is gonna show you, Red's Bastard Child, and the rest of you greenie weenies exactly what that feels like come Round 2.

Love,

Laker Nation

P.S. Y'all aint tihs without KG on the floor!

I don't like the Celtics, but I respect them and congratulations for winning a tough series against the Bulls. But there are several things I'd like to point out though about the Celtics.

I really think that the Networks that showed this series spent way too much time showing KG on the bench and talking about a player that won't play in these playoffs. No disrespect to KG, but showing him constantly cursing, screaming and making faces is a bit redundant and over the top in my opinion. Not much was mentioned during the series, but the Bulls missed Luol Deng a lot in this series as well.

While both teams played very physical, trash talked and taunted, I really think that some guys went overboard. Eddie House in my opinion takes it a little too far for my taste, but again there are players on every team that celebrate excessively.

Nice to see both Paul Pierce and Coach Rivers give the Bulls some credit for a great series. Again, just some observations, but I give the Celtics credit for moving on and I hope that we can have another Laker/Celtic finals.

Go Lakers!!!

Beating the Bulls in 7 games is nothing. Everyone made a big deal about the Celts w/o KG, but what about the Bulls w/o Deng (arguably their second best player). Even though the Bulls played with heart, they have only one shooter (Gordon) who can hit outside shots somewhat consistently. Noah, Thomas and Rose are very limited jump shooters. The Celts on the other hand have Pierce, Allen, Scalbrine, Davis, and House. I laugh at the acquistions of Moore and Starbury!
Magic in 6!
Enough about the Leastern Conference. I think Dallas and Denver may go 7. Lakers in 5 over Rockets. LA in 5 or 6 over Denver. All of this is dependent upon no key injuries, of course.

the rockets won't be a factor...take my word...
lakers beat them without bynum, they beat them without both bynum and odom...they don't have a chance...it's up to the lakers not to sweep them....

Otis,

I do lots of things including being a former professional musician. I've been playing guitar for 25 years.

Bob Seger sucks. Always has. Always will.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Well it wasn't a thriller like the other games were. Looks like the Bulls just ran out of gas. Shame that the series is over. That being said the Bulls have a bright future ahead of themselves. Even if they can't get back Ben Gordon (if they can all the better) they have a good team for next year with the personnel they have. I always said that Miller/Salmons trade from Sacramento was big for them and those Bulls fans said "Nay". Great series by them.

After the game I watched the Hatton-Pacquiao fight and Pacquiao just DEMOLISHED Ricky Hatton in less than two rounds.

This will no doubt lead to a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao fight in the future. Can't wait for that one!

Innocent Bystander - thanks for the nice post.

Jon - what kind of guitar(s) do you play? I'm a strat man myself, although I've had a lot of different guitars over almost 40 years.

Junior, Rockets win in 7. To all of you predicting sweep - not gonna happen. Glad Bynum's back - works to our advantage.

Everybody, let's raise our beverages and toast the 2009 Boston Celtics for barely getting out of the first round and proving to be the worst #2 seed in recent memory. And yes, Celtics fans can raise their milk bottles with us.

lakers in 5 if their feeling nice.

or else it's a sw.. swe.. swweeeeeeeep.

So many people on here think the Lakers are NBA royalty. The Lakers still aren't close to the Celtics historically. While I think LA will win the series, too many people are underestimating the Rockets. It may be a sweep, but if you look at the season series, you have to throw out the first two games. That isn't even the same Houston team. The last two games showed LA is superior but not by much. If the Rockets can steal one at Staples, watch out. This could go the distance. If the Lakers take care of business at home, I think it will be a four or five game series. This Houston team is gritty and I think they present the Lakers some problems.

Lakers will beat the rockets..of course Rocket fans have to have hope that their team can win..of course I will say they are wrong but then again they will say I am wrong..Lakers in 6.

--It's the Hall of FAME and Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" is one of the most famous songs ever. Period. I liked him when I was 12. Nuff said.

--Scalabrine is one of, um, maybe 2 players from USC to ever have an NBA career that lasted more than 2 seasons. Be proud cuz that's all you got!

--Lakers will destroy the Rockets. It's unfortunate because I have a hard time rooting against Yao but if you think that Battier is going to drop 3's like he did against Portland you're out of your mind.

--Artest is not a stable human and a couple of headband moves from The Machine will be enough to get him ejected at least once. Artest also shoots less than 40%.

--Aaron Brooks? Are you kidding?

--Bring on the Mavs.

Rosen is losing it if he thinks Scola is too "rough and tumble" for LO to handle, and I can't really see Luis having his way with Pau either, who's just plain bigger.

131,
Looks like Rondo has been taking acting lessons from Pierce.
Yes the C's have the all time head-to-head adv, but we're interested in Now.
For example, the Yankees historically have been the better team, however, your RedSox have owned them this decade.
I'm sure you've told the Yankee fans to stop living in the past.
I was hoping LA could avenge last year but I doubt you'll get past Orlando.

Excellent analysis Clutch City. I like Yao and the Rockets, but in the end, they just don't have enough fire power. Its a shame that they haven't been able to bring in more talent to play with Yao.

"Junior, Rockets win in 7. To all of you predicting sweep - not gonna happen. Glad Bynum's back - works to our advantage."

Hmm maybe, maybe no sweep but the Lakers have clearly the advantage.

Tougher than even Ootah series? Probably and should be because a team in the 2nd round should be tougher than the 2nd.

Your advantage?? XD. No Dikembe anymore plus keeps the defensive pressure off of Pau.

Lakers in 5, at most 6. (A HOOT FOR THE BANDWAGON FANS/STANS WHO WILL CRY WOLF SHOULD THE LAKERS LOSE A GAME IN HOUSTON).

LA Lakers: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Houston Rockets: Sharmba Mitchell

By reading what the Boston trolls post, you can quickly figure out that they are proud graduates of KG's college.

If KG did go to college, he'd major in Dentristy, with an emphasis in Gold Teeth.

Let's just hope dirty Rondo's face is introduced to Dwight Howard's elbow in the next series. Heck, Rondo could come out of it looking better. Maybe Howard's elbow could also wipe that constipated look off of Perkins' face.

131-92,

i am so pissed at u.

the lakers are not dirty. kobe is not dirty.
stop whining about kone's elbows; tell ur team to stop moving picks because it is illegal, tell rondo to keep his elbows, hold the ur team's ego,.. get out of this blog.

&@#%!

Great post, innocent bystander.

We appreciate your maturity and the fact that you're well spoken. Such a nice contrast to the other guy.

While Boston wasn't defeated tonight, I don't think they can handle Dwight. He is a whole other dimension to what they're used to. Perkins is a good player, but he's no Dwight.

But now that Laker ball is back on, I'm not going to be paying that close of attention. I'm so glad Monday isn't far off!

Congrats to the Celtics. Keeps hope alive for an LA - Boston Finalls.

Chicago just ran out of gas halfway through the second quarter.

dave m,

I used to have a 70's Strat! Beautiful sound, kind of a pain to play.

Now I primarily play 12-string acoustic and Spanish nylon, but my main electrics are a maple-top Hamer and a 12-string Hamer.

How about you?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

{Lakers Secret Agent Jon K. Reporting DEEP Behind Enemy Lines From Underneath A Pile Of Rotting Leaves In The Mucky Gray Wastes Of Northeast Ohio}

[Unleashing The Bio-Chrono Weapon]

[TARGET: Shane Battier}

Shane's Bio-Chrono reading is actually pretty darn similar to that of Yao Ming's. So many of the same strategies will work with Shane Battier. Obviously, insulting Shane Battier for being a Communist won't work like it will for Yao Ming, so I'll try to come up with something else.

Physical: Shane is physically orientated, which means the tension between comfort and stress is the primary factor in his physical decision making.

Emotional: Shane is mentally orientated which means the crux between trust and distrust governs his emotional life.

Mental: Shane is spiritually/creatively orientated which means that Shane needs to feel that he is essential to the functioning and creative direction of his social group.

Spiritual/Creative: Shane is emotionally orientated which means that the drive for inner peace and to overcome suffering is the core motivation for Shane's spiritual/creative life.

Okay, so let's figure out how to throw Shane Battier off his game. There's always a way...

Physical: The main thing about Shane's type is that they don't like to be rushed. It stresses them out. They like to be relaxed. They hate to feel stressed. So, stress him out! When Shane's throwing the ball in, shout, "THROW IT! THROW IT! GO! GO! THROW IT!" in a rushed, attacking fashion.

When he has the ball, shout similiar things in his ear. Tone of voice will be important. You'll want to shout things in a loud, tense, staccato, rushed tone and phrasing. "SHANE! PASS IT! WHAT ARE YOU GONG TO DO? FASTER! NO!" Stuff like that.

When he's playing defense, really press getting that first step on him. Don't let him get into a comfort zone. Before he can get into his defensive stance, attack. You don't want to let him get comfortable. Just attack, attack, attack. It will stress him out and he'll begin freezing up as a result.

Emotional: You'll want to stimulate Shane's trust issues. Shane's trust issues a focused primarily on things working right. So, if he or someone else on his team has an injury and playing through it, talk about that injury a lot. Make statements like, "I think Yao's knee is a lot more screwed up that he's letting on. I don't think it's going to hold up, you?" Stuff like that.

Also, EVERY TIME Adelman calls a play that gets broken up, point it out to Shane. "I knew that play wasn't going to work! What is your coach thinking?" Believe it or not, this will get Battier to question future plays and the potency of teammates and he simply will not be able to execute as well.

Mental: Shane, like Yao, doesn't like selfish players. So, if a player (cough**VON WAFER**cough) is being selfish and not involving his teammates enough, pointing it out to him will make him angry, at the player. Similarly, if the Lakers are playing selflessly, it will demotivate Shane to beat them. He just socially hates selfishness, so he is extra motivated to beat selfish players/teams, he is less motivated to beat selfless teams Also, if his teammates are being selfish, he will unconciously engage in decisions that will undermine their success, so pointing out the selfish, showboating decisions of other players will lead Shane to actually diminish their game. He won't pass them the ball unless he has to.

Also, Shane needs to feel essential to the success of his team. Once again, keeping the ball out of his hands will make him feel dejected and he will begin to get angry at his teammates for not passing him the ball, even though he may not be open.

Creative/Spiritual: Shane's type is motivated by the idea of eventually acheiving enlightenment. He wants inner peace above all other things. So, don't let him have that. One way to do that is to question the validity of his decision-making process, indicating to him that it is OBVIOUS to everyone else that he has committed to a lifepath that is bound to bring him suffering and misery.

The way to do that--him being a competitor--is laugh at his choice to play for the Houston Rockets. Some examples:

"The Rockets are never going to win anything."

"As a community, Houston is the Detroit of the South."

"How long do you have left on that contract? Well, that's x-years of suffering and losing in Houston! Nice job, idiot! What were you thinking?"

Really rub these things in especially when things aren't going well for the Rockets. WHEN the Rockets fall behind in the series, remind Shane that this stress and suffering from losing is what he's going to have to get used to if he's a Houston Rocket. All the Rockets do is fail! They get a little success and then self-destruct on the launchpad!

Eventually, Shane's instinct towards self-criticism will kick in and he'll begin beating himself up without any outside stimulation. Once he turns his attention inwards in this negative fashion, his external focus becomes heavily compromised and he'll begin making lots of mistakes which will reinforce his highly self-critical mindset, eventually leading him to self-destruct.

So, those are the best ways to get at Shane Battier in a psychological war.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Jon, Bob Seger sucks?

Don't have any of his records, not the best writer, not fond of the presentation but the man has an instrument in his throat and if ya can't dance to Old Time Rock and Roll, you can't dance. Screamin' at the top of your lungs for 3 hours, in tune, is an athletic feat.
I'm happy for any musician making a living, especially the old ones.

And, go Lakers!


man i wish it was game day already.

hope the lakers are ready.

Good morning Laker FamBam and fans of other teams still in the playoffs!!!

Here's a question for everyone. What's worse in a blowout game when it comes to showing up the other team. Josh Smith attempting a between the legs dunk or the Nuggets(JR Smith mostly)constantly shooting 3's? Which would you be upset about more if you were on the opposing team?

Thanks everyone and have a great day. Go Lakers!!!

Jon, the Hamers are nice. So well built. My main guitar is a fender strat that I put together from 3 strats in the mid-70's... took the neck i liked best (maple) and the body i liked, put in just one p/u - an early dimarzio paf, one pot, schecter bridge. i've played the hell out of it for years. i also have an early schecter strat, classic look, white body, maple neck, tortoise shell pickguard. i've had a lot of other strats, some teles, a couple les pauls, sg's, an explorer, nice old gibson l-50 archtop acoustic, an epiphone, a silvertone, etc., etc.. my les paul goldtop was probably the most precise guitar i had... beautiful action and tone... but i've always been partial to strats.... they just feel loose and ready to go.

LakerTom,

Since the Celtics are going to be eliminated from the playoffs today, I will break a rule and reply. The reason we can talk smack to your team is that 10 of those 11 head to head series you so earnestly refer to happened over 20 years ago, which means that as a typical bandwagon Celtics fan, last year’s was the first Celtics championship that you saw. And after tonight, you will quickly realize that it will also be the last one you see.

FTT!

Tom

Posted by: LakerTom | May 02, 2009 at 02:19 PM

LOL .... I so happy you broke your "rule." I love it when Laker fan talks before the game instead of after and they are exposed for what they are. I hope you took your Bulls +5.5 ... LOL. Please no more picks. Actually go ahead and post more of your picks so I can take the other side! Im sure you know you cant pick games. Did you lay the -200 on your Lakers last year? Or did you play them in each game individually? Didnt the Celtics cover all 6 Finals games? Ive got all my Laker buddies on the easy payment plan ... they should be done payn me by 2020. Please dont quit your day job! Now go on ebay and sell some of you '69 confetti so you can settle up with your "man".

Im sure if the Bulls had Bynum they woulda won. I cant wait for your full page write up full of non sense. Or maybe youll just go away and spare everybody.

Tom Daniels,

Im not trash talking ... Im fact talking. I havent said anything that isnt correct. I dont name call like Laker fan ... you guys want respect but your the ones name calling like little kids calling the Celtics greenie weenies and the Paulas. Or even criminals! Whos the criminal? Ill give you Marbury but the only other I can think of is Gabe Pruitts dui and guess where he is from?? Lets start at the top ... Didnt your owner just get a dui? How bout your star player ... has he ever gotten into any problems with the law??? Do you have any idea why Shaq doesnt like Kobe??? Could it be something Kobe said??? People that live in glass houses shouldnt throw rocks!

Why do you say post Russell era? Does baseball count Yankee titles post Ruth? I agree the Lakers have been better than the Celtics in last 20 years. But if you only look at those years, then Bull fan will count titles post Magic era they have 6 ... Spurs 4 and Detroit 3. Detroit wins the tiebreaker cuz they spanked you a few yrs ago! I guess 20 yrs from now all of Magics hard work will be ignored cuz it was 40 yrs ago.

BTW the Lakers in the '90s were not exactly the best team Ive ever seen ... I was reminded of that last nite watching Del Harris on the sidelines for the Bulls. LMAO.
You had a great 5 yr period within those 20 yrs your so proud of. Or have you forgotten Club Ced?

If you wanna talk basketball ... Ill talk basketball. You trash talk ... I trash talk. I dont care either way. Cuz I have the ultimate hammer .... THE SCOREBOARD!

Real reason Doc not playing KG?

Too many recent championship parades!

Unless the city raises our taxes again, the good folks here in Boston have been told can only afford ONE parade this year.

It`s been decided to save it for the soon-to-be Stanley Cup Champion Bruins.

2009--Bruins
2008--Celtics
2007--Red Sox
2005--Patriots
2004--Red Sox & Patriots
2002--Patriots

Here's the thing about what teams are better historically -- the players on the squads *today* do not care. It's not like the Bulls are now sitting around this afternoon patting themselves on the back for all of the Jordan Era rings. No, they're disappointed, as well they should be. Only the fans care about the past -- which is fine, but not really relevant to what's going on this week or this month or this season with a given team.

Look at Kobe, for instance. The word out there is that he's so obsessed with winning another championship that from how he talks you'd think he doesn't have 3 rings already. Obviously there are some specific reasons for this, but I also am inclined to think that when he does win his next ring, the following season we will see the exact same behavior: an obsession with winning the title again, as if he's never won it before. This is because Kobe is probably the game's truest competitor; achievements from the past mean little to him all that matters is the now. If there's not a Shaq excuse for us to label this behavior with, there'll be something else.

And honestly, I'm pretty sure that if the Celtics get eliminated before the Finals this year (as much as I want them to get there), Paul Pierce and Rondo aren't going to be hunky-dory happy, brush off the loss and go polish last year's rings. At least, I would hope they don't because I'd like to think that most of the players in this league really are competitors at heart. I certainly wouldn't be pleased with that behavior from anyone on the Lakers, which is why despite all his faults I do love The Machine. Aside from Kobe he seems to be the one who took last year's finale to heart the most (possibly too much... but at least he cares)

After the second C's vs. Lake Show game this year I listened to KG say, all flustered-like, "Well we're still the World Champions". However we'll throw that aside for now. 131 - if your team has any class, they're not puffing their chests up about what their franchise has or has not done in recent or not-so-recent history and are focused solely on THIS YEAR, and probably only the playoffs of this year; so why are you stinking up your team doing it for them?

dave m,

What do you think of Telecasters? I love their sound.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

VMan,

You are correct. "He [Bob Seger] was not the best writer".

The silver Bullet Band ROCKED!

Lyrical Masters:
Mick Jagger: Most of his song are Great.
Eric Clapton: Most of his songs are great.
Steven Tyler: Most of his songs are Great.
Stevie wonder: Most of his songs are Great.
All of the members of The Eagles: ALL of their songs are great.
Steve Perry: All of his songs are Great.
Stevie Nicks: Most of her songs are Great.
I'm gonna Put Tim McGraw in there too:The Lyrics of "Dont Take the Girl" are PURE GENIUS!

The best of Seger's lyrical stylings put just about everyone else in rock to shame, c'mon. Some of his songs are pure genius, and not lost in whimsy or fantasy either, like many of the great rock lyricists, just real touch stones and heart that people can relate to (and, that said, "shakedown, breakdown, takedown" isn't one of those songs, I didn't even realize that was Bob doing that until now, wow).

He and his band rocked too.

Jon - don't know if you're still checking out this thread but I agree with you 100% about Telecasters. I think it's all that wood, and the fact that the rear pickup is set right back into the bridge. I've had three of them... one was an absolute screamer, best sounding guitar I ever had.


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