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Just as an aside, I wish the Magic hailed from the city of "Lando"

Because then you're looking at 4-7 game's worth of material involving my man below...

Lando6-2

Lando Calrissian is awesome, and the simple omission of two letters would have opened up a new world of self amusement.  Like Lando, the Magic defied the "Empire" (David Stern, the media, Nike's marketing machine), which resulted in a take down of the much ballyhooed Team LeBron, disappointment be damnedBilly Dee drove the ladies crazy, and my fiancee has a ginormous crush on Dwight Howard.  Hell, you could even compare Orlando's sharpshooting to the marksmanship a gunslinger might enjoy using a... wait for it... Colt .45.

But they're the Orlando Magic, which basically leaves me with this bland pretty boy.

Orlando_bloom_470x350

Meh.  Dude's not worth my time.  Thus, I'll stick with roundball talk.

A Finals matchup is now set in stone, the Lakers can relax in the city of the Angels while Dwight Howard and Co. ring hotels looking for the best rate.  Does an extra game in L.A. equal a true "advantage" for the Lakers?  Yes, in the sense that a 2-3-2 format offers a serious dime for the home squad.  But in and of itself, it's hard to consider a date with the Magic anything "advantageous."  Particularly when you analyze how the Magic took apart the Cavs (thoughts provided by Yahoo!'s Kelly Dwyer and Fox's Charley Rosen) and take into account the Lakers' 0-2 regular season clip against the Magic. 

Granted, a trip down Memory Lane triggers recollections of All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson playing a role in those defeats, and Orlando is currently- although not "definitely"- deprived of his services.  Pau Gasol is convincing folks that his game doesn't translate to whatever "soft" is in Spanish.  And after watching the Lakers systematically take apart a talented Denver team, swells of purple and gold faith are growing strong.  Even finger-to-the-wind media types feel a breeze blowing in Los Angeles' direction

Not that everything is entirely rosy in the Laker Nation.  In a bit of "deja vu" weird on a few levels- Kobe's past in Colorado, Kwame Brown's eventually dismissed sexual assault charges during the 2006 playoffs, the apparent "Brown" last name curse for Laker role players- a civil suit over an alleged sexual incident was filed against Shannon Brown.  The accusations date back to when Brown played for Charlotte and the Cats were in Denver to play the Nuggets.  According to Mark Bartelstein, Brown's agent, the matter was previously investigated by everyone from the Denver Police to prosecutors to a P.I. hired by Brown himself, with nothing emerging to incriminate the Lakers guard.  Thus, the suit is being insinuated as a money grab. 

It's always weird when stuff like this happens.  You can't ignore it, but you also don't want to hype it.  As BK and I reminded during Kwame's case, it's quite important to wait until more facts are presented before casting judgment.  For now, it's not even clear what Brown is being accused of doing.  At any rate, we'll let you know if more information emerges, and I imagine Shannon will work hard to keep this from becoming a distraction while on the court. 

Finally, longtime readers may recall my displeasure at seeing Kobe bolt Phoenix's court in 2006 after the Game 7 beatdown without offering the Suns congratulatory wishes.  It didn't mark the end of the world, but I also don't think it marked Kobe's finest hour.  Call me corny, but I believe in sportsmanship. 

Well, never let it be said that I play favorites.  LeBron's behavior after last night's loss to the Magic was pretty weak, too.  Being "King" means leadership by example, as well as class.  Not much of either displayed by LBJ. 

AK

 
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Lando Calrissian IS awesome.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

It sucks to hear that about Shannon Brown. It sounds like a load of nonsense, but it certainly is a distraction and we don't need those right now.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

ROUNDBALL…

Lotta blog-sync-think about how to beat the Magic. Gotta agree that the formula seems to be pretty simple: On offense, attack the rim to get Dwight in foul trouble and dominate the paint. Howard either fouled out or was at risk of doing so in every game versus Cleveland. On defense, play Dwight one-on-one physically and stay home on their 3-point shooters, which is a defensive strategy I’ve been begging us to adopt all year long. In fact, that is the single biggest adjustment that the Lakers have to make to defeat the Magic.

There is only one way to attack the NBA’s DPOY and that is to go right at him. Any other tactic just plays into the Magic’s hand and lets them take away weapons without a fight. Instead, we need to feed the ball to Drew and Pau and have them go right at Howard to try and get him into foul trouble. Just like we did against the Nuggets, we have to commit to pounding the ball into the paint and playing smart inside-out basketball. Use our passing and cutting to dice and slice the Orlando offense and frustrate Dwight into mistakes.

Running our offense efficiently will give us the best possible positioning on defense and help us protect against the Magic’s transition game, which reminds me greatly of Dantoni’s fast break tactics which emphasize taking wide-open 3’s just as much as making layups. It is critical that we be in good position defensively after each offensive possession. Phil has said many times that great offense creates is the key to great defense. Against a team with explosive outside shooting like the Magic, transition defense will be critical.

One big advantage that I think we will have against the Magic is that they really have nobody who can stop Kobe Bryant, from whom I expect another game where he handles the ball like a point guard and represents a Magic Johnson triple threat with his scoring, playmaking, and rebounding. Most importantly, Kobe needs to be patient and move the ball to get it back and attack the rim to force Howard to switch or foul, leaving the Lakers big men in great position to attack the glass or receive a pass. Kobe the Magic Man!

I also look for Trevor Ariza to have another big series, especially since the Magic do not have the power small forward like Melo or LeBron or Pierce who can overpower him. Trevor has shown great ability to track, harass, and bother jump shooters. One tactic that I would like to see Phil put into play would be a Bryant-Ariza backcourt, which would let the Lakers switch on all of Orlando’s picks, often an effective tactic against a jump shooting team that likes to free perimeter players by running them off of multiple screens.

By the way, as for the comment by another poster that a backcourt of Bryant and Ariza both at 6-7 would not have anybody who could cover faster quicker point guards like Paul or Parker, that is not at all true. In my “fantasy” Bryant-Ariza backcourt, it would be Ariza who would hound the Speedy Gonzales type point guards. It’s about using athleticism and length to get the spacing to stay in front of smaller point guard while still being able to contest the shot. That and team defense are the only way to shut those guys down.

Finally, it will be interesting to see how Andrew Bynum fares in this series. Lakers fans need to remember that Drew is still not 100% and won’t be until he can take off that brace. But Drew is a competitor as he showed us as a rookie against Shaq. And he is capable of playing at a dominating level of which we have only seen occasional glimpses so far in these playoffs. Make no mistake, his big body and height and length will play a bigger role in this series than any of those against the West.

Drew’s focus against Howard should be to take away the easy baskets that he gets on offensive rebounds and dunks on passes from penetrators. Drew needs to glue himself to Dwight’s backside and use his big body to box Howard out and keep him off the glass. That is more important than getting cheap fouls trying to stop a guy who really does not have that much of an offensive game. Play him straight up and make him take little jump shots rather than allowing him to get close enough to dunk the ball. Ultimately, you can probably measure Drew’s performance by the number of dunks that Howard gets.

As I predicted earlier, this will be a tougher but better series for the Lakers. I think we will sweep the two games in LA and steal one of the three in Orlando to return home up 3-2 with two shots to put the Magic away at Staples. I also think that Orlando is looking more and more like the team that the Lakers will continue to meet in the Finals over the next five years rather than the aging Celtics or LeBron led Cavaliers. And the match up that will define the NBA Finals over the next five years will NOT be Kobe versus LeBron but Drew versus Dwight. As for LeBron, he’ll end up spending every Finals watching and fishing.

Tom

Here's a really sophisticated Orlando:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107756/

G.D.

Good call and actually a good movie. Tilda Swinton is a good actress. But probably a little obscure for these purposes.

AK

It's hard to exaggerate how huge Jameer Nelson's impact was in our two games, suffice it to say "playing a [GINORMOUSLY HUGE] role".

That said, even if he was still playing, I still feel we'd win the series, Phil knows how to make adjustments over a 7-game series, and we've added Shannon Brown in the meantime as well.

Nemaia,

It is perplexing that such a PR conscious superstar like LeBron would commit such an immature mistake. Makes you wonder if his ego is so big that he would not consider in advance how to react should he be defeated? The truth is probably that this was one of those career defining moments where a person’s true nature is exposed. How LeBron reacts to the reactions of his fans and the media will be important as he approaches decision time as to whether to remain in Cleveland or depart for greener pastures and a boost to his stats playing in Dantoni’s run-and-gun offense in the Big Apple. LeBron may be in a no-win situation because if he stays in Cleveland, he may never have the team to get by Orlando and make it to the Finals. He just end up being another Charles Barkley.

Tom

Experience is huge in the Finals, we have a ton of it and they have NONE of it, and we have to utilize that experience as far as translating it into the effort and focus we need to win, into hard work, practice, efficiency and creativity, because we can't underestimate these guys, can't take them lightly, they're too good, too talented, with a Superman, and our only goal this season is in sight, to win the championship.

LakerTom,

The whole notion of getting Dwight Howard to foul out is an interesting one.

A quasi-LeBroniac quoted me a statistic (which I have not had the chance to check up on) that was very interesting to me.

He stated that Howard fouled out of a total of three games over the entire regular season, but fouled out of five games in the playoffs.

So, if that's the case, getting Howard to foul out is going to be heavily based upon which refs show up.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Wuttup Laker peeps!!

What a LeJerk. No props to his Team USA bud Dwight? No talking to the media? Nothing but sulking on the bus? Yeah - great King. What a leader. Just classless & pitiful if you ask me.

I think it was Eli that brought this up earlier but I feel it deserves another mention. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - WHAT ABOUT THE PUPPETS??? Oh the humanity....

Jon K - the really good news is that you will safe harnessing the powers of the lucky barstool during the Finals. If the fans there are anything like their king, they'll be sulking in their closets at home where they can't see or hear the TV.

I am really looking forward to the date with Orlando. This should be a good series. As has been said, I also feel it will be vital to win game 1. I don't care about regular season stats. Orlando is coming in with confidence, and we need to remind them from the beginning that WE ARE THE FREAKING LOS ANGELES LAKERS - WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?????

Is it Thursday yet?????????????

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

My name is justanothermambafan and I'm a Lakerholic.

AK

Dnt worry....no need to mud sling at LBJ bout his exit stage right act. Bspn made sure they ran an article about it so to sooth any LBJ fans about the classless act....while also in the same made excuses for why they won so many games as saying and I quote 'Feasting on the Milwalkies and Chicagos' oh and can't forget Mr Hollinger...he who creates numbers to back ones claim soon after the Lebrons lost and realized th Cavs wasn't wh he thought they were decided to bck pedal and say 'Im sorry...during my extreme Lebron love fest I fotgot that the game still has to be played and match ups are more important that statistical number.

funny how all the "basketball know-it-all's" hated on LA.
talk about CLE and "King James" and were ready to hand them the O'Brien trophy. funny thing is you gotta play for it.
LA beat the "other" best team already. i see some matchup problems with the "Superman" for our boys. drew has gotta play huge. and i don't think he's there yet so it'll be a committee that get's it done. we got our court. our fans. this ours to win.
One nation, in purp and gold.

best to all my family.

The Case Against Jeff Van Gundy

It's more than just the Orlando Magic coming to town on Thursday. It's the ABC/ESPN circus. And as currently constituted, the ABC/ESPN circus featuring Jeff Van Gundy in the clown suit should not be allowed to put up its tent. Sure, everyone loves a circus, but the announcing team of Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy is a circus not to love.

Van Gundy is annoying on a good day. But he's far from an impartial observer to these NBA Finals.

Exhibit One is, of course, that his brother is coaching the Magic. It will be impossible for him not to be biased in favor of his brother. If he says otherwise, it's a statement without credibility. Who amongst us would not be partial to their own flesh and blood?

Exhibit Two is a grudge, whether real or perceived, against Phil Jackson. Phil writes about it in his book, "The Last Season." According to PJ, "Van Gundy ... remains convinced that in 1999, during my one-year hiatus from the sport, I was plotting behind the scenes to steal his job, which was never the case."

For both reasons, if Van Gundy had any honor, he would recuse himself from being part of the broadcast team for this series. If ABC and ESPN had any honor or concern for their credibility, they would replace him.

I'm not arguing against colorful commentary or good television. Most of my professional career has been in television, and I've presided over more than one circus in the name of entertainment, good ratings, and the almighty dollar. But there's a line in the sand that shouldn't be crossed. Neither Van Gundy nor ESPN should be allowed to cross it.

ESPN has a form on its web site for those of you who agree to express yourself. The link is:

http://tinyurl.com/dl4nyc

Let's tell ESPN and ABC that Laker Nation will not be disrespected. If Jeff wants to watch the games in person, let Stan get him a ticket. But he shouldn't be part of the broadcast team for the NBA Finals.

justanothermambafan,

"the really good news is that you will safe harnessing the powers of the lucky barstool during the Finals. If the fans there are anything like their king, they'll be sulking in their closets at home where they can't see or hear the TV."

Thanks, man.

It was actually a serious concern of mine about utilizing the lucky barstool in the Finals against the Cavs. Simply because I've had weigh many times as to whether or not I wanted to get into a fight with someone who was provoking me and possibly go to jail as a result. (I wasn't concerned about my safety. I was concerned about the consequences of knocking out some drunk LeBroniac who was threatening me.)

It wasn't a possibility of some idiot trying to get physical with me if we played the Cavs in the Finals. It was a CERTAINTY.

I don't mind the idea of getting in a fight with someone who is trying to get in a fight with me. I mind the idea of someone throwing a punch at me, me breaking the guy's jaw, and then having felony assault charges thrown at me for defending myself.

Something with all that craziness doesn't sit right with me.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Orlando Bloom is definite eye candy. But that's off topic lol...

I have to be honest, I'm scared. I wasn't scared of Denver, I wasn't scared of Houston...so really I'm not a good judge. But I am scared of Orlando. Why? Because they match up really well against us.

Their players (DH at least) has our number. Jameer Nelson has our number (if he does come back). Skip? Well we can neutralize that. Hedo and Lewis? Problematic but I don't consider them to be deal breakers. But I'm scared most of all defensively. Orlando is a team that moves the ball very well inside and out and we have shown a capacity to leave 3 point shooters open. Still our D worked well for a time against Houston (similar in the in and out sense, but not so much coz Orlando's 3 ballers are better and more consistent)...so there's hope. And faith. Gotta have faith lol.

GO Lakers!

van gundy has always been a Laker hater

Do The Lakers need to play Luke Walton ??? it gets very scary every time is in the floor, always causing turnovers, fouls and a very poor shooter.... please do something.
I think the Lakers will win in 6...

Rick Friedman,

It seems to me that every other professional basketball coach in the NBA not on the Lakers coaching staff hates Phil Jackson.

It's a haters' universe out there, brother.

Us against the World!!!

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Nobody have said this yet, Kobe knows the weakness of Dwight after with their long stint in the Olympics. Therefore the key to Dwight is through Kobe's krypton. Can Odom and Pau perform with those soft touches around Dwight? i don't think, balls will be slapped without 42 cents stamp. Will Bynum be able to dunk on Dwight? Why not? Dwight is only 6'11'' with bigger halves and biceps than Kwame. Bynum could do it but more cautious to apply it because of his recent injury. Can Lakers stop Hedo? They already did in the Sacramento series. Can they stop Rashard Lewis? They can if Kobe will do the guarding. Can they stop Alston? Not with Fisher today, perhaps by platoon substituion or rotation of PG. Can they stop the three marksmen of Magic simultaneously? That's a high energy performance for 48 minutes.

On the other side, Magic has not met a real competitor that can match their speed and ability with lots of experience, that's the Lakers. Ilgaukas and Verajao are much slower and smaller than Pau, Bynum and Odom. How will they stop the three big men and hold on to Kobe and Ariza? Magic will have a handful problem in slowing down the Laker offense.

On their playoff performance, it was evenly matched. Orlando encountered difficulties in 1st and 2nd round peaked up in the ECF. Lakers moved swiftly against Utah, got entangled with Houston stubborn stand and tested by Denver Nuggets. In the last two games, Lakers found their new weapon in Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown. Ariza is improving, Fisher and Sasha stocks are rising, Bynum is getting better day by day. Will they peak against Orlando?

On the season's standing, Magic won against the Lakers 2x this season thru Jameer Nelson. Lakers have the home court advantage b/c of their 12 games disparity against Orlando in overall standing. As a whole, there are good and bad points for these two teams, Orlando must have lots of holes to have that handicap against their Western opponent. I recommend the coaching staff to review those losses and focus on those weaknesses.

Fellow Laker fans, this is not a done deal. Thank God the homers are not forecasting 4-0, like the way we underestimated the Celtics last year. Our playoffs grade, well we passed the midterm exams and presented a thesis or term paper why we should be the Champs this year, the next hurdle are the Finals. If Lakers don't do their homework, review where they failed the last time they played with Orlando. their inherent weaknesses during the preliminary rounds. They have to practice those free throws, hone up those skills, prepare for the moves of those perimeter shooters. Then , Lakers will pass their final test. There is one sure formula of getting flying colors in this Final test - Win all home games, stop Orlando's offense at home. And then the insurance formula - Out of those three games in Orlando, just win one for Jeanie Buss, win two for the fans parade.

LeBron on ESPN

Just saw a short interview with Lebron. He is wearing a NY hat!

"Who cares about shaking hands"

If it was Kobe he would be chased out of the NBA

No Class LBJ

Baywood

I just watched LeBron's interview on ESPN and all I can say is, WOW. He remained defiant and bitter and said that he can never congratulate anyone that beats him because he such a competitor. He stated that he isn't a sore loser, but that he doesn't want to shake hands with anyone that beats him. People can interpret that any way they want to, I say that he's classless and a sore loser no matter what his explanation is. Anyone on this blog defending LeBron's actions and statements need to have their head examined because I've never seen a Superstar of this magnitude react in such an unsportsmanlike manner. It isn't like LeBron and Howard have bad blood between them which makes LeBron's reaction more shocking. On top of that, LeBron was again wearing a NY Yankee hat. There would no end to all the negative reaction had it been Kobe that did what LeBron did last night and today. While there's no doubting that LeBron is a great, great player, his actions last night and comments today have changed my perception and opinion of him as a person. LeBron, the face of the NBA. What a joke.

Rick Friedman,

You make a good point.

Should Laker Nation have to sit through 4-7 games of commentary by Jeff Van Gundy?

{The horror... the horror...}

I say, "HELL NO!"

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

It wasn't a possibility of some idiot trying to get physical with me if we played the Cavs in the Finals. It was a CERTAINTY.

I don't mind the idea of getting in a fight with someone who is trying to get in a fight with me. I mind the idea of someone throwing a punch at me, me breaking the guy's jaw, and then having felony assault charges thrown at me for defending myself.

Something with all that craziness doesn't sit right with me.

Posted by: Jon K. | May 31, 2009 at 02:22 PM


Whatttt? David Stern is incharge of the Clevland police department also?

Here is an AMAZING stat:

Trevor Ariza's 3 pt FG made in an 81 game regular season:

61 on 32%

TA's 3 pt FG made in 18 playoff games:

30 on 50% shooting

That's hardwork paying off.

On the Hack-a-Howard strategy. It only will work in certain situations. If you do that everytime he gets the ball in the low-post it will A. Get your bigs in foul trouble and B. Get you into the penalty much earlier.

If he's in position to get an easy dunk that could potentially ignite the crowd and his team, foul him. Hard.That's what Bynum can do.

GOOOOOOOOO LAKERS!

LG

Soft translates to suave. which has a different connotation in spanish. it translatesto the equivalent of smooth in english.

AK...

You bring up a good point about how Kobe acted after a bitter loss to the Funs in'06. I do think, however, that Kobe addressed the media after that series.

I can understand a player not wanting to schmooze with the team that just beat him. Especially after a particularly contentious series such as the one with Phoenix in '06. That was the Raja Bell series, complete with a clothesline. Kobe's maturity has allowed him to move on and have an amicable relationship with Bell. Hell, I'm sure I even saw Kobe embrace Dirt-tay Jones after the Nugget series this year. This, after Dirt-tay tripped him and tried to hurt him several times in the series.

LBJ refusing to meet with the media was not in keeping with the persona of a man who constantly courts them in an effort to market himself. He simply can't accept the fact that you have to take the bad with the good sometimes.

One thing that worries me about this match-up is the Lakers ability (or inability) to guard the weakside 3. Because they overload so much on the ballside of the floor, the weakness is often the weakside 3, which is what the Magic offense thrives on.

I think, though, that the Lakers will make the proper adjustment. I don't see them giving up wide open threes in the Finals. Not gonna happen.

I think Bynum should be studying Kendrick Perkins tape right now. Perkins guarded Howard as well as I've seen anyone guard him, often forcing him into a contested, and unsuccesful hook shot.

Can't wait for Thursday. 4. more. wins.

LG

Labron just needed to see his mommy after losing. I understand. same thing happened to me when we lost the Lemon Grove Little League Championship game. Mom got me a nice 31 Flavors ice cream cone and told me everything would be alright. Eventually it was. As far as Labron being the best professional basketball player in the world and the most valuable player, he just needs to ask is mommy for the answer. I'm sure she would agree. As far as who is the best male professional basketball player in the world, that would be that guy who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and wears # 24. That would be Kobe Bryant. Congratulations Kobe! That's how a man responds to a challenge, but do make sure to call your mom.

this is my first post since Magic beat the Cavs. the first thing that comes to mind is: no more of those great and funny Kobe vs. Lebron puppet commercials. hmm... i wonder if Howard endorses for Nike, too? (maybe there will be some ads with Lebron watching the Finals at home, lol)

as for the finals, i do have some fear of the Magic, although not because they swept us in the regular season. the amount of preparation Phil & his staff are going to do will be ridiculous and meticulous. i think it's gonna be the Magic that will have a hard time matching up with the Lakers, not the other way around.

but by no means am i predicting a sweep. if the Lakers couldn't sweep the Jazz or the Rockets, no way they'll sweep the finals. Lakers MUST win the first two games. i don't like the idea of going to Orlando for 3 games with being even 1-1.

it's too bad about that suit filed against Brown. i hope it gets settled in a timely manner.

p.s. have any of you noticed how much of a jerk puppet Lebron was in the NIke ads... trying to run over Kobe while he ties his shoes... and that ad where he claps chalkdust all over kobe. and then there's the one on one ad, where kobe was distracted by the phone call by Mrs. Lewis, which Lebron takes full advantage of.

Lifetime,
Are you from Lemon Grove? Home of the giant lemon?

WOO-HOO!!

The LAKERS are back in the finals and JAY JAY is back on the blog!

I think we've got this easier than most people expect for several reasons:

1) Dwight is a beast but he hasn't yet seen TWO seven footers on the opposing team in the playoffs - one with All- Star skills and another with youth, speed, and strength to match his own. Plus 6-fouls 7-footer Mbenga in the wings.

2) How do you defend a 6-10 power forward with the ball handling and 3-point skills of a small forward? With another one! Lewis has never seen the likes of Odom on him in the playoffs. Someone just as tall AND just as quick. Scratch their #2 option.

3) I can't wait to see Turkoglu try to dribble the ball or set up for a three only to find Ariza has stolen it and is on his way to a dunk at the other end. Again and again,.

4) Nine rings Phil can outcoach Van Fatty in his sleep.

5) And then there's the little matter of Killer Kobe on our side vs.....who? A green rookie or a Warriors reject. Come on.

Lakers in 5. Six if we get too cocky or sloppy in O-town.

I smell CHAMPIONSHIP, baby!!!!!!!!!


Too bad for Shannon Brown. Glad nothing was ever proven against him.

Since CLE has lost I don't even think about Crabron anymore. Funny, but the person I think about in connection to CLE is the guy that used to come in here and scream "All Hail King James!!" in caps. Yeah, been wondering what happened to that guy. Hmmmm.....

Jon K, I must have missed your take on CLE reaction to losing the series: Would you mind doing the readers digest version for me? Nothing like hearing it from someone who's there.

PJ has to out coach SVG. Our guys have got to outplay the Magic. Sounds simple, but I really do think they'll find the solution. I think for sure we take game one, and hopefully two, although the Magic will make adjustments. I'm REALLY grateful for HCA. It will be huge to us I think.

C'moooon, Thursday!

GO LAKERS!

wow that was a major stretch , but ironically i have a t-shirt site www.thesparechange.spreadshirt.com where i made a DARTH LANDO shirt referencing that he is larons daddy- go check it out.. i hate the format of the series but i understand why it has to be as it is .. big magic fan look forward to a great series ,. much respect to Magic Johnson

BLOG CRUE
Do you think Trevor has any insight on Magic strategies or was his stay with them too long ago?

Colorado loves the Lakers!

Bob Seger is better than Lando Calrissian.

Rick Friedman,

You are absolutely right about Jeff Van Gundy. But the reason he is on the announcing team is probably just another way for ESPN to hate on the Lakers. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Lakers have always been one of the teams that America loved to hate because in the end they were America’s team, just like the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.

Tom

Hugo,

It's possible, but he's been gone quite a while, and the teams personnel has changed since then, too.

I think the Lakers just need to play like who they are and we'll be ok. I think we can get them in 7, possibly 6.

GO LAKERS!

the magic will win in 6 they have match up problems for the lakers also they tough and gritty go magic

I didn't like that Lebron stormed out without congratulations or even attending the press conference, but there's no need to accost him about calling his mom, since she was in the stands, wasn't she? As mad as any man can be, you don't stand up your mom if she's in the stands watching you w/o calling her and letting her know you'll see her outside the arena.

So, I don't give Bron any grief for calling his mom, hell, if he hadn't, then those who know him would really have grief with him, though we might not have heard about it. But I'm kinda shocked he's such a punk about losing this series in terms of being a good sportsman.

I just saw a tickler on BSPN that Jameer Nelson might return for the finals. I dont' know if anyone else have seen it or not.

If it's true it could be one of two things. Either we're in trouble or him being out for a while might throw off their chemistry that they've had over these playoffs.

AK
Can you confirm this please through your connections?

The real translation of "soft" to spanish is "blando". "Suave" IS "soft" but pertains more accurately to the feel of the texture of something, for example: "Su pelo es suave", "Her hair is soft". There are a lot of way you can go with it. "Blando" would describe something squishy, bendable, etc. "Blandito" would be the cuter, more diminutive version: "Es un poco blandito." "He's a little bit soft".

It'll be a laugh to see how all the tools on ESPN excuse LeCrybaby's horrible behavior. How he didn't have any help, couldn't carry the team by himself. Poor LeCrab. His team failed him. And after he bought them all Flip Video Recorders to celebrate his MVP award! How ungrateful!

And I've said it before, but I'll say it again, dammit: WHAT ABOUT THE PUPPETS?

Orlando is the bizarro Houston. Rockets have an offensively skilled center with a defensive team, Magic has a defensive center with an offensively skilled team.

The stats don't lie:

Playoff Stats.

Offensively, the Lakers are at the top in almost every catagory.

FG% and from the 3 line (better than Orlando)

But, its defense that wins Championships.

The Lakers are the best in holding teams at 43 FG% and from the 3 line 31%.

We are also the best in defending the paint, leading in blocks.

The best in both catagories, against good competition.

Conclusion: The Lakers, although we get dissapointed with them sometimes, are playing at an extremely high level CONSISTENTLY. And we are getting better.

The Lakers freight train is rolling.

VALakersGirl

yes its true their trying to see if he can go or atleast givem 15mins a game.

Very bad idea and seems alil panicky for a team that just went through the playoffs without him only to have him come in and take minutes away from guys who put in the work.

1st time in playoffs....

not game ready let alone Finals ready.....

Im not buying it

Otis - "Bob Seger is better than Lando Calrissian". Haha! I was puzzled for a moment because somehow my mind substituted Pete Seeger for Bob... and I had the oddest images in my head. My brain's going into some kind of black hole lately.

Okay, I will ignore the peculiar theme of this thread (a slight reach, but hey, it's the break between playoffs), to respectfully ask the K Bros a simple (but possibly complicated) question: why can't the links posted open in a new window rather than utilizing the only window I have to the blog? It's incredibly frustrating, in a world assuredly full of much more meaningful frustrations.

Apologies if you've answered this question 7,542 times already.

Nemaia Faletogo , I agree with your comments 100 percent. I believe it was the most disrespectful conduct from any player in years. Prince James is not even close to the potential of a Kobe or Jordan. I cant believe the media let him get away from this type of behavior. Prince James has not accomplished nothing that consider him the king. He never won a title and his jump shot and free throw shooting is still suspect down the stretch.

That interview today was just atrocious to watch and if I am a Cavs fan, I will be outraged. He still sporting a Yankees hat which telling he is leaving for NY in 2010. Still disrespecting his defeat by saying he is competitor and he hate lose. That is just horse krap. He is a very sore loser and it is embarassing the media and league trying to overhype him.

When Kobe lost to Boston, he stayed and congratulated the Celtics and answered the tough questions because he is the leader. Last night's post game of Prince James odd behavior to all the blind witnesses that he still got a long way to go to surpass Kobe Bryant as the game's best player. Last of all to Cavs fans, stop making excuses for Prince James.

His team had the best record in the league, everybody was saying they couldnt be stopped and he finally got help. Now since everything crumbled, well he still has no second scorer. The reason was because he ball-hogged the ball most that series. It was 1 against 5 and even tough he averaged 40 points per game and shot a game winner. He still in the 4th quarter missed free throws and made bad turnovers.

Go Lakers!! I love this game!!

One more thing to weigh in on for me. The shame of the so-called "King." As noted on MSNBC.com, "Few ever have been as good at discussing the wonderfulness of himself after great games."

Lebron's refusal to shake hands with his valiant Magic competitors or face the media forever tarnishes the crown he claims to wear. His behavior would make him a descendant of the "let them eat cake" school of would-be royalty.

Does anyone doubt that we are only hours or minutes away from a Youtube mockery of the Lebron puppet show? Will Nike or other endorsers continue to pay him to represent them as a role model?

The people in Lebron's own camp will pull him aside, once the tantrum has run its course. He'll make the pro-forma celebrity apology and do some additional high-profile charity work to assure the apology is accepted. America is a forgiving country. But true sports fans should be slow to forgive.

Nemaia,

I agree...I think it is amazing what a free pass Lebron gets.People like Bill Simmons etc talk about Kobe's polished PR friendly answers and lebron being so natural but I've always found Lebron a walking cliche and Kobe (in the last few years at least) pretty honest and straighforward in his interviews.Lebron is totally media savvy and then some of his colours show (mainly an enormous ego).He wasn't repentant when he was caught speeding dangerously, he was only doing a crab dribble etc etc - he's never wrong.

If Kobe averages forty points in a series and the lakers lose then he is selfish and can't make his guys better - lebron does the same thing and its all about his guys letting him down.

I think lebron is a fantastic player but I don't find him likeable.

Shaking hands is just simple ettiquete of sportsmanship in any game at any level; yet Lebron feels such things don't not apply to him and hes above it.

And it will probably all just blow over as everyone talks about what a terrible interview and bad sport Kobe Bryant is with his enormous ego and inability to make his teamates better.

In the meantime Kobe will continue to be complementary about other players (more so than anyone else in the league) and Lebron James will remain happy to shake hands,hug and whisper patronising words into the ear of players he has just beaten.


R Friedman

ABC loves the idea of the coaches brother in the booth.

Listening for the bias will be a game within the game. It'll be a running joke in the booth.

As you know, it's not personal, it's show biz. Fair and balanced has nothing to do with it.

Unless the ratings wane.

VALakersGirl,

If Jameer Nelson is to come back, I'm willing to bet on the him being rusty and hurting Orlando's chemistry. I also agree with lakeraholic that this may be a panicky move on Orlando's part.

Orlando is well aware that this match up is their biggest challenge and what better time to face that challenge. However, with that being said, I think Orlando's lack of experience at this stage will hurt them the most. They do have the personnel to play with the Lakers but I also feel L.A. has the edge bench and talent wise.

The idea of getting Dwight Howard fouled out as the Lakers goal probably isn't a good one to strive for. If the guy only fouled out three times in the season, that means he can control himself when he has too. But I do agree that if L.A. continues to pound the ball inside to Drew and Gasol, it will force Howard to either commit or backoff. The more you take the ball inside, the more chances the Lakers have to getting Dwight in foul trouble. Otherwise, wear him down as much as possible.

I still say Lakers win it is 6.

On to something else, LeBron James who is supposively the face of the NBA, really put a bad mark on the NBA itself with his selfish act after losing to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Championship. Sure, nobody likes to lose, but on this level of play, and in his position, LeBron needs to be a bit more professional than that. Kids who are now growing up to want to be like LeBron were showed a poor example of how to behave in a losing effort.

Thanks for confirming lakeraholic.

I wanted to make sure that my eyes weren't deceiving me. lol. And didn't want to send the blog into a panic either. But I guess no one really cares.

And I do agree with you about them being a lil panicky to pull this move. This could be their demise. Fingers crossed!!!

I also saw the rumor floated on NBA TV that Jameer may be able to make an appearance, but the final decision will be in the hands of the front office. Can anyone say "PANIC"? LOL!

Rick - you can already find spoofs of the MVPuppet commercials on YouTube. The "chalk" one is narrated as if LeLoser is throwing cocaine around the apartment. There are probably others but that's the only one I saw so far...

JVG is a joke and Laker hater extroardinaire. I am so NOT looking forward to hearing this idiot's drivel during the Finals.

Is it Thursday yet?????????

any practice news from today ?

http://tinyurl.com/kvj2ft

JVG openly admits that he is going to be biased on air, and yet we are still going to be forced to sit through at least 4 games of him? I appreciate the dude being opened about being biased (who isn't?) but he can do that at home, you know where millions of fans can't hear him. It's not enough that we're gonna have to listen to Mark Jackson ("I'm done picking the Lakers to win the championship this year") but we also have to listen to an openly biased JVG.

Great.

The whole Lebron thing, I hope people don't make it out to be such a huge deal. I was disappointed by the lack of sportsmanship and what really was total disrespect, but theres no need to tear the guy up. It's not his fault the media hypes him. People who tear Lebron up sound exactly like the people who do that to Kobe. Don't hate.

Time for Kobe to get that 4th ring. Are you ready? I know I am.

GO LAKERS!

LG

I also wanted to comment further on LeClassless' disappearing act at the end of the game.

It was mentioned that Kobe congratulated Melo after Lakers won. I don't think that's the point. The point is that MELO stayed on the floor and hugged Kobe. After all, wasn't this also Melo's so-called dream season? Or at least his best season? And that they had a chance to win it all too?

MELO showed maturity and sportsmanship when his dreams came crashing down. LeLoser didn't. WHO CARES that you're all upset about losing and blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.

Hoist up your cajones and take it like a man.

What a fricken little girl. And that's giving girls a bad name.

Rick Friedman

Yes, King James has made a Royal A** of himself.

WHY THE LAKERS WILL WIN…

(1) HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. Plus the 2-3-2 format in the Finals gives the home team an extra edge in a longer series. 2-3-2 is great when the road team is capable of sweeping or winning in five but that is not Orlando. The Magic would need to steal 1 win in LA and hold court 3 times straight in Orlando to take advantage of 2-3-2 and that is not going to happen. The Lakers likely will hold court in the 2 games at home and then steal 1 of 3 in Orlando to return home with a 3-2 lead and 2 shots at home to close the series.

(2) KOBE BRYANT, FINALS MVP. This will be Kobe’s 2nd NBA Finals without Shaq. Considering his poor Finals against the Pistons in 2004, you could make a case that Kobe played poorly in his last 2 Finals. This time, however, there will be no Tayshaun Prince or James Posey to guard Kobe and this Lakers team is good enough now to win games even when Kobe doesn’t play great. Kobe and the Lakers are starting to peak right now and as good as Dwight Howard and Orlando are, Kobe is going to have an MVP level Finals.

(3) 3 BEASTS TRUMP 1 BEAST. Dwight Howard may be the real beast but the Lakers trio of beasts will be too much for Superman to handle at both ends of the court. Make no mistake, this series will go to the team that dominates the paint but because both teams flourish and play their best when they play inside-out basketball. Our advantage is that we can still punish the Magic in the paint despite Howard. We have the inside low-post game with Drew, Pau, and Lamar and the backcourt attack player in Kobe Bryant to go right at Dwight on offense and get him into foul trouble plus the size and length on defense to play him straight up so our perimeter players can stay glued to their 3-point shooters.

(4) THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE. There is no question that the Lakers’ experience last year in the Finals and Phil Jackson’s and Kobe Bryant’s experience in big games will give the Lakers a huge edge over the young Orlando Magic team and coach Stan Van Gundy. The Magic have not seen anything like they are going to see with all of the hoopla that the NBA Finals are going to bring. Like last year’s Lakers, they’re a year ahead of themselves and have to be pleased just to be here. And like last year’s Lakers, they are not going to be able to win the series, especially against a more talented and determined Lakers team.

Tom

the Zen Master vs. Van Fatty

(sorry the real Fatty of this blog, but it is the new nickname from blogs)

AK,

So it's fiancée now, huh? Congratulations (even if I'm late). Do you have a date yet?

Wes

LeBron takes candy from small children. And he doesn't like kittens or puppies. And you know those pennies that people leave behind on convenience store counters? He takes them when nobody's looking. And then he wipes his boogers on them and puts them back. I hate that dude.

Lebrawn James is yesterdays news, just like the Celtics.

The Lakers are going to win the NBA Championship. I gaurantee it. Why you ask?

Because for the FIRST TIME, I saw the Lakers execute the Triangle offense the way Chicago and MJ use to.
It has taken years but I think everyone can agree that the way they dismantled and demoralized Denver is eerily similar to the old Bulls.

Denver in my opinion is a better team than Orlando. They are more physical, more athletic, and better coached. Orlando's only physical presence is Dwight Howard. They have no one who can penetrate like Melo did, block shots like the Birdman, and captain the team like Billups can.
All the lakers have to do is make sure that DH doesn't set up under the basket like he did all series long against Cleveland. Andrew Bynum must be that person that makes sure that Howard is at least 10 feet from the basket. Fortunately AB is big enough to it. If he can stay out of foul trouble that is.
the Lakers should be willing to let Howard score 30 points a game and just stay home with the rest of the Magic's outside shooters, Cleveland and Boston gave Orlando way to many open 3 looks.
PJ must go against his usual thinking and defend the 3 point line at all costs.
That being said, Orlando can not stop the Laker offense, too many weapons. Pau, Odom, Bynum, and the emerging Ariza are simply way better than what Orlando had to defend against Cleveland.
Expect Fisher, Farmar, and Brown to dominate their counterparts, and of course There is Kobe.
Enough said.

Kobe, Congratulations for getting that monkey off your back, your dedication for the game you love is about to award you it's highest reward. You deserve it.

NOW GO OUT THERE AND FINISH THE DEAL

Can you say 3-Peat all over again?


"In an essay titled "Lamar Odom, Sweet Tooth and Erratic Play," Dr. Daniel Amen writes that Odom's massive consumption of candy leads to a sugar high and then a crash, evidence of which can be seen on the basketball court.

Writes Amen: "Odom freely confesses that he just can't help himself when it comes to the sweet stuff and always keeps a stash on hand of Gummi Bears, Honey Buns, Lifesavers, Hershey's white chocolate, Snickers bars, cookies and more. He eats the sugary snacks morning, noon and night, and even says he sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, chows down on some treats, then falls back asleep.

"This is bad news for the Lakers. I've been telling my patients for years that sugar acts like a drug in the brain. It causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling tired, irritable, foggy and stupid. Eating too much sugar impairs cognitive function, which may explain why Odom doesn't always make the smartest decisions on the court. . . .

"As a fan and a physician, it concerns me that our professional sports organizations and players are not more concerned about brain health, which includes nutrition. My advice to Odom and to all sugar addicts is to get your sugar consumption under control. You'll feel so much better and your brain will function better too. And, maybe the Lakers can get their 15th championship and Odom can get his first.""

As a person who has extensively studied nutrition for 20 years and has worked for or started multiple nutraceutical companies, Dr. Daniel Amen is right on target.

Severe glucose spikes (which occur from eating too much sugar and/or simple carbohydrates) in the blood really screw with your pancreas, liver, and endocrine system (ultimately affecting the nervous and muscular systems as well).

Bad news, dude.

It's one thing if Lamar wants to run down this ruinous path. I hope the rest of the team is not giving in to eating so much sugar.

It's REALLY bad for you.

Really.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Why should the puppets stop just because LeBron got eliminated? Last I checked the puppets were in an alternate universe, and not playing in the playoffs at this moment. It must be the off season in their world.

I expect more puppet commercials.

Wes

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

Wow! It looks like the Orlando Magic is really soaking in the EC championship buzz. They are presenting themselves as cocky and very confident. Well, I guess after they dispatched “Garnett-less” Boston and heavily favored Le “Only” Cleveland, who could blame them.

Heck, even Coach Stan Van Gundy seems like he's won the championship 20 times! He says he's going to enjoy game planning for Kobe. They may have succeeded with LBJ, but Kobe is going to be a different animal with a whole lot of experience on the big stage and most of all, a better supporting cast. Man, can Van Gundy talk up a story or two (makes a very good car salesman or realtor). He's quite a character I must admit.

Rashard Lewis? He claims that they had to deal with adversity all year. Really? They only lost their starting point guard Jameer Nelson in the early part of this year for goodness sakes (who now claims that he can play again). They seem just fine with Alston manning the point.

Trust me folks, they are going to find out that it's going to take a lot more than "talk" and "charm" to win it all.

BTW, Dwight Howard is "guardable." The key is having the bodies and patience to get it done. The Lakers will have a plan no doubt.

I expect the Lakers to make the necessary adjustments and win it all.

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

Congratulations and thank you to Kobe, PJ and the Lakers for another superb season that was a delight to this fan's heart. I have enjoyed the last two journeys and now as we stand (again) before the Holy Grail, I must be grateful.
I still remember those yesteryears when over a month ago I would've already tried to have blanked my favourite competition from my mind, and would've turned my attention to other things. Oh how glorious this feels - humour my reveling, please.
If we should, horrors be told, not win the championship then it will be anti-climatic; if we do then everyday will feel like Christmas for a long, long time.
Onward, upward, forward, together, whatever, forever. It is greater than great to be a Laker fan.

longtimelakerlover,

Reader's Digest version?

They are in shock.

They are in mourning.

The Cleveland Curse continues and they, personally, are cursed... which they are.

Some have begun murmuring that LeBron is leaving.

The metaphor I used earlier I think is valid...

In the movie "Excaliber" King Arthur breaks the enchanted sword Excaliber through an act of vanity in fighting Lancelot. Upon shattering the sacred invinsible sword, Merlin views the wreckage and says in disbelieving horror, "YOU HAVE BROKEN THAT WHICH CANNOT BE BROKEN!"

That which cannot be broken HAS been broken.

And the LeBroniacs are in shock.

Let the mourning begin, as far as I'm concerned.

I was never hypnotized.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

dave m,

"LeBron takes candy from small children. And he doesn't like kittens or puppies. And you know those pennies that people leave behind on convenience store counters? He takes them when nobody's looking. And then he wipes his boogers on them and puts them back. I hate that dude."

SOME of that is actually true.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I wonder how many times I will post IS IT THURSDAY YET? until it's Thursday?

Is it Thursday yet????

ouchhhhhhhhh,

You can't ruin Fatty's name like that.

It's just not right.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Maggia32,

"Whatttt? David Stern is incharge of the Clevland police department also?"

No, but Ohio is a lawyer's paradise.

Officially, no other state or province IN THE WORLD bans more things than Ohio.

I've been told that you are not allowed to legally defend yourself here. It's crazy.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

dave m;

"LeBron takes candy from small children. And he doesn't like kittens or puppies. And you know those pennies that people leave behind on convenience store counters? He takes them when nobody's looking. And then he wipes his boogers on them and puts them back. I hate that dude."

Posted by: dave m | May 31, 2009 at 06:01 PM

Right back at cha, my brother!!

Otis,

Except that Lando Callrissian kicks ass and takes names whiles Bob Seeger whines about how hard it is to be a rock "star".

Awww... Bob... just turn the page, Bob! Just turn the page! It'll be okay, Bob! JUST TURN THE PAGE!

{Jon K. vomits slightly in his mouth in disgust.}

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Keen

Yes, Lakerholic nailed it that it's due to "panick". Which also translates to making alot of mental mistakes when you're whole team and coaches are in that mode.

But I personally like the idea of putting Howard in foul trouble. I saw it in quite a few games during the playoffs where he was foul ladened strapped to the bench.

Just my 2 cents.....

If LBJ decides to leave Cleveland, which is a greater possibility now, the Cavs would definitely want a sign-and-trade to not let him go away for nothing. And as the biggest market in the West and valuable trade pieces, the Lakers would be in prime position to get him.

Hopefully LBJ will realize that he and Kobe can team up to be one of the greatest duos of all time.

Let's Go L's!,

I don't hate the Orlando Magic.

They're not Utah. They're not the Rockets. They're not the Thuggets.

I haven't found a single thing to detest about the Magic, thus I respect them.

The Magic are good. Very good.

We're better.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

EJK,

Seriously, dude. The Cavs should trade LeBron next year for some crazy trade with some team that translates into "We get your first round draft pick for the next tens years."

Something like that.

He wore a New York cap to his first dethroning news conference.

Accident? Nothing that his handlers let him do is accident.

If he's not going to New York, he's stirring the controversy... purposefully.

Not cool.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

With the Finals four days away, nobody on the team should be radically modifying their diet, habits or sleep patterns, except getting a little more sleep in the case of Kobe.

After the season, LO can take advice about his candy habit, but I'm sure he's heard it a million times already being surrounded by professional trainers who are the most anal and obsessive critics of excessive processed sugar consumption on the planet.

I will start by saying that I am an ardent Orlando Magic fan. I've been so even when no one else seemed to be.

I have a lot of respect for the Lakers. Ariza was "my boy" when he was in Orlando. It makes me happy for him to be doing so well.

That said, we'll see how things turn out. We seem to have a way of getting it done. You won't like this but you likely won't beat us. If we don't win, it will have more to do with us, than with you.

If we both play "our games", then it will be a good series .
If we both play our games, then the Magic in 6 or 7.

Good luck...

Anyone know who had the greatest success this year against the Magic?

Just curious.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon - I'm pretty sure it's the boogers on the pennies part that's real. I've also heard that he hides boogers under his couch cushions. Very shameful.

Chuck Harrison,

You've got class.

We're not used to that from "the enemy."

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K,

I'd think there would be riots in the streets in Cleveland if the Cavs trade LBJ away. As much as NY is a likely destination for LBJ, I think the Cavs would have plenty incentive to trade him to a team in the West.

And I too don't hate the Orlando Magic. It's hard to hate a team that you really have no history with and you only play twice a year. Not to mention that Dwight Howard is a pretty likeable superstar. Who knows...maybe a couple of elbows from Howard and whining sessions from Van Gundy will change our opinions later in the series.

We do have the Magic to thank for Trevor and for taking Brian Cook off our hands.

BOX SCORE DOESN'T SHOW BYNUM'S WORTH
by Kevin Ding for the OC Register

http://tinyurl.com/lbg44s

Just a great article about Andrew Bynum and his intelligent preparation to play Dwight Howard. Inside stuff that nobody else is talking about and insights that ring so honest and obvious that you wonder what all the other writers are thinking as they parrot each other. Kevin Ding is the real thing, a fan’s favorite sportswriter, smart, smooth, and right.

I cannot tell you what a pleasure it is to see the best writer and analyst on the Lakers beat giving due credit for Drew’s value to the team even though he is still hobbled by the injury. If you don’t want to hear another voice tell you what happens to the Lakers defense when Drew leaves the game, then you don’t want to read this article. But if you want to learn how to really analyze what happens in a basketball game defensively, then read this.

Every Lakers fan should be thrilled that we have a smart, dedicated young center like Drew who is committed to improving his craft. Even though he is still hobbled by the brace, I have a feeling we may see Drew take his game to the next level and really give Dwight Howard everything he can handle. We may have to wait until next year to see Drew at his best versus Dwight but if Drew can defend Dwight one-on-one, the Lakers will be able to shut down the Magic’s 3-point shooting game and dominate the series.

>>>

ORLANDO 2-0 AGAINST LAKERS
by Kevin Ding for the OC Register

http://tinyurl.com/n5oxu2

Good recap of the Lakers versus Magic games this season.

>>>

Tom

Should not the NBA and the Laker organization launch a full scale investigation into the possible sexual assault perpetrated by Shannon Brown.Step up to the plate Jerry Buss and David Stern and do the right thing.Immediately suspend Shannon Brown for the rest of the play-offs.Lead by example Mr.Stern and do the morally and politically correct thing.I`v been a loyal laker fan for years but if a crime of this magnitude has been committed let the chips fall....................Mike

ouch and Jon K

Van Fatty?

First of all, with me the name is a play on my real name and that I was very skinny at one time. Now I'm as soft as a Panda, but still cute and lovable all over.

But with Van Gundy, its used in a deragatory tone, I think.

Second, please use it all you want. I have royalty rights and will receive a hefty sum of $2.23 each time its used to describe Van Gundy

Please send your Fee to my offshore account:

Fatty Royalties
Trinidad and Tobago

BOX SCORE DOESN'T SHOW BYNUM'S WORTH
by Kevin Ding for the OC Register

http://tinyurl.com/lbg44s

This is for the fans who thought Andrew Bynum had nothing to do with Friday night’s series clinching rout over the Nuggets. If you think defense wins championships, then you owe it to yourself to read this article and appreciate what Andrew means to this team. Read why Phil was applauding Andrew. Here is what Kevin Ding had to say about it:

>>>

Andrew Bynum has been watching and preparing.

He has been preparing to play defense in the NBA Finals.

Here's what Bynum had to say about the Eastern Conference finals, which he is watching not just for fun, but to discern subtleties about Orlando's Dwight Howard or Cleveland's LeBron James that can help him stop whichever one the Lakers face in the NBA Finals.

"With Dwight, you've got to keep him as far away from the basket as possible and make him make shots," Bynum said. "And obviously somebody has got to stop LeBron. I think the other night he got something ridiculous like 41 points off 2-for-19 jumpshots outside the paint, which is ridiculous, so somebody definitely has got to step up and get in front of him (in the paint)."

There's a simple reason that Bynum is studying: "With those teams, I think if you take one of their key players away, you have a good chance of winning," he said.

The fact that Bynum is thinking of himself as a potential defensive stopper in the NBA Finals is about the best news his teammates have heard since Bynum agreed to put a protective sleeve over his clunky knee brace so it would stop banging their legs in practice. Bynum's injury absence last June against Boston, to reillustrate the big picture, left a gigantic void inside that was exploited not just by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but even Leon Powe.

Bynum was scoreless in the first half Friday night in the Lakers' clinching Game 6 victory in Denver, yet he was an absolute key to the team's success because of his defensive presence.

Pau Gasol and Bynum were outstanding in their attentiveness, helping teammates seamlessly to protect the paint and hold Denver to 3-of-11 shooting to start the game. With Nuggets fans gearing up for the home team to win the first quarter just as happened in the first two games at Pepsi Center, the Lakers controlled the early minutes. They led, 11-8, after Denver's Kenyon Martin made 1 of 2 foul shots granted from Bynum's hard foul that angered Martin but was just the kind Bynum's teammates love to see.

Bynum left the game at that point with his second foul, and the Lakers' offense perked up with Lamar Odom out there … but the Lakers' defense immediately fell off. The Nuggets finished the first quarter making 5 of 7 field-goal attempts and then started the second quarter making 4 of 6. That 9-for-13 shooting stretch (69.2 percent) gave Denver a 31-30 lead, and Phil Jackson called time out and brought Bynum back to replace Gasol.

Denver promptly missed 10 of its next 11 shots, and the Lakers found out just how they can have that elusive killer instinct: with Bynum standing tall and brandishing a menacing stop sign over his head in the paint.

The Nuggets never seriously threatened in the second half — just the sort of total control the Lakers wanted to establish before the NBA Finals. Denver had absolutely had the better of the play most of the series as Bynum gradually built himself back, knee- and confidence-wise, to this point: Entering Game 6, Denver had won 11 quarters to the Lakers' five (with four quarters played even).

Then the Lakers dropped the hammer on Denver's offense the rest of that second quarter and early in the third, with Nuggets coach George Karl spending one entire timeout talking about how timid Denver had gotten, repeatedly settling for perimeter shots for fear of their interior shots getting changed by Bynum. That's why Jackson and assistant coach Frank Hamblen actually applauded Bynum as he approached them on the bench at the end of his first run on the court of the third quarter.

The Lakers led, 71-55, at the time. It was time for Bynum's first NBA Finals.

Asked about enjoying what is to come, he said: "Winning it is enjoying it. Losing it definitely is not."

For the moment late Friday night, Bynum was joyous — completely unbothered that he was the only Laker willing to be uncool and wear his Western Conference championship shirt and hat to the team bus — acknowledging that this meant more to him than last season, when he never made it back from his midseason knee injury.

"Being an active participant, it's way better," he said.

And again, he intends to stay active in June and do what the team needs from him, even if the right knee still doesn't have its full explosion back.

"We've gotta — gotta — play defense," Bynum said. "That's the big thing. If we move the ball on offense, we'll be fine — against anybody. It's just all about our defense and not letting people get to the cup."

Bynum carried an anemic line of two points on 1-of-6 shooting with no rebounds, no assists and one block until the final meaningless moments of this game. We saw in January that Bynum can pile up numbers to make the fantasy-basketball trackers drool over their space bars, but the same thing holds now that everyone understood entering this season:

The Lakers can easily score without Bynum. To defend to the reaches of their greatest aspirations, they need Bynum.

>>>

Tom

no post-game presser either. Mo took it. him and Coach Brown.

at least Kobe was there (even when he looked pitiful) last year after the Boston win.

From Kevin Ding:

>>>

Then the Lakers dropped the hammer on Denver's offense the rest of that second quarter and early in the third, with Nuggets coach George Karl spending one entire timeout talking about how timid Denver had gotten, repeatedly settling for perimeter shots for fear of their interior shots getting changed by Bynum. That's why Jackson and assistant coach Frank Hamblen actually applauded Bynum as he approached them on the bench at the end of his first run on the court of the third quarter.

The Lakers led, 71-55, at the time. It was time for Bynum's first NBA Finals.

>>>

Tom

Mr. Harrison - thank you for your stand-up post. I think that most bloggers here have respect for the Magic, they're a class team. I know that I myself sometimes get sidetracked by silly things... but it does really gall me when I hear about LeBron stealing ribbon candy from rest homes. That aggression will not stand! But, I suppose I should turn my thoughts to the series ahead. I agree with you, if both teams play their games, it will be a good... no great series.

I'm really surprise at the arrogance and disrespect I'm seeing here. Bynum has NEVER competed with Dwight. Did we already forget about the 5 fouls in 12 minutes earlier in the season? That was before his injury, and if he's not 100% now, I mean, come on. Huge advantage Magic. Derek Fisher? We all know Fisher's time has come. He's been nothing short of awful this postseason. Jordan Farmar has played well but Shannon Brown has yet to prove he is worthy of playing well in significant minutes. Pau Gasol will get his on the offensive end, but can he really keep up with Lewis on defense? What will Lamar Odom do? I bet he doesn't show up for a few of these games. Kobe will do what Kobe does, however, analysis of Pietrus guarding Lebron showed that Lebron shot under 35% when Pietrus was the one guarding. Lebron just shot the ball...a lot. That's something to be worried about a little bit. Let's also discuss the fact that the Magic were the #1 team in defensive efficiency this season. And tore up Cleveland's #1 total defense to the tune of 104 ppg in their series. The reality is, we haven't seen a defense this good in the playoffs. The scariest part of this Magic team...the officiating was against them all series. And they still won convincingly. Not to mention our inability to consistently guard the 3 ball. Yeah it's easy to say play Dwight Howard one-on-one and keep by the perimeter shooters, but seriously, when has anyone been able to do that? And if you hadn't noticed, the Magic have been able to just fine with Jameer Nelson. It's not like the two games against us were the best games of the season. The guy is an all-star for a reason, his overall play, not for just two games.

I still think the Lakers take it, but in no less then 7 games. Maybe this post will just soften the blow if we don't win.

One thing I would add is that if LO is going to eat that much candy, he should definitely also be looking into blood sugar stabilizers that can help modulate the ups and downs - adaptogens like rhodiola, ginseng or eleuthero; and/or the more advanced blood sugar stabilizers you can find at vitamin shops and natural food stores (Maitake SX Fraction, gymnema, prickly pear, bitter melon, etc.).

Personally, I'd highly advise a high-protein diet with lots of leafy vegetables (and if you have a chef, have him unnoticeably mix cactus of various varieties in your marinades, sauces, gravies, etc.), and on the supplement front, Maitake SX Fraction, Kyolic Gingko Biloba Plus (aged garlic, eleuthero, gingko, all solid for blood sugar balancing), Rhodiola, and Nature's Way Blood Sugar supplement (cactus, bitter melon, gymnema, bilberry, and fenugreek).

Also, you can make your diet even more potent by putting great stuff in your smoothies, like a variety of seeds, sprouted grains, sea veggies, various fermented Asian products like garlic, vinegar, etc., in just enough amounts to make it healthy but not taking away from a decent flavor, and a guy like LO could afford to eat candy and still be one of the healthiest, feel-good people on the planet.

Of course, major changes in diet and supplementation should only occur after the season.

10 reasons to hate the Orlando Magic

1. They are in our way to the NBA Championship
2. They have a former Sacramento King on the payroll
3. They denied us a chance to get revenge against the Celtics
4. They took away the Kobe/Lebron match of the Century
5. They outbid us for Ameche years ago
6. D Howard blasphemed in saying God is on their side
7. They think they can beat us
8. Howard elbowed Gasol before
9. They beat us twice in the regular season
10. They're blue and black colors are disgusting

Man, do I hate these guys. They make me sick. I want revenge, and I want it now!!!

Fatty - Who's frothing at the mouth just thinking about the Magic

I was gonna write something on here that I had to get off of my chest but lakertom took the words right out of my mouth. Great assessment buddy! Ak and Bk really need to hire you, you are so right on the money.

Kobe is going to kill orlando. If we can stay one on one with superman and stay on those 3 point shooters, then they don't stand a chance. Especially if Dwight is in foul trouble. Go right at him Pau, Kobe, Trevor, everybody- with guns a blazing.

Without being too repetitive I'll move on and say this. Lebron finally speaks to the media and did you see what he was wearing? A NY hat. This guy is either really smart by putting pressure on his city to go get more talent. Or he's a shaquille o'neal drama queen. Makin a plea for another team while his current struggling team is under the gun. Either way it shows no class. Especially the no shaking hands bit. And remember this guy is basically the face of the NBA.

Poor sport describes lebron right now. Not champion. Not MVP and certainly not Kobe equal.

This version of Bynum (as against the regular season) couldn't stop Nene, what makes him think he can even stay with Howard? Love the kid to death but somebody has to knock the bravado and air off his head. What's the use of a supposedly shot blocking 7'1" center with a 3.6 rpg against a 3 pt shooting team? Guy averages more fouls than rebounds.

Dig deep, Drew, find your inner Darth Vader. Lose the Talk, time to Walk the Walk.You're starting to make LakerTom look like Mike T. The biggest fan of a bust.

ESPN has officially turned in anything remotely resembling journalistic integrity.

I hate JVG and Mark Jackson. Does anyone know how I can just mute the announcers?

Laker Tom,
The thing to remember about Bynum is that he doesn't need to score or completely stop Howard. All he needs to do is body him out and make him work harder for the shots he does take. Even if he does score he will be more tired. A tired Howard is a Howard who is more inclined to foul. If we continually go inside, a tired Howard will force SVG to give him more rest than he wants to.

The only thing I'll say about LeBron is that he's just helped the Lakers keep LO & Ariza, should management choose to do so.

It means the 2010 sweepstakes is still alive, now with LBJ staying with the Cavs an open question. Meaning teams will want to save their $$$ (especially in a down economy) for 2010, to bid on LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, & on down. Meaning nobody will put a ridiculous bid for LO or Ariza this year.

 
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