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Game 6 and all the talk about nearly everything BUT Game 6

Soren-390-Thereflg_med It's a sad state of NBA affairs when, on the eve of the a potentially series closing Game 6 between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, all the chatter is devoted not towards Kobe Bryant.  Or Carmelo Anthony.  Or Pau Gasol.  Or Chauncey Billups.  Hell not even Sonny Weems.

Instead, the biggest names in question may be Mike Callahan and Mark Wunderlich.  Neither rings a bell?  Okay.  I'll throw you one more.  Joey Crawford.  That oughta do it. 

Happy, happy, joy, joy. 

I realize referee complaints are as entrenched a part of playoff culture as the TNT gang (recently taken to task task by Ron Ron), ads making use of the word "Amazing," and marathon articles by ESPN's Bill Simmons.  But when the Sports Guy's latest happens to be a dissertation about everything gone wrong with whose manning the whistles, that ain't a good thing.  And Simmons ain't the only one voicing dissatisfaction.  The staggering amount of flagrants and technicals assessed is being described as absurd, and that skepticism is granted validity when they're rescinded on a regular basis.  Even former official Hue Hollins is throwing the current crop under the bus, and this comes from a dude associated with a call still resonating of sketchiness fifteen years later!

Thus, it's no shocker to see the Lakers and Nuggets series mired in such anti-gruntled yap.  Specifically, an unnamed Nuggets player insinuating the 50K coughed up by Phil Jackson and the Laker organization wasn't so much a fine for criticizing the Game 4 referees, but rather a calculated investment to pressure favor in Game 5.  The irony, of course, being that George Karl then turned around and bitched about the refs, but simply utilized enough restraint to avoid getting hit with a bill.   Should the Nuggets end up on the right side of the charity stripe this evening, Karl's dad leaves himself open towards accusations of being the "bargain shopper" version of Phil Jackson.   The complainer who shops at Costco, if you will.

The worst part of all this?  This storyline isn't overblown.  The refereeing truly has been as amateurish as advertised.  Against both teams.  And during the Eastern Conference Playoffs as well.  What bothers me the most isn't so much the blown calls- Lame as it can be to hear, these guys are human- but the seemingly small interest expressed by the league to correct the problem.  Outwardly, there appears to be more concern about making sure "emotions don't boil over"- Seriously, Mr. Stern, seek whatever therapy or counseling is needed, because it's REALLY about time your paralyzing fear from the now-five-years-old-Palace Brawl was overcome- and creating the appearance of fairness than cutting down on referee assignments that smack of "conflict of interest," making better use of instant replay or adding more officials to the mix.  Doing something.  Anything.

Most of the Lakers Blog faithful aren't big on The Sport's Guy, and while I think they allow his inherent (and totally owned) Boston-bred dislike for the Lakers taint appreciation of what's often very insightful and funny writing, we are entitled to ones own taste for whatever reason.  But even the Simmons haters can agree with him that two classic Conference Finals are being overshadowed by referee flailing, and that really does stink.  It's also hurting the league's "image" way more than whatever hypothetical punch could (but probably won't) get thrown during a game of heighten stakes involving players that aren't robots. 

Anyhoo, for those still interested in tidbits involving the game...

And finally...


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It's unfortunate such a great game can be overshadowed by such obviously unobjective refereeing.

I do my best not to be distracted by all that.

It's a lot easier when the Lakers aren't getting the short end of the flagrant stick.

I couldn't agree more that something should be done. What most people seem to really want is fewer mistakes on really important calls. Like calls that get people into foul trouble, flagrants, and technicals. Calls in the 4th. Calls that turn games.

I hate to see fluidity of the game diminished, but it's worth it for more fair officiating.

I'd like to see two more officials added and reviews of all technicals and flagrant calls. Give a team 2 call reviews a game as well. These reviews can't obviously be used to get a particular player (e.g., Kobe Bryant) into foul trouble. The gamesmanship of the NBA will require that they do that, of course.

Too often we see a mistake and then the ref does a make up call or one team gets shafted by a loss of possession at a critical time.



Dear Lord, our prayer as Laker Nation is simple for tonight: That when George Karl sits at his press conference and plans his offseason; as Chauncey & Melo express their pride in how far they've come this season, and as the Nugget fans leave their arena lamenting about What Could've Been, they accept this one truth: the refs didn't make them lose. Kobe didn't make them lose. PJ and Jedi Mind Tricks didn't make them lose.


Grant us the strength to play 48 COMPLETE MINUTES OF SPIRITED, FOCUSED, DETERMINED, DISCIPLINED AND PASSIONATE BASKETBALL. Create an atmosphere of TEAMWORK that will enable the Lakers to sacrifice stats, points, open shots for personal glory, desires to please PJ, contract auditions, and lust for playing time for the GLORY OF TEAM SPIRIT AND UNITY!

And when all is said and done, may they leave Denver ready, willing, able, and HUNGRY to win 4 more games after this one!

We thank You for answered prayer...AMEN!

Hmmm.....interesting storm brewing....

The Thuggets are clearly irritated at the officiating, to the point where they're all seemingly in agreement that the Lakers bought game 5....

Game 6 is apparently going to be officiated by Joey Crawford.....

If the Lakers can jump out early tonight, could all this come to a head and result in a total meltdown by the home team? The Lakers go up by double digits, Crawford makes some ticky-tack calls at key points and gets under the Nuggets' skin and ......ejections, multiple T's, players being restrained, objects being thrown on the court?

The stars seem aligned for the bad boys of Denver to show their colors and lose it completely.


Good to see the Laker big men getting their "touches" by blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.

Heard a lot about Kobe's 7 TO's. Didn't hear too much about the fact that 'Melo had 5 of his shots blocked in addition to having 5 TO's of his own. That's 10 changes of possession.

Rumor has it that LeBrawn & Co. will be out on Lake Erie fishing as soon as tomorrow. Even though the Magic are a great team, I'd prefer to see the Lakers have the HCA in the Finals, should they get there (I don't want to jinx them!).

Karl needs to get fined for his comments about the refs. If PJ took a hit, so should he. And, IMO, retroactive flagrant fouls serve little purpose as far as penalizing the offender. If a foul is upgraded to flagrant, free thows should be shot at the start of the next game if the series is still in progress. Jones' 2 flagrants didn't hurt his team the way they should have. He deserved to be suspended for the trip. Again, just my opinion.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | May 28, 2009 at 04:47 PM

This is the reason why the Thuggets lost as bronxlakerfan said:

"Melo had 5 of his shots blocked in addition to having 5 TO's of his own. That's 10 changes of possession."

This is the reason I will always enjoy watching Kobe play basketball more than Lebrawn James

Lebrawn is nothing short of boring, he is like the bully on the block, who just runs you over because he's so much bigger.

Last night Lebrawn had 31 consecutive possesions where he either scored or made an assist. Think of it, 31 straight times he had the ball, and people call Kobe selfish. Sorry that is not basketball to me. Basketball is a team sport. If that's what you like to see in a basketball game, more power to you.

Kobe is as pure a basketball player that there is in the game today. Not bigger than everyone but more skilled, driven, and down to earth. If people think Kobe interviews are to scripted, you should listen to Lebrawn talk. Man, the guy is just BORING just like he goes boring into the lane to get a foul or foul someone without getting an offensive foul (you can throw D-Wade into the the same category).

Just my take

The Thuggets are clearly irritated at the officiating, to the point where they're all seemingly in agreement that the Lakers bought game 5....

Posted by: Jason F. | May 29, 2009 at 11:03 AM


LOL a Thug wants to be treated fairly. Like a bandit expects no cheating in a card game.

I hope they make some bad calls. Hell with it. If Thuggets are going to blame the refs anyway then I hope they get phantom calls.

But I would never blame the refs. You should take a loss like a man. One call and one possession should not decide a game anyway if you are championship material.

Play Ball.

Now let's go out there and play some BBaLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I get the feeling that the Ref's will fall all over themselfs
to call fouls against The Lakers tonight!



"The worst part of all this? This storyline isn't overblown. The refereeing truly has been as amateurish as advertised. Against both teams. And during the Eastern Conference Playoffs as well. What bothers me the most isn't so much the blown calls- Lame as it can be to hear, these guys are human- but the seemingly small interest expressed by the league to correct the problem."


It's nice when somehow has the fundamental human audacity to scream "The Emperor wears no clothes!"

These kinds of problems are obvious, but the league instead retorts, "There is no problem and if you say there's a problem, we'll fine you! Everyone smile now!"

In all seriousness, and I've stated this before, I know a lot of MAJOR sports fans who simply refuse to watch the NBA. The reason(s)? The inconsistency in which the game is officiated and the showboating and/or flopping of players.

In short, David Stern's management of this issue is the number one reason the NBA ISN'T more popular. It's time for him to be replaced.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


What's up, Lakerville! Game day!
Lost in all this ref brouhaha is the fact that I saw the real Lakers in game 5. They were better in their execution and defense. The movement was fluid for the most part. They didn't have to bang bodies and act tough. It's not who they are. They are a finesse team that is a beauty to watch when everything is clicking. Their toughness is more mental than physical. I want to see THIS TEAM tonight. I want them to get into the Finals TONIGHT.

Go Lakers!




What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


I'm really tired of the officiating crap. The reality is that they've been turrible, as Charles Barkley would say, but they've been turrible against all of the teams in the playoffs. No one can complain more than Dallas so far this year.

We can say they were one-sided during game 4 because Denver got 49 free throw attempts, 14 more than the Lakers but the reality is that Denver was attacking our bigs and the basket all game. The same can be said about game 5...the difference being that the Lakers were the ones attacking the basket (aka Lamar and Bynum showed up).

My real issue is the flagrants....the 1's the 2's....the techs...all that stuff is just way overboard. They don't call them correctly or consistently because if they did, we'd be talking about Carmelo being suspended for tonight's game after clotheslining Kobe. Bot NO, instead, it's seen as a harmless foul because he went over and tapped him on the head to make sure he was ok. So maybe if Fisher had helped Scola up off the floor in that last series, he wouldn't have been suspended, aww shucks.

Much more needs to be done to help these referees get it right. I'm with the idea of an additional "video ref" who can quickly do a replay of any play and make sure the call is right.

Jason F.,

If we get up early in the game, hold the lead--however large or small--and take the crowd out of the game, I fully expect the Thuggets to mentally break down by lashing out at the Lakers, the referees, and their teammates.

The Thuggets are a lot more mentally tough than last year's model, but their still the Thuggets and still a mentally and emotionally immature team.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Close 'em out lakers!

Good sign that the Nuggets are already getting their excuses in order.

Lets hope they go down better than the leprocons whining about how this cost them this, blah blah blah, their blog is now about going shopping HAHAHHA. Do you want to see if you can get a "return" on Garnett yet?

Go LAKERS! CLoSE THIS ONE OUT. NO MERCY. PAss the ball. PASS the ball to PAU!. WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AMEN utzworld!

SamLL Thanks for checking in. Looks like the family is
starting to Board the busses for the Celebration.

Jon K,

I personally don't have a problem with Phil (or any coach) getting fined for disparaging comments. That's standard in the NFL, MLB, etc. Most league don't take kindly to public criticisms and I get why they'd prefer complaints be voiced privately. And it's hard to feel "sorry" for Phil, because this was a calculated move. Events played out exactly as planned. He went out of his way to make his thoughts heard, and despite protests to the contrary, he wanted to be fined. And let's be frank. Dude can spare the dough.

But, as you rightly noted, it often feels like the league's "solution" is to send a bill, rather than deal with the issues raised. And that's a serious problem.


I assume the TWO games that the THUGGETS won, there was not a conspiracy in the officiating???


Everytime Andrew stands on the court, there is a fricken foul called.

Does anyone know the real story of why Leno is leaving the Tonight Show?

It makes no sense to me. He's at the peak of powers and he's being forced to leave the show.

Not a good move. I feel like I'm being robbed of a sold late night tradition.

I like Dave and Conan a lot, but Jay got the most laughs out of me.

And I think the Denver team is really too good to be beat at home more than once in a series.

I don't know if it's the Lakers’ fault, necessarily that they can't close out the series on the opponent’s home court in game 6.

These are the two best teams left and nothing is going to be easy.

I will say this. If we ever got a hot shooting night from Sasha we probably would have a blowout on our hands.

Lets party tonight!


As much as I believe we will win this series, I don't know what to expect tonight.

One one hand, the Lakers could come out focused on controlling the tempo (you know the Nuggets are going to try and ram in down their throat from the start) and taking care of the ball, running the offense through the post to create opportunities for the shooters, and determined not to repeat the mistakes they made in game 6 of the Houston series.

On the other hand, a fast start by Denver, some cold Laker shooting, and officiating determined to respond to Denver's perceived whistle disadvantage in game 5 might unravel things real quickly.

The NBA is probably thinking about how "amazing" it would be if both CF went 7 games. Let's hope they really don't have that kind of influence. I personally don't think they do but the Simmons article was very interesting.

I think the lakers will win tonight, and the magic will choke..

CAVS vs Lakers in NBA finals..Lebron is so scary right now..

OH MY GOD!!! A LAKERS JUSTICE & LAKERSRYDEORDYE sighting on the same day.!!!

I think the real decline in the quality of NBA officiating began with the increased frequency of flopping in the league. I'd imagine you can pin the introduction and perfection of flopping to the influx of European players into the NBA.

It's a shame that players have to "sell" calls now by overreacting to everything. Players fly backwards at the slightest touch. Players writhing in pain on the floor for minutes after a clean hard foul. It's ridiculous.

The second major factor in the decline of NBA officiating is the league's desire to protect its perimeter stars by allowing them to carouse into the lane and get a whistle at the slightest contact, even if they initiated the contact themselves. Those whistles diminish the effectiveness of big men on the defensive end and lead to stupid foul trouble. More than anything, these types of calls have made the game into a perimeter-oriented game.

Give each coach 6 red balls to throw at the Refs.

Challenge refs 6 times or or loose 6 timeouts.

Let's do this fellas! Let's close them out the right way. L.O. will step up again and so will the rest of the Bench Mob!

Thuggets ain't ready!



Leno was critical of the NBA reffing in one of his jokes, so Stern is forcing him out. It's part of the conspiracy.

Anybody else expecting a celebration tonight? I expect a subdued celebration when the Lakers win the WC crown tonight.

As good as it is to close out a series on the other team's homecourt, I'd like to see the Lakers win the championship at Staples. Winning the championship on the road just doesn't have the same feeling. We haven't won the championship at Staples since 2000. The downside of playing Orlando in the Finals will be that we'll likely win the championship in Orlando.

Whoever said Kobe interviews are scripted is an idiot....

Kobe speaks carefully and cordially. He's had much coaching. Some probably from Nike, some from his own PR people which he probably has, and oh yeah....there was that time he ran into a hole in the road in Colorado, and had to go to court over it. His lawyer team probablly taught him very well. Truthfully, I can't remember if he ever did take the stand to testify, I believe he did not. There was a statement afterwards, after he had to pay for the damage to the hole in the road, which he spoke in what was probably scripted-to-da-max....because he was basically apologizing while not admitting anything. Before the trial, in those police interviews, where he was nervous as Hell, that was the pre-Kobe....he was all over the place from nervousness, fear, etc. Since that time he has grown and is an excellent public speaker. Take for example of his answer to the question of his be being tripped.....he could have ranted and said it was intentional, and that the refs were not doiing their job...but he took the high road and his statement told us all...he knew he was intentionally tripped but by "blowing it iff", he got his point acriss, did he not? The quizzical reactions gave a stronger insight
into the fact that you can not beat Kobe physically or mentally....

Is it just me or does every media outlet but the LA Times seem to be rooting for the Nuggets? Every article from SI, ESPN, and Fox is about how the Nuggets can win; how Chauncey Billups can lead the Nuggets out of a hole, who the Lakers are screwing up, etc. Most "experts" picked the Nuggets to win the series. What's going are here? Am I wrong? We are up 3-2, and the Nuggets haven't been in control of this series!! The Laker Blog faithful know the truth, of course, and couldn't care less what some east-coast writer at ESPN thinks, but it seems a whole lot worse than other years. I'd be interested in the opinions of others.

Very low expectations on my part today. Our team has broken a lot of hearts this postseason with letdowns in non-critical (in their view) games.

My fear is that, as with Lamar Odom's inconsistency, the team we've seen in the playoffs is the real Laker team. More talented than any other, but supremely inconsistent and lacking in killer instinct. Maybe they'll prove me wrong (hope so) and maybe Lamar will too (certainly not counting on that) but I suspect we'll be looking at a game 7.

That said, I am happy to see what looks like a growing irritation from Pau Gasol, from his complaints about lack of touches then his comments that this team talked about not letting up before games 4 and 6 in Houston and then went ahead and played like garbage. Hopefully this irritation will make him even more aggressive (8 shots in 40+ minutes is not going to cut it in Denver) and he can do his part to support Kobe's expected strong effort. LO, as always, will be the wild card--and that scares me....

Who's this???

Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me please!

cough cough....Mike.

I'm just sayin'.

I've always said the NBA should have a challenge rule just like the win the review and the correct call is lose the review and you lose a timeout or you can even give the other team 1 technical free throw if you lose the challenge. One challenge per half.


Why is Karl not getting "hammered" like PJ was for making comments about the officiating? He was clearly criticizing the "whistle" and how there were phantom calls on Nene and some of his other players were saying that the game was "bought-off" by the Lakers. I would think that the league would be coming down hard on the nuggets to stop all this complaining????? If you are going to fine PJ, you should also fine Karl and their team. This sends another confusing message, just because Karl preface his statement that he wasnt going to be fined and then proceeds to go off on the refs warrants the hammer to come down just as hard, i cant understand the reasoning behind this.

And give six candies to Odom so when coach challenges those six calls he has something to do.

I think that Nene having foul trouble was a big plus for the Lakers last game. Teams getting more favorable calls at home is nothing new. (It even happens to Denver.)

So much as I would love them to I doubt that the Lakers will be able to close it out tonight.

Go Lakers!!!

I just can't shake the good feelings....

I can sense the force; there's been a great distrurbance...

Our team is on a mission tonight. This doesn't mean they'll win, but they're going to put on their best game of the playoffs and then build on it starting with Thursday's game....

I can FEEL it... they're here now, just minutes from my computer as I type... the energy is strong, very strong

Nathan (DC): I am a huge NBA fan with no loyalties to Cleveland or LA. I also thought Kobe has been unfairly critisized at times in the past and was the clearly the best player in the NBA from 2004-2006. However, the current debate of who is better between him and LeBron is laughable. Every game LeBron plays, he sets some kind of record. Are people watching these games? LeBron is on a completely different level and Kobe doesn't even belong in the conversation. Kobe should be compared to Wade as to who the 2nd best player in the NBA is. That is a real debate. There is literally zero meaningful and current evidence to support a "Kobe is the best" argument.

J.A. Adande: (3:12 PM ET ) other than the fact that his team is a W away from the NBA finals?



karl has no room to talk about the officiating in la la land, if he would watch all the callsand non calls he would have nothing to say about the game. he lose flat out period.

Thugget Fans... Start lighting up candles for a Vigil.

Vigil for your Thugget Team.

Give some calming medication to Karl already.

I'd be scared to interview Kenyon Martin. I can see him jumping off the podium and beating up on some reporter.

Chauncey.. wearing dark glasses and shaking his head.

Car-Marsh-Melo.. poodle face.. will be like deer in front of head lights.

Hey guys!

I personally think the Lakers are going to beat the Magic in 6.

Myself and two buddies have a website and our current topic is predicting the winner of the Finals. COme give us a look and by all means, leave us feedback!

Go Lakers!

Maybe Karl can starting writing a book on bad officiating. It maybe like a robber writing a book about how to watch out for credit card frauds.

He will have a lot of time on his hands. Starting from tonight.

jon k.

"The Emperor wears no clothes!"

r u referring to Stern or LBJ? or both?

maybe just a wardrobe malfunction: the jock strap?

You Ever Notice

i noticed TOOOOOOOOO


In my humble opinion, there are a few reasons why many people think the NBA is fixed or there's a conspiracy, especially in the post-season:

1. The wild inconsistency in officiating. ('Nuff said.)

2. The way the NBA (and allied industries, primarily shoe companies) markets itself. Ever since Michael Jordan, the NBA has become OBSESSED with creating a super-star pseudo-messanic figure to lead the NBA. There is SO much focus on a limited number of individual personalities (LeBron, Kobe, Garnett) throughout the season and so much hype around a limited number of individuals in the media... that it just doesn't feel balanced to a self-aware individual. It just doesn't FEEL journalistic. It just doesn't FEEL right. It's just too much.

I'm not saying any of this is valid evidence to support a conspiracy, but the NBA has no one to blame but itself by creating this image in the public's mind. If you follow the season, there are just so many highlight reels and slam dunk montages of just a handful of players that you can see without questioning, "Why such a limited focus?"

And then you start seeing less self-aware people becoming slavishly connected not to teams, but to INDIVIDUAL players... the players you see in advertisements and in TNT/ESPN/ABC montages declaring "Amazing Happens!"

It just doesn't feel right.

It feels like the NBA has already communicated who they want in the Finals. THAT is the effect of their myopic marketing style and they should know better.

So, it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people feel that there's a conspiracy. The NBA has been reinforcing that feeling through their marketing means ever since Michael Jordan.

I think that pattern will only change when David Stern steps aside. The guy is ruining the NBA.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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



I'm with you all the way.. I am thoroughly confused why this isn't getting any coverage AT ALL. He clearly criticized (i think more than Phil) and NOTHING? And what about the "not to be named player" saying the Lakers bought the game. You don't think the NBA has the means to find out who that was and fine him? Not to mention Kmart and Billups both making deragotory comments. Puhlease!

And seriously, why hasn't there even been discussion on that clothesline on Kobe. That was a HARD DIRTY foul. That should have been suspension. He was hit above the shoulders.

Why are we getting screwed and the media can only talk about how Denver lost to the officials???


"NBA All-Defensive awards are like All-Pro awards in the NFL. You get the first one and it is hard not to get the subsequent ones. Kobe did not deserve most of those, because his defense is not at that level most of the time. It can be, when he wants it to be. Usually he doesn't care enough to put in the focus and effort on that part of his game."

Agree with your points Ex. I'm a big Kobe fan and recognize how good he is on defense but that sums up when he sees someone who he respects enough to shut him down (something he did this year more than previous when he had to conserve his energy for offense). He did it to Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and made them struggle when he went all out on defense. Otherwise Kobe does play center field when he doesn't fear the person from scoring such as Ronnie Brewer.

And that is the thing about Kobe he does it too much when he doesn't fear his man and the overall defense suffers a bit.

The All-Defensive team imo is more of coaches seeing who they fear most guarding their best perimeter player and not surprisingly many times it has been Kobe. That doesn't mean he always deserved them. For example 2007 Tex Winters blasted Kobe at his defense where he kept sagging off his man and not playing real defense yet Kobe won an All Defensive team 1st.

That is why I was very surprised now at how Kobe is actually going directly at Chauncey even though he is the first option still. He really has to expend so much energy in doing those things. If we get to the Finals and regardless of Lebron or Hedo or Rashard, I think Kobe will do the same thing now. Only reason he didn't do it as much against Boston was because he did not have to fight through a valley of green and white screens chasing Ray Allen and instead guarding Rondo who also was the floor general of the team.


...are going to relax tonight?

DejaVu! I have seen this movie too many times before. The Lakers are going to be there with the mind set for game seven in LA.

Something is telling me that the only guy who will show up trying his best to close out the series will be Kobe Bryant and the rest, will try to ride on his hard effort.

I hope the Lakers start the game by attacking hard the rim and not relying on jump shots because tonight I am an 100% sure those shots will not fall and, since the Nuggets are experts in attacking the rim, it may cause the Lakers to be in early foul trouble.

Match the effort, match the consistency, match the score, match the number of whistle and at the end, match the need and want you had last year when you finished the Spurs.


Laker4Life.. (5/29/2009 at 2:20 PM) Report Violation Its funny how they say nobody cares but their in here posting their crap, sit down take a seat because the Rockies aint doing so well either if i recall the Dodgers swept them. LMAO! At least you have a football team oh!! wait a minute Broncos have no D and no QB ouch!!!



OK Lakers,

I know its hard to hate the Nuggets because they are so darn cute, but here you go, the leprocons have channeled all of their smashed despair into the Nuggets hoping against hope the Laker Machine can be stopped:

It can't. Finish the kill Lakers tonight!!! Kill the greeen spiritis (the guys in blue). Destroy!!!

We end this series tonight.

I have a good feeling about this one.


>>> Give each coach 6 red balls to throw at the Refs.

>>> Challenge refs 6 times or loose 6 timeouts.

I actually think your idea is the best I have heard, although 6 challenges are a too much. Because the clock does not stop between every possession in basketball, there is also an issue with when to allow coaches to challenge, which is most likely only on a calls that are made rather than calls that are not made. Challenges obviously have to be made and resolved before play continues.

I like the NFL rule where you get two challenges per game at risk of losing a timeout. And challenges are allowed only for fouls that are called. There is no challenge for calls that are NOT made. This would give coaches at least a chance to overturn egregious calls made near the end of the half or game that could lead to a team unfairly losing the game. Unlike the NFL, I would allow the challenges to be for anything, including judgment calls by the referees. I also like the idea of having an instant replay official who can challenge calls or plays in the last few minutes of the game.

It will be interesting to see if the NBNA wakes up and takes steps to ensure fairer in-game refereeing with teams at least having some form of instant challenge when a huge play goes the other way. Even the stuffed shirts in baseball have finally come around.


Game 6 in Denver. SHUT THEM DOWN...SHUT THEM UP...Play with all your might and get some rest. It's time to prove that we can win...when we don't have to!!! Play good D, make good choices, come home Western Conference Champs. It's time for business...send the good vibes to Colorado.

i found this entry on the ESPN blog:

" I just fouled Lebron by typing this"

cactus berry

thanks for the great links from yesterday.


I said the same thing after the game on Wednesday. That 12 minute mark was the best ball the Lakers have played in a long time and thinks the Lakers have figured out something and now know how to play the Thuggetts.

Here is a clue: SHANNON BROWN and Ball Movement!

This isn't rocket science. Brown plays Billups tough!

Give me our wingmen any day: Ariza, Kobe and Brown.

With our 3 BIGS down low and these wingmen we can't lose. God, I can only hope Phil remembers he's on the team.


Blitz & Ex, i think it's a part of the Lakers' defensive scheme to have Kobe not be close to his man, and sometimes Trevor, too. this reminds me of the Bulls with MJ, Pippen, and Harper playing passing lanes, and looking for steals to ignite the break. i think Kobe is basically doing the same thing, not to mention he doubles off his man a lot, to help defend a much better player. so, in this regard, i think Kobe is a BETTER defensive player than people give him credit for. just because he's not guarding a role player like Brewer or Battier, doesn't mean he's a bad defender. it means he's helping on someone else or going for a steal.

i'm not gonna argue if he deserves all those All Defensive teams or not, but as a Lakers fan, i'm definitely not gonna argue Kobe doesn't deserve it.


Why is it that nobody is talking about the Celtics?? Last time I checked they won the championship last year and yet, there is no disappointment in all this media thing.

Lakers are consistently being criticized for whatever reason it seems like they hate to see them (Lakers) in this position ath this point of the season.

The Nuggets were not chosen to come out of the West because they're the better team, they were chosen because the Lakers are getting under everyone else skin with their lack of effort and particular because they rather see Nuggets vs Orlando since it seems like those magicians in Orlando will destroy their (Media and the rest of the world) King.

Sorry but one magician like David Cooperfield or whatever can easily "kazuumm bazzum" and dazzle the all King' reign.

Word is Sasha will not be at the game tonight: Hair Appt.

as for the officiating, i agree with whoever said that there should be more refs for each game (at least one more should suffice, i think). this way more angles of the game can be covered by the officials. it'll cut down on the amount of times an official "didn't see the foul." and i agree that coaches should be able to challenge rulings. i understand that the League or Stern doesn't want the game to slow down, but integrity of the game and officiating must prevail.

and Jon K., i totally see your point about the marketing of the NBA. it's way too superstar oriented. a couple of months ago, i was talking to this girl about sports, and i asked her what her favorite NBA team was. she said, "i love Kobe." she clearly didn't understand my question. but after reading what Jon K. said, it opened my eyes. she could care less about what the Lakers did. she probably couldn't name three more players on the team. she doesn't watch the games, but sees the highlights of Kobe on ESPN or the internet. it's quite sad. but i guess if NBA can get every last buck that it can by selling jerseys and Nike can sell more sneakers, so be it.

it does seem to me that the NBA does this a lot more than other team sports. although the NFL comes close, i think. how often do we hear: who is better, Kobe or Lebron? why don't we ask: who is better, the Lakers or the Cavs? for some reason the former is so much more interesting to talk about (for the media).

Get the bubbly on ice...
let's finish this tonight fellers.
*fingers x-ed*
Nothin' like a champagne shower!

-Fowl Out

An Open Letter to Mr Bill Simmons:

Please move away from Los Angeles. I'll help you pack.

A Foul Is In The Eye of the Beholder

Some part of your cynical self has got to be gnawing at your basketball pure self. And that part is reasonably predicting that our series is coming back to LA for game 7.

Block or charge? The ref that tends to be influenced by hostile home crowds is under your basket. Coincidence?

This is the first conference finals that has warranted this much attention in the age of new media. Every opinion is heard. And every opinion is right.

It's possible to have a few things right at the same time. Refs are influenced and mistakes are made.

The problem is, there's no Santa Claus.
It's insidious, and a damn shame to have faith in your team but no faith in the powers that be. It cuts to the bone of the game itself.

If the Lakers win tonight, some faith in that power would be reasonably restored even if Denver fans were enraged. They'd have to admit a game 7 would be the script conspiratorial forces would write.

THE scenario that would sap my faith in the good of all men would be if Cleveland made it to the big dance on LBJ heroics.

That, sports fans, would be a little to good to be true.

"Kobe did not deserve most of those,"

This is probably one of the few awards with credibilty in the NBA.

The coaches who have this vote watch and study intensely (its their job) more game film than all of us bloggers combined.

To say it is just a reputation award would be denegrating to the coaches who take their vote very seriously. The comment in itself would be baseless. predjudicial, and without sound reasoning and logic.

A reputation usually means its built and well deserved over a period of time.

Of course some of us bloggers who watch a few games live, think they know more than the coaches and that will probably never change. And usually when we see non-sensicle coments like that its meant clearly to stir the pot.

Kobe at 90% on defense, is still better than the rest of the NBA at his position. Not my opinion, just the coaches, the real experts.

Steve, the media is rooting for the Nuggets, because they love to root for the underdogs. it sells more papers and gives their websites/blogs more hits. that's why the Times have TJ Simmers and Plaschke as writers. their articles antogonise Lakers fans, and keep them up at night. the more hate mail Simmers gets, means the more people are reading the Times.

then there's the fact that many people around the country relate to the underdog more than the top dog. like in "Rocky" or "Hoosiers" or "Rudy." it might be an American phenomenon. even the New York Yankees are often viewed as an "Evil Empire." and thus beating the Yankees in the World Series is like justice for the common man prevails. people like to hate the Lakers, because they are seen as too rich, too hollywood, too talented, have too many interesting personalities (since Magic era) (and maybe even too beautiful... we do have the Laker Girls, after all). but as a Lakers fan, i'm not complaining, as i feel blessed to be a Lakers fan, and to be able to experience winning more often than losing. for some strange reason, i like rooting for teams that win (like the Yankees, although not so much on the winning lately) than losers.

I hope the Lakers bring their "Moxy" tonight.

Can you figure out my quote?


I'm thinking LeBron is hoping he doesn't have to face Kobe and the Lakers in the Finals. He knows that just because he got the most amazing flu shot on February 8, he's not immune.

Can someone with ESPN INsider post the article about LO being the Laker's MVP?



I think one way to get more consistency in officiating is to have 4 refs all assigned to one side of the court and have them be responsible for their side only, that way they are always focused just on that side and it eliminates them having to move from side-to-side which can be a reason a call changes during the game because you have different officials calling the same plays. This would really make their jobs easier, although it is not perfect but would probably make it a lot more consistent to the players. But this makes too much sense and would be an added expense for the NBA, but im not sure they could even find additional refs that would be qualified to make this plan happen but we could only hope that someone try this idea. Its easy today for fans and the media to criticize when we have instant replay and tivo to review every play in slo-mo so i can understand how hard it must be to making these calls with screaming fans, players, and coaches yelling at you all the time.


"An Open Letter to Mr Bill Simmons:

Please move away from Los Angeles. I'll help you pack."

I literally (not figuratively) laughed aloud upon reading this.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


i probably wasn't that clear in my last post. i was actually making two statements in the 1st paragraph. 1. the media loves underdogs and 2. anti-lakers stories antagonize us, yet we (or at least many of us) still read them and respond to them. LA Times reverse psychology.

Man, the Thuggets are going to HATE us after we win tonight.

Looks like it time for ANOTHER NBA team to consider us their number one rival.

[Trailblazers II, anyone?]

Such is the Lakers' way.

Let's just win this one tonight.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


LakerTome>> .. 6 challenges are a too much.


You are right I thought 6 would be too many after I posted.

I think I am preoccupied by the number 6 today. 61 points on knicks with 61% shooting... hmmm Game 6....

Did you see how pissed Zambrano? Beating up the coke fountain.. haha .. I can see Kenyon Martin Doing the same to his locker.. good thing they are playing in Denver.. They will be breaking their own crib.


"An Open Letter to Mr Bill Simmons:
Please move away from Los Angeles. I'll help you pack."

>> Man that was hilarious!

Everybody wants Ariza.

A couple of articles ago, Bill Simmons was lamenting that his
precious Celtics didn't re-sign Posey and was saying they should
try to get Ariza to replace him.

Now someone asked JA Adande who the Cavs should try to get
to get past the Magic and he suggested, "A taller wing guy
to guard the Lewis/Hedo types would be one place to start.
Trevor Ariza?"

Ariza may get offered more than Odom this summer.

Lakers By One.

I am out!


"the media is rooting for the Nuggets, because they love to root for the underdogs. it sells more papers and gives their websites/blogs more hits."

The media is rooting for the the Thuggets because...

1, The Lakers are the most popular franchise in the NBA. I'd estimate that approximately 25-35% of professional basketball fans root for/love the Lakers.

2. That leaves 65-75% of professional basketball fans to NOT be Lakers fans.

3. So, since the Lakers are a naturally polarizing team, at any give moment around ~70% of basketball fans HATE the Lakers. Despite being the hugely most popular team in basketball, the Lakers are also far more so the most HATED team in basketball.

4. So, the media (as it has evolved from a reputable journalistic entity into a pandering group of talking heads providing mass entertainment) are constantly appealing to the largest component of their market: LAKER HATERS. THIS is why the media constantly roots against the Lakers. They're just pandering to their largest market. Here's the rough breakdown:

Basketball fans are composed of:

~25-35% Lakers Fanatics
~65-75% Lakers Haters
~0-7.5% Lakers Neutrals (can take them or leave them)

[I know these numbers can total more than 100%, but the numbers fluctuate with media influence and bandwagoneers each year and I wanted to keep that flexibility in account.]

So, that's how I see it. Laker Haters are the majority.

Us against the world.

Let's make one more fan base hate us tonight.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Go Lakers!

Play your game and bring home the WCF championship.

Enough of Denver.

Hugo Boss,

"Moxy" means toughness, spirit and grit.

I hope that's what you mean.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


before i really leave..

Odom will be back next year.. LAkers will win the championship and he will be back. If Odom goes to another team he may be number 1 option but I think number 1 option for a team like Knicks is not a option.

If Odom, Kobe, and Gasol can bring in couple Championships in the next few years; Odom will make more money from endorsements anyway.

Best place for Odom is to be in LA and enjoy Venice Beach unless Mitch ships him somewhere else.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

The Lakers have a "golden nugget" opportunity to close out the series tonight in "6". Here's what they and we should be looking forward to with "6" things in mind:

1. NO Lakers thoughts of playing Game #7
2. The Lakers not jacking up too many 3's
3. Lamar stepping up again as well as Fisher
4. The Lakers exploiting and pounding the INTERIOR!
INTERIOR! INTERIOR! for 48 minutes with Gasol,
Bynum, and Odom.
5. The Lakers limiting and controlling the "Billups" factor
6. More importantly, the Lakers CLOSING THE DEAL
with passion along with KB24's team oriented play

After 82 game season and 17 playoff games, the Lakers should know the deal and importance of this game despite all the criticism (which they brought upon themselves unfortunately).

The bottom line for the Lakers? Just win the "damn" game gentlemen! The Finals is just an "interior" and "effort" away.

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

So according to George Karl the referees who gave more free throw attempts to the Nuggets in Game 5, conspired to call fouls JUST IN THE 4TH QUARTER on his team? Doesn't anybody read box scores anymore?


"Ariza may get offered more than Odom this summer."

I doubt that. I just can't see any team offering Ariza close to $10M per year, which is what it would take to surpass offers that LO will likely receive.

Having Ariza and LO should allow us to match up very well with Hedo and Rashard should we play Orlando in the Finals. LO, in particular, will have to play a big role in slowing Rashard down and making him work on the defensive end.


WAAAHHHH!!! My Celtics are out of the playoffs! The refs are ruining the NBA!


Joey Crawford and Mark Wunderlich are on tonight! Yikes - Laker/Kobe haters both. Might just as well get on a plane right now to play game 7, and avoid the T that Joey has been practicing all afternoon for Kobe's first minor complaint!

Here is the article on ESPN Insider: Is Lamar Lakers' MVP: Another page of bull crap from a guy who does NOT like Kobe or does not want to acknowledge Kobe's greatness....

On the strength of his 19 points and 14 rebounds in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, consider for a moment the somewhat counterintuitive claim (made with all due respect to the Black Mamba and Señor Gasol) that Lamar Odom may actually be the Los Angeles Lakers' MVP.

The 6-foot-10 power forward has a reputation for being moody and inconsistent; a force one night, a zero the next. But during the 2008-09 season, it's Odom who has surprisingly posted the Lakers' highest plus/minus score per 48 minutes of playing time (plus-14.4, as opposed to Kobe Bryant at plus-10.7 and Pau Gasol at plus-9.1).

So while Kobe is unquestionably the Lakers' best player, and an injury to him would obviously be a devastating blow, Odom is still the team's bellwether. As he showed in Game 5, the diverse qualities he brings to the court are capable of raising the Lakers to a different level and encouraging his teammates (especially Kobe) to play in a more balanced fashion.

His varied skill set -- a quick and crazy-long body with mad handle -- makes him capable of putting up potent individual numbers both inside and out; witness the season-high 20 boards against the Hawks, the 28 points he laid on the Cavs, the seven assists he dropped on both Phoenix and Detroit, and the 26 shots he's blocked this postseason.

This versatility and unusual body type allow the Lakers to make fluid, on-the-fly adjustments against different types of teams. By creating speed and agility mismatches down low when he's playing the 4, and height, range and vision mismatches around the perimeter when he's playing the 3 or even the 2, he frequently tips the balance of the floor in the Lakers' direction.

"There aren't many 4s who can do what he can do athletically. His ability to handle the ball, to get to the boards, to make open shots, it's a problem for the other team on most nights," Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons explains. "And there are not many 2s who are as big as he is either, and that means we can send him to the boards from the 2, and so he gives us leverage no matter where we ask him to play."

The obvious benefit of Odom's flexibility is that it allows the Lakers to confidently mix "big" and "little" lineups over the course of a game or a series. "You can play power ball with Andrew [Bynum] at the 5, Pau at the 4, and Lamar at the 3 or the 2," Cleamons says. "Then when we get Trevor [Ariza], Odom, and Kobe on the floor together you get a 2/3/4 who can almost switch everything, act as a kind of a sniper group that can take the ball out of certain guys' hands, and be more fluid and stretch the floor."
In the triangle offense, space and flexibility, room to improvise angles of attack, are crucial. On offense, Odom not only works in the gaps, he creates them. In both the "power ball" and "switchable" groups Cleamons describes, Odom's presence (even on nights he is not shooting the ball particularly well), and the fact teams have to account for the threat of his mobility as both a distributor and a producer who begins each possession with a built-in edge, opens the floor and facilitates the Lakers' passing game (note the 25 Los Angeles assists on Odom's big night in Game 5).

And while the rap on Odom is that he creates mismatches all over the floor but doesn't always exploit them, the numbers say he's actually laying a hurt on guys. Odom pulls down 13.3 rebounds per 48 minutes this season, while his opponents at the 4-spot, head-to-head, grab only 10.5 rebounds per 48. The average power forward guarding him this year manages just 0.9 blocks per 48 (league average is 1.1) but Odom tallies 2.1 against his opposite number. And when he plays the smaller roles, while he's taking fewer shots and scoring less than his opponents, he's outperforming them as a facilitator (5.6 assists per 48 to his counterparts' 3.7).

He'll never be as explosive or relentless as Kobe. And he'll never be as good at a singular task as Gasol is at creating quick, efficient shots from the block. But still, we have to ask: Do either of these guys (or anyone else on the Lakers) do more things, in more places than L.O.?

There is a lot of speculation about teams going after Ariza this offseason. He'll get the mid-level at least, but I wouldn't be shocked if some team offers 7-8 million a year. Then he'll have to decide how much he likes LA and the team. I have to think he'll take less to stay in LA, but how much less?

Living in Northern Indiana near the Michigan border has taught me how crucial location and weather are to happiness. Ariza is a LA guy and I hope he stays that way.

It's going to be tough re-signing LO and Ariza and Brown, but it has to be done. This is a serious must-do.

If we lose LO to another team, we don't get back to the finals next year. Same with Ariza. Bynum is no where near--not within 5 million light years--of being any kind of leader on this team so letting Lamar go is an impossibility in my book.

That's why we need this ring. We need a reason to invest heavily in the near future and a shiny ring is pretty convincing.

And we're lucky to have Brown. He may save us from having to use the mid-level on a PG like Kidd. Or should we still use it on Kidd? Who should we use it on, one wonders.

We're the best road team in the NBA and we've only shown that beast once per series so far. Lets get a win tonight, make it two road wins against the Nuggets, and start preparing for the Magic.


This just in: Lamar has a hankering for some Denver Nougats tonight! The man needs to feed his sweet tooth.

Sean K,

It's now fixed. Thanks for the update.


Thanks Kobefan in Cuper!


Oone thing for certain is that tonight will be the last time this season that the Lakers will be subjected to that enormously annoying Nuggets announcer doing the pre-game introductions.


Anybody have an idea what it might cost to have a tatoo changed from, let's say, "THE CHOSEN ONE" to "THE CHOKEN ONE" ?

Just ask'n. That could be a handy piece of information to have a little later.

What is the deal with Lebron and the mouthpiece that is almost never in his mouth?


>>> Frontline AB, Pau and LO, Kobe and TA as guards.

I have actually been thinking of the exact same lineup as the part of the evolution of Kobe becoming more of a point guard and facilitator. Trevor could actually play pretty well as the Lakers shooting guard with Kobe at the point. What a defensive duo at starting guard. And what a powerful front line with Drew, Pau, and Lamar. Too bad Phil will never try this lineup. What we need is to sign another big man to come off the bench and do what Birdman does. Then Phil might be willing to allow Lamar and Drew both to start. No team in the league could matchup with our size with that lineup – every player over 6-7. It would be our best defensive team in my opinion.


>>>i found this entry on the ESPN blog:
>>>" I just fouled Lebron by typing this"

Oh crap!

You just fouled him again by posting it!

And I fouled him again by reading it and a second time by
re-posting it.

That's 8 foul shots for LeBron. No wonder he can score 40
almost every night.

He'll never be as explosive or relentless as Kobe. And he'll never be as good at a singular task as Gasol is at creating quick, efficient shots from the block. But still, we have to ask: Do either of these guys (or anyone else on the Lakers) do more things, in more places than L.O.?
Posted by: Kobefan in Cupertino | May 29, 2009 at 03:34


I'd really like to see the league revise the offensive/blocking foul rule. I don't care if a guy is moving his feet on defense, when the offensive player initiates the contact and runs into or over the defensive player, it's an offensive foul. That includes jumping into a defender on the perimeter.

I'd also like to see the four free fouls before a team shoots free throws abolished. Shoot free throws on every foul. That will eliminate a lot of silly fouls and the "one foul to give" junk. It'll also speed up the games in the long run.

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!
Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

Posted by: Hugo Boss | May 29, 2009 at 02:34 PM

You can't argue with the Boss!

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