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A Yao-less Game 4, plus some Mommy's Day Tunes!

Foot-bones.thumbnail Under the best of circumstances, the Houston Rockets would be treating this afternoon's Game 4 as part of an uphill battle, the Lakers having clearly established themselves during Games 2 and 3 as the superior team predicted by most to roll through the series.  That's not to take anything away from Houston's fight and determination, but honestly speaking, L.A. is the more talented team, and the Rockets are a team dependent on forging a sum greater than their parts.   And now, they're forced to battle without their biggest part, whether measured literally or by importance.  That would be 7'6" center Yao Ming, on the shelf with a broken foot.

So how do the Rockets go about turning this lemon into the most scrumdilicious of lemonades?  Well, according to even those living and dying Rox... they don't.  The good folks over at the Dream Shake may still bleed red and white, but loyalty doesn't require ones head to get buried in the sand.  Thus, no attempt to sugarcoat truth:

      I'm sorry, I want to stay optimistic.  In fact, I'll be there with Dave tomorrow cheering my heart out.  The Rockets could even pull one out.  But it is very likely that this series is over in 5 or 6.  For those of you thinking I'm not a real fan because I'm not blindly following my team, I just kindly disagree.  I love the Houston Rockets, heck, I paid 90 bucks to sit in the upper deck for Game 4.  I just see what I see.  And the differences in this series were Kobe for the Lakers and Yao for the Rockets.  Yao won that battle in game 1, Kobe won it in games 2 and 3.  Without Yao, the Rockets cannot conceivably beat the Lakers in a series.  A game?  Sure.  A playoff game?  It remains to be seen.  I'll still be there, Rockets red pumping through my veins. 

       Prediction:  My hearts already broken for Yao.


That achy breaky heart, by the way, doesn't extend to Rockets Coach Rick Adelman and his quest to successfully coach a shorthanded squad.  In fact, David Clark would argue it's Adelman's fault Yao's down for the count in the first place:

       Sleepy strikes again.  Between the refusal to adjust his rotation, to the refusal to play the "hot hand," to the undying loyalty to his starters (even when that included Tracy McGrady), Adelman has steadfastly refused to pay attention to the events unfolding before his eyes.  It was funny when the Rockets were winning in spite of him, but now it's indirectly caused a major injury to the franchise center.  This is unacceptable.

Beyond whatever blame games are played, there's also a bigger issue... wait for it.... afoot.  Is Yao destined for a career spent nursing injuries?

For those actually curious about an X's and O's take on the Ming-Free day, David Thorpe of ESPN/Scout's Inc. has your back:

        When Yao played, he laid back on ball screens in their "contain" strategy, and it really hurt Houston. By staying back and having Shane Battier trail Kobe coming off the screen (he can't go under and give up the three) it immediately put Los Angeles in a 5-on-4 situation, with the ball in an attacking Bryant's hands. It's hard to conjure up a more dangerous set than Kobe leading a 5-on-4 action.

        With Yao now out for good (after already losing backup Dikembe Mutombo), Luis Scola or Carl Landry will guard Pau Gasol and maybe they will hedge or blitz these ball screens. Los Angeles consistently uses the ball screen action, so Houston will have to deal with it one way or another. Yao showed strong one time, and it surprised Kobe into taking a bad jumper. If the big does it again in Game 4, Kobe will likely attack him, as he often does in the 5-on-4.


So there's a little pregame analysis.  But we'd be remiss in our duties as sons of a wonderful mother if we didn't take time out to acknowledge all the moms out there.  Happy Mother's Day to all, and we leave you with a few topical-ish tunes before the game...

And finally, the theme from Mama's Family.  Man, I hated that show.

AK

 
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Happy Mom's Day to all the Mom's!!!

Hello blog team. My vote for best Mom's day topical tune....and most apprpriate for GAME DAY - LL Cool J.

Bummed about Yao - don't like when a major star gets injured during most important time of season. But hey - like LLCJ say - momma said knock you out... time for the Lakers to pounce.

LGL - 10 more....

AK, You forgot to mention "A song for Mama" by Boyz II Men...

You forgot,

A Song for Mama, by Boyz 2 Men

Pig/Tx,

I actually don't know that song. I was never a BoysIIMen fan, truth be told.

For those wondering, I purposely left out "Mother" by John Lennon, because it felt a mite depressing. Ditto "Motherless child." From there, some stuff like "Mother and Child reunion" popped into my head, but I figured I had enough.

But by all means, feel free to toss out more.

AK

Don't forget the Shirelles:

http://tinyurl.com/pfg5jg

And then, of course, the band Poison:

http://tinyurl.com/dgatxu

Oops! One more. One of the best My Chemical Romance songs from Black Parade.

http://tinyurl.com/bgpbrq

I love that album.
Done.

"LTLF,
"What worries me is that I see potential for the same pattern
in Bynum."

Yeah, that thought occurred to me, too."

While I'm not too worried about potential of that in Bynum (considering both were very unusual ways of getting injured) it is how he is after those injuries. Seems like it takes too much time imo for him to recover mentally. Injuries are a part of the game and while this was no minor injury it doesn't compare to something really bad (ie Shaun Livingston). Injuries are a part of the game and as long as Bynum is in the weight room most of the time the likelyhood of him getting injured goes down (just make sure don't hit the ligaments or such).

Laker Tom,

First off I'm a Dodger Fan and can't still believe at how the Yankees (though A-Fraud's absence is a factor...sorry but I really dislike any baseball player who uses illegal drugs and that includes Manny) are not winning despite having Jeter/Texeira/Sabathia. In retrospect, Joe Torre as the Skipper made them very successful. We will see if A-Fraud/A-Roids can lead the Yankees to the playoffs this time without Torre (better beat the Red Sox).

And glad to see that another Laker Fan realizing how the Beloved Showtime Laker Byron Scott isn't a good X's and O's coach. Make no mistake after Magic/Kareem/Worthy I loved Byron (thought he was so underrated defensively compared to Cooper) but he simply doesn't have the strategy to win.

And Happy Mothers Day for all the Mothers! And go get a gift before the game for your mother!

Bring the same defensive intensity, and this game will belong to the Lakers.

The refs might give Houston some calls, as they're no doubt feeling sorry that Yao's out. The Lakers have to set the defensive tone early.

THERE IS NO ONE THAT CAN GUARD BYNUM.

PJ, remember those words above.

Go Lake Show!

Lots of people hate the Lakers because they are the "glamour" franchise in basketball, just like the Yankees in baseball and the Cowboys in football. The flip side (not seen in this blog) is Lakers fandom exists far beyond LA just like those other franchises. I saw Lakers bumper stickers in San Antonio, and this was during the Spurs dynasty years when the Lakers were irrelevant.

That's why the NBA loves the Lakers in the Finals because they bring out a large audience both to root for and against the Lakers. Having a polarizing star player like Kobe doesn't hurt either.

Have you noticed most big men have foot injuries or just a coincidence? Yao, Bynum, Shaq, Motumbo, Walton Sr., etc If you ask an architect, the most part of the building is the foundation itself b/c it supports the whole structure it has to meet the specifications. Well, an orthopedist reveals that big men should take care of their foot because it is the foundation of the whole body framework close to 300 lbs. Well, if one plays in NBA foot injuries are common among athletes and it could be recurring for big men. They have to learn other type of sports like jujitsu, acrobatic exercises to learn how to glide when they land and reinforces their foot muscles due to constant repetition of falling exercises. Can you imagine a foot injury from Dwight or Lebron's crab legs? I don't think so, b/c they have best proportionate body structure from head to foot. Bynum has a good proportions too but it's good only for supporting playboy bunnies. LOL!

As a Rockets fan, I'm hoping my team can work up some Sunday magic this afternoon (they've won their last 7 Sunday games). It wouldn't be the strangest thing to ever happen, agreed?

Rick Adelman, who I think has been one of more underappreciated coaches the last 20 years (of course I'm being a homer; who *isn't* a homer, right?), has dealt with having to mix and match this entire season and has still found ways to win ballgames. I also can't help but think he's due to beat Phil Jackson (who, for whatever reason, has had his number) in the postseason sometime.

Whatever. My message to my team: no excuses, guys; you FIND a way to win.

Here's to a great 48 minutes (or 53 or 58 or however long it takes) of basketball this Mother's Day afternoon.

I should correct the last comment that of course not everyone who posts here lives in LA, such as John K from Cleveland. I more meant to say that the extent of Lakers fans (both hard-core and casual) not from LA are much greater than most other franchises.
I think this started during the Magic Johnson years, which really gave a declining league a shot in the arm.

"That's not to take anything away from Houston's fight and determination, but honestly speaking, L.A. is the more talented team, and the Rockets are a team dependent on forging a sum greater than their parts."

Therein lies every Lakers fan's frustration. This team has been playing the role of "the whole being much less than the sum of it's parts" all season long.

Playing up to their potential, all-time regular season win records would be set, Kobe would be MVP, Pau would undoubtedly be 1st Team All NBA, Lamar would've finally made an all-star team, A Healthy Bynum probably would've been an All-Star too, someone from the bench would've been 6th MOY, and this team would be rolling over squads en route to a 16-0 Playoffs.

Basically, all of Laker Tom's half-baked predictions would've been realized.

Can't Goliath just wake up and whip David's butt once and for all?

HTJ,

""That's not to take anything away from Houston's fight and determination, but honestly speaking, L.A. is the more talented team, and the Rockets are a team dependent on forging a sum greater than their parts."

Therein lies every Lakers fan's frustration. This team has been playing the role of "the whole being much less than the sum of it's parts" all season long... Can't Goliath just wake up and whip David's butt once and for all?"

All six of the Lakers' wins have come by double digits, and one loss of the two losses was by just a bucket. They've also yet to lose by double digits. Even if the Lakers are the better team, it's not like these other teams suck. The Lakers will lose a game every now and then. High bar or not, let's also make sure the expectations are kept realistic.

AK

If Luke is healthy we can't lose.

Lakers in 5

Jon Barry is currently on ABC washing LeBron's balls.

I swear, if you looked down at his note pad it must stay stuff like:

I heart LeBron

Jon James
Mrs. Jon James
Mrs James
Jonnie and Bronnie

The only thing that can beat the Lakers now is the Lakers. The most interesting thing about the game today is will the Lakers relax or will they, to beat a dead donkey dead, "have a killer instinct?"

Good thing the Nuggets then the Crabs are up next because these two teams are for real. The Lakers will be in for the fight of their lives.

Since Pau mentioned in his blog that he is a Placido Domigo fan, here is Placido's 'Mama':

http://tinyurl.com/r22fjv

htj,

"all of Laker Tom's half-baked predictions"

~~you must be a fair weather fan too, no such thing as half baked always half full and sometimes overflowing. (jk only)

I grew up watching the great Celtics-Lakers battles in the 80s, and i identified with, or wanted to be like Magic ,thus i am a lifelong Lakers fan who grew up in Jamaica and moved to Florida and my life revolves around the Lakeshow, if we lose a game, my wife has a hard time for a while till we play again. I love this team and it makes it better when we have a real shot to win it all.

We can't play down to the competition today. Let's put the Rockets out of their misery. We need high energy and intense effort. Enver and Cleveland will be watching. I Call call them Enver because they still have no "D".
LAKERS FOREVER

Under the best of circumstances, the Houston Rockets would be treating this afternoon's Game 4 as part of an uphill battle, the Lakers having clearly established themselves during Games 2 and 3 as the superior team predicted by most to roll through the series. -kambrothers

hmm..what happened?

AK,

I'm obviously a little late in responding to this thread, but I just read it.

You forgot "Hey Mama" by Kanye West.

Three words for the Lakers' performance today:

HEARTLESS, GUTLESS AND CLUELESS!

This team will not earn the ring unless they know how to play defense as a unit. I blame Phil for setting the bad tone today for two reasons;

1. Not calling time out at the beginning of the game until the team was down 19-4.

2. Continue to use DFish as a primary PG when it's clearly that he had lost a step or two in the past few months. Results: Brooks scored 34 points and DFish 2 point.

Bad coach and bad coaching. Bad game plan, bad substituion, and bad moltivation. Nothing wrong with the Lakers, everything wrong with the coach.

Air jordan 1 shoes


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