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Lakers win Game 3: Thin air, meaty effort

First things first: Kobe Bryant is really, really, really good at basketball.  Like, seriously outstanding at Kobe Bryant scores in Game 3 against Denv it.  This is not news, of course, but bears repeating after his 41 point performance Saturday night in Denver, as the Lakers beat the Nuggets 103-97 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, taking a 2-1 advantage in the series and regaining home court advantage. 

The final line- 12-24 from the floor, 2-5 from downtown, 15-17 from the stripe, six boards, five dimes, two steals- was impressive, but this wasn't one of those silky smooth performances where he cuts through the opposition like the proverbial hot knife through butter.  No.  Dude earned this one, using every ounce of energy in the tank in his 41:13 of playing time.  As he delivered his postgame interview with ESPN's Doris Burke, Kobe was leaning over hard, and not just because she's shorter than him.  It looked like he lacked the energy and oxygen to get the words out. 

"I couldn't feel my legs.  Not at all," Kobe said of his late-game fatigue.  "But you gotta do what you gotta do." 

Indeed.  At times, "what you gotta do" was driving the lane.  Other times, posting up or working the baseline, and biggest of all (insofar as iconic highlights go), canning a ludicrously clutch triple over the momentarily not-stretched out arms of JR Smith on the left wing, putting the Lakers up by one with 1:09 to play.  My favorite moment, though, came late, when he was sent to the line with 22 seconds to go and the Lakers up by two, with a chance to put a hammer lock on the game.  Stepping to the line, clearly exhausted, he gathered himself, taking just a few more moments than normal to quiet his tired body and focus the last of his energy on two final shots.  The "easiest" ones in basketball, so they say. 

Cord.  Cord.  Lakers by four.  For all the spectacular play he delivered in the first 47:38, it was there where we saw just how much effort it takes to be Kobe Bryant.

He wasn't alone, though. 

  • Pau Gasol still didn't get enough shots for my liking (12- a few more would do LA some good), but played a strong game on both sides of the floor.  20 points, eight coming in the fourth, and four of those coming on two shots over Nene during a stretch where Kobe said after the game he was totally gassed, and needed help.  Pau provided it.  Gasol also had 11 boards, good for his sixth straight double-double of the postseason and tenth in twelve games.  Defensively, he was much Trevor Ariza hits a three in Game 3 more aggressive on Denver's screen and rolls, helping limit Chauncey Billups to a 5-15 shooting night, and cutting down Mr. Big Shot's FT count to seven from 16 on Thursday night.  He was also strong around the rim contesting shots.  Pau will never make people forget an in-prime Ben Wallace, but he's capable of playing good defense, and did so tonight. 
  • Trevor Ariza, 6-7 in Game 2, was 5-8 from the floor, including three giant triples.  More than that, he recovered from a mid-game injury to play huge minutes down the stretch.  Ariza bodied up Carmelo Anthony more aggressively, helping limit Denver's star to seven points after a 14 point first quarter.  And, of course, there was The Steal 2.0.  With 36.5 seconds to go and the Nuggets down by two, Ariza stepped in front of a loopy (to say the least) pass from Kenyon Martin to Anthony, tipped it away, and headed towards Denver's bucket.  Melo fouled him, resulting in two free throws for the Ariza, a four point lead for the Lakers, and the end of the road for Anthony, who picked up his sixth personal in the exchange.
  • Laker D.  LA held Denver to 39% in the game and 18 points in the fourth.  They blocked seven shots, and generally did the whole stiff upper lip routine.  Rotations got much better as the game went along, players fought through picks.  Yeah, there were breakdowns- it's a 48 minute game against a quality offensive team- but overall it's hard to complain.  Ariza and Luke Walton contributed to the solid work LA did on Anthony, with Ariza chipping in on Billups as well.  Lamar Odom made some great plays around the basket, and was very effective on switches and closing lanes despite a quiet night offensively.

There were problems.  LA's free throw shooting could have cost them the game.  They missed 14 foul shots, most of them coming in the first half.  Andrew Bynum was a mixed bag (though these days, some would argue "mixed bag" constitutes progress.) The guard play was still a problem.  Derek Fisher was 2-6, and still made some questionable decisions offensively.  Defensively he improved as the team D got better around him, but when left on an island against guys like Smith- admittedly a tough cover for almost anyone in isolation- tended to get burned.  The problem was that nobody behind him stepped up.  Phil Jackson gave critical fourth quarter minutes to Shannon Brown, which was nice to see.  But Jordan Farmar had three TOs in 13-plus, and Sasha Vujacic was pretty bad.  1-4 from the floor, two personals, and a bad play at the end of the third where he chose to play a loose ball instead of Smith at the arc, giving Denver's sharpshooter (who was a rather dull 2-10 on the night from downtown) enough space to can a three at the buzzer. 

Thankfully, JR gave one of those points back, picking up a T for taunting Sasha after the ball went down.  Smart. 

But all in all, Laker fans should sleep well.  This was the biggest game Denver has hosted in eons, and the Lakers went in, hung around, and won it with a great fourth quarter.  Now all the pressure goes to the Nuggets for Game 4, because the Lakers know they're back on serve.  Thanks to Kobe first, but also because of serious effort.  The Lakers worked hard. 

Said Kobe after the game,  "I rank this right up there with some of the biggest road wins that we've had since I've been a Laker.  Because in the past, we've always guys that had a lot of experience," he said.  "For our guys, this is brand new.  last year, we weren't tested like this.  This means a lot, and goes a long way for us as a ballclub."

Agreed.  More to come tomorrow.

BK

 
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Great finish by the Lakers but not necessarily a great game from them. The Lakers need to win game 4 because Denver is too good of a team to lay down. They've already proven they can win at Staples. We can lose homecourt easily. Never let up.

Big win, but no cause to celebrate. We got 2 more to go, how about 1 more here in Denver? Kobe was great, Pau stepped up, Ariza was ultra solid, and LO helped get us some defensive stops down the stretch.

Keep working it.

yes, big game and thank God.

this is what it takes. hopefully the rest of the team will up their games as well.

Knew I forgot something, Luke had an excellent game, massive props.

Need to improve: D-Fish, Sasha, Jordan.

Need more minutes: Shannon Brown.

Need to chill out offensively: Drew.

All that said, Drew was more active tonight, I liked his effort, he was blocking some shots, taking care of business, but at one point of the game seriously taking too many shots (which is weird considering his total FG attempts, but I witnessed this, at one point Drew was shooting every time down, and not making most of 'em).

I've never seen Kobe lean over and grab his shorts during an interview before. He was totally gased! For a second I thought he might chuck all over Doris Burke.
Great game tho.

Im so proud of our guys, they kept fighting even when things were not looking good. im so happy and now i can sleep at least for tonight.

Just to be clear, on the record, I'm actually cool with Drew thinking he can be a dominant offensive force, I agree and have supported him whole-heartedly throughout, but this isn't necessarily the time to test that thesis.

Down the road, Drew is the future of this team, and I see him as a dominant 25-12 player. But, he hasn't got back to that form he was showing pre-injury the past two seasons, and we need to value very possession. I know Drew is getting good looks, but we should stil. move the ball a little more, even if he isn't getting as many shots as he likes.

Listen to your coach, Phil wants you to rebound and defend. Listen to your coach, Kareem wants you to impose yourself and show you're a threat offensively, along with defending/rebounding, but try to strike a balance Young Fella, never shoot early in the shot clock on several possessions in a row, it just doesn't seem right, not yet.

Lakers did not play well in several areas, but they showed a tremendous amount of guts in game 3. To me, this is most significant. Staying close on the road, clutch down the stretch. I expect to see this effort from here on out.
LAKERS FOREVER

Since the dawn of time
man has asked the question:

“What makes KOBE BRYANT
AKA the Black Mamba
So UNSTOPPABLE?”

“What makes his Dunk so UNSTOPPABLE?”

“What makes his 3-Pointer so UNSTOPPABLE?”

“What makes his overall UNSTOPPABLENESS unstoppable?”

“Is it possible to stop something that is UNSTOPPABLE?”

“Has he answered the question? Yet another question?
We may never know.

Yet never knowing the unknowable is unstoppable.”

This was presented by Kobe Bryant AKA the Black Mamba for Lebron.

Good luck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH16SWQNh8o

Because kobe deserves this post after his great game tonight. Get lots of rest Kobe and mamba your bad self on!

way to go Lakers. great job Trevor, Pau and Lamar. Kobe what can I say you are amazing and please get some fluids and rest. To all the guards, come on focus you guys are killing Kobe. He needs to be able to depend on you guys for a rest.

again, congrats Lakers. what a game.

Spiritually speaking, I felt the game shifted when JR decided to taunt Sasha after his three. So glad he called called for it, but it really set me off, giving me a tangible reason to dislike this Denver squad, other than them being in our way to a possible championship.

I only hoped it ticked the Lakers players off as much as it did me. Either way, it was a challenge and a big disrespect. So fitting that the game clincher was Kobe's three with JR in his grill. Just beautiful.


10 DOWN, 6 TO GO!!!!!!

Gutting out wins on the road, that's what it takes in the playoffs. Kobe, Pau, Ariza came up big when it mattered most. I just love this team when everybody's writing them off.

You expect it from Black Mamba, but still, what a performance. The three on JR Brick was spectacularly clutch, but that's what Mamba does. Pau hit some huge shots down the stretch (He needs more touches) and Ariza gave us that 3rd player we needed tonight. Huge performance from Trevor.

Key to this series.......We must continue to feed our bigs, hammer their not so bigs and keep them on the defensive. This takes pressure off Mamba to do everything. We have a huge advantage in the post, need to exploit it even more.

Bynum was a little better tonight, still need more from dude. He needs to go after the ball with more aggression on the defensive end. His timing still looks shaky, but hopefully he'll feed off the good tonight and give us more Monday and beyond.

Lamar gave us a standard LO performance. Nothing special, but enough boards and solid floor play to make him invaluable. Would love to see him go to the rim stronger and more often on the offensive end. Take it to the basket LO!! Please!!

Fish was shaky again. I understand PJ feels comfortable with Derrick, but don't understand why he's getting more minutes than Shannon and Farmar combined. Hopefully somebody will get the guts to ask PJ this question.

Let's get greedy now, put a stake in their heart on Monday.

Lake Show Baby!!!!! ps. Cleveland is going down.

Greatest to ever play the game : Kobe Bryant.

important the Lakers do not let Game 4 slip away. 3-1 lead and we can close it out in Game 5. I know Denver is going to be playing better, and I'm sure all the starters will be tired esp Kobe and Gasol. The bench will need to pick it up. I think it's time for Odom to have a big game! Lamar if you read this, remember no one can guard you. You can post up and spin, or cut to basket, or even do iso plays. I would love to see him have a 20pt/15rb game.

The Denver trolls are strangely absent. They must have returned to the dark, dank recesses of self-doubt and nihilistic reckoning. Good riddance.

Kobe is the man.

No more "Gasol is soft" talk. Leave that crap at home.

Like I said:

Lakers win Game 3. Then they win Game 4, and head back to Staples with a strangle hold on this series.

Sleep well, Laker Nation.

Go Lake Show!

Another very fortunate win on the heroics of Kobe again. Good thing the Lakers have him to offset the waste of personnel of Fish, Vujacic, and Walton. Another miserable, and expected, game from Fish. He can't even run a fastbreak any more, and caused a TO by passing to Ariza before Martin had committed to stopping the ball. On another fastbreak with Ariza, he doesn't even make the defender commit to contesting a shot before passing to Ariza. A rookie would have done better. Then in the 4Q, he drives and commits a dumb offensive foul for another TO. Both Fish and Vujacic are worthless, and dumb Phil can't seem to grasp that the Lakers are winning in spite of Fish and Vujacic, not because of them. Fish, Vujacic, and Phil: Dumb, dumber, and dumbest.

Lakers will lose big in the next game instead of a close one.

Go Lakers!
Get next one too!

Streakbusters!


Game summary:

Kobe, Kobe, Kobe

Trevor

Same summary after game one.

Whys going forward,
Why can we not dominate their frontline?
WHy can we not shoot free throws?
Why can't we get goal tending calls?
flagrant shoves in the back?


Wow, that's sign of Laker maturity on the stretch against a bunch of confidents Thuggets. Tonight, we have confirmed that a bunch of these players do not belonged to NBA, they are dirty street players. Just look at their personalities and attitudes in the court from Martin, Jones and Davis. Next time please look at their faces, tattoos and mannerism on the court - they are gangsta-thugs. I am sorry to say that but really pissed on their physicality and unsportsmanlike conduct, they are embarrassment to be called professionals and represent the people of Denver.

It seemed that the team who is determined in the last 2 minutes wins the ball games. This has been the defining moment in the last three games. Lebron maybe the MVP and stronger player but Kobe is still the smarter and better than the two.

So far we still need the SUPPORT of these players: Fisher, Vujacic, Walton and Bynum. They really have to step up their game and presence, Trevor & Kobe cannot kept on saving the Lakers. Can you imagine the F/T's missed by Lakers at 14 while Denver only 5, a disparity of 9? This game would not even be closed

Heads up high, get into the court on Monday, do the job as a closer. Got to finish this job in Denver and destroy the morale of the thugs. Save the last laugh after piercing the heart of the pretenders.

Mikefloss,
Odom did more than you mention: he was (again) the leader of the tagteam that forced the error on the inbounds pass. Though nobody mentions this, I think Trevor's final steal was actually caused by the strategic adjustment Denver made after analyzing the tape on game 1. First, they chose a tall player, instead of Carter, to be able to get over Odom's long arms. Second, when the 5 seconds were ticking off, Anthony came out from the middle and Martin seemed to think he was headed for the backcourt, which would have been the safe bet in game 1. Instead Anthony cut towards the inbounding Martin who threw it towards the backcourt forcing Anthony to stretch awkwardly with Ariza following Melo's movement before the cut. Trevor was in the actual trajectory of the ball.

On another note, In the eternal Kobe vs Lebron comparison game, I think it's fair to compare Lebron running out of gas in game 1 and Kobe doing the same in game 3. Lebron's body and immaturity prevented him from concluding; he let his body beat his mind. In a similar physical state, Kobe's spirit imposed his conclusion on his body and the game. Therein lies a difference Jerry West didn't think about, and probably for a reason. The kind of intensely physical playoff basketball we're seeing today didn't exist in the West-Baylor-Chamberlain days, when basketball was played essentially with one's extremities - arms and legs (and heads, for perception and decision-making) - rather than bodies constantly positioning and then banging for control of territory over 48 minutes while the heads are constantly calculating how to execute of hard fouls just this side of flagrant. When you're both taking it on offense and giving it on defense, the way Kobe and to a lesser extent Lebron does all game long, it takes its toll. And at the end of game 1 it took Lebron clear out of threat mode but Kobe, in his game 3 - with the added factor of altitude - kept up the pressure (on himself) practically up to the post-game interview.

One other point: I didn't hear the word "bleak" coming out of George Karl's mouth but after amusing myself by translating his post-game comments into French (the language spoken over here) and then translating them back into English, as a translator I couldn't prevent myself from summarizing his attitude about the spirit and hopes of his team as "bleak, bleak, bleak". I'm not saying he's given up, especially after three close games, but nobody said Sloan had given up either.

A close-out in game 5 in Staples seems to be a slightly better bet now than a six or seven game series.

KObe and Ariza big time! They did it again!!!! wHOOOOO!!!!! GO LakeshoW!!!!!!

Glad for the win, but the Lakers made a lot of bad mistakes.

First of all, again, Fisher and Sasha were are hurting the Lakers too much. 1-9 followed by 2-6? And that charge and slipping(although I guess that's not his fault)? I thought that it was over when he charged Nene. And Sasha, so he made one shot. Big deal. That play where he drove and got trapped then turned it over leading to 2 for the Nuggets??? He looked like a high school player. And that foul to start the 4th 80 feet from the basket? That allowed the Nuggets to get into the penalty on the Ariza foul on Anthony. It's one thing to miss open shots, but it's entirely something else to take bad shots, make dumb fouls, turn the ball over, etc. Those things REALLY REALLY hurt the Lakers.

Gasol and Ariza played well in the 4th with some clutch shots, but what did the rest of the team do again? Not much.

Why don't they run some post screens to help Bynum get the ball 5-6 feet from the basket. And again, they need to go into Gasol a lot more in the 1st-3rd periods.

And instead of a real practice, rest the team and just have them practice free throws for a couple of hours. The free throw shootings was atrocious. They lost game 2 because of it and almost lost this game because of it. I just don't understand how you can expect to win games shooting under 70% as a team.

Other than Kobe, the rest of the team shot 58%!!! That's inexcusable. Kobe should get the day off and the rest of the team should be shooting free throws.

A few bounces one way or another and it could just as easily be 3-0 either way.

What I see is the same story of how Fisher and Sasha, even in the few minutes they are in there, were atrocious.

Fisher just can't stay with anyone. On defense, if he could at least slow J.R. Smith down a little. Way too many penetration and dish when he's in there. On offense, he should just shoot if he has an open 3 and nothing else. The same goes for Sasha. If either doesn't have that, they should give it up to Kobe or Gasol.

I can't believe that the Lakers pulled this out despite PJ, Fisher, and Sasha.

And don't expect Billups and Anthony to go a combined 9-28 again. These guys won't go 3-14 from the 3 again.

There's a few times in the game were the lakers are being undecisive again -- I think it was when Kobe was on the bench -- and that causes some turn-overs and a technical foul on Farmar... bad, bad, bad timing to be on those precarious situations, especially during these critical playoff games. But, I'm not going to dwell on that right now since they won. I'm just hoping these guys are more mentally prepared come next game.

I really, really think that these lakers are looking lethargic on defense because of their defnsive scheme. There is really not a lot of movement evrytime they overload one side where the ball is, then they look like they are just standing with their feet firmly planted on the floor. And since there's not a lot of movement on defense, they are not active, and when their not active on defense, their reflexes are a bit slow, thus leaving open lanes for the other team to penetrate inside and untouched.

Yeah baby!

Go Lakers!

Got home late and stayed up 'til 1:00AM to watch the game. Man that was a DE-licious DE-ssert. Winning in Denver despite missing all those free throws. (Must sleep now.)

Go Lakers!!!

When Melo fouled Ariza after the steal why wasn't it a clear path foul?

I am beginning to doubt if Andrew Bynum will ever get to 25-12. 25 yes, easily. 12 rebounds? No. it takes too much effort, and he seems himself as a scorer rather than someone who does the dirty work. Think Zach Randolph.

Next game will be more physical. There will also be 2 ejections. by Nostradamus. 5-24-09

Next game will be more physical. There will also be 2 ejections. by Nostradamus. 5-24-09

A question Laker fans hope will never be answered: Doesn't Karl have someone better than Martin to throw the ball inbounds? Thanks, George.

congrats lakers, you did it...get some rest kobe, you deserved it... youre amazing...

hahaha... lakers did it again.. congrats..get some rest kobe, you deserved it...

"Take my advice....mute the sound on the Breen, JVG and Mark Jackson telecasts. I only turn it on when I need clarification on a play or foul call. Makes for a better game for me."

Exactly those ESPN announcers are the dumbest. JVG is always the Rockets Homer and Mark Jackson is an idiot.

Give me Hubie Brown any day of the week.

Kobe Bryant best Laker ever?? Best current Laker but hell no compared to Kareem and Magic. When he retires THEN say your crap.

"Gunner, you beat me to it....they keep active as you said...loved Rodman's tap tap tap chase grab....then he would dribble an offensive rebound out or pass it out, didn't care about scoring...probably could have averaged at least 12-14 a game on put backs, but he was a stubborn dude, and he was so committed to rebounding that scoring would have probably distracted him."

Dennis Rodman was an offensively inept person who was just terrible on the offensive end but he was a tenacious rebounder (though by certainly no means comparable to Wilt and Russell) and defender who could defend 5-2. Dennis also had a gift similar (not saying LO is comparable in everything) in knowing WHERE the rebound will be and using skill along with will/desire to grab the rebound.

"Wish Bynum would get that stubborn, aggressive about defense...get ALL rebounds, dominate the lane"

Prepare for the inevitable counter cry from Bynum fans and Bynum homers alike. In my opinion Bynum found the wrong time to complain in the papers about his PT. It is easy enough to say that his rebounding is still below average and while he did block 3 shots he SHOULD be more than just a younger version of Mbenga of blocks but no rebounds. Aside from one rebound off a missed free throw Bynum only got 3 which is still quite poor even factoring minutes played.

Bynum's youth is probably playing a key factor into why he is performing below standard for almost all the playoffs. Too much offensive minded instead of being defensive minded where the Lakers need him the most. He simply isn't listening to either Jackson or the Cap. If he played better overall defense he would get more PT and be a dominant force. Even David Robinson before Tim Duncan's draft was a defensive juggernaut winning a Defensive Player of the Year Award and was still the go to guy.

Bynum is still the long term future of the franchise but he really has to quit whining and play better defense. Even his fans has to recognize he needs to be more focused on defense to earn his wanted PT.

Fish is really concerning. Maybe he is washed up after all...I really hate to see Derek to be like this.

Jordan did well then did sloppy. As long as PJ is around SB looks to be the point guard poised to succeed Derek.

"is it just me or does anyone else thinks Gasol should be getting more than 12 shot attempts?"

True 12 total attempts but also note he went to the line 8 times so that is 4 possessions that could have been shot attempts and bumped to 16 so not bad total shot attempts for a 2nd option.

Sasha and his choke act. Derek has an excuse at least he is 34 turning 35 and much of his athleticism is gone. Sasha is about 10 years younger than Derek and is shooting like crap not to mention defending horribly?

Game 4 2008 NBA Finals speak for itself about how "good" Sasha is.

Good game and this could go for 7 or could be like San Antonio 2002 series and we could be up 3-1. Game 4 on Monday and lets win that one.

i respect fish for his leadership. the voice of reason in this team, if nothing else.

bynum the future of this team? no way. the guy does nothing but whine, asking for more special treatment. i'm just hoping some team will be willing to take him and his fat contract in a trade

great win but the lakers have to go for the kill in game 4 and come out strong. come out strong in game 4, and the series is probably over.

agree, pau needs more touches still. good stuff usually happens when he's doing his stuff and it makes life easier for kobe and everyone else.

lakers also need to stop getting beat on hustle plays. there were way too many times someone from the nuggets beat them down the floor in the 1st half. those plays where they are getting outhuscled should not be happening.

" THE MAILMAN ALWAYS DELIVERS ON SUNDAY "

Kobe is still King obviously. Lebron is a false pretender right now. I have seen Kobe with performances like this for 10 years now. Wow. Now that was special.

Just rewatched the last 5 minutes, and it was unbelievable how many things went against us and we still found a way! I love those kinds of wins, because to me it wasn't just a win, but a moral victory. It was a moral victory because despite all the bad calls, smack talk, checks to the guy, etc.. we still came out the winner. It felt like the refs and all of Denver were against us right up until the end. And we still pulled it out.

I hope the league takes note of the disparity in calls. When the refs review this one they'll see all the calls they missed. Hopefully we won't have such a hard time of it next game.

CAN'T WAIT FOR MEMORIAL DAY!!!!!
GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is it just me but did it seem that all night long, the TV commentators were doing a feature on the Denver. Almost all their comments were about the Nuggets. First quarter, most of the comments were about 'Melo...how he was better and more mature from previous years. Later, it was about Anderson...etc. There were almost no mention of any background stories on the Lakers players. It just seems that ESPN wanted last night game to be all about the Nuggets. Is it just bias against the "hated" Lakers. It seemed that they were quick to criticize when Lakers failed. It was frustrating watching the game while listening to their comments.

LakerTom,

Can you do me a favor and try to talk some sense into these people that are still ragging on Fish, Bynum and Gasol? If those three were so bad, how is it that the Lakers are poised to put away the resurgent Denver Nuggets already?

I think that because I am already known as an unabashed homer, that my fellow blog-mates routinely ignore my opinions and thoughts. You seem to have much more weight in this forum.

Fish does not, can not, play good on-the-ball, face-up defense anymore. Everyone knows that. But he plays some of the best team defense on the floor, game in and game out. His shots are called ill-timed only because they are not falling. But, people seem to forget that Kobe shoots better with Fish on the floor because he knows enough to make himself a threat by continuing to either shoot or take it to the rim.

When Farmar's shot isn't falling, he doesn't play any defense, and he becomes hesitant to shoot. Which means the other team can concentrate on Kobe. That is not good.

People are raggin on Bynum, but are ignoring how the other teams offensive efficiency drops dramatically when he's in the game. Bynum disrupts the flow to the rim of the other team. There is nothing wrong with the kid. He's just 21. Geesh! Wasn't Kobe jacking up air balls in Utah at 21 or something similar?

The Lakers are playing something like .800 ball since Pau arrived. How can bloggers say his stats are fools gold? Basketball teams don't play .800 ball, not over long streatches. That is video game crazy efficiency. Dude is definately a winner. Tried and true. Do you guys remember that his former team needed to tank games to improve their draft position? Pau had to be benched because he wasn't gonna be part of laying down and playing dead. That, in my opinion, was a good harbinger of his real attitude.

If the Lakers suck so bad, how come they keep winning games? How bad must all the other teams in the league (except Orlando) that the Lakers have been drubbing all season and through the playoffs?

What, does that mean there are no good teams?

When does logic prevail?

--Fearless

There is one other thing that I would like to point out. Luke made so very intelligent comments after the game in the locker room when someone asked him about that inbounds play. He mentioned how difficult it is to inbound the ball when a tall dude is jumping up and down in front of you and that they practice that defensive alignment. It necessarily makes you have to lob the pass -- as designed. He noted that maybe Orlando should have done the same thing and Cleveland wouldn't have been able to deliver a chest pass to LeBron.

Makes sense. If they had to lob the pass, if Hedo has any foot speed at all, he could have recovered and at least contested the shot. As it was, LBJ was wide open after he pushed off (a la MJ, of course).

That was a great shot by LBJ. Saved their season it did.

--Fearless

Good morning,

We needed that! It helped that Denver self-destructed, but the Lakers kept themselves in a position to win and took advantage of the gifts handed them in the 4th quarter. Finally, we saw a game where the Lakers indeed left absolutely everything on the floor.

This started out to be a post about Sasha. It was pitiful to see him look so dejected Saturday night when Phil yanked him off the floor to reinsert Kobe. For all the bashing Sasha's taken lately, you have to acknowledge that here's a guy who really wants to help his team, but just can't get it going.

So much ire has been directed at our guards -- Fish, Jordan and Sasha. So much attention has been on Andrew for not giving the team and the coach what's expected from him. What's the common thread here? I continue to believe that it's how Phil manages the game and how Phil manages his players. I'm not discounting Phil's wisdom, his experience, and his insight into how the game should be played.

But he's no longer an inspirational figure. Every clip of Phil at halftime is a microcosm of his decline. He barely commands the players' attention. Contrast that with what Kobe and others have said about D-Fish's late game speech in the huddle. Add to that the story of Fish helping Sasha practice his shooting the other night.

More and more it seems that Fish's value to the team is not on the floor, but as a leader and a coach. It's time to expand Fish's responsibilities off the court. Limit his minutes on the floor. Give him more formal stripes to guide Jordan, Sasha, and Shannon. Jordan and Sasha especially are so worried about being yanked, they can't get their heads straight. No confidence = no performance.

I think the same issue applies to Andrew. Phil keeps telling Andrew the same thing, but it's not getting through.

Phil's game management was more steady Saturday night, but the same issues remain. He's no longer capable of communicating in a way that gets the best out of his players. The Lakers are an enormously talented team, but even as they make their way through the Western Conference Finals, their talent is not yet fully developed.

We don't know what to expect when the series resumes on Monday. If, as anticipated, they move on to face the Eastern Conference champs -- most likely Cleveland -- again, we still don't know what to expect. What we do know is the need to get the best out of Andrew, Jordan, and Sasha. That will depend more on the leadership of Kobe, Fish, and others and less ego from Phil.

Ten wins down and six to go. Let's go Lakers.

***Repost since original post never made it to blog***

Pau plays 43.5 minutes and Bynum plays 18 minutes. Bynum is the only Laker who finishes with a plus minus of more than 2 (He had +7) And you wonder why Pau lost his 15 footer at the end of the game. Phil can't play that guy for 40+ minutes every other night.
[All season long and PJ still has not figured it out.]
Posted by: Alan | May 22, 2009 at 01:40 PM

PJ quit your Square Peg in a Round Hole substitution patterns. Respect the Basketball Gods. Posted by: Charles | May 22, 2009 at 02:20 PM
9Rings i think you should listen to Sir Charles.
Posted by: Mamba24 | May 22, 2009 at 02:40 PM

[Now that’s what I’m talking about. You go Charles, you go Mamba24]

The only problems the Lakers are having is forgetting just how good they really are. Phil will remind them. That's all that is needed.
GO LAKERS.
Posted by: johnson | May 22, 2009 at 03:12 PM

[Phil can’t remind himself who his best players are.]

I`m a longtime Laker loyalist but i must agree with most of the pundits, its over.10 reasons why purple@gold toast.
1.Lakers have no answer for Chancy Bill ups
[plenty of answers including Farmar and Brown etc

2.Cant stop Me lo
[ Probably not but at least slow him down. To bad Vlade gone]
3.Andrew Bynum is a shadow of the player he was
[ Bynum is a beast but chains are on him by PJ]

4.Lamr Odom disappears
[Not so much this year and can you tell me how his back is doing?]

5.Lakers front-line is being dominated by Denver's bigs
[See PJ’s rotations and reasons! Wants to go small to match Denver but really does not want AB to succeed.]

6.Derek fisher is over the hill and Phil is blinded and stubborn.
[DFish worn out by PJ during season]

7.Lakers have no consistent 3 point specialist ( why did Mitch trade Vlade)
[no argument here , should have been Walton in trade]

8.Denver has the home court advantage
[So did Houston until we took it back]

9.Laker team is out of rhythm and to damn soft.
[Not soft and PJ rotations not helping rhythm. The bets having Lakers playing tentative for fear of touch and bogus fouls]

10.Denver has a superior bench to Laker bench.
[Not really, Play bynum more and LO more on second unit. Bring in Mbenga for hard physical presence as a banger]
Posted by: Tom | May 22, 2009 at 05:29 PM

All "get rid of Phil" comments should include a "who should replace him that Kobe will approve of" part.
That way, a reasonable blogger will hopefully think twice and perhaps spare us another "get rid of Phil" post.
Posted by: VMan | May 22, 2009 at 06:05 PM
[Fire Phil and hire B Scott or Michael Cooper, or Coach K. I’m pretty sure KB would approve.]

I don't care if Phil Jackson has 20 rings. Somebody has to have the guts to say what Dwight Howard said about his coach...
"Our coach has to recognize that when he has a certain group out there and they are getting the job done we have to leave those guys on the floor," said Howard, who had 17 rebounds and converted two of his offensive rebounds into baskets. "We're going to make mistakes, but I think you have to go with what works."

PHIL JACKSON IS A SABOTEUR AND HE HAS A PLAN
Posted by: You Ever Notice | May 22, 2009 at 06:05 PM

[ I agree and I believe it should be Kobe to speak up. We get big lead when AB playind and Nuggs can’t attack rim. AB out and lead disappears and rim is just a layup line.]

Vman,
big difference from saying "get rid of phil" vs. "phil is killing us right now"...
big difference.
Posted by: Korey | May 22, 2009 at 06:19 PM
[In this case both statements are correct.]

YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Don't play your 7-foot 58 million dollar center that can shoot rebound and pass.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Continue to play your other 7-foot power forward to exhaustion.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Continue to play a player in a season long slump, hoping that... this game he'll snap out of it.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Draw up a last second shot for a player who has missed 7 out his previous 8 shots hoping that... this shot he'll snap out of it.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Fail to call a timeout, which would advance the ball to half-court with 13 seconds left on the clock then subsequently use 7 of those 13 seconds to advance the ball to the frontcourt.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Sit the "hot players' and play the "cold players".
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Make sure your 3-point specialist and proven Melo-Stopper (Vlade we miss you right now) is traded.
YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF YOU
Don't think this person is a moron.
Posted by: You Ever Notice | May 22, 2009 at 06:20 PM
[YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT. YOU ARE RIGHT!]

I could not help think that how bad this coach can be.
"Jackson and unhappy Bynum aren't taling to each other." " Bynum never returned after being yanked from game 2 with 7:14 left in the 3rd qtr Thhursday night and it has nothing to do with foul trouble. He had only 1 foul."
Are you kidding me? Are you really kidding me? When a player is not performing: you talked to him, shout at him, analyze the situation to him, show him your unhappiness, dissect his weakness, and reassert his strength. You pump him up right THERE, not LATER, not AFTER the game. The WORST thing a coach can do is QUIETLY sitting him down and never PLAYED him again.
No wonder this coach could not win any games without Michael and Kobe. He had NEVER once trying to sit Shaq and Kobe down to solve the personality conflict and get them up working together again. Instead, he chose side and put ugly thiings out in the media.
Go ahead, refresh me with his 9 rings again.
Posted by: Joy M | May 23, 2009 at 12:50 PM
[I agree and why is PJ getting 12 million a year to not talk to and coach his players.]

i dont get it, andrew bynum had the highest +/- at +7. next highest was +2
Posted by: greek dude | May 23, 2009 at 12:47 PM
[I don’t get it either as do so many other Laker fans don’t get PJ either for not playing AB]

Hey all - 4.5 to tip and I just have to say all this AB17 chatter and essentially whining from a young'n is not really warranted. So, while you might think I am pscyho today - I really need to get this off my chest....
PJ has been very clear with Drew - get rebounds and defense. When your flat-footed or slow to get back on transition D - that's clearly opposite of what PJ has asked. Look at the tape - it doesn't lie. Rebounds and transition D - Drew.
It's clear this kid has never had to play D in his youth because his kiddy teammates just dumped the ball into him and he scored - but Drew this isn't kiddy league AAU anymore.
Hey AB17: It's the NBA and DEFENSE wins championships!!! Isn't that what Laker teams do? And last I checked AB17 - you are a Laker and you have a big old contract that you better start living up to!!!
Let's go Lakers - get something started today!!! Bring it!
Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | May 23, 2009 at 01:05 PM
[No AB is now and the future, remember a youngin named Bryant came into the league once raw. PJ can talk defense all he wants but consider that the Lakers were leading big with Bynum in with both his offense and defense. Heck his mere presence on the court intimidates opponents and they think twice about attacking rim. Score bears that out. PJ is just too stubborn to recognize that he is washed up and needs to go. We need a coach to develop our players not hinder them. How many errors does Walton make and not get pulled? And Walton is no Bynum. He has played much defense in his Laker years, look and the blocks, rebounds etc which earned him the nick name the beast. How quickly we forget.]


There is a huge internal struggle in the Laker organization:
Jimmy Buss VS Phil Jackson
Jim Buss drafted Bynum, threw money at him, thinks he's the future and wants him to play.
{ I agree with above and stated as much before]
Phil Jackson sees a guy that barely played in high school, has never shown any consistent effort or willingness to play defence and rebound, and only really concerned about scoring 20 ppg. That would be fine if Bynum had Hakeem post moves. It would even be fine if he had Gasol post moves. But he has no consistent post moves. He is spoon fed dunks, alley oops, putbacks, etc and that's how he got his big contract.
[ I disagree here. Would PJ sit KB if he had him fresh out of HS? Or would he develop him? AB earned his defensive abilities with his blocked shots rebounds on both ends of court. He earned the nick name the beast for his efforts. PJ does not play him when even his presence on court changes opponents approach to their offense. In other words just by being on court he is a defensive force. As for his offense how about all the post move KAJ taught him. You are blind. Oh and that dunk on Shaq was just a put back and alley oop.]

Phil Jackson does not want to play this lazy selfish guy. On top of all this, Bynum disrupts the offence, because he tries to jack up his weak hook shots every time he touches the ball, and takes away from Gasol's touches. Pau Gasol is much more skilled offensively and should be the first option in the post. This is why a lot of opposing teams think the Lakers are better without Bynum, and they are right.
[Actually his presence helps Pau especially when he is allowed to play offense as they can’t double or triple Pau. Weak shots sure you must have forgotten those monster dunks he made both on touches and rebounds he pounded back. Sure other teams would say Lakes better off with out Bynum and see how fast they would be willing to take him off Lakers hands]
Be honest. If it were up to Phil Jackson, he would trade Andrew Bynum this offseason. Unfortunately, it is not up to Phil, it is up to Jimmy Buss. Once the Lakers get destroyed in Denver in this series, they will have a big decision to make. Kobe's time is running out. By trading Andrew Bynum, they might be able to build a team that actually plays consistent defence around Kobe and Gasol. Kobe and Gasol is the best 1-2 punch in the NBA. All you need to do is put players that bring effort every night and understand their roles and 1 or 2 good shooters. You don't need career underachievers or big potentials. You need guys like Battier, Hinrich, Noah, Gerald Wallace, etc. Imagine Kobe and Gasol playing with Houston's supporting cast: Brooks/Kobe/Battier/Scola/Artest/Gasol, that's a team that will show up every night and they know their roles.
Bynum for Hinrich and Noah.
Odom in sign and trade.
The Phil Jackson-Jimmy Buss feud thing is bigger than you realize. You can write all you want about little side notes about the games, but it really boils down to a team that has too many players who don't give consistent effort and don't understand their roles.
[ Please share what you have been smoking or drinking seems like dang good stuff.]
Posted by: j | May 23, 2009 at 01:50 PM
IT WAS A MATCH UP THING…
>>> Jackson did, though, give some insight into why Andrew Bynum spent so much
>>> time on the bench in the second half of Thursday night's Game 2 loss. In short,
>>> it was a matchup thing.
Color me pfunk if Phil cannot see the absolute contradiction between his answer and his long stated philosophy of making other teams match up to us. Talk about the Zen master blinking first, lol. Jeanie needs to slap her honey across the face and tell him to wake up. Since when do the favored defending Western Conference champions abandon their strength, which is their height and length advantage in the frontline, to try and match up with an opposing team that they had defeated 11 straight times in the playoffs?
It was a match up thing? LMAO. Like how? Like allowing Pau to continue to punk as the team’s center? Like allowing Pau to get so exhausted that he once again blew 3 critical free throws in the 4th quarter? Like letting Pau carry the load and contribute 4 more costly turnovers? Like allowing Pau to play out of position for the entire second half so we could see more DUNK LAYUP DUNK LAYUP DUNK with Drew stuck sitting on the bench?
It was a matchup thing? No wonder PJ didn’t have the balls or courtesy to answer your question. You would have thought he would have remembered who was on the court when the Lakers built that 13-point first half lead and who he had just pulled and benched right before the disastrous 2 minutes 40 seconds. You would have thought the smartest coach in the NBA would have realized by now that the Lakers need Andrew Bynum on the floor if they are going to win the NBA championship. You would have thought.
What is truly puzzling about all of this is that Andrew had been playing very well both on offense and defense. Remember my telling blitz to watch the Nuggets attacking in the post with Drew at center versus Pau at center? Friday night just reinforced what I have seen practically every time that Pau takes over for Drew at center, which is the other team immediately attacking the rim and making layups and dunks. When Phil pulled Drew in the first quarter, the Nuggets had had exactly one layup, which occurred when Drew had to switch to guard a penetrating Melo leaving Nene open for an easy dunk when nobody rotated to cover him. Two of the Nuggets next three plays were an easy dunk and layup. That this happens over and over would have told most coaches that the other teams understand how much easier it is to attack the rim with Pau at center than Drew. But Phil has elevated Pau to such a position in his mind that even dwarfs his love for Luke.
In Phil’s mind, Pau can apparently do no wrong while Drew can obviously do no good. Sort of like Fish can do no wrong while Jordan can do no good. Wake up, Phil! There is absolutely no doubt that Andrew Bynum, even hobbled as he is by his knee brace and recent injury, as the defensive deterrent that the Lakers need to stop other team’s bigs. And it is probably obvious even to the Lakers players that Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are playing much better right now that Derek Fisher.
And talk about out-strategizing yourself. How about designing a last-second play using a red-hot Kobe Bryant, who had just buried a great shot to bring the Lakers back, as the decoy for an ice-cold Derek Fisher, who had just moments before launched a terrible and ill-advised 3-pointer that bricked? Let’s see: We have the biggest, tallest, and longest frontline in the league but did we use them in the fourth quarter? Not tonight. We have the greatest closer in the game today but did we give him a chance to close out the game? Not tonight. We have the best coach in the history of the NBA but did he perform like it? Not tonight. Let’s all hope that the answer later this evening is not the same.
Time to start and end the game with this lineup: Drew, Pau, Trevor, Kobe, and Jordan.
Tom
Posted by: LakerTom | May 23, 2009 at 04:30 PM

[LakerTom yeah you are finally seeing the light on PJ. You said you didn’t agree with me on PJ but looks like you are seeing what I have seen before. Kudos LT.]

This inquisition is a scary thought for Phil.........Why is it scary? It is scary because Phil is like an Onion that hides behind layers of mysticism, psuedo intellect, zen-power, smoke and mirrors..........each question like the one you asked runs the risk in Phil's mind of peeling a layer from his onion.....and eventually you will discover........there is nothing there......no substance........ he has no answers, he is in fact......THE WIZARD OF OZ
This isn't the first time this happened to you BK.......Do you remember the other time or times? Think about it........and before you ask Phil another question remember this quote from Phil's former wife of 24 years, June Jackson
"My answer to why he's so frequently misunderstood is that he's unclear … it's even unclear to him," she said. "He learned early on to dodge, because people don't want to be pinned down publicly in their statements. So you just become kind of a master of obscurity, which people misinterpret as aloofness. What appears to be his standoffishness is just obscurity and opaqueness. And then people say, 'Oh my God, it's brilliance.' "

AK you also raised a very valid point.....it went something like this
"On a related note, this conundrum's roots actually date further back than the playoffs or when Andrew's MCL gave out. The issue began during training camp, when PJ pulled a quick plug on the "triple towers" experiment. Drew, Pau and LO have spent very little time on the court together, which makes less than idea giving it a whirl during the WCF and forces an "only two at a time" approach. It also raises an interesting offseason issue BK and I discussed on the way home from Game 2. If the Lakers aren't keen on Odom at the 3 next season, they may need to let him walk. Otherwise, they're risking either retarding Bynum's growth to play Odom or reducing LO to a 20 minute player, neither a tantalizing prospect. Something to think about.

AK, I admire the fact that you and BK are thinking because that is a start but consider this paradigm shift from your above thesis.
Why not just fire Phil Jackson? Then go out and find a coach that can amalgam this talent and create a system that best utilizes the talent that we have? Istead of Phil's philosophy of trying to fit the talent in his system? Which may be nothing more than ego to protect himself ( see June's quote)
I know, I know, it is you and your brother's contention that if we fire Phil jackson we wouldn't be able to find another coach with his credentials.......is that it?
I understand that thinking but it lumps you with about 85% of the populace......the deaf, dumb, and blind......that group that can't seem to figure out how the 10% continue to pull rabbits from their hats.
If we follow that thinking Phil Jackson would have never been hired in Chicago.
I say we should look at the example of Art and Dan Rooney and the Pittsburgh Steeler organization.......because if they thought like you.....they never would have hired Chuck Noll who went on to win 4 superbowls but when he left they didn't panic.......they went right out and found a young Bill Cowher who won a Superbowl........and then they went out a found Mike Tomlin........the 2nd Black coach to win a Superbowl
No individual is bigger than the organization!! Not even Phil Jackson......he was fired before and there is even more reason to fire him today.
I could go on and on about the idiocy of Phil Jackson but I will spare you but suffice it to say........It will be nearly impossible to beat Denver without production and minutes from Andrew Bynum........Right now LUKE WALTON.is playing more minutes than Bynum!!! Is this Phil's formula for sucess?
I said awhile ago and I still say it will be nearly impossible to win a title with Phil Jackson as coach.......as much as that hurts me.......I have to tell it like I see it. And if for some reason we do...... it will not be because of Phil ........it will certainly be despite Phil Jackson

.......and to answer your first poll question.......Get Kobe the ball!!.........and let a player make a play. ( Did you see LeBron last night?)
Posted by: pfunk36 | May 23, 2009 at 03:29 PM
[On PJ AB thing and onion layers I agree completely. Coaching change analogy was right on. As AK/BK correctly responded you don’t fire coach in middle of WFC games but you surely can at seasons end. And with PJ’s decisions it will be sooner than later]

The air was part of the game and as you mentioned during the interview, Kobe was really tired. It is something to keep an eye on for Game 4, but I think the Lakers will be fine and Kobe should be as well, being one of the most well conditioned guys in the league.

Ariza was huge too. Read more about him today here: http://therookiecontract.com/

Yesterday, I saw an effort I could appreciate. One that made me proud to be a Laker fan.

Most all players played extremely hard and you can tell even through mistakes that they wanted it bad.

A couple of notes:
- If Pau Gasol attacks his defender and plays inspired ball like he did in that 4th quarter we win the chip. Seriously.

- Although Fisher has been playing not so great, he's playing real real hard. Hard to be too mad at that.

- Kobe is Kobe.

- I dont think Farmar can play with Sasha. The two just dont like each other (really) and it seems Farmar's frustration with Sasha spills into his own game.

- Walton's defense on Melo is admirable for someone so limited athletically.

- Odom played hard too...even if the stats dont show it he did play hard.

- I didnt like Sasha's game but what's new.

Overall though, really really solid EFFORT which resulted in the win.

The Lakers finally broke through and gave a great defensive effort in one quarter - the 4th quarter. Otherwise, they lost the first three.

A key was Trevor Ariza's defense on Carmelo Anthony.

Another key was Pau Gasol being a little more aggressive this time on offense, forcing double teams on him.

I am glad for the win. But the game had a lot of exasperating moments.

Andrew Bynum needs to grow up and stop whining. Phil Jackson is the best coach ever. He realizes when Andrew is not playing well. But Andrew does not. Andrew thinks more time on the court would make him better. But he is not playing well when he is on the court. The playoffs are not the time to learn on the job, Andrew. They are not the time to have training wheels on your bicycle. You are still a boy trying to do a man's job. Deal with it. All I see on the court is bad defense, bad offense, and slow movements. You're not in mental shape to be an athlete on the court yet. You move like a 60 year-old man as a result. Everyone was running by you. A better attitude would help. You have to play more aggressively on defense and offense. All I see you doing is stand still like a brick. Move more quickly. Move more aggressively. All I see is hesitation on the court. This is the mental part. If you can't aggressively and quickly move toward the hoop, pass the ball. We cannot have you take weak shots from a distance. You should be slamming the ball! Be quick and aggressive on both ends of the court. And hustle, will you? Run, run, run back on defense.

Lamar Odom, great job in the 4th quarter. We need more of you during the game. You tend to disappear. Dammit. The playoffs are where you need to assert yourself. You are one of the big three - with Kobe and Pau. Get with it, man. Assert yourself. Don't be a wall flower. Be more aggressive on offense. Get to the hoop, man. Be more aggressive on defense. Hustle. Where's your head? I want to see more effort.

Guards? What guards? Denver is destroying us at the guard slot for anyone other than Kobe. Shannon Brown needs more time on the court since things seem to happen with him. But as a newbie to the Lakers and the playoffs, he is moving too slowly. Sasha needs to not reach in so often. Jordan can't defend well, nor can he penetrate on offense. One of these days, I hope Jordan can develop himself to be like Aaron Brooks of Houston, at least.

Oh man this series against denver are something of beauty to watch! What a game! All of them indeed. This teams are playing hard and to the bone. hopefully we´ll win the ring in an amazing series like this, don´t care if it´s against the crabs or the maggies.

On the game: Gasol is soft, he should be traded, he should have less touches and of course he shouldn´t be firing so many shots. he can´t beat big guys on the paint, nor drive to the basquet. Oh what a shame of a player. He looks tired, and he just played 43 minutes again, this man is a girl, he can´t dunk, he can´t block, and he can´t pass, he can´t drive, he can´t hustle for a ball. Oh my, oh my... trade him now!!! next game he should be allowed to play on a wheelchair. Enough?? I can keep going, just as you like, stupid and nosense all the way.

Troy man, you should call yourself "horse of troy" cause you are like "hey! I am Troyan!" But you are Greek in fact, go bury somewhere there is no internet please. We will thank you so much. Specially gasol supporters like me.

I love Ariza. Man this guy is "the golden man" he see forehand two minutes before it comes. How in the world did he managed to steal that ball? AGAIN?? I forgive you that fault on Rudy, friends? Hell i hope so.

Kobe Bean Bryant, I mean KOBE BEAN BRYANT!!! OH GOD!!! God made the world in six days the Cristhian Mytholgy (sorry boys I´m atheus) says... the seventh day god rested playing basketball with his personal trainer... KOBE!

Rest of the team needs to look at those three, and learn from them.

I really can´t wait to see the fourth, this is a hell of a Final. This is why I love basketball. This is why everybody should love basketball, what a sport. The only problem is that the referees have so may things to say. Shut up and let them play!

LETS GO LAKERS! CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP

LETS GO LAKERS! CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP

What was so amazing about this win was that Koby and the Lakers were playing 4 on 5 basketball. Every second Fisher and or Sasha is on the court they are down a player. Sasha may go down in Laker history and the worst player in Laker playoff history. How do you keep playing this loser when he is shooting 21% and making stupid fouls. As for Fish, he has a great heart but zero game. 5 times in the last 2 games he drove the rack and lost the ball. Its both sad and embarrising. Are all the coaches scared to point this out to PJ? Wake up and show the guts the Koby, Gasol and Ariaz showed and bench Sasha for good and limit Fisher. Please!

I loved Pau´s wolfish grin when he is asked about his 43 minutes. He seems to think, what do you want me to say, that I´m gonna die of heartstrike (Ehm Imake up this one, I don´t know how to say "ataque al corazón" in english, and I´m not in mood to search for it) inside the court, because I´m ready to bet for it, at least my family will have some earnings due to my death... live XD

Thanks to your polls, AK/BK, I know I am in the minority on this blog. Over 60% cannot appreciate a great game if the Lakers lose. And 52% believe the only reason this series has been close is because the Lakers, although the better team, have played down to the level of Denver.

Well, watching this series I know that great basketball is great basketball, and this great basketball. And that what makes it so great is that both these teams are very talented. This is fun. Painful fun, but fun. Denver is in my opinion really a great team, and tough to beat every night. I give the Lakers lots of credit when they get a win in this series.

Last night was the third great, could have gone either way, game in this series, and was one of the greatest games Kobe has ever played. When his team needed him, he went out and led on defense, slowing down Billups. He led on offense, working in the post, driving to the hole, getting to the line. Drilled the clutch 3. Walked away from the officials when they blew calls. Just a great performance, and he clearly left it all on the floor in the thin air of Denver. My high opinion of what Kobe can do went up a notch.

Gasol was there as well. For one thing, the Lakers have learned that while Anderson is a good help defender, he is a horrible on ball defender. When he is in the game, they are going to Gasol every time. But Pau also went to work when Kobe needed him most, making two tough, tough shots in row against very good D from Nene. He played good team defense on Anthony as well, though the Lakers' focus on Anthony and Billups let folks like Anderson get some easy hoops. A few less boards than usual for Pau, the Lakers failed to win that battle, but another good performance.

Ariza played well after his injury. Early Trevor was being torched again by Melo, and committed his usual early turnover (can we end that tradition?). But when he came back he played much better D, hit a couple of very important 3s and had, again, the big steal. And props to Luke who played very well while Ariza was out, somehow without filling up the stat sheet at all.

Bynum was active and the Lakers looked to feed him in the post, both good signs. Nene was defending well and made Drew post up a step or two too far from the basket, so he shot a low percentage. He needs to beat Nene to the spot and hold it, or pass out and repost. But he was active on D, blocked three shots, and by looking to him in the post they made Denver have to play him. I hope we see some more of that.

Fisher played a much better game. He shot a low percentage (2-6), but a couple of his misses in the first quarter were shots he had to force because of the clock. He was solid on D, a steadying force on offense, and had 3 steals and some key fourth quarter rebounds. Farmar provided energy in his stint, but his 3 assists were offset by 3 turnovers. And Brown played a solid, if quiet, 8 minutes. All in all the 3 headed beast held it's own. And Lamar was solid, not spectacular off the bench.

Except for Sasha every Laker made some contibutions to this win. The real black spot was foul shooting. If they had lost, that would have been the culprit. But going on the road, against a great home team with a rabid crowd and thin thin air, this was a really strong and gutty performance.

The Nuggets who played really well offensively, Jones and Anderson, were the ones the Lakers were willing to let hurt them. The defensive scheme worked on Anthony, Billups and Martin.

A great win, a great series. Can't wait for game four.

What a come-back win!!

As much as Fish didn't play well, I think he actually won the game for us with his big speech in the final minutes of the game.

GREAT LEADERSHIP MY MAN!!

I feel bad for Kobe, he had to work so hard for his team to pass. Nobody else chipped in; except for Pau and Ariza.

Bynum, Fisher, Odom, and Vujacic are a constant no-shows.

Brown, Powell, and Mbenga was not given a chance to show.

Walton has just nothing to show.

I just feel so bad for Kobe. He has been really beat up.

How important was it for Magic Johnson to call out his team on national television, calling for Kobe and Fish to be "leaders"?

Well, Kobe leads his team on the court with a 4th quarter assault.

And Fish leads him team on the sidelines:

"I told them, this was a moment in time when you can define yourself," Fisher said. "I told them, this was a moment when you can step into that destiny."

I know Fish isn't playing his best basketball, but VETERAN leadership is crucial this deep in the playoffs.

Hats off to the "little general". Way to rally your team, Fish.

Oh... almost forgot...

Bill Plaschke -
"Standing in front of his sagging body, their young hearts listened."... referring to the body of Fisher.

Are you kidding me... dude's a friggin stud!!!

When Melo fouled Ariza after the steal why wasn't it a clear path foul?

Posted by: cinz | May 24, 2009 at 01:19 AM

Because the foul happened in DEN's front court.

cinz,
It was not a clear path foul bcoz the foul occurred in the front court.. clear path foul is only called when the foul occurs in the back court

LAKER GURU FROM INDIA

Shannon had his one basket and block on Mello. He plays both ends of the court well. Needs nore than 7 minutes.

Should come in first off the bench for DF.

Does anybody in the Western Conference besides San Antonio know how to win?

14 rings? We would have 31 if we played in the WC. All you have to do is hang around and wait for the other team to give the game away! Actually both teams tried to give that game away but in typical Laker fashion ... the Lakers didnt try as hard.

5-27 for three point land ... at what point do you try something different. As Big Bill would say .... terrible shot selection. They must not think Melo can post up Walton. They cant throw an inbounds pass ... theyve tried 2 different guys and the passes are getting worse ... the next one will be an alley oop to Ariza. How bout just throwing it in from the baseline backcourt.

Props to Kobe but the rest of the team sucks! Id like to see how far the Lakers would go without their best player.(I dont mean Bynum)

Good Morning, Laker Nation!

It's time for...

Jon K's Early Thoughts That He Has Not Put Too Much Thought Into Yet:

1. Thank God.

2. Immediately after we won last night, I felt different than I had any previous game in the playoffs this season. I didn't felt exultation. I felt this calm, exhausted sense of relief. Upon reflection, I think the reason is that we've finally developed the mental toughness necessary to be Champions. It's a little late, but it's here. It's a new landscape now.

3. Derek Fisher is still my hero and Laker Nation should always remember his speech before they spit venom at a truly Great Laker.

4. Kobe Bryant is the pound-for-pound the toughest--physically, mentally, spiritually--player in the NBA. He simply would not let us lose.

5. Trevor Ariza has earned a lock-down, uber-cool, eternal nickname for these two game winning steals. I suggest "The Thief." Time for Laker Nation to get busy on this.

6. This game, combined with Game Seven against Houston, has transformed this team. Quite frankly, I'm not sure that we would have won this game had we not won Game Seven against Houston. We are witnessing the transformation of this team into a team that will not back down. It's taken a while, but much better late than never.

7. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Thuggets are fricken good.

8. I've said it before and I'll say it again, T.J. Simers is a fricken Troll.

9. The psychological element of the game is extremely important to me, in part because I love psychology and the study of consciousness in general. Also, because I've never been a very skilled athlete, but I have consistently been able to out-play/shut-down "better" athletes beause of my competitiveness, my commitment, and my energy--because of my mental toughness. So, I know how important these qualities are in an athlete.

I know everyone is getting down on Phil Jackson about how he is dealing with Andrew Bynum, and I agree, especially since Andrew Bynum's personality-type requires LOTS of communication to maintain his quality of play as a team player.

That all much said, I've been studying Andrew Bynum's body language and it can only be described as LANGUID. He doesn't run back on defense with any sense of urgency. He doesn't set up on offense with any sense of tension or explosiveness. He just kind of fills up the space. The only time he seems to be really INTO the game is when he gets an opportunity for a slam dunk. That's about it.

If I was Phil Jackson, I'd be pissed too.

Andrew Bynum's body language in the last few games of the regular season was different. More energetic. It almost seems like he's dragging his heels in protest. Bynum needs to snap out of whatever funk he's in and remember that it's not just about him. It's about the team.

10. Luke Walton plays good defense. I know the haters feel like snails covered in salt with that statement, but it's true.

11. Even though we won and got a lot of freethrows last night, the refs still suck. They call the game like they want the audience to pay attention to them. It's really lousy.

12. I thought the line-up of Gasol, Kobe, Bynum, Ariza, and Shannon Brown was particularly effective.

13. A part of me wants to relax, but that part of me is stupid. The Thuggets are going to fight for their lives on Monday. It's time to stomp on their throats, not let them get up to throw a right hook to our jaw.

14. Lucky barstool has improved to 45-5.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!


Kobe was gassed after the game 1 win as well.

Phill tried to give him more rest in game 2, it back fired.

He's playin' both ends of the floor ferociously.

NOBODY in this game does that as well.

Jon M,

How can you be whining after last night's win?

Are you the kind of person who when given a birthday cake at a surprise birthday party, when upon receiving the cake covered in candles looks up mournfully to the group and says, "I really would have preferred a chocolate cake?"

Urgh.

You know there are people out there who have to root for the Milwaukee Bucks, right?

Quit your whining.

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

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

131-92,

Well, obviously the Celtics don't know how to win since they are presently on vacation.

How's that career-ending knee injury to Kevin Garnett going?

See you in about 20 years when you next make it back to the Finals.

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I do hope that at practice today, everyone spends a bit more time on their freethrows.

Unlike what Shaq said, freethrows do matter.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

THE BATTLE WAS WON BUT THE WAR IS NOT OVER.

Kobe needs the support of Odom, Fisher, Bynum in the front line on top of the yeoman's job of Pau and trevor

On the 2nd team, more firepower from Luke, Farmar and Shannon.

Winning through Kobe is not enough, got to finish this Nuggets or they will keep on hurting the Lakers as games go farther.

Bynum, Bynum, Bynum....don't wait for the off season, the post season is NOW.

Man! that was a good game last night! I felt nauseated! hahahha but they pulled it through! i was so happy that i went out and party until 5:30 in the morning today! I hope i see the same type of play they showed in the fourth quarter. And i just want to say that even though Pau is not a beast in the post, you have to give him credit for what he's done for the team. I feel like the fans just take him for granted. Please Laker fans, give him the props he deserve! Go Lakers!

Snake,

That foul was clear path, however no need to compound te complaints of the Thuggets. After playing a physical game, they still think they don't deserve to be called for those fouls. Most of the exhaustion of Kobe came from pushing, shoving, pulling and kicking by the thugs, the Western version of the Celtics.

I keep hearing how badly Chauncey Billups outplayed the Lakers
tres-amiguards of the Lakers (Fisher, Farmar, Brown). Mostly
the emphasis is on the fact that Billups outscored FFB 18-8.

But let's take a closer look, shall we?

Shooting %:
Billups 5 for 15 = 33%
FFB 4 for 12 = 33%

Same percentage. And really, do you want a guy shooting 33%
to take MORE shots?

3-point %:
Billups 2 for 7
FFB 0 for 4

Okay, he's got them there. But at least they didn't go over the
top and brick up a ton of 3's.

Rebounds:
Billups 6
FFB 6

Assists:
Billups 7
FFB 5

Okay, CB edged them a bit there.

Steals:
Billups 2
FFB 3

And the Lakers trio edged CB a bit there

Blocks:
Billups 0
FFB 1

one more slight edge to FFB

Turnovers:
Billups 4
FFB 5

and another slight edge to Billups.

So when you look at the overall stats (at least in last night's
game), Billups wasn't THAT much better than the Lakers trio
of PGs.

Yes, if I had a choice, I'd take Billups over any of the 3 of them,
but it's not like Chancey pwned the Lakers guards last night.

{Lakers Secret Agent Jon K. Reporting From DEEP Behind Enemy Lines In The Swampy Morass Of Northeast Ohio--Recently Ranked As The Most Affordable Place To Live In America... Because No One Wants To Live Here}

[Field Report]

1. Perched defensively upon my lucky barstool, I didn't have to deal with too many attacks from hateful LeBroniacs until after the games was over. Oddly enough, those attacks were all directed towards Kobe Bryant whom a handful of people started referring to as a "female dog." Considering how impressive his performance was last night, I find it bizarre that they wouldn't give credit where credit is due. They are incredibly intimidated by Kobe and consistently turn things into a personal contest of personalities between Kobe and LeBron. It's very annoying.

2. Just to let Laker Nation know, even the remarkably biased LeBroniacs were surprised at how the refs called the game last night: Including fouls on Sasha Vujacic that weren't fouls, technicals on Fisher after clearly being pushed first in plain sight of the refs, Kobe being pushed in the lower back while vulnerable in the air (quote "How is that NOT a flagrant foul? You can't do that!"). So... yeah... Laker Nation isn't the only one's seeing these things and thinking that something's wrong.

3. The Laker Cavs fans would most like to see on their team? The answer might surprise you: Lamar Odom.

4. The LeBroniacs are nervous. While I must have heard 30 people talk about LeBron's "AMAZING" (yes, it was impressive) game winning shot, I've also heard 15 people murmur about the need for a desperation shot to win. If the Magic win today, expect panic.

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,

How bout something more original? That see you in 20 years is old and tired but if thats all you can say after we kicked your ass for the 9th time in 11 tries than keep saying it. I understand. How many times do we have to beat you before you shut up? You sure talk a lot for someone with a winning percentage less than the Washington Generals.

(131-92) = (4-2) = (17-14) = (9-2) ... Sit in your lucky bar stool and smoke those numbers. Win then talk smack ... you havent won anything yet and havent won a title in a while. You are approaching 20 years yourself in a hurry.

See you in Cancun.

What do the Celtics get when they play the Lakers in the Finals????? RINGS!!!!!

Regards,

THE SCOREBOARD

Jon K,

>>> 10. Luke Walton plays good defense. I know the haters feel like snails covered in salt with that statement, but it's true.

A quote to enshrine in the basketball Hall of Fame. (Right next to the lucky bar stool.)

In defense of Sasha...

Okay. I admit it. Even I have been screaming obscenities at
the screen several times on boneheaded plays by Sasha in this
series. And his shooting has been appallingly bad.

BUT.

Sasha is still working hard on the defensive end and does
contribute a bit to that 39% shooting that the team gave up.

And Sasha's pest factor drew not one but TWO technical fouls
last night. They were within 2 minutes of each other.

On the first one, he was hounding Anthony Johnson going
for a rebound and Johnson threw him off. Tech. Kobe hit the
free throw.

Then he was doing all that harassing of JR (head case) Smith.
Sasha went for a steal on the last play of the 3rd and got burned,
but because he had been dogging Smith, JR got all boasty when
he beat Sasha for a shot. Tech. Kobe made the free throw.

So that's two easy points that the Lakers got because Sasha
got in people's heads. I would argue that Sasha got the Lakers
5 points on his 4 shots, so 1.1 points per shot is reasonable
for a role player.

The whole pest thing is much more important against teams
that have some head case guys (as Denver is flush with). Remember,
Carmelo once got suspended a game for choking Sasha, who
was hounding him.

I'm not saying Sasha should start or play big minutes or anything,
but if you put him on one of Denver's Bipolar Babies for 10 or 12
minutes a game, good things are bound to happen (for the Lakers).

Clear Path Foul?

For everyone commenting about the questionable clear path foul.... It wasn't. It was a loose ball foul because Trevor didn't have control of the ball.

Great defensive game by TA, specially in the 2nd against Melo. This may sound sacrilegious to some, but has Kobe finally found his Pippen in TA?

bronxlakerfan,

Two great back-to-back posts! Taking thoughts right out of my head. Kudos…

>>> Wasn't that a foul by Anthony on Trevor a clear path foul?

Absolutely! I was screaming about that for 5 minutes.

>>> Are you allowed to punch Kobe in the stomach when he's shooting
>>> a three because he's so good?

Apparently! We all know Kobe doesn’t get the Superstar calls that LeBron does.

>>> One reason I've always admired Kobe's game is that he never flops or
>>> resorts to cheap tactics. He plays the game hard but fair. Some of his
>>> opponents might get a well placed elbow once in a while, but Kobe
>>> has to protect himself!

Great point, bronx. Most Lakers fans have never understood that Kobe’s elbows are retaliation for continued abuse by opposing players and the refs. They’re basically Kobe’s way of saying “enough already.”

Ten reasons why we’re going to win the NBA Championship: K-O-B-E-B-R-Y-A-N-T

How about them Yankees?

Tom

In defense of Fisher...

One very very important thing that Fish did last night was hit
a couple of shots early. Yes he had a bad shooting night overall
and made some terrible decisions later in the game.

But because he hit a couple of early shots, Denver couldn't
sag off of him as much to clog the lane. That gave Kobe the
tiny little extra amount of room he needs to drive the lane. It meant
that Bynum and Gasol didn't generally face double teams when
they got the ball in the post.

It wasn't as big as his important 3's in game 1, but just hitting
a couple of shots early can make a big difference for team
throughout the game.

Larry,

>>> What a game by Kobe!

>>> All those Kobe naysayers, i.e. KL and Butler, had the right to remain silent,
>>> but they didn't have the ability. They simply had to shoot off their mouths
>>> after the last game and Kobe stuffed his foot right in.

>>> What say you now trolls? Let's hear some more smack,
>>> or forever keep your pie-holes closed!

Right on, Larry!

Tom

To make up for Phil's stubborn rotation strategy........Kobe will have to come up with another 40-45pts in game 4 to bring the Lake show back to Staples 3-1........My game 4 predictions....

Kobe: 45pts/6rebs/3a -48% + shooting
Pau: 17pts/14rebs/2blks
Trevor: 13pts/ 5rebs/2stls
LO/Bynum: 18pts/15rebs/4blks
Fisher/Shannon/Jordan: 12pts/7rebs/5a
Sasha: 3pts
DJ/Powell: DNP (shamefully)


Lakers win 108-100


Lakers 2009 NBA CHAMPS


PL

Great point LTLF!!!

In defense of Luke...

Luke shot poorly last night (including bricking 2 free throws),
but...

Carmelo Anthony DID NOT MAKE A SINGLE SHOT with Luke
guarding him.

No, I don't think Luke is a lockdown defender or anything, but
when Trevor was out getting his back treated, Luke held down
the fort. If Luke was as bad a defender as pfunk would have
you believe, Melo would have scored 20 in the 3rd quarter to
give the Thuggets a 25 point lead going into the fourth.

Luke didn't get big steals, but he played solid position defense,
drew a charge on Melo and didn't let him get any wide open
looks. Melo's going to score some points, but if you stay at home
on him and make him work, there won't be any more 30 point
games by him.

LTLF,
I agree that is sasha's biggest contribution. seriously, he messes with ppl's heads. i also love his effort and he is the biggest cheerleader on the team. i think this is why kobe likes him. kobe always appreciates hard work and effort. granted sasha isn't playing well but he practices hard. he also messes w/j. i just want him to guard melo for a couple of minutes (i know crazy) but i am sure melo will choke him again.

Hugo,

Kobe is a good ball player ....BUT calling him God or Jesus or the Lords personal trainer is a bit strange???? He has great God-given talent but .....He is no God!!
I do hope however his wins a ring this season......


Lakers 2009 NBA CHAMPS


PL

In defense of Bynum...

He hasn't exactly been the beast we were hoping for, but I did
see some improvement in last night's play. He was hustling
a bit more on defense and managed to get 3 blocks, which
helped a lot. Especially the block on Carmelo.

bronx,

>>> This ain't the park, people! I will grant you that sometimes Kobe DOES
>>> fall in love with his jumper. But he's attacking more in the playoffs.
>>> I'll trust one the greatest in NBA history.

YOU are on a roll, my man. Another great observation. Kobe is in Finals MVP mode.

Tom

From John Hollinger -

"Whatever the cause, Melo's sudden drought is the biggest reason the Lakers left Pepsi Center with a 2-1 lead instead of the Nuggets."

Gee... it has nothing to do with the play of the Lakers!

I read an article this morning, but forgot where I read it. Anyway the article was really funny. It spoke of Ron Artest and the Rockets series.

Artest was ask why his shooting was great in the first 3 games, but so bad after game 3. Artest said it was the infamous elbow Kobe gave him in that game. He said it "really hurt", bruised his collar bone and affected his shooting for the remainder of the series.

Damn....... Mamba got some strong strike with the elbows.

Obviously a great game for KB24 and Pau and Trev played very well, but we will need more from the slugs in game 4. A game 4 win should basically be the series. Bring Fish off the bench and start Brown. Only play Sash if we have too. We can't continually play on "he'll get it going soon." Keep Walton on the sidelines if possible. Let Drew play more minutes along with Brown and perhaps Farmar. May be the keys to victory in game 4. Kobe is wearing down and we need him strong! Please LO step up to one of you 20-12-8 games! It make take only one more slug to add to KB, TA and PG to take game 4. Can't one of you earn your paycheck?!

BK,

>>> …ludicrously clutch…

That was the perfect description of that shot. It totally matches what every Laker fan was thinking at that exact moment. Kobe is Finals MVP mode. Regardless of what LeBron does, this is going to be Kobe Bryant’s year and his fourth championship.

Tom

I know a lot of people here are whining that even if they win
the championship the Lakers should let Lamar go and get rid
of Farmar and Sasha and Luke and maybe even Bynum.

But that's just foolish talk.

Each and every Laker that's in the regular rotation has contributed
to one or more playoff win this season. Yes, Kobe and Pau
are the only ones who've contributed a lot every night, but those
two are good enough that if just 2 or 3 of the other rotation
players have a good game on any given night, it's enough to
get them a win.

Fisher has been shooting poorly, but in game 1 of this series,
his clutch shooting seriously contributed to the win.

Lamar and Ariza have both made some boneheaded turnovers,
but their contributions on the two 4th quarter steals of inbound
plays can not be credited enough.

Bynum is moving a little slow, so he's had problems with fouls,
but his 3 blocks last night were significant.

Farmar has had limited minutes and has had some bad turnovers,
but in game 1, after the starters gave up a big lead in the 1st,
he led the bench mob in getting the deficit down to 3.

Brown has come and go on offense, but has played hard on
the defensive end.

When Luke is in, you see the ball go in to Bynum or Gasol in
the post more frequently than when he's out. And his defense
on Melo has been good enough. And that alley-oop to Kobe
in last night's game was verry verry nice.

Even lowly Sasha has had a few moments in the playoffs.
Think back to game 1 of this series. Remember in the 1st when
he blocked JR Smith's 3-point attempt from behind, stole the
ball and went back for a layup? And as I already mentioned,
when you're playing a team with several "combustible" players
like Denver, having a pest defender like Sasha can be the fuse
that sets off one or more of those time bombs.

Go Lakers. 6 more wins to close out the season.

PL

LOL it was obviously a joke to say that he is amazing, awesome, something of jawdropping. No offense intended

Strange? maybe to a believer, but I´m not.

LETS GO LAKERS!

Hugo Spain

"ataque al corazón" = Heart attack

Great, gritty gutsy win last night...especially with the continued trend of anti-Laker, anti-Kobe officiating in this series. Since when did the Nuggets get a carte-blanche to goal-tend Kobe at will with no penalty?

Long Time Laker Fan,

I will agree with you that Bynum has been better using his size and better positioning himself on defense. He's just not playing with enough energy.

That's the problem.

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,

>>>How's that career-ending knee injury to Kevin Garnett going?

ouch.

Now that is COLD.

Spoken like a flat out leprechaun troll assassin.

VERY well done, Jon K.

ChicNstu Thanks

I was between those two, but I took the wrong one.

I´m so sad I´m not going to be able to watch games 4 and 5. I´ll be cheering for us in my dreams.

LETS GO LAKERS!

Good News: Lakers lead 2-1 despite having only one guy having played well for all 3 games (Kobe).

Bad News: Kobe can't win a title by himself. 12 shots for Gasol speaks to his lack of aggressiveness in demanding the ball, and the backcourt's failure to make a concerted effort to get the ball down low.

Where is Lamar Odom (aside from good sideline out of bounds defense with 30 seconds left, where is this guy)? Why is he getting dominated by "Birdman"?

Where did Fisher's decisionmaking go? Quick shots and putting his head down to charge down the lane--for what? Where's he going when he "attacks" the rim early in the shot clock? It is going to take more than an inspirational speech from the starting point guard.

Bynum, what gives? I'm a (big) fan, but the body language is poor. I share the frustration with Phil (note how LO fails to get back on defense, gets yelled at but is kept in the game...) but you need to show some intensity out there young man.

Unreal game by Kobe. Best player in the league, by far. But to watch him struggle to catch his breath after the game makes me wonder how heavily this team can rely on him for Monday. Need a lot more from the supporting cast next game, for sure. And is it asking too much to ask for some better focus at the free throw line? Amid all the mind-boggling greatness of Kobe, let's not lose sight of the fact that we damn near lost another close game after missing 14 free throws.

Totally gutty win by a team that hasn't shown much heart so far. That's very encouraging. Now if only they can get LO into double figures, Bynum to play with some more energy and Fisher to start making (or stop taking) shots, things will be looking up.

O.K., I haven't read every comment so this may be redundant but.... Phil knows at this level it takes more than athleticism to win, it takes mental toughness, the Thuggets are extremly athletic but that only takes you so far, say 99%, but that last 1% that takes you over the top is mental, PJ coaches that last 1%, the man is a genius, literally, you have to buy into the system and accept PJ as the supreme leader, it took Kobe almost 10 years to accept that but they are on the same page now, seriously, the Lakers are nowhere near the most gifted team athletically (except maybe UPS and of course Kobe) but when they stick to the plan they win, no panic, no problem. This explains why DFish continues to get minutes, the foul on Scola was a classic example of his value, that wasn't an emotional foul, it was a calculated foul. Very smart. Contrast that with the two hand in the back push on Kobe and the clapping by the morron who did it, a more gifted player physically but an idiot and it makes my point. The last 1% is between the ears. PJ knows that and people need to recognize it and acknowledge it and shut the heck up.

Laker Larry,

>>>Artest was ask why his shooting was great in the
>>>first 3 games, but so bad after game 3. Artest said it
>>>was the infamous elbow Kobe gave him in that game.
>>>He said it "really hurt", bruised his collar bone and >>>affected his shooting for the remainder of the series.

Wow. I hadn't seen that quote before. Nice find, LL.

Two points:

1. Someone should point out to Artest that the collarbone
is not the throat. His statement PROVES that he is a liar
and lied when he said the Kobe elbowed him in the throat.

2. Artest may think he's tough and that he can manhandle the
Lakers, but Kobe smacked him so hard his children will still
be missing shots.

 
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