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Nuggets 120, Lakers 101: A round of IV drips for all my friends!!!

Lakers dejected After a Game 3 spectacular 41-point performance made even more remarkable by its well rounded additional contributions, Kobe Bryant had- as the saying goes- "left everything on the floor."  So much was spilled, in fact, that Kobe appeared on the verge of keeling over during a postgame interview with ESPN's Doris Burke.  I grew genuinely worried that one more follow up question would have resulted in Burke conducting Bryant's eulogy for the network's highest rated episode of "Outside The Lines."  Thus, it was no surprise to hear that Bryant was immediately hooked up to an IV drip for a dose of fluids upon hitting the Pepsi Center visitor's locker room. 

Perhaps Kobe should have handed trainer Gary Vitti his credit card and hosted the medical equivalent of an open bar, because the entire team appeared in need of a pick me up cocktail.

Climbing back into Saturday's game after being down eight at the final frame's start would a taxing proposition in most settings, much less while gasping for breath in Denver's thin air.  It also would be equally difficult under most circumstances, much less those that include lingering injuries for Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza.  As ESPN's J.A. Adande noted, dudes were looking more black and blue than purple and gold.   And don't discount a fatigue factor this deep into the month of May, which Kobe admitted could be affected some younger Lakers less seasoned in postseason rigors. 

"You gotta push through it," insisted Kobe.  "As a young team, when you have a 2-1 series lead, there's kind of the attitude where every play is not as important.  When you're tired, you say, I don't have to get that ball or don't have to get on the floor for that loose ball, as opposed to taking every possession as if its' the last possession, like we did in the third game."

In the meantime, save Carmelo Anthony- battling a pregame stomach flu compounded by a second quarter ankle sprain- the Nuggets were bursting at the seams with vigor.  Did a potential difference in energy in reserve culminate into a 120-101 loss?  It's hard to say for sure, since I'm not in the Sunshine State (Gorgeous!) and didn't get to witness firsthand how pumped or pooped the Lakers were before this contest.  But I'd like to think exhaustion played a role.  Otherwise, there's simply no excuse for how badly the Lakers were torched in hustle-related aspects of the game.

Denver offset Melo's 3-16 struggles from the field in a variety of ways.  Limiting themselves to just six Kenyon Martin beats Gasol for a rebound turnovers.  A big second half from Chauncey Billups en route to 24/3/3 helped.  Smith scoring 24 points off the bench.  Another ten off the pine from Linus Kleiza.  A dozen points from the offensively-challenged Dahntay Jones.  Without question, these factors played a role, but not nearly as much as how the Nuggets simply played like bats outta hell every second they were on the court.

That monster effort explains the biggest battle won by Denver, the one that ultimately removed any chance of a victory from the Lakers' hands.  In my mind, if the Lakers don't fall short 58-40 in the rebounding margin, they give themselves a shot at winning.  Unfortunately, the Lakers were dominated in a quest to collect misses, scoop up loose balls and generally control the boards, which often equals controlling a game.  This tone was set remarkably early.  With just three minutes and change in the books, the Nuggets were already paced ahead of the Lakers by five.   By the end of the first quarter, Denver had collected as many offensive boards alone.  Things never looked up from there, and that imbalance put a distinctive stamp on the game.  

Just how badly were the Lakers crushed in this department?

Kenyon Martin collected fifteen rebounds, tying Pau Gasol (10) and Andrew Bynum (5) by this lonesome. WIth a baker's dozen, Nene nearly bested that Laker duo, too.  Chris Andersen collected fourteen off the bench, which fell just two short of outdoing the ENTIRE Laker second unit's total.   Anthony Carter's two boards doubled the output of Trevor Ariza's, despite playing one-fourth of the minutes (six vs. twenty-six) and giving up five inches.  And if I may offer the most damning of tallies, the Nuggets helped themselves to an absolutely comical twenty boards on the offensive glass.  That's just plain silly.  It also helps explain why the Lakers were outscored 52-34 in the paint and 23 of Denver's points were of the second chance variety.

Andrew Bynum I don't know everything about the roundball game, but those figures just don't hit me as "Instant win: Just add water."

Don't get me wrong.  Glass weakness wasn't the only reason the Lakers fell short.  On the road, 42% from the field generally won't get it done, particularly when you treat the stripe as anything but a charitable offering.  The Lakers just can't get simpatico with the free throw line, missing eleven times at the stripe (24-35, 69%).  And I personally can't decide if I'm more upset that only nine of thirty-one three pointers dropped, or that thirty-one three's were actually launched to begin with. (Am I allowed to vote "both?")  There was also a general inability to protect the paint, whether slowing of drives from the perimeter or keeping tabs on fellas making cuts to the basket.  The usual suspects are still unable to rediscover their touch, with Odom a striking  sore thumb at 1-8 from the field.  The Lakers remain largely dependent on Kobe (34 points on a not so stellar 10-26 clip) and Pau (21 points, 8-11 from the field, still in need of more touches).  None of this helps their case. 

But to me, it was all about the rebounds, because a better job in that department might have meant sneaking away on top.  I'll take a cheap win over a deserved loss any day of the week.  Whether the Lakers are too noble or simply ran out of gas, everyone got what they earned.  Assuming they aren't too upset to sleep, the Lakers will hopefully use the plane back to L.A. as an opportunity to nap.

A few more notes

  • Derek Fisher's fourth quarter minutes: Zero.  Quite interesting, in light of the heat PJ has been taking from fans and media alike for riding with the vet through thick and thin, the latter describing his marksmanship this postseason. 
  • According to ESPN's broadcast, Kobe's 147 points through Game 4 tops any player during the opening quartet of the Conference Finals.
  • I'm guessing Andrew Bynum's fourth quarter foul on the Birdman will be reduced from "Flagrant One" to "good ol' fashioned whistle."  The elaborate windup and two handed delivery may not have been particularly wise, but that style also made the sequence look much worse than it really was.  Even the ESPN broadcasters expressed surprise at the call.  I also thought Drew recovered from a mediocre first half to offer some promising fourth quarter moments. 
  • And speaking of decisions made by the refs, I expect Phil Jackson to get fined for criticizing the referees.  Asked by the Times' own T.J. Simers about the Lakers' rep for inconsistent effort, PJ replied that officiating can make it difficult to compete at the proper level.

          "Basketball is a game where the aggressor gets the advantage and tonight, we didn't know what a  foul was and what wasn't a foul out there.  Start of the ballgame, we got guys knocked around going to the basket... and by the end of the ball game, little fouls were being called all over the game.  49 foul shots... in a ball game like that.  That's not how we wanted to play.  That's not we wanted to play.  That's not what we wanted to do.  So as the momentum changes in a ball game like that and the refereeing becomes where you're always on your heels and guys are in foul trouble, then you're are not aggressive anymore.  You're the guy that's defensively playing the game.  And that's what I don't like."

On a roll and likely aware his wallet was about to grow lighter, Phil elaborated...

          "The situation that got the game kind of out of hand, Luke (Walton) came across the lane, got hit in throat by Nene with an elbow, complained to the referee about getting hit in the throat with an elbow on his cut.  And it was an off ball cut.  The referee gave him a technical and subsequently gave him three consecutive fouls.  That kind of disparity we don't like in ball games.  That's not equal refereeing.  Those are the things that change the course of games.  We don't like that.  We want the game to be fair and evenly played."

Kobe talks to a ref Which is hardly how Phil chalked up an incident where Dahntay Jones appeared to purposely trip Kobe Bryant...

           "There was another situation out there tonight that was unacceptable by Dahntay Jones.   Just unacceptable defense.  Tripping guys and playing unsportsmanlike basketball."

Asked point blank if he thought the trip was intentional, Jackson didn't hesitate to offer a "yes," adding this wasn't the first time Jones has pulled a shenanigan of sorts during the series.  (I assume PJ is referring Jones pushing Kobe in the back with two hands during a Game 3 drive to the cup, a play that could have led to injury and was retroactively assessed a flagrant.)  Between Jackson drawing attention to the trip and the broadcast reaction- calling the play "dirty"- I'm expecting Jones to (at
least) get word from the league office or (at most) get hit with some form of punishment. 


AK



 
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AK & BK,

Its painfully obviously by now that the Lakers biggest offseason need will be at the PG position even if they win a championship. Looking at the pool of potential trades/free agents this summer and current economic crisis, would it be to far off the think that the Lakers could swing for either Devin Harris or Kirk Hinrich in a sign-and-trade? Fisher/Morrision are both in their last year of contract for about 5 mil each and farmar is still an attractive young talent that they could include in any deal, not to mention the possibility of doing a sign-and trade with Lamar for more help. My priorities would be, Harris or Hinrich, then get a player like Artest or Luc Richard a Moute for more defense and toughness. Thoughts? and somehow finding buyers for Sasha would be nice if we can get a more reliable SG to backup Kobe, Mike Miller anyone?

I haven't been able to catch the games but I did catch this last one. The Nuggets could have swept the Lakers if the scores are an indicator of style of play.

Here's what I wrote when the Nuggets beat the Lakers in the regular season.

http://tinyurl.com/qgkxoe

I think game five will say it all. If Denver wins...my oh my! If the Lakers win, they'll probably win the series.

What no one seems to be equating in the Conference Finals is Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Dang, is Howard going to steal Kobe and LeBron's Championship thunder?

Orlando with Howard and their two forwards can be the surprise team to beat.

mike t.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

I'm sure a majority of fans are just livid with the Lakers' poor effort in Game #4. Give Denver credit though. They took it to the Lakers in every way possible understanding the impact of falling 3-1. Now, it's become a best of 3 series.

I sense that a lot of Lakers fans are losing faith in their ability to close out pivotal and clinching games and winning it ALL. Let's face it folks, the Lakers are who they are.

They are a team that wins and loses the hard way because of their inability the SEIZE the moment collectively. Besides Kobe and Fisher, nobody else has the mindset or championship pedigree to push through challenging times on the court of play. With the exception of Gasol, LO, and Walton, the Lakers are quite YOUNG (and still are, especially from the bench).

This is the major reason why the Lakers have been criticized by pretty much everyone and their grandparents. Young talent doesn't guarantee consistency by any means. This is what the Lakers are right now.

This is why I felt the Lakers should have picked up a veteran or two in the offseason to keep the team "level headed" in terms of mental toughness on and off the court. KB24 and Fisher can't do it alone.

For the most part, Kobe, Gasol, and Fisher have been the trio as well as LO (when consistent) that have kept the Lakers on top all season long. Especially KB24! It's a wonder how they even won 65 games. Just amazing!

Everyone knows that the starters hid the weakest link of the team throughout the regular season and playoffs, which was their inconsistent bench play. Boy, is it obvious now!

Look at the bench play this year very closely for further clarification. The loss to Boston last year in the Finals I felt really affected the floor games of two important pieces. They are Farmar and Vujacic. They were never the same since then. You see it in their body language and facial expressions. Their nagging ankle/knee injuries this year could have very well been a contributor to their demise as well thus far.

Most of all, Phil has really taken the heat recently for playing them in key stretches in playoff games, where they have either given up leads or have been ineffective in taking leads. It's a strange proposition, but explainable.

Phil has always been a coach who allows his players to "work" through their issues on the floor. The difference is that he has always counted on veteran players in the past to get the job done and solved, not young ones, as he is doing now. We all know that he especially prefers large guards. Look who we have on the roster currently. Hmmm...get my drift?

Furthermore, Phil believes that if his bench can't play through their struggles, they will ultimately lose their faith and confidence to see adversity through the toughest of times.

He realizes that he has a host of bench players who are just young in every way. What else can he do but believe that they will somehow pull through. Well, it just hasn't happened thus far. Patience is a virtue no doubt in this case. Considering what Phil has had the last few years, the Lakers have played well.

Think about it, who else can he count on for "consistency" on both ends of the floor without running Bryant, Fisher, and Gasol down to the ground?

He simply has no choice but to play the hand he has been dealt with since last year (only Powell, Brown and Morrison being the newcomers). In the end, if he can't trust all his players, especially the bench mob, why bother becoming a championship team? That is the most frustrating aspect of all. They are who they are folks. No sugarcoating this one.

Furthermore, I really believe that the loss of Radmanovic via trade has really affected the spacing of the Lakers offense to the point that it has somewhat disrupted their flow up till now. His presence as a shooter often freed up Kobe for screen, pick-and-roll and isolation plays on the wing. It just seemed that way to me. Kobe sees way too many double and triple teams since he left. Coincidence maybe?

Speaking of the obvious, look at their 3 pt. percentage as a team when they had him compared to now. Any difference? The bottom line...He made them that more dangerous with his size and shooting in the perimeter, although his defense was in question. From what I understand, he has played Carmelo pretty well historically. Boy, we could only wonder IF.....Oh well! It is what it is.

Oops! Let's not forget Bynum, who is a huge piece to the championship puzzle as well . His presence and "consistency" will also afford Bryant the same luxury he had with Rad on the floor. Unfortunately, Bynum is pretty much playing on one leg now and very unproven and YOUNG! However, he is the KEY to the prize, whether people agree or disagree. SIZE on the court matters, if used the right way!

Getting back to the series at hand, Denver has a load of talent as well, both young and in their prime. Chaucey and Kenyon are proven playoff vets with championship experience (the only winner being Billups) along with strong athletic players in star Carmelo Anthony, Nene, JR Smith, and Andersen.

Believe me, they are for REAL! This is why the Lakers have to bring their effort and energy EVERY SINGLE GAME! They are not athletic enough matchupwise to play Denver mano y mano for 48 minutes.

However, they are the most versatile positionwise with a whole lot of length in the front line. They have to play SMART by playing to their strengths: The INSIDE-OUTSIDE game. So, what's the deciding factor for the series?

The deciding factor will be KB24: The Nuggets don't have HIM!

This is why the Lakers bench play must improve in terms of offensive production here on out (a broken record indeed). As long as they contribute 30 points or more in a game, the Lakers will win flat out. More importantly, it will give the starters much needed REST, especially for Kobe! A "rested" Kobe is the most DANGEROUS for any opponent.

It's all about WINS...and WINNING!

My fellow fans, what else is there to say?

Game #5 coming up on Wednesday...I expect the best from the Lakers.

SPECIAL MESSAGE: Hey, Lakers, are you ready for the challenge presented to you once again? After all, you should hear what Billups and Smith said about you in their own cocky way post game last night in Denver. Do you blame them for being confident? You brought it on yourselves. What's your move? Go get em' boys!

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!


I'm in China, but I love LAL and Kobe,I wached this game today......I'm really sad, Kobe is great but LAL lose,I can say noting to it ......LAL Go Go Go

How does Jackson NOT take a T during that whole Kobe tripping incident? Did anyone notice that the third official Spooner came running in to a conversation that he was not a part of and got in Kobe's face, trying to bait him into a technical? Jackson should have come on the court at that point, just a cheap stunt by Spooner.

Oh, I forgot, baiting the officials is beneath The Great One. Add arguing with officials to the list of things Jackson does not do, also including strategizing, making in-game adjustments and motivating.

$12 million a year for this? How about using his money to pay the luxury tax on our free agents? We keep our roster together and get rid of dead weight on the bench. Rambis or Shaw could do a better job at about 25% of the salary.

Kobe is MVP because he alone has gotten this team through this playoffs. LO?, Bynum?, Fish?, etc., Even Pau hasn't been much of a force.

That said, Kobe was kept out of the fourth too long. When he came in the deficit didn't change. But again, when the game is hopeless, 14 points down with two minutes, rest Kobe. Just poor use of the MVP.

Next time, let Kobe play!

Next time WE WILL WIN! All we need is rest, a second player to step up their game, and Kobe !!

GOOOoooOOOO LAKERS!!!!!!

NO MORE EXCUSES.

WIN OR GET BLOWN UP

I use to say that....
PHIL JACKSON IS A SABOTEUR AND HE HAS A PLAN

But now I see that Phil doesn't have the type of players needed to win a championship. When will someone besides Pau Gasol step up to the plate.
One, two, or three of the role players must step up their game. Other teams always seem to have a role player step up.
How unfair has it been to Kobe all these years to surround him with such overhyped unispired, fundamentally-deficient individuals?

Mitch Kupchak should be on the hot seat this summer. While other teams improve, we regress. This year is the Lakers best chance to win a championship because they won't come close next year without a major overhaul.


If Dahntay Jones' mom is in the stands, somebody needs to find her and tell her that he's a punk/thug, dirty player and poor excuse for a human being!

Both of those dirty plays could've resulted in serious injury to Kobe. The league needs to deal with him harshly. And somebody anybody from the lakers need to deal with him harshly!

This guy has almost taken out your star player, not once but TWICE! and no response, wtf? Kobe would've elbowed him in the throat/mouth several times already (and justifiably) except for the 5 techs.

this brings me to my belief that you should take intentional technical fouls. Stop getting techs for petty crap! earn the technical foul!
for instance in game 1 when the refs were hosing us, i thought the coach or a star player Kobe/fisher/Lamar/Pau should stepped in and taken a tech, letting the refs know that that crap was unacceptable... similar to what Chauncy did in game 2

YOU MAY CALL ME A BIT NAIVE
BUT IN MY LAKERS I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE
LAKERS TODAY LAKERS TOMORROW LAKERS FOREVER

what a game. first, the refereeing indeed did suck hard but the lakers lost b/c they were lazy with their feet. they didn't box out and they didn't defend the cutting lanes. the number of offensive boards by the nuggets is ridiculous and the layups and dunks off guys cutting was too much. the lakers also missed too many free throws, especially in the 4th.

second, dahntay jones should be suspended for at least one game. if the league is hellbent on cleaning up the game and instructing these referees to call every hard foul a flagrant or technical, then it needs to come down hard on plays that are just absolutely unsportsmanlike and have no place in the game. the jones' trip was just dirty, dirty, dirty and kobe could have seriously gotten hurt. it was intentional and not a play on the ball -- very, very dirty. the two handed push in the back on kobe in game 3 while kobe was going up plus this trip were malicious and the league needs to stops this sort of dirty play now.

third, speaking of dirty plays, a hard foul when the defender is making a play on the ball is not flagrant or a technical -- ridiculous.

fourth, good things happen when gasol is aggressive on offense. he needs to demand the ball and stop passing the ball out unless he gets double-teamed.

fifth, first good game for bynum in this postseason. when he's aggressive like when he was in that one play in the 4th qtr with anderson guarding him, he can make good things happen by getting guys in foul trouble and getting to the foul line. i'm also glad to see that bynum was the only one willing to commit hard fouls on defense but disappointed to see none of the other lakers committed hard fouls.

this game was winnable. lakers weren't that far behind despite getting outboarded and outhuscled. lakers need to step up on the effort plays still.

one other comment. i always thought denver was a solid 2nd tier city in the US, sort of like seattle or portland or minneapolis but after seeing their crowd, that is one hick city.

Make no mistake about it Dahntay Jones has officially cost Denver a real shot at taking this series.......When are these zealous young bucks going to learn that if you irritate the Mamba he will strike you.......EXPECT AN EPIC PERFORMANCE FROM THE MAMBA.......Now to the major concerns on this Laker ball club.....

1. Coaching - Phil has all but refused to make beneficial adjustments throughout the playoffs and his stubborn loyalty towards Fish, LO, Sasha, and Luke has robbed guys who have DESIRE of real opportunity (i.e. Bynum, Shannon, Jordan, Powell, DJ).....Phillip Zen has to get off his high horse and play the guys who earn mins....Bynum blows a couple of assignments and he sits out for 10 min stretches.....LO plays awful since the second round and he is giving time to figure things out...lol
I can count on my hands the MEANINGFUL GAMES LO has played in the last 5 years......Goes to show that potential is a dangerous word

2. PG Play - Since the Lakers really don't have a quality PG they have to do it by committee. Fish, Sasha, Shannon, & Jordan have to play better.....In order for the Lakers to finish this series off in Denver .....The PG committee will have to contribute at least 15pts and show a little mental fortitude.....Fisher and Sasha are missing wide open shots......It is funny to watch sometimes


3. Frontline toughness - so much for the Lakers bigger front line dominating this series.....Thank goodness for Pau at least showing some desire in Denver.....LO is a major let down. He should be picking Andrew up and instead he is as inconsistent as a guy who has missed half the season .....LO plays well on avg about 1out 10 games about 10% of the time his is great so hopefully he will have one of his 10% games on Wed. Andrew has to play with more desire also....he missed several assignments in game 4 but overall he played a lot better than LO (our so called 3rd option)

4. Kobe's mins - Phil will have to do a better job of using the lengthy TV timeout to rest Kobe....Lets face it they don't have a backup SG b/c Sasha is certainly not a viable option......To think that Sasha and Luke make 4+million each and Shannon makes 750K and outplayed both of this guys in the post season (ONLY IN America)......Kobe has to be prepared to play 45 mins if nec. George Karl has wisely seized the opportunity to make significant runs while Kobe is resting 4+mins (i.e. second qtr of game 4.....immediate 8-0 run by Denver)


Changes have to be made this off season.....Send LO back to Miami and sign Antonio McDyess orRon Artest, and Trevor.......Find a true PG maybe J. Kidd......anyone is better that Fish right now......

Until then Laker fans will have to endure the hardness of watching mediocrity from everyone not name Kobe or Pau.....I still however think they will win the Chip this year.....Game 5 Kobe goes for 50+ and the rest of the Lakers will play good enough to win the ball game.....


Lakers 2009 NBA CHAMPS


PL

Good morning,

Somehow AK was able to overcome an absolutely mind numbing experience and dissect the game to a T (and no, I don't mean "Technical").

There's no vitamin water yet invented that could have given the Lakers the energy needed for Game 4. And Phil is absolutely right to criticize the officiating. But the officiating has been absolutely horrible throughout the playoffs in both conferences. AK is also right to call-out Lamar for being a "no show." But again, even with D-Fish's zero minutes in the 4th, there are aspects to the coaching which also should be called-out.

It seems every year around this time, I go back to Phil's book "The Last Season," seeking insight to what's going on. Parts of it are very revealing and apply to this season as well. Only a purist like Phil would have reinserted Kobe and the most of starters for the second half of the 4th. At the beginning of the period, the game seemed pretty out of hand and the bench got a long run. They were actually playing pretty well and cut into the deficit.

I point this out because the bench was playing freely at a point in the game where it seemed there was nothing to lose. It was the only point in the game where it seemed the Lakers weren't playing in sheer panic. In the book, Phil recalls a team meeting where a young Kobe Bryant lashes out at him for creating so much fear in the younger players that they become ineffective, only worried about a mistake that will send them back to the pine. This is exactly what Phil's done to Andrew, Jordan and Sasha. In these late minutes where there was nothing left to lose, they were finally able to play without fear.

In Game 5, it is fair to count on the Lakers to find their energy, win the battle of rebounds, and make more free-throws. But if the Lakers are to be crowned champions, it will depend on the bench being able to contribute and become effective. Phil's psychology of fear needs to be put in check for this to happen. The coach needs to attain the zen required. He must grow for his team to grow. Go Lakers!

Well if Phil would play Powell, Mbenga, and Shannon, Farmer, Bynum more minutes and take Luke, and Sasha out then just maybe his regulars would not be burned out. It's a reason Luke got called for consecutive fouls in a row-he's can't guard a statue.

Phil it's time to retire. Odom gives you nothing-why not try starting a fresh legged Powell-can't hurt you no more than what Odom&Walton combined are doing.

* Anytime we get Benette Salvatore reffing a Laker game, scandal will be involved.

* I'm SICK AND TIRED of hearing two things: Lakers didn't come with emotion...and Lakers are tired.

First, this is game 4 of the Western Conf Finals, why the hell can't you play with emotion and energy! Don't use that as an excuse, it's just stupid. Second, WHY AREN'T THE NUGGETS TIRED AND FATIGUED?

The Lakers are suppose to be a young team, and they're tired? I never remembered the celts complaining about being tired, or Miami, or the Spurs, or the championship lakers of yesteryear.

I'm sick and tired of all the g-damned excusedsfor not being professional (I'm hurt, I'm not emotional, I'm tired). Sasha and fish can't make a basket. Hell, this is the NBA, and you can't make a shot? Why thell hell are you playing basketball if you can't make a damned shot. Lamar not playing well cuz he's hurt or whatever damned excused (maybe he's just high). Put Powell in their, Phillip Jackson. He's not hurt and he's fresh.

Damn you all Los angeles Lakers. Don't you know you are making us fans physically ill and fatigued from chronic anxiety and a lack of sleep, due to your actions on the court?

Hard to know what to say about a mess of a game like that.

First, the officiating was horrible. No question. In rewarding the aggressor, sometimes officials just reward agression, which isn't right.

But the Lakers didn't lose by 19 because of the officials. There were 3 things we heard Coach Phil talk about between the end of game 3 and the start of game 4. Apparently his players didn't hear them?

1) Missed defensive assignments. He was very unhappy about the recognition and rotations from the Laker players in game 3.

2) Missed free throws. This was one thing the exhuasted Lakers worked on between games.

3) Effort. We saw him in the pregame talking about playing with desperation, matching Denver's effort.

Well, Denver, a very good team backed against the wall, came out and played with plenty of desperation. The Lakers did not match it - Denver owned the boards, and had 20 offensive boards. They had more steals, more floor burns, more overall effort.

The Lakers missed plenty of defensive assignments, and almost as many free throws.

And with the aforementioned strange officiating, once they got down it was a hard game to fight back in.

Kobe and Pau came to play, but the Lakers are going to need more than the "big 2" to win this thing. They are wearing down with the load.

Bynum has shown signs of life lately. Getting him more touches early could help relieve some of the offensive load from Pau and Kobe. Drew also is one of the guys who need to get a bit more "desperation" in his game. He looks far too often he is playing a "meaningless" midseason game. Drew needs to display some passion on the boards and elsewhere. He's only 21, he is only playing 20-25 minutes, there is no reason he should not be playing all out every second and be a total terror while he is in there. In about the same minutes Bynum had 5 boards, and Anderson and his ridiculous hair had 14. Okay, Drew was hurt, but he's been back playing for well over a month now, time to take off the training wheels and wreak seom havoc.

And Lamar needs to step up. When Anderson provides more off the bench than Lamar, the Lakers are in trouble.

And could somebody put a body on a Denver rebounder on the offensive glass?

you're in the bag K Bros, do a proper write up of the game, the ghost calls and the non-calls that took us out of rhythm and made it impossible to play with any real energy at all. You can only 'play through it' for so long, but against a dirty team that's trying to injure you, you're more likely to just quit and settle for outside shots (like LO did).

If the NBA is fair (which it isnt),
Dahntay Jones will be suspended for his non-basketball play on Kobe.

Kobe could've tripped and broke his wrist there.

I'm glad Kobe didnt punch him because I would've in the same situation.

Good Morning Laker Nation!

It's time for...

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

1. I'm not that down by this loss. Yes, I would have rather won, but Denver played out of their minds and we had some issues which we will get over.

2. Our guys look exhausted. I'll be good to be playing back at sea level again. I was really worried. The effort was there, but the energy wasn't.

3. I know this is the type of comment that homers and boo-birds have made repeatedly for over one hundred years, but sometimes it's true. I am honestly trying to be objective here: THIS IS THE WORST REFERRED PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL SERIES IN MY MEMORY. I have honestly tried to remember a worse and/or less professionally called series and I have not been able to find one. Listen, when I'm surrounded by Clevelanders who HATE the Lakers and they're complaining about how poorly the game is being called (and not as ruse to support Denver), then something is fricking wrong. I have had FIVE people who are Clevelanders complain to me about how poorly this series has been called combined with comments like "This is why I don't take professional basketball seriously." This crap is ridiculous. I'm not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to basketball, but someone needs to begin researching these referees' associations, because something is NOT RIGHT. I'm honestly wondering to myself if point shaving is involved somehow.

4. I thought Andrew Bynum played better than he has. He positioned himself better for rebounds, even though it was an overall awful night for the Lakers on the glass.

5. Sasha Vujacic is playing the worst basketball (offensively) I've ever seen him play. As a result, he is being persecuted by the referees on defense for any ticky-tack foul (even when GLARING FOULS on our players are somehow overlooked). I'm not doubting Sasha's commitment. You can see it in his body language. The guy wants to win BADLY. I'm going to redo his Bio-Chrono reading today to find out what's wrong.

6. How is it that the Thuggets can trip and elbow our players but we look at the refs out of the corner of our eyes and we get technicals? Just stupid. I wonder if some Midwest gangster is paying the refs to stretch things out to seven games.

7. Kobe's a warrior. It'll be good for our men to get some sleep in their own beds.

8. The crowd better scream their lungs out on Wednesday.

9. Not to belabor the point, but I don't care, I'm pissed. The referees (not only in this series, also in the Orlando-Cleveland series) are calling these games like they "want attention TOO!" It's ridiculous. I've had enough of it.

10. David Stern needs to go. We've had enough of him. He and T.J. Simers can go play checkers together in Antarctica for all I care.

11. Lamar Odom has been playing decently, but we need him to start playing like a Champion. Lamar's got panache, but that's not enough right now. We need him to play inspired ball.

12. Respect to Phil Jackson for preaching the truth about these referees. These clowns out there are ruining the game.

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

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!

He needs to be suspended. The guy is deliberately trying to hurt Kobe. He not even making basketball plays anymore

Can we get out of this with 2 out of 3?

Can Lamar Odom recover from his amnesia and regain the form that miraculously appeared in the Utah serires? Can a Luke Walton shot actually not boink of a rim? Can D-Fish finish in traffic? Can Sasha find anything resembling consistency? Can the offense invert itself from an outside parabola to an inside triangle?

Stay tuned. Anything can happen in the NBA...

Phil refused to admit that it is his inability costs the game.

What fixing happens


We could be 3-1, we could be swept.

Interesting how most views feature Laker vulnerability.

Personally, the Houston series was a surprise but this one is showing the no glitz and glamour side to this team and that we're in a slugfest we will win.

Andrew will build on his good run. The bench will play better at home. Melo won't play as well hurt.

We're good.

Another gut check for the Lakers.

If we can get through this and get the championship, this will be one of the sweetest championships in Laker history.

Go Lakers!
It's all about heart!

What a shame for NBA, David Stern. Bolcott NBA games

Where fixing happens???

YES

YES

Did I say yes?

all these refs are doing is allowing all this contact and wait for a complaint and assess a technical foul. So whomever dishes out dirty play is allowed to do so with no call or no retaliation. This gives these guys confidence and make them hink they're winning. If the league wants to clean up the game, they should not allow this to go on in the first place. They don't have too much trouble calling flagrant fouls on LA. It's like they expect the Lakers to play through 3 series of "thugball" to prove they are worthy of champions, whereas other teams seem to get it handed to them on a platter.

Can we a get a suspension for Dahntay Jones please?

BOARDS...BOARDS...BOARDS

That's all I could think about last night after the game. We were outhustled on the boards on both ends of the floor. They were completely off offensively and gave up too many opportunities at second chance points.

The refs also threw the pace and flow of the game off with all of those darn calls...most of them in favor of the Nuggets. It makes absolutely no sense that any team get to the line 40-50 times in one game. It just doesn't. These playoffs have been the worst officiated playoffs ever since I can remember.

By the way, anyone know where Lamar is? I didn't see him at all last night or the game before that or the game before that. What's up with that...and what's up with our bench? The game was within striking distance until our bench came in and gave the Nuggets an even bigger lead. They just didn't score.

Game 5 in L.A. is a must win.

Good Morning Charles....Good Morning Everyone...

this is really getting to be a redundent reaccuring crap fest that I personally could do without, as it were, seemingly...

my friend Steve,(the dude who thinks sports are fixed) accurately predicted exactly what the script was for this game, i.e. the Lakers getting out hustled, shooting lots and lots of ineffective jump shots,not feeding the post, missing free throws, and generally looking like they couldn't beat a junior high team...well at least he was wrong about that last part...last night we would have struggled against a 5th grade team...

is this playoff pattern due to Steve's theory or is it bad / non existent coaching, complete player apathy, brain dead missing in action players, or just "one of those games"...

getting so dominately out rebounded was really dishearting...

shooting three's like the league is about to recind the three point rule was extememly painfull to watch...

having to suffer through another night of clanked free throws excremently thrown up had me reaching for the plastic spork to disembowell myself...

is Lamar even on our team anymore?

as someone said the other day, the Machine is now a brick shooting machine (which it is really good at, shooting bricks at an extrodinarly high level)-it needs some major callibration or a complete scrap job...

the good news? whenever we passed into the post great thngs happened. the bad news?... wait for it....we managed to do that monumental feat about 3 times the entire game...

the other good news? whenever we attacted the rim great things happened. the bad news? ... the wait isn't worth it... we managed to do that much too intellegent feat about 4 times...

our funneling, overstacked defense is not only totally ineffective, it actually plays right into the Fuggett's offense...

adjustments are not needed, we just need to play to our strengths (how many times have all of us said this) and play the inside outside game, sprinkled with a generous amount of attacking the frickin' rim, until we have a 40 point lead (rumour has it we did that once in a play off game this year)...

there is absolutely no reason to shoot another jump shot, let alone a three point shot..

and ...you can wait for it this time, it's really worth it I promise ... MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS !!!

hopefully my freind Steve is right (except about tonight's game, whose winner he says will be the Cavs) that the Lakers win game 5---but he does think it's a possibility that we lose game 5 and win the next two, which is a little bit more of a dramitic (and entertaining as well as money generating)fix...

is it Wednesday yet?

even after games like last night and all the frustration that goes with it I can honeslty still say...

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Got to look the bright side too, they will be back in LA and best of 3. Lakers got 1 in Denver last Saturday and lost 1 las night to release the pressure. It may have given the Nuggets a breathing room but I consider it a tactical loss. In losing you gained the enemy's full strength while you reorganize and refocus your strategies. Drew was making headway on his posts play and was there in the 4th quarter. Luke cannot stop Melo, who will except Kobe? However, we also need Kobe to stop Billups and Smith, I guess the question, can we just clone Kobe into multiple characters.

Officiating, hard to see everything from the three refs, they are trying their best, now it is on the hands of Stu Jackson who can render judgment on those thugs' foul from D. Jones, JR Smith and on the Drew's foul on Birdman. They have to change the rules on fragrant fouls, need the new lady Supreme Court associate to interpret it in order to prevent people from relating it to biased officiating to push it to 7 game series. for as long as there is money and rating involved, it is hard to be objective with Stearns' NBA world.

When they play tomorrow, the outcome would be different. I have only one criticisms to make, our former scrubs: Lamar, Luke and Sasha could not play a good game consistently and consecutively. It is in their system to be in a roller coaster mode, jerky-creaky feeling, could not project the outcome if they are your players.

Look at the score in the first few minutes of the first quarter saw Denver leading by 7 (as usual) decided to forget about the game and did some other more positive chores at home instead of wasting my time watching the game the Lakers will never win. There's no way the Lakers will win back to back to a more superior team. I hate the Denver much as I hate the Celtics and Phoenix, but I think the Nuggets are more athletic, have more passion of the game, more guts, more drive and better players than the Lakers except for Kobe and Pau. In the 4 games they played only once did the Lakers lead all the way and that's game 2 in which they lost. Game 1, 3, & 4 the Nuggets lead all the way and if not for their two bonehead mistakes this series should have been over in favor of Denver. I have not seen any game (yet) that will tell me that the Lakers is the better team than Denver. I am not questioning the desire of the Laker players to win this series this time they're showing it compare to Houston series but they just don't have the tools and manpower. Denver is much better than them collectively. I hope they will prove me wrong or else there will be the most boring Finals in the N.B.A history.....Nuggets v.s. Magic.

The officals are doing a poor job that is for sure. Denver is a dirty team and they are being allowed by the officals to get away with it so they are not going to stop being that way. Go all the way back to Trevor's origanial injury where the Denver player grabs his arm and pulls him to the floor. No play was made on the ball. So the Denver player receives a foul and that's it. That told Denver early on that the ref's were in their corner so as you see Denver is escalating there gangster street ball. I guess this is what the NBA feels is in their best interest. Believe me it sends the wrong message to the kid's and coaches who love and play baskertball.

So, I re-ran Sasha's Bio-Chrono reading...

His reading is pretty good, actually.

Solving his issue; however, will not. I don't know enough about his personal life. I'm going to have to think about this.

In short, he's probably got three issues:.

1. If he isn't having sex recently, he should have sex. It'll relieve some tension he's got going.

2. If he has a romantic attachment to a particular woman, it could be a major distraction for him. If this is the case, he needs to be reminded that there are plenty of fish in the sea instead of having a myopic attraction to one singular woman AT THIS TIME.

3. For some reason Sasha MAY feel like he's not appreciated enough by his team or not given enough creative freedom to "be himself" by Phil Jackson. I don't think this is the case, but Sasha is succeptible to these feelings and if this is how he's feeling right now, it'll completely throw him off his game. So some additional praise and a bit more freedom will serve him well right now.

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

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I don't want to blame Lamar. I give him the benefit of the doubt that his back is hurtiing. My question is, am I the only one noticing that Lamar can't seem to jump high for a black athlete? Is his vertical leap elevation so low that makes him unable to dunk (considering his height, it becomes more ridiculous)? On rebounds, his massive body is the one assisting him than his jump to coral the ball. He is not a shot blocker because he does not jump high and attempt to block the ball. Rather, he merely try to stand straight and hold his hands vertically not even inclined towards the ball. Is there any coach to teach them about blocking? He and Pau would benefit from that. I hope lamar is not on his regular playoff disappearing act. I would not be surprised if he will not be renewed especially if the Lakers fails to bag the championship crown.

You see , I told all of you after game one the Lakers can not handle a long tough battle with the Nuggets. Now it is taking its toll on the Lakers. The Nuggets must run the Lakers Wednesday night to point of total emtional and physical breakdown.

The same thing happen to Boston they had a tough hard nose games against Chicago and Orlando.

This was excruciating to watch. All those fouls called in favor of Denver in the first quarter really made it difficult to get in any sort of rhythm. It felt like if we even breathed on the Nuggets then there was a foul. And what made it worse was a couple of times when Kobe drove the lane in that first quarter and was hacked, nothing was called. It was weird. I hate to give a game to the refs, but it sure felt like that.

I expect we win this series, but it if the officiating continues like this it will go seven games.

Keep your chins up fellas. You're home next game.

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where are my comments?

My favorite call was when Gasol was practically underneath the backboard, giving room for Billups to the hoop, only to have Billups jump into Gasol (so purposely going away from the hoop to take his shot) and the refs calling a foul Gasol. Doesn't Gasol have the right to move his path, particularly away from the shooter? What is a defender suppose to do? I haven't seen a jumpshooter get a many calls as Billups since the Jordan-rules days. Even Kobe didn't get calls this easily last year against the Nuggets.

Yes the Lakers played horribly, but I do agree with PJ's comments that refs do control tempo and flow. Martin and Nene have been in foul trouble the first 3 games playing the exact same way, and in Game 4, they just cruised along with 3 and 2 fouls respectively. And without those 2 guys, Lakers probably get back on the boards, different outcome possibly. They were within 3 in the 3rd Q, and within 7 in the 4th.

This isn't just 1 missed call. I agree with the writers that generally 1 call doesn't make a 19pt loss. However, consistently, if Lakers driving in is met with an army of Nuggets and a whole lot of bodies flying around with no calls, and Nugget player get barely touched gets FT attempts, that is a problem. As a Laker defender, now you have to give more room, which leads to more drives, and facilitate more aggressiveness by the Nuggets offensive player. Conversely, if you know you can drive in, get pounded into the ground and get no calls, you start settling for the jumper since there is now a DISADVANTAGE of driving in.

Nuggets and media bitch about Lakers shooting 45 FT in game 3, but if you take away the intentional fouls, Nuggets lead FT attemps 37.5/gm to 31.75/gm in the series, so I'd hardly call it like the refs have been giving the game to the Lakers.

Yes Lakers will need to play better. It would help if the refs just call the game evenly.

nba.com's stats indicate that Kobe has 6 technical fouls in the
playoffs. When did he get the 6th?

They also report that K-Mart has 6. I think Sasha should guard
K-Mart on Wednesday, and then he can go all spastic and get a
7th, and then he can use those lips on his neck to kiss his
own a$$ goodbye for game 6.

A friend of mine wrote this on his facebook status...I thought I would share cause it was so cool...

"In this journey called Life, there will be some bumps in the road!!!...that's why the Lord Made Hummers for us Lakers Fans!!!...To drive over the Nuggets Bump!!!!...WE ROLLIN!!!"

I'll be posting a little later. Computer problems.

Some things I noticed in LA this weekend. Even after Game 3 Win:

1. Laker fans admitting Kobe is not MJ and has his bad moments. Laker fans think he is great but needs help and needs to keep his ego in check.

2. Some LAKER fans even admitting LeBrick is better. Which I don't think so even after last second shot. LeBron needs to win this championship and beat Kobe and not the Thuggets to get the nod over Kobe.

3. Laker fans questioning Phillups coaching.

4. Laker fans admitting they are soft and need to ship Odom. Most want Artest.

Few years ago Laker fans thought Kobe was bigger than MJ and with time have toned down and I would say are even modest. Unlike the Bulls Fans who are still so annoying and thats only because of MJ.

i'm sick & tired of watching Lamar every playoffs, season after season, not providing an effort to save his team. so inconsistent on his efforts and he wants to stay in LA? i'm aware that he is the x-factor but when will he show that, after he retires? i've been saying over & over again to trade him for someone who will be a factor to the team every season including the playoffs and not just the regular season. kobe & gasol cannot just do it by themselves. i beg of you, trade him! i'm sure it'll help our team if you trade him and not just expect him to perform every year which he never does. goodluck to my lakers.

This die-hard Laker Fan isn't going to blame refs or players. There is only 1 reason why the Lakers lost last night.

PHIL JACKSON

Shame he didn't notice that Bynum was actually good last night.

BYNUM I WOULDN'T PLAY FOR THAT SENILE OLD MAN
EITHER.

BD

Complaining about the refs is a bit baby-ish. We lost, period. Denver had technical fouls called against them and many ticky-tack fouls as well. I don't agree with many calls (for either team) but we lost because many of our players aren't showing up (Ariza, Odom, Bynum etc...) These complaints make us look soft (and perhaps we are)

Get tough for Game 5.

This is the most ridiculous comment I've seen on the board thus far:
" My question is, am I the only one noticing that Lamar can't seem to jump high for a black athlete?"

I'm not going to respond. But I will point out its outrageousness!

Going into the game, I knew what to expect. I totally agree with Phil's assessment of lopsided officiating, and as I said earlier, playoffs are fixed by Stern. It was so obvious in yesterday's game. Stern wants to be identified as *the* man who brought NBA out of it's slump. It's his legacy that he wants it to be.

The Lakers did not lose, Denver did not win. The game was taken away from the Lakers and given to Denver by the referees.

LAL/CLE will be in the finals, for sure. Lakers will take 5th and 7th, ending the series in 7 games. CLE will see a 7 game series with ORL.

Good morning Mamba24 & Laker morning CRUE.

Wow. The deeper we go in the playoffs, the more I'm thinking it's all about the refs. I mean this is these guys' only claim to fame, right? So if they make the game all about them, they can sign for a more profitable book deal. It's got to be something like that, because fixing games just doesn't happen in professional sports, right? Right?????

Good news - Game 5 is at home. We probably won't get as much ref-love as the Thugs do, but we should get more than we have been.

TAKE IT TO THE RIM. ATTACK THE PAINT.

This is not rocket surgery, boys.

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

BTW - Lakergurl - black players???? SERIOUSLY????

You need to apologize for that comment.

KOBE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG

WE SHOULD HAVE SHIPPED BYNUMS ARSE OUT FOR JASON KIDD

Tell me exactly what Andrew Bynum has given the Lakers in last years and this years playoffs. Let's see. NOTHING LAST YEAR, and NEXT TO NOTHING THIS YEAR.
Wonder what he'll give us next year. Probably another injury combined with a poor work ethic. The only time this guy actually work hard was when Kobe called him out and he was playing for a big contract extension.
At least Jason Kidd is a true point guard.
Imagine someone who can actually dribble, pass great, and hit an open shot when called upon.

Not a player (sorry Fish) who drives to the basket and always misses a layup and never passes when he's in trouble.
Do you think Jason Kidd would pull up for a long jumper for no reason.
That is what is lacking on this team, we must have the lowest combined basketball IQ of any team.
Fish, Brown, and Farmar are nothing compared to Kidd even at his advanced age.
I'm surprised PJ didn't do all he could to get JK, Jackson loves big guards. He probably didn't lobby for him because Kobe wanted him.
Perhaps I'm wrong about Bynum and he will turn into "The Beast" but history does not support that outcome.
I am not wrong about our guards, We have been out-matched at the position for years now. You know it too.

Lakergurl, I'm not touching that one. Innapropriate to say the least.

fvbruin,

>>>Its painfully obviously by now that the Lakers biggest
>>> offseason need will be at the PG position even if
>>>they win a championship.
>>>Looking at the pool of potential trades/free agents this
>>>summer and current economic crisis, would it be to
>>>far off the think that the Lakers could swing for either
>>> Devin Harris or Kirk Hinrich in a sign-and-trade?
>>>...

First of all, it's the wrong time to bring up this topic. Save it
a couple of weeks until after they win the title.

Second, when they do win the title, you need to realize that
you don't mess with a winning hand. If you have a flush in
a game of draw poker with no wild cards, you don't throw away
two of your cards trying to get a straight flush. When they win
the title, the best plan will be to try to re-sign Odom, Ariza,
and
Brown and to get people to work on their deficiencies over the
summer.

it wouldn't hurt if the lakers could hit some free throws. wtf??

For those hating on Lamar, and as usual for good reason, just be patient, He won't be a Laker next year anyway. Sorry but his bad back won't be enough of an excuse to bail him out this time.
His only hope is to turn it on like he did in those few games in the regular season, highly unlikely because of his injury. Damn his unluckiness.

I for one, can't wait to see him go, maybe then the Kam brothers will let me post the "Lamar Anthem" one more time upon his departure.

Pau in now calling out PJ. This is getting to be comical.

Pau would like Phil to explain why isn't the team going to there strength and not using there height.

That's funny that is the same question Laker Nation has had since the start of the playoffs.


BD

MikeT,

If your not going to write about Kwame and his magical calves I really am not interested.

BD

>>>Well if Phil would play Powell, Mbenga, and Shannon,
>>>Farmer, Bynum more minutes and take Luke, and
>>>Sasha out then just maybe his regulars would not be
>>>burned out. It's a reason Luke got called for consecutive
>>>fouls in a row-he's can't guard a statue.

I partially agree with you and partially disagree.

The three worst Laker players in this game were Odom, Powell,
and Shannon Brown. When those three started the 2nd quarter,
the Lakers were down by 3 points. In a minute and a half,
they let the Nuggets build it to 8. PJ replaced Brown with Farmar
to slow the bleeding, but in another minute and a half it was
up to 11.

Powell was absolutely clueless fumbling passes, afraid to
take open shots, taking only 1 shot and bricking it. I think
Odom's injury is really bothering him, so he at least had an
excuse. And Shannon Brown continued the stupid "drive
into the lane where 3 Nuggets are waiting to block your shot"
mentality.

I agree that Farmar and Bynum should be playing more
(especially with how ineffective Odom and Fisher have been),
but MBenga is not capable of playing at this level, and Powell
and Brown have played well below their regular season level
in this series.

I don't think Farmar can stop Chauncey Billups, but neither
can Fisher or Brown, and at least when Farmar plays more
minutes, he gets the ball to Kobe & Bynum & Gasol more.

BTW, Sasha redeemed himself a little bit last night with 2-4
shooting.

As for Luke, he played about as well as anyone can in a
1-on-1 iso with an all-star, but in the fourth, the refs were
calling any touch as a foul. The contact Luke was making
on Carmelo was considerably less than what the Denver
bigs were doing on Gasol & Bynum & Odom earlier in the
game,
but at some point they shifted and started calling them. Ariza
or Kobe (or Ron Artest or choose your favorite defender) would
have done no better under those circumstances.

One thing though. If I was down 10 points and I saw that
the refs were going to call every touch and that Denver
was going to iso Melo to milk it, I'd have started fouling K-Mart
off the ball. K-Mart is a 60% free throw shooter. Melo is more
like 80%.

Lakers fans have very short memories. Should D. Jones have been whistled? Yes. Should he have gotten a flagrent foul called? Almost certainly. Was what he did any worse than Fisher's blatant cheap shot on Scola just 3 weeks ago? Not a chance. If Jones is a cheap-shot, no good thug then he has company wearing purple & gold!

justaanothermamba,
rocket surgery?

Since when do we do surgery on rockets?

lol....

just ribbing ya.

Morning, Fam. Now that I've read all the rants, which I wholeheartedly agree with, one more question left to ask is this:

Did the Lakers peak too early?

It looks like after the Utah series, it's been downhill from there. I haven't seen the Lakers play like we know they could play save for game 3 maybe of the Houston series. I still believe they could win the series but I'm just wondering whether they peaked too early cuz they haven't been executing well at all.

Dahntay Jones shouldn't be able to get away with that...I agree, the officiating sucked, and I'm a Nuggets fan. I don't think his D or the officiating are the reason we won Game 4, but still.

When Phil put in Powell instead of Bynum I knew we were doomed. After Powell's -8 in 3 minutes Phil had to pull him...

ANOTHER STUPID MISTAKE BY PHIL!

This has to be one of the all-time greatest Laker Teams,
they are still able to win when there coach does his best to make sure they lose.

BD

After the Dahntay Jones trip last night, I had a thought.

The best thing Derek Fisher could have done to help the team
would have been to lay another Scola-esqe knockdown on Jones.

Denver are not as calm and collected as Houston. I'm sure at
least 1 or 2 Denver players would be taking swings at Fisher.

And then Fisher would get thrown out and suspended for
the next game, giving Farmar and Brown more PT, while
at the same time probably taking one or more of Melo, K-Mart,
Birdman, and JR Smith out of the game.

again, it's "Any Given Sunday", the old coach, loyal to the guys he has been to war with before has to be FORCED to play the new guys. Yeah, Fisher made a great speech the previous game, fine, maybe he should be an Assistant Coach and play spot minutes? WHY is he starting? Fisher has hit the wall, everybody can see it, maybe we can get 15 good minutes out of him/game but he sure seems to be a drag on us to start games out...

WHAT is the deal with getting the ball into Gasol and Bynum? You can see Bynum getting position down low, then, whoever has the ball looks at him and swings the ball the other way so we can take a contested jumpshot. Same thing with Gasol. WHAT is the deal?

and Odom... what else is there to say? We've been saying the same thing for years, how do you get the "good" Odom to show up? Do you have to shame him or embarass him before EVERY game to get him motivated? Clearly, he's a great option to keep if Gasol or Bynum get injured next year but he'll never be that dependable 3rd option, he sure didn't want to be the 2nd option so Gasol took that and now we can't even depend on him to be a 4th option so... what else is there to say?

With all due respect, and I do mean ALL do respect, Bennet Salvatore & Joey Crawford need to be relieved of their duties immediately. Phil has a legitimate gripe (although I'd prefer he not harp on it). As professionals in a capacity to potentially effect the outcome of a game, the level of ineptitude displayed by the officiating crew last nite was utterly unacceptable. I think just about anybody (besides a true Nuggets homer) watching the game last nite would agree. That is all.

-Fowl Out

I find it funny that people keep mentioning that the Nuggets could have swept the Laker's up to this point, because the laker's could have won the first 3 games as well. In my opinion if the Lakers hold on to win game 2 this series would be 3-1 going back to Los Angeles. The Lakers will re group come back and win game 5 and than win game 6 in Denver to wrap up the series. Lakers looked tired yesterday and that showed in the rebounding numbers, but the home crowd and 1 day of rest will re-engerize them.

mabtl

The difference with D. Jones and D. Fisher is that Fisher got the discipline he deserved for that play...Jones got nothing. Also, Fisher has never been known to be a dirty player. That play was an isolated incident and he paid for it, literally. Jones has been playing these bush league tactics all playoffs long, as evidenced by the complaints of Hornets coach Byron Scott too and the league has completely ignored it. What will the league do if he finally injures a player?

The guy is a total friggin's scrub doing dirty work so he can get a good 10 minutes on the court. He's been completely owned by Kobe all series long and his fouls are out of pure frustration but there's a difference between A dirty play and SEVERAL dirty plays.

No worries though...Kobe's not the type of guy to call you out in the media over that...he'll tear that a&% up on the court the next game.

Upset but not surprised.This game was more of the same lack of consistency the P&G have consistenly shown. I do not profess to know the why's. The potential causes are numerous: too young, too inclined to believe that a Laker's championship is a birthright, too unfocused, too complacent, etc.

But it wasn't all bad:

WHAT I LIKED-

1)Effort was better but not up to the level that the Nuggets demonstrated
2) Bynum had some good minutes
3)Kobe & Pau were solid
4)Over the top made basket celebrations by JR & Birdman. Keep strutting gentlemen. I trust PJ will string together a little video montage for the boys today to help set the stage for Game 5.

WHAT I DIDN'T-

1) Dahantay Jones continued reckless and cheap fouls
2)Non existent rebounding and failure to box out. We were simply out-hustled
3)Too many J's.
4)Too many 3's
5)No support for Kobe & Pau
6)Very uneven officiating. (Again)
7)Satisfaction with a split in Denver

Obviously the opportunity to go up 3-1 was not enough of an inducement so I hope that the possibility of falling behind in a best of 3 at home is. Not a must win matematically but a must win in my view if we are going to win this series.

THREE KEYS-

1) Inside out game
2) More minutes for Bynum (Note to Drew: Don't stand around so much,,,you should have more energy than anyone on the court)
3)LO to become a factor..X or otherwise.

And we will need to be the first to loose balls and generally make the hustle plays that we did not in Game 4. The media has made much of Denver being a team of redemption...Laker's next opportunity for some redemption of their own comes WEDNESDAY!

Should be sweet. I believe we will see a different team.

LAKERS in 6!

I agree with some of the compaints about substitutions. There were two times when Phil went to the bench players in critical moments and I thought it completely threw off the flow of our game. In the 2nd quarter and at the beginning of the 4th when we were down only by 7. The bench came in and that lead kept getting bigger and bigger and Kobe and Pau were both on the bench. I was screaming at the TV of course and then just shut it off. I couldn't bare to watch anymore.

Just an observations OK.......

Lakers are inconsistent in this playoffs with their win-lose stategy.

Denver lose game 1 & 3 them complain on the officiating; lakers lost game 2 and 4, we also complain on the refs. Yes, there is ar need to complain but refs is just one factor why teams are winning or losing, the majority is on the hands of the players.

While we are in the thick of the fight or in mid playoffs, how come we have here in the blog pseudo-GM's trading players, firing PJ, can we really do that today?

In the end, I like our chances than the Cavaliers who are 1 - 2 in Orlando while we ar 2 -2 and coming home.

Lastly, NBA is business, do we have to remind everyone ? Yes, no conspiracies involved. When you call a venture a business, the objective is to make maximum profit.

Korey-

I think justaanothermamba meant to say "brain science" which kinda makes sense. Anyway all in good fun. And a good post by justaanothermamba regardless.

GO LAKERS!

Oh, boo-hoo

What is with all the whinging about the officiating? Yes, Jones got away (for now) a play that should have been a flagrant foul... but that is not why the Lakers lost that game and the officiating is not why the Lakers are 2-2 in this series.

Face it... The Nuggets put the Lakers on their tails with their aggressiveness in the paint. They forced the issue by going to the boards and going to the net... the Lakers were a step or two late all night long, and because of that they fouled.

The simple truth of the matter is that the Lakers are fortunate to even still be in series. It is easy to make the case that the Lakers could have been swept already by Denver, were it not for Kobe's heroics.

Unless the Lakers develop a backbone (or Phil's politicing the officials works), expect the Lakers to lose one more game at home... and watch the NBA championship on the tele.

Dear Phil,

Please coach.

Like each player needs to perform their role and also do something extra to win in the playoffs, each coach needs to do their part and do what they can to win too.

Whatever it is. If you need to make some sort of pep talk or, god forbid, a motivational statement then so be it. Yeah, I know, they're pros and millionaires and they know what to do, but would it hurt you to get a little Tommy Lasorda for just a minute and then you can go back to being the basketball Buddah and Zen Master on his tall chair. Maybe knock over a pitcher of iced green tea or throw a yoga ball across the room.

Do something? Be a coach not a spiritual advisor.

thanks

New post

AK

Lakergurl,

What are you talking about? Lol. I think Lamar may be old and tired, rather than an "abnormal black man."

Wes

2009 Playoffs Effeciency Rating

Billups
#10 with a 24.7 rating

Derek Fisher
#112 with a 5.8 rating

How can this be acceptable to Phil? Just because he can trust Fish to run his triangle shouldn't you have to perform also?

Your getting a 5.8 rating out of your PG position and we actually expect to win?? Good Luck Phillip!

BD

Give us just one ref like Mindy Rudolph, dignity, desire and intellegence. Half of these guys would be on the bench by halftime.

It's out of hand and someone is going to get injured. David are you watching????

Is that Mike T that I see?

How are you, my man?

And yes, PJ is using both Bynum and Gasol inappropriately. He HAS forgotten that our length is our advantage.

I know Bynum looks like a street lamp these days, but we have to keep him moving before rust completely immobilizes him. And we should get the ball to Gasol more. If we have to, force it in to him. I've seen what Gasol does when he's forced to act and it's always been positive.

In last night’s loss Bynum should have gone 35-40 min. I just don’t understand Phil. Does he think we’re going to survive D Howard if we ever survive the Nuggets? We’re going to need Bynum in his prime to get past Orlando, and the only he’s going to get anywhere near that he’s going to need playing time which he isn’t getting.

Win or lose, I see a changes coming this postseason.

Wes

This years playoffs remind me of 1988. In '88, we had 3 brutal series' that all went 7 games. That was the year Pat Riley guaranteed a Laker Championship and repeat. A very bold guarantee that you'll never see these days. And considering that a repeat hadn't happened in 20 years at the time, it was a bold guarantee at that time too.

I forget who we beat in the first round and it doesn't matter really. In the second round, we went up against a young Utah team led by John Stockton and Karl Malone. It was the most gut wrenching series that I've ever watched as a Lakerfan. Those guys were a tough team and gave the Lakers a huge scare.

The Western Finals were against a good Dallas Maverick team led by Rolondo Blackmon, Roy Tarpley, and Mark Agguire. That was a tough series, but not as bad as against Utah. The series still went 7 games though.

And in the NBA Finals, we matched up against the hungry Detroit Pistons and the Bad Boys. That was a real tough series as all Lakerfans know with epic games and perfomances.

The reason the I bring this up is because 1988 was the most gratifying season I've ever had as a Lakerfan. That team faced so much adversity it was ridiculous.

Every team that wins a championship is faced with seemingly impossible obstacles that need to be overcome. This years Lakers have faced adversity with Houston. But that is not nearly enough to win a championship. I'm expecting that there will be many more obstacles and we will have to face and overcome much more adversity on the way to 6 more wins.

Enjoy the ride Lakerfans. Every year will not be like when we had a dominant Shaq just killing people during the threepeat. I don't want to take anything away from those teams, but we had one tough series against Portland, and another against Sacramento during the threepeat. The rest of the time Shaq was killing everyone while he was in his prime.

1988 was the most gratifying championship in my opinion because that team faced so much adversity. If this year continues on the path that it's going, and considering the possibility of the the 2 great players of this era meeting in the Finals, this could be the sweetest Laker championship in my opinion.

Go Lakers!

And...

As God is my witness and with as little bias as possible, I'm starting to really question the refs. When the Lakers face a must win game, they get every single call. When the Nuggets face a must win game, they get every single call.

I've seen so many phony calls this postseason it's scary.

I can't believe the game is fixed, but my eyes are telling me things my brain isn't prepared to hear.

Come on refs.

Come on Phil, come on Bynum.

Wes

i agree with most posts...However, the main reason why the Laker have been losing recently has been because they have been badly out worked.

Talent only gets you so far...if they match Denver's work rate there is no way they lose

Couple of more points...they need to play more aggresive and attack the basket instead of settling for 3's....bigs need to play like BIGS (not bigs)

and i would like to see KB, TA, LO, PG and AB on the floor at the same time for an extended period

my 2 cents from Vancouver

I cannot believe anyone that is sticking up for dfish lamar or phil

*dfish is like a dead wounded animal. Where's the old floppin intense dfish we know? He's obviously completed defeated and for phil to stick with him for long key minutes in 1st and 3rd qtrs is absolutely incomprehensible

*when will anyone realize u cannot pay a guy 14MIL to avg 8pts in the playoffs year after year? How many choking performances in key playoff series till mgmt wakes up? He's got plenty of playoff experience with kobe and NOTHING CHANGED OR WILL EVER CHANGE. At least pao is improved from one year of experience.... Is anybody feeling ron artest as a laker now???

*phil WOW. I'd like to think he's much to deep a man for me to understand but I gave up on him longtime ago. He's just layers and layers of just pure aura with nothing underneath. I mean luke walton on melo?? Benching bynum when he starts to get hot for LO who's getting killed on the boards with gasol?? Dfish 30 min a game when farmar/brown avg more than that with 10 min a game???? R U KIDDING ME??


I cannot believe anyone that is sticking up for dfish lamar or phil

*dfish is like a dead wounded animal. Where's the old floppin intense dfish we know? He's obviously completed defeated and for phil to stick with him for long key minutes in 1st and 3rd qtrs is absolutely incomprehensible

*when will anyone realize u cannot pay a guy 14MIL to avg 8pts in the playoffs year after year? How many choking performances in key playoff series till mgmt wakes up? He's got plenty of playoff experience with kobe and NOTHING CHANGED OR WILL EVER CHANGE. At least pao is improved from one year of experience.... Is anybody feeling ron artest as a laker now???

*phil WOW. I'd like to think he's much to deep a man for me to understand but I gave up on him longtime ago. He's just layers and layers of just pure aura with nothing underneath. I mean luke walton on melo?? Benching bynum when he starts to get hot for LO who's getting killed on the boards with gasol?? Dfish 30 min a game when farmar/brown avg more than that with 10 min a game???? R U KIDDING ME??


Posted by: lakeryello | May 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM


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