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Rockets 100, Lakers 92: Houston, they caused some problems


Well, as Pau Gasol told the media after the game, "Nobody said it would be easy."***

Breakdown below.

Truly, especially if the Lakers continue to play as they did Monday night, losing to the Rockets 100-92.  The traditional breakdown doesn't really work here, because a) there wasn't enough "good" to fill the category, and b) there was far too much "bad" to narrow down to our standard three.  Like the team, I'll need to go back and watch a little tape to see more of what went on.  Both Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant agreed that it would be tough for the Lakers to play much worse in Game 2 on Wednesday than they did tonight, and I tend to agree... to a point.  Big picture, my confidence that the Lakers will win the series hasn't been shaken (though clearly those of you who put down a few bills on Lakers-in-four are SOL), but there's no question a few things are going to have to change before the teams again take the floor in about 48 hours:

To wit...

  • 18 dimes on 39 FGs.  Some of that is simply missed shots.  Especially early.  The Lakers started the game ice cold, unless you think 8-24 over the first 12 minutes is good.  And while they certainly settled for too many jumpers, many of them were open and simply didn't go down.  On the other hand, much can be attributed to Houston's defense and LA's willingness to play into what the Rockets like to do, namely force jumpers and avoid fouls.  Somewhere, Michael Lewis and Rockets GM Daryl Morey are smilingKobe Bryant, until four late free throws and a couple easy don't-foul-him! buckets near the hoop at the end of the game was limited primarily to perimeter J's (on which he was 10-26) and kept off the free throw line.  Nor did he get a lot of help.Kobe Bryant drives against the Rockets in Game 1  The Lakers have to move the ball more, exhibit more patience offensively, and force Houston (and particularly Yao) to make decisions defensively.  Once they do, LA's passing and cutting ability should give them better looks inside.  In those moments where they attacked the rack, the Lakers were pretty effective. 
When they do take jumpers, they should be the clean catch and shoot looks that came in at times in the second half.  Kobe working off screens, whether a handoff from Bynum at the top of the arc or using a nice Pau Gasol rub at the elbow to free up space above the circle.  But pump-pump-jab-shoot is exactly what the Rockets want.  Sometimes they'll go in, but Houston is more than willing to take the gamble.
  • Gasol and Derek Fisher were pretty bad on the offensive end.  Pau's final line (14/13/4) isn't a disaster, but isn't reflective of his struggles.  He missed a ton of open shots, turned the ball over four times, and generally seemed out of sync.  Defensively he had his moments, with three steals and some good plays denying passes inside to Yao and the 13 boars are nice, but Gasol has to provide a second threat offensively and didn't do it.  Fish hit a couple jumpers, but generally spent too much time dribbling into traffic. 
  • As Andy mentioned in the video, you have to figure that even if the Lakers settle for too many jumpers and triples in Game 2, they'll hit from downtown above tonight's 11% clip. 
  • More from the bench.  Aside from Lamar Odom, who had 9/5/3 and did some good work defensively, the Lakers produced three more field goals from the reserves, one each for Sasha Vujacic, Josh Powell, and Jordan Farmar (who actually hit a key triple at the end of the half, punctuating the most positive 2:53 of run he's had in a while).   Many of you will mock, but the Rockets are a team against whom Luke Walton comes in handy.  They have big, burly players to defend- he does okay with that- and more importantly, are best attacked by quick and decisive passing.  Hopefully he plays in Game 2, giving Phil Jackson more options.  Walton isn't a savior by any stretch, but it doesn't hurt to have him around.  
  • Personal Fouls.  26 for the Lakers, 14 for the Rockets.  Blame the officials if you want, but overall I felt the discrepancy was more a reflection on what the Lakers weren't doing as a team (moving their feet, attacking the rack) than what the refs weren't giving them. 
  • Rust.  I hope after they sleep on it that the Lakers don't lean too much on it as a reason for the loss. 

Like I said, I don't expect the Lakers to lose this series, but I do think the challenges they face over the next few games are more substantial than what they saw after Game 3 in Utah.  The Rockets are a little like San Antonio lite.  I'm talking about the championship Spurs, by the way, not this year's version.  ThePau Gasol against Yao Ming in Game 1 Lakers are fully capable of beating the Rockets on both ends of the floor, but can't take shortcuts.  I liked when they pushed pace and took open shots in transition, before Houston's defense could set.  But once halfcourt play had been established, I felt the Lakers too often settled for outside-in play.  They didn't make the extra cut, didn't make the extra pass, didn't work hard enough to force Houston's defense to react. 

That's not how they won all those games in the regular season.  Defensively, there were issues (anyone want to seal the baseline?) but overall I thought the Lakers were fine.  Houston's 100 point total was misleading.  If LA is close at the end and not putting the Rockets on the line, Houston finishes much closer to a 90 point figure.  Overall, I felt the rotations were strong, and there were a great deal of trips for the Rockets where they didn't come close to getting a good look. 

Fans won't sleep well tonight, I suspect the team won't either.  I expect an all business afternoon Tuesday in El Segundo, and a much better effort Wednesday night.  The sort of game that could make people start to forget Monday's failures and build momentum before the Lakers head to Texas.

Plenty more to come tomorrow.

BK

***Technically, of course, this isn't entirely true.  If you predicted the Lakers would win in five (as I did), that is, by the standards of the NBA Playoffs, relatively easy. At least as far as wins and losses go. 

VIDEOS:

Pau Gasol:

Phil Jackson, on why the Lakers should only play better in Game 2

Kobe Bryant, on why the Lakers can play better than during Game 1

Kobe Bryant, on what he tells his less experienced teammates about how to bounce back

 
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Houston in 6!

Welcome to the Lebron James Era!

btw...kobe minus Shaq....could never pull off a championship solo...

I'm a little worried about their response to a more physical defensive minded team like the celtics last year. they didn't respond like they should. They were soft and got out played. Hope they acturally improved from last year.....

There were so many opportunities for the Lakers to take control of the game but they were just so out of sync. I felt the most pivotal play was when Sasha fouled Artest for the and1. Momentum was swinging for the Lakers but Sasha is known to commit cheap fouls.

If the Lakers don't win the next two games, they will lose the series.

Keys to a Lakers' victory
1)Pau Gasol making open shots.
2)Bynum not forcing any shots. Too many times, I thought he was trying to force the issue on offense. We need him on defense and rebounding.
3)Make your free throws.
4)Make a few of your threes. I'm not asking for perfection beyond the line but at least better than 2 for infinity.

I also thought before the series the Rockets resembled the Spurs: tough playoff D, 20 ppg skilled inside threat, and perimeter scorers who can shoot or drive. Lakers have to play like they did against San Antonio last year, which they won primarily with defense.

The Lakers will wake up in Game 2, but a good defensive team like the Rockets ain't just gonna roll over.

I also thought before the series the Rockets resembled the Spurs: tough playoff D, 20 ppg skilled inside threat, and perimeter scorers who can shoot or drive. Lakers have to play like they did against San Antonio last year, which they won primarily with defense.

The Lakers will wake up in Game 2, but a good defensive team like the Rockets ain't just gonna roll over.

sigh... it's obvious that reality hasn't set in. You've been soundly defeated and this is the beginning of the end. But just like everyone predicted the fakers would coast in game 1, they'll be eating their words in game 2 again, etc etc. You'd think you'd learn....but apparently you're the type that has to have their head handed to them on a platter for it to sink in.

The Lakers will win this series. I think they are the better team. Don't get too excited Houston.

Aaron Brooks had his way out there tonight. The lakers will likely shoot better in their next game, but I think most LA fans are shocked at how easily the young Brooks tore apart the laker perimeter.

Yea, the 18 assists thing is horrible, thanks for pointing that out. Wow. We've got to do a better job than that. Crisper passes and movement, make at least around our average in treys, we win this game, and we would think the next games.

Believe it or not, these guys are a little shorthanded, and we should be able to put the beatdown on them every game we play. Ron Ron isn't going to be that hot every night, so it's time to get down to business, start feeling a sense of urgency, take one game at a time, and blow these guys away.

wow that was a pretty lousy game. Socks is in no way back to a decent rhythm nonetheless help bring the title to LA.

who's gonna step up?

Fish can't guard a bigger guard or a smaller quicker guard...

all the wisdom in the world won't defend or make baskets if your the body isn't willing.

no the sky isn't falling just yet but for cryin out loud. get your balls in check and knuckle up.

Well I'm glad we got that loss out of the way. Now on to bigger and better things. This is the best the Rockets could play, but this isn't the best the Lakers can play so i'm not worried.

I still expect us to win this series in 6.

at the end of the day, what matters is who won and who lost, and you my faithful Lakers, YOU'VE LOST MISERABLY! --GOW2

I am a Rockets fan, but I won't gloat, unlike some of my counterparts who just posted recently.

While I am extremely happy my team won, I am well aware that the team who wins four games first wins the series. But you can't win a second game until you've won that first game, right?

In all seriousness Laker fans, y'all have a great team that was probably just a little rusty from the long layoff. You gotta still like their chances, just like I do with my team. The Rockets know the Lakers will be hungry for game 2 and I hope they adjust for that.

This could shape up to be a great series. I'm still predicting LA in seven with each team grabbing a road victory. But I'll gladly take a Rockets win anytime. :)

Instead of running your team into the ground because of one subpar game, give credit where credit is due. Ya gotta admit Yao Ming was a warrior tonight. You could tell he wanted to win this game so badly.

If any of my counterparts claim that Kobe intentionally tried to hurt Yao late in the game, just ignore them. There was no foul or dirty play; just incidental contact.

I'm out. Til Wednesday night.

Game 1 fits Lakers loss profile:

- Kobe has high volume FGA, under 50% FGM. (Baskets in garbage time excluded)
- Rockets hold Lakers under 100 pts.

I`m in Skip Bayless`s corner (the great basketball icon) and am now predicting Rockets in 6.I want to invite any laker loyalist to the Rocket side.This will be your last chance.Please dont be embarrassed.I`m a turn-coat and proud of it/Go ROCKETS

Wow. The trolls are out en force. I don't think I've ever seen such a variety, and of Houston fans, too! I'm rethinking this diet decision...

If anyone reading this believes that poor performance was all because of the Rockets, you have another thing coming. Seriously? Some of it was, but credit the Lakers for defeating themselves. Poor decisions, ice cold shooting, and holding the ball way too much made a huge difference. They literally brought the ball down the court and held it while they decided what to do. No ball movement to speak of. A few open shots with poor shooting.

Mark my words Houston. It won't happen twice.

BTW, I've always liked Houston and I've generally speaking found their fans to be decent. Houston is a really good team, and it's good to see them out of the second round. I especially like it for Yao, as he's never been out of the first round of the playoffs. That said, I will enjoy it when the Lakers come back and play how they're capable of playing. It's not a fluke, beating HOU four times this year, and I totally get why they're so excited. It's premature, though. Lakers won't make that mistake again.

Looking forward to Wednesday night.

Why does it appear that the Lakers are lazy? Every time they got within a point, tie, or up, Houston would run off 8 or more unanswered points. Maybe that's not laziness, but overconfidence.

The Lakers didnt move the ball well because it's always in Kobe's hands...and the Rockets were more than willing him to go 1 on 1 and take a jumper. Poor lakers

Good Morning Laker fans....

How does it feel ...has it sunk in yet...that probably you don't have a sound defense? I mean we can give you the excuse that they rested and were rusty...but what will you say when they lose game 3 and game 4... I'm predicting they'll take game 2 at home, but in a nail-biter...Oh, and that Bynum dude, what a waste of talent....should have kept Shaq, by now you would be celebrating with a least another 2 champs...but instead you stuck with the CryBaby...and everybody knows who that is....


ALL HAIL KING JAMES!

The lakers need to move the ball and move with out the ball more to break down any good defensive teams. Play as a team not individual. That was how they played during the regular season to beat the Boston, Cav, Houston, Dollas. They have been played like they have no energy - not much of movement.

Kobe and lamar odom should attached the rim and find open players. Also they need to play in a faster pace against Houston. Make free throws please

Too much rest, the week off hurt them bad. They were out of sync, rushing their shots and missing alot of free throws. They’ll get it back and win in like 5 or 6. Also for some reason every time Andrew gets on a roll Phil takes him out. What is that about?

Despite this setback i still think we will win the series in 6 games.

I know this team and a loss was probably the best thing to happen as it will refocus them and make them realize DEFENSE is necessary to win the championship.

And they will have to realize this isn't the regular season where they coast through games. They have to flip the switch now and keep it on for the rest of the post season.

Lakers in 6

Good morning,

Another great day to be a Lakers fan! What? you say. I'll say it again: Another great day to be a Lakers fan! Huh? First of all, the Lakers were never out of it, even though they played like crap. One more good spurt and there would have been a different outcome.

To all the visiting trolls, I say, every dog has their day. Your team is like Swine Flu. Annoying, but over-rated as a real threat.

Now, back to the Lakers. The sky is far from falling, but as a fan, I need to call my team out. What were you thinking? Anyone who wants to blame this pathetic excuse for effort on rust wasn't watching the game. The real Pau Gasol was MIA, giving only 30%. Lamar: 1-6 on FT's. Puh-leeze! Andrew Bynum's defense, practically nonexistent. D-Fish's ball movement and ability to defend: Not happening. Solid game preparation and in-game coaching: I think not. Truly respecting the opponent: Obviously not.

During the all-too-few stretches when the Lakers were mentally in the game, they proved they are the most talented team in the NBA. As many have said, the only team that can beat the Lakers is the Lakers.

Maybe Phil Jackson saw something I didn't in only giving Jordan Farmar 3 minutes of burn. Oddly enough, he seemed to be the best defender on Aaron Brooks. I agree with BK that having Luke Walton available in Game 2 will shore things up, as well.
And one other note: As I've commented before, the Pau Gasol we see during the regular season and the one we get during Playoffs are night and day.

The Lakers will become a Redeem Team in Wednesday night. But this series won't be easy. The Rockets have shown they know how to take the Lakers out of their game. Still, in Round 2, it will be Lakers in 6. It will be a good warm-up for the WCF's against the Thuggets. Take heart and have a good day. We're Lakers fans!

I swear to god Phil. Last year it was Radmanovic when he had Ariza. THIS YEAR ITS FISHER WHEN FARMAR MATCHES SPEED FOR SPEED WITH THEIR POINT GUARD. Little guy was running circles around Fisher. OMFG!!!!!!!!!!! It's all about matchups . If last series we started Lamar over Bynum why can't that coach start Farmar??? Mr Buss can you please talk to Phil. The game is going to speed up with him out there. Where was Luke? We need him to move the darn ball around. These guys need Luke and Farmar for this Rocket team. Mark my words the Lakers need to play them big minutes this series. Possibly starting even.

In my opinion, last nights game was something that a Lakerfan like me needs to worry about. There's one reason for that; Yao Ming.

The Rockets are playing the game the right way; inside-out. When you have the most dominant center and you play the game the right way, you usually win.

Last nights game gave me a very unpleasant reminder of 1986 when Ralph Sampson made that crazy behind the head shot, leaving Coop laying dejected on the Fabulous Forum floor.

It's not like these Rockets have Twin Towers like their '86 team had. But Yao looked like the Empire State Building last night. I'm going to be real here, Bynum is out of his league against Yao. Gasol and Lamar will not be able to get it done against Yao either. Yao is just too tall and shoots too well.

We're going to have to throw everything we have at Yao. We need to double team him, we need to triple team him, we need to focus our entire defense on making him work and move his feet. We need to tire him out. We need to take away his first and second option. We need to make them go deep into their offense. We need Bynum/Gasol to take the ball to the hole in an effort to get fouls on Yao, and not settle for little jumpers. We need Mbenga to come in and contest some of Yao's shots.

In my opinion, if we disrupt Yao's game, we disrupt what the Rockets are trying to do. It's easier said than done but the Lakers are more than capable of getting it done.

We'll see how good Yao Ming is.

Go Lakers!

A lot of basketball to be played, ladies and gents.

Throw the regular season out the window. I, like some of us, may have bought into the hype that the Lakers will cruise to a championship. I think the team did as well.
What a humbling game this was.

Time to re-group and re-think. Brooks is the X factor, plain and simple. Yao's going to get his, and Artest is going to keep throwing up junk (he's not a baller to me, he's a space cadet). Fisher's struggling with these new generation point guards (need a plan B).

Let's punch them in the mouth on wednesday.

Lakers in 6.

Losing Game 1 at Home

Of course it is very disheartening to lose the home court advantage the very first game. What was more so to me was that the rockets practically led the game the whole way. They were in control the whole game, the outcome was never really in doubt.

On the other hand, had the lakers shot the ball well we would have been leading and the outcome surely would have been different. I worry a little about the mental toughness aspect, as others have mentioned. I didn't see the usual confidence of the team last night. I can remember other games when they get behind early they seem to lose confidence.

The bench didn't play well. Several of the starters didn't play well. They have some definite advantages against us at a few positions, especially center and point guard. It's going to be a long painful wait until Wednesday night's tipoff. It's hard to know for sure how much of the bad shooting was due to the rockets defense. I didn't like the way we played offense last night at all. It reminded me a lot of the Finals last year against Boston. A slow half court game where they packed the paint and we settled for long range jumpers the game. A game where they defended us without fouling, but we fouled more at every position, and often looked bad doing it. A game where they managed to drive to the basket, get regular layups and dunks, and the lakers seemingly weren't trying to go to the basket.

I guess I'm a bit gloomy it being the morning after the loss. But I saw a lot of reminders of the Boston series it's very troubling. I have no doubt Houston is the best team in the West next to the lakers. Their defense is great. And like last year I don't believe the lakers play their best game in a slowed down half court defensive battle.

I have to believe part of last night's problem was overconfidence too. All you heard leading up to the game was the 4-0 regular season record against the rockets and big fourth quarter surges that won every game. They seemed to be coasting through the game thinking they would turn it on in the fourth.

The presumptive favorite to win the NBA title this year is down 0-1 in its second playoff series and has lost home court advantage. Hopefully this will be a wake up call.

John

BK - Personal Fouls. 26 for the Lakers, 14 for the Rockets. Blame the officials if you want, but overall I felt the discrepancy was more a reflection on what the Lakers weren't doing as a team (moving their feet, attacking the rack) than what the refs weren't giving them.

---

Or, more germanely, 25-29 v. 12-19 FTAs = 13 pts.

Yeah but this could also be a little bit of cart before horse -- players became reluctant to attack due to the perception or reality of visitor-favored whistles.

Today was the first time I think I didn't pull my hair out while watching our team lose. To all the lakerholics( like what lakertom refers to addicts like you and me in the previous thread) and worry warts, lets all just RELAX. Even if we lost tonight and played like a team who had week's off, its coz we did. our team will be fine, so everbody just chill out. Forget about history being against us were 80% of teams who win game 1 , eventually wins the series. I say stats are B.S. It doesn't paint the the whole picture to the story. The reason why I wasn't pulling my brains out with tonights loss bcz our team played with a lot of heart. Our team never gave up and played hard until the final buzzer sounded. I say lakers in 6.

Not worried. Would you rather win? Yes. But this was largely rust (sorry BK, I'm leaning on it based on what I saw).

The Lakers came out shooting poorly. They were also passing poorly - not only committing TOs, but also throwing weak and sloppy passes. The kind that the reciever has to move to catch, taking shooters out of rythhm and allowing the defense to react. I cannot think of one play where the Lakers ran their offense well, moved the ball and got an easy shot. No spot up 3s. No easy looks by the rim. Nothing.

As a result they did the "lean on Kobe" thing early, in the first quarter, and he looked like he had no legs, everything was short. Then they did it all second half, with too many guys looking for Kobe instead of playing aggressively themselves.

Guards not named Kobe were 5-15, on threes they went 2-18 because they took bad threes, they only 18 assists and committed13 turnovers. These reflect a team that did not move the ball and did not get good shots. When they did, they missed anyway. Too much dribbling and dtanding around.

The defense was actually not bad. They bothered Yao some. Houston's quick guards were largely held in check. Houston had only 16 assists and 16 turnovers. But the Lakers lousy offense led to a lot of transition type possessions for Houston.

All this leads me to believe this game was not typical of what we will see in this series, that the Lakers were sloppy and rusty.

On a plus note, in limited minutes, Bynum looked pretty good. He was actually the best Laker on the offensive end for many stretches and did not look intimidated by Yao. I don't like to second guess Phil, but I might have played him more over Pau, who was struggling, in the second half.

I thought 5 games. Now maybe 6. Hate to lose the home opener. But maybe a loss will be a nice little motivator, and while Houston played well, I think this was more the Lakers playing ragged ball, and that they will recover.

Adelman knows a little bit about being up a game on the Lakers....ask him what happened last time. LOL.

A game 1 defeat is just what these Lakers need to wake them up. Thanks for that.


I actually liked this game and loss for a whole lot of reasons.

Now we have a little excitement. Sorry but there hasn't been all but a few meaningful games all year long. Now we have close to a "must win" in game 2. A little adversity never hurt the champs. A Rockets win in game one kind of really awakes me as a fan since I've been sleep walking through the whole year. Now I can really get pumped up like I used to get when are backs where against the wall in 06 and 07.

Also, I think this game will not only give a kick in the behind to me as a fan but also the Lakers as a team. Lets face is, the Lakers have also sleep walked through the regular season. Maybe some struggles in the playoffs will get us going in the Finals. It worked for Boston last year that's for sure.

We need a bigger game out of Bynum and Odom needs to hit his free throws. Ariza also missed a ton of 3s. I was very impressed with Sasha's D and I think Farmar should get a few more minutes than he got, heard he's had a few good practices plus he hit his 3.

Lamar = Finals MVP

GO LAKERS

Wow - the early morning wakeup to Never and the trolls. That will surely put a smile on one's face.

Bresnahan is copying the K-Bros with the video summary- what a lack of creativity.

I am really not too bummed out about this. Similar to when UT threw everything in desperation at the Lakers - I feel like the Rockets did the same. Yes, they outplayed, out hustled, etc. But their shooting wasn't spectacular and they struggle for offense.

It's energy time for the Lakers and better be coming out on fire to build a normal huge lead and get into this team's head. As soon as Yao gets into foul trouble and starts hanging his head - we have the Rockets beat.

Socks, Socks come back! Focus young man - we need you out there to put YAO into foul trouble - dude we need you to help us on defense. Don't be lazy - anticipate and move.

LGL!!!

NOw it starts. I hate Addleman, He is the winniest coach. He has never been able to beat the Lakers and I know he is fuming at that. He had his chance In Portland when they were up 15+ point with Minutes left and up with the Kings and we came back and they blew a game 7. Now with a Houston team withot Mcgrady. What the hell was that !!!! We did not get one lead, Come on. Down 2 with 8 minutes left at home and we can't find a way to win. Where's Bynum? We are in big trouble.

CrzyFan

It is sooooo amazing how many cowards are on this blog.........When the Lake Show is playin the way we know they can play ......"KOBE IS THE BEST" "BEGINNING OF A DYNASTY" BLAAHHH BLAHHH BLAHHH"......When they have a bad outing ......."Lebron is the best of his generation (w/o a win in the NBA Finals)" "Kobe will never win another one" BLAAAAAH BLAAAAH BLAHHHHH.......Did you guys have your minds programed again by the Laker Apocalypse talk on ESPN........The Rockets played harder, smarter, and Ron Artest nearly matched the total production of Pau and LO in game 1 (21 for Ron Ron/ 23 Pau/LO).....Kobe showed some signs of fatigue and played through......but overall the Lakers didn't make open looks.......... i said on this blog after the Utah loss that I feared that you media disciples would become worse than Boston fans....I owe an apology to Boston Fans .....You are worse.......at least Boston Fans support their team after a loss.....Not you guys.....if "YOUR TEAM" loses you go right back to your media brain washing....Kobe's failures vs Jordan's Leagend, Lebron's hype machine vs Kobe's failures.......What does Lebron's well deserved MVP have to do with the Lakers loss last night? What does Jordan's legend have to do with last nights game? Kobe is not Jordan and he doesn't need to be... he has and will continue to cement his own place among the greats........Lebron is no doubt the future of the League but the best player of his generation? - LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!! Maybe the drunk fool who wrote that article forgot to consider guys like Duncan, Shaq, OR maybe he should have said that right now Lebron is the GOAT" LOOOOOOOOOL!!.......I understand the Boston series was painful last year but many of you guys ARE FICKLE!! God help you if the economy gets worse!! The few of us who support this team knows they will respond, win the next game and take control of the series in Houston........AND Shaq please stay off this blog we are very aware that Kobe hasn't won it w/o you .....come June you will have to find something new to cry about........Houston fans, enjoy this b/c the rest of the series will not be so enjoyable........ Phil continue to get Bynum more minutes (no matter how painful it is watch at times) the Lakers will need him in the WCF..........Most of you have all but sold out to the Lebron hype (no doubt the guy is a fantastic talent)......I'll take the Kobe/Pau/Bynum dynasty this year and the next 4-5 years....... Kobe will be on target in game 2 and will lead the Lake Show to a sound win in game 2.....
To the True Laker brass, thanks for your insightful posts and comments......Look forward to celebrating with you in June

LAKERS 2009 NBA CHAMPS

PL

It's a good thing that these aren't one-game series. The Lakers can't play much worse than they did last night, and Houston won't play much better. I expect a tough, physical series. But I still expect the Lakers to win in 5 games.

Go Lake Show!

Lakers will fall to Houston, we beat them in their house, should be easy in our house.

Hi - I'm JAMF and i'm a Lakerholic.

I'm jittery, shaking and slept like crap. I did not get my fix yesterday, much to my chagrin. And - yes - it gets worse. Much worse - bear with me...

Growing up in the cold wasteland that is Northern Ontario Canada, you don't hear or see much basketball. It's a sport kids play during the 2 days that is summer, and that's about it. I could wax on about hockey though. Oh yah - Cheevers, Guy LaFleur, Maurice "the Rocket" Richard, Bobby Orr, the Mahovalic brothers (who were from my hometown by the way).... Yah, hockey was king.

So - imagine my DELIGHT when, upon moving to sunny So.Cal, my friend introduced me to the Lakers!!! Wow - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Seriously! What a game - the action, the drama, the athleticism - WOW. So I became a Lakerholic from the git go. Then upon discovering the LAT Laker's blog it was like constantly swimming in ecstasty (so I've heard) LOL! It was instant fixes 24/7 - Lakerholics speaking with Lakerholics about the ins and outs of every play, every game, every day, all day, day after day, YEEEEE HAWWWWW!

BUT - here comes the terrible, awful, hurtful part - last night we lost the game and WHERE WERE YOU PEOPLE??? HUH??? I wake up at 2 am screaming MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS - no one answers. I consider getting out of my nice warm bed and firing up the laptop, but I know that comments aren't updated in the middle of the night nearly fast enough to soothe me, to quiet the shakes, to keep the nausea at bay.

Now - I'm not blaming the K-Bros - they have to sleep sometime, right? But what about the rest of you??? HUH?? Where are your phone numbers, your facebook pages, your IM addresses, your twitter accounts HUH???? What's a Lakerholic to do at 2:30 IN THE FREAKING MORNING without anyone who understands, who can commiserate with you, who knows that rock in the pit of the stomach that only a 20 point blow-out by the home team in the next game will assuage??

Seriously, peeps. You've let me down. I feel betrayed by the Lakerholic community today, and only a strong outpouring of love and reassurances will help. COME ON NOW - GIVE ME MY FIX!!!!!!! I NEED IT!!!!!!!! And all will be forgiven.

==== THE SOFTIE JOURNAL ====
***Round 2, Game 1: Lakers v. Rockets***
As a slight-dedication to a certain blogger's appreciation for Kwame Brown's calves and disdain for Chris Mihm's weak ankles, I dedicate this journal to identifying the soft and tough aspects of the Lakers game.

======
Game 1 Soft Rating: 8.3 Old Soggy Lettuce
======

Last night's game was the kind of softness that could prevent this team from winning a championship. As a Laker fan, it's disgusting because you've seen it before. You'd rather lose a *different* way sometime ya know? We weren't outexecuted, outshot, just really out-toughed. I hate that...

Some notable points:
- The Kobe Man came out and played like a G. Much will be made about 14-31 (which aint that bad) but Kobe really dished to his teammates last nite. Countless shots bricked. I liked Kobe's game for the most part. People wanted him to drive, I did too, but the lane was packed. If our guys aint knocking down shots, then what can you do. Kobe brought us back in the game multiple times, but the poor D and poor shooting caught up with us.
Charmin Rating: 0 rolls out of 5

- For the Lakers to play to their potential, Pau Gasol has to be our 2nd best player every nite. Too many nites, Pau is getting DUNKED ON (Artest), bricking open jumpers , and just being nonexistent. By nonexistent, I mean he's not making his mark on the game. Pau Gasol should easily be dropping 25 on the Rockets. Yao is slow as molasses. and every other player they got is 6'8. If Pau Gasol, used his quickness to SEEK CONTACT (causing fouls) instead of AVOID CONTACT (causing missed layups) then he go impact the game every nite regardless of his shooting touch.
Charmin Rolls: 5 out of 5

- Bynum played well on offense. On D, phew... 2 or 3 Aaron Brooks layups.... ROTATE OFF OF YAO, and throw that ish into the stands. I'm actually not too mad at Drew. I see this game as progress.
Charmin Rolls: 2.5 out of 5

- Odom played sporadically. He boarded well. But the key was the MISSED FTs especially in clutch. 1-6? Come on man. That was literally the difference in the game late. The Rockets were scoring and Lamar was missing FTs and open jumpers. Cant have that. But I wont ignore his other contributions we just need MORE especially with Pau playing like JELLO. His softness was more mental than anything.
Charmin Rolls: 2.7 out of 5

- Fisher/Ariza: Fisher takes bad shots and then cant make open ones. I am really seeing washed up Robert Horry in him. Hopefully my eyes deceive me. Ariza. PHEW. TAKE a freakin open shot. Seriously. Just take it. At least 3 times this game he was hesitant TOTALLY SCREWING up the offensive rhythm.
Charmin Rolls: 2.0 Fisher (he just sucked not necessarily soft), 4.0 Ariza (mentally, if you not ready to step up and make big plays your mental softness hurts the team)

So the LAKERS as a whole have a lot of work to do.

I'm not really worried about losing the series, just that the play needs to pick up significantly. This series can be 5 games or 7 games.

We need to step up and make it the former.

A champion is forged by adversity ...

This time around the west will not be won easily ... and we wouldn't have it any other way

And oh AK/BK ... new thread pls ... the trolls are knocking ... let em in

BRING IT!!!

OH WOE IS ME, OH WOE IS ME, OH THE HUMANTITY
LET'S BE SERIOUS HERE! iT WOULD NOT BE SPORTING TO SLAUGHTER THE POOR CHAPS THE ROCKETS AFTER THEY FINALLY GET OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND AFTER HEAVEN KNOWS HOW MANY TRIES. My God have you know heart, have you no Soul. let these poor lamented imbeciles treasure this moment of glory. MY GOD, WE'VE BEATEN THE FREAKIN LA LAKERS WINNERS OF 14 TITLES. Have you no heart this is better than any title to any team in the league. Now that we have shown our tender side and let the urchins have a taste of paradise, I'm sorry to say we simply have to squash them like grapes. You see they stand in the way of destiny & though compassionate are we The Lakers. Not even we have the power to deny destiny what is hers. And what pray tell would that be? Why the Beginnining of Dynasty 4 in the never ending saga of Laker domination. Now run alone you foolish Trolls we won't Barbeque your @sses right now. OK Laker Nation they've had there 10 minutes of fame and fun. NOW GODD@MM FROM HERE TILL THE END OF THE PLAYOFF, DOMINATE, DOMINATE, DOMINATE!!!!!. No quarter given. THE TIME IS NOW AND WHAT TIME IS IT. IT'S LAKE SHOW TIME!!! AND WHO ARE YOU!!! WE ARE THE FREAKING LA LAKERS, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU???? Thank you. Now go forth and conquer!!!


Eugin,

"but apparently you're the type that has to have their head handed to them on a platter for it to sink in. "

I'd recommend tossing that platter into the furnace too ... then getting down on both knees and praying it's truly over ... purple tinted golden age dawg, we can't be stopped ... every blow houston deals us, only makes us stronger ... if u think we're losing this series, u must have smoked more than i did last night ...

24 + 16 + [1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

RELAX

Relax, Take a deep breath, Feel Better Now?
Did you think it would be easy against a mountain like Yao?
The Rockets played good, yes they did, you know it’s true
But they also awoke a sleeping giant , Yeah the Lakers have a Giant to.
Yes the Rockets have an awesome giant by the name of Yao Ming
But int the land of the Giants, Bynum The Beast is The King.
Two quick fouls, took The Beast out of his game
Don’t be a fool Rockets, and think this Beast you have tamed
By winning one game all you really managed to do
Is sharpen our focus, before we win at home in 5 in round two.
You got to take chances in this game, No if’s or but’s
You may even take a punch before giving a knockout Uppercut.
The Rockets are so new to second round play
That they shot their whole wad in the game yesterday.
To The Lakers the 2nd round is really old hat
Careful Rockets you’re being set up, look out, BOOM, SPLAT
The Rockets really think, they are better without TMAC
But they seem to have forgot, one salient fact.
The problem in this whole, equation you see
What happens when Yao, fouls out or falls prey to injury.
You won’t have TMAC to then put the blame on.
I’m sorry dear rockets, but you are as good as gone.
Hey Yao, you know why the Lakers aint blue?
When you go to China, who’s number 1 and number 2.
There can be but one, Isn’t that right great Chinese Giant
And in China, as in the world, Number 1 is Kobe Bryant.
Due to the fact the MVP he lost
He tried to hard and losing the game was the cost.
But if you think you can rely on this happening again
I’d have to say leave Otis alone, stop stealing his Gin.
So Houston take game 1, I hope you treasure it too.
Cause as God is my witness, after the next 4 games you are thru.
you beat us real good, knocked the rust off our butt
Now we’re coming for you with a right uppercut.
You said The Houston Rockets that’s who the hell we be
We’ll put it on your tombstone, before we go on to our Destiny
Now Houston Rockets, or sprockets, or what ever the name
I’m sorry but you are about to go up in flames.
But you did a good job as a “sparring partner” should do
Now scoot, Were’ the Freakin La Lakers, who the Hell are you


If it was Artest who kneed and elbowed Bryant on the floor, the whole country would be calling for his head...at least one game suspension. Instead it was Bryant doing it to Battier, so every one including the NBA is turning a blind eye. What a shame!

BTW: Bryant has not done much without Shaq, and Shaq has proven he is the MAN by leading the Heat to a championship.

Hey . . . thanks for mentioning that NYT article on Shane Battier. Made watching the game much more interesting & fun. Michael Lewis was absolutely right about Battier, though . . . at one point Kobe had 19 pts off 19 shots. Can't see how LA could play more gently into Houston's hands, and it all begins and ends with Battier making life difficult for Kobe offensively. When Kobe gets frustrated, he starts chucking up garbage and forgetting to get everybody else involved. The others stand around on offense, and fold up defensively like punks. The other Laker starters and reserves better show up, 'cause between Battier and Artest, Kobe won't be much of a factor in this series.

Where are the regulars? This is an even series, no cause for doom & gloom. I remember that Atl took Beantown to seven last year. Champs are supposed to get forged during the playoffs - that's what makes a champ.

Maybe we need Bob Seger singing the next National Anthem - we surely don't need nothing but strange names blogging. Answer the call, gents!

Morning Fam,

The point guard situation needs a change for this series. Like in the Utah series, Farmar didn't play because of the size matchup. Fisher's minutes should be monitored and we have to try Farmar and Brown for the speed of the Houston Point Guards.

The team looked rusty. I'll wait for tomorrow and see how the Lakers respond.

Moving on to the Next game.

TALIQ, TALIQ, CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
TALIQ, TALIQ, CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
TALIQ, TALIQ, CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
TALIQ, TALIQ, CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Thank you Sheriff!!! I knew I could depend on you to
lay down the law in this lawless teritory. Kudos sir!

I think Charles Barkley said it best: The Lakers don't look like a team that is trying to win a championship. Where's that fire and intensity they opened the season with? If they can't get up for every game from here on out, even if they win this series, they won't beat Cleveland. Cleveland has that hunger, much like Boston did last year.

Is this a lakers blog?

Fakers? Lebron James era? Houston in six? Kobe can't win without shaq. What the heck is going on in here?

Look, Houston won one game, coming off the lakers sippin mai tai's for a week now. We always knew houston was the x-factor team, since the beginning of the year. They are deep, big, athletic, strong, and great on defense. Think about it, what teams do the lakers always struggle with in the playoffs. TEAMS THAT PLAY GOOD D. Detroit, Spurs, Boston. I mean is it a suprise that they lost game 1 after a week break. No.

Having said that, Gasol will never have another game like that. Kobe will drive more next game. It was one game and they will bounce back. Phil will play farmar more and tinker with the line up. Someone posted a comment that said the lakers have to win the next two games in a row, or Houston wins the series. What? That doesn't even make sense. They gotta win tomorrow and then 1 more out of the next 2 in Houston. What, Houston can win at staples, but lakers can't get 1 out of 2 in houston? When remember, they won 4 out of the last 5 and 2 out of 2 in houston this year. Odds were in Houston's favor to win a game. They won 1 game. Whup te doo!

I didn't even blink after the laker loss last nite. Just thought that I feel sorry for houston wednesday, cuz the lakers are going to play smash em in the mouth ball. It'll be over in the 1st quarter. Guaranteed! Chill laker fans. The lakers know whats at stake. You always hear about Kobe or gasol or bynum staying after practice shooting extra shots when they have a bad game. They were probably at el segundo at 4 this morning trying to get it right. Relax, their won't be rust Wednesday.

One final thought to you Lebron fans. Jordan never lost in the finals and Lebron got swept so he aint no Jordan. Their team is 1 injury away from losing to either atlanta or orlando. Yea I said it! I mean I love watching the guy and yea he deserved mvp, but calm down! He's already losing his mind with the whole pregame ritual thing, so what now that he's mvp? Is the team going to pose coming out a slip in slide before the game? Give me a break. Russell never taunted, neither did Magic, Bird, Jordan, or Kobe. I like to have fun too, but he needs to slow his roll. Plus, dude, you might NEVER get a ring. Taxes, death, and kobe are guaranteed- not Lebron. At least not yet. Like Cube said, chicketey check yo-self before yo wreck yo-self!

Lakers in 6...

oh brother, I just can't get over the revisionist, oh it's great we lost! lol...............................

senor troll here....ok, so where are all the sweepers today, eh?

as I said days ago, some here have TOTALLY underestimated our bench.

What I really luv the most, Yao Ming is having his "from a man to The Man" coming out party this year, and it's in LA! Priceless !!!!

First game win?...I take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's gonna be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOGGG series folks..

Go Rockets!

You guys keep talkin' about playing Farmar more to keep up with Houston's PG. Farmar is quicker than Fisher, but he ain't that fast. Besides, defensively Farmar is no better than Fisher, so his net effect would be nowhere near what you guys think it will be. I imagine Phil Jackson's wondering the same thing, and will give Farmar extra minutes. Let's see if he can keep up.

Otis, Otis! My God man. I don't how to say this but
you are becoming my favorite blogger. Sometimes funny, sometimes sly and sardonic with just a sllight twist of innuendo. Sir I bow before what I believe is the unveiling of another master. Keep it up sir. I told you that Demon Rum was all that stood between you and greatness.

Aaahhh - that's much better.

GRADES

Phil Jackson-----------D-
Once again the most lethargic coach in the league fails to have his players prepared. It is true he can't play for them but it is also true that Mbenga, who was effective in the regular season DNP and Bynum once again is not given a chance in crunch time.
The Lakers might be able to win this series in spite of Jackson. But seriously, when you are getting paid 12mil to coach, COACH.

Kobe Bryant-----------B+
When your teammates are playing like deer in the headlights, you can't blame him for jacking up 31 shots. Would have been an A but he missed a lot of crucial fourth quarter shots.

Pau Gasol--------------C
Tentative shooting, 4 turnovers, 13 rebounds in 44 minutes

Lamar Odum ----------C--
Guess it was to much to expect for Odum not to semi-disappear, miss free throws, make silly fouls.

Trevor Ariza-----------D-
Most over-rated Laker, if it wasn't for the fact that he occasionally hits a 3 pointer his presense on the court would be difficult to detect. 1 assist; 4 rebounds; 0-4 3 point.

Derrick Fisher-----------F
The most unathletic player in a position that the Lakers desparately need one. Weakest Link

Andrew Bynum-------Incomplete
We might never know if AB is a beast or bust until Nine Rings unleashes him.

Bench------------------F
18 points! Any questions?

Ref's-------------------C-
Funny how Kobe has not gotten his fair share fouls called since a certain incident in Colorado? You breathe on Lebron or Wade and its a foul.

Prognosis
Game 2 will be the first Must Win Game for the Lakers, lose Wednesday's game and the series is probably over.

Lingering Questions
Will Phil Jackson have a game plan and can he adjust in-game if the Lakers fall behind? History suggests the answer is NO.

How many more times will Kobe be able to bail out the most ill-prepared coaching staff ever?

Has Jackson Screwed with Andrew Bynum's head to the point of no return? See Vlade Radmonivich.

Will Kobe try to win the next game by himself and if he fails, do the Lakers re-sign him when he opts out.

Has Kobe really become Vince Carter?

Which Lamar will show up? Odum or Odumb

Which Pau will show up Gasol or Gasoft

Are we really paying Sasha 5 million a year?


Remember
You are only as good as your last game

Good morning Lakerholics,

Ok, we lost, so what. Did we not expect to be rusty after an entire week's layoff? YES

Do we expect Kobe to have another crappy shooting night? NOT LIKELY

I don't think anyone felt this would be a sweep so if there was one game we were going to give away it would be the first due to the long layoff. No worries here though. Expect the crew to be very unhappy with themselves, as they should be, and tighten it up next game and for the rest of the series. We can win in Houston...no problem.

Let's go Lakers! 12 more wins to the goal!

Two consecutive and constructive posts from Never, so we expect a good outing on Wed. Coaches will heed his advice especially on Bynum who is over excited like his patronage to immediately go to the hoop without any labor. Got to earn the bread first Socks, as Archimedes said: give me a place to stand I will move the world. If you have not have established your fulcrum then there is no balance. From the Utah series and this first game, Bynum is not lagging fruitful minutes, he's treated like a black Travis Knight or a Chuck Nevitt. Therefore, Socks this is a motivation for you to excel. Why not do it gradually and contribute something like what Mark Landberger did in 1982? Here what is what happens when we make too much expectations on a young player, he tries his best to show-off his best and comes out short and everyone is frustrated. If he can be a team player & contribute just one facet of the game, a rebound here, a block there, a screen or box-out, then it becomes a team work not individualistic brand of game. He is not Kobe yet nor Alcindor during his prime. We just want to see Andrew Bynum, the hard worker like the AC Green type of player.

Unfortunately, young people don't want to be scolded. They don't want to listen nor admit mistakes. Everything is all easy at the tip of their fingers until they get shell shocked by realities. do people want to hear bad news? No, just get immersed with optimism and sunrise will come every morning. there will always be a psychologist who will solve the problem.

Gasol may have missed the blog message and not a lakerholic, was he unrealistic in uttering that it is not easy? Yes, we know euros are soft and have a different kind brand of basketball. He has distinct advantage as well as a disciplined player. He should CAPITALIZE that softness into an advantage. Vlade Divac learned the tricks of the game, Kukoc made headway with his softness too and helped Jordan & Pipen, therefore Pau should blend with the team and use the Catalan energy and imagination how to penetrate that Great Wall.

I still think the Houston Achilles heel is to attack Yao Ming on the inside forcefully with Kobe, Ariza, Gasol, Odom and Brown, eventually he will fold and get fouled out. That's how D'Day was won when the Allies attacked the German defenses in Normandy wave after wave until the thick walls became useless.

Angry.

What I am most angry at is Laker Nation.

There was no crowd last night. Silence. It was awful. I am so angry at the crowd.

A Clevelander looked at the crowd last night sitting on their hands in the dark and said, "It's like a night at the opera."

Awful.

So goes home court advantage because season ticket holders pawn off their tickets to rich idiots who don't know who Josh Powell is.

I'm furious about this.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!!! (Not showing up at the Lakers game because it's a happening. Real Lakers fans make noise!)

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

GO LAKERS!

NO WORRIES:

Does it sting when your talented team plays a very flat game especially in the beginning of a series when they had home court advantage? Absolutely. But does this mean the end of the season? Absolutely NOT. Let's remember that the only to the Jazz in the first round was similar to the loss last nite in that guys that were open weren't making shots that they normally make (i.e. Ariza, Gasol). I will say that I am frustrated in the lack of "energy" from the Lakers last night. For those of you who think losing the first game in a series means the end of the season, then don't bother watching. This team is very talented. They will make adjustments. The chances of them having 3 more poor shooting nights to account for 3 more losses is not likely. Their key is should be to get to the paint. Keep getting guys open jumpers and they will drop. But please bloggers, don't give up after one loss.

dpk

16 wins the hard way.

The major problem for the Lakers is that they are good enough to win games in the regular season but they will struggle in the playoffs where to win you need to change the game to a more physical type of game, which they don't have, and they are not being asked to in the way the defenses are set up.
Beating Utah was difficult even though it went 4-1, the Lakers basically beat a two-men team in Williams and Boozer, and they had to struggle.
Houston has more than two, and there is no way the Rockets are going to let the Lakers slide easy. I still say the Rockets are going to sweep the series, because I don't see how they can match against their physical style and Kobe needing to bail the team out.
Laker fans, including me, want a ring, but there is no way to get one with the current coaching "genius," and with soft and slow players.

Mamba24 - there you are. I was wondering what happened. Seeing as how you're ok - I'm saying something that needs to be said:

The thong try-outs, or fittings, or whatever was going on while you should have been giving us our Game 1 ROLL CALL yesterday WILL HAVE TO WAIT.

NO MORE fooling around while we all wait & wonder where you and the roll call are. Seriously - get it together, man. WE NEED YOU!!

kevin,

So what do you suggest we do at the PG position?

While I believe this series is far from over just because the Rockets won game 1, I don't believe the common misconception I keep reading over and over that the Rockets played their Best game.

The Rockets bench was outplayed in points scored, blocks, steals, turnovers, and assists. Wafer (who's previously had some of his biggest games against LA) didn't even score. LA had more rebounds, TWICE as many offensive rebounds, and LESS turnovers than Houston. And as atrocious as LA's 3pt percentage was, Houston's wasn't that much better at 27% (far below their average). Obviously one would expect LA to shoot better from downtown, just don't expect Houston to shoot as poorly from downtown as they did in game 1.

Anyways, great series and good luck!

Sux.

--Fearless

Lakers in 6...Posted by: johnnyboy | May 05, 2009 at 08:42 AM

Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Johnnyboy johnnyboy CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

I BOW BEFORE THY WISDOM SIR. KUDOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

didn't even blink after the laker loss last nite. Just thought that I feel sorry for houston wednesday, cuz the lakers are going to play smash em in the mouth ball. It'll be over in the 1st quarter. Guaranteed! Chill laker fans. Posted by: johnnyboy | May 05, 2009 at 08:42 AM

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'D GO TO IRAN, IRAQ, VIETNAM OR WHATEVER WITH YOU SIR!!!! I USED TO BE A MARINE, BUT I WANT TO JOIN THE JOHNNYBOY SQUAD. KUDOOOOOOOOOS!!!!!!

What up Blog regulars. Mamba, missed your spirit yesterday.

It'll be a long 2 days. hell its gonna be a long week. I think the loss more reminds me of the loss we had against Philly in the Finals. Long layoff, rusty play.

I'm really looking forward to Wednesday. Everything else looked alright but our shooting (and possibly shot selection). So I'll take the loss for what it is....we call it a warmup game at the gym.

Lakers fans do not worry. It was just one bad game.
The team played bad and Houston barely won while they played probably some of the best basketball they could have played.

The Lakers are better then the Rockets.There is no way they win 4 games out of 7 against us.

We'll just win the next 4 in a row.

Welcome To Jon K.'s "BLAME GAME"!

Let's begin...

Yes, the sky is not falling, but this series is now going to six games. Someone has to be blamed...

1. Laker Nation: Last night was clearly the worst crowd in what has so far been the 2009 Playoffs. Awful. If you attended last night's game you should be ashamed of yourself. You pay that amount of money to assist your team in LOSING!?!?!!?! Is that the type of person you are? You pay that amount of money to sit in the dark and barely clap when your team needs you? What the hell is wrong with you? You make me sick.

2. Phil Jackson: Again, he did not manage timeouts well and his substitutions seemed more experimental than actually thought out. I guess he's going by "intuition" again. Phil, it's the playoffs. Experiments are for the regular season. The playoffs are for scientific preparation. Get to work.

3. Kobe Bryant/Derek Fisher: You guys are the leaders of this team. We expect you two to be the equivalent of Spartan assassins... and we expect you to communicate and command the rest of the team to have the same worldview. You two are not leading the team properly. I did not see that bloodlust. I saw a team that expects to win the series and played relaxed. NOTHING IS GIVEN! VICTORY IS TAKEN! Get your heads on straight! FOCUS!

4. Pau Gasol: Pau, you're supposed to step up your game in the playoffs, not play worse. Get it together.

5. Andrew Bynum: I'd be angrier at you perhaps if Phil Jackson played you enough, which he didn't for bizarre unknown "Zen" reasons beyond us rational people who want to win.

6. Trevor Ariza: When it's the playoffs and you are wide open MAKE YOUR DAMN SHOTS! How the hell does a millionaire athlete who has taken tens of thousands of shots in practice miss shots when it really counts when he is wide open/not even contested? How? Fricking develop the will to win! Urgh!

7. Sasha Vujacic: Read what I wrote to Trevor and then slap yourself in the face!

8. Everyone Else: Anyone remember Game Five against Utah when every player went for every rebound and tried to block every shot and steal every pass? Remember that game? A game when we played to win from the first minute until the last minute? PLAY LIKE THAT! And play like that for every minute left in the playoffs until we win the Championship! Apathy is an insult to yourself, to Los Angeles, and to all the people who follow this team with dedication and heart.

Don't cheat yourself.

No scar aches worse in life than regret. Play without regrets.

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

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

GO LAKERS!

It's pretty simple. This Lakers team has flaws that have been evident all season; usually their strengths are enough to overcome those flaws, but in last night's game they didn't get what they needed out of their strengths, and Houston took advantage of the flaws.

If that happens four times in any of the remaining playoff series, the Lakers will not win the title. If it doesn't, they will.

FEARLESS, FEARLESS CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Just to give you an idea of how "not surprised" I am/was....

I quit watching at half-time and went to sleep. I expected to wake up to news that the Lakers had lost.

It's no surprise. The Lakers have fared terribly at times after long layoffs between series. It happened last year at the worst time... the difference was that it happened against a Celtics team that was next to unbeatable, and the Lakers still could have pulled it off had they not peed away a huge lead in game 4.

But rest assured, the Rockets are good, but are no where near last year's Celts. The greenies had swept us last season, and Houston hadn't beat us until last night. Therefore, completely different situation.

I would not be surprised to see LA in 6 or LA in 5.

If you don't believe LA in 5 is possible, need I remind you of 1991? Lakers beat PJ's team on the road to win game 1. At the end of game 5, MJ was in tears cradling his first O'Brien trophy.

Maybe Shaw, at the instruction of PJ, scoured through Houston's bench area and/or visiting locker room after the crowd thinned out and perhaps history repeated (Laker fans know what I'm talking about here, referencing 91)

Maybe Houston wins another game, maybe they don't, but until they win 3 games, I'm no where near panic mode and conversely, Houston trolls should be no where near "gloat" mode.

Thank God for Mamba and the regulars. Making me laugh and keeping me optimistic on a day I expected to avoid blogs, websites, and all of humanity.

Thanks fellas. Trolls schmolls....

#4

Yeah, Otis was right. Where are the former regulars like AZ, Zakee, Jaworski, Albert, RayRay, nyla, bobie, tulley moxness, arnie, roger, shady, lamar show, Gaznabi etc. I guess they could not keep up with the repetition of posts in so many threads per day. It is no longer a donut & coffee Laker talk but just too serious with trolls and loyalists always arguing on who is better that u don't know anymore where to side, they're caught in between of silence and reticence to join. Someone might scold them that they are not too lakerholic or a compulsive whiner. The fellas were just blogging to past time contribute and share ideas, instead got scolded and stressed out by a johnny come lately blogger spitting out acronyms.

The team needed the loss.

It'll come in handy later on.

Ron Artest and Battier are combating Kobe with confidence. Artest's ability to deny Kobe prime post position was a big factor in the fourth quarter. Shane played workman like defense but was not a game-changing factor defensively.

Bynum wants 30 points or he won't be satisfied. His energy seems to be detrimental to team chemistry. Quick shots, poor defensive positioning and outright horrid D. He needs to tell LakerTom to buzz off and listen to the me:

"Bro, go hard or go home. You're not a beast yet. You need to earn that title."

Fish was getting smoked by the fleet-footed point men the Rockets employed. Shannon was a neutral factor in this game. Jordan needs to see the light and jet to it. Believe it or not, he could be a factor in this series.

We need to D the F up.

Thx.

Mamba24 - there you are. I was wondering what happened. Seeing as how you're ok - I'm saying something that needs to be said:

NO MORE fooling around while we all wait & wonder where you and the roll call are. Seriously - get it together, man. WE NEED YOU!! Posted by: justanothermambafan | May 05, 2009

Hey JAMambaFan. My PC blew up. tracking another one right now on UPS. It will be here ttomorrow. super, super fast. But until then AI have to use old ancient PC's to communicate and I'd rather not communincate at all in that case. But with this next Laptop all of Mamba24 will be revealed. I don't know if that's bad or good. hahahhahah!
As for the Loss. Who gives a F# W're The Freaking LA Lakers and we are entitled to look bad sometines also.
YOU HEAR THAT TROLLLS!!!! THE SKY IS NOT FALLLING

zopi,

what you saw was only the first game. As you have heard this cliche: "don't judge the book by its cover" Houston needs three more games to advance in the series and Lakers need four. Playoffs are games of adjustments, softness, hard knocks, free throw ignoramus, turnover expert, brick layers are all part of the dynamics from game to game. Reserve your comments at the end rather than doing it in the beginning. Blog in Houston where you get more allies than identify yourself as a sore thumb trying to get attention. We have now watched 88 games of the Lakers and you only watch a couple or perhaps one and here you are making the conclusion.

zopi,

what you saw was only the first game. As you have heard this cliche: "don't judge the book by its cover" Houston needs three more games to advance in the series and Lakers need four. Playoffs are games of adjustments, softness, hard knocks, free throw ignoramus, turnover expert, brick layers are all part of the dynamics from game to game. Reserve your comments at the end rather than doing it in the beginning. Blog in Houston where you get more allies than identify yourself as a sore thumb trying to get attention. We have now watched 88 games of the Lakers and you only watch a couple or perhaps one and here you are making the conclusion.

Where are all the Lakeraholics?

They come in here every morning telling us how they drink all the top shelf stuff, smoke only quality and snort stuff so puro you would have thought they bought it directly from Sosa.

I think John Wooden once said "winning builds character, while losing reveals it." No sight of the "legends in their minds." Where is LakerTom ... telling us all about Bynum and Laker history? How Mamba with the roll call? Jon k ... asking what the Lakers play for?(like nobody else in the NBA wants to win a ring) How bout the Banner folder ... Telling me he was at that Finals game in '86! (Lakers didnt even make to Finals that yr ... LMAO)

Instead they run. Im sure they are talkn music today. Since they are so educated. Leaving the blog they call "theirs" to be defended by others. At least Eddi G. came in ... I give him credit for that. Although he didnt make any sense as usual. Got to give him credit for showing up. Maybe they are not here cuz they lost to a 5 seed? They fail to realize this isnt March Madness ... there are no "seeds." These are professionals with lots of pride and very well paid. But dont tell Laker fan that because they know everything.

Im still tring to figure out if Sasha hit Battier "above the shoulders" why wasnt a flagrant called? Edwin Gueco specifically pointed out to the whole world that any hit to the head whether intentional or unintentional is a flagrant! One of his buddies even posted the WNBA rule.(even though it didnt say that anywhere ... they thought it did) I also would like to know why Sasha is allowed to play with a shoe lace in his hair and a gold bracelet on his wrist. Dont the Laker players have a safe in their lockers?

Why does Sager bother to interview Colonel Sanders? He is sarcastic and provides no value! He must be upset that his chicken is being grilled! (and was it ever grilled last nite) Stop wasting my time. Jeannie should teach him some manners before she dresses him.

Also why does Kobe continue to take cheap shots at opponents. Everytime he gets frustrated he throws an elbow or as he did last nite, he throws a knee to the side of Battier head after the play was over. How Rodman of him.

Im sure all this went unnoticed and their will be no mention of it here today. Regardless of what is obvious to the whole NBA nation ... Laker fan doesnt think his team is dirty. Laker fan thinks his team is "classy!"

Yes ... my team lost last nite as well but I dont run. I come right into the Lions den and represent.

Remember Laker fan ... WINNING BUILDS CHARACTER WHILE LOSING REVEALS IT!

SCOREBOARD!

Houston showed up Monday.

If I ever hear from anyone else that it will be great to close someone out early so the Lakers can "get some rest" I am going to punch them.

Phil, only Fish is allowed to rest on this team. Schedule some real scrimmages in between series (what else are the Clippers (or better yet Portland) doing now?).

Lakers will show up Wednesday. This team needs to be firing on all cylinders to win this series, no more watching Kobe play men, go get them and DESTROY!

LAKERS LAKERS LAKERS!!!

JAMF -

Dude, you're on the edge, man. Reel it back in, 'cause I doubt we'll see the same team we saw on Monday night. We're too talented, too deep, and now we're awake. And I love how you bleed basketball and especially the PnG. That's right, baby. I'm bleeding right there with you.

And to the Houston fan who posted on the first page (sorry - forgot your name, but you were the sane one) thanks and welcome. I think we'll pull it out too, but Houston for sure is a tough match up. Who knew that getting rid of McGrady was the answer? I like this series, and it's going to be very interesting.

To all the Trolls out there, I'm not gonna smack talk with you, but I will tell you that you make me laugh. You remind me of when I take my dog to the dog park but have to pass the small dog park to get the the big dog park. The small dogs all come tearing over, yapping their heads off, growling and snarling. My dog, who is huge, just looks at them and then ignores them. He knows they're not worth his time and energy. But they just continue to try and threaten him with all their yappy barking. That's how I feel about all of you. You're yappy barkers who know there's a bigger, badder dog on the other side of the chain fence, and you feel perfectly at ease yapping about your territory (team) while you're on your side of the fence. It makes you feel safe. So yap away, and we will laugh at your frantic antics to make us bite.

Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap!!!!!

TJ,

I COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE!!!!!!!!!!! ANYONE else and theyd be suspended...it's a joke the league is turning a blind eye...the league AND every media outlet...it's not even discussed anywhere!

LOL.

First during the regular season, we had the Phoenix fans and Celtics
fans buzzing around the blog telling us how much better they were
and how they were going to dominate the Lakers this season.
Then the Lakers came out to play and quieted that nonsense down.

Next the playoffs started and there were some Jazz lovers trying their
hand at taunting and even some Portland fans jumping on board and
asserting how they were going to beat the Lakers in the next round.
Then those two teams got swept by the wayside.

Now it's Houston fans flooding the blog. One or two of them are sensible,
but I guess nobody told most of them that to win in the playoffs, you
have to win FOUR games, not one. I expect in a couple weeks, there'll
be a flood of Denver fans in here chirping about how they're going
to own the Lakers, or something like that. And then we'll have to withstand
the barrage of the Cleveland fans.

Ah, what we poor bloggers must put up with on the road to another
championship.

No Kevin, I disagree with you on your assessment of Farmar. The three PG's could share minutes like last night and could share some energy and keep up with Brooks. Fisher may have reached the twilight of his prime at age 34 but the bulldog spirit is still there. He is still the go-to-guy of Kobe but does not have the speed or agility of a young player. Fisher is like an old reliable rig that logged a hundred thousand miles from East Coast to Canadian New Territories, it's still truckin' but no longer as fast as it used tobe, it needs a lot of momentary visit to the rest area.

Shannon is a great pick, a good defender and a highlighter on rebounds and going to the hoop but also tentative in creating his own attack, he defers the ball to Kobe or Odom when he himself could attract some guards or replace Ariza as perimeter shooter. Farmar is hungry for playing time, you can keep a hungry tiger only for sometime in a cage. He will make some surprises if given the chance. He is more experience than Brooks or Lowery, I think Farmar has still the juice therefore take advantage of that remaining juice. As I said Farmar could play 2 complementing Fisher or Shannon as the regular PG.

These Lakers basically suffer from the same problem last year's team did - complete lack of toughness, especially in the interior. As skilled and talented as Pau Gasol is, there's little argument that he is the softest 7-footer in the NBA. The guy is so soft that Charmin uses Pau to wipe. Bynum, on the other hand, is completely disinterested in doing anything besides scoring the basketball.

As much as I love Fisher for all that he's done, the dude just isn't physically capable to staying in front of any quick point guard in the league. When push comes to shove, too many of the Lakers retreat into the corner. Why do you guys think the Lakers consistently blow big leads? When the other team turns up the defensive pressure, too many of the Lakers become scared and tentative.

That said, I still think the Lakers, on pure talent and skill, have what it takes to get to the Finals. I'm just not sure the outcome will be any different this year than last year. Until some of the Laker big men grow a backbone, they are looking like nothing more than a better version of the Dallas squads from a couple of years ago.

Jon K

I agree with you there about being loud at games, but I was there. It became quite difficult at times to muster up a yell with the way the Lakers were playing.

Honeslty, I don't think the crowd could've assisted much last night.

Go Lakers!!!

As I prepared to delve into the issue of the Lakers this morning, I was already preparing a sentence about how at least Houston fans are classy ... sadly I see it is not to be (with some exceptions). I should note that this alone makes them not Spurs Lite; as after the conference finals last year I found I had developed a great amount of respect for both the Spurs organization and their fans, at least off the court.

Anyhow. The loss of home court right off the bad is irritating. (I had a dream last night that I suddenly turned to the TV and saw the game in OT! The Lakers had managed to tie in! And then was hit with the stunning disappointment a few dream-minutes later when I realized it was just some kind of throwback game with a bunch of former players messing around after the Lakers loss). On the other hand, the decision to sell my game 1 tickets is looking pretty sweet right now.

Personally, my stance is alongside a few others on here -- this loss may have been the best thing for the Lakers. Rusty or not, thus far they've really coasted through the playoffs without playing a complete game, and while last night was probably the worst of all those games, this is the wake-up call I wish they'd gotten *before* the finals last year. I'm probably more worried as a fan if they'd played that badly and then managed to squeak out a W at the end, because yet again all those mistakes would roll of their collective backs and we'd be back in the same hole we started in.

Without a doubt this Lakers team plays their very best when they're the "underdog" -- see 2 games against Boston and also breaking the Crabs home streak (in addition to other examples over the past 4 years). While still probably not the "underdog" they do now have something to prove and hopefully we will see some *real* PT. (Which would be particularly nice from our bigs ...)

Still predict Lakers in 5/6 if this loss got their heads back into the game ...

Rustiness, better team... well, we lost, is not the end of the world. That would make the series more interesting.

GO LAKERS!!!

darn

# 4 My Brother , Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Being that as it is: IF I HAVE BUT ONE LIFE TO LIVE, LET ME LIVE IT AS A LAKER FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now we will go forth and conquer brother.

lakalova,

Did you see the Orlando/Boston game? Celtics fans were screaming their lungs out when Boston was down by 20... and Boston eventually almost came back to win the game.

I still remember the Finals last year when we may as well have played on a neutral court because there were too many celebrities who didn't know who Vladimir Radmanovich was.

Furious.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO A LAKERS PLAYOFF GAME YOU SCREAM YOUR LUNGS OUT!!!!!! THAT'S IT!!!!!

IN EMPEROR JON K.'S LAKER UNIVERSE SITTING ON YOUR HANDS GETS YOUR HANDS CUT OFF!!!!!

FOR GOD'S SAKE, BE A FAN NOT A SPECTATOR!!!!!!!

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

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

GO LAKERS!

Hey, These are the playoffs. If you don't bring your A game you are going to lose, plain & simple. The Lakers are the better team and swept the R's in the regular season so I expect this will be a use full wake up call that you need to play hard and play well every game. It wouldn't surprise me to see Kobe & co bring the broom out and sweep the remaining games. There are so many areas that they can improve on that a good slap in the face is what we needed to get the focus and hunger back.

Anyone figure out why Bynum wasn't played in the 4th qtr - it looked like he was getting his rhythm

Mamba... you're a genius!!!!!

"get your balls in check and knuckle up."... loved this quote!!

As bad as we played, we still had a chance to win this game

We'll take care of business tomorrow night

Lakers win by 12

GO LAKE SHOW!!

LIGHTS OUT!!!

Edwin,

Great post.

AB must focus on being a force on D and stop with the dumb fouls. . By staying on the court, he will find his way offensively. Being active, enforcing, controlling the paint is what we need. I'm sure he's been told this, will he get it now?

As for our offense, to many jumpers plays right into Houston's hands. Portland got beat because they were a jump shooting team. Attack this team and they will foul and foul and eventually fall. Kobe will get to the rim Wednesday, you can bet on it. So will everyone else. You beat this team by attacking, not jump shooting. Battier might be a good defender on the perimeter, but he can't stop Kobe from getting to the rim. Neither can Artest. Soften the middle, then we can kick out for easy looks.

Rocketman, oh Rocketman? Where are you today? You change your mind?


Honeslty, I don't think the crowd could've assisted much last night. Go Lakers!!! Posted by: lakalova | May 05, 2009 at 09:59 AM

Agreed!! We lost. We got our @ss kicked aint no shame in that game. If you are human and living, sometime in this life you willl be subject to an @ss kicking. Last night just happened to be the Lakers time to suffer this. SO FREAKING WHAT.!!!!!! There are no perfect beings here that being the case, one hooks up with what one perceives to be the closest thing to perfection. WEEEEELLLLLLLLL. The closest thing to perfection to me is The Freakin Los Angeles Lakers! They will win and they will lose but when that final horn is sounded and there is nothing but stillnesss in the air you know what? You willl see a beautiful thiing, Dynasty # 4. Yep, and it took this here loss to pollinate the durn thing. hehehhehe

I'm with you #4. I avoid all sports sites and blogs (except this one, of course) after a loss. But this is nothing to worry about. I'm kind of glad Houston gave us a little wake up call. Expect everyone to come in full force Wednesday night.

I do have to agree that we need a change at the PG position. Fisher is a great PG but just not fast enought o keep up with Brooks. I think Shannon Brown played a much better game last night than Fisher and Farmar. I say give him the nod and test that out.

I've also got to complain, just a little, about the officiating last night. Especially the two quick fouls on AB. There was barely any contact there. Then they turn around and let Kobe get clobbered under the hoop by 3 defenders and...NO CALL?? I was heated. Definitely not the reason we lost the game but it took AB out of his game early on.

WOW...Was that really a Lakers home game last night? That had to be the quietest I can ever remember a home crowd in a playoff game. Hate to say Jon K is right, while I watched Boston down 15 points the crowd was acting as if they were up 15 with all the noise they were making. Lets hope some real Laker fans actually show up to Staples on Wednesday night.

JON K!!!!!! Thank God you have arrived. What does it look like right now in enemy territory.? God bless you son~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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