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On to the Finals: The reactions

John_Belushi_Biography_2 Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Otter
: Germans?

Boon
: Forget it, he's rolling.

Why does that classic exchange from "National Lampoon's Animal House" remind me of last night's 119-92 series-clinching Game 6 win over the Denver Nuggets.  Because whenever a person, team or entity is describe as "rolling," I always think of Bluto's speech.  But unlike the pre-med student now dealing with "seven years of college down the drain" and a sarcastic urge to "join the ^*@# peace corps," the Lakers had their facts straight while on a roll. 

As BK noted in his game summary, precision and the L.A. Lakers were a tandem as copacetic as peanut butter and jelly.  The Nuggets took the floor looking tentative and tight over their do or die situation.  Even during the game's initially competitive moments, they appeared anything but the spirited group conquering professional and personal demons.  The Lakers, on the other hand, were as cool as a cucumber that just arrived in town after a month's vacation in Siberia.  They worked an offensive game plan to perfection and used that blueprint to remain free of their opponent's grasp.  Defensively, whether you're talking paint protection or Trevor Ariza and Luke Walton's success making Carmelo Anthony work, Lakers didn't just appear on the same page.  They all seemed to be reading the same word in the same sentence of the same paragraph. 

Even better, they improved as the game progressed.  Perhaps the only negative during the first half were the eleven turnovers, certainly a tally higher than preferable.  Heading into the fourth quarter, know what number the Lakers were sitting on in that section of the box score?  Eleven.  A squeaky clean third frame not only reflected exemplary precision and patience, but help offset any damage that could have resulted from the Denver's 8-0 run and brief push.  The purple and gold offered their foe no extra chances to capitalize, a large reason Denver never did. 

The Lakers get their T-Shirts and hats What impressed me most about the performance, beyond simply how well the Lakers played, was how workmanlike and methodical it remained.  Even while up a 20-spot late in the game, purposeful ball movement  remained intact, the clock was allowed to tick away, and any exuberance over their good fortune didn't devolve into spirited but sloppy playground ball.  Similar to their reaction upon receiving hats and T-shirts, The Lakers were a group maintaining a discipline to carry forward.  Some would call that a "kiler instinct."  I just think of it as remaining focused.  Tomato or tomathto, this was the exact opposite of the mentality from Denver, a team Silver Screen and Roll thinks was hung up on the recent past.

       This is just one man's opinion, but I think a big part of the Nuggets' poor performance derived from their reaction to the officiating in game 5. In Game 4, the Lakers felt the officiating was unfair, but only Phil made a point of talking about it after the game (to my knowledge, I could be wrong). After Game 5, Karl was working the refs angle just like PJ did, and that's fine. That's a coach's job. But the Nuggets players were also complaining about it. The unidentified player (which was absolutely, definitively either JR Smith or NeNe) quote is the biggest example, but K-Mart indicated what he thought about the refs indirectly, and to a lesser extent, so did Billups.  (Ed. Note: Really, Chauncey? I thought expected more from you...)  I thought then that it was in their heads, and the carry over to Game 6 seemed clear to me.

       One of the pivotal moments of tonight's game, for me, was towards the end of the 3rd. The Nuggets were on an 8-0 run, cutting a 20 point lead to 12. The Nuggets were looking potent on offense, and Kobe was off the floor. The game was still very much in doubt. Then, K-mart tries to get a ridiculous charge call on Sasha (as if Sasha would be capable of knocking him down under any circumstances), doesn't get the call, and proceeds to pull his holding-on-to-the appendage routine for the second time in two games. 2 free throws for Sasha. Next possession, Nuggets turn the ball over, and JR reaches out and grabs Sasha for no reason. Two more free throws, 16 point game, never in doubt again. Everyone would agree the Nuggets have grown considerably this season, but they still have a lot to learn about keeping their cool.

As I noted during the live blog, Martin's intentional grabs on Sasha and Pau (during Game 5), both as subtle as a chainsaw, solidifies his standing in my mind as the NBA's single dumbest player.  As I've said many times in the past, K-Mart often seems to prioritize intimidating opponents above basketball success.  I don't care if he's no longer locker room poison.  The chip will never leave his shoulder, and any dude obsessed with proving his manhood while on company time is one I'd never want on my team under any circumstances.  710 ESPN's Steve Mason would also take a skilled finesse player any day of the week. 

Carmelo Anthony, however, I'd bring on board and having just turned 25, he's got plenty of years left for Kobe draws a foul another shot at the hardware.  Unfortunately for Melo, that shot may not happen under a Kobe-still-in-his-prime's watch, as CBS Sports' Ken Berger notes...

        Bryant keeps saying these kids coming after him don't motivate him. I don't believe him. He is standing at the gate, and all of them have to pay admission. The way Bryant performed in the conference finals, he is still a bouncer who charges an exorbitant price.  
The idea that LeBron, 'Melo or Dwight Howard could use Kobe to usher in a new era by stepping over him on the way to their first title ignores the fact that Bryant is still standing there. Dwyane Wade has one title, but it didn't come against Bryant. Wade's on vacation, anyway. 'Melo is on his way, and either LeBron or Dwight will be sent packing no later than Monday. And guess who's still standing?

        "He knows that nothing lasts forever," Ariza said. "It's your mark that you leave on the game, and he's leaving a crazy mark on the game. I don't think there's anybody out there that's better than him still. I don't think he has anything to prove. He just has the killer instinct in him that nobody can take it from him, no matter what." 

In any event, The Mamba is guaranteed to square up next round against an A-list pup.  Either Superman or The King, the latter under serious pressure to prove worthy of a puppet advertisement barrage. But whether Cleveland or Orlando moving forward, ESPN's J.A. Adande thinks the Laker opponent could very well haveits hands full against a squad that appears to be clicking at the right time.

       Eighteen games into the playoffs, at the point where results matter more than style, the Lakers finally managed to combine the two.   At this late stage it doesn't really matter how the Lakers got to the NBA Finals; it would be enough to say they're playing in the championship round in back-to-back seasons and making the trip for the 30th time in franchise history. 

Yet they chose to arrive in grand fashion, rolling in the Maybach. This was their most complete team effort of the postseason, a 119-92 road victory to close out what had been a formidable Denver team, making the blown leads against Utah and the blowout losses to a depleted Houston team seem like distant memories.

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom defend Carmelo Anthony Hopefully, visions of Lamar Odom gritting his teeth through a sore back will also remain part of the past.  While no Laker needs the downtime more than LO, the hopeful effect of that relaxation is a matter that affects the squad on an equal basis.  You don't need SI's Arash Markazi to point out how much better the Lakers (and in particular, the bench) perform with Lamar Odom able to do his thing.

     Odom, who had 12 points and three rebounds in the fourth quarter, put together two great performances (he had 19 points and 14 rebounds Wednesday) for the first time in these playoffs, and not surprisingly, the Lakers put together their best back-to-back games this postseason.

     The tired old theory about the Lakers is that when and if Odom can find a way to string together a run of great games the Lakers are an unstoppable force. Nuggets coach George Karl has often said that Odom is one of his favorite players in the league and that the Lakers are a better team when Odom and not Andrew Bynum, who had two points and one rebound in 21 minutes, is starting. The problem is that Odom has failed to show he can be the kind of player everyone expects him to be on a consistent basis.

Hopefully, "the kind of player everyone expects him to be on a consistent basis" will be a sentenced used to describe every Laker 1-12 over the next couple of weeks.

And on a completely non-Finals related note, BK and I used to love this cat when he was an NBA 12th man.  Go Yuta Tabuse!!!

 
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Open letter to the Laker Blog

Sorry to pop your bubble but the fix is on.We just finished are executive meeting (NBA and ESPN execs) and pre-ordained the winner of the Larry O`Brian title.The Cleveland cavs will finish off Orlando then will beat the Lakers in 7.Jerry Buss and Phil Jackson were notified and their hands are tied.This agreement is coming down from some big wig from China (buying the caviler franchise).The money is to great (the bribe)and we decided to crown the KING, Lebron James a ring.The series will end in 7.The NBA is corrupt,sorry.

Alright, finally a game where they hit on all cylinders. When the boys play together and Kobe is doing his thing the Lakers are unstoppable. It was a thing of beauty to watch the Thugs get spanked and put to bed in front of there hometown fans...sweet.

That David Stern comment was just....weird.

I loved the play of the Lakers these last two games. Passing was great, the dedication to getting into the post was great, the open shots resulting from better decisions were great, D Fish finally caught up a a little, which was great, and it makes me a very happy fan. Because seriously, I didn't think I could take a game seven.

Gonna watch the ORL CLE game tonight. Not sure who I want us to play. I think given the fact that we don't defend the three well, Cleveland would be the better choice. However, there are factors going both ways. Who do you guys want?

As always,

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!
I LOVE LA!!!!!!!!!!

The ABC/ESPN crew of Magic, Barry and Wilbon continue to smooch on LeBron's backside and picked the Cavs to win tonight in Orlando. The Magic haven't received the respect they deserve from the media and have been slighted by just about all the so called experts despite having the series lead and standing toe to toe with just about everyone's favorite to win it all.

In my opinion, Magic Johnson shouldn't be an analysts for any network, especially when the Lakers are in the playoffs. I'm surprised that ESPN or Magic who is a part owner of the Lakers don't see this as a conflict of interest. It's one thing to call out your players as an owner behind closed doors or in private, but to chastise and embarrass your team and the young players on a nationally televised stage is stand offish and grandstanding to me.

If I were the Magic, I would employ the same strategy on LeBron that the Cavs use on Howard. Intstead of giving up easy layups, dunks or and ones, I would wrap James up instead or foul him hard to prevent him from getting layups and challenge him to make FTS. The Magic seem to get in trouble by letting James not only finish, but foul him for a three point play. Make him go to the line.

Kobe was unbelievable from the FT line in the Denver series by shooting a blistering 92%. Clutch.

you know what i was really happy about was that fisher never looked to shoot the ball like crazy he made the right pass and he took the right shoot. There was times i was like no no no hes gonna do it hes gonna do it but now he did the right things last night thats what we need him to do.

BREAKING NEWS: The LAPD has issued an arrest warrant for Kobe Bryant in connection with the murders of the entire Denver Nuggets team. The brutal act took place last night on McNuggets' home court in front of 20,000 embarrassed fans and millions of awe-struck viewers across the world watching on live TV. Autopsy reports indicate victims showed no signs of a struggle. Beware, this man shoots to kill and will definitely strike again very soon. According to the Nuggets' own coach, not even Jesus can guard him.

Nice write up, AK.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Nemaia - I tend to agree about Magic, I love the guy but it's always seemed a bit odd to me that somebody with an ownership position would be employed by a network as an analyst during the season. I can't imagine that it hasn't come for discussion at various levels, both executive and league wide.

>>>you know what i was really happy about was that fisher >>>never looked to shoot the ball like crazy he made the >>>right pass and he took the right shoot. There was times i >>>was like no no no hes gonna do it hes gonna do it but >>>now he did the right things last night thats what we need >>>him to do.

Posted by: omega | May 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM


I agree he made some better decisions as the game went on but in the tense opening minutes, he was the only one I found myself chastising. From the ugly pass out of the corner that he threw out of bounds to the pull up 18 footer that he bricked on a 2-1 fastbreak with Pau trailing down the lane to the repeated dribbles into the corner and then stalling the offense for more than a few seconds. I have always loved DFish since we drafted him but for the first time I realized that this is going to be his last year as a significant part of the team. He probably should not be starting next year if they want to play at this same level or better. He'll always be a mentor and leader by words more than his play on the court but somebody else is going to need to step up into that starting PG role next year. Not sure if anyone currently on the squad is a sizable upgrade but we'll see what happens. Just feeling like an armchair GM today.

I also just wanted to say that it is really cool reading the posts of many of the die hard Laker fans on here. Everywhere I've lived I have always been the lone fish (Laker fan) in the sea of basketball fans around me so I have to spend more time going on the defense and calling out the haters' bull**** than enjoying reading the logical thoughts from people who see them as I do. I'm certainly not the oldest Laker fan on here, been following them since the year we drafted Nick Van Exel, but I've been a diehard since. Keep up the good words peeps and let's unite for our 15th try in 30 chances!

We have to give credit to this Lakers team. They said last year that they will fight to be back in the Finals and here they are.
Good luck guys!

Nemaia Faletogo,
The problem is that this year flagrant fouls have been called very inconsistently.. and everyone knows the refs will try to protect James and they might call flagrant fouls for simple wrap ups..

LAKER GURU FROM INDIA

4 More Wins to Glory!

"This agreement is coming down from some big wig from China (buying the caviler franchise)"

Indeed, the story is factual that part of Cavaliers was offered for sale to Chinese interests. When Americans are getting laid off, new grads could not land a good job, here comes a story to outsource the shares of an NBA team in order for Lebron James rake more millions through promotions in China by its new owners and motivate him to stay in Cleveland is just plain disgusting. Why not sell the City of Cleveland to China like the Lousiana Purchase? Today, it is a part of the franchise, tomorrow it will be the whole team Cavaliers owned by Communist China. We don't need to be political in the Lakers Blog but how can you avoid an unpatriotic act in the midst of economic hardship among basketball fans. This is more than a flagrant foul or fining a coach, it is selling a segment of our past time and entertainment for the sake of a high school (graduate) phenom. Just my take, sorry to detour from conversation about the Lakers.

Watching the pre-game coverage I noticed how all three of the other guys were trying to goad Magic into dissing a team he has a 5% ownership stock in.

Incredible.

Then they went round the horn and asked why the Lakers couldn't play the Game 5 (and 6) style of play EVERY night. All of them (except Magic, again) were roasting the Lakers saying things to the tune of too arrogant, too soft, looks like they feel entitled (basically take some of the bleakest otlook posts from here), etc.

Unfathomable.

Each commentator, except Magic, expected this team to blow teams out of the water with the frequency of explosions in an A-Team episode. No other team has had a heaping plate full of steaming hot expectations like this Laker team. Not even the Showtime Lakers had this many expectations. Or Jordan's Bulls, or Shaq/Kobe Lakers. No team. Ever.

Whatever.

True fans of both this team and the sport in general, know that the Playoffs are chock full of quality teams. Last year EVERYONE expected Hot-Lanta to get swept. What happened? Oh, I don't know, some really talented, athletic basketball players went out and just played ball taking the future NBA champs to 7 games. Same thing happened this year, except this year Chicago had the distinction of Playoff Fodder '09.

Why??????

Why do pundits actually believe that some series are going to be a cake-walk? I just don't get it. Even Jon Barry (ex-player buying into this malarky? Stupefying.) was tooting the "why don't the Lakers just cure cancer and be done with it on their yellow-brick road to the Larry O"

Silly.

So I would say that no matter what team comes out of the East, the Lakers will be expected to rebuild Babylon, bring Peace to the Middle-East, re-invent the Republican party's image, attend a Phish concert at Fenway Park tomorrow, establish a moon colony, and win the NBA Finals in a here-to-for unheard of three games.

Anything less would be pathetic.

Funny thing being a Laker, even Jesus can't stop you but you end up as a really funny puppet that lives with LBJ.

24Lakergirl...

BREAKING NEWS: The LAPD has issued an arrest warrant for Kobe Bryant in connection with the murders of the entire Denver Nuggets team. The brutal act took place last night on McNuggets' home court in front of 20,000 embarrassed fans and millions of awe-struck viewers across the world watching on live TV. Autopsy reports indicate victims showed no signs of a struggle. Beware, this man shoots to kill and will definitely strike again very soon. According to the Nuggets' own coach, not even Jesus can guard him.

Amen, sister.

Last night was some party at the LAker's blog.

Even Mamba24 stopped by for his traditional 3 min stay. Lol.

Larry can't handle the quick pace (old man) of the chat.

But what a win. Greatest, biggest, baddest win of the year.

Wes

AK,

Since their contracts expire in the same year I believe, who would you rather have to team up with Kobe: Pau or Melo?

It's a tossup from my perspective. Pau is easily one of the top 3 PF's in the game right now. Melo is clearly the 2nd best SF in the game and one of the best pure scorers. Given his close relationship to Kobe, it'll be interesting to see if Mitch considers bringing Melo on board when his contract is up.

And no doubt that K-Mart is the dumbest player in the league. I would not want that illiterate, stuttering thug on my team under any circumstance. Same goes for JR Smith. Denver would be wise to consider dumping these guys for intelligent and emotionally stable players.

Nemaia,

I think Magic is OK doing the analysis. He loves the Lakers but he's not a homer.

I was a bit shocked when he picked Denver to win at home (where the Lakers bet them), but Magic's just following his mind, not his heart.

That's OK.

I think we'd match up better with the Cavs, but I desperately want the 1st 2 games at Staples. Give us a 2-0 lead and we'll take this puppy home, just like the Dodgers in 88.

Wes

I didnt realize Nene broke his arm in the game..That could explain a little on the lopsided victory. Not to make excuses or anything, but to quote the famous Mike T, "This victory could be fool's Gold!"

I still think the lakers win this game, however, it might have been closer if Nene was at full strength.

Something I read regarding LeBron James that I would like to comment on.

The other day, I caught myself thinking how much I am getting tired of the LeBron James chat from ESPN analyst and/or experts. All I hear lately, especially eversince LeBron won the MVP trophie, is how LeBron is the best player in the league. Even our very own Jerry West stated that LeBron is now the best in the NBA.

But late yesterday evening and today, something popped in my mind. I started thinking when was the time the NBA hyped up Kobe Bryant the same way. When was it when the experts/analyst labeled Kobe Bryant as the best player in the NBA. I'm sure it was before LeBron James was heard of and sometime after Michael Jordan was on his way out. Before Michael it was Magic and sometime in that era, it was Larry Bird, and so on and so on.

Basically, the NBA is looking for its new poster child and LeBron James is the next in line. In otherwards, the NBA has decided to start putting a closure on the Kobe era and has now welcomed LeBron James as the face of the NBA. If that is how the NBA does its business, that's fine. But the question is, does it make it right.

Sure Kobe is 30 and yes he isn't going to get better than what he is now. But does proven to be the best player in the NBA has everything to do with what particular player has brought to the team. And now that LeBron brought Cleveland the best record of the year, won the MVP trophie, now suddenly, he is the best player in the league. Sure, we can't expect LeBron to make up for all that Kobe did thus far obviously because Kobe's been in the league quite a bit longer than LeBron has. But on the flipside, Kobe hasn't slowed down either. Kobe is still Kobe and our all-star guard has brought the Lakers back to the finals twice in a row. Kobe still makes clutch performances and Kobe also makes his teammates around him better.

My point is, it shouldn't be up to NBA analyst and so-called experts on who is now the best player in the NBA. Now of course it's all opinioned based but come on! We as fans are getting this stuff drilled in our heads every single day. I mean heck, they even discuss LeBron James during games he isn't even involved in. Enough already, the NBA should allow it's players to decide when to pass the torch. Bird did it to Magic....Magic did it to Jordan! Does Jon Barry, Mike Wilbon or Charles Barkley need to be the ones to decide who is now the best player. I think not!

Bynum had a quiet game last night, but I thought it was his best game in the postseason so far.

I say this because I saw nothing from Nene and the Birdman.

In a game where I expected those two to make their mark against Bynum, neither did.

I'll take this everytime. If our center position can just keep the paint quiet we'll win because of the mismatches created by Kobe and Gasol.

And is it really true that befor this year Ariza had made 8 three pointers in his entire career?

Incredible player growth if it's true.

Wes

I love alternate universes.

So in the puppet one Kobe and LeBron live together in an apartment.

Haha.

Where's Kobe's wife and kids?

Wes


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(YOU_EVER_NOTICE.…>Holding The Line Against CHAOS) MAMBA24
**** THANK YOU FOR AN ENJOYABLE REGULAR SEASON NOW GO OUT
***** AND FINISH THE JOB --- WHAT DO WE PLAY FOR? THE RINGS @ JON K.


Here is the full NBA finals schedules 2009 , as released:
DATE — TIME (ET) — DESCRIPTION — NETWORK
6/4/2009 — 9:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 1 — ABC (720p)
6/7/2009 — 8:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 2 — ABC (720p)
6/9/2009 — 9:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 3 — ABC (720p)
6/11/2009 — 9:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 4 — ABC (720p)
6/14/2009 — 8:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 5 — ABC (720p)
6/16/2009 — 9:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 6 — ABC (720p)
6/18/2009 — 9:00 PM — NBA Finals Game 7 — ABC (720p

#

Edwin Gueco,

Dude, as the Lakers secret agent (hopefully) temporarily assigned to Cleveland, I share your outrage about selling off the Cavilliars to China.

The reaction in Cleveland?

"Well, as long as it keeps LeBron here in Cleveland!"

There's just such a myopic focus on things here that people lose context and repeatedly make bad decisions that cultivate failure.

It's no accident that this city hasn't won a Championship in 61 years.

It's no accident. And it is frustrating to watch.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

In a previous post someone wrote that the turning point in the
series was when Shannon Brown made that dunk over Bird
Man in Game 5.

Nope.

The turning point was when JR Smith did his little chicken dance
in front of the Laker bench. I think that lit a little fire under some
ot the Lakers to stop coasting and break out their "A" game
so they wouldn't have to see any more shenanegins from that
little clown any more.

Maybe nobody told him that the series isn't over after 4 games.

Zen,

Nene broke his arm late in the 4th when the game was long decided.

Bynum's real value is not in the amount of points he scores in a game. We need him to do what he did in game 6. Be an inside presence on D and don't allow lay-us or dunks. I apprecaite what he did out there.

I'll admit that LeBron is a more dominant layer that Kobe at this point in their careers, but as I've said on numerous occasions, Kobe still has the opportunity to leave his legacy in the next several years. 2-3 more championships, lead the league in assists (which he can do based on the last 2 games performances), MVP in the finals this year, and defensive player of the year are all within his reach in the next several years. I'm not sure if anyone has accomplished all of these feats in a career, but this would definitely put Kobe on the Mt. Rushmore of NBA history if he could.

In a previous post someone wrote that the turning point in the series was when Shannon Brown made that dunk over Bird Man in Game 5.

Nope.

The turning point was when JR Smith did his little chicken dance in front of the Laker bench.

Posted by: Long Time Laker Fan | May 30, 2009 at 02:43 PM

Your Absolutely Right! However, Shannon Brown's dunk was in response to Jr Smith's foolishness. I would also say so was Lamar Odom's dunk over Birdman, but I think that was a personal message between Odom and the Birdman.

Odom - "Your not blocking this one lil' birdie"!

No matter of the two who are our opponents it shapes up to be a war. I
The Lakers could take any of them in 5 if the bench shows up.

I want the Zen Master to pass the Bean Town Master for the most titles as a coach.

"Bynum's real value is not in the amount of points he scores in a game. We need him to do what he did in game 6. Be an inside presence on D and don't allow lay-us or dunks. I apprecaite what he did out there."

Now the same things being said about Bynum that was said about Kwamay Brown. Don't get layups/dunks etc. Maybe he doesn't need to score a ton of points but rebounds/blocked shots/altered shots/being defensive middle to force perimeter players outward so they don't come into the paint at all.

Bynum simply has done only 1/2 of those things but didn't rebound well at all. Heck he shot 1-6 almost as bad as Lamar Odom in Game 4 (1-8).

I appreciate too what he did out there but simply put a guy who is going to be paid near Gasol type money and is barely putting production isn't playing to what his "potential" is supposed to be when it comes money wise.

Bynum when the playoff started about how his knee is fine disappeared against Utah. Then he goes on to say how Yao is a much better matchup but fails again and cries about his knee. Then the hype about going against Nene and he "looks forward to it" and when he doesn't play good blames the knee and cries about his PT. Now he says he wants Dwight when last time Dwight dropped 20 rebounds on him (8 on the offensive glass) while Bynum got a meager 3?

Gotta be more than a better version of Kwamay Brown Bynum!

Orlando need to come out and play hard and smart. No dumb 3s. They must play inside out, meaning throw the ball into the post and let Dwight make the decision to take it to the basket and draw fouls and double teams and kick it out for open 3s. Orlando must mix it up and use the height advantage in the back court against mo williams and west to get the cavs in the penalty and shoot free throws. They must do all this because the league and refs are not letting any fouls be called on lebron even when he blatanley run over the magic's players. Its orlando's series to win or lose. Don't leave 3 point shooters!!!.....

The David Stern comment is true to a certain point.Except the NBA would be more than happy with a cavs or Laker final either one holding up the trophy.I do believe the refs will deliver Orlando a defeat.Their is to much money, hundreds of millions involved to hand Orlando a victory.

glad to see the team is now finally making the conscious effort to pound the ball low in the past 2 games. game 6 was the best game of the postseason for the team. the nuggets were only able to stay in the game because the lakers got in the penalty early in a few of the quarters so the nuggets could shoot free throws even though their offense was stagnant. good to see the lakers not wilt in the 2nd half and not lose the big lead when the nuggets had a few spurts. don't know what happened to carmelo. he looked out of it -- maybe he partied a bit too much the night before or something for his birthday. anyhow, if they play the way they played in games 5 and 6 by pounding the ball low and moving their feet on defense, the finals could be a short series.

Great morning everyone;

Analysis from all is right-on - can't add a thing about style and grace of the team, and peaking at the right time is an understatement. Some thoughts:

Bynie is still a non-factor. I'm a fan, understand. All who state that he is the key to Laker success are both wrong and understating the value of the rest of the team. An effective AB would be great, but last night shows what a title team plays like - B could've been sent home and it would all be the same. Someday for Andrew.

A blogger stated that we couldn't resign both Lamar and Trevor - where is that written? Both are needed for the above to be true, and both have played to and beyond expectations. Maybe lux tax is in our globetrotting owner's future but whatever the solution, solve it. Let's get fat now and spend whatever is needed on all the extras that make a dynasty - Jerry B can save later when Kobe retires.

While I'm on the Buss wagon, who here doesn't just LOVE Jeannie Buss? What a person, inside and out.

Trolls are trolls and they like to needle us but they are not the Celtics - a great heart of a team that we can learn from. Don't knock the Celtics when kicking trolls, for this ignores the truth and that hurts our cred.

If Fernando wants Staples Center to be in the Valley, let it be there - I understood his love and spirit.

I would like to see an enforcer come onto the team, either from inside or by acquisition. No team looks forward to receiving pain in the paint - and with the scoring pain we give in that very paint, 'twould be a monstrous combo.

We need a point guard for the regular season but not last night. Do we really need a "point guard?" Maybe a defensive big guard. One super fast guard on the other team can't beat the Lakers by himself, so what's the big deal?

Bob Seger is better than at least one blogger that I know of on this site.

Spiro Didas is an amazing play-by-play man - we are so lucky to have him. I miss Chick so much, I put myself in the refrigerator on occasion just for the memories and yes - the jello is jigglin' in there.

MAMBA24 has made me feel quite at home - Mayberry loves Mamba.

I have absolutely no wish to watch slash and dish basketball (Orlando), so let's root on Cleveland and see a nice series. We do want to beat LeBron to make this thing right, right?

Ernest T. Bass loves the NBA Finals.


Hi guys!

YEEEEEE HAWWWWWW!!!

I'm so happy about that win last night. I think it has to rate right up there with their best game of the season - along with the Boston & Cleveland road wins.

Last night they showed they were there because they deserved it. They were there because they earned it. And they were there because nothing will be allowed to interfere with their date with destiny.

It all begins Thursday. The real series - the real playoffs - the real push to the prize.

Thursday.

All doubters better get out of the way now, because the championship bandwagon has picked up a full head of steam and you really, really, really, really, really, really don't want to be standing on the road in front of it. You WILL be run over. Seriously.

This team is poised for the first Larry O to be taken by the 4th dynasty. The 10th for PJ. History is now in the making, people.

I certainly hope you have enjoyed the ride thus far. It will only be getting better.

Starting Thursday.

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

I'm still confused.

Just exactly what is Crabbron king of???

Cleveland??

The local drive-through???

Seriously - what??

I don't get it....

LTLF,

>>> Okay, I'm already bored waiting for the next round of the
>>> playoffs to begin.

>>> So I think starting point guard is the biggest chink in the Lakers
>>> armor going forward, especially since D-Fish will be a year older
>>> and a step slower next season.

I’ve also been bored and thinking of the Lakers point guard situation the last few days but from a totally different angle. Your post gave me the perfect segue to see what you think about my latest wild and crazy idea…

(1) Kobe Bryant as the Lakers next point guard.
(2) Trevor Ariza moves to shooting guard.
(3) Lamar Odom becomes starter at small forward.

Two of the main reasons the Lakers dominated the Nuggets last night were their relentless pounding the ball inside and Kobe Bryant’s masterful orchestration of the Lakers offense. It was the Lakers realizing that they play their best and smartest when they play inside-out basketball and when they put the ball and decisions in Kobe Bryant’s hands ala LeBron. Last night’s game was not only a statement to the Nuggets and the rest of the NBA but also a preview of how the Lakers offense and Kobe’s role in it are dynamically changing.

As the team’s offensive focus shifts from a perimeter-oriented often Kobe-dependent style to a low post power-oriented player-independent scheme, Kobe’s role as the Lakers’ top scorer will evolve more and more into that of a facilitator, defender, and team leader. Why not take the next logical step and make Kobe the team’s starting point guard? After all, he not only has what we need at the point in the Triangle Offense – great ball handling, smart playmaking, sure 3-point shooting, and lock-down defense – but is also already doing it!

Moving Kobe to point would also open up the shooting guard position and finding a good shooting guard is a hell of a lot easier than finding a good point guard. What if the Lakers could pull off a trade for a veteran shooter like Ray Allen to play along side Kobe? That is a more realistic task than trying to trade for a Deron Williams, Chris Paul, or Derrick Rose. Shooting guard is probably the easiest position on a basketball roster to fill. Word is that the Warriors are shopping Monta Ellis. How about a Kobe and Monta Ellis backcourt?

Psychologically, moving Kobe to point guard is the perfect answer to easing the team’s transition from a perimeter-oriented to low post-oriented offense. Give Kobe the chance to replace shot attempts with defensive plays and assists. Even more importantly, give him a chance to handle the ball even more and to level the playing field in the media’s eyes between him and LeBron. Hell with MJ, let’s release the Magic in Kobe Bryant. From a PR standpoint, the league, the media, his fans, and his teammates would all love it.

What I would like to see happen in my fantasy scheme, however, would be the Lakers committing to Trevor Ariza as shooting guard. That would give us a starting backcourt duo with great size who could score inside and out but even more importantly who could defend like a pair of Dobermans – or deadly snakes – the Mamba and the Cobra. Kobe and Trevor would lead the lead in steals and the passing lanes would become freeways. Look for the Lakers to consider this option and start tinkering with it next season.

Finally, moving Trevor to shooting guard gives the Lakers the opportunity to start Lamar Odom at small forward, giving the Lakers a most potent and unmatchable starting five. The team could then focus in the offseason in bringing in a veteran front court player who could provide valuable minutes at power forward and help replace Lamar’s loss from the bench. It could be a player like Powell but who plays better defense and is tougher.

(1) Kobe Bryant 6-7
(2) Trevor Ariza 6-7
(3) Lamar Odom 6-11
(4) Pau Gasol 7-0
(5) Andrew Bynum 7-1

Could this be the Lakers starting lineup next year? What do you think?

Tom

Can't wait for the Finals to start. I'm also feel weird seeing Magic on the ESPN booth listening to the trash and negative critics toward the Lakers. He is my idol but as long as he's part of the Lakers' family, he shouldn't be part of the national broadcasting team such as ESPN.

And I agree that the momentum starts with the renown JR's chick'n dance. It's grand that the Thuggets finally won a game at home but that win just forged a tie 2-2.

We need more production in the Finals from AB, he looked lost yesterday on both ends!


Mamba24, please add my name to your next roll call, thank!


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