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Lakers crush Orlando in Game 1: 25% down, 75% to go

Kobe Shoots over Orlando's JJ Redick in Game 1 That space between the end of the Conference Finals and the start of the big show for the Larry O is one where imagination can run wild.  Everything, from the matchups to the rotations to the performances of individual players is completely hypothetical.  Fans can picture greatness, they can worry about failure. You just don't know until a guy with a whistle tosses a ball in the air and things play themselves out. 

Well, in Thursday night's 100-75 thrashing of the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center, the Lakers delivered something very real and totally tangible.  The home team was dominant across the board, starting with Kobe Bryant, who lit up Stan Van Gundy's bunch like the finest Cohiba.  40 points, eight boards, and eight dimes, making life miserable for Orlando in the post and the high screen and roll and, dominating from mid range against a defense caught between a need to play Kobe straight up and 24's demand that he be doubled.  It was the first manifestation of nearly a week's worth of incredible focus and intensity, and a determination not to leave a third straight Finals empty-handed.  Pity the Magic for stepping in between Bryant and his goal.  Hikers who do that with mama bears and cubs tend to get mauled, too.   

So after one game, it's fair to call Bryant the early favorite for Finals MVP


Still, dominant as Kobe was (and he was), you can argue his wasn't the most impressive performance of the game, at least if you're willing to trade individual accomplishment for that of the team.  The Lakers were outstanding defensively, putting a muzzle on Orlando's high quality, high efficiency offense.  The Magic shot 30% for the night, and had only one quarter (the first) with more than 19 points.  The Lakers were effective on Dwight Howard, limiting him to only one field goal. Chalk some of it up to a bad shooting night, but the Lakers held Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu to a combined 5-21.  Orlando didn't crush from downtown, and was completely ineffective inside the arc, particularly in the paint.

These are good numbers.  

More reaction from Game 1:

Ramona Shelburne, Daily News:

At 30, with a birthday coming up in August, his window to grab it won't last many more years.A new generation of stars waits patiently in the wings, waiting for him to lose a step or some swagger. LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard. All worthy heirs, but not worthy just yet.As much as his legacy needs an NBA title without Shaquille O'Neal, this year's pursuit is not about that. O'Neal is admittedly in his twilight years, twittering off into the sunset. When he resurfaced on the eve of the Finals, declaring that he'd be rooting for Bryant to win his fourth title, it was met with little more than a shrug. As large as O'Neal's footprints are in this series, it is all about Bryant now.The moment, the stage, set entirely for him.

Thursday night, he owned it.

"You just feel it once the game gets going," Lakers forward Luke Walton said. "There's really no way to truly stop him, it's just whether he's going to miss or not."

Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com, on the Magic:

They get one win for it," Van Gundy said. Yep, one win. But it was the kind of win -- Howard kept coming back to the theme of not having enough "effort and energy" -- that left you wondering how Superman had enough zip to high-five Jack Nicholson a half-dozen times before the opening tip but not enough juice to prevent himself from being outplayed by Andrew Bynum when the two were matched against each other in the first 12 minutes.In short, the Magic looked liked tourists. Happy to be here, but clueless when it comes to knowing how to get into a comfort zone. Freshly washed (nice haircut, by the way, Stan), but then dirtied by their unfamiliarity with the territory in which they now find themselves treading. It isn't supposed to be this way, not in the Finals.


Chris Webber, in commentary for the LAT/Orlando Sentinel:

"You evaluate their expressions before the game and you think that for Orlando to match that [Lakers] intensity, against a team that has been here so many times, it's hard. It's a different thing, the Finals, and you look around, Kobe has been here before, Phil Jackson has been here before.

"You can't overrate experience or sometimes naivete that you don't know what to expect and you just go out and play. That works sometimes. But experience usually wins out, and I think that made a big difference tonight. The expressions on the Lakers' faces, especially Kobe's, those were a winner's look."


Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie:


Phil Jackson mentioned Kobe's "drive" after the game, and I'm sure a lot of observers took it to mean his will, or his steely-eyed gaze, or the way he "wants it more." In the context of what Jackson was discussing at the time, and what we saw in Game 1, it's clear that this would be missing the point. Kobe's "drive" had nothing to do with that nebulous stuff, and it didn't have anything to do with him driving the middle. As it usually is, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Kobe's "drive" had to do with his insistence on penetrating the Magic defense quickly and without hesitation, all while not making too obvious a move. No dribble-dribble-dribble nonsense from Bryant, just immediate decisions that put the league's best defense on its heels, and allowed for spacing and execution from the Laker prime time players that improved considerably as the game went on.

That isn't to say Bryant wasn't focused like you wouldn't believe. But understand how this focus reveals itself, when he makes the right decisions. It's not about scowls and redemption and legacy to Bryant. He knows better, at this point. It's about quickly calling for a high screen and roll out of the sideline Triangle in order to take the Magic defense out of its comfort zone. It's about things that have to do with basketball, not sports talk radio fodder.

And more...

BK




 
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MVP ... nuff said ...

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

3 more games to go!! We just have to win Sunday.

What a boring game - nice job by the lakers - but after all the great competition we've enjoyed so far this postseason, it'd be a shame to see the Finals go out with a whimper.

I think LA had 12 months of frustration that they took out last night. They couldn't quite match the points that they lost to BOS by in Game 6 last season, but they clearly wanted to get that bad taste out of their mouths. ORL on the other hand looked out of sorts - stage fright perhaps?

Even though koby had a nice run, I wouldn't call 30 shots to make 40 pts terribly efficient.

This may have been what ORL needed - a slap in the face.


AK,

Thanks for your response. And if you didn’t realize it, I was mostly just teasing you as we rarely disagree except by degree but I did think the Lakers effort of holding Howard to just one basket and no dunks was a big psychological factor in the game as well as the Lakers’ confidence and Magic’s lack of confidence. I also think Drew may have been instructed by Phil not to let Dwight get any dunks. Anyway, we will just have to agree to disagree because I thought Drew set the tone for the entire game and maybe the series.

If you go back and look at the second quarter of this game, there are some very strong parallels to Friday night’s close out game versus Denver. With Pau struggling and the Lakers falling behind by 5, Phil called a time out and put Drew and Kobe back in the game. Kobe immediately nailed two quick mid-range jumpers behind great screens from Drew and the Lakers turned on the switch defensively and shut down the Magic and proceeded to turn the 5-point deficit into a 10-point half-time lead. Game over.

While Kobe was MVP, a very strong argument could be made that it was Drew’s playing Dwight Howard to a standstill in the first half that set the stage for the Lakers big win. At any rate, I understand where you were coming from but I thought the end result was not recognizing how important Drew was to the Lakers winning this game. Still hindered by his injured knee and limited by the brace, Drew went out there and out-played the best center in the league. That is a hell of lot better than “Not Bad.” To me, it bordered on insulting Drew to not include him in the Good. I think you have said many times that there should be no BAD section in games like this. Just wish you’d done that last night.

Otherwise, great job in the playoffs. You guys are generating so much great stuff that I can hardly keep up. I feel like a rotary dial phone trying to keep up with the Internet. The podcasts and videos are terrific. Much appreciated all the work to get those threads up last night. This will be the 15th Lakers championship but the big #1 for the blog.

Tom

3 quick thoughts:

1. Happy belated, Larry! Did you enjoy your present?
2. Not letting Howard get dunks was brilliant. Great job, Drew, Pau and doublers!
3. Didn't like seeing Kobe re-enter the game with 7 to go and a lead of 20+. I'm glad he got his 40 from a ceremonial standpoint but it was an ugly process to get those four in the fourth and risky from an injury standpoint.

PS: YES!

Utz,

Let me know if you guys do the LA Live gathering. I would love to join you guys. Hit me up on face book.

Charles

You just make sure you don't reneg on THE DEAL, okay Butler.

Well I thought it was a good game. But no not one of the best game. I did expect for it to be a close intense game as both teams are good. I am waiting for game 2.

There goes Butler with his Premature Evaluation.

Buttler;

What's wrong with 30 shots to get 40 points? What's wrong with 30 shots to get 30 points? Let's see - if a guy takes 30 shots and gets 30 points (no three pointers - like a center, for instance), that's 50% shooting. Now add in the extra ten points for free throws - which coach wouldn't take a 50% shooter with ten made free throws? Name that person? You? Buttler - we all can take your sass but be real. Knock Kobe's stupid-looking face or his off-season rants from a few years ago - geez, your tasting like sour grapes. Be real. Be here and not nowhere.

Game 1 is indeed a history but we cannot project the curve all the way to Game 4. Always assume that is an asterisk game on part of Orlando, always prepare for the counter punch on Sunday, they are now two games old with experience in the Finals. Lakers should continue their mental preparation, honing skills on the free throw line and continue reading the offense that Orlando would give. Game 2 is an insurance for the Lakers that they will come back from Orlando on Game 6 so it is a must win. On the part of Orlando Magic, their objective is 1-1 and they could finish the job in Orlando that's their focus on this pivotal game. It could be a turning point for both teams Lakers could continue dominating the Magic to the point of submission and intimidation. Orlando could come back strong after worldwide embarrassment on their second trip to the Finals. Mr. De Vos is reminding his staff here at Staples on what happened in 1995 Finals against Olajuwon so that is a motivation for them to strike back.

I'm trying to think of Utz post about the Leprechauns, I wonder what they are doing now? Paula Pierce is now back in Inglewood, he missed the circus & nobody is asking the best player in the world (according to him) of his greatest game so far... or KG continue the clean up of his beach house in Malibu. He earns his bread in Boston and spend it here in southern California. It must be a boring life to be an ex-Champ after one year of glory, not in the category of Bill Russell who dominated the league for a decade or Larry Bird always in the Finals. Well, these guys are not real Celtics but a bunch of mercenaries put together by Ainge and McHale that 131 would never agree. LMAO!

You guys are getting together to watch the game with out El Guapo???

Sad Panda :(

Any way...no one at worked believed me when I said it was gonna be a blow out... Game 2 will be closer ALOT closer. With the butterflies gone Orlando will be a better team than last night but none the less, the Lakers will prevail!!!!

No but seriously if you guys are getting together I would love to hang out with you folks...

i honestly can't believe Butler isn't over this whole Suns-Lakers, middecade "rivalry".

No matter. We make enemies, we win championships. We win championships, we make enemies.

If Orlando doesn't hate us already for taking Shaq and now winning the first game of the finals, I hope they do by the end of this.

Speaking of conquered trolls, did anyone catch sonnybelfast on the other day?

Toward the end of his stay here, he was actually quite amenable.

Personally, I was ok with Kobe playing in the 4th. Anyone who watched the Magic play the Cavs and the Celts know that these guys can score very quickly if their 3-ball starts dropping. They come back from 20+ deficits in a span of about 3-4 minutes in previous games. As much as I like our bench, they wouldn't have been able to handle them on a good run like that. We could've been talking about the Lakers dropping a 20pt lead and losing on the last posession like the Cavs did. So again, I'm ok with than and was glad that he came out and gave Powell and Mbenga some good minutes.

Also, I loved what Kobe said last night at the presser..."WE NEED TO JUST FORGET ABOUT IT". I like their composure in knowing that the work isn't done yet. I like that there have been no real celebrations from this team even after winning the WCF. That's focus. They'll have plenty of time to celebrate when we win the championship.

I was hoping to be able to get out there for the parade but it looks like it might happen a lot sooner than expected so I'll have to watch from home. :-(

Either way...I'm seriously ecstatic and can't wait for Sunday's game.


Laker TOm, AK, BK

"I feel like a rotary dial phone"

Well put. It's daunting to wade through the volumes written about our team now.

So much good work, so many great lines get washed away in the waves of words written on the subject in so many venues.

We used to read a couple of LA TImes articles, now we've got Kobe's every facial expression covered from every angle and interpreted by more.

Too much about too little? NEVER!

GO LAKERS!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaa

BUTLER SINGLE HANDEDLY DEAFTS ALL LAKER FANS, TIME AND TIME AGAIN:

1. IT IS A MIS MATCH
2. AS THE LAKER FANS HAVE NO ANSWER TO BUTLER
3. THIS IS HANDS DOWN A CLEAN SWEEP
4. BUTLER HAS ALL THE LAKER FANS UNDER HIS THUMB
5. BUTLER HAS TAKEN ON THE ENTIRE LAKER BLOG COMMUNITY HEAD ON AND HAS THEM ON THEIRT HEELS WITH NO ANSWER
6. BUTLER CAN SCORE AT WILL AGAINST THE LAKER FANS HE IS LIKE KOBE WHO CAN GET HIS SHOTS AT WILL.
7. BUTLER RULES
8. HAIL TO BUTLER
9. LONG LIVE BUTLER

Butt-ler boy,

Seriously?? You are one delusional little troll, aren't ya?

I wonder what kind of upbringing you had to always be so optimistic about your team with NO good reason, and so negative about ours with EVERY good reason to cheer for them.

What kind of medication are you on? There HAS to be medication involved. Or drugs of another persuasion.

Just make sure you uphold your end of the deal, dude.

GO LAKERS!

Victory in game 2!

Bynum impact was substantial in game 1

Butler,30 shot attempts and winning by 25 isn't effecient but it got the job done. This wasn't a slap in orlando's face,this was reality setting in. Why do people always tie last year's game 6 to any blowout we put out. Game 6 was the lakers giving up and the c's just kept playing to extend the lead,last night the magic still had hope and was playing but they couldn't get over that hump.

Point is,you can't have a postseason full of exitement and not expect the better team to totally dominate the finals. What do you expect,good officiating and inconsistency. We will win because we are 4 years above the magics.

Charles: I said in the previous blog that I can't set up the particulars about meeting at LA Live. It's gonna be a zoo & someone will need to get there earlier to reserve a spot at Yard House (not feeling ESPN Zone - food stinks!) - and I know I won't be available to get a early table for us.

So -

Princess Jimmy was finally fined by the league for failing to uphold his press obligation.

$25,000 - just a drop in the bucket.

What a farce.

Taliq - excellent post on the conversation that must have gone down LOL! I just have one question though - how did Stern do all that talking with his lips firmly pressed to Princess Jimmy's ass?

Jon K: As the final broker for the terms of THE DEAL, remind our Blog Bretheren & Sisteren of the terms again?

If you aren't that concerned about keeping Bynum on the floor, and you're happy with whatever he can do during his twenty-or-so minutes, then use his fouls to keep Howard from getting dunks. Personally, I think that is OK, because at this point of Bynum's development/injury recovery, I think the Gasol-Odom pairing is still working better than the Bynum-Gasol pairing.

But if you would prefer to have Bynum on the court for 30+ minutes, then the Lakers are better served if he does not use his fouls "intentionally." At least not that early in the game.

Remember that "foul" last year by Fish at the end of the game that the Lakers and Spurs were able to get behind them immediately but the league just wouldn't let it die and did a post-game analysis to decide it was indeed a foul. We'll they are at it again:

League Office Has a New Press Release Regarding the MVP Selection Process.

Its Just one word:

"OOPSIES"

LETS GET THIS DONE LA LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!

This Butler boy is more effective than BK's thread. With his one post, he gets raided by the Laker die hards. Because we read his name in several posts, that's happiness to him for his mission is accomplished. KL and Butt' are both anti Kobe and that stance will never change.

I just read an article that talked about how the Lake Show is 5-1 in the playoffs this year when Luke plays more than 20 minutes: http://tinyurl.com/nuwma7

So for all those haters out there, please note that Luke can actually play. His post game reminded me of his junior year at Arizona, when he was almost averaging a triple-double: http://tinyurl.com/oa7pqw

Our defensive energy and rotations were extremely crisp. if we keep doing that, and keep bringing 3+ people to the glass for defensive rebounding (if you don't believe me, check the replay of the game - there were more Lakers players around the ball than Magic players), we could actually make this a really short series. Dwight Howard is the only Orlando player who rebounds with any tenacity - by keeping the ratio around 3:1, we should command the boards and, by proxy, control the number of second chance points that Orlando gets for the game.

With the types of looks that Dwight Howard got throughout the game, we need to keep throwing different defenders at him. Sending double teams from all different angles (the way Michigan did during this year's NCAA Men's Basketball tournament) lessens the ability for DH to get comfortable with anything. Much like a good pitcher mixes up their pitches, so should we as far as our defensive scheme is concerned.

I'm thinking that the Magic will start to send double teams early to Kobe, which should be to our benefit, as Pau and Lamar are two of the best passing big men in the league.

I'm interested to see how Orlando tries to respond.

Yes, the Mamba was the MVP last night. He simply ripped the will out of the Magic. If the Magic continue to guard Kobe one on one in the perimeter (like what they did against Lebron), he will destroy this team with his offense. If the Magic decide to double Kobe on the perimeter (like Denver), he will destroy this team with his playmaking. The Magic are in DEEP DEEP trouble folks.

But I have to hand it to Phil, who I think had the biggest impact on the game.

To abandon the triangle and go exclusively with the pick and roll for almost the entire game was GENIUS, and obviously caught the Magic off guard. Stan Van Gundy has NO IDEA what Phil is gonna do for game 2 now. Again, the Magic are in DEEP trouble.

He also called a timeout at the perfect time in the second quarter as soon as he saw the bench struggling.

To my surprise, Phil's unwavering confidence in Fish and Luke through their struggles is finally paying off.

I thought Phil was going to cover Dwight one on one for three quarters and start doubling him in the fourth, similar to his strategy against Duncan, but Dwight was doubled from the start. The double teaming occurred after Dwight made his move to the rim, giving him little time to react and find the open man. There were also plenty of fake doubles, where Fish would act like he was going to double, but never committed. Bynum's HARD manly fouls on Dwight also prevented Dwight from getting into a groove. Basically, Phil's game plan confused the ^%*&^ out of Dwight.

I completely agree with Laker Tom, LTLF, Fatty and others. Bynum played near FLAWLESS basketball. He did EXACTLY what Phil wanted him to do. NO DUNKS, NO LAYUPS equals NO CONFIDENCE, NO MOMENTUM for the Magic. I was cheering hysterically at every hard foul by Bynum. He makes the front court TOUGH, something we were lacking last year. Sure, it leads to Bynum being off the floor, but Pau can jump right in and play solid D on Dwight as well with his length, positioning, and flops.

We witnessed history last night folks. The next Laker Dynasty has officially begun.

Laker Tom,

I agree with you. Drew played a much bigger part in this win than his stats showed. He never let the best center in the league get into rhythm. He contested D12's shots and made him work very hard. Howard was not able to gain any momentum or confidence as he was kept at bay by Drew most of the first half. And yes senior Gasol did a great job on D12 also when Drew was on the bench, but it was the first minutes of the game that set the tone for this great victory.

GO LAKERS!

UNLEASH THE BEAST! [Remove the brace]

*NEW* KOBE-LEBRON PUPPET COMMERCIAL!

I cant believe Nike would make this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra2ms0e1IQs

They basically diss Bron....!

Off Topic::

Hoopshype and Hoopsworld is suggesting Boston is open to trading Rondo and Ray Allen?

Tell me Rondo wouldn't be awesome for us with his length, defensive intensity and ability to rebound...I don't know if we could get someone like Ray and if he and Kobe could co-exist but he is def a shooter and we could use someone with his type of veteran pedigree..Even though they are both presently green-weenies until otherwise traded, i am just thinking out loud especially since its been rumored somewhere I read that we would trade our 1st rounder, maybe that and some of what we presently have can get it done.

Any thoughts or maybe not??


Hey everyone... How goes it... Have u guys heard the new Lil' Wayne track called Kobe Bryant?? It's great... Here's the link... http://www.streetanthem.com/2009/06/04/lil-wayne-kobe-bryant/

Check it out...

EastCoastJessie:

I feel you on that comment. I absolutely love the PROFESSIONAL approach the Lakers have taken towards their opposition the ultimate goal of the team. The nothing is WON in ONE game, and they have plenty more basketball ahead of them, much work to do and that Orlando is indeed, a formidable opponent, worthy of their respect and that they have pay attention to detail with that team, cuz they do have a never say die attitude..We just have to keep grinding and working hard. So far so good. I love the approach we have taken across the board, the entire team and staff and their dedication to working hard on both ends of the floor, covering each other and playing PEAK basketball and the most appropriate time of the season...

GO LAKERs -- keep grinding...

Lakersrydeordie: No Rondo's allowed in Laker Nation. We will NEVER make a deal with the enemy. NEVER! EVER!

Thoughts on last night's game...

-I hope last night was Kobe's attempt at putting a stamp on the series and not an indication that he plans to fly solo for these finals. Just wouldn't work. You know that Orlando is going to shoot better. This will be a series, trust me.

-Luke Walton looked relaxed. This makes me feel relaxed.

-I absolutely loved the way Andrew chose to give those hard fouls on Dwight. Totally set the tone. Honestly, I don't mind if Andrew fouls out playing that way. The Lakers really don't lose much (they actually probably get better in a lot of ways) when he goes to the bench.

-I love Lamar & Pau!

-I get sad watching Jordan play these days.

-I like listening to Jeff Van Gundy call games. I find him extremely entertaining; especially when the Lakers are winning.

-Seriously, what better lineup do the Lakers have at the defensive end than: Kobe, Brown, Ariza, Odom, Pau/Bynum. Sick I say.

-I also feel bad for Sasha. He wants this so badly and he just hasn't been able to contribute. Hopefully he hits some big three at some point for validation.

-Kobe totally effed up his shootiong percentage in the fourth. Serves him right, I guess. He shouldn't have been in there AND he was being guarded by JJ Reddick. Uh...

AK/BK

I love that after most responses you provide to bloggers after having some issue with your analysis, they respond back with the, "I was just teasing/joking" line. You can't tell me that's not annoying.

Jon K

I understand the "intent" of your post, but again, c'mon dude. Pretty low brow for someone I hold up in really high regard on this blog. Anyway, just wanted to burp my opinion your way. I still think you're great.

Go Lakers!!!

CONTROL HOWARD CONTROL THE SERIES

Good game 1 but it is unrealistic to believe that Howard and the Magic will play this poorly again. No time to let up, but the Lakers seem to have found that intensity necessary to win this championship series.
We need to thank both Houston and Denver for preparing us to play physical ball.
Same can be said about Boston last year, they were just on a different level than the Lakers. Orlando looks like last years Lakers, a finesse team unable to cope with the physicality of the Lakers.

excuse my TYPOS in my post everyone..At work, creeping......lol

Gortat and Howard were on the floor together in the 4th.

Was SVG testing this? Are they now going to try to come at the Lakers big?

Butler -

What? 40 points on 30 shots isn't efficient? Last time I checked that's over 1.3 points per shot, a clear victory over a defense. Or are you using your crazy Phoenix gorilla math?

Last time I checked, we also blew out the other team by 25 points. We kept a highly efficient offensive team to 75 points. Of course, you're right. This victory doesn't compare to that awesome Phoenix playoff victory... oh, wait. The Suns don't HAVE any playoff victories this year, because they couldn't even make the dance. Shaq has as many points in a playoff series this year as I do.

How does it feel to have Shaq sniffing around Staples, begging to be let back in like a dog that's been out all night? How does it feel to know that your small, small window of opportunity is now completely gone?

Hope you enjoy your summer, troll.

Not a huge fan of Walton's game, but he really showed me something in that first game. Bravo, Luke!

EFFICIENCY? Kobe?? He was a shade under 50%, not baddd..About his playoff average.....Considering he barely gets to the free throw line -- that was dayum good, so why MOFOS always gotta hate -- always tawkin bout how many shots that man takes -- always looking for something negative to hang their hats on -- people cannot stand greatness -- people are sooooooo effn jealous and envious of greatness its pathetic...Enjoy and appreciate and marvel and learn from somebody that plays that game like his EFFN life depends on it, every breath, he takes, everything in him is all about his love for the game, you can see that it oozes from him -- he doesnt cheat the game in any way -- he plays to win, EFFn enjoy it for what it is -- a man lovin what he does...

Otherwise, simply fall back and don't watch!


GO Lakers -- Kobe, you da man!

- Phil has a ton of experience dealing with the different defenses teams used to employ against Shaq. As a result, Phil should know how to guard Dwight better than anyone.

- I knew Abande would somehow try to diminish Kobe's performance somehow. I was right.

- The Magic did not pay much attention to Ariza on the perimeter. I predict a big game from Ariza in game 2.

- When Lamar gets deep post position against Lewis or Turkolu, it's almost automatic.

- Bynum had a great game, but let's not go overboard and say that he played Dwight to a draw. Dwight has to deal with double and triple teams.

Utzworld,

I feel you and respect you about your views about the "ENEMY" but I do believe Rondo is an upgrade to what we have currently on the bench -- hell, I am just saying.. But again, I feel you...Besides, Danny "Scroungface" Ainge would never do such a trade...

Just a thought..

Lil Dez looks like Spike Lee bugging everyone. lol! Did you see the first commercial of Finals - Disney dragon, this is a win-win for them, their two sites are being advertised simultaneously.

EX & others,

The best developmental point of Drew at this time is avoiding useless fouls or shall we call foul management during his playing time but still a force to be reckoned with, in the post. The more he develops that skill, the better his progress will be to play more than 30 minutes a game. He will never be regarded a "beast" if he is just a reliever of LO, gradually he should assert his power play in the lineup. In fact, I like the lineup of having the three towers out there and the two slashers in the final minutes. They are the best players of the Lakers. Secondly, if Bynum fouls prevented the momentum of Howard, that's a bad reputation or habits that Bynum is getting into, he's the next Travis Knight or Sun Yue getting fouls every two possessions that will remove the Lakers threat in the playoffs or our ace who was not featured last year. I have seen Bynum's finest moments when he is the second defender in making blocks hidden from a Laker defender like for example the block by Kobe on Dwight or the block of Ariza on Lewis. Bynum should choose look for those opportunities and master the timing of those blocks. He does not need to jump but just raise his hand and time it on the trajectory point of the ball release. Anything in basketball, you have to practice it in drills so many times lke what Kobe has done. We are amazed how he does with ease but his diligence in practice paid off.

Having been very critical of the Lakers effort (and coaching) throughout much of these playoffs, I am so happy to be able to be positive again. The last 3 games have been excellent. The players, from starters to bench, have been focused and driven, playing hard on both ends of the floor. This is what I've been waiting for, and it is so good to see.

After being critical of Phil's rotations, I am also happy to offer some praise in his direction. Unlike prior playoff games, he had his team ready to play, and his rotations have been vastly improved in the last few games. The decision to reinsert Kobe with 7 minutes left was excellent from my point of view. It set the tone that we will NOT allow Orlando to mount any kind of comeback or get into any kind of groove before game 2. THAT IS KILLER INSTINCT!

So, sweet effort (again) = sweet victory (again). Now the caveat: Orlando did miss a lot of shots, and while Laker defense definitely was a factor, I don't know that we can expect that kind of bad shooting to continue. I would expect a much closer game on Sunday, but if the guys run the floor (both ways) like they did last night (especially Drew & Pau in transition D) this team is going to be in great shape....

utzworld/Laker Nation/Butler,

Here are the terms of the compromise deal:

If the Lakers are victorious:

1. Butler will publicly congratulate Laker Nation on the win.

2. Butler will publicly apologize to Laker Nation for ALL the times he insulted the Lakers and especially for the times he doubted the Lakers' ability to win the Championship.

3. Butler will avoid using terms like GNASH and SHACK (all caps mispelling) for the summer.

4. Butler will avoid proclaiming/discussing how the Suns will win the Championship next year for the summer.

If the Magic win:

1. I and various Blog Elders will congratulate the Magic on their victory.

2. I and various Blog Elders will admit Butler plays a valuable role on this blog as the devil's advocate.

3. I and various Blog Elders will publicly compliment the Suns as a team, especially noting their very strong competitive history in the Western Conference and NBA as a whole.

Such are the terms of the deal.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I understand it's proper English, but is anyone else getting annoyed at various writers' stubborn insistence to refer to the Magic as singular, i.e. The Magic "is" getting beat down by the Lakers. I don't know, but I think an exception can be made here. Being wrong here seems to have never felt so right. Oh well, back to picking my nose.

Go Lakers!!!


O.K. L.A. all together now

Magic, you ain't got Jack.



lakalova,

I apologize if I've offended you. I actually think the overall picture benefits He Who Shall Not Be Named more than anything else. I'm just passing along information from people who supposedly have inside knowledge on the subject. That's all.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

PAU GASOL!!!!!

Pau isn't getting much love for what he did last night. The man played some STRONG, PHYSICAL defense last night against the strongest player in the league. Pau battled Dwight all night, never allowing him to set up shop with deep position and then he finished off his defensive stands by blocking out Howard and keeping him off the offensive boards. Granted, the Spaniard got a lot of help from a commited Laker team that followed coach Jackson's game plan to the letter. Drew, Lamar, Kobe and Fish all provided strong double teams against the Magic's big guy.

I got especially pumped on the play when Lamar picked up his third foul. Lamar, Kobe and Pau combined to meet Dwight at the rim and stop his dunk attempt. Any of the 3 could have been called for the foul. That's the kind of team defense that wins C'ships. The strength of the Magic is in their frontcourt, especially with Nelson just returning from a long injury rehab. If the Lakers continue to limit the Orlando frontcourt, they'll win the series. Plain and simple!

GO LAKERS!!!!

Caliphilosopher,

Well, it's about time we gave Luke more minutes then!

In all seriousness, I've been long annoyed by Luke haters. He is and has been a Laker and unless he was a cancer (e.g. Smush, Kwame), I don't see a purpose on hating on a Laker.

In any case, the guy has had the best playoffs of his career and was truly impressive last night.

Go Luke!

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Love what the Lakers did last night! They were the aggressors. They were the team that looked they belonged on this stage. Although it was only one game and a lot remains to be done, LA is ofF on the right foot.

I'm also getting a bit tired about how the Lakers are a tougher team this year because they were battle hardened by tough series with Houston and Denver. While there is some truth in that premise, it ignores the fact that the Lakers came through a minefield in the Western Conference last year with Bynum and Ariza not being available for the most part. Then they ran into a highly motivated Boston team that was allowed to play extremely physical defense by the refs.

I just don't think the Lakers were ready last year. THIS IS THEIR TIME NOW!!! A year of growth and togetherness and common motivation has this team in the right farme of mind and playing some great basketball!

GO LAKERS!!!

P.S.....Belated happy, happy to my main man Mamba 24!!!
Love ya, Mamba!!!

ChicNstu,

>>> I agree with you. Drew played a much bigger part in this win than his stats
>>> showed. He never let the best center in the league get into rhythm. He contested
>>> D12's shots and made him work very hard. Howard was not able to gain any
>>> momentum or confidence as he was kept at bay by Drew most of the first half.
>>> And yes senior Gasol did a great job on D12 also when Drew was on the bench,
>>> but it was the first minutes of the game that set the tone for this great victory.

Thanks for the support. By the time this series is over and Dwight has his moments – which he will undoubtedly have – then the naysayers, minimizers, and doubters will finally wake up and realize what a great job Drew did setting the tone for this series.

This was a repeat of his defensive performance in the Game 6 close out last Friday against the Nuggets where Phil put Drew into the game midway during the 2nd quarter to replace a struggling Pau and the Lakers proceeded to shut down their opponent and push out to take a solid half-time lead. Down by 5, Phil put Kobe and Drew back in the game last night and the Lakers flipped the switch and turned a 5-point deficit into a 10-point lead.

Tom

WOW LAMAR... If u keep this up I'm gonna have to join ur bandwagon.

WOW LUKE... Great game but I will never join ur bandwagon. Its amazing how after one good game where u finally made ur little turnarounders over a much smaller courtney lee I might add now ur suddenly the next great white hope

Is it too early to start sayin BACK TO BACK!!!!!!!!!

Korey,

Thanks for the puppet link. I agree with you but it probably is going to get LeBron some sympathy but in a way it is also pretty embarrassing, although I loved the jab at Fat Chuck. Would have like to have heard what he and Kenny had to say about this game.

We’ve been blogging here with Edwin and Faith and others since the beginning. We want that ring as badly as Kobe does. While he has to face the media after a loss, we have to face the Fakerholics and trolls. That’s why we’re all baring our teeth and growling.

LOL.

Tom

Even though koby had a nice run, I wouldn't call 30 shots to make 40 pts terribly efficient.

This may have been what ORL needed - a slap in the face.


Posted by: BUTLER | June 05, 2009 at 10:28 AM

=====================
Wrong! You da one that needs slap in the face.

There goes Butler with his Premature Evaluation.

Posted by: Charles | June 05, 2009 at 10:42 AM

===============
Charles

Did you mean premature ejac... oh never mind we'll stay with Evaluation. Lol

the more boring this series is the better -- forget about ratings, let just secure the Victory

Jon K. -

I agree wholeheartedly. If Luke can get to his 2005-2006 level again, we'll have a team that is a legit 9 deep. I think things turned for the better once he started playing more in the Denver series - without him, our lineups have a vast amount of sheer talent but remain stagnant. with him, they all know that they have to work collectively as a unit in order to maximize their potential.

It's almost like addition by subtraction - less athletic talent, but fantastic results.

Yellow - even if you don't join the bandwagon, it's safe to say that I never left it. :-) With luke playing like that, it won't be too early for you to say BACK TO BACK!

Jon,

>>> In all seriousness, I've been long annoyed by Luke haters. He is and has been a
>>> Laker and unless he was a cancer (e.g. Smush, Kwame), I don't see a purpose
>>> on hating on a Laker.

Well said, Jon. I feel exactly the same and that it also applies to the Farmar haters (blitz) and the Lamar haters (not dangles). We have no Smush’s or Kwame’s on this team. Every player deserves our respect and support as Lakers. Bleed purple and gold.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Tom

P.S.....Belated happy, happy to my main man Mamba 24!!!
Love ya, Mamba!!! Posted by: bronxlakerfan | June 05, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Thanks bronxlakerFan.!


LIL wayne New Kobe SOng Hot ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayctDKr7Qvg

There were a lot of pleasant surprises last night. Staples energy was AWESOME, and watching the Orlando fan section (they had an entire 300-level corner section to themselves, must have been a contest or arranged by the team?) wilt was excellent.

Anyhow, Luke was the most pleasant surprise ... I think he really kept it going early on when things still hadn't solidified into total domination, and for that I salute him.

Man, what a beat down. I was really excited to see Orlando come out playing great, as well as Los Angeles in the first quarter. Then Kobe happened and Orlando forgot about making baskets for the rest of the game. Brilliant D by LA, but horrendous shooting by Orlando also. Wide open shots and how many airballs?! I hope Orlando makes it interesting, otherwise it'll be a snoozer of a Finals. I've gone from Lakers in 6 to Lakers in 4/5 games after last night. See you Sunday, LA.


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