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Lakers 101, Magic 96: Chills, spills, and thrills!

Great line from Shannon Brown. Asked if he was holding his breath as rookie Courtney Lee missed a wide open, potentially game winning layup, which led to OT and an eventual Laker win, Brown shook his head and smiled.

"I wanted to live."

Thanks to the play of a few players (including one praised in the video below), the Lakers are not only living, but doing so in large fashion as they head to Orlando.

The breakdown is below.

Three Good:

  • Veterans.  The word "experience" gets tossed around a lot in June. Tonight, we got a feel for why.  LA's veteran core was easily the biggest factor in the win, and once again showed that the Lakers are far more than a one-man show.  Kobe Bryant was good but not great, at least by his MVP standards, particularly when it came to taking care of the ball.  Seven TOs isn't exactly typical.  "I didn't read coverages as well as I did (in Game 1) and we still managed to win the game.  It's on me to make those adjustments, (to) make those reads," Bryant said.  Granted, it wasn't all locusts and plague for 24.  29 points on 10-22 from the floor, juiced by 8-10 from the line.  The giveaways were mitigated by eight dimes, including a killer dish to Pau Gasol late in the OT, setting the big Spaniard up for a critical three point play.  The Magic made it clear they weren't going to abide by a constant stream of mid-range jumpers coming off the screen, as was the case Thursday night.  They jammed Kobe hard, denied the ball, and generally tried to make his life tough.  As the game went on the Lakers more successfully created space for Kobe, moving him off the ball and letting him receive the ball on the move from the weak side, but on this night he clearly needed the rest of the gang, and the rest of the gang obliged.  Specifically: Lamar Odom finishes near the basket in Game 2 win over Orlando
    • Lamar Odom: The naked-eye test had him as the best player on the court for the Lakers.  19 points on 8-9 from the floor, eight boards, three blocks.  Countless contests on the defensive end.  In his postgame press conference, LO was critical of himself for losing Rashard Lewis as much as he did (Lewis had 20 of Orlando's 35 points at the half), but a) he wasn't the only guy on him, and b) in the second half, things got better in that regard.  As we mentioned in the video, Odom was active inside and out, and was one of the only guys to make hay in Orlando's paint.  But while the points were big, to me the play that sums up his night came at the end of the fourth.  With ten seconds to go, Courtney Lee used a Dwight Howard pick to shed Kobe, then stepped into the lane in front of Gasol and seemed to have a clean path to the bucket.  Odom streaked over from the weak side, changed the shot, then hauled down the rebound in one swift motion.  Huge.  I'd point out, too, that he led the team with a +10, but given that he's done this all year, should it be a surprise?   
    • Gasol: Early on, I thought Pau was timid offensively, too respectful of the DPOY manning the lane for the Magic.  1-5 in the first quarter, and from there Pau wasn't a exactly a dominant force.  But as is often the case with Gasol, by the time it was over, he had filled up the box score.  24 points on 7-14 from the floor, and he hit five clutch free throws in OT (on the night, Gasol was 10-11 from the stripe), this along with 10 rebounds.  With Andrew Bynum saddled most of the night with foul trouble, Gasol's work defensively was critical. Pau stood his ground against Howard inside, helping hold him to only five field goals against seven turnovers (more on that to come).  "I know he's tougher-- he's done weight Pau Gasol makes a critical basket in overtime raining, put his work in towards having more of a physical nature to his game," Phil Jackson said.  "But I've always been impressed with his ability to find angles and play guys in a way in which the ball is not there for them.  It's not as easy as it might appear." 
    • Derek Fisher: 12 points, including a big driving layup (not something we type all that often in reference to a Fisher voyage into the paint) with just under six to play in the fourth, but his biggest moment came in the OT, when he stepped in front of a JJ Redick pass to Howard on the pick and roll for the steal, then went the other way to pick up a foul and two freebies that put LA up by three.  
  • Post Defense: Howard was limited to five field goals, and more importantly was forced into seven turnovers.  The Lakers were again smart with their double teams, waiting for Howard to put the ball on the floor before bringing help.  In fairness, Howard didn't get much help from his shooters.  The Magic hit only 33% of their triples, and outside of Rashard Lewis were a combined 4-18 from beyond the arc.  Without people pitching in on the perimeter, there wasn't much keeping LA from working over Howard in the post.  That was true in Game 1 as well.  Regardless, through two games Superman is a very pedestrian 6-16, and hasn't been a force offensively in any way, shape, or form.  For that, credit a strong defensive scheme from the Lakers. 
  • Free Throws:  Remember when those were a problem?  Quietly, the Lakers have turned that around.  24-28 (85.7%) tonight, following a 15-18 showing in Game 1.  Game 6 against the Nuggets returned a hard to improve upon 25-25 (NOTE: Corrected after first giving the wrong figure), and Game 5 a perfectly tolerable 74.3%.  Add in another night of very manageable turnovers (12, giving the Lakers 20 through two games against one of the league's top defensive teams) and it's an indication that they're not simply rolling out and making big plays, but taking care of the little stuff, too. 

Three Bad:

  • Bench Play: Take away Odom, and 19 of LA's 23 bench points disappear.  Remove his eight boards, and you're left with four.  Without LO's two dimes... the bench gets a bagel.  You see where I'm going with this, right?  Luke Walton was a non-factor after a strong Game 1, Sasha Vujacic missed his only shot (an ill-advised corner three with a hand in his face), and while Jordan Farmar hit a couple shots, there were a few hiccups in his 6:09 of burn.  Collectively, the starters (I'll throw Odom in here, since he played almost 46 minutes) dominated the playing time, in part because the Lakers were obviously locked in a tight game, but also because Jackson wasn't getting much from the reserves.
  • Rebounding: The Magic generated 10 points on second chances, fueled by 10 offensive boards (it could have been worse, too).  Frankly, it could have been worse.  Overall, the Lakers were dominated on the glass, 44-35, registering a defensive rebound rate (67%) well below their already-low-for-a-playoff-team mark of 73%.  The Lakers were even worse on the other end.  Normally a good offensive rebounding team, the Lakers managed to grab only four of their 42 misses, good for 9.5%.  This compared to a 28% mark heading into Game 2.  For that, thank Howard, who hauled down 16 rebounds.  This is yet another reason for the Lakers to more effectively try to attack Howard and force him into foul trouble.  Tonight, unencumbered by the weight of personals, he was free to get his Windex on with impunity. 
  • Bynum: In Game 1, Bynum wrestled with foul trouble of his own, but managed to contribute greatly in those minutes he played.  Tonight?  Not so much.  His 16:24 produced five points, five fouls, and only one rebound.  Heading back to Orlando, the Lakers will need to see more from Bynum.  I mean that literally (dude, stay on the floor) and figuratively (produce a little more when you're there).  

Things That Are Illegal:

Howard goaltends on Pau Gasol  























BK

VIDEO

As mentioned earlier, the bench wasn't terribly prolific this evening, which meant 41 minutes of burn for Derek Fisher. If that's what it takes to win a championship (or sound cool to his grand kids), it's all good to Fish.

BK praised the play of Kobe and Pau. Fish takes his turn, specifically complimenting their communication.

Shannon Brown, on surviving OT.

 
Comments () | Archives (66)

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Let's see, Orlando has to win 4 out of the next 5 games in order to win this series. Does anybody else really like our chances?

And this possibly could have been the final game at Staples this year. It's kinda hard to believe. Maybe that's why the fans were so quiet after the final buzzer sounded - they thought it was a regular season win.

2 down, 2 more to go. CAN YOU DIG IT?

Orlando is going to come up big Tuesday. Lakers have to be prepared. They're going to be in Orlando for the next 3 games so there no sweet homecoming if they're tied 2-2.

Champions find ways to win.
Champions are lucky.
Champions win big and small.
Champions make big shots.
Champions wear purple and gold.

o my im happy we got the win but this does not feel at all like we are up 2-0. until we win 4 i cant stay happy more than 2 hours and maybe when i sleep and wake up but as soon as game 3 starts i feel like we are down 0-2. its just they way i feel when there is big games even tho we are up it does not feel like it. I hope we can play the same way we have been playing at home on the road. And kobe please stop chocking. U can tell in his game that he was chocking. Unpatient and lookind like in game 6 of the 2006 suns series. Turning the ball over = chocking yea just like how a quarteback throws a interception when he feels the blitz= panic , chocking same with basketball. Kobe step up to be great and to get finals mvp.

NBA supervisor of officials Bernie Fryer told ESPN.com that if Gasol's hand had shaken the basket, caused the stanchion to move or touched the rim while the ball was on the rim, the correct call would have been goaltending.

But since none of those things happened, according to Fryer, "It was a cut-and-dried no-call."

No more complaints from Orlando now.

The NBA has explained Gasol touching the rim in the last play of overtime is NOT a goal-tend, and following is the reason:

NBA supervisor of officials Bernie Fryer told ESPN.com that if Gasol's hand had shaken the basket, caused the stanchion to move or touched the rim while the ball was on the rim, the correct call would have been goaltending.

But since none of those things happened, according to Fryer, "It was a cut-and-dried no-call."

So, stop saying that officials missed the goal-tend and that is why we escaped. We escaped because Lee missed the lay-up.

The goal-tend the referees missed is the one where Howard put his hand through the rim and stopped the ball!!


Can someone explain to me if Kobe is having an average night, why he doesn't get the ball more to Lamar who is shooting around 90%? If he took as many shots as Kobe tonight, he'd have been something like 19-22.

Kick the ball to the man with the hot hands a bit more and you'll win more easily. Put another way, to keep the jukebox going, keeping feeding it dimes.

I love this team.

We didn't play great. Neither did the Magic, but they played very well.

Something special did happen tonight.

Game One: Kobe MVP.

Game Two: Lamar Odom MVP.

What a team we've got.

It is special.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Did I mention that there is every indication that this team will be better next year?

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Somewhere out there in the cool, unforgiving night Michael Teniente cries into a pillow, sobbering "Soft! Soft! Soft! Soft!"

Defense wins Championships, MIke. And it'll win this one.

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

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Teams come and teams go but the Lakers are here to stay!

We got this!

Great win - at this point a win is a win!!! This series is far from over so Lakers keep your foot on the gas and don't let up until you win the ring!!!! No mercy!!!!! We all know the magic are going to come out strong at home - but if Lakers can play the game of their life - play great d, shoot lights out - we take game 3 and the dagger is in. Come on Lakers - don't even let them back in - close this out!!!!

This is Orlando's counterpunch? Dang, its nothing but a hard jab.

"Did I mention that there is every indication that this team will be better next year?"

Why? They are losing at best one of ariza/odom and it's looking possible they'll lose both of them with how they've performed. Kobe will be a year older

BK,

I thought in Game 6 against the Nuggets, the Lakers were perfect in their freethrows?

I've read a lot about how the Magic simply "missed" a lot of their shots in game 1, but after watching game 2 in which they made several more, I have to admit I was impressed with the Lakers' close-out defense, more often than not.

Helping cause a basketball player - even an NBA basketball player - to miss a basket is not necessarily about blocking the ball, or having a hand so high between their shooting hands and the basket that they have to alter their shot to an impossible degree. It is about catching someone off-rhythm, distracting their focus or attention JUST enough, keying in sometimes on a shooter, sometimes sagging off of that same shooter.

The Magic are a great perimeter shooting team and their inability to shoot their way over the Lakers's offense is more due to Lakers's defense than the Magic simply getting unlucky.

Ak/BK.... Did not mean to be nit-picky or pointing your mistakes..

But in the final game of the Denver series (Game 6) we were 24/24 from the stripe.... Initially you had mentioned it as 20/25... and now as 25/25.... Both are wrong... :-)

wow, if the lakers can beat the magic playing like that and needing lamar to hit free throws and score points in the 4th, the magic are hopeless. this series probably doesn't come back to la.

and lamar, you had your chance to show your stuff before the lakers got pau so don't feel jilted when the lakers don't resign you. lamar is all nba talent but d league in intensity and hard work. if he had a solid jumper, he would be unguardable.

finally, that was one poorly called game too and this series doesn't look like it's going to be as good as the denver series and maybe not even the houston series. sort of an anticlimatic end to the season.

True story: I've got a cat named Flash. I found him behind the local market after he had been run over by a car. I took him to the vet to be put down. The vet said come back tomorrow, he'll be fine. Flash had a broken pelvis. Sure enough, he healed up but his gait looks just like Kobe coming through the tunnel after tonights game. Man that dude looks sore.

Great job tonight Purple and Gold. Win it all in F L A.

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

One point or two points it wont matter for as long as WIN the game. winning a championship series is not counted by the score aggregates but every earned WIN! I think Kobe did not play well tonight bu sometimes its bad news for the opponent since his teammates are getting the feel of the championship experience. But- Hey! WHy pick on Kobe has not anyone asked about how Dwight Howard is having a hard time getting his game. Lakers in 6 at Staples..of course!

Expect Kobe to come out and have a "smarter" game 3 down Florida way.
And yes, it's obnoxious when espn focuses on Gasol's "goaltend" when Howard got away with the schoolyard trick of going up through the rim to block...refs should have caught that.
Defense down the stretch is winning us game, and will win us the championship if we keep it up.
Look for Trevor and Drew to turn up big in Game 3, by the way.

Great win last night!

orlando played better than game one and we played worst than game one and we still won the game. Why? because luckyly when Kobe is not at 100% level we have other players to step up (GASOL and ODOM).
Dwight Howard continued to play good in defense but can dominate in the paint as he usually does.
I think SVG recovered some credit but still makes horrible decisions. He has created a big problem by bringing in Jameer instead of Rafer Alston. At the end he chose to play without a real PG and play Hedo. This is a good decision for a couple of minutes but if you have to play a full overtime , you can't have Hedo controlling the tempo (he made some bad decisions that luckily helped us).

We all know Kobe will come back much sharper in game 3 and they will have to adjust again. If we can keep the same level on defense and at least a 70% FT percentatge we should not have a problem to win 2 games in Orlando.


AK/BK,

You are both correct and incorrect.

Listen, Alanis fans, it is not ironic that Odom would like the chocolates as others have described him. It could be coincidental, except it is not. It could be implicit given his candy consumption and (just like the weird yellow guy taught us) you are what you eat.

Lamar did do things people should find surprising.

He hit a ton of jump shots. Those of us that have watched Lamar over the past 4 years (which should include you guys) should not get a comfortable feeling when the offense goes to him doing that.

He has had high percentage shooting games this season and in the playoffs, but those typically came on many dunks and layups.

Lamar still produced wonderfully despite a few early unnecessary fouls. Those fouls did not really surprise me. Well, especially in a Javie officiating game and a general attitude of "Don't Let 'em Play!"

Lamar hitting both free throws in the 4th when he hasn't shown himself to be a clutch free throw shooter were surprising. He's been what, 58%in the playoffs?

I was forced to give the Magic kudos for not fouling Kobe or Fisher which most teams have done in the same close, but behind late game situation. I was thinking uh oh when Odom went to the line.

Now, the other things Odom did were not surprising.

He rebounded well, scored well and really stepped up, had a few great defensive possessions, and was a generally very positive influence on the floor. Sometimes he does that. I still don't count on it yet, but he's always been better near the end of the season and the postseason.

Maybe he can be the new Robert Horry. He also frequently lost his defensive assignment, rotating late and giving that guy open looks. That guy, Rashard Lewis, didn't exactly have a bad game. His getting lost and rotating 1/2 to 1 s late is something I've grown a bit accustomed to seeing. He has been better about that in the postseason.

6-7M a year for 5 years.

Very nice job by the Lakers to pull off such a close one.


BK,

Again you seem to be intoxicated with "Veteran" status. The Lakers bench didn't get many minutes (other than Odom) as a result productivity was poor. Farmar, played well in his very short stint. Shannon Brown, didn't have time to do much, however as always Lakers would have succeeded had Brown played the entire fourth quarter, although DFIsh played well.

Before you dismiss the bench, look at the minutes played.

DFish played possibly his best playoff game finishing "sort of" at the basket. We will take this game and move on.

Great win for the Lake Show.... They didn't play their best basketball and they still came out with a win....Much is being said about the missed layup by Lee but almost no one is talking about the obvious missed goal tending call on Dwight Howard earlier in the game. If the refs make that obvious call then perhaps the game doesn't even come down to the final play with Lee. Also I only count 6 of Kobe's' turnovers b/c Turk clearly knocked the ball out of bounds in over time ....it didn't touch Kobe's leg. My point is I don't buy into the "they barely won" cry from the talking heads. Yes, Orlando had 20 turnovers but the Lakers clearly didn't play their best ball either...It evened it self out in that regard. I expect the Lakers to win this series in 6 games.....but I wouldn't be surprised if they won two in Orlando. Kobe will make adjustments and have the defense on their heels in Orlando. Lord willing everyone stays healthy....MAN THEY COULD BE CHAMPS BY THIS COMING WEEKEND!!! I am proud of this ball club ...they learned from Houston and Denver and no matter how the media tries to focus on their mistakes.... THEY DID ENOUGH TO WIN. Kobe will come up with his best career FINALS game on this final road trip of the season and the new Laker DYNASTY WILL BEGIN. For the first time this season this team is consistently playing with desperation, purpose, and hunger....and those three things will make up for mistakes as we saw in game 2....
A WIN IS A WIN!!

LAKERS 2009 NBA CHAMPS


PL

Three observations:

1. Seems like Bynum gets frustrated sometimes with his point guards, then winds up with a silly foul afterwards. I think right before his third foul, he posted up twice looking for the ball from Farmar -- did not get it. Both times I thought he had great position. Instead, missed jump shot. Go down the court and Bynum runs into the guy with the ball at the top of the key. Silly foul, but I see why he does get frustrated, particularly since this sequence took place right after his three point play.

2. Some of the Orlando rebounds were classic three point shot misses -- hard off the rim, difficult to figure out where the ball is headed. I counted three or four of those. Not necessarily a lack of positioning or effort on boards like that.

3. How does an NBA ref miss the Howard goaltend? Looked obvious in real time (at least to me). I really don't understand that.

it's probably too early/late in the day for my post to get put up, but i can't help myself. it's 8:34 on the east coast.

omega, i think you meant to type "choking." but nevermind that. i disagree. kobe scored 29 points, on 10-22, and 8-10 from the line. i don't call that choking. the turnovers were a bad thing, and he could've shot a little higher percentage, but give the Magic defense credit. they stepped it up against Kobe, and Kobe didn't adjust well. after this game Kobe, Phil and staff will look at the tape, and make adjustments. they'll give it to kobe in better spots, and kobe will dish it more in certain situations. bet on it.

and i'm not that concerned with whether or not Lakers will win one in Orlando. i know they will win one or two of the next 3. they have proven all season long and all post-season long that they can win on the road. they did it in Utah, Houston, and Denver. in regular season, they won in very hostile places like Boston and Cleveland.

Lakers in 5!

First of all, YAHOO ANOTHER WIN!! No EJK, I do not see Orlando winning four of the next five. If I weren't suspicious and in love with suspense, I'd say I hear the Jello jiggling.

FISH HAS CHANGED. When Fish now talks of toughness and what it takes to win a championship, does anyone else see him elbowing Scola? He's not just talking fair play, he's talking about doing whatever it takes to win a championship.

I think LA will find a way to keep both Odom and Ariza (they carried the financial load this year). So lets just assume this unit will be kickin' butt for years to come and celebrate backing a championship team!

GOOoooOOOO LAKERS !!!!!

You could count me into the 'resign Odom camp.'

The best thing to consider about this victory is that the Magic probably can't play much better, and the Lakers played fairly bad. Kobe was off, Pau was off, nobody else except Lamar had a decent game. On the other hand, Rashard Lewis and Turkyglue had excellent games, particularly from the 3.

We sustained their long awaited attack from the 3 point line and did that with a subpar Offensive game (our DEFENSE was excellent, except for LO/Ariza leaving perimeter shooters open).

Orlando isn't as good as either Houston or Denver. Why? Well, Houston could straight out beat the Lakers. They had tough defenders and competent offensive players. If Ming stays healthy, I'm certain the Lakers don't make it out of that series. But it was the defense that was key. Shane and Artest are excellent defenders. And they have an array of excellent offensive players. I called that series in 7 games. I knew that one was to be tough.

The Denver series caught me off guard. Denver's players are tougher than I thought, although I don't think they are as potent offensively as Houston. Denver has energy players whom, with good coaching, could be a formidable team (something like the Warrior team that knocked out the Dallas mavs a few years back). I never thought the Lakers would lose that series because Denver is not disciplined enough. But it was closer than I thought.

But with Orlando, I just do see a threat. Their offensive game consist of a 3 point attack and and inside/out component. It's similar to a Phoenix Suns attack. But it's smiple to counter if you just stick to the 3 point shooters. The thing about Orlando is that they their defense is sub-par and they really don't have a shooter that can create his own shots. Nelson can do it, but he's hurting. If the Lakers (in game 2) would have stayed with their defensive scheme they had in game 1 (stay with the 3 point shooters), they would have easily won this game.

After analysis, I really don't see how Orlando can beat the Lakers. They just don't have the quick offensive players, nor the tough defensive, that tends to make life hard for the Lakers and us fans.

Game 3 will be competitive, but I don't think the Magic win this game. This thing may be over quicker than we think.

As such, for the first time this year, I am totally confident of the following...

2008-2009 NBA WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS.

Good morning Laker family,

What a stressful game last night. So glad we came up with the win which can definitely be attributed to experience.

Now we go to Orlando and although I'd be ok with allowing 1 or even two wins to them in ORL for completely selfish reasons (so they can celebrate at Staples), I don't think that'll happen. Turkoglu is notorious for playing his worst games at home and he is a key spark in their offense.

2 down...2 to go! Woohooo!!!! GO LAKERS!

Well maybe Lamar will win the MVP award and everyone will remember Kobe as the sidekick on this team.He couldn't win a championship without Shaq or Lamar etc etc...that would sum up the dudes career haha

anyway the way this is being reported it appears the lakers have had the first ever bad finals win...

I think this is a series...its pretty common for a young/new team to come into the finals and have a shaky game 1 - especially on the road...I think this is a series....

Game 2 was much more representative of what we are going to see (unless the magic's hearts really are broken which I doubt)..I don't see anyone beating the lakers three times in a row though home or away...

Its just possible we go to Orlando and smoke them to go up 3-0 and effectively end the series but probably more likely the lakers go back to LA up 3-2 with two chances to win it..then again this thing could easily be 2-2 in a few days time....I'm happy and downright relieved but not comfortable.Theres a lot more to come Orlando clearly aren't going to be the easybeats we hoped for after game 1.

Bernie Fryer explained it well. If that was goaltending anyways, they can make that call 20 times a game. Hell, they can call it a bunch of times in college too.

The fact is, we did not miss our opportunity to win. They missed theirs.

I do think the Lakers should treat this as a loss, since it exposed some flaws that are absolutely fixable. I thought Lamar's "coverage" of Rashard was pretty awful. Sometimes I saw him in a weak double from Lamar as the reason why 'Shard went off, but we can play Dwight play straight up. A Dwight 2 is better than a Rashard 3. Bynum can hold the line until he gets in foul trouble, but Pau does a nice veteran job on Howard.

Good morning,

Thanks for that miss, Courtney Lee, or it might have been otherwise. But the Lakers wake-up finding themselves leading the series 2-0, and doing what was needed on their home court. Still, it was 51 minutes into the game before the Lakers found their rhythm and their poise. A team without the veteran experience of Kobe, Pau, Lamar, and Fish could have never pulled it off.

The more I see of Stan Van Gundy, the more impressed I am. He takes credit for nothing. He takes the blame for everything. He positioned his team to come back from a major beat-down in Game 1and have a chance in Game 2. In Game 3, his team will have the advantage of playing on their home floor. Even that may not be enough.

We're seeing a Lakers team that will not be denied. Even when they play raggedy, as they did on Sunday, they fight hard and manage to find their way back. When Kobe falters, Lamar steps it up. When Andrew can't stay on the floor, Pau elevates his game. While Fish struggled in the early rounds, he's played his way back in the Finals.

The Magic have overcome a lot of odds to get this far, and I give them a lot of credit. But the Lakers are two wins away from answering Destiny's call. The Magic's shot at overcoming all the odds likely disappeared with Courtney Lee on Sunday. If the people of Orlando want to see a parade, they'll have to go see Snow White at Disney World. The people of Los Angeles are already lining up for a parade down Figueroa. Go Lakers!

"Why? They are losing at best one of ariza/odom and it's looking possible they'll lose both of them with how they've performed. Kobe will be a year older "

That's possible. But if you've read what Odom has been saying all year, he wants to retire in LA and has stated multiple times that he'll take a pay cut to do so. It will depend on how much he'll take, and whether or not they'll even be able to pay him anything if Ariza wants a big pay day. The only way I see Odom gone, is if they offer Ariza a bigger contract than they think he'll get elsewhere and can't afford to offer Odom anything. Chances are good they'll keep at least one of them though. Jerry Buss (the owner) has shown he's willing to pay the luxury tax to keep a team together.

Bill.. Kobe's average night wasn't so much about his shooting as it was his 8 turnovers. So realistically, getting the ball to Odom would have been his problem.


This was the kind of game we lost earlier in the playoffs.

Phil will adjust but more so, Kobe will adjust and Game 3 could end it early. If not, 6 games.

But it's not if, it's when.

AHHHHHHHHHH LAAAAAAKERS


Very happy for this win.

But. I don´t know if it is any kind of brain disease but there were a lot of people in the game chat that was blind, confused, or more accurate KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT BASKET. Plain and simple.

I agree with you that yesterday game was not the best offensive performance by Pau Gasol. Thats absolutely right. No discussion there, but... do you really think what I´ve read yesterday? Shame on you. Pau was our best player in the defensive end. I challenge you to say he was not. I double dare you! He has humillated Howard two consecutive games in the Finals. Pau´s defense on Howard is what is leading us to victory. The Most dominat center in the game at this time, has been dominated by the all-agree-is-too-soft-for-a-center Pau so far. talk about Kryptonite all you want, but the one destroying superman here is... LEX LUTHOR, IQ, SMART, INTELLIGENT, SKILLED; AND SOFT GASOL. PERIOD. Wacth the game again before start puking that crap. His defense of howard has been almost flawless, forcing him to miss, to deliver the ball, and Howard will have nightmares involving Gasol all nights to the next game. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. So when Gasol do what you want him to do, he is now soft because he is 7-14 from the field (the truth is that he should be 8-14, but you now, the referees...). Holy crap. Cut that nosense.

Troy, you should be the first one to do that. cause you are a Laker Fan, right? I´m not sure you are. followed very close by Rick Friedman another Gasol hater, in the disguise of a Laker Fan.

You are deceiving no one. gasol has been playing like a warrior, and is the main reason why we are 2-0 by now.

I can´t take anymore from this Fair Weather Fans. Just ignore them.

Again, watch the whole game one more time. Gasol is the DPOY in this series, and I don´t care about statics, basketball is more than a hanfull of numbers... at least you made clear you know reading (and writting), but eyes serve for a lot more amount of things (ufff I think my grammar here stinks, excuse me for the mistakes).

Lets Go Lakers!!!

We found a way to win last night. That's always a good thing.

*Why is the media and Jon Barry getting on Courtney Lee for missing that last shot? The play was completely mistimed. By the time Lee was trying to shoot he was already behind the backboard. That was a high difficulty shot in traffic. So why are people trying to turn this guy into a goat? The Lakers won that game moreso than the Magic lost it.

*Kobe got a little overzealous last night. There were multiple times where Kobe could have passed the ball for open shots. The main one was the final play of regulation where he should have trusted Lamar, who wanted that shot. I'm sure Kobe will make the adjustment.

*Pau Gasol is not soft! He's not! He's a winner and he's a Laker.

*Lamar is a true Laker. No matter what happens, I'm a huge fan of Lamar Odom. There's got to be a way to make this guy a Laker for life.

*I don't want ot see any letdown on Tuesday. This is the finals, it's gotta be all out hustle and heart.

Go Lakers!

Bobbie its doubtful we'll lose both. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised to see Buss pull a fast one and keep both guys anyway and let Mitch Cupcake trade Luke and Morrison in a salary dump. Besides, if Buss wants to win championships, he'll keep his wallet open and he's not shy about doing it. As far as Kobe goes, he's still in the middle of his prime, his game has transcended like Mike's did to where he doesn't have to exhert as much physically anymore and on top of that, he'll be able to rest this summer, which bare in mind he didn't do last. Kobe will be perfectly fine for years to come. Also, Bynum will have a summer off and will get healthy, Brown (if resigned) and Farmar will have another year under their belts, as will some of the other Laker youngsters. Pau will have the summer off as well and will have plenty of time to rest and muscle up more.

For those of you who had a hard time comprehending PJs comments about going to Kobe too much during the third quarter of game one, last night shows what happens when the offense gets too Kobe-centric, and Kobe isn't having a great game. It gets out-of-synch, and makes everything more difficult.

Oh, and is anybody else noticing how Magic is just schooling Jon Barry and Micheal Wilbon on how winning basketball is played?

I've been very impressed with how Magic has been teaching the game from the booth. Magic is a basketball guru. While Jon Barry is an idiot out of his league, and Wilbon is just out of his league.

Next year, I'd like to see more Bill Walton. He's the best announcer as far as I'm concerned. I hope he's healthy next year.

Go Lakers!

LAMAR ODOM IS THE DIFFERENCE.

Lamar Odom has played outstanding thus far in the Finals. He is being aggressive, hitting the J, and gobbling up every board in sight. Only gripe, could have played a little better D on Lewis last night, oh well. He is the ultimate X-factor and when Lamar plays good, the Lakers play good. Also, those were two very nice free throws down the stretch from a guy that's shooting 60% from the line in the playoffs.

While Lamar contributes so much on the floor I think he also contributes with his personality. While I am sure Lamar is very serious sand wants to win just as bad as anyone not named Kobe, he always looks like he is having a great time out on the floor. Kobe is stone cold, Pau sometime seems quiet but Lamar always looks like he has a smile, I think that helps the other Lakers. You really don't want five Kobes on the floor all screaming at each other.

He also seems like he could be the "glue" of the team. A guy that genuinely gets a long with everyone.I like how the team rallies around Lamar for their pre-game ritual after the starters are announced.

Something should also be said for Lamar coming off the bench all season (minus Bynum injury). Even with Bynum struggling mightily in the playoffs, you never heard one gripe out of Lamar, he's played hard knowing his number will get called.

Everyone is making a bug fuss about Kobe getting his #4 but I think Lamar is as deserving as any other Laker (current team, not talking Jerry West) to get his #1.

Lamar = Finals MVP

GO LAKERS

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

I find that I really like 2-0 as opposed to 1-1 Captain Obvious...

pulling that victory our was nothng short of monumental...

I still can't believe the blatantly missed goal tending call---when that happened I said that better not be a determinng factor in the game---turns out it was, in that we would have been up by two with 9.1 seconds left forcing them to foul probably and an avoidence of overtime..

3 (count 'em) 3 referees couldn't see Howard's hand go up thru the rim? what are they looking at---you would think the area of contact betweeen the two players hands and the ball would be a focal point for at least one of the three blind mice...

luckily it worked out in the end, as it were, seemingly...

I am really gettting sick of the whole broadcast media, ESPN / ABC and their clown announcers and studio idiots (not counting Magic Johnson of course--the only person on there with any kind of credibility whatsoever) who so obviously and so desperately want the Magic to win---it's really a pathetic excuse for sports reporting...

all thru the games, these cretans only offer what the Magic need to do over and over in every situation---the Laker point of view is never offered...

in this age of technology isn't there a computer program or something that can let us listen to Chick call the game?

the only consolation in having to endure this overly biased "reporting" is it makes the victories that much sweeter...maybe we should all be thankful for ESPN and their audio excrement, seemingly...

again I really dug Kobe's after game interview---"is the job finished? I don't think it's finished" right frickin' on brother...

game three is going to be a buzz saw and we are going to need every ounce of focus, energy, mental toughness, desire, and execution we can bring from players 1 thru 14 and the entire coaching staff...

I vote for winning more than just one game in Orlando (at least one being a prerequisit Sherlock)....

I still feel that the pick and roll is the key to victory for us,
run it all night long and hoist the trophy...it's really that simple...

is there a great defensive big man coach out there that the Lakers can hire for whatever he may cost to coach Bynum how to play defense without fouling every 5 seconds?

can and will Bynum ever play longer that 2 minutes in an entire game? I know that is an exageration (but only a slight one), but for Joseph's step son's sake it's getting to be a real joke (and I ain't talkin' a funny one either),,,

it doesn't even seem as if we even have Bynum on our team...

if Bynum could play some significant minutes and play as well as he seems to be (sans fouling the crap out of anyone within a five mile radius) we could conceivably pull out the broom or so...

but as I don't really see that happening, as I said above, I think at least one victory in Orlando is crucial....

focus, desire, purpose...we will need to elevate our game to another new level to finish out--NO LET UP !!!

is it Tuesday yet?

" the more I go inside, the more there is to see"

" Good Lord, you're not suggesting we should tax....thingy?"

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

GO LAKERS !!!

Jon K: Mike T. ain't crying SOFT! SOFT! SOFT!

He's crying FOOLS GOLD! FOOLS GOLD! FOOLS GOLD!

14 down, 2 to go. This is starting to feel very real.

A great game. Every Finals series needs at least one of these - a gritty, semi-ugly match. Both teams starting to figure out the other. Both teams playing very hard, doing some things well, but also frustrating each other. Lakers were lucky/good to get out of it with a win.

This one was dead even, even coming down to the fruitless last posessions in regulation - the Lakers leaving Orlando with two posessions where they took away options 1-3 and Orlando had to go to the rookie Lee. And the Lakers stuck with Kobe running smack into a very tall triple team on their last posession. The kind of "ugly" caused by great defensive adjustments. Even on Lee's miss on the lob, Kobe was coming back from behind, Pau was recovering to contest (and may have gotten it if not for the rim). Turkoglu had to throw a perfect pass, and his lob was a hair late and a hair behind him, forcing Lee to reach back for it and shoot from very deep, almost past the rim, just enough to cause the miss.

BK, the "veteran" comments were right on. For Orlando, it was Lewis and Hedo who carried them. For the Lakers, Kobe, Pau, Lamar and Fish. Orlando's young guards again failed to produce, and Hedo had to run the offense and guard Kobe in the end. For the Lakers, Bynum couldn't stay on the floor, and didn't do much when he was there. Ariza had some moments on defense (especially the Horry-esque steal from Howard), but he shot very poorly and in large part in the second half Hedo simply overpowered him physically and scored. It was the vets who carried the day.

Orlando made some good adjustments. With the Lakers' front line watching Howard they really got Lewis going. And with better spacing Turk O'Glue was able to use his size and skills to work on on Ariza. And they got to Kobe defensively with numbers, and he really struggled at times to recognize it and find the angles. The Lakers will have to make some adjustments in game 3.

Orlando showed last night how they got here. Their front line played strong. Howard did not put up numbers, but the attention he commanded created most of Lewis's points and lots of Hedo's, so he still had a big impact. And they dominated the boards They lost because of their guard play. Not surprising, since their All Star guard is not at full strength. But this team has 3 All Stars plus Turkoglu, there is plenty of work to be done.

With four good games in a row when it counts, closing out the Western Conference Finals and getting the first 2 games of the Finals, can we now remove "struggling" from Derek Fisher's name? He has been doing his job.

One game at a time. Game 3 in Orlando will be a hard game to win. Orlnado had a lot working in Game 2. This will be a must win with a rabid home crowd. The Lakers will need to be efficient on offense and keep playing hard D to steal this one.

HugoSpain,

Well said. I thought the criticism of Pau was unfair last year and definitely wrong after the last two games. I think his defense has been superb overall, but particularly great against Howard. That's not to say others haven't done well; on the contrary, I think the entire defensive scheme against Howard has been quite effective, with lots of contributions across the board. But more often than not, Pau is stuck by himself, particularly when SVG goes with Howard and Gortat.

In general, I'm not one to attack specific Lakers on a personal level, but I see it happen a lot. Part of the reason why I don't go on to the in-game chat.

Ok if Pau's touching of the rim was goal tending, so was Howards "block shot" in the first quarter against Gasol when his hand and arm went through the Net and Rim.

Is PAU Gasol Gasoft?
================
In short....yes/no.

Yes, to that he plays a FINESSE game. The flip shots, fadeaways, and twisting layup attempts is what every basketball fan knows is "soft". Big men are trained to go up to the whole "strong" and try to dunk or power through on every opportunity. Does Gasol do that? Rarely. So physically, he plays a "finesse" game when the basketball goes in and a "soft" game when it does in.

But NO to the mentally soft portion. Last year he was both soft physically and mentally. This year, he's finally learned how to keep playing hard through adversity and use his finess game to his advantage. What's most important is being mentally strong and finally finally finally Kobe's toughness is starting to rub off on him. Pau isnt just quitting after bad 1st quarters anymore, he's fighting for position on an overmatched Howard, and is using his length to bother shots.

That my friends is not soft.

What will be funny though, is that if we lose next game, every1 will say that Pau is soft again not realizing that there is TWO types of soft we should be distinguishing here!

I agree with the timid play of Gasol on the offensive end. Compared to last year's finals, does he not look like a completely different player on the defensive end? I'm glad he's proved me wrong, because I thought Howard would eat him up. Granted, he's getting some help from the doubles, but he's fighting on every possesion. Can't ask for much more.

Hugo of Spain,

I like your passion for your paisano, Pau but your last post showed a little annoyance on fellow bloggers here like Rick F and Troy for their opinions on Pau Gasol. I think you should give them also some credit for those criticisms. Firstly, you are in the Lakers territory, this is a free for all blog, no holds bar, no fan dome required. However, you have to defend your argument in this blog out not by emotions but intellectual rationalization. We love our Lakers and this is a diversified town where more than 100 languages are spoken, yet unified under English, under Lakers and in defense of purple and gold standard; Secondly, have you entertained the idea that because of those "soft" Gasol comments, it improved the quality of the Gasol in the Finals today? Supposing we are Cleveland Blog or Memphis Blog, if we said: "oh Gasol was great, just right, no need to improve" or talk about our own legend, "just give it to Kobe and he will take care the rest" or "Lamar is our go to guy, just play him instead of Bynum bec/ of Scottie-like etc." - Do you think the Lakers are now in this position of taking the Championship in 2009? Think about that, even the great minds whether Presidents, scientists, great athletes, your parents, elders are interested on their negatives or other alternatives. What do other people say about my performance? In a nutshell, what I am saying here, you learn in both ways: with criticisms and also on praises. Take it with you and use it constructively. Same treatment here in the Lakers blog, we hear trash talks, frustration talks that should not have been said, glowing praises that should not have preempted, well you have you're own choices and filters, use them. As the Arabs say, your enemy today may be your friends tomorrow. Peace
Viva Gasol, Viva Espana, Viva F C Barcelona.

mrbarneydangles,

Lamar=Finals MVP ... dude men chill out yo ... staples belongs to Monsieur 81 points ... pls dont let a subpar game make you eager to bite the hand that feeds us

speaking of kobe's subpar game I think in his own words he just failed to read the defense ... I thought he looked tentative all night long ... he passed up too many open looks throughout the game which led to some turnovers and then with the game on the line he shot the ball when triple teamed ... it's almost as if he was trying not to hit 30+ field goal attempts again as opposed to just attacking the magic

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

Lamar and Kobe were Lamar and Kobe in the playoffs, aka solid, my hats off to them even though there were certain foibles, but it's important to give a shout-out to Pau, for his defense against Dwight, I realize it's a team thing and we're doubling a lot, still Pau did a solid job in the absence of Drew, who was victimized by the whistle.

Good morning Mamba24 (wherever you are) and the fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!!!

No commentator is even talking about Howard's goaltend - just what Pau did. Figures. We wouldn't even have gone into OT if the stupid zebras could actually see when they're out there. Sheesh. Oh well - dominating in OT was better for us and worse for their psyche anyways....

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's game. It will be interesting to see the adjustments the "chess masters" make. That said, all I really care about is that the guys go out there & leave it on the floor. Play tough - play smart - and we should be coming back with the Larry O or at least 2 tries to get it.

I WANT THAT LARRY O!!!!!!!

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

Wow - and so the "what we need to do to this team over the summer" talks begin. Half way through the Finals no less.

Does anyone think Jerry Buss will REALLY not keep this team together? I'm really tired of hearing how we really don't need LO cuz we've got Trevor. Or how about get rid of Fish. And other completely moronic drivel like that.

We have the makings of a dynasty here. A tweak here & there would help, but allowing Lamar and/or Trevor to go????? Retiring Fish???? Granted there are some guys that we could afford to have leave, but these 3 are NOT them.

Come on - eat your wheaties cuz your brain has stalled.

Edwin Gueco,

Hats off for you bro!

But I´m not being or intend to be harshfull on a spot situation. I´m talking about a trend, something that happens day after day, time after time (this one to the Lebroniacs haha!), some bloggers do a campaing of seek and destroy Gasol, complaining about him avery time, no matter if he plays well or not, they just keep doing this, and i have the right to explain the things as I see them (yes with my own filter, not better, not worse), and if I think something is unfair I just complain, let my voice be heard. Of course they have this right too, but when something comes all night long with malicious intentions, all season, well, I try to give war back to those who bring it to my home (heart in this case). I´m sure they think I´m wrong, and they are right, but this doesnt mean I can´t go after them.

They try to sell you one thing. Ok, I´m fine with it, but don´t you think that I can the same with mine?

The only reason why I pointed out individuals is cause they had maintained the same speech for a long time, so I think they are the most representatives of these trend of thinking. No offense intended.

For example, if you after a Pau´s bad game, attack him, I´ll try to point out the good he did in the game, admitt the fails, and enjoy, cause I know Pau will inmediatly bounce back (as he always does), but I won´t get mad at you, because you usually are objetive. But there´s they, which no matter what happens try to find a way to take down Pau, all time. And thats something that I won´t allow to happen without me speaking my point of view, and explaining that this people behaves this way on a nightly basis (such as gasol is effective game after game after game after game...).

Hope I´been able to explain myself. Sometimes it seems like I forget English, or at least have trouble being accurate with my lexic)

Let´s Go Lakers!!!

Regarding Pau Gasol..

I recall a good article (don't remember who wrote it) that basically said "Why Gasol's soft? because he is not violent?"

Korey, His finesse game can be called soft in a good way. I don't think being finesse is a handicap while I think that when you call Gasol "Gasoft" is it under the negative meaning of the word.

Edwin Gueco, true is that we all need to know our weaknesses to improve and surely Gasol made a big improvement from last year both in defense and offense but the point is why he is still not being recognized as a top player? Gasol was probably the best player ever to play for the Grizzlies but most of the fans though he was a liability. I still remember the comments made on the commercial appeal by Ronald Tillery; always bad when he played average of bad and no positive comments when he played good. This is something that I also found here with Bill Paschke and others. Why even as a Laker he is still one of the most underrrated players in the NBA?


- Because he is a foreigner (I mean like Dirk or Kukoc not like Duncan or Nash) and the players won't have the same impact (most of the times its the first time the hear about them)
- Because he is white - This might seem a dumb comment but we all know that the Poward forward and Center positions have been largely dominated by black players who usually dominate the paint and attack the rim with dunks
- Because he has the European type of game - Most of you guys have grown up watching exciting college games were they have shown passion and aggresiveness since day one. Those coming out of College are usually tougher competitors but their basketball fundamentals and IQ are below the average European player. Nowadays we can see that most coaches are looking for this kind of european player who can implement on the court what coaches ask to. Not only starters like Ilgauskas, Okur, Scola or Turkoglu but also average players like Pietrus, Gortat or Kleiza.
- Because he is still a new Laker- This year he has started to show his experience leading the team in some moments. I expect this to improve even more next year.
- Because he is not a showman and his look is totally average - He is not wearing any tatoos, he is skinny, his hair looks greasy, he is not shouting or doing any show, he is not a clown, he has a normal life, he never had problems with the law, or women or drugs, dog fights or whatsoever.

After all, he all know he can only improve and get better. Let's wait for the best Gasol.


PAU GASOL LAKERS FOR LIFE PLEASE. I have been a Lakers since I was 10. So having my Catalan buddy on my team its like a dream come true. Its was a nightmare to follow him in Memphis...

Enough of this Pau is soft crap!!! You know who you are folks. This man is a godsend from heaven to the Lakers. He is so skilled, it's beautiful to watch him play...yahyah i know he's no Shaq but cmon? how could Laker fans not appreciate what he does as a basketball player. He is not getting the credit he deserves from some or most Laker fans and even the NBA. Furthermore, he is a gentleman and an intellectual....the NBA needs more players like him.
On another subject, Bynum needs to control his fouls! He needs to play defense and rebound!!! Cmon Bynum, is that so hard to ask? GO LAKERS!!!!!

yes it is hard to imagine how 3 of the top refs in the game (allegedly) can miss the goal tend on Howard. The net was friggin upside down sticking out of the top of the rim. You can say its easy to miss some calls because of the game speed, angles...etc but how in the world can they not see that unless they were all watching the Lakers girls on the sideline. I always wondered why players even try to block a shot through the rim, it is so obvious. Well there is your answer. I'd love to hear their explanation...nothing blocking the view of the rim and all eyes should be on the ball (inches away)...go figure? Bottom line we win, that's all that counts...scoreboard.

Seems like a lot of fouls Bynum is getting are of the ticky-tack variety. In both games he is running down the court with Howard, there are jostling for post position, no pushing or holding just some body contact that happens on every play in the NBA, nothing that is altering the play in any meaningful way and he gets whistled. Shaq's MO is to body slam guys half his size and bulldoze his way under the basket and there is no foul but AB makes some incidental contact and he gets the foul. Maybe the league doesn't want superman to be shown up by a 21 year old with a bad knee or realizes that letting them play would end the series in 4 (huge revenue loss). That should rile up the conspiracy theorists.

Hugo Spain,

When speaking of Pau gasol, the term "soft " should be replaced with "skilled". Yes, he could finish stronger at the rims at times, but he chooses not to. His diversified ability to play the game is what makes Senior Gasol so valuable. He contirbutes at both ends of the court and plays extensive minutes. If Dwight Howard had the ability to play a SOFT/SKILLED game he would be dangerous, but he doesnt have that skill, thats why he only dunks when he is under the rim.

But i dont think Pau is soft, just skilled.

GO LAKERS!

Hugo,

Sorry for the delayed reply after 2 hours, I have to run an errand to make a living. LOL! I told you there are a hundred languages spoken here but we all have to speak English to understand each other. You don't have to apologize, the objective here is to communicate not to pass an English subject. Good, you understood my point. One trait of a Laker fan is learn how to forgive and forget and make peace with fellow fans. Secondly, opinions are cheap in this blog, it like analyzing the flow of water in a river. Sometimes it goes to crooked nooks, to the plain, upstream, downstream. Eventually, it seeks to its on level. it goes where the gravitational pull comes or the wind that brought forth to fields and fertile lands. Therefore, try to understand where the flow was. If you compare the physique of Gasol to Shaq to Dwight to Amare, you will understand what they meant by Gasoft. On the contrary, they fail to see the strength of anything above the shoulders, the pivot moves like a windshield wiper then hook shot with a left hand. Can the muscular hardy Center do such spectacular shots. That was the reason I said, forgive them for what they don't know.

Ganapia,

You said Gasol is not being recognized as a Superstar. Not yet but it will come. He was a Superstar in Memphis but never experienced playing in the late playoffs or in June so the tendency of our media is they easily forget players that they don't see in the late season. If and when the Lakers get to the Championship, you will see the rise of stock of Pau Gasol. Forget those panacea that he is Euro, that he is white etc. This town is fair where talents are tapped no matter what the color of your skin. Just prove it and keep on banging that wall, eventually you will achieve your dreams. Keep on posting Ganapia.

Yeah, throughout the season and playoffs, Drew did pick up some fouls off of lazy defense at times, but throughout the playoffs, I've noticed Bynum getting called for plays that if it was anyone else NOT named Andrew Bynum, it wouldn't even be called. Drew just has to get back to last years form (or even this year before the injury) where he would get the BOD (benfit of the doubt). Right now, I just think he's working his status back up in the eyes of the refs because he didn't even get this many fouls per game at the beginning of this season. Just goes to show how sorry Orlando is...even with the refs TRYING to stretch the series out to be competitive, the Magic can't take advantage (joke).

As far as Lamar/Ariza goes, the Times did a one on one interview with Buss earlier this year, and he basically said he's willing to put up the cash to keep the team as is, so I really don't think either is going anywhere. In his own words, regarding Phil coming back to coach after his contracts up,"How can you not want to stay and coach this team?" HE was also gushing over all the talent the Lakers had despite the cost.

Also,

>>>Does anyone think Jerry Buss will REALLY not keep
>>>this team together? I'm really tired of hearing how we
>>>really don't need LO cuz we've got Trevor. Or how about
>>>get rid of Fish. And other completely moronic drivel like that.

+1

In the completely unlikely event the Lakers fail to win the Championship,
then yes, they might consider re-tooling a bit in the offseason.

But if they win it, the off-season is all about bringing back
BOTH Lamar and Trevor (and Shannon Brown if he doesn't
try to break the bank).

You don't break up a championship team where most of the
players are either still in their prime (Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Fisher,
Walton) or still on the way to their prime (Bynum, Farmar,
Ariza,
Vujacic, Brown).

The only real weakness is at point guard, and if Farmar or
Brown works hard over the summer and steps their game up
just a bit, then that problem is solved.

The only person I can see who might not be able to last 5 more
years is Derek Fisher. If most of the rest of the team stays
together and continues to grow as a team, I could see them
getting 3 or 4 rings in that period.

But they have to get the first one first.

No mercy. Play just as hard in Orlando as you did in Los Angeles.
Let's close this series out.

Gasol is definitely not entirely a finesse guy. Just because a big guy has good hands and footwork doesn't make him a finesse guy. He's plenty tough on defense, and I think Dwight Howard would say the same thing.

I think the Lakers win this in 5.

I'm debating this over at my website, thesportsdebates.com - check it out and let me know what you think!


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