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Kobe Bryant's imprint in Lakers' 111-87 victory over Oklahoma City goes beyond the box score

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The Lakers had spent plenty of time Monday going through all that went wrong in their embarrassing Game 4 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And it featured plenty of items to go over: the Lakers' poor shooting, poor rebounding, poor effort at the free-throw line and of course, the team's poor ability to counter the Thunder's transition points. Once the lengthy session ended, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant approached Coach Phil Jackson with a simple request.

"He said I'd like to take Westbrook," Jackson recalled Bryant saying.

Bryant was referring, of course, to Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, the speedy UCLA product who had been largely instrumental in burning the Lakers' with 72 points in transition in the first four games, as well as making drives to the basket with ease past Lakers guard Derek Fisher. This request came from a player who vowed not wanting to guard him ever since the beginning of the series and who had been dealing with an assorted number of injuries. Although the avulsion fracture to his right index finger had officially healed, he still had to deal with arthritis in the knuckle of his same finger, his sore knee and sprained left ankle. But with the Lakers tied 2-2 with Oklahoma City in a series that became more and more competitive, Bryant simply chalked up the decision to "we had to make some adjustments."

Bryant's defense on Westbrook probably served as the biggest adjustment in the Lakers' 111-87 Game 5 victory Tuesday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. His official stat line -- 13 points on four of nine shooting - may appear mild compared to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol combining for 46 points on 18 of 26 shooting, or even Ron Artest's shooting resurgence (a six of 11 clip for 14 points).  But there's a reason OKC Coach Scott Brooks argued Bryant's play "set the tone defensively" and Artest thought it was a "smart switch." 

He largely limited Westbrook to 15 points on four of 13 shooting, the exact performance the Lakers needed after they were left scratching their heads on whether they could stop Westbrook, and more importantly, responded to the Thunder's imposing Game 4 victory. 

"If we’re going to be eliminated I didn’t want to go in thinking I could’ve done something about it," Bryant said. "I accept the challenge."

This was a different type of challenge Bryant embraced this series. First came his ability to overcome his nagging injuries and still showcase his scoring dominance in Game 2. Then came his ability to do that to the extreme in Game 3. That followed with Bryant taking the opposite approach in Game 4, opting not to take any shots in the entire first quarter while the team worked to get the ball inside. His approach in Game 5 seemed to serve as the best approach, with Bryant still leaving an imprint on the game even if it didn't involve any late-game theatrics. 

"Kobe started off the game just giving me turns and assists," Bynum said of Bryant, who has seven assists. "Pau, also. That got me started early. As far as points in the paint, we were moving the ball and moving ourselves. When you do that, it forces defenses to collapes and then you get wide open cuts."

That started fairly early in the game, with Bryant throwing an alley oop lob for Bynum for a 6-0 lead, Bryant swiping a pass from Durant that led to an easy fast-break bucket for Bynum. And the chemistry continued onward. He had his shot back, such as when he cut up off Gasol’s down screen and pulled up for an elbow jumper as well as his runner that gave the Lakers a 55-34 half-time lead. He had lift, such as when Bryant received a pass from Gasol backdoor and converted on a reverse layup, or when he drove the lane in the third quarter past Westbrook and dumped a pass to Gasol for the layup. And he still had enough energy to play defense, making it a long and frustrating night for Westbrook.

"It’s more of a thrill [than scoring]; the defensive side of things because it’s harder," Bryant said."A guy with the ball for the most part dictates the tempo. The defensive play, it’s a bigger thrill for me personally than me scoring."

Yet for the Lakers, it was something that helped the team the most in retaking control of the series.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant spins past Thunder forward Kevin Durant (background) to score in Game 5 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

 
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lately, there are new blogs sprouting in LA, like this money Smith, another Chick pretender. I didn't know that Stu and Bresnahan have blog of their own but still nobody can match the energy and excitement of the MM's blog. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM
DAMN! Talented & Modest too! WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW AND WE KNOW THAT YOU DESERVE KUDO'S SIR. SO THANK YOU!

"Bynum? Truly beastly. Anybody who wants to trade this guy is nuts."


I agree with you completely!!!

Anybody who still doubts Bynum is nuts! Even with Perkins, Duncan, Howard and Shaq when Kobe looks for Bynum, Lakers are crazy unstoppable...

"He said I'd like to take Westbrook,"

That's a nice way of saying, "The guy guarding Westbrook has been killing us by getting burned so badly - something needs to be done. Since you won't do anything about it after 4 games, I'll do it myself."

PJ truly is about the players being their own coaches. It's one thing that makes him so special, but what happens when the player(s) refuse(s) to step up and take that leadership role? Let's face it, these problems guarding the opponents PG could have been solved long ago, but the one guy everyone was waiting for to step up and say something, never uttered a word except in locker room speeches lecturing to everyone else.

Having Ron Ron allows us to put Kobe there. On last year's squad, we'd have to put Ariza on the quicker guards because he wasn't strong enough for the bigger/stronger 3's - in that sense, we do get some additional versatility.

And the joy of winning another championship will be nicely seasoned by the mopey faces of Pierce and Garnett and Allen and Doc as their dream of another title dies on the parquet floor in game 4.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 09:52 AM

That felt so good! Thanks LTLF.............

KUDOS LONGTIMELAKERFAN, You know your history Brother. I bow before a Master!
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THANK YOU EDWIN GUECO FOR THE JUST WIN PETITION WORK – BANDWAGON
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There is only one almighty in the blog that could claim that credit.. It is good the rest of the group followed our cue or else there is no bandwagon. lately, there are new blogs sprouting in LA, like this money Smith, another Chick pretender. I didn't know that Stu and Bresnahan have blog of their own but still nobody can match the energy and excitement of the MM's blog. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM
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(01) MAMBA24 - OWNER - Edwin Gueco my mentor, thank you sir. You may not believe it but I think you can take part of the credit for the Lakers victory. If you don't think the Lakers
FO doesn't listen to us they do. KUDO'S BROTHER
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – DRIVER
(03) JON K – RIDING SHOTGUN
(04) #4 – KEEPER OF DYNASTY 4 and KKOBE’S 4 RINGS –
(05) KEIFO
(06) FAITH
(07) MIKE T. I’M Mike T. who the hell are you.
(08) JEANETTE

Wow, the Blog is really busy these days! Great job keeping up with it MM!

MAMBA24: Thanks man, you are the heart and soul of the blog! You are here through thick and thin coalescing all us random fans together, your great posts and poems link us all into a great, big extended Lakers family! Great work, keep it up! =)

pfunk,

>>>When Kobe is aggressive offensively he can take advantage of the defense
>>>because he draws so much attention........it doesn't matter as much if he is
>>>making or missing shots........just be in an aggressive mindset

Exactly, exactly, exactly. Well stated pfunk.

There were several plays they replayed a lot last night. My favorite was a lob to Bynum in the first quarter. When you watch the replay, Kobe starts to drive toward the rim, and THREE Thunder players are completely totally focused on him. That's what left Bynum free to go right to the rim and Kobe got it to him.

If a team single covers Kobe, then he's going to shoot more, but most of the time Kobe has the sense to pass to the open man when he's double or triple teamed. Nowadays, about the only time Kobe will try to take on a double team is if it's toward the end of a close game.

And Kobe was trying to pass more in game 4 as well. The difference is that this time when he passed, his teammates made their shots more often.

What do you think of the Cavaliers and Celtics match up? I don't know based on season's performance it was the James & Co but in this playoffs I think our old time rival is pouring it in with Rondo at his best in facilitating to another title. James was hurt or just a show??? I said a show because he suddenly showed the weakness on his right shoulder at few second left. Before that, he was using the right hand. That's NBA where deception can happen.

My neighbors were telling this morning that the Lakers are trying milk some money out of the Thunder competition. The losses were intentional to make more money for the Buss family pay the luxury taxes. Well, if there is David Stearn, Tim Donaghy anything can be true, we are mere mortals glued on our TV sets.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE TROLLS GONE?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Where have all the trolls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the trolls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the trolls gone?
Lakers have punked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

KOBE BEAN BRYANT - REMO
TEX WINTER - CHIUN
PHIL JACKSON - DR. SMITH

I agree with Jon K., we did look like the real Lakers on Offense.
¿Is that difficult?

Is good for us to lose some games -and extend the playoffs- to prepare for the finals? Maybe one, but not two, not against OKC. Our team showed they can play championship basketball, but we already knew, since last year. Is that bad their memory? or their confidence?. In our 2000 dinasty, we didn't have those problems. We played like champions... until the team fell apart, but that isn't important right now.

They are adults, professionals and the reigning champions. We can't expect nothing less than games like the one yesterday. They already learned the lesson against the Rockets, why repeat the same mistakes?

Crush every opponent, because we are the reigning champions, BECAUSE WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS!!!

A lot of the credit in game 5 should go to the ZEN MASTER.


Many times Phil has been accused of not responding well to counter coaching in the playoffs. It showed here his brilliance of coaching.


Completely dismantling the Thunder after a poor perfomance on game 3 and 4.

Coach's Decision and game plan.

1. Inside-out (Bynum, Gasol, Kobe, Fisher) making an effort!
2. Westbrook dfense (Kobe buying on dfense)
3. Artest offense
4. Team chemistry
5. 48 mintue consistent effort


@CYBERCOSMIX - Just Following your lead Big Brother.
Mamba24

@Edwin, I predict the CAVs, Celtics will be a 7 game series and if Darth stern does not but in all of Laker Nation will get their wish to face the SEPTICS again. FRAK PRINCESS JIMMY
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@LAKERTOM, ROFLMAO!!@@

Good morning Mamba24

To add to princess jimmy's injury. Hearing about Kobe playing with so many injuries, he figured he's losing the battle of strong will. So he "conveniently" injured himself 3 weeks ago and he's now bringing it up.

Did you notice how he fell on his left side in that game and when he got up his right arm was stiff from pain? I think he forgot which elbow is hurting. lol.

Please put me on the FINISH THEM WITHOUT MERCY Band Wagon.

Let's put them out of their misery on Friday.....

Michael C. Teniente....

How you been bro. This is one of the true original bloggers from back in our Smush Parker days lol. Man been wondering where you been bro.

I agree with you on the Kobe being dominant assessment but you gotta admit a 70% Kobe is still better than more than 90% of the NBA because of his mental game. You see how he defended Westbrook last night. Fisher, Brown and Farmer need to take notes. He knew that Westbrook was quicker and Faster but he played the angles and went under picks and as soon as he was about to shoot he contested the shot.

Were gonna need the real Kobe in the West Finals and the NBA finals folks just being honest. I hope the therapy is going to help. This is why i really felt we needed to get a PG to help take the Facilitating ability off of kobe so he can conserve more energy, but I guess thats just me.

Anyway to the rest of the bloggers on here. I'm still watching this blogg. May not comment as much due to my new work schedule but lets support the Lake show, the repeat will be hard but if we can get it next year will be so much easier with a couple of tweaks on the roster and Kobe resting his injury. Only Denver matched well with us everybody else in the West is dust.

And I really feel its gonna be Boston or Orlando in the finals against us. Those teams can actually clogg the paint on bron and have the length to contest the Cav Shooters. Also Lebron has to defend someone unlike the Bulls series.

-Paul Lee

OMG MAMBA24, "And Princess Jimmy shame on you, Acting like you have an injury like Kobe too
Did you think that would make you seem more a Man, Fool you’re a Princess understand
Did that ouch on your elbow hurt, All right Princess go home and change your skirt
The announcers “OOOH Jimmy shot with his left hand”, Didn’t make the shot, Kobe can
Left hand, right hand it’s all the same, Kobe Bryant is the real master of the game
All the world were able to see, Kobe’s not just about offense, he’s also about “D”
Princess Jimmy you ought to be ashamed, blaming a hurt elbow for a bad game
Mangled fingers, bad back, strained thigh, Kobe’s still better than Princess Jimmy no lie"

AWESOME STUFF! Can you believe the Princess last night? Soon as they had the game wrapped up, it's like he wanted to get some sympathy for the next series, some of the same kudos that Kobe got. I was fully expecting them to rush out the Paul Pierce wheelchair, either that or bring an ambulance right out to mid-court. What a drama queen. Pathetic. Great verse, you nailed it!

- - -

LongTimeLakerFan: "Have fun with the Cavs in the next round. I genuinely hope you beat them. Much as I'd like to see a Kobe-LeBron finals, I'd get much more joy watching the Lakers smack the green out of your team for 4 games like they bitch-slapped the Chunder last night.

I eagerly anticipate watching Paul Pierce writhing on the ground in faux pain... and then Ron Artest walking over and kicking him in the gut while he's down.

I will revel in watching slow old KG getting dominated by "soft" Pau Gasol

I will laugh every time Wrajon Wron-go dribbles around for 20 seconds trying to get past Kobe and then throws up a brick.

I will chuckle at Doc Rivers histrionics every time a call doesn't go his team's way.

I will smirk every time Sheed jacks up another brick 3, and I'll laugh when he gets thrown out of a game for trying to strangle Sasha Vujacic.

And the joy of winning another championship will be nicely seasoned by the mopey faces of Pierce and Garnett and Allen and Doc as their dream of another title dies on the parquet floor in game 4."

Sheer brilliance! ROFLMAO at the thought of Artest kicking Pierce in the gut as he's writhing in faux pain... oh my god that is funny!

WELL,WELL,WELL here we are.. the bandwagons have returned everybody is happy again. Dfish drank from the fountain of youth, Thriller moon walked all over Durant, Pau was the MAN(DON'T CALL ME GASOFT PLEASE) MAMBA controlled the game with steller"D" on BABYBROOK, DREW unleased the BEAST within, LO came to play with a pocket full of gummy bears all game long. It was a total team VIBE, (MAMBA24) keep the bandwagon energized it's not to late for others to get their @zz on board.

Mamba24,


Thanks for the props! But when kobe is not playing the right way, I will have to spoil it again. I'm just saying when he plays right way he is the best, and I will give where credit is due. I do not blindly cheer for him when he puts himself above what the team needs first. LakersTeam first, Kobe second, agree?

It's simple: The Lakers are blessed with some of the best passing big men in the NBA. The 1-2-3 combo passes from Kobe > Pau > Bynum were frickin' beautiful. That's Laker basketball right there. Drive the ball, dish the ball, dunk the ball.

How many of those passes would've bounced off of Kwame's hands of stone?

Go Lake Show!

Did you notice how he fell on his left side in that game and when he got up his right arm was stiff from pain? I think he forgot which elbow is hurting. lol.Posted by: Laili K | April 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Good Morning Laili, LOL! Poor Princess Jimmy. Yes< I do agree lets put them out of their misery.
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FINISH THEM WITHOUT MERCY FRIDAY LAKERS – BANDWAGON
X, X, X, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 3, 2, 1, HIT IT LAKER TOM PARADE TIME
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(01) ADRIAN PALOMAR – OWNER - Mamba24 can we please start,finish them without mercy bandwagon.I really cant wait until friday when my Lakers will kick this overhype thunder ass again.Lakers all the way baby!!!
(02) TEAMN – DRIVER - Finish this and roll on, baby!
(03) JOVBATZ44 – RIDING SHOTGUN - !" Adrian Palomar, I'm with you brother on the "Finish Them Without Mercy Bandwagon"!!!!!!!! Larry, let's do this brother!!!!! and yes, where is NINOY?????????LOL The "Switch is officially ON". It may be too early tell, but I can sense it. We got Kobe Bryant, and you've got none. Kobe is brutal in close out games. Remember Denver last year? Orlando? "SHOW NO MERCY
THERE WON'T BE ANY GAME 7. None my friends, none.
(04) #4 – KEEPER OF DYNASTY 4 & KOBE’S 4 RINGS - Nothing like home cooking. That said, I think this closes out in the Blunderdome. The Blunder haven't had to deal with an elimination before, I think they succumb to their own pressure and inexperience to adjust. Make no mistake folks, Kobe was and still is the driving force behind the offense. Literally and figuratively. They switched Durant on to Kobe. Supposedly because of the confusion that this caused when they did so in the 2 away games. What Kobe was able to do in many of those instances was use screens set by Pau to drive. Pau would roll, setting up confusion on their part. But Kobe set that up. It wasn't back to the basket postups, where the athletic Thunder could double team. Pau showed why he's the most skilled PF in the game off that pass. Bynum was ready to be a recipient or ready to get a rebound. But the basis was and always has been Kobe.

(05) KOBE81PTS – SGT AT ARMS - Please repeat this performance in game 6 and this series is over!!!!!!
(06) ILOVEKOBE33 – REFEREE - it was a great game from the start! when they play like this there unstoppable! kobe is the best player in the NBA
(07) JEFE1010 – REVIEW OFFICIAL - Great win Lakers - take care of business on Friday night!
(08) CORNER –J – ENFORCER - Oh, the humanity! The Thunder go down in flames. Hey, where are all the trolls? Come back, you punks, and let's hear how the Lakers are too old, too slow, and dead in the road now. Durant the best player in basketball??? Hahahaha. Nobody on the Lakers can stop Westbrook? Looks to me like Kobe punked him all night long. The Thunder are the next dynasty? More like die-nasty, stomped into the ground by the WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS. Never underestimate the heart of a champion, punks.
(09)CHICNSTU – GAME ANNOUNCER - That was an amazing display of team ball. Not only on offense but defense too, we played 48 minutes for the first time this season. I want more if that PLEASE!
(10) ALI – ALTERNATE REFEREE - The Sleeping Giant has awaken!!!! Finally and I hope they stay awake throughout the playoff series.
(11) ROBYN – ORDER RESTORER - Okay, order has finally been restored in Lakerland. Everyone can relax now and have a good night sleep!
(12) LAKERLADY – L.O.’S NUTRITIONIST - Sweet win. Lakers played great from start to finish. PJ did a great job letting Kobe guard Westbrook. DFish played scrappy D; Ron was all over the court and the two bigs were great. Lakers 'stayed thirsty', my friends. One more W to get this job done and then, NEXT!!!!GET IT DONE ON FRIDAY, GUYS!!!
(13) BENJAMIN - Kobe's manner makes it very clear. The manner of Kobe's teammates makes it clear. He's no longer ****ing around. This is some serious ish for everybody. The metagame is over. They're in the moment now. Game 6 oughta be interesting.
(14) JEANETTE - I agree with Kenny Smith, it does not matter how you win and how many wins it takes you to win a series, it is all about advancing to the next round and finally to the FINALS. Let us finish this in game 6. GO LAKERS!
(15) Nemaia Faletogo - As I've said on the game 4 game chat, the Lakers would respond and they did last night. When they play as they did last night, especially on defense, these Lakers are unbeatable in a 7 game series.
(16) TROY - Yes, the win was great, but I'm not satisfied, and I'm still concerned. The Lakers MUST win game 6 in order to be rested and healthy for a very good Utah team. No more of the disrespect for the Game I say in game 5; all that missing fts and layups BS. Do not go into your shells just because you're in Oklahoma, Lakers. Play hard, and end this damned thing already. We have a long way to go, and the road is difficult.
(17) CALIPHILOSOPHER - am looking forward to seeing how the OKC crowd reacts for game 6. As Derek Fisher said at halftime of game 3 (maybe it was 4; I think it was 3), the crowd, with their energy, makes you want to play your best (no matter if they are for you or against you). It should be a fantastic game on Friday.
(18) J24(LADY JEM24) - That was beautiful last night! That was what we've been waiting for, the Championship caliber team, the Championship Heart and Intensity! I hope the rest of the playoffs contenders were watching, watch out bec. the REAL Champs are baaaaaaaack!
(19) KEIFO - NOW THAT'S LAKER BASKETBALL BABY!!!!!!!!!!!
(20) MAMBA24 – IT AINT OVER TILL MIKE T SAYS IT’S OVER.
(21) MTI312 - Just enjoy the awakening and EXPECT them to keep it up and not worry. Kobe does a great job defending smaller shooters. Kobe on Westbrook reminded me of the Lakers/Sixers finals. Cut the head off and it's over.
(22) FAITH – DEFENSE GURU - This is how you do it. We are dominating like the world's best dominatrix. Who are we?! 16 championships LOS ANGELES LAKERS! Boo-yeah. Championship ball. OKC eat our dust! All. About. The. Love. GO Lakers! 3 down, 13 to go!
(23) JAMIE SWEET – SUB-ZERO…WINS..FATALITY - Throw me on the FINISH THEM bandwagon, puh-leaze! Can you put me down as 'Sub-Zero...wins...Fatality!' It would be sweet if Lamar had Sub Zero's freeze bomb. Now we need to finish it on the road. It would be good to send a message to whomever our next opponent is: We can take this Lake-Show on the road. We can compete at the highest level in the loudest building against maybe the most athletic team in the playoffs (Atlanta's right there, too). Besides, we've driven the stake into the vampire's heart, now we just need to cut off it's head and stuff it's mouth with garlic. What better place than Oklahoma?
(24) EDWIN GUECO – JUDGE - To all media here and outside, from now on don't ever underestimate the power of the Laker fans.
(25) LAKER MIKE -- LIKE FINE ART. . .--stand too close, and the brilliance cannot be fully appreciated --pass judgment before the masterpiece is complete, and short-change the genius of the process Nobody ever marvels at the canvas underneath the final presentation, but instead the magnificance of the finished product. This postseason run of the Lakers is like Fine Art. Wait, just wait on it, and behold the beauty!
(26) RICK FRIEDMAN - About that WITHOUT MERCY BAND WAGON. I'm in. If you had...
The Lakers season ending in April... Kobe applying for Medicare coverage in May... And Ron Artest with a one-way bus ticket back to Houston... You're OUT!
(27) MAGIA32 - Last night the Lakers clearly got The Stern Advantage. Lets hope on Friday the Lakers don't get The Stern Package!!! Did anyone see lebron fake that elbow injury, only cuz he bricked that left handed freebie. Also noticed when the game was over, james was just going to walk off without shaking hands again. Not till someone tapped him did he turn around to thank the Bulls players.
(28) CYBERCOSMIX - The coach that makes the best adjustments in a series usually wins, and Phil showed why he is the winningest coach in NBA history last night.
(29) LAILI K. – REPLAY OFFICIAL - Let's put them out of their misery on Friday.....

Forgive me my Lakers family, I will actually be rooting for the Celts against the Cavs. I can't believe that this day will come but stranger things have happened and destiny may really have it as yet another Lakers-Celts finals. Bitter rivalry continues as the Cavs, Mavs and Nuggets continue to choke. Payback time against the Celts, who would not want that. BTW, can I make a request to the Celts just in case they can't beat the Cavs, make it a 7 game series with 3 OT in game 7

I hate the princess so much, I thought he is Michael Jordan wannabe but she seems to be imitating Kobe. Injured, she is just making excuses. Her words do not support her actions. I can see that Cavs will choke again, when I look into their eyes I just can't see the fire. They looked scared, try to look when they have the cameras on them. Even the.princess does not have the eye of the tiger, she got the afraid eyes of the squirrel gainst the black mamba.


Mamba24 Please put me on the THANK YOU EDWIN GUECO FOR THE JUST WIN PETITION WORK – BANDWAGON

I personally witnessed his dedication to that bandwagon. He was up all night and worked throughout the whole day till game time recruiting Laker faithfuls. His dedication and love for his Lakers is unmatched.

Thank you Edwin G. I believe that it definitely had effect on our players to come out strong and put fear into the hearts of the Thunder from the get go.

Staples 24,

>>> Look to pass the ball inside first everytime, that is exactly what Fisher and
>>>Kobe did the whole game.

It's not quite that simple. They tried exactly the same thing in game 4, and got thumped in the first quarter and never really got back in the game.

The difference between the two games comes down to several things:

1. When Kobe or Fish passed to the bigs, they actually made their shots, instead of turning it over or getting fouled and missing free throws

2. In game 5, the Laker bigs really worked hard to secure rebounds. 11 for Pau, 11 for Drew, and 8 for Lamar. In game 4, only Pau was trying that hard, OKC got every loose ball and every rebound that could have gone either way.

3. Kobe (and others) shutting down the OKC fast break.

4. The Lakers trying to get into their offense a lot faster. In game 4, the Lakers mostly walked up the court & then tried to pass the ball into the post when the Thunder already had their defense set. In game 5, the Lakers often ran up the court and passed the ball in to Pau or Drew before the Thunder were set, so they got the ball down to the low block a lot quicker and earlier in the shot clock.

There were other factors (Farmar much better at home than on the road, Lakers using pump fakes to avoid blocks, etc), but those 4 things were the big differences between the 21 point loss in OKC and the 24 point win in LA.

I hate the princess so much, I thought he is Michael Jordan wannabe but she seems to be imitating Kobe. Injured, she is just making excuses. Her words do not support her actions. I can see that Cavs will choke again, when I look into their eyes I just can't see the fire. They looked scared, try to look when they have the cameras on them. Even the.princess does not have the eye of the tiger, she got the afraid eyes of the squirrel gainst the black mamba. Posted by: Jeanette | April 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOH WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
OUT FREAKIN STANDINF SISTER JEANETTE!!


How many of those passes would've bounced off of Kwame's hands of stone? Go Lake Show! Posted by: The Outlaw | April 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM

TELL IT OUTLAW!!!

SIXTY NINE!!!

The answer is 1969 - to the Boston Celtics of course. That was the Russell/Havlicek C's vs the West/Baylor/Chamberlain Lakers. If I remember right, that was the famous game where the Lakers had ballooons suspended from the rafters, and Russell made a speech about not letting them use those balloons to inspire the team.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Congrats LongTime!

You win todays prize ... A set of steak knives!

As far as your other fictional short story, I enjoyed that too. But what I really found enjoyable is how you started all your sentences with "I will" ... where as I woulda started my sentences with "I have"

Enjoy the knives, your earned them.

Thank you to all but we really don't need personal bandwagon. It is not me who thought of that idea, it was Rick Friedman and Justanothermambafan too who initiated it. Thank you if you think we played a nice part to it. Still, it is the power of all the fans not just few individuals.

Mamba24,


Thanks for the props! But when kobe is not playing the right way, I will have to spoil it again. I'm just saying when he plays right way he is the best, and I will give where credit is due. I do not blindly cheer for him when he puts himself above what the team needs first. LakersTeam first, Kobe second, agree? Posted by: Staples 24 | April 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM
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I feel you bro, and I agree with much that you say and when you deserve your props...You know I got to give them to you Bro. We aint never gone agree on Kobe, But what we can agree on is that you are a hard core Laker Fan and you have my respect Brother.
mamba24

@Jeanette, crazy as it may seem, I also will be rooting for Boston! BOSTON WTF? So we can settle this once and for all before they become old and grey and fade away. Princess Jimmy is still a Young Girl and has many playoff years left. We can whip her next year. LOL!
mamba24

Congratulations Kobe, #24 is the No.1 in jersey sales. The most hated but yet most loved NBA players lol. I think it's 2nd year in a row no?

*player. I swear i deleted the S.

Paul Lee, Paul Leeeee!!! where have you been? Another long time resident here who used to populate this blog w/ his insights. Next sighting I hopw will be the College journalist, Xodus, the graduate school student, Korey and possibly AZ if his baby sitting chores will permit. How about Mitch, Mike T's nemesis, is his son ready for Lakers PG?

Jeannette: This may be the ONLY time in my entire life that I too will be rooting on the Celtics (UGH that is some painful stuff just to write...) The Lakers gotta pay them back for the '08 series when we were missing Bynum, Mihm and Ariza was just coming back from an injury and barely played. Any championship is sweeter, but against the Celt's would make it oh so much moreso!

The Cav's just beat probably one of the worst teams to have ever made the playoffs, they had a 10-game losing streak, their coach chokes the GM, they make the east playoffs with a .500 record but probably finish 12th in the west. 3 of the Cavs wins were close games.

Thing is with Princess Jimmy, she really gets annoying when she starts dancing DURING games, when she decides to play 1-0n-5 and totally disrepect her teammates, etc... But now when she decides to become a drama-queen crying diva? This is really getting pathetic. You are right, she's looking to imitate Kobe and decides to feign injury. I really am starting to dislike Princess Jimmy!

Man would I LOVE Artest dropping the Princess in the finals - I would but would MORE LOVE to the Lakers beat the Celtics!

>>>Anybody who still doubts Bynum is nuts! Even with Perkins, Duncan,
>>>Howard and Shaq when Kobe looks for Bynum, Lakers are crazy
>>>unstoppable...

I'm hoping it will eventually be that solid, but his beastlyness is still not cemented.

This series right now is the first series ever where Bynum has looked like a top 10 draft pick. Two years ago he was out and last year he was still shaky coming back from injury. But if he keeps playing like he's playing right now, he could rise to meet your expectation of him.

But here's what Drew has done against the big boys this year:

vs Orlando (Dwight Howard):
8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks in the first game
5 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the second game
Not exactly beastly numbers

vs Cleveland (Shaq/Varejao/Z):
4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block in the first game
7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks in the second game
Not exactly beastly

vs Boston (Kendrick Perkins - not a star, but big and strong):
19 & 11 with 2 blocks in the first game
14 poitns, 9 rebounds, no blocks in the second game.

So the message is, if you're hoping for Beastly Bynum in the finals, you better hope that Boston makes it that far. Or that Bynum grows up in a big way between now and June.

Enjoy the knives, your earned them. Posted by: 131-92 | April 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM
*
Hey 132, Seriously I think if your team goes in fast and hard they can run the Table on Princess Jimmy and the Cavs. If you can win the first one with the Princess supposedly hurt that will rock their confidence. They don't have anybody that can handle that Green Bald Headed Crazy Giant K.G. I'm rooting for you! Practically I think the series will go six and your team will win. Then Tell That Bald Headed Giant to watch out for Dwight Howards elbows. I use to like him but I am beginning to think he is a dirty player. I THINK the Celtics will make it to the Finals, I KNOW the Lakers will make it to the finals.
Mamba24

Great game last night!

Go Lakers!

TELL IT LONGTIMELAKERFAN!!!

Thank you to all but we really don't need personal bandwagon. It is not me who thought of that idea, it was Rick Friedman and Justanothermambafan too who initiated it. Thank you if you think we played a nice part to it. Still, it is the power of all the fans not just few individuals.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM
-----------------------------

Classy response Edwin.

Many many thanks to you Mang Edwin G and also to Rick F and Justa, they started that bandwagon. Edwin Gueco, my favorite blogger of all time. Sorry Larry, Justa and the Mamba clan, he won my heart a long long time ago, when I was just lurking on this blog. That does not mean I love you less guys -:)

MM, this blog is rocking. Thank you to you as well.

Congratulations Kobe, #24 is the No.1 in jersey sales. The most hated but yet most loved NBA players lol. I think it's 2nd year in a row no? Posted by: J24 | April 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM
OUT FREAKIN STANDING M MY LADY J24!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IfIOswZa1o

GREAT, GREAT, GRRRRRRREEAT!!!!

Regarding the refs, they always wait a little bit b4 starting their horrendous "show". Last night, WE DIDN'T GIVE THEM TIME TO EVEN START. 5 mins and we were already killing them mercyless, so they just let it go.
Don't expect the same treatment friday night. It's very important for us to start the game the same way.
Oh, and apparently, WE DID HIT OUR SHOTS!!!!
Oh, what a night...
Cheers.

Mamba-

Hope ur right. Id be a lot more confident if we woulda played better at home. I think we can win 1 in Cleveland but if we dont take care of biz at home it doesnt mean a thing. Im not a big believer in turning the switch on at playoff time but we did play probably our best 5 consecutive games vs Miami. Dwade gave us some practice at defending Lebron. I think for us to win, we will have to win in 6.

Oh, put me in the LETS FINISH FRIDAY BANDWAGON. Let's show these people that they should stick to their (argh) OU football team.

Between Cav's and Celts, I think the leprechauns will take the series. The Cavs owned the season but in the playoff series with the Bulls, they were not as efficient. Shaq was a behemoth in the post but slow, he would not be able to keep up with the Boston speed. James is good too on one on one but it is the Celtic mystique that is missing with Cleveland. They are not used to playing in May & June, when it comes to games of adjustments Mo, Verajao, Jamison are just too fragile compared to Rondo, Perkins and Allen. The latter are old perks but still reliable when the game is on the line. How they eliminated another powerhouse, Heat in 5 games just to continue to amazed me on our old foe.

In the West, the old Spurs suddenly becomes energetic group. Manu Ginobli became younger in his last contract year with dazzling show of mastery and control of the ball in his lay ups or kick it in on the outside. Those perimeter shooing are lethal. Duncan is good with his bank shots. I am assuming that they will take care of Mavs and Suns. On the other hand if our Lakers make it to to WCF (being objective) it will be a toss up game.

>>>Not only all that, but Artest, due to reputation, is flat out allowed to get away
>>>with more because he's so strong.

Reputation is something that can't be underestimated.

If Ariza were with the Lakers now and played the exact same defense on Kevin Durant, he probably would have fouled out of each game.

Can you believe the Princess last night? Soon as they had the game wrapped up, it's like he wanted to get some sympathy for the next series, some of the same kudos that Kobe got. I was fully expecting them to rush out the Paul Pierce wheelchair, either that or bring an ambulance right out to mid-court. What a drama queen. Pathetic. Great verse, you nailed it!Posted by: CyberCosmiX | April 28, 2010 at 10:28 AM
ROFLMFAO!! PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE STOP IT! HAHHAHAHHAHAHA
When you’ve seen one Drama Queen you’ve seen them all. OH SWEET JESUS, PLEASE STOP. You were fully expecting them to rush out the wheelchair.. HahhahahahaahahahahOH THE HUMANITY WAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA..CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!! wahahahahhahaha!

No Mercy.

I doubt Edwin's friend is right, but hope he is. You see, if it was an act, they wouldn't purposely sabotage the regular season (because in the finals it means less games at home) - but it would be nice to believe that the Lakers purposely tanked two games in OKC.

And to the Thunder troll - I have nothing against the fans. I have nothing against the players. This is the same team that I watched in person at Key Arena.

That's where they belong.

Stern & Bennett stole a franchise, and for that, I hope Durant and Westbrook find greener pastures and that Bennett loses his shirt.

Now, I can't believe my eyes - I'm actually joining forces with Darth Vader and the Palpatine here... cheering for the greenies? Wow. All their new money has been spent (was too new for them I guess)... but hoping that they can find an upset here.

I hate Princess Jimmy (unless Magic gives him the keys to the kingdom and he finds ink on a Lakers contract) - but even more than that, my grudge against Shaq is still there. That hatchet tried to get buried, but the big idiot kept digging it up. Plus, I need to see another puppet commercial where Kobe rubs it in.

Now we can relax a bit!!!

Go Lakers Go

keep the bandwagon energized it's not to late for others to get their @zz on board. Posted by: 2PHATT | April 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

LOL! Will do @PHATT!

>>>Fisher, Brown and Farmer need to take notes.

One of Kobe's biggest advantage in guarding Westbrook is height. Fisher, Brown and Farmar can take all the notes they want, but they're not going to grow 4 inches before game 6.

BTW, if Scott Brooks is a good coach, then the solution is pretty obvious. Start Harden instead of Sefolosha, and give the ball to Harden every time down the floor to attack against Fish. If Harden doesn't wilt under the pressure of an elimination game and succeeds against Fish, then that would force Phil to try something else to stop the bleeding.

And the joy of winning another championship will be nicely seasoned by the mopey faces of Pierce and Garnett and Allen and Doc as their dream of another title dies on the parquet floor in game 4.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 09:52 AM


I'M ALL WITH YOU HERE, BRO!!!!!
Cheers.

Congratulation to everyone. Speechless about last night, everthing went well. Now who doesn't love this Laker!

What I've noticed:

Fish, Gasol, and Bynum have shown up every game. Kobe has been a little inconsistent, but has been working very, very hard. Artest has been here defensively.

The weakest links have been the bench and LO.

Does anyone still think we could be here w/Farmar? Fish has been on point all series long.

I ride or die with Fish. That should be a new bandwagon.

--FEARless

>>>This is why i really felt we needed to get a PG to help take the Facilitating
>>>ability off of kobe so he can conserve more energy, but I guess thats just me.

It's not just you. I was really hoping that Buss would splurge and do a Morrison for Hinrich deal at the trade deadline, but I understand the extra millions could have meant that the team would lose money next year even if they won a championship.

Fish will probably be just good enough for another title, but I don't know if they could repeat again next year with his slowing down.

On a positive note, I should point out that Fish is shooting 46% on his 3's so far in the playoffs - he's averaged a couple of made 3's a game. I can't overstate the importance of having a starter hit a high percentage of 3's and forcing his defender to stay honest and not sag down and double team the post player.

Much as some Fish haters hate it, he has actually played a very important role in the playoffs so far.

But here's what Drew has done against the big boys this year:
vs Orlando (Dwight Howard):
8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks in the first game
5 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the second game
Not exactly beastly numbers

vs Cleveland (Shaq/Varejao/Z):
4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block in the first game
7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks in the second game
Not exactly beastly

vs Boston (Kendrick Perkins - not a star, but big and strong):
19 & 11 with 2 blocks in the first game
14 poitns, 9 rebounds, no blocks in the second game.

So the message is, if you're hoping for Beastly Bynum in the finals, you better hope that Boston makes it that far. Or that Bynum grows up in a big way between now and June.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM
--------------------------------------


LTLF,

Just to keep this Bynum comparison/analysis in perspective, let's look a little deeper.

vs Orlando:

22 minutes played. So maybe double those numbers if he played 44 minutes like Kobe, who went 4-19, 11 points.

19 minutes played, good game if the trend continued for 38 minutes.

vs Cleveland:

26 minutes played, ok, maybe an off game, but Kobe takes 33 shots (33%), Fish, Gasol, Artest combine for 29 shots, bench get the rest.

27 minutes played, Kobe and Pau take 50% of the teams shots, not much left for Drew who is 3-5.

vs Boston:

33 minutes played, shoots highest % (53) of all the starters, Kobe 8-20.

27 minutes played, only Gasol shoots higher %.

Agree he hasn't totally dominated and isn't quite yet the 'be all you can be guy', but he is getting there.

He may not yet be THE top C in the league, but he is in the top 5.

If he has a strong playoff run that may make him that much better next year.

As long as he keeps getting better, what's there complain about?

Sorry Larry, Justa and the Mamba clan, he won my heart a long long time ago, when I was just lurking on this blog. That does not mean I love you less guys -:) MM, this blog is rocking. Thank you to you as well. Posted by: Jeanette | April 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM
*
Damn, Damn, Damn!! That durn Edwin he get's everything! Lol! Jeanette, Edwin is my mentor so you know it's cool with me. LOL! But Edwin you treat her right or, or, or..I'LL SIC MIKE T. ON YOU!
MAMBA24


Is it possible for Cleveland and Boston to BOTH lose in the next round? I just hate them both so.


Seriously, the East has three teams that could win a title (Cavs/Celts/Magic), but then it drops off sharply. None of the 5-8 seeds won 50 games. So the first round is less of a test than it is out West, but the next couple of rounds in the East should be classic.


The West is more balanced - every team in the playofs won 50. The bottom 4 are Utah, San Antonio, Portland and OKC. Any of them can (and some will) win a series. So round one out West was tougher, but the second round competition is not as strong.


Cavs / Celts should be a great series.


Edwin is just being modest. He was the first to post with the no more analysis paralysis idea. The rest of us just picked up the ball. A championship team with championship bloggers - and that's everyone who posts here. A whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

LTLF,


"It's not quite that simple. They tried exactly the same thing in game 4, and got thumped in the first quarter and never really got back in the game."

It is actually very SIMPLE!!! That is why I guaranteed game 5 to be an EASSSSYYY GAME for the Lakers, when the headline was LAKERS WILL NEED to GRIND IT OUT in game 5...


All Lakers had to do was play the right way!


In GAME 4, the first half of first quarter the passes were there but not pretty and not in ryhthm, like OK! I will pass it inside!! Instead of or not like I need to pass it inside, or I like to pass it inside, I enjoy making an assits for my terammmates. Not like in game 5 the passes were a lot more crispier than in game 4.


But even in game 4, first half of first quarter, Lakers up by 1 pt as bad as the shots being taken, out of ryhthm. Lakers were still in control because the pace by slowing down for the Thunder.


Not until the 2nd half of the first quarter when Odom came in and Bynum left the game, Laker guards starts shooting, the Thunder starts their RUN.

You see even when the bigs are missing their shots, the Thunder still can not get their momentum with a slow pace.


Evry good thing that happened in game 5 a lot of it is MOMENTUM by the Lakers, because thier MAIN game plan was working INSIDE-OUT and it fueled their run of their own..


Kobe and Fisher religiuosly feed the bigs inside, up to the point they completely stop shooting and more dribble penetration where happening, it all starts from INSIDE.

The MOMENTUM FOR THE LAKERS JUST CARRIED a LOT of the good things that happened, the Thunder was shaken and got out of sink, and Never gained their OWN MOMENTUM, because the Lakers killed it with INSIDE-OUT...


When Crisp, efficient, all-out passing inside is happening for the Lakers everything falls in place. It is what sets the balance of the Lakers offense.

INSIDE-OUT is what MAKES the Lakers GREAT BECAUSE THEY HAVE very skilled TWO 7 footers and a KOBE BRAYNT !!!! who can deliver them the ball with ease, effectiveness and efficiency... THIS IS LAKERS STRENGTH !!! LAKERS SHOULD ALWAYS CAPITALIZED ON!!!


In game 4, Fisher put his effort to pass them the ball. But somehow Westbrook jumping abilit and length guarding him, and him being short does not have the same effective Bryant feeding the ball inside.

Watch the game again in game 4 1st quarter which I did 3 times and Fisher was horrible in his entry pass to Bynum.


If Brian Shaw or Ron Harper is playing at PG position for the passes will be a lot more effective.


That is why I think Walton should play more. Even Sasha was doing very well before the injury. Lakers need a tall guard to feed the inside much better!!!


I think Odom should be the starting PG for the Lakers in this series. Bryant guards Westbrook.



>>>Does anyone still think we could be here w/Farmar?

Yes. Farmar is much better at home than on the road, but the difference between Fish & Farmar in defending Westbrook is neglible.

It's kinda overzealous to damn Farmar's play based on 10-12 minutes a game he got to play in the first 3 games. In the two games where he got 20ish minutes, he played very well at home and very poorly on the road. But improving in playoff stability requires minutes, and Farmar has just not been given them.

I'm not certain, but I doubt the Lakers will re-sign Jordan for next year. Depends if they can lure a more experienced PG for low $ or not. If not, and if Jordan goes to some other team where he gets more substantial minutes, I'll wager you'll see a higher level of performance overall by him.

Let me put it to you this way: If I described to you a player who was shooting 38%, turning the ball over 4 times a game, jacking up 6 3-pointers a game and only hitting 27% of those, you'd probably think that was a pretty lousy player, right?

My first question would be, how much playoff experience does he have? Lots of minutes or just a few?

Of course, in case you didn't pick up on the player, it's Kevin Durant. He has limited playoff experience, so the Lakers have made him look like a very inefficent and poor player. If all I told you was those statistics, you'd probably not want that guy on your team. But I'll wager in another two or three years of playoff experience, his numbers will be a LOT better.

Jordan's no Durant, but he suffers from the same problem - he hasn't been given enough playoff minutes to adjust to the highest level of play, so he's still kinda choppy and inconsistent.

Dwade gave us some practice at defending Lebron. I think for us to win, we will have to win in 6. Posted by: 131-92 | April 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM
*
So we agree OK. Tell your guys Good Luck! See You In the Finals

Plus, I need to see another puppet commercial where Kobe rubs it in. Posted by: Tim-4-Show | April 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM
There you go! LMAO!!

*
WE RIDE OR DIE WITH FISH - BANDWAGON
*
(01) FEARLESSS – OWNER - Fish, Gasol, and Bynum have shown up every game. Kobe has been a little inconsistent, but has been working very, very hard. Artest has been here defensively.The weakest links have been the bench and LO. Does anyone still think we could be here w/Farmar? Fish has been on point all series long. I ride or die with Fish. That should be a new bandwagon.
(02) MAMBA24 – DRIVER – 0.4 say no more. Fish We believe!

>>>Fisher, Brown and Farmer need to take notes.

One of Kobe's biggest advantage in guarding Westbrook is height. Fisher, Brown and Farmar can take all the notes they want, but they're not going to grow 4 inches before game 6.

BTW, if Scott Brooks is a good coach, then the solution is pretty obvious. Start Harden instead of Sefolosha, and give the ball to Harden every time down the floor to attack against Fish. If Harden doesn't wilt under the pressure of an elimination game and succeeds against Fish, then that would force Phil to try something else to stop the bleeding

-----------------------------------------------------

Lakertom I hear what your saying but if Phil see's that then we need to make another adjustment we actually have to options go big with Kobe, Artest, Lamar, Pau and Bynum. Phil never used that lineup this year and I always wondered why, Lamar is actually knocking down some open 3's. Or we can put in Shannon, Kobe, Artest, Bynum, Pau. and put Shannon on Harden he has the body to do that. But if u Harden in for Sefolosha then u gotta move Durant on Kobe and were then just gonna put Artest in the post like last game. We got matchup problems for them also bro.


And to Edwin Gueco how you been bro?

And in the after game interviews, Kobe very succinctly pointed this out - he's happy to rely on his teammates if that's what the opponent is giving him. Shaq would never ever ever have said that after a game where he only got 9 shots.

I know this will never persuade any of the believers in the "Kobe drove Shaq out of town" theory, but think about this...

who's the selfish player?

and who's the team player?

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 09:28 AM

Preach it Brother! Count me as a disciple!

--FEARless

Jordan's no Durant, but he suffers from the same problem - he hasn't been given enough playoff minutes to adjust to the highest level of play, so he's still kinda choppy and inconsistent.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 28, 2010 at 11:43 AM

LTLF, I believe. I'm a believer. Remember, I was the single biggest Farmar homer on this blog for at least two years. But, in the playoffs, its all about the road. Everything is about the road in the playoffs. Farmar just doesn't have it this season. He was MUCH better last season than this one. But, his minutes are higher this year. The opportnunity has been there.

Farmar's biggest sin this season is a complete disdain for feeding the inside when he's on the floor. He plays like he's afraid he'll never get back into the game. He plays like he's judged by the number of points he scores. I'm not exactly sure where he gets that from unless he really is trying to play for a contract for a particular running team or something?

I cannot explain his lack of defense, though. He was a defensive stopper at UCLA. Ben Howland used to sic him on people to disrupt the other team's offense. Him and Collison.

He is better suited to play in a run-and-gun squad, with his current attitude. But, he is also suited to play in the Championship winning triangle, if he can just change his mindset a little.

I don't know. I'm rather perplexed on this one.

--FEARless

It'd be nice for u guys to put a definition of "TROLL" and "HOBBIT"; when did the shift occur from BASKETBALL to whatever it is u speak of.
..
.
What exactly do these terms mean?

Phil Jackson should try Luke Walton of Star War's Famous Player at Center to give Andrew Brymun a rest. Utah has smaller center's, so he could again show his stuff as PAC-TEN Center. Luke played well with two shots, good passes, and hustle back on defense. It would be test of his flexibility to team should injuries continue to hurt players. He deserves a start at home in front of home crowd to build his confidence, team play, and motivation. The return of Luke Sky Walker and Force! His dad would like to see him start, too! His aunt comes to games to see him play. He seems more flexible now than before standing of three-point line waiting for Kobe to pass to him to shoot. He seems to learn that shoot open shot not three shot. Can he rebound like Super Walton from comic books? Can he defend like Super Man? He deserves a start against Utah.

 
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