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Lakers lack mental focus in 110-89 Game 4 loss to Thunder

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The Lakers entered Game 4 pledging to work the ball inside more. But that doesn't mean the post remained exempt from rebounding the ball.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant entered Game 4 pledging to involve his teammates more on offense. But that doesn't mean abstaining from shooting the entire first quarter.

The Lakers entered Game 4 pledging to play much differently against Oklahoma City than it did in their Game 3 loss. But that doesn't mean tanking in the game right away instead of allowing the Thunder to rally from a poor start.

The Lakers' 110-89 loss Saturday to the Thunder not only tied the first-round series to 2-2 and extended the series at least to six games. It revealed that the Lakers are perfectly vulnerable to losing in the first round to Oklahoma City, a feat that would mark the first time an eighth seed would beat a No. 1 seed after trailing 2-0 in a best-of-seven first-round series. Surely, the Lakers can very well treat this like last season's semifinal against Houston where they tested whether talent alone can trump work ethic and attitude, while driving the sanity level of every Lakers fan through the roof. But with the Lakers matching up against a talented, speedy and workmanlike Thunder team, it's a formula that could lead to disastrous results.

Really, you could fast forward or rewind to any part of the game to highlight the Lakers' deficiencies. But there were several plays in the first quarter that continued to plague the Lakers all game long. And to think this took place just at the beginning of the game, when the outcome was still within reach.

On one possession, Lakers center Andrew Bynum received an entry pass from Lakers guard Derek Fisher, met a double team and missed an open layup. Neither Bynum nor Lakers forward Pau Gasol made an effort to grab the rebound, leading Oklahoma City foward Kevin Durant to lead the break, driving past Ron Artest by the perimeter and ending the play with a one-handed slam. The next play went like this: Bryant fed Gasol inside. Durant blocked his layup. Thunder forward Jeff Green led the break, fed an entry pass to center Nenad Krstic and then secured the loose ball after Bryant denied the pass. OKC guard Russell Westbrook reset the offense at the top of the key, ran off a screen Krstic set on Fisher and passed to an open Green on the far corner. His three-pointer rimmed out, but Krstic cleaned the glass over an apathetic and unattentive Gasol and Bynum and converted on the putback. And on the next play? Bryant led the offense down the floor and passed the ball to  Artest on the far corner. But Durant swipedthe ball before quickly feeding it to Westbrook. He dumped the ball to Durant at the top of the key before finishing with another one-handed dunk. 

The Lakers' execution problems continued throughout the quarter. On one play, Lakers forward Lamar Odom threw a pass outside to Artest, who drove the lane and missed a layup. Oklahoma reserve forward James Harden grabbed the rebound over Gasol. Though the Lakers stopped Harden from running the break, they didn't stop the Thunder from scoring. Green missed a layup, but essentially grabbed the rebound from Gasol while lying on the ground flat on his back. Westbrook reset the offense and then pulled up for an elbow 18-footer. Odom ended one possession with a missed 17-footer and followed on the other end by allowing Serge Ibaka to rebound a shot over his back for the tip in. With 21 seconds remaining, Jordan Farmar forced and missed a 19-footer and paid for it. After Harden grabbed the board over Artest, Westbrook drained a shot over Farmar just before time expired.

The Lakers trailed 29-17 at that point in what represented their worst quarter of the series so far. Consider the difference between the Lakers' first-quarter starts in the first three games compared to their start in Game 4, including points (26.7, 17), points allowed (17.7, 29), field-goal percentage (51.5%, 36.4%) and opponent field-goal percentage (30%, 52.6%). And unfortunately for the Lakers, that was only the beginning in what became such a disastrous game that the starters sat out for most of the fourth quarter after trailing 88-64.

There are those that will suggest this is proof that the Lakers worrying about establishing an inside game instead of allowing Bryant to run free serves as a misguided strategy. Bynum and Gasol each scored 13 points on five of 10 shooting and the team scored 44 points in the paint. But Bynum and Gasol proved more detrimental by allowing the Thunder to beat them to the boards 50-43, overall, and 13-10 on the offensive end.

Though it's good that Bryant made a concerted effort to get his teammates involved, that doesn't mean he should've remained absent from the offense the entire first quarter. This isn't a black or white issue where the suggestion that Bryant should not force so many shots means he should shoot zero shots. Yet, his first attempt didn't come until the 9:06 mark in the second quarter and he finished with only 12 points on five of 10 shooting. 

The Lakers may lament Oklahoma City's ability to get to the free-throw line and its 42 of 48 finish from the stripe. But with the Lakers only converting on 17 of 28 free-throws, who knows what drawing trips to the line would have really done for them. 

The Lakers may also struggle finding a solution from the Thunder converting on 24 fast-break points, a common problem they've handled for the entire season. But preventive measures such as better shot selection, grabbing rebounds and not having the entire starting lineup end up with negative plus-minus ratings should offset that. 

There's many things you can conclude from this loss. You can argue the Lakers got one bad performance out of their system and that everyone should give credit to Oklahoma City for the effort it's giving. But that's really just masking the Lakers' poor effort. No, this isn't a lack of urgency issue. The Lakers have been trying since the last month. But with all those periods of neglect during the dog days in sharpening team chemistry, it's games like these that expose the Lakers' weakness in maintaining mental focus when things don't work out right away. The result leaves the Thunder hungrier, more determined and more confident it can beat the Lakers, which now have to go through Oklahoma City again in Game 6 to secure the series. 

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha is about to take a rebound away from Lakers power forward Pau Gasol in the first half of Game 4 on Saturday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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No matter what

Kobe just can't win

I guess if he would have shot 3 times in the first period you would have applauded his effort to get his teammates involved

would if take 5 shots
or 7
oops too many now, now he's a ball hog

perhaps to please all the critics Kobe should take

4 shots in the 1st
4 shots in the 2nd
5 shots in the 3rd
and
6 shots in the 4th

Now we're at the magic number of 19 shots per game

where all journalist and broadcasters can look elsewhere for excuses

Troll Man - It's not about Kobe reaching a quota in shots. It's about reacting within the context of the offense. Just because some writers, including myself, criticized him for going two of 10 in the fourth quarter in Game 3, that didn't mean I thought he should take zero shots. It's all the context of the game. For example, he was justified in doing that in Game 2 because a. his shot was falling and b. the rest of the offense wasn't working.

MM

who was it that said, Pfunk, Defish?

game 3 was the key when Phil, decided to rest kobe with more than 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd period.

So now Phil decides to change his habits and the Lakers give up a 9 point lead and momentum

The Thunder haven't looked back since.

If the Lakers lose this series, that decision by Phil is the turning point


welcome to Mark Madina blog and the Kobe bashing minute:

:Lakers guard Kobe Bryant entered Game 4 pledging to involve his teammates more on offense. But that doesn't mean abstaining from shooting the entire first quarter."

u don't like the facilitator? the inside game plan? the PJ x X said that. he CAN'T be wrong

u were NOT in OKC. so how do u know what was the game plan??????????????????

KOBE lost the game

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

there r some rumors the jim cleamons HAD the game plan. the same cardboard loser that was fired as an NBA coach. way to go DR BUSS.


Kobe is hurt
odum is hurt
artest is hurt
shannon is hurt
bynum is hurt

laker fans are hurting

too much to overcome? probably
primed to lose this series? probably

Vegas not hurting, they understand injuries, the betting public doesn't

Must stop
too many thoughts
too angry

mostly with Mitch (rest on my laurels- I got Gasol) Kupchak
broke up a championship team over pennies and got the second slowest and second lowest jumper (fish is #1 in both categories) in Artest instead.

help us Jerry West you're our only hope

i said that 3:11 was rhe moment and actually i have to give credit to pfunk36 who reminded me of the time. i knew that the MOMENTUM happened when kobe sat down in the 3rd with aprox 3 min left. YES, PFUNK BROUGHT up 3:11

sp we have

911-emergency
411-info

311-, lakers suicide hotline

i have copyrights for this one

311, 311, 311

hiltontown

i apologize calling u ignorant. that is INDEED a compliment. but i really like your little confessional catholic moment:

U R a shaq fan. and by default a Gasol fan by being a Kobe hater.

and now u r asking for Gasol to be traded?????????

just a … trolllllllllllllllllllllllll

Gotta give it to the Thunder. They ran faster, shot better and were, for sure, out-coached. They are aggressive, fast, smart and humble. They have never boasted about a win. I think it is awesome that they live in a city that encourages these traits. And their city has supported them like crazy. I am an LA native, but spent several years in OKC launching Dell's sales center there. It is really a great city. I often go back to OKC, as I was given season/playoff tix for for this season. I am glad to be back in my hometown of LA, but I have great respect for the Thunder and Okies in general. OKC knows how to support their team - I went to a few OU football games while I was living there and USC fans don't even come close to OU fans. I will always love LA, but I learned a lot from the sports teams in Oklahoma. They are humble and proud, not arrogant and flashy. My time in Oklahoma at sporting events showed me the meaning of pride and humility. I have sat on the floor at Lakers game with celebs, but sitting on the floor at Thunder games does not compare AT ALL. I am pulling for OKC in this round, but if the Lakers pull it off, I will be behind them 98%! I just love the underdog, and the new young team in a new young city!

ouchhhhhhhhh

props

hope it isn't the series turning point, but everything up to that point was Lakers. Then the bottom fell out

good night all

so Mark medina

do those 13 possessions in the 4th quarter look pretty positive NOW. it was just an 8 point game. that is kinda feasible in 5':26 sec. isn't IT?

Tmac scored like 13 points in one minute. how come the Lakers, THE CHAMPIONS can't overcome a 8 point deficit in 5:26. please enlighten US the regulars. U Know it all. we want some bites.

kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…
kobe did that …
kobe didn't do this…

where was I? sorry, Mark Medina just confused me…

is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?
is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?
is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?
is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?
is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?
is it Russell?
is it Westbrook?

i'm getting dizzy. who else on the Lakers team? on the Lakers blog? on the LA Times writers?

so where is the BRILLIANT Mark G and Mark Medina who were arguing earlier for the copyrights of the following statement:

"the Lakers r playing much better in the playoffs than in the regular season"

now that is a season-ed comment

not surprised Mark G got 2 awards as the "Comment of the Day" it was awarded by Mark Medina.

Mark marks Marks

or

Mark marks Mark's?

ohhhhhhhhhhh. those homophones and the pleasure of the language.

I don't think it is mental focus MM.
It is physical.
When an athlete is tired and injured and does not have the body to do what he wants to do, he can not maintain mental focus as well.
This is one of the most athletic sports in the world, one can not just will themselves to victory.
The Lakers are tired period. Two finals in the last 2 seasons plus summers playing international ball for the two main men: Kobe and Gasol. It catches up to you.
What this team needs is a good rest over the summer to heal and they will be primed to recapture the crown in 2011 if PJ stays.
If they get a new coach it will take another year before a new system is mastered. Even if they get PJ back they still need to hire a new assistant coach to focus on defense and replace Rambis.
Don't be penny wise and pound foolish Jim Buss.
If the highest player payroll and highest paid coaching staff in the NBA does not win this year it is all a waste.
Forbes reports that the Buss family makes an operating profit of $50 million a year on the Lakers, not counting the increase in enterprise value which has made the Lakers the most valuable franchise in the NBA.
Lakers need to spend even more money next year to get good FAs as the team can not continue having scrubs outside of the Big 5.

i'm waiting for Kobe to tell PJ:

if U coach, i don't play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

can PJ put points on the board. of course. he has a game plan. and Fish and Gasoft will execute IT.

MM,

y0u wrote: It's not about Kobe reaching a quota in shots. It's about reacting within the context of the offense. Just because some writers, including myself, criticized him for going two of 10 in the fourth quarter in Game 3, that didn't mean I thought he should take zero shots. It's all the context of the game. For example, he was justified in doing that in Game 2 because a. his shot was falling and b. the rest of the offense wasn't working.

my response: With respect, you're off base on this. Allow me to clarify.
Kobe is playing with a busted finger. Throughout this season Kobe, after the
broken finger, Kobe has started cold and then warmed up. Game 3, PJ took
him out when he was hot and the Lakers lost the lead in 3 mins flat.

Everybody and their grandfather [ lakertom ] complains about Kobe taking
too many shots and never discusses why he takes those shots. I addressed
this before and the article has been posted before. Artest, Lo & D-Fish
haven't been able to shoot the entire year. Kobe has compensated for them.

The game plan, as stated by Kobe & PJ & D-Fish [ I believe ] was to pound the
ball inside because we supposedly have an advantage there. [ This is where
LakerTom shouts: Bynum will be a Beast! ] The Lakers have been mentally
soft for years in that when Kobe starts shooting they start watching. Kobe
tried to get everyone involved, as he has before, but no one could buy a bucket. People keep trying to make Kobe into Magic or LBJ or Oscar
Roberson because they enjoy the basketball version of the "beautiful game"
without taking into account who Kobe's teammates are.

Kobe has and does modulate his game according to what's working.
Sometimes he makes mistakes, but generally he does it well.

Given who Kobe's teammates are, Kobe is always justified in shooting.
reference the box score from tonight for more insight.

Westbrook takes a shot. he misses. Fisher after watching him take a shot is frozen in the same place turned 180 degrees.

Gasol fakes a move to rebound the ball.

the ball ends up in WESTBROOK's hands, the same guy who took the shot and he makes the layup with Fisher as spectator (but good intangibles) and Gasol making FINESSE excuses on the baseline. but he DID not TOUCH. too bad. OKC TOUCHED. Down. 2 more points.

bla bla bla...

WE SIMPLY DIDN'T HIT OUR DANG SHOTS!!!!

Easy as that. I hope they PRATICE a little bit more. We got some open looks, etc...but we didn't hit THE DARN SHOTS!

hobbitmage

kill him slowly. let him suffer. tease him. let him roast for a day or 2. but self-flagellation is the answer. and repenting

Mark Medina,

"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit for a fall"


By not accepting the fact that you have no idea what you're talking about you dig yourself into a deeper hole and destroy any credibility you never had.

I wrote in a previous thread that running your offense through Gasol and Bynum would put the Lakers in deep trouble.......why? Gasol and Bynum are complimentary players...........you can't run your offense through them and expect to win.

Kobe made the commitment in the first quarter to follow the game plan even if that meant passing up some shots for himself.............instead of you saying this put the ball inside is a flawed plan you say it isn't a black or white issue..................well how many shots should Kobe have taken? 1, 2, 3, 4.........what about 6? At some point the hyper analysis becomes obsessive and ridiculous.................but it's not really your fault. Kobe had 10 shots in less than 3 quarters.........If Kobe steps it up in a close game in the 4th and takes 9 or 10 shots which is normal for him.......he winds up with 20 shot attempts and probably leads the Lakers in assist.............Is that enough shots?

A lot of the times the local media just parrots the insanity of Phil jackson who by the way has lost his mind and may very well suffer from narcisism and control issues.

The media has gobbled up the garbage Phil Jackson has been feeding them like pigs at the trough and then regurgitating it like pavlov's dog on cue. The problem with pigs is that they have no digestive system which makes them incapable of seperating what's good for them and what's garbage.


What if your mind has no digestive system? When listening to Phil Jackson you have to have a base to start from so you can accept what's functional and discard the rest.

It doesn't take long if you listen to Phil to realize this man is at his wit's end.............even if the Lakers somehow won the championship it's time for him to go mainly because he doesn't understand what his role is at it relates to his star........Kobe Bryant. Phil Jackson thinks he is the star


Do you know why there is order in our solar system? Because each planet understands it role as it revolves around the sun or it's star..............if any planet deviates on its orbit or role around the sun our solar system would be in complete chaos


Phil Jackson doesn't understand his role around his sun or star and parenthetically none of his players understand their role around the star and neither does the media.................as a result you have complete and utter chaos in this Laker system which was apparent as you watched the game tonight.....and then read your analysis and oh yeah ............read T.J Simers article

pfunk36

go ON. and read above.

now the real question is:

how can MM entertain us for the next 3 days?

more polls.
more spoofs of LUKE?
more Kobe bashing?

choose your poison. and don't drink and drive your bike because u end like Jon K's customer. and even if he is there he won't stop U. because he believes that U will make it in your own bed safe and sound. and next morning you won't remember anything. neither that the lakers lost. it's just a game. and hey, regardless on the outcome, let's pin it on Kobe.

Kobe suckssssssssssss! not exactly. there is the ACTIVATOR.

We can all talk about the possibility of chances lost with less shots made by Kobe or chances squandered by Bynum & Pau, but what I saw as I watched this game with other Laker fans was how these Lakers didn't play with the determination of a defending champion team - they played tentatively and acted as if they were actually afraid to play this Thunder team, especially in the post. They played AFRAID - that's what has me concerned over any of this other nonsense talk of big men getting their shots vs. Kobe either shooting too much or not enough.

These Lakers played without the heart of a champion and expected the results of a champion, the perfect ingredients of a perfect disappointment, which I could only endure into the middle of the 4th quarter before I had to distract myself with other "activities".

This Thunder team WANTS it, like how the Lakers WANTED it last year. I don't feel it from them this year. OK, bring up the injury list - fine, that might be viable. But it still doesn't explain their lack of heart.

Something's not adding up with them. Phil said something to the effect a couple weeks ago that the team was no longer listening to him - I took this as a BIG sign that this was the beginning of the end. If the team turns a blind ear to their coach who's won 10 championships,then we as fans can't expect another championship from this deaf, heartless and timid-playing team.

I wish them luck. If the go past this round, I can only be overjoyed and surprised.

And oh I don't necessarily blame Ron Ron for this demise. I blame the entire team's lack of urgency, determination, and motivation - the entire roster including Phil himself. Even if Ron never came and we still had Trevor, the outcome of the season and series would not be any different. Seriously the way this group has played is far worse than the group that got humiliated two years by 39 points at the hand of the green monster.

Posted by: Nigel | April 24, 2010 at 11:00 ----------

props!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

looks like the blog is breaking down. not accepting comments. all those bloggers who are not following Mark Medina's GAME PLAN r in trouble.

OH, and for the punk who wants to disregard a 10 championship-winning coach by making him out to be some kind of wing-nut going off the deep end with some non-ending ego, I say this: watch the Bulls when Phil whon 6 championships with Jordan. Hmmmm...I wonder how Jordan did that? Oh yah, he had a great coach.

Ok, Phil's older now, he's living in LA, his ego might be perceived as having gotten bigger, but come on, he's not the one out on the court making split second decisions that screw up a ballgame, unlike the guys who did that tonight. Besides, do you REALLY know Phil? Pretty sure that's a NO. Pretty sure he's got 10 more rings than you. Pretty sure he know more about those players than anyone does.

Fact is, you could kick Phil out and throw in YOUR favorite coach, and you know what, this team would be exactly where it is now - quickly falling down a slippery slope.

Don't blame Phil man, blame the players who have lost the heart and sensibilities of how to play team ball. You would think getting paid a few million bucks a year would be inspiration enough to play team ball. But hey, I wouldn't know, I've never been there as well.

311!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

311

help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no, it's 3311 as in game 3 at 3:11 in the 3rd. kobe was benched. remember

it is 311 not 13 like in the 13 possessions of the 4th qt. indeed, 4 is 3+1 but in this case did not ADD up. just in Mark Medina's game recap.

common MM, please sleep well. just a loss. and tomorrow, Jon K, JUSTA, Mark G and Zaira will applaud your game recap. they r the PATRIARCHS of the Blog, the Goddess of the Live Chat and the ONLY "real" fans who understand BB. we, the rest, r just NEWBIES* and Fair-weather fans**

* ref to JUSTA's accusations and welcoming of new bloggers (2009-2010)
** ref to Laker Tom posts, 2008-2010.

and Mark Medina. don't forget the LOVE. and phred. he is always on your side. if he has the state of mind to be on the blog.

DON'T FORGET THE LOVE

AND PHRED

and phRED hot applicants

"Lakers lack mental focus in 110-89 Game 4 loss to Thunder" (headline)

how come: no preparation. where was PJ x X? and jim clemons? and brian show?

no Sasha to point fingers at him. i remember it happened in the regular season OKC blowout when the Lakers were already down by 30? and Sasha made a mistake?

and he was benched for like 3 games? kindergarten. U GOT A TIME OUT. sit like a bunny. how can u argue with Brian Shaw's clipboard?

stop pointing fingers at others . just look in the mirror and point at yourself. i guess this line really works for Gasol? too much hair. and no combing. can't be him. he is the Euro MVP. historical he is a winner. and hysterical: he is 0-12 in the playoffs. and booed in Memphis. and traded. how can they do that to the Euro MVP? he has skillzzzzzz and high IQ. like CSI. they can figure out who is guilty i this charade. only if they can have more TOUCHES. and play the game the right WAY. and follow the Game Plan.

tonight the game plan was DESIGNED by none other than the cardboard fired coach from DALLAS, Jim Cleamons. how pretty. i trust him because on the bench he always tells things to Kobe. in his ear. so none else can hear it. not even himself. because has to be very stupid. or wrong. or bad. or mostly inadequate to win a game. but, it's the GAME PLAN.

and if we r blown out of the arena, as coaches, we r frustrated. and we have to accuse someone, because WE DID NOT PREPARE THE TEAM. so who can be the scapegoat. let's put it on Sasha. he is the foreigner (:-) - i am too.

Sasha made the mistake so the lead went from -29 to -31. he really has to be the guilty one.

indeed Mark G. Lakers play better in the playoffs. in the regular season they were blown out by OKC in OKC by 30+

tonight they lost only by 20+

a big improvement. and another brilliant preparation by the coaches

was that U, Mark G who posted that or was Mark medina. who has faster fingers????????????

forgot

who was the brilliant poster today who said that: with the SECOND unit Luke will be there to make the famous difficult inside pass to the bigs."

??????????????????????

now that was a thing of beauty. each one was a TURN OVER. i do not remember if there were 2 in a row or 3. Luke and his high IQ. told you he should run around with the clipboard in his hands so he can monitor and direct the players and the traffic.

Yes, Gasoft had a bad game... not worst than other guys but a bad game.

Is time to trade him.

Goodbye L.A.

now mi willm take a break and go to the LA times site to see what simmers in the plash-eisler dept. let's not forget Broderick who is still surprised that Durant defended Kobe in the 4th. the other game. the #3.

and the Mike guy. what's his name?

brannan. no, that's a street
breen. no, that's the commentator

brain wash. now that's LA Times.

now this is becoming richer and richer. did u family read this?????????

"Long before tipoff, just past noon on Saturday, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum were instructing Ron Artest after the Lakers' shoot-around.

Their goal was to demonstrate the best angles to make entry passes in the triangle offense."

"We were trying to show him how to do certain things," Gasol said several hours before the Lakers lost Game 4 to Oklahoma City."

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

Andrew Bynum CAN"T make an outlet pass. but now, HE is instructing ARTEST under the responsible, over the shoulder watch, of none other than the guru of TOUCHES. the one and only Pau Gasol.

i really need a drink now. i need to be numb for at least 3 days.
Bynum teaching Ron the triangle and the inside pass.
please pinch me.
this can't be real.
but it happened at the Lakers practice.
i still can't believe it.
and Fisher was not around.
or the future franchise point guard from the taft HS via UCLA, the speedy Ear Jordan?

no UPS for the IN pass?
what can Brown do for you?
and
no LUKE, the high IQ player who plays the same position as Ron and knows every thing a-la-carte?
and
follows
the
GAME PLAN.

now i will throw an IN pass to Laker Tom.

he will dazzle and frazzle all of US in 6 patented paragraphs.
nothing more, nothing less.
and
Jon K who will remind us that Pau Gasol is a good man.
and we have to look
inside.
insight?
more or less.

can anyone imagine this moment? tell me it's a dream. a bad one. nightmare?

Laker Tom & Jon K

Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol

what a match up. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laker Tom is 5'-9 and he will show us an example of IN. to THE BEAST.
Jon K will throw a "FINESSE" pass IN to the Euro MVP.

i'm just passin' OUT.

The Lakers su....ked big time.

It was so disappointing.

I saw no fire, no effort, no teamwork, no will to win.

The Thunder wanted it more. Simply that.

The Lakers will have to want to win more than the Thunder or they go home.

No excuses.

Just win, dammit.

So disappointing.

TROLL MAN IS RIGHT.

KOBE NEVER WINS.

"KOBE SHOTS AND MISSES, HE IS SUCH A BALL HOG."

"KOBE SHOOTS LESS, HE SHOULD'VE TAKEN MORE. HE IS TANKING THE GAME."

SHUT UPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Lakers can win this.

You all know it.

Our confidence shaken? Sure.

Does anyone NOT remember Houston last year? And I mean really remember, not just some understanding of parallels, but how it felt then as well.

When, NOT IF, the Lakers prove you wrong we'll have exposed the gutless weaklings among us.

Could we lose? Sure. Gun to your head, who are you gonna bet on?

Seriously, enough already.

Yes, Kobe needs a few body part transplants. Pau needs to be slapped. Bynum needs the ball way closer to the post and to get angry. Artest needs ADHD meds to focus on this shot. Fisher needs a high speed wheelchair. It's been ugly.

All 6 of our main guys combined for a +/- of something like -17. We cannot play worse.

Now's your chance to take it back. Are you a fan, or not?

So I took a break went to the casino and lost money

NOW I'M PISSED
REALLY REALLY PISSED

Son Vo
you keep defending Phil Jackson,
how did you like his adjustment for this game?
And when it was obvious it wasn't working,
how did you like his in-game adjustment?
And when Westbrook dominated Fisher on every play,
how did you like Phil decision not to switch defensive assignments.
And when the Ball went into Pau's hand, or as I like to call it, the black hole
how did you like those 3 assists he got after getting the ball so often
you must have liked his team high -22 while he was on the floor

LET'S FACE IT, THE THUNDER ARE SCORING AT WILL
BUT NOOOOO, IT'S NOT THE COACHES FAULT

IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT A PLAN THAT WORKS, FIND ONE,
IT'S ALL ON THE COACH FOR PLAYING THE SAME PLAYERS
RUNNING THE SAME PLAYS
RUNNING THE SAME DEFENSE

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN EINSTEIN TO SEE THAT THIS COACHING STAFF IS BEING OUTCOACHED, JUST LIKE THE BOSTON SERIES

LAST YEAR KOBE BRYANT WILLED HIS TEAM TO A CHAMPIONSHIP

PHIL JACKSON MUST GO
AND DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ARSE ON THE WAY OUT

You know what, Phil Jackson has fed this team and the LA media alot of BS about what makes this team successful. All what is happening in this series is because everyone on the team and the media dont focus on the right things. After game 3 instead of thinking of how to match the intensity of OKC without committing fouls everyone was focused on Kobe missing shots and on his number of Shots. Everybody said oh, lets let the offense go through the Bigs. Well, in Game 4 kobe passed the ball to the 2 bigs and played as a role player. He took less shots, 10 and was 50% from the field and the Lakers got blown out by 20 points. I have said it and I will say it again, the real problem with the lakers is Phil Jackson. When a coach thinks he is the reason why his team is winning then you are in trouble. When a coach thinks he can continue to undermine the best player on the team then the team is in trouble. Instead of complaining that his bigs don't get rebounds he complains about Kobe's shots. Well, I know that the triangle is trash. It only works when it has players like Jordan, Pippen, Kobe and Shaq. Sometimes a coach has to adapt to the players he has. Phil has refused to do that. The Lakers will win this series because Kobe will will them through as usual again. However it pains me that after they move on to the next series everyone will forget again and return to over analyzing his shot selection.

48 FRICKEN FREE THROWS

THE LAKERS GET NO RESPECT WHATSOEVER FROM THE OFFICIALS
AND THESE YOUNGSTERS GET EVERY CALL

ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS DRIVE TO THE HOOP AND BAM....FOUL


48 FRICKEN FREE THROWS

ZENYATTA

THE THUNDER HAVE BEEN TO THE FREE THROW LINE MORE IN EACH GAME SO FAR

GAME 1
24-22

GAME 2
33-32

GAME 3
34-12

GAME 4
48- 28

NOW IS THE FREE THROW DISPARITY BECAUSE OF THE DAVID STERN CONSPIRACY OR THE FACT THAT THE LAKERS HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO DEFEND
BUT THAT'S NOT ABOUT COACHING

IS IT

Dear All,
The Lakers lost to a BETTER TEAM. Nobody can deny it. Not even the great jackson. Stop blaming the refs. Stop blaming Kobe. He is injured but he is not complaining. I have been telling you guys since last year that the lakers have a manning problem. They just cant seem to get the right guys. Worse, they released Ariza. Ariza brings order in the lakers Offense and Defense. The big booboo however was the Lakers management's decision to retain an inept Odom and release Ariza. By doing so and opting to replace him with Artest, instead of upgrading, it was a downgrade. What I saw today was 2 7-footers who cant jump, can't rebound and can't defend. Forwards who play backwards. Point guards who can't make any plays, can't pass and can't shoot. Guards who can't guard. It was pathetic. They were amateurs on the court. Hey I'm with you guys but these are realities. We just don't have the right players in the team. While we downgraded, the Cavs fortified its team and got FIVE reliable players to support LJ. And who are these Oklahoma players embrassing the likes of Gasol, Bynum, Odom and Fisher? Why do they have players like those and we don't? The Lakers recruitment system is old school. Kobe can't win games all by himself all the time. I am sorry but the lakers will not repeat. And to those criticizing kobe, you don't know a thing about basketball so shut up!!!

Lakers will win this in seven games.

It would be a pleasant surprise if they win this in six.

OKC is a good team. They have a good coaching staff. They remind me of the Kings during C.Web's prime.

Stop bashing Kobe. You are barking at the wrong tree.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is Lamar Odom?????????????????????????WHERE??????????????????

Whew!
Well, that was a good ole fashioned spanking for sure.
It's now a best of 3 and it ain't over till it's over.
Hard to find much good news, except for this from the Simmers article:

KUPCHAK SAID he knows Kobe has commitments internationally, but he would like him to take this summer off.

"He needs to think differently,'' he said about Bryant's summer plans.

Here's hoping the Lakers force Kobe not to play this summer and get him healthy for next year. We've all seen what a healthy Kobe can do, and now have seen an injured Kobe. It's just not the same. I look forward to seeing a healthy Kobe wreak vengeance on the league next year with a few new teammates who crave a ring.

MM, I have a couple suggestions on how you can greatly improve this forum:

1) Split it into two separate forums: the Lakers Forum and the Anti- Lakers Forum. That way, those of us who love the Lakers and support them through good and bad times can have a place to comment, and separately, those who have an obsessive hatred for the Lakers and/ or have unresolved mental health issues and/or are on drugs can also have their own cozy place to spew their spittle.

2) As an alternative, could you please change comment format so that the name of the commenter comes BEFORE the comment rather than after it? That way, we can scroll quickly past the trolls and the mentally unhinged spammers that have taken over this place with multiple deranged posts.

Thanks in advance, MM. And dude, you're like a saint in my book for staying civil to some of these Looney Toons. Seriously, man, you're like the Mother Teresa of the LA Times.

Mental focus? are you kidding me? That statement (always used after a Laker loss) implys that if the Lakers had thought a little harder they would have overcome their deficiencies in basketball skills. OKC is faster, younger and has the two best players on the court; that the Lakers won two games at home is miraculous.

By the way did anyone really expect Odom to shoot .52% again from the 3 point line like he did in last years playoffs??????????

This is me wading through all the dreck to give a shout out to all the real Laker fans out there somewhere. Edwin, i think you had a good couple of points, HMage, maybe you too. CornerJ- [high five]

Anyway- Like i said, this is a shout out to all the real fans who post original and insightful commentary here, you know who you are, even those of you who might have forgotten in your momentary frustrations.

Remember the Love, the love doesn't turn on people every time they have a bad game. The love doesn't go into hiding for a year or two and wait to make a comment until we lose a big game.

The love is about basketball, its ups and downs, its wins and losses, and about the game.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Durant has surpassed Kobe on the top NBA player list; the fourth quarter of game 3 and especially his blocked shot on Kobe that he controlled and started a fastbreak with was the official passing of the torch from one generation to the next. Rare that a transition like this happens in such plain view but amazingly we all were able to witness it.

Kobe is now behind not only LeBron but Durant and Carmelo as well as the top players in the NBA.

CornerJ
That's an excellent idea

Then you and your friends could virtually hold hands and sing cumbaya together

cumbaya my lord cumbaya
cumbaya my lord cumbaya

LMFAO

All I gotta say is, Kobe just shoot the darn ball, your teammates can't do crap. Forget about all that talk about getting Pau and Bynum more shots, they don't deserve it. Just shoot the darn ball.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AS I NOW SERIOUSLY CONSIDER A 1ST ROUND LOSS

* Let us all, please, vow not to question, criticize, or otherwise upset one Kobe Bean Bryant. Kobe is the master of passive aggressive comebacks, and his "sending a message to all those who dare question my shot selection" taught us a 25 point loss lesson last night

* I don't blame Fish for the past 2 losses, but I do blame Kobe.

* I still say Kobe should have taken the time off earlier this year, healed, and come back strong for the playoffs.

* the Lakers need to take a page from Shaq and San Antonio's ideology of playing only for the playoffs. Kobe needs to start taking 25% of the season off due to injury, serious or not, like Shaq has done for the past few years.

* I wonder if Lamar Odom is having marriage problems. There's something mentally wrong wit...uh, no, he was doing this before Khloe.

* An NBA player that has to be TOLD to shoot more and play harder is not worth my time and trouble

* I can still love Kobe, and I can still say this...Kobe Bryant cost us 2 games this series

* Lamar got his big contract. Shame on him for having to wait for people to tell him to start playing.

* Missed Freethrows, missed layups, no effort on rebounds, and mass confusion is a sign of a lackadaisical mental approach to the game; and for this, I blame Phillip Jackson

* I'm starting to seriously regret losing Ariza for Artest.

* good news...Pau has played consistently well, although he fumbles away key rebounds

* This series reminds me of last year's series with the Rockets, so we fans need to expect more anger, frustration, and heart palpitations.

* win or lose, changes are coming this summer to this laker roster

* The bench has sucked hard all year, and we've ran out of excuses for their poor play (Lamar will come back, Luke will come back, playoffs will start, so forth). No. The bench sucks, and that's just that.

* How can a defending NBA champion, playing in a pivitol game 4, on the road, miss so many freethrows?

* They're called FREEthrows for a reason, Lakers.

* I try not to to attack my fellow bloggers, but I need to say this, TO ALL OF YOU WHO SPOKE OF THIS MAGICAL BUTTON THAT THE LAKERS WOULD PUSH, MYSTERIOUSLY PROPELLING THEM INTO THIS POWERHOUSE TEAM COME PLAYOFFS...YOU GUYS WERE DEAD WRONG, AS I PREDICTED.

* can someone please tell me how the Playoff Lakers are playing differently (read better) than the regular season Lakers? Can someone? Anyone?

* The problem with blog cheerleaders who speak of magical buttons, not being worried cuz the playoffs weren't here, and of the Lakers winning this thing if 5, is that they tend to make comments based on their hearts, and not their minds. They fail to understand that you can love our Lakers and still be realistic and practical.

* I was the only one on this blog who predicted the Lakers in 7 games...

MM,

You've done a great job of running the blog. Please respond and let me know
if I was aggressive/a-hole towards you. That was not my intent.


LakerTom,

Don't be scared grandpa. Come on out and tell me again how I am
disingenuous.

Tell us more about the *TALL* lineup.

What was that thing your were talking about? OKC can't prevent
passes into the post.

C'mon Grandaddy-o! Teach me more about basketball. I looked in the
dictionary for the word "beast". I saw a picture of Bynum in a "poster"
with Kevin Durant. Is that what you meant?

One telling stat to me last night was that the Lakers had only 10 offensive rebounds out of 59 missed shots. If you are not forcing turnovers (OKC had only 8) and you are not getting many 2nd chance opportunities, it is tough to win unless you are shooting a really high percentage.

Some of this is quickness - OKC is quicker - and it is remarkable how slow the Lakers are now. Last year - I guess because of Ariza - they seemed like a fairly quick team. This season, they have not and they they have looked down right old and slow in this series.

We'll see if this veteran team can use their experience to get out of the gates quickly in Game 5. They probably need to do something differently - either offensively or defensively - to get OKC out of their comfort zone early.

All right Laker Fans,

Gather round. We know what the game plan is now, right?

PJ: "Kobe, activate."

Kobe: "But, we've got advantage in our bigs. We should run the offense
through Pau"

Gasol: "Lo siento mi amigo. Mi cabaza es muy grande. Soy una idiota. Vas!"

D-Fish: "About those tire tracks on your back from the bus ... What can I say?"

Meanwhile, upstairs with the Buss':

Dr. Jerry: Are you telling me that I just maxed out our pockets for a bunch
of slow pokes?

Jimmy: Dad, I promise you! Bynum has got mad potential!

Dr. Jerry: Shutup! Are you sure you're my son? Did I win you in a poker
game or something?

Jeannie: We've got 3 7-footers. We've had some interesting offers for
the youngster ..... A quick athletic pg wouldn't hurt. Next year.

Meanwhile in 'Sota: "You've got to know when to hold 'em.
Know when to fold 'em.
Know when to walk away.
Know when to run. " - K. Rambis.

Meanwhile in Miami:

Riley: "Wade, I hope you appreciate that I'm *picky* about who we sign?"

Wade: "Say no more. Say no more. "

Lakers need to get rid of bynum , artest and fisher for next year, if they wanna be a champion team next year.

REMINDER-KOBE IS NO MICHAEL THE MAN JORDON.
Tell me the game wasnt rig when Phil tells Kobe not to shoot in the first quarter and sits him at the end of the half with about 34 seconds. Instead, Farmer who has barely got off the bench in time. jacks one up and then his guy with 7 seconds left scores on a layup. GREAT COACHING PHIL!!

No intensity -he wants and commands the ball, very very lazy defense

Good morning,

One thing about us Lakers fans: We’re not good with adversity. Our team struggles, melts down, and fans quickly declare, they’re ready to abandon ship. We’re soft. We’re spoiled. We’d never make it as Cubs fans who stoically ignored the billy goat curse or Red Sox fans who rode out the Bambino curse, decade after decade. No, we’re the fans who threatened to give up our season tickets before Rudy ball even arrived at the All-Star Game.

We’re Lakers fans. The best regular season record in the Western Conference means nothing to us. We follow Kobe’s lead in throwing down the gauntlet, “Nothing but another championship will suffice.” And we mean it. And here we are with the first round of the Western Conference playoffs tied up at 2-2 and some fans are ready to abandon ship.

Our star prize fighter is a wounded warrior and Lakers fans quickly forget how recently they declared Kobe G.O.A.T.

Panic. Gnashing of teeth. And we’re just the fans.

The real dilemma is in the locker room. Phil puts on a happy face in the media room and praises the Thunder for their outstanding Free-Throw Defense. But we know the locker room is a different story. Derek Fisher could give the greatest speech of his burgeoning political career and it won’t solve the team’s lack of focus, urgency and resolve to impose its will on the young Thunder upstarts. The answer begins with a pause in front of the personal mirror each player has in their locker. But it doesn’t end there.

Watching the series, the Thunder does have the Lakers players on the ropes. They don’t know how to fight back and that’s on the Lakers coaching staff. On play after play, the Lakers get outhustled and outmuscled. The players don’t understand how to use the Triangle to counter what the Thunder are bringing. If they do, they don’t believe in the system enough to be faithful to it. Either way, the Lakers coaches have to impose discipline on the team before the players can impose it on the Thunder.

Throughout his career, Phil has always prided himself on treating his players as grown-ups. Mind games, yes. But beat downs, not so much. He might want to start by shredding the leaders. We all know what rolls down hill. But as tempting as that approach might be, it might still be wrong. What’s missing is mojo. Reminding the players that the system is what got them here, and being faithful to it will get them back to the Finals is the right message.

Being faithful to our team is also the right message for us fans. Let’s use the adversity our team is going through to strengthen our bond with the players and coaches, not to trash them and put them on the trading block. Watching Game 4 made me angry and disappointed too. I still am. But I’ll be back on the live game chat Tuesday night, as enthusiastic and hopeful as ever. Go Lakers!

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/los-angeles-lakers-oklahoma-city-thunder-game-4-042410

basketball notes:

Getting the ball into the low post

The Lakers added a few teaks to their offense with this in mind. Like setting cross-picks for Pau Gasol. Like quickly clearing out the weak side when either Gasol or Andrew Bynum were fronted to prevent help defenders from showing up in time to steal lob passes. Like setting up high-low situations wherein one big man could make over-the-top entry passes to the other. Like setting up a triangle, then swiftly reversing the ball while one of the bigs stationed along the baseline on the weak side ducked into the paint and assumed the proper position.

[ note: I'm not sure what the proper position is, but given the spanking we
took I'm guessing it has something to do with our bigs grabbing their
ankles. ]

the Thunder are well aware that Bynum is uncomfortable when he’s forced to put the ball on the floor in a crowd. So, as the defense gathered around him, two of Bynum’s interior shots were blocked, and he also missed a pair of slightly complicated layups.

[ note: training with team USA or Kareem might have addressed that.
Does anyone know how to say "slacker" in italian? ]

Gasol caught the ball with his back to the basket, but Nick Collison’s relentless defense had him off balance, so Gasol kicked the ball back out to Fisher and then reposted himself in a much more optimal position. But Fisher never looked back inside, choosing instead to launch a long 3-ball — that missed.

[note: Clearly this is Kobe's fault. Kobe is the reason why our finesse C
got pushed off balance by Collison. Kobe is the reason why Fisher didn't
send the ball back inside. Kobe is the reason why Fisher was launching 3's. ]

Also, when Gasol was doubled from the top, two of his kick-back passes were deflected and then stolen.

[ note: did I mention OKC's defense earlier? Did Kobe? Did Bynum? ]

Rebounding

Nothing the Lakers tried in this department was successful for several reasons:

• Both Gasol and Bynum repeatedly neglected to box out.

[ note: December, 2009. I seem to recall talking about a lack of effort by
an Andrew Bynum. I seem to specifically remember talking about
rebounding is nothing but effort and his lack of offensive rebounds were
a clear indication. ]

[note: Kareem sucked at rebounding. There's no way he could have taught
Bynum anything about rebounding. (sarcasm) ]

• When both Gasol and Bynum moved away from the shadow of the basket to try to challenge ball penetration, they left at least one of the home team’s bigs unattended and in great position to capture any missed shots. The solution to this particular dilemma is for either Gasol or Bynum to rotate to the ball — not both of them.

[note: 6 months after the beginning of the season and our bigs don't know
this. But Bynum is pretty smart, right LakerTom? ]

• A significant dance was repeated nearly every time OKC shot a free throw and Gasol had the inside position with Collison situated to his right along the foul lane. Even when the shot was made, Collison found a way to either fight his way through or spin around Gasol’s attempts to box him out.

[note: When I and others made reference to Gasol playing soft, did y'all
think we meant a lack of weight lifting? Can we write Gasoft on his forehead
now? How about "La Charmin" instead of el spaniard? Do you think we
can find a pair of size 23 pink nike's for him? ]

• Credit the Thunder’s hustle, alertness, and attention to detail when crashing the boards.

• Discredit the Lakers’ lack of hustle, scattered focus, and penchant for taking too much for granted.

[note: ~ 1 week ago, I said that the lack of effort, bad habits, & complacency
would be an issue. A number of polls were taken on this subject. Going
forward, will y'all engrave this into your soul? Character counts! How you
practice, how you play in the regular season matters! ]

When Jackson was questioned on camera after the opening quarter about Kobe’s disinclination to shoot, he smiled tightly and said that Bryant was focusing on getting his teammates involved.

Hogwash.

[ note: I completely disagree with this point. I put it in because I didn't want
to be disingenuous. (That's for you grand dad) I switched over to NBA TV
and listened to Rick Fox, who was with Kobe the last time it happened. The
paraphrase of his comments were: No Kobe was not pouting. It depends on
the game plan and from everything that we've heard, Kobe was just following
the game plan. I believe he did make a note that that was more of a regular
season game plan vs. a playoff game plan, but I'm unsure. I was still in the
laughing/crying phase. ]

Hobbitmage's summary: Kobe is a killer. Period. Asking him to play like a
priest is a recipe for disaster. Why?

1. Kobe is a killer. It's what he does best.
2. He's got immature, knuckleheaded, unsound teammates.

To clarify: Choosing to pass to a guy who has been shooting 2-9 for most of
the season means that the recipient will probably be 2-10. It is a fallacy to
believe that anyone can make anyone else better. You can only make
yourself better through hard work & putting in the hours.

Using a knife as a hammer, gives you a great chance of breaking the knife.
The knife was designed to cut, not bludgeon.

I prefer to be candid rather than indulging in rose colored, smoke/hope filled
dreams ( a la the skirt wearing Laker/Bynum Tom ). I have no idea if the
Lakers will be able to right the ship and beat OKC this year. Regardless of
this, every pg, sg, sf & pf should be given Kobe's shooting program. Every
Laker, outside of Kobe, should have their contracts re-written to preclude
them from "hollywood" activities. i.e. I never want to see LO in another
commercial while he's a Laker. Every single Laker must commit to defense.
PJ should take a pay cut so that Dr. Buss can hire a defensive coach. If
PJ isn't willing to do this, he should not have his contract renewed.

Kobe is now behind not only LeBron but Durant and Carmelo as well as the top players in the NBA.
Posted by: AbeFrohman | April 25, 2010 at 06:24 AM

indeed, it was a beauty to watch Melo, making a stupid foul with like 20 seconds left in the game after missing a layup. it was his 6th. nuggets lost. home court advantage too. and in the next game he had 5 in the 3rd.

and with 20 points down, a huge rounded smile was announcing: I AM THE FUTURE OF THE NBA.

Hope you like this team, because with the re/signings of Kobe, Odom, Artest, Gasol and Bynum, it is the team we've got for the foreseeable future. I, for one, am not looking forward to watching the decline and further first round defeats.

They are pathetic to watch. Worse team we've had since the first couple of post-Shaq squads, but with less heart. Can't stand watching these bunch of spoiled, lazy, underachievers.

Yuck.

Let's face facts: We deserve to lose this series and I wish the Thunder good luck in round two!

hobbitimage - you're right that kobe's busted finger has changed his game. that's really not a knock on kobe but reality. given the circumstances, kobe has done a remarkable job in adapting his game because of injuries. kobe at times may need to get into a rhythm, but he's addressed that by showing up super early before the game so that he doesn't have to build a rhythm during the game. it's not a matter for kobe to look for his own shot first or the bigs first. it's really about adjusting to how the defense plays. the triangle is a very reactionary offense so that's what i mean in the context of the game. you can't look at a shot chart in two games and deem they're equal because that doesn't indicate how defenses play you. in game 2, OKC denied gasol and bynum to post up, double teamed them and shut off penetration. that allowed bryant to do work in the post and drive the lane. in game 3, durant switched to cover bryant and didn't allow him to move an inch. because of durant's length, kobe often didn't have many good looks at the basket. so that that's why his shot selection in that game was questionable.

i think my viewpoint has been misconstrued into arguing that the lakers need to feed the bigs just for the sake of feeding the bigs. that's not the case at all. all i've said all along is they need to look for them first because of the team's inherent size advantage as a means to get the offense going. if they don't have good looks inside or are being denied entry passes, then the offense needs to adjust where kobe is now putting the defense on its heels or getting ball movement around the perimeter to force the defense to rotate quickly. i hope that makes sense

MM

First time I've seen defending champs quit and turn into melting chumps by the 3rd quarter, to a bunch of rooks, nonetheless. Highly deserving for their arrogance.
Jackson says Meltdown. Must have been those damn referees again.
Fisher says we didn't meltdown, it's just a loss is a loss.
Kobe says nothing. He had to get treatment for his bruised ... ego.
I think is time for another one of those Fisher inspirational speech.
And one of those 30 paragraph Le Bomba roll calls.
I suggest that everyone goes to Home Ripoff and buys 19,000 light switches, and pass them out during next game, maybe one of those turns out to be the missing switch.

It had nothing to do with mental focus. It had to do with the Thunder's fresh, young legs. The Lakers looked old and could not keep up with Thunder. They are probably looking forward to a couple of days off. If the Thunder had their way, they would want to play everyday. The Thunder took the Lakers behind the wood shed and offered up a good old beat down. It was fun to watch.

Does anyone know how to say "slacker" in italian?

by hobbitmage

no, but we should ask Kobe. i guess it is something like: "ship his arse out"

Guys - What I mean by mental focus is that the team's bad start made them lose their composure and discipline in executing. as OKC continued to play well, you could see the Lakers' decision making continue to unravel. sure, the thunder are quick, young, athletic and will beat the lakers in a full-court game, but the lakers didn't take preventive measures in establishing their own game. that's what i mean by mental focus
MM

2009 Kobe = 2004 Kobe

Why does game 4 remind me of the old "Ballhog Bryant" (you know, the one who is selfish and wants to be the "man" at all cost including lobbying for Shaq's departure during the Shaq Championship Lakers era?) who sabotages games just to prove a point.

Selfish Kobe is playing with fire...I mean Thunder and is going to get burned by a true superstar Durant.

they use to ask charles barkley what the key to rebounding is. since he was only 6'4" tall and always among the leading rebounders in the nba. this is what the chuckster said......are listening bynum, gasol, odom......very simple, "GO GET THE BALL!

"All I gotta say is, Kobe just shoot the darn ball, your teammates can't do crap. Forget about all that talk about getting Pau and Bynum more shots, they don't deserve it. Just shoot the darn ball."

This was the nonsense during the Kwame Brown and Smush Parker era circa 2005.

wah wah, Kobe's teammates sucks and Kobe should just score 100 points a night.

What a dumb comment. Bynum and Gasol are the reasons the Lakers have been winning the past 3 years.

That was an Embarrassment.

A Humiliation. An Abomination. A Debacle. A Disaster. A Discombobulation.

The Lakers are in trouble. This thing could easily go seven games if the Lakers cannot win in OKC. I felt sure the Lakers would get past OKC, but now I'm not so sure. One thing for sure - the Lakers will never get out of a second round playing like this.

The Lakers have been exposed. I hate to bring up the Artest-for-Ariza thing, but man, could we use another scorer right now.

Last year's Lakers won it all without the best supporting talent - just like when Phil won championships in Chicago without a true center. But this year, their lack of supporting talent is glaring, as the Lakers didn't improve themselves very much after last year.

I hope I don't witness an early playoff exit for the Lakers. Last night's game was pitiful. The whole fourth quarter was garbage time. I even threw a Laker party to watch that debacle. Thank goodness we had plenty of alcohol on hand.

i think my viewpoint has been misconstruedinto arguing that the lakers need to feed the bigs just for the sake of feeding the bigs. that's not the case at all. all i've said all along is they need to look for them first because of the team's inherent size advantage as a means to get the offense going. if they don't have good looks inside or are being denied entry passes, then the offense needs to adjust where kobe is now putting the defense on its heels or getting ball movement around the perimeter to force the defense to rotate quickly. i hope that makes sense

Posted by: Mark Medina | April 25, 2010 at 08:11 AM

so looks like there r 3 solutions

A. look for the big first

B. ball movement around the perimeter to force the defense to rotate quickly

C. and if A. and B. are not working then the offense needs to adjust where kobe is now putting the defense on its heels

A. U can't see the bigs. even if they r the tallest players on the floor. they have an up-front defender in between, cutting the pass. they don't fight for position

B. when the defender is in the front, one has to make were slight rotation to maintain position between the ball and the BIGS, regardless how quickly the pass travels around the perimeter. and of course ends in hands that will shoot a 3.

C. that was a pretty winning solution in the last year playoffs. but with one condition: Kobe as a volume shooter. so he can really instill the FEAR in the opposite team. from the beginning. or the beginning of the 4th. yes most of the times works. sometimes does not. but this CAN'T be an alternative of A. and B. and it CAN'T be sporadic.

and if a, b, c, r not working? what is left?

So the series is tied at 2 games a piece. Is that so bad?
The Lakers held serve at home. They lost 2 on the road. Considering they haven't really been a very good road team, especially the second half of the season, losing 2 on the road should not come as a big shock.
Momentum can change very quickly, not only during a game, but during a series as well. We've all seem it happen numerous times not just with the Lakers but others teams series as well.
It doesn't matter if you win or lose by 2 or 20.
If the Lakers can eke out a win at home and go up 3-2, this puts big time pressure on OKC in game 6. The Lakers do play better at home and some of those missed shots on the road should start falling at home.
And even if OKC takes game 6, we get game 7 back in LA.
If this thing goes 7, as I have posted a number of times, I don't think any team in the west can win a game 7 in LA. (hopefully they can't win a game 5 in LA either).
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The problem with kobe (which is the same problem beginning 2004 when kobe got tired of being Shaq's Pippen) is that either kobe is the "closer" or kobe is the "facilitator", but nothing in between.

kobe's passiveness (some could argue passive aggressiveness) or tendancy to quit always coincides when the media or coach tells him to "pass the rock" to other guys (Shaq, Malone, Pau, etc.) when the Lakers have a matchup advantage (like the current lakers against the tunder).

Lakers might lost in the first round which speaks to kobe's legacy. He's lucky to "win one without Shaq" last year. i think it's the last time kobe's going to "win one without shaq".

***HI I'M BACK. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BY MAMBA24 MONDAY,
OUCHHHH, PFUNK36, i GUARANTEE YOU SHOULD BE THERE**
mAMBA24(LARRY)

new post up guys with lots of informative interviews.

especially from UPS and Farmar, the future of the Franchise.
and a new fresh revived Fisher.
and as always, your PJ x X
more platitudes?
how many will we hear till tuesday 7:30 PT?

looking forward for a Game PLan?

i know Kobe has ankle insurance
but does PJ x X has any Game Plan insurance? needs more clipboards. Luke can help.

...lose their composure and discipline in executing. as OKC continued to play well, you could see the Lakers' decision making continue to unravel...

Have to wonder why a defending champion with Kobe and a laden talent roster, mostly on-board for the next 3 years, still need a "mental focus."
Now, the biggest questions here are:
Who exactly is the decision maker?
Who exactly is the strategist?
Did ultracool Jackson also "melt down?"

Bottom line, there's only one team in the NBA that plays the "triangle," and only one team in the NBA refuses, err, dislikes to play zone defense, preferring the infamous helter skelter scramble. Then, he's arrogantly enough to blame the "meltdown" on his players' "mental focus." But, hey he is the 10-ring guru, hard to argue with someone with that kind of history, hey but all empires do finally come "melting," err, tumbling down, or shall we say, thundering down.
Can't wait for Monday's announcement. Maybe there's an ointment out there big enough to heal Kobe's bruised ego quickly.

My Laker family....once Again I have to say RELAX.....this game was UGLY.....this game was on of those games you usually get after the Lakers win a game and had some questionable calls go FOR them..I am going to address one thing first...the disparity in FT's was a joke.....the NBA officiating is so bad and gets worse every year not because OKC benefitted most as they did..BUT does anyone want to wager that in Tues game the Lakers will have a minimum, minimum of 12 to 18 more FT's taken than OKC? the refs were a laughable last night....PERIOD...was that the key last night? probably not but I know this...the shooting percentages werent very different but OKC MADE 15 more FT's ..NOT THE POINT.

The Lakers were outplayed in every way....the "get the ball inside" theory isn't working because OKC is fronting the Lakers big men...and rather than go to the basket hard..the bigs are trying to finesse the game....OKC is blocking way too many of our bigs shots....the Lakers have the height advantage but lack the heart to make it count....
Artest can't hit a shot, Fisher is shooting OK but Westbrook is simply dominating the games....period. He is causing the main problems...overall Durant isn't killing the Lakers..it Westbrook...to me it's time for someone to do what Fisher did last year and hard foul westbrook ala scola....in other words remind OKC that this is LA's series and he isn't gonne get ketting any shot he wants....
As for Kobe...it's more and more clear that he is hurting and it seems like he is holding back..almost like he is saving what he has for the Western finals or NBA finals.....the bottom line in this series...Kobe needs to dictate the offense..which means he will take some bad shots and probably 4 to 6 too many shots but I know this...with Kobe taking the shots...LA led 2-1 and the games were lead by the Lakers for 95% of the time...with Kobe taking limited shots and the big dictating the offense the Lakers got their hat handed to them....OKC is athletic...Kobe has to take over and there will be times when going inside first is going to work but other times Kobe will need to take over....lets not forget what got the Lakers here..KOBE being the initiator of the offense....RELAX Lakers fans..one thins we know is that this Laker team NEVER makes it easy on themselves.....expect a Laker win on Tues.....it may not be pretty or they could win by 20?? with this team?? but the Lakers will win on Tues....trust me

Lakers probably focusing more on their summer vacation?!

Does anyone think letting Ariza go and replacing him with RonRon has worked out?
Artest cannot shoot from the outside, gets stuffed everytime he drives to the basket, can barely make a wide open dunk, is still lost in the triangle, and has not shut anyone down like he has supposed to.
Do you think we miss Trevor's foot speed on defense? He would have been great guarding Westbrook and stopping all of the drives to the rack and fastbreaks.
Do we miss his outside shooting?
Do we miss his slashes to the bucket?
Do we miss him finishing at the rim?
Do we miss his energy, spark, and length?

The obvious answer to all of these questions is YES! Artest has slowed down our team and contributed to making out team looking really old out on the floor. I think if Kobe and Bynum were healthy, he wouldn't stand out so much.

Looks like this series is going the distance, and that's going to drain even more energy out of this already geriatric looking squad.

Snoop say it isn't so, I thought you were a Laker fan for life.

"indeed Mark G. Lakers play better in the playoffs. in the regular season they were blown out by OKC in OKC by 30+ . . ."

Posted by: ouchhhhhhhhh | April 25, 2010 at 01:45 AM

Well, actually what I said was that the Lakers had played better in the first 3 games than they had in the last 2 weeks of the regular season, which was true.
I know you don't like to let facts get in the way of your rants, so maybe this is a moot point.

They went to the free throw line more because they are the aggressors! Kobe is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. You know what I hate! Laker fans! I am a Laker Fan and am ashamed of how we are! You don't even have to look to OKC to find good fans. Just look at Staples Center during "Kings" Hockey! In their seats before the start and OFF their phones during the game! There are periods and Halftimes! Get off your Phones and cheer for the home team!

Just want to congad Mitch Kupcake. Instead of improving our crap point guards or dumping d-league player Walton, Morrison, Sasha, Farmer he gets rid of a guy who shot 54% 3 's last year in the playoffs. and gets in return a guy shooting 14% in 3's and is too stupid to learn the offense. Gee no wonder the guy has been with 5 teams in 9 years and never won anything anywhere.

Not that our team needs a fast defender who knew the offense. We have such fast players like Speedy Fisher, Walton the whip, Bynam the dinamo. Lakers have become the slowest team in the NBA and 26th in 3 point shooting.

If you can't run and you can't shoot when you set up then what can you do. Thanks Mitch for being the first GM to ever take a NBA Champ to losing to a 8th seed the next year.

And to think Buss you are stuck with these relics and 90 million for the next 3 years. Watch how fast Ohil bails from this sinking ship next year.

Woah. It's even worse on this thread. Every time there's a Lakers loss I cringe, because I like following this blog (thank you for making it an overall awesome blog, Mr. Medina). And usually, I scroll down into the comments to see what fellow Lakers fans say about the game (and then have to double-check I haven't accidentally clicked a link to the Celtics or Cavs blog or something). If it's a win, there's some negative comments (understandable, there's always aspects of the game the team can improve on). If it's a loss, oh boy. Come on. This team is still the Lakers. I realize how disappointing it is to watch them play such a frustrating disaster of an effort. And there were many things that went wrong in the game (and in other games as well). But the series is TIED. Should it be? No. But is it over? No. It's not.

KotoyoKai - Hey thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that you enjoy the Lakers blog and I want to ensure that stays that way. I'm always open to suggestions or feedback, good or bad.

MM

LA lost this game because okc was constantly faster beating us to the rim, to the loose ball, etc...... If u look the Lakers starting 5 ---Bynum, Pau, Artest, Kobe, Fish compared to last years --- Pau, Lamar, Ariza, Kobe, Fish ..... we are substantially slower and more half court oriented.

I dont know what was worse, watching the Lakers get torched or having to listen to Doris Burke commentating...

These Lakers need to shift there focus to defense if they want to win this series. The first thing is the bigs have to keep there frickin hands up and try to block shots especially Gasol. They also need to put Westbrook on his behind a time or two to make him think twice about going in the lane.

The next thing is shifting there defense to basicly double Durant of the screen Gasol or Bynum need to be in his grill when he comes of the screen make him a passer not a scorer and the last thing is basicly play 5 on 3 Durant, Westbrook and sometimes Green are there main starting scorers The Lakers should always shift there defense towards Durant and westbrook and try to single up on Green. Let safalosha and the center beat you but not Westbrook or Durant.

I'm a big boy. I can accept a loss when I must. But I cannot digest the thought of my team hanging its head and quiting in the first quarter.
Something is grossly wrong when a defending champion will not fight to defend its pride and honer. There is one reason and one reason only when smaller players consistantly get rebounds over the heads of bigger and taller players without committing fouls: Effort, or lack of same.

EEH

Look people, the series is even 2-2 and it looks like all the team in the West will be the same...so why panic--let the lakers redeem themselves in game 5 and win it in game 6. They need to stop fouling and get to the hoop and gets foul (even they are not getting the call)...

The teams in the West all have problems--people in LA just have so much expectations with the LAKERS....We will win this one...Remember the Nuggets series last year (not the Houston )...We barely won game 1, lost game 2, won game 3 but lost game 4 by 20 and then won game 5 by 20 and eventually won game 6 and the series...Nuggets had Anthony who can takeover games and Billups--now we have to face Westbrook and Durant...

Game 5 will manifest what kind of team we really have...it will also show if OKC can handle pressure...whoever team wins this tuesday will win the series...OKC has the speed, the legs, and the momentum right now but the Lakers has the experience in this kind of situation. All our team needs is to remain aggressive both in defense and offense. I do not see any wrong in feeding the bigs, that is one of our teams strength and they will do that again and again, but what lacks in game 4 was the aggressiveness, we don't hustle much, we forgot to backs out to avoid offensive rebound and 2nd chance point. We cannot outran them but we can control their transition game by doing "slow break " in offense. Another missing piece in game 4 is the penetration inside, we took many shot from the outside instead of driving to the hoop which would create fools, and for Kobe he should facilitate the offense, pick & roll with Pau, and take the shot. We are talking right now as if we are already out in the playoffs...how dare we do that when the series is still tied and we still have the home court advantage....the fat lady has not sing yet...GO Lakers

I've never seen more bogus calls in my life. Yes, a lot of the calls were 100% legitimate; however, did anybody notice that every time OK got the ball, whistles were blowing? Did anybody notice that every time LA got the ball, they practically got beat up--no whistles? Take a look at the FACTS. When in OK, Thunder went to the line 48 (4/24) and 34 (4/22) times, whereas the Lakers went 28 and 12. In LA, Thunder went to the line 24 (4/18) and 33 (4/20) times, and Lakers went 22 and 32. Does anybody see the extreme favoritism in OK?? Or is that just me? Please reply, I would like to know others opinion on this. I'm not just looking at numbers here. There were many times when the refs were blowing whistles in favor of OK and LA was no where near them, zero contact. I saw where OK fouled the Lakers, and either there was NO whistle blown, or refs called the foul on the Lakers. Also, did anybody notice how when a call was made in favor of the Lakers, they got the ball taken out, and did not get to go to the free thrown line? Take away all free throw points from each teams final score, and Lakers have more points...so how can anybody say they (the Lakers) are doing poorly? PJ even got fined for his opinion on Durant getting to the line "easy and often". Is this just the Laker Hater syndrome at play, or something more sinister?
Who knows, maybe I'm just blinded by my love for the Lakers.......

No...it can't be...Michael C. Teniente?!...THE Michael C. Teniente?...O-M-effin-G!!!

The Prodigal Poster returns. The Wind Beneath Kwame's Stone Wings. Dude, all is forgiven. Welcome home...home of the World Champion Lakers. To what do we owe this honor? Or are you just back for a presumed Laker death watch? If so, amigo, you're in for a disappointment, and I guess you'll slink off on another hiatus by Friday when we spank the Thunder on their home court for our win numero quatro. But hey, we Laker faithful are magnanimous and we open our big tent to all. Welcome home, no matter what has brought you here, Mike C.

And Mamba24, my brutha from anutha Lakuh, you are ON FIRE today bro!!! That's the kind of passion true Laker fans have. Never give up, never give in, never let the suckas see you sweat. And tonight, take no crapola from no frickin trolls, baby!!! Take no prisoners (intellectuals excepted, Mike C.).

And sorry for the delay in getting to your bandwagons the last couple of days...had to get past the dang Invisible Swordsman ...But, I made it, amigo...because...

Wherever there is injustice, you will find us...Wherever the Black Mamba coils, though now arthritic, fractured, or whateva, to yet strike its righteous, vengeful, and yes fatal bite upon the unsuspecting Thunder hyper kangaroo rats to be swallowed whole in what we here call a Laker Playoff Happy Meal, we'll be there...and Wherever a plethora of pusillanimous pundits and punk troll posters gather to prevaricate and postulate poopy pinatas of pustulent opinions about our Mighty World Champion Lakers, you will find us...because we are...

THE LAKER AMIGOS! LET'S RIDE!!!

Phil Jackson learned that team scoring has better results than Kobe offense. Thunder based their defense off Kobe's plays verses team making plays that disrupt defense. Why doesn't Thunder use both their big's against Laker's?
Kobe was on fire leading team to victory in game five. Will they close out series at Thunder? Championship teams win on opponents courts. If, you can only win at home you need improvement. Jerry Buss lost money from closing out series agaist Magic but still had profit of 40 million for year. How much did Buss lose by series not going seven games? What do players make in bonuses? What are motivations to win? Olympic Gold Medalists set world records to declare them champions of world. Should their be championship belts to winners of scoring titles, free-throws, rebounding, and three-point shooting for season? NBA All-star game should be at end of season with best of five or seven between leagues, not at middle of season. Would LA Times host a charity game of International players at Staples Center from NBA teams to raise money for NBA Fit program? Champions float like Butterflys but sting like bees. Is Kobe Bryant a Purple and Gold bee?

OKAY Sorry all Kobe fans, Lakers fans and Califonians well really im not sorry because i am from okc and we are the best team in the NBA


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