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Pulse of the Fan: some poll questions on the Lakers-Suns series

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Just when we thought this series was over (at least I thought so anyway), the Suns and Lakers are now tied, 2-2, in the Western Conference Finals. I didn't feel surprised with the Suns winning Game 3. I expected the Lakers to take the series in five games. Phoenix plays better at home and the Suns would feel more desperation facing a 2-0 deficit. I did, however, feel surprised that the Lakers didn't make the proper adjustments in Game 4.

I had mentioned in a radio interview this week the importance of the Lakers taking Game 4 because of the large difference a 3-1 lead makes compared to a 2-2 tie. The Lakers would face a series-clinching Game 5 at home, would spur further doubt about the Suns' chances and would prevent the Lakers from traveling back to Phoenix for a Game 6. With Phoenix tying the series up, however, the Suns now have greater confidence they can actually compete with the Lakers, have better chances with another home game and are planting doubt among the Lakers about whether they can make the proper adjustments. Of course, we had seen this scenario play out when the Lakers and Oklahoma City were locked in a 2-2 tie, only to see the Lakers win Game 5 in dominating fashion and win Game 6 in clutch fashion.

Nonetheless, the Lakers surely don't want to be in this position, knowing that clinching the series early will give them extra days of rest before presumably facing Boston in the NBA Finals. But what do readers of the Lakers blog think? Below the jump is a wide range of poll questions that will capture the pulse of the fan. I will then follow up Thursday with an analysis piece based on the vote results.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Phoenix center Louis Amundson tries to get to the basket after pulling down a rebound in front of Lakers forward Lamar Odom, left, and guard Kobe Bryant during Game 4 on Tuesday. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.

 
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Justanothermambafan,

>>> I love PJ. I don't want him to leave after this year. I respect his 10 rings. I just wish I had a window into his thought processes.... Then again, it might actually make me go insane.

Yes, sometimes I think PJ's thought process has made him insane, as well. Playing Luke? Not playing Sasha? Not playing Mbenga?

He did redeem himself somewhat by calling out the bigs for standing around and watching. But as coach, he let it happen on his watch. That's disturbing.

I've never seen as many angry posts here as I've seen today. Only Kobe emerged with clean hands from last night's team-wide failure. I find myself still angry at the lack of defense and lack of hustle in a playoff game. It's a good thing Game 4 wasn't at Staples Center; with that same kind of effort the home crowd would have booed the Lakers off the floor.

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

Jesus,

Thanks for encouraging me to take it easy on the bottle. Another game like last night and I may need to call on you to become my 12-step sponsor.

Lets be honest here, without the discrepancy in FT's the Suns are out of this series. Anyone who thinks the Lakers gets calls just need to ask themselves this, how is it that the Suns have a +2 FT advantage in games 1&2 in LA? Ans: without it, those games would have been 30-40 pt blowouts and no one would watch the 2nd hf. In games 3&4, the Suns get +35 FT advantage in games decided by 9 pts each. Don't get me wrong, the Suns swept the Spurs for a reason and play very well at home, but the fact that anytime the Lakers make a run and the Suns drive the lane and they trip over themselves or are "bumped" the refs call a foul. Yet when the Laker players on the offensive side are being hacked by "swarming" double teams or guys flying over Laker bigs on offensive rebounds not a single whistle is very frustrating. You could see in the 4th even Kobe was perplexed at ticky tack foul calls that prevented the Lakers from getting stops. The NBA got what it wanted in extending this series, but watch now as the Lakers prevail in game 5 and close it out in game 6 to setup the perfect finals with the Celtics. I wouldnt be surprised if the Magic "manage" to win game 5 with a little help from the refs tonight to extend the series to 6 games before losing out.

Lakers in 6.

Kobe: Nothing to complain about you just keep doin' what your doin'.

Pau: Same for you... maybe try a little harder at grabbing rebounds.

Fish: Continue to play strong, fighting thru those screens and staying IN FRONT of Nash as much as possible, but lay off the "reach ins" the refs will NEVER give you the benefit of the doubt. Oh yeah, remember, YOU ARE MR. CLUTCH pt II!!!

Artest: "If the Lakers don't win the Finals, then you can blame me, I'm the only thing that has changed here.." Rembember, YOU said that. We LOVED Ariza but we can LOVE YOU TOO! Bring that HUNGER and DESIRE that you profess to have regarding winning your first Ring. Show us ALL why you make THIS team so TOUGH!!!

Bynum: PROVE US WRONG about how we perceive your COMMITMENT to WIN injured or not. GET ANGRY!!! PLAY ANGRY!!!! PLAY LIKE YOU WANT TO WIN AND BE THE ALL-STAR THAT YOU SAID YOU WANTED TO BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR!!!!!

Odom: You are a STARTER in BENCH clothing. You ARE THE X FACTOR! Do whatever it takes to MOTIVATE yourself. Hell, pretend like you don't have a Ring and this is your last and only chance to get one! SLASH TO THE RIM!!! I dub thee MR.SQUEEGEE, time for you to CLEAN the GLASS!!!! I expect a Double Double (and NOT the one from In N Out) every night from here on out!!

Farmar: I know you don't get the kinda minutes that you want, but put that aside... you NEED to play like you did at UCLA... Get in there, mix it up, show NO FEAR driving to the lane. I stated before that I wish we had a player that could play like Drgic and YOU CAN BE THAT PLAYER!!! We've seen flashes of it.

Brown: Same goes for you buddy.. with your HOPS you should constantly be driving to the hole, draw fouls, try to dunk on EVERY opportunity. Stop with the mid range pull up shots, that NOT you and you are NOT Kobe.

Sasha: Whatever you did to PISS off Phil, you better try and fix it. And if/when PJ puts you in the game, PESTER the ISH outta NASH or whoever they put you on!

DJ: You'll get your chance... SOON.

Medina,

The choices for why the Lakers lost game 4 should go as follows:

A) The biased officiating. 32-13 advantage for the Suns. Only ONE loose ball called against the Suns in 48 minutes. Can you say impossible?

B) Rebounding. The Lakers inability to secure the defensive rebound. 51-36 advantage for the Suns.

C) Bench, specifically Farmar and Shannon playing like rookies and IGNORING Kobe in the fourth. If the Lakers re-sign Farmar, I'm going on strike.

D) Poor defense on both the post and the 3 point line.

E) Kobe for overtrusting his teammates. He should have gone for 60 last night.

F) Bynum's limited mobility and complete ineptitude in rotating on defense.

G) Luke Walton, as Yellofever pointed out, as soon as Luke came in, all momentum was lost and the Suns never looked back. To attack a zone, you need someone who can either penetrate or hit the open shot. Yeah, Luke's the answer.

H) Pau. He was indecisive, couldn't secure a defensive rebound, and basically played scared against Amare. If our second option continues to play this way with Bynum hurting, the Lakers are in for a long series.

Hello my LA friends,

Well, you know it's a series now because it seems the Times writers have quit talking about Bahstun. But PHX won't get any respect unless they win this thing, what with the national media bias and all. That's ok - the underdog thing fuels this SUNS team.

Well, the interesting thing to me is that PHX went with a zone D out of desperation, but it led them to stumble upon a little secret: LA cannot run its triangle against a well-executed zone. The entire offense crumbles into confusion with the high post occupied by 2 defenders.

I thought LA would've countered with something new last night, but PJ stubbornly stuck to his plan. Perhaps tomorrow we'll see something different. But for now, the lack of a PG on the team is a weakness which Gentry has exploited.

"Fisher hit 3 3 pointers last night. Oh forgot...the crafty veteran stepped on the line on all of them !!!!

Posted by: DFish | May 26, 2010 at 02:13 PM "

LOL. He's a 3 point specialist, it really baffles me how he has such a hard time knowing where the 3 point line is. He'd have twice as many 3 pointers over his career if he had smaller feet.

HalosAnt,

What was it you were saying a couple days ago, something about how coby dunked on Nash back in '06 when PHX beat LA? That still must feel pretty good I guess.

Well how about Dragic breaking Fischer's ankles last night, then making a beautiful layup over odum's long wingspan? Now that was impressive!

The SUNS bench was fantastic last night, but really, it was the first time they showed up in this series and really delivered like they have been the last half of the season.

It's popular still to assume the SUNS are a jump shooting, fast break team but they're not. The bench is filled with good defenders who can also shoot or finish.

Think of the SUNS as two teams: the starters are the best offensive team in the NBA, or close to the top. The bench is the best defensive 2nd unit in the NBA. Two very different squads that can put a lot of pressure on a team that only goes 7 deep.

I think LA is looking a little tired at the end of the last few games.

@ Servant, er I mean Butler - I also stated the following below in case you forgot:

PHX Lilpup sez - "beautiful to see Fisher get JUKED!!!
I watched that play numerous times, he basically just reached when "The DRAGON" blew by him.
****************

Kinda like the way KOBE JUKED Grant Hill?!? Kinda like that right? Oh wait, NOT the same 'cuz Grant Over-tha-Hill fell on his @ZZ and tried to REACH out while ON THE FLOOR!!!

Close one, LilPup, go ahead and relish it for now...

Posted by: HalosAnt | May 26, 2010 at 08:10 AM

IMO, Butler, its not the zone. The zone isn't a weakness, as the Lakers shot 49% against it. What broke the games open was transition 3s by the bench in their home arena.
-
The Suns won't shoot that well in staples, but the Lakers can continue to shoot as well as they have in Phoenix against the zone.
-
The series is going to happen the way most of us here predicted, and most of Phoenix's writers predicted as well for that matter, in either 6 or 7 games.

@ Butler - I grudgingly, and I do mean GRUDGINGLY, admit, strictly from a basketball fan's point-of -view, that that play was kinda nice... so there.

Let's not forget that while the fallout of game 4 is still fresh, most everyone predicted Lakers in 6, even Phoenicians themselves.
-
Patience is a virtue my friends.

HalosAnt, we gotta give credit where credit it due, right? I kinda like Goran....I honestly don't think he'll be a Sun for life. he'll land a better job elsewhere when his rookie contract is up.

He reminds me of a bigger Beno Udrih as opposed to Steve Nash.

A COACHING ANALYSIS Part One

First and foremost, the Lakers, contrary to current popular belief, and it's funny how short the memory of Laker fans are.... The Lakers philosophy has always been to allow 3 point shooting because Phil believes you cannot win a series by shooting threes. As was seen in the Suns/Spurs series a team can win this way.
Phil's philosophy is sound because players get tired during the course of a game which leads to missed shots. But here's the problem, the Suns play deep into their bench which allows for fresher bodies on the floor. Phil for some reason is not going deep into his bench and the combination of Laker fatigue and failure to pressure the the outside shot has given the Suns confidence which is dangerous.

#4,

You're right to an extent. The zone didn't stop LA for 3 quarters last night. But in the 4th it worked when Gentry started doubling bryant in the zone. That defused his shot making and play making.

But the other side to this coin is the rebounding - SUNS got 15 more boards. That is one huge benefit of the zone, it keeps the LA bigs away from the rim. For a smaller team like PHX that pays off.

I'm sure LA will hit more shots at home, but it remains to be seen whether LA can keep up their defense against a PHX team that has yet to shoot well in this series.

BUTLER:

Suns are worthy opponent no doubts and the fact they are in WCF is not a fluke, and indeed they do have a better bench. However, it is for the Lakers to lose the series. Lakers no doubt are the better of the two and are primed to win the title. I don't like to look too far into the future nor speculate, I leave the speculative work to geniuses like Charles Barkley and the media, so have patience and we shall find out if the Suns are truly capable of beating the Lakers. I really hope that both the teams play their best games and may the better team win. One thing for sure if I am a betting man then I will lay my bets on Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

Good luck to your Suns..

HalosAnt,

You're a good sport to compliment Dragic. As for Grant hill, yeah, he got abused by bryant on that play! But you also have to appreciate Grant's play last night when he caused bryant to fall backwards, then hit the open jumper. The old fella has got some game yet..

As long as the Lakers get more out of Ron, LO and the rest of the small bench at home and win game 5, I think this is going to 7. Everyone but Kobe should hit more shots at home (Kobe hits them home or away) and the home team usually gets the favorable calls which should even out the FT's.

The Suns just have too much energy and confidence at home and I don't think the Lakers can match it in game 6, so they darn well better take game 5.
Game 7 will be a nail biter.

I sure hope the Lakers aren't fighting against one of those 17 year destiny thingamajigs.

Jesus Santos,

Thanks for your message. Yes, may the best team win. I admit that PHX didn't look like a worthy foe in the first two games...and LA looked better than ever. I'm just glad Amare and the bench eventually showed up and made this an interesting series.

I'd say anyone who knows basketball will place their money on LA. Everything is in their favor right now. We'll see what happens but as long as the Suns compete and play up to their abilities, I'm ok with the outcome.

Here's to the best division in the NBA!

One other thing...LA lacks pure 3-pt shooters. No more Radman, or Sasha (apparently), or even a reliable gun like Ariza. LA was banking everything this season on being able to dominate inside instead of balancing things with outside shooting. Not that LA's playas can't hit threes...but they seem at a disadvantage here in a shooting contest.

Guys,

I banned Ricky Those comments were unacceptable. A few housekeeping items. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to approve comments now. This is just getting way out of control.

Also, we can have a chat for tonight's game with one caveat. I won't be there. I still have some computer issues I must iron out regarding my camera and all that and I want to get that fixed so I can post video. I'll launch a chat box open and then close it once the game ends.

MM

Hey Butler,

Kudos for the tone, accuracy and courtesy of your posts.
When the smack talk is eliminated you make some very good points.
You are right on about when Kobe got doubled in the 4th, also the Suns quickly ganged up on Gasol daring someone else to beat them.
Good strategy, take out Kobe and Gasol as the 4th quarter ticks down and make someone else hit the shots.
That may not work in the Suns favor in LA but it's a strategy that makes sense.
This is turning into the best playoff series of them all.
Here's hoping we put you guys away sooner in the 4th so we don't need any Kobe heroics with time running out.

Where is the poll where it says the Suns rule and are taking over this series and Kobe is a big ball hog?

SUNS RULE

LAKERS OVERRATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GASOL-OVERRATED
BYNUM-OVERRATED
ARTEST-BLOWHARD
FISHER-DIRTY HACK THAT DOESNT KNOW HOW TO MOVE HIS FEET

LAKERS BENCH-SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKSSS

Trolls like BUTLER come out when they smell blood but just know we were tied with denver and houston last year and OKC this year. Remind me what happened after?

if phx doesn't win tomorrow night, the lakers will close it out in arizona on saturday, reminiscent of the oklahoma series AND the nuggets series from last year in the WCF. to be a champion, you have to win on their COURT! i don't think the suns are up to the task. L.A. SHOULD get the favorable calls tomorrow night, just like all the phantom fouls called last night against the lakers. jason richardson falling down in the 4th qtr. nash, faking like he got hit in the face by D-Fish. i'm tired of all of the over-the-back non-calls against phx. no wonder they've been stripping the rebounds from L.A., we're getting bludgeoned trying to secure a rebound. i know that mamba is so PISSED OFF, he wishes that game 5 was tonight. phx, stay out of the mamba's way manana., he just might drop 5o or 60 on you!

A COACHING ANALYSIS Part Two (Attacking the Zone)

Though the Lakers have done a reasonable job against the 2-3 zone... In the NBA, zone defenses are used only on occasion because teams break it down pretty quickly. The fact that Phoenix has now played it for 6 straight quarters is unprecedented.
The Lakers lack of of true point who can penetrate and break down a zone is part of the problem. Kobe Bryant, as great as he is, cannot all of a sudden become that player. That leaves Fisher, Farmar, and Brown, none of which with the exception of Farmar, has that point guard mentality. But Farmar's lack of experience due to playing in the Triangle Offense compromises his effectiveness.
The lack of a penetrating guard doesn't mean you can't break down the zone as there are several ways to accomplish this. The surprise is the Lakers couldn't or wouldn't.
The coaching staff's lack of preparation is alarming. Zone defenses are a joke to NBA teams.

Remember that game against Toronto when The Mamba scored 81 points?

I'm feeling that smell of burned meat again...
just curious.

I'm looking forward to play that is much improved, crisp passing, boxing out (Oh God please!) and defense! I get why PHX fans are all pumped up, but I'm not worried in the slightest. Let's just say we've been here before, and we know what to do. Every single hater from Boston to PHX has been in here smack talking away (although if you go to their boards they are morally upright and don't ever talk smack on our boards) like if they say we suck, it's true. Yeah, right.

Can't wait til tomorrow!!

GO LAKERS!!!

i'm tired of all of the over-the-back non-calls against phx. no wonder they've been stripping the rebounds from L.A., we're getting bludgeoned trying to secure a rebound. i know that mamba is so PISSED OFF, he wishes that game 5 was tonight. phx, stay out of the mamba's way manana., he just might drop 5o or 60 on you!

Posted by: Lakeshowinphx | May 26, 2010 at 04:05 PM

You go, Lakeshowinphx! Represent us!

MM,

Thanks for getting rid of ricky.

you're doing a hecka of a job.

This is a typical Lakers playoff series.


The Lakers are playing a good team. Phoenix made it to Western Conference Finals, for god's sake. And they are tough as hell at home.


The Lakers come out strong at home, get two games. Everyone, the media, the fans, and to some degree the players, decide the series is over. The Suns can't handle the Lakers. Should be a sweep.


The Suns hold home court too. Now come all the stories of underacheiving and trouble in Lakerland. You build them up after two home wins and shoot them down after two home losses. Create the unreasonble expectation of the Suns laying down and getting swept, trash the Lakers when it doesn't happen.


This is the conference-f-ing-finals. It should be a struggle I agree with Kobe that there was a certain lack of urgency from some of the Lakers. But, hell, the Suns played great defense, moved the ball very well and hit open shots.


The Lakers will make adjustments and they get to go home and they will ratchet up the intensity. They should still win the series. This is what makes the playoffs fun - good teams in real battles.

Butler good stuff....entirely valid points. Re: the zone, I saw that too. They doubled Kobe AND also kept Gasol or Lamar off of the high post. It entirely mucked up what the Lakers are comfortable doing, but they still found a way to shoot well.
-
Do I believe the zone stopped the Lakers? No, I still don't, but you are right in a way as well. The zone led to rebounds, which led to transition offense, which led to momentum building 3s or breaks. I see your point. Heck, I hope the Lakers did.
-
what I do believe is the Laker need to get back to cover the shooters. The game would get close, and then PHX always had an answer with a couple of transition 3s.
-
Nonetheless, it is a good series. Game 5 will be interesting, since both teams have had their styles of play dominate in their own 2 wins.

Where is the poll where it says the Suns rule and are taking over this series and Kobe is a big ball hog?

SUNS RULE

LAKERS OVERRATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GASOL-OVERRATED
BYNUM-OVERRATED
ARTEST-BLOWHARD
FISHER-DIRTY HACK THAT DOESNT KNOW HOW TO MOVE HIS FEET

LAKERS BENCH-SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKSSS

So much for PHX fans. I can bet you weren't talking that smack games one and two. You were probably crying in your closet like the rest of the PHX Suns fans. You were probably crying about how bad Amare was.

PS - You amuse me.

FISHER IS NOT A LEADER.

How many times did he refuse to pass to Kobe last night? MANY. He thinks he is getting everyone else involved by refusing to pass to him when he was on fire. Fisher is a selfish player with his own agenda. I'm glad (for the first time I might add) Kobe confronted Fisher about not passing him the ball when a timeout was called. Too bad TNT couldn't get a close up as they had to go to a TV break but thank god Kobe (I hope) cussed Fisher out. He deserved it.

Dear Phoenix fans,

We understand your crowing. We understand your Orange Pla- ok, well, we don't understand your Orange Planet weirdness. We get how you're coming on the blog and smack talking us - we do it to you, too. We understand a fan who loves their team. But just coming on and saying we suck, our team is overrated, blah blah blah is useless. To say that this championship team is overrated? Even your Nash god would state otherwise. You're high on your success, but it doesn't mean much if you don't have a ring to back it up. That's why Laker fans crow and brag - because we have them. Your team had some success against us with the zone. But that doesn't mean you've won it, and to overestimate yourselves, well, that's foolish. So come here, do your damage, brag away. But can't take you seriously until you can back up your statements.

Mark Medina - thank you for putting up with this championship craziness. I appreciate the thought and time you put into your posts, and I think you're doing a good job. Keep it up!

I got to admit. Those Guys in Orange are pretty good offensively, and their zone is one of the best I have seen. Keep it coming Suns! Yours is an excellent test for a Championship worthy squad. If we cannot beat you, then we are not worthy to be a champion.

Go Lakers! Go Kobe! It's winning time!

Hugo Boss

Yeah, I noticed Lopez' histrionics on the bench. I thought he was having some intestinal problems. Everyone grows a set when they tie it up. Let them have their fun, it's probably the last game they win this year.

from the LAT:

Merry as usual, Jackson mused his way through pregame questions about job prospects and Lakers adjustments, like corralling Stoudemire by trying to take the occasional charge.

Said Jackson: "We actually even put out a reward for drawing charges."

He'd better post a bigger reward. Vlade Divac is thought to have taken the last charge by a Lakers big man in 1996, before being traded to Charlotte for the rights to Bryant.

"Well, we've asked them to do it," said Jackson. "I think we have thin-chested big men."


my response: Don't mince words. What are you really saying?

M2, Please don't ban God or Noah. That would just be wrong, LOL.

One other thing...LA lacks pure 3-pt shooters. No more Radman, or Sasha (apparently), or even a reliable gun like Ariza. LA was banking everything this season on being able to dominate inside instead of balancing things with outside shooting. Not that LA's playas can't hit threes...but they seem at a disadvantage here in a shooting contest.

Posted by: BUTLER | May 26, 2010 at 03:51 PM
---
PHX 3 pt shooting (36%) was not that much better than LAL (32%) in Game 4. That's just two more 3 pointers overall. The big disparity was again the free throw attempts (PHX-32, LAL-13).

RIZZO:

Just because someone has contrary beliefs to yours does not make them a troll. Perhaps you should engage Butler in an intelligent conversation and he might oblige. What I find disruptive is Mamba24's constant barrage of one liner comments, long winded bandwagons that have no content except cut and paste material. He is like a cheer leader with no content and that wears thin. I come to this blog to read the views and perspective of others who enjoy NBA scene. I actually enjoy opposing views and it challenges me to look outside the box.

Some bloggers are delusional in thinking they have the entitlement of this blog, just because a) they live in LA, b) they are old and c) they are the only true Lakers fan. The beauty of blog is that it crosses geographical boundaries and is a conduit for sharing mind share of wide spectrum of people. So please step outside the box and take a breadth of fresh air and enjoy.

I refuse to speak Spanish for fear... and I carry my passport at all times.

I firmly believe the Lakers will take this series but either way, - I'm looking for MAJOR changes in this team.

Yes, Gasol is probably the most consistent besides Kobe in the regular season, but as we all know, regular season doesn't really matter. We need players who can perform in the clutch - during the playoffs. Gasol doesn't show up for important games. Trade him for Bosh. Gasol only plays great when there is no one bumping him out of position. Strictly finesse.

Bynum - he defintiely has to get traded for another C who will actually be able to play more than 20 games in a row without getting hurt. We need a big man for the playoffs - and he has to play hard, tough, block shots, rebound. No more of this soft sh$#. Get Noah.

LO - He has to go already. Tired of his inconsistency. This will NEVER go away. He is what he is but he is not what Lakers need. Lakers need someone who will show up big in the playoffs - freaking every game.

The bench - all need to be traded!!!!! Not that any other team would want this bunch of krap.

If Suns do take this series since the Lakers let it even get to this point - Kobe is going to go balistic!!!! Don't blame him - he is playing his heart out and his teammates just standing around with their hands down their pants.

Lakers must be aggressive on offense and as active as the Celtics are on defense. Rebounding is key. Gasol keeps falling backwards on defense and offense. Cannot afford to be pushed around and away from defensive rebounds by guys like Richardson, Hill & Dudley! Odom, Brown & Farmar (& Artest to a lesser degree) have not played like they want to win. They have not learned to play aggressive team defense like the Celtics. Look at Rondo on Assists, Rebounds, Steals & energy on every play. He plays with more effort as does Dragic on every play......in fact exceeds the combined effort of all 3 Laker bench players when it comes to focus on every play. Odom, Farmar and Brown have the talent at least not to be outplayed by 34 points and ten rebounds!!! Lets hope we are over with cheap talk, blaming refs and get the entire team playing their hearts out like Kobe & Fish!! Gasol & Artest need to be aggressive & block out on rebounds at both ends. Encourage team defense and communication and when a team mate is trapped create the angles to receive a pass!! Go Lakers!!!

MM,
I wish you had included the officiating as a voting option for a few of the polling questions.(LOL)

Mark G
One more thing, what's the deal with Amare's postgame glasses? Hopefully, that's the end of Lopez' reactions.

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Mark G
Nice word in histrionics! I had to look it up and now will use it. Another good one in "intestinal problems".

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Mark G
Nice word in histrionics! I had to look it up and now will use it. Another good one in "intestinal problems".

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Bynum needs to be benched for the rest of the playoffs and traded this summer. He is a total ZERO. Odom has a mental problem because he is inconsistent. The bench needs to be cleaned up this summer. Next two games are going to be tough so let's see if the lakers can win them ??

No offense, but if there's one thing the Lakers and Laker fans know how to do, it's moan, whine and complain about officiating. No Laker has ever committed a foul - just ask them! The Lakers are a good team, to be sure....but the officiating did not change the result of games 3 or 4....the Lakers and the Suns changed the result. The Suns played remarkably well, their bench was incredible, their defense was tight and the Lakers simply had no answer for that. They were out of sorts and seemed genuinely unable to control the game. If Steve Nash can keep playing through injury after injury, can't we all just get along and play the game? Let's stop the complaining and just play the game.

Dear Steve,

That's funny - we feel the same way about Phoenix fans in the foul department. In fact, we heard the same things from you guys the first two games. And in the department of playing with injuries, no one, not even your Nash, beats Kobe. But I will give you the part about the Suns playing well, the bench playing remarkably, and they had better defense. I also believe that even you, if you go back and watch the call on Fish for "hitting" Nash, you will see he didn't even touch him. On that call I feel completely justified in complaining. Nash simply tripped.

I think we win tonight, and you lose. Maybe we'll get some home cooking and feel re energized by the home crowd.

GO LAKERS!!!!!!

The polls here didn't give us the option of specifying the real reason the Lakers lost games #3 and #4: the refs.

Just look at the box scores. Both games, the Lakers have a better shooting percentage. Both games, Suns get to the line way more - and I mean, WAY more, than the Lakers.

It's ridiculous. In a fairly officiated game, a team that relies on the three will get to the line less often because outside shooters are not fouled as often.

This series has already been officially tainted, if you know what I mean... As a fan who admires a clear and level playing field in order to reveal the dominant opponent and clear cut winner, it has been disgusting to witness.


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