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Caught in the Web: Lakers enjoy day off before preparation begins for Game 3 against Phoenix

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights the Lakers' insistence that they're only thinking about their West finals matchup with the Phoenix Suns, and not a NBA Finals matchup with the Boston Celtics.

--The Times' Broderick Turner credits Jordan Farmar's play in the Lakers' Game 2 victory over Phoenix.

--The Times' Bill Plaschke argues that the Lakers need to do whatever it takes to keep Phil Jackson as head coach.

--The Times Barry Stavro believes that the Lakers will wrap up the series against Phoenix in five games.

--The Times' Houston Mitchell sums up the career of Elgin Baylor, whom readers selected as the fifth-greatest all-time Laker.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore predicts that the Lakers will defeat the Celtics in the Finals.

--1140 KHTK's Dave Carmichael, in a must-listen interview, talks with a candid Ron Artest.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding details the spat between Trevor Ariza and Ron Artest's brother, Daniel, via Twitter.

--ESPN Los Angeles Arash Markazi looks ahead to a Lakers-Celtics Finals series.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton says talk of a Lakers-Boston Finals matchup is premature.

--NBA.com's Sekou Smith says Jordan Farmar is making the most of his opportunity.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius reflects on how the Lakers' 1971-72 team pulled off a 33-game winning streak.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford wonders whether the Lakers can be stopped.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark details the difficulty in stopping the Lakers.

Suns links

--The Arizona Republic's Paola Bolvin suggests five things the Suns can do to win against the Lakers.

--NBA.com's Fran Blinebury credits Goran Dragic's contributions.

--The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro documents how the Suns have no answer for the Lakers' size. He also explains why Phoenix wants more from Channing Frye.

--ESPN.com's Chad Ford reports that Amare Stoudemire likely won't return to Phoenix next season. Hmm, I wonder why.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky highlights the enormous, let's just say, interest the media and fans have for Stoudemire's defense.

--Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock calls Stoudemire a punk.

--Bright Side of the Sun's Seth Pollack documents Phoenix's poor execution of its zone defense.

Tweet of the Day: "Phil made the best lasagna for dinner. He likes to cook to rela - lucky me! Hall of Fame Coach, good looking & he can cook. He's a keeper!" -- JeanieBuss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss)

Photo Caption of the Day:"Why does a black eye on Steve Nash make him look like a warrior and a black eye on Gasol make him look like he's been punked?" -- Michael C. Teniente

Reader Comment of the Day: "it's clear that the Lakers beating the Suns is just a schedule formality regardless if it's happening in 7,6,5 or a SWEEP." -- ouchhhhhhhh

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers guard Derek Fisher drives on Phoenix forward Grant Hill during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images

 
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REPOST:

All this talk about a Lakers vs. Celtics Finals while still smack-dab in the middle of our respective Conference Finals is so disrespectful to both the Suns & Magic... Then I thought, "SO THE EFF WHAT!!!"

This is a LAKERS Blog and we are all happily dueling it out with Gangrene Trolls and LOVING every minute of it.

Can you actually imagine or picture a Suns/Magic Finals... uugghhh... I think I just puked a little in my mouth there.

Posted by: HalosAnt | May 21, 2010 at 11:02 AM

the espn stuff is priceless!

I'm almost crying while I laugh

#4

Kudos on your post on the prior thread. Cogent and thoughtful.

I agree that both teams are highly proficient in the half-court game. The Celtics primarily rely upon Rondo to penetrate, drive and dish to cutting teammates, or kick it out for spot-up shots by the likes of Pierce and Allen. When things are going smoothly, the Lakers utilize their Triangle (i.e. Triple Post) Offense to space the court, and find the open man. Of course, Kobe always has the green light to freelance and attack the teeth of the defense at any opportunity.

By now the Lakers have become a battle-hardened and experienced squad that has significantly improved on defense (thanks in no small part to Artest), while developing the flexibility to play big or go small. Fast or slow. Half Court or Run and Gun.

Those who only talk about how "long" the Lakers' big men are are actually doing them a disservice. Sure, the Lakers boast several 7 footers across their front line, but other teams have 7-footers as well. The biggest difference is that the Lakers' big men are TALENTED and have multiple skills.

They ALL have good hands (with the exception of Mbenga, whose hands are not as bad as Kwame "Stone Hands" Brown, but still not as good as Pau, Drew, or Lamar), can pass the ball, and have enough offensive talent (especially Gasol) to place the defense in immediate jeopardy IF they catch the rock in the low-post against single coverage.

Boston's bigs, except for Garnett, are more defense and rebounding-minded with fewer offensive abilities when compared to the Laker bigs. The Celtic offense keys off the play of Rajon Rondo, and his varied skill-set. It is remarkable to see how far his game has progressed in the two years since the Lakers last saw him in the finals. Back then, guys could play off of him, and essentially dare him to shoot. Rondo has improved his shot to the point where he has become a legitimate outside threat.

Having said that, since the Lakers now have Artest to cover Pierce, I like Kobe on Rondo, and Fish should be able to hold his own against Allen. Gasol has historically done well against Garnett, and especially now with Kevin returning from his injury.

In my opinion, the two key match-ups will be Bynum against Perkins, and how well Kobe will be able to contain Rajon. How much Andrew can give his team (with his torn meniscus) from game to game could become a deciding factor in how the series plays out. Considering Kobe's pride, I have no doubt that he will do his best to lock-down Rondo and limit him as much as possible.

With is current Double-Double streak, and his "Swiss Army Knife" skill-set (with the added incentive of playing for the honor of his new bride, Khloe), I would give the nod to Odom over Wallace. The rest of the Lakers' bench: Brown, Farmar - playing for a new contract, Walton, Sasha "I won't wear green" Vujacic, and the rest of the squad, should be well motivated for revenge, and be able to at least hold their own against Boston's bench.

Considering how well these two teams are currently playing, and considering the various match-ups, the deciding factor could come down to home court advantage.

The first two games in Los Angeles will obviously be HUGE. If the Lakers can take both games (which will not be an easy task) the Lakers should be able to take one of the three in Boston, and return home to close out the series.

It will be IMPERATIVE for the Lakers to start the series with TWO wins in Los Angeles. They need to derail the Celtics' momentum and plant a seed of doubt in their psyche. I fully expect a long, drawn-out slugfest, with the Lakers being the Last Team Standing. Fortunately, Games 6 and 7, if needed (and they likely will be) will be in Los Angeles.

P & G R

DANG!!! Please, Whitlock, DON'T HURT 'EM!!!

DANG!!! Please, Whitlock, DON'T HURT 'EM!!!

Posted by: utzworld - the ONCE AND FUTURE BANNER HOLDER | May 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

For reals huh. We always new that about Amare, but what I'm wondering is how come it took so long for people to start seeing the fools gold in Howard as well.
Just like his super man dunk, that wasn't even a real dunk, yet everyone screams and jumps like it was the greatest dunk ever.

Patiently, I'm waiting to read something like this on lebron. Someday.

Like Whitlock said.

Orlando needs to increase the pace of the offense.


Ron Artest was a regular season question mark at times. All the questions have been answered in the playoffs.

Next series? There won't be any questions. He'll bring the projects to prime time. This team was built for this time.

WUTTUP UTZWORLD!!!

Good to see you back on here.

And I couldn't agree more about that article by Whitlock! LOL! He'd be my hero if he wrote one like that about the princess. Like magia32 says - someday....


My favorite line though is the closer: Howard and Stoudemire are two tricks getting treated.

Yup - one trick ponies getting treated to seeing up close & personal how the game should be played by real contenders.\

Does anyone think the princess is at home watching this and taking notes? Yeah - me neither.


Is it Sunday yet?

MM - what do you think about having a live chat during the Septic / Magic game tomorrow?


Guys - any interest?

Again DFish, I offered an olive branch....forget what he said and what you in the past, can you not move on and blog with us without mentioning Jon K's name. As BronxLF said your Fisher comments are borderline psychotic, I think you responded well with humor. I suggest you timed your criticisms on how Fish performed on certain games, if it's good keep quiet, if its bad sound the alarm, ask all churches to ring the bell, remind us how blind we are etc. etc. Don't you think that is a happy medium DFish? Why would someone suggest to ban a legitimate and a happy poster?

@ P & G R - Another EXCELLENT Post!!! Keep it up Sir...

I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everything you stated. This will be a Hard Fought Battle between to of the BEST franchises in the NBA. It's easy as Laker Fans to dream of our team SWEEPING the Celts, but the reality of the matter is that, when these two teams face off (and it's hard to believe they won't) in the coveted Finals for ALL THE MARBLES, we'll be lucky if this thing ends in six.

And when it's all said and done... It WILL BE the LAKERS that will hold aloft the Larry O'Brien Trophy and Kobe will be holding aloft the Bill Russell Finals MVP Trophy and Phil WILL BE drenched in champagne AGAIN to celebrate his 11th RING and ALL the FANS of Lakerdom will CHEER & REVEL on FIGUEROA and at the COLISEUM!!!! COUNT ON IT!!!!

Vman - I get giggly thinking about how psyched Thriller will be in the Finals. If he was talking to Sager about busting out the Queens way of playing against the Phuns, IMAGINE what he'll be ready for against the weeners??!! HAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! Septics are in a world of hurt & don't even know it yet.

Haiku from Machine:

Macheen stop Paula.
Macheen is key for repeat.
Maria says Hi.

Laker fan-

After reading all this garbage about the greatness of Dribble Drbble ... I have to remind myself that he has won as many rings as I have.

"MM banned me for political pressure by you guys. I didn't do anything to be banned. "

He banned you because 90% of your posts now are nothing but ones to discredit Jon K. which while he certainly has his flaws is more of attacking his character rather than trying to having a discussion about the Lakers or any other team in general. If this was any other blog where there were more moderators than MM you would have been banned much more sooner than when MM banned you because that is attacking another poster. Could you have disagreed? Oh absolutely but then you took it to an extreme not to mention how you became Mr. Know it all when you said that you didn't need to man up because you were the only one who had true bball IQ and was surrounded by idiots here.

I"m guessing that you are using another computer elsewhere to get around the banning of your IP and that's what Eric Wright did as well at times though that means you can't post as much since it's not your IP. MM should ban you whenever you post because you still have an obsession with Jon K. and don't talk that much bball but I guess because you have to make an effort to go to wherever you are just to post and the fact your posts have lessened in severity of personal attacks you can get it away for now. Don't be crying a river because simply you are using personal attacks and if you really want to blame someone other then yourself than you can thank Eric Wright for that for using those James Worthy posts.

If you want to talk something about bball or another topic DFish that's fine. You deserve to be banned whichever computer you use simply because you still have an obsession with Jon K. that goes to attack his character rather than the topic that he is talking about.

"Septics are in a world of hurt & don't even know it yet."

Couldn't agree more.

Their fans are also unaware of what awaits. This isn't a team 40% injured like last time - where Luke and Rad shared in defending Paula - the same series that went 6 and borderline 7 if not for self destruct 20+ pt blow up.

Seriously, how could anyone think this is the same?

We're far stronger. They're weaker - significantly weaker on D.

Add home court and this baby is OVAH.

DFish - I gave you a second chance since your comments were no longer personal. It's not about political pressure it's that you repeatedly personally attacked other posters

MM

Justa - I'm going to be tied up at practice tomorrow and it's always unpredictable when they'll get out and how long it will take to get interviews. I'm definitely open to doing a chat Monday evening for Celtics-Magic since the Lakers will be on the road and I won't be tied up

MM

Also, we got a new post up. We'll have stuff from practice later on today. But for now enjoy

MM

PG&R, thanks brotha.

All valid points on your part. Just looking at the big vs. big, its like a matching up a 'Work Harder' mindset vs. the 'Work Smarter' mindset. IMO, all things being equal, smarter will work out for the better.

I don't know if Kobe necessarily comes out on Rondo first. I think Fish might have a go at it. Given that there is no James Posey to guard Kobe, we may be better served having Kobe expend his energy on offense.

LOL!

I knew that was a good line.

mike t.

Their fans are also unaware of what awaits. This isn't a team 40% injured like last time - where Luke and Rad shared in defending Paula - the same series that went 6 and borderline 7 if not for self destruct 20+ pt blow up.

Seriously, how could anyone think this is the same?

We're far stronger. They're weaker - significantly weaker on D.

Add home court and this baby is OVAH.

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 21, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Laker fan-

You continue to amaze. The '08 Finals went 6 borderline 7! LOL ... Exactly what does that mean? You almost won game 4? Well we almost won game 5! What about game 6? Should that game be counted as a game?

Reasons Lakers lost in '08 ...

1. Bynum was hurt
2. Ariza was hurt
3. The refs
4. The Lakers had Vlad
5. The Lakers had Luke
6. The team was 40% injured
7. They almost won game 4
8. Pau only played 1/2 season with the Lakers


Reasons they lost in'84 ...

1. McHale was mean
2. Too hot in the Garden
3. The refs
4. Too many rats in the Garden
5. Too many dead spots on the floor
6. The fire alarm kept ringing in the hotel and Magic couldnt sleep
7. Kareem couldnt breath in the Garden
8. The locker room was too small
9. Not enough hot water to shower in the locker room

Please keep the excuses coming. If I forgot to mention yours ... please do not take it personally.

"Please keep the excuses coming. If I forgot to mention yours ... please do not take it personally. "

Just how you Celtics fans keep the excuse of how Bird was injured (when he choked that shot in Game 4) in 1987 and how you didn't have Garnett last year.

Keep at it 101-82.

And btw

*pushes 101-82 via Glen Baby style* and tell that fat boy to lose some weight!

Means it took a RECORD collapse for it to happen.

Sure, records happen. Happened just last series in Boston.

It's just, they're ON AVERAGE, rare.

Heading into the playoffs, I never thought the Lakers could beat the Celtics that year - and only after seeing the Celts struggle did I get some hope.

The series, as a whole, was far more competitive than I would have thought heading into the playoffs.

Ask me the same question about last year, or this year.

My answer: I have very little fear of the Septics. Only fear is the damn leprechaun and I'm reasonably confident it was exorcised in the mid 80's.

I'm telling everyone, the omens are abundant. Everywhere I look I see signs that favor another Lakers championship. I got my 5 free cigars today, and it turns out to be a nice, $50 gift they've given me. These 5 cigars say we'll go 4-1 against the Celtics in the Finals. Why else would there be five? Here's a family portrait of my new babies:


http://www.tinderbox.com/Ashton-Sampler-5-Cigars


Wes

Ok everybody, I'm gonna go ahead and do something even sillier than looking ahead to the Finals... I wanna go further in time, into this summer, and get everyones opinion as to whether or not Bosh should be pursued by the Lakers and if so how should the Lakers go about said pursuit...

Here's my contention: For all intents and purposes Bynum is what we call in the industry "Injury Prone". Obviuosly not on the extreme measure that Oden is with the Trailblazers but I'm sure you all get my point. We have all seen the possible potential he has when he is healthy but it has not something that we as Laker fans have been able to count on. Am I right or wrong??? Now if my Crystal Ball was working properly and I could see definitively that we have nothing further to worry about regarding the "durableness" of Bynum then this is just a moot point. BUT, it's a REALLY BIG question mark that hangs over this team and I do think Bosh would be a GREAT fit to the organization and would possibly cement the pursuit of another 2 or 3 more Rings...

I don't know just spitballin' here... let me know what you think.

HalosAnt,
I completely agree with you. I love Bynum but getting a low post presence that could also hit the mid-range who is less injury prone would be huge for the lakers for the next few years.

I hope artest gets Pierce so angry he tries to start a fight. I hope artest knocks his Oscar award winning busta butt on the floor. Lolol that would be epic!


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