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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 111-110 Game 3 victory over Utah Jazz

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Game stories

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how the Lakers prevailed in a 111-110 Game 3 victory Saturday over the Utah Jazz.

-- The Deseret News' Tim Buckley breaks down the Jazz's final play - a Deron Williams missed jumper and a Wesley Matthews missed putback.

-- The Orange County Register's Janis Carr details the Lakers' clutch shots.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Matt Calkins explains why this game was so exciting to watch.

-- The Salt Lake Tribune's Ross Siler details how the Jazz folded late in the game.

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford focuses on the Lakers' late-game heroics.

Notebooks

-- The Times' Broderick Turner details how the Jazz limited the Lakers' inside game.

-- The Deseret News' Michael Black highlights Andrei Kirilenko's contributions.

-- The Orange County Register's Carr explains Andrew Bynum's disappearing act as well as Ron Artest's improved shooting.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Calkins and Gregg Patton detail how Artest and Phil Jackson have patched things up.

-- The Daily News' Teaford has more on Artest's Twitter controversy.

Columns

-- The Times' Bill Plaschke finds it offensive the way Utah fans booed Lakers guard Derek Fisher for leaving Utah. Writes Plaschke: "How about the tenacity of those fans who still don't believe that, three years ago, Fisher was thinking of his family instead of himself? Fans who still boo even though Fisher gave up $8 million when he was released from his three-year deal. Fans who still boo even though Tatum Fisher, now nearly 4, has regained 50% of vision in her eye and her cancer is in remission."

-- The Times' T.J. Simers details the horrors of a trip to Salt Lake City.

-- ESPN.com's J.A. Adande argues that Artest is back to full form.

-- The Deseret News' Andrew Aragon feels for Matthews with his putback falling short in the last few seconds.

-- Sports Illustrated's Paul Forrester has a detailed breakdown of Game 3.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi highlights the back-and-forth shooting from Artest and Kyle Korver.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains why the Lakers suddenly became proficient with perimeter shooting.

-- The Salt Lake Tribune's Gordon Monson credits the Jazz's effort this series but adds that that doesn't erase the 3-0 deficit.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Patton observes how Fisher's clutch performance shut up the angry Utah crowd.

-- Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears
argues Fisher's performance gave him closure.

-- The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker explains how Fisher's clutch performances are nothing new.

Blogs

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius calls Game 3 an "instant classic."

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky details the game's final moments.

-- Lakers.com's Mike Trudell breaks down some numbers.

-- NBA.com's Sekou Smith argues Kobe Bryant's performance shows age isn't an issue for him.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore couldn't believe how this game unfolded.

Tweet of the Day:"Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the moms of Lakers fans (esp. mom's of Lakers players-they made you proud last night!). Love you. :)" -- JeanieBuss [Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss].

Reader Comment of the Day: "Funny thing is we were all waiting for a statement game in the regular season, but we've just won 5 in a row in the playoffs, 2 in extremely hostile environments. I think we just witnessed a statement game." -- jac

Radio Interview

--In the audio file below, I discuss the Lakers' Game 3 victory with Fox Sports Radio's Sean Farham and Pooh Richardson.

Fox Sports Radio May 8


-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Utah point guard Deron Williams elevates for a potential game-winning jumper as Lakers forward Ron Artest closes on him in the final seconds of Game 3 on Saturday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (35)

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ADJUSTMENTS…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Doug Collins made an interesting comment about the playoffs the other day that I thought clearly showed why he will never land another head coaching gig in the NBA. Doug said that game-to-game adjustments by the coaches don’t really matter and that swings in momentum are usually the result of increased urgency by the team that lost, not changes made in matchups or defensive strategies.
-
Excuse me, Doug, but the playoffs are all about adjustments, about the cat-and-mouse game-to-game moves coaches never get a chance to make during the regular season. Yes, the losing team usually comes out with more energy and urgency the next game but that rarely lasts 4 quarters. In the end, it’s the changes in matchups and whom to double that win or lose a game or series in the playoffs.
~
I guess you could forgive Doug his naivety since he obviously did not watch the Lakers 1st round playoff series, where switching Kobe Bryant to guard Russell Westbrook in Game 5 shut down the Thunder’s fast break offense and allowed the Lakers to seize control of the series. And he must have missed last night’s 2nd round thriller, where Jerry Sloan’s defensive adjustment to double and triple team the Lakers big men in the post almost allowed the Jazz to sneak back into the series.
~
You have to give the Jazz credit for playing their hearts out, Kyle Korver props for his Goran Dragic impersonation, and Jerry Sloan kudos for a smart defensive game plan but what this game showed was the Lakers unmatched versatility. In the end, the championship caliber play of Kobe Bryant, the constant clutch shooting of Derek Fisher, and the all-around brilliance of Ron Artest prevailed.
~
Last night, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, the Lakers proud co-captains and 4-time NBA champions, showed why you cannot underestimate the heart of a champion. Last night, Ron Artest demonstrated similar championship mettle and savvy. By packing the paint and doubling and tripling the Lakers big men, Sloan smartly turned the game into an offensive shootout. Unfortunately, when the dust cleared and the nets stilled, it was the Lakers, not the Jazz, who were the only ones left standing.
~
My only complaint about the game was that I thought the Lakers settled too easily for jumpers rather than being more patient and reversing the ball to the weak side to get it inside. Part of the problem was also a WTF passive effort by Drew, only taking 1 shot and grabbing 2 boards. As a team, the Lakers barely won the rebound battle and actually lost points-in-the paint to the Jazz. Look for Phil and the Lakers coaching staff to adjust and rotate the ball to counter the doubles on the bigs. That will be the adjustment Monday night so that we don’t have to rely on shooting lights out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

LakerTom,

For one thing, I think Drew had 4 boards not 2. I'm not sure just reversing the ball works here. This was different from OKC where the post defender was fronting. Last night Ron's defender was just sitting in Drews lap. I don't know how reversing the ball helps there?

Just so you know I'm not a Drew basher, nor a boot licker. I've always liked him ever since that Dunk on Shaq (you know the one). I don't think the Lakers can win in the finals w/o Drew being fairly effective. However, I'm not ready to say he's Shaq/Kareem either though, yet.

I wish people would lay off the comments after every game about why THIS player is horrible and THAT player is great. The truth is that a different set of players is stepping up every game. As long as that results in wins, I don't care who steps up.

Yes, Drew and LO were no-shows last night, but they were a big reason Lakers won Game 2 which was not a foregone conclusion by any means.

Artest's shot has been horrible until now, but he and DFish stepped it up to make up for Drew and LO last night.

DFish was getting torched by Westbrook the first round, but has been doing a commendable job of not letting DWill get his way this round, unlike against the Nuggets.

Even Luke made some critical shots in Game 6 to make sure the OKC series didn't go to 7 games.

The point is that the constants on this team are Kobe (now that he's healthy) and Pau. So as long as at least 50% of the rest of this team shows up any given night, it'll usually be enough to win, at least until the Finals.

MARK G… “LakerTom, For one thing, I think Drew had 4 boards not 2. I'm not sure just reversing the ball works here. This was different from OKC where the post defender was fronting. Last night Ron's defender was just sitting in Drews lap. I don't know how reversing the ball helps there?”
~
Thanks for your comments, Mark, and for correcting me on Drew’s boards. Rapidly rotating the ball from the strong to the weak side is how you beat defenders fronting or doubling your bigs. Giving the big cutters to pass to rather than just spot up 3-point shooters is another way. We played right into Sloan’s hands in my opinion by just “taking” what the defense was giving us and were lucky to win the shootout. The smarter way to attack the doubles on the bigs is with ball and player movement.
~
“Just so you know I'm not a Drew basher, nor a boot licker. I've always liked him since that Dunk on Shaq (You know the one). I don't think the Lakers can win in the finals w/o Drew being fairly effective. I'm not ready to say he's Shaq yet either though.”
~
LOL. Actually, though, Drew last night did remind me of Shaq – not the Three-Peat monster but the broken down Fat Shaq who can be a no-show on any given night. I thought Drew played some good defense and passed out of the double teams well but he needs to use spin moves to seal off his man on the offensive boards. Spin to get inside position. Be a beast on the boards. Don’t just be a watcher.
~
The Lakers need to adjust to the double teams of our bigs much like they did to the Thunder’s fronting of our bigs. Pick up the pace on offense, have Drew and Pau beat the defense down the court before they have a chance to double. Look to penetrate rather than settling for jumpers when defenders slack off. Run the Triangle Offense. Ball and player movement and penetration for easy shots rather than shootouts, especially with the run-and-gun small ball Suns waiting in the on-deck circle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Well the Lakers just took Utah's best shot and came out on top!!! I thinkg is about time i break this bad boy out and start waving it around like i just don't care!!!

.-.
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boooo!!!!! it didnt recognize my spaces in front of the handle!!!!!

Watching TVG, the horse racing network. One of the host (comedian wannabe) made a brief comment about the game last night. He said Demi Moore's husband, what's his name? could not miss a shot last night. As if asking the camera crew or audience for help with the name. He finally, said Ashton Kutcher? as if someone from the crew told him. He said "Ashton Kutcher made every shot, it was unbelievable shooting by Ashton Kutcher."

"IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ADJUSTMENTS…
Posted by: LakerTom | May 09, 2010 at 11:01 AM"

Indeed it is, Laker Tom. But let me add that in order to be able to make adjustments that work, you've got to have "the Swiss Army Knife Playoff Kit" (i.e., players for every possible situation). That, my bro, is one of the very much underappreciated talents of Phil Jackson, and part of the reason he has 10 rings (soon, 11). I can't think of another coach I've ever seen that assembles such a versatile group of players, SPECIFICALLY for playoff runs...and who so casually brushes off all the criticism and whining about his individual players and team throughout the regular season.

Reason? He knows. He knows exactly what he's got, grooms them, schedules and allocates their minutes throughout the almost meaningless regular season, and then brings down the hammer on every team he faces in the playoffs. I can seriously imagine every team that gets steamrolled by a Phil Jackson team in the playoffs scratching their heads afterwards and saying: "Who were those masked guys? They sure weren't the same team we played in the regular season."

Amazing.

El Guapo,

I agree, the broom closet is open.

MTI312, We call Korver "Ashton" on the live chat also.

LakerTom,

I hope to God you are wrong about Doug Collins not being coach material. I mean, I know he's not, and you know he's not, but ANYTHING to get him and his constant verbal diarrhea off of nationally televised games is fine with me.

He doesn't shut up. He doesn't know how to give two seconds of space. A basketball game has almost constant action and does not require an announcer constantly to tell me what to think or what I should be thinking nor to set up each and every possession as some sort of narrative reaching back into the personal history of each and every player and their career and what each shot means in the context of the season. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Can you please shut up. Please shut it. Shut your mouth Doug. Shut up Doug. Doug, please be quiet. No Doug.

I cannot IMAGINE what it must be like to be coached by that motormouth. I'd do WHATEVER he said just to avoid him talking at me. And that's what it is, it's talking AT a person, not TO them.

Doug: ssshhh.

LakerTom,

you wrote: Rapidly rotating the ball from the strong to the weak side is how you beat defenders fronting or doubling your bigs. Giving the big cutters to pass to rather than just spot up 3-point shooters is another way. We played right into Sloan’s hands in my opinion by just “taking” what the defense was giving us and were lucky to win the shootout. The smarter way to attack the doubles on the bigs is with ball and player movement.

my response: So ... Why don't you want to take what the defense gives you?
I'd like to put this in context, because I'm not Bynum bashing.

It seems to me that making 3-ptrs is an equally valid way to win a game when
your bigs are being fronted/doubled. If you look at last year, you'll find that
Ariza, LO, Kobe & Fish took the 3-ptrs, made them & we won.

As far as I know, there is no such thing as a perfect offense or a perfect
defense. Therefore, why not take the 3-ptrs?

Also, what are you thoughts on Kobe's description of Game 3's 3-ptrs vs.
Game 2's 3-ptrs?

btw, that player & ball movement quote sounds vaguely familiar. I seem to
recall this being mentioned for the last 3+ months of the regular season.
I'm just sayin' .....

ps. Do you see what you & I have accomplished on this blog? We've got
people defining themselves in terms of our "discussions". Priceless.
*chuckle*

Schlieren...

So how do you really feel about Doug Collins? LOL!!
I completely agree with you. The man is a blowhard of the worst kind, who doesn't give the average fan credit for any intelligence whatsoever.

The only people more insufferable than Collins are the 3 Stooges on the ABC broadcasts. They are the ones that the mute button on the remote control was invented for!!

loved the win last night, but it won't make me read Simers...

ps. Do you see what you & I have accomplished on this blog? We've got
people defining themselves in terms of our "discussions". Priceless.
*chuckle*

Posted by: hobbitmage | May 09, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Hobbit,

lol, don't get too carried away. I rarely if ever have addressed LT about Drew. Given the often heated nature of the Drew/Kobe wars, I felt like it was necessary to establish my position on the Drew Kobe spectrum to avoid being unnecessarily drawn into the conflict. (I can't remember whether you guys still have a truce)

Gutty win. Can’t help but admire Korver’s 3-point shooting, though. It’s been incredible all year long. Isn’t he a restricted free agent next year? Might be worth Dr. Buss’s while to dangle the Lakers’ upcoming mid-level exception in front of him . . .

Gutty win. Can’t help but admire Korver’s 3-point shooting, though. It’s been incredible all year long. Isn’t he a restricted free agent next year? Might be worth Dr. Buss’s while to dangle the Lakers’ upcoming mid-level exception in front of him . . .

MARK G… Forgot to comment on your Richard Thompson link. I’ve always loved this guy and was a big fan of his wife Linda’s singing. Shades of the 60’s for me. Teaching guitar for spending cash (really just a hack teaching amateurs a few chords) while going to Berkeley at its most volatile political period. So much great music just takes me back there. Even today, those times are like yesterday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BRONX… Thanks for the encouraging words. I never let a poor game here from any Lakers player, Kobe and Drew included, to change my perspective or my enjoyment of a truly thrilling playoff game. That was an incredible display of clutch shooting by both teams. Not often we win by outshooting the other team from beyond the arc while losing the battle for points-in-the-paint. We were lucky.
~
Looking forward to the Yankees devouring some more Beantown pride tonight but rooting for the Celtics to somehow derail the Cavs today. Still think of Mantle and Maris whenever I see MM.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CORNER J… “Indeed it is, Laker Tom. But let me add that in order to be able to make adjustments that work, you've got to have "the Swiss Army Knife Playoff Kit" (i.e., players for every possible situation). That, my bro, is one of the very much underappreciated talents of Phil Jackson, and part of the reason he has 10 rings (soon, 11). I can't think of another coach I've ever seen that assembles such a versatile group of players, SPECIFICALLY for playoff runs...and who so casually brushes off all the criticism and whining about his individual players and team throughout the regular season.”
~
Another swish from Corner J. You are right about the versatility of the Lakers being a major weapon. Critics of the Lakers bench fail to respect and appreciate the flexibility having multiple players able to play multiple positions gives the Lakers. What other team has a backup center as good as Pau Gasol, a backup power forward as good as Lamar Odom, or a backup small forward as good as Kobe Bryant?
~
With 3 quality 7-footers, 2 proven defensive stoppers, 5 proficient post up players, and 2 of the best clutch shooters in NBA post-season history, Phil’s playoff quiver contains a deadly arsenal of arrows. Phil has a tool for every job. We can play big or small, play defense or offense, hold a lead or come from behind. The Lakers roster may not be deepest but its versatility and flexibility are unmatched.
~
I also agree with you that Phil’s long-term playoffs-oriented approach to coaching builds teams that know how to deal with adversity and play well in the pressure packed atmosphere of the playoffs. Phil had a vision of this team and has stood firmly behind Drew, Derek, Lamar, Pau, and Ron despite some constant criticism and second guessing from impatient fans and overreacting journalists.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

MarkG and Usedto,


How about this guy, and this song? He's the guy Jimmy Page heard that made him want to start playing guitar:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-HkBak9lmM


Wes


Mark G,

you wrote: lol, don't get too carried away. I rarely if ever have addressed LT about Drew. Given the often heated nature of the Drew/Kobe wars, I felt like it was necessary to establish my position on the Drew Kobe spectrum to avoid being unnecessarily drawn into the conflict. (I can't remember whether you guys still have a truce)

my response: The Lakers won. You can't bring me down. :) Glad to make
you *chuckle*.

I wouldn't call it a truce, so much as an understaning/burial of the hatchet.
You'll notice that we're both being civil. :) Much more pleasant this way.

Besides, do you hear anybody besides trolls saying bad things about Kobe
right now?

To quote Phil Jackson quoting Mark Twain (?), rumors of his demise have
been greatly exaggerated. :)

Hobbit,

Kobe bashing does seem to be at a minimum.

I think things look good in Laker land right now. I think Suns are tougher than they have been in years past, but I don't think they can take more than 2 games off the Lakers, if that. For whatever reason, Amare has problems with our length.

I've said it before, the Finals our going to be tough. Whether it's Cavs or Magic, I still think Cavs, we're going to have a dogfight on our hands. I would love to see the Old Green Men in the finals, but right now that seems like a pipe dream.

SCHLIEREN … “LakerTom, I hope to God you are wrong about Doug Collins not being coach material. I mean, I know he's not, and you know he's not, but ANYTHING to get him and his constant verbal diarrhea off of nationally televised games is fine with me.” LOL. Good call. Have to agree 100%. What finally did it for me was the over-the-top love for LeBron. Both he and Reggie Miller.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HOBBITMAGE… “Why don't you want to take what the defense gives you?” Hola, Hobbit. I would answer your question with my question: Why would you ever want to do what the other team wants you to do, what the other team has determined gives them the best opportunity to win? I prefer to impose our will on the other team, to play to our strength, to dictate rather than to react.
~
In this case, Jerry Sloan made a decision that the Jazz’ best shot at winning was to turn the game into a jump shooting contest by doubling and tripling our bigs. And frankly, he was dead right and the Jazz almost won the game. We played right into Sloan’s hands and were extremely lucky to come away with the win. In fact, it took considerable heroics from unheralded Lakers to win the game.
~
And while I do agree with Kobe’s comments that the quality of 3-pointers we took in this game were much better than those taken in the previous two games, that still doesn’t mean that shooting that many 3’s was the smartest or best strategy. We have enough weapons that we do not need to live and die by the jumper, which is what we did last night. We will adjust and take back the paint next game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

wesjoenixon

That was a very nice tune bro. I hadn't heard of Jansch, which is interesting since I was a huge Jimmy Page fan when I was a kid.

wes

Weird how certain artists stay under the radar --I'd never heard of him. Beautiful song.

Just for fun, here's another guy who stayed pretty invisible... disappeared to Canada during the draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uKGWpqnS8E

thank you for giving me the comment of the day!=]

WES … Thanks for the Bert Jansch link. Reminds me of two old-time favorite folkies of my time, Steve Goodman and John Prine. Great music to play while watching the Celtics vs. Cavs with JVG and his cohorts silenced. Man, I am really getting tired of Van Gundy and his antics. Can never forget the images of him helplessly hanging onto Alonzo’s leg like toddler. Go, Septics.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

I swear I'm the only Laker fan in the world that likes JVG. lol

Shaq looks like a large salamander/lizard from pre-historic times. the Shaqrex.

watching him shooting a free-throw is becoming really painful. the reptile on its legs reaching for the fruits on the trees

Hey guys we got a new post up

MM

usedto,

I agree a lot of people seem to "fly under the radar." I think the thing is, there are just so many legitimately talented artists out there, there is no way to be into everybody. There's just not enough time, even if you're just talking about a single genre. Youtube and the internet make it a little bit easier though.

John Hiatt is a guy a like, somewhat obscure, but he's also written a couple songs that others have covered and sold well enough. I remember hearing him in a bar in Orange County with about 30 other people maybe, amazing show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RWEseP-ouk&feature=related

Jac - No thank you. Your comment was very insightful and you deserved the nod

MM

MARK G… “I swear I'm the only Laker fan in the world that likes JVG. lol
~
I think you may be right, Mark. Aside from the fact that he is always hating on the Lakers, I can’t help being extremely annoyed by coaches turned analysts that have never won a championship and can’t even get another NBA head coaching gig telling us all of the things that Phil Jackson or Greg Popovich are doing wrong. If I’m not mistaken, JVG was fired from his last job and hasn’t received any offers.
~
While I am at it, let me also say I don’t like his brother Ron Jeremy either. I think both Van Gundys are overrated as coaches. They know too much basketball for their own good. They are technically proficient but don’t really know how to win a championship because they never have. And when push comes to shove, instead of holding steady like Phil Jackson or Greg Popovich, they over-react, over-think, and over-analyze the situation. SVG’s ill advised changing horses in midstream by playing an out-of-shape Jameer Nelson in last year’s Finals was a perfect example of what I am talking about. As are JVG’s constant contradictory and often conflicting statements as an NBA color commentator.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

wesjoenixon


That was a very nice tune bro. I hadn't heard of Jansch, which is interesting since I was a huge Jimmy Page fan when I was a kid.


Posted by: Mark G | May 09, 2010 at 01:13 PM


wes


Weird how certain artists stay under the radar --I'd never heard of him. Beautiful song.


Posted by: usedtocare | May 09, 2010 at 01:32 PM


Same here. I had never even heard of the guy, then some writer did a piece on the 10 saddest songs of all time, and that one was on there. It's an amazing story and an amazing song from an artist I had never heard one sentence about.


Wes

Used to care, that is agreat song. I love these hidden gems. How about ths one, something I picked up in Northern Thailand:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJcT0L61yzI&feature=related


Wes

Where's that CRAVEN jackal, who bogarted Derek Fisher's good name, DFish -- where is that obsessed tool? Come up from your hellhole and eat your miserable crow, you despicable, class-less troll!


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