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Lakers have no answer for Phoenix reserves in 115-106 Game 4 loss to Suns

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It had long been thought the Phoenix reserves would prove to be the X-factor against the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

They made significant contributions in the regular season and playoffs. The Lakers' bench played rather inconsistently, mixing in moments of greatness with poor performances that either cost the Lakers games or placed more responsibility on the starters to close the game out.

Yet the Lakers had maintained that edge, holding a 19-point advantage in the first two games.

Fast forward to Game 4 Tuesday and you have a completely different story. The Suns tied the series at 2-2 with a 115-106 Game 4 victory over the Lakers, largely because Phoenix's reserves outscored the Lakers' bench, 54-20. Surely, there were other elements to the Lakers' loss.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant nearly had a triple double with 38 points on 15 of 22 shooting with 10 assists and seven rebounds, an effort that seemed almost wasted considering he attempted only one shot the first quarter. The Lakers also appeared more equipped against the Suns zone compared with their Game 3 loss, but the Lakers still worked for their shots, shot nine of 28 from three-point range and allowed Phoenix to cash in on easy baskets. But the Lakers could have overcome those problems had they not allowed the Phoenix reserves to make an 18-7 fourth-quarter run to close out the victory.

Instead, the Lakers loss guarantees the series will last at least through Saturday in six games, and the NBA Finals will start June 3. The Lakers still own home-court advantage and, after Oklahoma City tied the first-round series 2-2, responded in appropriate fashion by winning two consecutive games. But Phoenix will return to Staples Center for Game 5 Thursday with more confidence than after it left last week winless through two games.

After the jump is a breakdown of how the Sun's fourth-quarter run put the game away.

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Fourth quarter, 10:32 -10:23

After Phoenix forward Louis Amundson flashed up top to set a pick on Lakers forward Lamar Odom, Suns guard Leandro Barbosa pulled up for a jumper. Lakers guard Jordan Farmar tried to contest the shot, but he reacted too late, and the shot tied the game at 87-87. The Lakers would never lead after that point.

Fourth quarter, 10:15 - 9:47

On the next possession, Phoenix played in a 2-3 zone and prevented the Lakers from getting a good look. Farmar passed to Bryant on the left block but quickly met a double team. Bryant kicked the ball out to Farmar, who pulled up for a 26-foot three-pointer. The shot rimmed out, and Phoenix center Channing Frye grabbed the board. On the other end, Frye ran a screen-and-roll on Farmar up top for guard Goran Dragic. After meeting a double team from Farmar and Odom, Dragic swung the ball back to Frye, who zipped the ball on the far end to forward Jared Dudley. Lakers guard Shannon Brown confronted Dudley on the perimeter, but he pump faked and then drove the lane. Lakers center Andrew Bynum went to help, but he left Amundson open backdoor. Dudley then fed Amundson the ball inside for the easy layup, giving the Suns an 89-87 edge.

Fourth quarter, 8:16 - 8:07

Though the shot clock had gone down to three after Odom and Bynum each picked up a foul, Frye nailed an open three-pointer that Odom contested late. Dragic met heavy pressure from Farmar, but he managed to find Frye open with the Lakers mostly packing it in inside. The trey widened the Suns' lead to 92-87.

Fourth quarter, 7:33 - 7:20

Once Amundson set a pick on Farmar, Bynum went up top and switched on Dragic. After Dragic passed the ball on the far end to Frye, Bynum dropped back with Brown covering the paint guarding Amundson. That left Barbosa wide open on the nearside corner, causing Dragic to fire a pass from end line to end line. With Bynum in the paint, he tried intercepting the pass, but the ball sailed over his head. Bynum raced out to the perimeter once Barbosa caught the pass. But he had plenty of space and sank the three-pointer, giving Phoenix a 95-89 lead.

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Fourth quarter, 7:06 - 6:47

With the Suns still in a 2-3 zone, Bryant found Farmar on the near corner unguarded. As soon as Bryant fired the pass, however, Phoenix immediately shifted, with Dragic confronting Farmar. He fed an entry pass to Bynum, who quickly passed the ball back to Farmar as soon as Dragic slid over. After Farmar's wide-open three rimmed out, Amundson boxed out Odom and cleaned the glass. Moments later, Dragic ran the break, crossing past Farmar into the lane. Bryant caught up to help, while Brown confronted Dragic from down low. But Dudley stood open on the nearside corner. Bryant reacted quickly and contested Dudley's shot, but it went in and widened the gap to 98-89. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson called timeout and inserted Pau Gasol for Bynum, Ron Artest for Brown and Derek Fisher for Farmar.

Fourth quarter, 5:38 - 4:37

The timeout illustrated two things. The Lakers' substitutions showed Jackson's trust that his starters could help the Lakers stage a comeback. Alvin Gentry's decision to stick with his reserves as well as continuing to sit Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire showcased the Suns coach's trust in his bench. It turns out the Suns' strategy worked. On this play, Fisher didn't see Bryant flailing his arms up and down as he drove the lane and then cut to the nearside corner. With the shot clock down to five seconds, Bryant called for the ball again. But Fisher attempted a corner three, which Frye blocked. On the other end, Amundson set a screen on Fisher, Dragic dribbled around Gasol, and Amundson rolled inside. Frye then curled to the nearside perimeter and caught Dragic's pass before finding Amundson down low. He missed the lay-in but drew a foul on Odom, converted on one of two free throws and gave the Suns a 99-89 lead.

Fourth quarter, 4:54 - 4:37

After Odom missed his second free throw, Amundson fought over Artest for the rebound. On the other end, Dragic manned the point against Fisher. Meanwhile, Barbosa flashed across the lane to the far perimeter, while Frye set a downscreen on Bryant. Odom appeared oblivious to the screen since Barbosa essentially cut across the lane directly behind him, causing Bryant to curl around Frye to catch up with Barbosa. But Dragic found Barbosa open on the left block, and he nailed a jumper to give the Suns a 101-90 advantage.

Fourth quarter, 4:28 - 4:01

On the next possession, Odom drove baseline and fed the ball inside to Gasol, whose shot Amundson blocked. On other end, Dragic manned the point up top against Fisher, dribbled left, crossed to his right and then spun past Fisher at the free-throw line. Odom attempted to help, but Dragic switched to his right hand and converted on the layup, widening the gap to 103-90.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo, top: Phoenix guard Goran Dragic, left, takes a rebound away from Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during Game 4 on May 25, 2010. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo, middle: Phoenix guard Leandro Barbosa, right, shoots over Lakers guard Derek Fisher during the first half. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Photo, bottom:  Bryant takes control of the ball in front of  Dragic. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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The title of this one is all wrong:

Instead of "Lakers allow Phoenix reserves...." it should read, "Phoenix reserves take over game.."

If LA allowed the Suns bench to win, then why didn't they allow themselves to win?

Let's all tip our hat to Gentry for dismantling Jackson's triangle two games in a row now. Well done Alvin.


Ridiculous choice of photos.

I'm not freaking out or losing faith in my team. A couple observations that are negative, but I think these are all fixable in the short term.

1. There was a palpable effort gap on the part of the Lakers bigs tonight. Gasol, Odom, Bynum just got out-hustled every time the ball went up.

2. The Lakers were SO slow getting in to their offense. It felt like they were doing lazy passes around the perimeter from the first 15 seconds of the shot clock before *trying* to do something offensively.

3. Minor point: Artest has started hesitating again. He holds the ball for a few beats too long and throws off the rhythm.

4. Is the Amare-Nash pick and roll that hard to defend?

Mark Medina, thanks for the editing!

I just think the players are thinking too much right now. Most of them look lazy and unmotivated. This feels like a regular game to me, which is horrible because its the WCF. I don't see intensity in anyone besides Kobe. Yet again, we dismantled them in games 1 and 2, so we know we can do it. Game 5 will be the series changer, with the lakers being victorious. I expect a beating.

Kobe has been simply amazing. I feel lucky to root for a team with him playing on it. I can't believe how well he is playing in these playoffs. He deserves to be the MVP for many reasons. Without him, we would lose by 20. I wish Gasol had the same intensity and fire Kobe did. I love Gasol, but I wish he showed more of his emotions on the court. Same for Odom/Artest, we need to see that hunger, not just the talk. Actions speak louder than words. Odom can talk all he wants, but he doesn't produce, which leads people like Amare to throw comments at him (rightfully earned).

Regardless, I think this series prepares us for next big time.

*2009

Ridiculous choice of photos.

Posted by: Kevin | May 25, 2010 at 11:47 PM

just a TOUCH of MM bias

by the way. the sportscenter highlights?

Dragici leaving Fisher like the highway cone he is and also scoring against LO

too bad that Amare missed that strong dunk that would posterize Gasol's mug. now that will be a picture.

MM - did Gasol play in this game or he was in the fridge on the carton milk.

got milk? the MVP of the post season needs it. too much Spanish goat cheese. makes u slouchy.

how about PJ's rotation: watching Farmy and UPS blowing up the place.

Guys - The post is about the Suns reserves and their fourth-quarter run. Therefore, I'm going to post photos of the Suns' reserves. Those were the photos that were available.

MM

I have all the faith in the world in the Lakers. Just a few facts: Phil is 46-0 when winning Game 1 of the series, we're undefeated at home in the playoffs and all year against Phoenix (beating them by an average of 15+ points), Phoenix shot 32 free throws compared to the Lakers' 13 (42-20 in Game 3!!), expect that to change in LA. And I highly doubt the Suns who only rely on 3-point shooting are going to stop us from our mission (payback time against the Evil Green). I can't wait to go to Staples on thursday to watch the Lakers blow the Suns out! Lakers in 6!

Gasol is burned, tired. (42 min. last game.....) Pau has not help (Bynum, Dj Mbemba, Powell.... no been really NBA players) Against Boston i think Lakes no have any possibility (Pau against 4 bigs - Garnett, Davis, Wallace and Perkins) Impossible.

I imagine that KG,Perkins and Sheed are really shaking when they think about Paula Gosoft and the rest of the Lakers scary revenge that will be unleashed on them.

(if both Celts and Lakers make finals)

Showtime, "I can't wait to go to Staples on thursday to watch the Lakers blow the Suns out!" I agree, and I will see you there!


Hey, green asterisk, how about an asterisk for 2008, when the Lakers played your jackals without Bynum and without Ariza (only played a few minutes in game 6). Injuries are a part of the game. You would know this if you knew anything about sports.

Today the officiating was awful but Lakers will be fine! Lakers in 6! Lakers to the finals! Lakers all the way! Suns you're not going to be lucky the rest of the way as the Lakers will beat you up especially on Thursday's Game 5 at Staples.

MM

i thought the game starts with the starters not with the scrubs.

deflecting responsibilities?

Fisher/Gasol in ivory tower. glass shield?

the Phoenix reserves creamed the starters too. watch sportscenter. Dragici on Fisher. what a beauty. it's the highlight of the night!!!!!!!!!!!!

regardless if U, the rest of the media, PJ r sheltering and defending these 2 does not help. does not help them because they r delusional. and does not help the Lakers because they r losing games. and that is the said part.

it's not about me calling or pointing out Gassy's softness. does not win games. it's about you guys covering up the Chocker from Memphis. it's about the stubborn Fish playing with him and avoiding the HOT hand and trying to be HERO.

sincerely, if any of you think that Gasol and Fisher can win EVEN a Game, not the Championship, you BB IQ is NONE. ZILCH. under the supervision of PJ.

KOBE scored with 3 minutes LEFT in the 4th?

Shannon / Farmy did not pass to him. they jacked up shots and passed to each other. when the hot hand was there.

Fisher and Gasol were passing to each other and Kobe was watching? uncovered! i guess that's triangle. and not working.

even LakerTom who dislikes Kobe scoring, will fake it and will acknowledge that the HOT HAND should have the ball.

HOW HOT has he have to be?

why accuse the bench? what do you expect from the on the road. how many years of failure you need to see that they suck.

how can PJ watch this charade? game after game.

when will U ask him about it. we can see him watching and not even calling the TO in time.

the lead went down to 10 in the first half

the lead went down to 11 in the second.

when one of the worst defenses in the league, actually a SOFT defense makes Gasol look GIRLY, that's big trouble.

he is not soft. he is also totally gutless. there is no one who can argue that.

The Phoenix Defense makes Gasol look soft: it can't be lower than that.

that's bottom

Amare the non-defender, Lopez the scrub and Amundson an UNDERSIZED scrub.

and the same 3 r posterizing him defensively.

Amare looks better than Chamberlain/Shaq/Kareem/Hakim/Ewing (for the outside shot) and let's add Duncan: COMBINED. Against the Best Center in the World.

in the next game, to make a stand, PJ should start

Kobe
sasha
luke
JP
MBenga

to embarrass Lo/Gassy/Ron, AB and their loosing co-captain Fish

and keep DNP- coach decision both UPS-Farmy

maybe that will send a massage at Staples. and the crowd should boo them while on the bench.

this is the 2nd game in a row where the lakers have lost their composure in the 4th quarter. the game was there for the taking, but the lakers on the court didn't know how to take over the game. defensively, you have got to defend the 3 ball. yes, in quarters 1 and 3, the suns were an OFER in 3 point shooting. but in the second quarter the suns were on a rolL with the 3ball. once they hit a few of those shots, L.A. has to recognize that you can't leave the suns shooters alone with great looks. L.A.'s players seemed to never be in the right position on phx whenever they shot a 3, especially in the 4th quarter when phx hit 3 consecutive 3's in a row. speaking of 3's. maybe since L.A. is struggling hitting 3's besides kobe.....maybe p.j. can let sasha have a crack at shooting 3's. with all of the open looks the lakers are getting from the 3 point line, maybe they should let "the machine" take a crack of nailing some of those shots too. also, let sasha play some "pesky d" on phx. it seems like the lakers are lost on the defensive scheme out there.....well, they've got tomorrow to figure it out, cuz thursday is just around the corner. AND they better figure a way to get more rebounds and gettting to the free throw line. it's too bad, 'cuz kobe has played two consecutive "lights out" games, almost averaging a triple double in both losses. attention L.A. Laker players.......BRING YOUR "A" GAME ON THURSDAY LIKE THE BLACK MAMBA ALWAYS DOES! THEN IT WILL BE ALL GOOD!

The Laker "Bench Slobs" were back, outscored by 34 pts. & 10 rebounds! Paula Gasoft was back with just 5 rebounds playing scared against Suns real bigs?....Amare & Lopez. Lakers had 5 less offensive & 10 less defensive rebounds? Bigs looked like dazed Smalls. Gasol appeared afraid to spin to the basket and dunk? Gasol, Artest, Odom, Brown & Farmar did not play with enough intensity.....who told them 3 pt shooting was their strength? Are these guys afraid to attack the basket aggressively? Stop crying about fewer free throws! Lakers were half as aggressive as the Suns who earned their free throws! The game was lost because of poor team defense, sloppy rotations, and pathetic rebounding. Lakers gave up 20 points with the 15 less rebounds i.e. 15 fewer possessions. With SB & JF playing poor defense & shooting poorly Sasha should have been given a 8 minute stint or is Brian Shaw creating bench dissension?
Kobe has been frustrated by his unreliable supporting cast. He would have averaged 36 points and 12 assists with the supporting casts Lebron, Dwight Howard, Garnett/Pierce, or Amare have had. Lets hope Kobe does not have to give up shooting a full quarter just to get his team going in a Conference Finals!

If Farmer gets key minutes, so should Sasha, who's quicker and plays better, peskier defense, not to mention he's an upgrade from the 3-point line as well.

good points Lakeshowinphx, ross and Ludwig

Gasol had his FIRST, 1st rebound in the THIRD, 3rd quarter.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

I'm sure the Lakers team is glad to have left Phoenix for LA after a rather "defenseless" loss in Game 4. As a result, a lot of doubt has crept in the blog from Lakers fans about the team's state of mind as a defending champion.

Folks, remember that the Suns are a pretty darn good team that I expected the Lakers to struggle against prior to the start of the WC Finals, especially with their quick hitting style of play. For Phoenix, it's all about ENERGY (from their bench) and a quick PACE. The results for them were WINS...

Right now, the Lakers defense, for the most part, has not rotated well when it comes to the Suns penetration. Guys are not filling in the "vacuum" on team D as a unit (I actually saw this trickle in the latter part of the Utah series). This was real evident in Games 3 and 4, where the Lakers were outshot at the charity stripe (which tells one who is/was the aggressor). Allowing 100 + points isn't exactly "getting things done." It's as simple as that...

It's all about "dictating" the style of play from the onset. The Suns made the Lakers "react" too much defensively the last two games, which in turn has caused the Lakers to be unbalanced on D. It happens when an opponent "pushes" the issue with their strengths.

KB4, in the post-game interview, talked about how championships are won on the D side of the ball. Boy, was he irritated! It's on the Lakers to get it done...

Right now, with Bynum struggling with his knee injury, and the bench displaying "up and down" play (practically for the entire season), their team defense no question is going to suffer for stretches, and HAS suffered...

The key for the Lakers moving forward at 2-2 is to ratchet up the effort on perimeter D with CONVICTION, forcing Phoenix shooters to stay off the three point line at all costs.

Also, limiting Phoenix's ability to penetrate early in the shot clock (pick-and roll, screen roll), whether with Bynum or Odom in the paint as the last line of defense. Gasol needs the help defense on the backside to counter the Suns action offensively on drives to the hole via Nash. It's about TIMING and TALKING. It's not like the Lakers haven't faced this style of play before...

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Lakers will do just fine...They are too versatile and veteran of a team to IGNORE their responsibility on the "D" end of the equation when a key win is needed. Their offense also is quite good, when they mix it up with the inside-outside game with SIZE.

They are "who" they are, which is a team that plays multiple styles on both ends of the floor (which often causes inconsistency in their team play, but still very good on most days).

Furthermore, with the untimely media distractions involving Phil's future, nothing like a bit of added ADVERSITY to challenge a team still defending its title.

What makes the game of basketball so interesting to watch is seeing quality teams "adjust" to another team's action.

Listen, sweeps are nice, but so are winning CHAMPIONSHIPS! Teams who "get it" rise to the TOP after experiencing rough stretches that test their inner will to perservere..

I'm confident that the Lakers will GET IT...Like I said earlier, nothing like they've experienced before...In my book, they are CHAMPIONS in good and bad times.

Keep the faith folks, there is a lot of basketball left to play...Nobody said it was going to be EASY street...

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! Peace out!

Kobe is right about the defense. But I was wary when they started calling Gasol the best big man in the League. That is nonsense. The best big man will get deep position in the paint instead of floating around the perimeter. I know him and Kobe sometimes play pick and roll but go deeper Pau. He is playing like Dirk Nowinski but Dirk has a better jump shot. I expect our power forward and mostly center to go into the paint and try get Lopez into foul trouble. If Gasoft wants to play on the perimeter we might as well trade him for Nowinski.

Gasol got his first rebound in the third period?

Now thats pathetic

If he continues to disappears, then he surely is fools gold

why does Amare look bigger and bigger as each game progresses.
maybe it's becuz Gasol is one skinny boy

and the skinny boy is getting sand kicked in his face

Where are all the Gasol worshippers who say he's the most valuable Laker?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

no habla

sometimes it takes someone questioning ones manhood, like Amare was subject to, before they produce

Well I'm questioning Gasol's manhood. He's getting destroyed by Amare and Robin freaking Lopez.

Dirk is available
Amare is available
Bosh is available

Note to Pau Gasol
When the going gets tough the tough get going or are gone

I rather have a Bynum at least he has an excuse

Gasoft normally shoots a high fg % because he is in the paint. Now all game even plays not involving the pick and roll with Kobe he is 20 feet from the basket. Come on man!!I know Gasoft has a nice jump shot But so does Dirk Nowinski. Establishing some post position would get their only 1 or two big players in foul trouble. As a result two great all around games by Kobe was wasted. Odom look again like he wss not even there. I can't explain that bland expression on his face. Odom is efficient when he is screaming after effort plays or rebounds. Phil doesn't seem to be in control of this team. 32 3 pointers on sunday and 28 last night? I am sure that is not his game plan so why doesn't he make sure Gasoft gets into the paint.

Well if things take a turn for the worse, and they can, just ask the Spurs.

This is exactly what happened to them only the Lakers won their first two home games.

This is eerily creepy like that.

Where is Rod Sterling, this cannot be happening, I must be in another dimension.

One bad game by Kobe and this can be lights out for LA. As great as he is the man is human. Playing with a great one on one player like Kobe or LbJ is a blessing and a curse. This is because the other cast can sit around and watch. Plus they feel they can take the night off cause Kobe can get it done. Win or lose this year the Lakers should make some upgrades. Firstly, LA needs a solid point guard who can setup easy plays for others. Fisher is a calming presence but doesn't do that. Fisher can't even make a layup when he drives to the hoop he rockets that ball of that glass and prays for a foul to be called. I would let Farmar fly the coop. This is your contract year and you have a 50 year old man starting and this doesn't motivate you to shine? LA should seriously consider bringing Shaq in to back up Bynum. He is big and a good passer. Besides for the last 3 years Bynum has been injured right before or during the playoffs.

Talking to myself

Must stay in conTroll Man

Quiet Troll Man. Summer school is still in session.

So, I realise I'm a little behind, only just watching the game now, and only just posting...

but the thing that really stands out to me at this point is the fact that the entire game (I'm currently in the third quarter) has been played at the Suns' tempo; not ours. We just seem... . rushed. Disrupted... and everyone, Kobe excepted, is playing without energy.

Pretty disappointing effort.

There comes a time that a piano realizes that it has not written a concerto.

I’M STAYING!!!
Never, never, never, never, never will I, to my Laker team say goodbye
They ‘re entitled to get weary, they’re not Superman, We can still win it all, Yes We Can
They may not now play with inspiration, but I still support them without hesitation
I’m on this ride until the end and I’m not getting off even if a ring they don’t win
The Lakers have bought such joy to my life, how could I desert them in a time of strife
I may not agree with Phil on everything, but the man came back and we got another ring
You want to go back to Kwame & Smush, I’ll take a bird in the hand, not one in the bush
In just two years we have experienced more, than most other teams could ever hope for
Some teams have never won a Ring, but that does not stop their fans from hoping.
The Lakers have won 15 and will win more, so why the hell would I head for the door.
If you want to leave & take a pass, Then go don’t let the door hit you in the @zz.

*****
JUST A BLIP ON THE ROAD – STILL ON ROAD TO FINAL – BANDWAGON
*****
(01) JESUS SANTOS – OWNER Lakers fans are acting as if the series is over. It is a 7 game series and the teams that make it to the WCF are the two top teams. That is why home court ad is important and speaking of which last time I checked Lakers have it. Suns defended their home court and now Lakers have to come home and defend their turf. It is always entertaining to observe reactions of fans, despondent, ready to trade players, blame coaches and refs. It is not over yet, now we are playing best of 3 games. Stop acting like kids and stop looking into future, just be patient and future will come to pass, I promise soon. I only speak English, I don't recall ever speaking in Spanish and I always carry my passport with me.
(02) LETS’-GO-L’S –CO/ OWNER - THE BOTTOM LINE: The Lakers will do just fine...They are too versatile and veteran of a team to IGNORE their responsibility on the "D" end of the equation when a key win is needed. Their offense also is quite good, when they mix it up with the inside-outside game with SIZE. They are "who" they are, which is a team that plays multiple styles on both ends of the floor (which often causes inconsistency in their team play, but still very good on most days).What makes the game of basketball so interesting to watch is seeing quality teams "adjust" to another team's action. Listen, sweeps are nice, but so are winning CHAMPIONSHIPS! Teams who "get it" rise to the TOP after experiencing rough stretches that test their inner will to perservere..I'm confident that the Lakers will GET IT...Like I said earlier, nothing like they've experienced before...In my book, they are CHAMPIONS in good and bad times. Keep the faith folks, there is a lot of basketball left to play...Nobody said it was going to be EASY street...Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! Peace out!
(03) DWNTWN-ATTY – DRIVER - I'm not freaking out or losing faith in my team. A couple observations that are negative, but I think these are all fixable in the short term. 1. There was a palpable effort gap on the part of the Lakers bigs tonight. Gasol, Odom, Bynum just got out-hustled every time the ball went up. 2. The Lakers were SO slow getting in to their offense. It felt like they were doing lazy passes around the perimeter from the first 15 seconds of the shot clock before *trying* to do something offensively. 3. Minor point: Artest has started hesitating again. He holds the ball for a few beats too long and throws off the rhythm. 4. Is the Amare-Nash pick and roll that hard to defend?
(04)
(05) JAC – RIDING SHOTGUN - just think the players are thinking too much right now. Most of them look lazy and unmotivated. This feels like a regular game to me, which is horrible because its the WCF. I don't see intensity in anyone besides Kobe. Yet again, we dismantled them in games 1 and 2, so we know we can do it. Game 5 will be the series changer, with the lakers being victorious. I expect a beating. Regardless, I think this series prepares us for next big time.
(06) SHOWTIME – SECURITY - have all the faith in the world in the Lakers. Just a few facts: Phil is 46-0 when winning Game 1 of the series, we're undefeated at home in the playoffs and all year against Phoenix (beating them by an average of 15+ points), Phoenix shot 32 free throws compared to the Lakers' 13 (42-20 in Game 3!!), expect that to change in LA. And I highly doubt the Suns who only rely on 3-point shooting are going to stop us from our mission (payback time against the Evil Green). I can't wait to go to Staples on thursday to watch the Lakers blow the Suns out! Lakers in 6!
(07) LUDWIG – SECURITY2 - Showtime, "I can't wait to go to Staples on thursday to watch the Lakers blow the Suns out!" I agree, and I will see you there! Most of you clowns are not true basketball fans -- if you were, you wouldn't be calling this series done, in favor of the Suns in 6 games. That's just pathetic. As I called it in the Thunder series after game 4's disheartening loss in Oklahoma, the Lakers will come home and convincingly win game 5, and most likely, eliminate the Suns in 6 games, period, exclamation point.
(08) FISTERS – REF MONITOR - Today the officiating was awful but Lakers will be fine! Lakers in 6! Lakers to the finals! Lakers all the way! Suns you're not going to be lucky the rest of the way as the Lakers will beat you up especially on Thursday's Game 5 at Staples.
(09) LAKESHOWINPHX - BRING YOUR "A" GAME ON THURSDAY LIKE THE BLACK MAMBA ALWAYS DOES! THEN IT WILL BE ALL GOOD!
(10) MAMBA24 - Never, never, never, never, never will I, to my Laker team say goodbye They ‘re entitled to get weary, they’re not Superman, We can still win it all, Yes We Can
(11) TROLLMAN - MY BIGGEST GRIPE WITH THE OFFICIATING IS THAT THE LAKERS DONT GET THE SAME LOVE FROM THE OFFICIALS AT HOME AS THE ROAD OPPONENT. Coaches and players have every right to question officiating Poor or crooked officiating can also make a team look like wussies.
At home, the Lakers had 8 more FT's in one game and 10 less in the other In Phoenix, the Suns shoot 22 and 19 more FT's than the Lakers Someone explain to me why the disparity is so great.
(12) EJK - You gotta give the Suns a lot of credit. I didn't think they would even be a playoff team when the season started. They're giving us a fight now, which is what we need in preparation for the Finals
(13) VMAN - They played better, we lost. Next. It's 2-2 & here ‘s the trolls. As good as it is to be a Lakerfan, it's evidently good to be a Laker hater also. They only come out after losses. Should be all good after game 5.
(14) RDLEE - another horribly officiated game!
(15) MAYOR OF KOBE TOWN - The level of biased officiating in this game was off the charts. The team the NBA wanted to win won, and clearly had all the help they could get from the refs. 100% guarantee Celtics/Orlando goes to game 6. The NBA has lost too much money on these playoffs already, every series will be artificially stretched out in order to recoup their losses. Same old NBA, same old cruddy officiating. I mean really, we're supposed to buy this BS and just go along? Sorry, I have eyes. I can see Pau getting molested with no whistle and Almond-son going over the back and somehow that gets him two free throws. NBA = Professional Wrestling, only the players don't get to know the script. FIXED
(16) DJ855 - The reason why David Stern is helping the Suns win is that he knows the Celtics are going to win the series tomorrow and he doesn't want an entire week of no NBA games. He wants this series to go at least 6 games. The NBA is so fixed. I knew from the first few plays when the Suns were hacking the Lakers and nothing was called that the game was going to be fixed to let the Suns win. The NBA is so fake.
After the season, Bynum and Odom need to go. I'm sick and tired of their poor play. Artest was useless too. Odom is one of the dumbest and most inconsistent players in the league. He's totally useless. I shouldn't have even watch this game. The Lakers were able to sweep Utah because Stern had Celtics-Cavs series .
David Stern should have joined Tim Donahy in prison. NBA = WWE
(17) NUGGETS COUNTRY - I am so sick of watching TNT where ALL of the commentators are rooting for anybody but the Lakers! I guess the Lakers will never get another call this post season. The hacking going on the Laker bigs not being called looked like the fix was in. Barkley is a moron. He knows very little about basketball - he just pushed his big rear end to the rim - never and D.
(18) PETER - The league wants to extend the series..I guarantee Lakers win Thursday & then win in Phoenix on Saturday...They won't extend it to 7 games for the risk the Lakers may lose the series...So obvious!
(19) PASSIONATE LAKERFS FAN - The Lakers outscored the Suns in the paint 42 to 32. Yet the Suns shot 32 freethrows to the Lakers 13? The Lakers will win in six. The Celtics will win in six. And yes, the league is fixed. I used to watch the NFL every Sunday. I will only watch a NFL game every now and then.
Why? The Seahawks vs Steelers Superbowl was rigged. I will longer watch the NBA regular season.
Why? The NBA is rigged. The Lakers and Celtics will play for the championship. However, stretching the series is so sad to see. Money. Money. Money. Sad.
(20) JJ IN LA - Lakers getting hacked left and right and no calls. The suns barely getting touched and the whistles are blowing. This game was called so one sided to the Suns its ridiculous. I'll give it to the Suns that the Lakers can't figure out the zone and its throwing them off their game, but at least let it be a fair fight with fouls. Lets see if there is some home cookin with the refs in game 5 back in LA. Also, lets hope the LA Fans can give the same energy in the arena that the Phoenix crowd gave their team.
(21)

Oh well, no joy in Lakerville today.
This is looking like the the OKC/Lakers series, but it looks like the Suns are better than OKC, certainly the Suns have a darn good bench.
I figured Lakers wouldn't shoot 58% on the road like they did in LA.
Suns were the aggressors and got the calls, fair enough.
Free throws again and the Suns get the rebounds 51-36, whew.

Lakers seem to have real difficulty getting the ball inside so keep settling for the outside shots which would be fine if they would make them.

Suns have a D that's working so until the Lakers can beat it expect to keep seeing it.
Hopefully back in LA the Suns shots won't fall as easily and the Lakers will.


MM,

From the article above.

"The Suns tied the series at 2-2 with a 115-106 Game 4 victory over Phoenix,"

The Suns beat Phoenix??
:)

If Mamba24 would pull up the original "not worried" bandwagon, you'd see that I already expected this...

losing game 3 = losing game 4, it's going 6

I'm somewhat worried that they don't have time to find an answer for the zone.

And it was UPS that stunk it up, not "farmy"
When Farmar came in, miraculously the ball got around - to a slashing gasol, to a cutting brown, to lamar

Guess what they did with it?

Kobe, the one man wrecking crew DIDN'T get the ball!!

Offense worked superior w/ Farmar but the guys couldn't complete...

Ultimately we were better off having worthless Fish passing the ball around the perimeter and turning it over whenever he tried to get the ball to anyone BUT Kobe.... but only because at that point Kobe took matters into his own hands playing 1 on 5 - made me think of 2006 again. It's awesome he can still do it.

Fisher, on the other hand, cannot.

They need to solve this with no time between games. Once they do, it's over and done with.

If Mamba24 would pull up the original "not worried" bandwagon, you'd see that I already expected this...losing game 3 = losing game 4, it's going 6
Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 26, 2010 at 05:47 AM
*
AND THE WINNER IS ...TIM-4-SHOW!!! You are absolutely right brother and I salute you.
MAMBA24

*
NOT UPSET AT ALL ABOUT 1 LOSS TO SUNS - BANDWAGON
*
(01) EASTCOASTJESSIE - OWNER - Surprisingly, I'm not too upset or surprised by the loss last night. Game 3 is always the toughest game to pull out for the visiting team simply because the home team is playing the 1st game in front of their crowd. I expected them to play with much more energy and aggresiveness on their home floor. I always said this would be a 6 game series but after watching the Suns play their best game last night and be tied or up by just a few points most of the game, I say 5 games now. This will most likely be their only win in this series.
(02)ROCKY - DRIVER - We will beat the Suns, then we will be in a position that we haven't been in since we had Kwame Brown; we'll be the underdogs. While it does not please me that the C's are back on top, I think being the underdog going onto the Finals will probably be a good thing for the Lakers. The Lakers under Phil Jackson have always played their best ball when there is doubt, when they are the underdogs.
(03) LONGTIMELAKERLOVER- RIDING SHOTGUN - Not worried, even a little bit. I expected PHX to get some home cooking, and despite how bad we moved the ball and shot, we still scored 108 and it was close 'til the end. To quote someone above, "Lakers in five still works nicely."
(04)
(05)PEACE - SECURITY - I'm disappointed after every Lakers' loss. But if that's what it takes for the Suns to beat LA the rest of the series, so be it. They're 2-5 against the Lakers this season. They'll have to win 3 of the next 4.
(06) MAMBA24 - REPLAY OFFICIAL - If they aren't that upset I guess I'm not either
(07) CALIPHILOSOPHER - REFEREE - Actually, IF we make the finals (since I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch), there is a possibility of our team winning the championship.
(08)TOM DANIELS - DIRECTOR OF TUESDAY WIN # 3 - Not worried. Lakers won 8 playoff games in a row. They lose a game on the road to the Suns, a great home team that did, after all, make it to the conference finals and had their backs to the wall. Lakers did a good job early on weathering the Suns' strong emotional start and actually winning the first quarter. But Amare's agressive game was effective in scoring and (more importantly) in getting the Lakers' bigs in foul trouble. The zone got the Lakers out of rhythm and gave the Confidence. And the game got away.I think this is Suns' only win.
(09) ART-FL LAKER FAN - Director Win # 4 Thursday - Game 4: take care of the ball, cut down on 3's, drive. Seems the Suns are going to dare the Lakers to beat them from outside. What else is new?
(10)HOBBITMAGE - BYNUMS BIGGEST FAN - had expected PHX's best punch this game. I had expected a fall off in the shooting of LO & Artest. Lakers in 5 still works nicely.
(11) TIM-4-SHOW - It was the difference between this being a 4 game series and a 6 gamer.Close out in PHX Hopefully I'm wrong and they find some heart in game 4.
(12)JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - KOBES DUNK COACH - Does anyone really think The Show won't make the appropriate adjustments and win Game 4? Really? I can't believe the Lakers will let a very close win by the Suns in 1 game to defeat them mentally for the rest of the series. Our guys are in it to win it. Period. The only question is how bad are the Suns going to get beaten by in the next game? And the one after that? We have a date with destiny people - and the Suns are not in that equation.We have a date with destiny people - and the Suns are not in that equation.
(13) HALOSANT - Look, I was hoping, as well as all of the Laker Nation, for a Sweep. But hey, the Suns came out with some heart. What do expect... we're the ALL MIGHTY WEST BABY!!!! Our teams have PASSION and PRIDE unlike most of the WEAK EAST teams... we won't mention any names, right Orlando, Cleveland, Milwuakee & Atlanta? Celtic Fans, don't get your panties wet just yet... who the hell have the Celtic's beaten so far? All of them essentially "One-Man" teams like the Lebron-aliers and now the Orlando Howard... you know damn well the Lakers are not just a "One-Man" team, although we do have "THE MAN". Keep up the DREAM that this "one" loss means you can beat us in the Finals... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
(14) KEIFO – PENALTY OFFICIAL - Lakers take tomorrows game by at least 15 go lakeshow!!!
(15) TODD – NO NONSENSE OFFICIAL - Ok so the Suns are not chumps. However, its unclear they can do it again. Amare was "lucky"
(16) MAGIC PHIL - put me in the NOT UPSET AT ALL ABOUT 1 LOSS TO SUNS – BANDWAGON The Suns went 42 times to the FT line, that's not gonna happen again tomorrow.
(17) MAYOR OF KOBE TOWN - THE MAYOR - I've heard of Home Cooking, but last night PHX had the equivalent of a 2 star michelin chef cooking a 7 course meal in their house.
A player (Lopez) INTENTIONALLY strikes an opposing player, in the HEAD, with his ELBOW (an ejectable offense to say the least) and is given only a technical foul, as is the other player who did nothing but get hit in the head. If Lopez isn't suspended for the next game we'll know something is up. The NBA can't be happy with these series all ending so quickly, unfortunately their attempts to extend it can't even be called "thinly veiled" when you look at the free throw totals.
(18)EDWIN GUECO - JUDGE/JURY/EXECUTIONER - tell the Laker nation not to worry too much of the loss. We need one in order to be humbled because we have a tendency to be over confident. It was just a month ago when Lakers were not given a chance to be in the WCF, it was Nuggets, Mavs but we're here.
(19) JON K – LUCKY STOOL OWNER - I can somehow live with losing by 9 when the opposing team has 22 more freethrows. 7. I'm worried about Andrew Bynum... a lot. I was impressed by Kobe and Phil's maturity and calmness during their interviews. They are not panicking... at all. . I originally picked the Lakers to win in six. I think that the Celtics' success and our domination in the first two games took my mind out of reality and I began to be affected by my fellow Lakeraholics' enthusiam and I assumed sweep. Now, back to reality. How the heck did Stoudemire score 42 points? Really? Onto the next game!
(20) MR.NANO –I expected our team losing the next one too, although they are totally cappable to win it. As yellofever said, it was similar to the game 3 in OKC... and i may add, a couple more from 2008 to the present. I can see a pattern there, so that's why i told that we'll win in 6. Is something mental in our team, and that is expected, in my opinion. BUT that worries me if we go to the finals. That can be the decisive factor confronting the C's. And that's the coach team job, to end those "lapsus". Is good to lose from time to time, it make us to have our feet on the ground.
(21) VMAN - ONE Game The outcome is still inevitable.
(22) TROY – Lakers in 6.

(23) THE SNAKE - At around the same time last year, we were 2-1 against DEN in the WCF. We'll be fine.
(24) D(erek)J(eter) - I want to be on the 1 loss-no big deal Bandwagon, butttt it does concern me just a little. I still am thinking Lakers in 7. I will admit I am a fairly cautious person. Obviously game 4 will show us a bit of what we are really made of.
(25)

Just a blip? Hopefully. But why a blip at this point in the post-season? Blah, blah, blah. No team can win every game. We know that. But why does a team lose the games it loses? I'll concede Game 3. The Suns returned to their home floor, their fans gave them energy, they played harder. OK.

Game 4? Sorry. This was the second game in a row where the team, as Phil Jackson likes to put it, didn't play basketball the right way. Kobe was more specific. His teammates were so busy trying to figure out the zone, they lost their concentration on defense. He was also far more direct and far more blunt: "Our defense sucked."

I have never seen Kobe so pissed in a post-game presser. I've asked myself if it was an act to send a message, but I'm convinced it was genuine.

Let's break it down.

1. They lost concentration on defense. To me, that's saying they can't walk and chew gum at the same time. The Western Conference Finals aren't like summer basketball camp 101. There are no rookies in the Lakers rotation.

2. Mark Medina's White Paper (above) on the breakdowns. Stunning in its accuracy. For most of the game the Lakers were a step too late and a defensive stop short. Failure to defend the 3 was a big difference in the final score.

3. The failure of the bigs, especially Gasol and Odom. Weak, weak, weak. They were killed on offensive rebounds. The Suns wanted it more, pure and simple. Several beat reporters noted in tweets during the game about Kobe yelling at Lamar, more than once. Odom has played two consecutive games in a fog. Gasol could barely maintain his composure in his post-game trip to the media room, checking his notes, seemingly quaking in his boots after being chastised (as he deserved to be).

4. The failure of the Lakers bench. The middle finger has already pointed at Odom. UPS was 1-7, Farmar 1-5. I know Phil Jackson has ten rings and I have not, but where was Sasha? I'll take his arrogance over Shannon's tentativeness any day. Where was Mbenga? When Kobe's on the floor, I'll take his offense and let Mbenga play some defense when Gasol and Odom are napping during their minutes.

Mamba24(Larry). I love you, but we don't need another bandwagon. We know the sky isn't falling. We Laker fans are already doing our part and supporting our team. We expect them to go all the way and will cheer them on. Good grief!! A blogger calling himself "God" even showed up on the live game chat. But there's no excuse for the Lakers failures in Game 4. When the Mamba24 named Kobe Bryant is pissed at his teammates, so am I.

@Abe Frohman

>>>I imagine that KG,Perkins and Sheed are really shaking when they think about Paula Gosoft and the rest of the Lakers scary revenge that will be unleashed on them. (if both Celts and Lakers make finals)<<<

LOL! Don't forget too about Sasha and his "¡Ole!" defensive skills :o)

Mamba24(Larry). I love you, but we don't need another bandwagon. We know the sky isn't falling. We Laker fans are already doing our part and supporting our team. We expect them to go all the way and will cheer them on. Good grief!! A blogger calling himself "God" even showed up on the live game chat. But there's no excuse for the Lakers failures in Game 4. When the Mamba24 named Kobe Bryant is pissed at his teammates, so am I.Posted by: Rick Friedman | May 26, 2010 at 06:31 AM
SO SAY WE ALL
LET IT BE SAID -LET IT BE WRITTEN - LET IT BE DONE

Mamba24,

>>> SO SAY WE ALL.

Does that mean I can sign you up for the "WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER BANDWAGON BANDWAGON" ????

lol!

i'm all out of words! everyone has had something meaningful to say about last nights loss........THURSDAY NIGHTS GAME 5 WILL SEPARATE THE MEN.......FROM THE BOYS!....... I BELIEVE THE LAKERS WILL BECOME MEN AGAIN!

Does that mean I can sign you up for the "WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER BANDWAGON BANDWAGON" ???? Posted by: Rick Friedman | May 26, 2010 at 07:03 AM
LMAO!!! Stop it Rick! Stop it now! LOl!
Mamba24

!....... I BELIEVE THE LAKERS WILL BECOME MEN AGAIN!Posted by: Lakeshowinphx | May 26, 2010 at 07:23 AM
*
Just so long as "Justa" don't, I'm cool with that!.
Just playing with you Justa don't hit me. You said I was your favorite member of the Mamba Family...OW, OW stop it justa. lol!
Mamba24

Did LTLF really talk me into singing Farmar's praises again? Did that really happen? LTLF, you should be a politician. You could sell ice to an Eskimo!

Why are Farmar's quarters 1-3 so different than his 4th quarters? He was playing so well the whole game, then he got trigger happy in the fourth. Did he just panic when PHX went on that mini-run? Did he get overly arrogant, as in "if he can shoot indiscriminately, so can I!"?

But, then again, when Kobe was on fire, no one passed him the ball starting from about the end of quarter 3. They should have rode Kobe all the way home in that game.

LBJ better think about that this off-season. That will NEVER happen to him in Cleveland. He'll always get the ball when he wants it in that city.

Frustrating, but not at all unexpected. Benches play better at home. Period. Our bench outplays theirs at Staples. Theirs outplays ours in PHX. That is normal. It is the main reason teams covet Home Court Advantage. Our bench will play better at home. Kobe will be Kobe. We'll win.

Thanks a LOT LTLF!

--FEARless

BTW, Kobe just went into one of the most dreadful (for him) venues to play basketball. The source of some of his most bitter defeats and came out of the two-game set nearly averaging a ridiculous 40-point triple-double. Talk about exorcising your demons!

But, even with all that effort and brilliance, he managed only two more even more frustrating losses. He's gotta be thinking that no matter what he does, good or bad, that it is simply tough to win in PHX. If ever you can have sympathy for a killer, this is the time.

Kinda feels like I'm watching Dexter...

--FEARless

Games like this really show the difference in talent level between regular nba players & superstars. Kobe goes 15-22 FG with most of his shots contested while Artest & Co. miss wide open shots over and over. I go to rec centers and see regular joes hit wide open shots left and right while pro millionaires struggle. Mysteries of the world.

freshwally, great point! does anybody in nba take a greater degree in difficulty of shots, like KOBE? NO! and the mamba makes it look so easy. i shutter to think how bad these two losses would have been without #24's almost triple-doubles?

Can somebody please tell me what just happened? Why do the Lakers turn the opposing team's scrubs into All-Stars? Maybe the Lakers can shoot 40 3's in Game 5 and really blow it. Two more wasted brilliant performances by Kobe. How can the first 2 games mirror each other so well, and then the next two games are the opposite image? Same success, same failure. I'm so mad right now.

20FL

Lamar only plays halfway decent when Khloe is around! You can expect him to show up in Staples! Otherwise, his ass is M.I.A.!!!

We need to man up -- with our no defense playing asses!

real talk!

Sad news for Lakersdom...
Well, games 3 & 4 just revealed the many flaws with our team:
1. Phil virtually threw away both games & here are the reasons:
- In the 2nd qtr of game 3, when LA was ahead by 7 points, he overrested Kobe by 5 mins. That allowed the suns to seize the momentum and take the game.
- In the 4th quarter of game 4, Phil overrested Gasol for 5 mins. By the time he was fielded back into the game, the Suns were already uncontrollable.
- His specific strategy to make Kobe pass the ball and shoot less to involve everyone early will work only when the rest of the team is delivering. Unfortunately, they weren't delivering. It was worse in the 4th qtr. That alone is a major reason why they lost the last 2 games. Kobe is the star player and when he starts hot, he must continue shooting. When he stops, it will take awhile before he starts finding his range again.
- The last thing any coach would want to happen is for the opposing team to acquire momentum and confidence. It is on these occasions that the star player must seize control of the game. Let Kobe do his thing. Make the rest of the team adjust to the tempo that Kobe will bring into the game. Defend like real men do. We are the defending champs aren't we?
2. Gasol must show championship toughness in both ends of the court. Amare was scoring at will!
3. Odom was his usual inconsistent self. Did the Lakers erred in retaining him and releasing Ariza? He must justify his position in the team. He must bring order in the Lakers offense and defense.
4. Brown must have more playing time. Brown's size advantage will negate Nash's play-making ability. Farmar is so erratic while the Fish is too slow to guard anybody. Fisher must be reminded to shoot or pass the ball quickly. There were occasions when Kobe was yelling at the top of his lungs just to tell them he was free to shoot.
5. Bynum must be reminded to play like a man even when he is hurting. He must play like a champ. Jump Forrest, jump!!!
6. Artest must be reminded that when he is given the ball on moments when time is winding down, he must shoot. He has been tentative many times in this series.
7. The Lakers must always be wary of 3pt shooters especially when they are up against a team teeming with sharpshooters.
I hope the Lakers can still make the adjustments... Or it will be the Suns vs the Celtics in the finals.

MM

Do you realize a lot people use their smartphones to interact with the Blog?
Mamba24 with his excessive word dumps is killing the joy of the blog. Mamba24 consisently exceeding the size of your orginal post.

You need to limit any submission to a maximum of xx lines, may be 20.

Tony from Sactown

You guys are a bunch of clowns. The lakers did not throw the game away, the suns bench mopped up up the floor with the lakers bench and starters. And as far as the suns scrubs as one of you a holes would describe them, they are the real deal and last night proved just that.

PJ is using a 3 man bench rotation that cannot defend or get an effective shot on their own, except Odom. Taking 3 point shots is an admission of their inability to get a better shot. PJ needs to involve DJ and Sasha who will play defense and get closer to the basket.
Why do the bench guards not pass to Kobe during game when he is hot?
Tony from Sactown

Wow, I still believe in my lakers, but their bench could be a starting 5 for a lot of NBA teams. When they get hot, they get really hot. It would only take one off night from Kobe and a night of their bench showing up for us to lose one at home and be in a close out game for them in PHX. We need to wake up and take this team serious!


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