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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson: 'I'm concerned'

The Lakers have been winning, but not in a way that satisfies Coach Phil Jackson.

They beat Utah, 104-99, in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, but Jackson centered on their inability to extend, much less hold, a 14-point lead in the second quarter Sunday.

The Lakers led by eight going into the fourth quarter but ended up down four with four minutes to play.

"I'm concerned," he said Monday. "I'm a little concerned that we're not filling in the gaps as quickly as we are. We get a 10-point lead and we get kind of content to stay in a 10-, 12-point lead instead of really pushing it on to the next level. That's been something that's come back and hurt us in the course of this year. That little instinct to break games open and keep putting them down, we saw that exhibited in Game 5 here against Oklahoma, but we didn't do it [Sunday] in times when we had the opportunity."

Jackson found fault with the Lakers' reserves, who were on the court when Utah started making its run early in the fourth quarter.

"Our bench has to come and play," Jackson said. "They have to be a little bit more responsible with how they're going to play, more dedicated to creating shots for others and the team aspect of it."

Jackson was more optimistic when talking about Kobe Bryant, who scored 31 points on efficient 12-for-19 shooting.

"We liked his game," Jackson said. "I don't know from one game to the next whether you can just rule out any question about getting back. Kobe at the end of the game met that challenge, and I think it was terrific."

Bryant had 13 points in the fourth quarter, making seven of seven free throws and scoring on a driving layup with 22.6 seconds to play that put the Lakers ahead, 100-95.

-- Mike Bresnahan

 
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Well, Phil's concerned regarding the bench; he should have been reading the blogs. It's not like it's a new development, they've been pathetic 90% of the season!!! WAIT UP MAN.

My bad "Wake up Man".

2PHATT,

The bench play has been inconsistent ever since December 2008. Sure they had their shares of good games but again inconsistent. He has given Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown lots of minutes as many bloggers have demanded yet again in times where the starters have played well there has been more times where they coughed up the lead instead of extending it.

"He has NOT given Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown lots of minutes as many bloggers have demanded"

^^I fixed your typo Blitz. Now it's accurate.

To everyone else, does watching the septics and crabs make you feel more or less confident that the Lakers can get it done this year?

For me, I'd answer positively more.

eh, whatever...

good win on Sunday, another game tomorrow.

oh yeah, and thank God for Derek Fisher!

repost

i'm sure this isn't the best clip, but it's the best one i could find in the time i figured it was worth-

my caption 'But I don't want to be a pirate!'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9GhI-53k3E

or perhaps

'I said I'd wear this?'

KB Blitz, Do you feel this lack of bench reflexes on the assistance coach's or a combination of talent is overrated, lack of communication among the bench players.

Thanks to the blogger in previous threads who reminded us that Fish has just about been the only Laker not injured this year. The oldest and yet the most durable. A great credit to all the work he must put in to keep himself in condition.

I've been watching Fish since he was a rookie. He has never been the quickest PG even in his best younger days. He can never give the type of entry passes that Magic or even Luke can deliver because he's just 6'1".
But he has always been strong and used his head. Sure he does make mistakes but perhaps it's amplified because he does not make that many.

Fish is not the type of individual player that any of the Big 5 of the Lakers is in terms of talent and ability, but when the whole team plays good team defense and team offense, Fish holds up his end of the court. He's the kind of player that is not going to turn a team around but if the team is playing well, he's still good enough. I haven't really seen that many games that the Lakers have lost because of Fish. When he's performed badly it's when he has not gotten the team play that he needs to succeed. A Kobe Bryant can turn a whole team's fortunes by himself, Fish is not like that but neither are 10 of every 12 players in the NBA.

Thanks to so many of you for replying to my question a couple of threads back.

The responses were really interesting. There were basically two groups:

1. Some of you said that the problem was all the injuries. True, that does make it harder to play well, but does it affect the effort level? And there have been enough games where they did play well despite the injuries that I don't accept this as a valid explanation. (Remember how hard and how well they played when both Kobe and Bynum were out for several games.)

2. Others said that there was something wrong with me for being disappointed with the Lakers' level of play when they are still winning. I have two responses:

a. With the talent advantage they have over most other teams, they simply don't have to play to their capabilities in order to win. And they usually don't. I love the game of basketball, played at the highest level. It's disappointing when a team that is so talented takes so many games off, and fails to play at that level, or even to provide any semblance of that level of effort.

True, no team is going to play at that level every game, or for an entire game. But, for example, the 80s Lakers, in MOST games, decided to bury their opponents, and they did, playing exceptionally well in doing it.

The current Lakers bury almost no one, and they certainly play at their best far less often than the 80s Lakers, and far less often than almost every other team at their level of talent, other than, of course, the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

b. If you read the GameChat as the games are going on, you'll find MANY MANY MANY people expressing the very same level of frustration that I feel with this team.

Many of you get VERY angry when the the Lakers play poorly, seemingly without effort or enthusiasm, or when they fail to play team ball. Because you are such strong fans of the Lakers, many of you take it just as personally, or more so, than I do.

And yet, now, some of you who post this way on the GameChat are condemning me for expressing the same things away from the game? It's as if, when the Lakers finally win the game (as they usually do), those feelings are erased from your minds.

This is the part that seems really odd to me, since I have read expressions of these same feelings on the part of most of you during the games, yet you seem to forget about it afterwards, and blame me for saying basically the same things. This is the part I don't understand.

Wow, Celts have no chance, 5 against 8! Anyone watching that game? Celts can't literally touch the princess or his friends, VERY obvious!

Celts have 16 fouls, Cavs 4, wow!!

DJ - yeah I'm watching. And I'm disgusted. But what do you expect? Darth Stern is at the game so what else would you expect from his henchmen? The favoritism is so blatant it makes me want to puke. It also makes me want to pound the princess and her minions into the floor. If the Lakers are watching and are as ticked as I am, it's going to be a lot of fun IF we see her in the finals.

If Phil Jackson is so concerned, why did he leave the Brown, Farmar, Walton, Powell, Bynum line-up in there while the Jazz were making their comeback?

Coach is playing his mind games again, hopefully it works again.

Go Lakers!

This ref thing this year is really, really bad. The home team is getting every call. Every call, every game. I'm even tired of the Lakers getting all the calls they do, because I know as soon as they leave LA, they won't be able to sinff a guys sneakrs without fouling out.


Wes

After watching the 2nd game of the Cavs/Celt series, I'm not at all impressed with either team.

If the Lakers can get out of the west, there's a very good chance they repeat as NBA champs.

OMG - I just watched the princess do the BIGGEST, HUGEST, most obvious TRAVEL in basketball history.

Result?? No call. Not one ref noticed.

Reggie fricken Miller noticed. But the refs?? Nope. Not one.

Abso-FREAKING-lutely ridiculous.


I am without words.

Also, as I said before, I don't see the Cavs getting to the finals. In fact, I don't see them getting passed Boston.

I agree the Cavs look very beatable right now, but if they come back and punk the Celtics again like they did in Game 1, it wouldn't be a good sign. Right now I don't feel the least bit bad about rooting for the Geriatrics.

Mark G - you don't? I am full of self loathing right now lol!

Boston beating the Cavs only means a longer series. GOOOOO SEPTICS!!!!!!!!!!

JAMF, Nah, I'm good sis.

Man if Troy is right, and Cavs can't get past Boston this year, you'll see a mushroom cloud over Cleveland.

Laker Tom,

Gotta have as healthy an Andrew as possible for the next 2 rounds. If an operation doesn't fit the schedule then I trust Phil's gonna monitor his time by the second. We can put the Jazz away without having to risk further inflammation of that knee, so, I'm assuming Phil thinks it best to keep him in the flow. Good to see him pushin' through it, great learning experience for him.

And I pick the Cleveland cavaliers to win the NBA championship. I am so brilliant.

Troy,

re: the Cavs making it to the finals. I said the same thing to a guy at the gym.

To Everyone else,

Yes, I'm watching Cavs vs. Celts. Yes, I saw the travel.

re: the guy at the gym. I think he's overly impressed with LBJ because of the
stats. As I've said many times: There are lies, Damn lies & statistics.

APOLOGIES to all Laker faithful but GO Green!
cheer expires midnight 5/3/2010

Unlike some, I believe this series could very well go to a 7th game. The Jazz showed Sunday that they can compete and they've proven to be a tough out on their homecourt this season, and have improved their road play as well.

This latest injury to Drew concerns me, despite his willingness to play thru it. If he becomes ineffective I don't see a repeat and they could very well struggle to win this series. I think they'll need both Drew and LO to play at a high level in order to repeat.

Still pullin' for 'em to go all the way to a repeat though.

Mark G - regarding the mushroom cloud over Cleveland - it really would be the merciful thing to do. Listening to Jon K's stories about the place, I think it would be doing the USA - no I say the WORLD - a favor LOL!


BUT - I'm still conflicted. Cheering for the weeners is unholy. It's the antithesis of everything I believe in. It's just plain wrong.

And yet....

5 against 8? im seeing an even game of early flops and moving screens and the infamous "Crab Dribble". the Celts turned up the defensive intensity and they are now rolling. my hope for this series, they beat the snot out of each other. dont care who wins. Go Lakers

P.S. Jimjoyce, i can honestly appreciate what you say now, but only a little bit. i can admit that during games i talk so much ish that it would make a Nun want to pull out her yard stick ninja style. however, when they win in the playoffs, be it by 1 or 100, a win is a win. im not blind to our teams problems, but they are my team, just like my longtime GF, i love her no matter what....unless she cheats on me, and the only way id feel like that with The Lakers is if they skip town, which isn't even plausible.

I just can't see the Jazz giving the Lakers a series. As much respect as I have for D Williams, and he's a monster, the Jazz just don't match up well even when they're healthy. And they are not healthy this year.

I know the Jazz are tough.

I know they're well coached.


I still say sweep. We got this.

JAMF, I just channeled Chick Hearn, and he said it was OK!

Cavs down by 23, "We are all Witnesses!"

hahahaha, yes Mark, we sure are

I'm Not hearing any MVP chants..LMAO!!!

Mark G - wellllll.... If Chick says it's ok, then I guess it's ok...

Still - I'm gonna stock up on Pepto & Tums, cuz you never know when my dinner may make a reappearance...

JAMF, lol, it's true, Rebounds are good but not when it comes to food.

ELBOW GATE. LMAO. LBJ WILL DOMINIQUE TO KOBE'S MJ.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Shaq looks sad, I love it. LMAO, I hate to admit it but I'm vindictive.

I just got in from the workshop and now have the game on. I'm looking on as an impartial observer. Kind of like watching sewer rats eat something that could be toxic. Obviously the septics are playing through the refs. Now if the court would burst into flames or get swallowed by a sinkhole (or Krakin) it would much more interesting.

JR

Cavs are getting a MAJOR beatdown at home at the hands of the celtics.


Wes

Its getting UGLY..Oh no thats Paula..lmao

Geez, I took a peak at the ESPN live blog, some Cavs fans are already throwing in the towel. They're worse than our Chicken Littles!

Lakers overachieving???? What do you call the Cavs tanking tonight? Best team in the NBA, best record, MVP all in one team.
What can you say about this mighty Cavaliers team, Jim Joyce?
It's not just the Lakers. It's every team. It happens. Learn the game. Dont just watch ONE team.
Can you imagine if the Cavs were the Lakers tonight??? It's the end of the world!!!

And Phil Jackson feeding the negative fans. LOL. Same old Phil!

Geez, I took a peak at the ESPN live blog, some Cavs fans are already throwing in the towel. They're worse than our Chicken Littles!

Posted by: Mark G | May 03, 2010 at 07:29 PM
=======================================

I guess there are chicken littles everywhere not just LA. LOL. If only our chicken littles read their blogs so they can see themselves how ridiculous they all sound like.

JR - I know what you mean re: rats eating something that could be toxic. LOL!!

It's kinda like a really bad accident. I HAVE to watch. I can't help it.

mti312, I agree. Even in the 80's, Magic's teams didn't win every game. The last year he won a ring, every series went the distance. I think the Lakers played 3 straight series with a game 7. The Lakers got beat by 34 by the Celts in the finals one year. It's a myth that the 80's Lakers were perfect.

too little too late.
Now if the Celtics were the Lakers in tonight's game, oh boy! The negative boys will be freaking out right now!

I meant "underachieving" on my earlier post btw. Sorry :(

Its getting UGLY..Oh no thats Paula..lmao

Posted by: ChicNstu


OH NO YOU DIDN"T!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!

Lol, damn, if Cavs win this, everyone will say it's fixed.

mti 312

Lakers overachieving???? What do you call the Cavs tanking tonight? Best team in the NBA, best record, MVP all in one team.
What can you say about this mighty Cavaliers team, Jim Joyce?
It's not just the Lakers. It's every team. It happens. Learn the game. Dont just watch ONE team.
Can you imagine if the Cavs were the Lakers tonight??? It's the end of the world!!!

Totally agree. However paula and her friends again put the Cavs
in the game

Cavs on an 13-0 run. Celtics lead by 12. And the Celtics turn it over again...oh my. The Celtics just led by 25 a few min ago.

This is starting to remind of the year we came back on the Blazers at Staples.

JAMF, pass the Tums please!

Ah,

so the Lakers aren't the only team to give up big leads ....

Paula and Garnet seem so old

TY, Paula!

Mark G - there are not enough Tums in all of Southern California to handle this mess.

I say: The Cavaliers are not as talented as the Lakers. They usually play harder, for more of each game, than the Lakers do. The Celtics are talented too, and they play hard as well. Either team can win that series.

More importantly, though: Nothing I have said relates to how the Lakers or any one team plays on any one night. What I say is this: The Lakers underperform compared to their talent more consistently than any other team. That is the reason the cavs had a better record than the Lakers this season. Night in and night out, they care more about winning. If the Lakers cared as much as the cavs did, the Lakers would have had the better record.

All the experts throughout the day on every sports channel and every sports talk show were drooling over LeBron and the Cavs. They already had them crowned as champs!!!

Now they're making excuses for LeBron and his elbow. Kobe has played almost the entire season with several injuries and yet he continues to play through it without making any excuses. Don't get me wrong, LBJ deserved the MVP, but Kobe is still the warrior and defending champ!!! Nuff said.

Cleveland Cavs best team in the NBA. I am so brilliant.

This would be a Choke of Mythic proportions.

Nemaia - I could NOT agree more.

This whole "elbow-gate" is nauseating.

Did any of these idiots ever mention Kobe playing with a broken index finger on his shooting hand????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. All they did was talk trash about how he's getting old. RIGHT.

Bring on the princess. Bring on the geezers.

Let Mamba show you what's what.

Guys - I need some help.

Which do you like better?

Princess?

or

LeChoke?

Chick would call a game and put it in the fridge.

How do the Septics call it? Put it in the toilet?..

LMAO Chic - you, sir, are on a roll!!

More importantly, though: Nothing I have said relates to how the Lakers or any one team plays on any one night. What I say is this: The Lakers underperform compared to their talent more consistently than any other team. That is the reason the cavs had a better record than the Lakers this season. Night in and night out, they care more about winning. If the Lakers cared as much as the cavs did, the Lakers would have had the better record.

Posted by: jimjoyce | May 03, 2010 at 07:41 PM
===========================================
Just like you , I want the same thing but if you have been following the NBA you'll know best record is only for show. Ask Dallas and Seattle. The Lakers were victims too of having the best record one year and not winning.
All that matters is now. The Lakers advanced the first round and ahead 1-0 in this series. So, until we lose, I wouldnt worry.

JAMF- thank you. I'm here till tuesday.

Celtics spanked the Cavs. Boston is a tough playoff team. Frankly, between Cleveland, Boston and Orlando it is a tough call in the East.


Boston would be a more fun match-up. And for some reason I love seeing LeBron lose.

JAMF- thank you. I'm here till tuesday.

Posted by: ChicNstu | May 03, 2010 at 07:50 PM
=====================================

Dont forget to tip your waitress!

Game over
I think the Cavaliers need Saq for the play offs.
I hope not recover this season.
Princess is impossible to win the ring without.

Jon K
Spanish translation troll is troll
I saw you concerned about that word.
Trolls are universal, not only are American or Spanish.

Îs Barkley crying YET?

Phil is right, what the hell happened to the Bench Mob? Focus and play together, bring the damn noise again!

We Were All Witnesses.....TO A WHOOPIN' hahaha

the media and david stern are praying for LA Cleveland series but for some reason out of nostalgia i guess i would always prefer a LA/Boston championship.

there is nothing like watching a LA in the Garden screaming beat LA and seeing Kobe come down and drain a 3 deflating all the air out of the crowd.

this would probably be the last chance for a LA Boston series of any meaning since the big 3 are really on their last legs. however there is a whole lot of ball to be played in both conferences and this year has been pretty good so far.

right now i'm rooting for the suns because i don't want to see SA in the playoffs.

Crabs lost!!! So happy to see the princess sorry face. What is so funny is that the princess is imitating Kobe again. Apparently, she does not want to discuss the elbow gate because there is really nothing to discuss. On the other hand Kobe does not want to discuss his multiple injuries because he is not making excuses.

After watching the Celts-Cavs, I am feeling more confident that Lakers will be able to handle both. My only concern will be the officiating if we face the Cavs. It is too tempting for the NBA to hand the throne to their chosen one.

Justa, the most obvious travelling by the princess was not seen by any if the refs. It's so obvious that even my young son asked if you are allowed to do that in basketball.

No MVP chants for the princess. Jon K, no free burgers from the princess? *LOL

They need to trade Fisher for Derek Rose. Throw in Odom and Brown. Rose, Bryant and Gasol = three more Cs...

Problem is the Laker's just cruise through games. Phil makes bizarre substitutions or doesn't when he should.
The biggest weakness LA has is the bench. And it has been for two years now. Leaving them in going 1 for 9 and letting the Jazz get back in the game is poor coaching.
LA should be burying the Jazz and get some time off. No sense of urgency. With Bynum injured he should have the surgery like Roy did and take 10 days off. Get back in case we do make it to the WC Finals. Blowout the Jazz and get Kobe the rest he needs for his knee.
And my opinion about the Cav's is they are going to have a real tough time beating BOS and ORL is the team to beat out East.

We Want Tacos!

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

The Cavs are a team that is built for playing fast, loose and free during the regular season.

They are not a team that is built (mentally) for the playoffs.

Teams that win in the playoffs don't spend the regular season dancing on the sideline, doing group poses for imaginary cameras and gesticulating histrionically everytime a three point shot is made.

That mentality falls apart against disciplined playoff teams.

If the Cavs made it to the Finals against the Spurs (neither team will make it that far), the Spurs win in five games.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Cavs are leaving Boston down 3-1.

Series 4-2 Celtics.

Magic beats down Celtics in Eastern Finals.

Lakers/Magic Finals.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

how could Artest go from knowing what to do in the first half to not knowing what to do in the second half? He needs to cut to the rim, catch the pass or rebound in motion and, be a bowling ball, and score in the paint. that's been working, yet he reverted back to jacking up 3 pointers, and no rebounds?

Lamar, please talk to Ron-Ron. Tell him to be careful cause did you see Luke stealing minutes away from Artest?

Bynum, now you are earning your money, I hope you can learn to shoot flat-footed.

Injuries are the one thhing that can beat the Lakers. And OK my wife and I are biased Laker fans, but I swear that my JV Basket ball teams in the 60's and 70's had better officiating than what I've seen so far in these playoffs. Kobe with 0 free throws? then a whoppinf three? Pau looks like he's been in an Ultimate Fighting Ring and still very few calls by the anti Laker hoard of Stern's pin Stripes. Stern has let it be known "Don't allow the Lakers blow out their opponennts. They are the NBA's best draw and we want 6-7 out of them every series.

Justa:

I like "LeChoke" better than "Princess Jimmmy."

See you at the live chat tonight.

Go Lakers!

Have not said anything in a long time. Can't hold it in any more, thought I would wait until the season was over. But right at this moment it look's like there is just so many dis-functional teams in the NBA it just amaze me. The ref's man where did they get these guy's. Have they been here all the time and have gotten worse or what. My team the Lakers with so many injuries and so many bad players(our bench) where are we headed. Thought we would get it to gather but just to many (wantabe) the best and not enough team work. Farmar, Walton, Powell are they going to be with us next year, hope not. But any way whichever team get's hot will win the rings, and at this moment the magic appear to be that team. Unless they come back and play like all the other team that's remain in the play-offs. Oh well thought we was going to be easy for our repeat, but I was wrong this is going to be tough. Just thought we had to much talent to lose to any team in the world but there may be someone better this year.(Where is Azia.)

Every time labrick does something bad, it's that darn elbow.....not making excuses, but the elbow....lol

PJ left bench in because they have to have some accountability. It's a team game and it takes a team effort to win. You cant just depend on starting 5. L.O. IS the bench. If he just gave consistent effort each game -- we all know what the end result would be. Odom hid for most of Thunder series. Was outplayed for the most part by Ibaka/Collison. When u have a 7 ft Odom settling for jumpers what message are u sending ur guys? I'm not being aggressive so why should i expect u to be? DWill said basically they want to continue to push the pace and be more aggressive against the LA bench. They feel that is where they can be the most successful. It almost worked in Game 1.

I watched the Cav/C's game and honestly neither team looked that impressive. I actually think the C's may win unless Le B beats them single handed. When you consider matchups we look good...Bynum can abuse Shag who has developed a serious case of white man's disease, he's slow and has got like 6 inches of lift. Pau will destroy Antione at PF who is a crap defender, Kobe vs Parker at the 2 spot - no contest, Mo isn't scaring anyone at PG, and Le B is the only bright spot but he'll have to drag Ron Ron all over the court for 48 minutes. Odom > Verajiz and his girly hair. Keep in mind the East has only 3 good teams so the top 3 records are inflated over the regular season. The 8 seed in the West is a 50 win team. Plus there coach is dumb. Considering the refs were trying hard to keep the game close the Crabs really looked trbl (Dumb Chuck rhymes with Dumb F***) Can some body please shut that fat boy up. CP3 looked like he wanted to jump out of his chair and B Slap the Chuckster for dissing him on National TV.

First of all, I have to comment on something LeChoke (Great One justanothermambafan) said before their series started with the Keltics. LeChoke said the Keltics talk a lot of smack and trash.

Oh! So what do you call your dancing? I guess you think it's OK to Trash Dance, but NOT Trash Talk!

Last time I checked, non-verbal communication (such as Stare Downs after a Dunk) get T'd Up Just As Quickly as Trash Talk.

LeChoke, You're a Kitty (Synonym for P"$$Y) if You're Crying About That!!!! Maybe he should be called LeKitty instead of LeChoke! Just a thought.

Secondly, how long do you think LeChoke/LeKitty will be a name in this league? He's 25 and can't adapt his game yet? So far, everything he's learned from the neck up has been from his experience playing with KB24 on Team USA.

As he gets older, his body build is going to present more physical issues than KB24. He's what, 280? He's naturally big and there isn't room for dropping much weight. The impact of his size will impact his longevity. More injuries to deal with.

KB24 has the brains and natural ability to adapt to physical rigors of the game on his body. He's done it consistently throughout his career. It took 4 injuries --finger, back, ankle and knee-- for him to at times look somewhat human at 31.

>>>Phil is right, what the hell happened to the Bench Mob? Focus and play
>>>together, bring the damn noise again!

I'll tell you what happened to the Bench Mob on Sunday - they played well in the second. At the start of the 4th, they repeatedly passed the ball in to Bynum in the post, just like PJ coached them to, but Bynum bricked 3 short shots and turned the ball over once.

Don't blame the bench mob if they do what Phil coaches them to do and the one starter on the floor chokes. Bynum usually shoots 50%. If he had DONE THAT in the 4th, then the 8 point lead would have only dwindled to 5 points by the time Kobe and Pau came back.

>>>Phil makes bizarre substitutions

I'll say it again...

Phil has 10 championships

You have ZERO.

What you consider "bizarre" has worked consistently for Phil for many years.

You're like Emperor Joseph in the movie Amadeus telling Mozart that his music has "too many notes".

Jon K,

>>>Teams that win in the playoffs don't spend the regular season dancing on the
>>>sideline, doing group poses for imaginary cameras and gesticulating
>>>histrionically everytime a three point shot is made.

I couldn't agree with you more. And don't forget the river dancing.

Several times I've watched all the goofiness at the start of the game (not to mention LeBron taking shots from half court) and then have LeBron brick free throws near the end of a close game, in some cases contributing to a loss.

I always think, "Hey Bronnie, maybe you should have been practicing your free throws before the game instead of prancing around like you've never played in the big leagues before."

Jon K,

>>>Cavs are leaving Boston down 3-1.

Could happen. Cleveland is good enough that they could conceivably pull off an upset victory in Boston, but not if Mo Williams shoots 1 for 9 and Anthony Parker shoots 2 for 7 and Shaq shoots 4 for 10. Boston did a great job of stifling everyone but LeBron. If they do the same thing in Boston, then...

>>>Series 4-2 Celtics.

>>>Magic beats down Celtics in Eastern Finals.

I think that one could go either way. Unlike Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson has stepped up his game for the playoffs. But Boston are all healthy and have their defensive mojo, at least for the moment.

BTW. On players added mid-season to the Celtics and Cavs...

Nate Robinson never came near the floor until it was absolute garbage time. He didn't play at all in game 1. He may have some skills as a scorer, but Doc now sees what I could have told you all along: KryptoNate can't play a lick of defense.

Marquis Daniels, who was brought in last year to solve their backup PG problem also sucks.

In fact, I'll say it: the Celtics may have a great starting PG, but their backups can't hold a candle to Fish or Farmar or Brown.

And there's something I was saying when everyone was ranting about Antawn Jamison when the Cavs acquired him. It's pretty much the same story as Nate. Antawn on the floor gives them more potential post scoring, but he's a terrible defender. If Varejao plays 36 minutes and Jamison plays 36, instead of the other way around, then Garnett probably scores 10 instead of 18. And Sheed probably scores 7 instead of 17.

Anything that takes Varejao off the floor for the Cavs is giving an advantage to their opponents.

Justa,

I prefer LeBronze to either LeChoke or Princess Jimmy.

Before Kobe joined the U.S. team, a team with LeBron was good enough to get a bronze medal, but no more. Add Kobe and they get the gold.

Same thing is holding out in the NBA. Kobe wins the championship last year, while LeBron had the third best team (behind the Lakers and the Magic).

>>>Farmar, Walton, Powell are they going to be with us next year, hope not.

I guarantee you Walton will be back. He's under contract. Farmar & Powell it depends on how much they're willing to take in pay, what sort of offers they get from other teams, and whether or not someone better than either of them is willing to join the Lakers for almost no money. The Lakers have up to an MLE to spend, but with the huge Kobe, Pau, Lamar, and Drew contracts don't expect them to spend it unless they can get someone really good (think Artest good) for that money.

>>>But any way whichever team get's hot will win the rings, and at this
>>>moment the magic appear to be that team

Yeah, it's who's hot in the first two rounds that really matters... like last season when the Cavs swept the Pistons and the Hawks in the first two rounds by an average of 14 points. It was obvious from that that they were going to win it all.

Wait, what? They didn't win?

uhhhhhhh HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

@jimjoyce
True, no team is going to play at that level every game, or for an entire game. But, for example, the 80s Lakers, in MOST games, decided to bury their opponents, and they did, playing exceptionally well in doing it."

You nailed that Jim. One other Laker team consistently buried the opposition, for an entire year, and was rarely challenged: '71-'72 champs. Sure a different league then, different style of ball played in those days, less parity than today, etc. But that ability to win so convincingly most nights, rarely playing down to the level of the competition, over the course of the same grueling 82 game schedule as today, sets those teams apart from the current.

But this team, with it's core remaining intact, has the opportunity to match and exceed those other great past Laker teams...if they want to.


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