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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 106-101 overtime victory over Portland Trail Blazers

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how Kobe Bryant helped carry the Lakers to a 106-101 overtime victory Wednesday over Portland.

--The Columbian's Matt Calkins extrapolates on Bryant's dominating performance.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding credits Bryant for the win.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford explains how the Lakers rallied against Portland.

--The Oregonian's Mike Tokito details the Trail Blazers' inability to stop Bryant.

--Notebooks

--The Times' Bresnahan highlights Phil Jackson's contention that the Sacramento Kings shouldn't move.

--The Daily News' Teaford provides a medical update on Andrew Bynum.

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner credits Ron Artest's contributions.

Columns

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues an angry and motivated Bryant spurred the Lakers to victory.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz wonders if the Lakers' win over Portland could have season-changing implications.

Blogs

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' victory over Portland.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell analyzes the game through a running diary.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore credits Artest's improvement.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano focuses on the efforts Artest and Bryant provided against the Blazers.

>Tweet of the Day: "It's not my decision. Hope not! >>RT @Cherrycloud98: @JeanieBuss do you see a trade happening for the Lakers in the next 3 hours?" -- Jeanie Buss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Saw improvement from the last game and from the previous road trip. I'm sure a lot of people watched the KCAL Broadcast, well the NBA Package on Wednesday night featured the TrailBlazers feed. With the score 87-80 in favor of Portland, the TrailBlazers sideline reporter mentioned during the TV timeout that Nate McMillan told his players 'Kobe Bryant is going to put his head down and carry this team on his shoulders, meet the challenge on defense'. Well, the Lakers went on a 24-7 run, executing offensively and met Portland's offense with Defensive intensity. It's what they call a signature road win. Nothing better than sitting on that bus heading to the airport, with a hostile road win in your back pocket. Great effort, let's wait and see if they continue to improve upon their good habits and try to stifle the bad habits." -- Sean

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) is congratulated by forward Ron Artest after hitting two free throws in overtime to help clinch a victory over the Blazers on Wednesday night. Credit: Don Ryan / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (45)

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@SEAN… Congrats on the Friedman. Mike and Mike are sometimes irritating but often have some good insights into the game – as you do, my friend. Keep the astute posts coming, Sean. You’ve quickly won a lot of admirers and friends. 39 wins to go (23 + 16) to Three-Peat.
………………………………………………….
TOM

From the Blazers Blog:

"There's been a lot of debate and discussion online, prompted by ESPN's Henry Abbott, our revered Blogfather, about whether Bryant is really as clutch as his reputation suggests. Abbott has argued convincingly that Bryant's successes stick with us while his failures are forgotten, and that his reputation has been built, in part, on volume.

The players tasked with guarding him tonight weren't having any of it.

"Yeah, of course," Blazers guard Brandon Roy told me, when asked if Bryant was still the gold standard clutch player in the NBA or if it was up for debate. "He's the guy that's been doing it better than anybody. I don't quite know what the debate is. What's the debate?"

A brief explanation of the volume argument wasn't going to convince a chuckling Roy.

"Yeah, he takes [a lot of] them. I don't know, there's nothing I can say about Kobe. He's just that good. Tonight he did it to us. He did it to us a few times earlier in my career. You just know when he makes shots, it's tough."

Roy stopped short of calling Bryant unstoppable but spoke with awe about his late-game mentality. "He takes it like he doesn't care if he misses or makes them," Roy told me. "Anybody who is shooting that fearless, it's definitely -- I wouldn't say unstoppable -- but it's something you worry about. No conscience. He's never had one."

Blazers forward Nicolas Batum paused in applying the "unstoppable" label, but eventually admitted that it often feels that way. "He is very good, sometimes, yeah, he is unstoppable, sometimes. You can crowd him, get on him, he's going to find a way to score. I don't know how. Only he knows."

Batum agreed Bryant is still the most clutch player in the NBA. Asked to elaborate, he paused as if it needed no explanation. "Why would I say that? Just what I've watched for the last 15 years. We know he's going to take the ball in the end. We know that. Everybody in the world knows that. When the game is tight, Kobe is going to take the ball and take over the game."

Reminiscing on L.A.'s final offensive play during regulation - a tough Bryant jumper going to the hoop with the clock winding down - Batum couldn't come up with any obvious room for improvement for Portland's defense. "I think at the end of the game, when he tied it, Wesley [Matthews] played good defense," Batum said. "Wesley played pretty good defense and he made a tough shot. Ask Kobe how many shots he's made shots like this in his career."

Clearly, Bryant's late-game successes can be as indelible for his opponents as they are for his legion of dedicated fanboys, some of whom serenaded him with MVP chants down the stretch, a sound not often heard in the Rose Garden. "

Wow, Laker fans have really low standards! We just barely beat a lousy team --- after we'd dropped 3 of the last 4 games -- this is no reason to rejoice.

RCOTD = SEAN = OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!

There is no better closer than Kobe with the exception of Air Jordan. I think the Lakers will three-peat for sure. Yes fo' sure they three-peet.

Happy for the win, for sure.
I would like to see better D. Let's keep it real, Portland missed alot of open looks last night.

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Remember the Lakers won last year with Kobe hobbled half of the playoffs and Bynum most of them. Also remember Ron-Ron was the best Laker player in game 7 and among the best in game 6. We needed 2 wins in a row and Ron-Ron was huge in getting them.

The Spurs are a great team this year but they have also been remarkably injury free so far. 2 keys for Lakers as I see it are our health (Barnes back, Bynum healthy, Pau rested and no new injuries), and Steve Blake getting some confidence. I thought the Blake signing was brilliant, and in the pre-season people were raving about him being the fastest player to learn the triangle ever, but he seems to just get lost when playing now. That HAS to change. He has to start contributing more on a regular basis.

This was a great game. Finally, we saw some defensive intensity and I think Phil has hit it a few times now about how important defense and rebounds are. I just wish we could pick up quick point guard because when we have our bigs in the game, it seems like their feet are attached to cement blocks. I would rather have real blocks or maybe even a tough clean foul to know the interior is not intimidated by these quick guards running around them like flies around elephants. We have a solid team but that would make it better. I even think Lamar should play point.

I don't drink insta coffee but in the mornings I like insta postings ;-)

If Ron starts to hit some 3s to spread the court, we'll be in a good situation. Or Blake or Shannon or Barnes

Quite impressive to me, was this:

=====
"Bryant appealed to Pau Gasol late in the game, telling him it was time to go to work.
Gasol had five points in overtime and finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

"He did fantastic," Bryant said. "I said, 'Pau, we need you to take this game over right now. This is what you're here for. It's me and you. Bring us home.' He did that."
===

While this may have happened in the past, I hadn't heard about it. I see this as a big positive. It shows Kobes maturity, it was a nice compliment as well as motivational.
Kobe telling a teammate that he (the teammate) needs to take over the game, wow!
I guess that shows he does trust he teammates when they can get results.
I liked how he trusted Durant as the All-Star game was winding down.

This approach should take them a long way, as long as his teammates deliver.

@Sean- Congratulations on the RCODT. Well deserved.

@Cyber- Interesting proposition to acquire M. Miller from the Heat. Particularly, because the Lakers were interested in him during the offseason. Needless to say he has been a disappointment in Miami.

While I think the Lakers are going to be fine with their roster, the ONE player out there that can help them due to his versatility is Tracy McGrady. The guy has been great for Detroit and can play the 1, 2, or 3. I wish we could send Theo or J. Smith to Detroit for him. I'd even give up a 2nd round pick to get him. He deserves a shot at winning a ring and would look in P&G.

MM, why are you moderating the blog now? It has been relatively civil. On another note, I sent you an e-mail requesting LakerTom's e-mail, and I haven't got a reply. Thanks.

Laker J - I'm just trying to get some order. For some reason I never received your email. Email it again and I'll pass it along to Laker Tom

What happened to Bynum yesterday?

A VODKA AND PERCOSET FOR ME MM! AND THE SAME FOR JUSTA!!!!

THE Latest buzzz........... Howard is leaning towards Miami next year. God only help rest of the league if he does!!!

If Ron starts to hit some 3s to spread the court, we'll be in a good situation. Or Blake or Shannon or Barnes

Posted by: Magic Phil | February 24, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Good luck with Blake.
Every year there is one Laker that just sucks and shouldn't even be playing more than 15 minutes, all the way back to Travis Knight.

Last year I thought is was Shannon Brown (this year not the case)

This year my LVP goes to Steve Blake

Hit a open shot!!!!!!!! Horrible waste of money, wasn't my first choice last summer.

Luke Ridnour was my first choice! It's too bad! Both make $4,000,000

2010-11 .457 fg% .440 3pt. % .908 ft% 5.5 apg 1.3 spg 11.7 points.

Steve Blake

2010-11 .371 fg% .372 3pt.% .852 ft% 2.1 apg .5 spg 4.3 points.

10-4


Classic end game. Hopefully, we won't need Kobe to don his cape too many more times in the reg season.

Best part? The other guys stepped up and made plays. Kobe did what Kobe does, but Pau made plays, Ron hit shots and LO kept rebounds alive.

clutch success = clutch confidence.


Ok LRob here's my cut for today and of course it's for...Yes, yes, yes, The Fabulous Justanothermambafan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2o3n34esf0 - Hello Like Before - Bill Withers.

Mornin' CRUE!
I'm very happy about that W last night.
Forget Portland, forget Wood - whatever.
The guys pulled together and gutted it out in a hostile environment.
Ron was THRILLER last night - I love it when that guy shows up!
Kobe turned into the BLACK MAMBA at the perfect time - scary!
Pau was the BLACK SWAN - I love that guy too!
All in all, a solid win. Still some things to work on, but you can see the grit and chemistry coming back into play. This bodes well for our 3peat - VERY well!
Looking forward to reminding the league just exactly which team in LA is the important one tomorrow. Sheesh - you'd think the champs would get the press, but whatever. Diss us. Forget us. We like striking when you least expect it.
GO LAKERS!!

sean FTW!! Nicely done. You really need to come onto the RC and hang with us here and there....

Mamba24 - thanks for thinking of me - I could use a vodka/percoset right about now LOL!

MM - thanks for your efforts in gaining control. Much appreciated.


HEY DAN LOUEMA!!!!!!!!!!
KOBE SAYS HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?????????????
HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I just had to do it - you know you would have done the same thing if your boys had pulled it out LOL!)

This trade deadline has really opened my eyes. As much as teams don't want to help out the Lakers, Heat and/or Knicks, it's far too easy to see the person that has really alienated himself is Mark Cuban.

He and Donnie Nelson are dying, dying for an above average wing player. And nobody wants to deal. Detroit turned them down (Prince), Denver turned them down (J.R. Smith).

The writing's on the wall, any trade would involve Caron Butler. The team who traded for Butler would than waive him and the Mavs would sign him 30 days later. Except no one wants to deal.


As much as we think teams don't want to dance with us or the Heat or the green jerseys or the Knicks, it's looking more and more like teams want to help out Mark Cuban even less.


Burning rhetorical question of the day???

Would Sonny Belfast remain a King fan were they to move to the OC?

Portland missed one wide open shot after another in the 4th quarter down the stretch. The Lakers defense was burned over and over last night. So other than Kobe going one on one and hitting some great shots. I wouldn't be too excited about this one. This was a Portland CHOKE job !!! They weren't even close to full strength with Brandon Roy back for his first game and looking very rusty, Marcus Camby out and Oden out for season. But for as bad as the Lakers are this season of course anything looks good !!!!

Baron davis just got shipped to the DONGHOLE of the nba they call cleve-land.. LOL... That'll teach him never to mess w sterling.. Good luck with his movie production ventures over there!!

@sean...nicely done with the Friedman!!....great job!!

@Larry of LA....I have paid particular attention to Steve Blake and have come away with the idea that he needs to drive the ball towards the basket more. He runs the offense well and is always looking to set up the Laker bigs. Although he is not a speed burner, if he would drive more, it would create alley-oop opportunities for the bigs as the opposing defenses react to his penetration. Steve has a little floater that would make him effective as he drives and would set up put back chances for his big men if he misses. Take it to the hole, Steve!!

For any Laker fan, a victory like last night's is sweet, indeed! Down 7 with less than 2 mins. to go, The Show found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat (cliche alert)! Kobe, Ron, Pau and the rest of the team did great jobs in securing the victory. The 4th quarter defense stiffened and the Lakers took advantage of some calls in their favor.

No doubt LA got away with a couple of fouls on Aldridge late in the game. But, the Blazers got away with a lot of contact on the Lakers all game long. Once again referee Leon Wood was involved in a lot of questionable calls. He's a very poor referee, IMO.

However, Wood did allow a lot of barking by the Lakers all game long. Particularly from Kobe. Earlier in the year, Kobe would have been teed up and ejected for his demonstrative arguments. Inconsistency with the technical foul rule is enough to drive any fan bonkers. It's nice to put a game like that in the win column, because it could have easily been lost.

@sean – congrats on RCOTD. Also I agree with you that Ron Ron can be better utilized offensively.

@Laker J – why would the Pistons want Theo or Joe Smith?

@NBA4ever – don’t throw in the towel on Blake yet. I still think his confidence will come around and he’ll hit some shots. He’s never been a scorer, but he’s certainly better than he’s been thus far.

@Mamba – Still Bill putting the Mack down smooth as ever! Excellent.

@S. Perkins – cue the violins.

mclyne,

Yep the refs were tough to stomach last night.

Nice one from the Boston Bad Boys. Speaking of the same old-same old, and since I rocked Nikki Sixx yesterday it’s only fitting to give the whole Crue their due… (I’m exhausting my metal selections…lol)

Motley Crue – Same Ole Situation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXG0q0qesRw

S Perkins....

You negative, negative person! Yes, the Lakers did allow the Blazers some looks from 3 down the stretch, but they completely took away the interior from the Blazers. They held Aldridge scoreless in the 4th quarter and overtime. They held the Blazers scoreless for most of the last 4-5 minutes. Yes, the Blazers had some good chances, but give the Lakers credit for the positive results in a hostile environment on the second night of a back to back.

P.S.....I don't know why I even bother with you. Obviously, your agenda is just to bash Fisher and not to talk basketball.

HEY DAN LOUEMA!!!!!!!!!!
KOBE SAYS HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?????????????
HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I just had to do it - you know you would have done the same thing if your boys had pulled it out LOL!)

Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 24, 2011 at 11:12 AM
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Justa - Don't rub it in on Dan the Man...its probably tough enough on him already :-)

I had some work done on my computer and lost the address to the RC. Can you repost it. Also what you got for today to celebrate the W?

@LRob here's RC Chat address: http://felipereis.com/lakerholic/

LRob - here ya go - http://felipereis.com/lakerholic/

On my way into work today, I was feeling a song that 63 reminded me of, but that I actually don't have on my iPod.... but here you go - GREAT jam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udyNr0pY6ak

@bronx- Yeah, we gave up some three's, so what, LA is a beast, and the more we got the ball out of his hands the better off we are. We gave up 3's based on ball movement and circuitous rotations. We won the game, Pau did LA in on the block, he really showed his scrappy side.

bronx, I have a question: Why does LO constantly play with fire with the refs? That young kid isn't that bad, and I know he tried to give LO the benefit of the doubt, he still had to keep on chirping.

The interplay really bothers me when this guys go directly to the refs during TV timeouts, and play the 'I don't know' card. That part really burns me.

Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green. Huge trade for OKC.

sean...

I don't know what Lamar said to deserve his tech last night. Maybe some magic words. But if no profanity was used, it seems that Lamar was a lot less volatile than Kobe was all night. Kobe was bitching and being very demonstrative all game long.

Lamar does his fair share of kvetching, too, as you alluded to. All the Lakers need to leave the refs alone and take out their frustrations on their opponents. This is the NBA, where poor officiating has to be expected and overcome.

I think Ron saw the All Star Game and Kevin hitting open shots when they were swarming Kobe. He thought to himself, "I can be that guy - I can hit wide open shots!" It is a beautiful thing. I have been waiting all year for somebody to step up and hit those kind of shots. If you hit them, Kobe will get you the ball.

Pau was once again aggressive and it turned into a tough W. I think earlier in the season Kobe would have taken a 3 and hit it and won or missed it and went home - not in this game. He took a safer shot and said, “Let’s play some OT!” He trusts his guys and they are stepping up.

It looks they are throwing the switch. The switch is called Defense.

I'll go with what we got, but I couldn't help thinking Mo Williams? All Star Mo Williams? Mo Williams who was their leading scorer when we played them last year? Don't we need a point guard who can shoot? Let’s face it, our guards not named Kobe have been struggling. Especially, I don't want to mention names, BLAKE (he was the team +/- looser with -15 last night). He took one shot in 17 minutes and missed it. Mo's numbers are down this year. He got hurt. He is a little bummed about being on the worst team in the league after being on the team with the best record. I think he is very talented. I know Phil doesn't like small guards. Phil is leaving. It doesn't seem like the Clips gave up a lot for him. Mitch?

Sean - congratulations on the RCOTD! I liked your Sasha stats. He is definitely a streaky shooter. It is hard for that type of shooter to get in rhythm when being played sporadically. We have all seen him hit three after three. He has had some great games for the Nets and some games that were not so great. I have always thought that if he was given more playing time, he would have been a lot better. He wasn't given a chance in the beginning of the season and it pissed me and a lot of other people off. He was playing pretty well at the end of the previous season - after getting over his injury. He played well in the playoffs and was a hero in Game 7. He was paid back with a ride on the bench. You may be right that he was seen as a loose cannon after the OK game incident. It seemed more than that. Phil lost confidence in him at the beginning of the season and stopped playing him. Shannon coming out of the off-season having improved his shooting probably was a factor in this. I don’t really imagine they will bring him back. I was just trying to start some conversation… ;-) He pissed someone off. I do think the team needs a real spot shooter though. Maybe Ron can step up and be the guy. He certainly was last night.

I look at Bynum and it is hard to understand why he doesn’t just leap in the air and stuff it on every play. I am glad he is playing good D and blocking and altering shots. I wish he would shoot more. At 7’ tall he will hit a high percentage of them close to the basket. He is a little tentative and meek on offense. He needs to dominate more. He should watch videos of early Shaq. Just slam it down over everybody!

It was nice to have a game where the opposing guards weren’t killing us. Fish has been bringing the D more and more lately. He is getting better help as well. He won the +/- with +25.

Shannon seems to be very inconsistent. He reminds me of Lamar before this year – some games great, some games lousy. He has mentioned he is having problems in his personal life. I hope he straightens them out.

I was happy that Caracter had playing time and it wasn’t a blow out. I would have liked to see Ebanks as well. Both of these guys are talented players who deserve a chance to play.

It is great to see us come out and play like we really want to win. I have seen this before though and then we come out flat in the next game. I am praying that this whole “give a crap” attitude is permanent – at least until the first half of next season… ;-)

I am a Lakerholic.

King Kobe,

"Wow, Laker fans have really low standards! We just barely beat a lousy team --- after we'd dropped 3 of the last 4 games -- this is no reason to rejoice."

Did you even watch the fricken game last night?

Portland hates us, was playing very rough and we managed to come back and take the game over in the last two minutes of regulation.

It was a great game and if you can't appreciate that, then you shouldn't post, because you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@Mamba24 - Well this is a surprise Roll Call today brother Mamba...now you went and got me all fired up...LEWSTRS Checking in...

@sean - congrats on the Friedman...

@Dan Loumena - Great game last night...We won, even you paid off the refs...lol

@LRob - I'm feeling confident today...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcnqzi1a0yo

@HEC - What about them Lakers...hehehe

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Nice to see Ron Ron play his game and be more aggressive...PJ's got him thinking to much which doesn't work for Ron. DFish & Blake are the keys to our championship hopes IMO, they both need to contribute more, especially on offense. Rest of the team is just fine, AB's coming along at his usual snails pace, Kobe and Pau and LO are monsters...and Barnes will help the bench. We should be fine if the team dedicates itself this second half to kicking some arse for the second season.

bronklakerfan good points. I am ok with Blake not scoring as long as he is a faciliator. He just seems like he is playing with so much pressure on his shoulders, my goodness if the Lakers do not win it is my fault.

Well there was also the Barnes signing. Maybe he needs to talk with Ron-Ron. Ron had ALL the pressure last year. And what did he do? Carry the Lakers the last 2 games to the championship. Blake needs to find his Lakers groove (which also means the other players finding their groove with him), which I think he (they) can, then we will be fine.

if Bynum would have tenacity aggressiveness and toughness that Perkins has LAKERS will be another team BYNUM still disappointed every body with not defense and not scoring only 6pts last game?? It's time to rebuild our team please!! new guard new center we are coming back to the days the KOBE has to do every thing (he is 32) We need guys like D. HOWARD C. PAUL. to take the post

Kobe is a little girl that cries when things don't go his way. The lakers should return the championships that they got from the NBA. till then I have no respect for the Lakers.


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