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Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Ron Artest discuss Lakers' 106-90 Game 5 victory over New Orleans Hornets

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Jackson's pre-game press conference where he explains Bryant's decision not to have an MRI and x-rays

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

Lakers guard Derek Fisher

Lakers forward Ron Artest

--Mark Medina

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My favorite Quote from Kobe explaining why he did not want an MRI or X-Ray.

"So it would have been a waste of time to go all the way up there and do that and then sit in the 405 traffic for two hours."

Orange County's favorite son.

Go Lakers! let's finish this round on Thursday!

When are the Lakers at their best? When they are balanced. It means the ball is moving, the bigs are active (ESP on the glass), the subs are contributing. Last night was a great, balanced attack.

Fish really stepped up in the first half when the Lakers needed a push. Kobe rose up in Q2 to take the game away. The bigs contributed at both ends. Shannon played well.

Kobe still looked rough at times on D, but his shooting, shot selection and those two throwdowns were huuuuuuuuge.

That dunk last night was absolutely perfect. It's amazing how one play can change the course of a whole game.

I have to give Ron Artest props. Not for his citizenship award, which is a huge accomplishment for Ron and mental health, but for his play. Ron finally seems comfortable in the offense. His spot up 3's are going down, he knows where to be to hit the offensive glass, and he plays big in big games. The defense is always there. Ron Artest is just a great story considering where he's come from.

But there is no doubt who the driving force of the Lakers is: Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!

Go Lakers!

Rocky, that Kobe dunk?....It was a life-changing moment for me....I will never be the same again. I think,.... I'm.....I'm ...I'm starting to cry.

"When are the Lakers at their best? When they are balanced. It means the ball is moving, the bigs are active (ESP on the glass), the subs are contributing. Last night was a great, balanced attack."

Tom, I couldn't agree with you more. I've been saying that since the series started.

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!

"Fatty - Who's auditioning for a LA Times staff writer job"

LOL. The LA Times, along with ESPN would, would put that post on the front page.

I've been saying this all year, but here it goes again, "It's best to trust Kobe".

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/columns/story?id=6435316

It seems Medina was "misguided" yesterday in questioning Kobe YET AGAIN. You DO NOT question this man, this breathing living legend of the game. How many injuries does this man have to play with, and how many rings does this man have to get before writers and fans stop questioning his basketball knowledge, his skills, and his will to win another ring. Our blog leader, Medina, will continue to doubt this man, and ask misguided questions full of doubt and hate, but we Laker fans know better. In Kobe We Trust!

GO LAKERS!

GAME MVP to second unit.

That Kobe's dunk is our 3-peat! It will be this year's most important play for the Lakers. A fitting exclamation to silence all doubters and haters. Mind over matter, that's what separate KOBE from the rest. Enjoy the ride people, it's going to be lotsa fun!

Fatty,

Before Kobe's dunk, we have to give credit to Shannon Brown who was the one-man team there who tried to close the score from 9 point diffrence, however it was Kobe's signature dunk that capture the moment, the crowd at Staples and the energy of the team. Shannon can be good and also bad at times. he needs a lot of mentoring from our Lakers legend PG's maybe from Norm, Coop or words of advice from Magic. Once he gains confidence he could be a game changer player. Give also Barnes/Blake the credit for their defense against Paul, constant grabbing for the ball or just shadowing him while Drew is on the lookout when he comes nearer to the post. I also saw help defense from players going through screens and try to touch the ball from Paul, which resulted from t/o especially when Artest is around him.

Sir Charles also mentioned the why's on the disappearance of Okafor and Landry in this game. Being a power forward himself, he describe the intense pressure being boxed out, blocked of and overpowered in the post. At a certain point, the body could no longer sustain the pressure and just gives up. Maybe, this how a boxer feels in 11th round after receiving plenty of body blows in the early rounds.

Didn't see the game last night. But the starters were in double figures and the Laker Bigs chipped in about half of their points. When that happens it is virtually impossible to beat LA.

NO needed two all-world performances at PG to take 2 games in this series. Of the gauntlet of PGs LA may face ahead, CP3 may be the best. So this series may help the Lakers adjust to a general matchup problem at the 1 that cannot be fixed.

But the key long-term is rest. LA needs as much of it as it can get between games and between series. Days off in the playoffs are worth their weight in gold. Ask the Celtics. Here's hoping for an LA closeout and POR victory to take DAL to 7 tomorrow nite.

I'll start watching in Round 2.

NBA PLAYOFF EFF STATS
...........................................................
EFF = Pts + Boards + Assists + Blocks + Steals
– Missed shots – Missed free throws - turnovers
...........................................................
Player | EFF | EFF per 48min | Ranking
...........................................................
Andrew Bynum | 19.8 | 30.43 | 20th
Kobe Bryant | 17.8 | 24.3 | 27th
Paul Gasol |17.2 | 22.76 | 31st
Ron Artest | 14.8 | 21.36 | 39th
Derek Fisher | 11.8 | 16.81 | 54th
Lamar Odom | 11.6 | 20.26 | 55th
...........................................................
Chris Paul | 32.8 | 30.1 | 1st
...........................................................
TOM


>>>My favorite Quote from Kobe explaining why he did not want an MRI or
>>>X-Ray.
>>>
>>>"So it would have been a waste of time to go all the way up there and do that
>>>and then sit in the 405 traffic for two hours."

Actually, I thought the followup line was even funnier - he said something about "Why do you care? Even if I did get an MRI we wouldn't tell YOU the results."

:-)

Kobe Bryant's left-handed mamma-jamma-thunderclap-supernova-wrecking ball-flaming-torpedo-of-truth-death-blow-dunk actually cured my sleep apnea. I slept like a baby last night.

And...

Kobe's Intergalactic-Voltron-Lion-Force (not the vehicle Voltron because he sucks) Robeast-defeating-Hornette-center-eating-New-Orleans-Spirit-depleting-David-Stern-Team-defeating-get-fired-by-your-boss-meeting-Glee-viewership-beating-first-aid-needing-highlight-reel-leading-dunk on Emeka Okafor's dome actually birthed another child for Mrs. DBDH & I through the sheer brutality and violent beauty it produced. A Big Bang Theory proven once again!

DBDH!

And we shall name him, Number 12.

DBDH!

Laker Truth - As I mentioned in my video standup, I stand corrected. Kobe has shown a history of knowing his body but him not wanting an MRI deviated from his usual habit of wanting to know every piece of information about his medical condition so he could make the necessary adjustments on the court and in his off-court treatment. Never did I think he would miss the game. But I was surprised he was as effective as he was in Game 5, especially after his start in 1st Q

Whatever Kobe the greatest player of all time....

But I was surprised he was as effective as he was in Game 5, especially after his start in 1st Q
Posted by: Mark Medina
=====

Thats ok MM, so were about a million other people.

Mornin’ CRUE!

Well now – that should lay to rest (at least for a little while) the “Kobe is too old”…. “Kobe should have got an MRI”…. “The Lakers can’t 3peat”… “DFish can’t defend CP3”…. etc etc faction for awhile LOL!!! (MM - told ya so.)

THAT was playoff basketball for the most part. In the the first Q looked like someone forgot to tell them the ball went up, but they got it under control soon enough and dominated well enough. And you know they got a lot more where that came from!

Yeah we’re excited about Kobe’s dunks. The guy is getting older after all, and he doesn’t have the same level of athleticism he once had, but those were vintage, retro, fro-sportin' Kobe all the way. He sent the team, the fans and the league a message with those – to the team it meant WE GOT THIS! To the fans it meant settle down and trust us. To the league it meant this 3-peat thing is happening and there ain’t nothing ya’ll can do to stop it. Simple. But I’ll share a little secret with you - I’ll tell you what Kobe said after that 2nd crazy dunk: “I’ve got TWO wings and I’ma show ‘em both to ya!!” MUAHAHAA!!!!

There is nothing like great Laker playoff basketball to get your juices flowing. And the morning after a win is the sweetest feeling. But this ain’t over til the fat lady sings, and we got 13 more to go before she gets on stage. LET”S GO LAKERS!!!

Limiting Chris Paul to only four assists after the first quarter was huge, because he's had at least 14 in both Hornets wins. Getting all five starters plus Odom in double-figures in scoring meant that the Hornets didn't know who to guard down the stretch, and the offense just kept on rolling. Check out the stats:

http://sportstatistics.blogspot.com/2011/04/nba-playoffs-night-eleven.html

Andrew Bynum | 19.8 | 30.43 | 20th
Kobe Bryant | 17.8 | 24.3 | 27th
Paul Gasol |17.2 | 22.76 | 31st
Ron Artest | 14.8 | 21.36 | 39th
Derek Fisher | 11.8 | 16.81 | 54th
Lamar Odom | 11.6 | 20.26 | 55th

Posted by: LakerTom | April 27, 2011 at 09:15 AM
----------------------
LT - Any stat that tells me Pau has been more effective than Ron thus far is questionable.


Kobe is obviously the main story, with the resurgence of the Laker bench and Pau finally making an appearence in the series being secondary stories. However, I think a major part of this victory was the play of Derek Fisher. I'm not talking about him playing "well" (although he did); I'm talking about him playing aggressively on offense.

Derek, despite his age, has been one of the better defenders in the league against Deron Williams. On its face, that seems counterintuitive, becuase Derek doesn't have half the talent or quickness of Williams. However, what he has is the knowledge that one of the best tools in defending a guy like Williams is to make him work on the defensive end. I have been waiting to see him employ this tactic against Chris Paul.

Paul, right now, is playing like the best player in the league (no offense to D. Rose). He is almost single-handedly keeping this undermanned Hornets team in the series. However, the long minutes will start to take their toll sooner than later if he is made to play defense, which hasn't really been the case until last night. By pushing the ball and going to the rim, Fisher made Paul work harder on that end of the floor than in any prior game, and I think it started to tire Paul out. Despite sitting out only 8 minutes of the game, it was the time that Paul was on the bench that the Lakers won this game.

So, here's to hoping that Fisher & Blake can keep up the pressure on Paul on BOTH ends of the floor, because I would expect him to play 45+ minutes tomorrow night....

@MM.. Not the answer I was looking for.. Seems to me you admitted your mistake last night in the video but now trying to squirm your way out of it.. Shame on you... Booooo!

Does Kobe's inspired play make the Laker team winners? Yes,his efforts have become a trademark of the Laker's franchise tradition Mikan,West,Baylor,Chamberlain,Jabbar,Majic,Shaq and Kobe.This team is a good team but is flawed with deficiencies. All Kobe,too many minutes Kobe plays and not enough balance scoring,where is the bench,and is this team ready to play on daily basis. Too many inconsistencies are factors why this team did not play better this season. Injuries did have some effect but excellent team play was not consistent.Phil needs to advocate to this team winning can be done by a unified team effort and balanced scoring from everyone. Thank you.

But I was surprised he was as effective as he was in Game 5, especially after his start in 1st Q

Posted by: Mark Medina | April 27, 2011 at 09:28 AM

---

Partial credit to Trevor Ariza who was strutting in the 1Q as if he owned the Staples Center. That must have piqued Kobe's pride in no small measure.

Take it all Thursday Lakers!

I don't get why you're blaming PJ for the 1st quarter?

Posted by: LRob | April 27, 2011 at 07:28 AM
---------------------------------------------
The entire 1st quarter NO kept goin to the pick n roll and Phil Jackson just sat there asleep without making a change to how to defend CP3. No double, no faster player to stay with CP3 (Blake and Brown are both faster than Fisher).

Posted by: Magia32 | April 27, 2011 at 07:39 AM
====

Unbelievable.

"But I was surprised he was as effective as he was in Game 5, especially after his start in 1st Q"

Posted by: Mark Medina | April 27, 2011 at 09:28 AM

__________

A lot of folks were surprised, especially Okafur! :-) No matter. 3 down and 13 more to go!

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

THE DUNK THAT WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!

This is one of the reasons I love this game so much. There's such a profound psychological element to it.

Kobe's dunk not only transformed last night's game. It transformed our team.

By delivering a jaw-dropping tomahawk dunk on a gimpy ankle, Kobe--through his actions--was communicating to his team, "I don't care if you're tired. I don't care if you're hurt. I don't care if you girlfriend is cheating on you and your head is elsewhere. This is the playoffs. And in the playoffs we give 100%. No excuses. See?"

Immediately the body language, energy, and reaction time of the team changed. They get it now.

They're ready.

Here... we... go.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Okafur: The new "Poster Child" of the NBA! :-)

The Dunk

For those who recorded last night's game, rewind it to 3:50 remaining in the 2Q. Ariza blows by Kobe for an AND+1. After Trevor makes the AND+1 for a 3-pt play. While moving towards the Lakers' goal, Kobe and Trevor are exchanging 'pleasantries'. Then at 3:33, The Dunk happens.

Thank you,Trevor.

Jon K

That was a thing of beauty.

But I was surprised he was as effective as he was in Game 5, especially after his start in 1st Q
Posted by: Mark Medina

~~I was talking to my 75 year old neighbor who has been watching these games since the 60's. He said something that makes us all wonder - "these extended games are all about money". If there are Michael Milken and Bernard Madoff in financial world, indeed it may be all about money if one could re-direct fan's passion to ur purse.

Another cool moment from the game last night was when they showed Monty Williams talking to Carl Landry about being more agressive. Williams was telling Landry to try and get a dunk.

LOL! Landry? Dunk on Bynum, Lamar, and Pau? Please...

It was just that Monty Williams knew that Kobe's dunk was the game changer. He wanted a Landry dunk to offset Kobe's dunk.

Credit to Monty Williams though. He's a very good young coach. I've never seen anyone become a head coach so quick. I remember Monty Williams in college at Notre Dame. He never was that good as a player in the NBA, so to see him as a coach now is pretty outstanding. He's done an excellent job with the Hornets this year.

Go Lakers!

You can throw away all the stats, there is no way KOBE will share MVP honors to anyone. Those dunks showed KOBE cannot be denied. It is a statement to the other Lakers that they have no excuses. You want to go fishing, let's win some rings first. You do not love basketball if you do not love the KOBE show last night. Still, he got no love from the TNT crew. They are still in awe that D'Rose and Bulls eliminated Indiana. Are you kidding me?

If there are Michael Milken and Bernard Madoff in financial world, indeed it may be all about money if one could re-direct fan's passion to ur purse.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

---

Depending on whose estimate you want to believe, the owners make $ 1.5 to 2 million per playoff game. I don't think the Buss family would mind if there was a game 7 at Staples.

Don't know how that happened (was PJ? prob the players) but we finally started to push the D towards their players and...bingo! CP3 couldn't do a PnR, Belineli couldn't find his hot-spot, Okafur couldn't do anything in the paint, etc...All this to a team that needs to control the game by running a fast pace, but down by 10 AND with our D pushing, that was a done deal by the 3rd quarter.

For the next game, let's just do the same and, when we're up by 10, the game will be over.

@MVP - Unbelievable, I know. Sometimes you just have to give the other team credit. (We are allowed to do that right?) NO starting out shooting lights out.

@Justa - actually no it didn't silence that faction. Some are still saying he should've had the MRI and DFish can't guard, etc...etc. Go figure.

Actually, I thought the followup line was even funnier - he said something about "Why do you care? Even if I did get an MRI we wouldn't tell YOU the results."

:-)

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 27, 2011 at 09:19 AM

-Tru, tru. I'm just hitting my head thinking, "why did I even doubt the Mamba?"

- Jon K, that should be the Friedman comment of the week. Nice.

- The Hornets actually seem to benefit when Okafur gets into foul trouble. Aaron Gray has been more effective than Okafur in bodying up and guarding our big men. The refs also allow Gray and Landry to be physical, but for some reason, they continue to call touch fouls against Okafur. Normally, I would be pleased with these calls, but I would rather see Okafur stay on the court. I saw Okarfur a few times practicing at a gym I play at last summer, and in person, I was surprised at how thin he was. I would guesstimate that his real height is about 6'8".

- Everything seems backwards in this Bizarro series. Artest has become our most consistent player, Bynum is healthy, Fish is making layups, the bench has become an asset, and Phil has valiantly resisted his uncontrollable urges to put his son Luke in any of the games.

- The Lakers need to win game 6 to rest up Kobe's ankle, and Bynum's (and Barnes') knee for the next series. The bench will be key. They will hopefully duplicate this performance on the road. Shannon is still making bone headed decisions, but he seems to be improving, and despite their stats, Barnes and Blake are BRINGING IT every night.

Let us wait to see what tomorrow brings,if Lakers win then i may be able to predict how far they are going to reach in the play off.

@ Laker Truth,
I have noticed that too! Fisher seems to be making all of his layups. BELIEVE ME I am glad about it but when I see him making them I'm saying to myself "Huh".

GREAT JOB MEN. EVEN THOUGH I HAD TO GET UP EARLY, YOUR VICTORY, MORE IM PORTANT THE WAY YOU'LL PLAYED MADE ME STAYING UPLATE WORTH WHILE. CONGRATULATION BOTHER RON ON WIN NOING YOUR AWARD. YOU HAVE REALLY CHANGED FOR THE BETTER GOD BLESS YOU. I'M GLAD TO SEE YOU ALSO GET NOTICED BECAUSE I COULD TELL THIS YEAR YOU WERE REALLY TRYING TO BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN BE AND I'M PROUD OF YOU AS WELL AS THE MIGHTY LAKERS. REMEMBER THOUGH MEN IN THE NEXT GAME, PERFORM FAST AND QUICK AND TAKE THE CROWD OUT OR YOU'LL FEEL BOTH THE FIRE AND THE HEAT FROM THAT TEAM. IT'S A PLEASURE WATCHING YOU'LL PEFORM, BUT WHEN YOU'LL PERFORM LIKE YOU CAN. IT THEN BECOMES AN HONOR. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND GOD BLESS YOU'LL. GREAT JOB ALSO TO COACH PHIL AND ASSISTANTS. KOBE, YOU PERFORM JIST AS I KNEW YOU WOULD. NO DISRESPECT INTENDED, BUT IF I HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN YOU AND MIKE. I WOULD CHOSE OU EVERYTIME. MIKE WAS GREAT, BUT I THINK YOU'RE GREATER. AMOS 9:13 ISAIAH 45:3

If you recorded the game go back and watch Gasol at both ends of the court with or without the ball. Its sad. Hes allowing himself to be pushed around and showing no life at all. Its all 10-12 foot jumpers. L.A. has a huge size edge but they are not using it. It looks like hes ill. Like the will or desire hes had in past years has just oozed out of him. Bynum similar, but at least every so often you see flashes of the real Dru.

Come on guys its time to light your engines, lets see you play like you really want to win.

@Lakertruth. I will doubt the guy. Kobe Bryant is 6/22 in game winning shots in the playoffs. How is that for truth?
http://chasing23.com/the-myth-of-playoff-kobe/



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