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Lakers discuss 87-78 Game 2 victory over New Orleans Hornets

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

Lakers guard Steve Blake

Lakers forward Matt Barnes

--Mark Medina

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Go to about the 8 Minute mark of Q4. Shannon goes to Drew in the post. Drew kicks it back to Shannon and re-posts. Shannon goes back to Drew. His defender drops down to double Drew. Drew kicks back to Shannon. Wide open. Three points. Perfect.

Next possession Shannon takes a defended two off the dribble and misses. Next possession drives into traffic and turns it over.

There is a right and a wrong way to play. Shannon needs to understand that HE can score more playing inside/out.

Odd game last night, but I'll take it! Lakers did a much better job of taking the ball out of Paul's hands and forcing others to make plays. I LOVED the energy off the bench, particularly from LO, Barnes and Blake - Steve's energy in particular was infectious without necessarily scoring - he was decisive and quick.
The Defense was awesome.
Something is still obviously not quite right with Pau - hard to put a finger on what exactly is ailing him...it's a confidence problem, which I think is correctable - you can see it in his footwork, he's a step slow - I'd love to see him demand the ball once or twice in succession.
The good news is that the Lakers won in spite of a hugely subpar effort from our top 2 guys. Drew's performance was borderline revelatory - he's showing a new level of confidence and aggressiveness out there that I had not seen before - he was orchestrating things out there.
I think the Lakers are well on their way towards rounding into playoff form - I'm not worried.

Drew is playing well. His biggest enemy right now is foul trouble. When he goes out against smaller players on the perimeter he needs to stay down. He ca defend them without jumping. When he leaves his feet they can get around him or draw the foul. If he stays down he can keep them in front him and disrupt the shot and get back to the middle quickly.

I think he got two fouls last night leaping out at shooters.

KOBE - What does Kobe have to do to get a frickin' foul call? He went hard to the basket on several occasions, get's him on the arm, banged on the body, but NO WHISTLE. Every replay showed he was continually hacked on his drives. Phil had a good explanation, "The refs are basing the calls on how hard someone falls". In other words, floppers like Manu and Wade will get those calls, but Kobe will not because he is better at absorbing contact. These refs seem unable to see the contact, and instead, base their calls on the reaction to the contact! Just ridiculous! These NBA refs have blown call after call in the other playoff series as well, especially in crunch time. Something needs to be done to hold these refs accountable. Or perhaps, they are simply following Darth Stern's orders? The refs called ticky tack fouls all night on the big men for both teams, but allowed the Hornets to be as physical as they wanted with Kobe. NBA refs SUCK.

- GASOL - I watched Pau closely last night, and I am CONVINCED that he is still having knee issues. He seems afraid to put pressure on his knee, and seems content to play the decoy and drop the ball off to his teammates, even in the few instances where he had good position down low. He is also getting pushed off his spots with EASE without a fight. If that's the case, Phil should limit his minutes and give them to Bynum and Lamar until he heals up. The team is going to need him healthy in the second round.

- BYNUM - The beast is emerging, and it couldn't have come at a better time, with Pau dealing with his knee issues. Stay healthy my friend!

- LAMAR - Awesome!

- BLAKE and FISH - Nice to have Blake back to organize the offense for the second unit. The team started clicking as soon as he entered the game. He lost some serious weight the past couple weeks, but was still effective in his first game back. Nobody can guard Chris Paul, but at least Blake was able to go through some picks and bother him a bit, while staying in his vicinity. I can't say the same for Fish. I would love to see Blake come in earlier, especially if Fish continues to struggle on both ends. More minutes for Blake also equals LESS minutes for Kobe chasing Chris Paul around all game. ...and I'm not sure why Fish thought he was the first option on offense in the first quarter, but that needs to stop.

- ARTEST - The team got Artest for his defense, but he's slowly turning into Robert Horry 2.0 on offense with his clutch shot making.

One more observation. Isolating Kobe for the last 3 minutes just doesn't work It It is becoming clear that the Lakers cannot just iso Kobe for the last 3 minutes anymore. It is predictable and he is older- more young guys out there can make him take a tough shot or turn it over.

In the Lakers best possession at the end of the game the ball went Kobe to Fish to Artest for a three. Teams have to key on Kobe, and when crunch time comes Fish and Artest are pretty tough, LO is a hard matchup, and Pau can shoot.


Kobe should still be option # 1, but they should use all of their options as weapons and get better looks than Kobe gets going 1 on 3.

Mornin’ CRUE!

Solid effort last night for the most part.

LOVED the energy and excitement that Drew provided!

Pau was aggressive but his shots didn’t fall – that’ll work itself out.

Kobe was orchestrating a grand concerto – he’s amazing. Now if he could only get a foul call...

LO – what can you say about the 6th Man of the Year other than how glad we are he’s on our team! He’s quite the nightmare matchup fo shizzle.

And how about them Killer B’s?? Nice solid effort. Good to have them back.

Can’t wait for Friday. I want those little Bumblebees to understand that they have NO HOPE of winning this thing. NONE whatsoever.

Oh – almost forgot – WTH is up with CP3 being allowed to carry the ball?? Like ALL the time?? That’s gotta stop. And so do the moving screens. Nothing like watching Fish fight over a screen just to get the NO guy’s hind parts stuck out to knock him down. PJ needs to point this stuff out to the media – maybe even get fined – gotta take one for the team here, Phil…

GO LAKERS!!

i like these Lakers when Kobe is more of a facilitator than Kobe the scorer. I know he can score whenever he want's to but balanced attack is much more powerful weapon at any time of the day. "we"'ve been struggling lately, true but recently we've been missing Barnes, Blake, and even Bynum uncertainty which effected our composure and decreased team chemistry not only for the bench play but on the starters as well. Different rotations, different execution Off./Def., different roles for some of the players etc. which gave the result in Game 1 and partly Game 2. For sure i can tell we are getting better and For Sure lakers can take One on the road ( if not Two ) and sweep these NOH just to shut up all these haters and skeptics about these Lakers. LAKERS ALL THE WAY !!!

NorCal,

feel free to genuflect in my direction anytime.

For those who watched the game, the comments by Reggie Miller during
the 3rd quarter, specifically address the issue of Pau's play.


PSP,

Thanks for belief in me. :) I will share an attitude I recently learned
during a seminar.

The class went something like this:

Their are 3 attitudes in this art.

The first is non-aggressive. He was taught to get out of the way first.

The second is that of the counter-attacker. He's waiting for you to attack,
so that he can pick it off and immediately counter-attack.

The third is that of contempt. It doesn't matter what you do. This is the end
for you.

I watched his movement in the third attitude. His moves were so simple.
So elegant. So effective.

From another web site:

"Security at STAPLES was unable to find Pau Gasol. If you have any information on the Spanish international super star, please contact the authorities at 1-800-FIND-PAU."

Ok, well, it is kinda funny.

LakerTruth,

Your explanation for Pau's play is as good as any other I've heard. Being tentative for fear of further injury to the knee and/or because it's still bothering him could be an issue.

While I don't want him to be injured at least if that's the case it's better than any of the other possibilities.

I hope this muddle through style ends soon, the last thing they need is a 7 game first round. I'm kinda worried now.
They need to get at least one of these games in N.O.

@Lakertruth. Agree on all accounts.. That noncall on kobe at the end of first half said it all.. I'm afraid t o sat but after the fa**ot comments the refs may be out to get him.. Blake was huge for us in the 2nd qtr on both ends of the floor. He fought around picks on defense (not through picks) and made all the right passes n got the bench going with 5 assts that qtr... Starters struggled to start the game but bench took over built a nice lead and lakers never looked back


Posted by: hobbitmage | April 21, 2011 at 09:28 AM

Nothing exciting to report, and lets hope what ever is ailing Pau, Kobe and Dfish will be fixed for game 3.

As TNT analyst put it, Lakers despite the poor shooting from #1 & #2 and Dfish, Lakers still managed to win easily because of their talent loaded roster.

A real fun begins tonight when all of the top seeded teams start to play on the roads. See which teams will survive on the road. The Lakers will win the next 2 games on the road. 15 wins for #17!!!

"One more observation. Isolating Kobe for the last 3 minutes just doesn't work It It is becoming clear that the Lakers cannot just iso Kobe for the last 3 minutes anymore. It is predictable and he is older- more young guys out there can make him take a tough shot or turn it over." -Tom Daniels

THANK YOU! I have been complaining about this same thing all season long! Is it so hard for Phil to have at least 3 set plays for the end of the game which get other guys open looks?

As for Kobe getting no love from the refs: I think his theatrics after getting no calls throughout the regular season have come back to haunt him.

Bynum gets the game ball for sure for his excellence on both ends. If he keeps this up, we won't need "Imposter Pau" to leave.

L.O. showed now signs of let up after his much deserved ceremony before the game. The dude is on fire! Go Lamar!!!!

yellofever,

The refs did seem like that had a vendetta against Kobe last night. Kobe wasn't getting the calls in the regular season as well, but last night was just ridiculous. I would not be surprised one bit if the f**gg** comments had something to with how Kobe is being officiated. He also got called for traveling early in the game when he drove to his right with the ball starting out near his chest. He's been doing this move all season, and continued to do so throughout the game, without a traveling call, but for some reason, the refs decided to make that call early. I hope Phil says something to the media to expose how Kobe is being treated by the refs.

" I hope Phil says something to the media to expose how Kobe is being treated by the refs." -LAKER TRUTH

He better, or else this is going to be a very frustrating postseason for Kobe.

This one's for "Imposter Pau:"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Icb_tRTnA4g

Let's just get REAL about the NBA and it's paid enforcers. First they own the N.O. hornets the team is for sale right? what's the value of this team with and without Chris Paul. To have this team take the 2b2 champs 7 games give them cred and hope for a new possible owner shellng out big BUCKS.

But no way in HELL this team beat the LAKERS on their BEST day without the help of the Tim Donaghy of the world. It may go 7 but I doubt it, the Lakers are the NBA cash cow...and don't ever forget it.


2 rings in, these guys know what to do but the hard part is knowing when and how tomove away from things that got you those rings for something new that's emerged. Hard to balance the attack with the new force that Andrew has become.

Tough to go away from Kobe in the 4th, especially on the road, but Andrew is the force they can't deal with. Lamar's their nightmare. We lost the good Kobe game.

Trevor can make it a long night for Kobe without a double team. They have no answer for Andrew or Lamar. So, who sits the end game?

Can't discount the attention Pau and Kobe get to free up guys. Wonder how, in a slowed down playoff game, any team could deal with LO, Pau, AB, Kobe and Ron. Too bad that lineup never got any regular season run.

killa bees are back !? the world can rest now !? the world scientists were looking for answer on why the bees are disappearing mysteriously, but suddenly they are coming back and they are here i can see em killin the Hornets. gathered over a Lake somewhere around Los Angeles, California making adjustments for the war. Stronger than ever, they are here to save the humanity.

Tom D

You're so right about Shannon. Pounding the ball is code for "I haven't studied my triangle options". It's a shame, all that athleticism and heart without a head.

DAMN! What a gloomy gus...

>>>The game was horrible.

Don't like defense, huh?

>>>Lakers won't beat anybody in the next round playing like they did last night.

Yeah, holding the other team to 39% shooting never wins in the playoffs.

>>>Anybody that doesn't think Fisher is done...is a total moron.

Call me moron. Derek should be sizing his pinky for ring number 6. I'm assuming your argument here is the fact that Chris Paul is owning Fish when Fish guards him. So what. Chris Paul owns pretty much ALL of the starting pgs in the league. Some guys (maybe Rondo... maybe Westbrook) are fast enough to stay a little closer and slow them down one-on-one. But it takes TEAM defense to stop that big of a star.

>>>Lakers are boring to watch. Don't care if they win it all.

Great. Hit the road, troll. If you want exciting hot offensive action, go watch the Knicks lose in a very exciting way. (I would have recommended the Suns, but they didn't even make the playoffs this season). In the mean time, why don't you go blog on the Knicks blog about how exciting they are and spare us the whining.

>>>It is not a dominant team...just possibly the best of a very down year in the NBA

So completely off. Absolutely clueless.

1. New Orleans was one of the better defensive teams in the NBA this season - they gave up the 5th least points - partly by good defense, partly by slow pace.

2. They are TOTALLY focusing on Kobe and Pau, thus slowing them down. Bynum, Artest, Odom, and even Fisher and Barnes stepped up and hit enough of the open shots to win game 2.

3. The Lakers weren't the best... they were the FOURTH best. San Antonio, Chicago, and Miami all finished with better records.

2. Not a down year at all. There are not many years when there are 5 or 6 teams at the top who have a chance of winning. This year I'd give Chicago, Miami, Boston, Orlando, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City and the Lakers at least a punchers chance of winning it all. Compare that to three years ago, when it was pretty much the Lakers, the Celtics, and all the little teams beneath their feet.

If what you want to see is an all-offense, no-defense series with the Lakers running a bunch of fast breaks every time down the court, then yeah, you're probably disappointed.

If you want REAL PLAYOFF BASKETBALL, then you're getting it in spades, in almost every series this year.


@TOM DANIELS ... I was watching the game with my son last night and we both remarked almost the exact same thing as you posted about Shannon. The guy has a BBIQ problem for sure.
............................................................
@JEFE101 ... Great observation about Drew orchestrating things – and on offense as well as defense. You got to love the way Drew is playing. Drew may be the smartest player on this Lakers team.
............................................................
@LAKER TRUTH ... A second shout out for posting Les Jenkins SI article on Drew. Eric Freeman of SI had this excellent summary of some of the inside stuff in the article. Here is his list of highlights:
...1. As a kid, he took apart and reassembled telephones.
...2. Before opting to enter the draft out of high school, he only looked at colleges where he could major in mechanical engineering.
...3. He has taken car-racing courses at the Los Angeles Air Force base, although he rides shotgun instead of driving.
...4. He has seven computers in his home, many of which he has put together himself.
...5. He has assembled a remote control car that can go as fast as 100 mph.
...6. On Phil Jackson's recommendations, he has become a huge fan of the work of writer Junot Diaz.
............................................................
@HOBBITMAGE ... Good call on Reggie Miller’s comments about Pau. Pau sucked again. I am really starting to worry about the guy. Usually when a player gets outplayed, it’s due to a bad matchup. In this case, Pau owned the Hornets during the regular season but has not been punked twice in a row by them. We’re not going to three-peat without Pau playing a lot better.
...
Here is an interesting stat that I came across with respect to the number of shots Kobe takes: During this year’s regular season, when Kobe takes 25 shots or more, the Lakers are 9-9; when he take 15 shots or less, they are 15-0.
...
Now you can look at this two ways – (1) the Lakers win when Kobe shoots less and lose when he shoots more or (2) The Lakers play best when everybody on the team plays well so Kobe does not have to take over and try to shoot us to a win. It’s my opinion that what the stats are really saying is #2.
............................................................
TOM

>>>Shannon needs to understand that HE can score more playing inside/out.

Part of the problem is that Shannon isn't that good of a passer. If he's trying to pass in to the post and his defender sags off (as New Orleans has been doing) to deny the pass, Shannon's as likely to turn it over as get the ball to Bynum or Gasol.

If Shannon was hitting 40%+ of his 3-pointers, it would be easier. When teams sag off and leave him wide open, he could shoot the 3 and burn them. But when he's hitting 34% from 3 (as he is this season), that would be playing into their hands.

>>>One more observation. Isolating Kobe for the last 3 minutes just doesn't work

Well, yes and no.

It works against teams that go 1-on-1 against him, never double, and don't have an outstanding, tall defender like Trevor Ariza that they can throw at him.

But when teams try to be tough and think they can just leave someone out on an island against Kobe, they're still going to get burned most of the time.

Don't I recall some people earlier this season saying that Ron Artest was finished and was now a huge waste of money? Some of them even compared his contract to Lukes?

FAIL.

So far, the 1st round in each conference has not disappointed. Finally the Playoffs are here. Win or Go Home! Lakers in 6. NEXT!

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

Don't I recall some bloggers claiming Derek Fisher was done and the worst player in the league. Let's check that out. Fish mostly guarded Marco Belinelli in last night's game:

Fisher: 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 turnovers

Belinelli: 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers

While it's true that Fisher isn't capable of guarding Chris Paul, that just puts him in the same category as 99% of the rest of the players in the NBA...

FAIL

Part of the problem is that Shannon isn't that good of a passer. If he's trying to pass in to the post and his defender sags off (as New Orleans has been doing) to deny the pass, Shannon's as likely to turn it over as get the ball to Bynum or Gasol.

If Shannon was hitting 40%+ of his 3-pointers, it would be easier. When teams sag off and leave him wide open, he could shoot the 3 and burn them. But when he's hitting 34% from 3 (as he is this season), that would be playing into their hands.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 21, 2011 at 10:29 AM

****

Phil already stated that in the beginning of the season teams ignored Shannon so he got a lot more open shots from the 3-pt range. Once teams started to acknowledge/pay attention to him, they started to actually defend him. However, as the coaches stated, Shannon is also the highest scorer off the bench after Lamar, so it is key that he makes BETTER shot selections and is productive...Barnes is inconsistent (look at game 1) and Blake does not shoot at all. He does a lot better when he attacks the rim and gets foul (esp since he has the best FT % on the team)...or catch and shoot. He is a very good athlete and has heart though, so I do not fault him for that. There is potential.

what Kobe needs to do to get a foul call?

stop calling refs Fag*gots

(LakerTom, this one's for you...)

Weren't there also a bunch of bloggers posting that Andrew Bynum would never stay healthy and would always be injured or weak in the playoffs...

FAIL

It's good of the other Lakers to take over the scoring load to let Kobe use all his energy slowing down CP3 and to let Pau rest up for the next series.

"what Kobe needs to do to get a foul call?

stop calling refs Fag*gots"

Posted by: roni | April 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

______________

LOL LOL

I cannot agree that the criticism of DF is "Fail". In fact, this series epitomizes the problem... game 1, DF "guards" CP3 and CP3 goes on a HOF worthy game of 33/14/7 and the team only had 3 TO's. Next game, KB24 & everyone else besides DF guard CP3 and mostly kept the guy at bay - without the last second stuff and the fouls behind the arch, the guy would have barely gotten 10/5!!

That's a huge difference.

The problem is, we can't just keep putting Kobe on the other team's PG (like Westbrook last year)

If you'll notice, Traitor Ariza struggled in game 1 with KB24 guarding him, but then exploded once the switch was made in game 2.

The Lakers WILL be leaking points with DF at PG, that's pretty much GIVEN. But the Lakers as a team are capable of overcoming it. I personally feel it's very important to fix this problem in the offseason if possible... but until then, just get it done even by committee if needed.

My favorite part of the game was half way through the second quarter when the defense rushed Socks in the post - he puts up a right handed running hook! Even though it wasn't "the shot", putting up a running hook is a precursor to being able to just throw the shot. If Andrew ever comes half way close to throwing the shot consistently, look out NBA because it will be all over.

I was probably the most critical person of Lamar Odom in years past.

And I won't say that I was wrong or apologize or anything like that. I was RIGHT. His performance this season proves that I was right... I'm very proud of Lamar and extremely pleased as a fan at what he has accomplished in the last two seasons, particularly this season.

Once again, congratulations Lamar Odom for becoming the first Laker in history to win 6th man of the year!

It's proof that hard work + talent does pay huge dividends

guarding cp3 by team defense seems to be the most realistic way of approaching it.this is the quickness of cp3 and the others, westbrook,rondo, etc.so please, don't beat fish for not doing that NO ONE seems to be able to do. i understand if pau is not fit, but with no medical up dates on him make all the more frustrating

wasn't that really nice to see drew play the way he did?

Wasn't pretty, but I'll take 15 more of them!

Amazing that kobe + pau = 19 pts and we still won going away.
BBall is a game of averages and our all stars will revert back to their forms.
Just like the NO bench won't play like game 1 every game.

Excellent analysis by all (Laker truth, Justa, Tom).

Queensbridge definitely represented last night.
Killer B's were good. Great having Blake back. We missed his ball handling and control in game 1.

I see Lakers coming out strong and taking a statement win in game 3.

As for the Trolls and the bandwagon hoppers, you don't bother me any more. The last 2 titles have taught me to RELAX, the best will win in the end.

So what, the lakers have won a game is this the real Laker team that won back to back championships. This means this team is now competitive but this team has not won a series or shown enough discipline over time to be a three peat team. The desire is not present among the entire team. Please show up and prove my opinion wrong.

Two games, but two diffeerent sets of refs, yet both games called the same way. Coincedence? I don't think so. NOH are being allowed to be extremely aggressive on some of the Lakers key players without whistles.

Phil Jackson made this obversation last night, but then schemed a way to work through it. This is where I feel Jackson separates himself from other NBA playoff coaches. Some of them, like Adelman, or perhaps Rivers would be all emotional, screaming they were being cheated. Rather, for Phil, he would take the approach, "if this is what it is, then we need to adjust" type mentallity. Then would scheme a brilliant game plan around it. True, he may mention it publicly and take a fine, but the guy is always plotting and thinking ahead, sort of like the insane genius Hanibal Lecter.

Take for instance our defense which was woeful in game one. Last night, the Lakers controlled the game defensively. NOH offense was almost completely out of what they wanted to do. This is another fact I appreciate about this genius coach 'Hanibal' Jackson. His game to game playoff adjustments and focus his teams adopt.

Ingeniusly baited, Chris Paul found himself on occasion surrounded, with nowhere to go and not able to draw a foul or even fake one to bail out the refs. You could almost hear Jackson in the background making a "pft" sound as he had Chris Paul exactly where he wanted him.

This is why Haninbal, I mean Phil is here. Its all about the playoffs and he is a deadly killer of other NBA teams and their coaches. . Its true, this Lakers team will not survive the second round if....they continue to play like this, but they won't. They, the 'Mini-Me Hanibal Lecters' on the floor, will getter better and better as each game and series passes, while they hone their playoff killer instincts.

For NBA basketball afficianados, you've got to love Lakers playoff basketball ...under coach Jackson. Coach almost never gets credit for his genius in the regular season. But if the NBA had an award for post game coaching, when it really counts, how many NBA Coach-of-the-Playoff-Year, would he have? I can't even count that high with my fingers.

I would love to ask him, after this series is over, what it tastes like after the Lakers will have completely devoured the Hornets. I think we already know what his answer would be. With a deadpan look and showing no emotion, he would simply say, "It tastes like chicken" as he would make a motion to lick his fingers.


@LTLF ... Thanks for the shout out. Much appreciated. So far, Drew is MVP of this series with Ron not far behind. And as you so aptly pointed out, Fish played solid basketball as usual in the playoffs.
............................................................
TOM


Pau needs to man up and stop complaining. for someone who does not like to be called soft, he has lived up to the title the last two games.

Can't believe how many people are defending the Lakers' poor performance. Bottom line is they are playing terrible basketball.

New Orleans is a team the Lakers were supposed to sweep easily. This is an EIGHTH SEED that is missing their BEST SCORER...how are the Lakers only 1-1 and barely winning game 2? If New Orleans had hit their free throws the Lakers would be down 0-2.

If they are struggling this badly with the supposed weakest team in the playoffs, how are they going to fare against much stronger teams like the Heat or Bulls?

I wanted to wait after two games from each team to make an observation of how I think the playoffs would play out. I think trying to guess before the playoffs begin is just that guessing. The NBA playoffs are so different from that of the practice season. The strategies, the matchups, the pace and style is completely different than that of the practice season. The series take on whole different personalities while each and every game has its unique identity.

From the East-

Chicago is who I thought they were. They are a good young athletic team that may get to the finals out of the east but I don’t see them beating the team that comes out of the West. In the beginning I thought it would be them and Boston in the ECF with Boston coming out on top.

Miami is not the team we think they are after the practice season. The reason the playoffs are so different than the practice season is that your star players are on the court longer and the depth isn’t as important as the quality of the depth and the quality of minutes they play. Saying that I believe Miami has as good as a chance as any team to come out of the East but again don’t think they have what it takes to get past a team like the Lakers.

Boston is not who we thought they were. They seem discombobulated, their offense doesn’t execute as well as it use to and you can’t blame that on the Perkins. They still have a solid defense and the experience and swagger to come out of the East, I just don’t see them getting past the Bulls, Heat, or maybe even the Magic at this point.

Orlando is exactly who they are, a streaky team that revolves around Dwight Howard that can be dangerous but isn’t really. Howard is an awesome force for sure, but there is NO WAY I would trade him for Bynum and especially not after reading that SI article. Howard is an immature dork. I will never forget that game in the playoffs against Boston when Orlando was up by 2 points with a minute to go and the teams were coming on the court strategizing that goofball dork was doing some dork ass ish.


Paul,

You're forgetting.

This is a practice series.

Not the Finals. Not the Finals. The first round. Practice.

Last night's game was tougher D on Pau than Game 1. NOH was like a shark smelling blood. Pau still has either a mental block or his knee is bothering him (or most probably a combination of both) and the Hornets are (pardon the pun) swarming.

He tried in the second half, but it's still not working. The more he let's it get to him mentally, the more he'll continue to shrink like a violet. He's thinking about the physical contact before the contact occurs. He's just got to forget about it and play.

Now that Pau has shown that he's back to letting physical play get to him, all the Davids are going to be looking to slay Goliath. He can expect every undersized 4 and 5 to be pounding him throughout these playoffs and beyond. He's brought it on himself by letting it affect him.

I hope he mans up and just plays through it like he did the last two seasons. Otherwise, these playoffs will be a remake of the 2008 Finals by Quentin Tarrantino called "Kill Pau 2!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657VCMjmrzM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NOT THE LAYOFFS!"

everyone must watch this. this is just one game. completly shocking..laker tom .. this is for you..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVTIYTSCG90&feature=player_detailpage

>>>The Lakers WILL be leaking points with DF at PG, that's pretty much GIVEN.

True, but consider this:

Every great point guard in the league is either making a ton of money (CP3, Deron Williams, etc) or still on their rookie contract (Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, etc).

Last summer the Lakers went out and hired THE BEST PG AVAILABLE for the MLE or less - Steve Blake - and it's not like he's that much better than Fish. With Blake starting against CP3, you'd still be bleeding points.

The PG problem with the Lakers is that they're spending a TON of money on Kobe, Pau, Andrew, Lamar, and Ron-Ron. That leaves them NO money to spend on a good PG. At least not enough to hire one that's capable of playing even with CP3, which is what you're asking for here.

For the money he gets, Fisher is good enough. It's unrealistic of you to expect to have an all-star at all 5 starting positions. The Lakers have two legit all-stars in Kobe and Pau and three near all-stars in Bynum, Odom, and Artest. When you spend your whole wad of cash to get that, it's just not possible to get a near all-star PG as well.

Derek Fisher is not as good as CP3, Westbrook, Rose, or most of the other starting PGs in the league. But it's unrealistic of you to expect him to be.

So that's what Derek Fisher ISN'T.

Here's what he is:

1. A decent team defender, who still draws a few charges, gets offensive fouls on screeners, and gets a few steals picking off balls in the lane or poking the ball away from a post player on a double team. (for this point - compare him to Steve Nash or Jose Calderon, who are even bigger liabilities on the defensive end)

2. Someone Kobe trusts to pass the ball to when the game is on the line. (You think Kobe would make a kick-out pass to Matt Barnes with the game on the line??)

3. Someone who has FREQUENTLY hit the clutch shot with the game on the line when needed (kinda like Big Shot Rob in that sense).

4. Someone who isn't going to go jacking up a ton of shots and shoot you OUT of a game... he'll always go to Kobe/Pau/Drew/Lamar more often than he'll jack up shots himself. (for this point, consider JR Smith - awesome scorer - can hit a ton of threes, make his own shot, and win a game... but can also jack up 20 shots, miss 15 of them and lose the game for you)

Basically, Fish is steady and ready and occasionally wiley. That's about all you can expect from an inexpensive veteran point guard.

NBA4ever, the way the Lakers and Spurs are playing now I think any of the 3 big east teams (Boston, Chicago, Miami) would easily slay them. Both have dropped games to lesser competition and the wins haven't been convincing ones either.

On the other hand, Derrick Rose has shown he is a leader and has stepped up his game to another level, and the Heat are finally gelling as a unit as Bosh, Wade and Lebron are all playing with more swagger and intensity. Stark contrast from the landscape in the West.

I see the East taking it this year unless the Lakers and Spurs get their acts together and play how they played during their dominant periods of the season. I don't really have much faith in Dallas as any real threat.

BTW--With regard to the no calls against Kobe and the Reggie Miller leg calls (that were supposedly offensive fouls by the rules (remember Kobe getting called for kicking hs leg ut in a game during the regular season)) tweeted in favor of the Hornets, we must remember who owns the Hornets. Darth Stern.

The league is trying to level the playing field so that the Hornets get to play more games (= More $$s for the league before the lockout).

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NOT THE LAYOFFS!"

Paul,

I once thought like you.

That was in 2008.

I no longer think like that after 2008

Posted by: Paul | April 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

@Paul

I really don't see it that way. Chicago has struggled with an at best mediocre Indiana team without Collison. Boston barely escaped both games against two NBA players and a bunch of D-leaguers. Miami has looked great and I don’t underestimate them but they are going against a team with no interior defense whatsoever.

If I forced you to put money down who would you put it on at this point? I got my money on the Lakers confidently that’s for sure after watching every single game so far of the playoffs.

laker tom this one will make you sick, itsd proof though that all these no names that only show up when they have a wounded deer dont know a thing about what goes on in the games. there is more than just sportscenter, trollscenter.

justanother has given true pro-Laker comments, much like a true fan.

The no-foul calls we have experienced always, nothing new.

But yes - one thing she caught which I also wanted to say was Chris Paul carrying the ball - almost every time he has the ball!!

Refs not calling moving screens has been a staple diet - KG does it every possession!!

LT,

>>> So far, Drew is MVP of this series with Ron not far behind.

HOLD YOUR HORSES there, cowboy...

While Drew was the MVP of game 2, his poor play (getting in foul trouble and thus taking himself out of the game) in game 1 contributed to the loss. If Bynum had played smarter in game 1, then you wouldn't see as many little floaters in the lane by CP3 or Jarret Jack over Gasol, you wouldn't see Aaron Gray scoring 12 points, and the Lakers likely would have won.

That's the thing, if any one of three things had changed about game 1 (Bynum less fouls, Pau better shooting, Lamar better shooting, Kobe less turnovers), this would be 2-0 and on the road to a sweep.

While Bynum contributed, I'd still give Kobe the MVP for the series - it was his efforts on slowing CP3 that got the ball out of Paul's hands more often, and THAT was the primary cause of this win. While it might not show up in the stat sheet for that game, if you compare game 1 vs game 2, Kobe's effort really shines.

Here's Kobe's most important stats for game 2 (vs game 1):

Chris Paul: minus 13 points, minus 5 assists, minus 12 points on +/-

Kobe (with help, but no more than Fish had) turned CP3 from a superstar into just a very good player on offense. And that's even including the three big mistakes on 3 pointers (2 fouls and getting turned around to leave him open for 1).

If Bynum can keep out of foul trouble and keep posting double doubles for several games in a row, THEN we'll talk about whether he deserves any MVP of the series love.

What I especially loved about Drew last night happened on the sidelines at the beginning of a timeout. Kobe passed the ball into Pau and he immediately passed it back out when he clearly had a one on one advantage in the post. It resulted in a rushed, missed challenged shot by Kobe. PJ called timeout.

Drew was as animated as Jared "You Don't Know" Jack was at the end of the game, but the analysts missed bringing Drew's tyrade to the audiences attention.

From what I saw, Drew was yelling something to the effect "If Pau Doesn't Want the Damn Ball, Then Get Me The F'n Ball!"

Way to go Drew! Pau needs a Tranfusion of AB17, STAT!!!!!!

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NIT THE LAYOFFS!"

"what Kobe needs to do to get a foul call?

Complain about lack of calls and he will get a T called.

******REPOST******

My apologies for the very delayed response, but I was tied up with business until now. Hopefully I'm responding to all questions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@Art-- Adelman has proven what he's capable of and what his shortcomings are. I'd rather give B. Shaw the opportunity by inheriting a proven system and coaching staff than take on Adelman's coaching approach. Adelman seems to be more of a follower than a leader in coaching style.

With the success of PJ and the Bulls, Adelman hired his Yoda (Pete Carril--he developed the Princeton Offense and did well at the college level (interesting that he was being compared to Tex at the time 6 NBA rings separated the two)) to implement the Princeton Offense in Sac Town (another motion offense with some Triangle comparisons that can be made).

One difference between the two offenses is that the Triangle, when run properly, evolves based upon what the defense takes away--when the D takes something away it leaves another avenue available through the triple-post movement. Whereas, the Princeton Offense is predicated on movement and passing until a mismatch occurs (not reading the D so much as passing quickly until you get a shot).

Moreover, when things don't go right for Adelman, he gets off the bench and whines. And after the game, he cries about the lack of calls. Frankly, I respect Jerry Sloan much more because he's no nonsense and a no excuses type coach.

With that said, with no LVL 5 coaches available, I would opt for retaining the system and trusting B. Shaw to continue the tradition.

Here's a question for you. When Red Auerbach stepped down, who did he hire as coach?

Answer: William Felton Russell (Player-Coach), NOT some LVL 4 coach.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@yellofever--Adelman has been to the NBA Finals twice in his career and B. Scott has back-2-back NBA Finals appearances. NJ had talent, but not the talent of Adelman's Portland Trailblazer teams or Sac Town for that point. Yes, I place B. Scott in the LVL 4 category. He's an excellent coach that has now inherited a poor team. With that said (and even though Byron is a former Laker), I would pass the reigns to B. Shaw over taking B. Scott (a LVL 4 coach).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@LRob--Thanks re the coaching levels. I actually thought about having 6 Levels (definitely if we were having a discussion about past and present coaches), with PJ a LVL 6 and Auerbach either a LVL 6 or LVL 5+.

Here's the rankings again.

LVL 1: Bad Coach. No business in the NBA.

LVL 2: Good Coach. Doesn't get in the way of upper echelon players, but rarely makes the playoffs. Cookie cutter system coach.

LVL 3: Development Coach. Excellent player development coach.

LVL 4: Excellent Coach. Coach and his system takes good players to playoff competitors and excellent/great players to championship competitors. May earn a title depending upon the level of competition in a particular season.

LVL 5: Championship Coach. Coach and System is Championship Tuned. Players are integrated to the System and the System and Players Adapt on the Fly. Exude the belief that the championship is in their hands, not in the hands of fate.

Here's something to contemplate. How would you rank each of the current Playoff coaches?

EAST

IND: Vogel--LVL
PHI: Collins--LVL
NYK: D'Antoni--LVL
ATL: Drew--LVL
ORL: Van Gundy--LVL
BOS: Rivers--LVL
MIA: Spoelstra--LVL
CHI: Thibodeau--LVL

WEST

MEM: Hollins--LVL
NOH: Williams--LVL
POR: McMillan--LVL
DEN: Karl--LVL
OKC: Brooks--LVL
DAL: Carlisle--LVL
LAL: Jackson--LVL 5
SAS: Popovich--LVL

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NOT THE LAYOFFS!"

Posted by: The Triangulator | April 20, 2011 at 07:38 PM

S Perkins,

>>>LTLF...you've been a Laker fan so long that you have no clue what is reality.

You want reality? You like apples?

How about 5 rings? How do you like them apples?

>>>Fisher and Bellinelli both sucked and were 2 for 9. Fisher can't even hit a
>>>layup. It is pure luck when he does. He is 5 for 17 in the first 2 games.

Yes, because the entirety of a player's game is his shooting percentage. That's why Kevin Durant, with his 19 for 50 shooting (a crappy 38%) in the first two playoff games last season was so bad that he should have just retired and gotten it over with. Right? I'm sure you were calling for his retirement right then.

>>>Nuff said...MORONS !!!!!

And once again, a blogger who doesn't have enough factual evidence or understanding of the big picture of a team game has to resort to name calling.

Typical.

You're welcome to call me a moron over and over and over while the Lakers are hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.

LTLF is laying a smack-down today! Well done.

Some of the Outlaw's thoughts from last night:

1. Pau was much more aggressive. He did a good job moving across the paint from the weak side, getting into position ball side at the pinch post. He demanded the ball, and he got it. He made strong moves to the hoop, but the shots didn't fall. He shot text-book jumpers, and some didn't fall. No worries. That'll happen.

2. Kobe was a defensive freak guarding Paul last night. He harassed the hell out of him. Paul was super frustrated, and the two were talking tons of smack to each other. The refs really let Kobe hound Paul, which surprised me. But I liked it. Great defensive effort.

3. Artest has that glassy-eyed look. I call it the "stone cold killer" look. It's his playoff look. No antics. No kissing of the biceps. Just a sincere and honest effort at getting the job done, and he's doing it well.

4. Bynum? Yes, I think he's the key to a ring this year. I love that kid. He's playing exceptionally well right now, and I think he can play better. Defensively, he's moving his feet. Offensively, he's making strong moves toward the basket. Nice face-up game, too. The Beast is awakening.

5. Kobe had that game on a string last night. He was orchestrating beautifully. Sure, his shot wasn't on. Luckily, it didn't need to be.

6. Lamar killed it. That coast to coast off-the-glass shot was insane. He looks focused and hungry.

The Lakers aren't playing perfect basketball. But they're sharing the ball, moving pretty well in space, and their defensive mindset is starting to gel. I think they can, and will, play better.

Go Lake Show!

MM, On the iPad all of your videos show up black with the following text:

"THE VIDEO YOU HAVE REQUESTED IS UNAVAILABLE."

NBA4ever, after the points you make against Chicago or Boston I don't see how you can pick the Lakers...you go against your own logic.

You knock Chicago for having a tough time against Indiana who don't have Collison...well they still won both games, and Indiana is a better team than New Orleans. You say NY is 2 NBA guys and the rest D-Leaguers...who does New Orleans have besides Paul? Okafor? Ariza? Come on now.

Lakers are playing a New Orleans team (last seed in playoffs) that doesn't have their leading scorer in West. And LOST...at HOME, then struggled in game 2.

If you are putting money on them it's because you are biased as a Laker fan an not being objective.

They weren't calling fouls on the moving screens and there was a lot of traveling and carrying on both sides that was missed but am I missing something about Kobe? I don't remember any shot attempts this game that he deserved free throws and didn't get them. Can anyone refresh my memory?

Paul,

>>>NBA4ever, the way the Lakers and Spurs are playing now I think any of the 3
>>>big east teams (Boston, Chicago, Miami) would easily slay them. Both have
>>>dropped games to lesser competition and the wins haven't been convincing
>>>ones either.

Remember the 2008 playoffs? The Celtics went 7 games vs crappy Atlanta, 7 games vs mostly crappy Cleveland (plus LeBronze), and 6 games vs Detroit. The Lakers mowed down Denver, Utah, and San Antonio fairly easily.

Pretty much every pundit picked the Lakers to win the finals. We all know how that went.

You should know by now (and if you don't, I'm telling you):

It doesn't matter how many games you lose in the playoffs, as long as you win 16.

"Here's Kobe's most important stats for game 2 (vs game 1):

Chris Paul: minus 13 points, minus 5 assists, minus 12 points on +/-

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM "

I don't think it's a good recipe. In doing so, Kobe's stats were : minus 23 points and minus 3 assists. He slowed himself down much more than he slowed Paul down.

To me the difference in the game was Bynum and Lamar. If they had played like this in game 1, Chris Paul's 33 points and 14 assists wouldn't have made a difference. Matt Barnes also made a huge impact after being invisible in game 1.

>>>I don't think it's a good recipe. In doing so, Kobe's stats were : minus 23
>>>points and minus 3 assists. He slowed himself down much more than he
>>>slowed Paul down.

But the difference is that the Lakers are deeper than the Hornets. Kobe has 4 or 5 quality players to pick up the slack behind him on offense. Note that the minus 23 points is because Kobe only took about half as many shots as he usually takes. Most of the time on offense, he was DELIBERATELY defferring to other players in order to conserve energy for defense. That meant more shots for Bynum, Odom, Pau, and Artest, who collectively did fine.

With New Orleans, Chris Paul is the alpha and the omega of their offense. If you let him dominate on offense, he can score a bunch of points and still manage to get Aaron Gray and Marco Belinelli and Willie Green wide open shots. If you smother him and don't let him get into the lane as much, and get him to give the ball up and make Ariza or even Jarrett Jack initiate the offense, you've just made them a MUCH worse offensive team. Witness: game 1 New Orleans shot 52% as a team. Game 2 it was 39%. Kobe wasn't entirely responsible for that (e.g. Bynum staying out of foul trouble helped too), but containing Chris Paul is a HUGE factor in that.

I don't think the Lakers could win a title with Kobe doing nothing but defense, they aren't deep enough to absorb that against deeper teams like the Celtics or the Bulls. But when absolutely necessary, Kobe can still be a top notch defender on the opposing team's star.

And if the Lakers and Bulls make it to the finals, Kobe may need to reprise this role.

At this point from what I've seen I think Chicago has what it takes to win it. Rose has shown he can handle pressure situations, has the leadership, and is a clutch player. Once Boozer and the rest step up their offense a bit they will be hard to beat. Defense is what wins games and Chicago has the best D in the NBA. What has me really betting on Chicago however is that throughout the season and these playoffs, D-Rose has been able to carry his team. The Bulls played large stretches without Boozer and Deng due to injuries, but the Bulls still won regardless. The only way I see them faltering is if D-Rose gets injured or starts playing poorly. If he's on his game I see Chicago taking it.

The Heat are steamrolling right now and Bosh has really stepped up his production and is playing with a lot more fire. However, the Heat have played inconsistently all year, not sure if they'll keep their intensity up throughout the playoffs or if they'll start to taper off, I wouldn't put too much stock into them yet.

NBA4ever, after the points you make against Chicago or Boston I don't see how you can pick the Lakers...you go against your own logic.

You knock Chicago for having a tough time against Indiana who don't have Collison...well they still won both games, and Indiana is a better team than New Orleans. You say NY is 2 NBA guys and the rest D-Leaguers...who does New Orleans have besides Paul? Okafor? Ariza? Come on now.

Lakers are playing a New Orleans team (last seed in playoffs) that doesn't have their leading scorer in West. And LOST...at HOME, then struggled in game 2.

If you are putting money on them it's because you are biased as a Laker fan an not being objective.

Posted by: Paul | April 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

@Paul
I didn't realize you were a hater with no rational. Indy better than NO? Really? With that record playing vs the East you came to that conclusion how? They are so green you want to smoke them, you must be smoking something with the logic you provide. I gaurentee you that NO would handle both Indy and NY easily in a 7 game series. And NO is (not the last seed in the playoffs)no. 7 in the West and would be the no. 5 seed in the East would they not? You are new here because if you weren't you would know that I love the NBA first then the Lakers, no bias here just how I see it in my OPINION. I would never risk money with my heart.

>>>You knock Chicago for having a tough time against Indiana who don't have
>>>Collison...well they still won both games, and Indiana is a better team than
>>>New Orleans.

NOT... EVEN... CLOSE...

The Hornets are a much better team than the Pacers, and they have a superstar, which is something Indiana doesn't have. It makes a difference in the playoffs. Look how far LeBron carried some truly putrid teams.

The Hornets would have been a 5 seed in the East and would currently be making Orlando fans worried.

If Indy was in the west, they would have been the 12 seed (i.e. 4 spots out of the playoffs and only one game better than Golden State).

In fact, with so many sucky teams in the Least and so many good teams in the West, New Orleans would more likely have been a FOUR seed in the East and Indiana the 13th best team in the West (just ahead of the Clippers).

@NBA4ever

7th seed, same record as 8th seed my mistake. Sure NO had the better regular season record but without David West it drops their stock big time imo. They really have a big hole that nobody is able to fill adequately. New Orleans already had the 4th worst offense in the NBA WITH West. Their D has been solid so far but game 2 was telling. They limited the Lakers to under 90pts but couldn't break 80 themselves. They just don't have guys who can pick up the scoring slack other than Paul, and he can't realistically play like he did in game 1 all series long.

That being said the Lakers are still split 1-1 with a low seeded team missing one of their best players. Defending champs with multiple all-star caliber players struggling to put away a crippled team.

@LongTimeLakerFan

Like I said before without West NO is not the same team it was during the season. They may not have made the playoffs without him, Houston may have been there instead. CP3 is a superstar but not the Lebron type who can carry a team alone.

>>>Like I said before without West NO is not the same team it was during the
>>>season.

True, but even without him, they're much better than the Pacers.

>>>They may not have made the playoffs without him, Houston may have
>>>been there instead.

True, but if Houston and New Orleans were in the East, then Philadelphia and Indiana would be fishing right now. With or without David West.

>>>CP3 is a superstar but not the Lebron type who can carry a team alone.

question #1: Wouldn't you say that CP3 carried the team in game 1 of this series?

question #2: How many rings has LeBron carried his teams to?


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