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Lakers 'trust issues' will make it too hard to overcome Dallas

Lakers14_510 One by one, the Lakers trudged to the entrance tunnel with their heads down, their teeth clenched and their ears perked.

Their heads remained down because the team's 93-81 Game 2 loss Wednesday to the Dallas Mavericks put them in a dicey reality. Only three times in NBA history has a team won a seven-game series after losing the first two home games and only 14 times out of 238 seven-game series in NBA history has a team overcome a 2-0 deficit, something Lakers Coach Phil Jackson conceded is a "challenge." Their teeth remained clenched because the Lakers' frustration pointed to numerous long-rooted problems, such as a lacking inside game, Kobe Bryant's high volume of shots, Ron Artest's inconsistency, the bench's horrific play, the team's horrible defense and poor free-throw shooting, providing them a big list to correct. And their ears perked because the boos from the 18,997 fans at Staples Center remained loud throughout the game.

The Lakers' public unraveling took place in what could be their last game of the season at Staples Center and certainly their last playoff series of the season. There's plenty of lasting images to sum up the Lakers' demise. Artest clotheslined Dallas guard Jose Barea with 25 seconds remaining in the game, an act condemned by Jackson, an act that will likely draw a suspension for Game 3 on Friday and an act that looked uglier than both Artest's shot selection (four of 10) and his pushing on Dirk Nowitzki. Lakers forward Pau Gasol looked equally horrified, upset and emotional after Nowitzki threw the dagger with three-point play on a fadeaway jumper and foul that put the Mavericks up 85-73 with 2:51 left, a sequence so ugly that most of the Lakers fans at Staples Center then headed for the exits. And then in the locker room, Lakers center Andrew Bynum argued that the team has "trust issues," a reason why the Lakers won't be able to overcome their current adversity.

"It's obvious we have trust issues," Bynum said after becoming the only Laker to shoot above 50% with 18 points on eight-of-11 shooting and arguing the problem has been season-wide. "We have to come out and discuss them or things won't change."

Bynum, to his own admission, also put himself at fault, grading his performance a 'D' because of his poor effort on defensive rotations. He also expressed the optimism the Lakers will sort out these issues beginning with Friday's practice. And Lakers co-captains Derek Fisher and Bryant put on a calm public face, with Fisher insisting with an adamant "No" when asked if there are trust issues and Bryant believing "the trust [Bynum's] referring to is being able to help each other on the defensive end of the floor." 

But despite all the championship experience, Bryant and Fisher have with five rings apiece, their plead for patience and calm has done little in striking a nerve in this team. Despite Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's insistence that the team act more "light-hearted," the only light-heartedness has come in the team's actual play. I'll immediately admit I'm wrong if the Lakers prove me otherwise, but they have given me no reason to believe they'll beat the Dallas Mavericks beyond their past accomplishments.

That proves to be the sobering reality, with Fisher admitting "we're making too many mistakes for this time of year." The Lakers have finally met their match in a team that has assembled enough size to neutralize the Lakers' inside presence, talent to make any Bryant scoring spree a non-threat and a deep bench that only exposes the Lakers' poor play by its reserves. Forget blaming this on complacency. The Lakers are well past that stage and simply aren't executing correctly on offense and defense. Forget invoking the Lakers-Boston series where they overcame a 3-2 deficit in the 2010 NBA Finals. That was a chess match as both teams were fighting tooth and nail for supremacy. This series shows the Lakers feeling overwhelmed. And forget invoking the Lakers would be tied 1-1 had Bryant made his three-point shot at the buzzer of Game 1. If I'm wrong about the Lakers being eliminated in the West semifinals, it's only a matter of time before the Lakers experience that fate. The Lakers have too many issues to fix, not enough time to correct them and only have themselves to blame for being in such a scenario.

"We've kept playing with fire for the last three years and dropping games on our home floor," Bryant said. "Now we finally got what we deserve." He then added, "This has to spark some energy or motivation to go up there and play, especially now. Everybody, I'm sure is against us, we're done and we're over and finished with. If you can't find motivation in that, then you shouldn't be playing."

"It's unfamiliar and not a great place to be," said Fisher, who scored four points on two of seven shooting. "We have a big uphill climb to make from here, but the opportunity is still there. We have to clean up a lot of things and get a lot better in 48 hours and give ourselves a chance to win that game on Friday night and see what happens then."

Following are a few areas from the Lakers' Game 2 loss to explain why even an uptick in play or a Game 3 victory won't be enough to win the series. 

Lakers10_510 Defense

Even through any Lakers lapse this season, they coasted to a 17-1 mark following the All-Star break by adhering to these concepts: funneling drivers to the lane so that the Lakers could depend on their size to stop them. But the Lakers rarely played any semblance of defense in Game 2.

"We feel the defense was the problem out there tonight," Jackson said. 

Their matchup strategy with Nowitzki proved to be awful once again as he scored 24 points on nine-of-16 shooting. The sliver of space Gasol and Lamar Odom gave on Nowitzki still resulted in fall-away jumpers. Gasol's fatigue seemed to wear on him as he struggled to stay with him. And Artest's constant pushing on Nowitzki late in the second quarter proved counterproductive.

But the Lakers' defense proves more deeply rooted than just stopping Nowitzki, a task that frankly prove to be impossible in this series. The Lakers' defense appeared more egregious on their pick-and-roll sequences, which Bryant described as "atrocious." Dallas' swing passes around the perimeter threw the Lakers' rotations off balance, resulting in the Mavericks' eight-of-25 shooting mark from three-point range. And Gasol's failure to close out in the lane mostly resulted in Shawn Marion scoring 14 points on five-of-10 shooting and Jose Barea finishing with 12 points on a four of nine clip. Soon enough, plenty of body language revealed that the Lakers didn't want to help out on rotations because of previously missed assignments. 

"We need to be more communicative of the things that are happening defensively," Gasol said. We have to be confident, support each other and have a positive mindset out there."


Gasol's disappearing act

He can't blame the team for not getting him the ball this time around after he finished with 13 points on  five-of-12 shooting. On one possession, Bryant fed Gasol the ball in the post twice before he settled for a pull-up jumper. Though Gasol made that shot, the sequence epitomized Gasol's passivity. With exception to one drive toward the lane past Nowitzki, Gasol mostly settled for outside jumpers, making the teammates high-five Gasol after nailing one. It's a rather strange sequence to be providing such positive reinforcement for a four-time All-Star, but even his post-game comments touting the Lakers resiliency sounded forced and insecure.

"I wish I could've been more productive," Gasol said. "I wish I could've been more effective. I had some good looks and plays I should've finished better, but I tried my best."

Gasol's playoff funk isn't an anomaly. Him settling for an outside jumper after Nowitzki pushed off of him in the third quarter, Gasol's visible frustration with officials tacking him for five fouls and his annoyance when Nowitzki nailed jumpers over him illustrates a postseason wide struggle where he's dealt with fatigue, aggressive and focus issues. His 13.5 points a game average on 41.8% shooting against New Orleans and his 14 points on 45.5% shooting against Dallas marks a huge dropoff from his regular-season average of 18.8 points on 52.9% shooting. The results are fairly obvious. But the reasons aren't so clear.

"There's some things that obviously didn't look good for Pau," Jackson said. "But he worked and was one of the kids who looked tired out there."


Teammates aren't giving Bynum enough looks

Despite being the only player who shot above 50%, the Lakers stubbornly didn't feed Bynum enough inside. In fact, three of his eight field goals came on offensive putbacks from teammates' misses, a good reason why Bynum should be frustrated. As much as Dallas' defense is swarming the paint, the Lakers weren't patient enough with finding better shots, including finding ones inside. 

Interestingly enough, the Lakers proved remarkably patient with trying to increase Gasol's confidence while he struggled from the field. Yet, they proved remarkably stubborn in feeding Bynum when he had the hot hand. The Lakers' concept for having two seven-footers entails being able to rely on one when the other isn't playing well. As much as the Lakers want to boost Gasol's confidence, the coddling needs to end and Gasol simply needs to improve individually. Even if Bynum had a poor night on defense, he should be rewarded for being incredibly efficient in the post.

"We gave up a little too early and started chucking up shots," Bynum said. "We need to do our double teams from somewhere else on the court and move the ball."

Bryant can't carry the team on his own, nor should he expected to be. Each jab step, pump fake, pull-up jumper and fadeaway served a purpose in Bryant's half-hour pregame routine at 4:30 p.m. His workout solely consisted of mid-range jumpers that nowhere matched to game speed, a clear sign that Bryant was building rhythm where he'd be needed the most considering his sprained left ankle. But the approach still speaks to Bryant finding the way to ensure maximum effectiveness.


Considering the sensitivity regarding his ankle, however, the team's success can't hinge on his shooting. Surely, Bryant's presence still remains a threat. But the Lakers aren't going to win games when he feels inclinced to produce mostly on his own. In his 23-point performance on nine-of-20 shooting in Game 2, the large percentage of his shots were warranted even if he ended the first half missing the last three shots.

With Bryant's attempt to involve Gasol clearly not working and his surrounding teammates outside of Bynum offering very little, the Black Mamba had very little choice but to hope his shooting heroics might at least enable the Lakers to grind out a victory. Dallas has heeded RIck Carlisle's advice in not getting "discouraged" when Bryant goes on a shooting streak, knowing his supporting cast will need to produce. Surely, this strategy actually could've ensured a Game 1 victory had he nailed the game-winner, but the approach isn't sustainable. 

"You can't just dump the ball off to [Pau] or me," Bryant said. "You expect us to be double or triple teamed all night, but at the same time we have to be aggressive and make shots when we have those opportunities. It's always a combination of the two."

The bench has offered very little. The most vivid example of the Lakers' trust issues involves the fact that Odom and Gasol began shutting them out of the offense late in the game, knowing Matt Barnes and Steve Blakes' combined shooting clip proved beyond horrendous (zero of seven). The Lakers' mistrust also points to Jackson's decision to end their rotation with 8:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Lakers nursing a 75-67 deficit. The Lakers surely could've pulled the plug sooner with the bench's nine missed three-point field goals highlight contributing to the Lakers' two-of-20 mark from three-point range. 

"We have to get to the ball to our strengths. We have to move it and understand where the mismatch is at," Odom said. "But we're going to take shots. We're stubborn. We're the defending champs so we're stubborn.We got to take shots that are there. I don't think anyone is forcing it."

Odom's justification that they're simply just taking open shots proves unfounded. They can't simply shoot themselves out of a slump during a playoff game. Many of those shots came either late in the shot clock or showed an impatience in finding a more high percentage shot. That's only fueled the mistrust between starters and reserves, as well as the big men and backcourt.

Artest's absence will create a trickle effect. Considering Artest actually proved to be the most consistent player in the first round of the playoffs, averaging 11.8 points on 50% shooting, I'm surprised his numbers have dropped in the past two games to 6.5 points on 27.8% shooting. So the Lakers aren't going to miss his presence much, considering he lacked consistent rhythm in Game 2 and made bone-headed plays on defense when guarding Nowitzki. But his likely suspension will create a trickle effect where Barnes and Luke Walton will log more minutes. Barnes used to be reliable, but his return to the lineup in March after a two-month rehab on his surgically repaired right knee has made him a more tentative and inconsistent presence. Walton, meanwhile, hasn't played a single minute in the playoffs. While he may provide more fluidity to the second unit in terms of passing, his 32.8% mark from the field isn't going to do much to jumpstart the offense.  

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photos:(First) Lakers power forward Pau Gasol beats Dallas center Tyson Chandler to a loose ball during Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times. (Second) Lakers forward Lamar Odom applies defensive pressure to Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki in the first half of Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times. (Third) Lakers power forward Pau Gasol reacts after he was called for a foul on Dallas power forward Dirk Nowitzki during Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 4, 2011. (Fourth) Lakers center Andrew Bynum elevates to score over Dallas center Tyson Chandler in Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 4, 2011. (Fifth) Lakers guard Kobe Bryant checks the scoreboard late in the 93-81 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 4, 2011

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MM - Hey ! What does the heading of your article mean ???

"Lakers 'trust issues' will be too hard to prevent Dallas from eliminating them in Western Conference semifinals".I think you meant to convey that the issues will be too hard to overcome...if they are to prevent Dallas eliminating them.

In order for the Lakers to win this series to should drive more to the basket,give hard foul everytime.Bigs aggressive in defense and rebounding.In game 3 KOBE will be the big difference,he will will this team to win this series from now on.No more Mr nice guys...

@ Mark Medina, in the grand scheme of things I agree with most of your analysis and, like you, I saw certain signs down the regular season stretch that made me queasy going into the post-season but I am not ready to bury this team, just yet.

The ONLY silver lining, and I am not trying to sound like wild eyed hack, is that we played so poorly in the first two games, that we should be able to put up a better performance tomorrow at the AAC in Dallas....granted, probably without Artest and adjusting to and fixing some of the issues cited in your commentary.

Seems to me the pressure will be on the Mavs now, to take Game 3, so we should be loose and if, hypothetically, we can win tomorrow night, Sunday's game, will be up for grabs....preferably, we don't come back to LA down 3-1, though.


A sober report from Mr. Medina.

I wanted to add that the clearest piece of evidence that we will get kicked out of the playoffs is our 4th qt performance. This is where champions show up! We simply implode...


Adrian Palomar: "Don't undestimate the heart of the champion haters." I say, don't underestimate the LACK of heart of a champion. We've been extremely lucky through the years, winning despite playing without a sense of urgency and displaying all around arrogance. But as the great Kobe put it: "We finally got what we deserved." I think this is it. We're done and the greatest coach in history will leave the game in utter shame.

Clearly the players have tuned out PJ. We've seen evidence of that all season long. I am not the one who gets on his case for doing this or that in games but I've seen a lot of questinable desicions this post season. The latest being to leave Blake in the game when he stunk up the Staples Center.

Speaking of Blake, here's another player imploding when putting on the Lakers uniform. But we all knew that the incredible play of the seasons first games was a total fluke and reality would set in. But I'm sure we never saw this horrendous play coming.

I won't even mention Gasol. Oops, I just did. Now there's a man with a broken spirit.

Besides the puke inducing play of my beloved team there are two things that really, really annoys me. First it's the destruction of the game by the refs. We the fans don't want sissy basketball. We want to see some pushing, shoving and hard feelings. This is the playoffs for crying out loud! Am I right people!? In this game they completely killed our momentum when they assessed Ron Ron with his first tech - for what?!?!? It was the same thing in gm 1 of the Pukes vs. Crybabies in the east. Secondly, it just absolutely kills me to see I-wannabe-one-of-da-boys-Cuban celebrate on our floor. I wish someone would throw a water baloon filled with bodily fluids in his face.

I hope this will be over quickly. Mavs in 5? Now I can't see anyone stopping the the Gloria Estefans from winning the title. *throwing up by the buckets*

Hoping for a hungry Lakers team whenever there's a next season.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Barnes? Blake?? I told u guys before the year started that these guys were jokes, poor excuses for basketball players, but u didn't listen. Now look at you, and look at me and my team. I was right, you were wrong. And it feels so good to feel this way, can't imagine how you must feel? Probably like the Hornets when Kobe hit that buzzer beater against them when they were in Charlotte, when he said, "..and it feels so good to see the shot go in and there is just nothing they could do about it because the buzzer sounded..." That's why they say what goes around comes around. What goes around, comes around. Hope u enjoy those 2 titles with the asterisks forever next to them!!! GO HEAT!!! :)

maybe if bryant had learned how to play basketball the right way
things would be different. with ball hog bryant jacking up
stupid shots, these lakers had no chance.

Barnes refused more money and the Miami Heat to win a ring in LA. I wonder what he feels like now.

Can anyone tell me if there will even be an offseason this year?

I mean, the greedy players want too much money and the other shoe in the economy hasn't even dropped yet... will the lock out/negotiations even make it possible to improve the team?

I think we might be stuck for two years, unless we have a CBA.

Kobe will be 35 when we have another chance to make a run.

While people might disregard or dislike Drew's "trust" issue...I have seen it most of the season. These guys play like individuals...not a team. When someone makes a good play, you do not see support or enthusiasm for the their fellow teammate. When someone does something wrong, you dont see the other teammate trying to help them out and let them understand what they are doing wrong. I started to see if a little bit when LO was relegated back to the bench when Drew came back... However, At the end of the day this is a TEAM sport. And Dallas is playing as a TEAM with more heart and energy. Lakers do have better talent but when you do not show up and execute then this is what happens.

Phil Jackson has to take some of the blame...if the bench is stinking it up..take them out! Isnt this why the starters got so much "rest" during the regular season, so they would be ready for the playoffs. Rotations are becoming so predictable that other teams know how to plan for it.

Lastly, while people complained about last year's bench I will say least they had an identity...I can not believe I am about to say this...but the combo of Walton, Sasha, Farmar, and Brown and LO although not perfect provided some source of energy and they moved faster as a unit. If you can see...EVERYONE but the Lakers runs now. Speed and athleticism and youth which the Lakers lack greatly. Barnes and Blake who people lauded during the offseason have shown not to be the key..why Mitch sought them out is beyond me.

At the end of the day I do believe the Lakers can and will win on Friday. Sunday would be icing on the cake and come back to LA with the series tied. No one said it would be easy, but they did not have to make it this hard on themselves either.

I love my team. Now, forever, and always. Thanks for entertaining me. Thanks for making incredible last minute shots for as long as I've been watching you. Thanks to Kobe, who can hit the dagger and make you suck in your breath and they cry "OH!" Thanks to LO, who can take his opponent off the dribble and go left beautifully. Thanks to Gasol, who has made beautiful shots this season. Thanks to Fish, forever a classy guy. Thanks to Drew, who keeps the ball high above his head and gets offensive put backs. Thanks to Phil, for coaching us to back to back championships. We'll miss you.

True Laker fans, take heart. We have been treated to 16 championships and some breathtaking basketball. These guys have a lot of wear and tear on their legs, and losing this round would be a disappointment, but it's understandable. They're worn out. You can see it in Kobe. He's also hurt. Don't listen to all the crap talkers who want to come on the board and talk smack. They can't. They haven't been through what we've been through, and can't possibly understand the greatness of the Lakers. All they know is their defeat over the years, so they are bitter. We all know and remember what it's like to win multiple championships, so we can be better and forgive their little verbal jabs. They mean nothing to us.

I love my team. I'm a lakerholic, and that's that.



Well, I'm not saying I agree, BUT as my wife headed out the door she says

"that other team just looked amazing. they play as a team whereas the Lakers have all these superstars"
I think she was saying that Dallas moves the ball and the Lakers are stagnant.

So that's an outsider's perspective... seems I'm too close to the action to see it.

it's ok. we are a team. no matter what happens we will end as winners.
don't hate gasol; don't hate anyone.
he's better than kwame.

we will be CHAMPIONS.
just believe.

i believe.

Put it this way - every game from here on out is a closeout game.

If the Lakers win the next 3, then they have room to lose a game, otherwise, no.

And everyone is disappointed in me; I'm sorry, but I see the math. It says the Lakers have to win the next 3 or they're toast. That's a tall order for a team that has collapsed twice in a row.

I can't even begin to tell you guys how disgusted I am with this team. They are so talented, but THEY ARE NOT THAT GOOD. The talk all season was about flipping switches, but to flip a switch, a team must be vrey good. The bottom line this year, this Laker team is not that good.

We have a lot of talented low IQ guys on this team (Brown, Barnes, Artest, Odom), then we have a couple weakminded soft guys (Gasol and Blake), then there's old Fish and Kobe who can't do what they used to...

This has turned out pretty bad...unbelievable...

I had a terrible sleep last night thinking this debacle of a team who seems to have thought that they were so superior to other teams that they wouldn't have to put their heart and soul into playoff games. I mean, we were down by 6 with 3-4 minutes remaining, with no momentum or energy going whatsoever, and what does Mr. Kardashian do? Start popping off his mouth about how "we're gonna win this game". Yeah, sure Lamar. C'mon man! Play the freaking game and shut up!

This is freaking super upsetting.

GIT Lakers!


re: the offseason. I'm actually hoping for a lockout. It would give Kobe
time to have surgeries & repair/heal.

re: the Lakers. Aren't we missing Ariza right about now?

and can someone tell me if the Glass is Half Full or Half Empty right now?

re: this:

maybe if bryant had learned how to play basketball the right way
things would be different. with ball hog bryant jacking up
stupid shots, these lakers had no chance.

Posted by: sally | May 05, 2011 at 05:16 AM

Do you actually watch basketball or do you just read about it in the
Kobe-Hater's journal?

It was a very disappointing night all around. From the Lakers performance to the fans booing, yet the series is not over!

MM did a good job of outlining all of the Lakers problems. But its still only two games. If Dallas can beat the Lakers two in a row on the road, then I believe the Lakers can return the favor. Tighten up the defensive rotations and execution and don’t worry about the offense. The Lakers will shoot better. Sorry but I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet.

Kudos to Drew for competing at a high level last night! Kobe also came to play!

I saw this coming. We all did. We lost three in a row before the All Star break and the last loss came to the worst team in the league. Even when we went on the 17-1 run I was worried we were peaking too early – that we are too old a team to keep up that kind of momentum. Losing 5 in a row at the end of the season and needing a buzzer beater to beat Sacramento was a pretty good clue also. Losing the first game to an undermanned NO was the final straw. I knew at that point we couldn’t beat OKC let alone the Celtics, Bulls, or Heat. I never suspected we would lose to Dallas however…

I was upset that they traded Sasha. We shot 2-20 from the three point line last night. I wondered at why we got rid of young guys in favor of old guys. I have been saying Blake was a bust all season – except the first eight games of course. I have been saying that PJ should shut up about retiring because he is turning himself into a lame duck. Every time he said something in the media about retiring, we would lose the next game. I have been saying “Play Trey!” He couldn’t have shot worse or played worse defense than Blake. Ron will be gone at least one game. They will have to play Trey… or Luke… Play Trey!!!

If I was the Lakers, I would keep feeding Bynum the ball and let him shoot. If anybody on the team is shooting at an 8 for 11 clip, we should ride the hot hand. He didn’t explain what he meant when he said “trust issues.” All of the other team members were interpreting it… wrongly. He was simply saying that he was 8 for 11 but they didn’t trust him enough to keep giving him the ball. If they had, we would have won.

Lamar sure picked a bad night to play like the old inconsistent Lamar. Their bench scored 30 points. Our bench scored 12 shooting 6 of 23. Laker guards not named Kobe shot 5 of 16. We missed 9 free throws as a team.

Kobe is a warrior and will go down fighting! Pau seems to be getting his fishing gear together. We need some young blood on this team. I have a feeling it may be a long time before we see another championship. PJ will be gone. After getting booed, they will probably trade Pau. He will want to be traded. Ron is all done after completely losing it and trying to decapitate some little dude. That was one of the most embarrassing moments I have had as a Laker fan. Fisher is old. The whole bench is old. They will trade away half the team. If I was Kobe, I would be thinking about getting traded to the Knicks…

This is right where Mamba24 is supposed to cheer me up! I hold him partly to blame. We need his optimism. Now would be a good time to return. We could get some positive vibes going… Maybe win a few games in Dallas… Mamba24!!!

I will watch until it is over because (and on days like this it is a curse)…

I am a Lakerholic.

I still feel that this Laker team will move on to WCF!!!

I would be happy to have Kobe get all the surgeries needed to be at his best. I know he can still play.

But is the team stuck?

Last year everyone here made me think I was wrong about the whole Fish/Farmar thing. What we saw last night is exactly what I was worried about. I'm not worried about Fisher - even next season. I was worried Farmar would walk without ever being given a chance.

Well now we have Blake instead. When the swap was complete, my statement was "at best, this is a push"

I'm pretty sure we can ALL see that it's not "at best" - but far from it. This was a major downgrade.

Oh well... do I focus on the negative, or just remember the positives?

No other team out there has won two straight since the Bulls in the 90s. We lived through the three peat, then the Malone Payton year, then the Smush Cook lowlights, and then three shots at the O'Brien (winning 2!)

it's certainly been a fantastic run.

But can the Lakers make it back to the top of the mountain, or will they fade out like San Antonio?

The defense was horrible and they kept shooting 3s when they were 0-13 that is when you stop shooting the 3s. The decision by Jackson to put the reserves in to start the 4th quarter sealed the fate for the Lakers to be down 0-2. When you are down 1 game already you put your starters out there to win the game and worry about energy levels for later in series at a different time.


I don't care how bad it gets in Laker town - Kobe better not ask for another trade. And I don't think he will. By the time the writing is on the wall for this team, he won't be in a position to think he has 5 or 6 great years remaining and all of his talent is going to waste. Kobe shall be a Laker for life.

I just don't think PJ viewed this game as it truly was: a MUST win.

This was effectively a game 7, because if they lost, they now have to go on a monumental run and do it on the road. For example, Kobe played 31 minutes while Dirk played 38.

It's do or die. I don't care about rest, put the best players out on the floor or else everyone is going to have a whole lot of rest if you catch my drift

Well, the Rockets did it. Let's see if we can.

Yep, pretty much going to need "clutch city" for the Lakers


re: Fish/Farmar & the team.

The team has been stuck since Jim Buss decided not to trade Bynum for
anybody. No, I'm not saying we should trade Bynum! I'm saying that the
*refusal* to trade him indicated that we were stuck.

No, Farmar would not have made a difference last night. Sasha would have.
Sasha could play 1-3 and was a dead-eye shooter. No, his stats weren't
great during 2009-2010. However, he was our best pure shooter.

So ... *THIS* behavior is what *I* and others were worried about.
Complacency & Arrogance. I'll stop before I go on a rant.

Before you throw Blake out of a window, I'd like to make a few suggestions:

1. All media-related extra-curricular activities should be curtailed. i.e.
Reality-tv show? Gone.

Rapping/Music production? Gone.

2. off-season surgeries should happen w/in 1 week of the season being over.
maybe 2 weeks if the surgeon has been struck w/ the plague.

3. Every Laker, not named Kobe, should double the amount of time spent
shooting. I exclude Kobe, because he was going to do that anyway!

4. More emphasis should be placed upon quickness instead of size/length.
Which would lead to youngsters getting more playing time.

Look on the bright side: KOBE is on his way to Dallas. Game 3 is a must win.
Phil won't be trying to save Kobe's legs. He's going to give us everything he's
got. It might not be enough. But it should be a great game!

To all of the "Kobe is a ball hog" types:

How's that *TEAM* ball workin' for us right now?

Mitch Kupchak wants to save money and win championship in the same year, it will never work that way, if Dr.Buss is still a smart owner, he will find a new GM. Kupchak did not know how to build a team, he was lucky when Jerry West in Memephis and Lakers got Pau Gasol.
The Final year of PJ is always worried me, i wrote few days ago, Kobe and Fisher should understand more than anybody else, remember 2004 the final year of PJ.

It's do or die. I don't care about rest, put the best players out on the floor or else everyone is going to have a whole lot of rest if you catch my drift


I agree. I still believe they will win Friday and the whole series...GO LAKERS!

Hey, LRob, I guess it's up to you and me, dude. Everybody else seems to be giving up before it's over. Last I heard, it takes 4 wins to take a series, and all I see is 0-2. Sure, it looks bad for us right now. But we were only one missed shot at the end of Game 1 from being 1-1 right now. So why is everyone throwing in the towel already?

Here's the way I see it. Can the Mavs EVER play any better than they have these 2 games? I mean Dirk has been totally unconscious with his one-legged fall back behind the head throw it way up swishers. And Barea? Gimme a break. He's been like Mighty Mouse on methamphetamines. And is there ANYBODY on that team that's shot less than 50% from anywhere on the court. I mean come onnnnn! No way can they keep that up.

But here's the deal. How do you think those Mavs are going to start feeling if we steal Game 3.? Yeah, specifically Game 3. That is the turning point game, without a doubt. Win it, and suddenly Dirk's shots will start clanging, Barea will start running into Bynum's belly button, Jason Terry will suddenly start flinging air balls, and best of all, Mark Cuban will start wearing age-appropriate clothes.

Yes, I can feel it now. The surge, baby. The surge. Game 3. Ours.

Be afraid, Mav trolls. Be very afraid.

"Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey..

Posted by: Andy L | May 05, 2011 at 05:46 AM"

Nice to see som troll using my name to taunt us. Can't you at least be un-lame when you want to break our "round jewels"? Lame-o. May I guess, Heat-fan?

Kobe took only 20 shots. High Volume is like 30. He was 9/20 and thats pretty good. Whole team shot 41%. Yes Bynum went 8-11 but if he got issues with Kobe taking high volume then lets look:

Lakers bench went 0-9 from 3 pt land.
- Blake 0-5.
- Odom 0-2.

- Artest 1-4
- Kobe 1-5

That is like 2-20 shooting from 3 pt land.

Maybe PJ should have said after 3 quarters lets dump it more into Bynum. I did not see the game but I would assume why Lakers took outside shots is because thats what the defense gave them. And Mavericks probably crowded/denied Bynum.

Had PJ employed pick&roll or screen kind of offense which way too late for the old hag Buzzard then maybe Lakers might have been able to take advantage. Remember traingle works well when you have a great shooter (Kobe/MJ) and some kind of Post Presence on MAN TO MAN DEFENSE. TRIAGLE when crowded by something like ZONE will not work (LOLITAS Showed it you last year in playoffs). PJ and his staff because of old age cannot change.

In this kind of environment let Kobe take the high volume because Bynum can have as many trust issues as he wants but I feel if Kobe takes another 10 shots Lakers win or at least have a chance. Bynum is stagnant and cannot create plays for himself like Hakeem or Shaq so he should shut up. He is just big and can only be relevant around 5-7 feet of the basket.

Kobe creates plays for himself and should do it for himself only. Passing should not be an option because rest of the crew is just flat out junk at the moment. When they wake up and start balling then talk to him.

PJ with his 11 rings is real far from reality. Success came from MJ, SHAQ, and Kobe and has gotten to his head as if he was dumping 55 pts at the Madison Square Garden or shatterring back boards. After you win that many rings you start thinking that it was your strategy or game plan or wise cracks. Put me in the white for a year and I will probably think I am the President also.


* Mitchel Kupchak needs to be held accountable. You don't trade a Sasha for a run down, non-playing, non-contributing benchboy.

* I think Phillip Jackson has been a very intelligent, unorthodox coach, and what he has done USE to work. However, this year, this team has toned him out. Maybe because they know he's leaving, maybe because Kobe is being more steadfast (read stubborn). I don't know. But the Lakers no longer respond to Phillip, and thus, sadly, it is time for him to leave.

* The Lakers have no perimeter shooters, no spot up shooters, no 3 point shooters, and no pure shooters, save for Kobe. And that is not debateable.

* I don't fault Kobe for overshooting. His mindset is that he has no offensive help, so he has to force the issue. However, I do fault him for his poor defense, something evident for the past 3 years.

* I can't remember when, but I do remember Phil publically stating that he doesn't care to defend the 3 point shot, being that the chances of a team consistently making said shot is low. Hmmm...

* I don't think it's right to celebrate the violent killing of an unarmed man, in front of his children, no matter how horrible he was. We have laws and due process for dealing with criminals, not highly trained lynch mobs.

* I can’t stand to look at the goofy expression on Shannon Brown's face. I'd take Sasha over that fool any day, and I warned this blog about that earlier this year.

* Pau Gasol cannot handle being a number 2 option. I'm sure he has certain skills, but he doesn't have the mindset to be a goto type. I do appreciate his efforts in the past, but its time for him to move on to another team.

* I like Bynum. Wouldn't it be great to have Bynum at center and Dwight Howard at Power forward...

* Most teams have back up guards that can hit open mid range shots. So why can't Steve Blake? Remember, this is the NBA. Blake should be able to hit some outside shots consistently. What has happened to Steve Blake? It's something about playing on the Lakers than renders all Laker guards offensively inept. You notice that?

* I don't mind what Artest has done for us this year. I just want him to concentrate on his defense more than shooting 3 pointers.

* The lack of production from Pau has a ripple effect on the team. Kobe overshoots and players like Artest feel they have to compensate for the lack of offensive production. This is why I've said all along, Pau is the worst liablity on this Lakers team.

* Lamar is Lamar. I actually think he's been pretty good this year, and Chloe has no negative impact on him.

* Matt Barnes has been the only consistently productive player off the bench. Steve Blake has been the worst.

* This is the beginning of an end of an era. I went to both of the Laker Championship celebrations. I have fond memories of them, and of our struggles against Boston last year in that epic 7 game series. I do appreciate the happiness that my Lakers have brought to me for the past several years. But as the saying goes, Nothing Gold Shall Stay. Earlier this year, I figured out how things would turn out, and I shared my thoughts on this blog. I left this blog after many years on it because I didn't feel right about things. But after a restless night last night, I visualized all of the pleasures and joys my Lakers have brought me over the years, and now I know I am resigned and at peace with all of it. We have been truly blessed to have had a team that has represented us fans in the NBA Championships so many times, and have been successful a good amount of those times. We need not be spoiled. So many teams and their fans have never experienced the level of success we have, and many never will. In fact, we should rejoice for what we've experienced over the years from our Lakers. Thank you, Phil, thank you to all the players. It's time to rebuild and retool for Kobe's final years, and I hope Mitchel Kupchak is up to the task. Nothing Gold Shall Stay. Lakers forever.


so this is what it feels like? when do the trade scenarios start? lakers need some energy and youth. not to mention somebody who can shoot from beyond ten feet. the problem is...who do you trade and for whom?

Man, this paper has turned defeatist.

What is this, the Los Angeles Surrender Monkey Times?

According to Mr. Medina, "maybe I'm wrong, but the Lakers are done."
After two games.

Another headline: Lakers are on the ropes.

But IMO you can't say they're on the ropes until they're on the verge of elimination. And as bad as they looked in Game 2, they're not quite there yet.

Suppose for instance, the LAL come out and kick the crap out of Dallas Game 3, in Dallas. That makes the series 2-1: Is that 'on the ropes?' No, they'd be one game away from tying things up!

Don't get me wrong, watching Game 2 was just an awful, awful experience. The LAL never had control. But there were also a lot of things going wrong all at once that you just HAVE to walk away from and restart from Game 3. And really, it wasn't like Game 1 was the worst they've ever played, either. How many points did they lose by again? Two? OK then.

I've read here many, many times now how NOBODY can beat the Lakers in a seven-game series. Well, folks, this is GAME 2, and already you're throwin' in the towel?

Not me. I've got plenty a beef with this team, but I also roll with what I've been given. And you know what keeps me going? Should I let you all in?

Sometimes I imagine the Lakers 2011 NBA Finals Champion DVD, and I ask myself, "Self, what would make this DVD storyline truly great? I know: what if this aging team, challenged by younger and hungrier opponents had a tough run in the first round, almost got overwhelmed in the second,

(cue Phil interview in June: "...But over all the years, I'd have to say my last was the toughest...")

(To show you how irrational I am, I want to see both Lakers and (dare I say it) Boston come back from behind and live to fight another day. 'Cause as much as I hate it when it's on, in my experience, the sweetest victories are just BARELY won!)

So that's it, Men O' Purp N Gold: get over the "soul-searching" and GET BUSY! Remember that Lakers team that was one win shy from having a perfect month in March? They're still there, y'all. And they've still got two games to WIN!

But only if you shake the rust off yo' butts and DARE TO BELIEVE!

Boston sucks!
Mavs are going down in Dallas Town!
Lakers in 6.


Kobe hasn't been over-shooting. However, you bring up an interesting point.

Everybody knows that Kobe is shooting Game 3. So, how are you going to
get him good shots. He'll be doubled from the word go.

*THAT* is why I indicated that all Lakers should get extra-shooting

How about learning to go under screens instead of over them?

The good news??

Sasha's contract is expiring and he should be a free agent.

We can now get him back on the cheap.

Long live "The Machine"

Why didn't Trey Johnson get minutes last night?

Yeah, so I shouldn't throw Steve Blake out the window... but people, that was perhaps the WORST playoff performance I've ever seen... and I've seen Smush and Cook

But for a 6 minute stretch in game 1, the Lakers had that game in control and at one point dominated it. Lets not forget that - but build on that game while correcting the execution and focus issues. If its all about energy and fatigue - there isn't much anyone can do about that in 48 hours. If we re not going to win the title, better to lose now, get some rest in the offseason and come back hungry next season. The time off from a lockout might not be a bad thing...

I’m not alone in my embarrassment to be a Laker Fan today. Throughout this season to watch this team play has been an exercise in frustration. Well, finally the team’s arrogance has caught up to them.
Anyone, who believes all the sudden a team that can’t play consistent defense, lacks motivation, and has a poor bench .will all the sudden be able to correct this, and pull this series out is living a dream.
Lakers better make some radical changes this off season; or you can count this fan out. In all my years as a Laker Fan I have never been this embarrassed to be a fan.

Gotta love the die-hards.

I love you guys!

Game 3 won't strike fear into the hearts of Dallas. Game 3 AND 4 might do it, Game 3 AND 4 AND 5 definitely would.

I'll watch the first half of Game 3, and if the Lakers have a fighting chance, I'll watch the second half. If they win, I'll repeat the process for game 4... but if it goes sour, the TV gets turned off. This is my defense mechanism. I'm sorry. I had to turn off the TV game 7 vs. Phoenix because it felt like I was watching my children get tortured to death. What parent would WANT to watch that?

Laker fan-

You can give up if you want to but I aint! We are going back to Miami tied 2-2!

@Tim-4-Show I hear you. its frustrating to watch this team play..I get so angry watching them play, that my girlfriend gets pissed with me. based on their play this season, I don't see them being able to correct their problems in two days time. better for this nightmare to end now, and hope the team makes some major changes in the off season.

How about learning to go under screens instead of over them?
Posted by: hobbitmage | May 05, 2011 at 07:05 AM

Hobbit, listen to me now and hear me later...the secret to stopping the screen and roll isn't what our trailing guard does (please copy and send this to Phil and the rest of the Laker coaches who apparently have never heard about this), it's what our big behind the screen does. Specifically, he cannot simply slide sideways, allowing the guard to be left one on one with him, or worse, penetrating around him. The correct move is for the big to aggressively jump out ahead of the screen and push the guard up top WITH our trailing guard doubling him. Once their guard is trapped up top, our big can then peel back to their roll guy. Any outlet pass by the trapped guard will be extremely difficult if the trap is aggressive and your teammates are floating into the remaining passing lanes.

This isn't fanciful theory. It's how the greatest coach who ever lived, John Wooden, designed how to defeat the screen and roll.

The irony is that the Lakers wanted Dallas instead of Portland in this series. Everyone thought that Portland would give the Lakers fits. Well, the Lakers got what they wanted and now their backs are against the wall for one last cigarette.

Did everyone else see Gasol just give up on defense?

It was a great run - In the Finals 3 years in a row, Championship 2 years in a row . . .

But as George Harrison once said:

"All Things Must Pass"

Laker fan-
You can give up if you want to but I aint! We are going back to Miami tied 2-2!
Posted by: 131-92 | May 05, 2011 at 07:21 AM

131-92, I never thought I'd say this, but you're my kinda guy. You gotta believe in your team no matter how bad it looks. And it's definitely not over until it's really over. Winners don't just win...they refuse to lose.

So, for once, I'm with you. Here's to 2-2 for both of us.

When the Lakers were down fifteen to Portland in 2000, I still believed....
When Shaq missed that shot from three feet away in Game 4, Sacramento 2002 and Vlade batted the ball out of the key, I still believed...
When there were 0.4 seconds left on the shot clock against the Spurs, I still believed...

I'm a Lakers fan. I believe. I don't trust, but I believe. I think there's a way for the team with the most history of amazing moments in the last decade to win it.

Ball into drew, more cutters, more ball movement, bench blake, no shannon brown, 48 minutes of kobe, 40 minutes of Drew. Start Odom and Bynum. Pau delivered two championships, but something mental is going on with him. Not this year. Play Trey some in a rotation with Fish. Barnes will have to be out there for Artest anyway- that's a cutter right there.

Here's what I saw in the NO series- the Lakers play really bad at home- they're expected to win. This team plays good on the road. If we aren't too mentally defeated already, we can go in there and win two, even the series.

Every year there's a breaking point- where the lakers give up and just play. That time might be now.

I don't trust...but I do believe.

12 to 3peat.

Playing 5 seasons of basketball in 4 years, on top of everything else one does in the preseason and offseason (international competition for Kobe, Pau and Lamar from 2008-2010) takes its toll.

All great moments -- winning series, winning titles, parades -- come at a price. Troy said it best: Nothing Gold Shall Stay. If this is the price to pay for 3 Finals runs, and titles 15 and 16, so be it.

This team is trying to do something historic: reach 4 Finals in a row. If memory serves, that hasn't happened since the Celtics Dynasty. Bird didn't do it, and MJ chose not to do it. None of Phil's teams have done it. And not even Magic and Cap pulled it off.

Think about the last 2 times our Lakers tried this. 1990 (PHX). 2003 (SA). Botb times, they were run out. And this team is weaker than those teams, with defensive disadvantages at 1 and 4 and a woeful bench (the biggest disappointment of the NBA season).

This team can still win this series, and a title. They have the size, experience, and franchise player to do it. But perspective is important. Lakers fans don't need to panic or wail and gnash their teeth. Mother Nature and Father Time are a 1-2 punch that every great team succumbs to eventually, so if this is the end of the road, so be it.

Go Lakers!

Putting a magnifying glass on every detail of the game is plainly a wrong approach to analyzing the game. It's like doctor treating symptoms rather than the disease.

Th root cause of the Laker problems is the poor plays of the bench players, particularly Steve Blake. He has been so bad that Dallas is essentially ignoring him. Whenever he is on court, it is 4 on 5 for the Lakers. Dallas knows Blake won't shoot, so they clog up the middle, thus prevent our Big guys from even getting a shot off. When Blake penetrates, Dallas cuts off his passing lanes, knowing he would not shoot. As a result, the offense is stagnated, thus putting a lot of pressure on our players and exhausting their energy. Consequently the defense suffers as well.

In fact, Steve Blake is such a bad player, I don't understand how he is playing in the NBA, let alone playing for the Lakers and getting paid with big chunks of money. Steve Blake is mentally weak. He is NOT motivated (or incapable) to create plays for the team. When Gasol or Bynum wanted to pass the ball out when they are being crowded in the middle, Blake ran away from his spot to receive the ball, thus forcing our Big to put up bad shots or turnovers. This type of evading outlet passes was not just occasional. It has become a pattern indeed. And Dallas knows it. When Blake passes the ball inside, it is 5 on 4 for Dallas.

We can only hope Fish will find his shots and play long minutes for the Lakers to come back. What a terrible acquisition for Mitch Kupchak last summer!

Breaking up the bench, not getting a point guard with fresh legs, and continuing to allow Pau Gasol to play like a big wimp; instead of offering him an ultimatum ,is why this team is going down in flames.

Get rid of the dead weight in the off season; or this team will be at the bottom of the league next year.


The Lakers will start winning once they stop playing as if they were the LA Sparks!

Trey Johnson as back-up PG for game 3.

Put me on that bandwagon now.

Also, I think UPS is okay. I know we can complain about all the players right now, but we do have to go with what we have at some point. We have Trey, and he lacks experience, but I think he can get it done better than Blake.

If any team that is capable of coming back from 2-0 deficit then it is this Lakers team. With Phil, Kobe and Dfish leading the charge I would put my money on this lakers team. I believe game 3 will change the complexion of this series and the final outcome, Lakers win 4-3!!

Go Lakers!!

This isn't fanciful theory. It's how the greatest coach who ever lived, John Wooden, designed how to defeat the screen and roll.

Posted by: CornerJ | May 05, 2011 at 07:29 AM

Ok. I see why that works. Can you go tell the Lakers? Please?

I'll help with airfare.


Thanks ... But I cant believe that after posting here the last couple of years, that this is first time you agree with me!! Or is it the first time you will admit to it in public??

Anyways, Im not giving up! We havent even played a home game yet. Win 2 in Boston and its a best of 3 series. We just have to win one in Miami and I dont care which one it is!!

Is it really fair to put blame on Kupchak for all of this? When Mitch made these deals, I remember that most people thought the team was made better, the bench was stabilized and a threepeat was secured. Is it fair to blame him for these guys underachieving?

Also, Kobe encouraged and praised all of the moves. He urged them to bring Fisher back, he was thrilled about the Blake and Barnes acquisitions. I don't remember if he said anything specific about Shannon but I know that most people were happy he was back. Theo was really the only move that was questioned from the start. Mitch got the players his star player wanted and he made moves the fans approved of.

Hey at least Boston only has to win 2 straight AT HOME. I like their odds a whole lot better than ours.

And why are people talking about game 3 changing anything in this series?

Say the Lakers blow em out by 50 points in game 3. BFD.

Now suppose the Lakers follow it up with a 45 point blowout in game 4. Whoopdeedo...

Although admittedly, if they have margins of victory that impressive, I'd say the Lakers would be in huge command... but otherwise, it will take games 3, 4, and 5 to change the complexion of the series.

one possession at a time.

Ladies and Gents, let's buckle up our seat belts and ride this bus till the wheel's come off. Lakers in 7, it's not over till I see Aretha at the mic.

Posted by: 2Phatt | May 05, 2011 at 08:14 AM

"I remember that most people thought the team was made better, the bench was stabilized and a threepeat was secured"

I was skeptical about Blake for Farmar the whole way. Not that JF is this amazing player or anything, but he has athleticism and led the team in 3pt %. Wouldn't it be nice to have that back?

And then the Sasha trade... I understand him getting traded. We all saw that coming. But to just give him away for less than nothing was pretty pathetic.

I like Barnes. To his defense, he did get hurt

Posted by: 131-92 | May 05, 2011 at 07:21 AM

See you in the Finals.

Most of the Lakers are taking a short cut, they try to win a game with nothing but jump shooting. That is exactly what Dallas gives the Lakers . To beat the Lakers , they will give u that open look anytime and any day cause the Lakers are not a jump shooting team . There is no way the Lakers will out shot the Dallas . On the other hand , there is no way the Dallas can beat the Lakers if they try to go inside . The Lakers are playing right into the Dallas hand by taking all those open jumper. One more game with a lot of outside shot will send the Lakers to a early summer break. Good Luck .......


Odds of a rematch of last years finals has to be about a twentieth of a percent...

Put it to you this way, if we run this round ONE THOUSAND times from game 3 onward, the Lakers AND Celtics would both continue to the next round at the same time, about 1 single time.

That's not made up. That's the statistical probability.

If we run the series from game 3 onward on the Lakers side 100 times, they'd manage to pull it out exactly once. The Celts have 10x the chance to advance just based on statistics.

Can the Lakers do it? YES

Will they?

That's the question I've been asking all year long

The irony is that the money saved on Sasha may have just cost Buss many times over in lost revenue from WCF & NBAF

I guess Kobe read my comment last night about how this loss was well deserved, thanks Kobs for acknowledging me.

I've been saying it all season long that the team was over-rated. But there were all those fans and cheerleaders in the blog saying that the regular season was just a practice, and that the firsts rounds of the playoffs were also practice, and that eventually the team will turn on the proverbial switch.

Well folks that time has arrived, err, oh no, not yet. The Lakers need to be down 0-3, right? Kobe said "we need to be historic." Whatever that meant.

Right. Down 0-3 facing four straight elimination games, with two on the road.
Now, that would be epic. Clark Gasoft emerges from the phone booth (couldn't find one he said) as Superpau and shakes off the evil Mavs.

SuperPau helps the killer bees find their collective stings and make every shot. Kobe finishes his house and stops laying bricks and decides to finally trust Bynum who emerges as the true leader of the Lakers. Artest finds his therapist in Texas and promises to take on someone his own size. Fisher finds a way to stop Berea and makes THE SHOT to erase all doubt that he was not done. And finally, the 11-ring guru wakes up from his slumber (have you seen his face lately) and decides to start coaching, take the 12th and ride into the sunset.

Wow, that was one hell of a dream.

At least our Blazers put up a h*ll of a TEAM FIGHT compared to the way the Lakers are going down. Dirk didn't win at our home until the 3rd try.... Looks like the dynasty is ending......

It's hard to imagine nothing to watch any sports activities in t.v. in L.A. for the next two months. I don't watch the boring Dodgers and the copy cat Angels at all. I'm used to watching the Lakers in the month of May and June for the last three years. Now, they will be gone by the weekend after the Mavs sweep them. It's hard to imagine this will happen to our beloved team. Well, as a fan we're lucky enough to have 16 championships for our city, unlike fans of other cities in the United States who never experienced having a parade or had a parade decade ago. Don't worry we will be champion again in 2012 when Dwight Howard will team-up with Kobe Bryant. Howard/Kobe a much better version of Shaq/Kobe. Three-peat in the making before Kobe retires.

i have a very simple warning for phil jackson and the rest of the lakers:

beating the dallas mavericks requires a very simple formula....ANDREW BYNUM.

who did we ride for the spectacular stretch after the all star break? BYNUM
who was the difference maker in the series against the hornest? BYNUM
who are we trying to win with now.......GASOL.....FAIL!

if we play consistently through bynum, these things will happen:
the game will slow down to more of a half court game - advantage LAKERS.
dallas' bigs will be in foul trouble by the third quarter - advatage LAKERS.
we will have better spacing to shoot our 3 pointers - advantage LAKERS.
we will have better spacing to cut and run our offense - advantage LAKERS.
bynum is shooting close to 50%, 70% of his plays result in a score, foul, or assist - advantage LAKERS.
the team will be in better position to play defense because there will be fewer runouts by the mavs - advantage LAKERS.

i don't understand why this team REFUSES, REFUSES to give bynum the ball. the very first play of the game last night...he got the ball and chandler fouled him, what else can chandler do? NOTHING. he will either have to let him score, foul him, or let drew kick the ball out for an uncontested shot. THIS IS NOT ROCKET, FREAKING SCIENCE!!

we will NEVER win this series playing from the outside in. forget pau, something's going on with him right now. kobe's doing his part but he can not win this series alone. run the freaking offense through bynum and everything else will fall into place.

1986 all over again...
After the '86 elimination by Houston and their twin towers, Riley changed the focus from an aging (sorry, Cap) Kareem to a young and spry Magic...VIOLA! Repeat champs in '87 & '88.

The team needs to re-focus, ironically enough, to be more inside out, the problem they have had all season. This should have been Kobe's transition year on which the scoring and defensive burdens were shifted to other players. Unfortunately, the other players have been found lacking so far this season.

When the going gets tough Laker ahead of the crowds to the exits.

Not only do we have the weakest backbone of any fans in any sport but we have writers who try to show hindsight even before the results are in. If Medina spent as much time analyzing and advising as he did in this article throwing in the towel and trying to be right by being the first to shout "me give up" I might have some respect for the content.

This is the same team that we have had all year. The writers who were all gung-ho in March are now doing the told you so dance? Why didn't you make a peep when Dallas, Miami and the Celtics kept loading up on weapons at a discount while Mitch held a yard sale that included dumping our defensive guard for a retiree and our back up big for a crippled relic? Did you really think Blake was ready for prime time? Or that we did not need to act when Barnes went down? Now you moan over the bench? Now you recognize Luke Useless is the best of the trash 7. Thanks. Very insightful.

The Lakers are in a bad position. Gutless LA fans can forget overnight all the comebacks of the last 4 years. Kobe looks wounded. Pau looks tired. Ron blew a gasket. So the quitter crowd is already turning to the Dodgers and drinking their Lattes. We need to win 4 of 5 against the Mavs. Ever seen that done before. Well ya - about 5 years ago in Miami. Might lose it this time but I do not need a paid hack to tell me what he saw with 20/20 hindsight. Worthless.

It may seem sour grapes, but based on the "talking down" to me as a Laker's fan that seems to be coming from all corners', the TNT crew, the NBA and even our own local ESPN radio station, I am officially off the NBA wagon until a Lakers team gets back in contention.

Every fanbase in the league is allowed to homer for their team? Lakers fans have carried this league in terms of post-Jordan fandom, ratings, jersey-sales, and everyone is dying not just to see the Lakers lose, but to spit in my face as their fan? Good-bye.

Gpappa... Dont let the door hit you on the way out. You spit our face when you won.

Waiting for the first Bynum for Howard comment. Don't worry, Stern will make sure you get CP3 for some of Kobe's used jock straps!!

Seems obvious that Pau and probably the rest of the team do not like coby. Who could blame them? Trying to satisfy a prima donna who wishes to cast blame everywhere except himself would drive anyone crazy.

Hey Odum, how is the reality show going? I guess the episodes are coming in which you mistakenly believe you can outplay the best PF in the game and end up looking like a Doug Christie without the passion. Happy wife, happy life eh?

Mr. Artest, you have gone too far at last. The public and media gave you a pass when you won the title for LA last season. But there was no 2nd chance when it came to violence. Going after the smallest guy on the court with a cheap clothesline? Cowardly. But if it hadn't of been you, I'm sure Derek Fischer would have tried something similar because when LA loses in the playoffs, a cheap shot is to be expected.

The Laker's reign of terror over the NRBA (National Rigged Basketball Association) appears to finally be over.

Good riddance.

NRBA un-fan reign of stupidity begins..
Drop Dead!

Seems obvious that Pau and probably the rest of the team do not like coby. Who could blame them? Trying to satisfy a prima donna who wishes to cast blame everywhere except himself would drive anyone crazy.

Hey Odum, how is the reality show going? I guess the episodes are coming in which you mistakenly believe you can outplay the best PF in the game and end up looking like a Doug Christie without the passion. Happy wife, happy life eh?

Mr. Artest, you have gone too far at last. The public and media gave you a pass when you won the title for LA last season. But there was no 2nd chance when it came to violence. Going after the smallest guy on the court with a cheap clothesline? Cowardly. But if it hadn't of been you, I'm sure Derek Fischer would have tried something similar because when LA loses in the playoffs, a cheap shot is to be expected.

Posted by: BUTLER | May 05, 2011 at 10:13 AM

who is Coby? LOL Moron!

""I remember that most people thought the team was made better, the bench was stabilized and a threepeat was secured"

I was skeptical about Blake for Farmar the whole way. Not that JF is this amazing player or anything, but he has athleticism and led the team in 3pt %. Wouldn't it be nice to have that back?

And then the Sasha trade... I understand him getting traded. We all saw that coming. But to just give him away for less than nothing was pretty pathetic.

I like Barnes. To his defense, he did get hurt

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 05, 2011 at 08:18 AM "

Jordan Farmar would have helped this year but most people seemed to be happy he was gone. Everyone was happy for a more selfless player that would fit better into the triangle. $4 million a year is just a lot to pay a point guard they have no plans to put in the starting rotation. If all they wanted was a backup they could have got a younger cheaper point guard with more future potential. Now they have two old untradeable point guards locked in for a while.

The Sasha trade was terrible but since the coaching staff was insisting on making a point, it didn't affect the team because he was going to be benched anyway. He's better at making an open three pointer than anyone on the current team but that didn't matter to those who make the decisions.

If a person is too stupid to be able to spell the words "lose" and "loser" - don't even claim typos - then should anything they say be given any respect.

LaCkers go down in 4.

Medina good article but a little too late. This should have been written months ago. The trust issues Bynum is referring to is the same man who threw him under the bus in his rookie season. The same man who Smush Parkef talked about. The same man who Shaq feuded with. Remember Kobe said in the shaq years that he trusted his teammates but he trusted himself more. Medina you are real close to being credible but you may have to criticise Kobe.

Posted by: 131-92 | May 05, 2011 at 07:21 AM

See you in the Finals.

Posted by: LITTLE TROUBLE | May 05, 2011 at 08:18 AM

Dude...Both of you are on CRACK, it's over. Enough of this silly $hit that you Lakerholic are talking. All this it ain't over till it's over, BULL$'s OVER. Let me be clear IT'S OVER.

Remember pre Bynum, Fisher and Gasol, Lamar Odom lamented the lack of comraderie in the playoffs when Kobe was the single leader. Kobe is the blame. Look at what Jerry Buss said just before the regular season started. Buss the best owner in all of sports is a 10 time champion as an owner. He said that this team is perhaps his best team he has ever had. The man went out and proved it by spending $91 million in payroll the highest in the nba. You tell me that this high calibre team is down 0-2 against the Mavs? Something is terribly wrong. Imagine you buy a 2011 porsche for $70 thousand. You pull up to the light and a man in a 10 year old Civic challenge you to a race and then leave you in the dust. So imagine how poor Dr. Buss feels right now or if the lakers don't rebound?

oops . . . Magic and Cap DID make 4 straight Finals appearances.

82 Lakers d. Sixers
83 Sixers d. Lakers
84 Celtics d. Lakers
85 Lakers d. Celtics

LO is the difference! True, he can't guard Dirk. No one can. But Dirk can't guard LO either! He needs to be more aggressive. LO should be averaging about 20-25 pts in this series. The way he handles the ball, Dirk can't cover him. As a matter of fact, LO and Pau both should be killing Dirk on the offensive end. Also, Lakers need to run people off the 3 pt line. This is a strength of the Lakers, but I don't know where it is gone. Usually this allows Bynum to stay home defensively if anyone who is ran off come to the paint. Last night, I saw a couple of plays where Berea went into the paint, and four Lakers were in the paint with him while shooters just stayed on the 3 pt line so he kicked it out to Terry and the Lakers just ran back to the 3 pt line and the Mavs just passed the ball along the 3 pt line and got a 3 pt shot. That's terrible/poor defense. And lastly, Kobe needs to go through a full practice with his team today. This is not the time to preserve him because his ankle looks fine and if they don't get it right Friday, he will have all summer for his ankle. Practice builds team continuity and you got to have that.


Just doing a drive-by to say nice analysis. No time to worry now though, this thing ain't over yet!

Bynum needs to take some hard learning about how you handle a crisis and move forward as a team. You cannot walk out of the locker room and state that you have trust issues in the team. You can and must have that conversation inside the locker room if you feel you have to, but you cannot say that outside the locker room. He needs to mature and be a team player. Inside and outside the court.

I blame the coaching. Phil might be the smartest basketball guy in the world. However, if he hasn't drilled on specific plays for every situation hundreds of times until every person can do them in their sleep then he hasn't done his job. If he plays with the matchups in games and the players on the floor seem confused on how to execute then he hasn't done his job. You can blame the players for not having the skill. You can blame the players for using bad judgement. But even a dumb player can be taught "this is what I want you to do and when this person reacts this way I want you to do this". The players are in their heads way too much because the coaches haven't done the thinking for them in practices.

Can we get some rebounding from our big team? Can we get some movement without the ball? Our passing (when we don't just shoot outside shots) seems to lack energy and by the time the passes are received the defense is already in place. Is this how the triangle is supposed to function?

Just thought I'd post a history fact for my fellow Laker fans and the Mavs. Hint: 2004 Western Conference semis Lakers vs Spurs...

We shall do it again!

Too many to be followed and read... anyway, I wish my belief will turn out as this is one of the "Hollywood dramas" that the Lakers wanted to add for Phil's 3-peat - them being down 0-1 with the Hornets ending in 6; them down 0-2 to DAL and win by 6. Wish I'm right on this writing.

After their game earlier, I wrote them off, clearly coz of their brand of play, lackadaisical, sluggish - never learned from their Game 1 results. Distance themselves on throwing bricks (3s).

They are very much aware and let's face it they know how to solve Dallas' game - they just don't want to put a step and have them down (well, in an optimistic point "right now") but if they really have to play and step up? THEY HAVE TO PLAY THROUGH and do what they do best. Enough of all the talks about trust and of wishing they did what's best for them.

Enough of the drama. We know they can play on the level they were years and years they are on top. Now... some adjustments.

It's time to test Kobe's defense. He loves to be challenged defensively right? Heck he wanted to guard the opposing team's "best" players right? Laying all the cards, why can't he try guarding Dirk Nowitzki? I don't see anything wrong of a 6"6 (6"8) guy defending the 7"0 forward... crazy, yet I think that switch will best figure out also their issue at their pick and roll defense.

And in Game 3, if they still have plans of rescuing their season, can somebody tell them the importance of Passing 101? And... enough of their homerun shots! We know the Mavs had guns in the perimeter, yet they don't have to match it with 3s as well. They are smarter than that so they have to play things right.

Mavs need to close them out by winning 4... as early as I wrote them off and readying now "maybe" of seeing them fishing (with TNT) I guess they still have the last say for their "last stand" this maybe the last we will see them win the championship... or if Phil still thirst of the 12th? Are we really not going to see him again next year lockout or not?

Series over! Gasol and Artest are tired of playing with Kobe...Kobe has to realize that he can't steal all the glory. This is a team's not a "Kobe's legacy" game. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Sorry, but this team is cooked. For some reason they cannot summon the energy they had during their 17-1 run after the All-Star break. Everyone has already pointed out the problems, but unless the players light a fire under themselves, we'll keep talking about "it's only 3-0, we'll get them next game", and "it's only the 4th quarter, we're down 30 points in game 4, we'll get them in the last 2 minutes" until the Lakers actually find themselves fishing in May. The team obviously has the talent, but without any adjustments from PJ (hello, why is Shannon still playing, for crying out loud he's worse than Luke now; play Trey Johnson, he can't do any worse!), without Pau standing up to be the All-Star he is, without the team feeding Drew for easy buckets (jeez, Chandler cringes and fouls everytime Drew gets the ball), and with the bench playing like a bunch of spectators, this series was over last Monday.

I definitely agree with your game analysis about the dismal performance in Game 2 by the LA Lakers.
Did the reigning World Champs forget that “Defense wins Championships”?
What happened to the fire and passion that we have seen from the Lakers of old, this is not the same team that went 17-1 after the All-Star Break.
Yesterday they did not look like the champs; more so they looked like the chumps with their expressions and emotions shown by their body language, hanging heads, and poor choice of words to the media after the game. The defending champs are beating themselves with their lack of defense, poor scoring ability, and inconsistent play by the bench players. They need to limit their poor shot choices, mostly the jump shots (going 0-20 from 3pt land isn’t going to win any games) and start putting the ball on the floor and taking it to the rack! If they attack the hoop more, they will get a higher percentage shot that will hopefully lead to a few more baskets, along with drawing some fouls and getting some of Dallas’ key players in foul trouble.
Being down 2 games heading to Dallas is not what the reigning Champs need right now to get back to The Finals. It will take a miracle for them to come back from two games down on the road versus a veteran team to attempt on winning a 3-peat!

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” -John Wooden-



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