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Caught in the Web: Capturing reaction to Lakers' 124-112 Game 2 win over Phoenix Suns


Game Stories

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan showcases the Lakers' offensive dominance in their 124-112 Game 2 Western Conference Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns.

--'s Bryan Chu dissects how the Lakers beat the Suns at their own game.

-- The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro outlines Phoenix's frustration.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding points to Bryant's facilitating role as evidence he still "has a in the best-player-in-the-game discussion."

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen details the Sun's inept defense against the Lakers.

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights how the Lakers put the game away in the fourth quarter.

-- The New York Times' Billy Witz wonders if anyone can stop the Lakers.


-- The Orange County Register's Janis Carr illustrates how Andrew Bynum made the most of his limited minutes.

-- The Arizona Republic's Coro reports Amare Stoudemire stands by his statement that Lamar Odom had a "lucky game" in the Lakers' Game 1 victory.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen demonstrates why the Lakers' offense will be hard to stop when Ron Artest shoots well.

- ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin showcases Pau Gasol's dominance.

-- The Daily News' Teaford highlights Phil Jackson's concerns about Bynum's health.


-- The Times' Bresnahan features Gasol's fourth-quarter performance.

- The Times' Broderick Turner details why the Suns' Game 2 adjustments still weren't enough to stop the Lakers.

- The Times' Lisa Dillman explains why the Lakers are lucky to have Lamar Odom.

-- The Daily News' Jill Painter credits Kobe Bryant's ability to play a facilitating role.

-- The Arizona Republic's Bob Young features Jared Dudley's contributions off the bench.


--  The Times' Bill Plaschke argues Lakers' dismantling of the Suns does very little to prepare them for the NBA Finals.

-- In entertaining fashion, The Times' T.J. Simers has Jackson confirm the team has asked him to take a pay cut if he were to coach next season.

-- The Times' Mark Heisler believes Bynum will need to be fully healthy for the NBA Finals if the Lakers want to repeat.

--'s J.A. Adande sees the Lakers making their effort look too easy against Phoenix.

-- The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley wants more from the Suns' stars, including Steve Nash and Stoudemire.

-- The Arizona Republic's Paola Boivin credits Phoenix's improved offense, but criticizes its ineffective defense. He also believes Suns center Robin Lopez will be a valuable part of the team's future.

-- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore believes the Lakers are ready for a bigger challenge.

-- With the Lakers' series against Phoenix lacking much drama, The Riverside Press Enterprise's Matt Calkins compares the match-up to various unsuccessful movies.

--'s Art Garcia believes the Suns have no answers for the Lakers.

-- Fox Sports' Mark Kriegel can't wait for the Lakers to meet the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

-- Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins believes Gasol has remained dominant so he's fully prepared for Boston in the NBA Finals.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' McMenamin argues Artest has now proven why he's more valuable to the Lakers than Trevor Ariza.

-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller details Phoenix's inability to stop Bryant from directing the offense.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton compares Bryant to a quarterback.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne details how Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire remains a defensive liability.

-- Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears criticizes Stoudemire for not backing up his words with his play.

-- Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel says the series is over.

-- The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker credits Jordan Farmar's fourth-quarter play.

-- The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman argues Phoenix needs a new coach who will teach the Suns how to play defense.


-- In The Times' Fabulous Forum, Turner chalks up the Lakers' tough first-round match-up with Oklahoma City as the biggest playoff surprise.

-- The Times' Houston Mitchell details James Worthy's accomplishments, which readers consider good enough for Worthy to earn sixth place among the all-time greatest Lakers.

-- TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz breaks down Bryant's "artwork."

-- ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin goes through all the defensive adjustments Phoenix unsuccessfully made.

-- ESPN Los Angeles Andy and Brian Kamenetzky detail the Lakers' fourth-quarter run, Gasol's inside presence and provide hard-hitting numbers and video.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore sums up there's plenty to like in the Lakers' Game 2 win.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Phillip credits the Lakers' team effort.

-- Valley of the Sun's Seth Pollack calls Phoenix's Game 2 loss an embarrassment.

--'s Mike Trudell outlines how Bryant and Gasol exploited the Suns' defense.

Tweet of the Day:"Out of 94 regular-season & postseason games, 3 of the Suns' worst 4 defensive FG% games have come vs. the Lakers." -- paulcoro (Arizona Republic's Suns beat reporter Paul Coro)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I think our team needs a tougher game in Phoenix for games 3&4. I really want Phoenix to put up some real hard defense so the Lakers could have an excellent scrimmage in preparation fro the NBA finals, it's boring up to now." - appolo c. vermont

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tries to drive past Phoenix forward Jared Dudley during the second quarter of the Lakers' 124-112 victory in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

Lucky game? Fine with Odom


Lamar Odom had a "lucky game," according to Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire a day after Odom had 19 points and 19 rebounds in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

"I'm not giving him no hype," Stoudemire testily told reporters before the Suns practiced on Tuesday. "He had a lucky game."

Odom's reaction? Typically nonchalant.

"Hopefully I can have another lucky one," he said Tuesday after Lakers practice.

Said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson: "You make your own luck."

Odom's rebounds were a playoff career-high for the 30-year-old veteran. He helped fill the void left by injured center Andrew Bynum, who had only four points in 19 minutes while fighting through torn cartilage in his right knee.

The Lakers won the game handily, 128-107. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday at Staples Center.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lamar Odom goes to the basket in Game 1 against Amare Stoudemire and Louis Amundson. Credit: Lucy Nicholson, Reuters.

Caught in the Web: Cleveland-Boston live chat Thursday, plus Lakers links


I know you're going through Lakers withdrawal, wondering how you'll ever pass the time from now until Monday, when the West Finals begins. Other than stating the obvious that life outside the Lakers blog indeed exists (that doesn't mean I don't want you to keep coming back), there is still one thing to temporarily keep your mind on basketball.

With the Lakers, Suns and Magic enjoying plenty of rest after sweeping their way through the semifinals, I think it's fair to say Lakers fans are enjoying watching Cleveland and Boston beat up on each other. Fans of the Lakers blog overwhelmingly want the Celtics to win, a sentence you will never ever read again in your life. But what better way to see these two teams duke it out than in a Lakers blog live chat?

You'll remember where you were and what you were doing if Game 6 tonight at 5 indeed serves as LeBron James' last game with Cleveland. Nothing will get you more amped up to talk about the Lakers-Suns series. And even if the team isn't looking ahead, the live chat will certainly welcome fan discussion on who you think the Lakers will face in the NBA Finals. So at 4:45 p.m., come on by the Lakers blog and enjoy Game 6 of the Boston-Cleveland series.

Now on to the links (after the jump).

Continue reading »

Caught in the Web: Lakers gearing up for Game 3 against Utah


Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details Ron Artest's criticism of Lakers Coach Phil Jackson via Twitter.

--The Times' Broderick Turner gets insight from assistant coach Frank Hamblen on the keys to Game 3.

--The Times' Diane Pucin has all the details on how the Lakers fared in the TV ratings.

--The Times' media critic James Rainey puts Kobe Bryant to task for not owning up to the photo shoot.

--Many of The Times' readers apparently aren't thrilled with Bryant's new look.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr explains why the Lakers will face plenty of challenges in Game 3 Saturday night against Utah.'s Scott Howard-Cooper details how Andrew Bynum is managing to overcome his injuries.

--Fox Sports answers a few questions about the Lakers-Jazz series.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky explains why the Lakers appear on an uptick.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if the Lakers are ready for the Jazz in Salt Lake City.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin has an interesting Q&A with Lakers guard Derek Fisher.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton details why the Lakers have appreciated Artest's presence.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford details the ambiguous answers Artest provides regarding his postings on Twitter that criticized Jackson.'s Mike Trudell highlights Fisher's perspective on what makes Phil Jackson such a great coach.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius previews Game 3.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore imagines what life would be like if the Lakers had Chris Bosh.

Jazz links's Kevin Arnovitz details what Utah needs to do in order to bounce back in Game 3.

--The Deseret News' Tim Buckley reports that it's not clear what Andrei Kirilenko's role will entail in Game 3.

--The Deseret News' Jody Genessy highlights Deron Williams' belief that he may need to freelance out of Sloan's system.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe compares Jerry Sloan and Jackson.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Michael C. Lewis believes the Jazz can win Game 3, but that doesn't mean it can win the series.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Steve Luhm details how Paul Millsap has held his own against the Lakers' front line.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Gordon Monson tackles the question on what makes EnergySolutions Arena such a hostile environment.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Ross Siler reports Kirilenko and Millsap will come off the bench. Siler also details how the Jazz plan to take the Lakers out of their comfort zone in Game 3.'s Sekou Smith argues Utah is going to have a difficult time bouncing back in this series.

Tweet of the Day: "I think I have the best coach. But that doesn't mean I want to find out in media that I need to be more aggressive or should not take ... Corner threes. rather he tell me personally and direct. I found out about his comments from my friends. But that's yesterday. Game 3!" -- RONARTESTCOM (Lakers forward Ron Artest).

Reader Comment of the Day: "Ron Ron plays hard every time and brings a lot to this team's defense with his toughness but he needs to voice his problems without asking the coach to "close his yapper" -- LakersRule(Amit)

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant dunks over Utah guard Deron Williams in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

Teammates befuddled by Kobe Bryant's wardrobe in L.A. Times Magazine's photo shoot

It was only moments after the Lakers' 104-99 Game 1 victory Sunday over the Utah Jazz that teammates caught wind of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant posing in, let's just say, interesting wardrobe for a profile story featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

So even if Lakers guard Derek Fisher says he hadn't seen the photos until a reporter showed him after Monday's practice, he was certainly aware of the commotion.

"There were some other guys that have already addressed him about that particular situation," Fisher said after the practice session in El Segundo.

Teammates were left with befuddled reactions, and fans and writers alike mostly had the same confused sentiment.

Bryant suggested the photos were "a little doctored up. The photo-shoot stylist, James Valeri, told me Monday morning that the concept was all part of an effort "to do something modern."

But even if Bryant suggested the photos weren't exactly authentic, he acknowledged he "had a good time" during the shoot. And for the fans who aren't exactly enthralled with Bryant's new look?

"I don't give a ....," he said. As you can tell in the video below, many of Bryant's teammates initially appeared at a loss of words. They also hesitated to convey what their initial reactions suggested.

So in the spirit of having a fun time, below the jump is a portion of what I would be thinking if I were one of Bryant's teammates.

Continue reading »

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 104-99 Game 1 victory over Utah Jazz


Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers' 104-99 Game 1 victory Sunday over the Utah Jazz didn't exactly entail an inspiring performance.'s Bryan Chu details how Kobe Bryant's health has improved.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding highlights Bryant's fourth-quarter effort.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen details the Lakers' late-game defensive stops.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Ross Siler explains all that went wrong in Utah's effort against the Lakers.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford notes how the Lakers have often allowed teams to come back after a strong start.


--The Times' Bresnahan reports that Andrew Bynum will play through his latest knee injury, because surgery to repair a slight tear in the anterior horn of cartilage in his right knee would sideline him for four to six weeks.

--The Times' Broderick Turner explains why Utah Coach Jerry Sloan wants the Jazz to toughen up.

--The Times' Turner documents Derek Fisher's improvement.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr reports that Ron Artest was offended by Deron Williams' suggestion that he's quicker than Artest.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Lassen highlights Fisher's contributions.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Steve Luhm believes Bryant played Sunday like the league MVP.

--The Daily News' Jill Painter details how Wesley Matthews tried guarding Bryant.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Siler details Utah's poor start.

--The Daily News' Teaford reports that reserve guard Sasha Vujacic could play at some point in the Jazz series.

Columns's J.A. Adande says the Lakers' bench is faltering.

--The Times' Bill Plaschke credits Lamar Odom's fourth-quarter effort.

--The Times' T.J. Simers criticizes the Lakers' underachieving performance against Utah.

--The Times' Mark Heisler details the Lakers' familiarity with Utah.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore focuses on the Lakers' poor bench.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Matt Calkins says the Lakers reserves played so poorly, they should feel fortunate they play in the same facility as the Clippers.

--The Orange County Register's Ding argues that the Lakers need to have better teamwork while Bynum recovers from his injuries.'s Scott Howard-Cooper explains how Sloan and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson are complete opposites.

--Sports Illustrated's Frank Hughes argues that Bryant is back in full form.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe argues that C.J. Miles' missed shot late in the game proved to be a turning point.

--Fox Sports' Mark Kriegel explains why Utah has such a tough time against the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues that Utah lacks toughness.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin details the Kobe face, and how it might be needed this postseason.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wasn't impressed with the Lakers' Game 1 victory.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Gordon Monson believes that toughness is the main ingredient Utah needs to overcome its lack of talent compared with the Lakers.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton argues that the Lakers can't take Utah for granted, even if it's warranted for fans and the media to do so.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears shares his skepticism on Bynum's decision to delay surgery.


--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk about the Lakers' up-and-down performance, with analysis and video.'s Mike Trudell credits Bryant and Pau Gasol as the key contributors to the win.

--ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin explains why the Lakers' length will continue posing problems for the Jazz.

--Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus has a detailed breakdown of Game 1.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius has seen the Lakers play up-and-down one too many times.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore believes there's no use trying to analyze the Lakers' Game 1 victory.

Other Lakers links

--In an interview with the L.A. Times Magazine's Tom Murray, we learn what irritates Bryant the most. It's not questions about his injuries or about LeBron James winning the league MVP award. It's dog feces.

--I also did an a few interviews Sunday night talking about the Lakers. That included one with Fox Sports Radio's Sean Farham and Pooh Richardson (audio file below)

Fox Sports Radio

I also appeared The Point After on WBSU-89.1, based out of Brockport, NY.


Tweet of the Day: "You can't give up that putback to Lamar Odom. You can't let Kobe Bryant drive all the way down the lane for layup." -- tribjazz (Salt Lake Tribune's Utah Jazz beat reporter Ross Siler)

Reader Comment of the Day: "When the Lakers are firing on all cylinders, there's not a team in the league that can stop them. The problem is, they fire on all cylinders so infrequently that we all fear a wasted season. The truth is, the Lakers are their own worst adversary." -- Tim-4-Show

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who scored 13 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, scores on a driving layup down the lane against Utah forwards Carlos Boozer, left, and Paul Millsap with 22 seconds left in the game Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

Caught in the Web: Capturing reaction to Lakers' 110-89 Game 4 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder


Game stories

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights everything that went wrong in the Lakers' 110-89 Game 4 loss Saturday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding says  the Lakers' Game 4 loss to the Thunder is the most embarrassing performance of the season.

-- The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry argues that OKC sent a message with its Game 4 victory.

--'s Randy Renner reports that the Lakers' loss left them stunned.

-- What, Kobe worry? The Daily News' Elliott Teaford sees Kobe Bryant puffing a cigar following the Lakers' Game 4 loss.


With a full regular season on the books, The Times' Bresnahan details how Lakers forward Ron Artest is still learning the triangle offense. Artest also should admit he needs to improve his three-of-23 mark from three-point range in the postseason. But he tells the Orange County Register's Ding that he's satisfied with his shooting.

-- The Times' Broderick Turner highlights contributions Oklahoma City guard James Harden made off the bench.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky explains how the Thunder protects its home court. He also details Jeff Green's improvement.

-- The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin credits the Thunder's defense against the Lakers.

-- ESPN Los Angeles Dave McMenamin tackles the Lakers' free-throw-shooting problems.

-- The Daily News' Teaford dissects all that is going wrong with the Lakers' triangle offense.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton explores the Lakers' poor effort on the glass.



-- The Times' T.J. Simers appreciates how the Thunder and its fans approach the game. Of course, that's meant to contrast the Lakers' current phase.

--'s J.A. Adande doesn't rule out the possibility, but he doesn't believe the Thunder will upset the Lakers in the first round.

--'s Scott Howard-Cooper credits Oklahoma City's fan support.

-- The Orange County Register's Ding reports that Lakers guard Derek Fisher had told Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to bench him in Game 5 the instant he didn't box out Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

-- Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix argues that the Lakers lacked effort in Game 4.

-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders what Bryant's true motivations are in deciding not to shoot until the second quarter.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' McMenamin wonders whether the Lakers are capable of fixing their problems.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Patton argues the latest loss indicates the Lakers are vulnerable.

-- The Oklahoman's John Rohde details the passion of one Thunder super fan.

-- Fox Sports' Charley Rosen believes Bryant didn't attempt a single shot in the first quarter because he wants to stick it to Jackson for criticizing his shot selection.

-- The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel believes the Thunder can win this series.


-- The Daily Thunder credits OKC's dominance to a strong start.

-- Forum Blue and Gold documents everything the Lakers did wrong. Oh, where to begin?

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky breaks down several of the turning points that led to the Lakers' loss.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore argues the Thunder is "making the defending champs look very last decade."

--'s Mike Trudell breaks down the game and some numbers in Game 4, something he does so well that I probably should've asked for his help while working on my taxes.

Other Lakers/Thunder links

-- The New York Times' Jonathan Abrams details how Thunder General Manager Sam Presti built OKC into playoff contenders.

-- Hoops Hype's Roland Lazenby details the challenges Bryant has to overcome with an aging body.

-- Lakers forward Lamar Odom apparently has a long way to go in learning Spanish. Fortunately, Lakers forward Pau Gasol is there to help. Now if only El Spaniard put the same effort in boxing out OKC.

Tweet of the Day: "I'm wit my bros rite now. Series tied 2-2. We goin shock the world!!!!!!!!!!!" -- EMaynor3 (Oklahoma City reserve guard Eric Maynor)

Reader Comment of the Day: "These Lakers played without the heart of a champion and expected the results of a champion, the perfect ingredients of a perfect disappointment, which I could only endure into the middle of the 4th quarter before I had to distract myself with other "activities." -- Son Vo

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes to his left hand to loft a shot over Oklahoma City center Nenad Krstic during Game 4 on April 24, 2010. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Second photo: Oklahoma City power forward Jeff Green is fouled by Lakers guard Shannon Brown as he tries to put up a shot against power forward Pau Gasol during Game 4 on April 24, 2010. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 95-92 victory over Oklahoma City


Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes Kobe Bryant's late-game theatrics in the Lakers' 95-92 Game 2 victory Tuesday over Oklahoma City, but believes there are many serious issues the team needs to iron out.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues Oklahoma City has proved it belongs in the playoffs.

--It may not have been pretty, but the Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen says the Lakers have a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Thunder.

--The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry explains why OKC has a good shot to win the series even if it trails 2-0.

---The Daily News' Elliott Teaford details how Oklahoma City gave the Lakers a difficult time in Game 2.


--The Times' Bresnahan details the unveiling of Chick Hearn's statue outside Staples Center.

--The Orange County Register has a photo gallery of all the sights and sounds regarding Hearn's dedication.

--The Times' Broderick Turner explains the dichotomy that is Ron Artest's impressive defense and deplorable offense. 

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen explains what's up with D.J. Mbenga's hair.

--The Oklahoman's Mayberry and Barry Tramel note why asking Durant about Jackson doesn't exactly put him in the best mood.

--The Daily News' Teaford notes Jackson's analysis on Bryant's injuries.


--The Times' Bill Plaschke believes the Lakers are suffering an identity crisis.

--The Times' T.J. Simers expresses amusement over Bryant's and Phil Jackson's non-communicative relationship.'s J.A. Adande highlights how Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant believes his son still has what it takes to stay on top of the game.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore argues Bryant's 39-point performance in Game 2 served as a response to Jackson's challenge for him to fix up his game.'s Scott Howard-Cooper argues the Thunder will have a tough time scraping out of a 2-0 series deficit.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains why the Lakers aren't shooting well.

--It never ceases to amaze Fox Sports' Mark Kriegal when he witnesses Bryant bailing out his team again.

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix gives a nuts-and-bolts rundown of the game.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi explains difficulty the Thunder had in stopping the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin chalks up Bryant's fourth-quarter resurgence to going back to the basics.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller is impressed with Bryant's fourth-quarter heroics, but not the rest of his game.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton is impressed with how the Thunder is playing.

--The Oklahoman's Tramel believes the Thunder has become a much better team, despite these two losses to the Lakers.


--The Times' Lisa Dillman recounts her conversation with Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant in the Fabulous Forum blog.

--The Daily Thunder details how Oklahoma City folded in the final minutes.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky break down the key parts of the game along with video interviews.

--Forum Blue and Gold gives credit to Lakers forward Pau Gasol for also being instrumental in the victory.

--Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus has a detailed rundown of the game.

--Pro Basketball Talk's John Krolik explains how the Lakers managed a win even after scrapping their initial game plan.

--Silver Screen and Roll can't help but notice how the Lakers are aging.'s Mike Trudell details Bryant's statement game.

Tweet of the Day: "Walked with Kid Rock after Lakers win turns to me and says "F***, Whooo, Whooo" -- DuranLA (710 ESPN's Beto Duran).

Reader Comment of the Day: "OK, it wasn't pretty but the thing I like about both games is that the Lakers might not play well for the whole 48, but they're playing hard for the whole 48. That's a big deal. OKC is probably the best lower seed in the playoffs, experience or not, and you have to give them credit for playing well. I don't remember seeing a game with that many blocks. That was a legit block party." -- Mark G

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tries to finish his shot after getting fouled on a drive against Oklahoma City's Jeff Green (22) and Nick Collison (lower right) in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Previewing Game 2 of Lakers-Thunder series


Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details the Lakers' varied moods after Monday's practice.

--The Times' Mark Heisler expresses concern about Kobe Bryant's assorted injuries.

--The Times' Broderick Turner details the adjustments Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons wants to see the team make in Game 2 against Oklahoma City.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore highlights how Oklahoma City guard and former UCLA standout Russell Westbrook gave the Lakers fits in Game 1.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights the media circus surrounding the Lakers. She also lays out some possibilities on why Bryant has been struggling lately.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky highlights how Shannon Brown's patience in Game 1 paid off in a few sequences.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen details the Lakers' struggle in playing a complete game.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Doug Mann does some number crunching from Game 1.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi reports that Lakers froward Ron Artest considers defense to be his drug. It's unlikely in this case the Lakers will stage an intervention and force him into rehab.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin details Bryant's grumpy mood after Monday's practice. To McMenamin's credit, he was the lone reporter to get Bryant to smile after asking him about D.J. Mbenga's glasses.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford has medical updates on Lakers centers Andrew Bynum and D.J. Mbenga.'s Mike Trudell catches up Lakers reserve guard Jordan Farmar.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman explains why the first round of the NBA playoffs puts him to sleep.

--Silver Screen and Roll anticipates the necessary Game 2 adjustments.

Thunder links

--The Daily Thunder has a detailed video breakdown on how Artest limited Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant in Game 1.

--Though Durant shot only seven-of-24 in Game 1, his teammates express confidence to The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry that Durant will have a much better outing in Game 2. Mayberry also explains what makes Thunder forward Jeff Green such a versatile defender.

--The Oklahoman's Barry Tramel argues Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, given his Game 1 success against the Lakers, should try to take over the series. has details on Chick Hearn's statue unveiling.

National links's Scott Howard-Cooper explains why Durant loves Oklahoma City so much, even if he's not offered a long-term contract.

--NBA Fanhouse's Sam Amick details the difficulties Bryant must overcome with his various injuries.'s John Hollinger gives his take on what adjustments the Lakers and Thunder need to make in Game 2.

Don't have an insider subscription? No worries. Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson breaks down the adjustments he anticipates in Game 2.

--Sports Illustrated has a nice collection of Bryant pictures from his storied career. My, how much he has grown.

--Fox Sports' Randy Hill wonders whether Durant will bounce back from his poor performance.

Tweet of the Day: "if Kobe isn't looking to dominate - which he shouldn't since the bigs should win this series - he makes Sefolosha a non-factor" -- EricPincus (Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus).

Reader Comment of the Day: "Silence runs deep on the part of Kobe. A man who is injured cannot continue to be a miracle worker. He's there in the court with the guys, I think that is enough courage to be applauded by others. Don't expect too much from Kobe. Help Kobe and Kobe's presence on the court will help everyone get their scores. Without Kobe there, other players will have a hard time get their scores especially Bynum and Gasol because they will surely be doubled and fouled hard until they get hurt. It is the Odom, the Farmar, the Artest, the Brown who should contribute more. Kobe will get his score but he cannot be continue to be the workhorse at this time." -- Edwin Gueco.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant goes for a reverse layup after gliding past Thunder center Nick Collison on Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Analyzing Lakers' 87-79 victory over Oklahoma City Thunder

Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan outlines the Lakers' inconsistency in their 87-79 Game 1 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

--The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin documents the Thunder's poor start.'s Bryan Chu details how Andrew Bynum's aggressiveness set the tone for the rest of the game.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen details the Lakers' improved defensive intensity.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen breaks down some of the nuts and bolts regarding the Lakers' victory.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding chalks up the Lakers' win as a statement game.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford argues the Lakers secured some momentum with the victory.


--The Times' Bresnahan notes Kobe Bryant's shooting struggles and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson wearing his 2009 championship ring.

--Lakers guard Derek Fisher tells The Times' Broderick Turner he doesn't plan to retire after this season, but he acknowledges he's not sure what his future with the Lakers entails. Turner also documents how Thunder guard Russell Westbrook burned Fisher.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr ticks off the good and the bad of the Lakers' Game 1 victory.

--The Daily News' Teaford highlights Ron Artest's defensive effort on Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen has a medical update on reserve center D.J. Mbenga.

-- The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry and Berry Tramel detail why the Lakers have respect for the Thunder.


--The Times' Bill Plaschke argues Artest's defense on Durant helped the Lakers make up for Bryant's poor shooting night and Fisher's poor defense on Westbrook.

--The Times' T.J. Simers is pleasantly surprised with Andrew Bynum's big game, which also entailed having a tussle with Oklahoma City forward Jeff Green.

--The Times' Mark Heisler highlights some of the Lakers' encouraging signs, including Bynum's play. But he also expresses concern about Bryant's poor shooting.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore believes Bynum's presence alone will continue to give the Thunder fits.

--The Orange County Register's Ding observes Bynum's growing maturity.'s J.A. Adande provides the latest case study on how sports writers try to ensure maintaining their endurance during their long work hours. Adande had a live chat for the Lakers-Thunder game and then quickly travelled to Phoenix for the Suns-Blazers game.'s Scott Howard-Cooper believes it will take some time for the Lakers to look in full post-season form, but he doesn't think it's a cause for concern.

--Fox Sports' Mark Kriegel and Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski explain why the Lakers made the right choice in acquiring Artest.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller explains what makes Artest tick.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues that Bynum will be the key to the Lakers' chances to repeat.

--The Oklahoman's Mayberry explains how the postseason is a learning experience for Thunder Coach Scott Brooks.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton compared Bynum's dominance to Shaquille O'Neal.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne highlights how Artest disrupted Durant's rhythm.

--The Oklahoman's Tramel argues that if Durant turns around his play, the Thunder will give the Lakers trouble the rest of the series.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker explains how Bynum transitioned so quickly back into the lineup after missing the past 13 games because of a strained left Achilles' tendon.


--The Daily Thunder chalked up OKC's poor first-quarter start to inexperience, but credited the Thunder for making adjustments.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky break down the game, analyze some numbers and present moving pictures.

--Forum Blue and Gold credits the Lakers' defense.

-Hardwood Paroxysm wasn't all that impressed with the game, period. So much in fact they reenacted themselves portions of the game.'s Mike Trudell has a running diary on all the action.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore described the Lakers victory as a "clutchy, clangy Game One."

Tweet of the Day: "I think I figured out what Ron's hair reminds me of - the shag '70s carpeting in the Brady Bunch house" -- mcten (ESPN Los Angeles' NBA reporter Dave McMenamin)

Reader Comment of the Day:"This game was more about heart and our team's offensive discipline than anything the Thunder can throw at us. They're young, explosive and will be a very tough first round opponent, but if we play our best game against them, I have a hard time seeing how this Thunder squad can win any games at Staples and I wager we'll win one in OKC." -- Jamie Sweet

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]



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