We’ll see who blinks first

Gatinho —  April 23, 2006

“Something has gotten into him”: Phil has anointed Kwame as the Golden Child in this series. A “featured player”, if you will. This could have a couple of corollary effects. One making Kwame aware that Phil values him. The master manipulator has by this time learned to nurture Kwame’s fragile self perception. Phil wants confident Kwame to show up today, not timid Kwame. Also, in true Spin master style, he could be sending a message to employee number 8. Harness his fierce competitiveness and will to win, so that it doesn’t consume the team concept. Kobe will be looking to make some folks eat crow in these playoffs, especially against the guy that might be going home with his MVP trophy.

Not bird nor plane nor even frog, just plain old me, Underdog: So who is it? Every prediction from Suns in 4 to Lakers in 6 has been written. My underdogs are Phoenix’s playing style, Smush’s shot, Raja Bell’s perimeter D, and anyone off the Laker bench.

No. 7 beating No. 2 in NBA history:
A Ewing-less New York def. Miami, 3-2, 1998 Eastern Conference first round

Rookie Tim Hardaway and Dinka tribesman Manute Bol-led Golden State def. Utah, 3-0, 1989 Western Conference first round

The Run-TMC Golden State Warriors def. San Antonio, 3-1,1991 Western Conference first round

Dallas won the first game 151-129. Seattle def. Dallas, 3-1, 1987 Western Conference first round

Michael Cooper, a champion again: The D league champion that is.
Former Laker Draft pick Marcus Douthit: 11 points, 15 rebounds.
Ex-Laker Tierre Brown: 21 points, 10 assists.
Current Laker Von Wafer: 7 minutes, 5 shots,4 points.

Bulletin Board Material:

Steve Nash on being guarded by Kobe: “That’s great. It would be a great challenge. He can do as good a job as anybody, but I’ve seemed to survive so far.”

Phil Jackson: “I think we have the experience in the key spots to do it. I think that Phoenix is a team that’s perhaps not as strong as they were last year and I think once we adjust to what they provide or present to us as an opponent every night, we can start gathering them in. But that’s yet to be seen. That’s just our belief.”

A potty-mouthed Hubie Brown: “Last year was miraculous. This year is a testimony to the style. Our society is negative, so we don’t want to give credence to that. The fact that you’ve done this without Thomas and Stoudemire was questionable to begin with. What the (expletive) is anybody complaining about? Are they crazy?”

Smush Parker: “There’s definitely going to be an upset. The Lakers will beat Phoenix. We just feel confident going up against Phoenix. We know what we’ve got to do. We’ve got Chris Mihm back. Kwame’s playing the best basketball he has all season. We just feel good going into this series. We just have confidence in ourselves.”

Tri-tricks: If you haven’t listened to Kurt on the Basketball Jones Western Conference preview, check it out. (Link Below) Kurt makes some great points about how the Lakers can have some success. (Smush must have a “tremendous series” and the inside out game is a must to keep the “classic ’80′s” Suns team from leaking out) He also touches on something we all have pondered. What are the wrinkles that Phil will employ to keep the Suns off balance?

Add the LA Daily News to the list of beat writers turned bloggers.

The upcoming draft: Lakers will have the 26th and 51st picks.

-Gatinho

Gatinho

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10 responses to We’ll see who blinks first

  1. notreallyimportant April 23, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Do refs ever not mess up a series?

  2. It was a tough loss, a winnable game, but i think with about 4-3 mins to go in the 4th the lakers had about one minute of basketball where they totally forgot their gameplan and it costed them..the non-foul call was just the icing on the cake but the lakers handed over the momentum earlier than that..i didn’t think playing bad basketball for 2% of a full game would cost a team a victory but against the suns they needed to be perfect and they were just a little bit below that

  3. The non-foul was the icing on the cake for a horrible day by Kobe. Hopefully we’ll see a defense like we saw in the second and third quarters throughout the rest of the series, a balanced attack, and Kobe making his shots. If the foul is called granted it’s a lot closer and it changes th compexion of the game, but they shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with.

    The open 3 from Nash was just killer :

  4. notreallyimportant April 23, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    Seems like they traded the correct non-call from the pacers victory, and sent the foul to the meadowlands

  5. Was it just me or was Boris Diaw a moving screen everytime he set a high pick for Nash? I thought that the refs probably were a bit lax with that, probably b/c they were sympathetic to the 6’8″ “Center.”

  6. Jackson and Kobe know what they are doing. Pound into the paint and prevent Phoenix from running the break. Adjustment: get Kobe some shots on a regular basis throughout the game to keep him in rhythm. If the Lakers play like they did yesterday and Kobe is in rhythm, there is no way they lose.

  7. If Kobe keeps getting punched in the face, its gonna be hard to get into a rythm. The officiating, as usual, was horrendous, but the Lakers could’ve still pulled this one out.

    I think the Suns deserve more credit than they got in that first game. Their offense was ridiculous in the first quarter. In the 2nd, 3rd, and the beginning of the 4th, everyone assumed the Lakers shut them down. Then a bit into the 4th came that Suns offense and the Lakers couldn’t stop it. So was it that the Suns got shut down for 2.5 quarters, or was that their gameplan?

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