Open Thread — game 5

Kurt —  May 2, 2006

First off, congratulations to the Clippers, who won their first playoff series since Rick Monday saved an American flag. I really have been rooting for this, a Laker/Clipper match up in the next round will be the biggest basketball happening in this city in a long time. Hell, Bill Simmons is excited and he’s not even from here. And, whichever team wins and gets to face Dallas in the Western Conference Finals will do so rested, having not traveled for a couple of weeks.

But first, the Lakers still have to get there. And, as we had noticed and the always-contrarian Charlie Rosen points out, the Suns have started to do some things right (thanks to Henry at True Hoop for finding this).

While the Lakers have kept the tempo down (there were 96 possessions in the last game, including overtime), the Suns started to do a better job executing the half-court offense. Specifically, they are running their standard wing pick-and-roll, which the Lakers have mostly switched on all series, but now rather than have Steve Nash try to beat Odom (or Kwame or whomever), they are posting up Diaw or Thomas on Smush or Sasha. The smaller Laker guards acquitted themselves well, but the Lakers may need to switch up how they deal with picks just to keep the Suns a little more off balance.

At times in the last game, the Laker defensive rotations were late and Suns players got easy lay-ups. If they want to win another game they need to cut down on those.

The Suns worked harder in the last game to not let the Lakers have position, particularly on the wing and at the elbow — Odom, Kobe and others were fronted and bodied in an effort to disrupt the triangle in the same way you screw up a football timing pattern by bumping the receiver at the line of scrimmage. The Suns defensive doubling on Kobe and Odom also improved, with the three players not involved on the ball doing a better job of reading and anticipating passing lanes.

The triangle, with its read-and-react properties, has plenty of adjustments for all this, we’ll have to see what Phil Jackson and staff try. Personally, I like getting the ball to Walton and posting up Smush on Nash.

John Hollinger points out today that the Lakers offense in the playoffs actually has been less efficient than it was during the regular season — down 3.2 points per 100 possessions to 102.3. Part of that is taking the ball out of Kobe’s hands. But that pound-it-inside offense, which Hollinger thinks doesn’t work too well, is the key reason the Lakers are winning because they have taken the fast break away from the Suns. It’s part of the reason the Suns offense is off 7.9 per 100 possessions, down to 101.5. (By the way, Hollinger then goes on to say the key is what Josh pointed out here days ago — offensive boards).

So long as the Lakers continue to do execute their plan and play defense (Nash, the Suns best player, is shooting 53.7% eFG% in the series, well below the 58.4% he had in the regular season, and most of the Suns are in the same boat), I think they will win the series, either tonight or in game six.

Now, if you want to see the Kobe show, watch if the Clippers decide to put Mobley on him in the next series….

(By the way, I’ll be “watching” the first half tonight via ESPN’s gamecast, since I’ll still be at work. I’ll need you all to be my eyes and ears, but I’ll still try to post some comments. On the bright side, that’s 15 less times I have to see that Vince Carter commercial.)

Update: Well, not so much an update as an ommission: Last game, the two Lakers leading the way in +/- were Devean George and Sasha Vujacic (+12 and +11, respectively). Another game like that from them tonight, outplaying the Suns bench, and we’ll be playing the Clippers this weekend.

Kurt

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126 responses to Open Thread — game 5

  1. That’s why we don’t feed Charlie Rosen people food.

  2. LOL…..

    Please, please when Hollinger has a column that boring and short sighted again, don’t quote him. Like someone else says it’s like he does everything within his power to take the fun out of the sport and the fan. I know statistics say a lot, but they are far from the end all be all.

    I’m calling the game this way, like almost EVERY other close out game I’ve seen in awhile. The Suns will be competitive to start and keep it up through the half. But slowly but surely once they see they’re not getting any distance from the Lakers in scoring, they’ll just begin to fade away. I’ve seen it go down like this so many times I’m pretty confident in my assessment for tonight. Can it go another way? Sure but with a team that has as little heart in clutch time as PHX, with an entire game essentially being clutch time, I think they’re pretty well done.

  3. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    I have figured out a way to blank out that commercial, I will have i-tunes constantly playing german heavy metal on mute, whenever the commercial comes on I will crank of the volume.
    Thank god for reomote controls.

  4. i swear kobe must have snubbed john ho-llinger for an autograph cause this “journalist” has it out for him and the lakers. first he dogs the team and kobe all year and then picks against us to make the playoffs, then against us versus the suns, and now he has the audacity to explain why the lakers are winning. someone needs to take the calculator out of his hands and slap some basketball sense into him, cause his “dork ratings” dont explain why everything he predicts goes horribly wrong.

    Lakers execute game plan better tonite, however with one slight adjustment, kobe integrates himself sooner, goes for the kill and drops 35 in the win.

  5. I want to see the Lakers win so that next round, all the games will have the crowd shouting “BEAT L.A.”

  6. This game makes me nervous. The Lakes are young & inexperienced, and close-out guns are tough, especially on the road. Teams have to learn how to close out series and that learning process can take a while (remember the Lakers in 2000?). Meanwhile, the Suns finally made some sucessful adjustments and just barely missed the W last game. Like I said, I’m nervous. Let’s hope the Lakers follow Kobe’s lead and put the Suns down.

  7. Oh crap….Lakersground is all abuzz because supposedly ABC 7 just reported there are allegations of rape charges against Kwame Brown…

  8. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    If any two people in the league know how to close out a series in this league thay are PJ and KB8 (KB24 does not have this knowledge never having played in an NBA game). Bryant once again demonstrated his ability to sucker punch unsuspecting teams.

    That being said I still feel that we will be seeing game 6, but not a game 7.

    Can some one please explain how the time between each round is determined? Do all of the first round series have to end before any second rounds can start? Or is it if the machup exists the series starts, even if one of the teams in the other half of the bracket is caught up in a 7 game slugfest (I’m looking at you defending champs)?

  9. Just for the record, I’m going to treat any allegations against Kwame like I treated the ones against Kobe or any other player: This is a basketball blog, when those situations affect play on the court they will get discussed here, not before. That is not to deminish the severity or importance of them – if Kwame (or any other Laker) committed a crime they should be punished. But there are plenty of other forums to discuss it.

    Basically, I’m not letting this become a place for a discussion of the details of the case, as happened in some places with the Kobe trial.

  10. Wasn’t here round that time (or any Laker community) so I’m naive to the going ons during that situation. But I’ll take heed to that. I was just making aware of the situation.

    My apologies.

  11. MSNBC is reporting it too:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12601291/from/RS.1/

    Unbelievable…

  12. Whoops! Sorry, Kurt. I didn’t read your post. Kill my last comment if it’s inappropriate.

  13. notreallyimportant – i’m not sure on the playoff scheduling. in years past, i remember new series starting even while others were wrapping up. so i think it’s your second option, though the league may limit how many games the new series can go (maybe just one) before the part of the bracket catches up. i just know the playoffs go one for a looooong time.

  14. Well I can’t imagine the Lakers being in the right frame of mind right now. I know I’m not.

  15. CT and Rhodes, no worries. It’s not that it should never be mentioned, particularly in the comments (and on the day it breaks). I just want to make sure things remain high minded. Rape is a serious allegation that impacts everyone and, while not completly off limits, I will not let this become a haven for speculation.

    notreally, the series can overlap a little. I heard an interview with Mike Dunleavey this morning and he said if the Lakers win tonight, the Clips/Laker series will start Saturday night or Sunday.

  16. Just passing along a good link: Henry at True Hoop is live blogging all the games tonight. That’s a marathon effort. My favorite line so far:

    “What is it, exactly, that Austin Croshere is really good at?”

  17. Nasty spill D Wade took before the half.

  18. More linkage..new Kevin Pelton column on Suns/Lakers with a close look at the importance of bench numbers, including the +/- Kurt mentioned above.

    BTW, Wade takes some of the most brutal hits/spills in the L. Goes to hoop all the time, gets to line a ton, and then gets hurt *a lot.*

  19. Josh, thanks for that. Pelton’s peice kicks Hollinger’s ass. Pelton’s the guy I miss most from Courtside Times falling down.

  20. I’m a little out of the loop on Hollinger. I know who he is and such but I don’t have an Insider account. Sounds like he’s been dogging our team all year, eh? Bad man.

    I’m OD-ing on all the hoops tonight — and our game hasn’t even started. It’s like the NCAA tournament.

  21. Wade goes to the hole and suffers another injury – thank you Kobe being mature enough to realize that your team needs you more than sportscenter.

  22. What are you talking about, Wade gets knocked down seven times and gets up eight!

  23. Wing doubles on Kobe forced turnovers last game. Hope we see Walton & Smush taking advantage by cutting to the basket like they did in game 3.

  24. The cuts would work. So would a series of ball reversal passes instead of those just-asking-to-be-stolen skip passes that No 8 was heaving.

  25. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    Is there a general consensus on which channel is best to watch?

  26. Why does the NBA allow TNT to delay the start of every back end of the double header. Playoffs, regular season, it doesn’t matter. I know TV money runs the show, but make them get it sort of close to on time.

  27. “Is there a general consensus on which channel is best to watch?”

    Regardless of basketball team, the local broadcast is almost always better. The national coverage is just pretending to know what they are talking about becase they have only seen a fraction of the games of any team. I tend to start with the local broadcast and turn to national towards the end. Not so much to learn anything, but I’m always curious what the tools are saying.

  28. is this start as ugly watching it as it is on gamecast?

  29. Yeah…Kwame’s not touching the ball. We holding the ball a lot too without a lot of movement.

  30. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    right on cue, the k-man

  31. spoke too soon….2 touches & 2 hoops for kwame

  32. Okay, leaving my office earlier than I thought, but I won’t be home for 30 minutes or so. So, I’ll catch the second half, but I expect updates people. Don’t expect me to trust Thompson on the radio.

  33. Kobe needs some offense here to keep him warm. Suggest have him bring it up every 4 or so possessions.

  34. Lord have mercy, Cook just dribbled around marion for a basket!

  35. Took a beating…only 2 points behind….NICE.

  36. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    So far your prediction is spot on CT Delude

  37. Nice Recovery sans Kwame’s touch fouls…

  38. “Pelton’s the guy I miss most from Courtside Times falling down.”

    Don’t miss me, Kurt. I’m still reading.

    Funny how Hollinger and I could look at the same numbers and come to such different conclusions, huh?

  39. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    is ronny the best dancer ever?

  40. Ronny rocks. Clearly a better sideline guy than, say, Mateen Cleaves in his Sacto Queens heyday.

    And hello to Kevin Pelton. Pull up a chair.

  41. Has Bell contacted every dirty player in the league and asked them if he could use their moves against Kobe?

    The man is full of dirty tricks.

  42. we are getting a lot of ticky-tack fouls. i am sure its percieved as poetic justice.

  43. It might be a little bit more then just the half now…more like halfway thru the third where the distance will be made. The Lakers have done enough to keep with, if this team is now Phil’s team then they have another notch to turn it up to great the spacing.

  44. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    i’m just waiting for him to proclaim himself the “kobe-stopper”

  45. Yeah, it’s become fairly routine for ‘good defense’ or ‘defensive specialist’ to just mean ‘dirty, but subtle bastard’

  46. Now I’m really wondering what is going on with the refs and the Bell situation. I just saw Bell blatantly push Kobe in front of the ref and there was no call. Then more grabbing…now I’m all for letting things work themselves out but at this point it’s becoming a little ridiculous. Refs talk so much about controling the game but then when it’s something like this they just kinda fade away,….

  47. LOL….expect a fight at some point…

  48. Nice hands ronny!

  49. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    diaw is a mutant. once he gets under the rim, he always finds a way to put it in, (as long as he doesn’t dunk)

  50. I know Kelly Dwyer has been writing about Raja Bell getting in a fight since about December, and I’ve agreed the whole time.

  51. Might as well hand that half to the refs. Hate to keep harping on it (I’ll sound like a PHX fan) but once again….playoff basketball is getting neutered. Thanks Stu Jackson, thanks.

  52. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Anyone who makes any ref conspiracy allegations after what happened this first half would half to be smoking some serious sh**

  53. Not only all the touch fouls and emphasis on flopping, but that technical on Ronny was absurd.

  54. Suns shot 20 FTs that half. They average 18 for an *entire game.* Lots of mascara tonight, methinks.

    In Kurt’s absence, here’s the Suns possession number for the half: 49.7. Too high obviously.

  55. Honestly though….Kobe needs to start his game. Because of the situation, and the heat of the crowd Kobe needs to throw in plays that make the Suns stutter. The role players have done what they have done, but it’s time for the big boys to shine. And there’s no bigger boy then Kobe.

  56. Horrible final 1:30.

    I was wondering if Ronny would ever get some burn. He seems a logical choice to keep up with Phoenix’s attempt at an up tempo game.

    Collins dug deep into his lexicon and proclaimed, “Turiaf has a lot of upside.” He must have watched the NFL draft.

    Being in SF I”M jealous of the fact you guys have a choice of channels. I get what I’m given and say thank you DirectTV.

  57. Thanks Josh, I was just about to post that.

    Okay, I just watched the last few minutes of the first half, was there any explaination of the Turiaf T?

  58. Mr. Pelton, what I missed most was reading your stuff. Right now, with the new kid, my time is tight, but we should talk CourtsideTimes with Mike someday.

  59. FT Attempts:
    – suns=20
    – lakers=12

    Considering the suns shot 6 less free throws per game than their opponents during the season the suns are getting an extra dose of Home Court Advantage.

  60. Turiaf fouled Thomas (?) late after the whistle had (already) blown. Although the play could have been a continuation, AND the foul was very tame, the refs thought it warranted a tech…

  61. oops … seems i am always a step behind josh

  62. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Probably a completely irrelevant stat but: when we won on sunday all four lower seeds won. Today so far all three higher seeds have won…

  63. Great line from Henry at True Hoop:

    Doug Collins assault on the English language: apparently Kobe Bryant has taken “over eleven less shots per game” in the playoffs.

  64. chris henderson May 2, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    anybody else concerned that Kobe got a T?
    I hope the league rescends it, it was BS, didn’t deserve a double t.
    he can still have to sit a game when he hits…what is it? 16?
    and he has like…14?

  65. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    it kinda makes sense, especially if you are inebriated

  66. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    the technicals got cleared when the playoffs started, but the limit for a suspension is 6

  67. See and this is where I have the biggest contention with Kobe as the facilitator….the role players stop going to him. And the turnovers start coming.

  68. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    uh oh smush just lost his head band, this game is over

  69. Hey…I didn’t say the PHX Suns were going to do what I perdicted! :P

  70. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    How did pj not call a timeout in that sequence?

  71. This is the first playoff game I think we have really missed Mihm.

  72. Well, it’s looking like our guys have given up on this game. So everything I said earlier, well they just decided to let the Suns have that instead…

    Again, I know Kobe has been the guy leading the offense this series…but it’s his time. There’s a reason why Jordan once scored 63 in a playoff game.

  73. And maybe you can tell I’m kinda ticked at being made a fool of when I believed in my team.

  74. Smush is shooting 11% over the last two games. I’m no math expert, but I don’t think that’ good.

  75. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    you calling a triple ot game CT?

  76. this is too horrible to watch. it’s game time for kobe. lets see if he can prove to they nba why he should be mvp.

  77. Eh NRT?

    I’m calling disappoinment. I can just imagine the headlines tomorrow.

    And I’m not looking forward to it.

  78. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    i was refering to jordans 63 that you mentioned, it happened in triple ot didn’t it?

    and yes, see you guys at staples

  79. HAHAHAHA…Sasha DID not flop right there so why did the ref just watch him get pushed off?

  80. I wish the boxscore tracked offensive fouls called.

  81. 13 point lead now…what does everyone think in their silence?

  82. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    the number you are looking for is 167 (or at least it feels like that)

  83. chris henderson May 2, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    that silly “delay of game” foul shows how bad the game’s been going against us…
    I could see Phil say to himself…good, this is more fuel for my fire when I get this team fired up for the next game!
    phx has been exceptionally hot…and we’ve been pretty cold…

    and…hehe, we are on an 11 to 2 run, but it’s really, really gonna take a miracle this time.

  84. its time for kobe to let loose. sometimes you’ve just got to let the master to their commanding.

  85. I think Laker nation needs to collectively take a deep breath. Emotions are high after Sunday’s game, but we knew that Phoenix was going to empty its tank tonight, if that was what was needed for the win.

    The Lakers need to FOCUS and get back to playing their game on Thursday to close out the series. They need to play smarter (avoid cheap fouls) and cleaner (avoid TOs), because “Raja Fell” and his running mates are going to keep flopping around to make up for their lack of a real defense.

    There’s still time to come back in this one — at least make it close at the end and you’ll keep Phoenix thinking, “how much do we have to do to win a game against these guys??”

  86. OH MY GOD!

  87. Flagrant 2

  88. Raja Bell just made a big mistake.

  89. Gone for next game.

  90. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    god, i just got an injection of hope

  91. .Don’t wake the sleeping giant

  92. notreallyimportant May 2, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    i hate it when that happens

  93. And the refs let that happen because they wouldn’t call ANYTHING prior to that.. Freakin idiots…

  94. Hey everybody take a peep at my site and leave some comments on what you think. Thank you in advance. Also, could anyone with a website add me to their links? I would really appriciate it.

  95. That hurts this game, but Bell has got to be out next game for that, and then they are toast

  96. la-lakers.blogspot.com

  97. CTD – yes, and it’s also been building the whole series. Bell’s been flopping w/o consequence and basically playing angry.

  98. flagrant 2 by Bell was not necissary

  99. Now…I’m fine with this loss. Because they just dug their own grave with that one. I have NO doubt about that now.

  100. chris henderson May 2, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    almost made a come back there, but I’m afraid we there’s too much round to make up, (I hope I’m wrong)
    but that flagrant…friggin stupid play man, Raja’s got to get suspended for the next game…if the league doesn’t step up and do the right thing, shit aint right.
    that was pretty nasty stuff.
    and yeah, wking up a sleeping giant…good call..

  101. This entire game should be a wakeup call to the Lakers to get back to the style from the first three. Part of that is Smush and Kwame playing a little better, but this game shoud just have them pissed for Thursday. Hell, I’m pissed.

  102. Just as I write about “Raja Fell” … he’ll surely be suspended for the next game for that takedown.

    I’m sure he thought he was being a man and standing up for himself after Kobe’s elbow, but you have got to be an idiot to get yourself suspended when your team is fighting to survive in the playoffs.

    Even Caveman — er, Kaman made a smart decision by thinking about his retaliation and toning it down so that it wouldn’t hurt his team after he was nearly castrated.

    I was going to say that maybe there wouldn’t be a Game 6 now that Kobe’s going into “Mamba mode”, but those Suns used that dirty play to fire themselves (and their fans) up. Real classy.

  103. I know Kurt mentioned Smush shooting 11%, but can someone explain to me why Aaron McKie is in the game? Or on the playoff roster?

  104. chris henderson May 2, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    well…now even more fuel for the fire
    tossing kobe out like that…WTF was that ref thinking?
    as the captain, kobe is allowed to have some (sometimes tough) talks with the ref about a call or non call…
    more fuel for the fire amigos

  105. And the other things is…PHX coach is SMILING through all this bull…as they were going to break they show D’Antoni smiling telling the crowd “Don’t throw that.” We wondered what the change in gameplan was gonna be for the SUns…you’re seeing it.

  106. They cannot play angry on Thursday, though.

    Phoenix has been trying to bait the Lakers
    at some point in each game.

    Making some sort of “statement”
    takes the focus away from the goal
    and we have talked before about the ability
    for the inexperienced to drop their chi
    when they most need to concentrate.

  107. I’m not sure what Kobe said, but it must have been good. That’s okay, he’s one of the few who plays better angry.

    Amd we’re already at 95 possessions with 90- seconds to go. The game was too fast.

  108. I think I am also hating
    the Disneyland commercials
    as much as the VCarter phone blather–

    especially that little Chicken McNugget
    and the Malt-O-Meal music.

  109. Wow, Nash’s postgame comments to Aldridge were pretty defiant about Bell’s situation. Not used to mild-mannered Steve talking tough. He said the Bell flagrant 2 wasn’t worth a suspension, that the Suns had a ton of bad calls against them this series, and he compared Bell’s clothesline to Kwame’s foul on Diaw earlier in the series when Kwame stood over Diaw. Okay.

  110. #1 If grabbing someone’s nuts didn’t get a suspension nothing should. Any Sun suspended is just further proof the Lakers get preferential treatment.

    #2 It appears the Suns have found the Lakers’ weakness. No disrespect to Mr. Pelton or Mr. Hollinger but they have been missing the obvious: http://tlahow.ytmnd.com/

  111. Way to go NBA. Make the playoffs softer so that when the intensity goes up, players start trying to kill each other rather then play physically within the game.

    When did the pussification of our sports start again? Is it the European influence? Because even in the NFL you have corners who can’t play tough D anymore.

  112. Holy crap I just noticed how many Laker fans were complaing about the refs!!!11 I’d say something about hypocrisy and myopia but it would fall on deaf ears.

  113. Both teams shot well in this game but the lakers got killed by 18 turnovers:

    Shooting stats: TS%
    -Lakers=60%
    -Suns=58%

    A lot of those turnovers looked like questionable offensive fouls to me.

  114. chris henderson May 2, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    what???…did some(troll)body say something???

  115. Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers.

    Killed us this game and let the Suns run. Some sloppy defense was tossed in there too, and Brown in foul trouble didn’t help. I liked what I saw at times (Kwame and Luke played well) but there’s two things that need to happen.

    Odom has GOT to step his game back up. He needs that low post presence to start kicking in.

    George, Smush, and Sasha have GOT to hit those open shots. They miss those shots and the Suns get to run. If you are going to take the open shot you better HIT IT.

  116. bye bye raja

  117. Pussification of sports started when people realized it leads to more points, thats why [list of 20 guards] get foul calls if someone sneezes in their vicinity when driving to the hoop and taking 4 steps to hit a layup

    And please, no whining about ref’s, thats what Kings fans do, the lakers turned the ball over a ridiculous amount and got owned on the offensive glass, quite possibly the two primary keys to the series

  118. interesting quote…

    After Bell threw Bryant down, he pointed to the Lakers’ bench and yelled, “That’s your foul.”

    …what was that all about? anyway it looked worse than the artest foul on ginobili despite what phil said.

  119. One last comment on turnovers this game …
    Offensive fouls: Lakers=4, Suns=0.
    Traveling calls: Lakers=5, Suns=0.
    …thats 9 possessions lost.

    For some perspective TOTALS from first 4 games …
    – offensive fouls: Lakers=11, Suns=11
    – travels: Lakers=2, Suns=6

    So the avg is 3 off fouls and 1 travel per game per team. Did the Suns defense get that much better this game?

    …anyway, i’ll stop flaming now.

  120. This is exactly what I thought after the Clippers won Monday night. Too much hype for a series not even scheduled yet. Let’s hope the Lakers end it Game 6.

  121. chris henderson May 3, 2006 at 9:30 am

    ya know, I really appreciate about 99% of the folks here, we keep focused on why we are here, to be Laker fans, support the team..
    then there is the occasional troll, either acting like a tabloid idiot, or argueing like a friggin teenager whose only reply is, “well your point is stupid, so that means you are stupid”…
    dude, take a hike, get a life, find someplace else to write (spew) that negative crap.

  122. Deen, your not flaming if you use facts and stats.

    The big problem, to me, is that when the Lakers had some tough calls go against them, they folded. Kwame went into a defensive shell, and without Mihm Cook becomes the next best interior defender. Which is sad. That’s why Turiaf was such a boost.

    I’ll post some thoughts by noon today, I’m much calmer this morning.

  123. Well I have no problems with fans being upset over the refs last night but I do like Phil’s reaction to it. Easier to keep everyone’s mind on the game rather then whining about the refs like some of us (including me) do from time to time. It’s weird though, I was anxious about this game all the way up to the point Bell made that foul. Then suddenly I just didn’t worry as much. Still trying to figure if that’s bad or good.

  124. Amen to both Goo and Zach. The Lakers didn’t lose game one because of a non-call, they didn’t win games 2-4 because of calls, and they didn’t lose last night because of the refs. And if they don’t close out tomorrow night, they’re in some serious trouble…

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