Open Thread — game six

Kurt —  May 4, 2006

Just what does the suspension of Raja Bell mean for game six?

When Bell has been on the floor in this series, the Suns have had a team defensive rating of 104.7 (points per 100 possessions). When Leandro Barbosa (his replacement as a starter) is on the court, it is 113.2. That’s a massive 8.5 points per 100 possessions difference (yes, there is some dirt in that number, but it is still too dramatic to ignore). Or think of it this way — even if the game is played at the Lakers pace of 90 possessions per team, that is more than 7 additional points for the Lakers.

Here is another way to look at it — when Barbosa is sitting the Suns defensive rating is 99.1, 14.1 points per 100 better than when he is playing. So far in the playoffs, the man Barbosa is matched up against has shot 50% eFG%.

Here’s still another way to look at it: The Suns’ regular starting five is averaging a +24 per 48 minutes in this series, but remove Bell and insert Barbosa in that lineup and that falls to +6.9.

The Lakers should — should — be able to break out of their offensive slump tonight. Look for a host of people to take their turns on Kobe (Barbosa, James, Marion) with the quick doubling continuing. However, no other Suns defender is as physical as Bell, so Kobe should have more room to operate.

Whatever Kobe does, for the Lakers to win they need to get back to the pound-it-inside style that got them three wins. Odom has to get the ball in the block. Kwame has got to become a force in the post, and getting him some early baskets and confidence would help. Post up Walton and Smush, too.

The tempo picked up last game because the Suns created turnovers and made it hard for the Lakers to establish the inside game that had worked so well. Getting the ball inside is the key because that is at the heart of slowing the Suns — force Diaw and Marion to defend the basket, don’t let them just get out and run. The Lakers need to make getting offensive rebounds a priority for the same reason.

The Lakers also need to return to the defensive efforts and rotations that slowed the Suns in the half court. Last game, Nash and the other Suns took their Laker counterparts off the dribble seemingly at will, and help rotations were tardy (or non-existent). The Suns drove the lane a lot last game, the Lakers need to make sure there is a price to pay for that.

This is must-win — we do not want to go back to Phoenix for a game seven. With Bell out and the team at home there will never be a better chance.

This game is going to be desperate and a lot of fun to watch. And I think at the end we’re all going to have a smile on our face.

Kurt

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123 responses to Open Thread — game six

  1. Great analysis, I think the key for the Lakers tonight is rebounding. We must, MUST control the offensive and defensive rebounds. Also, early post ups with Smush against Nash wouldn’t be a bad idea. Especially because Nash can not play defense.
    Finally, if your going to the game tonight, fire up the time. Scream and hell and get the energy in the building in the Lakers favor.

  2. The Lakers seem to be switching consistently to continually challenge the Suns 3pt shooters.

    This has been effective by keeping jones, house, and barbosa far under their regular season 3pt production.

    However, it has allowed Diaw and Marion to drive to the basket over Smush.

    I wonder if we try some more “shows” or “traps” to as per K.Pelton’s excellent article on the Pistons guarding the Suns: http://www.82games.com/pelton10.htm

  3. Deen, I think Nash is very good at picking apart anything if you keep showing it to him long enough, what I’d like to see them do is switch tactics a few times. Show for a while, then switch. Try not to let him get comfortable.

  4. LOL, we damn well better have a smile on our faces at the end, and I’m not talking about a goofy smile like those of the dead people in the original Batman movie.

    So, does anyone want me to predict the game again tonight? :P

  5. I like PKLF’s suggestion to post-up Smush early. It fits the Lakers’ slow-down game, and maybe the post-up will get Smush’s shot falling again. He seems to play better once he hits something early. A few games ago, he was toying with Nash down on the block.

    Man, those Barbosa/Bell numbers are pretty stark. Hope the Lakes take advantage tonight.

  6. I came up with this back of the envelope to assess home court advantage (from referee calls):

    HSA score = team FTA + opp. PF + opp. TO

    In this series each team has clear home court advantage except for game 2 where the HCA score was pretty even.

    So, I believe there has not been a huge discrepancy in calls for this series. Overall post teams should get more calls than perimeter teams and that probably nullified HCA in game 2.

  7. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=260416013

    Kobe W/O Bell:
    Jumpshooting: 2/14.
    Driving to the hoop: 9/14
    23 FT attempts.

    It could be that Kobe was just a little off that game, because normally he’s an above average jump shooter. However, it could also mean that the Suns were able to alter Kobe’s shot, but weren’t able to stop him from getting to the hoop.

    Either way I’m sure the fact that he was taking 14 jumpshots opened up the lane for him to take it to the hole 20+ times.

    3 and a half more hours!!!

  8. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    hey guys, how do we go about getting the attention of the league to lobby for some new rules/changes…
    first, how about taking away the 6 fouls and you are out rule, like hockey, unlimited fouls, this would stop having stars having to sit out because of silly foul calls, and take away the silly flopping business.
    and
    2) if a ref can see that a flop was clearly a flop, like from a certaion vantage point, sees that there was clearly no contact, then the flopper should get hit with a foul, maybe a T, automatic freethrows.
    I’m really sick of this flopping business.
    thoughts??

  9. notreallyimportant May 4, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    How late will the game start tonight? Will TNT push the boundries of prgramming and actually start at 8PM pacific time?

  10. Cheers Laker fans this should be good!

  11. Fortunately for us, Miami is crushing Chicago, so that game should end at a reasonalbe time. That’s not as good for Bulls fans, however,

  12. Chris, I’ve heard that no-foul-out idea before, I want to say ome of the minor leagues (ABA) does it. After the sixth foul, the other team gets an aditional free throw for each foul from said person

  13. This needs to end….Kobe needs to go to work…AGAIN the roleplayers are thinking TOO much of themselves now and not passing it to Kobe. I hate lack of effort….I so HATE it.

  14. Have we been within 6 feet of a 3-point shooter yet?!

  15. Keep playing defense like this and we’re going back to Phoenix. they are 5 of 6 on threes. An efg% of 84% right now

  16. Keep giving it to Walton until they stop him.

  17. Or the fouls stop him.

  18. We need to draw fouls early to make their double teams more tenative. Only Kobe can do that really well.

  19. I have a sense of deja vu

  20. Very sick, Devean.

  21. I FEEL IT!

  22. He called bank!!

  23. Seems like Lakers started to get a handle on things about midway thru the quarter (isn’t that when the Suns had 25 pts?) and ended with brutal efficiency… Lakers are shooting at a crazy clip now…But let’s not turn this into a shooting contest…

  24. wow, when the triangle works, it hummmmmmmsssss

  25. What’s the foul disparity right now?

  26. Alright…looks like game 7….

  27. call me a homer but the refs…

  28. I wasn’t kidding about deja vu….

    Isn’t this how the last game went EXACTLY!?

  29. Turnovers 10-6, ugh.

  30. How many offensive fouls are those turnovers?

  31. Deen, add in some charges, too, to the TO total, as you pointed out last game. Not good.

  32. There are at least 3 offensive fouls called on the Lakers so far: 1 each on Cook, Luke, and Kwame. Could be more, tho.

  33. The pace is killing the Lakers. Too many easy buckets early and LA is pushing too many shots. They need to get the shot clock down under 10 before they shoot.

  34. If Marion is on Kobe, Diaw on Odom and Thomas on Kwame, that means some midgit is on George. Start posting him up.

  35. And I agree about the scoring contest, the Suns probably win that. Need to step up on D

  36. Josh, i wish we could shoot FTs at 90%

  37. Now someone enlighten me here…I have yet to see Kobe consistently on Nash, why is this?

    This is where I’ve been miffed a bit.

  38. I love lamar hitting a 3, but taking it with 14 seconds left on the shot clock is not smart. plus, phx kills at the line so it would be wise to limit their posessions since theyve been in the bonus since 7 mins left.

  39. Closely officiated games are no good for us against this team. We get whistled up, they go to the line and hit everything. Meanwhile, they just don’t foul a lot, so what would normally be a post advantage for us (big guys gettting hacked on the block) just doesn’t materialize. In any case, our guys who we might use in the post — Kwame, Luke — are on the bench with fouls.

  40. Still a massive turnover and foul differential. 14-7, 19-11. We need kobe to take over.

  41. You know….I am seriously beginning to think I’m not gonna watch b-ball anymore if officiating is such a major part of the game. I mean…I wanna watch these guys play…no Dick B prance all the way to half-court just to call an AND 1.

  42. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    WOW…heck of a first half…
    these teams play each other pretty much even up, they have their strengths, and we have ours.
    they are quicker, we are bigger and stronger…
    now, the second half is all about adjustments, and then execution of the plan.
    I have faith that our coaching staff is capable of seeing what needs to be done.
    now, it’s going to be up to the players to have the mindset to pull it off.
    what’s up with smush? is he nervous, too tightly wound up? well, if he can’t bring some O, then he should give us double effort on DDDDDDD!
    Kwame, stay focused, continue to finish strong, but stay focused, play smart, keep your eyes on the ball.
    and Lamar, need the best half of your life tonight!
    go lakes!

  43. Phx had 12 of their 30 points in the 2nd from the line. Ridiculous.

  44. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    CTDlude, how would you feel if players didn’t foul out ater 6? would that change the game for you?
    maybe a bit more like “Rollerball” possibly?..or hockey..
    not that that is what I want…just curious..
    but actually, this game time forum is not the place to discuss this concept.
    later…

  45. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    we gotta play to our strength!
    we are bigger and stronger!
    they are faster, so we gotta slow this game down, keep them from hitting their rhythm

  46. 46 first half possessions, which is less than I thought. But the Suns eFG% is 65.3%. The Lakers are at 67.1%.

    The key is defense. Play it for 24 minutes and we play the Clips Saturday. Pound the glass. Get your shots from within the offense.

  47. How are the suns not fouling us on those tight double teams?

    Maybe the refs are just calling one on one moving fouls more than stationary double teams.

  48. Seriously though Chris….why do we know the referees’ names? I know not one NFL ref and only know ONE on sight. And they stand in front of everyone to annouce the flag. Why is it that the NBA has refs that literally look like a Robin Hood Men in Tights routine when calling fouls? This part frustrates me too much. I just want to see the guys play…

    I know I’m a bit in the moment but this has been like this all series long.

  49. Put in Turiaf – Kwame is just not taking the shot in the post. At least Turiaf would draw some fouls in the paint!!

  50. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    man, kwame drops that great pass from Luke, seemed at that moment we lost our momentum,
    Kwame…KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FRIGGIN BALL
    STAY FOCUSED
    or maybe you should sit it out, I want to see all hustle guys on the floor

  51. …and the shot clock keeps running down and we end up with a poor jumper.

  52. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    we got 4 and a half guys on the floor when Kwame is sleepwalkin like this..
    I’m sorry but man, this is a friggin citical game!!!!!!

  53. we are moving the ball around at a glacial pace … no wonder we are stuck in double teams.

  54. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    hate to sound like a broken record..
    but AGAIN kWAME DROPS ANOTHER PASS FROM LAMAR
    at least we got the ball back, but man, that was a nice pass, shudda been a slam dunk!

  55. I agree, the offense is stagnate. If Kobe wasn’t 11 of 18 we’d be toast. We’re lucky to still be in this

  56. kwames dropped like 3 passes in the paint – i want mihm back (even with his ball catching problems)

  57. Smush and Kwame are showing where we need upgrades.

  58. You jnotice when things move faster then the refs we have momentum?

  59. True.

    It’s tied and I feel like we’re still down 10.

    Feel better with George & Sasha in there.

  60. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    seeeeeee!!!
    how much better we play without Kwame out therre
    hate to be a kwame basher but tonight he’s lookin like the kwame of old
    thank God for Devean

  61. Just one quarter of good defense, please.

  62. A few big stops and this is ours.

    If we can get on a little run, the crowd can carry this team to the win.

  63. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    we need to go with the guys who hustle their ass’s off, ronnie, devean, sasha, LO and kobe..but it would be nice to get a few long bombs from Cookie…
    come on guys…D up!

  64. Being short a guy could mean a tierd Suns team in the fourth. We can hope. Only eight suns have played and Grant didn’t play much.

  65. No Steve Nash, good D and they cant do anything offensively. Keep feeding Lamar. He’ll foul out the whole front line.

  66. smush parker looks scared

  67. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    seems like when we have smush and kwame in our team is weaker

  68. I don’t know what to think anymore…

  69. its not like the suns are playing great, or getting a lot of fast breaks, or hitting a lot of 3′s. Nash is just getting short jumpers at will because kwame is always switched onto him.

  70. slow motion redemption for kwame.

  71. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    gotta come up with an adjustment to stop this pick and roll isolation with a PHX big against smush..
    Phil? I know you got a plan…
    team, let’s execute

  72. Smush v. Tim Thomas: battle of the C-grade players.

  73. i just got home from a date that went PERFECTLY

    now i’m watching kobe ACE a triple fromt he corner to give us the lead, a great defensive play, and now we’ve got the ball with 42 seconds left

  74. There’s the two stops we needed. One more, and no more Smush Parker shots, and we can win this thing.

    An uglly win is still a win.

  75. John, you are lucky you haven’t had to watch this game – its been painful.

    The NBA must be paying the refs for nailbiters…

  76. Crap…spoke to soon again.

  77. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT.

  78. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    6 seconds…wonder who’s gonna get the rock?

  79. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    ot baby..again
    don’t feel so good about it this time though
    gonna take a solid defensive effort, and try our best for a fast start in OT
    can’t believe they let them get a trey

  80. Ouch ouch. My heart can’t take this. And I’m not even 21!!!

  81. He hesitated to attack the rim.

    Now we’ve got 5 minutes of ball to decide the seires, becasue honestly, I don’t think we are pulling a game 7 out in the desert.

    We got desperate in that last minute and it showed, that’s where our youth and inexperience showed. I would have liked to have seen Kobe attack the rim like Lebron did against the wizards last night.

  82. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    that’s 3 times in this game that Kwame has dropped an absolute GIMME
    friggin unexcusable!!!
    in a game of this magnitude, I can’t believe he’s still dropping the damn ball!

  83. Don’t worry. It’s all rigged. Kobe will go for 60 in Phoenix to get the Lakers to the next round. Right, John R?

  84. we have only 3 scorers out there, so the suns can just ignore smush and kwame.

    wheras we have to respect all 5 suns as shooters.

  85. Aw.

    Just damn.

    This one is notched up to the complete inexperience of the Lakers. the only playoff-tested men we’ve got on the team is Kobe and George. we don’t have the Fishers, the Rick foxes or the Horrys to hit those open threes. we can let Nash roam around defensively, we don’t have the ability to get that stop in crunch time.

    That was a tough one to swallow.

  86. chris henderson May 4, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    as my new wife, (and new laker fan) pointed out in exasperation…
    “7 seconds left…and we let them get a 3 pointer” (and I’m quoting her vebatum)
    can’t believe we blew this game, shudda never went into OT…got caught up in the excitement of it all i guess.
    we had it won brothers.
    but on the bright side…
    we’ve played ths team pretty even, so it’s anybody’s ball game in game 7

  87. phil should have gone with the 2nd unit.

  88. lets give a big thank you to the officiating. and the turnovers.

  89. lakes never really ran the offense for the 4th & OT. and the defense was… — well, there was no defense.

    this is the worst.

  90. That just made me sick.

  91. I’m glad I didn’t watch the game… (stuck in a computer lab doing homework).

  92. Hopw about that defense, we game up more points in the OT (21) than we did in the fourth quarter (17). We didn’t deserve to win.

    Deen makes a good point: Why bother to cover Smush and Kwame?

  93. 1. Phil needs to come up with a solution for the Nash/Diaw screen and roll. We got torched by that in two consecutive games.

    2. We went away from Lamar Odom at the end of the game, probably because Kobe went into attack mode.

    3. There were whole possessions in the 4th quarter where there was no one in the paint.

    4. I saw only one play where we did a good job of rotating after the Suns forced a mismatch. It was the one where Parker was on Diaw, George ran over to help, and then Odom ran out to start (if memory serves correctly).

    5. Well, I guess we needed it to actually be desperate for the Lakers to play desperate.

  94. *makes a noice close to a groan*

  95. BWAHAHAHAH. The foul call on the Devean 3 proves just how bad the refs are trying to give this to the Lakers. There couldn’t have been less contact, assuming there was any at all.

    As far as playing this team even…Kurt will tell you that I’m telling the truth when I say that based on ppg differential, expected wins (3.6 for PHO), etc, PHO should have wrapped up the series with that win tonight.

    Highlight of the game for me? Nash fumbles the ball in the lane and calls timeout. The announcer says “Nash calls a timeout, and THIS TIME he gets it.” Nene Hilarious.

    Chris, were you able to detect those verbal flops by Kobe yet? He did it every possession in OT to try to foul out Marion. Couldn’t just win the game without flopping I suppose.

  96. Kurt – i too am feeling sick. lakers were in there despite themselves.

    Offensive fouls 6-3 for the suns – so much for home court advantage. Phil mentioned that in his press conference.

  97. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 12:07 am

    well, folks…on the bright side, (and there always is one if you look hard enough) this young team will gain the experience of a game 7 in the playoffs…
    win or lose, this is invaluable experience for a team, especially a young team who has a bright future.
    maybe we do actually win, I’m sure PHX will come in slightly overconfident, wouldn’t you?
    look at it this way, we stole game 4, they stole game 6…
    it’s a 1 game series now, and I’d say it’s anybody’s ballgame.

  98. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 12:09 am

    and our guards went for 52 points..
    50 from Kobe and 2 from Smush..
    gotta tell ya, I’ve been saying a long time now, we need an upgrade at point in the off season.

  99. Like many have you said, Smush is our weakest link … TS%=42% including this game, lowest of the srarters by far…
    …at this point, I am just doing stats to vent my frustration.

  100. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 12:16 am

    john R..are you saying that Kobe is the ONLY player in the entire NBA who does this “verbal flop”?

  101. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 12:19 am

    seems to me that I hear Sam cassell making a lot of noise when he goes to the hole, isn’t that also a “verbal Flop”?
    is it any yell? or just one yelling at the refs “look at me!…i’m getting fouled!”
    sometimes a person makes a loud noise just from the effort…ever listen to Venus Williams play tennis?

  102. Kurt, the lakers really are not mixing up the defensive schemes on the Suns. We need to keep them a bit more off balance. Hopefully Phil has some creative ideas.

  103. notreallyimportant May 5, 2006 at 12:42 am

    If Phil Jackson wasn’t coaching the lakers I would be beating my head on the wall, but for some reason I believe he can still pull this rabbit out of the hat, although it is starting to like like a very small hat, so small in fact that it would be very hard to fit a huge game 7 rabbit in a trick compartment.

  104. I am not saying Kobe is the only one. I am against it in all forms. But he is the only player who does it that is relevent to this blog. Also, his verbal flop is probably a higher percentage of his team’s offense than any other player. Just denounce it unconditionally and thats the end of it. You can’t deny he does it or why he does it. You say you are against flopping but you cheer him. These motivations are in conflict.

  105. TNT crew is lamenting Kobe’s turnovers. On closer examination: 1 off foul, 1 travel, 1 steal, and 4 bad passes. I think 3 of those passes were to Kwame under the basket.

  106. notreallyimportant May 5, 2006 at 1:02 am

    I would say that Smush is also a verbal flopper, I can’t remeber how many time this season he has not run back on defense because he was complaining to the refs.
    And he is relevant to this blog, so John R. your entire comment is ludicrous, and you should just go away, because nothing you say can be taken seriously.

  107. I believe they will be slighty overconfident…from Marion’s post game interview where he said the Lakers we’re “done” to TIm Thomas consistent taunting of our bench to now they have Raja back and they’re all hyped up…these all lead to over confidence.

    That being said…..DAMN a young team doesn’t think straight.

  108. Not sure how the Lakers come out so flat, especially Smush Parker. I’m very disappointed in the coaching staff keeping him in the game. Clearly Smush had lost all confidence, he should NOT have been on the floor.
    His lack of enery, his pouting on the court absolutely killed the Lakers. Phil should have removed him immediately at the beginning of the game and just went with Sasha and Devean. At the very least those guys hustle and try.
    What a pathetic performance in a must win game!

  109. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 9:16 am

    John R, if you are going to quote me, get it right.
    I said I was against flopping, you got that correct.
    i NEVER said I was against Verbal Floping, in fact, if you remember, I didn’t even know WTF you were talking about. if I recall correctly, you answered me about what it was with a link, so thank you for that, but by your answering a question doesn’t mean I automatically agree with you.
    we did agree that flopping doesn’t belong in basketball, and I think that’s about all we’ve ever agreed on.

    so now, after sleeping on last night tough loss, and I said this late last night too…the experience gained by this young team in this series has been invaluable, and will result is tremendous growth and maturity for this team, win or lose in game 7, I believe it’s essential for young players to learn some lesson’s in ‘the second season’ before they reach championship levels. look at Big Game James, that last second mistake he made against the Celtics in the finals, and what a career he had after that. Smush and Kwame clearly had big game jitters last night, looked like a deer in the headlights, and played like it too. deaven, luke, Lamar, and of course Kobe all have that experience, and it showed.
    if you had told me that we’d take the Suns to a 7th game at the start of the playoffs, I’d have been shocked, I honestly felt they are a better team, and we didn’t have a chance in hell of advancing this year past round 1. midway through the season, I didn’t think we’d make the playoffs, so…
    win or lose tomorrow, I gotta say this team has really impressed me with their growth at the close of the season and how well that they’ve grown to play as a team, following their coaches plans, etc…
    nest year will be most excellent, and I am getting me some seats!

  110. So you are for verbal flopping then? That’s all I can take from that. You’ll have to understand that by your answer that’s all I can assume. That’s too bad. Win at any cost is the motto of the Laker fan I guess.

    Hey did Barbosa also flop on those 4 stitches Kobe gave him? Kobe + 0 stitches = Raja suspended. Barbosa + 4 stitches = no suspension I’d bet. Seems fair to me.

  111. Man! I hate the Suns. Not as much as the Spurs, the Kings, the Mavericks or the Celtics, but the Suns are close. AH! I can’t believe we’re on the verge of blowing this lead. Reminds me of 1993 we when were up 2-0 (5 game series) against the Suns and lost 3 straight.
    Oh well, the future looks bright for this team. Just need to add a PG who can shoot, and let the young, big guys develop.

  112. Guys, we have the best coach and best player in the NBA today. How can you not be confident? What if the lakers were down 3-2 and won game 6? Momentum shomentum, most of our predictions were Lakers in 7 anyways

  113. lakers suck!!

  114. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    kurt, we are going to need an “ignore” button.

  115. Chris, funny you should say that because it was one of a few things on my “improvements for the site” list, Now, when I can get to said list….

  116. I hate to say this, but not sure if Phil is the best coach in the NBA. He is the best at the mind games, and great at the preparation part. However, he isn’t a great coach at making necessary adjustments during the game. For example, how in the world can you continue to play Smush Parker when he is absolutely killing your team. Also, if Kwame and Luke are in foul trouble, clearly Turiaf has proven he can play in this series, so why not play him more? Also, I realize Andruw Bynum is young and inexperienced, but why not play him as well? Have we forgotten the spin move and dunk against Shaq this year?

  117. this “verbal flopping” talk is silly. ref’s who allow that to effect how they call the game shouldnt be in the league. kobe gets calls because he is aggressive going to the basket and he gets the benefit of the doubt because he is a superstar.

    there are calls that go both ways and if youre relying on calls to decide the game for you, you deserve to lose.

  118. One more thing, in regards to Kobe’s elbow on Barbosa…It was clearly an accident, Kobe was on his way up and his elbow hit Barbosa. If you watch the replay and honestly think Kobe hit him on purpose then you are lying to yourself.

  119. PKLakersFAN,
    I agree!! I can’t imagine what Phil was thinking during the game, especially the 4th Q, and the OT. He should have let Rony or others play instead of Smush or Kwame.
    Anyway, actually this is a very good chance for young Lakers to learn how to win under big pressure. It’s all in your mind! Focus and think before move. Pay attention. Manage your time. Play wisely. You can do it.
    Even if we lose, we’ll learn more lesson than Suns, and come back next season as a better team!

  120. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    john R, you assume way too much man, you remind of an idiotic teenager whose always trying to put words in peoples mouths. (I should know, I was a step father to a very arguementative teenag daughter)
    you always say something like, “well since you are against this one point then I must assume you are for the other thing, which makes you and idiot and proves my point”.
    dude, give me a break, I’ve seen this silly kind of arguement too many times.
    I said I was against flopping…period.
    but I have never said I was for verbal flopping, I asked you for further clarification, but didn’t take a for/against position. YOU assumed that.
    I pointed out that atheletes can make a loud grunt in the midst of a tough play, and pointed out that other players do it, in a variety of sports, I play racquetball, and even do it myself. I am not looking for some kind of bailout from my opponent by doing this.
    Maybe if you ever played in some kind of athletic competition, you might understand this as well.

  121. chris henderson May 5, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    …and John R..WTF makes you even think the refs actually listen to this “verbal flopping” as you call it?
    I’ve yet to see a ref change his mind on a call because he thought the player yelled and pointed out the call.
    You must think all the refs are idiots for falling for this silly business.
    but then, wait… you also seem to believe the refs are doing their best to keep the Lakers in the series…right, the conspiracies run wild, you try to come off as an intellegent person, then you talk about these friggin conspiracies like you actually believe them..
    what an idiot! you’re a walkin’ contradiction…keep on assuming, proves me right..hehe..everytime.

  122. Thanks for that. Just let me re-live a couple of our triumphs last year. Now if we can only get going this season, maybe we’ll see a re-match. It’s been good to see the resurrection of this rivalry.