Preview and Chat: Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  March 24, 2008 — 124 Comments

Records: Lakers 48-22 (2 seed, percentage points back of New Orleans); Warriors 43-26 (8 seed)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 114.2 (3rd); Warriors 114 (4th)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 106.6 (5th); Warriors 110.5 (22nd)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vladimir Radmanovic, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf
Warriors: Barron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Andris Biedrins, Al Harrington

Thanks guys Big thanks to Gatinho and kwame a. for doing an amazing job stepping in while I stepped out. Fantastic posts.

Mardy Fish and the Warriors: Stay with me, this is about basketball.

The most interesting match I saw out at the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament was then 98th ranked journeyman American Mardy Fish taking on the once unstoppable force of Roger Federer. Fish plays a game of all offense — huge serve, always seeming to go for the winner (particularly on the first couple of shots of the rally) and generally going for broke. But, get him to play a defensive-game, dictate the tempo he plays at, and he is not a huge threat.

The problem is, when a guy like that is on, he is almost unbeatable for a day. And Fish was on against Federer, hitting every shot hard and in, attacking every chance he could and a few he couldn’t and still making it work. After the match Federer said little went wrong with him, it was all Fish (6-3, 6-2).

Fish basically is the Golden State Warriors of tennis. When they are hitting threes (say 50% in the first half and 40% for the game), when they can get out and run without paying a price, they are hard to beat. Adding to Federer’s problem was he was not his unbeatable self, he had a lot of unforced errors — basically the turnover of tennis. Those took Fish off the hook and allowed him to continue to be aggressive. The Lakers did that early last night with the Warriors, playing sloppy on offense which allowed the Warriors to do what they do best.

(By the way, Federer essentially was the San Antonio Spurs of tennis, able to dictate his game despite what anyone wanted to do. The only people who gave him trouble were guys who were hot for the day — Safin in Australia a few years ago — or great defensive players such as Nadal. But, like the Spurs, one wonders if Federer has lost a step. We’ll find out about the Spurs in the playoffs, Federer at Wimbledon.)

The Lakers made a heroic comeback, but those often flatten out as the team expends so much to get even they lack a finishing kick for the stretch run (to mix in another sports metaphor). It happens, and frankly after that first half I’m not sure the Lakers deserved a win.

Somebody suggested in the comments we may want to avoid Golden State in the first round — I say bring them on. What the Lakers lacked last night was an inside attack to really punish the way the Warriors want to play. I love Ronny, but he is no Gasol/Bynum on offense. If the Lakers started Gasol and brought Bynum off the bench in a first-round matchup, the Warriors would have no good counter. What got Dallas into trouble last year was 1) they got away from the type of game they want to play and played at Golden State’s pace; 2) Dampier is the only inside guy for the Mavs, Nowitzki lives on the perimeter or 15 feet out. Phil would not make those mistakes.

My NCAA Bracket: This is all you need to know — my wife is ahead of me in the standings. I spent a lot of time debating a couple of games in the second round — Marquette/Stanford and Davidson (I had that first round win)/Georgetown. In the end, I went with Marquette and Georgetown. And you wonder why I hate to make predictions.

I have just 8 of the final 16 still alive, I’ve already down to six possible for the elite 8, and the only saving grace is all four of my final four teams live. The best pick I had so far, Kansas State over USC in the first round.

Keys To The Game: In a weird roll reversal of most games, the way to control the Warriors offense is at the Lakers offensive end. First, take care of the ball, no turnovers. Second, run the offense and dictate your own tempo — don’t rush your shots. Odom, Luke, I’m talking to you, play at your pace. Third, pound the ball inside for baskets, ideally with bigs but penetration will work too.

Then, get back in transition D.

The Lakers did well on the glass last night, but they needed more points inside and needed to take care of the ball (17.5% of the Lakers possessions ended in a turnover, up from the 15.1% average for the season, and the first half was horrible).

And, close on Stephen Jackson if he’s hot.

Where you can watch: The game is at 7:30 pm on both KCAL (9) in Los Angeles and league pass nationally



124 responses to Preview and Chat: Golden State Warriors

  1. Familiarity breeds contempt, so I expect a rough and tumble game tonight. The team can’t be happy with last nights game (even if we won, I don’t think I’d be too happy) and tonight can serve as payback. Revenge is dish best served cold, so I hope that we methodically pound the W’s tonight and quiet the crowd in Oakland. Believe me, living in Oakland, I have been to over 100 Warriors games (including the playoffs) and the crowd is no joke and they will be ready (although I do expect a healthy dose of Lakers cheers, the Lakers fans really do come out in the Bay). Basically, I want some Anton Chigurh action from the team tonight….Killers; Cold and Heartless.

    On a strategy note, I’d like to have Fish on Baron and have Kobe play Monta Ellis some. I know that Baron is a better player than Monta, but Fisher traditionally does a good job on players that he is familiar with, and he is very familiar with Baron. During last years playoffs when Fish was on the Jazz, he really bothered Baron in the 2nd Round. I’d also like to see more ball movement (I think I ask for this every other game). The Warriors will always struggle with the inside game and the Lakers (without Pau and Bynum) can best get the ball inside by running the offense, moving the ball, getting the defense to rotate, and breaking them down by getting into the paint. Last night we ran a lot of P&R and it was working, but got monotonous at the end and without those long range daggers by Kobe it would not have been a game in the final minute. So, move the ball and attack inside and I think we’ll be okay.

  2. This LIttle Pinky March 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Sorry to be an anal editor, but it’s a “role reversal” not a “roll reversal”.

    I was at the game last night. The crowd was really into it, and it was a really fun game to be watching live.

    What struck me is that none of the Lakers could stay in front of Monta Ellis, causing a lot of help situations and sagging on other players. I guess not many teams have guys that stay in front of Monta, but it seemed almost hopeless when Fisher, Walton, or Radmonavic were isolated with either Eliis or Baron Davis dribbling the ball.

  3. The Lakers need to learn that they have to stay within themselves if they are going to succeed – that means being “mature” and running the triangle, not taking quick threes that are “outside the flow” of the offense, not forcing the fastbreaks when it isn’t really available. They are still “immature” as a group (and that includes the experienced players) and let themselves get pulled into styles of play that are not optimum.

  4. Welcome back Kurt. How were the Russian girls?

    My NCAA bracket — I picked the Davidson over Georgetown upset (sweet!) … but I also had USC in the Final Four (ouch!). I only got 10 of the Sweet 16, but 7 of my Elite 8 are still alive. Brackets aside, I would LOVE to see a Davidson-Villanova Elite 8 matchup, and a UCLA-Stanford rematch in the FF. And I’m starting to wonder if Louisville has what it takes to knock off Carolina.

    Switching topics …

    The Warriors don’t scare me at all if we have Pau. We can beat the teams that just try to outscore you (GS, Denver), it’s the teams that can lock us down on D (SA, Houston, Boston) that give us trouble, because then we have to rely on our own D, which is lacking of late.

    Matchups are going to be everything in this year’s West. San Antonio could go to the Finals … or lose to New Orleans in the first round. The Lakers could win the West … or lose to the Spurs in the first round. The Suns could make the Finals … or lose to the Lakers in the first round. Every team in the West has at least one kryptonite matchup. Matchups are everything this year.

    I’m still rooting heavily for a Lakers-Suns series at some point, and to avoid the Spurs & Rockets until the conference finals.

  5. With the Warriors thinking they are capable of beating the Lakers, there is a big advantage for LA. Once all of our injured players return, Golden State will simply have no chance to even compete. When we had one big guy they beat us on a last second three pointer by Baron, this time with no big man they beat us on a great shot by Stephen Jackson. The Lakers will simply dominate this match-up no matter what. I’m not even worried.

  6. I think the game is showing nationally on NBA tv.

    My bracket is busted too. I went with Vandy all the way to the sweet sixteen (with a win over Nova in the 2nd) and PItt too. I also made the same mistakes Kurt made with Georgetown and Marquette.

  7. I’m excited for Bynum and Gasol to come back–hopefully before the playoffs. And if Ariza makes it back, that’d be awesome as well.

    What happened to Sasha’s hot hand? Teams don’t really seem to be playing him any differently but his shots don’t seem to be falling.

  8. Bracket: 10 alive in the sweet16. 6 alive in the elite8. And I definetly moved USC and UConn into my “hate list”. Picked Nova into the sweet16 on the positive side.

    On tonight’s game… not too worried… We’ll see who we draw in the first round, it can be anyone… Although I would rather get the top seed and draw the Nuggets (most likely #8).

  9. 7 – Sasha is shooting 55% from 3 in his last TEN games, including last night. I’d say with the exception of last night, he’s shooting the 3 pretty damn well.

  10. I had to record the game last night. Needless to say, I sped through the 2nd qtr – it was unwatchable basketball. In the 1st I just got disgusted with the way the Lakers fumbled the ball over and over again. Kobe and his passes into tight spots especially ticked me off.

    The more skilled the player, the simpler he should try to play. Only pull out the spectacular when absolutely necessary. This is a lesson Kobe doesn’t seem to have learned yet.

    Lamar is a beast on the boards, but I still don’t want him handling the ball because he does not think (or thinks too much) when driving. On his long sprints down the court he makes up his mind with the first dribble and, if the opponents are athletic, he often is thwarted by the time he gets to the basket. He seems to lack the ability to pull up when the key gets crowded. Then he starts to hang out at the three point line and takes a long three. It always seems to be one or the other and all our opponents know this – let Lamar shoot the three and make sure to crowd the middle when he drives because he doesn’t have too many different finishing moves.

    Lamar is a Private, not a General (or even a Captain) and Phil keeps putting him in charge of things. Agggggh!

  11. @8 – Yeah, I guess from the box scores, it seems like Sasha’s shooting has been about the same as before. Maybe a small amount of slippage. So I’ll retract it with the caveat that I no longer feel like Sasha is automatic on his jumpers, as I did for a while.

  12. Exheldvr-This is the most frustrating thing about this years great team. When they execute the offense and play focused team defense, they are the best team in the West, maybe the leauge. The Lakers aren’t the first team to fall into Golden States tempo trap, but it is too late in the season to have an entire 24 minute defensive meltdown, and thats what that 1st half was.

    Tonight-We must control tempo, make sure the ball goes inside every possession, and do not, open or not, jack up quick 3’s.

  13. 4. Anna Ivonovic. She is more impressive in person than on television. I’m talking about her game, of course, she did win the tournament.

    About the NCAAs, I meant to put this in the post but forgot — when did Kevin Love develop the fada-away? He looked like Dirk out there in the last few minutes against A&M.

  14. 2) This Little Pinky

    “but it’s a “role reversal” not a “roll reversal”.”

    Actually, a “roll reversal” is a move that Bruce Lee perfected, and used to great effect in his movies, where he actually used the opponent’s own speed and weight as a weapon against himself.

    So it is being used appropriately.

  15. 12) kwame a.,

    ANd they can’t keep falling back on the “just wait till our bigs get back” excuse.

    1) They still may not return/may be re-injured/may take longer than anticipated to get them back into the flow

    2) There will likely be times in the playoffs when a “no Gasol and no Bynum” lineup is on the floor (foul trouble/injury/resting), and they can’t afford to be giving away baskets during those times.

  16. LakeShowHeroes March 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    15. Precisely. We can’t keep throwing around the “we’re missing our big guys”/”we’ll do this better against [insert team] with Drew and Pau” stuff. This is basketball. Injuries are bound to happen, bad luck and bad timing, whatever – a good team has to figure out how to keep winning in the absence of a few players.

    The Lakers should’ve won that game last night. Better yet, they needed to win. I spotted each team a win at their home court in this back-to-back, and a 1-1 split. The Lakers’ gave their home court win away by only playing basketball for one half (and who cares how good they looked in the second half, they still lost because of how bad they were in the first), and now I fear they may get the broom on this SUN-MON double-header.

    Oracle Arena is a tough place to play; there is no crowd in the NBA that can hang with Oakland. I’ll be there for the first time on Thursday night, and I’m really excited about it. 🙂

  17. Don’t know if this has been linked to before in this space, but here’s Kareem’s LA Timesblog with interesting posts on the public perception on him and more:

  18. WarriorFanhere March 24, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Warriors have your number, just like we had the maverick’s number last year. Welcome to Oakland guys, city of shattered dreams. Lakers = Mavericks 2.0. I hope we meet in round one!

  19. WarriorFanhere March 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Cool blog by the way, though it will not help you tonight!

  20. 18-Warriors are a fun team to watch, and a tough match-up for most teams. When we have our bigs, even if it’s just one, I think we have the weapons to win a series against the Warriors in 5 or 6 games.

  21. “Lakers + Mavericks 2.0”

    One word retort: Kobe.

  22. Have to say though that I love Steven Jackson. Balls of steel on that guy.

  23. Anybody at the game last night? I swear half the Lakers were hungover. That first half was the most bizarre half I’ve ever seen in person.

  24. 18- You’re dreaming. The Warrior would MAYBE win one game against the Lakers w/ Gasol. I say that as objectively as possible. The best matchup for the Warriors would be the Mavs again, the Rockets or maybe the Suns. I like the Warriors but they have a clear ceiling.

    21- Exactly.

  25. do you think celtics and pistons are preparing for the payoff, instead of trying to win a game or two now, like tonight’s piston’s game against suns?

  26. 13 –

    Kurt, Love has tried to use that shot with on-and-off effectiveness throughout the season. He generally avoids going to it, but there are several scenarios in which he’ll pull it out.

    At times, the Bruins will stagnate on offense, and struggle to clear passing lanes to dump the ball into the post. When that happens, Love starts shifting further and further from the basket to make himself available for the ball (it’s a combination of game awareness and a bit of pouting – he can sulk if he doesn’t get his touches). Periodically, this ends with him taking a contested 3-pointer, but other times you’ll see him catch the ball 12-15 feet from the hoop and let fly with either a turnaround, or a face-up jumper. He has the most success with the face-up going glass, as he lacks the athleticism to really elevate on a turnaround. However, lengthy defenders force him to use the fade-away, and he does have good enough shooting touch to drop the ball in.

    The other time you’ll see him take that shot is when he’s on fire (see the UofA and ASU games in Pauley earlier this season when the Bruins demolished both teams, and Love seemingly couldn’t miss). With his broad frame, he’s very difficult to defend on a shot like that, and he knows it (this goes back to his high basketball IQ). Plus, the guy is a very tough competitor, and one of the players who wants the ball in his hands at the end of games. Far more impressive than his turnarounds on Saturday, to me, was his absurd double-clutch 3-pointer to get the team within 1 against Cal in the last week of the Pac-10 season – see for a view from the stands.

    On a somewhat-related note going back to the discussion of potential UCLA draftees that could end up with the Lakers, the guys who will get the longest looks (with a reasonable shot of the Lakers getting them) will be Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Collison, Love, and Westbrook will be gone LONG before the Lakers have a pick, no matter what year any of them come out. Mbah a Moute is the guy I think LA should look at the hardest – his draft stock has slipped considerably since his excellent freshman season (they might even be able to get him with a free-agent contract after the draft when he comes out). But he has top-notch defensive skills for a guy who’s 6-7 (he can guard players from about 6-4 to 6-9 due to his long arms and excellent instincts). Probably my favorite play of the entire UCLA season wasn’t an offensive one, but Luc on defense. In the waning moments of the Oregon game at Pauley, Luc ended up switching on a screen and covering Oregon’s lightning-quick 5-6 point guard Tajuan Porter. Porter tried multiple times to shake Mbah a Moute, but was totally unsuccessful. I was in the crowd, and Pauley just kept getting louder as we realized Mbah a Moute just wouldn’t let Porter get past him.

    In case anybody was curious. 🙂

  27. Pistons knock off the Suns in OT. However, Phoenix is for real, they are not gonna go out quietly, they defend more know, and rebound much better.

  28. The Lakers are patient on offense for the first 8 minutes, then start getting sucked into that up and down, quick shot game. I find myself yelling “slow it down” a lot in these games.

    27. I’m still not sold you can’t exploit the Suns in a 7 game series. But they are playing better and the rebounding is key.

  29. SLOW DOWN!!!! Fisher needs to grab the ball on offense and STOP IT. We’re just being rode right into their frenetic pace. Trust me, they do it better than us!

  30. You have to think that with both Gasoline and Bynumite, the slower pace will drastically change the dynamics of a seven game series, even if the upcoming schedules and the fall of Dirk makes it more likely that the Lakers will have a #1 seed and the Warriors will be placed somewhere 6-7.

  31. 30. Apologies for the obvious post too, but I couldn’t help posting the nickname I thought was fitting for a Gasol-Bynum tag team. Also sorry if anyone thought of that before me.

  32. Lakers Bringing Fear To The NBA March 24, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    We are playing too fast. I get the feeling that the Lakers are playing the tempo that GS likes. Slow it down, and feed the post and they’ll be alright.

  33. 32 – I think that’s the problem with lacking Gasol and Bynum. Who do you feed in the post? Ronny? Lamar has moves down there, but has decision-making issues especially against a zone like Golden State’s. The value of Bynum’s length above the zone, or Gasol’s ability to pass around it, would be invaluable here. Even Mihm would add a dimension that the Lakers are lacking at the moment. They’re running because they haven’t been getting good looks otherwise, which plays into GS’s tempo. Though I agree the ‘wait for Bynum/Gasol’ arguments aren’t totally fair, the truth is that LA is missing its top 3 post threats to injury, which is a specific need most damaging against this particular Warriors team.

  34. 18 threes and 9 turnovers in the first half. Taking the first shot available. They will get killed doing that for another half. Frustrating that no lessons were learned last night.

  35. what’s up with the lakers? they’re almost trying to do everything wrong and wondering if they can still beat the warriors. KB24 has been in a shooting funk recently, he’s not hitting anything until it absolutely matters, and even then he’s missing.

    looks like we’re about to enter the 4th down double digits.

  36. Lamar is really having his best run as a Laker. He’s been a rock since Pau went down. Up 1 going into the 4th.

  37. Again, fighting all the way back from a double digit deficit. Kobe seems to be struggling. I hope Kobe doesnt force and let the game come to him. Good comeback and we are actually up now. Slow down the pace. Keep up what they did in the third and this game is ours.

  38. What exactly is up with this team and complaining after every play on both ends?

    On a different note, Lamar is having a monster game (though he needs to take that jumper at 3:00 a little later in the shot clock, please).

  39. i will be pissed off if they let this one go

  40. man, Kobe has been killing us this game. So good yet his ability sometimes gets in the way of his decision-making.

    From a nine point lead to one…we better pull it out.

  41. Lamar…losing the good will he picked up.

  42. ronny and luke are so worthless.

  43. Complete mental collapse. We got comfortable and careless. If this goes to OT, we don’t deserve to win.

  44. This would be a bad game to lose. Kobe has to keep the ball moving, even in close games

  45. The Dude Abides March 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Luke has actually had a decent game statistically. However, he took minutes away from Sasha in the fourth quarter, and Sasha has had a superb game. Also, with a seven-point lead and 1:30 left in the 4th quarter, you want your best ballhandlers in the game. Not Ronny, and having Luke in is pushing it a little.

  46. The Dude Abides March 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Maybe I should take that back about Sasha.

  47. That was an odd call, to say the least.

  48. Sasha, you are not Kobe Bryant. Please do not take contested 3s in overtime.

  49. 47- Addendum: Twice.

  50. It’s all mental with this edition of the Lakers. I think it’s clear to everyone that we have the talent to take anyone but we’re held back by our sometimes puzzling thought process.

  51. Umm. 3rd time is a charm, I suppose.

  52. MACHINE!!!!!! I can’t say i wasn’t mad he shot that.

  53. Wow, what a GREAT screen by Ronny on Lamar’s layup.

  54. 4 secs left in OT. Either way, win or lose, this game has been cuh-ray-zee

  55. Oh, no, Fish. I’d trade an L for a healthy Fisher.

  56. this is soooo agravating im in NJ watching it online and EVERY time the lakers shoot, the feed buffers…

  57. Haha the announcer for the Warriors is going nuts…he’s right though. Veteran move by Fisher, though it was a bad call.

  58. 56 – Why would you say it’s a bad call? They haven’t shown a great angle on replay from KCAL, but it looks like there’s an awful lot of shoving by Davis and Ellis in that pile (Kobe in particular gets cleared out like Baron Davis is an offensive tackle).

  59. 4 things I’d wish Phil would tell the team
    1. Kobe please run the offense in the 4th quarter, it works great and you get easier shots.
    2. Farmar, Sasha, I’m keeping you on a short leash to reinforce the importance of not turning the ball over or jacking up quick shots.
    3. I’m going to have a set 4th quarter lineup of the 5 most dependable players.
    4. I wil keep using the 1-2-2 zone on the screen and roll, it worked better than anything else we have used.


  61. What happened? I saw fisher quickly foul baron before the three, then next thing i see is fish at the line

  62. Gotta admire that we stayed wit it in OT after losing that 9 pt lead in the last 90 secs of regulation. GUTTY victory on the road to split the series.

    Oh yeah, LO is a GREAT post-game interview.mhahah.

  63. no fish never went to the line. Fisher took a charge on the inbound.

    LO should be a candidate for MIP. He’s been playing like a #1 or #2 go to guy on some teams. Back-to-Back 20 rebs?

  64. This was one of the best NBA games this year.

  65. I think LO went all 53

  66. lmao @ lamars post-game interview…

    gritty win…cant wait for the reinforcements to arrive

  67. What did LO say in the post-game interview?

  68. Ok, time for a quick deep breath before a slew of should-be-easy games that the Lakers can’t look past. Every other contender it seems has back-to-backs against each other and away games at Boston, a good winning streak plus the return of gasoline+bynumite looks real good.

  69. Whoa, unless Hibachi comes back against us. Anyone know if its possible?

  70. The Dude Abides March 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Lamar’s postgame interview was hilarious. He looked totally out of it while acting distracted at the same time, and yet he did answer the questions. The interview reminded me of the conversation at the end of The Big Lebowski between the Cowboy Narrator and The Dude.

  71. Man. This interview better be on the lakers website tomorrow.

  72. at first I was pissed at Luke for that bad turnover after he got the O rebound, then at Ronnie for telegraphing that pass for another turnover, then at Sasha for that silly dribble into a crowd for another turnover, but then he hit the three, and Ronnie made up for his too, so now I’m fine with this W, tough win, good to be able to gut one out in a hostile arena against a quality opponent. GS is going to be a tough first round for someone.

  73. Question of the night: What is it that the Lakers don’t get about playing against the zone?

    They look absolutely clueless out there during the overtime period because of it.

  74. Sorry about the double post, but Odom is always like that during post game or locker room interviews… always looking around and randomly picking words.

  75. LO was just looking like he was hating being interviewed is what you guys missed, he was looking all around, mumbling, because he knows he’s going to get the same ol’ questions, and have to give the same ol’ answers.
    Ireland: How do you slow down the tempo?
    LO: well you know, just play better D, control the O…
    yada yada yada

  76. Wow. That was thrilling. To anyone watching on NBATV, were those the worst two announcers in history? I understand that last foul call was a bit controversial, but really, openly rooting for the Warriors for the entire game? I’m usually pretty calm about homer announcers but this just got to me all game.

  77. Big W for the Lakeshow tonight.

    After going 3-15 yesterday (1-7, 3FGA’s) … the key to tonight’s victory was the work done by Vujacic & Farmar (9-20, 5-14 3FGA’s) … in support of a monster effort by Lamar Odom (23 Pts; 10-15/FGA; 3-5/FTA; 21 Rebs; 5 Ast; 3 PF; 2 Stl; 3 TO; 5 BS).

    When the reinforcements arrive … this team is going to be one exceptionally tough out in the playoffs.

  78. Man, two games in a row haveing to listen to those Warriors announcers is enough to make anyone throw thier TV. They have no respect for any other player other than thier own. They are the most one sided announcers I have every heard. From now on I’ll watch with the radio on. I really hate Fox Sports Bay Area, you guys down South don’t know how good you have it!

  79. i believe the correct call was 2 free throws and possession!

  80. Sean Elliot….spurs home announcer… I want to sprewell him… so one sided it hurts to watch…

  81. Dafish- I really like Gasoline and Bynumite. I’ve never heard those nicknames before. Bynumite in particular feels like a nickname that should stick.

  82. The Dude Abides March 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    I believe the correct call was made. Ellis bowled over Fisher, who didn’t clutch Ellis until he was falling backward. He also let go of Monta pretty quickly after holding him. An offensive foul also could have been called on Baron on the same play. In addition, any Warriors fans complaining about that call seem to have forgotten that Fisher was fouled on the final play of regulation. The refs had just called a foul on Kobe on Baron’s dribble with 3.5 seconds left, and on Fisher’s shot with one second left there was arguably more contact.

  83. haven’t heard gasoline (strangely fitting as it sounds femine too, although we probably don’t want him labeled soft) but heard bynumite before.

    anyway, warriors make things really interesting, don’t they? good to have that one win and stop the slide. are we back at #1 now?

  84. 76, the warriors broadcasters are pretty good. Were we listening to the same game? They sounded appreciative of Lamar Odom’s effort. Sure, they were candid about how disgusted they were over that last call. But, I think any basketball fan would find that call at the end disagreeable: it should have been a non-call, and the ball game should have been settled w/o the refs interfering.

  85. Caption contest from yesterday; “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”.

    Wow, what a game. I couldn’t believe how the Lakers gave that one away down the stretch. Great game for Sasha. Vlad Rad has played so well in limited action recently. Lamar bringing the noise and the funk. Fish with a few big shots. Anyway, it was a much more dependable effort than yesterday but still, a bit shaky down the stretch. Still, nice win there. Hopefully we’ll get Pau back soon enough.

  86. dafish – Gasoline and Bynumite sure sounds like an explosive combination to me… that is if we manage to get them on the floor at the same time this season

  87. The Warriors announcers seemed pretty convinced that fisher pulled Monta down atop him, but I thought Davis and Ellis were pushing their defenders out of the way. I could see a non-call but I’ll take the win.

    The collapse down the stretch was just a couple of bad decisions. Kobe takes an ill advised early, outside shot, which always leads to a layup for the warriors, then Ronny makes a bad pass on the perimeter- another guaranteed 2 points. 2 simple mistakes that almost cost us the game. And those were exactly the types of mistakes that got us down in the first half of each game.

    All in all, if we have one or two big men with soft hands who can receive passes and rebound down low, I don’t thinkt hese games are as close. We even lost Turiaf for the second quarter. Odom deserves a lot of props for his time at center. He and Kobe have rebounded out of their minds these last two games, doing everything the hide our front court issues.

  88. Almost a major collapse. Some clutch plays won it for us. I’m surprised that after the Lakers dissected that zone in the third that they would resort to just passing around the perimeter in OT. Maybe tired legs? Fatigue?

    Glad Fisher is okay. We don’t want anymore injuries.

    Luke and Ronny with 2 careless turnovers that should have given the game to the Warriors.

    The Machine with two clutch plays in OT to put us ahead.

    Lamar Odom interviews are some of the funniest things on TV.

    Kobe, kobe, kobe; you make some boneheaded plays and I question your decision making at times but you still come through.

  89. 87. I agree I saw Davis Bear hug Bryant to push him out of the way to clear space for Ellis. Then Ellis tried to push fisher off with his left hand and Fisher grabbed him as he was falling. A no call or since people were falling around on the floor a double foul and re do the in bounds play.

  90. The refs HAD to call SOMETHING on that last play.
    It looked like a rugby scrum.
    I commend the refs for once for having some guts at the end of a game.

  91. Looked to me like Ellis was pushing Fisher and either Fish tried to Flop or he got tripped up…or both.

  92. Neither coach was trying to lose that game. Baron, Jackson, Ellis, Kobe and Lamar all go 50 minutes or more. As good a season GS is having, they are only .5 a game from being on the outside looking in. Lakers gotta get fat on these cupcakes, Pau will be back next week for sure, others to follow. 3-3 in these last 6 games is not gangbusters, but we didnt let the ship veer off course. Still in first, still with the best path to the 1 seed.

  93. Here is a comment from another blog about Lamar’s rebounding. “…the first back to back 20+ board night in over 13 years for the purple and gold.” If this is true, then it covers ALL the year’s Shaq was in LA. Hummmm! I guess that about ends any evaluation of Shaq as a great rebounder.

  94. I think Baron Davis’ clearout looked a lot like that from another Ex-UCLA guy, Ed O’Bannon.

    There were plenty of missed calls on both ends, but to all the GS fans, “If you need the refs help to win a game, do you really deserve to win?”

  95. This was posted on the yahoo nba blog–and it’s hilarious: The Lakers Rhapsody

  96. About the officiating, I am glad they called that foul. It was a foul and like other posters said, Kobe also got fouled by Baron in the same way. You can’t run through a person like that.

    Also GS fans also forgot the odd Jump ball call to start OT and the obsured free-throw violation called on Kobe for the 1ST of two free throws. Those were definitely questionable calls. If they called that last foul against the Lakers instead of GS I would have lost it and broke my TV.

  97. 93. The last person to do it was Vlade Divac. He celebrated by smoking a whole pack.


    Kobe, voted by ESPN, as the 2nd best shooting guard of all time. Incredible. Just a year ago ESPN was saying Dwyane Wade was better than Kobe. Shows how winning changes your perspective.

  99. Sorry everyone, but I have to say this….

    I live in Oakland, and watch every Warrior game I can (my soon to be wife used to be employed by them and we have watched them go from 20 wins to playoff contender) . I’ve come to like the team, and root for them 78 times a year (you can guess which 4 games I am against them). And I think the criticism of the W’s announcers is over the top. They are a very knowledgeable duo and are VERY fair. Even last night….for example: on no less than 3 occasions they said that a close block/charge call that went against the Warriors was a *good* call. On no less than 3 occasions they criticized Biedrins for trying to take a charge and not challenging the shot instead. On that same note, they praised Lamar when he backtracked on Baron, slid his feet and blocked a scoop layup that Baron attempted. They consistently had high praise for Kobe, at one point even saying it was *his time* to take over the game. I can go on and on. But they know the game, they respect the players, and they call it like they see it, whether that’s for or against the team they work for. I have heard other teams announcers (Boston, Portland, Sacto, etc) and they are not nearly as impartial or fair as the Warriors announcers. Also, on that last call, it was a bad call. Fisher had his left hand on Monta’s shoulder and pulled him down. Monta did not *barrel* over Fisher. Fisher used his savvy to get that call. The Warriors announcers said that Fisher *duped* Delaney, and that is accurate, IMO. And I want to add that the announcers were upset for the same reason I was: the players and the game deserved better. That was a highly contested game, where both teams were physically spent and had played their hearts out. And it ended on a whistle. I saw the play (just like everyone else) but I can honestly say that I don’t have any bias when watching these two teams play. I want the Lakers to win, but I want it to be a fair and balanced (take that Fox news!). Last night, the Warriors did not get that chance, the refs took away that chance. They did not take away the win or the game itself, but the chance to continue. The players and game deserved better.

    I know that many others saw it differently, and I respect that. But I watch the Warriors all the time and have grown to respect their team and their announcers as some of the best. I just don’t think it’s fair to call those guys homers, they work hard and are more than fair, IMO. I just know that our Laker loyalties run deep and sometimes it’s hard to get past the other teams announcers getting that outraged by a call, but in that case I think it was justified. It was bad. The angles they were showing on the W’s telecast showed it clear. So those that caught the game on NBA TV should have seen it…Fisher pulled him down. They rewound it back 2 or 3 times and the announcer even said that he had a good angle and saw it right when it happened. I trust those guys in the same way I trusted Chick (though NO ONE can ever measure up to Chick’s greatness).

    Sorry for the long post on something not really Lakers related, but I had to say my piece.

    As far as the Lakers though, Lamar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is playing the all around game that everyone has said he’s capable of. Back to back 20 rebound games? And the Machine? Big balls jumpers. Those were 2 amazing games that we just played. Great, great basketball. Oh man, I still have that adrenaline pumping….

  100. Darius, the announcers may SEEM fair to your perspective, but keep in mind any announcers in LA pro sports have to live up to the example of Chick Hearn and Vin Scully, the two most impartial announcers of all time. For an announcer, being labeled a homer in LA is worse than almost any other crime. Just look at Bill McDonald and how terrible he is.

    So when Laker fans complain about the homerism of other announcers, keep in mind its probably because they fall REAL short of the gold standard of Chick n’ Vin.

  101. Skimming through the comments it didn’t seem like there was a lot of vitriol for the Warriors announcers. I read a lot of them as just making the observation that the Warriors’ announcers got upset at what they felt was a poor call at the end of the game (except maybe comment #76). I think the lane violation call was a realllllly ticky tack call that had no business being made.

    I think Darius’s observations are good ones though. If you could see on their replays how bad a call it was and it robbed the team of a chance to compete for the win, then it’s fine to get a little excited. Watching sports is a passionate activity. Having passionate announcers is fine by me. I do have to echo everyone else about the KCAL 9 feed; they never showed a replay where you could actually tell what happened. Plus, I think a lot of us were all looking to see how Fisher got hurt (I was looking to see if he clutched his groin or his knee) and if he’d be okay. My personal opinion on the call, which matters not even a little bit, is that they should’ve had a non call because both players ended up on the floor canceling out any advantage (assuming both players were guilty of some sort of infraction).

  102. All I’m saying is to put things into perspective and listen and watch without bias. Look at comments #76 and #78 and tell me that those are unbiased remarks.

    And nothing can SEEM fair. It either is or it isn’t. If you’re saying the W’s announcers aren’t fair, then YOU are the HOMER. It’s that simple. We expect fair and unbiased announcers, but when we see an unfair play like that last call it’s supposed to be alright? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    And no one compares to Chick. What I’m saying is I trust those guys the same way I trusted Chick. So when they say they saw something, and then back it up with video evidence, I believe them. Like I said, I watch a lot of their broadcasts, and last night they were fair. They praised both teams when appropriate, and criticized when appropriate. I don’t know what else someone would want. Can anyone tell me a specific play where they thought that crew was unfair? And please don’t say the last call. I was upset at the last call for the reasons that I mentioned above. That was a great game, but on a level of pure basketball enjoyment, that call ruined the game. I am a Laker guy forever, but I can recognize crap when I see it.

  103. The Dude Abides March 25, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Darius, it sure looked to me that Fisher didn’t grab Ellis until after he had been knocked off balance. If Ellis had been smarter, he would have run to the right in order to escape Fisher’s grab and draw the referee’s attention to it. However, because he was bowling into Fisher the entire play and his momentum was going forward, the grab took him down and Delaney had to call something. Delaney may also have been influenced by Baron doing the same thing to Kobe…”Baron’s barreling into Kobe, but I’ll let that go because it’s the last play of the game…oh wait, Ellis just knocked over Fisher. OK, can’t let that go too. BEEEEP!!”

  104. 95-That is hilarious. That is a well done Parody.

    I have listened to almost every announcing tandom that the Association has to offer. The guys last night were not as bad as a lot of people claim and they were not as good as Darius claims. They were definitely more fair than a lot of announcers. But as a pure basketball fan(after emotions settle) I believe that the last call should have been a no call. It is clear in the replay that Monta got into Fisher who was playing wel defense and was Fish was on his way down when he had Monta join him. A no call would have been the correct call, but we can talk about that all we want.
    Kobe got a charge called on him and the announcers said that Kobe commited to early. That was not the case if you look at the replay, I believe it was Harrington(not 100% sure) was actually still moving when kobe was in the air/taking off. A – bad call, you can’t move under a player when he is in the air and call it a charge. B – Announcers just went with it.
    The Dude Abides makes a really good point.

  105. The Dude Abides,

    I hear what you’re saying. I guess I see things a little different. In those same cases of Baron and Monta *pushing* off, I also see Kobe and Fisher holding the player(s). Kobe had his arms around Baron’s waist like an 8th grade slow dance. That was a 2 way street. The same with Monta and Fish. Monta was trying to go to the sideline and Fisher was blocking his path. When Monta got into Fisher’s body, Fish got knocked back slightly, grabbed Monta and they fell. At best for the W’s that’s a foul on Fisher (they did not fall because Monta pushed off, that much I am sure of) and at worst that’s a foul on Monta. They called the foul on Monta. Even a no call ruins the play because everyone is on the floor. I just think that Fisher used his savvy to draw that call. But the video evidence that I saw had Fish pulling down Monta. All these guys (except Monta, who is still young) are veterans that know the tricks of the trade. And I am a big advocate of using any advantage you can to get the upper hand. So I can excuse everything about Kobe/Baron and Monta/Fisher but the fact that the ref decided he would determine the outcome.

    But, and I want to make this clear, I am totally amped up the Lakers won. But I am equally disappointed that the game was essentially decided on a bad call. The outcome was determined by a whistle. Every bad call against either team that happened before is essentially irrelevant. The Warriors had the ball with the chance to tie or win and the ref called a foul that gave the ball to the other team. That ended the game. It upsets me that a great game would end that way. But I am happy to be on the winners side.

  106. I am referring to the The Dude Abides point about Baron running over Kobe.

  107. 95-

    I just about got fired, as I laughed so damn hard at it my coworkers thought I was doing drugs.

    “Rad-maaaaan-o-ovich, looks like borat and he’s good from threeee….from threeee, from threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” ::head bangs::

    I giggled. PROFUSELY.

  108. major props to you all for being mature about this discussion. another reason why forum blue and gold rocks like a boulder.

    i’m just glad to have watched such a great game. It makes my day a lot better, especially when the Lakers come out with the win.

  109. 103 & 104. I’m with Darius on this one. While I do agree that the W’s announcers were a little melodramatic with their reaction to the call, I think they should be allowed to express some disappointment when a call like that decides the outcome of the game. They’re fans, after all. Like Darius, I followed the Warriors when I lived in the Bay Area and was always fond of their announcers. Of course, that was when the W’s were perennially awful, so the announcers lived in constant fear of their team falling apart. No lead was safe; they could be up by 20 with 6 minutes left, and they would still be talking themselves out of getting their hopes up…”Still plenty of time left in this one.” It was an endearing trait.

    But I digress. The point is that the call was iffy at best. If roles were reversed and it had been Fish that got called for that foul (which it very well could have been), we would all have been outraged and would likely be singing a very different tune right now. No one on this forum is upset that the Lakers won, obviously, but it seems unfair to crucify the Warriors’ announcers for their reaction to the outcome.

  110. Certainly didn’t mean to offend with my admittedly biased view of the announcers last night. To be fair, the last call was certainly questionable, and as I said, it wasn’t so much the last call that really got to me. I’d also like to say that it 2am on the east coast when I wrote that comment, after a long and heart-wrenching game, and I was watching on NBA TV, which I didn’t realize at the time had used the local broadcast — I was mostly bugged that a “nationally televised” game would have used an announcing team who had a clear, clear bias.

    Darius and others, I totally agree that the announcers gave credit where credit was do, and I was impressed in particular when they praised Odom’s inside D versus many of the Warriors who clearly didn’t care about altering the shot and were just trying to draw a charge. Still, I felt a palpable animosity on the part of the announcers towards the Lakers. It’s not that they aren’t knowledgeable (they seem to be), or that they didn’t often say the “right” thing. But I’d like to stress again that I was under the impression that these were “supposed” to be impartial announcers (NBA TV), and that, in a game as up and down and high energy as this one, to constantly feel ribbed deflated by a natural bias towards the home team was unsettling and felt wrong to me.

    I have no idea if any of that is clear. Carry on!

  111. The Dude Abides March 25, 2008 at 11:19 am

    My favorite non-Laker announcers, probably because I had more exposure to them seeing as how they were also LA, were the Clipper team of Ralph Lawler and Bill Walton. The funniest occurrence ever: a number of years ago, the Clippers were playing a game in Monterrey, Mexico. I don’t know why. Anyway, late in the first half, it was time to read the TV copyright language. In Spanish, for some reason. Ralph is about to read it, but then Walton says, “Give that to me. I grew up in Sahn DiAYgo. I speak flOOOent Spanish.” So, Bill proceeds to butcher the Spanish language reading the copyright statement. But it’s not the actual copyright statement. Lawler and the production crew substituted a retirement announcement, knowing that Walton doesn’t speak Spanish, but still thinks he himself is fluent. For the rest of the game, every five minutes, Ralph would announce to the viewers that Walton had stunningly retired from TV announcing in a surprise statement earlier in the game, “shocking all of us here.”

    All Bill could say was, “How long are you guys going to keep killing me?”

  112. phineas,
    It’s pretty common for them to use the local announcers on those broadcasts.

  113. UCSBShaw,

    Yeah, that Kobe/Harrington play was close as well. In general I don’t like that type of play, ever. I hate when a player leaves his feet and passes and when landing hits a player and, boom, charge call. That is a garbage play every time, whether it’s for us or against us.

    And nomuskles,

    It’s why I love FB&G. Everyone here is knowledgeable and very intelligent about the game. We can disagree, but everyone is respectful of differing opinions and willing to listen to another point of view. I swear, and this is no knock against any other blog, but I go to ESPN and sometimes the attacks and blatant disregard for another person’s opinions gets me down. I hate to see someone try to shout someone else down.

  114. Lol guys, we all love the Lakers, so it gets heated. Let’s just kumbaya.

    but I kinda want to see Warriors as 7th seed and upset another team, because last year they had a good chance to beat Utah also had they not fall apart and due to Fisher’s late game heroics.

  115. exhelodrvr,

    You’re probably right. It occurred to me that might’ve been what was going on, but no mention was made of it, and I watch pretty much every Laker game on League Pass which broadcasts exactly the local broadcast (or sometimes the road team’s). So I guess I feel kind of dumb. Doesn’t change the animosity I felt coming from the screen, though.

  116. If you guys thought Lamar’s post game interview was funny, check out Kenyon Martin’s from last week:

  117. Here is the interview with L.O. Talk about not making eye contact with the camera or John Ireland. It seemed like he wanted to demonstrate what was happening he kept moving around and using his hands.

    One of the W’s announcers sounded like Lavin, totally tripped me out.

  118. 111. Dude Abides

    – Just reading that story about Bill walton cracked me up. I never actually saw it or heard about it, but it wasn’t hard to imagine it. good stuff. wish there was video of it.

  119. new post up, although the comments are rolling well here.

  120. A defensive player(Fisher) is entitled to his own space on the floor. If Ellis wanted to get to another spot on the court, he can’t just RUN OVER the defensive player. He has to go around him.

    Basketball 101

  121. #117
    Lamar looks like he has A.D.D. in that interview.
    It might explain a lot.

  122. muddywood,
    I know you may have mentioned A.D.D. with some humor, but there could be something to it. It would surely explain why Lamar seems to ‘get lost’ at times in games and also why he would focus on rebounding and occasionally simply lose his man on defense.

    I know, now we have started an entirely new rumor. I am sorry Lamar; I was just making an observation.

  123. Craig W.,

    Rick Fox was diagnosed with ADD when he was with the Celtics. They put him on meds and he said it helped him to focus on the game a possession at a time. He said that before, it was all a big blur. The coaches would call a play during a time out and he would get out on the floor and forget what play was called.
    I think Lamar might have it. He always looks distracted in interviews, like he can’t focus.

  124. Then again, maybe Lamar is just uncomfortable in front of the camera.

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