Game Two Preview–The Elephant In The Room

Kurt —  April 22, 2008

We need to talk about Kobe Bryant. No, not the fact that he is staying in LA, that’s been painfully obvious since about December. Some members of the media apparently wanted to see him eat his words, so they didn’t let the issue die, but anyone with half a brain figured it out a long time ago.

No, I’m talking about his game one performance.

The Laker offense and passing was a thing of beauty in game one. The spacing, the flow was as good as the triangle has looked all year. The only time that flow stopped is when Kobe got the ball and decided to prove his manhood against Kenyon Martin. From Bill Bridges in the comments:

But the nature of the jump shots bothered me. It is one thing if he would take the jump shots in the context of the offense as a by-product of off the ball movement. Instead, the offense came to a screeching halt as he would hold the ball, jab step, etc etc before launching the J.

Martin stayed back on Kobe, plus (as Darius pointed out in the comments) he showed good lateral quickness and with his strength was able to really slow Kobe’s penetration. In the LA Times today Kobe called playing against K-Mart a “challenge.” The problem is, Kobe likes to take on those types of challenges head on, and in game one his ego got in the way of the offense, something that has not been a big problem the second half of the year. Kobe needs to pick his spots better.

Father of Coby’s decision to go with K-Mart on Kobe was an interesting one, but it came with a price — a mismatch of Anthony Carter or AI having to take one of the Laker bigs (Radman or Luke Walton). It was Walton that made them pay the price, although Radman has his moments. The Lakers were at their best in exploiting that mismatch, it forced Camby to run around trying to protect the paint. A couple quick passes and Gasol got lay-ups, as did other guys.

The only time that seemed to stop was when Kobe got the ball.

Kobe had his points, and got them late, but the Lakers need him to play within the offense. He needs to be efficent. If it means an 11-point night with 11 assists, good. The one dime in game one was a sign of how Kobe played (although he did get some “hockey assists”). When the defense adjusts to stop Pau and try to jump his passing lanes, Kobe’s chances will open up. Now, he should go at K-Mart a few times to keep him honest, but he needs to play within the offense. Do that and it is an easy win.

A few other thoughts:

• The Lakers transition defense needs to be better.

• Good read about the changes in Lamar Odom’s game from friend-of-the-site Nate Jones, check it out.

• Commenter Renato Afonso had a few suggestions for George Karl:

1 – Play mixed defenses, alternating a 2-3 zone with man-to-man. Throw the triangle out of synch by cutting the flow of the offense.

2 – Play Iverson, JR Smith, Kleiza, Martin and Camby as the core. Carmelo Anthony should not be playing for them.

3 – Switch K-Mart to Odom, stop Odom and let Kobe get his points.

Personally I don’t buy into the sitting Melo idea, they need his offense and they can cover his defensive deficiencies. But they do need to get Kleiza and Smith more time on the court (at Carter’s expense). But, as Afonso pointed out, the options Karl has are limited.

UPDATE: Not just seconds after I posted this, Heather sent me an email with a link from the Denver Post saying that Kleiza will start in place of Carter.

• The boys at Fire George Karl have had it with Lakers fans. Well, I can’t really argue point #7.

• A quick diversion: If Kobe and LeBron played a game of one-on-one, who do you got?

• Am I the only person on the Internet who thinks the Rockets problems do not fall on McGrady? Nobody else on that team is stepping up and they really miss Yao Ming. A team can focus its defense and take one guy out for a quarter or even a game (although McGrady settled for a lot of jumpers in the fourth quarter). The Nuggets tried to do the same thing to the Lakers in game one, but Gasol made them pay a price. Who else on Houston is making Utah pay?

• UPDATE: New stuff from the official Lakers blog worth checking out, including more Jim Cleamons video interviews and stuff from Sasha.

Kurt

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48 responses to Game Two Preview–The Elephant In The Room

  1. This Little Pinky April 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I believe Kobe will be fine.

    As much as you say Kobe stopped the ball movement, it’s still an improvement from years past. He actually moved the ball along nicely a lot of the time (again, relative to what he used to do), and that was still enough for a fourteen point win.

    I understand, though, that we should expect more, and that it may end up hurting the team against a better defensive team than the Nougats. I believe that at a minimum Kobe will adjust and do what it takes to secure the win.

  2. I guess you can’t really blame those guys at firegeorgekarl.com for hating Laker fans…There are a lot of annoying people out there leaving unintelligible and offensive comments anywhere they can, and there sure are a lot of bandwagon-jumpers.

    Sometimes I feel almost embarrassed to be a Laker fan, but then I recall those memories as a kid, watching Magic and Worthy and Kareem and everyone taking on the Celts in the Garden (one of my earliest memories) or Magic hurling the ball into the air against Portland in game six in ’91…I mean, how can you purge those indelible memories?

    And I especially hate it when I feel like the Lakers are getting an unfair advantage, or even when it just appears that they are, because I’d rather we have to earn it.

    I guess you just have to represent your team with a little class and intelligence, and take the abuse for what it is (a little jealously, a little justified), and (hopefully) party like it’s 2001.

  3. it should be noted about Kobe’s taking jumpshots that it KEPT Martin close to him on the perimeter the whole time. Now I know you can argue that a bad shot is a bad shot and never helpful but in this case I believe it helped two individuals greatly: Odom and Pau. With Martin out on the perimeter (and staying there cause Kobe was just putting up shots) that left Camby all along to deal with the size of the two of them and you saw what happened there. Considering the lackluster reaction of Phil to Kobe’s shooting (when has he not called him out when he “forced” shots?) I’d believe the coaching staff was perfectly fine with it because it did what he wanted.

    Just something to think about cause it’s so easy to go Lakersground.net and jump down Kobe’s throat for his shot selection.

  4. I have to admit. I really like the way the game flowed when Odom and Pau had control of the ball. It seemed like the offense lagged when Kobe would step in to make a play. I think that Phil Jackson will figure out the right way to get Kobe involved without him having to put up a bunch of shots.

  5. Strange as it sounds,Kobe may be learning how to play w/skilled teammates. Gasol has not been w/the team all that long and was out w/his injury for a while. Kobe may know his team is better,but he may not KNOW it’s better.

    As to Houston,there was a revealing sound bite from Sat’s game. Mike in huddle picked up Adelman telling team to just get open,Tracy will get them the ball. In the two games so far Houston has missed an incredible number of point-blank shots. W/out Alston and w/T-Mac hobbled by his shoulder,Hou just doesn’t have enough scoring punch.

  6. You know how you can tell when the Lakers are a dominant team again? You start to see lists of reasons why other teams’ fans hate the Lakers, and Lakers fans.

    And of course, there’s the best sound in the world to let you know the Lakers are contending again. The “Beat L.A.” chants are quite possibly the biggest compliment another fan base can pay to the Lakers. No one ever chants “Beat Denver”. It just doesn’t mean as much to beat the Nuggets as it does to beat the Lakers.

    I hope those fools over at FireGeorgeKarl.com keep on hating the Lakers. It reminds me that the Lakers are good again.

  7. With Kleiza starting, the most worrisome thing about Kobe may be his DEFENSE. Kleiza has really had some great games against Kobe, I hope Kobe realizes he can’t gamble off him, and must play him honest.

    On offense, Kleiza will probably guard either Vlad or LO, either way it means LO is being guarded by Kleiza or Melo, which makes me hope LO is as aggressive as he has been.

  8. I’d just like to add to the bias against laker fans. Yeah, we probably have the most bandwagon followers (next to Boston) but we also have the most die hard fans too. I grew up watching the Divac-Peeler-Van Exel era…. and still supported them even though I was too young to know what defense was.

    Here’s a huge BUT, though. The favoritism for the Lakers can also be compared to the Cavs, or more importantly, Lebron. Great talent but he gets away with alot of things (as much, if not more than, Kobe). Just yesterday when the cavs were waxing the Wizards, I counted FIVE steps Lebron took to drive to the basket. FIVE! On separate occassions! Now I know calling “traveling” is kind of taboo, but seriously, FIVE?! Kobe can’t go that far. That’s why I have a sense that Lebron might beat the Celtics to come out of the east, you know, as an induction of sorts.

  9. the importance of getting this initial win dictated that kb24 probe to see if he could get something going. i for one did not feel this game was over until the 2:30 mark or so when kb24 got that alley oop dunk. at stake was: (a) home court adv. (2) pau’s getting the monkey off and (3) the expectations of him, his teammates, the organization and us fans. now if they would’ve maintained that 19pt lead, i don’t think kobe shoots any of those shots……that said, i think we’d all be feeling a bit different if his jumper was falling…….

    kurt, i’m with you on the mc grady issue. in the playoffs, adelman’s pass and cut game can only go so far (as we saw when he came across the lakers at sacto AND he had better personnel). in a grinder playoff series, as with this utah team, you need a big that can score out of the low post and yao would be dominating utah if he was out there. he is sorely missed now.

  10. I mentioned this earlier and maybe the hypothesis will be tested more tomorrow: I think Kobe is a bit reluctant to take it to the rack against kenyon. Kenyons got nothing to lose and it is way to easy to picture him pulling a brendan haywood on Kobe. As soon as j.r. drew the assignment, Kobe went straight to the rack…

    About the rockets. Tmac said it after the game – he was worn out. He didn’t have that extra gear at the end with AK guarding him (+ a quick double). You could see the fatigue in his jumper and in the way he’d bend over with his hands on his knees during dead ball situations. The man can’t do it all himself.

    If Kobe n Lebron went 1 on 1? I think Lebrun would eventually realize that he could take it to the hole on Kobe at will. 2 words: 6’9″, 260.

  11. @ tony,

    I think everyone knows Lebron would drive by Kobe at will, except Kobe. It’s reminiscent of MJ guarding Magic in the 91 finals in Game 1. Too big and strong for Kobe to handle. Plus when a guy is allowed to take 4-5 steps for a layup in the half court set, there’s nothing you can do except to knock him out. Those fouls weren’t even that flagrant. Just good playoff fouls.

  12. Yeah, it does seem like Kobe took up that personal challenge against Martin, especially with both smack talking to each other.

    However, #3 does bring up a point that I didn’t think about before. Shooting jumpshots, ill advised or not, kept Martin away from the paint and prevented him from turning around and helping out.

    I think Kobe will cool himself, if he realizes that if everything goes to plan, the Lakers have a long road ahead of them. Getting technical fouls in the first series isn’t wise as sometimes in important and crucial games, you do need to yell at the referee a little bit to sway their whistles. Nuggets aren’t really expecting to go anywhere past us, which is why, I assume, Iversion didn’t care about picking up two technicals.

    But we’re not the Nuggets, we’re trying to go all the way. Let’s play smart and Kobe should save the technicals fouls for time when we really do need it.

  13. Kobe can win 1-1, since I think it’s pretty much given that neither player can stop the other from scoring. Then it’s a matter of being able to nail that timely long ball, which I believe Kobe does more reliably than LeBron.

    But since Kobe does miss a lot, it could go either way. It could even be a matter of who flinches first and attempts the three before the other guy…

  14. Interesting quote about Martin being a challenge…

    Like Kurt said, Kobe usually likes to take on those challenges in a manner that is not exactly team focused.

    But, in this case, I actually think that Kobe is going to attack Martin more as a tactician. All this talk (by Jon Barry especially) about Kobe being willing to continue to trust his teammates is off base. I think he’s going to look at his own performance and see where he could have been better. And, I gotta give Kobe credit, because he is a thinking man’s player. I read an article (either here or TrueHoop) where a personnel man said that Kobe plays at angles. Kobe has an ability to exploit an opponents positioning (both body and on the court) and attack where he forces opponents into positions where challenging his shot is most difficult. And he can do this on the fly, right when he catches the ball.

    So, I expect Kobe to look at the tape and find places on the court where he can score the easiest and most efficiently. I think he’ll realize that he has to make his move quickly. He needs to either shoot a rhythm jumper or drive the ball or just keep the ball moving with the extra pass. I also expect Phil to run that motion in the offense where Kobe starts on the backside and catches the ball coming to the top off of a pin down screen in order to get him more of those *in the offense/rhythm looks*. I also, just expect that he’ll shoot better.

    Anyways, I’m anxious to see some of the adjustments made. Since Kleiza and Smith look like they’ll get more burn, maybe all this will be moot. Maybe they’ll go with a more traditional defense and skew more towards Gasol and shutting down the paint.

  15. Oh, and I found that quote. It’s from the LA Times:

    “One Western Conference advance scout compared Bryant favorably to a mathematician. At its core, basketball is a game of geometry and if opponents take bad paths to guard Bryant, they’ve already failed, because he quickly reads defenses and angles, capable of making split-second decisions that usually work in his favor.”

    Here is the link to the entire piece, basically talking about the difficulty of guarding Kobe:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-kobe2apr02,1,5315621.story

  16. CTDeLude,
    I really liked your comment – and so did Jimmy. Once players start to get into the habit of hanging out on the perimeter, see the old Lamar Odom, they just don’t remember to go inside. If that was intentional, it was dam* evil thinking on the part of Phil and Kobe.

    Of course, we all would have preferred those shots to have gone in.

  17. I’m just putting it out there because something like that seems more inline with Phil’s sort of coaching then not. We all talk about how we approach things and we watch the practice reports on Lakers.com where they break things down but that certainly isn’t the whole gameplan. And considering Phil is unorthodox I wouldn’t put it past him to draw something like that just to mess with heads. And we have to admit it, Pau did have an IMMENSELY easy effort inside the paint. More then perhaps we would have even expected from Denver’s poor D.

  18. Well, just watched the Suns/Spurs GM 2 and even though it’s been mentioned like everywhere, the Spurs are really scary on defense and all the talk about the Spurs not having enough offense, they shouldn’t worry about it.

  19. I wouldn’t be corncerned about Kobe and the ball movement.

    The unusual-ness of having a player like Kenyon Martin (PF, 6-9 240lbs, quick) defend him affected Kobe. It took away his post game and made him less inclined to make quick moves below 15 feet. It forced him outside and from there it’s either jump shots or taking more time with the ball. This is how he needs to attack Martin. The Lakers need his scoring and most importantly his penetration so time on the ball he shall recieve.

    Next series when they defend him with a wing again Kobe’s ball and player movement will be back to a high level.

    I think of it as a temporary situation

  20. I’m assuming the hypothetical one-on-one game between Kobe and LeBron would be a half-court game.

    In that case, I think Kobe would win, as a half-court game takes away one of LeBron’s huge strengths, namely, his open court skills, which are enhanced by the amazing velocity and mass (momentum, for you physics majors) he generates coming up the court.

    Also, in the half-court, Kobe could lay off of Lebron much like Kenyon Martin did to Kobe himself, and let Lebron shoot jumpers. Lebron would not have as much success using that strategy on Kobe. Assuming the match would involve more than one game, (maybe best of five or seven?) I think Kobe would have a slight advantage because of this.

  21. I have this plan of having Kobe play Kmart from the strong side and launching a three everytime. I’m sure this will pull out KMart from the box and leave the rebounds to Ronny/Pau/Lamar with Camby all by his lonesome.

    Another would be to post Gasol up everytime. Kobe will get the ball from the strong wing around 25ft (proximate distance from where he usually shoots threes) with Fisher in the corner to make the entry pass if Kobe’s angle is blocked. This strategy will free up Lamar Odom to cut to the basket from the other wing, set up by a screen by Vlade. If the defense follows Lamar, Vlade is wide open for the weakside three.

  22. I think whether Kobe shoots or not, Kmart stays with him… That said, what I’d like to see the Lakers do tonight:

    1. Do not full court trap after a made FT. This worked ok in the beginning of the year as a surprise move. Guess what fellas, the opposition knows that the trap is coming. They have videos and scouting reports and practice breaking the trap. I especially don’t like it against he Nuggets as it accelerates the pace of the game and completely negates the opportunity to set up the defense after a made FT.

    2. Save Kobe against AI for the 4th (if needed). Needless energy expended and potential for getting into foul trouble – which translate into less aggressive stance on offense.

    3. Please and either Luke or Vlade FLOP against Carmelo? Melo has 3 moves on the right low block. Spin to the baseline (hook with his left arm). Fall away J. And his favorite move, the bull to the basket with his right shoulder move. This last move is a guaranteed offensive foul when he plays Battier and Bowen. All Luke and Vlade has to do is to fall down! I mean Vlade must be the only Euro who does not flop!

    I’m not concernd about Kleiza starting. In Denver’s case there really are no shots left after AI and Melo get theirs. Only AI might look to set up others. Whereas when Kleiza is the go to guy and primary scorer of the second unit, now Denver’s bench got alot weaker. Having said that we still should try to limit the corner three from Kleiza. If he checks Lamar, I hope Lamar takes it to him. The other point is that without Carter, Camby becomes the second best ball handler. I might gamble a bit more as this unit should be error-prone.

  23. Warren Wee Lim April 23, 2008 at 8:44 am

    The Wild West

    Well the Suns pretty much had the Spurs’ numbers for the last 2 games, but Duncan’s three in Game 1 and the Game 2 2nd half eclipse after , the defending champs are 2-0 ahead. This is by no means a done series but Phoenix should massacre San Antonio in Game 3 to convince themselves that they can get over their “waterloo” Spurs. Much like how Chicago could never beat Detroit until that faithful night in 1991.

    Utah, (as expected), has sucked the life out of the Rockets faithful. Going 2-0 on the road when they were supposed to be a sucky road team, what does that mean? I sense a sweep.

    New Orleans got another huge game from CP3. I should learn my lesson now for betting against LeBron, CP3 and the defending champs. Guys like these are simply destined for greater things and how can I not believe? Anyway, Dallas is rather down and they NEED something. If they lose game 3, I could already picture Cuban with both his hands on top of his head and staring-to-death Avery Johnson.

    LA has game 2 coming up. It is imperative that we stop fooling around and get on with business and kill whatever false hope Denver has of stealing 1 game on Staples. Contrary to popular demand, Kobe should go out with guns blazing and the bench can protect the lead as we go for the jugular in the 3rd. I will be biting away all my nails on this one. We should be mindful that we need all the rest we can get against the uptempo-methodical Utah team.

    The Least East

    Boston is giving up -15 on the betting odds for this game. While I don’t think Atlanta has a bunch of scrubs for their team, but they have a bunch of scrubs for a team. I think Boston could beat that -15 if they knew that was the bar.

    Detroit plays as well. And they are coming up with all the BS that DEEE-TROIIIIT BAAAAAS-KETBALL thrives on adversity. Gimme a break. While they are that good defensively and they are consistent, they better not give the Sixers a reason to believe… And quite frankly, I think LeBronze willed his way against them last year. If your team is that fragile mentally, it means the coach is weak. Nuff said.

    Is Dwight Howard trying to set a playoff record for rebounds? I mean going 25pts 22rebs in game 1 and 29pts 20rebs in game 2 is something right? By the way, he is shooting 20-30 in the series so far and hitting 14-20 fts. No way Toronto wins this series.

    The most exciting East matchup has LBJ’s Cavs up 2-0. I think Washington should put the money where their mouths are and come up with a win. I am honestly rooting for them to upset the Cavs and I think they will give Boston a little more than what the Cavs can. I love Arenas, but he should learn to **** the **** up.

    Major difference between him and Kobe: Arenas uses his mouth to do the working while Kobe uses his work to do the mouthing.

    So Far, the Playoffs have been nothing less than Amazing.

  24. the other Stephen April 23, 2008 at 8:57 am

    FATHER OF COBYYYYY. may you continue to bless us with another victory.

  25. I don’t think the Hornets are helped at all in terms of good playoff experience by playing such a soft Dallas team (how the hell did they ever manage to get into the Finals?) Sure it gets them to the next round but if they face either the Spurs or Suns they are facing a far different monster and one that will press them and CP3 like they haven’t faced before. That’s where their feet will be placed to the fire and we’ll see what happens. Other than that CP3 IS something special.

    Something I’ve noticed about the Suns…they don’t move the ball anywhere close to how we do. Most of their plays involved 1 to 2 passes, maybe three, while we often have up to 4 passes on each possession. This isn’t scientific but that seemed to be the case watching the team last night.

  26. 22-If they use their bigger lineup, I would still press occassionally. Like you said, Camby is their 2nd best ball-handler with Carter out, and I think we can get some turnovers from them.

  27. Good story in the Denver Post out of their practice yesterday. As we expected (but the Daily News/Press-Telegram writer didn’t, for some reason) but the Nuggets are leaving K-Mart on Kobe. They also will be mixing in more zone, and Camby said he will be helping off Gasol a lot less.

    Also, Nene may play some tonight, getting time on Gasol off the bench.

    http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_9021385

  28. 25. I have not seen all of the Mavs/Hornets games, but to me Dallas is approaching defending the Hornets wrong. They tried to trap Paul and put a forward on him, and that has been disaster. Isn’t it better to give him the Steve Nash — let him score but don’t let him set up teammtes? The Lakers had some success with that.

  29. I think Dallas does not have that athletic guy to put on CP3 to hound him anyway, unless they are using J-Ho or Devean George so what’s the point? Have Jason Terry play him honest so that he will be encouraged to shoot over him.

    While I may have picked the Mavs to win against them, I don’t think they have enough size to do it. I’m simply banking on Dirk + Kidd + Avery and the fact that they are a veteran team compared to the Hornies. So far, CP3 is not cracking.

  30. Also, I want ocho back tonight. The guy who blows by the defenders like they are nailed to the floor (remember Kobe against Pippen?). If Roy can blow by Kobe, surely Kobe can drive past Martin. If Kobe can penetrate into the lane. It is all over.

  31. Pardon the off-topic, but would it not have been better (or worse) for the West if the W’s made it and the Rockets missed it? I mean, nobody would be eager to face the Warriors at full throttle.

    Lakers – Nuggets
    Jazz – Suns

    Hornets – Warriors
    Spurs – Mavericks

    This says a lot about Houston being the only Kill-Joy team among the bunch.

  32. It looks like some at Denver are plotting some heavy handed Nuggery tonite–especially against Gasol. I guess 4 technicals weren’t enough. There will clearly be more beef up front.

    With Kleiza starting, Denver probably will be insisting on a temporary rule change so that the Nuggs can use three basketballs at the same time on offense. Otherwise, we might see instances in which Melo and Kleiza commit a flagrant foul on AI! I wonder how the refs would handle that?

    The Lakers simply need to play their game on both ends of the court. They may get more transition opportunities on defense.

    The Nuggs appear to have gotten acquainted with the offense of Mr. Gasol in game one–and didn’t like it very much. Game two, they get to play “pick your poison.” Denver may get reacquainted with Mr. Fisher in game 2, and remember the cost of deterring Kobe in game 1. They may further realize that Mr. VladRad, Mr. Walton, and The Machine can drive as well as hit the outside shot. There is little doubt that Lamar will appear out of nowhere, maybe snatching a rebound and going coast-to-coast, but the Lakers are probably saving that and some special attack moves by Jordan off a steal for a surprise package or two as the game progresses.

    Ronny may be most effective at coughing on opponents this game. Could that result in a technical foul and mandatory ejection? What if he coughed on his teammates by mistake? The Zenmaster must be very careful.

  33. Cough on Kenyon and he’ll sock you in the face

  34. Watching NO, Utah, and SA, they definitely look formidable, but looking closer, I think the Lakers will have a different set of problems with those teams than Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix, respectively.

    Take Houston: yeah, Utah’s defense looks stifling, but Houston’s offense is impotent. Stop T-Mac (or wait until he plays three quarters) and nobody else can make a shot. With Kobe instead of T-Mac, and Gasol/LO and the rest of the gang, this should not be a problem for us. Utah goes through dry spells too, and Houston simply can’t capitalize.

    Now Phoenix: against SA yesterday, they couldn’t get key buckets when Nash was covered, or the paint was packed in for Amare. Diaw was missing shot after shot while being covered by Tiny, er, Tony Parker! Yeah, the Spurs played solid defense, but Phoenix had their chances, if they could’ve converted some shots.

    And Dallas: as people have already pointed out, the Mavs took the totally wrong approach in guarding CP3. And on offense, when their iso-after-iso-after-iso offense gets stuck in the mud, as it did especially in Game 1, it makes my eyes hurt. (As opposed to Kobe-to-Lamar-to-Pau-back-to-Lamar, which makes my heart sing.)

    Yes, defense is always a key for us. When we deign to play it, though, we’re generally successful. Offensively, if we don’t get happy with the outside shooting, and instead play inside-out and keep the ball moving, I don’t think we’ll fall into the same traps that the lower-four-seeded teams have fallen into.

    That said, I’m as guilty as anyone for looking too far ahead. There are still three wins to get against Denver. I’m hoping Kobe listens to Bill Bridges and the rest of the team plays the way they did on Sunday.

  35. tonystarks.
    Now there is a new way to draw technical fouls on an opponent.

  36. Lakers win by 17 today with an 8 point lead at halftime…

  37. You all obviously never watched MIchael Jordan play..cause..whenever someone talked smack to Michael..no matter how much his team was geelllinggg or how great the “flow” was…Michael would start to take over and make it personal.

    Coaches would take players out of the game just for getting him started…

    Now..i think its great you all hold Kobe to a higher standard than other players, but unless you plan on holding him to a higher standard than Michael…

    *zip it*

  38. And when i say “you all” i mean the blogwriter.

  39. NO is pick and roll, pick and roll, pick and roll. they really don’t seem to do anything else honestly. And for that matter Dampier does the worst SHOW I’ve seen since Shaq. That’s really how they’re killing them.

  40. 37. I’m holding Kobe to the same standard as MJ (and the standard I hold all players to) — play to the best of their abilities and within the team system MJ could take over a game, but also knew when to get the ball to teammates when he was off or they had better chances. For the most part Kobe does that, but for stretches Sunday he did not.

    If you do not like what you read here, I think there may be one or two other Lakers-focused Web sites you can read. We’ll get along without you. Somehow.

  41. 37-What does Jordan have to with anything, the Laker coaching staff (for as long as they have run the triangle) has always pleaded with Kobe to keep the ball moving. What happened in Game 1 was an abberation for this season, but something any Laker fan has seen Kobe do over the last decade plus. Kurt merely was pointing out how near-perfect the Laker offense ran when the ball was moving, hence, the simple, yet often made request that Kobe move the ball.

  42. Tryin to get a rise out of blogmaster by callin him out…

    Sounds like someone’s tryin to make an e-name for himself

  43. No Laker fan would have a problem if Kobe wrecked vengeance on KMART by taking it to the hole and dunking in Martin’s face. Repeatedly. That Kobe was the monster in Toronto and Utah. I’d take that Kobe any time.

  44. I’m not joining the list of people who pointlessly complain or bitch about that top 10 reasons why Laker fans suck or whatever because that is so blatantly what the author wants Laker fans to do I can’t be bothered.

    What I can’t understand and maybe one of you guys on here, who are pretty much always reasonable. Is how I could be construed (possibly) as a bandwagon Laker fan, when I didn’t even know the entire sport existed until 5 years ago and only started following the Laker’s three years ago at the beginning of the season they made 8th seed won 3 more games than anybody thought in the playoffs then got their asses whupped. How can I be seen this way? Because presumably anybody who hasn’t followed this team for like 10 years is automatically a bandwagon fan and I don’t get it at all. I’ve followed them loyally not due to any hype or 14 championships, but because I liked them as a team. What annoys me most about being a Laker fan is that people (well idiots on the internet) will instantly assume that as an LA fan you will straight away:

    1. Hate Shaq.
    2. Love Kobe to the point of obsession.
    3. See no wrong in the team.
    4. Apparently completely ignore that we get all the calls, which frankly in three years of watching this team I haven’t seen that much evidence of.

    Doe’s it not annoy other regulars here (of which I’d now like to hope I am one of) that we get tarred with the same brush? I mean just look at the comments on that blog. when was the last time you saw such stupidity on here?

    Kurt for the love of god keep this blog as great as it is to read and discuss topics on as it is now and has been since I joined.

  45. Kurt,

    People always talk about the sports blogosphere being full of guys that don’t know what they are talking about. But it seems to me like it’s the outsiders that are just now catching wind of the sports blogosphere that are the ones ruining it for everyone else.

    Everyone that has been reading you site since 04 knows that you have one of the most professional on point blogs around. That’s why you’re one of only a handful of blogs on TrueHoop’s blogroll and why you constantly get linked in TrueHoop’s bullets and get asked to comment on the Lakers on so many other different platforms. You obviously know what you’re talking about. Keep up the great work, bro. Shaft should read the commenting tips before stepping into a FB&G thread.

    Anyhow, back to torts for me.

  46. good luck with finals Nate, good post on LO.

  47. One last thing before I get out of here:

    There’s a Machine fan club on facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12553080974&ref=nf

    I posted this there last night:
    Sasha is definitely the player most likely to get punched out during these playoffs.

    Hell, Carmelo already choked him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL1_fXU0n1U

    Raefer Alston was ready to knock him out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z_F9Zzyi6U

    Even Balkman got in on the fun:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EGl-MiD0J0

    Baron Davis even punked him a bit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaumQtsAoxg

    And how about his own teammate punkin him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUUah2xtLqY

    And clownin him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52cCXFT_Hvs

  48. First off, you guys are far too kind. This is really a community and I learn a lot from you. I can’t say how happy I am my little spot for talking about the game turned into this.

    Now, the Game 2 Chat post is up. As I said, I’ll be home and online through the game tonight, making snarky comments.