Game 5 Live Blog

Kurt —  May 14, 2008

Another nomuskles live blog for your viewing pleasure.

Pregame
Boston holds serve at the Garden (after a few shaky moments) and the Lakers attempt to stay perfect on the Staples Center hardwood floor during these 2008 Playoffs. We’ll obviously be watching Kobe’s back to see how he’s doing with his extra day off.

1st Quarter
TNT doesn’t want to show us the game. They’re making us watch the end of this Boston-Cavaliers torture test. Phew. Lebron doesn’t push it. Zoom to LA!
Lakers up 5-0 on two Kobe Bryant shots. Jazz are trying to change up their luck by using the powder blue uniforms that suck monkey balls from a design standpoint. You can’t read the names or numbers or anything because it’s dark blue on a fairly dark blue. Whoever decided these would work needs help.
9:30 – The Jazz first four points come on wide open dunks. First Brewer took the ball away from Fisher and had his own fast break and then the Lakers suffered a breakdown in the halfcourt.
9:08 – Okay, three dunks. Brewer gets another dunk.
8:53 – AK47 turns away the Gasol jump hook. Great play. Ronnie Brewer gets a layin on the other end.
8:25 – Lamar has it in the middle and tries to go up. All kinds of contact on his head and the refs just call the ball out of bounds. Adding insult to injury they give the ball to the Jazz. I’m not sure how u justify that call.
7:59 – Lakers finally play some good defense and get a 24 second violation. Sarcastic clap.
7:43 – Kobe raises up over Brewer and hits a very difficult fadeaway above the free throw lane.
7:07 – The Space Cadet nails a 20 foot jumper that was wide open because of a good down screen by Fisher on the weak side while D-Will got caught watching the ball. Timeout Jazz. 15 – 8 Lakers lead. I got to warn you. I was so angry last game. I’m not even in a good mood tonight. We’ll see if any humor makes its way into this one. Or maybe we’ll just see unabated sarcasm and mirth. Who says it can’t be both.
6:43 – Fisher mishandles the ball out of bounds. Whoopsee.
6:25 –Brewer shoots the 21 footer from the right wring and I’m okay with him shooting that. He misses it. Anything but those easy dunks please.
5:48 – Williams picks up his first foul on a Fisher drive to the bucket. Fisher is lucky that was a foul because there was no one to follow for the offensive rebound on the inevitable missed layup.
5:27 – Ronnie Brewer is fed for another layer on a flex cut. This is absurd. Kobe needs to quit this ridiculousness. Just because he is the MVP doesn’t mean the guy he’s guarding is garbage. This is the part of Kobe’s game that frustrates me the most. He falls asleep on defense and lets his man go back door way too often. It’s a symptom of his lack of respect for the man he’s guarding.
4:31 – With a Kirilenko bucket, the Jazz are now within 3. 19-16.
4:09 – The Space cadet hits a 3 to slow the Jazz mini run. The TNT guys make a joke that they think he’s heard Phil Jax’s baritone voice. ::chuckles by Harlan and Collins:: I wasn’t laughing because his uninspired play has been hurting us. Why doesn’t he always play with purpose and intensity? When is it a contract year for him?
3:35 – VladRad hits another one from the left corner in semi transition! Assist from LO!
2:52 – We go to timeout after a Kirilenko jumper with the Lakers up 25-18.
2:45 – The Lakers try to run an alley oop with Kobe and I cringe. With a bad back that’s a dangerous play as he gets met in the air by Milsap. Doug Collins makes the same point.
2:19 – Kobe picks up a stupid foul on Harpring underneath the basket.
2:10 – Milsap gets the rebound off the missed freethrow. The Lakers need to figure out how to keep him off the glass or I’m going to have to figure out how to dislodge my remote from my TV.
1:42 – Lakers make a great defense play to take the ball away from Boozer and then Kobe and Luke flub it in transition. Korver nails the three on the return. Excuse me while I type the rest of this without the pinky I just gnawed off.
1:13 – Farmar checks in. I predict he’ll have a great close to the quarter. It should be noted that if we are seeing Farmar this late, it means Fisher stayed out of foul trouble.
0:20 – Kobe is dribbling at half court against Harpring.
0:07 – Kobe loses the ball against Harpring. This is stupid. He makes an unnatural basketball motion but doesn’t draw contact so he won’t be suspended. Korver comes back the other way and feeds Boozer streaking down the middle. He draws a foul on Lamar. If you’re a Lakers fan you only see Boozer’s left arm pushing Lamar out of the way. If you’re a Jazz fan you see…well I dunno. I’m not a jazz fan. They can make their own excuses for the ref’s suckitude. So far, the refs have been mediocre for both sides. Boozer makes one of two and the Lakers are up 29-26 as the quarter comes to a close. That quarter was a C+ for the Lakers and a C for the Jazz.

2nd Quarter

11:20 – Lakers are really hustling coming out of the break. It’s the bench mob and Pau. Pau gets a rebound off a Jordan miss and dunks it!
10:40 – D-Will is back in quickly to see if he can settle things. The chaotic thing is working in the Lakers’ favor for whatever reason. Nope. Utah turns it over.
10:16 – Farmar drills a three. Absolutely drills it. Hands up together, down together. We’ll see if that’s the ex-lax or just a one off.
9:44 – Gasol hits a nice looking set shot. 36-29 Lakers.
9:27 – D-Will draws a foul on Farmar.
8:57 – D-Will makes a nice step back move against Farmar and hits a long two. 33-36
8:25 – Pau might be missing an ear. Millsap absolutely Van Gogh’d the guy three times before Pau could get a foul call. Great job by Pau to not be a weenie and keep on trying until he got a bucket or a foul. That’s Milsap’s third and I’m happy to see him sit down this early in the half. Kurt makes a great point in the comments. Both teams are giving the ball away at an incredible rate.
Coming back from the timeout, they’ve decided to give the foul to Ashton Kutcher instead of Milsap. So Milsap will stay in the game and harass the Spaniard some more. 38-33 Lakers after Pau hits both free throws.
8:15 – Sasha gets under Korver’s skin and Korver gets caught shoving Sasha on the offensive end. They won’t lose much as he takes as a seat because brewer comes back into the game.
7:36 – Lakers play great defense and it ends up in a steal! Kobe pummels his way into Harpring’s arm and draws the foul. Watch that back MVP. Also, this crowd blows. Freaking golf claps. I hate Staples Center.
7:19 – Okur is too open. He can’t make it.
7:12 – SARCASM ALERT: Oh, you mean if you trust your teammates they hit shots for you? I’m shocked. Kobe passes it back to a wide open Vujacic who nails a three. Where was that trust in overtime, you guppy?
6:56 – Pau doesn’t box Boozer out and boozer gets away with his elbow/forearm shove in the small of the back to get an offensive rebound and putback. I wouldn’t make that call if I were the ref either but it’s a very savvy move. Lakers fans, don’t be upset at boozer for doing that move, be upset at Pau for being weak sauce.
6:28 – fisher hits a shot to make it 45-35 Lakers.
6:13 – Doug Collins can’t shut up. He’s in my brain. He’s in my brain. Jazz throw it out of bounds.
5:53 – Lakers pass up a couple of outside shots to try and get an inside shot and get Pau two free throws. I like this. It’s not part of the triangle necessarily, but it’s much better than the watch Kobe/Lebron and stand around isolation offense. Lakers have cleaned up their turnovers a little bit here and have made a small surge while the jazz have not. Maybe Kurt should become a commentator. Same score as before.
Pau misses the first makes the second in a nod to his linemate Lamar.
5:41 – Kobe picks up his second foul on D-Will. Harlan can’t stop talking about Deron Williams as the “throttle” of Utah. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s particularly clever or insightful.
5:25 – Lakers run pick and roll with Kobe and Gasol which we haven’t seen a whole lot of success with but this time we get a nice layup for Gasol. Doug says it’s called a “squeeze.” Jazz answers with a nice jumper. 48-39 Lakers.
4:36 – Vujacic tightropes the baseline tracking down a rebound and those hustle plays are going to win us the game tonight. This leads to another semi transition bucket where Lamar just takes it in himself and gets a layup. 51-39 Lakers up. Jazz turn the ball over in the paint and then Kobe returns the favor by missing Derek Fisher by about 5 feet and passing the ball to Jerry Sloan who is neither a Laker nor an eligible player. I feel like John Madden would be perfect for this situation. “well, the goal is not to turn the ball over so many times so that you can keep the ball in your possession more often. Boom. And that’s how they’re going to score.” Lakers turn the ball over and AK47 dunks it with no one in the same zip code.
3:55 – Mehmet insults Lamar’s mother with that shot. Right in his eye. Three pointer is good. 44-51.
3:21 – Two great passes by Fisher here. A post entry from beyond half court into Pau. I’m not sure how that one got through. And then a pass over the top into Lamar who had only a small bit of sunlight underneath the rim. Two points over the outstretched fingertips of Andrei.
3:00 – CJ Miles, with no regard for human life. That’s not right. Nasty.
2:47 – Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie are shown on TV at the game. 53-46.
2:36 – CJ Miles hits a nice jumper with high elevation over Vujacic.
2:23 – Pau throws too tough a pass and Lamar can’t get it. TO again.
1:51 – Let it not be said that Lamar can guard Deron Williams. He can’t. Deron Williams used him like a steering wheel. First this way then that way. Step back J. two points.
1:15 – Pau outsprints everyone in transition and Kobe finds him for a nice dunk.
1:00 – Utah within 3.
0:52 – Pau gets a nice turn around jumper in the paint. 52-57.
0:34 – LAKERS STEAL IT! Kobe gets an easy layin
0:21 – Deron Williams takes it hard to the bucket and gets “fouled” by Lamar. As much as someone holding their arms straight up and down can foul someone anyway.
0:16 – Kobe will play for the final shot. It’s 54-59. No look pass to Lamar who BLOWS it! Oh no. But SUPER PAU is there to save the day! Puts it back like how Lamar saved Kobe at the end of regulation the other night. 61-54 Lakers are up going into halftime. Lakers need to come out strong in the third quarter. I need to do some dishes. Be right back.

Halftime
Avery Johnson at halftime. Nothing useful.
Kobe wasn’t imposing his will on the game in the first half. I’m okay with that plan unless the Jazz are deciding to go one on one or the offense starts to sputter. Then I think Kobe needs to take Brewer and Harpring and Kirilenko to school.

3rd Quarter
Stupid note: I just noticed that the Lakers and the Jazz are going the direction that they usually go in the first half. That is to say, when the Lakers play at Staples, they usually shoot at the left basket (on TV) first. Tonight, they are going to shoot at that basket during the second half.
11:49 – Brewer starts it off with a couple of free throws to close the gap to a five point lead.
11:20 – Jazz have powers of levitation. The ball hovers in mid air as Boozer picks it up and scores the layup.
10:58 – Fisher hits a nice looking two pointer from the left side. 63-58.
10:31 – Williams works extremely hard to bump Fisher off with no time left on the clock. And makes it.
9:50 – The Lakers decide they don’t want to win. Lamar throws it away. Two points for AK47.
9:23 – Everyone is focused on the turnovers. It’s all TNT wants to talk about.
8:59 – Cookies. Kirilenko picks Kobe’s pocket and the refs bail him out by calling a reaching foul.
8:50 – Great left runner by Lamar. 67-62.
8:31 – AK-47 drives from the right wing into the paint and Odom is the help defender. Boy, if that was a car crash, Kirilenko was the monster truck and Odom was the Honda Civic making the left turn. Lamar gets attention from Vitti for a cut. Kirilenko makes two free throws. Radman misses a wide-open 13 footer. Williams comes back and drives the line drawing a foul. He makes two. Utah down one.
8:05 – Lakers fans still aren’t loud. Even with a chance to re-extend the lead.
7:34 – Deron Williams ties the game with a three.
7:16 – A beautiful dish to Brewer on the fast break. Oh ruined by the traveling call. That was nice. Still 69-69.
6:35 – Now he’s there, now he’s not. Williams was mismatched on Kobe and Kobe told Lamar to get the hell out of the way because he was keeping Kirilenko in a help position. Lamar goes away and poor little Williams is left all alone in the post against Kobe. It’s just not fair. No double teams comes and before you can scream uncle, Kobe makes a delicious spin move and Deron Williams literally falls down on his face because he was trying to lean into Kobe. Kobe gets the easy layup with all the Jazz players around the free throw line to watch. If I’m Williams I say to my teammates, “umm guys, that would’ve been a great time to provide some help in the form of a double team since we were, you know, tied and all.” I’m sorry, that gets re-watched via DVR. It’s better the second time around.
It’s Kobe time lakes fans.
5:53 – beautiful feed by Kobe into Lamar who used his forearm to gain separation from a soft Okur.
5:25 – Kobe disrespects Brewer again and Brewer gets an offensive tip in. 71-73 Lakers. That’s enough of your ego Mr. Bryant. Leave that somewhere else. I don’t want it. Guard him. He’s proven he can score. You are not above boxing out and you are not above playing good defense. If you don’t, you are going to cost the team the game and we will all point our finger at you instead of the domestiques.
4:13 – Utah ties it 73+73.
3:55 – Kobe tries to dunk it against Okur but comes up a few inches short. A healthy back and he might’ve slammed it home. He draws the foul and he misses both free throws.
3:37 – Milsap is the aggressor and fouls Kobe’s arms on the rebound but no foul is called. The only damage on that one is a Luke foul as Brewer is unable to convert the open shot. Lamar takes his train into the middle and gets a foul on Millsap. He makes both free throws. 75-73 Lakers up.
2:41 – Missed opportunities. Deron Williams steps on the endline after a Lakers turnover. The jazz haven’t been able to leap frog the Lakers even the Lakers don’t seem to want to hang onto the lead. I’m not even nervous. Before this, Doug Collins tells us that it was strategy to have Kobe sit in the lap of Carlos boozer and let Brewer take all those shots. I call BS. It’s fine to let brewer shoot open jumpers, it is not okay to let brewer shoot wide open layups, dunks, and forget to block him out on the glass. That was not part of the plan. And that is what Kobe has done tonight.
2:31 – Kobe finds himself back at the line. Drains the first. Shortarms the second. 76-73 Lakers still up.
2:05 – brewer gets another dunk. Someone just punch me in the kidney and take me to the hospital already.
1:58 – Kobe makes Harpring’s stratagem look silly. He’ll take the free two points. 78-75. Harpring hits a shot on the other end. 78-76.
1:34 – Lawrence Tanter gets his Kobeeeeeeeeeeee Bryant on. Kobe doesn’t get touched because he somehow became a gymnast overnight but he gets the foul call anyway and makes the layup for good measure. Converts the three-point play. 77-81.
1:24 – Milsap fakes the three point shot from the top of the arc and Lamar doesn’t bite at all. You can see him thinking “no way man. You’re more scared of Sloan’s reaction to you taking that shot than I’m scared of you making that shot.” Harpring gets fouled and makes two free throws. 79-81.
0:50 – Milsap barrels into Lamar’s quickly shuffling feet and gets called for the offensive foul. That’s his fourth. I breathe a sigh of relief. Utah is going zone. Walton can’t make them pay. Left corner three is clankers.
0:08 – Price hits a running layup.
0:00 – Everyone’s favorite takes the last second shot and it goes…not in. so much for redemption.

4th Quarter
The crowd is barely above a golf clap with the scored tied at 81. ::shakes head:: Lakers going with a very melanin-deficient side. Pau, Farmar, Walton, Radmanovic, and Vujacic. Jazz the same with Williams, Kirilenko, Okur, Korver, and Harpring.
11:37 – The Space Cadet drains a three. 84-81 Lakers.
11:17 – Chants of defense and Lakers finally get a decent stop.
9:54 – Harpring fouls Walton fading away at the end of the shot clock in the post. Luke makes the second one. 85-84.
9:18 – the bench mob is still hustling. They are picking up some loose balls.
8:58 – GASOL =Michael Jordan?
Williams gets into the paint too easy. Layup. One point lead for the good guys.
8:39 – Farmar says, HAVE SOME. He’ll have a chance at a three point play after the timeout. 90-86 Lakers up.

Kirilenko gets a nice layup at the basket beating
7:54 – I’m not gonna finish that sentence. Oh my. With no regard for human life! Lamar slams it home over the Utah defense. Assist for Kobe. 92-88.
7:19 – great hustle by Kirilenko. He isn’t able to corral the ball but that’s a nice job trying to get the rebound.
6:53 – terrible call by the officials. They say Kirilenko shoved Vujacic who stupidly tried to take on AK-47 in the open court instead of pulling it back. Vujacic was bailed out. 88-94. That should’ve been Jazz ball out of bounds.
6:42 – There’s a terrible call on the other end. Boozer pummels Gasol in the post and somehow Gasol is responsible. I’m not sure what is going no. the refs are shutting their eyes.
6:19 – OH MY! GASOL to ODOM! Down the Lane. Lamar with the slam! And the foul. 97-91.
6:01 – Boozer is having a rough go of it. He traveled in the lane. By all accounts, he seems like a classy guy (except that deal with the contract in Cleveland). I feel bad for him. He’s a great player. I’m not gonna lie, though. I’m glad he hasn’t reached his potential during this series so far. He could have destroyed us with his skill set.
5:33 – I think we’ll win. Only ahead by four. But I like our chances.
Deron Williams must have the biggest testicles in the history of the world. He’s been hurt like three times in this series. That’s more than anyone I’ve ever seen while watching basketball. I’ve never been hurt in the gonads playing basketball. Take what you want from that statement.
4:18 – it’s a foul fest. I thought American gladiators was on NBC…
Fisher gets two free throws to fall 99-94.
Boozer doesn’t convert his layup. Williams curses him.
3:34 – Kobe gets a high rebound and oof. I thought he was going to tweak is back. He looks okay.
3:15 – the machine needs more oil. Missed the three.
A bunch of commenters are starting to note that the Lakers are falling in love with the three pointer even though the inside game is what has been going so well this game. Chalk that up to fatigue. Let’s hope Phil reminds them during the timeout to keep the inside attack going. That effect where they play the video on the outside of staples center is sweet. Whoever came up with that deserves a pat on the back.
3:07 – Set play for a Kirilenko distribution who finds Boozer in the paint for a strong layup. Nice conversion out of the timeout by them.
2:43 – Fisher gets fouled away from the ball and he’ll get to make free throws without being reminded that his daughter has retinoblastoma.
2:41 – Vujacic earns a technical foul. For talking to Korver. Whoops. Korver knocks down the free one. 101-97.
2:15 – Killer shot by the jazz. They fumble it around for a while. Kirilenko gets blocked. Deron Williams gets it and Robert Horry’s it home from the top of the key. Fisher came so close to fouling him but didn’t put up any defense to the shot. You’d rather have him take the shot than foul him and give him three free throws but man, that was a huge bucket. 3 points. Jazz down by only 1.
Lakers fans decide they’ll stand now. Punks. They should’ve been standing this whole damn quarter.
1:55 – Nope. Mid clock doesn’t work for Vujacic either. Lakers rebound and Kobe finds Lamar for the easy dunk. Kobe’s seventh assist.
1:18 – Lamar and fisher had to switch assignments which means Lamar had a tough time defending Deron and then on the rebound, fisher couldn’t keep Okur off the boards.
1:00 – Pau with a strong lefty layup around Okur. 105-102. I’m glad we didn’t have Kwame. For that one.
0:48 – Okur misses.
0:20 – Vujacic can’t make a basket to save his life (Kobe trusted him again) and somehow Pau pushes Okur out of the way to get to the offensive rebound. I don’t think there was a foul there (some embellishment for sure on Okur’s part) but maybe. I’d be willing to entertain the complaints of the Jazz fans. Anyway, no foul called. Pau collects the rebound in his lap and dunks it. Huge. That should pretty much end it. 107-102.
If we manage to lose this one at this point, I’m going to break windows. Double pane windows. I might have broken hands but there are about 36 windows in this house and I’ll get through all of them if we manage to lose at this point.
0:19 – Williams shoots it fast for three and misses. Fisher gets the rebound and is fouled. The game is pretty much sewn up but he can make it sewner. He misses the first one. Makes the second. 108-102.
With all these home court wins, why do we even play these games? Who will be the next team to win on the road? Will there be another team?
My quick thoughts: Lamar and Pau were the difference makers tonight and it was great to have a contributing Radman although he was kind of canceled out by a non-contributing Vujacic.
Final score is 111-104. Lakers are one win away from the Western Conference Finals.

Kurt

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84 responses to Game 5 Live Blog

  1. The Laker “fans” at Staples tonight were pathetic. Get me a seat there and I’ll be louder than the entire building. I even woke up my neighbor yelling at the TV tonight.

  2. Kurt can you fix the link on the “Forum Blue and Gold” title logo? It used to work and its a quick way to get back to the home page.

  3. Just saw Kobe’s postgame on cbs2 website. He took a jab at Luke Walton when asked about the attempted dunk. He said he honestly didn’t feel like he had enough lift and that he “felt like Luke Walton.” hahahaha

  4. Wanted to show some Jordy love…it was great to see him come back at Deron after he broke Farmar down defensively. Jordan came back with gusto to get the And-1, and it hyped the team up. Don’t underestimate this guy. He’s in his second year, PJ already has him consistently in the 2nd unit, and he will be the future of the Lakers team – along w/ Bynum.

    I hear ya Amol about the Staples crowd. At home, 4th quarter was extremely emotional and fired up all of us watching. The Odom dunks, Gasol put-backs, Kobe passes, and Voojaasick technical…it was a great close game. Too bad the Staples fans don’t know a good basketball game when they see one. All they want is for the Lakers to be up by 30 and have the game in hand by the end of 3rd quarter (which btw I don’t mind myself). It was a great game between 2 great teams.

  5. Thanks again nomuskles for the live blog. I don’t know what I like better, the live game or your live blog. Anyway, I enjoyed your blog very much and lost my TV signal (some fiber optic connection) the last 5 minutes so you bailed me out tonight.

  6. Great work nomuskles, very entertaining, better than any recap I’ve ever read and to do it live is something else entirely.

    Good effort by the Lakes and the Jazz. It feels good to win again. Hope we close it out Friday, I got a gig right after and I’d hate to smash my guitar right before a show :P

    Go LAkers!!

  7. Good stuff.

    Was at the game. The real problem is that the fans around the court are unwilling to stand for long stretches of the game, which is the point at which the standing/yelling can be most effective. The crowds up in the 300s seemed to be much livelier, but of course you’re above the skyboxes, so there’s not a lot of ‘intimidation’ that filters all the way down to the court.

    Still, was a pretty fun evening all-told. Getting to yell at Jerry Sloan in person instead of at the television is far more entertaining. :)

  8. Just imagine if Kobe would play like this every night. Although he can (obviously) take over many games, when he plays within the team framework – picking his spots and racking up assists – the triangle becomes a thing of beauty and the Lakers become a juggernaut. Hopefully, he learned that lesson after game 4, but I suspect he will lose at least one more game for the Lakers in these playoffs trying to turn Showtime into the Kobe Show.

    I love the Pau – Lamar inside tandem, I hope they don’t trade Odom when Bynum comes back…

  9. The Dude Abides May 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Pau’s last rebound basket was definitely a push-off. However, the refs basically swallowed their whistles on rebounds the entire game. Remember Millsap molesting Kobe on that one rebound in the second half? So, smart play by Pau to realize he wasn’t going to get called for the push in the back, as they weren’t calling it on either end for the whole game. That’s called adjusting to the officiating. Again, the 42-28 free throw totals might look like a lot, but the Lakers shot eight FTs in the final minute on intentional Jazz fouls.

  10. among supporting players: Heroes and Doghouse:

    Heroes: VladRad, Farmar
    Doghouse: Sasha, Luke

    Tonite, VladRad was great and Jordan was OK. Sasha was 1-11 with a technical foul near the end of the game. and Luke was a non factor.

    So for the next game we bench Sasha and let Jordan play more minutes? We play VladRad more and limit Luike’s minutes? (sarcasm intended).

  11. Wow, excellent game. I would have liked more of a cushion at the end, but c’est la vie. Protecting home court was crucial, now let’s hope we can win one in the UT. Whenever we play a home game and the lead never changes, it just instills more confidence that the LAkers are a championship team. It would be nice if the Cavs win out on the next couple and beat the Pistons in the next round. I’d like to see LeBron in the finals again regardless of the opponent (of course I’m double, triple finger-toe crossing in hopes that the finals are X vs. Lakers).

    Nice game VladRad. It will be good to have Ariza later on (hopfeully !?!?!)

  12. just finished watching the game. And then read the game 5 preview here. That thing couldn’t be any more spot on. Good stuff.

    Good win tonight. Took advantage of the usual Utah hacking and the expected favorable officiating at home to get into the penalty early in the 4th. Our big 3 palayed great. And it was nice to see fish play past the 4 min mark of the 1st quarter. I’m expecting the officiating to loosen back up in SLC though, but we’ve shown we can hang in till the end up there. Hopefully game 6 we get over that hump.

    D-will officially scares the $#!t out of me. He was the best player on the court tonight by far. We won this game cuz we had the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best. And cuz Boozer’s game is really funky right now. If he gives dWill just a lil more help, they could be going home with the 3-2 lead right now. Best believe they’re “farmaring” him on the Utah boards right now.

  13. right now

  14. let’s get one on the road. we lost once, forced overtime once, now we’re due a win there.

  15. I think with the Jazz on the ropes we oughta be able to finish them off in Utah. We’ve won there once in the regular season and I think our killer instinct will over-ride their desperation. I’d love to see the reaction of Jazz fans when our guys walk off into the WCF sunset on their turf. Priceless!

  16. I think Pau and Lamar mentally relax when Milsap is in vs Okur and Kirilenko. Milsap is a very different speed of player than Okur so I think he throws them off with his aggression. I don’t expect us to make a change on that though, since it’s been five games, and Milsap is still picking up all kinds of offensive rebounds.

    roflcopter @ drrayeye’s comment. sarcasm is duly noted.

  17. Awesome blog. Loved the game, but I’m concerned that Kobe looked like he had no elevation. I hope this is nothing more than a temporary ailment.

  18. Every time they Jazz had a chance to take the lead, they rushed bad shots or made bone-headed turnovers. They didn’t deserve to win this game.

  19. Warren Wee Lim May 15, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I could smell nomuskles anger all the way to the Philippines. Seriously, good job on the live blog man. Always fun.

    I watched the whole game intently and did not touch the laptop at all. I was cringing the whole game, and thanks to my super duper colds and the adrenaline rush the game brought, I lay flat on my bed after the game.

    Winning game 5 seemed somewhat superficial to me. Perhaps I am still not as big a believer as I thought. I think that was the series right there. Spare me the “we have homecourt in game 6″ crap from the Jazz, we all know how badly they wanted to win that game. So now, game 6 will be hostile territory, but it will be one we will thrive on.

    Our tv will have NOH-SA game 6 tomorrow too and I shall be noticing that game as a gauge as to what happens to ours. There is a knock though, as good as Utah is, they are not the Spurs. I could positively say Utah is the more talented team, but San Antonio is still the better team. I am tempted to root for NOH as the eventual winners. I think I like facing them better than the Spurs.

  20. I know Sasha’s hearing it for his shooting last night, but he played some of the best defense of his life–particularly on Korver at the end of the game. As far as the no-call on Pau for that offensive rebound, I watched it a couple of times on my Tivo and I believe the refs were reacting to an obvious flop (as nomuskies said). There was some minor contact, but the key to the play was that the ball took a positive bounce for LA. Okur knew he had not boxed out far enough for the board (especially given Gasol’s length), so he did the only thing he could do. That’s not to say the ref’s called the game perfectly. There were some bad ones both ways: the phantom foul against Odom on that rediculous cut dunk from Gasol, several uncalled hacks against Kobe in the middle of the key, etc.

    However, if Jazz fans want to waste their energy kvetching over one late game call, they might also consider why it was that there team never had a lead. Yes, the game was close, but the Lakers made a big play whenever it was in doubt and the Jazz didn’t.

  21. Side Note: Kurt Rambis being considered the leading candidate on the Suns Head Coaching Job (via ESPN’s 1st and 10)

  22. Interesting post by Henry at TrueHoop regarding the non-foul of Gasol’s rebound over Okur late. My brother and I actually had the immediate reaction that it was, in fact, a flop — and not simply a non-called foul. (Of course, we’re also Lakers fans.

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-32-195/Something-Foul.html

  23. I haven’t loved a lot of Henry Abbot’s posts before, but he has a great one up about the Okur flop over at TrueHoop. Everyone should take a look. Giving the Jazz a taste of their own medicine.

  24. Awww…Matt beat me to it by a minute!

  25. i came here to post about the TrueHoop post about the non-call/flop but it’s already here. of course.

  26. Jazz fan here. Thanks for the unbiased report. I wanted to come over here and scream at all the stupid Laker fans, but my heart’s just not in it. I knew the Jazz had a chance in this game, but they just couldn’t make the shots. I think there will be a game seven, but I can’t imagine having a better shot to win than last night.

    These two teams are matched so evenly that’s it hard to see either team winning on the other’s home court (even though, like others have noted, the crowd was NOT impressive last night).

    About the officiating, I wish there were a way to take the human mistakes factor out of it, but the fact is the terrible calls went both ways all night. I think the AK chasing Sasha call was the worst, but oh well, if terrible officiating both ways is the closest to fair we can get, so be it.

    (Maybe) Two more games of this.

    Ugh.

    I hate the Lakers.

  27. couple points…
    I’ve been saying for years now that the laker home crowd is a non-factor, they just have to be “too cool”…and the way to fix this is switch the cheap seat crowd with the hi dollar seats, (I know this would never happen, but…) the people who scream and yell, support the team, call out the refs at the top of the lungs, well, they are up in the stratosphere, and out of earshot, so the crows just appears…”too cool to shout and stand up screamin”.
    now, on the game 6 in the hostile ESA.
    the good news is the pressure is on them, not us.
    they have to win 2 out of 2, and we only have to win 1.
    I like our chances in game 6 because we will be a bit looser, not tightly wound like the jazz will be.
    personally, I think we better win game 6, cause even tho we seem to own the Jazz at Staples, remember that saying, “they are due…” (way over due) and PJ knows this, and will make it clear to our guys, NO let up!
    go lakes, finish it in 6!

  28. Anyone know what’s going on with raptorsnation?

  29. I’m pretty much with JChan in that I wish officiating were better. However, I don’t think last night’s officiating was horrendous and I think the officiating has been above average compared to the regular season in almost all instances. So there’s that at least.

    While I would like to subscribe to Kurt’s idea that officiating shouldn’t matter, I think it does. The difference between Derek Fisher picking up a second ticky tack foul three minutes into the 1st quarter versus a non-call is the difference between Fisher contributing his usual leadership and Farmar coming in early. That can affect the game a lot. Mistakenly assigning a foul to a guy when no foul occurred could also affect his playing time. Additionally, every shooting foul or foul in the bonus is two free throws. Even in games that are decided by 7 points, 1 or 2 points here and there can make huge differences changing the complexion of the game (see Chauncey Billups and 5.1 seconds). One or two calls in the wrong direction can change the game.

    In short, I do agree that the only way to approach the situation is to pretend that it does not matter other wise it will negatively affect your play (or fandom in our case), we should not grant the premise that referees cannot affect the outcome of a game through a couple of a missed/bad calls.

  30. Every sports writer in America is praising Kobe for taking the fewest shots in a playoff game in eight years. None in the fourth quarter. Hmm, that was the same game play that got him lambasted two years ago in the Phoenix series.

    I guess if your team wins you’ve “matured” and if they lose you’re “quitting”.

    Sure, it’s not as cut-and-dried as I made it sound. But not a single writer makes the connection.

  31. 28. Just to clarify my position, I wouldn’t say officiating doesn’t matter. In a series like this one, where the officials choose to draw the line between foul and non-foul (and if they are consistent about it) plays a big role.

    What I’ve said before is you can’t look at the refs and say “if they had just made this call the outcome would have been different.” In my opinion, it is your fault for leaving a game in the ref’s hands in the first place.

  32. Sorry, I tried posting earlier and I guess the computer ate the post. Unfortunately didn’t see the game, heard the fourth quarter. I think this series will go 7. Yeah, the Lakers have held serve…..but with apologies to Chris Rock, that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do. That said, the Jazz have shown they are not going away. I don’t see the Lakers winning in SLC. They’ll win here though, I believe.

  33. Hmm…I’ll try this again…..apparently the Net doesn’t like me today. Seem to have had comments eaten three times. Unfortunately did not get to watch the game (anyone know what’s up with raptorsnation?) but listened to the fourth quarter and bits of the rest of it. Yes, the Lakers won and it sounded like a fairly gutty, tough performance….but they didn’t win by much, at home. It’s really pathetic how an LA crowd can’t get up and get loud for a WC SF. Coming from Europe, one knows there that the crowd has an effect on teams. It’s mind-boggling Laker fans think they have to be too cool for school. Oh well….I just think if the Lakers have had to battle the Jazz this much even just to win at home, they will not be able to go into SLC and pull one out there. There’s not a bit of quit in the Jazz (neither should there be) and I don’t think Jerry Sloan will let them lose. I think the Lakers will win in 7.

  34. Should we be worried about possibly losing Kurt Rambis considering Phil has been grooming him as his successor for several years?

  35. Especially because Phil will be retiring in two seasons.

  36. The biggest problem with Lakers arena is that it is too highly priced for the common “shouting at the top of their lungs” fans to get in. Many of the people at the game are people who go to the game because it’s the cool thing to do. And many are there because they were given free tickets. You can never expect these kinds of people to be loud.

    In these playoffs, the loudest arena I have seen is the Philips Arena in Atlanta. They have the cheapest tickets by far, I would think.

  37. if I was Kurt, considering his roots in the south bay, his family, and being in the Laker family for so long, and the fact that the next 2 years are going to be years where the team as it’s built now, will be a serious challenger for the crown…it would take an awful lot to get me to move away from this.
    add to the fact that he seems to be the heir apparent, I’d be sticking around for this ride, the next couple years are going to be a blast! and just think of the experience he’ll get from this.
    PHX throws a bunch of cash…short term gain
    Lakers win the title for next 2 years…priceless!

  38. carter blanchard May 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    As someone who doesn’t live in socal anymore maybe I’m not the best to testify to this, but I do feel like Lakers fans get unfairly blamed a bit for a the design of Staples. Ya, GS and Utah have rabid fans, but their arenas are also designed so that even the nosebleeds feel like they’re right on top of the court. It’s much easier to get those places rocking than it is at Staples were it opens up up top. We might not have the most enthusiastic fans in the world (in the lower bowl that is), but to a certain extent noise just doesn’t trap in that place.

    And any whining about Pau’s “shove” or FT discrepancy is ridiculous. That type of offensive rebound is the Jazz’s bread and butter. What you sow. Also, someone can doublecheck for me, but I’m pretty sure FTs were even through 3 quarters. The game wasn’t called perfectly, but it didn’t seemed biased.

  39. nomuskles,

    It seems to me that the officiating has been in favor of the Jazz early, and late for the Lakers. No matter if it’s in utah or L.A., but it spots the Jazz a lead at home, and keeps them in the game early at Staples. Though I would prefer more objective officiating period, at least they are questionable all the way around. That being said. I prefer the late calls over early calls.
    Considering the Donaghy scandal, the NBA should be on it’s officials to be as objective and even as possible. this is not a complaint about the officiating, but the home/away disparity shouldn’t be an issue. It will always reflect on officiating. There’s a reason Utah is so good at home. This is one of the so called smallest markets in the League, but they always draw well and play well at home. I do not think that is a mistake.

  40. This from Chad Ford’s NBA Chat at ESPN:

    George(Chicago): Who is the highest risk/return player in the draft? McGee or Jordan?

    Chad Ford: DeAndre Jordan. He could be Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum. Or he could be Michael Olowokandi. It’s a toss up.

    I LOVE that Bynum is put in the same group with Howard…geez, we better win this series, but next year is going to be SICK!

  41. -38

    I’m with you, Aaron. I know we can’t take anything for granted with injuries always a real issue, so I’m hoping like hell that the Lakers break through this season and win another ring.

    But I’d by lying if I didn’t say a lot of my thoughts have often drifted lately to the, “My God, how scary is this team going to be with Bynum cleaning up the middle?”

    Everything Pau lacks, Bynum brings. The Lakers next season have the potential to be a steamroller.

  42. great job on the live blog

    lol I really wanted to hear a Kevin Harlan “With no regard for human life!!” Quite possibly my favorite line in all of basketball commentary. Maybe when Kobe’s back gets better he’ll do something to earn it, or when Ariza gets back, he’s had some incredible dunks.

  43. Rob L.,
    You are absolutely right about reporting on Kobe solely based on whether the Lakers won or lost. The ‘talking heads’ have always listened themselves and their own when talking about things. Once a saying makes the rounds it becomes fact and all future assumptions are based on that fact.

    Kobe was disliked because 1) his presumed behavior off the court and 2) his feud with a media darling – Shaq – and Phil Jackson. The true of these situations does not matter, only media interpretation. As a matter of fact, the reporters really weren’t concerned with looking for truth – only what got them noticed.

    He then go labeled selfish – never mind his assist totals during the Championship Years or the fact that most of his extremely average cast had career years while playing with him.

    When the Lakers lost he either shot too much or pouted and shot too little – never a mention of the system he and Phil Jackson were trying to implement.

    This year it has become fashionable to like Kobe again – it was sort of impossible to ignore the Lakers success, but some members have even said it was all Gasol and not Kobe. This is all so exhausting that it is easier to turn off the pundits and just watch the games.

  44. The Dude Abides May 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Wow…I take back the point I made in #9. Although Pau did slightly push off, this .gif link shows that Okur committed a major flop:

    http://i32.tinypic.com/2qnbk11.gif

    No doubt about it, that was a terrible time to flop and hope that the refs call over the back, especially when they didn’t make that call the whole game.

  45. 36) chris,
    I think you need to take those coaching opportunities when they present themselves, because they may not come again. And with Cleamons and Shaw on the Lakers staff, and Byron Scott as a theoretical possibility, it’s probably not safe for him to make assumptions about being Jackson’s successor.

  46. Given the way Deron Williams is torching the Lakers, I’m scared to think what Chris Paul might do.

  47. As for dealing defensively with the top guards. I’d try a few things:

    a) Play a lineup where Sasha is the PG at key spots in the game. His length can at least slow some of these guys down.

    b) Have Gasol wesr a Bynum mask for defensive rotations.

  48. 46. answer for paul = answer for nash. let him shoot you to death…but dont let him get everybody else involved.

  49. 46. inwit. Assuming that the Hornets win, I actually think that the Lakers will do better against Paul than Deron. I think Deron’s size and ability to finish strong around the rim makes him tougher to stop inside. I don’t have numbers to back this up, but it seems as though Deron is a much better shooter as well.

    On a different topic, no one seems to talk about how good of a coach PJ is (people only talk about his accomplishments rather than how he is coaching now). The Lakers are always well prepared and have a good defensive game plan, a la 2006 Phoenix matchup.

  50. Just a comment about officiating.I’ve been a Lakers fan since 1963 and boy have things changed. Only 2 refs then and they would call any swipe or poke as a foul, so players just didn’t do it.Way fewer foul shots,I hate watching players shoot foul shots all the time.Boring!! Slows down the game. When they added the 3rd ref nothing good came from it , just more foul calls.

  51. Just wondering I heard Collins mention during the game that there hasn’t been a lead change in the entire series. Is that correct? That would be just crazy.

  52. The Dude Abides May 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Well, I know that the Lakers had an early 11-3 lead in one of the games in Utah. Perhaps Collins meant no lead changes in the second half.

  53. I’m a season ticket holder in the upper deck, and I have to say the bashing of the home crowd at Staples is a bit harsh. Yes, we might not be as loud as fans at other more noise-condusive arenas and yes, there is a “too cool for school” segment of the crowd in the courtside seats. But I thought the crowd was great last night, particularly in the fourth quarter. The Lakers haven’t lost a home game in a month and a half, and I don’t think that would be true were we the non-factors critics are saying.

    I hope Rambis stays – he comes across as very intelligent in his media interviews. But I couldn’t blame him if he jumped to the Suns. There simply is no guarantee that he’ll get the Lakers job in a few years. Phil might keep on coaching if the team keeps winning. And even if Phil hangs it up, Brian Shaw seems like he might have an equal shot at the job. You can’t blame a guy for wanting to pursue his career dream. It would be interesting to see what he does with Shaq.

    Finally, like everyone, I have to give major props to Odom and Gasol for playing huge in the game’s final minutes. Gasol’s O-rebounds were what we’ve been begging for the entire series. It is fascinating, though, how the outcome of a game colors post-game discussion topics. Had the Lakers lost a close one, I suspect Sasha’s 1-11 shooting and technical would be the focus of everyone’s vitriol (admittedly, possibly mine too). Instead, after a win, we can praise Sasha’s courage for continuing to be willing to take the big shot and dismiss his T as youthful overexuberance. Either way, we are going to need him to play his best to steal a win in Utah. And while Farmar still isn’t quite out of my doghouse, I can’t deny that his 3-point play in the 4th and improved D were laudable. Do it again in Utah, Jordan, and you’re my hero.

  54. 46. In my opinion, Deron is a better point guard than Paul even though I know the media likes Paul more. Deron is more physical, can take it to the rim harder and is a better jump shooter. As a defender too, Deron is better than Paul. And he makes decisions as well as Paul. So as an overall package I like Deron more.
    Though to Paul’s advantage, he’s quicker which might be a problem for Fish. I think Farmar will do well in a series against NOH.

  55. jeremy:

    They can hurt you in different ways. Didn’t Paul go crazy for like 20 and 20 one game against the Lakers this year? Also, New Orleans has better offensive weapons with West, Peja and the lobs to Chandler off penetration.

    Maybe the difference is that in any given game Paul can explode and dominate, Deron can be scary but never really takes over and dominates.

    Believe it or not, I used to think Deron was somewhat overrated! At least, I own up to my mistake. Ha, ha.

  56. Not trying to look ahead, but I think CP3 will cause major problems for us if we (hopefully) make it that far. Deron’s stronger, but CP3 is superior in every aspect of the game itself. He is also so poised it’s almost ridiculous, I don’t know if it’s possible to get him to play a tempo he doesn’t want to play.

    I agree we should try to make Paul a scorer, but it’s not quite as easy as with Phoenix. If Pau stays with Chandler to prevent alley-oops, we’ll have virtually no help to keep Paul from a layup drill (and he will get into the paint, no doubt). It remains to be seen whether LO can slow West down one-on-one. They match up well, but West has been an absolute beast, and can create his offense himself. Peja needs to be kept on lockdown but he’s bigger and stronger than Korver and might be harder to lock down. And Phil might respect Bonzi more than any other bench player in the league. It will be an absolute battle.

    Sorry, not trying to get ahead of ourselves. We still have a tough game in ESA to close out.

  57. Yes, Utah is pretty good. It would be a real achievement for a young team to take them out in a 7 game series.

    West had his way with Lamar this year. Bynum helped because his size protected the paint more and bothered Chandler. Peja was always open at the 3 point line … oh, I get a headache just thinking about it.

    Back to Deron, I don’t think Utah’s style of play and personnel bring his best play out enough.

  58. 53. Its premature to be talking about how to beat the NOH. But I think there are two people you have to stop to beat them: Peja and West. If you can stop those two guys I think you have a good chance of beating NO.

  59. laughing hard May 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    What Collins was saying was that there had been no lead changes in the last 35 minutes of any of the games this series — so basically, the team that was leading with 9:00 left in the second quarter won the game.

    Interesting article about the Lakers’ practice from the LA Times:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers16-2008may16,0,465491.story

    Does the fact that Phil Jackson “would not specify” on Ariza playing mean that we might see him tomorrow? I’ve been wondering how helpful he would be on Williams this series.

    Or on Tony Parker, Ginobili, or Chris Paul in the next series…

  60. 56- from that same article:

    “Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko missed practice today because of a problem with his visa, a day before Utah plays host to the Lakers in Game 6.

    “A Jazz spokesman says the Russian was absent because he was resolving a visa issue. No other details were immediately available.

    “The Jazz returned to Utah early today after Wednesday night’s game.”

    I’m so sick of the Department of Homeland Security’s obvious pro-Laker bias! It’s all part of David Stern’s global conspiracy to see a Lakers/Celtics final! Some day people will realize this and start watching Soccer instead.

  61. #59- obviously it is just the travel visa to France. you know, got to plan vacation just in case lakers beat jazz tomorrow..

  62. Kinda interesting post at TrueHoop. Newfound respect for Abbot, since I really think you can view it either way and still make a decent argument out of it.

    Kobe not shooting and getting praised likely has to do with the fact that many of the writers wrote that he SHOULD have done that during OT. Kobe’s being a good boy and listening to what they’re saying now, so the power-rush probably endears Kobe to the writers more. But sure, if we had lost, we would have gotten something to the effect of not being able to take over games anymore, un-mvp like performance failing to carry a team, etc.

    Regarding NOH, sure CP3 may be a better version of Nash, but I don’t see anyone of Stoudemire or Marion’s caliber on that team, and also no Raja Bell or Barbosa. Defensively, NOH may be a bit better than PHX, but overall, I think if you turn CP3 into a scorer, NOH shouldn’t present too many problems.

    Lastly, Kobe is, was, will always get flak for ‘not making teammates better,’ which I’ll always think as a joke. One, he’s a SG who’s job is to score, letting others do THEIR job, two, the fact that he draws double teams or at least the focus of the opposing defense alone should be enough to make EVERYONE around him better.

  63. I am happy that we won and I am happy that Kobe is getting some love, but I for one would prefer to never see Kobe go a whole 4th quarter in a close playoff game without shooting the ball again.

  64. laughing hard May 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    59 — Oh, I doubt it. Real Salt Lake is mired in mediocrity, too =)

  65. 36 –

    I went to Game 6 of BOS-ATL at Philips Arena and I have to say, that was the loudest and most intense basketball game I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to Suns-Lakers games). I only wish Staples could be like that for playoff games. My group got 4 tickets at the front row of the top section for $60 … not bad. Plus with the design of Philips Arena, the top section isn’t very high at all …

  66. 56. West had his way with Lamar? I found that Lamar’s length really disrupted him. Here are their respective stat-lines.

    Game 1: West has 22 and 8; Lamar didn’t play
    Game 2: West has 19 and 9; Lamar, 11 and 5
    Game 3: West has 12 and 14; Lamar, 15 and 13
    Game 4: West has 14 and 5; Lamar, 13 and 16!

  67. 66 – very good point. I think Lamar can play West tough because he is long, athletic, and left handed. West’s best move is a spot up jump shot facing the hoop. Odom’s long left handed arm and athleticism nullify that. West’s next best move is drive to his right. Odom’s can cover that. West’s last resort then has to be fade away jump shot, which he won’t make more than 40%. Our biggest concern will always be Peja. We need Rick Fox-like player who will body him up and refuse to leave him no matter how much help is needed from him. When you guard Peja, you just stay on his shooting hand side and NEVER EVER help out.

    Although we shouldn’t be talking about NOH, yet, I can’t help but feel like we should close out on Friday. My confidence comes from two reasons. One – Kobe realizes he can win simply by playing team basketball. Two – I think our team defense is improving and will step up on Friday night. Last night’s, we showed in spots that we can play some good defense. I think we will see more of it in Utah. In SLC, we can’t rely on our offense to win, we’ll need the tough D to pull out a win. I think they are ready to do so.

  68. “We need Rick Fox-like player who will body him up and refuse to leave him no matter how much help is needed from him.” – PB

    Ariza?

  69. I wholeheartedly agree about Staples Center. There HAS to be a way of “improving” (read: kicking up a few notches) the acoustics of Staples. I have to say, having had the experience of sitting in the nosebleeds AND third row from courtside, there really IS a huge difference in terms of noise level. There has to be a way of funneling the 300+ sections’ noise onto the court. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Or get Jack to walk up and down the lower bowl aisles, rallying people.

    Nah, he’s probably too cool to do that.

  70. Thank god for Lamar Odom. His play during this series has been nothing short of crucial for the Lakers. His defense has really been good, especially considering he is playing out of position the entire playoffs.

    I never, in my wildest dreams, would have imagined that his play would be elevated to this level, let alone for the playoffs. He is the most important glue guy on the team at this point.

  71. Warren Wee Lim May 15, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Looks like we will be facing the Spurs (assuming we beat the Jazz).

    Its getting really interesting. SA has NEVER won from 3-2 down in any series they’ve been in, and they d not win championships in even-numbered years (LOLz at this fact). Also, they lost in the Hornets Nest by 19,18 and 22.

    However, David West does a Kobe with his back injured. I’m not sure how to react since Horry was once again in that play. Seems to me like he did push it a bit and seems to be that DWest simply over-extended for the reach. I hate to put some controversy but my wife saw it and his anger for Horry (coz she is a sucker for Nash) just grew ten-fold.

    Game 7 in the Hornets building with sheer dominance to the defending champs BUT without David West? I take the Spurs on that one. Even on an even-numbered year. Yikes.

  72. Lakerfan4life May 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    First time posting here, but l read the comments every day, lot of respect for how everyone posts here, you respect others opinion and don’t base your opinions solely on being a Laker fan but make rational decisions and actually have discussions instead of the normal “LAKERS RULE, EVERYONE SUCKS” type of post.

    Anyways though back on topic. Just got done watching Hornets vs. Spurs and following the recent home team trend, now at I believe 19-1, I figured San Antonio would force a game 7, but to win by 19? Not looking past Utah but hypothetically I’m worried about facing the Spurs more so than the Hornets, sure Pau matches up well against Duncan, but if San Antonio can play defense the way it has been doing at home, I’d be more optimistic to face the Hornets than the defending champs.

    I just see us being able to “contain” CP3 and let him get his, which he’d get regardless and play D against his supporting cast, I see the Lakers having a harder team doing such against San Antonio who plays so methodical and exacting in executing it’s plays but of course this is just my opinion.

  73. carter blanchard May 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a Robert Horry fan. I always thought the hipcheck last year was overblown, but his “back”screen tonight was downright despicable. I can’t believe Mark Jackson applauded that trash. Intentionally nailing a guy with in elbow to a spot where a guys been hurt just isn’t called for in this game. Man I hate the Spurs. Ruining my opinion of some of my childhood heroes.

  74. I think talking about the acoustics of Staples is a bit of a fig leaf for a lot of overly mild fans. Look, Dodger Stadium isn’t particularly loud. LA is just more mellow than other places. It’s just the way it is. I wish it weren’t the case but there are a lot of people who are just much too polite at games. I’ve found that it’s fairly easy to start clapping routines at Dodger Stadiums…..but one person can only do that so often and too many people just don’t realize the power they have in being the 6th man for the Lakers. I’d go back to the notion that there are a lot of people who go to Laker games who just are much too concerned with being seen at Laker games than actually getting loud.

  75. I’ve been to a Suns v Lakers game in Phx for each of the last 2 years, and I have to tell ya, my ears were ringing, and we were in the first 5 rows from the floor. it was crazy, and they know how to work it there. when the lakers are bringing it up on O, the music is this loud, out of sync weirdness, when the Suns are bringing it up, it’s a cool rap groove thing.
    I thought the music was only supposed to be played in time outs, but at the Suns arena, it’s all the time.
    and the crowd, amazingly loud, agressive, etc.
    the good thing though, this means our guys are used to playing in hostile environments, so they can tune it out, or make it work for them.

  76. I’m surprised so many people are talking as if this series is over. Its not far outside the realm of possibility that the Jazz blow us out tomorrow. They aren’t going to wilt at home and if they get enough confidence, they’ll gladly take the opportunity we gave them last night tied through 3 quarters.. Those same playersa won a game 7 on the road last year and Williams has only gotten deadlier. I believe the Lakers can win, and hope they do, but I’m shocked people are looking past this Jazz team that’s played us so well.

  77. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2008 at 1:30 am

    JD, its not as much looking past the Jazz as the optimism that grows each time I watch them play. Overnight, the Lakers became contenders. It seemed like everything was mental and the potentials were magically “unlocked” the moment Pau arrived. Even the most unlikely of Lakers became such a big time player – LO7.

    This at hand and the momentum we have, we will approach game 6 like there’s no maniana. Good thing is, there is still one. But Phil usually makes it a point to stick his finger where it hurts most, on the road on a team with its back against the wall. If you talk about this series at 2-0, historically speaking, the team down 0-2 would only have a minute chance of pulling off an upset. Then again, its our “respect” for the Jazz team that leads us to be cautious and “on our heels” even though we already are, as history speaks, way way ahead. For them, its staying alive or going home.

    Mentally, the Lakers win in game 5 was way too big for the common mind to fathom. We basically won ourselves the series there. It could still very well go to a game 7, but we won the series when we won game 5. This is why Emma has me blindly believing on this team.

  78. The optimism isn’t newfound, it just never died since we were 6-0.

    I think it sorta got amped as we see Lamar becoming more and more like the Lamar we thought we’d get when he first got here, and seeing yesterday that we can beat a very good Jazz squad with Kobe not taking a single shot in the 4th quarter (didn’t happen last time he tried it).

    Game 6 will be interesting, but I believe the Lakers will really take it as a personal challenge to close them out there. I really should send the picture of Derek’s FT with the fan covering his eye to Kobe and the rest of the team, should they require more motivation.

  79. Warren,
    J.D. has a point. However, if you look at this year as a journey, you can see the experience building to match the skill and this is what defines a championship team – this year or next.

    As the year came to its half way point the team was growing organically, with all the parts seeming to work together. Then Andrew and Ariza went down and we fans thought of it as a regression, but the remaining parts had to adjust to a problem and got stronger, even if the wins slowed down. With the arrival of Pau our psyche jumped up and we won those games without him. Both the addition of his skill set and the loss of a negative force on the club set us off on a run that had the league wondering how good would we be. When Pau was injured the league thought we came back to earth, but we just readjusted to or focus just before Pau got here, but knowing he would soon return – a stronger position. Coming into the playoffs we swept Denver and proved that we belonged, but not that we were championship material – regardless what the pundits were saying. We hadn’t been playoff tested yet. It wasn’t until our guys layed it all out in Utah and still got beat that most of our squad understood exactly what ‘needing to give more’ meant. With Kobe at less than 100% last game the team did give more. The next step is to beat Utah at home and close out a tough opponent. If we can do that, we will truly be championship caliber – not yet champions, but championship caliber.

    If this goes to game 7 we will still be lacking something, whether we win that game or not. We will still have a wall to climb to really understand the force we have to exert to be champions.

  80. I can’t believe you guys are already talking about matchups for the next round and you still haven’t won the series yet. Typical laker fans. You guys are gonna get spanked tonight and all the pressure is on you to close it out in game 7. Without kobe being 100%, are you seriously going to put all your money on lamar (choker) or pau (softy) to carry you to the promise land in game 7. I wouldn’t bet on it! Enjoy watching us in the WCF….

  81. Utahfan

    The same softy and choker beat you guys last game…so what does that say about yall…

  82. Utahfan,
    I’ll bet that they hang up division champion banners in the Jazz arena, don’t they?

  83. Game 6 preview up and running

  84. utahfan, just so you know what happened, there are no personal insults allowed on this site. We’re going to keep the conversation respectful and, hopefully, thoughtful.