Lakers/Spurs Game 1 Chat

Kurt —  May 21, 2008

Nine months ago, no Laker fan in their right mind saw their team hosting the first round of the conference finals on a sunny mid-May day. We should all take a moment to bask in the warmth of that success, to look around and survey the situation and feel excited and proud today. Lakers fans should have their chests out, and we should all enjoy this feeling.

But there is a lot of work left for the team to do. And a lot of good analysis out there to talk about — I’d start with David Thorpe at ESPN.com — to catch up on before the game starts.

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, Phil Jackson said yesterday that Paul Gasol will match up with Tim Duncan. He also suggested that the double will only come to help out in a few spots, or if Gasol gets in foul trouble. That matchup is one obvious key because if the Lakers have to double much a couple of quick passes will expose the Laker rotations. As has been said, it may be best to let Duncan score 40 but not get his teammates going at all.

That “don’t double” idea was supported in an interesting preview from friend-of-the-site Kevin Pelton over at Basketball Prospectus. He said that the Duncan/Gasol matchup, and how the Lakers do defensively against Tony Parker will be the key.

The big challenge for the Lakers will be defending Parker running the pick-and-roll. When these teams last squared off in the postseason, the Lakers could simply go under picks and sag into the paint against Parker. Now, Parker is too dangerous when allowed to shoot off the dribble to make that a reasonable strategy. In Fisher, the Lakers have a physical defender against Parker who can body him up and try to push him away from the screen. Still, Parker averaged 20.7 points and shot 56.5% against the Lakers in the regular season; finding a way to slow him down with a big man showing hard against the pick-and-roll or even trapping Parker to get the ball out of his hands will be key.

The other troublesome matchup for the Lakers, naturally, is Duncan in the post. Los Angeles can’t afford serious foul trouble for either Gasol or Odom, and neither is a great matchup for Duncan down low in terms of pure strength. If the Lakers double-team, they must try to do so off of Parker and with the other big man on the floor instead of allowing the Spurs’ wing players to get open looks from downtown. However, over the course of the series, the Hornets found out how difficult that can be. San Antonio got much better three-point looks late in the series than in the early going, a major factor in their comeback. The wisest course for Phil Jackson and his coaching staff may be playing Duncan one-on-one and doing everything possible to keep everyone else quiet. The more minutes the Lakers can steal with Ronny Turiaf defending Duncan, the better.

Personally, I agree with the commenters that you go under the pick if it is set out by the three-point line (at least until TP shows he is hot for that game) but you need to show out or trap from the top of the key in.

While Fisher will get some key time on Parker so will Jordan Farmar, and that was the topic of coach Anthony L. Macri, Jr. (one of the IMG guys) in in another Basketball Prospectus piece about the key role players in the conference finals. One thing he said is that Utah took Farmar out of his game, didn’t let him push the pace, but that if he can get back to that it would be a big boost against a Spurs team that likes to slow it down. Then there was this about Farmar’s defense.

Farmar can breathe a sigh of relief now that he will not have to guard a physical, strong-bodied guard like Williams. Instead, he gets to guard a player more akin to his own style in Tony Parker. While Farmar is not at all at the level of a player like Parker, his quick feet and defensive pressure will allow him to stay in front of Parker most of the time….

One thing we all agree on is that Lamar Odom is the X-Factor in this series — the Spurs have nobody who can really cover him if he is aggressive. If you want to hear from Odom on why he’s playing better with Pau, that’s one of the questions he answers in a new video up on his site.

And while we’re doing the audio (without the visual), I took part in the Hoops Addict podcast for this round, along with Matt from Detroit Bad Boys and AOL Fanhouse, Jeff from Celtics Blog , Natalie from Need 4 Sheed and Holly from Slam Magazine. Those other people are really worth listening to.

For an opposing view point, check out the quality Pounding The Rock blog. Over at SportsHubLA the have a veritable plethora of posts, including some good stuff on Phil and Pops and the latest from Roland Lazenby.

My final thoughts — this is not going to be easy, but a big key for the Lakers will be getting a few easy buckets. It is hard to push the pace on the Spurs (they rebound well and don’t turn the ball over usually) but if the Lakers, especially the second unit, can get some runs it will go a long way toward putting the Lakers in the Finals.

Like everything against the Spurs, it’s easier said than done, but the Lakers know what they have to do.

Kurt

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209 responses to Lakers/Spurs Game 1 Chat

  1. Kurt, i dont like that you make me wait all day for the preview…treat game previews as your only job on game day….thanks :)

  2. Lakergirl, if you could convince my boss at the day job of that….

  3. Kobe Bryant joked yesterday about having to pick up the tab for the team dinner again, saying the team might have to go for fast food this time, but apparently that was just a smoke screen because Bryant dropped some serious cash on luxury watches for his teammates as a sort of “thank you” for helping him win the MVP award this season.

    The watches, each hand made by Jaeger-LeCoultre watchmakers, were flown from Switzerland straight to Los Angeles and personalized with an engraving of the year and each player’s name.

    The price tag on each watch was over $9,000

  4. Excellent blog. Props to the Laker fan. In thinking of Fisher v. Parker, no one I’ve yet read has mentioned that this matchup was on display in last year’s WCF. Fish was in a different system but was also coming off a very productive 2nd round vs G.S. He then averaged around 6 points in five games and did not have the foot speed to stay in front of Parker. If he can’t avg double digits then he’s a liability, meaning Farmar will be key b/c he does have quicker feet.

    Something else not mentioned: Manu’s calf injury. One reason he shot so many 3s vs N.O. was due to a lack of explosion at the rim. He missed layups that he normally dunks or at least gets fouled on. If that continues, it’ll be hard for S.A. to win this series without great shooting from 3pt range. If he is his normal self, the Spurs win in six. They just defeated the 3rd and 4th best teams out West. They’ve survived the harder bracket, the question is how much they have left. My guess is not much for tonight (due to travel) but thankfully it’s a road game. They’ll still have a chance to get one on Friday.

    Best of luck and health to both teams.

  5. The strategy is there for both teams, so I’ve said it before and here it goes again, execution will be king.

    The Lakers will have a plan on how to deal with the high P&R with Parker. The question is can they execute it? The Lakers will have a philosophy on how to deal with Duncan on the low block. The question is can they execute it? Defensive discipline will be key for the Lakers in this game, and every other game. If we allow Parker to beat the 2nd defender on the P&R and get into the lane we will struggle. If we collapse too much on Duncan on the block and allow the ball to be swung to the opposite corner for open jumpers and slashing drives, we will struggle. The games we lost against Utah had as much to do with defensive breakdowns (dealing with those flex screens and allowing Deron to create in the open court) as the rebounding issues and playing through the physicality of the Jazz. Against the Spurs it is a war of attrition. They grind you with execution and we do the same to our opponents. It will be as simple (or difficult) as stopping the other teams execution that one extra time. It may be one key stop or it could be the early strike that throws the other team out of rhythm but, believe me, it will come down to disrupting the other guys plan. In my opinion, this series pits the two best coaches in the league against eachother. I’m anxious to see which system wins out.

  6. I didn’t even think about the Fisher/Parker matchup from last year. SpurredOn brings up a good point about the possibility that last year’s matchup foreshadows this year’s. For whatever reason though, Fisher has been much improved this year at defending other point guards, even the faster ones compared to his first stint with the Lakers. I think i recall reading or hearing somewhere that Fisher really worked on his balance over the summer so maybe that has helped him. Obviously it’s impossible to stop Tony Parker for the entire game but we’re just hoping that Fisher will play solid defense and make parker work hard to get his. Also, Fisher’s shooting is obviously much improved this year over last, so he will not be the negative contributor he was last year for the Jazz.

    The Spurs fans are nothing, if not confident, eh?

  7. Just wanted to let Kurt and everyone know that I wil be doing a Live Blog for the game tonight starting at approximately 5:45 PM. A few pregame comments and then into the adventurous game 1.

    It will be available at http://www.laballtalk.com

    I welcome all input and commentary and hope to get some feedback.

    Let’s go Lakers.

  8. The Spurs may have had the “tougher bracket”, but in the context of playoff basketball, the toughest team that either L.A. or S.A. had to play was Utah. Phoenix was out of sorts with their late season, um, acquisition and New Orleans was green (even if they didn’t play like it through 6 games). Utah was going to be a major hurdle for anyone, given their home record, excellent coaching and playoff experience (WC finals in ’07). This will be a hard fought series, but it is L.A.’s to lose. They have yet to get beaten at home and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe they are the only team through the second round with a winning road record. It has often been said that the team with the best player usually wins in the playoffs, unless he has a significantly inferior supporting cast. Well, Kobe Bryant is definitely the best player in this series and his supporting cast can more than hold their own.

    Go Lakers!!!

  9. I’m interested to see if our role players can step up on this big of a stage. NO was rattled for the first time in Game 7; I’ve never seen Chris Paul look so ordinary and passive as he did in Game 7. We know the Spurs will never be rattled. Aside from Kobe, Fish, and Walton, I’m looking forward to seeing how the others respond when the going gets tough.

    Parker still worries me more than Duncan. Hopefully Fish will stay hot and make Parker work a bit on the other end. I don’t see Parker getting into foul trouble because that’s not Fish’s game, but if he hits 3-4 3’s he might be able to reduce the effect of the destruction Parker will inevitably wreak.

  10. I smell 7 games.

  11. If you haven’t seen this, it’s the latest from Roland Lazenby at SportsHubLA:

    http://www.sportshubla.com/2008/05/21/jackson-drums-up-a-little-busyness/

  12. This Little Pinky May 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Any chance Mbenga could be an unsung hero in defending Duncan – if the refs let him stay out there?

  13. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Is Trevor Ariza going to play? I’ve heard both yes and no…

  14. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    My Spurs will win the series in 6 games no way the series will go to 7 we are to tough to disciplined and too experienced. Tim Duncan The REAL MVP will DESTROY pau gasol

  15. #4, Spurredon, very good Spurs commenter. #15, Timmy, not so much. We’d like to request more like #4, please.

    #14. Ask that question again around 7:15. Seriously, I’m not sure anyone without the initials PJ knows the answer to that right now.

  16. Here’s a fun stat we can track tonight: Who has more drives to their left, Odom or Ginobili? It will be close.

  17. #15: Tell us how you really feel….ha. I thought that was the type of stuff we’d get from the Denver or Utah fans that visited this site. But it’s from a Spurs fan. I hope you stick around to defend your talk if doesn’t go your way…

  18. #15: Wow. Tim Duncan the real MVP? I hope someone whispers that to Mr. Bryant before tipoff. Good luck with that one!

  19. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Oh i wont leave at all because we will not lose anyways and yes timmy d is the real mvp not kobe he won his lifetime achievement award thats all

  20. Sigh. Posters like TimmyD usually get weeded out when they realize that the board usually doesn’t get baited so easily.

    Onto the series. The most impressive thing to me about the Spurs is their execution, particularly under pressure. They rarely make mistakes when it comes to key, late game situations. They will not fumble their way to a loss. The Lakers will have to beat them.

  21. #16 – Thank you, and I agree about #15. Nothing wrong with belief but back it up with more than that.

    #6 -Yep, I’m confident but I understand why both sides feel that way. I do feel the media coverage leans toward a belief that the Lakers are clearly better and all the Spurs have is experience. These two squads finished with a one game difference in the standings. If SA had won that last regular season meeting, or the December game in LA had Duncan or Parker played, would that one game swing make SA that much better than LA? I say no. They each have positives (LA: best offense in the league, SA best defense) and reason to feel confident.

    I think too many people are talking as though it’s the Super Bowl or NCAA tournament with the one game on the Lakers’ home court. It’s a seven game series, not building for an 82 game haul. I’m proud of my guys for playing in the toughest division in the tougher of the two conferences, having injuries to Parker, Manu , Duncan, Barry and Horry (after opening 17-3 when all were healthy) and being one game off from the top seed. They’re ready to go and understand it’s a long series.

  22. #21: I’m with you emh101…I just don’t like the *we’re the best for no other reason than I’m a fan of that team* logic. Like SpurredOn said, bring the facts to back up your sentiment.

    But on to the game. We know the drill, let’s be ready.

  23. I like the passion and rational argument, SpurredOn. Stay with us through the series so we can have intelligent debate.

    And, while we’re comparing regular season accomplishments and handicaps … let’s remember a few things:

    1. Of the Spurs key players, Parker missed the most with 13 games. If you consider Bynum and Gasol one player (LA’s star center), they combined to only play 62 games. If you recognize them as different players, LA didn’t have their second or third best player for more than half the season. The point: LA faced greater injury handicaps than SA and still finished with a better record.

    2. As Hollinger noted, LA’s point differential was +7.3 and SA’s was +4.8. LA with Gasol (the team SA is facing) had a +10.3 differential. The one win difference in regular season records doesn’t paint the true picture of how the teams performed relative to each other.

    I throw that out there mainly as empty puffery. I acknowledge great fear. You just took down Phoenix and NO, are the defending champions, and have a team of proven playoff winners. I’m not sure many of LA’s role players are ready for the pressure yet (see Jordan Farmar…).

    I’m going to go outside the box by saying something obvious — the key in the series is Kobe. I don’t see Gasol getting his usual 20 points on 57% shooting, Odom shooting 60%, or LA’s shooters getting as many easy looks. Can Kobe continue to score 30+ on 50% shooting and 15 free throws as he did against Utah? I think that is very unlikely given Bowen/Udoka and the help defense from Duncan (as opposed to non-threats Okur and Boozer). So Kobe is going to be shooting a lot more jump shots and a lot less free throws. I think perhaps the biggest key to the series is whether he can still find a way to be highly efficient in scoring and playmaking. If he can do this, then LA will continue to put up 105+ points every game (as they have every since they got Gasol) and be in every game at the end. SA, on the other hand, is more prone to having tough offensive nights and getting blown out.

    I see LA winning in 7, but it’s basically a coin flip.

  24. Let me get this out before game 1. First, I buy into the Hollinger logic: Lakers in 5–not necessarily because the Lakers are that much better, but because of the way the playoffs have developed.

    I agree that Parker will be hard to stop on offense, but could be a liability on defense. Farmar may get an opportunity at redemption. I believe that Gasol will be challenged defensively by Duncan, and Odom will be a Laker x factor. Lakers may surprise Spurs on Ginobili with Ariza. Laker depth may make them stronger in the 4th.

    Here’s the scenario:

    1. Lakers rested at home for game one, while the Spurs may still be feeling that tarmac near their charter plane after their game 7 victory in New Orleans. Lakers start fast and win game one.

    2. Game two will be more of a challenge, but the Lakers are likely to hold on–much like to Hornets did, but not by as big a margin.

    3. Spurs win “must” game 3 in San Antonio, but not by a big margin.

    4. Lakers win close game 4.

    5. Lakers close out at home by significant margin.

    Now, here’s what could go wrong with that forecast.

    THE WORST:

    The Spurs win game one.

    If that happens, all my predictions are moot.

    Other possibilities that might lead to “worst” or other losses on subsequent games:

    a. foul trouble for Gasol
    b. foul trouble for Odom
    c. injuries or disqualification of key Laker players, esp. Kobe

  25. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    are u guys nervous lakers fans? lol

  26. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    If someone told you that Radmanovic would be getting putbacks and layups, and that he would be aggressively covering Ginobili, how much would you expect the Lakers to win by?

  27. Someone explain the zone…

  28. Favors the Lakers over the long run? Think the Spurs wil run out of gas?

  29. Hmm we look a bit rusty. Missing easy buckets

  30. where’s the crowd. Almost like a neutral city

  31. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    hahaha whats wrong with the mighty lakers? I actually predicted that we were gonna come out strong in the 1st quarter

  32. we look to be very tentative…not composed

  33. good run by the lakers to close the 1st. hope it continues to the next q

  34. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Hell yeah, Farmar!

  35. bench getting it done! sasha’s been playing manu pretty well

  36. The bench mob is back!

    I hope Pau doesn’t keep switching on Tony Parker…

  37. TimmyD…we’re just gettin started

  38. 2nd unit is doing a great job, but this will only be worth it if our first unit (especially Kobe and Fish) can play at their usual level.

    I’m very impressed with the Spurs’ transition D.

  39. TP been amazing tonight..

  40. #38 yeah the P&R has been killing us!

  41. 1) Pound it inside to Pau and LO
    2) Close out in the corners, they’ve hit three already

  42. Bowen really is bothering Kobe. He’s gotten open but the others haven’t found him and honestly we aren’t passing well enough to make those passes. We just look off from our layoff while the spurs look as composed and put together as always.

  43. The starters have to step up, especially Kobe. I agree with Doug Collins, he’s being a tiny bit too unselfish. I don’t think he’s made it directly to the rim once tonight.

    We need to cut this down to 5 by halftime.

  44. Lamar the X factor. Unfortunately xx , not xy.

  45. Looking at the box score, the primary difference is the game is shooting percentage. You expect to shoot lower when facing the Spurs (LAL 44%) but you can’t let them shoot 50%, as they’re doing. We have to hope the third quarter woes continue for this team, while Kobe has to step up like Duncan and Parker have.

  46. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again……….the key to the series boils down to one thing and one thing only: stay home on the 3pt shooters.

    And can we see Ariza? I think he can be THE difference in the series.

  47. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    @ 46: Ariza is on the injured list again tonight.

  48. The Spurs are playing like a team on the second night of a regular season back-to-back. They come out battle tested, guns blazing. They will fade. I bet safely that the Lakers grab 3rd quarter momentum and close it out in regulation. The 3rd is huge, and has been for all the home victories last round. Kobe’s taken 3 shots? OK, I took 3 shots from my chair at home and made all of those. Kobe will find the shots. He’s going to have 25 or 30 and we’ll win by high single digits. Witness.

  49. We need a big 3rd quarter. Kobe needs to start shooting.

  50. Lamar Odom is playing really bad. He performs well when he is not expected to perform.

  51. Marv’s toupe especially lively tonight

  52. My God we look flat. Odom’s foul on Oberto was awful, doing nothing to prevent the score, then TD is the first guy to the missed FT? What is up with us?

  53. Yikes! I was afraid of this. Kobe waited too long to try and get back in rythym…

  54. These are not the Lakers we know and love…

  55. The stage a little too big for some of the guys so far

  56. eh? Kobe with 5 attempts.

    what the heck’s wrong? is it the spurs defense?

  57. Lakers keep trying pnr against the best pnr defensive team in the nba. Run the triangle.

  58. I think we just look really passive. No energy at all. Kobe needs to start driving to the hoop

  59. Lamar and Pau look slightly intimidated

    Fish and Kobe aren’t intimidated, but aren’t producing either. Kobe needs to get to the rim. Jumpshots are a 50% shot. When Kobe gets to the rim, he either gets a high percentage shot or gets others easy baskets. It’s so damn simple.

  60. I don’t know if its about stage because problem is with our starters not our bench!! Its not about being unselfish on Kobe’s part its about not being aggressive enough which is hurting us. We need take care of ball can’t let them have so many steals and turnovers!!

  61. let’s get this momentum thing going… about now…!

  62. We have mixed six lay-ups already!

  63. it’s never a good sign when sasha takes it to the hole. 3 attempts…3 turnovers! unbelievable!

  64. This has gotten ugly.

  65. We look absolutely terrible right now.

  66. Its looks like a horrible start to the series!! I am falling short of terms.. triangle is almost non-exsistent

  67. are we going to score even 80 points this game?

    losing game 1 will have a LOT of impact in this series. But then again, it’s about time the Lakers learn to play from behind.

    In the grand scheme of things, we won’t have home-court in the finals, so i think this round will teach us how to play after losing the first game of the series.

    yeah, i’m an optimist.

  68. What happened to all the talk of execution? It’s not just the Lakers fault, the Spurs defense is very good. Still, many times the passing lanes have been there and we haven’t capitalized.

    Kobe, please attack. Try it. Just once. You’ll like it, I promise.

  69. something wrong with those watches. tell the lakers to show up.

  70. if we can cut the lead below 10 pts going into the 4th quarter, then we still have a chance!

  71. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    +15 and +12 for Vujacic and Farmar.

  72. i think they are used to the 7:30 start. they are finally starting to wake up.

  73. Kobe and Pau taking a page from CP3 and Chandler’s book

  74. Hey laughing…i’m afraid to ask what fisher and lamar’s +/- numbers are…hehe

  75. only down 7…we can do this!

  76. Okay, well we bounced back to win the quarter. That’s a good sign. Can Kobe keep this up when Bowen comes back? Do we rest Kobe at the start of the 4th?

  77. If you’re Phil, do you leave Kobe in? I say yes. The lineup on the floor has a great momentum going, the Lakers have played the fewest games of any team and are coming off a few days rest, and Kobe is possibly the best-conditioned athlete on the floor.

    We got much better after Odom left the game. The Spurs are playing him very well when he has the ball in his hands and tries a dribble drive – he needs to go back to cutting off Gasol and moving without the ball if he wants to be effective.

  78. 70- -18 and -21 respectively… eesh.

  79. I like Farmar’s d on Parker. He’s really forcing Parker one way with his quickness. And Sasha is clamping down on Ginobli?! The bench is playing awesome. Now…if Odom and Fisher can do the same….

  80. good call by Phil starting Kobe

    I agree, Farmar’d D has been much better than Fisher, which isn’t surprising – he struggles with bigger guards like Williams.

    Horrible possession by Kobe. Bowen scared him off attacking.

  81. Defensive mistake by Kobe. You never back off Bowen on a corner 3.

    Finally Kobe’s started attacking. Good thing always happen to the more aggressive team.

  82. my legs feel like they’re made of jelly right now.

  83. Fisher just does not have it tonight….bad decision by lamar on the fast break…he should’ve went to kobe to his left….

  84. Bowen only has a couple of shots that he likes to take, I don’t understand why Kobe doesn’t close on him and make him drive.

  85. lakers are not taking advantage of the spurs shooting drought….Come on lakers!

  86. I just broke my left hand hitting the wall. Lamar, what are you doing?

  87. Man…Lamar redeems himself after two bad plays. I liked how Kobe went to him so he can pick himself up. GO LAMAR!!!

  88. 81-81 tied up. if lakers lose tonight, we’re gonna look back at the missed opportunities the lakers had when spurs were missing all their shots. Teams have to play PERFECT against the spurs during close games. Let’s see if they have the will to win this one…

  89. The Lakers are missing shots they’ve made all year. There have also been a series of unfortunate bounces and other things that you really can’t blame on anybody. The focus they are showing in finding ways to get points is showing a lot of character to me. Kobe and Lamar have both left point blank layups short, but they keep going in there. Fisher is completely off but finds a way to get to the line. That’s exactly what we need to learn how to do against this team.

  90. 81 (Nik) – couldn’t agree with you more. Bowen should be the easiest player in the NBA to guard.

  91. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    The Lakers take the lead!

  92. Cripes, what a game!

  93. defense! lets finish this!

  94. Our 2 worst players of the game: Fish and Lamar.

    The 2 last players to take clutch shots: Fish and Lamar.

    Good strategy? I think not.

  95. they’re going for the 3

  96. Thank God Kobe didn’t give up the ball even when they trapped him. No one else is clutch today, we need the MVP to take that shot.

    If someone (Lamar…) has a mental breakdown and leaves a 3-point shooter open, I will break my other hand.

  97. Kobe just tied it by putting back TD’s shot, then untied it on the other end. Classic game. I hope it ends well.

  98. Ginobili will take the three. Do not let him.

  99. I agree with you Bill…but, which laker is dumb enough to leave his man open for the 3?

  100. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Robert Horry has entered the game…

  101. Clear path foul? What’s the call there?

  102. yes! i think we may pull this one out yet

  103. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    MACHINE

  104. Ok, now the question is, which laker is dumb enough to foul while they’re attempting a 3 pointer…

  105. Did that just happen? Did that really just happen????

  106. laughing hard May 21, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    I know there’s no such thing as a bad win, but that’s about as close as you can get =)

  107. YES!!! Lakers win! thank god…i nearly had a heart attack.

  108. WOW, they do have the will to win a close game against the defending champs!…Great job Lakers!

  109. No complaints about the crowd tonight!
    Thank you, Kobe. What a performance. Amazing, really, what he did. That was unreal.

  110. God, what a game. We played so poorly, missed so many layups. LO and Fish were non-existent. But we still did it. WOW. Great effort from Kobe.

  111. that was an amazing quarter and a half. well played by the team defensively and offensively. amazing. GO LAKERS!

  112. What happened to TimmyDtherealMVP…we last heard from him over 2 hrs ago….

  113. phew!! this game almost killed me… defense and kobe saved Lakers in the second half!! last 19 minutes saved the day for us

  114. Kobe is amazing. He completely dominated the last 19 minutes of that game. Wow great win. Great D in the second half, Sasha in particular was good on Manu, stuck with closed fast whenever he collapsed into the lane. The team is so much better with Sasha out there and Kobe at the 3. But I like him off the bench. he will get a pay raise during the off season.

  115. 105 I think he became anonymous due to massive amount of shame…. HAHAH… The real MVP is KOBE!

  116. Kobe’s so good he even scored for both teams!!! Lucky call on the out of bounds on Duncan-should’ve been a foul on Pau. Great win….just don’t do that ever again.

  117. We escaped. We stole a game on our home floor.

    We can’t take another game like that from LO and Fish.

    I doubt Ginobili will have another game like that. On the other hand, I thought Sasha did as good a job playing him as anyone in the league. Does anyone think Sasha should start to match up with Manu? I don’t think so, because I really like Sasha off the bench for his energy, plus he knows his role now. I wouldn’t want to change that up. Still, it’s worth considering.

  118. Watching the entire game, and seeing them make that remarkable comeback made that win so much sweeter =]

    I know why us Laker fans get heart attacks. It’s because it’s Hollywood!!!

    I’m going to savor this one, and I hope all my fellow bloggers in FB&G are doing to the same…

  119. Gutty win! Sasha was the unsung hero tonight–great energy on defense. Manu was off his game, but Sasha (and Vlad) had something to do with this. It was great to see the Lakers suck it up and win a game with defense.

    Lamar needs to make some adjustments for game 2 (how many driving layups did he miss?), and hopefully Fish will hit some of those jumpers. I’d really like to see Ariza get some run in place of Luke with the second unit…

  120. The Spurs will kick themselves for losing that game. It was theirs.

  121. Never any doubt for me! I’ve believed in this team since day 1 of training camp. I don’t know why but I just knew from then on that this will be a special season. Even through all the Kobe shenanigans, my motto for this season was MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN!

  122. Lakers closed out last 20 minutes or so 44-20……gutting one out against the Spurs……nicely done Lakers. The Machine annoyin’ the hell out of Ginobili. You know Ginobili will come back hard….will need much more of the same from Machine. Jordan feeling a little better. Hopefully LO and Fish can be more effective. Still…..excellent, tough, distinctly un-(stereotypical)-LA-style win. As Stu would say….that’s niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

  123. carter blanchard May 21, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I am absolutely thrilled with that win. Are there signs for concern down the road? No question. But that was a Spurs game through and through, the first time we’ve really been down like this in the playoffs, and we (KOBE!!) showed a lot of resiliency and pulled through. That’s got to be a little deflating for the Spurs, even knowing there’s a lot their going to be able to do better.

    Sasha seems to be in Manu’s head and I’m loving it. Even though the telecast didn’t even notice it, Bowen’s elbow to Sasha’s throat should be reviewed by the league. I’m so fed up with his blatantly intentional moves to hurt other players. Also, major props to Phil. Every adjustment he made in the second half played out beautifully. Also great to see our bench mob step up again. I missed those guys.

    I know San Antonio’s going to be telling itself that Manu will play better, but the gap between what Lamar did in this game and what he should do in every other game is going to be even bigger.

  124. Wow. That was an amazing game, one for the ages for sure.
    Here’s the question- was that down 20 nonsense on purpose? Think about it, Kobe really didn’t shoot at all until that happened. Is it just me or did we just see P Jax and Kobe spot the defending champs 20 points just to storm back and crush their spirit? Would you put that past those two?

  125. Oh and Sasha- Nicely done.

  126. Sasha at +25 for the game. His free throws iced the game. The Spurs lack a true physically punishing SF, and that allows Kobe to play as a “soft” three. Udoka can’t get it done against Kobe offensively. The lineup on the floor at crunch time looks extremely solid in this series.

    I could care less who starts. I want to see who finishes the game.

    Fisher / Sasha / Kobe /LO / Pau . They were the answer.

  127. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    ok so we lost.. we gave away the game.. we choked..we can still win the series tho

  128. I love these kinds of games when the Lakers win. What a great effort by the Lakers to come back even when their shots aren’t falling. They played tenacious, aggressive defense to get themselves opportunities to get back into the game. These kinds of games can build huge amounts of confidence. And Farmar, well, you can see he’s much more comfortable out there against TP as opposed to D-Will.

    Did anyone else notice Mike Miller sitting behind the spurs bench and not standing when the Lakers earned the standing ovation? Supporting Pau, trying to get traded to the Spurs, or just enjoying the game as a fan?

    Wow. What a great win. We can’t count on that every night but what a great win as a fan. I have no idea what was wrong, but that first half game-plan wasn’t a winning one. I can’t wait for Friday!

  129. @TimmyDtherealMVP, I’m absolutely of the opinion that the Spurs and Pistons are the two teams least likely to be rattled by a loss, even as tough as this one because of their experience in the playoffs. They’ll come back in game 2 ready to go.

  130. Nice of you to come back to the forum TimmyD, thoght we’d lost you…we’d love to have you the whole series. We’re only gonna give you 20 freebies once a series though, so good luck in the next few games.

  131. The Spurs still scare the hell out of me. Defensively they were taking the Lakers out of their comfort zones, and they manage to play physical without fouling. Parker looked like he was getting whatever he wanted in the 1st half. I have to wonder how much of our win tonight can down to the Spurs just running out of gas down the stretch.

    I’d like to hear people’s takes on what the Lakers need to do differently on their offensive sets.

  132. if that call had gone the other way against pau instead of duncan, we might be playing OT and/or possibly lose this game. seems from these playoff games, there’s always been a few key calls that have benefited one team or the other at very crucial moments affecting the final outcome. not to say that it’s all down to the refs, but it’s something to consider. with all that said, i’m happy the call went our way.

  133. Our offensive numbers looked almost identical in the 2nd half as the first. The difference is the Spurs finished the game at 40.5% shooting whereas in the first half they shot 50%. How much did the Spurs’ natrural inclination to tail off determine this game?

    Despite that, I don’t think the Lakers will look as lost as they did the first 2.5 quarters going forward, but Ginobli is going to bounce back too. Glad the team has tape to study now. We need to learn to play this team, and it’s great that we have a game in our pocket as we do.

    I’m pumped up right now. That was an all time classic game. All it was missing was a game winner as the shot expired. (I did not take my eyes off of Horry the last 2 possessions)

  134. Great win. This win reminds me of the Spurs win against the Suns in their home court. They came back from about 15 points to win that one. That we are able to do that to the Spurs speaks volumes of our team. This was perhaps the worst we could play as a team. Fisher’s fine because shooting comes and goes. You know he wont have a game like that. But Lamar’s case is different. He was making so many mental mistakes… He seemed a little scared. Let’s hope Lamar comes back and plays well next game. Sasha, Gasol, Vlad were quite good and Kobe was phenomenal. I was surprised that Phil did not play Vlad more that he did. He was playing really well.

  135. I propose that instead of the MVP chants, we should just chant KO BE KO BE because I don’t think even the MVP chants can truly describe his juggernaut offensive abilities.

  136. Awesome. Manu Ginobili spoke about how he was wearing acrylic nails for the game tonight.

    That sounds about right.

  137. wow, i feel sorry i stopped watching somewhere in the third (lunch break for us across the pacific).

    now, we can beat the spurs after being down 10+.

    i really wonder what that does to our collective confidence. :)

  138. Well Snoopy2006, I am glad you didn’t have to break your other hand tonight… NBA where Amazing Happens, huh. Great to get the win, we still have the home court advantage now.

  139. carter blanchard May 21, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    120) That was a really bad call. But immediately after that, Manu both fouled Pau on the loose ball AND knocked it out of bounds and it was called Spurs’ ball. In this case, I think it was a pretty righteous makeup.

  140. Congrats to the Lakers. This is the kind of series I expect, except better execution by the Spurs, obviously. I didn’t expect to win tonight and am proud of my guys for accepting zero excuses and going after it. I think you’ll note that they will not use their travel issues or lack or preparation as an excuse (now imagine if it was the Suns..). I read lots of fans on this board taking about guys putting the clamp down on Manu. Not to burst the bubble but his ankle/calf has not been right since early April. The time he spent out injured gave him enough rest to play well versus Phx in the first two games but since then, he can’t turn the corner or finish in traffic. Had he been right the Hornets series would have been clinched in six. That’s going to make it harder for SA to win. If his hand is bothering his ball handling skills as well, Spurs lose in six. If that gets corrected, I still see SA winning, be it six or seven games.

  141. I don’t think Pau will not outplay Duncan at all in this series. As we’ve seen, Duncan is at another level.
    All we can hope from Pau is do a good job on the defensive glass and average around 15-20 pts.

    And sadly, I believe Lamar will struggle throughout this entire series. I still believe the Spurs will win in 6.

  142. So .. I live in San Antonio… I’m a Laker fan…. It’s hell… I get spurs crap on my desk all day today….even hung a banner over me “Go Spurs Go” Then I come home…At the half, I walk out to the cal-de-sac… all my neighbors are out there….waiting…. for me… So I open the garage door….. stumble out there with my head hung low, facing the enivitable jeering… I take it. But they know it aint over… I know it aint over… What a “performance”. That’s the only word to discribe it… Needless to say, tommorow is going to be a good day.

  143. 143 – Very good point, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, but I think if Manu wants to live up to the billing he has to play through it and find other ways to be effective, the hallmark of a superstar. Kobe has torn ligaments in his finger but it has barely bothered him. I have the utmost respect for Manu and expect him to bounce back, though.

    Kobe was right on, saying the Lakers had the “jitters.” Fish wasn’t scared, and as pw said, shooting comes and goes. But Lamar was definitely feeling the pressure. Hopefully he can bounce back, worst case scenario is he puts even more pressure on himself and plays even worse.

    Here’s my theory on why LO struggled (besides mental mistakes): he went back to playing with the ball in his hands at the top of the key and trying to create off the dribble. I believe if he goes back to the way he played against the Nuggets/Jazz – great off-the-ball movement, cutting off Gasol – then he can be much more efficient.

    It was oddly satisfying to see Bowen get frustrated and complain to the refs, after all the headaches he creates for the rest of the league. I was surprised at how much respect Kobe gave him in the pre-game interview, he almost seemed to be in awe of him.

  144. Amazing_Happens May 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I think the early start time screwed with the Lakers, because they didn’t start playing until 7:30 tonight.

    Vlad? He’s usually draining warm up jumpers at 6pm.

  145. Warren Wee Lim May 21, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    K – lutch
    O – ffensive
    B – eautiful
    E – xecution

    This was KOBE for the last quarter and a half! And its not even about Kobe hogging it, its simply beatuiful watching him score and share the rock.

  146. I dont know how to summarize this game. Lakers got lucky coz they should have lost this game? no.. Spurs were terrible at shooting so they deserved to lose this game? no.. great gut check comeback win? partly.. kobe carrying the team on his back? maybe.. sasha shutting down ginobili? partly.. great defensive effort? 2nd half.. great coaching by phil? maybe… all i can say is that this is playoff basketball. the lakers learned that you will bleed for every point from now on. theres no more gimmies or chippies on offense. the lakers as a team and as individuals must know that even if they execute well on offense, the shots may not fall, but the energy and defensive effort is always under their control. they cannot wait until the 2nd half to step it up defensively if they want to get past the spurs, but overall, that was a great win that will only boost the confidence of the whole team in the games to come. GO LAKERS!!!

  147. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I have a sour taste in my mouth and i feel like crap because the spurs let me down they were not supposed to lose thise freaking game! we were up by 20 and dominating we were killing them. But im not backing down we will win the series in 6 maybe 7 but we will make the necessary adjustments just like we did vs new orleans. Oh and Manu is hurt too but thats not the reason why we lost. But get ready for a war.

  148. timmyd, please stick around. you’re a ton of fun, man.

  149. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    and the reason why my user name is TimmyDtherealMVP is because i had a very strong feeling that my man Timmy was going to start playing like when he won back to back mvps and guess what i was right he ended up with 30 and 12

  150. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    oh wait he had 18 rebounds? i was so caught up in the game i lost track of his rebounds. see he is the real MVP and everybody knows Kobe won it cuz of the lifetime achievement award thingy

  151. Warren Wee Lim May 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Sorry guys I missed the very 1st post. That was the major reason we were down by 20 in the 3rd. Glad my friend Kobe helped out on the matter.

  152. It looks like Spurs fans take pride in the fact that their team does not make excuses about injuries, yet they make excuses about injuries more than anyone else.

  153. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Hey Tremble we are not making excuses but we cant deny the fact that Manu is hurt but like i said thats not why we lost but still if he wasnt hurt…

  154. MVP’s take over at the end of games.

  155. 143 (spurred on)-

    A- I would be shocked to see the Spurs ever make excuses on any level. They are the definition of old pros.

    B- I would be shocked if they let this loss phase them.

    They are the anti-Nuggets.

  156. timmyd, good point. and every night before the game they tape kobe’s pinkie back onto his hand. everyone’s got injuries. it’s may. relax.

  157. 154- I’ll let you magically heal Ginobli for the next game if you let us magically heal Bynum.

  158. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    yeah yeah kobe’s pinky whatever Kobe himself said its no big deal i mean look at him he still scores 40 a night the pinky is not affecting. Meanwhile Manu is CLEARLY being affected by his ankle injury. Bynum? hahahaha

  159. I think I finally hit the right balance of listening/watching this game.

    Spent the first half and the first half of the third quarter listening in my car, yelling at no one in particular.

    Parked the car at my buddy’s place, and by the time I got into the viewing party, the boys had brought it to seven.

    Corona never tasted so good.

  160. 159. Of course Manu thinks the injury is a big deal, I’ve never seen him take a small tap from an opposing player like it wasn’t a big deal.

  161. I just got back from Staples – as moribund as the crowd was in the first half, they were just as electrifying for the last quarter and a half. Best atmosphere since Game 6 against the Spurs all the way back in 2004.

    What more can you say about Kobe? I wasn’t so sure that CP3 didn’t deserve the MVP after the regular season, but tonight’s performance and CP3’s disappearing act in Game 7 really proved what a fool I am. No one can take over a game and lead a team to victory like kb24. And as everyone else is saying, major props to Sasha – what an improvement in his play year to year. I can’t imagine the Lakers possibly without him next year. It may have taken 4 years, but kudos to Mitch for that end-of-the-first round pick. And as his chief critic in the first two rounds, I have to give it to Farmar. He played much more confidently. What a boon if this series marks the long awaited return of the Bench Mob.

    All that being said, the Lakers really need to elevate their level of play from the tip if they want to keep the Spurs at bay. Even though the Spurs lost, I cannot help but be impressed with their amazing precision and execution. They may have run out of gas, but they will be better rested and aren’t going to go away. Unfortunately, we saw vintage Lamar of the worst kind tonight – missed lay-ups, missed free throws, turnovers. I don’t know where his head was at. Clearly Phil thought the same with his early third quarter benching. But I’d also like to see Phil put Ariza out there, particularly with Luke somewhat regressing since the Denver series.

    But all that being said, thanks to the Purple and Gold for making this night simply magic.

  162. You better do it fast though since there’s a thing called aging.

  163. TimmyDtherealMVP May 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    We might be getting older but we have the heart of a champion we will not be denied

  164. by the way, which one are you?

  165. What’s the point in talking smack about something that none of us have any part in determining? Whether the Spurs or Lakers win I’m pretty sure everybody on this board will end up 0-0 from the field…

  166. btw – TNT is doing a replay of the game right now, what else am I doing tonight, maybe watch it again, huh.

  167. Random note, but the intro TNT did tonight was incredible. Especially considering how weak recent intros usually are.

    Here’s the link for anyone who missed it:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1AQZ6yJC4J0

  168. Warren Wee Lim May 21, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Timmy D, this is not a fan board where you can go trolling and “pad your stats”. You do not get additional respect by the number of posts you put in here.

    I usually have a lot of respect for SA fans. They are the “conservative” kind and they do not go out calling names or covering their eyes nor chant cancer.

    Then again, there’s always a diamond in the rough… or a rough diamond for that matter.

  169. The Dude Abides May 21, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Well, we caught a break tonight. The Spurs played one of the best games of the playoffs by one team in that Game 7 in New Orleans, and their stellar play continued in Game 1 against the Lakers for the first two and 1/2 quarters. Just flat-out, ruthless execution. When our Lakers made their inevitable run in the final six minutes of the 3rd quarter (they’re too good of a team not to), the Spurs didn’t have the energy to make a counter run.

    Even though Timmy hit us for 30 and 18 tonight, I still thought Pau played a solid game. Sasha, Vlad, and Jordan also came up big at various times, and the MVP was the MVP when we needed him to be. Was he ever!

  170. Yeah TimmyDForMVP, Warren is quite right. Fans here of other teams are not insulted. We discuss basketball quite thoughtfully and respectfully here. It seems you’re nearly baiting us to demean the Spurs and I don’t think you’ll find any regular posters here who would not have a great deal of respect for the Spurs. This is going to be a battle……but we’re not doing the battling…….we’re just talking about the battling. Really, if you have nothing more to say that repping TD or Manu or laughing at Bynum, fans here will probably not take you very seriously after some time and will tune you out. The Spurs are a heck of a team. But so are the Lakers. And it’s fun to talk about. But simply repeating the same mantra again and again will not get you much credit here. If you really want to be part of the conversation, you’ll have to be a little more thoughtful about the series. That said, may the best team win.

  171. The champs came to Staples fully loaded, spurs a jingling, and almost immediately took it to the Lakers.

    Tony Parker proved that Derek Fisher doesn’t speak French very well, waving to his desperate housewife on his way past Derek’s slow feet to the Laker basket. Timmy did his best impersonation of a younger Shaq O’neal–scoring, rebounding, and intimidating like mad. He even missed his free throws for awhile there–but we knew he was really Timmy all along–which is scary enough. Bowen gave the impression that he was really a Kobe stopper in that first half–and he coolly made his outside shots. Trevor was nowhere to be seen–and the Lakers could have used him.

    The Spurs lead crept up every quarter a bit, just like their final 7 victory in that New Orleans’ Hornet nest–a 20 point lead halfway through the third quarter seemed insurmountable. The Spurs were ready to pack up, get on that plane, go home and get some well deserved rest.

    Except

    Except

    Except

    THEY LOST!!!

    TimmyD (163), how could that have happened?

    Did your “real” MVP just get “black Mamba’d”?

    How could a team from Texas run out of gas?

  172. Andrew expected to be fully recovered by ’08 training camp: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakerep22-2008may22,0,2747784.story.

    Very good news.

  173. It’s always fun to have a troll around. Don’t know what the current definition of trolls are, but back in the day, trolls had high constitution, lots of spit, not quite pleasant to look at, good beginning xp points but something to be ignored at later levels.

    I have a feeling that the new watches were not set correctly. All of these Lakers arrived 2.5 quarters late to the game ;)

  174. This Spurs fan is not using injuries as an excuse. Just making the obvious comment that no commentator has made all playoffs. I’ve listened to these guys say that Raja Bell was shutting Manu down, then Peja (give me a break). He doesn’t have his explosion and that’s key. He’s never been one to live on the 3pt line. Imagine if Kobe couldn’t turn the corner and get to the rim. That said, if his ball handling skills are impacted, be it for one game or many, Pop has to not call plays for him in key moments. During the Laker runs in the 3rd and 4th quarters, SA got away from Parker creating. He can blow by Fisher and get to the rim, set up TD or a shooter. Gotta stick with that and make Manu a shooter.

    Again, I expect this kind of series. I’ve been reading other boards where Laker and NBA fans think LA will score tons of points and blowout SA in five games. Not gonna happen. The Nuggets were I-15 without traffic, whereas the Jazz were physical but can’t defend anyone without fouling. This will be a series about execution, and being that the best offense in the NBA (LA) will be cancelled out by the best defense (SA) this will all come down to the Spurs offense against the Laker defense. Both had good moments tonight, but I’ll take some of those missed shots and bad possessions from the second half with the knowledge that only one or two need to go different to win in LA. I also understand LA fans believing that it was all their defense that did the trick. We see through our own lens.

    It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments both coaches make, if any, for game two.

  175. 173 – Hah, D&D nerd!

    Good win tonight, great lineup we had on the floor at the end and I’m glad Lamar and Fish got a chance to put their stamp on the comeback. Even if it was minimal, it was crucial.

    To the tim duncan fan here, some of your posts are cool, the rest are childish. This is a forum for legit discussion, please don’t treat it like a normal internet forum.

    LAKERS!

  176. 174 SpurredOn,

    You just contradicted yourself and made Ginobili’s injury as an excuse as to why your team lost. Ginobili simply looked tired from my own “lens” and I’m sure he will bounce back. But if he is rendered ineffective in a future game, I hope that you will not point to his injury but rather the defense of Vujacic as to why Ginobili didn’t have a good game.

  177. did anyone else notice how little the Lakers relied on Kobe for the first two and a half quarters? They weren’t running the offense through him at all, even when he was in! What are people’s thoughts about this? What was the reason for the? Outside of that, I would have liked Lamar to touch the ball and create earlier in the clock. He has a great transition game, but he also makes plays when he is penetrating. He couldn’t do that when his offense was limited by his options. He didn’t crash the boards and he didn’t drive inside…

  178. Few 2AM bullets

    – Mamba was unbaweebabol.

    – Behind the back. Step back. Pump fake. Ginobli in popcorn machine. Under. Step through. Bank. Buckets.

    – SuperSpurs interior D is really good. We’re gonna have to hit some mid range J’s.

    – Manu vs Sasha = awesome

    – Surprised, no one has mentioned it yet, and no playoff team has really effectively done it yet, but the SuperSpurs are sagging HARD off of Lamar when he has the ball on the perimeter. They then anticipate his dribble drive to his left. And Timmy is just waiting. He needs to take a jumper to keep them honest.

    – Timmy is really good at blocking/affecting shot after shot without fouling. He doesn’t hack at a shot attempt like Turiaf does, he just relies on length and body control.

    – If not for the solid bench play we’ve had all season, Kobe doesn’t play the whole 2nd half without getting winded. The bench has allowed him to rest consistently at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters without a major dropoff, and we’re seeing some of the payoff now.

    – Like Duncan on the inside, Bowen holds down the perimeter D. He really makes Kobe work. Hard. As soon Udoku or Manu manned up on him, Mamba just punnished.

    – MANU vs SASHA

  179. *sigh*… Usually I just lurk around these forums because the fans here of both the Lakers (of which I’m a fan also btw) and whoever team they were facing are all really classy posters. It was really great for me seeing Laker fans who respect the opposing team’s fans and vice versa, which is very much unlike the other forums I’ve been going to before (ESPN comes to mind a lot).

    Anyway, what I’m going on here is that let’s all try to keep up the positive posting atmosphere you guys have here… let’s try not to feed the trolls too much.. if they talk some more smack like the usual “Kobe just won MVP because of the lifetime thingie award, ______ is the real MVP” or talk like we disrespect and belittle the Spurs too much, please ignore them and let them have their opinions.. it’s really sad when we resort to bash them because of it :(
    I really respect the other Spurs fans here though who really show they support their team without really thrashing on the Lakers.

    Let’s be the bigger men here Laker fans…let’s uphold the level of class Forum Blue and Gold has set through all this time.

  180. Warren Wee Lim May 22, 2008 at 5:30 am

    I think its fitting to credit Pau’s interior D on those 2 amazing blocks. Tony Parker will have recurring nightmares and so will Ma-Nuuu. I think Pau did a tremendous job with defending the paint from the penetrations.

  181. I still think the Lakers would have been better off playing the Hornets. We dont match up with the Spurs at all. I think they just gassed after a tough series. It is definitely great seeing the Lakers challenging for a title. Can you imagine how many games we win next year with a healthy Bynum? This team is built for the next five years more so then any other team even the Bulls after they draft Beasley.

  182. I really think that Gasol made a great job on TD in the final 8 1/2 minutes, where TD went scoreless ( I’m not giving him credit for the layup that Kobe made for him).
    I would like to hear from the resident gurus, if that was bc of Gasol or something else I didn’t catch up.

    Go Lakers!!!

  183. Against dENVER, we get a poster named “AI”, who boldly predicted after Game 1 loss, “We’ll get you next time.” He never posted again.

    Against Utah, we get a poster named, “utahfan”, who boldly predicted after Game 5 loss, “We’ll win next two and the Lakers fan will have to watch the Jazz in WCF.” He never posted again.

    Now, we have “TimmyDtherealWHINER”, who is responding to every comment as if he were the moderator. I just hope he sticks around longer than the previous fans of our opponents. It’s always interesting to see these guys come in with absolutely no basis for their prediction and rants and just disappear without any explanation for their teams’ demise. The posts lack substance and is full of mere homerism. I welcome all the SA fans, who will talk strategy with some data or solid reason to back it up, not merely Timmy is better than Pau argument. No one questions that. So what? Kobe is better than Manu and TP combined. So what? The real argument should be how these factors will help each team win. Let’s hope that we’ll teach bold SA fans who dare to post here, how FB&G sets the standard for NBA blogging as the Lakers do the same with their efficient offense.

    Let the blogging WCF begin!

  184. I think we need to check the turnover stats for the first 2 and a half quarters, vs the rest of the game.
    didn’t you guys feel we were forcing too many passes inside, resulting in a TO and a hard break back by the Spurs?
    I think we were trying too hard to be “the best passing Team” and that was why we were down by so much.
    then, the run started with a few stops by our D, a few makes by our O, and I think, zero TO’s down that stretch.
    I find it pretty amazing that we were able to gut this one out, considering that Fisher and LO were essentially non factors offensively this game.
    lastly, I hope PJ decides to let Trevor dress for a game, like to see him start to get some burn.
    but then again, Sasha seems to be doing great as our new defensive specialist, eh?

  185. TimmyDtherealMVP May 22, 2008 at 8:37 am

    I never said the lakers were not a good time they are a good team but not great. They still give us fits tho

  186. As good a team as the Spurs are-and they may still run the table-I am more and more convinced that this is their last hurrah as constituted. They don’t have the athleticism to stop one player who gets on a roll. This is 5 straight games on the road where 1 player took over in second half and in 4 of them lead his team to a come-from behind victory.

  187. 188. I agree. Next year may be their last big run as is. Ginobili and Duncan are getting up there, as well as most of their role players. But they have Parker to build around and they run a great organization so I think they will be back.

  188. As we talked about before the series, the Lakers can survive Duncan having an excellent game, but not if each of their 3 main players gets 20 a piece. The Lakers also did a solid job closing out on the 3 pointers, which can be attributed to the single coverage on Duncan.

    The character of a team is defined when its back is up against a wall and no one expects them to fight back except themselves. The display the Lakers put on tonight (as well as the win in SLC) is just another indicator on the maturity and readiness to compete for a championship.

    Ginobili is injured and isn’t close to being as effective as he can be. Think Kobe when he tweaked his back. His instincts take over and he tries to do things he used to be able to do. Same with Ginobili last night, that 3 at the end was short and not nearly close. And then there were many ill advised cross court passes that were intercepted by Fisher. When you make errors like that, it is just a signal to fatigue and mind making decisions your body can’t handle. Can’t wait for the next game.

  189. 189. The Spurs have a ton of cap room next summer (or maybe the following summer, I can’t recall). They’re going to add a star, or at least a really good player to their core trio. So even if Duncan and Ginobli are slowing down, the Spurs are going to continue to contend for 3-4 years.

  190. I hope Kobe plays aggressively from the start of game 2. If the Lakers jump out to a big lead, I expect Pop to pull his starters and allow a blow-out.

    Of course if that happens, I also expect the Spurs to regroup for game 3 and beat the Lakers.

    As for the discussions regarding regular season point differential/victory margin, it seems that not enough people are noting how few minutes per game the Spurs’ big three played during the regular season. I assume that if you adjust Duncan’s/Parker’s/Ginobli’s minutes to reflect the minutes they play in the playoffs, the Spurs’ regular-season victory-margin would be much closer to the Lakers’ victory margin (even with Gasol).

    If Hollanger had made this adjustment, he would have correctly predicted every playoff series with his model, and probably would have picked the Lakers in 7 over the Spurs (rather than in 5).

  191. *What a crazy game. In the first 2 and a half quarters, Kobe was making the right basketball play, like he has all season, only we were not as sharp and it wasn’t as efficient. Some passes were too low, or open jumpers were missed, or we missed chippys at the rim. In the Utah series, Phil had mentioned that Kobe was playing a *measured* game, and I think that continued that into this game, but it was a little too much out of balance with his agressive nature…but when it looked the worst, Kobe emerged from the weeds with his dagger in his mouth. No wonder he calls himself mamba.

    *I mentioned this on TrueHoop, but I can’t believe we won. Kobe had 2 pts at the half, Lamar and Fisher had their worst games of the playoffs, and for major stretches of the game, Duncan and Parker manhandled us. To be down 20pts with 18min. left in the game and still win was amazing.

    *I know that SpurredOn mentioned this, and we would like to say that Spurs fans in general are making excuses, but Ginobili is not the same guy right now. He is out there on guts alone, his quick first step gone, his explosion at the rim gone. Manu is a guy that can change a game. Duncan may be their catalyst, but Manu is their game changer. I liken him to what Kobe was to us when we still had Shaq…that guy that even though you account for him, his abilities to change a game are so strong that you really can’t gameplan for the dynamic that he brings. I think without him performing at least to his averages, the Spurs are gonna have a tough time. (and if you read KD over at BDL, you’ll get more on Manu against the Lakers this year. Great stuff: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Behind-the-box-score-where-Kobe-took-his-sweet-?urn=nba,83868)

    *I’m really looking forward to game 2. I’m definitely not in the Reggie Miller camp of *the Spurs may fold* because this was such a tough loss. But, I do want to see how they respond to the type of loss this was. They had this game in the bag and then Kobe turned the entire thing around. To have the lead that they did, with the time that remained in the game, and then ultimately lose has to be deflating. I want to see what type of confidence they play with (I’m sure high, but I want to see it anyway) and I want to see what type of confidence we play with (I’m sure high, but I want to make sure we don’t get complacent). I’m so happy this series is every other day.

  192. I don’t buy the “tired” argument, other than perhaps as part of the “old” argument. Or if there is validity to it, then this will be an easy series for the Lakers, because the frequency of games is going to be the same for the Spurs as what they have been experiencing. (Every other day.)

  193. off subject but… anybody heading over to “home court advantage” on sunday?

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/08hca.html

  194. A little report from our friend Roland Lazenby.

    http://lakernoise.com/

  195. *What a crazy game. In the first 2 and a half quarters, Kobe was making the right basketball play, like he has all season, only we were not as sharp and it wasn’t as efficient. Some passes were too low, or open jumpers were missed, or we missed chippys at the rim. In the Utah series, Phil had mentioned that Kobe was playing a *measured* game, and I think that continued that into this game, but it was a little too much out of balance with his agressive nature…but when it looked the worst, Kobe emerged from the weeds with his dagger in his mouth. No wonder he calls himself mamba.

    *I mentioned this on TrueHoop, but I can’t believe we won. Kobe had 2 pts at the half, Lamar and Fisher had their worst games of the playoffs (in terms of production), and for major stretches of the game, Duncan and Parker manhandled us. To be down 20pts with 18min. left in the game and still win was amazing.

    *I know that SpurredOn mentioned this, and we would like to say that Spurs fans in general are making excuses, but Ginobili is not the same guy right now. He is out there on guts alone, his quick first step gone, his explosion at the rim gone. Manu is a guy that can change a game. Duncan may be their catalyst, but Manu is their game changer. I liken him to what Kobe was to us when we still had Shaq…that guy that even though you account for him, his abilities to change a game are so strong that you really can’t gameplan for the dynamic that he brings. I think without him performing at least to his averages, the Spurs are gonna have a tough time. (and if you read KD over at BDL, you’ll get more on Manu against the Lakers this year. Great stuff: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Behind-the-box-score-where-Kobe-took-his-sweet-?urn=nba,83868)

    *I’m really looking forward to game 2. I’m definitely not in the Reggie Miller camp of *the Spurs may fold* because this was such a tough loss. But, I do want to see how they respond to the type of loss this was. They had this game in the bag and then Kobe turned the entire thing around. To have the lead that they did, with the time that remained in the game, and then ultimately lose has to be deflating. I want to see what type of confidence they play with (I’m sure high, but I want to see it anyway) and I want to see what type of confidence we play with (I’m sure high, but I want to make sure we don’t get complacent). I’m so happy this series is every other day.

  196. Great game!

  197. TimmyDtherealMVP May 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

    We are young at heart and yes we were tired thats why we lost

  198. Does anyone think Ariza will get some burn during this series? Luke hasn’t been productive since the Denver series….so, maybe PJ will insert him in the lineup for defensive purposes. What does everyone think?

  199. I’m not feeling too sorry for Manu because he’s limited. When I think back to the 83 finals and no Worthy, or 89 and no Magic or Scott, or 91 with a hobbled Worthy, I don’t feel much sympathy for teams with injured players. At least he’s able to play.

  200. Darius, tried to respond to your email, but it bounced back. Quite a firewall you have over there.

  201. Ariza may very well get some playing time against the Spurs, most likely defending Ginobli. Ariza isn’t a scoring threat aside from his monstrous dunks, and he isn’t likely to get many (if any) dunks against Spurs’ tough interior defense, so his offensive contribution might be subpar compared to Walton or Radmanovic.

    In the first half, I think Phil Jackson wanted to put the rumor of Gasol’s ability to single-handedly defend Duncan to the test. Obiously, it failed. After halftime, our double-teams against Duncan were played the same way against Boozer in the Jazz series. Rather than completely leave another player, Laker defenders applied intermittent double-teams and usually clogged Duncan as another Spurs player cut across. I think Popovich figured it out, that’s why Duncan was played in absolute isolation plays, where the other four Spurs players literally stood and watched TD “go to work.”

  202. No worries Kurt. Work for a place that is not playing around, apparently. Thanks for the heads up though.

  203. Ariza was just getting comfortable with the team when he got hurt; he’ss been out for several months now. It would take awhile to get back in synch with the team. I will be surprised if he sees much time at all durign the playoffs.

  204. Game one thoughts post finally up

  205. Darius, shoot me an email from another address at some point. I had a question or two for you.

  206. SuperSpurs will not let that loss affect them too much. Now if WE had loss that game after coming back…