Lakers/Spurs Game 2 Chat

Kurt —  May 23, 2008

We can only hope that game two is as entertaining as game one. Notice I didn’t say as close, I said entertaining.

I’ve said before one of the things that excites me most about this series is the chess match between two all-time great coaches. Except that we may not get a lot of adjustments tonight, at least from the Spurs. I quote commenter SpurredOn, who has joined us this series:

From a Spurs perspective, I follow my team closely and Pop isn’t likely to make any for game two. He’ll tell his squad to do the same as game one, just execute better on offense. The shots were there so take them. Holding LA to 89 points at Staples is excellent, and even if LA shoots a bit better and gets up to the mid 90s, that’s a Spurs type road game. He likely wants TD to be more aggressive with his open shots and Parker to handle the ball more vs. Fisher. If he has any tricks up his sleeve, it’s likely he won’t show it until the series returns to SA, regardless of whether the Spurs win game two or not.

As for the Lakers, I didn’t love the Kobe/Gasol pick and roll, the Spurs defended that well. Darius wants the Lakers to stick with a key play that did work from the second half, but with a twist.

One of the plays we used to come back in the second half was the elbow pick play where Kobe comes off a Gasol screen, curls to the lane to receive the pass, and after the catch probes the defense either looking for his own shot or dumping it off to Gasol. This play worked over and over as Kobe was able to attack a helping Duncan off the screen and leave a trailing Bowen to either try and recover to Kobe or falling back and trying to body Gasol on his roll to the bucket. Running this screen action was a good adjustment by the staff because when we ran the high P&R the Spurs stifled us. So, I expect the Spurs to find ways to answer this elbow screen action by sagging in a defender from the wing to show Kobe another defender before Duncan or by using the opposing big to collapse on Gasol to have Duncan and Bowen sandwich Kobe; basically having 3 defenders playing our two offensive guys (Kobe and Gasol). If the Spurs do this, I expect Phil to have Odom and a shooter on the open side of the triangle (the side Kobe is curling to). Then I expect Phil to have Odom cut/flash off the sagging defender and the wing shooter to slide up the sideline in order to create a passing angle for an open 3. Basically this will have Kobe with the options of shooting, lobbing to Gasol, passing to a cutting Odom, or hitting the sideline man for an open 3. I just drew this up on a sheet of paper and it looks solid. This is a play, that even though we used it in game 1, we should make the Spurs stop it and if they can, then make subtle adjustments off of it and keep making the Spurs work in this set.

Personally, what I want to see from Gasol is more intensity from the opening tip — more Deer Hunter Face. As for Kobe, I’m comfortable that he knows what he’s doing, even if Tex Winter hasn’t completely figured him out.

The pace of the last game was good, 91 possessions, which is a little faster than the Spurs like (it actually splits the difference between the Lakers and Spurs season averages). While the Lakers didn’t get many classic fast-break points, they did get some plays where pushing the ball forced the Spurs to just pick up the guy near them and mismatches were created. The Lakers second unit in particular had success with this and I hope we can see more of it.

One of the reasons that group had success was the pairing Farmar and Sasha at the guards with Kobe at the three caused the Spurs problems. Those three together were +9 in the third quarter. I hope we see more of that combo.

The Laker defense, which was pretty lax in the first half, tightened up those last 18 minutes of the game. The Lakers’ rotations got faster and they started beating the Spurs to where they wanted to be. LA needs to start doing that earlier. It also helped that the Spurs shooters just went cold, it would be nice if they would do that again.

For an opposing viewpoint, check out Pounding the Rock and Spurs Dynasty. Of course you should read David Thorpe at ESPN.com. If you haven’t read Henry at True Hoop’s post about the troops in Iraq playing hoops, you must. And as other stuff comes up throughout the day I’ll probably add links in bullet points below

Enjoy this game, it should be entertaining.

• This comic at BDL made me laugh.

Kurt

Posts

133 responses to Lakers/Spurs Game 2 Chat

  1. Hey Kurt…Deer Hunter link didn’t work. You forgot the l in html:

    http://thesportshernia.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/pau-gasol-still.html

  2. I agree with Kurt’s echo of SpurredOn’s comments. I dont see either team making any real adjustments. I dont think either team was really displeased with how they played during the strecthes when their heads (or legs for the Spurs) were in it. Both teams had oppurtunities, both teams missed on some of those at points and capatilized on some at points. I feel that todays game will have a little more of an edge to it. As always, it comes down to execution. Both teams are good at executiing…….reading and reacting to what the other team presents. It’s not like you can really go to one type of play, or set up and keep doing it…..every play is different and the Lakers must look for every oppurtunity they get where there is any sort of mismatch. I hope Lamar’s head is in the game more today than in game1…..he is key to the Lakers getting mismatches in their favor on both ends. I heard allot about Lamar being the “x factor” before game 1…..i’m counting on him to be that going forward. As stated above, Pau also needs to come out with a little more intensity. I dont see DFish having the kind of shooting game he had in game 1, but then again i dont see Ginobili having that kind of shooting game again either.

    Should be great fun tonight.

    Prediction:
    Lakers 101
    Spurs 96

    Hope to see Ariza at least suit up tonight!!

  3. 1. Thanks, it’s fixed.

  4. I tend to look at series from a historical perspective. I’d say 90% of series have an ebb and flow that reflects past series, though not always obvious until it’s almost over, or at least until the third game. Exceptions would be SA beating NO; they had never in franchise history come back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits and game seven road wins are not the norm for any team.

    For tonight, I see one of two outcomes. A Laker win by double digits, feeling little pressure and much confidence due to the game one victory. They can treat tonight as a one game series (the way I always do when my team is up 1-0 and has h/c). A 2-0 lead gives you room for error and puts all the pressure on your opponent for the next two games. It certainly makes playing the games in SA from feeling like you’re dancing in a viper pit. The other is a bounce back by the defending champs who’ve spent two days hearing about how great a defender Sasha is; how Kobe is the sole reason they lost; and questions of whether they can bouce back from such devistation. Oh, and Phil being 40-0 when winning the first game.

    My two historical examples are from defending champs (for those whose memories go back this far). 2003 Lakers lost game 1 in SA by five points with the assumption they’d bounce back and take game two. Instead, a younger and confident Spurs team came out feeling less pressure and blew them out of the building. The night Bowen outscored Kobe. The Lakers bounced back with two wins but lost the series in six. Certainly a possibility here.

    Second example is the ’95 Rockets, one of the most impresive defending champs I’ve ever seen, defeating two sixty win squads (plus a 59 win Phx team) yet came close to being eliminated more than once. They lost an opening heart breaker to Utah by two points. That seemed like their best shot to win in the toughest NBA arena. They came back in game 2, shot lights out and won. I see either of these as possibilities for tonight, as both squads are capable. For those who know their history, any thoughts?…

  5. game 2, game 2…friday evening in the city of angels…

    the spurs are going to be better tonight and manu/brucie/&/crew are going to make some shots…(tp too obviously)…

    BUT, kobe’s going to erupt akin to game 2 against the nuglets…with all do respect to “SpurredOn,” pop-a-top-o-vic is going to make some serious adjustments…I think he’s going to save brucie’s defensive energy for the 4th…kobe’s just too lights out at that stage to give him anything but the most acute of treatments…(look for brucie to guard lamar, pester fish and help a little off of vlade/luke {skywalker} in the 1st three quarters)…

    that means lots of manu & ime-udoka-oompa-loompa on kobe early…which means we’ll get a taste of the mamba…which gives me heart palpitations…50? 60? 70?…he’s going to be legendary tonight…

    #24 is going to take some shots early…99% of viewers will be saying, “kobe…no!!!…don’t take that shot!!!” (like when he manned up to kenyon early in game 2…backed him in from the left elbow…took his time…spun left…jumped high…2 points!!!…i zoomed in on hdtv and k-mart’s balls literally shrank by like 24% – … – …immediately)…but jelly bean’s kid is better than those 99% of viewers think he is…so, he’ll hit those shots tonight…AND, he’ll be on the cover of all the newspapers tomorrow…the hero…the greatest…

    friday may 23, 2008 = the day the mainstream starts wondering if kobe’s as good as mj ever was…

  6. SpurredOn- I don’t have too much insight as to what will happen tonight other than if the Lakers enter the game thinking they have a mental edge on the Spurs they will lose. But I’m always struck by the interesting symmetry of those 2003-2004 series between the Lakers and Spurs. In both years the Spurs had home court and the home teams won the first 4 games. Then the 5th games were determined by potential game winning shots: A Robert Horry 3 that rimmed out in 2003 (that caused me nightmares for a year), and the .4 shot in 2004 (which I imagine wasn’t pleasant for the other side). In each case the magnitude of the miss or make seemed to make the sixth game’s result seem pre-ordained as the other team was unable to recoup and lost the series in 6. I’ve always been struck by the parity in those 2 matchups.

    Anyways, if you’re right about this series harking back to those, I think we should all be prepared for a very nerve wracking series. Maybe we should pool our money accross the two fan bases to buy a large stock of Maalox to be awarded to the losing side.

  7. Those historical probability stats are always misleading because the teams and circumstance aren’t the same. That being said, the ’95 Rockets are a historical anomalie. they were a 6 seed as defending champ and winning on the road was a must. This seems to correlate to this series if the Spurs were to win tonight.

    The 2003 Spurs Lakers series, most notable for then Laker Robert Horry’s inability to hit a three (important or not), was a case of one team being on their way up (the Spurs having reloaded w/ TP and Stephen Jackson emerging as a force while the Admiral was in his twilight) and another, though not physically on their way down, dysfunctional, jaded, and thin.

    This is what I was thinking in game 1. The proverbial young upstarts (having reloaded with Gasol and draft picks starting to pan out) attempting to dethrone the grizzled vets whose physical powers may be waning but whose wisdom and knowledge are their strongest asset.

    I can see the (some of the younger) Lakers being hypnotized by the methodical dissection of the Spurs, as the Hornets were in game 7, but I can also see the veteran leadership of the Lakers (which the Hornets lacked) carrying the day.

  8. Once again, Live Blog for the game at http://www.LABallTalk.com

    I had lots of people viewing the conversation but not enough providing input, I hope to get some more participation this time around!

  9. 9. I think if you really know basketball you don’t call Pau Gasol soft. If Doyle were worth it, I’d go into a long defense, but 1) he’s not reading this site anyway; 2) I don’t care what he thinks. Gasol was +1 against Duncan and outplayed him down the stretch at both ends of the floor. But ya, he’s soft. Whatever.

  10. JD that story is beyond harsh, does he even watch basketball or does he just read what other writers say and not bother actually watching what Gasol does for this laker team???

    Also, from the past few years, i think spurredon is dead right about pops not doing too much adjustment but would save the more radical stuff for spurs’s home opener. Game 3 is gonna be incredibly important whether laker win game 2 or not (hope they win! I can’t see them blowing open layups two games in a row….wait…odom). GO LAKERS!

  11. Doyle seems to take it personally that people like Gasol. And I’m not sure where he gets the idea that pau misses a lot of chippie lay ups. Maybe my expectations were completely throw out by watching Kwame Brown for 2 and a half years but I’ve always thought he was pretty good damn down there. He’s missed a few the last 2 series, but that’s probably because he’s anticipating contact and shotblocking. Just kind of a weird, unnecessary article.

  12. Doyle sucks…one of those writers who only gets any attention when he offends…

  13. J.D. Hastings- You are right on. We’re only one game down and still don’t quite know how the teams will respond to feeling each other out but I can see this being a Maalox series. Spurs fans have been down this road recently (Mavs series in 2006) where three games were decided on the final shot, two in O.T. and a sixth in the final ten seconds. Could be the same kinds deal.

    We’ll know a bit more after tonight. Obviously I want my guys to win (duh) but if I were a neutral fan, I’m always interested in how inexperienced players or guys with past playoff failures play in response games. A S.A. win tonight would put Lakers not named Kobe or Fisher in that position for the first time in these playoffs. A game one victory would’ve done the same thing. Many guys in this league can shoot when wide open, play with energy at home or show boat and smile when they lead a series. Fewer guys can focus enough to fight back when trailing a series and the next game. We all know Kobe can and will. I’d be interested to see if other Lakers are ready/able to take that step. Until you see it (like my Spurs not named Duncan in 2003) you can only hope and speculate. That’s why it is so hard for an upstart to knock off a champion.

  14. For tonight I just want to see Odom take the ball to the hole hard and Fisher hit his shots.Prediction for the series is the Lakers play the Spurs a little better every game (it’s what they usually do) and win in six.

  15. 14-I think Udoka is going to have to do exactly what you say, he looked quite rattled in the 4th.

  16. SpurredOn-Also, as far as history. The Lakers remind me of no recent champion. They are a weird team. They defintley are better when they are playing defense, but they are, unlike any recent champs, built on offensive efficency. This is why the Spurs are a tough matchup, they can disrupt that efficency.

  17. Guys , I’m doing a live blog tonight. :)

    Just clink my screen name and you would get going. :)
    I need your insights. :)

  18. 17, the mid-season acquisition of Gasol reminds me of the Pistons’ timely acquisition of Rasheed Wallace during their 04 title run. If Bynum had been healthy, are starting 5 would be just as solid as that Pistons lineup.

    Fisher – Billups
    Kobe – Rip
    Bynum – Ben Wallace
    Prince – Odom
    Gasol – Rasheed Wallace

    But whereas that team had a reputation for great defense, this team has a reputation for great offense. So, I think the Lakers are kind of like a Pistons-Team-From-The-Bizarro-Universe.

  19. 18-That’s a great comparison, and with Kobe, we have the ‘as they say in america, ace in the hole’.

  20. Pau Gasol is a chameleon, so I can forgive Doyle for what he doesn’t see. He apparently is not a gourmet. When Doyle looks down at Pau, it’s sort of like the guy with the corn dog not recognizing a cordon bleu, or a burrito man not appreciating paella.

    Pau’s not really a rebounder, but he got 16 when the Lakers weren’t getting enough recently. Gasol rarely blocks shots, but he slapped away four when the Jazz tried him out. Gasol’s not a scorer, but in his first ever win as a Laker, Pau led the team in scoring when Kobe only got 4. Gasol’s not a physical put back artist, but he made a controversial rebound-putback against Okur that beat the Jazz in the playoffs.

    Gasol’s not an all-star–except he already has been named as an allstar in the NBA and was the most valuable player for Spain when they won the world championship. Gasol apparently can’t defend Duncan in an NBA championship, but he has already humiliated Duncan in international play.

    Gasol is only temporarily a center for the Lakers until Andrew recovers from an injury, but in his chameleon roles as a sub the Lakers have almost never lost–just run out of time.

  21. ariza=manu stopper

  22. kwame a. – I’m comfy with Udoka. He played solid D and shot quite well in games 5, 6 & 7. If he can hang with that pressure, he’ll be fine. My problems weren’t his misses in game one. It was on at least two occasions he caught the ball with an open three and passed it up, deferring back to TD with the shot clock winding down. Make or miss he has to take those shots as he did (and made) versus N.O. You Lakers fans have scene the same thing with guys over deferring to Kobe when the opponent is on a run. Stick with what got you the lead. Let your stars over shoot when you’re behind, as Kobe did in the second half.

    #21 chris h- There is no Manu stopper. When he’s healthy, he gets to the rim, hits his step back jumper, 3s and gets to the free-throw line. We heard the same about Raja Bell and Manu lit him up right up until he jammed his ankle. If his ankle is bad, most guards can stay with him so he’s a shooter only. When he’s healthy, too many have failed to pretend that someone is a stopper. I used to laugh when people said that crap about Ruben Patterson guarding Kobe. Please…

  23. Hey look! Don Johnson on the set tonight! Oh wait… is that Charles Barkley? Huh. No time for wardrobe? OMG look at Disco Stu behind Marv!

    Spurred On- I hated the Spurs for the entire time we had Shaq because they always scared me and they shut the Forum in 1999, but once the Lakeshow was on the outside looking in, I realized that the Spurs are the best kind of destiny. Like the 1980s Lakers, they weren’t completely unbeatable, but they were going to win if nobody else stepped up to take it from them. They’re like the computer in a video game. Basketball is better for them, and as a Lakers fan I’m glad that they have to go through the Spurs to get to the finals because it legitimizes them. This is the team by which others must judge themselves.

    Maybe there’s higher praise to offer, but I mean that as the highest form of respect. The Spurs teach other teams how to be great, and there’s no reason to dislike that as a bball fan.

  24. Oh, poor Finley look completely lost on Fishers layup

  25. I heard him call bank!

  26. I cringed seeing Lamar lead that break.

    Normally his ballhandling skills are good enough, but not against the Spurs. He has to realize he’s more effective cutting and moving without the ball. When he holds the ball and tries to go 1-on-1, bad things happen.

  27. Spurs fans were calling Lamar their MVP after Game 1. If he doesn’t realize his limitations, it’ll be the same in this came.

  28. Are the Lakers strategy banking on the Spurs going on a drought?

  29. Both of those were good calls. Kobe lost it on his own and Lamar dribbled into a quadruple team.

  30. Lamar is forcing too much, he needs to stop and let the game come to him

  31. Lamar is thinking…we all know thats not his forte…

    Let Kobe do the thinking Lamar…

  32. LA better resign Turiaf this summer.

  33. First off- Lamar has been great on the defensive glass tonight. I’ve seen hiim grab several boards away from San Antonio already.

    But then he’s dribbling straight down the lane where 4 players are waiting to colapse around him..

    So far most of the shots we;ve given up have been from outside. Do we like taking the chance of them getting hot?

  34. Does anyone else love the way Duncan stares down at the floor when he heads to the bench?

  35. My worry is that the inevitable Spurs drought just occured in the 1st quarter, and we didn’t capitalize. We could be up by 15 if 1) we had taken better care of the ball and 2) Lamar would play off-the-ball instead of with it. Oh well. End of the 1st and we’re up, can’t complain too much.

  36. I’m worried about Finley…

  37. Give the ball to Horry!

  38. SICK dunk by LO

  39. spurred on, all I’m saying, if you were around more to understand our chemistry on the team, is that we see ariza as a potential defensive specialist, kind of like cooper was against bird in those days, he also has great leaping ability ala the ol’ coopaloop, but not being a Laker fan, i wouldn’t expect you to understand that.
    I meant it more for my guys, kind of a rah rah, not meant for you to give me your “argument and pleeeze…”
    forgot you were around.

  40. Great block Farmar!

  41. Pau Gasol has not hit a face-up jumper since March. Why is he still trying them?

  42. FARMER!!!

  43. Gasol should develop a face up bank like Duncan.

  44. Gasol is off tonight.

  45. Lot of turnovers in this game so far. especially fot the Lakers. We can not afford that.

  46. The spurs posses the rare ability to make a game extremely ugly….

  47. Don’t give the ball on the post to Pau. I feel that this series is not really going to treat him well and Duncan will punish him badly at both ends of the floor.
    Rather, move the ball around and use our interior passing ability to get Pau some easy looks. And let’s run a bit in transition where Pau can beat Duncan down the floor.

    I feel the Spurs playing like crap, and Lakers playing pretty average and we’re only up by 4.

  48. 46 – Exactly what I was thinking. The Spurs haven’t been playing anywhere close to their best ball. I’ve lost count of how many opportunities we’ve had to blow this game open. Phil will definitely light into them at halftime about that.

    Off-season plan for Pau: starting with 5-pound dumbbells, develop enough strength that his defender blowing on him doesn’t cause him to miss bunnies.
    Doyle’s article was trash, but the point about his missing bunnies was somewhat true. Playoff baskeball is always physical, he needs to learn to play through it.

    I’m not really this harsh, but I use FBAG as a venting tool during games.

  49. Snoopy…..BREATHE!

    I think this is a learning process for Gasol, hopefully he will do the work necessary to able to hold his own in the post. Maybe he wouldnt need to since we are getting Bynum back

  50. 49 – I tried. Didn’t work. Turning blue. About….to pass….out….

    Was it just me or were there a few boos for Lamar when he came out? I mean I know he’s played bad, but you can’t sour on a guy that good in 1 and a half games…

  51. We have missed a lot of close ones again (Pau, LO), but nice effort right there at the end.

  52. -Ginobli might have a sore ankle, but he passed 3 teammates just to challenge that layup by Fisher. Gotta love that kind of effort even if it didn’t pay off.

    -Bowen set a very interesting screen earlier. He just shoved Kobe into Sasha and Vujacic ran past him chasing his man. Very effective.

    -One thing I’m worried about is that this was the Spurs’ bad half and they’ll be able to score at will in the second half.

    -The Marlena Shaw “California Soul” ad starts with a shot of a guy walking accross the street at the bottom of a hill in SF a block from where I work.

    -I think Tim Duncan is playing the old Moses Malone game of passing the ball to hiumself off the offensive glass.

  53. Is it me or has Barkley been a train wreck tonight? I really don’t know because I rarely get to watch games live and tend to skip some of the commentary. Is he usually this bad?

  54. This is just a guess, but I think we may see Ginobili join the starting lineup in the 2nd half.

    Already 12 3pt attempts by the Spurs. I think they avg around 18.

    Looks good for the Lakers. So far, so good.

  55. Sorry for the double posty, but this is bizarre: Trying to figure out why the Spurs are in tis game despite the FG% difference, San Antonio has 11 more FGAs despite the possession stats being more or less equal (Rebs/TOs). The difference is that San Antonio has a 9-1 TEAM rebound advantage. Is that just balls bouncing their way?

  56. Let go go go!

  57. Ariza is at least suited up. I look forward to finally see him back in action again.

  58. I hope we see Ariza tonight!

  59. I am loving this energy on the defensive end

  60. It’s total domination right now. Is Parker the next Dwayne Wade?! Fall down seven and so on so forth.

  61. Great energy on both ends. The Spurs look out of sorts.

  62. It’ll be interesting to see what Phil will do in terms of lineups. Our bench has been great but the intensity and momentum of the starters is amazing right now….should he leave the starters in?

  63. It’s official. I have a man-crush on Ronny Turiaf.

  64. They need to have the mic on Ronny EVERY SINGLE GAME. PURE AWESOME

  65. carter blanchard May 23, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Words can’t express how much I love Ronny.

  66. I don’t think Lamar has done one good thing off the dribble. I don’t think he’s done one bad thing cutting and then getting the ball.

    It’s not a difficult concept, Lamar. Get it together.

  67. I wish i loved my job like Turiaf

  68. laughing hard May 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Nice to see Gasol get into a bit of a shooting rhythm again.

  69. i wouldn’t mind seeing gasol hitting the weight room in the summer.
    he really needs to box out and stand his ground. take it to the hoop strong and dunk it instead of the little layups that he puts up.

  70. Wow. Was Sylvester Stallone doing the cabbage patch?

  71. Whats wrong with Rocky Balboa’s face?

  72. If this keeps up, we might see ARIZA!!!!! If he gets into the rotation, it will be another weapon for the Lakers.

  73. carter blanchard May 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Big smiles tonight. Big redemption night for everybody who needed it.

  74. 72 – lmao I thought it was a weak boxing jab, but I like your idea more

    I love this swarming energy on the defensive end. The main thing will be whether we can play with the same energy on the road. Great to see Farmar bounce back.

  75. We CAN play like this on the road. We held it close in Utah for two games before taking the third from them.

  76. I think this game is the Spurs’ age (and Ginobli’s ankle) in action. They do not look like themselves at all. The team better not go into Texas expecting anything like this.

  77. laughing hard May 23, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Come on Phil — Ariza, Mihm, and Mbenga, right now.

  78. It’s good to see Farmar playing really well again.

  79. 76 – Good point. The Spurs are a better team than the Jazz, but ESA is a more intimidating stadium.

    I’m glad the Hornets had the Spurs down 2-0 too. Now our guys won’t get overconfident at all.

  80. Kobe is pretty good, i keep realizing.

    Anyway, is that a 26 pt lead?

  81. I’m happy for Farmar tonight great %’s and a +15 even a block.

  82. laughing hard May 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    ARIZA!

  83. Geeze, Phil really needs to pull Kobe, I’m not sure what he’s trying to accomplish at this point. Especially since Pop’s thrown in the towel…

  84. Ariza!!

  85. Oh, my mistake, he come out during the break. Carry on!

  86. Ginobili’s bald spot is getting bigger by the quarter. If you tore the roof off Staples you could catch it on Google Earth without seeing the basket ball. Poor dude, poor aging team.

    9. Hastings. Who is this Gregg Doyle idiot? He is obviously sleeping with Craig Counsell to reference that hack MLB utility man in a conversation about the NBA Playoffs, let alone comparing him to Pau. In 97, Counsell hit 1 HR, stole 1 base, and hit under .300. Before that, he wasn’t any better (or after). So after that trade they won a World Series, so what? It’s called incidental information. Doyle thinks this makes Pau “suck” why?

    I ask all of you, formally here in writing, everyone who posts on this blog, to read this rejects ramblings (go to J.D.’s link on item 9, which is no slander on J.D., and I thank him for posting that link) and see if you can come away with any merit that I may have missed . Otherwise, this terrible and ridiculous “journalist” should be confined to posting on this blog under the name “Dan Quayle” so Kurt could delete his stupid musings and sensor the responsible public from his idiocy before we are contaminated with his “Jim Rome is Writing” hyperbolic nonsense. If he posted that here, on this blog, I would guess he was a pre-teen casual fan who hated his Laker fan parents and wanted to see a reaction out of people he could take it out on. But a national columnist for SporstLine? Come one, get a personnel manager to screen these people before you let them bark on your company name.

    God forbid the national media fall victim to the irresponsible reporting on internet blogs, right Kurt? :-)

  87. Where’s Colby! =]

  88. I questioned a few days ago how this team has no real enforcer, Kobe’s the fiercest but he’s just a guard.

    Now I realized: Mbenga is our enforcer. A 7′ 300 pound master of judo and karate–it doesn’t get any better than that.

  89. i wish every game was as stress-free as this one. For me it was awfully entertaining, still ;)

    I love the TNT yellowbook thing. A tad bit more difficult for me since i don’t get playback, but it’s nice to have 4 angles at all times.

  90. I cannot deny it, but I see CHAMPIONSHIP written in Kobe’s eyes.

  91. Sasha to Luke for the taco shot!!

  92. GREAT game. Great energy. Great movement and GREAT defense. Let’s see if they can carry this mindset over to San Antonio.

  93. 71, 50 : Offseason plan for pau : Play in the olympics
    I doubt if that will leave much time for weight room.
    Besides he’ll be 28, with 7 years in the NBA. It’s not as if you expect huge changes.

  94. laughing hard May 23, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    The Lakers outscored the Spurs 64-34 after the tie in the second quarter… I know a lot of that was garbage time, but wow!

  95. Completely off-topic, but there’s an under-the-radar guard in this year’s draft that David Thorpe really likes named Lester Hudson. I trust Thorpe, even though he trains Hudson so he might be a bit biased. All the same, Hudson is under-the-radar enough that he might go 2nd round. I really hope Kupchak can trade up into the 30-35 range and grab him.

  96. Who opened the can of whoop-ahhhhhhh……. Great game by the Lakers, especially Fish and Odom. If we keep take this momentum and aggresiveness to San Antonio, Lakers in 4 or 5 doesn’t sound so farfetched.

    I’m sure someone will mention that the Spurs will come out with a better effort in Game 3 after losing by 30, but I don’t think so.

    Why? Because people said the same thing about this game, after the Spurs lost a 20 point lead in Game 1, that they would come “take care of business.”

  97. that was a great comeback game for farmer, odom, and fish. gasol still has a little more work to do, but all in all it was a great effort by everyone. nice to see ariza too!

  98. Here’s a scouting report on Hudson for anyone who’s interested:

    http://nbadraft.net/admincp/profiles/lesterhudson.html

  99. If anyone missed the TNT postgame show, Peter Mehlman just did one of the most hilarious spoofs on the Lakers and Laker fans I have ever seen. Someone has to get that up on Youtube.

  100. Only 6 more wins to the championship!

  101. Check.

    Spurs, your move.

  102. Have anyone noticed that tonight, most of Kobe’s attempt were jumpshots, which was part of San Antonio’s strategy, but he was still 10/17 from the FG?! How does anyone stop that?

  103. FSN has a nice post game, all the interviews, watch for it next game

  104. 106- And miss the critical postgame Bill Engvall interview?

  105. 107. I will say that fake NBA cares thing was pretty funny.

  106. I liked the “8th Man of the Year Award.” By the time they brought out Engvall you get the impression that TNT just wasn’t expecting the game to go so quick.

    I think Lamar Odom and Craig Sager should start a clothes line together.

  107. Great way to bounce back from a sub-par performance for both fish and odom. and farmar, how cool is he to be such a major contributor off the bench after his blah series against denver and utah

  108. Postgame press conference… man o man, I feel sorry for the players having to answer some of those questions. Who was it who asked Kobe if he was thinking ahead to the NBA finals already? What kind of question is that, as if only needing 2 wins against the defending champs is a foregone conclusion. Those “traditional media” guys had better step up their game or their seats in the media room will be handed over to Kurt and the blogging menace.

  109. I LOVE stress free Laker games, but I wish that game lasted like 800 hours!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSS

  110. Bill Engvall …. VERY FUNNY!

  111. Way late,but the 95 Rockets team has more similarities to the current Lakers. The team was floundering and near deadline traded their defensive big for an offensively skilled player(Drexler) who had great chemistry w/their superstar(the Dream). They started to put it all together at end of season and went on to defend their title. Olajuwan dominated the other top centers in those two yrs-Robinson,Ewing and Shaq. Today’s equivalent would be Kobe destroying McGrady,Wade and Lebron and w/them defending each other.

    One thing that stood out in this game was how hard the Lakers pushed the ball. Phil must have emphasized that they can beat the Spurs down the court. One play that stands out is Sasha getting ball and dribbling upcourt just as fast as he could. Almost expected him to throw a shoe :)

  112. Everytime I read about Kobe and his nickname I can’t help but recollect this quote from the movie Kill Bill by the character Elle Driver: “In Africa, the saying goes ‘In the bush, an elephant can kill you, a leopard can kill you, and a black mamba can kill you. But only with the mamba is death sure.’ Hence its handle, ‘Death Incarnate.’” Pretty cool, huh?”

  113. kobe is da bomb. thanks.

  114. Warren Wee Lim May 24, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Jordan Farmar once more, played awesome basketball. He was once more, the “leader” of the bench mob and he sparked the team with a super jolt of energy. What do the Spurs have? Zhak Von?

    It would be interesting to see if he carries on the energy on the road. He sure did look like a dead man walking in Utah and it would add so much to his own growth if he had developed into a steady backup. This is the Jordan Farmar we knew at the start of the year.

  115. 115 – Good comparison. One important difference: our team is much younger. We hopefully have more years left in us than that Rockets team did (Olajuwon and Drexler were pretty old then).

    Your post brought back nostalgia (even if it is non-Lakers). The Dream Shake, what a series of moves. Hakeem is still the only player in NBA history to take a bunch of scrubs to the Finals and win (in 94). In my opinion, the greatest big man to ever play the game (with the possible exception of Kareem). How much fun would it have been to have a guy like Hakeem on the Lakers? As dominant as Shaq in his own right, but so humble and such a team player there would have been no rift between him and Kobe. That would have been a true dynasty.

  116. This little pinky May 24, 2008 at 12:59 am

    117 – Isn’t it past your bedtime, even if it’s not a school night?

  117. This little thumb May 24, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Nope.

  118. Boy there were a lot of stars out tonite – Jack, Stallone, Denzel, Posh & Becks, Spiderman, and last but not least – Bill Engvall. I’m so glad TNT showed all of them on camera. BILL ENGVALL!!! LOL!

  119. A couple of new offensive sets the Spurs have added to free up space for Parker and Ginobili (instead of high pick n rolls):

    1. Parker comes down court, passes the ball to another player up top. He then essentially runs a circle on one side of the court around two screens – starting from the top of the key, to the baseline, curls and runs towards the sidelines (screen 1), and curls again (screen 2) towards the top of the key. By then he has lost Fisher, and the only thing in his way is Pau or Odom, neither of whom can stay with him. He receives the ball from a perimeter player, and cuts straight to the hoop. This play worked very well in game 2

    2. Duncan/Parker side give and go – SA places 2 shooters + Oberto on one side of the court – leaving the other side for Duncan and Parker to operate. Parker dumps the ball into Duncan at the elbow area, and immediately cuts to the hoop looking for a backdoor pass. If that fails, he turns right around and comes back out, where Duncan sets a screen for Parker while feeding him the ball. If that fails, they start again. But they run this so quickly, they can do it many times, forcing Fish/Farmar to chase Parker around

    3. This is a fun one. They have Duncan/Oberto set a screen on the elbow area, but have Parker and Ginobili use it AT THE SAME TIME (one coming from the top, the other from the corner on the other side of the court). I guess this is used so that guard defenders get caught up or disoriented. This one didn’t really work that well.

    Still, with all these wrinkles, the most effective play for them was still clearing out for Duncan, then space the floor with shooters. So to win in SA, the Lakers already know what they need to do. They just have to do it even better, because the Spurs aren’t going to miss many open shots there.

  120. About the Doyle article, as a Laker fan I actually don’t think Doyle is really off on what he says, he wrote the article in a way to cause emotion but Gasol isn’t a power player, he is a finesse guy more then a power guy, i am not saying that is bad, he is really good at what he does, but he isn’t going to take hard fouls and finish with a lot of authority.

    He is the perfect role player for this team a long with Odom but like he said Gasol is about as much of a superstar as Odom is. Gasol is much better than Kwame and Gasol can play at an All-star level on a good team but he is borderline All-star, not superstar, there is a distinction.

    I wouldn’t say he is the best at his position (either C or PF) but he does what he does very well and on the right team it makes him great but with the team relying on him to do the work I think he isn’t a Superstar but I wouldn’t say many people are in this league, (Jerry West said in an interview that he believes there are no more than 5 superstars in the league and I agree).

    Like J.D. Hastings said the article is really just pointless more than anything, he has been on only one allstar team but he is a great player, as much a superstar as a player that sucks. Also he isn’t a tough player he has garnett numbers but they have different games, just like Bynum and him are very different players.

  121. Couldn’t watch the game unfortunately (so I don’t know if this was shown on the broadcast), but found this great video evidence of Ronny’S singing skills on NBA.com’S best wireless:

    http://broadband.nba.com/cc/playa.php?content=video&url=http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/nba/nbacom/originals/bestofwireless_friday_080523.asx&video=blank&nbasite=nba

  122. Well I don’t know about all of you but one of the “opposing websites” is like far out in left field to me. I had uncontrolable laughter with some of the comments left by Laker fans

  123. Pop is learning first hand what Sloan could have told him–and he probably feared as much: you can’t stop them all, so you need more than defense. In game 2, they held Kobe in check without fouling. They held Gasol to 10 points and only 7 rebounds-and Sasha to 1-5 from the 3–and 7 points.

    But Lamar got 20 and Jordan got 14–Fisher got 11 to get the ball rolling–that’s 45 when they might have expected 20.

    On offense, none of the Spurs big 3 had a big scoring game: 13 (Parker), 12 (Duncan), and 7 (Genobili)= 32 where they might have expected 60.

    So they lost by 30 (sigh). Pop feels sick enough to throw up and have diarheea at the same time–losing at both ends.

    What will make him feel better? Pop wouldn’t be Pop if he didn’t believe he could knock at least 10 points from the Lakers game 2 score–starting with Lamar, and continuing with Derek/Jordan. But that leads to a need for an extra 20. More than half of that could come from a higher 3 point percentage (from 6-23 to 10-23)–that goes with “home cooking.” Ten more could come from Timmy, who may be carrying his immitation of Shaq a bit too far (even Shaq doesn’t miss all of his free throws). Separation comes from the Frenchman–who gets better balance from his inside and outside shots.

    Manu may get some rest in game 3.

    Then, there is the tactic of disqualifying certain Laker players through fouls, suspensions, loose elbows, or inadvertant shoves–Phoenix could tell you stories . . . .

    Sasha recovered from two mysterious blows in Staples without even sitting down, but can he survive in the Alamodome?

  124. Just put the Peter Mehlman (never heard of him before tonight) thing on YouTube — funny, because I did it before I read your comment, Snoopy2006.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23avVB3zGGI

  125. 118) Snoopy,
    “Hakeem is still the only player in NBA history to take a bunch of scrubs to the Finals and win (in 94). ”

    Rick Barry with the ’75 Warriors.

  126. rick barry had a sensational rookie (i believe it was his rookie year) in keith, later changed to jamal, “the silk” wilkes…..he was huge for that team…..

  127. namo,
    Wilkes was good, but he wasn’t sensational, and he wasn’t at the level he would be with the Lakers. They also had Phil Smith as a solid sixth man. But Barry was the only All-Star level player.

  128. 123,
    Re your wrinkle #3. Saw Adelman use the same play against Utah this yr. Resulted in some good looks,but few points.
    Another more successful tactic I’ve seen used more frequently by coaches this yr is stationing good passing SG/SF on wing and having 2 players cut past pick on opposite elbow. Quite often second cutter is left wide open diving to hoop. Few times help defender abandons first cutter to pick up second,leaving first a nice open baseline shot.