Another Nomuskles live blog.
Kobe receives his MVP award in front of the Staples Center crowd. The TNT crew says that watching a person receive an MVP award fires up the opposing team. Let’s hope that doesn’t hold true tonight. Nomuskles-girl is currently taking an Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry exam so we’re gonna do the deed with an infamous Live Blog.
Starting five for both teams is as expected. Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Radman and Fisher for the Lakers. Memo, AK47, Brewer, Boozer and D-Will for the Jazz.
11:52 – Fisher gets it started well with a quick two. Nothing but net.
11:26 – First defensive stand goes very well for the Lakers. They force a 24 second violation. And whoops. Lakers inbound to no one and it goes out of bounds. Utah reboots. Kirilinko nails a jumper from the left wing over the Space Cadet.
10:56 – The Space Cadet returns the favor from the top of the circle. Lakers up 4-2.
10:38 – Utah is being more deliberate than a contestant on Deal or No Deal. AK47 gets a nifty Arvydas Sabonis up and under to go. Tied at four.
9:46 – LO gets aggressive on a broken play. He makes a great spin move to take it around Boozer. 2 points.
8:52 – Lamar abuses Memo’s defense. A little shake and bake along the baseline earns LO a layup.
8:10 – Good defensive sequence here, which leads to a Kobe leakout. But Kobe can’t convert. Kirilinko’s length bothers the layup. AK47 gets the jumper at the other end. An efficient and quick start to this game offensively for both teams. This is the anti-Boston/Cavaliers game. Did anyone else see that? The YMCA all-stars could’ve beaten either of those teams in HORSE last night. Disjointed doesn’t even begin to describe that affair.
6:55 – Bad call. The ball was off Memo’s lazy leg but the refs give it back. Williams gets a wide open shot off the inbounds play but can’t convert.
6:40 – LO gets the ball inside and earns two free throws. This is a good point to pause and let everyone know that king sized duvet covers are grossly overpriced in my opinion. Macy’s is $300 richer today for what is essentially an oversized pillow case. Happy Mother’s Day! LO7 converts both of his free throws (GASP!). Lakers up 15 – 13.
6:11 – Great transition bucket for the Lakers. Could’ve been a dangerous outlet pass (for the Lakers) against other teams, but as we said, the Jazz transition D is lackluster. D-Will, Memo and AK47 trot back, rather than sprint back.
5:09 – Lakers use their Lucky Charms free prize to decode the zone defense. This earns LO a lefty layup over two Jazz defenders. Assist to P-Gas.
4:14 – Since it’s the 60th Anniversary, I wish the Lakers would honor more of their heritage and great history. The legends should be invited back to every playoff game.
3:38 – It’s Jack Black and Kyle Gass in purple and gold. The Lakers are playing Tenacious D out there! How about the power to kill a yak? From three hundred yards away…with MIND BULLETS? Kobe gets the steal from Mehmet and he’s fouled before he can get away. Jerry Sloan earns himself a fine by getting a technical.
2:52 – Lakers are up 25-15 as the Spaniard goes to the line for two shots. He misses both.
2:18 – Derek Fisher enjoys the passive non-pressure of the zone defense. He nails a left corner three.
2:05 – Son of Bill harasses Harpring into committing an offensive foul.
1:43 – Dfish is feelin it in his soul. He hits another left corner three. This time over a defender and about as high as he could get it without needing FAA clearance.
1:02 – Turiaf blocks the crap out of a D-Will lay-up attempt and when D-Will gets it back, he steps on the sideline. Turnover.
0:46 – Turiaf rewards Luke Walton’s unselfishness (or unathleticism) by nailing a jumper. Luke says “thanks for bailing me out of that one. I didn’t really want to go one on one with Harpring.”
0:00 – The quarter ends with the Lakers up 33-18. Eight to nothing run to finish the period. Well done good guys! Don’t rest on your laurels. Jerry Sloan will not tolerate laziness and he’ll get these Jazzers to make a comeback.
The Bill Engvall show looks about as funny as heartburn on the freeway. Jerry Sloan complains about the refs calling fouls when Utah puts their hands on the Lakers. Isn’t that the definition of a foul?
11:04 – Dan Crawford doesn’t care to watch the game. He decides to call a foul on Luke Walton for holding onto the ball at the same time as Mehmet.
10:50 – Wow. Luke just stuffs a Harpring post-up turnaround. Millsap picks up the ball and jams his way into the paint drawing the foul, and one. He makes the three point play.
10:30 – Korver isn’t paying enough attention. Price slipped trying to guard Farmar and Kover refused to rotate till it was too late. Farmar makes them pay.
9:55 – Lakers give up too easy a bucket off an inbounds play. 35-23 Lakers up.
9:36 – I’m not a big Korver fan, but leaving him wide open in the left corner in transition seems like an idea the US patent office wouldn’t recognize as having any use. Sasha drifted towards the middle to stop the ball and Farmar drifted towards the opposite side trailing behind DWill. Everyone else clogged the middle and left Korver to rule his own little fiefdom. We’ll call that area Korver’s Korner from now on. Speaking of Korver, am I wrong to read into it that Korver is just traded to the Jazz this year and he’s suddenly the most popular player on the team and he’s white? He freaking comes off the bench and plays crappy D and sometimes makes three pointers. D-Will and Boozer should be the fan favorites since they, you know, dominate. Am I supposed to believe that Korver just has this magnetic personality that everyone in Utah loves? Umm right.
7:55 – Price “took it like a man” as Jordan Farmar drove hard to the basket trying to draw the charge. Trade Farmar for Shaq and I wonder if Price makes the same decision. Farmar makes two free throws.
Millsap is a force tonight. He’s active on the offensive end. He shows a nice spin move inside and gets fouled as he makes the layup. Misses the freebie though.
6:37 – LO7 definitely bring more energy tonight. He’s showing activity on defense and offense. I’m not sure what happened in game one, but he’s back in regular form tonight. Errr…that is not to say he is like a transformer and previously he was in the shape of an 18-wheeler.
6:20 – Pau drops the sledgehammer. Hahaha. It was not exactly sledgehammer esque but it’ll do. Two points.
5:46 – Millsap gets another layup with a foul (I disagree with the call, but who am i?) The Lakers need to get him in foul trouble pronto fast. After the free throw, 45-35 Lakers up.
5:28 – Pau is doing a great job in the post tonight. Okur is putting up much less of a fight and Gasol is getting his.
5:06 – The Space Cadet tries to ride Mehmet like a Koala mother (face to face) as he falls for the pump fake. The big man makes two free throws.
4:34 – Mehmet makes a great first step attacking move around Gasol who had no idea Okur had that much speed in him. Layup. Someone brainwashed Okur into thinking he was freaking speed racer.
3:12 – Fisher fakes the pass around the perimeter and just fakes the defenders out of their shoes. He gets the 21 foot jumper to go. No one in the vicinity.
2:41 – D-Will gets a three to go with 2 seconds left on the 24-second clock. The Lakers played great defense but Korver made a great cross court pass to give him an open look. DWill’s first bucket comes at a great time for the Jazz. Coming back from timeout, TNT tells us Boozer and Williams are doing poorly on offense. D-WIll has 3 points, Boozer has 0.
2:16 – Korver does a great job sealing off the Machine and gets an easy dunk.
1:33 – A fast sequence of back and forth finished off by a Kirilenko layup over Odom in transition.
1:02 – Korver gets another over the top lob. Jazz coaches figured that Sasha’s haranguing defense could be neutralized by posting him up in the block. This is a great way to utilize Korver’s height advantage. We’ll see if he can continue to capitalize on these opportunities when that is not usually what he called upon to do.
0:22 – Pau gets a good dump off feed off a DFish drive. Gasol tries to go up with it and Collins, who’s in there because the NBA grants players 6 fouls before ineligibility, fouls him pretty hard. Gasol starts swimming through the air. I’m not sure what he was trying to do there.
0:00 – poor pass by D-Will to AK47. A better pass and AK47 gets a momentum building alley-oop dunk for the Jazz. Instead, it goes the other way and DFish gets off a decent shot at the buzzer. It’s no good. Dfish has that wily smile on his face during the interview going into halftime. He knows he’s got DWill’s number. 63-49 Lakers are sitting pretty for the second half.
Charles is disappointed in the Jazz for not looking like they can beat the Lakers. EJ says “they look slow.” That was pretty matter of fact. I had to laugh. Kenny says the Jazz are settling for good looks, but not trying to punish the Lakers getting great looks. As a sidenote, I am happy for the Magic. They came out hungry and made it a series.
What kind of party is it? A block party.
Who’s invited? Everybody.
That cracks me up every time. I don’t know if I could ever get tired of it. Especially when it’s being said about D12, D.Ho, Superman, Dwight Howard.
This Public Service Announcement brought to you by nomuskles: If you haven’t seen Iron Man, go see it. Now. Don’t wait till the weekend. Go see it now. Seriously it was that great. Robert Downey, Jr. is absolutely fantastic.
10:50 – The quarter starts off with a lot of clunky shots. The long halftime hurts the rhythm. Deron Williams gets tagged in the nether regions as AK47 tips in his miss. He limps around the court while he tries his ovaries out.
9:42 – Jazz playing much better to start the half. Making their open jumpers and finding the open man. Here though, Lamar gets to the hoop and gets the foul and bucket. He misses the free throw though. Lakers up 67-57.
9:13 – Kobe found LO7 cherry picking after the airball/tipped shot. Lamar leaked out after challenging the shot and boozer wasn’t able to catch up. Great look up the floor by the Kobester.
8:40 – Kevin Harlan asks Doug Collins how he would guard Kobe Bryant “I would get three hard fouls and sit down.” While he’s blathering on Deron Williams makes a great move to get into the paint. Layup.
7:53 – Brewer benefits from a great feed by D-Will in transition. Single digit lead by Lakers. Lamar makes the quick layup at the other end.
7:25 – D-Will finds his way into the lane again and makes the layup. This is the Williams we’ve been expecting to see. The scary one.
7:07 – Pau says he might not be en elite defender but he’s not dead either. He roofs Brewer’s attempt out of bounds.
6:51 – Kobe drives HARD to the hole and AK47 and Mehmet are forced to foul. Mehmet is charged with the violation while helping his overmatched teammate. I don’t know if I buy this whole “look like they believe they can beat them” thing. This is not a bunch of players with their tails between their legs. But maybe I’m misreading this. Lakers force another turnover on a 24 second clock violation.
6:10 – the space cadet steps out of bounds and then walks back which allows kirilenko to get an easy layup. Pft. Luke gets up off the bench. He’ll come in at the next dead ball.
5:21 – Lakers up 14. 66-80. Timeout.
4:39 – The Lakers go into the Cleveland Cavaliers offense with Kobe playing Lebron. Kobe takes the Jazz on and makes a great bank shot. Degree of difficulty = ten of ten.
3:30 – Luke tries to give AK47 his Upper Respiratory Infection, because that’s the only he’s going to be able to keep up with the speed of Kirilenko. Tag you’re it. Foul on Luke.
3:12 – Kobe is triple teamed and emerges like a salmon from the flowing stream. I’m not sure how he made that one against three Jazz defenders. It was like he had an amnesia inducing charm as they forgot that he was in a position to shoot the ball. He made the defenders look lead footed and they were definitely not. He was just lightning quick.
2:35 – A bunch of Mormons just stood up and shouted “Yes, Please.” Because Deron Williams just threw down a dunk in semi-transition that will undoubtedly make tonight’s highlights. He pulled a Lamar right in Lamar’s grill. Nasty.
2:15 – Boozer picks up his fourth foul. 76-86 Lakers up but they need to be careful here. TV Timeout. Coming back, there’s a great anecdote shared by David Aldridge that Brian Shaw shared with him. Apparently there was a stretch where Phil did not yell at Kobe when they were teammates and Phil’s explanation was that Kobe was always in attack mode and Phil could not take that away from him. Interesting thought process there.
0:56 – Tricky moments here. Lakers are not slamming the door shut on this Jazz team. Jazz pull within 8. However, they do get a good stop on Williams penetration and DFish draws a sucky foul on Mehmet. If I were a Jazz fan I’d be a little bit annoyed with that call. It was all Fisher’s fault. Fisher makes the free throws. Williams turns the ball over quickly in the backcourt but the Lakers give it right back. 90-80.
0:16 – Great rebound by Lamar! Way to fight for it like he was Arnold in the Last Action Hero. This earns Fisher a three in the right corner.
0:01 – D-Will nails a three over Farmar despite the great heads-up play of Fisher to give the foul and get the Lakers defense set. 93-83 Lakers hanging onto the lead.
11:15 – Vujacic nails a long two after Deron got his shot blocked/fouled on the other end (no call).
10:55 – D-Will drives baseline and draws the foul on Ronny. He’s got the right idea if you’re a Jazz fan (probably not if you’re reading this). He’s taking it to the bucket and being aggressive, putting pressure on the Lakers.
10:31 – Millsap gets himself a good layup inside. 87-95. Staples is a little quiet.
10:11 – Luke hits a big shot. Making the three from the right wing. Our bench has been big for us all year. Let’s watch as that experience during the year pays off here.
8:45 – Ronny makes a terrific pass but it was one pass too many. He threaded the needle but Pau wasn’t expecting it and he rushed the layup. In hindsight, Ronny should’ve shot the 18 footer because he was wide open. We’ll live with the unselfishness.
7:49 – 98-89 Lakers are still up after a Millsap second chance put back. Luke doesn’t get off a good shot and the Lakers are guilty of taking longer than 24 seconds to contact the rim. Timeout. I expect we’ll see the MVP back on the floor when we return. Utah may not win this game, but they are going to be tough at home. They’ll get a boost from the home crowd and the familiar surroundings. Just look at the Magic.
7:42 – Lakers decide they want to make it a little more interesting and spot the Jazz another point with a defensive three second violation.
7:31 – Millsap gets an offensive rebound and Harpring makes the Lakers pay. 98-92.
6:15 – Lakers dodge a bullet. Lamar turns the ball over. Jazz run the break but somehow miss the layup and the refs don’t call a foul even though there was some contact. Mamba comes back the other way and earns two free throws. He makes both. 92-99.
6:00 – Lamar gets called for a foul and screams like his best friend just died. It was more like a wail. Luckily, it’s just a foul. Boozer will shoot some free throws after the television prescribed timeout. He makes both. 94-99 Lakers.
5:39 – the jazz focus so much energy on stopping the Kobester that he is able to find the Machine on the right side for an open jumper. 101-94.
5:11 – Lamar does a great job defending the Williams/Boozer pick and roll. He came off his man to stop Boozer’s roll the bucket. Lamar blocked both of Boozer’s attempts.
5:02 – This is no time for lazy passes Mr. MVP.
4:55 – Fisher is money in the bank, shorty what’s your drank? He nails the three from straight on. 104-94. This was created by LO’s penetration off a Gasol feed from the pinch post.
4:26 – The Lakers create a turnover and Gasol earns himself two free throws. Pau makes one. The other one is missed but wouldn’t have counted anyway due to a lane violation. 105-94.
4:05 – Boozer makes two free throws. 105-96.
3:51 – Kobe found himself with a relatively easy shot because Lamar has vision. 107-96.
3:28 – Mehmet gives a great fake to make LO go flying by into the Lakers Girls but can’t convert.
3:01 – Pau almost plays great D on Kirilenko who draws the foul. He’ll shoot one. 107-99.
2:40 – Something out of nothing. The MVP is more than a magic man. He resides in the pantheon of Olympus. Sasha passes up the three after Korver chases him off the line. He has no options because he’s picked up his dribble except you-know-who springs free. Mamba probes for a couple dribbles and gets the double team leaning just a little bit and in that moment when the outlook is grim, the trap is about to spring and the shot clock winds down he wills his body through a chink in the double-team with a spin move that can only come from heaven’s kingdom. Zephyr creates a space where none previously existed for He is the chosen one. This gives Kobe a path to the lane but no path to the basket as Utah has a couple defenders to guard the Holy Grail. Kobe goes up to shoot but at the last possible moment he spots Pau with just a minute halo of space in the depths of the enemy stronghold. The MVP casts his magic spell of genesis. He creates, in front of you, me and a global audience, something as startling as Adam’s first breath. With a flick of the wrist the ball heeds Bryant’s indomitable will. It flies around Okur, to Gasol, who receives it and dunks it in one swift motion in a way few others could manage. It is in this moment we have all witnessed a virtuoso performance by one of the game’s all time greats. It is in this moment that the Lakers will find hope and the Jazz will only find despair. No matter how well the Jazz play the rest of the game, their fate will have already been determined by the one they simply call Him. Indeed, we are all witness. 109-99.
0:00 – Final score is 120-110, your Los Angeles Lakers.