Lakers vs. Suns 2/26/2009 Live Blog powered by nomuskles

nomuskles —  February 27, 2009

Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns in Los Angeles

1st Quarter
Houston just handcuffed the LeBronsters and we’re going to get started any minute here! We’ve got Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins calling the action tonight. Man I can’t wait! I had this date circled from the very beginning looking forward to seeing Raja Bell get booed heavily, Boris Diaw get his triple double, Steve Nash dribble circles around everybody like Cousy, Barbosa prove he’s the fastest man on the court, Amare finish at the rim like the beast he is, and watch Marion pick up all the garbage and get his 20 and 10. What do you mean this isn’t 2006?

The starting lineup for the suns tonight is full people who were known for playing elsewhere. Leandro is the only holdover and he’ll be starting at guard. Wisconsin’s Big Ten Player of the Year Alando Tucker is the other guard. Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal will jump the tip off. Former Duke Blue Devil and Detroit Piston Grant Hill starts at small forward. And Golden State’s Jason Richardson starts at the other small forward. It’s just like the Wishbone formation ladies and gents! So crazy it just might work. I’d say this lineup bears watching, if only because it’s going to get more absurd as the subs you’ve never heard of check into the game.

Lakers will start the same five they’ve been starting for a while. The one that, you know, wins games.

Thank goodness no one has played up the Kobe vs. Shaq angle for this game. Doug Collins doesn’t even mention it before tip-off.

I gotta say, I like that the Lakers are wearing warmup jackets as of late, as opposed to shooting shirts. There are three teams who should ALWAYS be wearing shooting jackets. Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Detroit Pistons. Everyone else is welcome to ditch them or keep them as they please.

11:20 – Kobe’s favoring his post-up moves and jumpers lately. He combines them both and goes to the turnaround jumper in the low post. Wet.

10:49 – PHX 0, LAL 2 – Déjà vu. Same play except Tucker gets caught up in the air and Kobe earns a trip to the line where he deposits one of two free throws. Something that I don’t really get, if the Suns want to go back to SSOL after just 4 months, why in the world did they release the coach that perfected it?

9:41 – 2, 7 – Shaq establishes himself underneath the basket and Gasol proves helpless to uproot a 5000-pound body and Shaq slams the ball home.

8:30 – 7, 11 – Barbosa waltzes his way to a free layup after intercepting a kobe pass.

8:02 – 9, 11 – A little razzle dazzle with some man sauce on top! Barbosa runs the break and drops a beautiful behind the back dime to Richardson who absolutely crushes the ball through the hoop denting the floor. The towel guys can be seen trying to spackle the floor after that one. The game is all tied up. Staples Center is buzzinggggggggg. Stevie Nash enjoyed that one.

7:03 – 14, 13 – Kobe and Pau both watch Richardson dribble hard to the baseline and give up an uncontested reverse layup. Perhaps ‘help right’ sounds a lot like ‘help left’ when Pau puts his Spanish accent on it.

6:05 – 18, 17 – Kobe watches Tucker go baseline and again gets no help. Same result as before. Dear Kobe, feel free to provide a slight bit of resistance when they go to the bucket.  I understand that expending too much energy doesn’t look cool but you’ve taken that idea a little too far. Your friend, nomuskles.  “Wow, these are a lot damper than I expected.”

5:10 – 20, 20 – Mismatch. Somehow the extra tall Fisher ended up guarding the diminutive
Richardson. This led to a foul when the double team came.

4:42 – 20, 20 – With ZBo’s punching bag checking in (Ahmandson), the Suns are going small and Lamar makes them pay. Pau finds him underneath the basket with a great seal on Richardson and he dunks it home.

4:08 – 20, 22 – The Suns use the TFSOL (Twenty-Four seconds or less) technique and come up dry.

3:33 – 20, 24 – Kobe’s really been developing that fadeway lately. The only thing I don’t think is good is he doesn’t square up his shoulders to take it. But hey, you can’t argue too heavily with results. The ball drops through like it was destined for such a fate from the time it was still a cow.

2:35 – 20, 28 – Lakers don’t seem too interested in this one as they allow the Suns to tap the ball around the basket multiple times before JRich puts it in. A bunch of yellow jerseys take notes on their moleskin notepads. I believe I spot the words, “I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER?” on Odom’s.

2:07 – 22, 30 – Lakers get a steal in the backcourt and Kobe finishes with a beautiful finger roll up and under. He’s been the Lakers main threat so far.

1:44 – 22, 32 – An audible “whoa” escapes my lips as Matt Barnes throws up an aesthetically offensive shot that grazes the rim and catches Shaq’s hands by surprise. Shaq travels his way to a turnover underneath the bucket. In his excitement he forgot that a pivot foot needs to remain stationary. Honest mistake.

1:35 – 22, 34 – BOOSTIES! Kobe gives a great pass to Jordan (Farmar, not Michael) for the backside alley-oop.

0:49 – 22, 34 – two men who went to UCLA and have tattoos on their neck face off (Ariza vs. Barnes). No real idea there, I just thought that was an interesting juxtaposition.
0:38 – 24, 34 – He’s old, not dead. Farmar challenges Shaq and Shaq brushes his shot aside. Farmar decides to take his shot from outside after the inbounds and hits a three. Much better young’n.

0:15 – 24, 37 – you know what you definitely want on your last possession? Your young point guard to throw the ball away and let the other team run the other way for a fast break layup. Dragic might be a bit shaky. Okay, nevermind, the next time down he hits a nice 17 footer near the end of the quarter.

2nd Quarter
I just read Watchmen the graphic novel, and that commercial makes me want to see the movie. It was relatively action-less in printed form, but for the silver screen it looks like they’ve upped the number of explosions by a factor of 26. Count me in. Who doesn’t want to watch a big blue man walk around in a speedo?

11:40 – 26, 39 – Ariza drills his three and Jared Dudly answers back with a three of his own. Mbenga is in the game. What’s the chance he jiu jitsu’s someone? Is that even a verb?

10:54 – 29, 44 – Barnes throws up his second “whoa” of the night, in a bad way.

10:00 – 29, 48 – As great as Grant hill is, he can’t really guard Mbenga in the post. Mbenga shows off his turnaround jumper off the glass. The bank is open.

9:25 – 29, 48 – Matt Barnes goes for the hattrick! He looks to posterize Mbenga on a fastbreak dunk and Mbenga just turns him away like a bouncer at a nightclub. “I’m sorry sir, your ID says you are a baller. I don’t allow fake IDs in my club.” Barbosa cleans up the rebound and lays it in.

Great insight into Gentry boosting the confidence of Dragic telling the young man, “I don’t care how many mistakes you make as long as you play with confidence…  You’re a pro, you’re here. Just go out there and play.”

7:20 – 37, 50 – Lakers run the unconventional fast break. I guess they are trying out the A-11 offense too. Two on One fast break and Farmar has the ball. Instead of Vujacic making the run towards the hoop to take the ball to the bucket, he runs away from the basket and takes a 17 foot jumper/leaner on the baseline. He hits it anyway. Know your strengths, I guess. Also, with 52 points and 7:18 left in the 2nd Quarter, you might surmise this will be a high-scoring first half. I’m certainly not going to complain about that.

6:18 – 39, 52 – What? The Machine can dunk?? He jams one home on the fastbreak created by stifling defense that led to a turnover. I sort of assumed he couldn’t because he hasn’t done it in forever. By the way, worst gimmick ever is Sasha’s headband watch on his website. I’m boycotting noticing the color or thickness of his headband. If you asked me what color his headband was tonight, I’d have to say, ‘I don’t know, but that is a disallowed question because I’m opposed to stupid gimmicks.

5:30 – 41, 54 – This third unit of the Lakers is getting sucked into a track meet and it’s working for them as the Suns aren’t converting their offensive opportunities. There was just a string of three or four consecutive turnovers by the teams.

Oh. Just kidding. Turner Sports can’t resist. A montage of the shaq and kobe meetings post-trade. Why why why?? No one cares.

4:00 – 43, 60 – Adam Morrison is in there. He is not quick on defense. He is obviously a step behind knowing where he needs to be but he’ll benefit from being out ther with Kobe, Fisher and Odom. The camera shows Gentry wiping his face, trying to figure out how his team ended up in such a big hole.

2:42 – 45, 64 – Sideshow Bob ver 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) shows off his garbage collecting abilities and dunks it.

0:33 – 52, 69 – Shannon Brown subs into the game. I’m hoping for another crazy block. Lakers go four down for Fisher to close the quarter. He creates off the dribble and throws up a right hand runner across the lane. No good. Also, no blocks by Brown. Lakers up by 15, 55-70. That’s an astronomical number of points. If I were John Madden I would say “The team that scores the most points is going to win the game and the Lakers are scoring a lot of points.” Marc Jackson would say, “This Lakers team is soft but the Suns are soft. Good offense beats good defense.”

Halftime
“16 points at halftime doesn’t mean anything.” –Alvin Gentry, Rhodes Scholar.

3rd Quarter

11:50 – PHX 55, LAL 70 – Lakers start it off right with a Gasol alley-oop.

10:55 – 58, 72 – Gasol takes a jumper from the elbow and then he takes a shot to the nether regions by Grant Hill. Hilarious for everyone not named Pau Gasol as he who is named Gasol grabs himself in pain.

8:30 – 63, 80 – After some good offensive possessions by the Lakers and poor execution by the Suns, the suns are forced to call timeout when Fisher drains a wide-open three ball. 63-83 is an absurd score for this point in the game. If the Lakers take this big of a lead into the fourth quarter, the broom wagon lineup will come in and depress the final score, but they are on a cosmic pace.

8:00 – 65, 83 – More fadeaway action from the MVP.

7:25 – 65, 85 – Kobe shows great patience in not forcing the play. Luke had a mismatch and Kobe tells him to setup in the midpost. Luke creates a great opportunity for Pau who get fouled and hits one of two from the line.

7:00 – 68, 86 – The nicely palindromic score doesn’t last long as Gasol flashes to the weakside elbow and Kobe from the strongside post whirls around and gets the alley-oop. It was a great looking sequence that taller teams committed defense wouldn’t allow.

4:54 – 69, 92 – Shaq and Grant Hill are subbed out at this point and the Suns just threw in the towel. Here at the nomuskles cave, we’re also going to throw in the towel. Seriously the Lakers were just too much for an injury-stricken Suns team still finding their way. Now I understand why Brett Pollakoff didn’t really give us any insight into the Suns’ strengths right now. They just aren’t comfortable in their own skin right now and the Lakers are too long and too skilled. There’s nothing they could’ve done tonight so I don’t think they’ll put too much into it. And…scene. Dolla dolla bills y’all.

nomuskles

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23 responses to Lakers vs. Suns 2/26/2009 Live Blog powered by nomuskles

  1. Good work, nomuskles. I liken this entry to a veteran team that has to put in the work even on days when they might feel like mailing it in due to subpar competition.

    Just like the Lakers (in case that wasn’t subtle enough for anybody).

    On another note –
    “I just read Watchmen the graphic novel, and that commercial makes me want to see the movie. It was relatively action-less in printed form, but for the silver screen it looks like they’ve upped the number of explosions by a factor of 26. Count me in. Who doesn’t want to watch a big blue man walk around in a speedo?”

    The movie should be quite good – Snyder’s made himself a niche in crafting near-exact recreations of successful comic books, and Watchmen is one of the absolute best.

    Let’s just say, though, that rumors are the ending is slightly different…

  2. @Underbruin – Totally fine with me. While purposeful, the ending left me unfulfilled somewhat.

  3. 3 –

    Yeah, I think that’s kind of the thinking from the film’s end. I personally really liked the ending (its prescience, given that the story was written in ’89, was astonishing), but I’m not sure it really translates well to film. Especially given the amount of time that the movie would have to spend on a rather odd side-plot that would be decidedly more “fantasy”-esque than most of the rest of the movie. I wonder, though, if the new chosen ending will avoid being… nonsensical (if they even go with it – I think they actually made two endings, and test screened both the original and a new one). I don’t want to reveal anything about it, but I understand it’s significantly more mundane.

    During the course of my previous employment, I actually got my hands on a copy of what I understood to be a shooting script, briefly. It is -very- much a direct conversion from the comic book. A lot of the “explosion factor upped” that you’re sensing comes from the pruning – they’ve tried to keep the story intact, but trimmed a lot of the exposition. What remains is much more action-heavy relative to the total story than the comic.

    I suppose we’ll all find out when it comes out.

  4. nomuskles, another great work of art in this live blog. I like how you added the score beside the time stamp, I get a feel where the game is at, while reading your notes. You never seem to miss a detail, like the one-in-a-million Sasha dunk.

  5. seriously, but how uncomfortable did sasha look? it just gave off a “bshaw bet sasha $500 that adam morrison would dunk before he did” type vibe…

    which leads me to the other amazing non-sequitur of what was for the most part a routine beatdown (though the ability of said beatdowns to appear routine only highlights how awesome this year’s team it)…. AMMO TIME! not only did one mr. morrison have a. a putback ‘dunk’ (vujacic genus), but he made that one GREAT pass on the break, and generally looked active. he might still not be able to hit a jumper, [despite all of Staples going 'aaaaaahhhhh....awwwwww!' when he gears up to make it rain], but I’ll take it… I just find so much comedy in AMMO TIME.

    and on a non-comedic note – is Phil giving Ammo trial minutes out of a fear that Machine needs new oil/calibration/whatever machine metaphor etc.? if sasha can’t start hitting those open 3′s we’re missing a valuable weapon… though if trevor is hitting… jeez.

    got distracted. to finish – adam morrison is hilarious, but i worry about his mental health- dude never smiles, looks so depressed/deranged out there. honestly, first thing i thought was ‘holy crap, that’s the kwame brown wish I wasn’t here face’. does getting drafted by MJ (in the lottery) give you PTSD? jeez.

    PEACE

  6. “The ball drops through like it was destined for such a fate from the time it was still a cow…” – made my day, thank you :)

  7. From what I’vre read Watchen the movie is a very good representation of the book (was awesome), though they changed the ending. I guess a lot of the dialogue and scenes are taken directly out the book. I for one am looking forward too it.

    The Suns were just out matched last night. It was like a lay up drill for the Lakers. No wonder Sarver was trying to shed salary (besides the fact that he is losing money) the Suns simply are not that good.

  8. the other Stephen February 27, 2009 at 6:25 am

    yeah, but it didn’t seem like dragic really wanted to listen to gentry’s pep talk to me.

    love your blogs, man!

  9. Great job nomuskles. Any entry that combines Madden and MJ (Jackson not Jordan :) ) is great in my books.

  10. nomuskles,

    Good stuff. I love the live blogs.

    I was thinking the same thing when I saw Sasha dunk. Where did that come from? He has to be the shortest 6’7″ guy ever.

  11. Aww, as a longtime FB&G reader, I’m sad to see that you hate the headband watch. It’s not a gimmick so much as a case of fans being silly (or lame, if you want to look at it that way) and Sasha kindly indulging us. :)

  12. “Count me in. Who doesn’t want to watch a big blue man walk around in a speedo?”

    From what i’ve heard, we’ll all be watching a big blue man walk around buck naked flaunting what he’s got…

  13. and now we can have ourselves a more complete opponent in denver which in the billups-less days meant more or less a dominating W. GO LAKERS!

  14. by the way, i have a better feeling (not by a mile but still better) about ammo shining and realizing his potential in LA than i did with kwame… or maybe that was me reading his short stint on the floor too much. but he delivered.

    nice put back dunk, nice passing, hit a 3 and followed if up with a fading shot that hit the front iron but i like his effort. if this guy was once vying for player of the year in his young days, then it might just be a steal for us and a little pressure for sasha to make more 14+ nights like this. (his 3s still hit front iron most of the time)

  15. I love moleskin notebooks. I saw one enterprising young artist who used his as a wallet a week ago. I considered stealing his idea but wasn’t sure if I’d look like a pretentious jerk for doing it. Now that I know the lakers use them, though, I’m going with it.

  16. Am I completely out of my mind or did Kevin Harlan mention that “Shaq didn’t start” last nights game a few times?

    Either I’m crazy or he is…or both.

  17. Lol, Sasha’s dunk barely made it as it hit the front of the rim.

  18. In reference to a comment on the previous thread about Hollinger’s stats – at the end of a season, if you look at the statistics for the year, there are certain ones that tend to stick out pretty consistently when comparing the elite teams to the rest of the league. One of those is point differential; thus it plays a strong role in the system Hollinger developed.

  19. did anyone see on truehoop that george karl thinks the lakers might be better without bynum?

  20. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to a must read article by Bill Simmons about the NBA’s financial situation:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090227

    Absolutely sobering.

  21. Nicely done, nomuskles. Your live-blogs are always a pleasure, and this bite-sized one was no exception.

  22. Simmons couldn’t write that post without a mention of bad officiating against the Celtics when they played… the Lakers!

    Anyway, amusing post. Now that Stephon is there, I’m kinda looking forward to BS posts.

    As for Denver… well, let’s see how Melo does against us.