Lakers/Jazz Game Three Chat

Kurt —  April 23, 2009

NBA 2009: Lakers Beat Jazz 113-100
We know that tonight is going to be tough — the Jazz have been taking some heat from their fans about the quality of their play and effort. Boozer, in particular and despite being injured, is getting a lot of flack.

The Lakers are going to have to play their best game yet, and here are a few areas I think they need to focus on to get the win.

1) Withstand the initial onslaught. The Jazz have had two terrible first quarters against the Lakers, that will not be the case tonight at home. They will be fired up. If the Lakers are close at the end of one and are not having to dig out of a hole, I’ll feel a lot better about this game.

2) Better defense. The Lakers have played great defense in spurts, followed by indifferent defense at other times. Tonight they have to be more consistent. Also, the Jazz started going to more pick-and-roll — the classic Malone/Stockton play — with D-Will and Boozer last game and had some success with it, so expect a much more heavy diet of it tonight. (No Okur again tonight, according to reports.) The Lakers bigs have to show out on Williams, then recover quick to Boozer, the Lakers defenders must take away his preferred driving lanes and steer him to the help defenders. He is going to get his, but make him work for it and don’t let anyone else go off.

UPDATE: Here’s a video of Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons talking pick-and-roll and the Jazz.

3) More Gasol and Bynum on the block. The Jazz tried to take away the Lakers biggest advantage in this series by doubling Bynum and doing some fronting and throwing more looks at Gasol. The problem is, when it got hard the Lakers have gotten away from exploiting their mismatches in this series. They need to be smart about the entry pass and quickly reversing the ball and setting up the post pass on the opposite side. Bottom line, tonight they will need to be more focused.

4) Keep hitting those threes. The Lakers are hitting from beyond the arc at a crazy 51.4% pace in this series. If the Jazz are going to make stopping the ball in the paint the priority, they have to give something up and the Lakers need to make them pay.

Last year the Lakers dropped games three and four in Utah. This is not last year’s Lakers team (or last year’s Jazz team, for that matter) but you don’t want to give them hope. Now is the time to crush their spirits.

If you’re looking for something to do while waiting for the 7:30 tip off (Channel 9 in LA and TNT here and nationally) check out this Roto Experts podcast, which for the playoffs is just some straight analysis. And some good playoff talk.

Kurt

Posts

461 responses to Lakers/Jazz Game Three Chat

  1. Wow. Baaaaaddddddd turnover by Williams. You can’t let that happen. Ever.

    Now, lets get a bucket and a stop, get this thing back under control.

  2. Wow, they actually called 8 seconds.

  3. I think this is an exciting game, on the edge of your seat type.

    Playoff basketball…

  4. This game has been so poorly played it’s embarrassing. Did I really just see Deron Williams get called for an 8-second violation???? Yikes.

  5. Lamar trying to get us some boards. We’ll need every one of them. If he gets going we should pull this out. Hopefully.

  6. @294, 297 – Not bad kids, not bad.

  7. lakers should not play down to their oppnonent at this level. how often must this happen again?

    anyhow, yeah we’re still in it with kobe having miserable shooting numbers. if you’re called stop hoisting j’s and attack. is kobe tired or something? he has to take it to whoever is guarding him and finish at the line. if it works, do it again.
    am not ruling out a kobe explosion though.

    2 things to work on; REBOUNDING, FT shooting and to add, bynum’s foul management.

  8. I wish, still, that the Lakers would stop shooting 3’s in close games. Go inside, especially while you are in the bonus and, oh yeah, taller and longer with Pau and Lamar!

    Why why why?

  9. Off tangent, but I think it would be cool if they could have Patrick Stewart and that guy who did the voice for Darth Vader call a game, even if it’s just a preseason game.

  10. 308. the reason is partly cos were getting murdered in the paint and getting no calls

  11. Look like Gasol touched that one.

  12. “I find the lack of correct foul calls… disturbing”

  13. Bad shot, Kobe.

  14. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Kobe should to take it inside, get fouled or kick it out.

  15. Kobe doesn’t need to take such difficult shots.

  16. Pound it inside. Good lord.

    I won’t complain about our abysmal FT shooting because Utah has bailed us out on that end also.

  17. @312;
    Yeah, and Bill Walton could mimic right off the bat “Luke, I am your father”

  18. not kobe’s finest game definitely. he’s shooting us in the foot. attack the rim! could someone just tell him that. is he gunning for worst FG% for a playoff game?

    kudos again to lamar.

  19. they’re in the penalty! kobe can get to the line at will if he wants!

  20. Both teams have been trying to give this game away at the line.

  21. I know Kobe can get hot at any time, but when he’s shooting 4/22 it might be time to go elsewhere.

    Like that.

  22. Please please Kobe don’t jack up shots from the outside. You’re not shooting well tonight. We need to win this.

  23. The way Gasol has been shooting from the line tonight, maybe the Jazz should be using the hack-a-Pau…

  24. Um . . . that wasn’t me.

  25. I take that back, I find our small number of assists disturbing. We have a total of 12 assist for the team and game, according to Yahoo. That’s… that’s just not that good. The ball needs to move around more.

  26. Nobody can match Morgan Freeman’s narrator voice. Nobody.

    “I guess I just miss my friend.”

  27. Is this going to be THE game where the Lakers FINALLY learn to play INSIDE during crunch as opposed to Kobe heaving off balance threes at every possession?

  28. I think after tonight, Kurt should consider going to registered user names.

  29. If Reggie says “nastiness” one more time, I’m going to punch my TV.

  30. Great pass!

  31. Nice pass.

  32. I have to give it to Utah, whether we end up pulling this out or not, they’ve really locked down on us in the fourth. Just a testament to how deep the West is when they can show that kind of grit

  33. #332,
    Somehow I doubt that was actually Zephid.

  34. 329

    It doesn’t matter what Reggie says or how often he says it, I still feel like punching my TV.

  35. We’re nicely setting up for a Hero shot from Kobe.

    Hit or miss, that’s the question.

  36. Here we go!

  37. Reggie just alluded to the fact that Bynum only has five fouls. Bring him in, I say, bring him in!!!

  38. Love Odom!

  39. Wow, horrible defense for the Jazz on that possession.

    And then we give up a DUNK too Boozer.

    Good lord.

  40. This is a great experience for our team. I don’t like how we’re playing, but the Lakers are somehow finding ways to get it done.

    And then Boozer slams it home…

  41. Boozer hooked Gasol.

  42. I think kobe now needs to make good on his “noisy fans relax me” bit.

    Although at 4-22 shooting, I would try to seek other options first

  43. Offensive foul was blatant by Boozer. He hooked the crap out of Gasol.

  44. I think that play was a direct result of Pau playing 23.5 minutes this half

  45. That would have been a good time to double Boozer.

  46. terrible defence by pau

  47. Gasol got owned on that last play….

  48. Kobe for the buzzer 3! Where amazing happens!

  49. This is going to be an unpopular idea, but in this arena, the way this game has gone, I say go for the three on this possession. Either win it here in regulation or go home. I would love to see Kobe kick it to Trevor or Fish after attracting a few defenders inside.

  50. Terrible defense by Gasol. It’s not exactly breaking news that Boozer prefers to drive to his left hand.

  51. Yeah, let’s have an OT game now, why not?

  52. J-man, that would be amazing considering his shooting percentage tonight.

  53. Here we go again!

  54. That’s also pretty good.

  55. Wow, horrible defense by the Jazz again.

    Great, great, great play by Kobe though going to Gasol.

  56. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Good things happen when Kobe goes inside! Good call, Phil.

  57. Wow, a set play out of a timeout in crunch time. Be still my beating heart.

  58. I don’t mind them going early. It kept the defense off-balance. Now play some defense!

  59. Pau Pau Pow!

  60. So, this begs the hot hand question that was raging on true hoop a few days back.

    Do you give the ball to Kobe who’s been a 20% shooter tonight or to Lamar who’s shot 66% tonight?

    Guess answer was Pau? heh.

  61. It’s called a dunk, Reggie.

  62. Kobe controlling the game with his unselfish passing!!!

  63. Bring Andrew in to play some D here!!!! Use that big body, don’t let Boozer beat us!!!!

  64. Go Pau!

    And go Kobe. He made that happen.

  65. nice play! i wonder if they will go back to boozer or clear out for williams

  66. make thhe stop. i like our chances in OT. GOLAKERS!

  67. Kobe. I love you. You are my favorite basketball player in the history of the game. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP JACKING UP IMPOSSIBLE TRIPLE TEAMED CONTESTED JUMPERS WHEN YOU HAVE PAU GASOL AND LAMAR ODOM IN THE PAINT.

    If we lose, it’s gotta be on Kobe.

  68. A steal and dunk by Ariza.

  69. If Odom stepped out a half step earlier……………

  70. Or a Williams made shot.

  71. Fish one on one against Williams is just asking for a score. I would have gone big and put a better defender on him…

  72. Wow.

    I sense Kobe heroics coming up.

  73. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Man. Deron Williams has the best crossover in the game.

  74. How is it that Fish is guarding D Will on that last play?

  75. ok kobe for the win

  76. D-Will, arguably the mailman and stockton in one tight package.

  77. Too bad.

  78. i heard a thought before

    at home you go for ot on the road go for the win

  79. Ouch. Tough loss.

    Ah well. I’ll take it.

  80. ‘Ol well.

  81. Bummer man, gotta dust yourself off and come back Saturday…

  82. bad pass by trevor on that inbounds…

  83. sums up kobe;s night

  84. 5- 24….

  85. 16-0 just went down the drain. Damn!

  86. What’s the scoop with Bynum, the Internet box score says he had 5 fouls, don’t you foul out at 6?

  87. Honestly, I think that a tough series here will prepare us better for Houston or Portland in the next round. Game four will definitely be important.

  88. Now I’m extremely curious. What will the league do about Andrew Bynum fouling out with 5 fouls? It’ll be funny if they just completely screw the Lakers and refuse to do anything about it. It’ll be just as bad if they replay the game. I really want to see if anyone picks up on this from the national media.

  89. “3 more? Very much like this”

  90. well we lost. how long with the lakers keep losing leads only to learn and rise up again?

    i like the rising part but please.

    anyhow, i hope kobe watches a reply of the 4th quarter and comes back thinking of efficiency. i hope bynum does too.

    guys, this was the game i think we were to lose and then i hope we sweep the remaining two. not good prolonging these kind of series.

    i can’t imagine how good we can really be

    GO LAKERS!

  91. My cable literally went out with 2.2 seconds left on the clock … I take it we didn’t win?

    I guess the TV gods didn’t want me to witness the tough loss.

  92. Kobe had a really off night. And Pau and Bynum didn’t fare too well either.

  93. Oh well. We’re still leading the series, we played far below what we are capable of, and it was still a very close game.

    We are still winning this.

  94. Give Utah credit, I thought they were done for after that third quarter burst but they kept fighting back.

    Tough to win in SLC when Kobe goes 5-24…

  95. Absolutely ridiculous. We had this game in our %$#$ hands, and instead of taking it.. Hey, you guys must want to win? Here you go. We certainly don’t want to. Please, take this game.

  96. Did they officially foul him out, or did the TNT telecast just screw up?

    Maybe Phil just kept him out of the game with 5 fouls?

  97. Let’s protest this game since Bynum “fouled out” with five fouls.

  98. Oh well, with that kind of off night from Kobe it’s impossible to win.

    Think about it, you limit the Laker’s best offensive weapon to 5-24, yet you only win by 2?

    This performance just enhances the might of the Lakers.

  99. the other Stephen April 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    at least i had some beers to make the game kind of funny.

  100. i wish kobe would realize when hes having a bad night and use his talent to pass but its nice to know with a bad game from the lakers we still barely lost

  101. What a waste of a monster game from Lamar.

  102. See, the thing is, for me, I’m not even worried at all. Utah is just prolonging the inevitable. My sentiments before this game was that the Lakers will either take Game 3 OR Game 4 (not both). If we somehow fail to take either, then it will be Game 6. I don’t see this going to Game 7, at all.

    However, I’d prefer the Lakers take Game 4, before Okur somehow makes it back for Game 6 or Game 7.

  103. I don’t think there’s anyway that Phil doesn’t play Andrew in the 4th quarter with the reserves. Pau had to be out there the whole quarter and was dead by the end. Unless Phil was really really pissed at Andrew, there’s no way he forces Gasol to play 43 minutes when he’s playing that badly.

  104. Joel R,
    No, we lost. Kobe went for the 3 and missed.

    Now, remember that you need to sacrifice that duck to the TV gods before midnight Saturday if you want cable back for the Sunday game.

  105. Zephid – well, Phil did say he wanted to tighten up the rotations…

    I guess we’ll hear about it tomorrow

  106. Honestly, we gave up 28 points in the fourth and only shot 37% for the game. If you play like that, you’re probably going to lose. That’s just the way it is, the Jazz are too good to have that kind of sleeper performance. Like I said, dust yourself off and come back on Saturday.

  107. Oh well. It was expected that this is the most likely game the Jazz would take. They can have it considering they only won by 2 and we played horribly for most of the game.

    Hopefully the Lakers will realize that losing leads is not a good thing in the playoffs. Hopefully it brings back memories of the finals. This could have a good side effect of getting them to refocus. Next time….we’ll crush them.

  108. Same story all year for the Lakers. Get a big league, and then quickly cough it up. Normally they can hang on for the win when they do that, but not as easy to do that against a dangerous home team. I am really anxious to see if this Laker team can come back strong and get the win next game.

  109. i agree lamar was carried this squad, pao would of been a highlite too if he didnt miss sixty percent from the freethrow line. Still I want the three hours back. That was like watching him in 1998.

  110. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    This will wake the Lakers up. To me, it just means there won’t be a sweep. Utah isn’t just gonna roll over and die. I’d put this loss on Kobe.

    I don’t want to see the Lakers give up 4th quarter leads anymore in these playoffs. Horrible habit they have.

  111. All in all though, both Kobe and Pau played beneath their standard, and I guess the only one that met their previous level (or exceeded it) is Lamar. Shannon, Ariza, Fisher, Bynum… nope.

    Of course, this was their baptism to true postseason, one that’s played away, so it’s a good experience.

    Also, I don’t think you’re winning if you have Boozer go 23pts 22rebs and Millsap goes for 14 rebounds. Stat-wise, this was an off night for Deron, but… from what I saw… urgh.

  112. gdem, I completely agree with you, this Laker team doesnt have a lot of killer instinct and it kills me to see that. Also, they have struggled to win a lot of close games this year, especially aganst the good teams. Normally just not able to get the big stops, as tonight showed. They will win this series, the Jazz aint gonna touch us on our homecourt, and we will get game 4 i think

  113. My only twist on can put on it and help me sleep tonite is hoping that Kobe, and company will take a good hard look and play as a team…, and maybe phil can finaly bury sasha and luke on the bench for good. Brown, Lamar and ARiza need to play forty minutes or close to it as those boys can actually play some defense.

    Anyways, we shall see just would of prefferred to lose by forty then to watch that game. UGGH>

  114. I am not being an alarmist, because I still think that they’re the best team in the NBA, but if we don’t win a championship this season- it’s going to be HEARTBREAKING!

    That being said, game three is a tough game to win. If we split it here in Utah, then it is still mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully, what happens in the next couple of days is Phil reemphasizes working the ball in the post and we draw up some plays to shake Kobe free when not in the triangle. If we do those things and play better defense then there’s not too much to worry about.

  115. We lost the game during Matt Harpring’s scoring spree with Luke Walton guarding him. Without those really key 6 points, the Jazz lose this game. Honestly, everyone other than Lamar had a sub-par game, so we can’t play much worse than tonight.

  116. After calming down, many people did think this series was going to 5 games. At least we lost by 2 playing a HORRIBLE game for 3 quarters. Honestly, I’m waiting for the game that is good all throughout. It is becoming annoying to watch this team play lately. I really don’t think they have registered it in their heads that they are in the playoffs.

  117. Really, the difference in this game was Harpring and his ability to make open shots after we double teamed others in the 4th quarter.

    As others have pointed out though, this loss hurts on several fronts – a) wasting a monster game from Lamar off the bench, b) playing Pau / Kobe 43 minutes each in a loss, and c) not taking advantage of Okur’s absence.

  118. i know this will sound like heresy and i’m a newbie to these forums, but since Forumblueandgold is probably the most reasonable bball site on the planet, i’ll go ahead anyway: is it just me or is Kobe just not the best closer of games? I mean, he’s a great one – certainly probably in the top 5 closers of the league – but I just don’t get the sense that he has enough of an instinctive immersion into the team dynamic to close out games. There seem to be far too many impossibly long, contested jumpers for Laker final plays where it doesn’t look like Kobe is looking for anything BUT his own shot (i understand today was an exception, there were 2 seconds on the clock, but this happens even in much longer ending possessions). Add that to him consistently missing what would’ve been daggers/huge shots in the finals last year…there’s also some stats showing that Kobe’s crunch-time (last five minutes) shooting percentage is relatively low (lower than expected).

    As for Kobe being 5-24 and still only losing by 2 points…he could’ve chosen to take less than 24 shots, right? Of course, Kobe always b

    Understand I’m not a Kobe hater…he’s the most graceful player to ever play the game and his technique is perfect. I’m rooting for him to get a few more rings and go down in the top 5 ever. I’d go so far to say he’s a damn near flawless player EXCEPT for shot selection – and it’s a pretty big flaw. If you watched the Olympics you’d notice Kobe tended to jack up shots out of the offense’s flow a lot.

    It’s almost a funny mathematical game. Because Kobe has a far higher percentage of hitting difficult, “low-percentage” jumpers than most players, he tends to take them, especially because he can take them whenever he wants without the benefit of a play unfolding correctly. But because they are, by nature, difficult and low-percentage shots, even when Kobe takes them, it tends to have a lower success rate than if a full play were allowed to develop. Of course it’s nice to know you have an option no matter how badly the play breaks down…but I do think it’s a problem when Kobe decides it’s a better idea to take those jumpers rather than run the offense.

    What does that whole Kobe diatribe have to do with this game? Not much, tbh – Kobe played perfectly down the stretch of this game, and in the last 2 seconds what the hell can you get besides a contested Kobe jumper? (Honestly though Phil should consider giving Gasol game-winning shots….just for the shock it’d give to the opponents) It’s just that as soon as Kobe let off that last shot everyone was yelling “MONEY”, and it reminded me of how Kobe has this mythic cold-blooded closer reputation and wondering whether it was deserved or not.

    Aside from that, incredible game. I love Deron Williams but burningly hate the Jazz (as much as that’s possible). Deron Williams has cemented himself as a top 10 NBA player for me. Boozer’s defense is terrible, Gasol needs to attack him until he gets into full Eurobeast attitude.

  119. only in utah does that hook by boozer go uncalled.

  120. two ways to look at this…

    kobe missed 19 shots and pau missed 6 free throws and we onlllly lost by two.

    or i cant believe kobe missed 19 shots and pau missed 6 free throws and we end losing by two.

    the free throws were huge. the jazz would have never led in the 2nd half had pau made them.

    even tho i expected a game 3 loss (lakers in 5) it still hurt.

  121. Chuck: “I don’t think you can flip a switch.”

    Ernie: “I don’t mean just flip a switch, I mean–”

    Chuck: “No, no, no, I know what you mean. I don’t think you can just flip a switch.”

    I love Charles Barkley!

  122. My final thought of the night; it seems like in the NBA all people remember is the last game. The Lakers kind of sleepwalked through this one, so the taste in everybody’s collective mouth is going to be bad. But if we can come back with two strong showings and close out this series all will be forgiven. It’s all going to come down to defense (as we’ve all been saying all year), tonight we played two good quarters and two bad ones defensively. What I want to see now is eight good ones in a row.

  123. how about that change by the coaching staff at the start of the second half? sitting Andrew and starting LO at PG, derek at SG, and Kobe at SF… it worked, the Jazz were out of sync, had no plan for it, and we made up a lot of ground because of that.
    too bad we couldn’t sustain the lead.
    I also thought we scored too quickly on the last possession, giving the Jazz too much time at their end.
    oh well, I was only hoping for a split in Utah, so Saturday we better bring it big time!

  124. @gdem: overreaction much? I certainly feel your frustration with the way the game progressed. Hopefully the next one will be more of what we’re used to.

    By a dangerous home team, I imagine people really mean, a team that benefits from a lot of favorable calls and non-calls from the refs. ::shrugs:: there’s not a whole lot the players can do about that. Even on that last Boozer dunk, Boozer absolutely hooked the crap out of Pau to get separation. What exactly can the Lakers do about that? They’ll need to make adjustments for game three and figure out how to push back.

    What i’m looking for is whether the refs call the the game the same in game 4 or not. If they do, the Lakers will need to make adjustments; they’ll need to be aggressive and challenge shots on defense. Defensively, they need to play with the same intensity they had at the beginning of the second half for longer stretches. If the refs decide to call a regular game, the Lakers don’t need to make too many adjustments except some longer stretches of intensity.

  125. Kobe just needs to make every shot he takes. The Lakers will be undefeated. If he’s missing, give it up to his teammates. Its really that simple. lol.

  126. Any news about Bynum’s fouling out with 5? i’m not seeing it anywhere..

  127. PeanutButterSpread April 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Well that sucked hardcore.

    Considering how terribly Kobe shot and how close the game was, I’m not sure if I should be elated the Lakers almost pulled out a win or furious they didn’t go to LO or Pau more.

    LO played out of his mind. He was like supernova LO.

    And the whole losing leads thing is getting tiring. I don’t think if the Lakers have learned not to lose leads by now, they’re not going to learn it anytime soon. I’ve resigned to that. Again, I understand that the Jazz are a good team blah blah blah blah, but come on! 3 games in a row now?! It was bound to bite them in the butt again.

    Whatever, I’ve processed the loss. I’m moving on. It’s just one loss.

  128. It is just one loss.. but after watching them blow the lead in Game 4, i hate to see this. They have not learned from last year. Talk all you want about oh this is just one game.. but so far, every game in these playoffs, we have given up double digit leads. Every time they do that i get flashes of Game 4.

  129. with the 8 point lead going into the 4th why did phil put in sasha and luke? WHY!?

    also, we need to stop getting so complacent because its just asking for a repeat of last years game 4 in the finals. if we can even get there.

    we just continue to give up lead after lead, and i think it’s a legit gripe and needs to be noted especially to the players

  130. and if this doesnt wake the players up i dont know what will

    because its the freaking playoffs. its time to step up and take on a whole nother level in order to win it all.

  131. Basketball is a game of runs it happens In almost every game The lakers made a run at the beginning of the 3rd and Utah lost its lead but I dont hear anyone questioning the jazz toughness for losing the lead that they had. I know the lakers are frustrating but damn guys you would think they were down 0-3 by the tone of the post

  132. LOS ANGELES UTAH
    Points L. Odom 21 C. Boozer 23
    Rebounds L. Odom 14 C. Boozer 22
    Assists K. Bryant 6 D. Williams 9
    Steals K. Bryant 2 D. Williams 1
    Blocks P. Gasol 1 P. Millsap 3

    Strange Symmetry going here.

  133. I would like to hear Kobe (being the leader of this team) acknowledge and address their bad habit of giving up leads. He needs to demand better from himself and the team. It has got to stop. I like what Labron did the other night when he called out his team when they did the same thing.

    Their inability to hold leads is tired and old. What is that all about? I can only sum it up to lack of “will” and “mental focus” or even “drive” to win. I’m afraid that if they don’t get the mental drive aspect of their game together soon, we might see the Lacrabs hoisting the trophy instead. I think they are hungrier than we are. This is one game, but if the Lakers are to win the championship they need to play to win from beginning to end. This is nothing new and frankly I’m getting tired of repeating myself on this.

  134. Problem with Kobe is if he’s off he’s not all that effective on the offensive end (generally speaking, course). What he he needs to do – or should have learned to do – is let players like Gasol and Odom have their go at it.

    Lakers are way too talented to have Kobe jacking it up if his shot isn’t falling.

  135. If you look at the play by play. kobe wasn’t over-dominating the ball. He only took 6 shots in the fourth quarter, one of them the last desperation shot at the end.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=290423026

  136. Despite the ugly play, I’m not too upset about this loss. Sure, had we made a few more free throws, this would have been a hard fought victory instead with the Lakers taking a commanding 3-0 series lead. But I am a Lakers optimist, and I like our chances for Game 4 on Saturday. The Lakers couldn’t have played any worse and yet they still only lost by two points.

  137. nomuskies – Kobe took 24 shots when he was shooting roughly 20%. Gasol or Odom were the guys they should’ve gone to, instead of having Kobe jack up 20 foot jumpers fading away with a hand in his face.

  138. It’s kinda bad form to talk calls on this one. Calls had nothing to do with that game. We didn’t deserve to win, but we still almost won, playing like *** for 40 min.

    Concerning Kobe’s game, it wasn’t that he took too many shots, it that he was indecisive with the ball (and he didn’t make shots). He was overdribbling during his probes of the D. Their soft doubles seemed to confuse him. He was getting caught in between shooting the J, driving & kicking, or going all the way to the basket. He got the O foul in the 4, it probably should have been 2. He was out of control both times, turning his body sideways in the air. I haven’t seen him like that since, you guessed it, last years Finals. He needs to shake that crap off.

    I hoped 4, but believed 5, so no worries. This didn’t start in game 1, we’ve given up leads all season. That’s who we are, it is what it is, no worries. They’ll get it done on Saturday.

  139. Bynum would have really helped in the 4th quarter of this gaem. I strongly believed that his abscense cost us the game. The kid needs to play smart and stop picking up stupid fouls. For goodnes sake, he is at least 4 inches taller than any player on the Jazz. It’s a shame that he did not think about how crucial it was for him to stay in the game – particularly since it was so close all night long.

  140. All NBA teams lose leads–if they are lucky enough to get them in the first place. All players/teams have off shooting nights. The idea that the Lakers would waltz through the playoffs without a loss at least until Cleveland was always a duck that can’t fly. Against the Jazz, the Lakers were fortunate to have held serve at home.

    Unfortunately, the outcome of this game was about what I expected. The way the Lakers got there was not what I expected at all.

    The Lakers ultimately lost a defensive struggle by 2–with each team making desperation play after play to end the game. It was a great competition–and this time Kobe’s final desperation three point “dagger” was so dull it couldn’t even cut butter.

    Kobe needs to sharpen his blade for Saturday in Salt Lake.

    That’s when the Lakers need to steal one.

  141. Great game by Boozer last night, got to give the Jazz credit, but they did what they were supposed to and that was win a desperation game at home. Honestly if it took us shooting 34%FG, something like 67& from the freethrow line & Kobe going 5-24 and Boozer having one of his best playoff games in his career and yet we only lost by 2, in Utah then I like our chances come Saturday.

    For all those saying they don’t like Kobe jacking up shots, that’s a pretty much damned if you do/damned if you don’t type of situation. If he doesn’t make them then he’s “jacking up shots” or messing with the offense. But if he makes those shots then he won us the game or if he doesn’t shoot at all and someone else misses then we’ll go back to “Why didn’t Kobe take that shot”. I’d rather take Kobe taking most of the shots in the 4th then anybody else.

  142. Agree with Clutch, Kobe was being indecisive and hesitant. He would have the defense out of sync, and instead of going right away he would pull out and reset. He was taking shots that he normally takes and makes consistently over Brewer, so I’m not worried about that.
    @ Winston the nature of the closer, especially in playoff games is that someone who can step up in big moments and get his own shots. ‘team dynamics’ are hard to navigate because of clock management and seeming inability for role players to step up. The set offense never seem to run well during the end of close games in the playoffs, probably because these teams play each other so much they’ve seen everything already.

    How come nobody mentioned the poor clock management? With 15 seconds left, we took only 5 seconds to score off a pick and roll. That’s one of those things that is easy to do, just hold the ball. The bulls did this too in game 2, which ended up giving the Celtics enough time for Allen to roll off and hit the game winner.

    Boozer dominated Pau. No doubt about it. Toward the end it may have been fatigue due to Bynum’s poor play, who’s still a bit of a greenhorn at this point. But Boozer pushed in and moved Gasol around on nearly every shot, and Gasol didn’t push back. Pau should’ve made the adjustment to be more physical, but that is not his game.

    Look for the referees to make an adjustment on the foul calling. Last year people complained about the offensive fouls (cough Boozer) and he got in foul trouble right away the next game.

    Did Bynum really only commit 5 fouls or are we just being Laker fans? If the league decided to replay the end of a regular season game due to bookkeeping, it would seem a playoff game would be even more pressing.

  143. It was certainly a tough loss last night, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Kobe, Pau and Bynum all had terribly off nights and we still almost had the win.

    Besides, I am probably in the minority in this, but I would prefer the Lakers not to be firing on all cylinders at this point. I’m afraid if they were peaking at this time, it would be too soon and they would start to wear themselves out.

    Of course, the question of the day is, are the Lakers building to something better and more complete or are they falling back to old, half-hearted ways?

  144. What concerns me is the lack of focus once the Lakers take a lead. They seem to fall in love with their jump shots and isolation plays, when what they should be doing is pounding it inside, exploiting their length and passing, and creating foul trouble and match up problems.

    Run the clock down a bit…

    And, Derek, please STOP with the PUJIT three point clangers…

    Play defense, play inside out, and do that ALL GAME.

    Until I see that happen, I am pretty sure we are going to be disappointed this season.

  145. Tough loss, Kobe had one of those offensive meltdown games. My only concern is that we were getting a lot from our bench guys last year in the playoffs, and now the only guy that can really be counted on to be productive is Lamar.
    Maybe bring Bynum off the bench will help the second unit, especially since Bynum is playing very selfish right now with the first unit.

  146. Tough game. Not worried about this series, though.

    I really think the Lakers are going to come out tomorrow night and take it to the Jazz. As in 20 point margin of victory. Kobe will not shoot that awful again, Pau finally realized he isn’t going to get calls and took it hard in the 4th quarter (got mugged multiple times) and L.O. will continue playing great.

    Stop giving up offensive rebounds/turning the ball over and these games aren’t close. Someone pass that along to our team.

  147. I think it’s pretty clear from news reports that the scorekeepers did not make a mistake and disqualify Bynum for a phantom 6th foul; Phil just chose to ride Pau for the rest of the game instead of inserting Bynum.

  148. After thinking about it, what made this loss so very bad is that we played very bad. Was I the only one having flash-backs to the 06-season?

    Still, what makes it good is that as a team we shot below 40%, Kobe was 5 of 24 (unforgivable, btw. Kobe, I love you, but your shot selection was flat out stupid last night), Pau Gasol’s freethrow shooting was embarrassing, Bynum was non-existent, and no one could stop Deron Williams.

    And they still only won by two points, two points they had to fight hard for. If we had played well, the game could have been a blow-out, and I fully expect this team to start playging well soon. As soon as they find their playoff mentality, and as soon as they discover that there’s a faint whiff of blood in the water…

  149. I emailed this to a co-worker yesterday afternoon as my prediction for last night’s game:

    Lakers fall behind by 10+ points in the first half. In the second half they come out sloppy for a few minutes before everybody gets a little pissed and they run off a good run to make it a close game. Right when it seems they will blow it open, the Lakers let down the intensity again, and its close to the wire where the Lakers win or lose depending on whether Kobe hits some key shots in the last 3 minutes.

  150. I think last night’s experience was good for our team. Shannon Brown, Trevor Ariza, and Andrew Bynum all got their real first taste of what it is like to play on the road in the playoffs. Trevor came up small, but that’s to be expected when a guy who basically just learned how to shoot this season is asked to sink key three pointers in a close game on the road. Brown still gave us all his energy and defense, with a couple of stupid drives to boot, but that’s part of the learning experience. I’d rather have him trying new stuff than sitting back and letting the defense dictate to him. I have a feeling that once we have a non-Bennett Salvatore officiated game, Drew will be able to get a rhythm. It seems like all the officials other than Salvatore let stuff go during the playoffs, whereas Bennett always calls super-tight games.

    Overall, after having Kobe go 5-24, Trevor missing two key threes in the fourth, Pau coming up small in the 1st half, missing a bunch of gimmes and a ton of free throws, and having only 7 minutes of Andrew Bynum, one can’t be too down about this loss. However, one has to be impressed with how we defended Deron Williams, who had only 7 shots and 9 assists. We really closed off the lane well, and he needed a fall away off balance jumper with 2 seconds to go to win the game.

    And, I’m very happy with Kobe Bryant’s defense on Ronnie Brewer. If the guy’s going to keep shooting 4-12, Kobe should leave him wide open every game.

  151. 446, wiseolgoat, if that’s the case, I truly have to disagree with Phil Jackson’s rationale. Pau was obviously gassed by the end of the 4th quarter; even 1 and a half minutes by Bynum would’ve gotten Pau some rest. That would’ve also shifted either Odom or Bynum onto Boozer, and no offense to Pau, but those two guys are much better defenders than he is.

  152. I think it’s important to keep in mind that the Jazz, other than Boozer, didn’t play particularly well either. They were way under their averages on shot percentage, had more tunrovers than the Lakers, etc…
    So even though many of the Lakers had bad individual games, so did the Jazz.

    I only say this to the people that are writing off the result of the close game because of poor Laker’s performances. If the Jazz all step up at the same time, possibly get Okur back, a big night from D-will, even with the Lakers playing much better it could still be a close game.

    This series is no guaranteed blowout, especially without the Lakers playing smarter more focused ball.

  153. my biggest gripe with last night is with Phil. Why did he leave Pau on Boozer when LO could have guarded Boozer and Pau could’ve guarded Milsap? This reminds me of when D. West was lighting up Pau. I think that LO is a better defender, although Pau usually defends Boozer better.

  154. New post up.

    After future games I’ll try to get a post-game post up earlier.

  155. What killed me was the TV shot of Andrew on the bench joking and laughing with Jordan after his fifth foul. Call me old school, but I remember the game faces of our Showtime Lakers and the 2000 threepeat Lakers. I’ve seen the pain in Jerry West’s face 30 year’s later discussing our 60’s finals losses to the green team .
    If our starting center, not to mention Jordan, isn’t focused on a ring, we’re not showing the maturity to be champions.

  156. Zephid – i agree with you, pau was obviously gassed and needed a rest. Here is where all the calls to bench sasha, luke, etc. make no sense to me…we NEED these guys, unless you want Kobe playing 43+ minutes a game. Say what you want about boozer hooking pau, but that play occurred because Pau was tired, lost focus on his man for a second, and in that second Boozer made a strong move to the hole.

  157. It will be interesting if the Blazers and Lakers meet in these playoffs.

    I fear our guys are liable to get knocked on their wallets.

  158. If Bynum did not foul out, then my guess is that Phil pulled him out because he was a non-entity all night long.

    As far as Fish, I totatlly agree. Dude needs to chill on the PUJIT.

  159. #455,
    I didn’t see that at all. I saw a very frustrated young man sit down on the bench, and his friend try to cheer him up. I even commented to my husband that “Andrew looks frustrated. Look at those eyes.”

  160. Cayucos Surfer April 25, 2009 at 3:26 am

    it definitely said on the screen during the broadcast that he had fouled out. I thought it was strange. Probably just a mistake by.. who was it.. TNT?