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.


to Lakers/Jazz Game Three Chat

  1. I’m adding this link to the story, but here it is as well:

    http://my.lakers.com/blogs/2009/04/23/4x5x-breakdown/

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  2. Reasons why I like the fact that the Lakers drew the Jazz in the first round:

    The D-Will match-up is good prep for other guards they may see down the road.

    They must be disciplined and precise for continuous stretches.

    They are a well coached team.

    There home court crowd can be intimidating.

    Most of these directly relate to real and perceived weaknesses that this Laker team needs to shore up to meet the ultimate goal.

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  3. Okur out for game 3, according to the AP

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  4. I agree that the Jazz will give us all we want tonight. I went to the Hawks/Heat game 2 last night (I live in the ATL) and I watched a Hawks team who thought that they would roll a team that they blow out the game before. D-Wade (like D-Will) is superstar player who will do what it takes to get his team a shot at a win.

    We just need to make sure that we play our best and we should prevail. I am not expecting a sweep, but winning tonight would all but ice this series.

    Go Lakers!

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  5. I’d be really happy if Gasol got 20 shots, Kobe 20, and Bynum 10. I do like pounding it in to Drew, but he should get one touch for every two to Gasol. Drew still turns it over too often, forces bad shots, and isn’t near the facilitator Pau is. He shouldn’t be a focal point. Basically, like everyone else, I want more Gasol.

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  6. To win we will need to:

    1) Limit our turnovers (we must limit their easy transition baskets),
    2) Adjust our level of physicality to what the refs are calling (we can’t put them in bonus early in quarters),
    3) Give the ball to Pau (he should get 15+ shots),
    4) Tighten our bench (no Jordan, limited Luke and Sasha)

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  7. If we tighten up our turnovers we should have no problem. I expect our team to do that knowing they are on the road against a team we’ve beaten 3 straight times already.

    I’m not really worried about the physicality of the Jazz at home, as far as I’m concerned we’ve answered all the critics about our toughness.

    A steady dose of Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum and some decent outside shooting and we should be golden. Please cut down the turnovers!!!!

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  8. We really need to come out strong and punch them hard in the gut. The reason why we were able to win in SLC in Game 6 last year was we got up by 25 in the 1st half, and we needed every single one of those twenty-five points to hold onto the lead (at one point in the 4th quarter, the Jazz tied it, I believe). I’m looking for Kobe to come out in attack mode, something along the lines of 9-19, with somewhere between 15-20 free throws, 30+ pts, 5 assists. On the road, we need our superstar to lead us, because we can’t expect Trevor and Shannon to keep hitting at the outrageous rate they’re currently at as Kurt alluded to.

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  9. And, if I had any lingering doubts before they are gone now — Deron Williams is Teen Wolf.

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  10. One thing that makes me nervous going into Utah is how poorly the Jazz perimeter players have shot the ball so far. Miles & Brewer aren’t good shooters to begin with, but they were ICE cold in LA. If they start making a few outside shots, the crowd will really get into it and it will force us to start contesting more. This will allow them a better opportunity to penetrate. We need to contest hard at the beginning so they can not get any confidence going.

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  11. Is it me or does DWills look like he is wearing a closely cropped toupe?

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  12. D-Will probably has the worst hair in the league. His tattoos are bad also, but at least it doesn’t look like he has a maze drawn on his body like J.R. Smith.

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  13. D-Will’s hair is highly suspicious.

    I detect some manner of foul play.

    In a few years, he may look like this:
    http://tinyurl.com/2z7ls2

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  14. If you can’t get enough Jazz pick-and-roll (and who can?) here is Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons talking about it:

    http://my.lakers.com/blogs/2009/04/23/jim-cleamons-on-the-pick-and-roll/

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  15. Hey fellow Forum Blue and Gold-ers. I have a quick question for you local people to the OC/LA area- I’m trying to go out to bars/ sporting resturants/other places to watch the game other then home during the playoffs, anyone got any good suggestions at places to watch the game?

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  16. @15 – I always go to Nationals Sports Bar & Grill, always a great Lakers crowd during the playoffs and they have great food & a decent selection of alcohol if you’re looking to drink. I live in Orange County & from what I know there’s a few Nationals around.

    Go Lakers!

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  17. is the 7:30 start a tape delay? I would have thought that Utah was an hour ahead of us, so I was expecting a 6:30 start…
    I agree on shortening the rotations, especially about Sasha and Farmar, although Jordan can be good on Bright, but I’m not so sure we want to lessen luke’s minutes, I think he brings some good qualities to the game and has been consistent lately.
    but Sasha, man, he’s having a year for the dogs.

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  18. I was just reading on espn.com that Okur is definitely out tonight & even questionable for game 4. Also noted:

    “Utah coach Jerry Sloan said he also planned to start Andrei Kirilenko at small forward, hoping for some defensive spark to slow down the Lakers, who shot 58 percent in the first two games.”

    That would put AK47 to matchup with Ariza, that should be a good matchup in my opinion & could lead to less open 3’s for Ariza.

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  19. The game is not tape delayed. Just TNT delayed, so it can be the second game of a double header.

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  20. 15. Joxer’s Daily on Washington Blvd. up in West LA is a great spot to watch, if you are in the area. (At least it used to be a few years back.)

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  21. Referee assignments for tonights game:

    B. Salvatore, M. Callahan, E. Lewis

    I think everyone should bank on a Utah win…

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  22. How come jonesonthenba doesn’t comment anymore ?

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  23. Thanks much, Kurt and Rich. If I can get time on the weekends I may trudge up to try Joker’s Daily. I’ve heard of Nationals, never got around to it, thought I heard it was more an Angels bar. But I will definately check it out since it’s right by CSUF.

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  24. Kirilenko is starting in place of Korver. AK will be guarding Ariza. Sloan made the decision in an attempt to slow down Ariza’s hot shooting. Should be interesting to watch

    and Okur is out

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  25. I watched game 4 of the finals last year at the Hooters in Costa Mesa. I haven’t been to a Hooters since and buffalo wings will never taste the same to me…

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  26. I watched game four at the fox sports grill in Irvine, that is no longer there. Maybe it’s just as well.

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  27. #23. harrydoballin: Man, I hope that experience didn’t ruin boobs for you too.

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  28. The ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney is a good crowd, but expect it to be *packed*…

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  29. Let’s make this Salt Laker City 😉

    Rationally, I’d be happy with a split, but I’m rooting for a sweep.

    Woohoo.

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  30. @22 Jeff. I live within stumbling walking distance of Joxer’s. Although I haven’t been there for a Laker’s game, I’m not sure if it’s worth the drive up from OC.

    It can get a lot of douche bag drunks. Not bad for a nearby neighborhood bar, but coming up from OC is a whole different matter.

    The National’s down in OC are usually pretty good.

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  31. I wonder what Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas’ plus/minus numbers are like when they’re on the floor together. It just seems like they’re dominating Big Whiny Baby and Glen I Eat Babies For Pleasure Perkins whenever they’re together, and Brad Miller is just some vortex of sucking that infects their entire team when he’s on the floor.

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  32. er by Glen Perkins, I mean Kendrick Perkins

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  33. With all the talk of limiting turnovers, I’d like to add that I’d like the Lakers to avoid a particular kind of turnover. Very frequently, the guard bringing up the ball surveys the post, doesn’t find anything, and passes the ball to the other guard (or possibly SF) near the top. Normally in the triangle, this pass is to the side and slightly backward.

    Since I know this, I presume that the opponents know it, too. Unfortunately, the Laker ballhandlers, once or twice a game it seems, somehow think that this reverse pass is some kind of secret, and throw it with the sort of care you’d expect as a result. This kind of turnover is practically always costly, because either (a) the player cutting the passing lane scores an easy deuce; (b) he scores an easy deuce plus the foul; (c) breakaway foul; (d) Kobe gets back to block the weak layup in a spectacular move (often because he threw the bad pass), but because he’s the only one back, the trailer dunks the rebound; (e) etc. At least if you turn it over on the baseline, the opponents have to make it through your entire defense, even if it is in (semi-)transition.

    Even Lamar walking the ball up over his own baseline is better. Funnier, with the passage of time, even.

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  34. Thanks Snoopy for the link, that is what he is about, helping others in life, not being selfish. No matter what happens in the Laker game tonight I will be OK for today now.

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  35. Lakers will win the series, but I think they will probably lose tonights game. The Jazz are gonna come out really ready to play as Kurt mentioned, and the Lakers are probably gonna lack some passion because of the 2-0 lead they got. However, I predict they will win game 4.

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  36. Thanks for that link, Snoopy! All the things Mutombo did off the court always gave me a bit of hope that there’s still good people in the world. It’s nice to see one of them succeed the way he did, and still remain a good person.

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  37. im somewhat happy Ak is starting, stops them from possibly starting hot with korver draining threes and getting the crowd going

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  38. couple of blowouts already tonight, lets hope we can make it three (for us)

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  39. what the h** is happening in dallas?!

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  40. well what about the dumping in dallas and chicago? the lakers better be wary about this happening.

    celtics look like they have earned a step. dallas looks like they want to take advantage of their edge.

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  41. lil pau:
    I have no idea, but it’s border-line nauseating to watch… this is the Spurs?

    Bring on the “not tough enough” rhetoric!

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  42. Cayucos Surfer April 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Wow. The bulls just do not have it tonight. at all. Too bad. i was hoping for at least a somewhat competitive game.

    Gotta say.. Mikki Moore just irks me. His face, his body language, everything about the guy. if i were playing i would want to deck him. Probably just because he used to play for the Kings. and now the Celts.

    I’m hoping we will step it up and bury this team for once. We are more than capable. It’s becoming a bit worrisome that we cannot put these teams away.

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  43. They just said the spurs had a 12 point third quarter… WOW.

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  44. Tim Duncan had 9 field goal attempts in three quarters. No, that is not a typo. He took a total of 9 shots in three quarters.

    And he missed seven of them.

    I’m, um, a bit speechless.

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  45. Joe, I tend to agree with you this time, but I think we’re forgetting that this team is not last years team, and that may be the difference.
    I’ve been feeling all day that they are going to be much hungrier than us tonight, and for that reason, I’m thinking we won’t get it tonight, but will on Saturday and be happy with a split, and win game 5 at home, series done.
    But, this year’s team just might show us something more, in the way of heart and determination, I hope so. time will tell, soon enough.
    tip off in a few minutes…
    GO LAKES!!!

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  46. thoses that being carried of by the celtics?

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  47. Rondo had to be helped off the court by his teammates after the game. That ankle is really going to bother him for the rest of the series. Chicago had nothing going tonight. They live and die on isolations or the pick and roll and neither was working; turning the ball over a ton didn’t help either. They really miss Deng, who can play better defense on Pierce than Salmons can. If only they had hired a certain offensive-minded coach that was let loose by Phoenix last summer…

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  48. I’m interested in seeing how Bynum performs tonight with his knee pain and if he’ll be able to play through it. That more than us winning or losing tonight will determine how the Lakers do in these playoffs.

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  49. Ugh, Reggie Miller.

    Can we organize a fund to convince Hubie Brown to commentate all of our playoff games? Good lord.

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  50. Talk about bad environment to play in. Can you see the basket through all that smoke?

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  51. Lakers making bad decision early.

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  52. Reggie Miller’s commentary is like nails on a chalkboard.

    Why is Gasol still not getting any touches????

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  53. man do we look casual

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  54. 2 fouls already 🙁

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  55. Looks like it could be a bad shooting night for our guys tonight. Not very active on the boards. So far 3 Jazz players have gotten into the lane and driven to the hoop. Ugh and now 2 quick fouls on Bynum. Hmmm…long night. Hopefully it’s not a blowout like the other 2 games unless we blow them out of course.

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  56. DAMN that’s a great catch by Pau.

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  57. Finally. Let’s see some energy now… play like you care!

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  58. Lakers playing better. Good ball movement.

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  59. Some defense would be nice.

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  60. Umm, defense leaving something to be desired though.

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  61. Now they’re the ones scoring in the paint, while we’re the ones shooting jumpers. this is not a good trend.

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  62. They’re not matching the energy with the Jazz, but we’re right there with them. That’s all we could ask for.

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  63. We’re coming out flat. Not much of an early onslaught that I expected out of Utah though. Be interesting to see how it goes when the reserves come in and whether Phil has tightened the rotations.

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  64. no one takes a charge better than fish

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  65. are you serious? that foul happens EVERYTIME the ball is inbounded!

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  66. The physical decline of Tim Duncan sucks to watch. He’s one of my favorite players to watch. I think has been dealing with terrible knee tendinitis throughout the season.

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  67. Pau’s shot is off so far.

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  68. We can’t hit a shot, and Boozer’s got 8 rebounds already.

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  69. Fisher just threw that ball up there. lol.

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  70. Eroc, that’s pretty much our offense so far. Just throwing it towards the basket area.

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  71. some effot would be nice

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  72. What worries me is that the Lakers are resorting to 1-on-1 and settling for jump shots. Not a receipt for either freethrows or high percentage scoring.

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  73. It’d be nice for Pau to show a pulse.

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  74. I’m actually kind of hoping to be down by double digits by the end of this quarter… I want to see Phil get eloquent on them and the players to realize that they are in teeh playoffs and should put in some effort by now. Preferably not by desperately chucking the back in the general direction of the paint.

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  75. Wow, Pau GaSOFT can’t even rebound when he has position inside??? Unbelievable.

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  76. Rebounds – Jazz 19 Lakers 6

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  77. Kobe has no lift in his shot…he’s showin his age…

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  78. Lets just hope that Utah has as much trouble holding a lead as we’ve had this series.

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  79. Boozer outrebounding the Lakers by himself. Good times.

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  80. I will say this, 17 points in a quarter is probably an anomaly. Just maybe.

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  81. I don’t want Luke taking the last two shots of the quarter.

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  82. ive lost count at the amount of layups and point blank shots weve missed

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  83. Utah’s FG% is 26% higher than ours and the deficit is only 9…how is that even possible?

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  84. not going the way i expected it, that’s for sure.

    we’re really making up for that 85% 1st quarter, hah.

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  85. To 76:

    Go trolling someplace else.
    Pau has 5 rebounds in one quarter.

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  86. I think we should cut our rotation down to 7. Forget about Luke!..haha

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  87. I’m sad that Boozer has 11 rebounds already. That’s more than most players get in a game!

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  88. Maybe the Lakers feel bad for the Jazz so they’re going to comp them one.

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  89. We just need to keep grinding away – first things first, boxing out on defense would be nice. Everything flows from there.

    On the plus side, we are getting good looks at the basket – it’s not as if they’re taking our offense completely away.

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  90. Phil really didn’t want to do that interview.

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  91. Joe bub,
    He has 5 rebounds, but he should have 10!

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  92. HA. The Machine save game. Machine play well in Utah.

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  93. There we go! Go Sasha, get that rebound!

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  94. THAT IS AN AWFUL CALL. JESUS CHRIST

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  95. terrible call, two offensive rebounds for sasha!

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  96. Epic flop by Millsap there.

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  97. Nice flop by Millsap…

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  98. BS call on Drew here we go grrrrr

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  99. I think Farmar’s minutes are all but restricted to garbage minutes now.

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  100. Machine will make up for everyone. Machine rebound and hustle mode online.

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  101. Have Sasha box out Boozer.

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  102. Look at the bench leading the comeback. Good to see Sasha and Shannon showing that at least two of the Lakers came to win

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  103. Farmar may be nothing but a memory, but I am really liking how scrappy Sasha has been playing tonight…

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  104. The Bench Mob is back?

    I’m breaking out the celebratory scotch.

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  105. bad shots sasha, shannon

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  106. Again GaSOFT has two chances to get a rebound and still can’t grab it….hilarious.

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  107. why is our defensive rebounding so awful???

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  108. Bad shot selection, but I like the bench’s energy and hustle.

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  109. Brown credits a lot of his success to Farmar’s help in practice…don’t mow the guy down so relentlessly, people.

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  110. The refs love to hear themselves blow their whistles.

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  111. Jazz are trying to get physical get DJ In the game Phil !!! What do you have to lose?

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  112. I wish sasha would stick to spot up jumpers not off balance shots…does he not realize how much better he shoots when his feet are set

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  113. Kurt, please delete the spam.

    Bench’s energy is encouraging.

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  114. @107 – Ohhhhh, I getting, adding an “ft” sound to the end of Gasol’s name so it sounds like something derogatory. Witty stuff.

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  115. If this is all the jazz got their done for lol. Lakers playin real bad n the score is still tight

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  116. As poorly as the Lakers have started, it’s worth pointing out that Deron Williams has been contained pretty well so far.

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  117. What?? Calling someone soft is derogatory???

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  118. Yusuf, I agree. Lakers playine WELL below their ability. Jazz lead by one.

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  119. ohmygod what is that thing on Deron Williams’s head!?!?

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  120. I was playing this playoff series on my Xbox today and Williams couldn’t hit a free throw. I’m just sayin’.

    Meanwhile, the defense this quarter has been much more inspired (in spite of that Boozer jumper).

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  121. Nick, who won the game on the XBOX?!Don’t leave us hanging!

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  122. gasol better wake up

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  123. Nick, so who won in your xbox game?

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  124. @122 – Beat ’em by 17, baby!

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  125. was that deron walking gingerly to the bench? almost as if that timeout was to give him time to shake off some sort of nagging injury.

    If Pau is getting the ball that far out, he should go to the faceup jumper instead of bringing the ball down to try to drive. Boozer’s got the quickness advantage on him I believe, whereas Pau’s height gets negated in that scenario.

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  126. Pau looks out of gas WTF?

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  127. Woo hoo! No need to watch this game anymore. 3-0 baby!

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  128. Pau is getting bullied by Boozer under the glass.

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  129. Kobe should’ve kept his mouth shut about feeling relaxed when they boo him….yeah, he has a lot to show for it…a big fat goose egg….

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  130. Pass the f*****g ball!

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  131. well i’d say kobe and pau couldnt play any worse at least

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  132. As long as D Will doesn’t start getting hot, we’ll be ok. Boozer can have his big game tonight, it’s not going to cut it as long as we keep D Will down.

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  133. I’m glad Kobe is starting to take it to the basket.

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  134. The Lakers have shot and played terribly, and they are only down one. That speaks to the talent of these teams. I think the second half will look different.

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  135. for someone reason trevor not trusting his jumper

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  136. So we’re shooting 27% from the field and Kobe hasn’t scored yet, and we’re only three points down.

    If we could actually start playing well, this is a blow-out.

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  137. It would be nice if Kobe plays a little defense if his offense is off. Why is he so stubborn?!

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  138. 137, it’s because Kirilenko is running at him with his 10 ft arms.

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  139. Boozers seein big dollar signs all over the ball!! New contract!!! Time to opt out

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  140. This is just a herky-jerky, grind it out, ugly game. Definitely not for fans of offensive basketball, especially when you consider last game’s score at the end of the FIRST quarter was 41-30…

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  141. My only problem with the 2nd half is the altitude is likely to start to play in for the Lakers and Phil will have to go further into the bench. However, I see the Lakers reaching already. Perhaps it is starting now.

    Kobe needs to drive and kick to a big – or go all the way to the basket to get his shot back.

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  142. I like that the defense this quarter has been solid. The offense is going to be there at some point before the game is over, it’s unavoidable. So if the Lakers can keep limiting the Jazz scoring, they’re going to be in good shape down the stretch.

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  143. If the Lakers are within 8 by the halftime, as poorly as they have played on offense, I think that we will see a big surge and break the Jazz’ back in the third.

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  144. Wow, this game is ugly.

    But the old saying rings true – good things happen when you go to the hole…

    The shots are not falling, go for lay-ups or get to the line. Or in Pau’s case work for a position close to the basket.

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  145. I’m hoping the Lakers have a third quarter surge.

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  146. Lakers have shot a sad 33.5% (eFG%) so far the the Jazz have grabbed 42.9% of their missed shots. I have to believe those numbers will normalize.

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  147. Lakers’ rebounding is atrocious.

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  148. Hurried shots will not help our cause..

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  149. Ha! That Reggie’s Mailbag question was funny!

    And our offense really needs to start delivering here.

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  150. Thanks, Kurt … I was just wondering what those numbers were; I knew they would be ugly.

    I almost can’t believe we’re even within six.

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  151. Odom is playing great.

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  152. Only reason we’re still in this is Odom’s effort.

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  153. 43-39. Thats it?!?!?!111!! I’ll take that.

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  154. Wow Kobe, how about kicking it out to a wide open Fisher? Good thing Odom is so active on the glass.

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  155. Where would we be without Lamar.

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  156. We are only 4 points behind. As bad as we played, that is great!

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  157. Gasol needs to get it going and Bynum needs to stay on the floor for longer than a few minutes.

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  158. Holding them 17 was good. Another quarter like that and we have the lead going into the fourth, which is shocking. So imagine if we play as well in the second half as we’re accustomed to.

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  159. That was the ugliest half of basketball I’ve seen in a long, long time. I guess the playoffs really are here!

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  160. With the way the Lakers stunk up that half, this is the best result possible.

    This is the first road playoff game for Trevor, Shannon, and Andrew – and it happens to be in Utah. I think this has a lot to do with their performance in the 1st half (too passive). If Kobe gets going by driving to the hoop in the 3rd, I think he will get his shooting going.

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  161. Very unusual to see Gasol outplayed by his opposite number like in the first half, and Kobe was far from efficient. I don’t know, you guys … if I were the Jazz I wouldn’t be feeling too confident only up four at the break.

    Oh, and harkening back to an earlier topic in this thread: I’m starting to think maybe D-Will reminds me more of General Zod from Superman II. Or a villain from HBO’s Rome perhaps.

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  162. Salt Lake City – where ugly happen!

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  163. Kaifa:
    As proven by 33% shooting, and by Williams’s hair.

    Sorry. I just can’t get over that hair. It’s so… shiny.

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  164. Hahaha…Chuck saying ultimate closer?…he’s 1-10!

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  165. I don’t know if I’ve seen Kobe play a worse half of basketball than that one. Hope he straightens out in the second half.

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  166. Mimsy, those are the main reasons, but among Boozer, Ak-47, and those fans they kept showing… well, I’m not gonna go there.

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  167. He wasn’t talking about closing the first half.

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  168. Pop’s reaction to their loss:

    He tosses the stat sheets off the interview table and says “Gah, can’t look at the stat sheets after that.”

    Classic Pop.

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  169. Considering the Lakers got almost nothing from Kobe, Gasol and Bynum I’d almost feel good, but getting outworked on the boards and outhustled for loose balls isn’t a formula for success.

    0

  170. joel r. marc anthony perhaps? kudos to lamar. lakers need to wakeup from this regular season-type play. kobe. just drive the lane!

    0

  171. We need to be more active on the boards, which will allow us to get into the offense quicker and perhaps find some semblance of a rhythm.

    0

  172. Bynum on the bench to start the half. Interesting…

    0

  173. That didn’t take long.

    0

  174. Good start!

    0

  175. Good start for employee #24, hopefully an omen of things to come…

    0

  176. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Bynum’s on the bench because Lamar is playing so great.

    0

  177. Did Kobe just wake up? Sweet!

    I like the crowd on the floor right now. A couple of defensive power houses, a couple of shooters, a couple of big men, and a pure assassin. That should be enough to build and hold on to a lead.

    0

  178. Now THIS is how to play!

    0

  179. I love Odom’s game!

    0

  180. good signs

    0

  181. Much better execution. Like the effort too.

    0

  182. Lakers getting all the loose balls and rebounds all of a sudden.

    0

  183. It’s well documented how successful Kobe is against Utah, but Odom is just as much of a nightmare for them. They have nobody who matches up remotely well with him.

    0

  184. Lamar with 15 and 10 already, I’ll excuse the occasional misguided three with that kind of production.

    0

  185. when lamar wants to be he is amazing

    0

  186. i cant remember phil ever doing a halftime lineup switch like this before…but if ever there was a time to do it, its now. lamar is playing magnificent

    0

  187. Allow me to amend that statement: 17 and 10…

    0

  188. Joel,
    I’m half convinced that if Boozer would just be willing to put in the effort he could be a sensational defender. But that doesn’t show in statistics, so he spends his energy on the other end on the floor. He has all the physical tools for it.

    0

  189. I think Lamar Odom played pretty well against Utah last year too

    0

  190. TEXTBOOK ARIZA CORNER 3 FROM KOBE!

    0

  191. I LOVE it!

    0

  192. Wow, is that crowd cheering for the Lakers on that fast break? Sounded loud.

    0

  193. General Zod can’t buy a free throw this game. Wild.

    0

  194. 191

    He could be better, but I don’t know about ‘sensational’. He isn’t that quick laterally and plays mostly below the rim. That’s Utah’s main defensive problem: their bigs lack the athleticism to be above-average defenders.

    0

  195. LAKERS ALIVE!!! What dominatioN!

    0

  196. . . . but not that fast break.

    0

  197. Where’s anonymous?

    0

  198. Great to see Gasol canning that long-range J over the much shorter Boozer!

    0

  199. #197,
    Fair points… the lack of quickness would be more of an obstacle than anything else though. I remain undecided. Better, yes. How much better I’m not sure though.

    0

  200. @199 – I’m pretty sure Kurt has shut him out.

    I would just like to point out that this has been the defense knuckling down and taking control of this game in a hostile environment, this is what gives me confidence for our prospects throughout the rest of the playoffs.

    0

  201. I meant @200, I guess…

    0

  202. jerry sloan isnt calling for time? the new phil strategy?

    0

  203. Can’t say I’m shocked by how this is playing out. If that first half was Utah’s best shot in an elimination game on their home floor, they might as well break out the fishing rods and make arrangements to rent a boat. Williams needs to take over again like he did on Tuesday.

    0

  204. Trevoooor! The shot is back!

    0

  205. Ariza! Our 3 pt sharp shooter! I love it!

    0

  206. Ariza is hot.

    We’re 10/15 for the quarter.

    0

  207. How’s that for a formula?

    0

  208. Kurt was right – our shooting % and their rebound rate have definitely regressed to the mean!

    0

  209. ARIZA! Woot!Woot! This guys is living up to the playoff hype. go 1-man explosion! now to do maintenance job on the lead

    0

  210. amazing, seems like they just decided.. ‘well i guess we should start trying now’ and boom

    0

  211. 29-8 so far this quarter!

    0

  212. On the subject of Boozer as a defender, his lateral quickness isn’t that great, but he definitely has the physical tools to be a decent defender. That inch or so of height he gives up hurts, but he generally can be pretty solid. Utah’s problem is that they would like more of a traditional rebounding, shot-blocking center, but Okur is indispensable because of his three-point shooting.

    0

  213. Awfully quiet in Energy Solutions Arena going into the commercial break.

    That silence … on the road, in a tough building … is even sweeter than the cheers of a home crowd.

    0

  214. No, we’re getting some great defense from Pau and Lamar, which is why we’re building this lead.

    0

  215. LOL – anon, good one.

    0

  216. Thx Kurt, good to see this site clean.

    0

  217. My sentiments exactly Zephid.

    0

  218. Has anyone ever seen a photo of Stockton smiling?

    0

  219. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Ariza and Shannon have been the main improvements to the roster so far this postseason over the last. Bynum will get his eventually(foul trouble and some nerves in his games so far), and thats when we’ll see a one of them thirty point wins, I think.

    0

  220. Rebounds guys, rebounds help win championships too!

    0

  221. There is only one Jazz player in double figures.

    0

  222. One thing that’s been bugging me all game, what’s with Boozer squeezing the ball before every Laker free throw?

    0

  223. Wow. Pau and his free throws.

    0

  224. Next on the “To Improve”-list: Freethrow shooting

    0

  225. Kaifa:
    He’s charging it with evil karmic energy. That’s why we’re missing the freethrows.

    0

  226. Drew has 4 fouls, not 5…

    0

  227. Bynum is getting no love.

    0

  228. i swear the league has formed a conspiracy in order to try to foul out Bynum every game

    0

  229. bynum needs a session with kareem and maybe a hug

    0

  230. Maybe I lied. I thought he had four.

    0

  231. bynum still has 1 foul left, right?

    0

  232. we should have put this game away

    0

  233. Where did Bynum pick up his fourth foul? I thought he had three going into the half.

    0

  234. ESPN thinks he has five right now. Unless this is suddenly college, we should be seeing him again.

    0

  235. Bynum has 5, yes.

    0

  236. He does, the scoreboard must be wrong or something, the ESPN box score has him at five, and that’s my count as well.

    0

  237. Textbook sub timing.

    Anyway, it’s kinda sad to watch this Jazz team after all those memories they gave us in previous incarnations.

    0

  238. Yahoo also says 5, not 6.

    0

  239. TNT just has their info messed up. I am excited to hear their reaction when he comes back in the game.

    0

  240. Gasol’s best Shaq impersonation… at the line.

    0

  241. I’ve been deleting comments that are pure name calling and baiting. If you want to comment on this site, follow the guidelines that are linked to at the top of the page.

    0

  242. That wasn’t a terrible look Kobe got at the end there.

    0

  243. If we follow the statistical trend this game, we’ll win the fourth 38-17…

    0

  244. Something is up with the scorekeepers in Utah. Andrew somehow picked up a phantom foul while on the bench in the 2nd half.

    0

  245. No matter how much I slice it, shooting 4 for 18 is bad

    0

  246. Thanks Darius. Good to see the trolling getting all cleaned up.

    Sorry for my part in the baiting, btw. 🙂

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  247. The Jazz are trying shoot free throws every time down.

    0

  248. Anonymous has been at it for a good while Darius, it might take a while to find all his spam.

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  249. Great pass, Gasol!

    0

  250. I think we should have a foul-per-minute rating for our players.

    Betting Sasha comes out on top.

    0

  251. He’s back, as “anon” this time.

    I see Sasha is back, nice. He brought a lot of energy last time he was on the floor.

    0

  252. Ashton Kutcher is killing us.

    No shame in taking a timeout to try and stifle the crowd a bit.

    0

  253. If we don’t lose it and ride this storm out, we should be good.

    0

  254. Ugh. Our free throw shooting.

    0

  255. Hitting our free throws would be nice.

    0

  256. why not put powell in instead of walton

    0

  257. At least Utah’s not doing too great at the line too

    0

  258. Wow. Did they swallow their whistles?

    0

  259. Poor Pau is getting hacked.

    0

  260. Ugh. I should know not to take anything for granted when the Lakers have a double-digit lead.

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  261. lead management. mark of a champ! dnt want this to end as a shoulda woulda game

    0

  262. Hmmm, I wonder if the league will have to replay the game if the Lakers do lose. They had to do the same thing when Shaq was fouled out prematurely in an Atlanta-Miami game last year. But this is the playoffs…what do they do? Andrew Bynum definitely only has 5 fouls, and the scorekeeper fouled him out.

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  263. They have to, otherwise Millsap’s gonna foul out real quick.

    We have a disturbing shortage of assists this game…

    0

  264. Come on, let’s play some defense.

    0

  265. Okay, this is getting old beyond old. How can anyone still be interested in any TNT drama series after the way they shove them in our face every chance they get?

    I’m so sick of The Closer I’m willing to pay for someone to pull show and those annoying promos off the air for good.

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  266. Too many passes on that possession by the Jazz.

    0

  267. The refs forgot where their whistles were.

    0

  268. shocking officiating

    0

  269. Lakers are looking frustrated, which is not necessarily going to be any kind of productive. They just need a couple of smooth possessions to calm themselves down a little.

    0

  270. The Lakers are letting the no calls get to them

    0

  271. How can the refs not call millsap moving his feet on the “charge” and pau not getting hacked on every post catch, but call touch fouls on moving screens by harpring?

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  272. They forget their whistles when Pau is getting hacked, but not on the other end.

    0

  273. I will say this, the game is in Utah, so you have to expect no to get the calls that you’re going to get in Los Angeles. I’m more concerned about pull up threes on offense, and open J’s for the Jazz on defense. Lakers really just need to settle down a little.

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  274. everyone is losing their heads including the refs, what is fish doing

    0

  275. Darius, I had taken out a number earlier as well.

    0

  276. @276 – I have my doubts that you’re really Darius.

    0

  277. The one foul Pau gets called for him is the foul that shouldn’t be called.

    0

  278. Wow how did that not call the foul there but then they called it on the tacky foul on the follow up.

    0

  279. Utah is hacking at will underneath the basket. Where’s the Steve Javie crew?

    Also, Pau needs to make his free throws.

    0

  280. christ about time we got a call

    0

  281. Hah! Never save it under your own basket, eh?

    Pau is getting angry. We like angry.

    0

  282. Yikes! Bad shot by CJ Miles. I think my autographed rookie card of him just went down in value.

    0

  283. please stop shooting j’s

    0

  284. This is a nightmare and we’re only down by two

    0

  285. This game is a total win-win for us. If we win, we go up 3-0. If we lose, the league will be forced to bite the bullet and either replay the game or just admit they messed up and screwed over the Lakers by assigning a phantom foul to Andrew Bynum.

    0

  286. Great third quarter . . . the rest has been forgettable.

    0

  287. Officiating is super strange this quarter. They are calling routine holding and grabbing off the ball while letting murder go free on shot attempts.

    0

  288. This is unrelated, but watching of those X-Men Origins commercials has got me thinking, a grocery list could sound exciting as long as Patrick Stewart is narrating it…

    0

  289. Well, so much for all the hoopla about Kobe stepping it up on the road and in hostile territory.

    Unless, of course, he does something in the final minutes, which I won’t rule out.

    0

  290. I think we need to stop worrying about the refs. That goes for us fans and the players. Only concern yourself with what you can control.

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  291. Space… the final frontier. These are the voyagers of the starship Enterprise. It’s mission: to seek out new life and…

    … to boldly go where no one has gone before.

    hrm, guess I no longer qualify as a trekkie, i forgot the rest.

    0

  292. harodl,
    Thing is, if Lamar, Pau and Trevor keep playing like this, Kobe can have an off game and we’re still good.

    That said, Kobe time usually starts closer to the three-minute mark.

    0

  293. @291 – I couldn’t agree with you more Darius. Knuckle down on defense, box out, and run the offense. I promise that we’ll like the result.

    0

  294. To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before

    0

  295. Wow. Boozer missed a point blank shot.

    0

  296. Cedric Ceballos April 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    8 seconds! Wow.

    0

  297. Wow you won’t see that very often, 8 second violation.

    0

  298. 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.

    0

  299. Wow, they actually called 8 seconds.

    0

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

    Playoff basketball…

    0

  301. 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.

    0

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

    0

  303. @294, 297 – Not bad kids, not bad.

    0

  304. 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.

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  305. 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?

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  306. 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.

    0

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

    0

  308. Look like Gasol touched that one.

    0

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

    0

  310. Bad shot, Kobe.

    0

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

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

    0

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

    0

  313. Pound it inside. Good lord.

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

    0

  314. @312;
    Yeah, and Bill Walton could mimic right off the bat “Luke, I am your father”

    0

  315. 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.

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  318. 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.

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  321. Um . . . that wasn’t me.

    0

  322. 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.

    0

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

    “I guess I just miss my friend.”

    0

  324. 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?

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  327. Great pass!

    0

  328. Nice pass.

    0

  329. 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

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  330. #332,
    Somehow I doubt that was actually Zephid.

    0

  331. 329

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

    0

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

    Hit or miss, that’s the question.

    0

  333. Here we go!

    0

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

    0

  335. Love Odom!

    0

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

    And then we give up a DUNK too Boozer.

    Good lord.

    0

  337. 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…

    0

  338. Boozer hooked Gasol.

    0

  339. 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

    0

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

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  343. terrible defence by pau

    0

  344. Gasol got owned on that last play….

    0

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

    0

  346. 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.

    0

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

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  350. Here we go again!

    0

  351. That’s also pretty good.

    0

  352. Wow, horrible defense by the Jazz again.

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

    0

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

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

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  356. Pau Pau Pow!

    0

  357. 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.

    0

  358. It’s called a dunk, Reggie.

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  361. Go Pau!

    And go Kobe. He made that happen.

    0

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

    0

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

    0

  364. 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.

    0

  365. A steal and dunk by Ariza.

    0

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

    0

  367. Or a Williams made shot.

    0

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

    0

  369. Wow.

    I sense Kobe heroics coming up.

    0

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

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

    0

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

    0

  372. ok kobe for the win

    0

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

    0

  374. Too bad.

    0

  375. i heard a thought before

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

    0

  376. Ouch. Tough loss.

    Ah well. I’ll take it.

    0

  377. ‘Ol well.

    0

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

    0

  379. bad pass by trevor on that inbounds…

    0

  380. sums up kobe;s night

    0

  381. 5- 24….

    0

  382. 16-0 just went down the drain. Damn!

    0

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

    0

  384. 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.

    0

  385. 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.

    0

  386. “3 more? Very much like this”

    0

  387. 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!

    0

  388. 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.

    0

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

    0

  390. 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.

    0

  391. 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…

    0

  392. 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.

    0

  393. 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?

    0

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

    0

  395. 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.

    0

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

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

    0

  397. 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

    0

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

    0

  399. 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.

    0

  400. 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.

    0

  401. 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.

    0

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

    I guess we’ll hear about it tomorrow

    0

  403. 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.

    0

  404. 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.

    0

  405. 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.

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  406. 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.

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  407. 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.

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  408. 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.

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  409. 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

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  410. 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>

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  411. 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.

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  412. 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.

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  413. 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.

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  414. 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.

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  415. 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.

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

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  417. 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.

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  418. 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!

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  419. 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.

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  420. 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!

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  421. @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.

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  422. 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.

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

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  424. 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.

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  425. 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.

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  426. 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

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  427. 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.

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  428. 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

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  429. 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.

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  430. 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.

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  431. 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.

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  432. 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

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  433. 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.

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  434. 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.

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  435. 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.

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  436. 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.

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  437. 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.

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  438. 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.

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  439. 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.

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  440. 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?

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  441. 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.

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  442. 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.

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  443. 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.

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  444. 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.

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  445. 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…

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  446. 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.

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  447. 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.

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  448. 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.

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  449. 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.

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  450. 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.

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  451. New post up.

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

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  452. 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.

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  453. 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.

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  454. 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.

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  455. 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.

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  456. #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.”

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  457. 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?

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