Lakers/Jazz Game Four Chat

Kurt —  April 25, 2009 — 203 Comments

NBA 2009: Lakers Beat Jazz 119-109

UPDATE: Tex Winter, the Laker consultant who is the inventor of the triangle offense, has suffered a stroke.

Jackson, talking after a morning shootaround in Salt Lake City, said Winter was in Manhattan, Kan., for a reunion of Kansas State basketball team members when he became ill and fell in the shower.

Winter was taken to a hospital, Jackson said, and had made slight progress Saturday.

“I’ve been in touch with the family and they feel relatively at ease with the situation, as difficult as it could have been,” Jackson said. “I’m happy to say that, and they’ve basically said, ‘Take your mind off of this and put it where it belongs right now.’ “

This is certainly sad news, he and his family are in all our thoughts.


There’s not a lot of panic after the ugly play of the Lakers in game 3, in part because we know that teams ahead 2-1 in a series win it 81.9% of the time. Phil Jackson doesn’t looked panicked in this video interview (the video also includes the Morrison/Sasha little verbal skirmish.)

There’s also not a lot of panic because the things the Lakers were able to do well in the first two games they suddenly did poorly in game three, and we like to think that game three was the anomaly. For example, when Ronnie Brewer was on Kobe in the first two games, he was 7 of 12 (58.3%), but in game three he was 3 of 16 (18.8%). When you look back over history, Kobe traditionally does well on Brewer at Staples but struggles more at the toxic waste dump, er, Energy Solutions Arena. I expect Kobe to be better, although maybe not great.

I don’t expect a blowout today (remember game four against Utah last playoffs went to overtime and Utah pulled away in the extra period). In part that is because Okur is expected back and he creates some matchup problems for the Lakers on the defensive end — Okur is a big who can shoot the three and that pulls one of the Lakers better rebounders and shot blockers away from the basket. Phil Jackson has hinted he may try Odom on Okur, keeping a guy more comfortable out on the wings with him. But that puts more pressure on Gasol to push back and hang with Boozer on the boards inside.

The Lakers need to get back to scoring in the paint — that means a heavy dose of Pau but it also means the Lakers need to attack the rim and not settle for jump shots. That starts with Kobe but includes LO and others. Darius said he also wants to see the Lakers give the Jazz some of their own medicine by running the pick and roll.

In our normal P&R sets, we use Kobe and Pau. This is the best pairing because of Kobe’s decision making and Pau’s versatility in being able to pop or dive and after receiving the ball shoot or pass with equal effectiveness. However, recently (and normally this works, so I understand the tactic) we’ve seen Pau pop more and Kobe use his dribble to probe the defense and shoot the midrange jumper more. However, I’d really like to see some other options explored on this play in order to get the Jazz on their heels. Basically, I’d really like to see Kobe drive hard off the screen and try to get into the lane and score at the basket and/or I’d really like to see Pau roll/dive to the basket more in order to get closer looks at the basket for himself or to collapse the defense to free up other players on the weakside as defenders help. In the last game, especially in the closing minutes (and I believe zephid mentioned this), when we ran the Kobe/Pau P&R, the Jazz essentially put a soft double team on Kobe which simultaneously took away Kobe’s midrange jumpshot and took away passing angles to a popping Pau. Also, because Kobe was going to the sideline on the P&R, the soft double also took away the LO flash to the FT line as the topside defender (Brewer) as well as LO’s man were taking away the angle for Kobe to make the pressure release pass in that direction. It’s the main reason why we consistently ended up with Kobe forcing long jumpers with a bigger defender (the soft doubling Boozer) contesting the shot. I think if Kobe comes off that screen hard in an attack mindset at Boozer (or any other big that uses this tactic) we’ll see him draw more fouls against players who lack footspeed and we’ll also see him get into the lane to either score or find open teammates (Ariza, Fisher, ShanWOW, Sasha) on the weakside in position to shoot open jumpers. Or if Pau dives/rolls, we’ll see the same effect. This may be a minor adjustment, and one that exists on a play that is not *the* staple of our offense, but it’s a go to play in key scoring situations and I think we do need to mix it up some.

What was troubling about Andrew Bynum’s fouls was the uselessness of them. Fouls trying to block sure baskets because he was late getting there in the first place. Backing down a known flopper like Collins, which is exactly what he wants you to do. Bynum just needs to play smarter. If not, he’ll be back on the bench.

The Lakers need to close out on Williams and Korver beyond the three point line, combined they are shooting 39.4% from three, the rest of the team is at 16.7%. Again, it’s about being smart and recognizing who you are matched up with on the floor.

Basically, the Lakers just need to play smarter and they will be fine.



203 responses to Lakers/Jazz Game Four Chat

  1. One problem with Bynum is that he has a scorer’s self-identity: in other words, if he scores early he thinks he is playing a good game and plays smart and with energy, if he is not scoring he gets demoralized and commits dumb fouls. He needs to listen to his coach who wants rebounds and defense as the first priority.

    The thing that scares me about this Laker team is that they have not put together a good 48 minute game in quite a while that I can remember. To win on the road in Utah you cannot have those lapses we have become so familiar with lately. A couple of months ago they would never have blown game 3 like they did. To me, it is a huge concern.

  2. First comment…woo hooo!

    Unfortunately, I have to miss the game tonight…all i have are my espn text alerts

  3. “Basically, the Lakers just need to play smarter and they will be fine.”

    Interesting observation in that in the Triangle Era the Lakers have alledgedly gone after players that weren’t the most athletically gifted,instead choosing players w/high basketball IQ and a skill set better suited to the triangle.

    Is it of any significance that 2 current fan faves,(and Phil’s going by minutes)Ariza and Brown are both significantly more athletic than the players they’ve replaced and didn’t come into LA w/reputations for having high Basketball IQs?

    One could make a pretty good argument the Lakers have valued athletic ability over Basketball IQ as much as anybody.

  4. Assuming we have a closing lineup of Fisher, Bryant, Ariza, Odom, and Gasol, here are a couple plays we could try instead of the staple KobeGasol pick n pop. Both plays start from the same configuration, with Kobe on the left wing, waiting for the Gasol pick to come from the left, Fisher, Odom and Ariza all on the weak side waiting to move.

    1.) Kobe uses Gasol pick, and instead of popping, Gasol rolls to the hole. At the same time, Ariza sets a screen on Odom’s man, and as Gasol rolls to the basket, Odom cuts in front of Gasol. If the Jazz shut off the pass to Gasol, the pass to the cutting Odom should almost assuredly be open. After setting a screen on Odom’s man, Ariza turns and sets a screen on Fisher’s man, and FIsher cuts across the top of the key to the wing as an outlet in case Kobe gets trapped. If the Jazz overplay Kobe, he should be able to at least get a pass to one of Gasol, Odom, or Fisher. Through all of this, Ariza runs around the back of the defense toward the basket, waiting for either an offensive rebound, a quick interior pass for a layup, or spots up in the corner for a three.

    2.) Same setup, Kobe again uses the pick on the left. This time instead, Kobe drives hard at the double team, with Gasol rolling next to him to the hole. This time, Ariza sets a backscreen on Odom’s man and Odom cuts around the back of the defense on the weakside, waiting for an interior pass from one of Kobe or Gasol or an offensive rebound. Meanwhile, Ariza sets another backscreen on Fisher’s man, who in turn spots up in the corner waiting for the pass from Kobe. Afterward, Ariza runs around the top of the key to be an outlet for Kobe on the wing.

    So long as we clean up the defensive boards, making sure Boozer doesn’t get 22 rebounds in his lap (it’s not like he had to fight for most of them, he was just in the right place at the right time), we showed that we can contain the Jazz on defense. I think now would be a good time to start Odom over Bynum, since Okur is coming back, and I think Odom will be able to take Boozer out of his game.

  5. Pau Gasol blogging for the LAT:

  6. Wow Avery just butchered some Lakers’ names on ESPN.

    “SAusage vuyakic” and “lamar oden”

  7. Quality blog you have here.

  8. Phil Jackson on the Starting lineup “I think it all depends upon if Mehmet is going to play or not.”

  9. here’s a question for all you writers out there, (and I know we have some excellent writers!)
    I see different uses of the “are/is” and “have/has” when associated with the word “Jazz” I know, it’s the plural thing, I read the “Jazz has…” or the “Jazz have…” and the same for “Jazz are/Jazz is” …
    so, writers, … which is/are it? …I have/has been wondering about this lately.
    I see it both ways even in the Times, like it’s very inconsistent.

    WRT tonight; I like that PJ is considering changing up the starters, for several reasons, 1) Andrew needs to get his mind off Rhiana, and back on the floor, wake up buddy! 2) this is the line up that got us back into the game in the second half of game 3, and seems to stumpify the Jazz (is that a word?) and 3) with Okur coming back, this is a good adjustment, putting LO in there to cover the arc.

  10. Chris, I was told in J school that a team plural, a city is singular. So, the Jazz are going to lose, while Utah is going to lose. But I have seen different things in different places.

  11. Chris-

    English Major here, and Kurt is correct. It’s a nit-picky variation, but teams are plural and SHOULD be treated as such unless the writer is referring to a specific member of the Jazz.

  12. Hillary Ocholla April 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I love the input of some of you regular posters on here, gives me a lot more insight into the game.

    One thing I realized is that while I watch the LA Lakers and NBA basketball for pure entertainment value, some of you take the time to analyze the plays to use and how to get the job done in the best way. Interesting stuff some of you come up with.

    Gotta wake up at 4am in my part of the planet to watch this one live. Without a doubt, I’m definitely looking forward to it.

  13. It seems Tex Winter has suffered a stroke. I hope the best for him and his family.

  14. Ian, I was just about to put that up as I got conformation on that, PJ talked about it at the press conference in Utah.

  15. Unless you’re an English football teams. Then “Manchester United are …”

  16. I wish Tex and his family the best.

  17. Best wishes to Tex and his family.

  18. That’s a real shame about Tex…

    The Heat are just manhandling the Hawks right now, they’re something like 2-18 from the field…

  19. There is something that strikes me as I am looking at the Heat-Hawks score-board. Riley over the last five years has perfected the art of being unsavory and sneaky without explicitly crossing the line into doing anything that would be illegal or cause a big scandal. And each time, he has delivered for his team and for himself.

    Year 0: Realized team was not going anywhere. Retired from coaching. Pretended to mentor Van Gundy.

    Year 1: Got Shaq. No championship to be won yet, let Van Gundy do the hard work this year.

    Year 2: Got a bunch of nearly washed out vets with a one year window. Made sure the vets were of the type that would be hard to handle, making it possible to edge out Van Gundy if needed. When things seemed to be clicking for the team, sneakily edged Van Gundy out. Won a championship ring after a couple of months of coaching, exploiting the systems and the hard work that Van Gundy had put in.

    Year 3: Retired again from coaching since team was not going anywhere. Made sure Shaq got increasingly discontent. Got rid of washed out vets without so much as a thank you.

    Year 4: Traded Shaq. Shut down Wade. Made sure Miami got a high pick. It was incredible the kind of sweeping long-term moves he made to ensure a bottom-feeder record.

    He is like a James Bond villain with his long-term strategy.

  20. I actually like Doris Burke. Major upgrade from Reggie Miller and/or Fratello. Still would enjoy JVG & MJackson’s bickering though.

  21. anybody have a feed for the game?

  22. “I like turtles” April 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    no Bynum in the starting lineup!!

  23. Already giving up too many offensive rebounds.


  25. 3 wide open 3’s

  26. I agree with Don. Doris Burke is a solid commentator. People who dislike her just because she’s a woman are idiots, she’s a million times better than Miller or Jackson.

  27. Memo to Odom: Whenever you have Okur guarding you, blow by him off the dribble.

  28. What is Gasol doing on the p&r? He pretty much picked Fisher.

  29. Our interior defense really suffers without Bynum.

  30. actually, if anyone else has a good feed, i’d appreciate hearing about it

  31. sometimes you can see why people call us soft

  32. Where are all those Laker fans who were saying this was an easy series?

  33. I would like to give Pau another couple shots at scoring here. Either that or bring post up Odom and make Okur work on defense…

  34. Women in general are useless.. but this woman just sounds fake. Why let women into sports anyways?

  35. Has Phil tried Odom, Gasol, and Bynum on the floor at the same time?

    Let Odom space a bit, and dive intot he lane or crash the boards as needed…

    Why not a 5 man of Bryant, Ariza, Odom, Gasol, and Bynum? For 4 or 5 minutes at a time, I would think that would go nicely.

  36. The offense is a little helter skelter right now, hopefully having Luke, Odom, and Fish on the court will help to settle things a little…

  37. The Lakers are not looking decisive tonight.

  38. thanks mamula.

  39. playoff inexperience on the road showing for bynum and ariza

  40. why is odom shooting jumpers?? he should be driving into the lane. his j is so awful looking but his layups always look so graceful

  41. ariza sprained ankle? anyone see the play?

  42. Record when Kobe scores 10 or more in 1st quarter?

  43. wiseolgoat, I think the injury happened when he fouled AK47.

  44. @wiseolgoat – I’m pretty sure what I heard was Ariza sprained knee, not ankle. It was the same play where he picked up that second foul.

    Supporting cast needs to get it going, getting Pau involved should be a priority.

  45. i think the reporter said knee, then corrected it to an ankle.

    regardless, bad news

  46. Shannon looks like he is bouncing off a trampoline!

  47. shanWOW!!!

  48. Two beautiful inside-out threes. Inside out.

  49. …farmar who? moar shannon brown plz

  50. 3 threes in a row… finally some life in this team.

  51. And great to see the bench stepping up, getting Kobe some rest and playing well.

  52. Downtown Shannon Brown !!!

  53. A barrage of threes… me likes!

  54. Kurt – haha with Vujacic’s ill-advised 3 being the exception…

  55. I think it was a pretty cagey move for Phil to sit Kobe as long as he has, it kind of forced some other guys to get going when it seemed like Utah was poised to make a push and Bryant was putting up fire. Could have backfired if they pulled away, but the bench heated up and he looks like gold.

  56. They’re running at Gasol as soon as he puts the ball on the floor. If our guys can get hot from 3 now (they started 1 for 6), we can make them pay for it.

  57. ShanWOW has been hanging out with Fish too much, as evidenced by that PUJIT.

  58. Boozer continues to get away with that hook on Gasol.

  59. Boozer must be a boxing champ, because he’s got a mean hook.

  60. Pau is really getting manhandled around the basket. How should he adjust to that?

  61. SASHAAAAAA!!!!!!
    …wheres roni when u need him?

  62. Doris Burke is great.

  63. Look at Kobe stealing the ball from Sasha for the cherrypick basket 🙂

  64. To be fair, Brewer (I think) was riding on Sasha the whole time, Stu!

  65. Oh my God Doris Burke just quoted Mark Jackson and completely blindsided us. I wasn’t ready, my ear is bleeding.

    Doris I just lost all respect for you.

  66. yes I am machine!

  67. I guess they won’t call not even one of Boozer’s hooks in the whole series.

  68. Yep, Doris is better than 3/4 the fools ESPN has

  69. 48 minutes tonight, no let up!

  70. lawlz…wonder if sasha gets the assist

  71. This 12-2 run has been a lot of fun

  72. Snoop, how can u be mad if it’s a compliment to Kobe?

  73. 64. Boozer is too strong for Pau on the block (that is not intended as a knock on Pau, Boozer is too strong for just about every four on the planet). Odom is late with the double, by the time he gets there Boozer has the hook out and is around Gasol. Double earlier, force someone else to beat you inside.

  74. Kobe shooting 8 for 10 with no 3pt attempts. Anyone else remember games where he gets hot inside and gradually increases the range until he’s raining 3’s? I can’t decide if I want him to try that today or not.

  75. Good to see that Trevor is OK, that’s a relief…

  76. I can t believe it¡
    Pau finally got a call

  77. When Fisher was running that 3-on-2 fastbreak, I yelled, “DON’T, YOU SON OF A… NICE!”

    PUJITS. /sigh

  78. clutch – There are much better ways to compliment Kobe than quoting Mark Jackson. Hearing Mark Jackson on a Mark-Jackson-less night just hurt my soul. I still love you Doris, I just temporarily went into shock.

    Why take Sasha out now? First time in a while he’s gotten in a good groove, and if Ariza’s a bit banged up, why not rest him? I really feel like less PT is a major reason why Sasha’s dipped this year. Inconsistent PT is hard for a shooter.

  79. 3 on 2 and fish shoots a contested jumper, if he misses that i would have lost it

  80. Pau needs to do more of that.

  81. gasol need to just shoot over boozer, just like the last play.

  82. Would you guys rather Fisher try to drive to the hole? Utah cut off the passing lane; given Fisher’s penchant for botching layups, the PUJIT probably has higher expected return than a drive.

  83. Fisher hit 3 in a row… I really hope he’s back

  84. emh – yeah, exactly. Pau can shoot over the top every single time, especially when boozer’s in his defensive stance and expecting the drive or post up move.

  85. shannon is so much better on williams than fish

  86. Derek Fisher should be banned from entering the painted area. I do not remember him scoring from anywhere in there

  87. The Lakers really need to box out better.

  88. lol camera man got kicked in the face

  89. My dear god… where on earth was Kobe’s foul on that drive by Deron?

  90. Terrible pass and terrible call.

  91. aww BS luke was set

  92. Wasn’t worth launching that pass, I don’t have too much problem with Luke trying to take the charge though…

  93. Why throw that pass? Why? Seriously, this isn’t the Duke Blue Devils and Wildcats. Dumb play.

  94. Bad pass, but Luke was there. That was a charge.

  95. that is a charge!

  96. Wow, that was the two of the worst fouls I’ve ever seen. Deron Williams jumped right into Kobe’s chest, and then Luke was standing like a statue and somehow he gets the blocking call. Complete and utter bull.

  97. Does last 2 calls were really amazing.

  98. @felipe
    it was in the stands influencing the refs

  99. I agree Felipe. Deron initiated the contact and Kobe was straight up and down.

  100. how often do those long passes work? almost never, unbelievable

  101. This is why I’m watching KCAL9 instead of ESPN. Stu said not to gamble, and avoiding a turnover at that time was the most important thing.

    Way to deflate their momentum with an uneceessarily dangerous gamble.

  102. unbelievable – the refs just gave deron williams 5 straight points!

  103. The thought the last foul should have been a no-call. Deron dodge the brunt of the contact by going to his right. A no-call would’ve been the proper call to make, IMO.

  104. the call on Harpring was a bad one…. the blocking foul on Luke was a make up call? Both were really late calls. ugg. Bill Simmons may be right.

    Is it just me, or are the espn announcers in love with every player and every play? “he’s so strong.” “his shot is too good.” “he is an inspiration to us all.” “i named my son after him.” “i want to have his son.”

  105. How on God’s green earth was that a blocking foul on Luke? He was way outside the restricted area and set long before Williams took off.


    Great start for Kobe and the bench, but Gasol needs to be more involved in the second half.

  106. Bryan, I disagree about the Harpring. Harpring rotated and initiated the contact on Kobe and even swiped him across the chest.

  107. A blown play before the half might be good – they go into the locker room upset and angry.

  108. Oh, and that inbounds pass by Luke was painfully stupid to begin with.

  109. @Bryan – Referees aren’t going to bat 1.000 all game every game, and sure they’ve dropped some calls, but I don’t have too much problem with the way the game has been officiated. That being said, Bill Simmons is NEVER right!

  110. It’s this current state of officiating that makes me afraid to play Lebron in the finals – like 2006 Wade, I can plausibly see a scenario where the refs give Lebron the championship based on out of control drives that initiate contact.

    yes, I am that upset.

  111. Snoopy, I’m glad you’re soul was only hurt temporarily.

    And, I agree about Sasha. I pulled the pins out my Sasha voodoo after he finally made a couple good plays on both sides of the ball. He needs minutes tonight.

    I can understand some screwed up block/charges. I don’t understand why Booz is allowed to hook all series. It’s quite ridiculous.

  112. I can pretty much guarantee that if it was a Laker player making the same play at the end on the Jazz, it would have been a charging call

  113. This second half will tell us alot about this Laker team and how far they will go this year. You can’t let this Jazz team escape twice to tie the series. Time to knock them out.

  114. im with simmons, the officiating in the nba especially for the road team, is terrible

  115. @DTC – that’s one of many reasons why it’s nice to be at home, that’s the kind of call where it goes the home team’s way in almost every arena, including in Staples…

  116. NBA Referees: They’re FAN-tastic!

    I admit, it is very hard to stomach the constant terrible calls, on both sides of the ball.

    Boozer’s hooking, William’s charges, the ubiquitous moving screens, and the constant hacking and pushing on the inside. And then, when the Laker’s give some back, the whistle hits.

    To be honest, NBA referees are a reason I see basketball as more art and drama than sport.

    At times it is near figure-skating levels, especially when you factor in the “Star” treatment factor. The calls made against Bynum on Thursday would NEVER have been called on Shaq, as an example.

  117. Everybody knows visiting teams get screwed in Utah, no mystery there.

  118. Because if Boozer can’t hook or shove people, Utah wouldn’t stand a chance. He’d be nothing more than a fadeaway jump shooter

  119. Millsap reaches in from behind on low post defense more than anybody I have ever seen.

    If they ever call carrying over on Deron I’ll faint.

  120. a couple referee points: first, I’m a high school ref, so even when the ref is wrong, i stick with my brothers and say they’re right. second, the harpring foul, i didnt see an angle where he touched kobe. AK47 pushed Kobe before that, causing him to be off balance. The refs called off-balance, Harpring just happened to be closest. Third, if the ref wanted to call the block on Luke just to hammer home what a bad pass that was, im all for it.

    and lastly – the moving pick hasnt been called in the nba for years, and it’s more prevalent each year. no matter how blatant, it gets ignored. ive actually written the nba about this a few times, without response.

    i like that we held utah to 46.5% fg% in the firs half. only boozer and millsap have been dangerous – and our offense has come from all players.

  121. When Kobe is hitting that he is unguardable.

  122. AK 47 killing us to start. Need to focus on him on defense, that was much better making D-Will shoot jumpers.

  123. Kobe isn’t just unconscious, he’s comatose!

  124. And re: Luke’s pass at the en of the half. Kevin Love is the only guy in the league I trust to make smart long passes consistently.

  125. wow, surely they gonna have to double kobe

  126. Kobe is starting to recognize that the doubles and triples are coming and hitting the open men. Sort of.

  127. As ridiculous as Kobe is shooting, I’m not liking the fact that the rest o the team is just standing around and watching. There should be cutters and releases and crashing the boards galore, even if all Kobe does is dribble then shoot.

  128. Boozer is on the all-ugly tatoo team.

  129. When Phil said that he’s glad Okur is playing, I agreed with him for a separate reason: the more unproductive minutes he takes away from Millsap, the better.

  130. if they do start to double kobe thats got to mean good things should happen

  131. The defense is starting to get a little handsy on those doubles on Kobe, when Utah starts getting a little more desperate those will turn into whistles.

  132. If D-Will is the guy on Kobe, it’s a chance to get him in foul trouble.

  133. Lakers shooting 67% eFG%.

  134. Did I really just see Derek Fisher make the perfect decision on a fast break?

  135. why is luke walton in the league? I could find about 100 brothers right now in Compton that’ll out-play luke on a nightly basis?

  136. There is going to be one more big run by the Jazz, the Lakers need to be ready. They are getting great points in transition, and a few secondary break drag screens would be nice right now. The Jazz struggle with that quick offense.

  137. Wow. The Jazz are becoming more thuggish than “tough.”

  138. The entire league has known for years that Odom goes left, yet nobody can stop him from getting the shots he wants that way. It’s really amazing to watch.

  139. Its easy to play defense hitting so hard.
    Good defense is what Spurs played in their championship runs.
    What Utah does is plain violence

  140. why does Bynum have so few minutes?

  141. The Jazz are not getting to the rim.

    Well, except on that break.

  142. Given that this quarter will (knock on wood) be an easy one, this would be a great time to work in bynum on offense and on defense and give pau some rest.

  143. How long does Kobe sit at the start of the 4th?

  144. As mentioned by Kurt, the Jazz will go on one more run. The Lakers better not let up. The lead shouldn’t hit single digits again.

  145. @inwit
    as long as the momentum doesn’t go to the Jazz

  146. According to ESPN Gamecast Bynum has only played 2 minutes. Is he injured?

  147. It’s nice to see that the Lakers are actually outrebounding the Jazz, despite not playing Bynum.

  148. Bynum is fine. Phil has chosen not to play him

  149. 19 points is quite hard to lose for a fourth quarter lead. I hope that they don’t cough this one up

  150. I guess Phil doesn’t want to take any chances, Felipe.

  151. “Rebounding is not about size and strength; it is about timing and positioning.” Quote from the great john Wooden. Bynum has the 1st two qualities, but not the 2nd two. When he has a few more games back, he’ll get those back. Right now, he is somewhat a liability on the boards.

  152. Yeah, looks like we’re going for the jugular. Finally.

  153. Kobe is hot…

    Part of me thinks Kobe just wanted to have another “Where will Amazing Happen?” commercial the last time, hence the close game hehehe

  154. Jugular? We got’em by the balls dude.

  155. Is there anyway to speed the clock up?

  156. good timeout

  157. Closing out the game strong builds into game 5. Destroy their confidence.

  158. Bynum is about as focused as a kid in Toys R Us

  159. Bynum, where art thou?

  160. I’m not sure, but I think that of the Jazz last 7 trips down the Lakers got called for 6 fouls.

    And to think the Cavs got TEN PF in a game in this playoffs….

  161. Ariza! Great play!

  162. These are shots 90% of the league wouldn’t dream of taking, and this guy just knocks them down like layups. Astounding.

  163. Bynum’s playing the handicap apparently.

  164. Bynum looks lost out there. This doesn’t bode well for later on in the playoffs.

  165. What’s wrong with our boy Drew?

  166. Joel – Even 90% might be too low. The only people who would dream of taking these shots are Kobe, and Ricky Davis. I’d rather have our dude.

  167. “I like turtles” April 25, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    The team should try and feed Bynum the ball the rest of the game to build his confidence….but now he’s out of the game.

  168. Finally, the killer instinct we’ve all been looking for. And guess who set the tone?

    Kobe often gets this rightful image of being all business, but he spends a ton of time most games arguing and yapping at the refs. It usually doesn’t hurt us, but the difference between normal Kobe and today Kobe was unbelievable. Just business, start to finish. No smiles, no unnecessary verbage. That sort of deadly, quiet focus is best for teaching our young guys how to develop this ruthlessness.

  169. Wow, I don’t even have to nitpick to point out everything Bynum has done wrong in the time he was on the floor just now.

    I know we should give him some leeway but I’m tired of his lack of effort and the dejected, “Oh, well, I tried a little” face he always puts on after a mistake.

  170. This is Bynum’s 4th career playoff game, and his 2nd career road playoff game…i’m pretty sure he will be ok.

  171. Bynum needs to mature – the men got it done tonight.

  172. Lakers need to be careful with the ball.

  173. Folks, don’t start the Bynum hate. The kid is working his way back from a half-season missing injury IN THE playoffs. It was bound to be this way. Let’s just hope he can so progress through all the series. Like turtle said, PJ may have wanted to leave him in there the last 5 min.

  174. To Pau’s credit – he should have had another 4-5 assists tonight if people were making shots. But not a very strong game from him otherwise. Then again – who needs it when you’re playing with Kobe;)

  175. “I like turtles” April 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I don’t think people are hating on Bynum. I know that everyone wants him to have the opportunity to gain his confidence back.

  176. Remember how long it took Bynum to truly get flowing in the season after his first injury? And that was with an offseason and training camp. He’ll get there, it’ll just take some time. Hopefully not too much time.

    lmao what was with that camera at the end, during the Kobe interview? Someone in the studio’s in trouble.

  177. Not hating Bynum on all. I’m just wondering what is wrong… it really doesn’t look like he’s trying hard to get back his timing and the game we saw before he got injured.
    I guess I just really like his game when he brings his A game and effort and that’s not we’re seeing from him in this series.
    Just hope he can get back to what he does best.

  178. I thought I read somewhere that Bynum sat out practice yesterday, as his leg was sore. Would be a good reason why he didnt get much run tonight.

    fast break makers, kings of the court, shake and bake all takers. one more, then I want to see Por-Hou go 6 or 7.

  179. I was looking at the schedules and the game 5 is monday already.
    I find it a little weird that we are going to play 5 games with ZERO 2-day breaks and Celtics has TWO 2-day breaks in the first 4 games.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Utah-LA a bigger trip than Boston-Chicago?

  180. Bynum will play alot against Houston or Portland.

  181. I think Phil is doing the right thing with Bynum. the way the Jazz are allowed to play in Utah will only stifle and frustrate Andrew. this is his 1st real Playoffs experience as a major contributor. Our offense is out of sorts with him in the starting unit, and a frustrated Andrew only hurts the team.

    This way, Phil is relieving the pressure off of Bynum and allowing the team to gain momentum and strengthen cohesion.

    I fully expect more from Drew next game, and next series.

    Also…I think Phil substituted very well this game. Instead of sticking to his same routine, he took out Kobe with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd, so that he could bring him in 2 minutes into the 4th, and prevented any Jazz run. I believe the pattern was similar in the 1st half.

    Pau’s defense is really worrying me right now. Would it kill him to step up and prevent lay-ups or dunks? Or even try to deny position?

  182. Kobe took the exact same shots as in game 3, and made them. Shots that nobody in the league takes, he actually tries to set up to take. Sometimes with all the weapons and all the talk of defense on this laker team, we forget that as Kobe goes, this team goes.

    I’m sick of being disappointed when we don’t do things we’re not great at, like boxing out or playing defense. We are who we are and as long as we can play OK D and get some boards, Kobe playing to his strengths and getting the rest of the team fired up to play within our identity will win games.

  183. 184 (bryan) “fast break makers, kings of the court, shake and bake all takers” …

    … from one of my favorite songs!

  184. Peanut Butter Spread April 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Fantastic win on the road. Looking forward to the close out on Monday.

    Anyone notice how in Games 1, 2, and 4 we had over 10 turnovers and we win. And in Game 3 we had 9 turnovers and we lost …. hmmmmm …. correlation? Me thinks not, but it’s a interesting stat.

    Kobe is godly. I’ve said this and I’ll keep saying this. I like it when he’s in this uber aggressive mode. It reminds me of that Game 2 between the Nuggets where he’s just like, “Enough. We’re getting a win today.”

    I hope Trevor will be alright. Kobe needs to sell ankle insurance to Trev.

    I like Phil putting LO in the starting lineup. Like I said, any other player would hate being shifted back and forth from the bench to the starting lineup up (cough cough AI) but LO is truly a team player. He’s our glue guy. He needs to remain our glue guy.

    Drew will be fine. The kid’s coming back from an injury, it’ll take awhile for him to get his rhythm back and everything.

  185. The more I see of Drew this series, the more I realize this is the worst matchup we could have had to get him back in the flow. He’ll do great against Houston, if we see them.

    Great game, I said in the last thread the Lakers were going to win by double digits, glad to see I was right (for once). Kobe, I mean what else can be said? Absolutely the best player in the game.

    Some bizarre officiating tonight, missing an air ball? That was incredibly odd. Besides that I thought it was a much better job at being consistent w/ foul calls.

  186. Kobe was in his Mamba mode this evening. His typical pre-game pleasantries were nowhere to be found, and his on-court demeanor was strictly all business. Ronnie Brewer played solid defense on Bryant, pushing him out of his comfort zone and keeping a hand in his face. But the MVP was not the least bit fazed, as he left the Utah fans gasping in disbelief with one incredible shot after another.

  187. So how much you want to bet that Kobe stealing the ball from Sasha during the transition basket will be on the next Machine video? (;

  188. i loved what shaw said about Kobe.

    Moments into the game, everyone knew, with Bryant scoring the Lakers’ first 11 points. Just in case anyone forgot, at the start the second half he scored 10 of their first 12 points.

    By then, a group of Jazz players who had once been stalking and pumping their fists were now trudging and shaking their heads.

    “He was probably trying to prove a point,” said Utah’s Kyle Korver.

    Bryant’s teammates got it, feeding off his intensity to such a degree that four of them scored in double figures, and the Lakers had a 46-39 edge in rebounds.

    “We needed that type of performance from him tonight,” said Derek Fisher. “When your best player is leading you, I think everyone gets excited, the shooting gets contagious.”

    Assistant coach Brian Shaw put it more bluntly.

    “It’s like when somebody is bullying you, and your big brother shows up,” he said.

    article here:,0,4007001.column?page=1

    kobe has matured a lot

    I think everyone can now trust that Bryant knows this. After all, this is a guy who now listens.

    “It’s important for me to stay aggressive,” he said. “At the same time, I want to pull the guys along with me.”

  189. Kobe. Wow.. just.. wow.

  190. Kobe made his shots, and Pau was a lot more effective in the paint than before. Andrew got to sit a lot, which makes sense… he’s still trying to find his rythm again, and the Jazz is not a good team to do that against. They play way too physical, and there are too many fouls called for the flow of the game to develop properly. It’s not

    I missed the whole blog, thanks to being over at the Jazz fan family members we had over for the first game, but I did get to see the game, and gloat about Kobe’s shooting, Sasha’s threepointers and hustle play (new Machine video coming?), and of course the fact we won. All the while eating homemade lasagna and brownies… 🙂

  191. Tonight was the most obvious example of why it’s nice to have Kobe Bean Bryant on your team. This was the game I was expecting in game 3 in that Kobe loves to play his best ball on the road to try and take the heart of the other team. Some of his shots were just demoralizing for the Jazz and truly lifted the spirits of the other guys and stats don’t measure things like that. What a show.

    As for Bynum, I think we need to understand that Phil is trying to win a series. That means that we can’t afford poor play from a major rotation player and if we have the depth to limit that guys minutes, Phil is going to do just that. Jordan Farmar can attest to how this works. I’m not down on Bynum per se, but I am upset that he’s not doing the things that he’s seemingly capable of even in his current physical state. In the end, he is young and this is his first playoff action, but he’s not even catching the ball cleanly right now. And while we can attribute slow rotations or missed rebounds to timing issues due to his recent return or being hampered by a sore knee, I think he should be fairly comfortable catching the ball. So that’s a little disconcerting to me. However, I do think he’ll get better when we return to LA and as the playoffs progress.

    One last thing – I am truly impressed with Shannon. Not because he’s so spectacular or because he’s playing perfect ball. But really because he’s doing exactly what we need from a bench player. He’s playing hard, he’s playing with confidence, and he’s playing with purpose. The bright lights and greater importance of these games are not affecting him and he is not shrinking from the big moments that present themselves when he’s on the court. What more could we ask of our backup PG?

  192. Could Bynum’s budding romance with Rihanna be on the rocks? Conspiracy theorists delight!

  193. we always think kobe as a polarizing figure.
    who draws extreme views of things from different perspective.

    i cannot help but thinking.
    maybe that’s really is kobe.
    when he became facilitators, more likely than not, his shooting struggles.
    when he’s shooting well, usually he will get less assists.

    so i think on one side, you have lebron who is probably a more complete player.
    but kobe is a player who makes things unbalanced, he creates such a influence to the game.

    his impact to the game is extreme.

    wonder if anyone also has the same opinion.

  194. Kobe was taking and making sick shots. We’ve all seen him take and make shots like that, but I don’t remember seeing him doing that REPEATEDLY through 3 quarters or so. aren’t the Lakers something like 34-1 when Kobe shoots >50%?

    his % fell off in the 4th and he turned over some. (Kobe reportedly has small hands. the best defense against him is to rake the ball out of his hands. imagine if Kobe had ShanWOW’s hands? he’d be unbelievable.) I think he did get tired. as great a shape as he is in, I think he’s over his physical peak. which is why the Lakers need to win now and the next few years. and we need to enjoy watching Kobe while we can.

  195. I’m in Shanghai and had to miss the 2nd half to go teach English… my consolation – I’m watching Smush Parker stink it up for China’s Guangdong club team. If you thought he was playing uninspired ball in L.A., oh my. He just got benched!

    One funny thing I just noticed is that the arena announcers are allowed to shout things in the middle of plays. Can you imagine if Stu and Joel were on loudspeakers for all the players to hear?

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