Lakers/Jazz Game 5 Chat

Kurt —  April 27, 2009

Jazz vs. Lakers
The toughest win to get is the last one. Doesn’t matter where the game is played, what happened before, teams pick it up a notch when their season is on the line.

No Luke Walton tonight (and maybe through the first couple games of the next round), which means more minutes and a bigger game is needed from Ariza.

Kobe was on fire early last game pulling up for the midrange jumper — the Jazz never really adjusted to that. They were willing to let him beat them that way so he did. I expect some kind of adjustment to that this game, Utah can’t risk the same outcome, but whether it is the early double team or ball denial defense, that should open things up for the ball to get inside. The Jazz still don’t have an answer for everything Gasol can do. And they don’t seem to care when Odom drives to the left, although they should.

On defense the Lakers probably had their best half in the second half of game four. They were much better and smarter at doubling Boozer before he started his move, and they did a much better job being aware of the cutters when help came on D-Will, Those things need to continue.

But by this point in the series, there are not a lot of secrets. Everyone knows what is supposed to happen, it’s a matter of exaction.

I know a lot of people want to see more Andrew Bynum tonight, to see him get in a rhythm before he gets a boost in responsibility next series (either Houston or Portland). The problem is, the Jazz have tried to counter the Lakers size advantage by going small at times. Putting Bynum out there in that situation — with his knee not 100% — could lead to bad outings and confidence issues. He needs to be in when he is in a place where he can succeed. Also, closing it out tonight means more rest for him (not likely the next round starts before the weekend).

For us fans, it’s hard not to look forward a little to the next series — and if you want to win tickets to game one of the next round check out the Lakers Nation Twitter contest. But we are going to hold off on that in the formal posts.

Hopefully for just one day.


Kurt

Posts

303 responses to Lakers/Jazz Game 5 Chat

  1. Also, for those that haven’t seen it: Luke Walton had an MRI on his ankle that revealed a partial tear of the deltoid ligament. He will be re-evaluated in about a 1 week.

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  2. Luke can’t catch a break huh Kirk? Damn!!!

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  3. If Luke won’t be playing does that mean that Adam Morrison will be getting some minutes? Or should we expect Kobe at the small forward?

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  4. Man, that’s a tough break for Luke/us. I think we will be seeing a bit more of ShanWOW, Sasha, Kobe, L.O., Gasol type lineup if Luke is out for an extended amount of time.

    We ought to be able to close this one out, but I expect a game similar to game 3 in Utah, only I think we’ll come out as the victors tonight.

    If Houston beats Portland in their next game will that make Rd. 2 game 1 this weekend?

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  5. No Luke means more Kobe/ShanWow and Ariza. Morrison is not ready yet, from what I hear. He is a long term reclamation project.

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  6. Kurt,

    Any chance that you can clean up the links? You’ve got DraftExpress as Pacific Division, you don’t have ClipperBlog in the Pacific Division, APBR board isn’t under NBA stats. It seems out of whack.

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  7. If it is confirmed that he had a partial tear of the deltoid ligament, is he going to be available during the payoff?

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  8. I hope Sasha gets more run as he seems to play better in extended minutes. As for Luke, tough break for sure. The one bright side is that Utah seems to throw tough matchups at him with AK and Harpring. They have the size/strength/length combination that give him fits on offense and defense. I do hope he recovers quickly, though.

    Also, I didn’t bring this up yesterday but my best wishes go out to Tex and his family. I thought Gatinho’s thoughts on Tex were both well said and poigniant.

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  9. Too bad about Luke. I know he has a lot of critics, but I enjoy his game and believe he brings a nice, steadying influence to the second unit.

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  10. Luke played great in the last game. He was getting his hands on a lot of passes and pretty much disrupting the Jazz offense. I would like for him to get his rest for the next series and know the rest of the lakers can pick up the slack for his absence. We’re at home, we should be good!

    Who’s ready for the Rockets in Round 2? I kind of wish we got the blazers though!

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  11. I can already hear the annoucers saying something like,

    “Bad timing for the Lakers with Luke Walton’s injury. It’s too bad he’s not as tough as Matt Harpring, whose family played football. That, of course, means he’s super-duper tough, the kind of tough Jerry Sloan enjoys…”

    Put Utah to bed and let’s move on to the next pre-packaged storyline about the Rockets’ great “moneyball” approach and how Battier supposedly owns Kobe. Except for when he doesn’t.

    “The NBA… Where bad announcing happens.”

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  12. This puts the SF depth chart as Ariza/Kobe. Meaning more minutes for Sasha at the 2. If Bynum were healthy, we might have seen more Odom at the 3, but that is not the case at this time.

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  13. That sucks about Luke I hope he’ll be alright come the 2nd round. Also according to PJ himself as he told espn 710 this morning he is going to activate Morrison for tonight’s game. Not sure if that’s such a great idea being that he hasn’t had much playing time, let alone in a very meaningful game.

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  14. I am sorry about Luke. But if that gives some minutes to Josh Powell to bang and mix it up, that may be a good thing. I am a total Luke fan, but we’re playing light w/ Pau at center, Lamaar and Trevor starting. We may lose some smart passing from Luke (uh, OK, that ridiculous inbound pass at the end of game 4 exempted), but Josh will give us some of the muscle and hustle we’ve been missing in the series…I see Shannon hustling and muscling, his sweet shooting aside. Josh can hustle and muscle, too…things that our team needs to be reintroduced to…

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  15. Well, I guess we are going to see some, gulp, Farmar action tonight.

    I hope the kid plays with a level head and takes advantage of the opportunity.

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  16. That’s a shame. Goodness knows I will never be Luke Walton’s biggest fan, but he does add spacing and ball movement to the game, and he can occasionally shoot nice threes. For as long as he has been with the Lakers, he deserved to be able to play in a post-season when we actually have a chance of winning the title.

    Get better soon Luke.

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  17. The fact that Tex isn’t in the Hall of Fame really bothers me and the fact that it will take a near-death experience for him to get the recognition he deserves is even more bothersome. I too wish him a speedy recovery.

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  18. Sasha, Sasha, and more Sasha! If he can just get some more PT and get into a groove that will carry him through a few series….we need that spacing from him. ShanWOW and Ariza are doing great hitting open shots, but when Sasha is on he can hit fairly contested 3’s in a hurry, absolutely blowing close games open when Kobe goes to the bench. I am chomping at the bit to see more of Sasha (alongside Ariza).

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  19. That’s an interesting article on the Blazers. Solid points, but I’m not too sure about the phrase “not built for the playoffs.” That implies that there’s something structurally wrong with the team, with the personnel, that will keep them from advancing. (That may be true in the case of a weak jumpshooter like Outlaw, but not overall). However the criticisms in that article seemed to be mainly directed at the coaching staff’s inability to draw up better offensive sets (ironic, because Portland was one of the better offensive teams in the league during the regular season).

    I’m no expert and I haven’t watched Nate McMillan closely enough, but I wonder if he’s the best choice to lead these Blazers Personally I think he’s done a very good job overall, especially at building a rapport with his star players (similar to Doc), but I haven’t watched closely enough to tell if his schemes are limiting the team’s potential rather than bringing it out (my hunch says no, and that he is one of the better coaches in the league, but I could be wrong).

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  20. When we traded away Radman, I worried that either Walton or Ariza would go down in the playoffs, and we would really miss having that insurance. I wouldn’t say that the trade is “haunting” us just yet, though, given Shannon Brown’s recent play.

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  21. This game can be won in the 1st half.

    If the Lakers can start out like they did in the 3rd Q last game. The Jazz might pack it up in the 2nd half. If this game goes how game 4 went. it just may end up like that. I don’t see the Jazz fighting nearly hard in LA.

    No generous non-calls for them.

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  22. That’s too bad about Luke. I’m not his biggest fan, but he is an asset, especially during the playoffs. Sounds like he’s done for at least 2-3 weeks. And let’s hope Tex recovers quickly…

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  23. I have a great deal of respect for Houston. They are highly disciplined, play impeccable defense both inside and out, and are playing better basketball than they ever have without McGrady. Part of the reason I think is that Yao has become a very dominant player. We don’t tend to notice this because his improvement has been so gradual. But now, unlike in his earlier years, he is rarely out of position both offensively and defensively, and he almost always makes the right plays.
    I believe we may have better matchups, but I don’t think it will be dominant. Yao plays a lot more minutes in the playoffs. When he is out, they can slide scola to center to defend ours and he has become a pretty good post defender. Hayes and Landry always play solid, and along with the their team defensive schemes could give us real problems.

    I also don’t think Aaron Brooks will be intimidated by our bigs. In fact I think he’ll blow by Fish on a regular basis and set up his teammates for easy looks or take it himself. We really need to amp up the defensive intensity and play the angles.

    When it comes down to it, we will win the series, but it won’t be easy by any means. What Mcgrady lacked in focus he did always make up for it with a ball handling presence who could get off his own shot. They will miss that since Brooks is still inexperienced to take that role late in games, and Artest is simply not a great one on one player who can take you off the dribble. They are very fortunate to have had role players like Battier and Wafer and Brooks to step up and hit big shots against Portland, but that shouldn’t be counted on to continue. Whereas we have Kobe. So.

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  24. Wait, whoa… Trevor sprained his ankle too? The Yahoo! Sports game preview mentions he has a sprained ankle, but there’s nothing on the injury list, or on his NBA profile. I’m confused…

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  25. Reggie Miller apparently has all the answers:

    http://i.cdn.turner.com/nba/nba/nba_adspaces/1.0/creatives/2009/4/15/22511203_Reggies_Mailbag_160X600.jpg

    …to the questions no one’s sending in.

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  26. Mimsy – yeah, Trevor sprained his ankle stepping on Powell’s foot during warmups last game, then reaggravated it during the game, but then came back. It sounds like he’s fine.

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  27. For all the crap we give Houston about their smart statistics and such, you do have to pay tribute to the defensive job that Shane Battier is doing on Travis Outlaw. Through the 4 games, Travis Outlaw is shooting an abysmal 15-44, and much of that is due to Shane Battier. Particularly in Game 3, I saw numerous plays in the 2nd half where Travis Outlaw would rise and fire, only to have Battier’s trademark “Hand In Your Eyes” move appear out of nowhere and Outlaw would miss horrible. Outlaw is a jump-shooter; he makes those shots. But when Battier was on him, he was shooting terrible bricks, some barely glancing the rim.

    As for tonight’s game, I expect the Lakers to come out firing, going for the jugular. No one, I repeat, no one, will want to ride on the plane with Kobe if they have to go back to Utah.

    If Morrison plays tonight, I will lose all faith in Phil Jackson as a coach. It’s not his offense that scares me; it’s his utter lack of lateral mobility that makes him a singular defensive liability. That being said, I don’t want to see Sasha on Harpring; that will be a bad matchup. Hopefully Drew can stay on the floor so Odom will get a full 35-40 minutes against Harpring, as their matchup has become really testy in the past few games. It won’t really matter if Harpring comes in at the PF for Utah, but if he comes in at SF, I either want Trevor in the game or Odom on him with Josh Powell in along with one of the seven footers.

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  28. poop, messed up on my html, I’m hoping Kurt can fix it?

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  29. wiseolgoat,
    I know there was an issue with his ankle during the game, and I’ve been looking at the injury reports off and on during the day but he was never listed on them, that’s why I was so surprised to see Yahoo talking about his ankle in a way that implied he’s a game-time decision… hopefully I misunderstood that last part!

    Thanks for the clarification. 🙂

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  30. We still have a weakness at the 3.

    Remember Luke (and his dad) have a history of foot problems. There seems to just be a structural weakness there.

    Ariza was known for foot problems before he came here – then he had a foot problem last year.

    We need to keep an extra body at the 3 position, if only as insurance. I suspect that is why Phil is activating Morrison for this game.

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  31. I love what Matt did over at Hardwood Paroxysm:

    http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2009/04/26/a-polite-request/

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  32. Here’s some pretty cogent analysis by John Hollinger about the use of fouling and timeouts at the end of games.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-090427

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  33. With Luke out, I’d like to see more Sasha and more Powell. I’m getting tired of Carlos Boozer doing his best to earn another contract, getting all these rebounds.

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  34. 32. Matt sent that as a personal email/text to every NBA blogger he knew, as well. Not sure what the response of Celtics bloggers was.

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  35. I wonder if the Lakers would go to a big line up such as Gasol, Odom, Powell, Kobe, Vujacic/Brown.

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  36. Kurt, do have any info on how Ammo is progressing in practice?

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  37. I don’t understand this talk about Morrison and Powell, especially with the ‘matchup’ for Harpring. Harpring is not a significant player to be worried about him as a matchup problem. Just put a hand in his face on d, and sit back and enjoy the easy free throws on offense.
    Also, Powell still makes some very bad plays. He is not a ‘banger’ because he gives up rebounds easily. I would lose all respect for Jackson if Morrison got in the game. I don’t expect to see neither, only more vujacic, ariza, and shanwow

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  38. Sorry but I’ll never lose respect for a man that has 9 going on 10 championships.

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  39. Kurt,

    Probably that there really IS and NBA wide conspiracy against the Celtics.

    That Tommy Heinsohn said so. It’s impossible that they are NOT the best team. Can’t be. It’s 8 against 5.

    You know, that bias that kept them from winning the Championship last year. The anti-Celtics, Pro-Lakers bias that suspended Kobe before for “non basketball related” actions.

    Oh wait. They all believe it LBJ and the Cavs who are the biased team.

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  40. PeanutButterSpread April 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    lol Wow. That photo you used Kurt pretty much sums up this entire series and the Jazz defense.

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  41. Speaking of fouling at end of games, I like what Doc Rivers and Del Negro did at the end of the quarters in question: they trusted their player’s defense to make the stop. this is the exact same move Phil and other coaches who are more player-oriented would have played this out (i.e. Byron Scott, Riles, etc.).

    Other coaches who are more about their “method” rather than the players would have probably fouled rather than try and defend the three (i.e., The Van Gundy bros, Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown).

    Hindsight is always 20/20, but I tend to agree that games are won on the floor playing defense and offense, and not at the charity stripe due to a “strategic move.”

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  42. kurt, you caused me to go to the dictionary-
    exaction: http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=exaction&search=search
    (or did you mean execution?)
    either way I guess, eh?
    but cool word anyway.

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  43. How many minutes has LO played at the 3 this year? I just don’t see Phil using him there. Like a lotta folks, I think the mins go to Kobe/ShanWOW/Sasha.

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  44. 42. Manny, Doc was ticked his team didn’t foul, that is what they have done all season and he asked them to, but the Celts didn’t execute. Personally, I’m in the foul category, unless the team I was facing can’t hit threes, I foul.

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  45. 38, Don W, you have to remember back to Game 3. Early in the 4th Quarter, when Deron Williams was sitting on the bench, who kept the Jazz in the game and even took a lead for them? Matt Harpring, with two key jumpers and a steal/breakaway dunk. Both jumpers he took over Walton after he beat Walton to a spot and took a quick fadeaway jumper from 12-15 feet. So while you may wish to dismiss Harpring, he can still beat us if he doesn’t foul out. Honestly, if Harpring doesn’t make those jumpers and Korver doesn’t hit his three in the 4th, we win Game 3 and this series is already over.

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  46. I don’t want to get ahead of things, but the matchup with Houston (assuming we win and the H-town wins) would be very taxing on several players. Houston is the rare team that can put 2 very solid defenders on Kobe and make him work more (notice I did not say stop him). A LA/Hou matchup is one where Pau and Lamar would have to truly carry some of the half court sets because there is no one in the 713 that can match the height, speed and passing game that these two offer. Brooks would require Fisher to tap into his inner youth for some stops. Yao is playing well, but this would be negated if Drew plays him well and just keeps him off the boards. Let’s take care of tonight and get ready for round 2.

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  47. Coffee is For Closers April 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I’m calling the above photo, “the passion of the gasol”

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  48. Coffee is For Closers April 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I think its important the Lakers finish off this series tonight. It will give them at least 4-5 days off before the next series starts. It will be less wear and tear on fisher and kobe. The next two series in the west figure to be very physical if its houston and denver. Denver has been dishing out some particularly hard fouls in the hornet series. I’m sure they’d resort to a similar tactic in a laker series.

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  49. To add to Kurt’s point at 45, if the Celtics had fouled Salmons in the 2 pt area, the Celtics would have won that game. Bulls were down 3 and with the way they were shooting free throws and the little time left, it would have been over. That play was executed horribly and it was a fairly simple thing to do. I couldn’t believe that they let Gordon get that shot off.

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  50. “The toughest win to get is the last one.”

    Is that true, or is the toughest win “the first win on the road”?

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  51. Man, this draft scares me. No Greg Monroe, Willie Warren, Cole Aldrich, Donatas Motiejunas, Al-Faroq Aminu, and a ton of other players that went back to school. I was hoping we could get a half-decent role player or prospect like Nick Calathes or Wayne Ellington around our pick, but a lot of guys originally on the first round bubble are looking like mid-first round or even borderline lottery picks. Look to see a lot of teams trying to sell or trade their picks in this economic climate. If teams in the lottery aren’t getting the game-changer they’re looking for, they might not be opposed to trading down to relieve themselves of the economic costs of a lottery pick. Aggressive GMs (*cough* Pritchard *cough*) could take advantage this summer. Granted, no one is going to trade a top seven or so pick, but don’t count out owners looking to cut costs.

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  52. 12 – “The NBA… Where bad announcing happens.”

    Early in the Cavs/Pistons series, one of the announcers posed the question, “How do this year’s Cavs compare to (one of the 80’s Cleveland teams with Brad Daugherty, et al) ?. At that moment, Le Bron practically ripped the rim off with a dunk. Question answered!

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  53. The Nuggets are beating the Hornets like a drum… again.

    Most people seemed to think the first round in the West (outside of the Lakers-Jazz series) would be a lot more competitive than in the East, but the exact opposite is what’s playing out.

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  54. gasol needs to make a statement tonight to boozer. hes been getting pushed around in the whole series and tonight is the night he really needs to come out and get aggressive. he needs to make it a personal goal to out-play, out-hustle, out rebound boozer

    with luke out the subsitutions will be interesting. will we see a line-up of odom bynum and pau all on at the same time? phil probably wouldnt do it…… just because he wants the same lineups out there, but i would LOVE to see that.

    and we need to come out and step on their necks to let them know THERE IS NO WAY WE’RE GOING BACK TO UTAH. i hope we dont get complacent with this game and if kobe’s shot isnt falling i hope he does pass the ball inside / to his teammates.

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  55. two 4-point plays occurred for james jone in the heat hawks game WOW

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  56. Charles Barkley just said he didn’t see a killer instinct from any of the Lakers in any of the 4 games played so far. It’s Barkley, so I don’t suppose that needs elaboration…but I thought that now that the playoffs started, Sir Charles would at least start watching some bball while in the studio.

    Wait, was Game 4 on ESPN instead of TNT? If so, that explains why Barkley has no idea what went on.

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  57. @ Zephid, I do remember Harpring on those plays. I’m saying that switching odom onto him or whoever for the matchup won’t make it any easier for them to get through the screens like Walton failed to do on him. I don’t believe him to be a one on one threat or a consistent jumpshooter, so the best we can do is put a hand in his face, whether it’s vujacic or whoever. I think we should go with whoever is better for us on the offensive end, rather than cater to the matchup with harpring.

    @ gr8 Scott I also want us to win tonight for the reasons you gave. It may be a bit of a psychological edge too, given the Cavs went for the sweep, despite Utah being a much better team than detroit.

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  58. I stopped watching TNT’s studio show a good while ago. None of them add anything to my knowledge of the NBA, and I think Barkley probably takes some of it away somehow.

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  59. Thinking of dunking, next years dunk contest should be fun. KryptoNate, Superman and MVP. If you could add a 24 y/o Bryant in there to, that would make for one awesome dunk contest.

    49. I’m with you, no need for talk about Houston or anyone else. Lets get through tonights game unscathed and see what lies ahead after that!

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  60. And why is it a 10.30 ET start (1.30pm EST in Oz)? Pain in the a$$, means I’ll miss half the game while on my way home from work..damn scheduling.

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  61. Unrelated to tonight’s game, but this is another great post from Henry Abbott, who could not resist:

    http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop

    Interesting that Page Six did a better job of reporting the “fuller” story than Abbott did, who conveniently left out the part where, “A spokesman for Lee claimed he retained creative control and called the story of the dispute “completely baseless.”

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  62. I’m with Kurt – this is the toughest win to get. It becomes easier that we’re at home, but it’s still a tough game. I’d like to see us get out early and force the Jazz to play from behind the entire game, but if that doesn’t happen we’ll need sharper execution and not a reliance on Kobe heroics (though those are always welcome).

    Some things I’d like to see tonight are what we seemingly did well the last game: Better recognition of cutters when Williams is in attack mode, fighting through screens, contesting of all shots, and closing down angles in a manner that force the Jazz to shoot more jumpers.

    On offense, one thing that has been bugging me is the type shot Gasol is taking. I don’t mind the position he’s getting, but I think he’s relying too much on his jumpshot. In both his face up and post up moves, he’s shooting the jumpshot. I’d really like to see him go back to the jumphook that he’s used throughout the season. If he’s going to try and bang on Boozer, why not shoot the jump hook instead? When he goes into the triple-threat, I’d like to see him dribble hard to the middle and use his hook with both hands. I’d also like to see him use counter moves like a one dribble then drop step to shoot his jumphook. He can get his shot off against any player that guards him so why not go to the hook which happens to be a very effective shot for him?

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  63. I’m in a gambling mood tonight. I say that with 6:12 left in the third quarter that Denver is going to win this one.

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  64. Yeah, but Kirk, I’ve seen Stojakovic wine games from 25 pts down on his own back…..in NBA Live. That’s close to reality isn’t it? He can hit 10/10 3’s in the last??

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  65. am not so concerned about walton being out (save for his anchoring and steadying presence) if this means more minutes for sasha, shanwow and trevor (esp trevor). i think he has the legs to keep pushing and taking it to the jazz. i have no doubts about this series ending tonight but i hope it doesn’t have to take a kobe heroic beating to do so.

    about the next series, if it be portland then i have concerns but a disciplined houston D exposed them (and i think keeping them a jump shooting team is the way to go). i think the lakers can do better than a houston d with the personnel we have though that would require more pt for shanwow at point. amazing how shannon has impressed us to the point that we forget that when the trade was set it was ammo we were concerned about. i still believe ammo can make a comeback. i imagine him as a kukoc guy off the bench and i know i am not asking a lot. are we willing to pay the price? that i don’t know.

    as for houston, bring it on! lakers have to stop relying on kobe on this one though if kobe is ticked, then let him rip at artest and battier. we are a confident road team and we could have easily swept the jazz if not for poor individual games in game 3. i like bynum to be a double-double guy here and for pau to demonstrate better D on a guy like scola. it’s the other guys being battier, the fast brooks, landry etc that bother me. i think ariza, shanwow, josh, sasha and even jordan must step up. and oh, they don’t have lamar. he is, as always, is the definition of X-factor for us. GO LAKERS!

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  66. Damn my spelling while eating pizza for lunch…..sorry Kurt!

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  67. although kukoc had some D. but can that be learned over time?

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  68. It’s almost sad to see the Hornets reduced to a shadow of their former, intimidating selves . . . almost.

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  69. Chris Paul – 4 points, 6 assists, 6 turnovers.

    Pretty much sums up how this series has gone for the Hornets.

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  70. Ugh, Reggie Miller again.

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  71. I could just take notes and go “Fire Joe Morgan” on Reggie tomorrow…..

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  72. Great first possession with rotations on the cutters when D-Will drove.

    And Gasol has great hands.

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  73. really? ariza injured on a chest bump???

    that’s unfortunate

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  74. Ariza can’t pass up those threes.

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  75. Kobe great recognition of the Boozer mismatch, which they got because Odom rebounded and pushed the ball up. The Lakers kill the Jazz on the early in the clock points, on drags and mismatches.

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  76. We are getting away with a lot of contact on the perimeter tonight.

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  77. Kobe’s shot is off in the early going.

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  78. Whoa, did I just see Farmar with a shaved head?

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  79. i love the guy, but the less shots fisher takes, the better.

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  80. as i say that, he drains a 3. like i said, i love the guy.

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  81. Wow Ariza is hobbled. He’s really limping on the defensive end. Get Sasha in there.

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  82. kobe needs to realize that ak47 isn’t ronnie brewer – he can actually shoot jumpshots…

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  83. I swear, one of these days we’re going to read a report in the newspapers that Marv Albert has killed Reggie Miller. All Miller does the whole time they’re in the booth is spout nonsense or dig on Marv for being informed about anything. “Whoa, way to know your football, Marvelous,” or “Whoa, way to know your stats, Marvelous,” come to mind. Props to Marv for not verbally killing Reggie Miller multiple times per broadcast.

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  84. @Zephid
    Yeah, he shaved his head. Weird stuff

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  85. As I say that, Ariza with the swat. Keep Ariza in there.

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  86. Awesome block by Ariza.

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  87. Trevor has a bad ankle, I don’t think so.

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  88. I don’t think Ariza’s ankle is bothering him.

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  89. Wow. I don’t know when Sasha thought he had added a running leaner to his arsenal…but he didn’t.

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  90. what a save by pau leading to the sasha 3!

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  91. So, on average, this 1st Quarter was… okay.

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  92. Yeesh. The turnovers.

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  93. if we start concentrating we’ll win win easily

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  94. Denver wins 121-63. Did this set some sort of record?

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  95. Jazz have 0 first quarter offensive rebounds. That is a nice change of pace.

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  96. Brown guarded Williams about as well as anyone could on those last 2 shots – and he made them anyway.

    84

    Halfway through my first game with Reggie I would probably have beaten him half to death with my laptop. If he’s this annoying to listen to on TV, imagine having to spend 3 hours in the broadcast booth with him.

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  97. Ariza got the crowd in the game. It was dead before his block on Williams.

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  98. That’s an awful, awful thrashing for the Hornets, especially for being at home.

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  99. What happened to Chris Paul? 4 pts, 6 ast, 2 rbs, 6 to. Kinda sad.

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  100. #BCR, 95,
    Wow. That is… quite humiliating. 63 points in four quarters?

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  101. Looking at Al Horford and Millsap’s bodies, I find it even more remarkable that Lamar can be that huge, have that much muscle mass, and still be so quick and fluid.

    Unrelated, but I LOVE watching Udonis Haslem play.

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  102. Oh, Josh Powell. He actually dunked that time, but he forgot the ball.

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  103. Powell needs to work on his rebound timing and put back.

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  104. 95

    I don’t know about a record, but over the 4 games so far Denver has outscored NO by 100 points – and that includes the Game 3 win for the Hornets. That is just savage.

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  105. Confirmed: Denver ties the record for the biggest playoffs blowout in NBA history. This team is getting blown up during the offseason.

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  106. The Jazz offense is completely out of sorts with Williams on the bench. I credit his rest for our run to start the 2nd.

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  107. New Orleans getting blown up I mean.

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  108. According to Yahoo it’s a tie for the record of biggest playoff blow-out in history…

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  109. OK guys I know the Lakers game is in progress but I can’t get over the Denver-NO score. Anyone watch the game? What the hell happened? Is DEN that good a defensive team? CP3’s line is mind-boggling.

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  110. Machine will not stop taking shots. Machine will make them eventually.

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  111. Holy crap that was odd and amazing. Shannon Brown clasped his hands behind his back and rode Knight all the way to the basket. Not sure if it served any purpose other than to ensure he didn’t foul, but it ure looked interesting.

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  112. I didn’t watch the game, but the box score can be found here. Pay special attention to the technicals…

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  113. Bynum doesn’t look very involve. He’s not even trying very hard to get into position.

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  114. 95

    According to ESPN, that game is the Nuggets’ biggest ever playoff win and the Hornets’ worst ever playoff loss.

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  115. 110, yeah I caught that too. Good tactic, pretty much guarantees that you won’t get called for a hand-check.

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  116. Okay, Sloan, seriously… a purple tie? How did that get past the “let’s not jinx our team”-legal department?

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  117. Kobe just jostled for post position harder than any frontcourt player on our team has all series.

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  118. Terminator Salvation looks unbelievably sick.

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  119. 108

    I watched the first half and it was the same old story for NO – they can’t guard Melo or Billups, they rely too much on Paul to create offense, they got nothing from Peja, Chandler, or the bench, and their team defense was atrocious.

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  120. BCR I enjoyed watching that too. I think Angry Mamba is going to handle business today.

    Sasha looks very focused today. Getting his hands in passing lanes, scrapping a little bit (without the trademark fouls), and knocked down a couple threes.

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  121. Love, love Bryant taking it to the hole.

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  122. I enjoy Reggie Miller finally getting a question, and really not answering it. He basically said both the Rockets and the Blazers are really, really good.

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  123. Snoopy,
    i could not agree more. I drool every time I see that commercial.

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  124. Also, I think Trevor’s ankle is not as bad as I thought earlier today.

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  125. Does anybody believe Reggie is getting questions from actual viewers?

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  126. Did not know that bit about Ariza learning Japanese. That’s pretty cool to do it for his son.

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  127. @magic,
    Above cool… speaking as a non-US native, that in and of itself is reason to stay married, no matter what else comes up.

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  128. AK47 is the only Jazz playing showing some pride. The rest look ready for vacation.

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  129. Drunken5yearold April 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I rarely comment during games, but that foul on Ariza was amazing. He was knocked back into Kirilenko by whoever was driving with the ball, and they call the foul on Trevor?

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  130. ARIZA IS MARRIED?

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  131. Great pass and fast break by Ariza.

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  132. Odom is dominating. I think the Jazz are just a good match up for him.

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  133. Did Reggie MIller just say that Lamar Odom can finish with either hand????

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  134. JAC,
    i take no responsibility for random rumors :-p

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  135. Kobe. Bean. Bryant.

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  136. Oh wow! KOOOBE!

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  137. Great execution on that end-of-quarter play, just like Phil drew it up. 🙂

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  138. Didn’t Kirilenko get some flack last season for booking his vacation early or something? Or am I thinking of someone else…

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  139. It was just me or LO sounded a lot more focussed in the interview than his usual?

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  140. emma – yep, that was ak.

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  141. Lets see what b.s. Chuck comes up with.

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  142. Love Odom. Pau is just having a bad series. He will bounce back though.

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  143. Missed the thing on Ariza. What was it? Why did he learn Japanese?

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  144. Emma, sounds like Chris Paul this year.

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  145. Snoopy,

    To talk to his one-year old son.

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  146. Snoopy,
    His child’s mother is Japanese. He’s learning the language for his child.

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  147. Maybe they’ll talk about the Hornet’s lack of toughness that got them humiliated?

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  148. I had no idea Ariza’s wife was Japanese! I’ve seen pics of his kid, he doesn’t look like he has any Asian in him 😛 But, cool!

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  149. We SO need a live-chat on this blog….

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  150. Did anyone manage to count how many times Rick Fox called the Lakers long on that microphone posession?

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  151. I don’t think it’s confirmed that he’s married, is he? He has a half Japanese kid, but married?

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  152. Ha, Emma is old-fashioned!

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  153. You can knock this crew for their silly and inaccurate comments, but their photoshop pics always crack me up. I’m easy on them because they’re so much better than the Chinese commentators I have here (who wouldn’t show excitement if the whole arena spontaneously combusted).

    Lots of turnovers, but we’re making up for it on the glass – 29 boards versus 15 for the Utes!

    As great as Kobe’s offense is, I’d like to see him give AK’s jumper some more respect. Sometimes it looks like he’s in help defense mode without really considering who/why he’s helping.

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  154. Who would have thought the Eastern Conference playoff series would be more competitive than the West?

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  155. inwit – ha, I should know better, right?

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  156. These days ….

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  157. Have I ever mentioned how much I love TNT’s music selection? Hip hop or rock, Fort Minor or Three Days Grace, whatever it is, it’s infinitely better than ABC’s Pussycat Dolls, Rob Thomas, and whatever other garbage they’ve thrown out over the years. TNT’s montages get me pumped up. I can’t wait for the WCF, last year the thing they did with the Spurs (some guy named T Brandon narrating?) was awe-inspiring.

    TNT just puts together a quality production, a quality broadcast, and even Miller/Barkley can’t change that.

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  158. inwit – i dunno, i see the cavs’ path to the finals being a piece of cake. especially if wade kills himself trying to beat the hawks.

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  159. BCR, Mimsy – thanks. That’s pretty awesome, I wonder if he’s still with the child’s mother or if he’s doing it solely for his kid. I’ve tried learning some Japanese, and it’s one of the harder languages out there.

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  160. We need to take them out now, no messing around tonight.

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  161. Snoopy,
    Whether for her or for the kid, it’s admirable. Japanese is a difficult language to learn.

    And did you just call U2 garbage?!?!?

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  162. eh, if you watch a ton of anime it’s not so hard. And I for one think anything made by U2 after 1995 is garbage.

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  163. lamar is earning that contract this series…hopefully it continues!

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  164. So many deflections, really active Laker hands in this 2nd half.

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  165. man it’s been a long season. even Phil looks limpy.

    I hope he comes back at least another year.

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  166. wiseolgoat – I should have qualified the 1st round, with 3 series at 2-2.

    I agree as to the Cavs, almost makes me wish the Celtics were a threat – almost, LOL.

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  167. Mimsy – lol sorry, I won’t say U2’s garbage, only that they’re old. The Beatles are amazing, but I can’t get pumped up to a vicious dunking montage with “Straweberry Fields Forever” playing in the background. Certain types of music are better for basketball highlights. U2 will always have their place though.

    Zephid – I’m actually a pretty big anime watcher. I think learning the written language is more difficult than the spoken one, but both are fairly challenging, at least for me.

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  168. Japanese is really difficult, but you guys should try portuguese =]

    Kobe has what? 4 steals? That’s why he disrespects Brewer.

    And U2 is a very good band.

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  169. Sasha needs to stop thinking he’s Kobe.

    And AK47 is the only Jazz player playing with heart now.

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  170. Has anyone noticed that Williams’ threes are rarely clean? He almost always hits the rim, clanks or rattles them in. Of course he’s still a great shooter, but I’ve never seen a shooter hit that many 3’s with that few swishes. Maybe just perception.

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  171. I am learning Japanese, too. I find it relatively easy, but maybe that’s because I already know Chinese, so the writing is a breeze.

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  172. I love that Okur is taking minutes away from Millsap. Thanks sloan!

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  173. Cayucos surfer April 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    U2 is garbage. And I don’t see much of a difference between three days grace and rob Thomas. It’s just another way for them to help sell the music.

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  174. Snoopy,
    Now that I agree with. Though U2 have aged well they are still old… and yes, there are a lot of other bands that would fit the mood and mentality of the NBA a lot better.

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  175. Javie trips up Kobe and he still makes the fast break bucket.

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  176. I don’t like this “Utah sucks” chant. We’re already beating them… seems like rubbing it in.

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  177. No difference between 3 Days Grace and Rob Thomas? I’m not a huge fan of either one, but as a fan of music in general, I have to say…really? They’re completely different styles. Three Days Grace’ are harder and darker, and they fit better with a basketball montage.

    Sasha…the Slovenian Magic?

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  178. That was a sick fast break. Great pass by Kobe.

    And then we run a sloppy one and Odom cleans up.

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  179. I actually do like the “Utah sucks!” chant. Every time the crowd in Staples Center gets into the game it makes me all happy and stuff. i love that… when the real fans take over and the celebrities don’t matter anymore.

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  180. yeah, i agree. to the victors go the spoils and the right to mock the opponent.

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  181. Magic Machine

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  182. Most of the celebrities give the Staples crowd a bad rap, but I have to give props to DeCaprio and Timberlake. JT is always jumping around and screaming like a little kid, and DeCaprio braved the Garden in hostile territory last year in the Finals. Gotta count for something.

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  183. Mimsy/wiseolgoat – to each his/her own I guess 🙂 I do like Staples getting fired up, but the chant seems a little classless to me. It often rubs me the wrong way when other teams’ fans do it.

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  184. They yell “Beat LA” before they even play us. Think they’d show mercy if they were winning the series?

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  185. Jack in the box has the weirdest commercials.

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  186. Ha, ha. I like the Magic Machine.

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  187. wiseolgoat,
    I quoted that to my husband, and he replied, “That reminds me! I need a phone!”

    his dad is a Jazz fan… 🙂

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  188. According to Craig Sager, Mitch actually thought about drafting Shannon in 2006 and always kept an eye on him. Gives more credence to the idea that the trade was more for Shannon than Morrison (discounting the salary dump part of it).

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  189. Anyone remember when we getting out of the 1st round was a nearly impossible struggle?

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  190. Mimsy – I wish your husband a happy taunting then!

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  191. #183,
    Good point, some of them not only care but really do care. I will NEVER forget the sight of Jack Nicholson charging the court and yelling at the refs for their bad calls…

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  192. Shannon was taken right after Farmar.

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  193. Yeah, two years ago.

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  194. Sasha needs to take lessons from Fish on how to finish around the basket. Ahem.

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  195. Wasn’t Rondo the pick before Farmar? (too lazy to Google it)

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  196. 194

    Actually, Shannon Brown was the pick before Farmar.

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  197. Cayucos surfer April 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I mean I could find small cosmetic differences in the music, but it’s the same prepackaged generic crap that takes no talent. You’re right that they’re not quite the same, but I still think it’s a terrible choice. Then again if they played what I wanted them to it would probably turn a few people off! Not sure why, I think an NBA death metal montage would be amazing..

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  198. For anyone buying the Wolverine hype – don’t get your hopes up. I’ve got the pirated DVD and it’s pretty awful. Enjoyable at times if you’re an X-Men fan, but really, it feels like every standard superhero movie ever made, nothing new.

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  199. Is Phil Jackson the longest tenured coach in Lakers history?

    It’s strange, for some reason I still identify him with the Bulls. Maybe his legacy with the Lakers will solidify after he retires, or after another title. Or maybe I just think in a weird way.

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