Lakers/Rockets Game 2 Chat

Kurt —  May 6, 2009

Kobe Relax
The T-shirt idea posted over at the LA Times Lakers Blog (and shown above) really sums up my thoughts. There are a lot of people saying the Lakers lost home-court advantage, but that’s not how I see it — of the six games left, they are split evenly. What having the HCA gives you is breathing room if you have a bad game. The Lakers had theirs, but this is far, far from over.

As for what the Lakers need to do, it is get back to their offense, which I think Houston assistant coach Elston Turner described very well in a TrueHoop story (from Kevin) that I thought was the best on the first game:

“Spontaneous creativity — that’s what makes them so tough,” Turner said of the Lakers, as he marked up the board. “They’re so flexible offensively. That kind of flexibility is unique, and you need defensive flexibility to stay with them.”

One of the most insightful commenters here had a great rundown of things that need to change after game one, and so I’m just going to let him have the floor:

First of all a strategy that depends on Yao wearing down is not going to work. I don’t know what kind of ginseng he’s been taking but the Yao of yesterday does not drain that 20 footer at the end of the game and 40 minutes of court time.

Some of the Lakers problems were temporary. Lack of shooting touch, slow on rotations, etc… these will naturally be improved. But some problems are structural. These problems need a change in strategy.

1. Aaron Brooks. The problem he posed was different to the problems D-Will and even to some extent, Chris Paul poses. He broke Fisher down without needing a screenroll. The Lakers have gotten better at defending the screenroll with Pau or Lamar showing hard and recovering to his man. But Brooks just blew by Fisher, never giving the help defense the chance to affect him. Brooks is similar to Parker, a shoot-first point guard who can get into the lane and finish. The Lakers should consider putting Ariza on Brooks who can leave space to prevent penetration and still bother his shot. This would leave Kobe on Artest (Ariza did not slow Artest at all) and create a matchup problem with Fish on Battier but I’d rather have Battier taking up Yao’s low post possessions instead of taking the corner 3. I’m not convinced that Farmar can stay in front of Brooks as he’s not demonstrated this ability against any other point guard in the league whereas Fish is strong enough to hold his position against Battier.

2. On offense the Lakers simply have to do better executing 2 simple plays. High screenroll with Kobe and Pau and mid-post with Kobe. The Rockets are doing a good job defending the screenroll by having Battier cheat off Kobe toward the right side of the court. Ideally Kobe would have the ball on the strongside (left side of the court) and Pau would flash up to screen his man, resulting in either in a Kobe dribble drive down the right side of the court (the new strong side) or being double -teamed which can create the highly effective hockey pass to Odom on the high post and Pau diving to the hole. But the Rockets anticipate this screenroll and when Pau flashes up to set the pick, Battier is in front of Kobe and already shading to the weakside. Thus when Pau sets the screen, the pick is a backside pick and the only avenue left for Kobe is to double back toward the strongside (left side) where the defenders funnel him toward the baseline. This defense is exactly out of the Michael Lewis article. To combat Battier’s stance, the Lakers have to change the initiator of the triangle sequence. You know the sequence that Fisher runs where he dumps the ball off to the high post, cuts down and then doubles back to receive the hand-off (yes picture it, Fisher usually takes a 20 foot jump shot off of this sequence). Instead of Fish, this has to be Kobe. If Kobe initiates this sequence on the left side of the floor, he can receive the hand-off from Pau who also picks off a trailing Battier. The screenroll now is dangerous, with either Kobe one-on-one with a showing Yao or being doubled by a trailing Battier. The Rockets now are rotating furiously to cope and shooters are open everywhere on the floor. I’m disappointed that the coaches do not have a solution for this defense because this is what the Rockets have run each and every game since last year.
Also, Kobe must simply work harder to establish the mid-post position on the right side of the court. You know the plethora of moves he has from this position. We saw this once last night with Kobe getting a good shot in the lane.

On a macro note, some times it is not your night. The 50/50 plays went the Rocket’s way. Someone posted about the team rebounds being an indicator. There were many sequences where the Rockets made shots with the clock winding down. And still the Lakers had chances. I expect the Lakers to win the next game as Kobe should come out very aggressive continue his forays into the lane that he started late in the 4th quarter. But the win would be easier if Phil addresses the structural problems and not just count on more effort. I don’t know whether Phil’s adjustments will have any similarity to the ones being suggested by FBG readers but it will be interesting to see what they are going to be.

Nomuskles suggested in the comments the Lakers may need to give Brooks the Steve Nash treatment — don’t let him facilitate, make him score. He will, but it’s less dangerous. Maybe that’s an option.

But what I really want to see tonight is some made shots.

Kurt

Posts

657 responses to Lakers/Rockets Game 2 Chat

  1. kurt, is there any point trying to predict when lamar is going to have a good series, it seems entirely random to me

  2. The Rockets do a great job of bodying players without fouling.

  3. There are a lot of fantasy players watching this game and thinking “where was this Artest all season?”

  4. The Rockets looked like they traveled twice on that last possession.

  5. We’ll take that call.

  6. This is fun.

    It may be nerve-wracking, but this is a dogfight. It reminds me of the old Kings series, or battles against the Spurs. A real gritty battle against an equal, worthy team.

  7. and that one

  8. How long will Kobe be out resting?

  9. Kurt, the funny thing about Artest is that I think he’s a player that’s built for the playoffs. It’s a lot harder to go astray mentally when you see the same guy on the other side of the court every other night. And when you look at his team success when they actually reach the post season and he’s done well.

    BTW, beautiful pass by Luke.

  10. OMG, I could swear I just saw a beautiful execution of the offense.

  11. L.O.! Show some aggression!

  12. Sasha and Scola with the battle of the Hair!

  13. LMAO did anyone see Jack on the sidelines trying to calm the refs down?

  14. joey crawford…it was just a matter of time before techs were called

  15. LOL, even the refs are pushing Scola away.

  16. The Houston Rockets definitely have the Lakers attention!!!

  17. I would pay at least $20 to hear a transcript of that chirping.

  18. wow! what happened? so many technical fouls!

  19. Especially after watching Luke’s Life as a Laker videos.

  20. Ha. Odom. All smiles all the time. Dude has fun out there.

    Ok, I don’t get why Powell is in there. Maybe Mbenga can do better.

  21. What’s obvious is that Phil has lost all confidence in Bynum.

  22. All that chirping and missed the free throws.

  23. That’s a flop

  24. Oh wow.

    Wow wow wow.

    That was uncharacteristic. I’ve never seen that from Fish.

  25. wow…that was some serious acting. i mean fish is strong, but scola’s twice his size

  26. Oh, man. Fisher with the shot to Scola.

  27. Fish can lay a hit

  28. bring in shanwow.

  29. FISH! Linebacker hit. That was a de-cleater.

  30. Ah, Fisher no need for that.

  31. This is getting really, really physical now. It’s detracting from our game now. Lamar missing the FTs, Fish gone. This is uncharacteristic.

  32. That’s my man, Fisher. Hopefully, the team will wake the hell up. Will that be a suspension?

  33. What’s wrong with Yao?

  34. Fisher is going to be tossed

  35. Are they ejecting him!?! That is completely uncalled for! Scola flopped that worse than a dying fish!

  36. This could be a rallying point for both teams. Lets see who grabs the reigns.

  37. wow. fish is out.

  38. Flagrant foul 2? Just looking at the play-by-play. What happened, please?

  39. This false toughness thing of the last couple of minutes is going to come back to haunt the Lakers!

  40. i dont know if that was really stupid by fish or good for sending a message

  41. No, this is bush league folks and Lakers are a team. This is not toughness. This is if you can’t beat them, pummel them.

  42. wow. so fish will be out next game?

  43. i hope he doesnt get suspended, we need his experice and clutchness

  44. Did Doug Collins just make the same point as me?

  45. Wow Sasha. Excited much? I did that once in a Y game in 5th grade and have never done that since.

  46. That’s what I’m talking about. Fish just sent a message that all this soft talk about the Lakers is b******t. And more pt for Shannon.

  47. Not sure if that was smart or not, but it had spine and toughness, and it made me pump my fist and grin.

    Much needed demonstration of stones. Now let’s show some brains and heart.

  48. How about that for soft?

  49. We need to play ball and not get caught up in being “tough”

  50. I don’t know about this, I worried about Fish checking Brooks after game one like everybody else, but we can use his shooting in the fourth. Now does anybody know if there could be a suspension coming for Fish after a flagrant two like that? It’s a concern for me.

  51. I’m wondering what made Fish decide he should do that. That play totally reminded me of Zidane in the World Cup.

  52. Go FISH!! I love it. That’s what this team needs…someone to light a fire.

  53. Fishy just dopped a 187 on a mothafuggin rocket.

  54. does this mean kobe has to be a supernova again come game 3 in a fairly hostile houston arena?

  55. Cmon Fish, you’re a vet. Could have got him some other time, that was way too blatant. Cheap shots don’t make you tough…

  56. I think Fish could have been a little more crafty in leveling that foul.

  57. if this doesnt pump the team up, i dont know WHAT WILL! Fish just stuck up for all of them…u go tiger

  58. Ugh, now the bench.

  59. If the lakers didn’t have a rep of being a soft team that backs down to toughness then Fisher wouldn’t have done that, he’s definitely sending a message that there is no way they are going out the way they did last year.

  60. Zephid, its just stupid if you ask me. Up by double digits, the last thing to do is to do something to get ejected and give the other team free throws and possessions to get back in the game. Though, Fisher is tough, we all knew that.

  61. Wow, serious? You guys honestly think Fish thought, “Let me show my toughness”? I percevied it as “Don’t f*** with my teammates!”

  62. That was not the ideal time for us to give the Rockets free points with the technical and flagrant foul … I hope it doesn’t become a factor in the game’s outcome.

  63. kmart did something similar to dirk and it fueled the nuggets. lets hope it does the same for the lakers.

    imo, fisher usually fights tough through screens, it just so happens that scola didnt fight the contact and fell. that, and fisher raised his elbow quite a bit. i wouldn’t say it was vicious, it just had a bit more umph to it.

  64. Fish thought he was play hockey and gave Scola shoulder check. A bit unexpected from Fisher.

  65. Do you guys even realize how much brotherhood between the guys is going to come as a result of that f*&#king awesome hit?

  66. Now the articles tomorrow won’t be about being tough. It’ll be about being unintelligent. The media, gotta love it.

  67. He better not be suspended- it was a good hit but Scola for sure flopped. Phil knows how to sell this.

  68. wow…ron artest makes that same play and doug collins would spend two minutes denigrating him. But because it’s derek fisher, it’s somehow commendable. fine if you want to hit someone hard, but that was bush league. I agree with emh…could have been a lot more crafty.

  69. Great Wall- I agree. All that fugazy crap is clown shoes. Lets just blow them out and talk about toughness later.

    Ominous start to the quarter.

  70. Can’t crowd lowry at the 3 line.

  71. Uh oh, the dreadful second unit…..

  72. I think Fish might get suspended. He raised his elbow pretty high.

  73. theshmoes,
    So what you’re saying is Scola flopped very blatantly which made it look like an ejection-worthy foul? *innocently*

  74. Funny. Lakers got it bad. When they play tough, it’s called fake toughness or pummeling. when other teams do it, it’s tough. Can’t win them all.

    Bynum comes in and it’s a free drive through the lane. Bynum needs to d-up.

    Stop with the early fouling already.

  75. Interesting that Phil is going with Farmar to start the fourth here and not Brown. How huge would it be for Jordan if he produced…

  76. wow…amazing tip

  77. How is this lineup in the game right now?

  78. and now the refs are punishing the lakers for fish’s foul. love those nba refs.

  79. And dammit Reed, I’m hating you cause you look right about Drew

  80. For God s sake Phil¡It s 4th quarter of game 2.Bring Kobe and Pau back RIGHT NOW

  81. Blatant travel by Luke- lucky that didn’t get called.

  82. Yeehaw!!!! Go Luke and Sasha!!

  83. Three fouls in the first two minutes. Great, hustle by Jordan though to hit the court…

  84. Ron Artest, you are not Kobe Bryant.

  85. Great defense.

  86. This is why Fisher makes that foul, Joe. Look at our team play. Look at the effort.

  87. Luke Walton: “X Factor”?

  88. That’s what makes Lamar so good- coast to coast and the pretty dish from the 6’11 dude.

  89. That’s some life from our bench.

    Farmar is doing what we thought he should do at the start of the year.

  90. If Farmar ends up being the difference-maker in this 4th quarter, I’m not sure there’s much that could make me happier …

  91. The Lakers are digging and getting strips. Its nice to see. All those plays were going to the Rockets on Monday and in the 2nd quarter tonight. We need more of that.

  92. Though he should’ve thrown it down in Brooks’ face.

  93. now they gotta prepare for the inevitable rocket run…

  94. welcome back bench mob. we’ve been anticipating your arrival.

  95. Luke is getting his body in front of Artest, Ron thinks he can just take him and Luke is being physical, and that keyed the last couple turnovers, slowing the drive and letting the help get there.

  96. Honestly, it’s these last two plays by Luke on Artest that make me feel like he can be effective against Ron. Lukes got a big enough body to take the hit and Luke also lacks the quickness to over react to Ron’s herky jerky style (if that makes sense). And how about Farmar with some hustle!

  97. LOL, Sasha was attempting a dunk and then realize it wasn’t going to happen and save himself from embarrassment with a nice lay in. Sasha dunking is a rarity.

  98. farmar! for more! ..am typing in lower case as not to jinx him.

    this is a must-win game so i guess i would be more fired up if this were game 3 at houston

  99. Tell me no damn it! Tell me no! Come on fish take a damned bow you deserve the credit for this 4th quarter blowout!

  100. I can’t remember the last time the Lakers second unit forced the opposing team to call time out

  101. harrydoballin May 6, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    farmar playin shannon brown defense of 3 weeks ago = me likey

  102. Exactly! I felt Luke was our best option against Paul Pierce too, because his lack of foot speed isn’t as huge a concern, but Luke’s so strong and uses his body very effectively.

  103. Whoaaaaaaaaa, Von getting banished to the locker room. That’s insane!

  104. Some things about Wafer apparently don’t change.

  105. Artest was using his size and strength advantage to bully his way into the lane, he can’t do that against Walton. Obviously Walton is not as quick or athletic as Ariza but he is stronger.

  106. That was clean. We’re already in the penalty?

  107. I think fish’s foul was stupid. Ron Artest driving into the lane and coughing up the ball does not = great chemistry caused by Fish playing tough.

    It’s a good defensive lineup, and the rockets are playing right into it.

  108. Tough call for Luke.

  109. The three blind mice are delirious at the moment because of the 3rd quarter.

  110. it seems like theres a foul called every time someone strips the ball from yao…that one looked clean to me

  111. Fronting Yao in the 4th, typical of Phil to change the strategy in the 4th. It’s working well so far.

    That chick in the 2nd row sitting back and giggling through all of this needs to give me her ticket. Jeez, lazy fans tick me off like no other.

  112. Von Wafer is banished by his own coach, our bench has founds its ba… er, mojo, Fisher energizes everyone by showing how to fight in the playoffs…!

    I like this game better now. :)

  113. Refs are going to call those bumps way out on the court. Time to adjust. Also, I’m liking Drew’s effort on D against Yao. He’s doing a good job of fronting and that position he’s fighting for is enabling him to show against guards when they penetrate. He needs to rebound though.

  114. WTF IS THIS FOULS BEING CALLED ON THE LAKERS? ARE WE PLAYING ON THE ROAD?

  115. farmar with brown and kobe.. WOW!

    phil is either showing some tricks or is having a hard time.

    we’re in penalty…not good/

  116. Get Bynum out of the game. He’s not healthy and can’t hang right now.

  117. Houston’s Already in the bonus not good for the Lakers.

  118. These touch fouls are outrageous.

  119. Fouling Yao = 2 points

  120. Bynum was playing some good defense there for a bit. Hopefully he can bring that energy next game.

  121. I’m happy to see Landry go to the bench.

  122. yao with only 6??? anyway, he and bynum can cancel each other out

  123. Great box out by Luke.

  124. the refs are trying to take this f*kn game away.

    btw. adelman sent wafer to the locker room

  125. Farmar is having a good game. Really making use of his minutes.

  126. Wow. Luke.

  127. Hell yeah- T him up.

  128. Ron is going nuts! You had to know this was gonna happen eventually during this series.

  129. Its the Joey Crawford show

  130. What happened there?

  131. The old Artest is back, new the nice Artest act couldn’t last forever.

  132. And that’s why you put Kobe on RonRon

  133. Well, it was only a matter of time before Artest melted down like this.

  134. artest ejected! WOWOW! go kbe!

  135. Wow, Ron-Ron cracked.

    This may be the breaking point for the series.

  136. There is the Ron-Ron we know.

  137. Wow. Everyone is getting into it. Artest is out too. who else? Kobe with a T?

  138. Artest is gone

  139. Uh, Ron went nutz!

    Again, I say- Luke Walton: X-Factor?

  140. Jekyll and Hyde. Wow.

  141. The games in Houston will be interesting.

  142. Did they just eject Ron Artest?

    Way to go Kobe. Way to go. :)

  143. Stu Jackson in the buildin’!

  144. Stu Jackson in the stands texting David Stern: “Crazy Pills has to go.”

    LOVE the reaction from Kobe. No talking, no anger, nothing. We need that focus.

  145. WOWWWWWWWW this game is CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY im lovin it holy moly

  146. If I was artest I would be mad too. Kobe did hit him with a bow to the throat

  147. Who is Stu Jackson texting? Booty call?

  148. man… turning out to be an ugly game…

    kobe got away with one there.

  149. Great work on Yao.Keep going Pau¡

  150. Oh wow. I really, really, really hope they won’t suspend Kobe for that elbow. That would suck beyond words.

  151. It looks like Kobe caught him with an elbow, but even Artest has to know better then to RUN ACROSS COURT to get in Kobe’s grill! The foul situation still has me nervous, especially with Yao getting to the line.

  152. this games gonna take a while to end with all these whistles…

  153. Is Stu Jackson looking more and more like Lawrence Fishbourn?

  154. This game is on Phil Jackson. His insistance on mass substitutions in the 2nd & 4th qtrs is costing us so many points and so many fouls that it could wind up costing us the game.

  155. Its going to be a whistle and FT fest from now on.

  156. Did Yao put that ball in for the Lakers?

    We’re going to let them back into this game if we keep fouling.

  157. joey crawford needs to retire

  158. nice attack by shannon on yao…that’s 5 fouls and the houston meltdown for ya.

    that’s why kobe is a perennial 1st-team defender. lock-down til u backdown or like here, crackdown.

  159. Is Kobe gonna get reprimanded for elbow?

    battier’s stupid smirk irritates the hell out of me.

  160. Now the refs are just flaunting their authority. No reason for a T there

  161. “You can’t guard me.” equals a technical?

  162. man I guess battier can do just about anything he wants and not get a foul…what a terrible game by the refs

  163. @451 Mimsy – Kobe won’t get suspended for that elbow, it was just him trying to grapple for position, no malice behind it. Also, that last tech was garbage..

  164. I think Joey Crawford just gave me a technical here on my couch.

  165. refs sure are trying to put reign on this emotion driven game…

    but looks to be way too trigger happy with their whistles…

  166. we need those “kobe says ‘you can’t guard me’ ” shirts too

  167. 9 point lead is good. we don’t need a brooks explosion though.

  168. I wonder what they’ll do to Crazy Pills since he actually ran at Kobe to confront him.

  169. Yahoo sports says it’s a “taunting foul”.. what’s that?

  170. I’d wear a Kobe says “you can’t guard me” shirt.

  171. Time to put Yao out of the game.Balls to the post

  172. Can’t have the fans wear the “you can’t guard me” shirts or Joey will throw everyone out.

  173. The refs lost control of this game so now they are gonna call everything

  174. And that elbow by Fish could be the turning point in this series one way or the other.

  175. is it just me, or does this game remind you guys of the 2002 lakers against adelman’s kings?

  176. I think Fish being thrown out is exactly what Farmar needed. Now he gets extended minutes and he gets the chance to get into a rhythm. Once Shannon showed he was capable, Phil put the leash on Jordan and every mistake was getting him yanked. But I give Farmar credit in that he’s responding well to this extra responsibility and is playing very controlled.

  177. Anyone else tired of the Rockets making miraculous clock-beating shots?

  178. #464, Nick,
    Agreeing on both…though wishing very hard for the first and cussing a bit at the second. ;) I literally choked on my beer a that technical, that was the most ticky-tacky let’s-compensate-you-for-tossing-one-of-your-players T I’ve seen in a long time. And those should not happen in the playoffs.

  179. They’re calling it tight to prevent this thing from getting out of control.

  180. The NBA has gotten soft. Jordan spent his whole career telling cats much worse than you can guard me. And those Bulls/Knicks playoff games were 100x more physical than this and there were no ejections. Just break it up and get back out there

  181. No way Kobe’s suspended- it was part of a box out motion. But it does raise the question of whether Fish will be suspended to make it seem like the league is coming down on the Lakers. Given the Fishman’s recent play, I’m not sure this is a bad thing, given Fisher’s recent play, and as it would give the young guys a chance to show what they can do. Obviously we will need Fisher’s veteran clutch play and shooting later in this season and our championship run.

  182. Luuuuke!

  183. Come on Kurt… you know I’m right. Maybe the girl comment was overboard but you get my point.

  184. WOW!!! Luke Walton has definitely made a difference tonight

  185. man..this game’s ugly, regardless if we win it

  186. Finally someone finishes the fastbreak. go Kobe!

  187. this is the kobe play we need. and 1s strong to the hoop!

  188. Yao and Landry fighting each other for the rebound.

  189. Fisher’s WWF move is my favorite play of the season. No question. It caused me to stand with pride and love.

  190. that was awesome.

  191. KOBE- WHAT

  192. WOOOOWWW!!!

  193. Oh my god. that was awesome.

  194. yao had a dunk, but brought the ball to his knees. bonehead.

  195. OMG! Kobe with the off the board pass to himself! Where Awesome happens.

  196. ShanWoW, Farmar, Walton-Kudos.

  197. I think we’ll see a lot of Pau on Yao this series. great matchup for the Lakers.

  198. Holy crap, what is this the All-Star Game!

  199. That was a tremendous re-post by Yao. Reminiscent of Shaq.

  200. Farmar coming alive as well.

  201. And1 on Yao

  202. I’m really curious what the TNT guys will have to say should the Lakers win this one. I get the impression that Chuck will like all of the hard-nosed stuff.

  203. I have never seen a move like that move Kobe pulled off.

  204. that play by Kobe was as sick as I’ve been feeling last couple days.

  205. this win should be gift wrapped because of kobe and pau to an extent. all the rest need a day off and again rethink their roles here. phil needs a clear plan on defense that will not involve take downs and egos exploding.

  206. Amaing Kobe.Fantastic¡
    Great work of Pau over Yao plus good numbers.
    The way to the 4-1

  207. 176 – I was thinking the same thing. tough series that was.

  208. Oh wow. I had no idea Kobe could do that. I’m pretty sure he broke a few laws of physics on that play.

  209. all they do is talk and try to look good

  210. Great pressure D by the Lakers tonight, it’s led to 13 more shots taken by the Lakers. Huge.

  211. game’s not through yet. gotta finish this strong & gain momentum going into G3 @ HOU

  212. Let’s be honest, if the league really wanted to suspend both Kobe and Fisher, they can. Fisher’s flagrant was blatant, not much to argue there. Kobe’s “boxing out” motion was a quick back hit with the elbow before he went up. If you watch, Artest was all over Kobe’s back, so frustration was understandable.

    Oh yeah, Ron Ron could be suspended, if they really want to. Ron Artest could have ignited a whole new level of confrontation with that move there.

  213. fisher should be suspended for game 3 and so should kobe…..same elbow throwing that got dwight howard suspended for a game

  214. Has LO even played the 4th quarter?

  215. let’s not get too careless to close out the game now.

    come on lakers! finish strong!

  216. Dwight’s was after the play was over and much more blatant. Don’t suspend Ron or Kobe. Maybe Fisher.

  217. Ejections, you cant guard claims, elbows, and now….taco chants.

  218. Yao decks Lowry. Awesome!

  219. Dwights was after a rebound….same as this

  220. This one’s had it all. And a crucial W.

  221. the crowd is chanting “defense” instead of “tacos”.

  222. I think the Lakers are on to something by going small in the 4th

  223. instead of competing for PT, live with each other shanwow and jordan…what a result! should be a wrap.

    am a bit more confident now about us taking game 3 and well, add game 4

  224. did kobe get the supernova ovation?

  225. Game 3 will definitely be different

  226. 525. Archon – We also had the benefit of having Artest ejected for most of the courter and Yao sitting at 5 fouls. It makes it easier for those little guys to get into the paint under those circumstances…

  227. That is the Brian Cook I remember.

  228. Okay, that makes me irritated. If your team mate is down and injured, you call a time out. Classy, Houston. Classy.

  229. I don’t think Ariza played in the 4th quarter either.

  230. I’ve got to give it up to Phil and the guys whose numbers he called to close out this game. Luke, Farmar, and WOW played with poise and with extreme effort. They made the simple plays and were active on defense.

  231. fisher should be suspended for game 3 and so should kobe…..same elbow throwing that got dwight howard suspended for a game

    ===

    No. Not hardly. DH’s was just an elbow strike. This was just a box-out that wasn’t even called as a foul. If he got hit in the throat that hard, he wouldn’t have been able to run over to the ref to whine, and then run across the floor to jaw at Kobe.

  232. There was a lot of fighting in this game. didn’t care for it much, but I’m glad for the win. Sheesh. I hope no one gets suspended. I’m not so sure about Fish though.

  233. Dwight’s was a much different motion. He watched the ball go through the hoop, turned around, and then threw an overhand elbow (almost like a punch, without the extended hand). Kobe’s was just a quick bow as the ball was going through the hope- could be passed off as a boxout motion.

  234. closed fist to the face=no suspension
    elbow to the head=suspension?
    confrontation after ejection=suspension?

    we will find out soon~
    NBA: we know drama~

  235. Kobe is being very democratic in the post-game. “We’re just playing basketball, there’s alot of contact” and (on Fish) “I didn’t see it, so I don’t know.”

  236. deep breath.

  237. Vanessa in the buildin’!

  238. Lakers in 5 or 6.

  239. Nick,
    He’s just being smart. He’s not saying anything that can get him in trouble, he’s saving that for on the court in Houston ;)

  240. Fish looked pretty dapper in his suit. All cleaned up nice and early.

  241. he has to be democratic. he doesnt wanna say he and fish were wrong, but he doesnt wanna get fined by the nba for disagreeing w/ the refs either

  242. did anyone else hear doug collins say he’s seen kobe do that lots of times? I think Doug just has to sound like the guy who’s seen it all.

  243. @ 535 actually I love this kind of bball. Physical, intense, much better than the lackadaisical boring play you find on most nights in the regular season

  244. Yeah how did b.cook get on this squad.. hahaha i hate him

  245. @anon – I stand corrected, although the spirit in which I made my comment still stands!

    The pressure’s on us to win (at least) one in Houston now, but I feel confident that LA can regain homecourt. This team hasn’t been one to wilt on the road.

  246. Well, Fish certainly has a chance to escape suspension. Just look at Rondo. The nba only suspends the tall guys. This could be a watershed moment for clarity from the oh-so-vague flagrant rules.

  247. Kobe’s public persona is as polished as his game.

  248. Farmar and frankly the Laker coaching staff should send Fisher a thank you card.

  249. @Joel R
    i wasnt trying to be a dick or prove u wrong…just thought u might enjoy that

  250. Kobe said that because it was the right answer. Truthfully, it warrants an ejection, if the league wants it to. Kobe isn’t going to say, “Yes, suspend him” or “No, don’t suspend him.” Good move, Kobe, almost as nice as that shake-n-bake, pass-to-yourself-off-the-backboard move.

    Good enough win, I’ll take it. At least they did not fold, which is what I’m most happy about it.

  251. Great Googly Moogly May 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Here are my observations:

    – The tensions in this game will work to the Lakers advantage. They need this intensity. Especially Lamar and the bench.

    -Farmar needs more burn. He’s a good matchup for Brooks.

    -Artest is a hot head but you have to take the good with the bad. If he brings it the rest of the series, nobody will remember his little blow up.

    -Yao will have a better game 3 and the Rockets will win. But the Lakers will win game 4.

    -I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.

  252. Mighty early to proclaim Lakers in 5 or Lakers in 6. They looked that good tonight? with Artest out most of the 4th quarter, with Yao having a sloppy game, and with a possible suspension against Fish?

  253. I have to agree with whoever said our bench came back and played with poise. We kept our heads and played well. Let’s hope this is a wake up for them and for the rest of the team.

    Interesting to see how all these ejections and techs pan out.

  254. @anon – I didn’t take it that way at all, no worries. And I enjoyed it very much!

  255. So, who is going to start game four, Shannon or Jordan? I really have no idea whatsoever…

  256. Chris,
    The problem is that Vujacic, Farmar, and Walton (to a lesser degree) have been inconsistent all year. Odom fades in and out. Walton is coming off of a minor injury. They are trying to rehab Bynum and work him back into the lineup at the same time, in the middle of a tough playoff series. Gasol and Bryant are tired after not having a break since August of 2007. Fisher can’t guard the opponent’s PG, and his shot has been inconsistent. Brown is still very new to the system. Powell looked really good in garbage time, but not nearly as good in more extended minutes. And you want PJ to know what substitutions to make out of that? It’s a testament to his coaching skill and abilities as a juggler that they have done as well as they have so far this season.

  257. Nah Fish will be gone. That wasn’t a basketball play. That’s OK, any other loss would be worse.

    What a tough, gritty game. Required supreme execution on both ends to pull it out. This Lakers defense really functions best when forcing turnovers, without TOs we’re not great at contesting shots (at least not without Bynum at his best).

    The key now is coming out hard and aggressive in Game 3, and predicting Houston’s adjustments and countering them.

    Any ideas as to what adjustments Houston will make in Game 3?

  258. Loved this win. Enough cannot be said about our team’s mettle in the 4th quarter, coming out and taking the win instead of strolling to the end. A few notes:

    1.) I absolutely, absolutely loved Jordan Farmar’s defense on Brooks. I cannot imagine someone playing him any better in the 4th quarter. Farmar and Brown together really took Brooks and Lowry out of their game, and their defensive energy really took Yao, Artest, and Scola out of their comfort zones.

    2.) We needed the FIsher foul. Somebody needed to send the Rockets a message that we weren’t going to let them stroll to the victory; they were going to have to earn it.

    3.) Fronting Yao was excellent; why didn’t we do this earlier? Yao simply could not get the ball when Pau or Andrew Fronted him, and we got lots of steals when Yao actually got the ball and put it on the floor.

    4.) Luke Walton came in and really bodied up on Artest. Artest was having his way with Ariza; Luke came in and really made Artest work for his shots.

    5.) No more minutes for Josh Powell please. I was one of his biggest regular season proponents, but that was the regular season.

  259. Chuck: “It’s the playoffs. Earnie, I gotta tell you something, I loved this game tonight.”

    I knew this was going to be right in Barkley’s wheel house, I love him. He’s really the best.

  260. svb,

    We were already up around 10 when Artest was suspended. Yao had a sloppy game because our defense was much improved on him- especially by Pau. And look at Landry’s line: 7-9 from the field? For the Lakers, no one outside of Kobe, Pau, and Fish was in double digits. Lamar had a particularly bad game and Ariza was spotty. I expect performances like this from Kobe in the next few games, and that the Lakers will steal at least one in Houston and either finish there or back in LA for game 6.

  261. totally agree with chuck right now. in terms of talent, lakers have rockets beat at every position (except center). In terms of toughness, only Fish is better than his man.

  262. Am I just a homer, or does it look like Artest elbows Kobe in the neck on the same play that everyone is talking about Kobe elbowing Artest in the throat?

    Great win by the Lakeshow, Farmar + Shanwow seems like a winning combination. And Bynum? Needs to hit the gym for another week.

  263. It seems to me that the TNT crew is underrating our supporting cast, we haven’t seen the best they’re gonna play in this series. Odom, Ariza, Bynum, they’re all gonna produce much better than they have thus far. I think the matchups (even aside from Kobe) still favor us! Moral of the story, we don’t need three more nights like this from Kobe, because eventually some other dudes are gonna step up.

  264. Actually I thought Fish did a great job on Brooks too. He gave him more space, but Fish did a much better job keeping Brooks in check.

    Chuck made a rare semi-salient point. Kobe may really have to do this 3 more times for the Lakers to win. We talked a ton about how the Rockets won’t be able to match the 4th quarter scoring 3 more times in the series, but right now you have to give their defense the benefit of the doubt. They’re showing that it will take a superhuman Kobe effort (plus great efforts from Pau, Lamar, and several others) to take them out. We have to consider it from that viewpoint as well.

    Chuck is dead wrong on the Artest scenario. If that was any other player (other than maybe Harpring), I’d say Kobe was in the wrong. But you simply cannot make a career out of playing as physical as Artest does and not expect some physical grappling and elbows to be thrown. If anything, he threw a hissy fit when the opponent responded with similar physical play.

  265. rofl Charles Barkley telling Fish to kick him in the balls

  266. Jon,

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, just saying it’s might premature to assume that this game two is the real guidepost for how the series will go.

    The D on Yao was huge, but I have to believe between he and Adelaman, they’ll figure out a way to (1) adjust to the defense, and (2) not be limited to 26 minutes by fouls.

    You’re going to need Kobe to hit a high percent of tough jumpers…he was on, but the rockets are obviously going to live with him taking contested j’s.

    Ariza – he’ll be solid on the intangibles, but I don’t think his game has come so far in a season for you to be able to depend on him for offense every game.

    Anyhow, you will likely be right. I doubt the Rockets’ ability to match buckets with the Lakers. But their defense on Kobe is exemplary, and that could be enough.

  267. Uh. Fish is out next game. Dont see too many ways around it. Jordan probably gonna get the start.

  268. Does anyone expect Von Wafer to crack Adelman’s rotation for the remainder of the series? Could be a small but very real advantage for us if he’s out of the mix.

  269. The studio crew wants a foul on Kobe on the Artest play? What? Artest’s left arm is draped up on Kobe’s shoulder holding him down.

  270. Nick – I really do hope you’re right. But Sasha and Farmar have been slumping for far too long to be depended on. Brown’s played fairly as well as we expect. Ariza may pick it up, but you also have to expect a less productive game from Odom/Gasol. I think we’re a bit too comfortable, too confident everyone will show up. I certainly hope it’s the case, but it’s hard to make that assumption given Ariza’s 3 point history, Lamar’s inconsistency, and Fisher’s likely suspension.

  271. Artest is some character.

  272. “don’t you know you’re hitting ron artest?” translation: come close to doing that again, and I’ll trade half of next season for the rest of your career.

  273. Fisher could get suspended. It just depends, I think Stearn flips a coin to decide if someone should get suspended. Jackson is (at leat partially) right Williams did a similar thing to Bynum last series and was only called for a foul. Rondo’s foul on Heinrich where he threw him into the scorers table was just as bad and he didn’t get suspended. So it could go either way.

  274. Ron Artest really showed some intelligence with his response. He did deserve only a technical, but not an ejection.

  275. I’m glad I’m not playing against Ron Artest, he is one scary dude. Good thing he’s guarding Kobe in game three and not me, cause I would run under my bed and cry instead of lacing them up…

  276. Who the hell is Tyler Perry, and why does he have so many unfunny shows?

  277. As much as we all love Kobe, I think Artest was justified. You can’t let anybody (i don’t care who it is) give you cheap shots and get away with it. He wanted a T, he just didn’t plan on getting ejected by the sensitive refs.

  278. Fish-Suspended by fashion police- pinstripe suit, random stripes shirt, very random checkered tie.

  279. He got tossed because he didn’t calm down. He was all up in Joey Crawford’s face.

  280. Artest is trying so hard to say the right thing. I think Kobe has him owned mentally and that will be a major factor in the rest of the series. We’ve proven we can win in Houston and on the road in the playoffs (against Utah), so I’m not too worried about overcoming the Toyota Center crowd.

  281. 574-

    Except that by saying that, he upped it to more than half of next season. Premeditation’s a beast.

  282. Sorry…”he” being artest….Zephid.

  283. Fish is laying a solid, articulated preemptive defense.

  284. Big J-
    When you give cheap shots out like skittles, you can’t whine about getting them back.

  285. Can someone tell me why Phil insists on subbing in 4 people at once at the start of the 2nd & 4th qtrs? Especially when this year’s history shows they are very likely to 1) foul a lot 2) lose any leads accumulated and 3) insure the other team is hot when the starters return.

  286. This game reminded me of the Cleveland and Boston games this year. We showed something in all of them. I keep telling Houston fans, you will not try to out tough us and win this year. We keep our composure and we’re more talented.

  287. the other Stephen May 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    ron should not have gotten ejected. fisher should probably get suspended. but he did good by me. nothing has changed about him. he’s ALWAYS been the lakers’ enforcer.

    i really agree that if you’re going to dish the physicality, you have to be prepared to take it as well.

    still alot of stupid collapsing, walton in particular. he stands away from his man to shadow yao, but you’ve got to question whether he’s close enough to help with yao, or fast enough to recover to his man.

  288. Ron Ron is gonna get fined because he won’t shut up.

  289. I can’t wait to read the headlines in the morning. Those Lakers are a dirty team with their fake physicality. blah…blah….blah.

    Fisher will no doubt be suspended for one game. Starting in his place will probably be Farmar with Brown coming off the bench.

  290. is artest on drugs? that was one long winded tangental answer.

  291. I’m with Artest, he should have gotten T’d up and that would have been that. Kobe also should have gotten a personal.

    As per his response, I thought it was very smart, but he’s got to realize that Kobe doesn’t give a hoot in hell who Artest is, he’s going to do whatever he wants.

    Also, I’m not so sure how much the physicality is going to help Houston. Kobe and LO actually seem to wake up when you hit them in the mouth; the only guy who might get bothered significantly is Pau. And when Pau is guarded by Yao then that really wont be a factor.

    Aside: DJ Mbenga is a 7 foot, 255lb. man with a black belt in judo who hails from the war torn nation of Congo. Just sayin’.

  292. If nothing else, Sasha has contributed by totally getting in Wafer’s head this series. Two straight games absorbing an elbow to the head, culminating with Wafer blowing up and getting sent off by his own coach – I applaud his scrappiness.

  293. omg, I’m loving Ron Artest’s story-telling. Breaking off a metal chair leg and running it through a guys heart in the middle of a pick-up game back in the hood? Wow, too amazing.

  294. Other Stephen,

    I disagree. The 1st tech was earned. The 2nd tech was inevitable because the throat slash in the at situation can only be taken one way. The refs were determined to tone the pay down and the throat slash appeared to be a threat.

    Wrong thing to do at the worst time.

  295. Note to self…Never play with Ron Artest near tables…..

  296. Ron is sounding a lot like Raja Bell right now.

    Only issue is that Ron is 100 times more dangerous.

  297. I applaud Odom, Walton, and especially Fisher.

    Those techs did two things:
    1. Brought the team together.
    2. Led the refs to call the game much more closely, especially on the perimeter. And that favors the Lakers.

    Lastly, these incidents are fallout from the league refusing to sanction Rondo for that foul on Miller. When you don’t enforce the law, stuff like this happens.