Lakers/Rockets Game 4 Chat

Kurt —  May 10, 2009

Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles
I think everyone with an emotional interest in this series is sad to see Yao Ming go down with the broken foot and be out. He had played with the heart of a lion, a real warrior, and he was just great to watch as a fan of the game of basketball.

In the preview for game three, Reed talked about the team dealing best with keeping their heads and executing their game plan in the wake of the emotional game two would win. That holds true for game four — if the Lakers now let up because there is no Yao, they will lose. This is a scrappy Rockets team, one that is not going to give up. Execution remains the key, the Lakers need to keep doing what they had done.

With Yao gone there is little need to double, they need to be smart man to man. The Lakers have forced an average of 18.3 turnovers per game this season (while giving up 10) and if you can force them sans Yao to create shots on their own we can force more of these. Also, they can get blocks — the Lakers have averaged seven a game in this series (compared to 2.7 for the Rockets). Energy on defense remains the key.

So now what for the Rockets? I would expect Landry to start, and for the Rockets to go with their small lineup. That group has given the Lakers fits and it will take away some (if not all) of the advantage the Lakers have had on the break (and for the playoffs the Rockets are 7.1 points per 100 possession better on offense when he is off the floor, and they are +14 in this series). The Lakers will need to execute better in the half court (even if that is more freelanced offense on the secondary break) than it has so far.

Look for Artest to start out strong, but his shooting has dropped off by quarter in this series dramatically (.550 in first quarter; .502 in second; .413 in third; .303 in fourth). No matter how mad he is at him, Adelman needs Von Wafer because he needs the guy who can create offense. Wafer can also make questionable decisions, and the Lakers can take advantage of it.

I also am curious to see what happens with the Rockets defense — last game when Kobe came off a Gasol screen Yao pulled back and Battier fought over the top then tried to funnel Kobe to Yao (this worked sporadically). Now, I bet you see a lot of showing out on the screen, meaning Gasol’s man is going to step out and they are going to if not outright trap Kobe they are going to try to cut off his driving lane and likely try to get the ball out of his hands.

Game three also saw a bit of a shift in how the Rockets dealt with Kobe philosophically — rather than being okay with him getting his but trying to make it hard and cut off the passing angles, they really just collapsed on him. That opened things up for everyone else, and the other Lakers made them pay. (Well, not Sasha, but he’s just ice right now shooting 23.5%.) Does that change?

For the Lakers defensively, they need to play smart man-to-man now, with very limited doubling (when Scola starts backing down Odom there should be help, for example). The Rockets don’t have starters that can create their own shot well, outside of Brooks (who would prefer to pass) so the Lakers want to essentially force them to do that. And hope that Artest feels he has to take this game over.

The Lakers get Fish back, and while there is a sudden vocal minority on this site that doesn’t think so, this is a good thing. Fish was the starter on 185 straight games for the Lakers (regular season and playoffs) and has in that recent time led the team to the NBA Finals and the second best record in the NBA. Since he returned the Fish/Bryant backcourt is 141-51. That is not an accident or in spite of him, and there has not been a dramatic drop-off . That said, I hope to see plenty of Farmar today, his effort earned him more minutes — but this is a good matchup for him. Fast but not physically strong point guards (like Brooks) play to Farmar’s strengths, so the Lakers should use him. (Next round, against Billups, we will be very thankful we have Fish and not just Farmar and Brown.)

Note to Shannon Brown — Kyle Lowry almost always fakes first on his perimeter shots. Please stop biting on that and fouling.

There are reasons to feel good — Phil Jackson is 22-1 in the playoffs when his team has led 2-1. And Adelman’s teams have never come back from that deficit. But we know this Laker team, they are fully capable of laying an egg.


Kurt

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332 responses to Lakers/Rockets Game 4 Chat

  1. I think we’ll have to double down on Artest as well. If he goes solo against Ariza, he’ll have 30 pts in this game. I for one am worried about this most, especially if we have to play Lebron James. As crazy as Ron Artest is, he wasn’t too far off the mark when he said Lebron was a new and improved Ron Artest: both are excellent when driving to the hole, very strong, can play through contact, and have extremely spotty jump shots. Hopefully we can play a solid SSZ and really cut off the passing lanes out of the trap.

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  2. Lakers up 2-1, Yao is out, could mean disaster if the Lakers take it easy as you say, but I really think the Lakers will take care of business today. More points in the paint, Bynum can have a lot more success, and now there is no inside out game for the Rockets.

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  3. Re: the non call on the Mavs, allowing Melo to hit the game winner – usually I hate to see referee error decide a game – but it’s almost fitting one would go against the Mavs this way. They seem like the league’s leading cry babies, led by their know -it-all owner.

    Moving on the Lakers/Rockets, let’s hope our guys can close out the Rockets fast and get ready to give Denver a workout!

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  4. I expect Ron Artest to try to play the hero this afternoon.

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  5. Really sad to see Yao go down.

    This game has trap potential written all over it. Lets hope the guys come out with the focus and intensity of the past 1.5 games and put this things away.

    Interested to see how PJ works the dfish/farmar/shannon combo.

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  6. Also, check out Thorpe’s preview, clearly some of it written before Yao was out but still fantastic stuff:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/columns/story?page=ScoutingRocketsLakers4

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  7. Adelman says pregame that Chuck Hayes to start.

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  8. I just have a feeling about Sasha this game. I think the Rockets are going to collapse on Kobe with a small lineup and that combination is going to mean a lot of open looks for the Machine. I know his shot’s been dreadful, but he’s really overdue for one of those games where he goes about 5 for 8 from long range.

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  9. Now that I’m looking at what I just wrote in print, I realize it might make me look silly later.

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  10. Hayes offers no offense,but he is very capable of switching on pick-n-rolls. W/Artest and Battier having played PF at times,the Rockets can afford to switch at times w/Gasol or Lamar.
    Also leaves Landry in normal energy role off bench.

    In the games w/out Yao this yr the motion offense looked much better-til 4Q when increasing physical play disrupted the Rocket offense and lead to individual efforts by Ron and Wafer. Sometimes they came thru,sometimes not.

    I really expect the Rockets to post up Artest quite a bit and have Hayes set screens out on perimeter.
    In defending the lane expect numerous attempts at drawing charges. Will be interesting how refs call them.

    Rocket trio of Hayes,Scola and Landry cannot get in foul trouble. Otherwise Cook gets significant minutes-yikes!

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  11. Zephid – I agree. So far our gameplan has been centered around stopping Yao and trying to help Ariza as much as possible with soft doubles. Lebron’s a little different in that even though he’s physically strong, he doesn’t post up as well as Artest and utilize that strength on the block. The main difference is that with Lebron, our entire gameplan is dedicated to stopping him. Throwing Lamar at him from the get go with the SST is a different look than what we’ve given Artest so far, mainly because of the focus on Yao (and because Artest doesn’t command the attention that Lebron does).

    I expect the Rocket’s PnR defense to actually improve with Yao out, now that they have quicker and more mobile big men showing. Their interior D and shotblocking will suffer. So if the PnR is shown to be less effective early, I’d rather the team focus on the triangle and making cuts to get into the paint, where we can expose the loss of Yao the most.

    Although you can’t replace Yao, Landry has given us some real fits. Our big men are in for a long night on the boards. Also, we can’t underestimate the psychological impact on both teams. Although we’ve played strong, our boys have found ways to become complacent without the loss of the opponent’s best player. That said, I expect to see more of a killer instinct and see us take this game in Houston.

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  12. The Rockets went 3-2 w/o Yao in the lineup this season. Based on the boxscores of these games, it would seem the Rockets tend to shoot more 3s and take more FTs than their seasonal averages.

    So, I think some keys to this game are offensive rebounding and avoiding foul trouble.

    The most important thing will be matching the energy and intensity of the Rockets. If the Lakers can’t do that from the start, it’ll be an uphill climb the rest of the game.

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  13. Sorry, but without Yao Rocket shave no chance of winning the series. Probably they would have lost to the Blazers. The proof? Vegas gives line on the Lakers -8. It’s almost as much as Cavs get in Atlanta. These series are over.

    So is Denver – Dallas duel and I doubt Celtics without Garnett could defeat Orlando. Very anticlimactic semis after quite interesting first round.

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  14. clearly we have a height advantage, but that didn’t seem to matter when Landry and Hayes were body-ing out LO and Drew underneath. we have to be sure our bigs don’t get rooted out and find a way to capitalize on our height advantage with either Andrew, or Pau, or maybe even having both in there at times. at least we are in the hands of PJ and I trust him to know the best way to stay on top of this.

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  15. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such unabashed butt kissing of a player as I just witnessed on abc. I like Lebron, but give me a break.

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  16. Wow, Shane Battier sounds soooooooo white.

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  17. The headband is back!

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  18. Turnover, bad shot, bad shot, bad shot. Great start for us…

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  19. We can’t buy a shot, what is it with all the jump shots, we need to feed Pau.

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  20. anyone got a link to a streaming broadcast of the game?

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  21. They are all 6 to 8 inches shorter than us.

    GO INSIDE!!!

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  22. Missed the first few minutes. Rockets riding an emotional high?

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  23. sT, have you been watching the game? Pau has been utterly decimated by Hayes.

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  24. Cayucos Surfer May 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Anyone have a link? My TV broke THIS MORNING!

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  25. They’re shorter, but Hayes is an excellent post defender. Pau isn’t any better of an option today than he normally is, just because he’s against a shorter player.

    Where their lack of height hurts them is shotblocking. Perimeter drives into the paint might be more effective than just dumping the ball in to Pau. He seems to have a lot of trouble with Hayes, as many post players do.

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  26. So, if Pau is not able to get position, where is Bynum?

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  27. Our team isn’t bringing it. I’m highly disappointed in our effort.

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  28. Lakers should be ashamed of themselves for this lack of effort and fight. Come on, it’s the playoffs!

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  29. still not worried.

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  30. Right out of the break, look at the trap by Farmar and Walton. This is what we need.

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  31. Not worried yet, but what are we doing out there?

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  32. I am not worried either. I expected the Rockets to come out with a lot of energy. I didn’t expect the Lakers to be as lethargic as they are though.

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  33. Luke should have taken that shot.

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  34. dont worry guys, those shots will soon start to not go in, without yao, who will they have to count on down the line.

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  35. Houston has both of their big men in suits on the sideline and we cannot get points in the paint.

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  36. The bench will need to match the energy of Houston’s role players…otherwise, I can see this turning into a 20 point deficit quickly.

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  37. Very impressed with Farmar’s footspeed. We’re focused on “oh he’s small, so naturally he’s a better matchup for Brooks.” But one of our major complaints when we were all down on Farmar was his lack of footspeed, constantly getting beat off the dribble. He’s doing a great job again staying in front of Brooks.

    We look flat. Wow. I like Kobe attacking, but Battier is great against guarding drives. Who else do we have that can penetrate?

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  38. It’s not like Houston is making tough shots. They’re wide open shots; it would not be surprising if these shots fell the whole day, given the defense we’re playing. Absolutely no energy or effort from the starters, sans Kobe, in the first quarter. Let’s hope the reserves come in and show them how to be professionals.

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  39. Let’s get it to 7 by halftime. That’s a reasonable goal.

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  40. The main issue is the Laker bench is struggling to find shots on offense, and when they dont play well on offense, the defensive focus starts tapering. Let’s hope we can get some stops and some easy transition baskets to get our offense moving.

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  41. I cant watch the game anymore…..its depressing…..

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  42. Giving this game away.

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  43. This is a hard game to watch. It can only get better . . . right?

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  44. I think we forget this rockets team without yao is very similar to the team that won 22 straight games last year

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  45. honestly

    BRIAN COOK IS PLAYING.

    o man
    i laughed so hard when he came in.

    we can score a good 10-15 points on him this quarter

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  46. Cayucos Surfer May 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    This is getting pretty bad. I honestly think we’d be winning if Yao were in the game, if only because we would actually have been trying up to this point.

    When was the last time Luke turned it over on 2 straight possessions? Ugly.

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  47. #45, that rockets team had tracy mcgrady.

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  48. #48 this one has artest

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  49. In honor of Ron Artest, I’m going to go into the office tomorrow and drive my shoulder into everyone I see. Then I’m going to whine for a defensive foul.

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  50. Mark Jackson is near impossible to listen to.

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  51. So, based on previous, and current, results this Rockets line up sweeps us the rest of the series.

    We have had no answer for them.

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  52. Cayucos Surfer May 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Double Post.. sorry.

    All we have to do is put together a little run.. even 6 points and we can get right back in this. I havent seen any kind of fluidity to our offense at all today.

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  53. well so far fish has been a disaster

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  54. Just tuned in, has the whole half been this awful? Has Bynum done anything?

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  55. this game is going to boil down to the 3rd and 4th quarters. Expect a much more normal Laker team. It needs to be halftime already so they go and get their heads screwed on

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  56. Fisher should be suspended on the basis of that terrible defensive rotation.

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  57. Why are the Lakers always doubling? or playing so far off there man Is it Impossible for them to play straight up defense? make Battier put the ball on the floo DAMN Can anyone tell me why the lakers aleays give up open 3’s?

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  58. The ghost of Yao Ming is haunting us.

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  59. No, the ghost of Lakers anti-focus is haunting us.

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  60. Play Farmar and Gasol and Bynum both at the same time.

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  61. No, the actuality of a small, fast, ball moving lineup that is making the extra pass and hustling on defense is killing us.

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  62. I am glad I am not watching the game, this is just a disaster, Lakers better come more prepared come game 5.

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  63. I feel jipped as a Laker fan. I wouldn’t mind it if shots weren’t going down, but our defensive effort and dumb unforced turnovers are inexcusable.

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  64. Shane Battier must be thinking: “He can’t f***ing guard me!”

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  65. Is Rambis the coach in charge of the Laker defense?

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  66. Cayucos Surfer May 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Missing free throws, taking contested jumpers and missing those too, no defensive intensity, no offensive intensity, leaving the shooters wide open, terrible rotations on D.. just a complete arrogance and lack of effort in almost every aspect of the game in the first half.

    Every couple weeks or so this season, i remember the Lakers would just stink it up. Now in some of those games, they came out in the second half with a vengeance and lit the other team up, made the game competitive. I do remember a couple games though, where we just pretty much sucked the entire game. I’m starting to get the feeling this is one of those games.

    We will get a chance to see how mentally (and im sorry to use this word) “tough” we are. Do we pack our bags for LA, and take the rest of the night off? Or do we step it up like everyone knows we are capable of, and show these Rockets what a champion looks like? I, for one, do not want to see this team have to make another trip to Houston. I hate that city.

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  67. Just bad decisions all-around defensively. When Walton had Brooks on the switch, Fisher knew who he was guarding. Do you really want to leave Battier open in the corner? Really? I don’t care how easily Brooks would break Walton down, Battier from the corner is automatic right now.

    They’re playing with house money right now. No fear, riding an emotional high. We’ve managed to cut the lead through jumpshots, but those won’t fall every time. Until our defense shores up, this game won’t change. They just need a couple of buckets to push the game wide open.

    Wow looking at replays of these open shots makes me cringe.

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  68. lmao 65, Christina: +1

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  69. Our interior defense is getting on penetration and on the boards. It’s one thing to give up penetration in favor of rebounding, or rebounding in favor of interior D, but it’s utterly unacceptable to give up both. This never would’ve happened if Andrew Bynum were still alive. (Copyright: Bill Simmons)

    I’m really disappointed in our guys. This game isn’t over, but it’ll take a huge leap in the level of effort for us to overcome this Rockets team in this game. Sad, sad performance from starters.

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  70. Two dirty little secrets about this game that confirmed what I suspected. Houston actually matches up better against the Lakers without Yao, as it allows them to go smallball. Second Fisher being on the court works right into Houston’s small ball speed advantage.

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  71. Phil Jackson has historically been a poor at making in-game adjustments.

    defense

    1. Stay with the 3 point shooters.
    2. Get the ball out of Aaron Brook’s hands
    3. Make Artest beat you on the dribble.

    offense
    1.get the ball inside
    2. Kobe. please go to the hole. Did you get the memo that Yao is out and their shot blocker is 6 6.
    3. Lamar, follow the ball please

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  72. Abd Bill you forgot to mention something…..Play with some passion and effort please!

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  73. Frankly, it seems to me that Gasol plays flat and unenergetic every other game or so.

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  74. Actually, Shane Battier is as classy a guy as you can find in the NBA. I can guarantee he’s not thinking that, much less say it, unlike Kobe.

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  75. That was not a poor effort by our guys, that was no effort at all. I think I expended more energy screaming at the TV than any of the players save Kobe.

    Fisher has been ineffective at checking Brooks and we really need more Farmar on him.

    Pigs must be flying because I just asked for Farmar to replace Fish for defensive purposes.

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  76. On the bright side, maybe this is the “wake up call” we need.

    (Sarcasm intended.)

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  77. Bynum is loafing down the court and is not giving any effort. Unexcusable and extremely frustrating.

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  78. Does Andrew Bynum realize the playoffs have started? I’d rather see DJ Mbenga in the game then Bynum right now

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  79. The only positive note of the half was winning the tipoff. After that, Lamar’s lazy pass to Ariza resulted in Ariza’s lazy recovery and a crazy lazy pass back to his own basket. That laziness pervaded for 24 minutes. Flush that half down and start again.

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  80. Why wont they ever play bynum with gasol. Gasol’s passing ability and size mismatches would make andrew so much more effective. Combine them with good post entry passers and the offense will come around.

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  81. “Does Andrew Bynum realize the playoffs have started? I’d rather see DJ Mbenga in the game then Bynum right now”

    I couldnt agree more haha, Bynum is lucky to catch a pass cleanly, let alone do anything else

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  82. WTH is going here?! I just get in to catch the 2nd half and we’re down 18? Are you kidding me? You can’t turn your back on these cats.

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  83. First play out of the half is a layup. Wow.

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  84. Lamar is awesome

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  85. We’re all frustrated. But this is not going to become the post of overreactive venting. Will not.

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  86. FIrst good defensive possession of the game, 26 minutes into the game.

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  87. This game is over. Rest the starters and get them ready for game 5.

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  88. Fisher is devestatingly ineffective on defense against the Rockets.

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  89. good move by Phil to pull LO. He is not providing effort. Drew can change this game around. And why the hell cant we make free throws!!!

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  90. Cayucos Surfer May 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Ok. I’m done. Start out the second the same way we finish the 1st. missing free throws, not closing out on shooters, and missing lay ups. Can’t believe we are blowing this. Embarrassing, see you guys next game.

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  91. Ooopss – guess they deleted the #80 comment. Oh well – Lakers still layed an egg like Kurt called it.

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  92. Pau Gasol free throw shooting has went off the rails.

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  93. first game in a long time where i seriously just dont want to watch.

    im foring myself tow atch this

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  94. When was the last time Bynum got a 50/50 rebound?

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  95. 94, when was the last time Bynum got a rebound, period.

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  96. At what point does Phil take Kobe off of Battier?

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  97. Pau has me worried. When his FTs are that short, he’s usually worn down. Maybe all the playing time is starting to take its toll.

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  98. phil should rest the starters. the lakers are too far back, the refs are letting them play through everything, everybody is too excited for this to go our way.

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  99. At what point do we play honest defense.

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  100. Look, I completely agree Lakers are being out hustled and Rox are bringing more energy. But how are Lakers getting called for fouls when Rox are getting away with beating up any Laker?

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  101. The heck with this one. Pull a few guys out of the stands that are wearing Lakers replica shirts and and put them on the floor. Maybe the Rockets will be confused as to why Kobe is now short, white and wearing Rec Specs. It would work about as well as anything else they’ve tried…

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  102. This game is lost.

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  103. +1 on 102. That’s why Phil should rest the starters. They’re going to get beat down and someone is going to get hurt.

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  104. I blame Phil Jackson for this. The Lakers seem totally unprepared against Houston’s offensive sets. It’s almost like they didn’t have time to prepare for a defensive strategy without Yao on the court

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  105. Brooks just blows by Fisher.

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  106. Sooo reminiscent of the final against Celts… are the Lakers mentally soft? Do they just give up on adversity?

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  107. Someone should tell Kobe he’s not guarding Ronnie Brewer anymore…

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  108. this is disgusting on all levels. turned off the game.

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  109. first time I’ve ever turned off a game. I’m outta here.

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  110. Try to make one last push. If they can get it down to 10-12 points we can still win. Gotta play the quarter out. Although there is nothing to make tou think things will change. Fish sure didn’t help today

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  111. For everyone calling for the starters to get rested, I say pull Kobe and let the other 4 stay out there and get humiliated. Fisher had 3 days off; there’s no reason he should be tired. Pau and Odom are getting pushed around on offense and on defense, giving up rebounds and putting up terrible shots. Ariza is playing with no energy despite the fact that he’s an energy guy; where does it enter his mind that it’s ok for him to take the night off? Bynum has 8 rebounds in the past 4 games. Luke came in and made stupid mistakes with stupid turnovers. Farmar took a couple really bad shots early in the shot clock. No one played defense.

    I was wrong when I said Game 3 against Utah was the worst game of the season. That one gets trumped three-fold by this one. If I were Kobe, I’d kill the rest of my team. No reason why a superstar brings his A-game and no one else brings anything.

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  112. This game was lost in the first quarter. FYI, the rockets are undefeated in these playoffs whenever they win the first quarter. Something to think about Lakers.

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  113. slid under while in air. wouldn’t have gotten that call in LA.

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  114. What’s Bynum’s problem? Look like you care please!

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  115. Lamar is not mentally strong for anything.

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  116. 67-40 lmao……Lakers should just walk off the court now and head to staples

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  117. I don’t like the officiating this game, but c’mon guys thats not why were down 28

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  118. Josh Powell came to play.

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  119. This reminds me of the painful Finals against the Pistons, not to mention last year’s crash and burn.

    Wish I understood what’s going on … I’m starting to doubt Phil’s fire, honestly. One thing I read – perhaps on FB&G – that Chuck Daily once evidently said something to the effect of, ‘it’s a player’s league, you can only coach if they let you.’ Has Phil lost his touch?

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  120. How is that a foul on Bynum?

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  121. Bynum is completely and utterly ineffective. It’s staggering how little he’s contributing

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  122. What happened to last 4 games of regular season Drew?

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  123. So if the Lakers get tough, they’re thugs but they need to be able to respond to hand to hand combat?

    And why doesn’t Bynum get a foul on that board and shot attempt?

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  124. I wonder what Kobe’s thinking when they pass the ball to Battier (his man), and he realizes he’s about thirty feet away from Battier and is still the closest Laker.

    This isn’t just a lack of effort, it’s defense completely and utterly void of intelligence. I think you actually have to think to be that bad defensively.

    Sad effort. Play a lot of Bynum and hopefully he might get jumpstarted or something.

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  125. I think Kurt should take over coaching for this team, didnt Jackson warn his team that they needed to show up and play? Kurt knew of this danger and could have at least warned the team haha

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  126. Bynum is as useless as my appendix.

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  127. Lakers get this under 20 and show fire for fourth, it’s still possible

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  128. The hyperbole from the announcers is getting a little tiring though…

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  129. Everyone should read Kurt’s last sentence of this post….’nuff said.

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  130. shoulders slumped after every basket they packed it in

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  131. The goal right now is to get the second unit some burn and more comfort out there any little run that happens is just gravy

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  132. Hope all the bandwagons out there are enjoying this! Every once in a while the Lakers give up a game and all the bandwagon fans come out. Enjoy! (rolling my eyes)

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  133. 125, I agree, although it’s laughable that a professional basketball needs to be reminded to show up and play. Seriously, how entitled do these Lakers feel? No one’s giving them a championship last time I checked, and they certainly aren’t earning it now. No excuse for this. I’m beginning to think all the talk about learning from the humiliation at the hands of Boston was just that, talk.

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  134. You can’t deny the lakers are playin like crap. So, let people vent their frustrations.

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  135. Not sure that the Lakers, as currently coached by Phil, can get past this version of the Rockets.

    Fisher is exposed by the speed and ball movement, and the lack of effort by our bigs (Pau, Lamar and Bynum) seems like too much to make up for.

    I would be glad to get to Game 7 against these Rockets, because that would mean that we got a win.

    This Rockets line up has a huge positive +/- number in the series against us. Adelman would have been well advised to start this on us, even if Yao were available.

    We are in danger of being swept here.

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  136. Going forward the staff is gonna have to devise a scheme the players can execute against the Aaron Brooks/Luis Scola screen and roll. Brooks is either coming off the screen and attacking the hoop which results in a layup for Brooks or a kick out for a 3 on one ball reversal, or Scola is open for the 15 footer he is deadly at. Also, they have a play where they throw it to Scola and Brooks works of a ball-screen for a 3. These simple sets have been killing us all game.

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  137. This is going to make my mother very unhappy, insofar as I’m spending my Mother’s Day shouting curse words at the top of my lungs.

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  138. I would just like the Lakers to score seventy-five points in this game.

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  139. Van Gundy questioning the lakers toughness! A coach who never won anything. Incredible

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  140. This game is not over. Lakers just need to show some fire. And I hate JVG and Mark Jax even more than usual.

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  141. I think the goal for the Lakers should be to get off the court

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  142. Jeff Van gundy is right though, the Lakers are still searching for the right lineup combination that would give us the best chance of winning. That’s a little disconcerting this late in the season.

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  143. No, really. This makes me not want to be a lakers fan.

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  144. Zephid, if you’re still there, tell goat I’m done. Defeat is admitted. I SEVERELY overestimated my team once the playoffs started. I watched the whole reg season, I knew better…

    And I was SO wrong about Aaron Brooks.

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  145. NOTHING LIKE A GOOD SPANKING!

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  146. Guys, I am sure and the phil and the staff warned the guys about a let down. More than once. But them listening is something else altogether.

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  147. This is so painful to watch.

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  148. Wow this is bad

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  149. Alley oop to Aaron Brooks.

    Epic fail.

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  150. The Rockets are playing with a lot of emotion, and the the Lakers arent matching, but Jeff Van Gundy is making it seem like the end of the world. Irritating.

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  151. WOW, nice Farmar.

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  152. I was about to say: I wonder if Phil will start Farmar next game. The way he hid on that alley oop makes me think, not. This series could become an epic collapse; we’ve had a lot of trouble with this small lineup…..

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  153. Exclamation point for the Rox.

    Also, going forward- Dont we have to put someone else on Brooks? Do we start Farmar or Brown, or do we move Ariza onto him. I don’t think the staff can just hope to play better next game. We need to matchup better with this team.

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  154. It looks to me like Phil has intentionally stopped coaching, and I don’t blame him. I would also let my players struggle. In a way, losing this game by 40 is much better for this team than coming all the way back in this game.

    It never ceases to amaze me how this team needs something to motivate them, as if the will to win a title, their pride and self-respect are not motivation enough.

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  155. Peanut Butter Spread May 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I did say this was going to still be a dangerous Rockets team without Yao …

    but this game is slightly sad on two levels.

    a. The Lakers have mailed it in for this game already. The refs are completely helping the Rockets but that’s still no excuse for our defense.

    b. The Rockets will not be shooting this well the next game.

    I only hope LO is okay.

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  156. Does anyone else want their time back? I know I do. The Lakers simply didn’t show up today. I still think they will finish it in 6, but this debacle is embarassing. They should have just put out a press release saying that they aren’t going to show up and just get on the plane to LA. They could have saved us all a lot of time. Honestly though, I think the best way to lose and come back and win is to lose so incredibly that there are no teaching points at all. Just toss the tape in the trash can and move on. Just watched the last play of the third quarter, now I’m sure there is no point in even looking at the tape. I know I wouldn’t be able to watch this game twice.

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  157. That my friends is the most inexcusable end of quarter breakdown I have every seen..

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  158. I know we’re all frustrated but the series is just 2-2 now so .. Remember the Celts got taken to to 7 twice and nobody questioned there toughness in fact they had blowout losses In Atl and Cleveland just a thought Lets not panic

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  159. Kurt, 148: It’s Phil’s job to make sure that he’s heard, isn’t it? Head coaching in the NBA as I understand it is 99% about understanding how to communicate with these guys. Phil should be able to do that, and pcik his spots accordingly. This was a spot he should have picked, IMO, to really stress them actually showing up to play. The rockets got confident right away, and they just got loss and rolling.

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  160. Thank you Pau for remembering that we’re allowed to get an offensive rebound.

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  161. 137, Whoa, it’s one thing to be upset about this loss (by my above posts, I think it’s pretty obvious I’m as upset as anyone else) but to claim that the Lakers can’t beat the Rockets? That’s just wrong. Yes, these Rockets brought it today and our guys didn’t, but a good spanking is what we need. Frankly, my sado-masochistic side tells me the more spankings we get, the better we’ll be. This team has shown one thing all season: it responds to adversity. I have confidence that we’ll respond to this, but it saddens me that we have to respond, period.

    That being said, let’s get some good burn for the bench and hope this game gets burned into our guy’s memories. Much as I can’t stand the letdowns, I can only hope that after each one, we’ll be better having gone through it.

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  162. 159. Celtics definitely got questioned after those 7-game series’. That was one reason most experts picked the Lakers to win the Finals. It’s only fair that people now think the Cavs have the edge

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  163. I hope this ends up being a record loss. Game 6 last year wasn’t enough. Maybe a humiliating loss this year will jog our guys’ memories a bit.

    Ah well. Nothing screaming and venting will do now. Pick up the pieces, look to the next game. Make some adjustments. Or something.

    I do think our guys will come out with a fire next game after our humiliation. And knowing our guys, I’m sure they’re equally likely to make me look like a fool for saying that.

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  164. This game was lost in the first quarter. FYI, the rockets are undefeated in these playoffs whenever they win the first quarter. Something the lakers should keep in mind. I’m sure their coaching staff doesn’t even know that….sad.

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  165. Not to make an excuse for Farmar on that last play because he didn’t even try, but it sure looked like he was afraid of a foul being called on him if he went up.

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  166. I like what Magic said, how you got to the finals is irrelavent, last year the Lakers coasted and the Celtics struggled and it meant nothing in the Finals

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  167. Btw, if we don’t win the championship this year, I would recommend that our list of role players get a major revamp. It depends on who else is out there, but everyone other than Kobe, Pau and Ariza are totally expendable.

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  168. I like how you didn’t include an inconsistent Lamar in that list of players not expendable…haha.

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  169. Peanut Butter Spread – if you think this game is only “slightly sad,” I’m sorry but you don’t know that Lakers and their fans’ expectations. This is a truly abysmal game, the Lakers have given apalling effort and I’m absolutely disgusted.

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  170. My comments get moderated for 30mins? ok… What is this a Lakers Police-state governed by Kobe?

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  171. Yes, the Celtics went through adversity, but they were always able to count on their effort and defense. What do the Lakers look to / channel in order to get through tough times? A defense that occasionally shows up? This team is a different breed altogether.

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  172. Sasha’s entire existence is based on him making the wide open corner 3. If he can’t do that why is he in the NBA?

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  173. I remember how this series was introduced with “There is no way Chuck Hayes is stopping Gasol and Lamar Odom” – boy was that wrong.

    Hayes is one of the leagues best on ball low post defenders. Auch, Gasol is getting nowhere against him.

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  174. The Lakers have certainly made these playoffs “Must See” TV. I have no idea what to expect from them one game to the next.

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  175. Kobe, Pau and Bynum.

    The rest would be up for sale.

    Of course, this is getting ahead, but if the Lakers lose to the Rockets in this series, I would be surprised if Kobe stayed around.

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  176. So call me stupid, but I truly believe this game is still there for Lakers as long as they play hard.

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  177. Remember game two against Boston…

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  178. DTC, totally agree with you on Phil. I don’t know why he hasn’t intentionally got himself tossed so he wouldn’t have to watch anymore. I do think it’s too early to say the rest of the team needs to be revamped. Up until the finals they played well last year.

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  179. Hmm I think you guys are giving up on this team too early. I still feel that the Lakers are going to advance. (Actually, I think they will win it all).

    Sure, tonight is a disaster – but play-off basketball is a marathon, not a sprint.

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  180. J and Archon, I love your optimism. I really do.

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  181. Listening to the “crew” announcing the game, its amazing how the lakers have become such underdogs? the Cavs are on a role, but how many teams in the eastern conference had winning record this year?

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  182. Heheheh, can’t believe I was actually happy for a second when Lakers were ONLY down by 18.

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  183. Wow Phil Jackson finally made an in game adjustment that made sense.

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  184. Phil isnt going to get himself tossed, that’s not his style.

    That foul right there is a prime example of consequence of the inconsistent flagrant officiating. Any other time, that foul is hard enough to prevent the And 1.

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  185. Haha yeah when I think of who is expendable, I’m thinking of players I would have no problem giving up if it returned players I like. In that case, even Ariza is really expendable.

    In the case of Odom, we should not let him just walk tho, we should get a sign-and-trade if possible

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  186. Is this garbage time already?

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  187. The good thing is that no matter points you lose by, you only lose once.

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  188. This is a disgrace.

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  189. The range of emotion here is amazing. Either we are going to win it all or never win again.

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  190. 172- Kurt kindly appreciates you don’t use impersonator names like you did, probably why your moderated.

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  191. Ray Sharpe, actually I have a semi-theory for that too. Phil knows that him sitting there looking serene probably has a bigger effect on the players than him getting tossed. The players would be like… “what the @#$^ are you smiling about?”

    And I agree that it’s not Phil’s style to get tossed

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  192. 190-

    The better question is, “How long has it been Garbage time?”

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  193. I expect to see more trapping at the top of the key with Gasol off of Hayes to disrupt the pick and roll with Brooks.

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  194. can somebody please tell me how the cavs can absolutely destroy in all their playoff games (yes obviously lebron) while the lakers with Kobe plus a much better supporting cast are struggling – yes i think the rockets jazz are harder than the east teams but still – i think the x factor is hunger – the lakers are not “hungry enough” to win yet
    maybe they will wake up after this

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  195. Wow let’s not overreact. Saying we’re going to get swept from here on out? Kobe won’t stick around if we lose to the Rockets? Where else would Kobe go that would put him in a better position to win a championship and could pay him the same kind of money? Let’s be reasonable, people.

    We’ve already lost the game, no need to lose common sense while we’re at it.

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  196. This team is sooo past the point of using nationally televised embarrassments as motivation. That’s just bunk, a myth. That has never worked with this team and everyone knows it. How could you forget that you didn’t get championship rings from last year? The 2 beat downs from Boston in the Finals? The beat downs from Portland this year?

    No, humiliation means nothing with this group of guys. We’re going need to better pre-game & in-game coaching and Kobe is going to have to put this team on his back. Nothing less will do.

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  197. +1,000 for Snoopy.

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  198. This is definitely garbage time!

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  199. emh101, I think I’m somewhere inbetween – I believe in my team’s ability to play transcendent basketball, and have complete trust in their “ability.” But having watched them for so long, the fact of their tendency to relax and coast introduces so much uncertainty that I simply don’t know if they can win it all

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