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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336 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.

  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.

  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!

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

  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.

  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

  7. Adelman says pregame that Chuck Hayes to start.

  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.

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

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  16. Wow, Shane Battier sounds soooooooo white.

  17. The headband is back!

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

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

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

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

    GO INSIDE!!!

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

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

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

    Anyone have a link? My TV broke THIS MORNING!

  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.

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

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

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

  29. still not worried.

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

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

  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.

  33. Luke should have taken that shot.

  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.

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

  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.

  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?

  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.

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

  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.

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

  42. Giving this game away.

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

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

  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

  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.

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

  48. #48 this one has artest

  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.

  50. Mark Jackson is near impossible to listen to.

  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.

  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.

  53. well so far fish has been a disaster

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

  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

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

  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?

  58. The ghost of Yao Ming is haunting us.

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

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

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

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

  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.

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

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

  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.

  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.

  68. lmao 65, Christina: +1

  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.

  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.

  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

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

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

  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.

  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.

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

    (Sarcasm intended.)

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

  78. And if I have to watch another Luke Walton bad pass Im going to long for the days Smush Parker was running the team.

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

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. “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

  83. 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.

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

  85. Lamar is awesome

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

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

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

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

  90. 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!!!

  91. 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.

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

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

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

    im foring myself tow atch this

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

  96. 94, when was the last time Bynum got a rebound, period.

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

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. At what point do we play honest defense.

  101. 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?

  102. 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…

  103. This game is lost.

  104. +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.

  105. 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

  106. Brooks just blows by Fisher.

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

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

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

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

  111. 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

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

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

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

  116. Lamar is not mentally strong for anything.

  117. 67-40 lmao……Lakers should just walk off the court now and head to staples

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

  119. Josh Powell came to play.

  120. 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?

  121. How is that a foul on Bynum?

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

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

  124. 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?

  125. 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.

  126. 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

  127. Bynum is as useless as my appendix.

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

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

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

  131. shoulders slumped after every basket they packed it in

  132. 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

  133. 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)

  134. 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.

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

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

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

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

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

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

  143. 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.

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

  145. 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.

  146. NOTHING LIKE A GOOD SPANKING!

  147. 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.

  148. This is so painful to watch.

  149. Wow this is bad

  150. Alley oop to Aaron Brooks.

    Epic fail.

  151. 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.

  152. WOW, nice Farmar.

  153. 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…..

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

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

  159. 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

  160. If Phil won’t bench Fisher… I hope he puts Ariza on him next game… and then puts Fisher on Battier. With kobe having to guard Artest. Cause they just ran everything through Brooks this entire game.

  161. 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.

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

  163. 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.

  164. 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

  165. 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.

  166. 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.

  167. 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.

  168. 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

  169. 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.

  170. …meaning put Ariza on brooks

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

  172. 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.

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

  174. 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.

  175. 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?

  176. 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.

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

  178. 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.

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

  180. Remember game two against Boston…

  181. 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.

  182. 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.

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

  184. 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?

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

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

  187. 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.

  188. 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

  189. Is this garbage time already?

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

  191. This is a disgrace.

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

  193. 172- Kurt kindly appreciates you don’t use impersonator names like you did, probably why your moderated.

  194. 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

  195. 190-

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

  196. Everyone relax… its just one game… Aaron Brooks dominated us tonight just like he did in Game 1. I hope coach Jackson will make the proper adjustments.

  197. 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.

  198. 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

  199. 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.

  200. 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.

  201. +1,000 for Snoopy.

  202. This is definitely garbage time!

  203. 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

  204. 191 Man, I agree. I do not even want to imagine what kind of stuff they will write tomorrow on ESPN and other mainstream blogs. Lakers this… Lakers that. And the saddest part is that they totally deserve to get ripped apart after today’s “performance”

  205. I think Gasol gets too much heat but I do wish he was like 10 percent tougher.

  206. This is a nazi site. everything being policed. wack.

  207. After this game I would agree that both the Nuggets and Cavs have more stones than the Lakers.

    We though Andrew would make our front line tougher, but I guess not. Now we have to live with Gasol and Lamar – both of home have toughness (read body up defense without fouling) issues.

    Also, this team never really ran the triangle. This entire game was mostly 1-on-1 basketball against a team of superior 1-on-1 defenders. That is really, really dumb – therefore I have to question our IQ.

  208. Why is Sasha playing? He’s not gonna start magically hitting shots Phil.

  209. Btw, can we have a contest predicting what the LA Times headline for the Lakers will be? Or even better, what the headlines for Plashke and TJ Simers’ articles will be?

  210. We all need to look on the bright side.

    Personally, I’m excited about Hayes’ performance. As an undersized guard that constantly gets posted up, Hayes has shown me that even with half a foot disadvantage, you can annihilate a skilled post player. I’ll be watching a LOT of Hayes footage to prep for my games.

    Please Houston fans, bring the Kobe Sucks chant louder.

    Why are Kobe and Gasol still in?

  211. DTC, I agree, especially when the Lakers play like this. They do not inspire much confidence. Good effort here in the last five minutes though.

  212. To everyone who thinks that:

    1) This is the end of the world.

    2) The whole team should be traded.

    3) We can’t beat Houston.

    Get a grip. We laid an egg. Joy. Come back, absorb it, and do better next game. Overreacting here (like Mark Jackson and JVG are doing) is not a solution for anything.

  213. Yay! 77 points! 13 point deficit! It’s semi-respectable now!

  214. Fool’s gold fellas…fool’s gold.

  215. Snoopy: Annihilate might be a strong word when Pau has 23 points on 13 shots?

  216. well at least there showing some fight, about a quarter too late but better late than never.

    worried about Odom though

  217. I don’t know why I’m still watching. But if Kobe can go T-mac on the rockets we can still win. Shannon playing like Billups right now. If this gets under 10 i say hack the crap out of Hayes

  218. They could use Tyrone Lue against Brooks. Oops, I forgot he isn’t with the Lakers anymore.
    Hey, bottom line, it’s just a game to them. They get done and go home to their mansions and hot wives, and lambos. This year they have all the tools, but until their mind set changes they ain’t winning a championship.

  219. why are all my posts deleted – this is crap

  220. Way too much overreaction here. Yes, lakers came out flat. But this talk about Pau lacking toughness is unwarranted. He’s not exactly getting any calls either.

    As for people being pulled out, you can’t have it both ways. Do you want Lakers to show they never quit or they just wave the white flag. I’m okay with everyone staying out there and hustling.

  221. Andreas, this is why watching the game is more meaningful than box score stats: Pau’s stats are inflated by 1) the time Scola spent on him and 2) Hayes helping on drives and being out of position. When Pau has posted up Hayes 1-on-1, his conversion rate has been awful.

  222. I agree that many people are overreacting, but I think questioning/talking about this team’s mental approach/effort is definitely in order. This not just an Xs and Os issue. It would not surprise me if they roared back and won the title. It would also not surprise me if they lost to Houston or Denver. I thought they would win a close one today. I did not expect this, so I am going to give up on anticipating how they perform.

    @199,

    The Cavs have played very weak competition. In addition, LeBron is better than Kobe, and the Cavs play better defense than the Lakers. The Lakers do have more talent overall, yes.

  223. And that call on Pau is a prime example of what I’ve been complaining about all day. How can Pau hustle if he’s worried about being called for a foul like that?

  224. you know — and I have no idea why I’m watching this game at this point, but —

    that last rockets offensive rebound was a bit ridiculous. there were at least 3 rockets fouling gasol in order to get that board.

  225. J, DTC, you are right. It’s not Phil’s style and I do think it does more good for him to just sit there than to get tossed. Hey, I get emotional. It’s just one of many reasons I wouldn’t make a good NBA coach. I never liked him when he coached the Bulls, but the rings speak for themselves. The man is definitely smarter and wiser than me.

  226. Snoopy: Hmm I disagree. 13 of the points have come in the fourth for instance, with Hayes guarding him all the time.

  227. J – Especially after what had happened on the Rockets previous shot on that possession where three Rockets came over the top on him.

  228. JVG is full of cr@p about these being fake stats. Lakers get the call on that Battier foul, they come down and score, it’s under 10 and I’ve seen Rox collapse under worse circumstance. Adelman is coaching this like it’s not over. Heck look at the faces of Rox players, even they aren’t sure this is over.

  229. 13 points! Almost seems like a win is attainable. Ok maybe not.

  230. Why all the acolades for Cleveland? The played an under 500 Detroit team ready to go home and a totally overrated Atlanta team. If they do this against Boston or Orlando then that will say something.

  231. Wow, that whistle was blown for Scola before the foul was even there. Talk about anticipating the call.

  232. To me Fisher is a liability this series, they should go with Farmar, Brown, and Kobe at the small forward spot.

  233. I agree that Cleveland’s success in the playoffs has been a tad overrated considering their opposition. But I think Denver is have a great playoff run. Though if the Nuggets ran into stiffer competition, they might crack emotionally.

  234. If this game had another quarter, the Lakers would win.

  235. Maybe I haven’t been watching closely enough. A lot of points I’ve seen Pau score have been on layups after someone has penetrated and Hayes has been out of position. When Hayes has been set and Pau’s posted up, I remember a couple of good spin moves but mostly trying to back Hayes down and ending up with a missed hook or fall-away. I could be wrong, though.

  236. Guess you guys are all forgetting the fact that all these teams, whether they are .500 teams or above are still NBA players. They can ALL play and beat you if you don’t have desire and heart. The Rox just proved that today against a championship caliber team. Nuff said.

  237. 188&195 – True, getting tossed is not Phil’s usual style. But … I remember Phil DID get himself tossed once during a playoff game with the Spurs (I think it was during the three peat era).

    The Lakers were losing, Phil had a Tech earlier, he got another, stood there a while, preening, before he walked off. The Lakers rallied, won the game, and the series.

  238. I don’t think I’m overreacting. If the Lakers laid an “egg” today, then didn’t they also lay and egg in Game 1. So that is two eggs in four games. The other two were not beatdowns – we only won in the 4th Q. I’m sorry but we should bench Bynum, and maybe play smaller to match that Lowry – Brooks lineup.

  239. 230 – This game made me realize that Cleveland deserves their accolades. Regardless of the opponent, they play hard and focused. That’s how you win a ring.

  240. This is very subjective, but here is what I feel when I watch the Cavs, Celtics, and Lakers play:

    Celtics last year – “this is it for us, the big 3 are not getting any younger, this is our time, it’s now or never.”

    Cavs this year – “Z and Big Ben are getting old, and if we don’t win this year, Lebron might leave us, then everything we’ve fought for is over.”

    Lakers – “holy moly we’re talented, and the West’s spot in the Finals is basically ours for the next half decade.”

  241. Snoopy: Hayes is always doing a good job on Pau, you’re absolutely right. I just thought that annihilate was a little strong=)

    Pau with 30 points and 9 boards – sounds like a game the Lakers should have won. But not really..

  242. A silver lining: maybe with enough of these losses, if we do make it to the Finals, hopefully we’ll be considered the underdog. With this team’s makeup, they’ve heard for 2 years how great they are, without having won anything. It’ll be good for them to hear doubt from the media, I think.

  243. Farmar showed me something by playing well even though he didn’t play for a while. If I were Phil Jackson I wouldn’t play Bynum the rest of the series and pay close attention to how he comes back in the Western Finals.

  244. Lakers in six, I don’t care what anyone says. Props to Kobe for not trying to take over when he went back in and trying to get everyone else involved. Contrary to popular storyline, he’s not going to be selfish. He’s doing what he thinks is best for the team in the long run.

    Well, at least this was a fast game and I still have most of the afternoon and all evening left.

  245. Great Googly Moogly May 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I posted the following post a couple days ago and got ripped b/c I put Denver above the Lakers. Does anybody have a beef with this now?

    FYI – I’m a HUGE Lakers and Mavs fan, so I’m not being biased.

    Great Googly Moogly wrote on May 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    My Power Rankings (of teams still alive) as of today:

    1) Cleveland
    2) Denver
    3) Lakers
    4) Houston
    5) Orlando
    6) Boston
    7) Dallas
    8) Atlanta

  246. @240:
    unfortunately the lakers seem to think the same thing;
    that they don’t have to play the games to get there.

    But to everyone saying the team needs to get blown up: are you insane? They got their asses handed to them, they’ll be back next game and win in 6.
    Go lakeshow!

  247. DTC brings up a great point. I was sick of the Cleveland comparisons because the Cavs have had a cakewalk first two rounds compared to ours.

    But isn’t that the entire issue? Us not showing up against inferior opponents?

    The Cavs come to play regardless of how “weak” their opponent is. Can we say the same about the Lakers with certainty? We may have swept the Pistons on pure talent, sure, but the Cavs play gritty defense at all times.

    Anyway, comparisons like that are pointless. It’s not going to affect much if we do meet the Cavs in the Finals.

  248. Who wants to sit next to Kobe on the flight home? He’s going to be pissed.

    One thing bothering me other than the obvious things in this game: the announcing crew lauding Battier endlessly for that charge drawn on Odom. I know, the rules allow it, so it’s technically the right play. But he gets there very late, just in time or even a split second late. But Odom is already on his way up at that point, unable to change direction anymore.

    I just hate the current rule or it’s interpretation because it discourages proper defense and forces a lot of these dangerous falls.

  249. If you really break it down with Bynum playing like Kwame Brown, the Lakers aren’t a much more talented team then the Rockets or any other team in the playoffs. They are getting the least out of the point guard position out of all the playoff teams, Ariza is hot and cold and their bench is ineffective. We should stop pretending we have way more talent then everyone else. The Lakers are going to have to fight for it and we shouldn’t be shocked if they don’t win it all

  250. The Lakers need to abandon the ssz and just play straight up man to man they give up way to many uncontested 3’s In my opinion. is that too much to ask

  251. “we’ll be considered the underdog”

    There is almost no question about this. If Denver wins Monday, and the Lakers beat Houston, the the Lakers will only be slight faves against the Nuggets.

  252. Lewis, I think strong side zone is fine, the problem is the Lakers were lazy today and didn’t rotate, or two players would rotate to the same guy, which should never happen

  253. Can I just say that I love the fact that this site exists? I’ve learned a ton by reading posts from the experts and reading comments. Plus, it gives me a place to vent to people who care rather than wearing out my old man on the phone.

  254. 238-
    Game one was a robin’s egg if it was even an egg at all. Sometimes you can only get your shots halfway down even though you get a good look.

    I chalk this one up to having to adjust on the fly to what is essentially a different Rockets team. Yeah the guys came out flat and all, but it’s almost as if Phil and Co said, “We have no tape of what Houston will do without Yao, so let’s just keep doing what we’re doing and improvise from there.” JVG’s “fake stats” argument aside, what the Lakers were doing later in the third quarter and into the fourth seemed to be bothering the Rockets some. I wonder what further adjustments we’ll see going forward.

  255. 248, I absolutely agree with you. The announcers are the biggest Laker haters and Battier got the charge which is what he is supposed to do for his team but if you noticed the play he actually let Odom touch him and then he fell real fast backwards which made Odom fall flat on his back. btw 250, I have always said Lakers can’t defend a 3 point shot.

  256. The downside – I’m not sure how likely it is Artest has a shooting night like that again.

  257. The game was lost after the first 6 minutes of the 3rd, but I liked that PJ left Gasol in. He was able to get some buckets on Hayes one-on-one, especially when he faced up and used his quickness (took 3 quarters to figure that out?). And that could do good things for his confidence. I think Hayes’ good defense was compounded by Pau’s lack of decisiveness. He would take too long to get set, which has been a problem.

    It also gave the bench a good run. SB and Vujacic hit some shots. They played some good D on the Rockets. Much different than the 1st half when they were just getting beat every time. Aside from the obvious lack of effort, think we got caught with our pants down in terms of preparing for a Yao-less offense. (even PJ admitted after practice they had not considered Yao was going to be out) Things were more freed, less clogged, Brooks was able to penetrate more and given the reins, which suits his style and allows him to be more comfortable. RA has always had the ability to put in offense that works and instill confidence in guys w/o their superstars.

    There are some comments here venting frustrations and some saying quiet down it’s not the end of the world. But I think both are a little extreme. It’s simply unacceptable for the Lakers to be playing like this. Having done so, looking ahead is more important than looking back. Nevertheless, we’ve had too many ‘wake up calls’ to not be able to substantiate questioning of our mental toughness. I’m absolutely distraught right now, I feel embarrassed and jipped as a fan but I don’t mean let’s trade everybody or we’ve going to lose the series.

  258. I have the key to Game 5:

    Hack-a-Hayes.

    Phil Jackson, you’re welcome.

  259. Snoop, last 2 games artest shot crappy

  260. Fisher, Odom, and Bynum all had their worst games of the season, so I’m not going crazy over the loss, but we do need to make some defensive adjustments

  261. Bynum coming back was supposed to be a wildcard. He’s not giving us anything. Is he hurt? Is he sulking because of not starting/minutes? What gives?

    Not hustling is sickening.

  262. Lakers in 6, but that means they have to win in Houston again. Stay tuned.

  263. guess the rockets blew a big lead! hahaha!

    lakers in 6!

  264. Phil Jackson is an overrated coach. Absolutely no heart. He continuously gets out-coached in big games. This is so frustrating. Put this mediocre Rockets team away! We’re the Lakers for heavens sake! At least act like we’re the best team in the league!

  265. Haha I think the Lakers just want to make this series interesting. Lakers in six no doubt.

  266. I couldn’t stand the commentary during this game. Does anyone else agree?

  267. @Jenkins
    “Phil Jackson is an overrated coach. Absolutely no heart. He continuously gets out-coached in big games.”

    What is your definition of ‘big games’? Maybe 9 championships, there were some big games in there?
    Today was not a big game. PJ is not overrated.

  268. Play hard!!!! Play hard!!! Championship teams play hard!!! Wake up guys!!

  269. With all the injuries happening to teams this playoffs, I feel like we should be cruising to the finals.

    The Rockets are a joke and we can’t even beat them without Yao.

    Kobe’s going to rip his team I bet, rightfully so. He should be coaching the games.

  270. I’m not worried by this loss. The next game is a blowout guaranteed. Heart of a lion, Lakers!

  271. He’s due! I know it’s Artest, he might very well throw up another stinker, I’m just saying we can’t necessarily count on a 4-19 game again.

    Nothing new, but this series has revealed to me our lack of a true 3-point specialist. Today I looked down the bench looking for someone I’d have confidence in taking a 3, and the best I could find was ShanWOW or Kobe himself. Ariza and Walton are solid when left wide open, but their percentages seem to drop a little with strong closeouts. Sasha’s corpse, I weep for you. Fish has been slumping. 3 point shooting is a very fickle thing. Last series, I never imagined all our players would slump at the exact same time. Houston’s D has to have a lot to do with it.

    (I know we were solid from 3 today, but I still don’t see a “specialist” that we can really count on when needed)

  272. gotta love Aaron Brooks’ fire engine red suit and bow tie in the post-game interview

  273. 265-

    My wife, who is not really a sports watcher except when I have a game on, has compared this afternoon’s team, and the profession in general, to talking heads on [evil news network of your choosing]. They add no value, only volume.

  274. Wow. The Lake Show loses and even appropriate comments take an hour to post. Today’s display DESERVES criticism as long as it’s not crude.

  275. Houston, you have a problem. His name is Kobe Bryant, who will end this in 6.

  276. Brooks is the Valet for the arena part-time.

  277. Totally agree with the comments on the commentating, they definitely weren’t impartial. Wahtever he who laughs last laughs best.

  278. Jenkins,

    Maybe Phil hasn’t been amping up the team as you see other coaches do, but he’s methodical and has 9 championships that prove his worth. Don’t fret, we’re winning this championship.

  279. Wow phil said F*#@ on tv.

  280. The reason we’re beating the Rockets in 6 is because we’re the Lakers and they’re the Rockets. We’re getting the last laugh.

  281. Wow is a man with 9 rings seriously getting ripped? This is a man who coaches for the long term, and does an excellent job controlling personalities and getting the best out of discarded players (ShanWOW!). This loss is on the players as much as it is the coaching staff. These are grown men, do you want Phil to bust out with pom-poms to get our guys revved up for a semifinals playoff game? Promise the guys “special favors” if they play hard? If his defensive philosophy was to leave 3 point shooters open tonight, then sure, I can understand blaming Phil. But I highly doubt that was the gameplan going in.

    I’m hesitant to level any criticism towards a man with that kind of resume. However, it may not be sacrilegious to suggest that Phil is not the best at adjusting mid-game, as Bill Bridges brought up initially. Not that Phil’s subpar at X’s and O’s or anything, but it is true that his offensive system was invented by Tex, and his old defensive system with the Bulls was a simple man-to-man. He’s a master at dealing with personalities, but perhaps he’s not quite genius-level when it comes to X’s and O’s and making adjustments on the fly. It may also be the case that (as great a job as he’s done with this group) Phil’s laid-back style may work best with veterans.

  282. CouldShouldaWoulda May 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    You’d think Kobe would want to one-up LeBron and his performance last night. Oh well. We’ll get ‘em next time.

  283. This ain’t the Kobe show and don’t compare Atlanta to Houston.

  284. Poor performance tonight by out guys. Wish Odom would step up.

  285. Kobe gets his first championship without Shaq this year. Watch.

  286. first time posting here, but I’ve been coming here this entire season. Love alot of the comments.

    Thoughts on the game:

    A) Phil Jackson may love to not call timeouts, and let his team work their way through it… but since the Shaq/Kobe era, has this strategy really worked the majority of the time? This team is too young to work their way through drops in confidence. Also, the Rockets were VERY emotional. Tell me how a quick timeout at the 9 minute mark to quiet the place down a bit, have some players settle down, etc… is not a good idea?

    B) Kobe Bryant deserves alot of blame for today’s game. Don’t give him a free pass. I love him to death, but he drives me nuts at times. His Ronnie Brewer defense on Shane Battier killed us in the first quarter, and pretty much the whole game.

    C) Andrew Bynum. Don’t even know what to say. I’ve heard and read every excuse for his poor play, but even when he was playing good, you can see his flaws. He doesn’t get the offense. He doesn’t pass out of double teams. He can’t hold the ball with two hands (reminds me of someone we recently traded). His inability to keep an eye on his man is beyond embarassing. I’m almost ready to go along with JVG and MJ and say… use Mbenga and Powell, because right now, Bynum is about as useful as Adam Morrison and Sun Yue… COMBINED.

    C) Fire Kurt Rambis. Outside of the few years he gave us reasonable effort as a PLAYER… when has this man been effective as a coach? As a head coach, he was a complete failure. As an assistant coach, I’ve seen no benefit. His new defense is an embarassment. Players have no idea where to rotate. People are unsure on whether to go for the block or stay back on their man.

    D) I love Fisher… and I say still give him the start… but enough is enough. 5 minutes in the 1st quarter, maybe 3 in the 2nd… wash, rinse, repeat. Farmar and Brown proved that they want to play.

    E) Trevor Ariza. Ugh. He has NOT blossomed as we hoped, and maybe now I can see why he bounced around several teams for awhile. He had a reputation as a slasher, and he had some Kobe-esque moments earlier in the season, but he is an offensive catastrophe waiting to happen. He can barely hit a 3 point shot, even if open, and if I was the defense, I would actually chase him off the line (where he has only a 32% chance of success) and force him to put it on the floor, where he’s more likely to dribble it off his foot, or right into 3 defenders in the paint. Enough is enough, Trevor. We love your defense, but the point of the game is to put the ball in the basket.

    F) Who played hard? Kobe tried to keep them in it, but couldn’t. Gasol played good once he had a defined role. Brown and Farmar played great. Sasha played hard, as usual, and considering the minutes he played, I’m surprised he didn’t foul out, but he still has completely lost his shooting touch. And Walton, who has been VERY effective on Ron Artest, played decent. He had some boneheaded mistakes early in the game that contributed to the massive rout in the making, but on the flip side, he was there to help lead a spirited comeback that made me proud.

    All in all, this game was mostly an embarassment. The Lakers short-lived comeback made me happy that they didn’t completely fold over, as they did in last year’s Finals. I’m not terribly surprised at how the Lakers played the first half, considering the age of most of the roster (avg age 25, not including Kobe & Fish). The Rockets came out hard, emotional, and at home, so once again, not surprising. Had this happened in LA, I’d be alot more upset with the team. I’d also like to note that the Lakers struggled to beat Houston in Game 2 when Yao only scored 4 points, and was in foul trouble the entire game. So no Yao does not guarantee victory. (Note the 4-0 record against LA when Yao doesn’t play).

    I expect LA to come back and play hard, maybe hand Houston it’s own rout in Game 5. Game 6 will be a test, but hopefully by then, our defense will be back in proper order, plus the right players will get the right playing time. (Less by Bynum & Ariza, more by Walton, Farmar, and Brown).

  287. 285 –

    Odom did step up….



    (Wait for it)

    into Shane Battier.

  288. Obviously Brooks performance was not foreseen or defended against well enough. That was the key to the game. The hero of the game was Brooks and the goat was Odom.

  289. Man you could just feel the arrogance on the first possession, “oh yao’s out this should be a cake walk….WHOA! there goes the ball…”

    It’s so sad Kobe has to get like 15 quick points and at least have a little lead after the first because this team just CANNOT come back from behind, no experience or even desire doing it. There is still time though, the third quarter in game 3 was when we saw “championship” lakers, so obviously they know how they should be playing.

    I think everyone is really overhyping the cavs and especially the nuggets. Neither team has played anywhere near a decent opponent. So just relax with the “boo hoo cavs and denver are so good whats the point in even going on.” Anyone who knows anything about basketball knew this was going to be our biggest test until the final.

  290. pocket_rocket May 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I did not expect rockets to play the way they did. I am truly disappointed that Lakers fans are coming up with the theory that this is just part of the grand plan of things that PJ had, and from the get go the Lakers are playing to win the series in 6 games. Give the credit where it is due, the rockets won today fair and square. The Lakers may be very well be winning in 6 games, but the rockets are playing on House money and with a bigger heart.

  291. I hope nobody calls this a wake-up call. How many wake-up calls are you going to have? Wasn’t last year the wake-up call? Losing to crappy teams at home while you were trying to get HCA? Or a little fresher in the memory bank, game 1 of this series?

    I guess we Lakers fans can take comfort in the fact that the Celtics, too, struggled last year during the playoffs. But they had it good: they got to play US in the finals. We won’t have that luxury. Assuming we can get there. Or even out of this round.

  292. Aaron Brooks scored 34 points against us! I don’t know what else to say.

  293. 287

    A season’s worth of pent-up emotions bursting out for your first post.

    Welcome.

    The fact is that if you graphed the players’ performance like a stock chart, only two players are above their 50 day moving average. Brown and Farmar. Everyone else is below. Some are at Citibank and GM like lows like Bynum.

    I like giving Mbenga a 2 minute stretch in the 1st half to rile up Bynum.

    Also, as far as your gripes. One of these days we are going to have to talk about Mitch’s decision to lock up Bynum early. But that for a later day.

  294. 287
    Logan, you wouldn’t happen to have a movie out right now?

    A great, detailed first post at least deserves a thoughtful response.

    A) That’s a fair criticism of PJ. I don’t know how much a timeout would help this team, though. They should be used to Phil’s use of TOs by now. I would say overall the Lakers have broken even with the number of times this has hurt or helped them over the years.

    B) Gonna somewhat disagree. This philosophy of giving up 3s is PJ and the coaching staff’s. They’ve made a commitment of swarming players and denying points in the paint for at least the last 2 seasons. They believe that more times than not they can survive a team making a few 3s against them. I kinda agree conceptually. The problem is the execution has resulted in routinely giving up WIDE open Js (2s & 3s) because of laziness, complacency, I don’t know. See D) for more.

    And to be completely honest, Kobe has “coasted” more & more on D every season as he’s been getting older. It was excusable when he had to do it all on those JV squads, but not so much now.

    C) Offensively, I agree completely except about the hands deal. Drew has great hands, what games have you been watching for the last 4 years? He wants desperately to be a 20-point guy, but he’s not smart about it. He’s turning into a mini-black hole, he could do so much better if he learned the art of reposting. The injury really messed us up, because I fully believe he was just turning the corner on all his offensive faults.

    On D, I think he’s capable of greatness. Right now, he’s just not going to be effective this post-season. He’s not 100%, his timing is not there, matchups are bad, PJ has really screwed up with his minutes, he & Pau have never meshed so you can’t play them together, and the team doesn’t know how to play when he’s in the lineup. I don’t see how he will be effective for any long stretch this year.

    D) If Rambis really did champion this SSZ, then I totally agree. This zone has justified a mentality of giving up open Js. That problem actually started last year, but the SSZ officially solidified it’s place in our scheme. For a team that lost primarily because of defense, I never thought it made sense this year. We needed to foster a responsibility for individual defense, not more excuses for poor defenders and lazy attitudes.

  295. Knowing the Rockets and knowing our lakers, did this come as a surprise to anyone? I mean, ANYONE with a sane, rational mind?

    The only silver lining I can come up with is that now we have a chance to get extra revenue from a game 7, and maybe from television rates for game 6?

    Anyway, that’s why I respect the Rockets and hope, really, hope that the Lakers get just a little bit of their mentality through osmosis. If it takes 7 games to learn to play like the Rockets, so be it.

    PS. I thought this game was oddly fitting as an homage to Chuck Daly’s passing. Dream Team getting dismantled by a disciplined college team, this reminded me of.

  296. I only followed the game from afar, but I give you this:

    LO questionable for game 5 with “immense back pain”, says Kevin Ding.

    …fantastic

  297. @295

    I suspect that was a Buss decision as much as a Kupchak one but as you say, that is for another day.

    Jackson is in a tough situation w/Bynum. They need to get something out of him, but the playoffs are not the time to be working through issues and problems with a player.

    When the Lakers have problems, the Xs/Os, effort and personnel all interact:

    1. I think the basic issue with the team’s personnel is that no one who plays much is a d-first guy. There is enough talent on the team that that works most of the time, but if the offense gets disrupted, they get tight and things go downhill since they cannot conistently shut opponents down. This is also why they blow leads.

    2. And due to the great O talent, they sometimes do not put out full effort on D, and there is not enough defensive talent on the team to get away with that.

    3. Which leads to 3–when they get tight on O and cannot fall back on tough D, they have trouble executing. Adjustments are made, but then the pattern (e.g. Aaron Brooks) returns.

    I continue to believe that whatever happens in the rest of the playoffs, Bynum is the key to where this team goes over the next 2 years. If he stays healthy, develops and fits in, the team is truly special. If he doesn’t, it is merely very good–as is the case right now.

    For Game 5: they need to concentrate on shutting down Brooks, obviously. With Bynum struggling and not having PJ’s confidence, I would consider going small at times–Walton/Bryant/Gasol/Farmar/Brown.

  298. I am more concerned about odom’s return than our chances in game 5 and 6. Immense back pain and questionable status from our x-factor is disturbing for me. that leaves us with a kobe-nova (who i think should be pissed at himself and team play) and a solid pau with a host of some talented though seemingly reluctant role players. odom is not a yao but seeing houston play with some heart and willingness to trounce us back to la tells me we’d be needing every man willing to man up.

    that said, i want a blow out next game. sure, chances are we’re getting another fight but i don’t see houston going off that hot again in this series. if they do, it’s clearly on us. as i said before, i need to see passion and intensity and do wish phil preached about this more often. it goes way beyond x and o.

    kobe did have his off-game tonight. i expected 1 of those and never will that happen again. pau should also come back smelling blood. i want to picth in in the bynum-signed-early discussion but not the right time.

    and don’t get me wrong, if we drop and fall short of the trophy, i’d be fine with that. jordan’s bulls waited some time. though kobe doesn’t have jordan’s age when he first won as the lead dog, i think he still has 2-3 to win in his career…all with the lakers. THIS is it only shows us what we lack inside more than our talent. and if drives us to becoming a defined, intense and championship-worthy team, so be it.

    then again, lakers in 6. so i’d rather have it now. GO LAKERS!