Lakers/Rockets Game 6 Chat

Kurt —  May 14, 2009

First, yesterday the conversation in the comments turned to Phil Jackson and his coaching style — is part of the reason for the Lakers inconsistency based on Jackson’s laidback style during games? I’ve always thought that Lakers fans desire to see a coach pace the sidelines and yell a little is more based on the need for a cathartic release at players they are frustrated with than actual coaching issues.

But then in the comments Craig W. made a fantastic point:

I remember watching a very successful coach who also didn’t believe in making too many in-game changes and also did almost all his teaching between games — John Wooden…

It is a unique style, but one I would expect players with high IQs (Walton, Wilkes, Alcindor, Warren) would thrive in. The players must be smart and mentally tough to be able to function in all kinds of game situations without coaching interference. I think it is the best possible situation for a player, but they must be able to handle themselves. I wonder if this isn’t the reason most ‘modern’ players don’t enjoy systems run in this fashion – and why most coaches won’t try to institute them.

He added later that Wooden was very slow to call timeouts.

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As for the game, the Lakers did a fantastic job in game 5 of exploiting mismatches — basically use their size to control the paint. The early big-on-big action of Pau Gasol passing to Andrew Bynum really set the tone for the Lakers, and the Rockets really have no answer for it. As we have seen this year, the Lakers need to feel the flow on offense for them to bring the energy on the defensive end (the Lakers are 7-0 in the playoffs when scoring 100+ points, 0-3 when under that number). Early offense from the bigs or even Kobe will be important.

The other thing the Lakers need to do is take the ball out of Brooks’ hands and get it over to Ron Artest. While he is capable of a big game, he is shooting 23.5% since Yao went down, and is shooting 7% from three. More Artest is good for the Lakers (unless he is having a hot game again). Carl Landry is shooting 65.5%, so less of him would be ideal.

One thing the Lakers can expect is better execution from the Rockets — as much as we like to say the Lakers were better focused on defense the Rockets made it easy with horrible execution of their gameplan.

Usually, it is the losing team that needs to make adjustments, and Bill Bridges sent in what he would do if he were Rick Adelman (besides just be nicer to people):

1. High screen-roll each and every set play initiated by Brooks and trying to get dribble penetration. I mean every single play.

2. Yes. Aaron Brooks plays 48 minutes. Sorry, you can rest in the summer, AB.

3. Every shot is either a lay-up by AB, or dunk by a big off an AB pass, or an open 3.

4. The kick out by Brooks will result in ball-rotation to the weakside to a wide-open corner 3 by Battier. (As Kobe still wasn’t covering Battier in game 5). Ideally Battier will shoot every ball.

5. The Rockets will shoot at least 40 3’s, ideally over 50.

6. The perimeter players will chase down the inevitable long-misses off the 3’s. If they get the rebound. Repeat step 1.

7. On defense pack it in. Invite long jumpers from every perimeter player bar Kobe.

8. Double Kobe and Pau in the post. Let them kick out for open 3’s from everyone bar Kobe.

9. Do not double Bynum. Play him straight up with Hayes.

10. If 1 – 9 fails. Full-court trap ala Vivek Ranadive’s San Carlos girl’s team.

If you want to watch the game online, follow this link to the ESPN360 broadcast.


to Lakers/Rockets Game 6 Chat

  1. The Rockets played LA tough, but it ends tonight. As long as the Lakers can withstand the inital push of Houston, and keep their crowd out of the game, Kobe and company will be able to put this one away in the second half.

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  2. With Andrew Bynum finally joining his teammates in the post-season, I look to the Lakers finally taking advantage of their huge size difference to punish the Rockets frontcourt. If Bynum can replicate his Game 4 performance, it will do wonders for his psyche as well as finish off these pesky Rockets.

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  3. I bet Malcolm Gladwell is in support of Bill Bridges’ 10th point…

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  4. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=keown/090512&sportCat=nba
    Kobe can’t do anything right can he?
    This article makes me sick…

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  5. Two notes:

    1. The main adjustments the Rockets need to make IMO are how they play the Lakers in the low-post and avoiding turnovers above the circle. Even if the Lakers close well on 3-point shooters again, more will fall. I would still like to see the Lakers play more high/low with Gasol and Bynum, with Gasol facing teh basket in the high post and Bynum flashing to the rim.

    2. I had a long post about Phil at another site. Short version: given the team’s youth in some spots and its personality, I think it is reasonable to ask if Jackson’s style is the best fit. You can’t argue with 65-17, but the blown lead in Gm 4 of the finals, the Gm 6 meltdown and Gm 4 of this series are data points the other way.

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  6. I would maybe add one piece to the Houston gameplan: Go Small, play Artest at the 4 (probably with Landry/Scola, Battier, Brooks, and Lowry/Wafer). Spread the floor, for the pick and roll. This would be pretty effective whenever Odom plays, and I bet they could hold their own on D.

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  7. Reports out of the shootaround is that the Lakers were more serious than normal today.

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  8. Not Charlie Rosen May 14, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    You know, I keep thinking about this game, and what might happen…and yesterday’s post rings more and more true.

    1) We could come out strong and either build a small but steadily-growing lead (if Houston’s shooting well) or jump out to a big lead (if they’re not), and win going away.

    2) Same as #1, but we ease off in the 2nd half, and end up in a 2-3 possession game late in the 4th.

    3) Fall behind early to Houston’s energy and shooting, and keep clawing our way back, ending up in a 2-3 possession game late in the 4th.

    4) Fall behind early, keep playing dumb, and concede game 6, hoping we can finish them off at home in game 7.

    And the hell of it is, I have no idea which of those scenarios might happen. There’s absolutely nothing empirical (like injuries, or matchups, or home-road records) that suggests to me that any of those outcomes is more likely than the others.

    I know what I hope to see, but I’m glad I’m not a betting man…I could spend hours pouring over little details, and still come up with nothing better than “eh, who knows?” no matter how big or small the spread was.

    At least–and this is the saving grace of this Lakers team–scenario #1 is always a possibility, no matter who or where they’re playing (including in Cleveland). Not many teams where it’s a valid possibility every single night.

    //praying for #1, naturally

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  9. Just like we didn’t expect the Lakers to have another aweful game, we shouldn’t expect the same from the Rockets. Besides, we are playing at thouse, so expect a competitive and tough game.

    As far as Bynum, the only thing he has shown thus far in the playoff is that he consistently underperforms. Thus, I don’t expect Bynum to have the same game as he did last time. If he does have a good game, then great! But I think that its unrealistic to expect anything other than what we have consistently seen in 9 out of the 10 previous games.

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  10. I like the idea that Bynum is back in the starting line up. This should make our defense tougher if he can stay out of foul trouble. However, I would not have him extend out to chase Brooks. I would put a quicker guard on Brooks to limit his ability to penetrate and keep Andrew and Pao near the baskets to deter the easy lay-ups. If Brooks kills us with jumpers so be it as long as we have a hand in his face. This is single most important defensive task for the lakers tonight. Without Brooks running wild Houstons other player wont get open three pointers and the Rockets won”t have enough offensive fire power to win.

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  11. Extending the defense with Pao and Andrew chasing Brooks above the foul line also takes them out of good help defensive positions and takes them away from the basket for rebounding purposes. That would make it much easier for the undersized rockets to get offensive rebounds and put backs.

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  12. Haven’t we heard the ‘talking heads’ go on about Kobe for long enough? He is now the very definition of a lightning rod – either love or hate, with no in between.

    Those that hate Kobe, or just listen to the ‘talking heads’ for all their information, will always see every grimace as something from the empire of evil Kobe. The other side only sees the unending competitive fire of the man.

    I admit to being part of the 2nd group, but do admit Kobe has blemishes on his character. Of course, there isn’t a human being – alive or dead – who has no blemishes.

    In any case, just mentioning the name Kobe Bryant will sell papers/produce hits so I doubt very much if there will be any slow down in the Kobe articles until he retires.

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  13. ron ron is shooting SEVEN percent from 3? no typo? if that’s the case…wow.

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  14. 11. khjohn, the Lakers had their bigs out playing far more aggressively last game on the pick and roll and it worked well. When it works, do it until they stop it.

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  15. I think Gladwell has written some interesting stuff, but his musings about sports never really interest me.

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  16. Kurt,
    “Reports out of the shootaround is that the Lakers were more serious than normal today.”

    Yeah? But how many timeouts did Phil call?

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  17. I have stopped reading what most talking heads say about Kobe. Not only because I disagree with them, but because I’m pretty sure it’s a bandwagon thing where more than half of them probably don’t believe or agree with a word of it. They write it anyway because “the public” wants Kobe-bashing. That “the public” wants it because the talking heads created the demand for it, is conveniently forgotten.

    I know the guy has character flaws, and I criticize them when I see them, but I’m not naive enough to expect him to be perfect. I am not presumptuous enough to try and tell him how to play either. Sometimes I wonder if the fact that he doesn’t listen when the talking heads try to tell him what he does wrong, is one of the main reasons they are so negative against him? It offends “the experts” that Kobe thinks he knows the game better than they do…? Maybe, who knows.

    Anyway, I don’t bother reading a lot of what they write about him anymore. Being a fan of a successful team is supposed to be a pleasant thing, so I try to avoid the unpleasant stuff 😉

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  18. #4
    Not sure what you mean by saying “Kobe can’t do anything right”. Keown is talking about a specific instance in which Kobe was acting like an idiot. I would hope that most Lakers fans think Kobe is an idiot for talking smack about making a shot over Shane Battier. There’s no class in that.

    I think the key to tonight’s game is getting Hayes and Landry into early foul trouble. Having Andrew in there early should help with that. The second Adelman has to depend on Cook to provide interior D we’ll be sitting pretty.

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  19. Kurt, Good point, I hope that this approach doesn’t bite us tonight though. I’ll be watching this closely. This has the potential to negate some of our size advantage on defense because it produces a 4 on 3 advantage for the other team with at least one of our tallest defenders above the level of the free foul line.

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  20. Where’s Warren???

    Kurt, can you move Warren’s post to FPOD if/when it comes in?

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  21. Regarding the first part of this post, and Phil Jackson, his style still works, but not as well as it did with the Bulls teams and Lakers 2000-2002. Both of those teams had two top-5 superstars (Jordan/Pippen and Bryant/O’Neal) and veteran, savvy role players. The present Lakers have one top-5 star and much less experience among most of the role players. A number of these guys are not that savvy. I think he does need to engage more in game management with this team. It’s clear the younger bench players (esp. Farmar, Vujacic, Bynum) get rattled easily and do dumb things; Odom sometimes checks out, Ariza is prone to lapses; even Kobe and Pau don’t always play smart. And Kobe is not the sort of leader who snaps guys back to attention, the way Jordan/Pippen (bad cop/good cop) did. So, Phil needs to step in and coach the game, not just the season.

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  22. #4 – I read that article and it made me fourios – which is interesting because, although a Laker fan, I’m not the biggest Kobe-fan. While Kobe has his flaws, Keown makes it sound like Kobe is the worst sport and biggest bully in the league. I dislike the finger wagging stuff, but c’mon, has he ever watched Kevin Garnett play (or cheer from the bench)?? I mean, you write an article on “dirty” players and you fail to mention the #1 offender? I mean, is a finger wag as bad as getting on all fours and barking at a guy? How about yelling at a guy “you ain’t nothing! nothing!”? Ah yes, a finger wag – like Dikembe Motombo used to – is clearly more offensive, right?

    I’m not saying Kobe is perfect, but if you are going to criticize a player as being “dirty” or a “showboat”, then I would expect a credible reporter to at least address others that are equally guilty – even if he just mentions them in passing.

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  23. Mimsy,
    For the first six years of his career Kobe sort of ignored the media. This really p***ed them off and most created a bad spot in their heart – like with early Barry Bonds – and now don’t even remember why they started hating Kobe.

    Another aspect of this is that Shaq was a media hound and this counter point worked to Kobe’s disadvantage.

    Finally, Kobe has always been super serious about the craft of basketball – to the exclusion of teammates in the early years. This really put off other vets at a time when they were being pressured by Shaq to make a choice between he and the rook. Given that Kobe was under 20, couldn’t go where they went, and didn’t want to participate in things outside of basketball didn’t make the choice too hard.

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  24. I read the Gladwell’s response to his critics today and it really made him look bad. I take his point that lesser teams should have an interest is trying new tactics, but his example of Rick Pitino seems exactly wrong. Pitino tried pressing in the NBA and it failed miserably. And when he defended Pitino because “ESPN’s Bill Simmons says he’s a good coach”, I laughed out loud. Is there anyone anywhere who hates Pitino more?

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  25. What are the chances this thing goes seven? Anybody, cause I got nothin’.

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  26. That Gladwell part is interesting, at the very least. Here’s the link for anyone who hasn’t seen it: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090513/part2

    Pitino’s a bad example. Could training your bench players to be expert trappers be a viable strategy? Maybe at first, but I just don’t think it’s that easy. Traps work with the element of surprise, but trained professionals know how to break traps. It’s why trapping usually doesn’t work over the course of an entire series (unless you have complete Dobermans like Michael and Scottie), because the opposing teams needs 1-2 days to practice breaking traps and take advantage of the lack of half-court defense.

    It may work in the beginning, but I can’t see it being a viable long-term strategy.

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  27. #18
    In this instance he might have overdone it a bit, but to say he has a need for talking smack every game and belittling his opponents is just not true. But the point where I get really angry is when he starts talking about how ‘LBJ says it all with his game’ and ‘Unlike LeBron, though, Kobe can’t let his game speak for him’
    Just one word is enough to show that it’s just perceived differently.
    CHALK

    It’s just projection on the author’s part, that’s why I got so mad when I read the article.

    Sincerely,

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  28. I don’t think Gladwell’s basic premise is off — even Dean Oliver in Basketball on Paper talks about how a team of underdogs is better off taking more chances on defense, gambling for steals, trying to be aggressive and throw the other team off. It makes sense — if you can’t beat a team straight up with your talent, you need to take more risks. You can see the same strategy is battles throughout history — Robert E. Lee gambled a lot in the Civil War because he had to, he was outmatched in resources. So he comes off as brilliant when it works.

    But I think Gladwell takes it too far. Should a smallish high school team taking on a power try things like pressing all the time? Yes. But by the time you get to major college ball or worse yet the NBA, every team has guys who can handle the ball. Who can break down a press. As you move up the talent ladder this becomes a worse and worse idea.

    Think of the Loyola Marymount tournament run with Bo, they ran a gambling system that worked great for a few rounds until they ran into an actually deeply talented UNLV team. Then the strategy went to….

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  29. Lebron’s chalk doesn’t annoy me. He’s been told he’s the Chosen One since he was in fifth grade. That’s got to have some effects.

    What bothered me was this – the author ripped Kobe for celebrating his end of 3rd quarter three by staring down the crowd. He completely ignores the fact that Lebron did a very similar thing after his end-of-half three:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UTwcAyMzKs

    Did Lebron glare at the crowd like Kobe? No, because he was in Cleveland. He would look like an idiot for glaring at his own fans.

    But he did the exact same thing – he stood still and posed after the shot, and just looked around and took in the cheers (and in Kobe’s case, groans and boos, since it was Houston). Does the author mention that? Of course not.

    It’s a tired discussion, but the double standard is ridiculous and won’t change. Kobe’s personality is naturally more cutthroat and aggressive, so his actions will have more cursing and more of an edge to them. Lebron’s personality is naturally goofier, so the media loves him and his antics.

    The eternal double standard. I doubt it bothers Kobe. His polarizing status makes him more relevant than Lebron. There’s a reason he still sells more jerseys and has more of an international presence (esp in China).

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  30. ^Actually it may not have been the ESPN guy who ripped Kobe for the 3-pointer celebration, I think it was the Sports Illustrated guy (Aschburner or something).

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  31. Kurt, previously you had said that the Rockets matched up better against the Lakers without Yao. Did game 5 cause you to change your mind about this?

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  32. #28 – That’s exactly what made me mad. I hate reading stories by so-called “reporters” where they can’t separate the athlete from their dislike of a person. So, I’m not disagreeing that the finger wag stuff is childish and should stop, but where I disagree is where he takes the exact leap you mention without providing the reader with good explanation. As you point out, even Lebron is not arrogance free. For example, I think his “chalking” is disrespectful to his opponents and their opponents, not to mention the circus that has become their pre-game intros and post-game celebrations.

    I just don’t understand why ESPN would print such an inflamatory article – particular from an author who is not a bread and butter part of the network. Its almost like they wanted to kick the Lakers when they were down and figured the best way to do it was during one of their darkest days during the playoffs. And this is from the same network that ran various stories about how the barking and yelling by Garnett only demonstrated what a “true competitor” Garnett was. GO FIGURE.

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  33. There’s a good chance this goes seven.

    1. Rockets won’t play that poorly again.
    2. Rockets are at home and Toyota Center will be packed.
    3. The Rockets won’t get so many ticky-tack fouls at home, in an elimination game (Not saying that changed the outcome on Tuesday, but if it was a closer game it could have).
    4. Bynum is likely to go back to being ineffective.
    5. Shooting percentages will even out.

    The Rockets will lose if:

    1. Artest goes into ball-hog mode consistently.
    2. Rockets are sloppy with the ball again.
    3. Hayes gets into foul trouble again because there is nobody else who has a prayer to guard Gasol.
    4. Brooks and Lowry don’t have good games.
    5. Rockets can’t keep LA off offensive glass.

    My predictions in this series have been fairly accurate up to now (Including the Laker blowout in game 5). That said, barring an injury to Kobe I don’t see the Rockects having much of a chance in LA in game 7.

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  34. 15 Kwame – agree he writes some interesting stuff; don’t think much of his musings about sports either. I did post the the New Yorker link on FB&G and almost got my head ripped off.

    I think Gladwell is guilty of over reach – as if he tries to prove Everybody wrong …

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  35. Can someone review the Laker’s head-to head games against Denver this year?
    Scores, etc.?
    thanks!

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  36. I have heard of that Craig, but Kobe was already an All-Star when I started following the Lakers (fall of 2004), so I have been assuming that the media, like everyone who lives and dies by what strangers will give them, dislikes Kobe because he gives them so little. Especially compared to guys like LeBron or Shaq…

    That’s exactly what made me mad. I hate reading stories by so-called “reporters” where they can’t separate the athlete from their dislike of a person.

    Manny, that is exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it better. Any competent journalist, ahem, any real journalist strives for objectivity when reporting. These talking head “experts” don’t, or if they do they fail so completely that if all I am going to get is bias I might as well read a good blog I agree with, with intelligent comments. Anyone know of a good one? 😀

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  37. 4. The thing about that Kobe article is Keown doesnt seem to know where that “you cant guard me” comes from. The rockets had the audacity to write that moneyball article about being able to keep Kobe in check, which was made public via NYT. Well if i was Kobe i would remind the same public that Battier cant guard me.

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  38. 36 – Did the Rockets actually write that? I thought it was an independent writer. Either way, you’re right, Morey definitely provided some motivation by being so candid in his interviews and favoring Lebron’s game over Kobe’s. Even if you believe it, you probably shouldn’t say it, knowing that there’s a strong chance you’ll be facing Kobe in your own conference playoffs.

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  39. Keown is probably one of those guys that fell in love with MJ and hates Kobe because the media labelled him the first “heir apparent” to MJ. Unfortunately for Kobe, the label came at a time when he was unproven and MJ was still alive and kicking in the NBA.

    Imagine for a second that Kobe and Lebron swapped ages. Can you imagine what people would have said about his chalking or this “chosen one” tattoo if MJ was still in the league?

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  40. 37. They didnt write it but they provided a log of quotes and supporting evidence 🙂

    Last time was March 16, 2008, when the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers to win their 22nd game in a row — the second-longest streak in N.B.A. history. The game drew a huge national television audience, which followed Bryant for his 47 miserable minutes: he shot 11 of 33 from the field and scored 24 points. “A lot of people watched,” Morey said. “Everyone ­watches Kobe when the Lakers play. And so everyone saw Kobe struggling. And so for the first time they saw what we’d been seeing.” Battier has routinely ­guarded the league’s most dangerous offensive players — LeBron James, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce — and has usually managed to render them, if not entirely ineffectual, then a lot less effectual than they normally are. He has done it so quietly that no one really notices what exactly he is up to

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  41. Ah… this is what I love about being a Laker / Kobe fan.

    No matter how good we are, it’s always us against the world, because everyone is hellbent on disparaging anything remotely Laker or west coast. I think the sports writer east/west coast rivalry exceeds that of hip-hop, it’s just cheesier and has even less class 😉

    At any rate, I do think Kobe wishes he could be more accepted but I think he just doesn’t connect with the rest of the league. He was born wealthy and chose basketball while many others didn’t really have a choice. He chose basketball to make a name for himself, and he approaches it the way some of us would approach climbing the career ladder. Also, I seriously think many sports writers feel that they are intellectually superior to those athletes that make more money; and usually have an ego trip whenever they see poor kids from poor backgrounds that do blue-collar work to make a living. But they just can’t get that ego trip from Kobe so there’s got to be some resentment there too. Inferiority complex of some sort.

    Anyway, I do wish that Kobe had more common sense when choosing what, when and how to say things, but what fun would that be.

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  42. 32. Jim, not at all. What the Rockets are forced to do against the Lakers without Yao can create more problems for us, it’s just in game five the Lakers defended it better and the Rockets executed it far worse (less Brooks and more Artest). Tonight, they will get back to a heavy dose of Brooks and the Lakers will have their hands full. They can win, they have things they can attack as well, but it will not be gave 5 again.

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  43. And if I remember correctly, one of the reasons why Kobe does that is to get inside players’ heads. Wasn’t that similar to what he did in Denver last year when he absolutely destroyed them by getting in their heads?

    Absolutely agree with what everyone has said here about the other players (Garnett, Lebron, etc.) who do such but are never called out.

    Interesting comment after Keown’s article: someone mentioned how MJ used to do that as well.

    Question, does Kobe read articles about him? Or does someone tell him about these articles?

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  44. Maes, Manny, etc.

    Keown’s article doesn’t really make me mad, but I think he and a lot of other people miss the point about why Kobe does these things–he’s one of the incredibly few players who actually plays better when he’s mad. I think all those expressions on the court are part of Kobe’s effort stoke, maintain and channel his anger/inner-fire to keep him as focused as possible and get every competitive edge that he can. What do you think?

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  45. The one instance I remember Kobe getting into other players’ heads when he single-handedly DESTROYED Chicago in that fabled summer of trade-me.

    Chicago just fell apart. Too bad they weren’t in our conference 😉

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  46. Hi all,

    Looking forward to the BIG game today. I might actually stick around and listen to the last qtr this time. Unless its on ESPN Oz and I might get the wife to tape it for me.

    #42, Lei, I didn’t think Kobe gives a rats whats written or said about him. He’s not the type of player to worry about it, otherwise he would’ve been a mental mess as a rookie!

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  47. Hey Kurt,
    Did the website just have a heart attack? I couldn’t get on for 5 minutes or so and didn’t know whether my comment was posted…..
    Weird!!!

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  48. Ozlaker, same here! The website just hung up on me. And on your point about Kobe not giving a rat’s ass, I thought that was the case early in his career, but then I think lately (especially after Colorado), he has done some efforts to be more media-friendly. i think I read an article about him once before where he stated that he was slightly more consciousnow of how the media perceived him. Of course I can’t seem to find that article now. 😛

    Given his rise as a fantasic basketball player

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  49. #44, lei,
    Answer: As far as I know, he reads them if someone points them out to him. I don’t know if he goes out of his way to find them and read them if no one brings them to his attention. The impression I have is that he doesn’t care what the media says about him anyway, so why bother reading it?

    For example, during regular season a major publication (can’t remember who) wrote a very detailed article about how Shane Battier is so very effective against Kobe because Kobe takes challenges personally. So he tries to take on Battier and score on him, and as a result most of our possessions against the Rockets end in a contested and difficult shot from Kobe. He’s so focused on defeating the individual challenge he forgets the team needs to win too.

    if I remember right, Phil showed him that that article the day before they played game 2 against the Rockets this season. We won. 🙂

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  50. #48 (ozlaker): I’m pretty sure that the Laker game is on FTA (channel 1) today. I’m certainly hoping it is, since I’ve set my recorder for it!

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  51. 48. Same here

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  52. 47 – Not completely true. Kobe doesn’t care what others say in the sense that he won’t pander to their wishes, won’t stop the trash talking or anything like that. But he definitely uses what people write about him as motivation. You’re right on that he doesn’t let it affect him negatively, he has some incredible mental strength. But he definitely “cares” in the sense that he’ll use negative criticism as fuel to prove the doubters wrong. I think Phil candidly admitted that Kobe had read the Lewis article and was itching to prove it wrong.

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  53. I was in the camp of Thabeet doubters, but at least one prominent doubter has started to change his mind:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=PreDraftTour-090514

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  54. Snoop, yeah, you’re right. I was talking in the context of people bagging him and him taking it to heart.
    Interesting article on Drew in a similar context:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/news/story?id=4166248

    LakerGirl and PhilAus. Its a shame that Foxtel hasn’t bought on Channel 1 yet except if you’ve got IQ HD. What a PAIN IN THE BUTT!!!
    Oh well, its a 9.30 start, 11.30 here?? So I can listen to the whole game before going home…woohoo!

    Another tight one for Boston!!

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  55. another magic meltdown?:(

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  56. #56 – My TV guide had it for a midday start (I’m in Brisbane).

    It is looking like another close game in the Bos-Orl series. Howard certainly got more touches today, but as usual missed a lot of FTs (5-11 as I type this). I hope Orlando gets it together enough to take it to game 7.

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  57. Well, Jalen Rose called Howard out on ESPN the other day, looks like he’s stepped up to the plate for this game.

    I hope the Magic go on, I do like their team more than the Celtics, thats for sure.

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  58. Wow, getting blocked by Scalabrine is pretty embarrassing especially after bashing your coach and team for not getting the ball enough.

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  59. Odom coming off the bench again, they’re starting Drew!

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  60. You would have to imagine that Orlando at home could hold on to this lead with under a minute and a half left. But we’ve seen stranger things happen.

    To briefly return to the PJ discussion in the previous thread. One “in-game adjustment” that nobody seems to have mentioned is the game 7 change against Portland in 2000. We had all that vision and sound of him basically telling the team to forget feeding Shaq and play the offense differently.

    I think that he can certainly make those types of adjustments. Why he often seems to choose NOT to is beyond me though!

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  61. If anyone needs the audio link, its the same all the time.
    http://nba.com/leaguepass/audio/asx/lakers.asx

    0

  62. The Magic is hanging on! Oh, yes… take it to game 7!

    #53, Snoopy,
    Good point. One of the things I admire the most about Kobe is his amazing ability to ignore any and all negativity directed towards him. That takes impressive mental strength and that is one thing that I will always admire in anyone. To use negative criticism as fuel to prove them wrong makes perfect sense and he is far from the only one doing it. He just succeeds more than others at it. 😉

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  63. hey Darius,
    any good link? I’m still in Toronto tonight, we have a signal, on TV but’s it’s clipping, chugging along…
    thanks in advance!

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  64. hey Mimsy,
    thanks, I tried it, but it doesn’t work in Canada.
    no worries, we found it on Justin TV.
    enjoy ya’ll!!!

    0

  65. Doesn’t work in Canada? That is beyond unfair!!! Glad you found a link though… mind posting it for some other blog readers to enjoy? 🙂

    0

  66. Not a good start for Ariza.

    0

  67. Not a good start, period. Nearly three minutes into the game, and not a single bucket?

    0

  68. Mimsy, ESPN 360 only works if you’re with a certain provider in certain countries. We can’t get it in OZ either!

    0

  69. Deja vu.

    0

  70. This looks familiar…

    0

  71. long night:((((

    0

  72. #71, ozlaker,
    That sucks! Do you at least have it on TV or JustinTV?

    0

  73. Certainly NOT the start we were looking for at all. Turnovers, too many jumpers from Kobe, missed put-backs…not ideal.

    0

  74. Lakers are jittery. Settle down and run the offense.

    0

  75. there is something seriiously wrong these guys

    0

  76. Its like the Lakers completely forgot about Gasol. I don’t think hes gotten a single touch in the post yet. Need to run the offense through Gasol. Its not that difficult of a concept.

    0

  77. lets just play mbenga, luke, morrison, shannon brown, and josh powell the rest of the game.

    time to prep for game 7. i hope i eat my words

    0

  78. Great point for the Phil discussion from last post. Any coach from any other team would have called a time-out when the score was 8-1. Of course, Phil being the cool guy wont call a timeout till its 13-1. That too on the road… What did that accomplish?

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  79. off to a terrible start again – why the heck is wrong with the lakers? once a gain they don’t seem motivated at all – gasol with a careless cross court pass for a steal – kobe completely off looking for foul calls and no ball movement whatsoever

    will the “real” lakers please stand up? you have to win on the road in the playoffs – at least phil called a timeout before it became a 30 point deficit this time :((((

    0

  80. Cayucos Surfer May 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Looks like this could be a long night. Lakers with no energy again.

    0

  81. the justin tv lead sort of went away, seems to be no good feeds on that site right now.
    oh well, I’ll watch the chugging, let’s hope the game starts getting better soon!
    come on team!

    0

  82. Phil called timeout… are we sure that is actually Phil?

    And, please, take Derek out and put in someone that can make Brooks work.

    0

  83. Our refusal to pound it inside is painful.

    0

  84. Wow, pitiful. Is this Game 6? They still can’t figure to get the ball inside?

    0

  85. 40 pt rout coming our way?

    Hah, this is just sooo Lakers.

    0

  86. That was our best defensive sequence of the game.

    0

  87. this is embaressing, game over already?

    0

  88. Unreal.

    0

  89. ok we got our first basket, and then a stop…could we start to turn it around?
    no…a turnover, and another rockets basket

    0

  90. You have got to be kidding me…please…no…

    0

  91. This is funny sad.

    0

  92. wtf wrong with these guys??? so painful to watch.

    0

  93. Is it worth me turning off the coverage now?

    For the people saying feed Gasol, he’s turned it over on bad passes twice already….

    Our jumpers have been short all night….is Fisher still on? Shouldn’t be…..he’s getting killed!

    0

  94. Too many jumpshots.

    0

  95. The Lakers are not moving the ball on offense, the Rockets are contesting but the Lakers have not gone to the mismatches them moved the ball. WAY too many threes.

    Two better defensive series in a row.

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  96. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Phil, Bynum wasn’t the problem. At least he made Scola work. Pau is playing with no fire right now, and Fish is still a big part of the problem on D. Of course, it’s a collective poor effort right now.

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  97. I do NOT like this score board. Not at all. Finally a Gasol touch, but not a good one. Run. The. Offense. Through. Pau. How hard is that?

    Our defense seems to be getting it together in the last minute or so, but seriously guys… someone please start scoring points! Also, the home crowd is suffocating.

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  98. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    We’re a combined 4 feet taller than the rockets but can only manage to take jump shots. That makes great sense

    0

  99. Just because Pau passes it out of the post doesn’t mean we can’t repost it.

    0

  100. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Combined 94 feet that should have read

    0

  101. Anyone have the record on hand for fewest points in the first quarter of a playoff game?

    0

  102. 17-1 run… nice

    we forgot how we won game 5

    hey Lakers, unlike soccer, a basketball series are not based on aggregates! the 40 point win doesn’t count anymore!!!

    darn it.

    0

  103. this is disgusting – and i actually endured the entire game 4 massacre – i though that was the most pain possible but this looks like it might be even worse – 5 points in 9 minutes

    i am not sure i can bear this pain again!

    0

  104. This is beyond pathetic.

    0

  105. Way too many Kobe Isos with everyone else standing around. Go to Gasol in the post.

    0

  106. We won’t have a single digit scoring quarter now will we?

    0

  107. And Mark Jackson is the bane of my basketball existence.

    0

  108. Artest wants into the offense. Good. Our defense has gotten better the last few series, not great but better.

    But the offense.

    0

  109. put walton on scola – lamar is too gimpy.

    0

  110. Artest to the rescue!

    Thank god for Artest.

    0

  111. Why would Adelman call a TO there, keep the Mo going?

    0

  112. now we’ll see if the lakers are really mentally tough enough to be champs..

    0

  113. fisher is not making good decisions.

    0

  114. Fisher, 0-2 on PUJIT 3’s….BENCH HIM!!!! NOW!!!!

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  115. Phil refusing to make any changes.. It’s a coaches job to create plays out of timeouts to help energize the team. I am really disappointed in phil.

    0

  116. It baffles me, its not like we dont know what works. Plus it doesnt help that Kobes shots are not falling. This team is amazing…not in a good way of course

    0

  117. I ve just arrived home.What the %%%%% is happening?

    0

  118. please dont let fish play a single minute more

    0

  119. Ok i’m box score watching

    but fish sure is taking quite a number of threes.

    are they just missing good shots, or are they contested shots due to poor offensive execution?

    0

  120. Gasol is the tallest guy on the court, you would think that it would be difficult for forget that he is out there, but apparently the Lakers have on offense.

    0

  121. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Seriously Fisher? You think a 3 before our rebounders are set is the right play there?? Who’s the wise vet on this team again?

    0

  122. whine, whine, whine. It’s the first quarter; there’s 36+ minutes still to play. Once Pau decides to man up on defense, we’ll be fine. This game is not over.

    0

  123. Adelman probably called to rein in Artest…

    0

  124. i thought game 4 was an aberration but i am convinced now that this team does not have the hunger to win a championship at all – no do they deserve it – if they win – this series they are lucky they happen to have more talent and can afford to play well only when they feel like it

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  125. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I wonder if Phil is only going to play Jordan for four minutes in the first half again. Haven’t the last three games told him anything?

    0

  126. This amazes me. The defence is one thing (the Rockets have been playing well and still haven’t got THAT many points), but the offence? Weak is the understatement of the year.

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  127. Phil’s loyalty to Fisher might cost us the series.

    I do NOT want to play this Houston team in a Game 7, not even at home.

    They are way too streaky good.

    0

  128. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    About time…Jordy for three

    0

  129. joe wright.
    Literally nothing. Not happy right now. 🙁

    Go Jordan! Make that shot!

    0

  130. Call me crazy, but we’re going to win.

    0

  131. Let Artest shoot from the outside, but close out on Scola faster.

    0

  132. Mark Jackson needs to shut up for the sake of my sanity.

    0

  133. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Hey, run the offense through Pau, hit an open three…whaddya know?

    0

  134. From the game cast, it seems that Kobe isn’t leaving Battier by himself now.

    Wow, Farmar!

    0

  135. See, get the ball to Gasol, then you get a wide open shot. Not too difficult.

    0

  136. The hate for Phil and Fish is amazing.

    0

  137. Well, after we came out and played horribly, we’re only down 12.

    36 minutes left to play people.

    0

  138. #130, 3ThreeIII, I’m with you. Look at what’s Jordan’s done since coming on, 2 x 3’s in less than a minute. The only person looking like making a shot for LA.

    0

  139. Zephid is right, we’ve all watched this Lakers team long enough to know they could win this game by double digits. This is far from over.

    0

  140. We talk about things averaging out over the course of the game. You would imagine that the Lakers couldn’t continue to shoot this poorly, so Darius’ belief is certainly not too far-fetched at all.

    Like others have said – get Pau in the post, and try to get Houston to work their offense through Artest more.

    0

  141. What’s worse than watching the Lakers lay an egg? Watching the Lakers lay an egg while listening to Mark Jackson’s ‘analysis’.

    0

  142. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t hate Fiisher. I just hate it when he takes shots that would make Stephen Jackson blush

    0

  143. Thank goodness for Farmar threes.

    0

  144. The Lakers D picked up the last 5 minutes of the quarter, but they need to run the offense through Gasol. They also need to create a ffew turnovers and get into transition.

    0

  145. gasol is diong nothing to repair his soft image, hate to go on about it but there is no reason for fish to get any more minutes in this series

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  146. As frustrating as that first quarter was, I’m still confident they can pull this one out.

    But please body up Scola.

    0

  147. did you just hear the announcer – it’s so obvious farmar + brown= so more better right now than fisher – what is phil afraid to hurt fisher’s feelings geez….

    i never thought i’d say this but thrilled this is down to a 12 point first quarter lead but they’d better keep this under 10 by the half

    0

  148. Cayucos Surfer May 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    god mark Jackson shut up! What do you know about winning a championship?

    We need this game if only so I don’t have to hear about battier anymore.

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  149. 133, yea, I think that’s a little crazy Darius, to claim that we’re going to win this game. But it’s just as ridiculous to claim that we won’t.

    0

  150. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    It’s not that the team can’t get it together and turn this around, it’s that we JUST went through this and you would think some of these mistakes would be obvious to fix. The fact that the other team lost their all star center and are the ones dominating the paint is just incomprehensible to me.

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  151. #133, Darius, I think I might be mad with you. If we continue to force Artest to run the offense like happened late in the qtr, we’ll be fine.
    And as long as Fish stays where he is at the moment…..

    0

  152. I actually think those two threes by Farmar might have saved this game from absolute disaster

    0

  153. j. d. hastings May 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    wow, PJ called out Pau

    0

  154. I know that the Lakers can come back, if they simply commit to doing the simple things.

    Play hard defense. Have your best, not worst, match ups on the floor. Run the offense inside out. Post up and drive to create high percentage shots and force fouls.

    Houston has 2 players and an order of two day old french fries as their big men right now. Punish them.

    If they play, the Lakers can win.

    0

  155. LOL @ Kobe waking Gasol up

    0

  156. #152 – JD, you hit it on the head. The amount of jump shots, and the lack of banging it inside is incredibly frustrating. We know that the team is inconsistent, but some things seem (to us at least) to just be common sense.

    0

  157. I like Kobe trying to fire up Pau on the bench.

    0

  158. holy crap shannon brown almost jumped over kyle lowry

    0

  159. Darius, I will not call you crazy. At least not until the last minute of the fourth quarter. 🙂

    0

  160. I love how Mark Jackson thinks he knows more about coaching than Phil.

    0

  161. mark jackson is right though what he just say about phil – i know it’s not his style but he need’s to get them fired up – his zen is clearly not working for this team at all!

    0

  162. If anyone ever gets the chance, can they ask Shannon Brown to write a book on getting a 42″ vertical. That’s just crazy….

    0

  163. mark jackson never seems to actually watch the game. the lakers got good jumpers and were cold the entire first quarter, yet all he can prattle on about is how “they were thoroughly outplayed” and lacking effort, etc etc omgthislakersteamissosoft.

    0

  164. Kobe taking too many shots.

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  165. It’s looks like Kobe is going into solo mode….not good

    0

  166. I hate to say it, but Kobe is killing us right now. Terrible, terrible shot selection.

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  167. in fact, considering the crazy level houston is playing at now, i actually think it’s rather impressive the lakers are only down by 10. that was one hell of an opening punch, you can hear the crowd energy through the tv, and i really don’t think denver or cleveland or any of the so-called “tougher” teams would’ve responded better than the lakers are.

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  168. down to 8 then kobe gives it away

    0

  169. I actually think Phil took Kobe out because he was killing the offense

    0

  170. 167

    He’s not taking too many shots, he’s taking too many bad shots. Everything is a contested jumper off an isolation move.

    0

  171. I’ll say this, if we get out of this round, Dahntay Jones and J.R. Smith are going to feel like a fresh air to Kobe. He’s going to shred them.

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  172. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    140. emh, it’s not hate. We love both Phil and Fish, but it’s clear this is a bad matchup for Fish, and a favorable matchup for Jordan.

    Today, with 8:52 left in 2nd quarter:
    Fisher -14 in 10 minutes
    Farmar +2 in 5 minutes

    Game 5:
    Fisher +9 in 17 1/2 minutes
    Farmar +20 in 22 1/2 minutes

    Game 4:
    Fisher -26 in 20 minutes
    Farmar +9 in 21 minutes

    Game 3:
    Farmar +18 in 33 minutes

    0

  173. Those last couple posessions reminded me of the Detroit series where Kobe took ridiculous shots with a hand in his face to prove a point.

    0

  174. We will come back if Kobe can play with the team. Solo Mode will do us in. Come on now!

    0

  175. Battier is so un-cute….nothing personal 🙂

    0

  176. i find it pretty funny that phil takes out his star player kobe for taking bad shots – but has left fisher in throughout this series playing like crap
    they should put gasol back in – they are not playing like this is a must win – they’re playing like it’s an “ok if we lose game”

    0

  177. Lakers bench v Houston bench 10-0.
    Could be something in that…….

    0

  178. Come on, don’t award Scola for the blatant flop.

    0

  179. Feels like a LOT more substitutions are being made this game. Chopping & changing the lineup to try & find what will work today?

    0

  180. That was such a flop.

    0

  181. Nice flop by Scola.

    0

  182. Can’t get a decent offensive possession after a good defensive sequence (result-wise).

    We need to find our offense, and find it quick.

    0

  183. BCR: Absolutely. In many ways (barring Orlando somehow making the Finals) I think that Houston is our biggest test.

    I am simply not sold on the Cavaliers. LeBron is great, but any single player can be taken out of the game with doubles, ball denial, hard defense.

    Houston seems to be built (and, according to Morey was) to beat the Lakers.

    0

  184. #178 Lakergirl “Un-cute”. Why not just say UGLY???
    😛

    0

  185. #178, lakergirl,
    Word. Extremely un-cute.

    0

  186. sasha should no longer be allowed to shoot off the dribble…he can only catch and shoot

    0

  187. I think the subbing was to make Pau our focal point and establish his rhythm.

    But really, we’re shooting almost as badly as the Rockets did in game 5.

    0

  188. That was a good two-man game with Sasha and Pau.

    0

  189. great…..looks like phil is content to leave the bench in and be let the lead balloon even more – forget 10 – i will be happy if this is 12 at the half :(((

    0

  190. Pau Gasol is who he is but I wish he would challenge more shots at the rim

    0

  191. You know, it’s not so much that Sasha misses shots, it’s that he seems to think he can make fadeways and leaners when that just isn’t something he can do. Stay within yourself and take jump shots when your feet our set. Please. Yes, just like that.

    0

  192. Have to play off Lowry and force him to make jump shots. Can’t let him drive the ball right to the rim from 35 feet. This is just ugly.

    0

  193. Why is Pau taking jumpshots instead of going inside everytime?I don t get it.

    0

  194. this is starting to take on a golden state vs. mavs atmosphere.

    0

  195. This is turning into the Heat-Hawks series, blowouts by the home teams.

    0

  196. Just obeying site rules…no personal attacks 🙂

    0

  197. The Rockets are hitting shots they weren’t in Game 5. And we’re missing shots we hit in Game 5. I think if we keep it around 12, 14 at the half, I reckon Phil will make the proper adjustments…..

    0

  198. i really want the lakers to lose tonight and on sat night. i really cannot take this anymore..

    0

  199. #199 lakergirl, that personal attacks against other forum members, not ugly people like Battier…. 🙂

    0

  200. Um, I don’t want them to lose.

    0

  201. I’d be happy if we’re down only 15 or so by the half. I am kinda hoping that Kobe will come back in, establish some team offense and cut it to 10.

    If we don’t let the lead balloon, I’m pretty confident that we’ll close this thing up.

    0

  202. It’s not the offense. The defense is the problem. If you allow a team to score so many layups and leave people unguarded under the basket what else can you expect. The lakers are probably shooting as well as the rockets on jumpshots but the rockets are not giving up any layups while the lakers are giving them up aplenty.

    0

  203. I am soooo frustrated right now 🙁

    0

  204. It certainly seems like it’s the poor shooting that’s making the difference. We’ve blocked more shots, got as many steals, and grabbed more offensive boards…just not actually scoring.

    Once again, you’d hope that the law of averages would come to our aid as some point, as the Rockets cool off, and we actually hit some shots.

    0

  205. NOOOOO…Fish is back in. What’s the bet we don’t get any closer as Brooks will go nuts again.

    0

  206. When I got home I turned the game on and saw a score of 21-3 Rockets, I figured that I was on the wrong channel and seeing a Sunday game replay.

    0

  207. How’ Lamar’s back?

    0

  208. #206, Mimsy, don’t need to discuss your personal problems here.. 😛

    0

  209. ron artest is our only hope tonight

    0

  210. Houston have a team full of really good role players. Like Barkley said role players always play much, much better at home.

    0

  211. Battier was late there bad call by the refs.

    0

  212. #211,
    With the Lakers dammit, with the Lakers! *LOL*!!

    0

  213. I agree with Van Gundy. That was not a charge but they have been giving those to the Rockets all series. Just ask Odom’s back.

    0

  214. Maybe we’ll get our old, energizing, momentum changing Ariza back.

    I really hope Sasha pulls an Allen and wakes up for the conference finals and finals…

    0

  215. That’s the Artest we want to see.

    0

  216. Some please give Artest the ball!

    0

  217. Wow I think we should just funnel the ball to Artest. Hes our best defensive player.

    0

  218. They give it to the rockets because of thier reputation as good defenders…we need trained robots as refs. At least they dont have feelings.

    0

  219. come on! get couple stops and score before half.

    0

  220. 204, normally i would agree with you about our comeback chances…but recently i have lost all confidence in them…not their ability…but their hunger/desire to even try a comeback…they are not excited about this game at all! i don’t think they care about their fans…..clearly they were not embarrassed by their effort in game 4 and neither will they be after this one

    0

  221. I love how Artest is playing right now.

    0

  222. Adelman looks like he’s back in Game 6 2002.

    0

  223. Lamar is making things happen for us..

    0

  224. If only Lamar could make free throws…

    0

  225. Odom needs a free throw teacher.

    0

  226. Battier gets that call all the time… Not sure how Kobe (or Lamar) could have done anything else. They were in control, going up, and then he slides in (admittedly quickly and with skill) and somehow sets.

    (I secretly wish that we had Battier on our team. He would improve the Lakers by a HUGE amount)

    0

  227. Why did we give it to Fisher on the break?

    0

  228. Lamar does, Fisher undoes.

    0

  229. Gosh Fisher

    0

  230. artest only reason we’re in the game

    0

  231. Fisher should have pulled that one back out. Set the offense up.

    0

  232. Oh Fisher. Ugh.

    0

  233. Someone needs to tell Fisher he’s the worst finisher in the NBA.

    0

  234. If only that Odom pass went to someone, anyone, other than Fisher.

    0

  235. Scola jumped sideways.

    0

  236. 3ThreeIII,
    Drool material…. Battier’s on-ball defense combined with Kobe, Lamar, and a stellar offense is just a sick thought.

    0

  237. these refs are terrible

    0

  238. That’s what we need from Kobe.

    0

  239. someone needs to tell phil to get fisher out of there. why didnt phil play farmar more? phil has gone crazy

    0

  240. Why is Farmar not playing. He comes in hits two threes, plays decent D, gets out into the open court then gets benched?

    0

  241. Well, out two best players of the first half–Odom & Farmer–are now sitting on the bench. Great move Phil.

    0

  242. OMG. Scola schools Gasol.

    0

  243. That was on Artest!!!

    0

  244. What the hell was that?

    0

  245. if win this series kobe may not even be able to play – how many total techs does he have now!!!! WTF that is crap!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

  246. That was a TERRIBLE technical.

    0

  247. What on earth did Kobe get the tech for?

    This referee crew is full of crap.

    0

  248. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Battier would be the ideal (realistic) SF for this team.

    That technical has to be rescinded. What a joke.

    0

  249. the NBA where stupid techincal calls happen….

    0

  250. I love basketball to death, but it’s a flawed sport, referees have way too much control over the game

    0

  251. what are these refs on, ridiculous

    0

  252. nba where over reaction happens

    0

  253. let’s see if the laker channel this crap calls into passionate playing or chip chop frustration bad shots and fouls

    everyone keeps saying it- hmmmm farmar plays awesome so he goes the bench
    i am hating fisher more and more each minute

    0

  254. What is the technical? I mean, asides from the referee technically being the one to call it…

    Farmar/Brown needs more burn. Let Fisher rest up for Denver, when we will need him against Billups.

    0

  255. there is no way the lakers are losing this game now…

    0

  256. At least Mark and Jeff know the call was garbage. The problem with Van Gundy though is that he always sounds like he’s whining, so even when he’s right, he’s still annoying…

    0

  257. We need Kobe against Denver. We really do.

    0

  258. I’m really disappointed. Those types of calls carry emotional swing that is tough to recover from, crowd and all.

    0

  259. I stand by what I said 100 comments ago. The mistakes we’re making are easily correctible. Kobe is going to do his thing in the 2nd half and our bigs are going to start hitting the glass and getting Hayes and Scola in deeper foul trouble. I’m not psychic, but I can see how this game is about to turn.

    0

  260. I think that T on Kobe will turn out to be a good thing…

    0

  261. Three fouls on Hayes.

    Pound. The. Ball. Inside.

    0

  262. WTF @ the touch foul on Farmar.

    0

  263. Farmar gets a foul for looking at Brooks.

    0

  264. Wow, these refs are horrible. For both sides. Stupid idiotic ticky-tack fouls, stupid technicals.

    0

  265. I HATE that call on Farmar!!!

    0

  266. Getting Kobe to the line is a key, which means that he needs to drive the ball a bit more, or we need to get the Rockets into the penalty sooner each quarter.

    0

  267. Just our luck.

    0

  268. This series is NOT good for my blood pressure. Seriously, can someone please put a solid body on Scola and start jumping for rebounds?

    0

  269. Damn, didn’t need that 3 on the half…..
    Was hoping to be down 11, not 16.

    #258 Darius, I’m with you, it’s whether the Lakers WANT to make the adjustments….

    0

  270. That 3 at the end of the half was killer…

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  271. *shakes head and shuts up about the referees*

    I would love for the Lakers to use the anger, focus at halftime, and make a statement.

    Make the referees beat you. Outplay the Rockets, dominate them, and force the referees to step up and bail them out.

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  272. That call on Farmar was just ridiculous. Are the refs trying to impress David Stern in the stands?

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  273. Points:

    1) Kobe needs to drive the ball more.

    2) Hayes has three fouls. Pound. The. Ball. Inside.

    3) Start hitting open shots.

    4) Repeat #2 until we win.

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  274. I am starting to dislike the NBA for reals. The officiating is all fixed.

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  275. OK. Down 16 at the half. What adjustments are we making for the remainder of the game? Or are we just hoping that jump shots begin to fall? Clearly another 36 point half isn’t getting the job done…and letting Houston score 52 in a half isn’t going to be a winning formula either.

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  276. The calls aren’t just going against the Lakers. The Rockets have had a couple of ticky-tack fouls called on them, as well as some questionable non-calls. This officiating crew is just horrible.

    That being said, Kobe has 14 points on 16 shots, our team is a combined 13-42, and three of those baskets are by Farmar. I like the offensive rebounding, Andrew has just missed a few gimmes. Once Gasol decides to show up on defense and actually give a crap, we’ll be fine.

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  277. The foul on Farmar for standing too close to brooks (he didn’t even touch him) and the lucky bounce and three by Brooks made what could have been an 11 pt deficit to 16. Just bad luck, a good shot and a terrible terrible call.

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  278. The NBA wants 2 game 7’s on Sunday – what a great storyline, both last year’s finalists fighting for their lives …

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  279. #271 Mimsy, you really need to do something about that frustration. Is the hubby/bf home? 😛

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  280. BCR – I like your plan! Let’s hope that it’s an accurate outline of where this game is headed.

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  281. 277, BCR you are dead one with your points i completely agree with you – if they refs are going to make those calls don’t shoot jump shots drive the ball get close shot and/or contact

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  282. pau, andrew, and lamar 2-10

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  283. I would love Farmar to start the second half and for the Lakers to look for Pau and ‘Drew on the block on the offensive side of the ball. There is absolutely no reason for the Lakers to be getting abused inside like they are.

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  284. Pau, Andrew, Lamar, Luke & Ariza (pretty much everyone who’s played inthe front-court this half) 2-14.

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  285. #282 – I can’t see how it would be possible to repeat that 3-man performance in the 2nd half. That’s an encouragement!

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  286. I said this before but it bears repeating, Artest is our best defensive player. The Lakers D is just so much better when he dribbles the ball.

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  287. The lack of effort by Gasol is getting ridiculous. I understand that he might not be in rhythm and whatnot but he’s not even pretending to play defense.

    Here’s hoping Kobe goes nova…

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  288. I’m in the group that could see this turn around — the Lakers need to create more turnovers, then do something with them and hit the shot. There were stretches where they played good defense and got decent looks, they just didn’t go down. That should change if you just keep taking them.

    And someone in the comments questioned why the Lakers would double the post. Scola has answered that question.

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  289. Pau needs to find something to get pissed off at during halftime. We need him to come through. Kobe needs to keep his frustration and use it to hit some shots and get some freethrows. Fisher needs to ride the pine. Bynum needs touches. Phil needs to hypnotize the team at halftime to believe they can win this.

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  290. We’re not losing because of the refs. We just don’t play with passion, a commitment to defense and an intelligence on a game-to-game basis. We’re losing because that’s who we are. It isn’t acceptable and it’s sad, but that’s the way it is. Sad but not surprising.

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  291. has anyone else notice that pau just does not play with much energy on d? it just seems like he doesn’t give full effort.

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  292. I foresee a strong 3rd quarter from the Lakers. I don’t feel as discouraged as game 4.

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  293. the one thing that phil can’t give them is WILL POWER, this has to come from within – kobe is truly the only player on this team who i know for sure has fire in his belly – we’ll see if anyone else can prove it to us…..however i do think unless the lakers come out firing on all cylinders at the start of the third…this game is pretty much done – unless artest can help us out that is 🙂

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  294. #281, ozlaker,
    :D! He’s my husband, and yes, he is home. He’s also busy watching the game with me… he’s the reason I’m a Laker fan, he converted me. 🙂

    Back to the game: I can still see this turn around. We have not shot well in any way, and our offense as a whole has been, um, lack-luster. That said, we need to put in effort. The Rockets will not roll over and surrender, they are not that kind of team, they never have been.

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  295. From Laker writer Mike Trudell on Twitter: Farmar was the only Laker to shoot over 50 percent (3-of-4). All but Battier and Artest were over 50 for Houston.

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  296. kurt, stop sucking up to the refs. does stern pay you a retainer to keep people from leaking his secrets.

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  297. Farmar is the key to the 3rd quarter. Here’s hoping Phil will bump up his minutes.

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  298. I hope Phil just walks into the locker room at half time, sadly shakes his head, and walks back out. Then at least I would know that he feels how I do about all of this.

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  299. guys…enough with the conspiracy theories. i know its bad, but still. complaining about the refs won’t help the lakers and it won’t help us either.

    back to the game at hand.

    lakers need to do the following things:

    1. kobe needs to drive in more and get to the free throw line

    2. feed pau the ball and have him face up against hayes.

    3. close out on battier and brooks’ 3s

    4. find a way to stop scola

    as bad as the first half was, the deficit is still manageable.

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  300. I hope Kobe put his fist through a locker to wake his team up.

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  301. Can the league review and take away the technical, or can they only down/upgrade a flagrant?

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  302. Ok here are the problems I saw in the first half….

    First off, the Lakers got no ball movement whatsoever and could not get Pau going in the low post at all. As a result, Kobe was just jacking up shots from the outside. Overall, too many outside shots by the lakers and not enough driving to the rim. If the Lakers continue to do this, they will not only lose this game, but lose it badly.

    On the defensive end, Scola really hurt us in the first quarter. Odom doesnt have the strength to guard Scola. If I were Housten, I would give it to Scola more down on the block whenever Odom is on him, cause Odom cant take his strength. I did think the Lakers played some decent defense at some stretches, but they did not guard the paint well enough. Lakers have to guard the paint better on defense.

    Dont look good for the Lakers. I predicited them to win tonight, but they came out with no passion or energy, just jacked up shots, and just didnt take this houston team seriously enough. Lakers can still win, but they are gonna need a huge third quarter both defensivly and offensively.

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  303. We just need to get back to a couple of things that worked in the last game: Kobe needs to drive the ball and we need to get Pau at the high post and attacking off the dribble against Hayes with Bynum hitting the offensive glass against Scola. On defense, we need to get more aggressive with our big/small combo on the P&R (we let Lowry and Brooks off the hook to often by not pressuring them to pass) and we need to rebound and execute post sprints and drag P&R’s for Kobe to attack the basket. We also need to corral loose balls like the one that led to Brooks’ end of half three. Believe me, we’re right there. We’ve essentially played them even since our bad start (-3 or 4 since that point). Even though we’re down 16, we’re right there, if that makes sense.

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  304. lil pau,

    Technicals can be rescinded.

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  305. What distresses me the most is the number of players we can’t seem to depend on in the playoffs:

    – Fisher seems to be done
    – Bynum shows up once every 7 games
    – Gasol seems to shrink when the going gets tough
    – Lamar has been better, but he can also disappear
    – Sasha is… ugh…
    – Luke… no shot, no talent

    How can we win a title when we don’t know who will show up to a game?

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  306. rockets are doubling gasol and kobe in the post and no one is cutting to basket for the pass.

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  307. Lane penetration is your friend.

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  308. The Rockets are bringing a double from the top of the key to prevent Gasol from spinning into the lane for his hook shot he does. He needs to face up so that he can see the double coming and get better passing angles if they double him.

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  309. Post up!

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  310. Back to single digits.

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  311. Can we give Artest the 6th man award when we win. He is doing more helping us than some of our teammates

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  312. Guys, Denver fan here. I appreciate all the comments here (both positive and negative).
    Although I’m one of the Denver fans who happens to be a slight Laker fan, only because Kobe plays in your team.

    Kobe is 6-of-15 (take away the last-second shot), and IMO, he should be about 9-of-15 with the way he played. he took about 5 crazy/wild/normal-for-him face-guarded shots but he missed three easy Js and I believe he will go supernova in the second half.

    I’m not the one to talk about Phil but I think ,as great a Hall-of-Famer coach as he is, his kryptonite is making in-game substitutions.
    Don’t get me wrong, but PJ doesn’t really believe in playing the “hot hand”.
    Like one guy said, Derek Fisher plays crazy and doesn’t substitute him, while Kobe misses a couple and suddenly, PJ takes him out.

    Farmar and Brown are playing their hearts out, while it really doesn’t seem Fisher is playing with the same zeal he did last year. I understand he is old, but he has to really play smart in order to compensate Brook’s mismatch on him. I do agree he is one of the worst fastbreak finishers in the game.

    Anyways, as someone had already said, Phil is going to make adjustments (he is good at in-between half adjustments), and I do think he must play Farmar/Brown/Kobe/Odom/Gasol in the start of the 2nd half.

    Cheers everyone!
    We are about to see a W in your series after tonight.

    Off-topic, with the way my team is playing, how will you handle us?

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  313. If I were Rick Adelman I would take Ron Artest out the game.

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  314. Great start to the quarter. Let’s see if our intensity keeps up for the rest of the game.

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  315. FIRE UP BABY!!!!!!!

    as i said before – come out firing + artest = LAKER WIN

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  316. I’m writing something short for the Daily Dime tomorrow and it will be a lot easier if the Lakers come back and win.

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  317. Did I hear a rooster?

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  318. Kobe with an assist and a rebound (first of the game!), has to be a good sign going forward.

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  319. You allowed the Lakers to get back into the game, and now you must pay the price.

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  320. Signs of Pau finally coming to life, adn the team as well. The most frustrating thing is that whenever they play at 80 % or more they dominate.

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  321. First coach to sit Fisher or Artest wins?

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  322. As always, it takes a double-digit deficit to get this team to play with energy and intelligence on the defensive end.

    More post touches for Gasol please.

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  323. Kurt, thats funny.

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  324. LOL!!!! Good point Kurt

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  325. To play devil’s advocate about the “hot hand”. There have been a few looks at that issue statistically and there is no proof that a hot hand exists for shooting basketball.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other reasons for subbing someone out.

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  326. nice way to start the 3Q…yeah, pound it inside!

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  327. Got too put a body on Scola.

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  328. I feel a Category 5 Kobe-fest coming on. Hope he’s hot…

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  329. What the hell? I go away for 5 minutes and we’re back to 6….
    What’s going on???

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  330. Thank you Gasol for getting on the floor!!!

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  331. ozlaker,
    It means you need to go away again. Right now.

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  332. I like what Im seeing. Some fire.

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  333. FISHER!!! Please for the love of God hit a shot!!!!!

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  334. Mimsy, I will do next time we’re down 10….how’s that? IF we go down by 10 again, which it doesn’t sound like, unless Fisher keeps shooting the f’ing ball…ARRRGGHHH

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  335. Like Bynum’s aggressiveness on the boards.

    And four fouls on Hayes.

    POUND. THE. BALL. INSIDE.

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  336. Mm.. frozen fish..

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  337. please sit Fish. He can not hit a shot to save his life. Farmar needs to be in there!

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  338. One way or another, Fisher has to be phased out of the starting lineup next season.

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  339. Fisher can’t hit anything. I think the long season and minutes due to energy and having to chase a much quicker player around has caught up to him at his age.

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  340. Rob L. Good to see you!! How are you?

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  341. I would be happy if Bynum would just find a body to block out. You don’t need good hands, good knees or good coaching to do that. Use that body big man.

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  342. Lakers are on track (a little under) to score as many points in the 3rd as they did in the first half.

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  343. ozlaker, if you just jinxed us I will NEVER forgive you! 😛

    I like what we’re doing now. Andrew is aggressive, Kobe is driving, and all of us are playing with fire and energy. I like 🙂

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  344. Hey Kurt! I’m doing much better now than I was 7 minutes ago.

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  345. I swear I’m hearing roosters.

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  346. This looks like the first quarter in reverse. Basketball is a game of runs though.

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  347. I cannot forget the old adage that the better team can be beat in any game, but the better team almost always wins a 7 game series. The Lakers are the better team.

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  348. amazing how things can turnaround with some energy on defence

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  349. Who was Kobe trying to pass to in that sequence?

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  350. Good start to the third.

    Let’s get Farmar some burn, and push it hard.

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  351. There you go everybody. Early timeout by Phil.

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  352. This rockets run can be credited to Kobe. That careless pass

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  353. What I love about all of you on this site, you saw through the energy thing to what was really going on, the fundamentals of the missed shots and the defense (and how the energy played into that). You guys are smart.

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  354. Y IS FISHER STILL PLAYING???

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  355. Farmar will play out of the timeout…he has to.

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  356. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Fish is killing us. The whole team has made a commendable effort this quarter, but Fish just doesn’t have it at either end.

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  357. Fisher MUST sit!!! He’s killing us on both ends. Does Fisher have something on Phil Jackson!!!

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  358. Just stay the course. We had it to 2, just need to keep doing what we have been doing since the start of the 3rd. Please no Fish after the TO.

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  359. You knew they were not going to fold, that they would push back. It’s a dogfight now. Let’s see the Lakers respond to the desperate energy of the Rockets.

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  360. what is fish doing leaving brooks?

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  361. Phil! If you are still alive out there, and can hear us, please show us a sign!

    Sit Fisher and let Farmar and Brown play!

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  362. kurt we all know the lakers are completely capable of winning – it’s all about the energy – thank god phil took a time out – this must stay in single digits for us to win – plus you may be right about your arterst vs. fisher comment

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  363. that Keown article just sucks! Garnett’s antics is a universe beyond KB’s and he demands that KB should be wrapped up like a 6-yr old in Sunday school? ton of crap…

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  364. Kobe needs to D up Shane, there no way he should have had that position for that board!

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  365. just started watching…did i miss anything good?

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  366. WHAT IS FISHER DOING

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  367. Mimsy, nearly time to disappear again for 5 minutes…..

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  368. Farmar had a six week stretch during the season where he was awful, but right now Fisher is playing even worse then that.

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  369. Farmar missed, but I liked that offensive set.

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  370. Farmar doesn’t need to be a hero…concentrate on defense and flow within the offense!

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  371. Based on the prevailing standards of these playoffs, that foul by Brooks should be a flagrant 2… 😛

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  372. oh say that’s not a technical or flagrant we see where the favoritism is but please everyone drive to the basket!!! do not take jump shots – we can get back if by nothing else getting to the line

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  373. Can I propose a nickname for Pau?

    Can we call him “The Llama”?

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  374. I think Fish might just be worn out. His minutes should have been limited this series. He is just not quick enough to guard Brooks and if he can’t hit a shot than he is just hurting the team.

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  375. Don’t you dare be negative again, ozlaker. Don’t you want to watch the game? 😉

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  376. Ok let me first say, that was in no way a tech or a flagrant, but thats not and EVERYTHING else is?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! The consistency with the way that the playoffs are being called is horrendous.

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  377. Scola has 3 PF…get him in trouble, guys!!

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  378. aaahh…SCOLA…SA should be kicking their own butts right now! how on earth can’t we just defnd the guy already. sheesh

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  379. Need to get some stops. They are playing much better on both ends but now the Rockets are starting to hit some tough shots.

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  380. Houston is hitting tough shots right now. We’re playing good defense.

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  381. Looks like we’re going to win.

    Phil benched Fish first.

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  382. On Houston’s offense, Scola has been top of the key. Watch him streak for the rebound, unguarded, on a Houston jumper.

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  383. however it pans out in the3Q, this game is winnable!

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  384. Farmar doing great.

    On a sidenote: How many fouls have Pau drawn despite his lackluster game, nine?

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  385. That dreadful start is coming back to haunt the Lakers. Houston is hitting some tough shots, and after all that they’ve extended the lead back to 9.

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  386. You got to give the Rockets credit, they hit some tough shots to end the third

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  387. ok. the game is very winnable. Just clamp down on d and turn them over. We got this!!!

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  388. If Fish plays many minutes in the 4th, it’s going to be a case of too little too late.

    If Fish plays a few minutes, it may come to the last possession.

    If he doesn’t play at all, we may have ourselves a 6 pt victory.

    Fun to throw stuff around that nobody will remember afterwards and can’t fault me for saying 😉

    Anyway, Scola can’t be shooting 10/17 forever with 3 personals… gotta attack him and give him two more real quick.

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  389. Of course, this being the Lakers and all, it is all very very probable that Fish plays and hits that magic bucket at the end to ‘redeem’ himself.

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  390. Mimsy, not watching. Listening as I can’t watch while at work.
    And I’m not being negative. I just said I’d go for a walk again if we go down by 10 again.

    Jordan Farmer 9 mins, 4/7, 3/4 3’s, 11 pts, 2 rebs, 0 ast, +4
    Derek Fisher 21 mins, 1/7, 0/5 3’s, 2 pts, 0 rebs, 1 ast, +0

    Who do you think should play the remainder out???

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  391. Lakers better bring it, i have my sunday jersey ready to wear for work in Houston tomorrow. Dont have time/enery to think of another outfit.

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  392. Attack Scola! He is their best option. Why does he still only have 3 fouls? Come on guys.

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  393. harold,
    Thats why he drives us CRAZY! 😀

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  394. Scola and Brooks really hit some big shots over the last 4 minutes of the 3rd. I hope the Lakers have gas left in the tank…they put a lot of effort out. We need the bench to contribute to start the 4th.

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  395. just realized that Kobe is leading our team in assists with… 3.

    that alone tells me our offense really hasn’t been pretty…

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  396. the only person i hate just as much as fisher is vujacic – he fouls more than he scores

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  397. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Pau’s baseline lefty hook is money.

    0

  398. Now that was a tough shot.

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  399. I hate the shots Sasha takes.

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  400. If Houston keeps hitting those shots, when they’re that well contested, my hat’ll be off to them.

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  401. Sasha just doesn’t have it. He’s a spot up shooter, not an off the dribble shooter. Quick hook from PJ.

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  402. please don’t give denver enough pointers on how they can beat us… easily.

    and to the denver fan, we’d gladly worry about how your team plays after this series. frankly, this can be the toughest matchup for these lakers.

    0

  403. TAKE OUT SASHA!

    0

  404. Pau’s left hook is absolutely gorgeous.

    And Lamar is awesome.

    0

  405. PLEASE stop jacking up 3s!

    0

  406. Great sequence. Keep it up and we have ourselves a fun game.

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  407. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Awesome possession with all the offensive rebounds…and great D on the other end. We’re going to take his one…

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  408. Gasol is not a tough player but he’s really battling right now

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  409. kobe get back in the game…

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  410. Who else cheered when our 6th man Ron Artest came back in?

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  411. Lakers can’t hit a shot from more than 10 feet. Very frustrating. Playing good offense, but not finishing.

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  412. We really need artest, cook and wafer to play … for us 🙂

    0

  413. alright! grab them boards and pound that inside. winnable game. GO LAKERS!

    but man do i wanna do some talking about this performance! i guess this is our championship identity. hwow.

    0

  414. I like the short leash for Vujacic. Take him out if he is taking bad shots (that should go for Fish too).

    0

  415. Lakers shouldn’t attempt a shot from more than 10 feet. Not with these match ups.

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  416. I think those last posessions from Sasha was the straw for Phil. I suspect we won’t see much of him the rest of the playoffs

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  417. PLEASE DEAR GOD PUT KOBE in – i think he is capable of playing the remaining 9 minutes duh! every game should be a MUST-WIN

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  418. We’re getting good, good looks. Just missing them. I’ve lost track of the number of wide open threes we’ve missed after nice inside-out possessions. It was good to see Sasha get the hook–he doesn’t seem to get it.

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  419. We are getting wide open looks. We are just missing them.

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  420. ok. I like our intensity. We have to keep it up and Kobe needs to play within the flow. Now that Artest is back in I feel very good about our chances!

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  421. pau is having a truly GREAT 2nd half. i like the lineup of brown, farmar, kobe, LO, pau. i think its our best energy unity, and thats all we need to win this thing. lets go lakers

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  422. 1) Step up the defensive pressure

    2) Work inside-outside offense with Gasol

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  423. It’s obvious that Farmar and Brown our the best options for us at the point. Hell play them both with Kobe.

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  424. The tide has definitely turned with that sequence that ended up with Lamar scoring.

    Now, the key would be to quickly attack Hayes as soon as he gets in and get him yanked, and to attack Scola. He’s got 36 minutes and 3 fouls, he can’t last much longer…

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  425. Stern: “I won’t do anything to please Jeff Van Gundy…”

    Thank God.

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  426. why is kobe not in geez – this is the point in the game they need to push and put pressure on the rockets

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  427. jesse, if that’s true then it’s on our coaching staff for not finding and sticking to this early on.

    that nba two game 7 storyline is beginning to appeal to me.

    send kobe in now. i agree. he can get his rhythm somehow in 3 minutes or less and drive down the lane for some more! i hope pau’s game rebounds for good.

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  428. luke playing with 0 confidence

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  429. With the Rockets playing like they do, I shudder to think what would have happened if it was Artest that went down and out, not Yao.

    0

  430. Here comes Kobe!

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  431. man, houston is giving us the window! GO ENTER IT!

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  432. Why is Kobe still sitting?

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  433. I’ll be back in 5 minutes….hopefully we’ll be up by then!

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  434. Our sixth man just killed us.

    WHERE IS KOBE

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  435. WTF why does he not play the whole 4th quarter? WHAT ARE WE SAVING HIM 4

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  436. Please get deep into the post.

    Please stop taking the long shots.

    Is Kobe hurt?

    Why is he not in the game?

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  437. Our best lineup!

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  438. We need a defensive sequence right about now…

    0

  439. he is in, he just jacked up a shot.

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  440. Phil needs to bring Bynum back in

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  441. i feel kobe is going to shoot everything now

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  442. We’re not giving you this game, you’re going to have to take it!

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  443. If that’s what it takes to get Kobe in…

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  444. hack a landry?

    oh my. stop shooting beyond 10-feet guys, attack! please don’t tell me that’s harder than it looks in other games.

    am in praying for a miracle mode now.

    0

  445. we need one and-one and one stop. That’s all it takes.

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  446. phil left kobe out to long we had a couple of oppurtunities to make it 5 we needed kobe

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  447. Need some stops and need to hold the Rockets to one position.

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  448. I want to see us attack the darn basket.

    Their entire lineup is riddled with 3 or 4 fouls! Mein Gott!

    0

  449. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    For anyone with a DVR, was that a kicked ball?

    0

  450. It was a kick, no call.

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  451. It looked like a kicked ball to me.

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  452. I get the frustration, but the venting here is not going to get out of control.

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  453. Farmar has been the victim of a few horrible calls tonight. That was certainly a kicked ball.

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  454. Off Topic, but it’s gotta be a great time to be a Rocket fan.

    You seriously can’t not love this team.

    As for us, I really really hope somebody will attack the basket, draw a foul, and get some momentum back.

    You’re not going to get any momentum by hitting contested J’s.

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  455. Games like this tend to force Kobe 3s…

    Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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  456. I really can’t explain Landry torching us, or the Rockets giving us as much trouble as they are period! I mean, I understand Phil saying give the Rockets some credit, but they shouldn’t be able to nip two games from us (let alone maybe the series)…

    It would be pretty crazy if the Lake-show and Celtics got back to the finals for the rematch in light of they both have had some serious trouble this round and both the Cavs and Nuggets rolled.

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  457. Can we please get a rebound? How is Landry doing it all?

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  458. Landry. Damn–he just wants it more than our entire team.

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  459. ok. That was an awesome Nike commerical!

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  460. Adelman is just doing a terrific job with all the timeouts. He’s taking every chance to make sure his team scores, and he probably is trying to get more rest for Scola…

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  461. Looks like there will be a game 7. Frustrating.

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  462. That puppet looks nothing like Kobe. At least LeBron’s looks like him.

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  463. Disaster recipe unfolding.

    Please. Do prove me wrong. Please.

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  464. #460 Harold, there we go. It’s started…..

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  465. Harold called it.

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  466. Aaron Brocks is the truth!!!!

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  467. Can 4 minutes of Laker effort equal a + 11 point run?

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  468. Why can’t they play Game 7 on Saturday??? I’ll be home then and can actually watch it. DAMN!

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  469. LAKERS LOSS + KOBE at 5 technicals this is tooo painful – why do i torture myself

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  470. No killer instinct whatsoever.

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  471. nope…games over. they better be ready for game 7

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  472. Our rotations have been suspect all night. UGGHH. Crowd Brooks and turn him over!

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  473. The Rockets ran the same play 4 times down the stretch. Lakers need to adjust.

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  474. We need a miracle now.

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  475. Man, you do have to give the Rockets credit. We lost this thing when they turned back our run towards the end of the 3rd. Needed to be a 2-5 point game entering the 4th. And then Phil kept Kobe out of the game 2 minutes too long. But this was not a game we gave away–it’s a game the Rockets took. Hit some incredible shots over the last 15 minutes of the game.

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  476. I’m sure Kurt will call this “venting” but doesn’t it just make you feel a little sick rooting for this team?

    Especially when looking at a team like the Rockets. So much more heart then us. There’s no doubt we’re far better than them, we just don’t have any sort of fire.

    I won’t feel too bad if the Lakers lose game 7, at least I won’t have to watch this team anymore. They were fun over the regular season but this is just really upsetting.

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  477. A miracle comes when you attack the basket and draw fouls. It pays off.

    NOT when you bomb away from 3 pt land and concede long rebounds to guards.

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  478. This is disgusting. How on Earth did this happen?

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  479. I didn’t like the way Phil coached this game, especially by not playing Bynum when he was effective today. Also Sasha, Fisher, and Walton MUST play very limited minutes going forward

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  480. landry with a block. i do not have so much as a speck of doubt that we take game 7. that said, am getting tired of having to reassure myself this way.

    landry blocks kobe’s layup. that is supposed to be a statement for them but i like it. heck, i’ll take any beating at this point that will only allows us to replicate game 5. that said, denver will not be an easy walk.

    we got ourselves exposed this series. amazingly, this reminds me of the celtic run last season with that season ending with a trophy no less.

    not easy for us fans, but so be it.

    “watching” the game via gamecast makes it a lot more easier to take than watching live telecast. the inverse is as true.

    btw, i get you kurt. am self-moderating my venting too.

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  481. Down by 14 and looking to lose a game…

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a full court press

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  482. are this year Lakers the last year Boston?? sounds very similar except the defense.

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  483. One thing can be said. Kobe is not giving up

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  484. Keeping Kobe out would have actually been the better thing. He just came in and jacked up stupid shots. Lakers will play better in game 7. Frustrating loss.

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  485. “I wouldn’t mind seeing a full court press”

    Effort? You gotta be kidding me.

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  486. To think that we had it to 2 points and then that Kobe turnover. I just can’t believe that we couldn’t get over the hump there. WTF?

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  487. G7! frustrating time to be a Laker fan

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  488. Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!!!

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  489. @Tsk
    …thats the only reason im not completely panicking, the celts were struggling at the start of the playoffs last yr and they came away with the championship

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  490. It’s hard to tell how good Aaron Brooks is because everyone looks like Tony Parker against the Lakers

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  491. i really hope phil starts farmar instead of fisher in game 7

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  492. i think the only moment in this game i truly enjoyed was phil benching vujacic.

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  493. Disgusting

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  494. Landry takes it right from Gasol. Yeah that sums it up.

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  495. That last rebound summed up the difference between the two teams. Landry just took it away from Pau like he was a child.

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  496. Come on you guys, what’s with the over-reactions? I think the Lakers actually brought a decent ammount of effort. Give the Rockets some credit, they were amped up at home, hitting shots, and getting some pretty amazing calls IMO. Be interesting to see if they rescind the technical they called on Kobe that Van Gundy called “insane”.

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  497. 497, well said – dead on!

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  498. I guess the lakers can finally see that winning the first quarter is important. This is too good of a defensive team to fall behind early.

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  499. Which Laker team will show up on Sunday, I have no idea. I am just beside myself. If we play with intensity it’s not even close, but when we play like this…

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  500. I’m not even going to comment on this game. I’m over it. They’ll take Game 7 because they’ll have something to play for.

    They do it everytime. How you can struggle for motivation is beyond me, but they do.

    I’m outta here….see ya Monday guys!

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  501. “i think the only moment in this game i truly enjoyed was phil benching vujacic.”

    Hahaha. I mean, we need people who can consistently hit the rim on an open shot dont we??

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  502. “I’m done picking the Lakers this year.”

    We care a whole lot what you think Mark Jackson.

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  503. I don’t understand. Last game Lakers won by 40. Now they are losing by almost 20. What is the factor in a 60 point turn around. It can’t just be homecourt? Is it adjustments? It seems that the Lakers want it as bad as the Rockets in this game. Yet, this wide margin is a bit puzzling to me.

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  504. I know who is going to score a ton of points next game. Whoever Odom’s guarding.

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  505. We need to tighten the rotation. Fish gets like 5 mins, Walton 3 mins, Sasha 0 min.

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  506. other than vujacic who hacks everyone i honestly think the lakers are afraid to get dirty and mess up their pretty little faces – especially gasol – notice he steps up when the pressure is off – and they are either already up by a ton – or down by a ton

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  507. Mark Jackson is going overboard with the Lakers and their “effort”, but they actually played hard this game, but let’s be honest here this team is not as good as last year’s Lakers team, it’s just not. Doesn’t mean we can’t win a championship but we don’t have the offensive chemistry and consistency and the bench weapons like we did last year in the playoffs.

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  508. walton deserves more than 3 min, fisher deserves less than 5 min…but yeah sasha shouldnt even be dressed. id rather give adam morrison some burn

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  509. Frustrating to watch a sixteen point halftime lead be cut to two in seven minutes and then watch it get pushed back up to the the halftime score. Just really frustrating.

    Do or die time, guys.

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  510. It really is a difficult thing being a fan of this team. You invest in them emotionally, and they end up breaking your heart with insufficient effort and bone-headed play. Then you realize you’re the stupid one because why did you invest emotionally in them in the first place? But by this point it’s too late, because it hurts and upsets you nonetheless, it’s out of your control.

    Then you wake up the next day and read in the papers that they don’t feel bad whatsoever for the loss.

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  511. Bynum was the only Laker with a positive plus minus, he rebounded well and was a force in the paint. I know he didnt score but the Lakers dont run the offense through him anymore. Why does he not gett playing time in the fourth? I love Phil Jackson but I found the lack of Bynum puzzling.

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  512. Walton can get some burn if he had any confidence. It’s like he is frozen out there.

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  513. GRUMPY WORDS! ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

    Seriously though, the fact is that we all know who this team is by now. We knew coming into this game who they are, we know who they’ll be even if they win game seven. That’s a team that is the best team in the NBA bar-none when they’re playing with fire and focus. When they’re not focused, they are going to drop games that aren’t as talented as they are. The Lakers have been the team that beat the Lakers all season. The question will be, can we get the focused Lakers team to show up nine more times before the playoffs are over? I hope so, but I don’t know what the answer is.

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  514. Maybe it’s time to admit our fears? This Laker team isn’t as good as we thought?

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  515. This team is never going to learn…so frustrating to watch each game

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  516. 512- archon i disagree – they played hard for approximately 2/3 of the 3Q that’s it , can you honestly say they played a hard game overall?

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  517. i give credit to houston for taking the game and handing it to the lakers.

    as for the lakers, i just don’t understand this team. denver won their series the way how number 2 seed handled number 6 seed. here we are, struggling with a 5th seed, going all the way to game 7.

    i just don’t get it. where is the fire, where is the desire, where are the hearts? do we really think that the spot in the finals has our name written on it already? I mean i haven’t lost faith in the lakers, but still, this is getting tiring to watch this team play so many up and down games.

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  518. paul,

    Our problem is that when we were within two or four at the end of our run, we couldn’t make a shot. Houston stole the momentum away from there.

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  519. Here’s the problem. Teams are always tight shooting in game 7s. If it’s close early, the favorite in particular will get tighter and tighter. Refs also allow a lot more wrestling and violence in game 7s, in the interests of (ridiculously) “letting the players decide.”

    The Lakers don’t have a game that plays well in that situation. We seem to have contagious shooting, in both the good times and bad, and we don’t have that lockup physical defense to fall back on. That’s how we’re different from last year’s Celtics. They kept winning by holding teams in the 70s in clinching games, by turning the game into football. The Lakers can’t do that, and we stand a real shot of losing game 7 because of the nature of the way those games are played.

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  520. Archon, I agree with you. The bench certainly aint as good, and Bynum who was suppose to be the difference maker just isnt cutting it at all. The guy is still young thou, you have to give him that. But yea, I really dont understand what is wrong with this team and why they are so inconsistent. This kinda makes me fear Denver.

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  521. Steve you are right. There is nothing saying that we will def. win game 7. We HAVE to hit our shots and not let it even be decided by the refs (or lack there of) late.

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  522. ironic that boston/LA have game 7’s on sunday?!

    i can imagine the marketing.

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  523. BCR
    It wasn’t that the shots didn’t fall at the end of the run. It was turnovers on two bad entry passes (one by Kobe, one by Ariza) leading to five or six points for the Rockets. That’s what killed the mojo.

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  524. Think about last year vs. this year’s team this way:

    Last year we had 3 guards who were confident and could knock down shots – Farmar, Fisher, Sasha. All three are having a horrendous season. Suddenly Kobe is the only guy whose outside shot can be trusted.

    We didn’t have Bynum last year, but we only have half a Bynum this year, and it’s turned out to be simply not enough.

    Hate to say it, but we miss Ronny’s hustle and heart

    So really, you can make the argument that this team is not any better than last year’s. In fact it’s probably worse, yes.

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  525. oh yeah and fisher needs to be put on ice

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  526. everyone should just re-read kurt’s post from yesterday: the analogy to odom is perfect. If you wanna love the beauty of this lakers team when they’re focused, you have to live with the ugliness that comes when they’re not.

    “These Lakers just are what they are. And I can accept that.”

    thanks kurt, that’s why i’ll still read this blog after frustrating losses like tonight. let’s all go watch the office and try to cheer up

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  527. Bad enough to be rooting for Goliath… worse, not to be able to get any sleep due to worrying about Goliath… worse still when David is pretty likeable… worst of all when Goliath doesn’t give a f***.

    Three more nights of haunted sleep… thanks, guys….

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  528. We did have a much better record this season, but last season we didnt get Gasol until mid way through the season. When we got Gasol, that is when we became a dominant team.

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  529. We are fine. This is why you earn home court advantage, to get the 7th game in your building.

    The Rockets had the 3rd-best home record in the West this year. Taking one on the road against them was probably all we could have expected.

    Lakers win it in Staples. And there is no carryover from series to series. Just because we struggled against Houston doesn’t mean Denver will beat us.

    Much to improve, but let’s not overreact.

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  530. Meh… I don’t fear Denver. Need to get there first.

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  531. Problem is that you can have letdowns in the 2nd round, but forget about it in the WCF or Finals. Just like in the Finals last year, they had a major letdown in Game 5 and paid dearly for it.

    Maybe they get by Houston, but this notion that they’ll turn it on when it counts ain’t gonna cut it in later rounds.

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  532. This is the most frustrating Laker team to watch….EVER!!!
    The have the ability to beat any team in the league but totally lack focus and effort from game to game.
    I’m beginning to think they have some kind of entitlement mentality.

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  533. This team reminds me of a supremely talented college student, who doesn’t go to any classes, procrastinates all the time, yet feels entitled to getting an A+. I know lots of people who got away with this during their life. However, effort + talent = success. Houston, as is currently composed, can only rely on effort. The Lakers have no excuse for missing out on effort when the have so much talent…

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  534. I think the Lakers are going to have to go big, but Odom at the small forward, forget about the 3 point shot and just pound the ball inside and pound the offensive glass. I just don’t think were gonna win taking 20-25 3’s a game like we did last year, we just aren’t hitting the shots.

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  535. Seriously, when Bynum was in the game, the lalers went on their only run of the game. As soon as Phil replaced Bynum with Odom, the defense loosened, the Lakers stopped getting easy baskets and the offense suffered. I think having Bynum in there is needed to shore up our defense. Odom cannot stop Landry or Scola, in fact anyone. And Odom is much worse against dribble penetration. He cannot make any play without fouling.

    I do not understand why Bynum is not getting more minutes. He’s a better rebounder and a much better defender than Odom. And it’s not like Odom has many offensive moves in the half-court game. Bynum could easily produce the offensive output of Odom without the Odumb turnovers.

    Yes he will block the paint on both ends but it’s not as if the Laker’s are scoring tons of points off dribble penetration. In fact with Bynum in the game Brooks wont be able to score layups at will.

    Iny my opinion, next game we need to cut down Fisher’s and Odom’s minutes. Instead of today’s first-half heavy minutes distribution for Fish, I would like for him to play more in the 4th quarter. And Odom should not be playing more than 25 minutes. Bynum should probably play 30 and Pau 40.

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  536. Great, a fun and exciting game 7 comming up for all of us fans.

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  537. Lakers also play bad when they are on ESPN. Its also amazing how many games they lose when those 3 annoying idiots announce their games.
    However, TNT is a different story, The Lakers won nearly all of the games they have played on TNT. Does anyone else notice this trend??

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  538. Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. That’s all I hear. Yea, the Lakers came out flat, but that doesn’t warrant the degree of whining and complaining that I hear. The Lakers aren’t worthy of our cheering? The Lakers deserve to lose? Just yesterday we were unbeatable and on the fast track to a championship. The Lakers played poorly; we all saw that. But what about all the people that claimed the game was over in the 1st quarter? We came back to within two, and could’ve easily won the game if a few bounces had gone our way in the late 3rd quarter. It’s one thing to be disappointed; it’s another to spout such wild hyperbole as we’ve seen above.

    I agree with some, there were a bunch of negatives in this game. Luis Scola outscoring Gasol and Odom by himself was disappointing. Aaron Brooks absolutely shredding our pick and roll defense was disheartening. That being said, there were still some positives to take away.

    1.) We came back. After the first quarter, just reading the comments above, only a couple crazies (Darius probably most prominent) were predicting that this would even be competitive, let alone that the Lakers would win. But the Lakers did make it competitive, came out in the 2nd half with fire and really took it to the Rockets.

    2.) Jordan played really well. I don’t think Aaron Brooks shredding us was only on Jordan (more on that below), and Jordan’s early shooting really kept us in the game.

    3.) Andrew Bynum was active. No, he didn’t play as well as last game, but that’s mostly because he missed a few gimmes inside that he made two days ago. 7 boards in 18 minutes isn’t bad, and he played solid defense when he was in.

    Likewise, there were a number of bad things that we need to correct for Game 7.

    1.) Pau Gasol needs to man up. His post defense was horrendous. Honestly, I don’t believe it could have been any worse. He had no effort, no desire, no intensity, no willingness to defend our paint. I don’t care if Bynum is in there with him, there’s no reason for Gasol to give up 24 points on 10-17 shooting to Luis Scola.

    2.) Our PNR defense was terrible. I also blame this on Gasol mostly, because he failed to show on many screens, allowing Brooks to pick up steam and get into the paint. It doesn’t matter how much our guards fight through screens; if our bigs don’t hold up the attacking guards, they’re going to get into the lane and score or get open shots for teammates.

    3.) We shot about the same percentages that Houston shot in Game 5. 30-84 from the field, 5-23 from three, we can expect better from the team. That being said, Fish’s and Vujacic’s continued struggles are slightly distressing. I can’t help but think that Fisher is nursing an injury that he isn’t telling anyone about. Otherwise there’s no excuse as to why he’s missing wide open shots. He’s in there to knock them down; when he doesn’t, he’s a liability.

    Overall, I’m looking for a few things on Sunday. First, I want to see the Lakers play solid interior defense. Gasol needs to come out and at least pretend he’s a man. Bynum needs to play like every rebound belongs to him and no one else is going to tell him otherwise. Our paint needs to be a sea of arms and bodies, sealing it off to all the Houston guards. Second, I want more minutes for Farmar and Brown. Fisher is playing serviceable defense, but when Farmar and Brown are both playing above average defense, plus Fisher is not hitting his shots, we have to make changes. Still, I want Fisher to start and post up Brooks a couple times (just to get in a few body shots), but I want the bulk of the minutes to go to Farmar and Brown.

    We as Laker fans have a right to be distraught; given how much we invest in the team, it’s understandable that we get upset. That being said, we also have to remember that just because our team plays badly, doesn’t mean they weren’t trying. The Rockets came out and played hard; no one can take that from them. Yes, the Lakers got out-worked, but it may just be the case that the Rockets were able to reach a gear that our team simply can’t. Maybe it’s home court, maybe it’s responding to the loss of Yao, but our team (perhaps sans Gasol) played hard and wanted to win this game. They just got out-worked by an adrenaline fueled home team.

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  539. Why was my comment of “this team does not deserve to win a championship” removed?

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  540. I just want to know this:

    Why no Kobe for the first five minutes of the 4th quarter? I know that that is his regular rotation, but gosh darn it, this isn’t the regular season.

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  541. this is a moderated chat, these things happen.

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  542. Kurt doesn’t like pointless venting, and it’s his site so it’s his rules.

    Kobe needs to do a better job blocking out. There were at least three instances (twice with Battier once with Scola) where he just turned his back and wandered towards the basket and never found a man. That man then ran past him, got the ball and put it in. Very frustrating to see such a good player have this kind of lapse.

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  543. I’m predicting it right now. Lakers by 41 in Game 7.

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  544. Steve yes! I said the same thing. Kobe does that “drifting” quite a bit. Fundamentals are killing us. Someone else said it, but we miss Ronny heart and grit.

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  545. Can you imagine if the script was switched? The Rockets playing with T-Mac and Yao, and the Lakers playing without Kobe and Gasol.

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  546. Joe-

    I’ve noticed a similar trend with the Dodgers and national telecasts. If I can see them on basic or expanded cable here in DC, it probably means a loss for the blue crew. My presence also tends to cause DC United matches to end in draws, but that’s another comment for another board.

    Are the Lakers on ESPN on Sunday?

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  547. 539, that scenario, rockets in 4 or 5

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  548. I still can’t imagine a scenario where they lose game 7. Something super flukey would have to happen for the Lakers to lose game 7 on their own floor against a team full of role players

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  549. Can we all agree that Denver will be favored in the next series – whether it’s the Lakers or Rockets?

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  550. After the Rockets won game 3 I resisted the temptation to post the following comment somewhere: “I’m sure all of Houston will enjoy their Moral Victory parade.” The reason I didn’t was that I was afraid of something like this. Now I’ve got to say, even if the Lakers win on Sunday, this is a moral defeat.

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  551. Crazyfan, its hard to argue against that.

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  552. the lakers never recovered after going scoreless the first 7 minutes and giving up a 20 pt lead in the 1st.. to me.. thats a lack of toughness.. if boston’s team identity was insecurity.. then these lakers are neurotic.. to the point that the break down at the first sign of any stress/anxiety..

    just out of curiosity when was the last time they came back from 20 points down against a decent team? and don’t tellme its not doable.. boston did it against us last year.. and thats the toughness the media has been speaking off all year long.. not that tough guy macho physical stuff..

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  553. Here is my take on this thing. Anyone who is a long time Laker fan Knows about the Lakers being an up and down team. I could go on and on but here are just a few examples, swept by Jazz in 99, forced to a game 7 against Portland in 2000 after being up 3-1, loosing a huge lead at home in the finals last year, Ralph Sampson (I won’t even go into that one), list goes on and on. My point is the Lakers and their fans have been here before. This is still Kobe’s championship year imho, and it is going to be hard. Trust me these ups and downs will make the victory parade even sweeter.

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  554. In the next few days there are going to be a lot of different opinions on why we lost this game… I’m not sure it’s a simple question to answer.

    Maybe it was the 20-3 start. It’s pretty tough to overcome a beginning like that — particularly for this Lakers team, whose first quarter performance has pretty much dictated their win-loss record in the playoffs. A lot of people are going to say the Lakers came out lacking effort and passion. I disagree. For the most part, the effort was there. It was a series of mental errors that did us in. Our shot selection was HORRIBLE. Jumper after jumper. Derek Fisher was easily the most guilty of this — if I were coaching the team he’d be wearing a three-piece on Sunday afternoon right next to Ammo and DJ.

    We gave the comeback our best shot, but we could never manage to get over the hump. Never really “threatened” either, except for one point in the 3rd when we were -2… but they quickly dropped us to -8 and never looked back. It really seemed like the Lakers had no chance at all after that 1st quarter, and they seemed aware of it too. There was a defeated psychology all around this team, like they’d resigned themselves to heading back to Staples for a Game 7. Then again, maybe the deficit was just too big to mentally climb out of.

    I think Houston should get a lot of credit for how they’ve played without Yao. They really give definition to the term “heart”. I only hope the Lakers can match it on Sunday, and maybe this time the shots will fall. In short… every game is a different story. They have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, just like last year’s NBA champs did. Let’s hope they do.

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  555. Steve-

    Regarding your point of “letting them play” in Game 7… Is it possible that this could benefit the Lakers in the paint and specifically, on the offensive glass? If the referees are loathe to blow a loose ball foul underneath, and the taller, longer team picks up on it, wouldn’t that give them more leeway to attempt to push the smaller team around and take advantage of their height?

    I suppose, in the end, it comes right down to wanting it more, and knowing what you can get away with to get it.

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  556. A few things bother me with these lakers
    1) Kobe shouldnt need to wake his teammates up. They should sense the urgency and importance to close this game out. Thats distrubing.
    2) The constant comparison to the celtics of last year needs to stop. They showed up for all the games they lost, they just happened to loose.
    3) Phil needs to do more in game coaching. Kobe being on the bench for 4 mins hurt us. I mean isnt it better for him to play 4mins in this game than 48mins in another game.

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  557. No ABC Mason. However, the three annoying idiots will be announcing. Seriously, Mike Breen’s play by play gets annoying. Marc Jackson says rediculus statements. “If there was ever one player that has ever played in the NBA that I would want to guard Kobe Bryant, it be Shane Battier.”
    And Van Gundy…need I really say anything?

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  558. trying to instill a little more humor into this farce of a team:

    is the most we can hope for a Gangs of New York situation when Daniel Day Lewis cries out:

    cut out his heart? This boy has no heart! he ain’t earned a death!

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  559. I watched the game live and avoided the posts here until now…but there is one thing we ALL need to do and that’s just RELAX.

    Frustrating – check
    Heartbreaking – sure
    Disappointing – absolutely

    But one things for certain, we’re going to have Game 7 on the Staples floor, that’s what & why we dominated the West this year for…Game 7’s on our terms on our floor. Phil, Kobe and the crew won’t let it end this way. Let’s let this one go and move on to a new post

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  560. The Lakers will struggle with the Nuggets in the next round.

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  561. 556-

    I like the mute button for situations like that. It keeps my remote intact.

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  562. I also think the Lakers were happy they didnt get to play portland and thot this series would be a cakewalk after going 4-0 in the reg season.

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  563. 547, kev, i agree with your points but for me the difference is I BELIEVED in those teams, if they made mistakes i knew they could WILL themselves to a win – or comeback from a 20 point deficit in one quarter if they felt like it – this team has given me no sign that they can perform under pressure – am a wrong that this entire playoffs has been about building huge leads and trying not to blow them?

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  564. Atleast the Ducks are still alive…err…..maybe not. Well, maybe Manny and the Dodg….err…maybe not that either. Atleast UCI won the mens volleyball championship!

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  565. Kennys mith- Just to let you know, Im not a Laker fan. Just in here as a bball fan.

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  566. I’ll say game 7 hovers around a 5-10 pt. lead for the Lakers, and then they end up winning by about 15. Just don’t think the Rockets bench will play all that well on the road.

    This is a hard team to like though.

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  567. as an addendum i still think they will win game 7 – but a tight game will make me really nervous

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  568. 544- Lost game 4 i meant. Don’t mind me, I’m just the Village Idiot.

    The Lakers have long had a reputation for dialing it in during the regular season then turning it on in the playoffs. The perception I had in the first round was that they were extending the dialing it in period into the playoffs, and this worried me. For reasons that should now be obvious.

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  569. I wish I could be as confident about Game 7 as comment #1 was about tonight’s game.

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  570. It’s all about heart…It does not matter to the Rockets what the score is on Sunday. They have victory! I like that team…

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  571. LA sports is in disaster recovery mode the past few years. So much promise with no results:

    1)UCLA Basketball – 2 final fours
    2)USC Football – Losses to Oregon St, Stanford, UCLA and the funky BCS system
    3)Lakers – should have one in 2004, could have one in 2008, and this year’s atrocity.
    4)Dodgers – Manny situtation
    5)Angels – Championship quality team always gets up-ended by the Red Sox.
    6)Ducks – actually they’ve over-achieved.

    LA sports coulda been a city of champions like Boston has been lately. Missed it by that much. Oh well…..

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  572. I’m not going to watch game 7. Lots of company is coming this weekend, and I’ll be manning the grill Sunday afternoon. Maybe I’ll DVR it, and watch the first quarter afterwards. That should tell me all I need to know, right?

    Aside: Any mod… I’ve got a few comments up thread awaiting moderation? Could someone take care of those for me? Thanks…

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  573. Lol, Kobe’s on the podium now….not concerned about game 7 at all!!!

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  574. #574 – what! no love for the LA Kings? Stoll’s getting hitched to former supermodel Rachel Hunter…now that’s what I call a major win!

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  575. I have more faith that my Citigroup shares will make a comeback.

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  576. Sorry – meant 577

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  577. I like how Kobe admitted that they are not playing consistent ball but its all about getting the win. I think that says it all. So we fans should sit back and relax and hope they bring it on sunday and get that win for us.

    I gotta admitt i’m a little nervous…anything can happen.

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  578. Ralph Sampson May 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    If the game is close, the lakers are losing because I’ll make a game winning shot at the end of the game.

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  579. you are dead right! they are a bunch of pretty boys – and that is the exact term to describe boston – pitbulls that grind out close games gotta respect that (even though i hate ’em)

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  580. i was referring to 582

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  581. All of the TV commentators, Kobe, etc are talking about the Lakers defense. I think their offense is the problem. Right now, Fisher, Sasha, Bynum, and Luke are all offensive liabilities.

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  582. Agrees with 582. Fish has struggled all post season and phil keeps starting him. Is phil sleeping in the his chair and not watching how his players are playing?

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  583. The Lakers are winless when they don’t score over 100 pts. Their offense is a big concern. Also, Houston is undefeated in these playoffs whenever they win the 1st quarter. Lakers need to win the 1st quarter in game 7!

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  584. Rockets fan here… the only thing I can think of is that the Lakers struggle on hostile road playoff environments.

    This general lack of mental toughness will not be an issue in game 7, unless they get down early. Then they will either implode or tough it out… lets watch amazing happen.

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  585. and roflcopter on mr 584

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  586. What was the line on the game tonight?
    Lakers -3 or 4?
    Could have made a killing..

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  587. Fish is a floor general…a wily veteran & warrior.
    Yeah he’s in a funk, but he shouldn’t be bashed on this site I’m sorry.
    Once Jordan Farmar learns to be a leader then I’ll accept the role changes, but slump or no slump, good D or bad, Fish is our man running the team

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  588. There is NO carryover from one series to the next. Unless you think Denver matches up with the Lakers like this Rockets roster, which… they don’t.

    @582
    I am so, so, so, so, so, glad the Lakers do not have Artest on their team. Unless you like seeing triangles get broken, in which case I’d suggest you go to a kindergarten music class.

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  589. Game 7 is scary – anything can happen. Brooks, Artest and/or Battier could catch fire. And if it’s close, you wonder about the Lakers’ fortitude given that the Lakers are playing with the burden of ALL the expectations.

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  590. But when you are not performing, you gotta get out and let someone else who is, play. Because you’re slump will take us down!

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  591. I’m not concerned about beating Houston in game 7.

    What I am concerned about is what happens when we try to turn it ‘on’ in a must win and suddenly the switch isn’t there anymore? That’s why you have to give yourself some breathing room and play with more urgency more often.

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  592. Not necessarily, I still trust Fish WAY more than Farmar when the game is on the line…let’s get real, the gaurd positioning as a whole is a problem and needs to be addressed in the offseason. Brooks shouldn’t be outplaying Farmar this easily either, but that’s Farmar’s consistency issue

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  593. EVERYONE!

    let’s enjoy our chance to see a game 7!

    wow i was so nervouss after the game but I went downstairs and talked to my dad and now I am REALLY excited for this game.

    Think about it, we are home, we are pumped, we are consistent with coming back after losses, and most of all, a win would ensure this series would end FOREVER.

    AH I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Even though we do get impatient with this team, let’s love them for who they are. The Boston/Orlando series is also going to game 7 and that should be fun as well!

    As fans we sometimes overreact when our teams lose, but I am pretty sure Orlando and Boston fans are overreacting as well.

    Anyways, if we dont win game 7 we really didn’t deserve to be here in the first place! But I really think we will win it and it will be SO sweet if we do!

    So everyone don’t get so down and sad, because we are able to see a historic Game 7 come Sunday afternoon.

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  594. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF740MqYbOs

    Here’s the last time the Lakers were facing elimination at home against the Rockets.

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  595. I PREDICT THE LAKERS BEAT HOU IN GAME 7. MOVE ON TO THE WCF, BUT GET BEAT IN 6 GAMES BY DEN.

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  596. 562, paul, I totally agree with you. I am a diehard Laker fan, but I have to admit that I do not trust this team at all other than Kobe to show up and play hard on the road and at home. Even my once trusted D. Fisher is breaking the offense and jacking up shots. I’ve said it over and over when the Lakers play defense and rebound they can beat any team anywhere. Couple things I think could fix the Lakers problems on defense are, (1) Stop double teaming so much. Their is no one on the Rockets team that should command a double team. Unnecessary double teaming leads to wide open 3s. (2) Perimeter defense of the Lakers is disgusting. Good defensive teams take pride in not letting the man they are guarding beat them off the dribble. Somebody knock Brooks down just once please. (3) Good old fastion boxing out and rebounding. Bynum, Gasol, and Odom are nowhere to be found on the glass offensively or defensively. The Rockets are not that good where they can close out on shooters, double team, and be first to the all the rebounds too. When the Lakers do these things right they always win, but with this team you never know what you are going to get.

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  597. pocket_rocket May 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    another unexpected rocket win. in game 7 it is any ones game, i expect the lakers to win. I would not discount that Houston has a shot at this. you have to love the Houston Rockets they just keep on playing and stun people

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  598. Today on this blog I have been hearing about the virtues of not calling quick timeouts and not making quick changes because this is how John Wooden did it. Some of you have also suggested that its OK not to make adjustments in game because most of this can be done in practice like Wooden did it. It has been said that Phil trust his players to figure things out on their own and that somehow they will learn more basketball this way.

    However, I wonder if you all noticed that tonight Phil Jackson did call some early time-outs (although not early enough for my taste) to make adjustments (although not the kind of adjustment that a defensive coach would make). He did this because if he didn’t, Houston would have won by 30 instead of 15. And he did shorten his rotation (quick hook for sasha and no time for Powel).

    My point is that it has taken until game 6 of the second round of the play-off for Phil to finally coach as though a game was truly important (“Coach with some urgency”).

    I bet that he doesn’t hesitate to call a time out in early in the first quarter of game 7.

    I bet he will shorten his rotations even further in game 7.

    I bet he will make all adjustment in a timely manner in game 7.

    I know Phil is a great coach, but this team needs him to do his part in every playoff games and not just in practice.

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  599. It wasn’t as bad as it seemed. We were a few 50-50 calls and a few shots from pulling out a win. The Rockets were making tough shots and the inconsistent playcalling was giving us a hard time. But I’m happy with the fact that we didn’t just quit after the initial burst. We still played with effort on D and rotated fairly well for the most part. On most nights, had our offense been its usual self, we would’ve pulld it out. Nevertheless, I agree with Zephid that Gasol made a lot a mistakes on D. He made Scola look like Gasol tonight.

    It’s always unfair to question coaching decisions in retrospect, but to think it was such a close game an early time out may have helped, or pulling Fish. How about we try KB-Walton-Ariza-Odom-Pau since SB/Farmar/Fish/Vujacic are so inconsistent?

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  600. Per Don, people are acting like it’s Game 4 and we got blown out. We made a game of it, and it was our offense that let us down for the large part, and I’m not that worried about that being a concern in the long run.

    What surprised me the most was Phil’s yanking of Sasha. I think his minutes are all but done. Phil doesn’t pull players like that unless he’s really fed up with them. There’s no “matchup” issue to bring him out of captivity like with Farmar and Brooks in this series, and I think Phil nukes his minutes in favor of Brown.

    Also, people need to remember that this team (as Morey admits) was basically constructed to beat us. Undersized, energetic big men, speedy point guards, great wing defenders; this has bad matchup for us written all over it. If we get through this hurdle, no other team remaining in the playoffs poses the same obstacle.

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  601. An actual quote (I’m not making this up) from Artest postgame:

    “Five dollar footlong is one of the best songs,” Artest said. “That’s a hot song. You’ve got the freecreditreport.com, and then five dollar footlong comes on. When five dollar footlong comes on, they should play that in the club. They should play all those in the club.”

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  602. Why is no one talking about this?

    is anyone else worried about Kobe having five techs? The one he got today was ridiculous but 2 more and there is a suspension…he IS going to get two more in two more rounds

    Again, why is no one talking about this?

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  603. bhzad-

    All we can do is hope the 7th technical foul comes before a road game, if it comes.

    Didn’t the yak attack at court-side mention that the League might take a look at that one and discount it from the count if they found it wanting of reason?

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  604. There are a lot of things about basketball I don’t understand. At the level of understanding my mind resides I feel a deep disappointment in the team. I can’t understand why they look so ill prepared. It’s as if they haven’t had a whole season to figure out some basic execution on either side of the ball. Houston is consistently making the Lakers look like they did playing the Bobcats. Even Kobe was missing shots that he normally makes. Pau needs to decide he wants this. If he does then the team will follow.

    Look, they might look good winning in game 7 and then find that a Denver matchup is better for them then this Houston one turned out to be.

    If Houston wins on Sunday then I suggest they lose Artest while beating Denver and then Scola during their series with Cleveland, winning game 7 of the Finals after Brooks goes out with a minor injury.

    Aaron, in a sandlot you’d get punched in the mouth for being such a ass.

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  605. I wonder why 630++ comments never appear on this site when the Lakers are winning. People have less to say when we’re winning?

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  606. my bad, 610 comments so far, mine was the 611th and 612th 😛

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  607. lei,

    It’s Laker Nation. If everything is going well, there’s no need to comment, as it’s expected. If something is going wrong, someone’s head needs to roll.

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  608. This year, I am disappointed that our bench has not made a step forward towards progress, but rather has deteriorated into an unsure bunch out there. Last year’s disappointment was supposed to be a lesson for the young players, and to everyone in general, but like Kurt mentioned, this team lacks the killer instinct and the defense to even come close to taking a sniff at the Larry O’Brien trophy.
    No, we are not last year’s Celtics, because primarily CLE is better at home this year than BOS was last year. It’s just too scary, although we did beat them on their home floor.

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  609. When all is said and done, I can’t believe the Lakers have been extended to seven games by a Rockets team missing both their #1 and #2 centers!

    Argh!!

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  610. J Sparks – Speak up, I can’t hear you.

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  611. Okay, no Lakers fan likes it when they lose. But there are some simple truths involved here.

    1. The Rockets are good.
    2. The Rockets are a match up nightmare for the Lakers. Which makes the Rockets very good.

    Are there things the Lakers should and could be executing better? You bet your bippy. But let’s not act like the Phil and the Lakers are just big ol’ dumb stupid heads who can’t see what we can see. Guess what? It’s the freaking playoffs. These teams have no secrets left from each other. There is no magical rotation that will make the Rockets not-tough. Just as there is no perfectly timed timeout which will make the Lakers invincible. These teams are toe-to-toe and on any night one of them is liable to deliver the knockout blow. I know we expected things to be different but that was based on faulty data. The Lakers had not played this incarnation of the Rockets (not really) during the regular season. We, and the pundits, did not know. Now we do. Get over it and get ready for Sunday. It’s probably going to be one hell of game.

    (And not to jump ahead, but if the Lakers move on as I expect them to: Can the Dr. Doooom crowd stop with all the Nuggets junk? Yes, Melo’s found his stroke in the 2nd half of the season. But Denver is not the match up nightmare that Houston is. That’s not me saying Lakers in 4. It’ll be a series. But I think some of the folks around here will be surprised how much better the Lakers will look next round.)

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  612. Rob L. do you think Andrew Bynum will dominate the Nuggets front court? He has a history of doing so.

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  613. J Sparks,

    Yeah, a team with a so-so wing defender in Dahntay Jones and one that is primarily an offensive team is going to give us more trouble than Houston.

    ‘Melo has found his stroke, but has largely performed poorly against the Lakers. Billups isn’t the speedy point guard type that gives us trouble, meaning Fisher can be less of a liability on defense. Nene has fallen off significantly lately and can’t guard Bynum or Gasol and Martin is going to have his hands full guarding Gasol, who has a much better post game than West or Nowitzki.

    Oh, and Denver’s primary wing defender is Dahntay Jones…who isn’t even close to Battier’s or Artest’s caliber. Plus their backup wing player is…J.R. Smith, who is an awful defender. All this meaning that Kobe is going to tear Denver apart.

    Granted, as Rob indicates, it’s not going to be a cakewalk, but it will be quite a noticeable change should we get out of this round.

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  614. I think we were given secret orders by Buss to have one more game at home so that we can get more revenue and re-sign Odom and Ariza next season. It’s gotta help, right?

    Honestly tho, this game confirmed something for me, and now I think I can really truly accept the team.

    With no offense to our female readership here, this team is ‘girly.’

    And girly in a way a girl is when she just knows she’s the hottest thing around, ever, by a big margin and sometimes wants other guys to just capitulate, throws temper tantrums and fits, flirts naturally, and… sometimes meets people who just aren’t dazzled by her and forgets what it’s like to fight to win their hearts.

    Oops, went too far.

    I just want the team to do one thing, and one thing only: attack the paint. They have literally no BODY out there if we attack from the start. Their entire lineup will be in foul trouble, and I can really logically foresee a situation where EVERYONE on their vertically challenged (but with gigantic, oversized hearts) roster is straddled with 5 each.

    To paraphrase Marakazi: Time to play true villain, not a villain in a hollywood movie where you just let the good(and weaker) guy get the best of you.

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  615. Well, #618 summed up my thoughts pretty nicely.

    Just because the Rockets are filled with no-names doesn’t mean they don’t have talent. They’re consistently 50+ win team despite missing their stars every season. They play a brand of bball that has always given the Lakers fits(see Boston last finals).

    At some point, you got to give some credit to the opponent.

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  616. I’ve been a Laker fan for the longest time, and given this lackluster performance so far in the playoffs, I don’t think that this Laker team has what it takes to win the ‘chip. The last team to have a real chance would have been the ’03- ’04 team and they would have won if not for Mailman’s injury. They can win once they perform consistently (see game 5), but a hungry LeBron would be a very dangerous opponent.

    Keeping Andrew Bynum was one of the best decisions in franchise history, but Drew needs to step it up. He’s a 7-footer who’s playing soft probably due to his phobia with having another injury. Lamar is hurt and the Lakers need him to produce and be tough inside especially with Yao out. To quote one of the articles I’ve read, Bynum needs to turn into a mothaf***a.

    Lakers will win game 7, and probably advance to the finals via a 6-game win vs. DEN, but interior defense and toughness will be key to beating the Cavs especially with LeBron just waiting to dunk on anybody inside.

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  617. 607

    RonRon is on it. That Subway 5 dollar footlong song is fire!

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  618. Haven’t seen the thread but I had to mention my frustration with Phil. Bynum was finally providing the Laker defense with an interior anchor and the Lakers subsequently were able to play solid 3rd quarter defense, getting more steals, defensive boards/stops and run-outs than any other quarter. Why go to an ineffective LO the whole 4th quarter? LO got torched by Landry (and Scola) ALL game long, and was a non-factor on offense.

    Also-sad to see D-Fish’s swan song go like this, each time he shoots I still feel its gonna drop so maybe I’m insane.

    Pau- Glad you noticed you could score from the block, even when they bring a soft double.

    We will blow them out in game 7, but if we play a team with a front-line similar to the Nuggs (i.e. the Cavs, or even Boston) we will struggle because with LO and Pau as our defensive and offensive anchors we get rooted out on our end and don’t challenge shots at the other. Bynum is the one guy everyone wanted to make a difference, well now is the time to see if he can do that.

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  619. Frustrating loss, though I expect the Lakers to win game 7. LO couldn’t guard Landry or Scola last night (to be fair no one has been able to guard Landry this whole series). I don’t know if its his back or what but he was ineffective last night. I agree with Kwame a. Bynum was being effective. He was getting rebounds (though there were a few times where he didn’t block out and the rockets got a offensive rebound but everyone was guilty of that), challenging shots and creating fast break opportunities. Why take him out? I also thought Kobe sat out to long, but the offense stalled once he came back in so…

    Off topic but with the draft lottery coming up on tuesday I looked at some mock drafts and some drafts have Jrue Holiday falling all the way to the Lakers. I thought he was going to be a lottery pick, have his workouts been bad?

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  620. Kurt your piece in the Daily dime was really well written as usual. You’re like the calming force that puts everything in perspective.

    Please tell me you punch your walls every now and then, then take deep breaths before writing. I just want to know you’re human.

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  621. Yeesh! This thread was a headache to read.

    The Lakers seem to be frustrating a lot of people (me included.)

    BUT

    I will not call for the heads of Phil and Fish as many have, nor will I say the team as presently constituted can never win a championship as some have insinuated.

    The Lakers certainly have their problems, but that is no excuse for “the train is going off the tracks and will destroy everything I hold dear” mentality that many have adopted.

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  622. 626. Thanks. I think having children has mellowed me, you simply can’t get mad at every little thing and not enjoy the special moments. You have to take in the whole picture.

    But on the court (whether it is volleyball, basketball, anything but golf) I am very competitive, and can be to the point of being obnoxious. I try to tone that side down, but I don’t like losing. And I have punched walls, thrown clipboards and delivered my share of cheep shots.

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  623. Game 6 reminded me much more of Game 1 than the blowout in Game 4. Forget the big lead or the lackluster start. By the 3rd quarter we were right back in this game and we just couldn’t get over that hump – like Game 1. We didn’t get the stops we needed as Houston made some tough shots (Landry’s spinning shot right into Odom’s contest, Brooks’ layup when Pau challenged him and the ball just seemed to slip out of his hands and into the hoop, Ron’s jumper at the top where Pau closed hard and damn near high fived him – I could go on and on) and then we made too many mistakes in that same period.

    Also, I know that many were upset when Kobe sat for so long in the 4th quarter. I think some of that was circumstance as he was sitting at the scorers table for almost two minutes before a dead ball allowed him to sub in. But I should say that I was happy that Kobe got his usual rest to start that quarter. I say that because when Houston made their push and extended their lead back to 9 to end the 3rd, Kobe made some bad mistakes that made me think he was tired. He made that bad bounce pass attempt that Battier stole, he didn’t run back hard and then didn’t mark Landry who got that reverse layup and one, he didn’t put a body on Scola after he made Andrew rotate to the corner because he didn’t want to run out there himself (two mistakes on one play), and then he didn’t box out Battier who got an O-reb and then got a layup. All those mistakes add up to 7 points (or 6 if Landry missed the FT – I can’t remember) and that was the difference between a two point game and a nine point game. So, like I said, I’m glad Phil sat him.

    In the next game, I’m with Kwame. Andrew will be a major key. Phil is having trust issues with him right now, so Drew needs to make Phil keep him on the court for longer stretches. He needs to be that presence in the paint that frees up Pau to play more freely. Because when we ask Pau to anchor us on offense and defense it’s a tough deal for him. Haye’s is just muscling him all game (which does wear you down), their guards are really penetrating and making our bigs help, and their bigs are really hitting the glass hard. We need Drew to take some of that responsibility off of Pau’s shoulders. I mean, when was the last time we saw Pau not have to grab a rebound, enabling him to sprint down court and try to get good post position? We need to see more of that.

    As for Fish, he’s in a dreadful place right now. I understand his limitations. But seeing him struggle with his shot like this – missing even the wide open looks – is a tough sight. Not because of how I’ve supported him and that I want to be right, but because we need those shots to fall as a team (I couldn’t care less about being right or wrong btw. I support our guys because I want them to do well. It’s the same reason why I don’t revel in their failures when I say they shouldn’t play or point out that they should be playing better). With Sasha in a *so frustrated he looks like he’s going to cry when he misses* mode right now and Ariza/Brown/Farmar not as consistent (historically) as shooters that enable good spacing, we really need a few shots to go down from Fish. Anyways, I’m both excited and anxious about game 7. As a team the Lakers have not won a win or go home game in a while (Boston, Phoenix twice, Detroit) and I want to see how we perform. If we win, I think it can be a springboard for more success – not in a turned the corner mentally way, but in a we’re more battle hardened kind of way. So, Sunday can’t come quick enough for me.

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  624. RIP Wayman Tisdale. Wherever he is, the Jazz band just got a little better.

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  625. 628. Phew i feel better now 🙂 You are indeed human.

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  626. Regarding the “venting”:

    I don’t think it’s panic and I don’t think any one of us is giving up on the team. Yeah, we were all upset and angry, and there was a lot of disgust all around, as evidenced by the comments that are still around.

    I think it was more shock than anything else. We did not expect this to happen. We didn’t just want our team to win and we didn’t just expect them to win. We knew they were going to win. We knew that the Rockets would put up a fight but that they could win never entered our minds. We did not see this coming.

    I don’t think that all of us commenters here have given up on our team, or have adopted a “OMG all is lost and the Lakers are a bunch of hopeless losers!”-mentality. I know there are some who have. I have read a lot of columns from writers who have given up on the Lakers this morning. Non-fans, who saw yesterday’s game as proof that our team is complacent and arrogant, who throw around terms like “soft” and “mentally weak”, and it would bother me if I didn’t know that for all their faults and for all the flaws that my Lakers have, they take that sort of thing personally.

    Yes, the Rockets came out and sucker-punched us in the gut with the way they opened that first quarter. We fell, we never quite got back up, and we lost round 6. I was a sobering and unpleasant experience, a complete surprise that once again exposed several of our weaknesses on the floor. We have difficulties with quick pointguards, and we have no one who can fill in when Pau is as completely off as he was last night. Our perimeter shooting was not good. Kobe makes mistakes on defense, and Bynum still doesn’t trust his knee fully and is probably afraid of injuring it again so he doesn’t play 100%. Plus, it’s not fully healed yet, let’s not forget that.

    So yes, we were all disgusted and I think we were in a bit of shock yesterday, but I still believe that we will win this series and move on to Denver. And I think Denver will be very unpleasantly surprised and have much more of a fight on their hands than the “experts” think.

    Oh, and harold, bad analogy. 😉 Aside from the fact that a comparison to an irresistible Casanova suddenly having to put in effort to get a date would have worked just as well, comparing the playoffs to flirting is exactly the kind of nonchalance that everyone (a lot of us here as well) equates with our team.

    My favorite analogy is a legendary UFC champion–insert your favorite’s name here–facing a complete rookie, who knows exactly who the legend is, what he has done, and what he can do, and who genuinely believes he can beat him. The legendary champion is still going to win, but only if he is willing and able to fight for every point, every step of the way.

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  627. 631. When all the guys from the TrueHoop network first started emailing the group, one of the guys there compared me to “Seven of Nine” from Star Trek. Logical but, um, well rounded. Humanoid but not quite human.

    I wasn’t sure how to take that.

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  628. People should stop listening to commentators saying this was going to be a cakewalk after Yao got hurt. The Rockets with Yao don’t match up that well against us because we have long and conditioned guys that force Yao to work hard on both ends. By the 4th quarter Yao is dead tired and unable to contribute. Without Yao they match up much, much better especially since Gasol or Odom can’t make Houston pay for going small. Also Houston has a guy (Brooks) that we can’t guard on the defensive end and a guy (Battier) that guards Kobe better then any player in the league.

    People shouldn’t blow this out of proportion this current Houston squad is a match-up nightmare for the Lakers. If they get past the Rockets I think the Nuggets will be favored against the Lakers, but I think people will be shocked on how much better we match up against the Nuggets.

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  629. On my way into work this morning, I was listening to 710 AM – don’t know the guy’s name, I’m usually a dp guy in the morning – and the host brought a somewhat interesting point – but not the way he described it. He was trying to say that the combination of Pau/LO/Bynum creates a lack of toughness. You saw Kobe getting in Pau’s face during the game, and talking to others. But no outward response from those guys. I think the toughness argument is utter bs – LO played with one arm a couple years ago, Pau gets beat up a lot and doesn’t shy away from contact, and Bynum…he’s just a kid, give him a break! But I do think that sometimes there are too many quiet but intense guys out there (can’t forget Ariza) and that does set a tone amongst the team. I’m not asking to throw chairs, (or a shoulder into Scola’s chest, but Scola skirts the line in my opinion) but sometimes you need a catalyst to increase the intensity. I thought kobe was trying to do that – although that’s never been his strongest point. So because outward intensity is almost aloof, It somewhat ties in to kurt’s initial post – you just don’t know who is going to show up and how.

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