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.

—————————————————————————-

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.


Kurt

Posts

634 responses to Lakers/Rockets Game 6 Chat

  1. Now that was a tough shot.

    0
  2. I hate the shots Sasha takes.

    0
  3. If Houston keeps hitting those shots, when they’re that well contested, my hat’ll be off to them.

    0
  4. Sasha just doesn’t have it. He’s a spot up shooter, not an off the dribble shooter. Quick hook from PJ.

    0
  5. 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
  6. TAKE OUT SASHA!

    0
  7. Pau’s left hook is absolutely gorgeous.

    And Lamar is awesome.

    0
  8. PLEASE stop jacking up 3s!

    0
  9. Great sequence. Keep it up and we have ourselves a fun game.

    0
  10. 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…

    0
  11. Gasol is not a tough player but he’s really battling right now

    0
  12. kobe get back in the game…

    0
  13. Who else cheered when our 6th man Ron Artest came back in?

    0
  14. Lakers can’t hit a shot from more than 10 feet. Very frustrating. Playing good offense, but not finishing.

    0
  15. We really need artest, cook and wafer to play … for us 🙂

    0
  16. 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
  17. I like the short leash for Vujacic. Take him out if he is taking bad shots (that should go for Fish too).

    0
  18. Lakers shouldn’t attempt a shot from more than 10 feet. Not with these match ups.

    0
  19. 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

    0
  20. 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

    0
  21. 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.

    0
  22. We are getting wide open looks. We are just missing them.

    0
  23. 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!

    0
  24. 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

    0
  25. 1) Step up the defensive pressure

    2) Work inside-outside offense with Gasol

    0
  26. It’s obvious that Farmar and Brown our the best options for us at the point. Hell play them both with Kobe.

    0
  27. 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…

    0
  28. Stern: “I won’t do anything to please Jeff Van Gundy…”

    Thank God.

    0
  29. why is kobe not in geez – this is the point in the game they need to push and put pressure on the rockets

    0
  30. 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.

    0
  31. luke playing with 0 confidence

    0
  32. 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
  33. Here comes Kobe!

    0
  34. man, houston is giving us the window! GO ENTER IT!

    0
  35. Why is Kobe still sitting?

    0
  36. I’ll be back in 5 minutes….hopefully we’ll be up by then!

    0
  37. Our sixth man just killed us.

    WHERE IS KOBE

    0
  38. WTF why does he not play the whole 4th quarter? WHAT ARE WE SAVING HIM 4

    0
  39. Please get deep into the post.

    Please stop taking the long shots.

    Is Kobe hurt?

    Why is he not in the game?

    0
  40. Our best lineup!

    0
  41. We need a defensive sequence right about now…

    0
  42. he is in, he just jacked up a shot.

    0
  43. Phil needs to bring Bynum back in

    0
  44. i feel kobe is going to shoot everything now

    0
  45. We’re not giving you this game, you’re going to have to take it!

    0
  46. If that’s what it takes to get Kobe in…

    0
  47. 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
  48. we need one and-one and one stop. That’s all it takes.

    0
  49. phil left kobe out to long we had a couple of oppurtunities to make it 5 we needed kobe

    0
  50. Need some stops and need to hold the Rockets to one position.

    0
  51. I want to see us attack the darn basket.

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

    0
  52. The Dude Abides May 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

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

    0
  53. It was a kick, no call.

    0
  54. It looked like a kicked ball to me.

    0
  55. I get the frustration, but the venting here is not going to get out of control.

    0
  56. Farmar has been the victim of a few horrible calls tonight. That was certainly a kicked ball.

    0
  57. 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.

    0
  58. Games like this tend to force Kobe 3s…

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

    0
  59. 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.

    0
  60. Can we please get a rebound? How is Landry doing it all?

    0
  61. Landry. Damn–he just wants it more than our entire team.

    0
  62. ok. That was an awesome Nike commerical!

    0
  63. 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…

    0
  64. Looks like there will be a game 7. Frustrating.

    0
  65. That puppet looks nothing like Kobe. At least LeBron’s looks like him.

    0
  66. Disaster recipe unfolding.

    Please. Do prove me wrong. Please.

    0
  67. #460 Harold, there we go. It’s started…..

    0
  68. Harold called it.

    0
  69. Aaron Brocks is the truth!!!!

    0
  70. Can 4 minutes of Laker effort equal a + 11 point run?

    0
  71. Why can’t they play Game 7 on Saturday??? I’ll be home then and can actually watch it. DAMN!

    0
  72. LAKERS LOSS + KOBE at 5 technicals this is tooo painful – why do i torture myself

    0
  73. No killer instinct whatsoever.

    0
  74. nope…games over. they better be ready for game 7

    0
  75. Our rotations have been suspect all night. UGGHH. Crowd Brooks and turn him over!

    0
  76. The Rockets ran the same play 4 times down the stretch. Lakers need to adjust.

    0
  77. We need a miracle now.

    0
  78. 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.

    0
  79. 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.

    0
  80. 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.

    0
  81. This is disgusting. How on Earth did this happen?

    0
  82. 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

    0
  83. 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.

    0
  84. Down by 14 and looking to lose a game…

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a full court press

    0
  85. are this year Lakers the last year Boston?? sounds very similar except the defense.

    0
  86. One thing can be said. Kobe is not giving up

    0
  87. 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.

    0
  88. “I wouldn’t mind seeing a full court press”

    Effort? You gotta be kidding me.

    0
  89. 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?

    0
  90. G7! frustrating time to be a Laker fan

    0
  91. Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!!!

    0
  92. @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

    0
  93. It’s hard to tell how good Aaron Brooks is because everyone looks like Tony Parker against the Lakers

    0
  94. i really hope phil starts farmar instead of fisher in game 7

    0
  95. i think the only moment in this game i truly enjoyed was phil benching vujacic.

    0
  96. Disgusting

    0
  97. Landry takes it right from Gasol. Yeah that sums it up.

    0
  98. That last rebound summed up the difference between the two teams. Landry just took it away from Pau like he was a child.

    0
  99. 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”.

    0
  100. 497, well said – dead on!

    0
  101. 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.

    0
  102. 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…

    0
  103. 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!

    0
  104. “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??

    0
  105. “I’m done picking the Lakers this year.”

    We care a whole lot what you think Mark Jackson.

    0
  106. 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.

    0
  107. I know who is going to score a ton of points next game. Whoever Odom’s guarding.

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

    0
  109. 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

    0
  110. 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.

    0
  111. 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

    0
  112. 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.

    0
  113. 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.

    0
  114. 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.

    0
  115. Walton can get some burn if he had any confidence. It’s like he is frozen out there.

    0
  116. 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.

    0
  117. Maybe it’s time to admit our fears? This Laker team isn’t as good as we thought?

    0
  118. This team is never going to learn…so frustrating to watch each game

    0
  119. 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?

    0
  120. 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.

    0
  121. 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.

    0
  122. 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.

    0
  123. 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.

    0
  124. 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.

    0
  125. ironic that boston/LA have game 7’s on sunday?!

    i can imagine the marketing.

    0
  126. 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.

    0
  127. 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.

    0
  128. oh yeah and fisher needs to be put on ice

    0
  129. 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

    0
  130. 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….

    0
  131. 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.

    0
  132. 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.

    0
  133. Meh… I don’t fear Denver. Need to get there first.

    0
  134. 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.

    0
  135. 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.

    0
  136. 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…

    0
  137. 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.

    0
  138. 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.

    0
  139. Great, a fun and exciting game 7 comming up for all of us fans.

    0
  140. 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??

    0
  141. 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.

    0
  142. Why was my comment of “this team does not deserve to win a championship” removed?

    0
  143. 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.

    0
  144. this is a moderated chat, these things happen.

    0
  145. 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.

    0
  146. I’m predicting it right now. Lakers by 41 in Game 7.

    0
  147. 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.

    0
  148. Can you imagine if the script was switched? The Rockets playing with T-Mac and Yao, and the Lakers playing without Kobe and Gasol.

    0
  149. 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?

    0
  150. 539, that scenario, rockets in 4 or 5

    0
  151. 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

    0
  152. Can we all agree that Denver will be favored in the next series – whether it’s the Lakers or Rockets?

    0
  153. 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.

    0
  154. Crazyfan, its hard to argue against that.

    0
  155. 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..

    0
  156. 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.

    0
  157. 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.

    0
  158. 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.

    0
  159. 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.

    0
  160. 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?

    0
  161. 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!

    0
  162. 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

    0
  163. The Lakers will struggle with the Nuggets in the next round.

    0
  164. 556-

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

    0
  165. 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.

    0
  166. 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?

    0
  167. 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!

    0
  168. Kennys mith- Just to let you know, Im not a Laker fan. Just in here as a bball fan.

    0
  169. 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.

    0
  170. as an addendum i still think they will win game 7 – but a tight game will make me really nervous

    0
  171. 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.

    0
  172. I wish I could be as confident about Game 7 as comment #1 was about tonight’s game.

    0
  173. 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…

    0
  174. 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…..

    0
  175. 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…

    0
  176. Lol, Kobe’s on the podium now….not concerned about game 7 at all!!!

    0
  177. #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!

    0
  178. I have more faith that my Citigroup shares will make a comeback.

    0
  179. Sorry – meant 577

    0
  180. 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.

    0
  181. 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.

    0
  182. 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)

    0
  183. i was referring to 582

    0
  184. 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.

    0
  185. 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?

    0
  186. 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!

    0
  187. 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.

    0
  188. and roflcopter on mr 584

    0
  189. What was the line on the game tonight?
    Lakers -3 or 4?
    Could have made a killing..

    0
  190. 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

    0
  191. 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.

    0
  192. 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.

    0
  193. 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!

    0
  194. 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.

    0
  195. 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

    0
  196. 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.

    0
  197. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF740MqYbOs

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

    0
  198. I PREDICT THE LAKERS BEAT HOU IN GAME 7. MOVE ON TO THE WCF, BUT GET BEAT IN 6 GAMES BY DEN.

    0
  199. 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.

    0