Lakers/Nuggets Game 3 Chat

Kurt —  May 23, 2009

Lakers Nuggets game 2 Western Conference Finals
The Lakers do not need to win today, they need to come back to Los Angeles 2-2. If they lose today but win the Monday Night RAW game, they will still be in a good spot to win the series. But if they are going to win either game, one thing needs to happen:

The Lakers need to control the paint. That is the line of scrimmage in football, the inside half of the plate in baseball — it is where games are won. Why Lakers fans are frustrated is that we had expectations of controlling the paint from the first day of camp. Bill Bridges explains.

In training camp we had visions of possibly the tallest front line in NBA history with Bynum, Gasol, and Odom.

I think Phil tried this in camp and possibly in one pre-season game. Then somehow he made the decision that he would not play the three together at all for the rest of the season! I submit that this was a huge mistake.

We are paying for this now. When Melo subbed himself in for Carter, the game changed. Ariza had to cover Kleiza and Kobe, Melo.

Had PJ had some trust (and experience) in the Bynum, Gasol, Odom front-line, the Lakers could have countered with this line plus Kobe and Ariza. The Lakers would be the ones posing mismatches instead of the other way.

Phil has been on the coaching back-foot this entire playoffs. He has been the one reacting to the other coach instead of letting the Lakers impose its will by exploiting obvious advantages.

The reality we all see (check out this breakdown from Don W.) is that Brown/Farmar are outplaying Fisher. That Bynum has some lapses but more good things than bad tend to happen when he is on the floor. Nobody is being consistent, but some of Jackson’s less trusted players are playing better. Craig W. said it well:

Phil’s philosophy is to ride things out, rather than to take situations out of the player’s hands. To do that he has to trust the player, therefore, before Phil will allow a player to get many minutes he must be able to trust that player to work things out in a reasonable amount of time.

The problem is that that ‘reasonable amount of time’ is compressed during the playoffs.

Phil is now at a decision point – according to us fans – where he has to put his imprint on the game and he has to do it with players who haven’t completely earned his trust. Can he do this? Can Phil change at this late point in his career? Should he?

There are other things we need to see. As Holinger pointed out — if Bynum is sitting (and often even when he is not) and Nene is on Gasol, running the high pick and roll with Kobe/Gasol is not as effective because Nene hedges so well on that play. A Kobe iso is more effective, spread the other guys along the baseline. That’s in the playbook, we used to do it all the time

But the Lakers need to get away from the pick and roll, away from the isolation and get shots through off the ball movement, through cutting, through good passing, Those are the ways the Lakers score efficiently on the Nuggets.

If we want someone other than Fisher to play, then someone has to hit the shots and make the plays. We call for Shannon Brown but he was 3 of 8 from the floor in game two. Jordan Farmar took one shot. Sasha is ice cold. Someone please grab control of that job and take it.

Also, the Lakers are going to have to play through the physical contact. In Denver, Lakers going to the rim are going to be pushed around and fouled, they cannot stop and look at the official hoping for a call. Finish. Control what you can control.


Really, is there a better way to preview a game than Haiku? No. Not one. Bill Bridges started it, here are his and some others from the comments

Bill Bridges

Against these Nuggets
The key is controlling the lane
Play Andrew Bynum

The most puzzling phrase:
“Kenneth what’s the frequency”
Then “And the proble”

Lil’ Pau

Fish? Hooked. Machine? Broke.
Just Kobe, Pau, Trev., ShanWow
Where’s Lamar? Crickets.


Brick… brick… airball… brick…
Drive to rim, pray for bailout
Fish, swimming upstream


Airball from Sasha
Furious, I smash TV
Two machines, both dead.


Two words.
Selfish. Offense.
That is why we lost.



501 responses to Lakers/Nuggets Game 3 Chat

  1. I’m going to add something here:

    We as fans (to borrow a phrase from Clipperblog’s Kevin A.) tend to manage our expectations of the team through our coach. It happens in all sports. We blame/credit the coach for things that fall on the players. We blame/credit the coach for where the franchise is in relation to our expectations.

    This is not to absolve Jackson of all coaching mistakes. It is to say, and I may do this again in another post, that part of the frustration we are taking out on Jackson is because we are pissed at the players. I am sure Jackson and crew are not telling the guards to rush their post entry passes and be sure not to fake a pass to make a pass. The players are not executing the game plan either.

  2. And here I was thinking we were done with those pesky Rockets.

  3. 2. Thanks, fixed. I think that error was Freudian.

  4. totally agree about the lamar, pau, andrew front line. I remember having a back and forth about it with darius or reed on these here message boards. fellas, correct me if I’m wrong, but your point was to make sure there’s adequate spacing in the post, and if those guys are in the game at the same time, there just isn’t. And I felt that I wanted to be able to provide a lineup with our best FIVE players in crunch time situations. Now, I think the point about lamar defending melo is more crucial than anything else. I think luke is smart enough to know how to keep melo off the offensive glass, but lamar has the best chance of really disrupting his overall game

  5. From the LA Times:
    “Bynum never returned after being yanked from Game 2 of the Western Conference finals with 7:14 left in the third quarter Thursday night.

    It had nothing to do with foul trouble. He had only one. And he had no turnovers in the Lakers’ 106-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

    Jackson didn’t like that Bynum failed to hustle downcourt after not getting a pass in the post on a Lakers possession. Denver center Nene, left unguarded at the other end, made a layup and was fouled by Kobe Bryant for a potential three-point play (he missed the free throw).”

    So it looks like Jackson is using Drew’s PT as a club to teach him a lesson. He seems to do the same thing with Jordan Farmar. I understand why he does that with Farmar. Farmar isn’t that crucial to the team and we have two other people who can play that position. But on this Phil is pulling Drew and forcing Pau to pay 44 minutes, including the entire 2nd half. Those extended minutes without rest had to play a factor in his missed free throws.

  6. Although intrigued with an Odom/Pau/Bynum frontline in pre-season I ultimately came down on the need for an outside shooter to spread the defense so that Pau/Bynum could operate more freely.

    However, given the fact that we don’t have any consistent outside shooting at the moment playing the 3 bigs together may very well be worth trying.

  7. SBC you make a good point, it’s not like we’re lighting it up from outside. But I worry, in general, about such drastic shifts in strategy this late in the game.

    That said, it’s not as if we have concrete rotations which have solidified to this point — so maybe, why not? Of course Phil won’t try it anyway, is my guess.

  8. Kurt, a few of SB’s misses came off late shot clock desperation drives/ jumpers. Fish too. SB was more like 3-5 and Fish 1-6.

    Loved the Haikus.

  9. I think if I were Phil Jackson, I would:

    1) Ask Bryant and Gasol to skip the Olympics and rest after a long campaign last season;

    1b) Instead, have Bryant get some medical work done on his left pinky so his left ring finger doesn’t start falling off and effect his ball-handling at critical times;

    2) Ask Bynum to get hurt earlier in the year, so he has more time to work his way back into the team;

    3) Make sure that black market instant-aging potion goes to Bynum and Farmar as planned instead of Fisher.

    In other words, I think a lot of the things we would like PJ to do are beyond his control.

  10. The key for this game will be the mental fortitude of our role players. You know Kobe will bring it. Pau will be effective. Lamar and Fisher won’t be too fazed. However, how will Ariza, Bynum, Farmar, Brown, and Sasha handle the maniacal crowd that is Denver. Our role players played terribly in HOU, and we can’t let that happen today even if Denver goes up by double digits early on. When the lead gets to 20, most likely our role players will get demoralized and possibly quit. We can’t let that happen. Denver will play better and hit their shots. The key is to execute better on offensive end, and keep Melo off the offensive board. We can’t let him get too many easy points from that and transition. If the bigs establish position in the box, we can win this game.

  11. I just want to point out that Shannon Brown’s 3-8 for a very fixable reason: he got out of his element a few times and tried to scored one on one. That’s not his game. As a spot up shooter within the offense he has been our most reliable one.

    Fisher and Sasha, on the other hand, are just 20% shooters no matter what those shots are.

  12. Btw, I do wonder why it’s always the other team’s players who drive hard then get bumped to get the foul call. We saw so many of them do it. No one on the Lakers other than Kobe and Ariza are doing that. When we drive we try to evade contact.

    Maybe I am mis-coached, but when I played in high school and college I was always taught to “seek contact,” not avoid it. Take it strong to their bodies, that’s what the coaches always told us.

  13. Jesse,
    While I don’t quite recall our specific back and forth, I don’t doubt that I made that point. However, I will say that I waffled an awful lot on what to do with LO before the season started. I thought he could be a primary ball handler (ala Walton on the 2nd unit) from the SF position and that his chemistry with Gasol could make the weakside of our offense deadly to the opposition. However, I do see the issue with LO being a full-time SF as he would often be relegated to roaming around the perimeter and not utilizing his strengths as a guy that can go inside and penetrate from the wing (especially when matched up with PF’s).

    I do, however, see Bill Bridges point and I agree that it would be nice for us to have other options with our front line right now. Especially when you consider that we no longer have Rad and we essentially either have Ariza/Luke/Kobe but no other options if those guys don’t have favorable defensive matchups (like we’re seeing right now with Melo). At this point, though, I don’t know what the solution is other than for our Bigs to get more chances to be productive and for our *shooters* to start acting like they are actually shooters.

  14. Phil Jackson, AKA P.J. May 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    All right, guys, you got me. The truth is that I’ve been secretly putting the team with its back against the wall so that they can be better prepared for the finals, unlike last year. You guys are seeing it yourselves. This team is not ready for clutch situations, other than Kobe. That’s why I let the team go to 7 games against Houston. Now, this may not be the best way for them to learn, but it’s better than cakewalking to the finals without growing more than we did last year. I mean, look at the Cavs, for god’s sake. If it weren’t for Lebron’s game winner they’d be toast right about now. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.

  15. Great job on the haikus. lil pau’s cracked me up, I think those pretty accurately express the frustration of a Lakers fan with the supporting cast right now.

    If what someone reported was true (Bynum and Phil not speaking), that’s not a great omen for a team. Normally I’d be upset with Drew, but I think he’s been picking up his game (especially defensively, I loved his activity in the first half last night) and Phil’s been maddening with his rotation patterns. I can understand Bynum’s frustration, but I don’t the silent treatment won’t get him anywhere.

    Should be a fun game tonight, let’s see what happens.

  16. Even when Shannon isn’t shooting well, he does other things, like tip the ball to allow for offensive rebounds or contest shots more aggressively. He still has trouble keeping Billups out of the lane, but so have all the other Lakers. That’s not going to change without a changes to the overall defensive strategy.

    I can understand Fisher being out there if he’s making shots and playing smart. But he hasn’t been making sound decisions lately. I’ve cringed the entire season every time he drive into the lane. It never seems like he’s actually trying to make the shot. Rather, it’s like he just flips it up there hoping to get bailed out by the refs.

    If he’s playing like that, I’d rather have Shannon out there because he makes hustle plays and is the only one other than Kobe who appears consistently capable of creating his own shot from the perimeter, which is increasingly important if they keep standing around on offense. Without ball and player movement they’re essentially running a more conventional offense without the benefit of better spacing and clear outs.

  17. Obviously we are having difficulties with Fish right now. Fish had a pretty good run earlier in the season around Feb-March but I also remember his brain fart against SA when he slid beneath Mason’s arm-pit on a three and wound up giving them the win. Obviously Fish’s shot isn’t falling but those three possessions last Thursday, when he shot PUJITs in an attmept to stem a Denver run, had brain fart written all over them.

  18. A crucial element we’re not seeing from the Triangle is for the ball to start in the post (Pau and Drew) and as a second option come back out to the guards. That means quicker decisions by our big men; quit over dribbling, quicker moves to the basket and also FACE the basket, both are fully capable esp. Pau on hitting the Js around the key. Our guards will benefit from front court production with open Js a la Kleza. It’s all about poise and patience.

  19. No, Kurt. No to #1 for me. I personally am not transferring my disappoint on player mistakes to our coaching staff and PJ. We all know the players in the game didn’t do enough to win, but the issue is the wrong players are in the game at the wrong times. The coach controls rotations, that’s all on him.

    Gerrit said he thought Phil was “teaching lessons” to Drew with his PT. After his PG comments, this is obviously what’s going on. If you saw Drew’s PG game interview, his face said it all. He has no idea what Phil wants from him at this point. If he’s upset, I don’t blame him. I don’t understand why his mistakes are so much worse than the other 1000 mistakes our guys make every game. These crazy mind games just can’t be happening in the WCF.

  20. PJ has never been known to make intra-game adjustments very well. However, he has reputation of a making good inter-game adjustments.

    In the championship series versus the Lakers, it was obvious that Jordan was ineffective guarding Magic. In game 2 Pippen switched over to Magic. And while Magic was still effective, this freed up Jordan on the other end resulting in 4 straight wins and the Bull’s first championship.

    The adjustments Jackson has to make is harder this series than merely swtiching Pippen and Jordan. The adjustments go to the heart of the defense the Lakers have run this entire season.

    The SSZ demands smart execution and a lazy offense to be effective. The first quarter of game 2 saw this. Later, the Nuggets attacked the zone, moved the ball, and especially found the open corner 3. Denver had 4 open corner threes attempts, making 3. Kleiza killed us here.

    I hope PJ considers switching up the defense depending on game conditions.

    You do not play a cover 2 on every down aganst Joe Montana and expect to win. Sometimes you have to blitz or cover man-to-man.

    I’d like to see some straight-up man defense. If Melo goes off, what about a box and one? Occasionally press Billups full court. Let’s give the Nuggets some other looks than the same look possession after possession.

    By the end of the 2nd quarter, the Nuggets became comfortable against the SSZ and especially Chauncey seemed to know how to get their shots each and every possession. The Lakers have to create discomfort on defense.

    As game 7 was a crucial bookmark to Kobe’s legacy. Game 3 is now critical to Jackson’s. Let’s hope we are wowed by the brilliance of his inter-game adjustments.

  21. I can’t recall being this nervous for a laker game in a long time – this is a must win – I am very curious to see how we come out – we haven’t played a good road game yet – although our reg season stats are in our favor – this is a completely different playoff team – we must come out explosive in the 1Q – we will not come back from a big deficit against denver on the road
    i am most concerned about pau – all of his big games have been at home – we need him consistently getting 20+ points to win – i completely agree with the bynum, gasol, kobe, ariza, lamar, rotation – ariza has had some mistakes but overall he has been the most consistent other than kobe these playoffs he has been playing well- and drives the basket – but usually makes the layups unlike fisher – i do not think we can settle for lots of jumpers as everyone has said – we aren’t making the open outside shots – so unless our bench gets hot fro 3 pt land – our best bet is pound the ball inside – and create screens for kobe/ariza to drive the basket into the paint – that way we at least get a high percentage shot – and hopefully FTS – i think free throw opportunities are the key to victory on the road – we need to put some pressure on nene and martin by getting them in foul trouble – otherwise we are making it way too easy for them

    lets pray the officials turn tables and call everything in our favor tonight – this is either going to be a close game down to the final minutes – or a denver blowout – GO LAKERS! please prove the criticism wrong and win a clutch game

  22. I posed this question in another thread and didn’t get much traction, and if no one bites again, I’ll let it go.
    I think Sasha needs to sit for a game or 2.
    not only is he not hitting shots, I don’t think he was very effective in game 2 either.
    whereas shannon was better both at hitting his shots and scrambling and creating opportunities on defense.
    what do you all think? is it time to sit sasha for a game or 2? this is not the time for him to try to shoot his confidence back into a rhythm.

  23. 22, i don’t necessarily disagree with with you – however i was perfectly comfortable with game 1 (i think it was game 1) where PJ put him in for a few minutes – he made one dumb mistake and he immediately yanked him – that is fine -but i only think he should come in if we have a lead – i do not think it could hurt to have him sit out

  24. I agree with clutch. Transferring our player disappointments onto coaches definitely happens, but that’s not really the case here, it’s just that the wrong players are getting the majority of the PT.

    I’ve been harsh on Drew, but that was always because of a lackadaisical effort or lack of passion. I was really impressed with his activity defensively last game, and definitely agree he should have gotten more burn. He’s making mistakes, but like clutch said, so is nearly everyone else. But what Drew did on the court warranted more PT than he say.

  25. Not only does the Pau-Lamar-Bynum trio lack a solid outside shooter, it also means that the PF/Center sub time goes to Powell and MBenga. And trying something new like that now, with the problems Bynum is having getting into synch, would not be a good decision.

  26. Bynum doesn’t know what they want from him? You mean besides “rebounding and defense?”

  27. chris h – I wouldn’t be sad if we didn’t see Sasha tonight, but I don’t think any of us know at this point what Phil’s going to do with that rotation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see LO in the starting lineup, though, and maybe ShanWOW the first guy off the bench.

  28. i agree, but it doesn’t have to be those three at the same time. i think the most important change would be to put odom on melo on the defensive end. can ariza guard kmart?

  29. “…problems Bynum is having getting into synch..”

    Along with matchups, conditioning, fouls, etc. his round 1 & 2 problems were because his coach refused to put him in the best position to succeed by giving him consistent minutes. Also, he could do a better job managing his minutes when he’s in “foul trouble”. The 2nd half of game 1on fouls 4 & 5 was a good example of that. Those 2 fouls didn’t really necessitate him not playing the 2nd half in game 1, but PJ doesn’t seem to value his contribution.

    About the rebounding & defense, I thought he played well and impacted the game. He didn’t get rewarded for that with PT, instead he was actually punished. Folks say he only had 2 boards, but Pau was doing heavy lifting that game on the glass. Playing with Bynum early on helped him to do some of that (taking nothing away from Pau). I’m less concerned with stats and more concerned with the “presence” Drew gives us, specifically against Denver’s bigs.

    I thought we were finally past this at the start of game 2. Then, he gets me again 5 min into the 3rd. PJ just needs to play him. Ask Bill Bridges.

  30. LO is not a defender that is capable of banging in the box like Melo likes to do. He’ll take Kobe, Trevor and LO into the paint and destroy them. In the past, you could convince Anthony into taking nothing but outside jumpers, but a light bulb went off in his head this season. He now realizes that he can be equally effective in the paint against “finesse” players.

    We have to make it uncomfortable for him to play inside so that he wants to shoot from outside. Then I like our chances on defense with our quickness and length out there. But in order to make this happen, Bynum and Gasol need to own the paint.

    Them playing together is such a formidable duo, you can’t cheat on them, and you can’t double team and leave the other open. And on defense, you get by one, and there’s another one waiting for you. Pau is also a much more effective player when he doesn’t have to carry the entire load, which he has done for the entire playoffs, minus 2 games when Andrew decided to show up.

    The key is help defense from our bigs. Melo will get his points, but we need to negate the easy ones where we also pick up cheap fouls trying to guard him when we are clearly outmatched at this position. If Drew and Pau can stay on the court together for a longer period of time, this will go a long way towards slowing down the red-hot Melo.

  31. Should PJ keep Fisher on a short leash tonight if he get off to another bad start and continues to struggle from the field? Would PJ even consider not starting Fisher and bring him off the bench with the second unit?

  32. 1. Pau hasn’t consistently established very good position. Nene isn’t just fronting him; he’s flattening him. Pau is being kneaded like dough when Nene bodies him up.

    He can’t expect many touches when he is flailing around out there trying to catch a pass with one hand. Can’t he roll to the basket when Nene fronts him? He and the Laker guards need to get on the same wavelength.

    2. On the other hand, our bigs have occasionally established good position 10 or 15 ft away from the hoop, only for a wing to eschew the post-entry pass and reverse it. Bananas.

  33. I am disgusted by PJ and his use of bynum. Although I criticized bynum in previous games for showing no passion and being lazy on defense – he was effective on game 2 – and PJ is not helping him mentally by the so called “punishment” and no minutes – how on earth can he improve and become more aggressive without any consistent playing time? also how come he does bench gasol when he is playing terribly – gasol has been terrible at points – and inconsistent as well – i know gasol is supposed to be our #2 player – but PJ never seems to get angry at gasol and substitute him with bynum. Basically the lakers are not in any situation to win a championship this year – just the fact that there is confusion about whom to start/how long/ bynum’s minutes, etc. alone is a problem. Additionally, there are players mad/confused by PJ (i.e bynum) and a slew of players playing inconsistenly and with no cohesion. How can we win with kobe alone? This team is so fickle I have no idea what to expect (in terms of defense/offense/effort) night in night out!

  34. I feel so sorry for Kobe, if these guys do not rise to the occasion the Lakers’ will be on vacation soon.


    Michael Jordan had Pippen, Grant, Rodman and Harper for help on defense.

    Magic Johnson had Cooper, Rambis, Green and Jabbar.

    Shaq had Kobe, Fox and Horry.

    Bird had McHale, Johnson and Ainge.

    Kobe has Kobe on defense! Ariza was supposed to help Kobe on defense, yet somehow or another the Lakers have come to rely on him defensively.

    The Machine (I maintain that you do not give a person a moniker, until they are consistently proven) must still have problems with his ankles because he is not giving the Lakers anything on offense nor on defense.

    We wonder why Kobe is fatigued, and is making mental mistakes? HE IS TIRED! He had a grueling year with the Lakers last year, then he went to the Olympics carried the team defensively and was the offense when LeBron and Melo were incapable. We would not have won a gold metal without Kobe’s legs that have a lot of miles on them.
    Yes, LeBron and Melo are fresh and strong at the ends of games! Neither of them were capable of winning a metal without Kobe and they obviously learned how to win games from Kobe’s work ethic. Lebron and Melo are younger with less mileage on their legs, they have not gone far into the playoffs, consistently.
    Injuries are no excuse! However, they do add to the mental fatigue and the physical fatigue that compiles over the course of a season. Kobe is fatigued! But one thing that I know about Kobe is that he will give his ALL and live with whatever comes.

  35. Prediction
    I don’t think the Lakers win game 3, but I do think they will tie up the series by winning game 4.

    Regardless what the final results are for us this year, I think we need to make changes next season. Farmer, Sasha and Luke need to be traded. We need to get a quick point guard and a knock down shooter either in the draft or in free agency.

  36. I’ve given ABC a lot of flak, so I’ll also give credit when its deserved. That game intro just now was actually really good, freezing Fisher’s shot in silent slow-motion like that. Maybe my standards for ABC are just low.

    For anyone who missed the Kobe/Lebron documentary and is interested, it’s been uploaded onto Youtube:

  37. Wow. I think I like this. Bynum is the first Laker to really call out the team this season, as far as I can remember. Phil and Kobe have kept everything in-house this year, always being cool/patient with the media. Bynum is the first to be honest and open, and I like a quiet kid like him calling the team (himself included) out:

    Bynum bristled Friday when asked about Denver’s frontcourt prowess in this series.
    “They’re getting their stuff because of our defensive scheme. They’re just driving to the basket and nobody’s bumping them.”

    “Not the scheme is the problem. We’re just not executing it,” Bynum said. “You’ve got to take away that middle pass. They’re throwing it into the middle and just getting too much penetration.”

    Does that mean Bynum’s not executing it?

    “Everybody,” he said. “Nobody’s doing what we need to do correctly.”

    Frustration can be good or bad. If it lights a fire under Drew, it could be great for us, because as everyone has said already, the paint is the one area we need to dominate.

  38. Everybody in the NBA has such short memories, coming into the series the sexy pick was Denver. Then the Lakers won game one and the Lakers were the pick again. Now after Denver won game two it’s the Nuggets again, everybody on the ABC/ESPN panel took the Nuggets to win this game (including Magic) and Barry even said the Nuggets will win this AND game four!

    Stop me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t some guy named after a steak always seem to play pretty well in Colorado these last couple seasons?

  39. Am I bad person if I clapped a little when ‘Melo got introduced?

  40. Nick, Yes. You are a bad person.

  41. fisher missing two free threes – yank him! bynum 2 fouls dear god

  42. I understand Fish wanting to work himself out of his funk by going to the rack and popping open jumpers when he sees them, I just don’t understand him being free reign to keep doing it when it’s clearly not happening for him over the course of the game… Hopefully it won’t be an issue today, two missed free throw’s are not good, though…

  43. Lots of fouls called thus far.

  44. Is our new defensive strategy to foul on jump shots now? I’m not sure I agree that’s a smart way to go.

  45. Would like to see Kobe get some more touches early. Not too much problem with ‘Drew trying to take it at Kenyon, though.

  46. Pau certainly needs more face up opportunities like that.

  47. I like what Bynum is doing. Grab the ball, attack the paint… they might not be going in, but that’s the right mindset. You’re the biggest guy out there. Play like it!

  48. why can’t we try for offensive rebounds – when we have bynum + gasol? we are taking stupid jump shots – fisher – and then running back immediately

    we CAN’t let them get offensive rebounds (3 pt play)

  49. Tough foul call on ‘Drew there, it look like Nene put his forearm into him, not sure how that’s a foul on Bynum…

  50. Why was that a foul on Bynum? He didn’t do anything on that play.

  51. Nick, it wasn’t. It’s that elusive home court advantage that finally has decided to make an appearance in this series.

  52. He jumped into Nene a little.

  53. Bynum can sometimes be a blackhole on offense.

  54. @48. anonymous: I think we had something like 17 offensive boards in game one, and Pau has actually really been crashing the glass…

  55. So far every Lakers foul has sent Denver to the FT line. Not a good use of the fouls

  56. we will lose if we can’t make free throws

  57. Is it sad I have the TV muted so I don’t have to hear the announcers?

  58. last few defensive possession – terrible – wide open shots by denver

  59. Why pass it to Ariza?

  60. Three on one and we commit the foul… and we are now in the penalty. What happened to playing smart basketball?

  61. @ 59. Mimsy – Smart ball goes out the window when it’s Fish and Trevor running the break.

  62. K-Mart walking away before Anderson even went up with the shot was actually kind of gangsta (in a good way)…

  63. do the lakers realize this is a must win? do they realize – they will easily lose this game giving up too many free throws? denver must be feel great – all they have to do is double team kobe – that leaves us with fisher, ariza, walton – HAHA! gasol is the only other one who might get over 15 pts – we can’t even make free throws!!!!!!!!

    we’ll see if we can try to keep this game close to give ourselves a measley chance

  64. No defense by the lakers = loss

  65. What is up with the free throws????

  66. Make the freebies!

  67. #61 Nick,
    Yes, it was mainly a rhetorical question.. 🙁

    This is an extremely frustrating game to watch. In addition to playing stupid, everyone except Kobe and Bynum is playing scared. And Bunym is on the bench… I don’t get what Phil is doing. If the players haven’t learned what to do by now, you need to jank them off the floor and publicly humiliate them before you send them home without dinner. And make them shoot some free throw drills while you’re at it.

  68. Fortunate to be only down 5.

  69. This is certainly not a must win.

  70. Only down by 2 after a disjointed quarter.

  71. 69, the point is the LAKERS need to play like it is a must win – because they haven’t been playing with the same effort as at home and can’t afford to get down big – they need to play with a sense of urgency

    i keep thinking that i can’t possibly be more frustrated – by 3 for 9 free throws tops it all

  72. If we make our free throws (Pau and Fish missed something like four combined) we’re actually leading going into the second, and that’s after playing some atrocious D. We’re not in a terrible spot…

  73. can they shoot FT’s in the locker room?

  74. If the Lakers could make free throws they would be up In this game and would be up In the series 2-0!! The ft shooting Is pathetic

  75. Denver is playing very well, and the Lakers are playing horribly. While I wish the Lakers were playing better, at least the game is still within immediate reach for the bench.

  76. Nuggets are not even playing well right now…this is scary for Laker fans

  77. 2nd quarter, here we go

  78. I don’t know if Denver is playing all that well but Melo certainly is.

  79. ouch, NENE has awoke

  80. The second unit is hurting us.

  81. We just can’t rely on our bench players, plain and simple.

  82. Great, now birdman is going

  83. We obviously can’t rely on any players but Kobe, and sometimes Pau…

  84. Especially not when they are going up against a starting lineup…

    Somebody please rebound!

  85. Nuggets are just out hustling us

  86. One thing Odom does really, really well is rebound

  87. Somehow the Lakers are still in the game

  88. Only 7 point lead.

  89. You have to give credit to denver’s defense…they’re outplaying us at both ends of the floor. J.R. Smith’s bad shot selection is actually keeping us in the game.

  90. Amazingly. Denver’s lead is not that large. I wish our offense was more in sync.

  91. Lakers are in the game because Smith is killing denver with bad shots.

  92. Please, no more Sasha. All of his minutes need to go to Brown.

  93. The good news for the Lakers is Denver doesn’t have too many guys they can rely on night to night either…

  94. Fish and Jordan have both been a little slow to start the game, might be a good time to come with Shannon. I do like the move by Phil to bring back Kobe around that ten minute mark, one point four minutes into the quarter just isn’t going to cut it though. Neither will 5-12 from the line.

  95. it’s depressing the watch this team. they seem in a permanent daze. wake up!!

  96. If the Lakers dont start matching Denvers energy,
    this could get ugly fast

  97. Destroying us with the dribble drive. We can’t give up that many FTs.

    Jeez, another clanked FT on our end.

    Bynum’s not responding at all after his beef with Phil. Same old story. He’s focusing too much on the offensive end. When his shot doesn’t fall, he doesn’t come with any activity on the defensive end.

    Our bench is just in shambles right now. We need Shann-…..forget it. What’s the use. It’s probably better to just hope Sasha doesn’t touch the ball again.

  98. What the hack? Did someone on the team just ask Phil what he meant by execution?

  99. We need energy. Brown, Jordan, Odom. they have to bring it and bring it now!

  100. Lamar made both free throws! It’s sad how happy that made me…

  101. They are really shredding our defense.

  102. Lakers r in trouble, but somehow still in the game

  103. Why didn’t the refs go for our flops when we were at Staples?

  104. Good news is we aren’t playing with a lot energy but Denver is playing with nowhere near the energy Houston had at home…

  105. The coaches might have to suit up if we foul much more.

  106. are we over the limit already?

  107. please kobe keep doing that – over and over

  108. Our defense has settled and Kobe is getting to the hole. Good stuff.

  109. Anon, we are indeed. It’s good for us that we’re tied after that start, but even with that being the case, if we keep playing like this it won’t matter, cause we won’t win. Need to hit our free throws and buckle down on D.

  110. Ive been watching the Nuggets all through the playoffs
    They are wearing down the Lakers
    even though its tied.
    Denver at the Pepsi center then takes over late in the third periods and 4th periods….Lakers need to slow it down

  111. I guess Kobe Is going to have to win this game for us since Its obvious nobody else has showed up, and the Nuggets can’t stick him either

  112. can we hook kobe up to the rest of the team for a desire transfusion?

  113. I actually like the defense the Lakers are playing. They are forcing them to shoot jumpers. Offensively we look like the 2006 Lakers, which means “here’s the pass Kobe, can you please score for us while I get some popcorn and watch”.

  114. it looks like Kobe will try to do this by himself. He is looking for his shot. I like the fact the he is driving to the basket instead of shooting 20 ft jump shots

  115. Kobe needs help

  116. 111, 112, you are both dead right – denver we are lucky we are close now – but denver will not keep shooting under 40% in the second half – and billups we def start hitting big in the fourth

    i think hopefully kobe realizes he must light it up in order for us to win – it’s all on him unless some of the laker chumps (that is everyone else) decide to help out

  117. how in the world are we in this one? Let’s keep attacking!

  118. Kobe is killing in transition right now.

    Kobe attacking is beautiful. He knows his jumper isn’t on tonight. But it’s becoming painfully clear that Kobe’s lost a lot of trust in his teammates. He’s not passing unless he has to or unless someone’s wide open under the basket. Dominating the ball like even he rarely does.

    Notice the last pick and roll. Nene once again stopped Kobe in his tracks; Kobe had to reverse direction and go around 2 players to get to the rim. He was able to do it, but he had to work pretty damn hard to get it. Kobe in transition and isos are working better. The triangle? Not so much. I said it about a month ago and got jumped on, but this team just doesn’t execute the triangle well enough to not have huge dry spells like this against aggressive defensive teams.

  119. The Nuggets are not a great defensive team the Lakers are making them look good with bonehead plays but if you really check them out there are as bad as the Lakers are sometimes

  120. Kobe doing everything again. Is Smush in the building?

  121. #114 glove32,
    As much as I hate seeing Kobe going into “I can do this by myself”-mode, in this particular game I’m not sure I can blame him. Who’s he going to trust with the ball, the way his team mates are playing?

  122. wow, gasol can’t grab a rebound to save his life.

  123. It looks like Kobe has stopped trusting his teammates, can’t say I blame him..

  124. Someone gaurd Klieza before he gets hot

  125. kudos to that boisterous row of laker fans near the laker bench

  126. we seem content to let them take wide open shots- yes they have been missing a lot – but can’t we not even try to put a hand in his face -gasol just stood there and watched martin from 5 feet away!

  127. how in the world are we not getting every rebound? Show some Heart! Come on now.

  128. Actually anon, Pau has 6 rebounds so far, which is more than any Nugget. Lamar’s 5 is also more than any of the Nuggets.

  129. We need someone physical In the game like DJ or Josh!! the offensive rebounds are killing us. And Pau must contest those baseline jumpers dammit!!!!

  130. also i don’t see the lakers getting wide open shots like that – because denver would never leave them wide open like that – they even put hands up in front of our players who having been making squat

  131. 121#go troll elsewhere.
    As far as I know he grabbed 17 last game.

  132. Denver is primed for a big 2nd half, scarier thought is the Nuggets are the coldest ive seen them Denver, it wont last

  133. My main problem is that the Lakers are not in any flow on either end of the court. Denver is dictating the pace and the feel of the game.

  134. it’s easy to grab a rebound when no opponent is next to you. but, when you’re boxing out an opponent and can’t grab a rebound? That’s inexcusable.

  135. But they are not getting any rebounds that count Mimsy!! They must get physical

  136. Sorry,I mean 123#

  137. #135, Lewis,
    I am trying very hard to block that out. It’s a coping mechanism.

    Have I mentioned that I’m getting frustrated watching this game?

  138. That hesitation showed me that Fisher is done mentally…

  139. Kobe is looking for someone to match his Intensity on the court. You can see it in his face. He is looking for someone to trust

  140. Does Shannon Brown ever give anything less than 100% defensively? The guy just doesn’t give up.

    As I finish that sentence, Brown once again takes a seat on the bench. I’ll try to laugh, it’s better for my health.

  141. Shannon Brown could help

  142. have we made a single 3 pointer other than that one by arize?????? I would like to give up harping on fisher but i simply can’t – the whole world has been talking about it why can’t PHIL listen

  143. I’d feel better about these weird substitutions if I was sure Phil knew what he was doing and had a clear idea of how he wanted to do it…

    Why on earth did he just bench Shannon Brown?

  144. Lakers have to SLOW down this pace, its what the Nuggets want

  145. a team that looks confused, an MVP with no one he can trust, 4/5 starters who can’t score, giving up offensive rebounds, making 1/3 of all free throw attempts….this is a recipe for DIASASTER……it is amazing we are even close …..but forget close we can stay close but not win unless something is fixed or we get lucky and denver gives us the game

  146. 2nd half we need to stop fouling and someone has to box out Anderson. He’s killing us on the boards.

  147. Whats the score / time left right now?

  148. It’s amazing this team is only down 4. This is the exact same energy they played with in Houston.

    There is something not right with this Laker team. I really think part of it is nobody really knows how many minutes they will get and it’s disheartening. Regardless Kobe needs to read these guys the riot act and get them mad or something…

  149. Denver isnt even shooting well for them, Lakers must get someone besides Kobe going
    Pau playing too soft and all the Lakers are underestimating the Denver bench

  150. #147, danny,
    Denver 52-48 at the half

  151. Stupid technical call. I kinda wish sometimes basketball teams would do what Connors did in that one tennis match where he just double faulted on purpose on the next point when he disagreed with a chair overrule that favored him. That’d be kinda cool to have Kobe go up there and just roll the ball to the official…

    Then I wake up and realize I must be tripping balls if I don’t think we need every 50-50 stupid call we can get. Nobody is playing with any intensity but Kobe, it’s like 5 on 1 right now.

    Not being down 20 right now, I’m ecstatic. I hope Phil gets his meds and the guys wake up.

  152. We are very lucky that this game is close.

  153. I have beef with that Kenyon “block” still, that ball was certainly on the way down. HUGE three by Trevor to end the half, though.

  154. 4 may as well be 40 if the Lakers dont start boxing out

  155. Fisher’s confidence is gone and he’s making bad decisions out there. Hoping to see more ShanWOW in the second half.

    Also, everyone is so disgustingly poor on offense that I wouldn’t be opposed to Kobe just trying to go nova and reverting back to ’06 mode.

  156. Kobe scores 80 and the Lakers win….obviously no one else is stepping up

  157. Bring back magic

  158. I feel bad for Craig Ehlo. Look how crushed he is in that clip. And then on top of that, he’s had to hear about it for 20 years.

    We’re in a good position after having played that poorly, especially defensively.

    Note for the offseason: bring in shooters. Lots of them. It’s amazing how well we’re actually functioning with the lack of a true sniper. One true lethal shooter (last year’s Sasha, for example) could have blown these games open with the attention Kobe’s drawing.

    Kobe’s playing great, but it’s throwing our offense completely out of whack. When trying to force the ball into him, we at one point had all 5 players on one side of the court. Not what I’d call “spacing.”

    I said it before, Kobe needs to adjust and not post up Melo. Melo’s allowed to play physical in the post and his ball denial is top-notch.

    We’re very, very lucky to be down four. My fear is what happens when Kobe starts forcing or cools off a bit. Who will step up?

  159. The problem with Kobe going into solo nova mode is that he can’t keep that up for three quarters. Three years ago he could, but he can’t now. More importantly, he can’t do it for a whole series and then have enough left in him for an NBA Finals. We can’t win this series that way, in ever sense of the word. We won’t be able to win it that way, and if we do, it will doom us for he next series.

  160. The Lakers in 2006 had more offensive fluidity then this team does right now. I really, really hope Phil doesn’t look at the score and assumes everything is ok. He should start Brown or Fisher to start the second half.

  161. archon you are right, this team has a serious chemistry problem
    i keep expecting everyting we are complaining about to be fixed – i keep thinking they will “wake up” but it keeps NOT happening….i don’t expect any longer they we win this game or the next – i just hope i am wrong

    ps. everyone criticized bynum – but what about gasol?? he is equally as bad right now – and has been extremely inconsistent and his defense is atrocious – if he is expected to be our #2 he needs to score big every night

  162. I don’t know about nobody other than Kobe wanting it, I mean, Pau is 4-7 with six rips in the first half. Get dude some more touches and he will score more buckets. Meanwhile, Trevor has got 8 points in the first half including that big three. I agree that the Lake-show need to raise their collective games, but there are some other guys who are giving it some hustle tonight…

  163. We’re not running the offense. We need to get Pau in better position. And Bynum needs to look to pass whe he gets the pass.

  164. Horrible half by Lakers….missed free throws, outhustled, and simply outplayed. Lucky we are only down 4.

  165. My hats off to the Nuggets, for never really being this far, they are still hungary and giving the Lakers all they got

  166. I can’t help but conclude that Phil is being completely and utterly out-coached. Why?

    1. 2.5 games into the series, the Lakers seem to have no idea how to solve Denver on offense AND defense. Denver is still getting exactly the shots they want, and the Lakers have not found a way to attack Denver other than by going one-on-one, which only Kobe is doing effectively.

    2. Rotation – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

    3. Intelligence – the Lakers make poor choices on defense, often doubling unnecessarily and taking bad fouls. On offense, the shot-selection is just terrible sometimes. I know it’s on the players as well, but the coaching staff has to take some blame for this.

  167. To 163: good analysis

  168. What can the Lakers do differantly to win this game

  169. magic johnson need to video conf the lakers and give them a verbal beat down – maybe that would help – PJ obviously can’t motivate them –

    we all know what they need to do – play the way the played in the reg season – play to their potential – make free throws, get rebounds, play defense and take good shots

    i can take missing shots if they are good ones

  170. rgdknight,
    It makes perfect sense they’ll still be hungry. Denver has nothing to lose. Nothing at all.

  171. Yeah it’s true that Kobe going nova probably isn’t great in the larger scale. I’m just frustrated with the offensive ineptitude.

    Curious to see how the guys come out in the second half, especially Kobe and Gasol.

  172. It’s amazing we’re so close given how horrible we played. Gasol and Bynum aren’t even trying to establish any semblance of post position.

    Oh, and Sasha needs to be restricted to garbage minutes from now on. He’s completely lost it.

  173. I hate to say it but i dont think we want to win anymore games if Kobe is not going to win it for us. We dont have that collective team killer instinct. Melo blantatly said no one can guard him and they are helping prove him right. No one is taking it personal and trying to lock him down. We cant just win cos we are the lakers. We have to play to win.

  174. On a couple of plays Bynum got into the way of one our guys dribbling the ball, because Drew did not know where he had to be or what he was supposed to do…not good

  175. did you see that clip of the lakers locker room – they look passive and lazy – i hope that is post screaming..phil jackson “i am disappointed” how about do you want to be on this team next year, do you like making fools of yourself?

  176. “magic johnson need to video conf the lakers and give them a verbal beat down – maybe that would help – PJ obviously can’t motivate them ”

    I love Magic Johnson, I do. But the last thing we want is Magic talking anymore while being recorded.

    If you’re gonna bring him in, no cameras. The guy is horrible horrible horrible on camera.

  177. I didn’t like how the locker room looked at halftime. Is it possible, that they have tuned out PJ?

  178. Archon,
    I was thinking the same thing. The body language in there was… apathetic. Kobe looked like he was sulking, and the rest of the guys looked like they were wishing this whole thing was over so they could go home and sleep.

  179. selfish offense=defeat

  180. 176, i did not mean video conf for tv viewing – i meant in private – if he can’t physically be there 🙂

  181. Wow our defense is pathetic. No hustle, lay up after lay up. Our body language is even worse. A million things need to change or its done.

  182. I think I’m going to start blaming Phil from here on. As head coach, it’s a part of his job to motivate the players. He’s clearly not doing a very good job on that.

  183. here comes billups..

  184. I’m worried about the fact that Kobe is limping. I’m sure it’s nothing serious, but it will slow him down for the rest of the night, and we need him to be 100% right now.

  185. Does
    Ariza knows what the word “pass” means?

  186. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I really don’t like the one-on-one-ness that’s going on right now with Kobe, we need to be running the offense more smoothly. What happened to the crisp interior passing we used to get between Gasol-Odom and Gasol-Bynum?

  187. that should be a flargant foul. No reason to push Kobe in the back

  188. Somebody please tell me Ariza is okay. Please.

  189. i almost wish fisher would get punch someone and get suspended so he can’t play anymore! that would help us out a lot – he made one good play and then negated it with that!

  190. How was that on Fisher!?!?!?

  191. I’m going there, refs are screwing Lakers

  192. Missed free throws are screwing the Lakers. Regardless of the refs, we’re not playing well.

  193. Gasol to the free throw line, and finally a good offensive possession.

  194. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Memo to Bynum: We’ll start giving you more touches on offense if you can shoot free-throws better than Shaq

  195. I didn’t say that’s the reason Lakers are losing. Saying refs are screwing them.

  196. Wow Luke Walton, Wow way to compete on Anthony!!!!

  197. Kobe Time!

  198. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Kobe with the -oop! Yea-yah! That better get the guys fired up!

  199. Trev walking stiffly to locker, not good.

  200. Crap what the heck happened to Ariza on that landing?????

  201. drive at them -and hope they foul out – and hope we get and make free throws -dumb shot again. by fisher

  202. And now I’m really worried about Ariza.

  203. please keep drawing fouls this is the only way we can win

  204. What is Sasha is doing in there? Brown plays better D, is shooting better and making less stupid decisions. The two PG lineup is also doing better for Lakers.

  205. Wow. Lakers getting some calls now.

  206. Free throws have been BRUTAL tonight!!!!!


  208. oh God, whats happened to ariza?

  209. every time we get close we can’t pull ahead

  210. Please, please, get Sasha out of there. I don’t care if Lakers are now getting calls, the refs are just brutal in this game. Inconsistent, missing calls on both ends, I argue fiercely against conspiracies but it’s this type of bad officiating that makes it hard to convince the kooks.

    More Shannon Brown and less Sasha, please!

  211. There has been some pretty rough officiating tonight on both ends. I’m not sure what to make of it because it doesn’t even seem to indicate any kind of home court bias, it has just been all around bad.

  212. #210, Nick,
    Not malice, just incompetence?

  213. Ariza has some pain in his hip

  214. regardless of the calls – the lakers need to seize the opportunity and win this game

  215. I’m not gonna lie to you, like going back to that T on Kliza in the first half, I can count probably 10 calls, 5 for each team, that were just atrocious.

    His T balances out the horrible T on Fisher.
    I mean birdman should not pick up a foul on that entry pass to gasol. On the other end, JR’s airball should have given us possession.

    But that push on Jones was just trash play. Pushing someone in the air like that is just bush league. I kinda wish someone expendable like Mbenga had run across the floor and decked him right there. Need an enforcer for a chippy series like this.

  216. Mimsy, agree on the incompetence. It doesn’t help when the league makes arbitary decisions after the fact. They really need to take a page out of the NFL and start having more open dialogue and explanations of calls after the game.

    One of the things I thought NFL did great was to invite selected fans in to review a ton of plays with head of officiating. The fans really had their eyes open as to why things were called.

  217. 4 Nugs starters with 4 fouls, if I was a Nugget fan I’d be seriously worried.

  218. Sasha, why not take the uncontested three instead of the moving two?

  219. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    JB, true on the fouls, but it doesn’t matter much if our starters can’t take advantage of the fouls

  220. did you see gasol step forward and then decide not to run for that rebound , and then let anderson rebound and score – that makes me want to vomit

  221. J, you meant like that one? 😉

  222. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Wow, Chauncey is cold-blooded

  223. If Sasha can make some shots, oh never mind…

  224. True, and as soon as I posted I realized that the refs will probably swallow their whistles on anything mildly questionable in the fourth.

  225. boy are these the thuggets all right but they are still going to win even giving up free technicals

  226. I don’t like this Denver team…

  227. “We are all witnesses”

  228. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

  229. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    *sigh* gotta shrug off that buzzer-beater, that’s kinda demoralizing. im having a hard time shrugging it off… but then again, I’m not paid to play professional ball. come on guys, step it UP!

  230. 226, I agree. I was just thinking “Damn, there are a lot of unlikeable guys on this team.”

  231. Does Phil rest Kobe to start the quarter or not?

  232. We just have to get some stops. The offensive rebounds that we have given up along with the missed free throws will cost us this very winnable game. I am just sick of watching this same sorry a** effort every other night. Please put Brown in, I know that he will give it his all.

  233. Pau is going more and more apathic as the game goes on.
    He has to wake up.But I ask to myself how would I feel if I was playing 44 minutes for a team with plenty of “blinds”(Fish&Ariza&Drew) especially deniying me my touches every single night……

  234. JR Smith is an idiot, but he was probably yelling some things at Sasha that I would too.

    There will be a lot of things to point to in this game (especially defensively), but for me it comes down to one simple thing – if we could hit just a few of these threes, this game would be completely different. Our lack of shooting is letting them sag in and make everything difficult. Shooting is killing us.

    My prediction: we’ll see Brown for a few minutes, he’ll play well, and just when the game starts to turn, Phil will bench him. Please let me be wrong.

  235. We need Sasha to hit some shots

  236. minor point but after that 3 to end the 3rd… how does denver have the ball?

  237. vujacic makes one thought and thinks he is got – i HATE him – PJ needs to bench him immediately

  238. Kobe sits…

    at least we know ariza can still go in and play

  239. Snoopy, it’s not just our shooting. Our free throw shooting has been inexcusable, unacceptable, and flat out embarrassing.

    Trevor is back!

  240. Mimsy, I don’t care, even making that one made it worse. Just get him out of there.

  241. ariza really needs to take that open 3.. if he’s not shooting that with confidence he’s not helping to spread the floor and theres no space for kobe or pau to drive..

  242. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    WOW, where has that Lamar been all series? He really needs to take advantage of his length in the post!

  243. We have the dumbest players in the NBA

  244. Nobody on this team feels confident in their jumper…

  245. Shaky, Den won the opening tip

  246. put kOBE IN please before the game is completely out of reach

  247. Wow! Get control of yourself. First Vujacic with the dumb foul and Farmar with throwing the ball.

  248. Yeah ShanWOW is in finaly…

  249. Finally Brown in, what? Jordan out and Sasha is still in? Sasha’s been in there ten ineffective minutes

  250. Every single player we have is hesitant to shoot. Every single player. This is sickening.

    Shannon Brown? Nah, this is too good to be true. Phil probably wasn’t paying attention and Shannon got up and snuck quietly into the game.

  251. Even when ShanWow messes up it goes right to Pau. You have to leave this guy in!

  252. It’s almost as if Phil has come to the conclusion that they aren’t good enough to win an NBA championship unless Sasha gets his shot back, that’s the only explanation for him playing

  253. The key down the stretch is playing defense without fouling and boxing out

  254. 232. Phil heard you 🙂

  255. J–

    I still don’t get it. The quarter ended with a denver made shot, and then the lakers shot a T… shouldn’t that be our ball?

    Pretty weird anyways. Hey Nene just got his 5th foul going over the back for a loose ball after he blew a baby hook. That’s nice.

  256. This is the first time all game where I’ve really felt like we’re about to make a push, hopefully that turns out to be the case.

  257. Archon, I’m laughing but it’s a painful gallows laugh.

  258. Denver’s offense is falling apart, but we are not taking advantage.

  259. PJ doesn’t care anymore. honestly what is he gaining with kobe on the bench?……put him in!!! gasol is a complete wimp – van gundy is right he should demand the ball – the other chumps can’t do anything! and bynum gone again –

    it almost seems as if fisher and vujacic get more playing time than bynum – why don’t we just give denver a few more token gifts

  260. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss Rad Vlad this series.

  261. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    That’s 5 on Nene! 4 on Melo, 4 on Kenyon, 4 on Dahntay… Good ball-movement and crisp passing is going to create some opportunities for us in the paint. And the way Pau dunked it on the last possession, there’s some fire in him yet.

  262. As we head into timeout, Brian Shaw explaining to Sasha on where he should stand so as to least hurt our team.

    I’m afraid Pau will be gassed again. Bynum could really help us at this point, Nene with 5 so they’ll have to go to a smaller lineup.

  263. I don’t know about everyone else, but this is the first time in my 30 years of being a Laker fan where even winning is agonizing, and normal games are emotionally draining. I’m trying to remember what it’s like to just be excited as a Laker fan, when it was mostly basketball to be happy about. This… is painful at best.

  264. I received a bottle of tequila last night, would it be wrong to kill it completely by end of the game?

    Sasha in there over 11 minutes. Thank god, he’s finally out.

  265. Okay, I have to know. Is Chris Andersen really this good, or is it just us making him look good?

  266. Us making him look good. All of his points have come on energy plays and defensive breakdowns.

  267. Mimsy, this is completely Andersen’s game. It’s partially Lakers not putting a body on him and him also being active as usual.

    Lakers aren’t taking advantage of his weakness with ball movement, he goes for shot block all the time and leaves his man.

  268. That s it.Ball inside.Come on¡¡¡
    It s not that hard

  269. That is not a friggin’ foul!

  270. How is that a foul when all three Lakers are standing there with their hands up and nothing doing anything else?

  271. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    ARIZA is alive! It’s so strange seeing the Lakers up on the scoreboard, the way that we’ve been playing I had to double-take and make sure that wasn’t a typo.

  272. Who would have thought that Trevor Ariza, TREVOR ARIZA would be our most reliable 3 point shooter

  273. Kobe time!

    I must stop having the laptop in my lap during games… I nearly threw it across the room.

  274. Nice make but horrid shot selection by Kobe. Brown a +9 in under 7 minutes while Sasha – 5 in almost 12 minutes

  275. the laker get ahead they give up easy dnk – J i wish i had that tequila

  276. If somebody told me that Trevor Ariza, TREVOR ARIZA would be our most reliable 3 point shooter in the playoffs I would have said you were crazy.

    Basketball is a strange sport…

  277. lakers really need to boxout.. its so fundamental.. open space don’t get putbacks/rebounds.. trailing players do..

  278. Lakers have been horrid in boxing out all season. Pau/Bynum/LO rely way too much on their length and not enough on fundamentals.

  279. J,
    The only bad thing about killing the bottle in one game is you will have nothing left to either celebrate or cry into after the game. Always have enough alcohol left for at least two post-game drinks.

  280. ought me a bottle of tequilla today in anticipation, enjoying it now..
    my typing’s not so good.
    man sasha sucks!
    glad brown is in finally.
    come on team, pullt this one out
    it’s all about execrution down the strertttch

  281. Why do you take Shannon out for Fish here? That’s a rough substitution…

  282. Closing lineup, this is who Phil is sticking with the rest of the way. This is who is going to win or lose the game.

  283. stop standing there gasol chas ethe rebound look what it leads to 4 pt play

  284. and the oscar goes to……….

  285. Mimsy, I also have a unopened bottle of the TJ brand and a half bottle of Cazadores. Also plenty of beer, wine and other distilled spirits. God, I sound like an alcoholic.

    How does Billups get a bump foul but Kobe not get a push?

  286. Pau is playing great! I’m almost ready to forgive him for the horrible first half.

  287. Those jumpshots finally falling for Pau.

  288. @J You’re just well prepared. The mark of a great man.

  289. Gasol is coming through and hitting key shots

  290. 5 on Melo! Oh Kobe, make that FT!!

  291. missed freebies has been big

  292. FREE THROWS!!

  293. This game is gonna be razor thin… It may come down to who has the ball last.

  294. @J,
    What rhybread said. You’re just planning ahead. After all, game 4 is on Monday…

  295. Did Derek Fisher decline a loan on some Gypsy or somethin, cuz he’s playing like he’s cursed…

  296. Lakers looking calmer and executing better and not depending completely on Kobe this crunch time.

  297. just execute. EXECUTE!!!

  298. please please don’ let this game slip away great opportunity – free throws are killer – but we still can win if we execute for 3 min please! we have to force them to shoot contested jump shots

  299. @292 Took the words out of my mouth. Kobe has been great this quarter, and the rest of the team is responding. Less mistakes, more focused play. Let’s hope they can maintain this level till the end of the game.

  300. A bucket here would be really big, I don’t want to keep trading the lead down the stretch. Hopefully we draw up something nice…