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.

Wondahbap

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


Kurt

Posts

501 responses to Lakers/Nuggets Game 3 Chat

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

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

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

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  4. 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.

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  5. Wow. Lakers getting some calls now.

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

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  7. FREE THROWS!

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  8. oh God, whats happened to ariza?

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

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  10. 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!

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  11. 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.

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  12. #210, Nick,
    Not malice, just incompetence?

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  13. Ariza has some pain in his hip

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

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  15. 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.

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  16. 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.

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  17. 4 Nugs starters with 4 fouls, if I was a Nugget fan I’d be seriously worried.

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

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  19. 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

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  20. 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

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  21. J, you meant like that one? 😉

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

    Wow, Chauncey is cold-blooded

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

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

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

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  26. I don’t like this Denver team…

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  27. “We are all witnesses”

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  28. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

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  29. 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!

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  30. 226, I agree. I was just thinking “Damn, there are a lot of unlikeable guys on this team.”

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

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  32. 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.

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  33. 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……

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  34. 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.

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  35. We need Sasha to hit some shots

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

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

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  38. Kobe sits…

    at least we know ariza can still go in and play

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

    Trevor is back!

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

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  41. 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..

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  42. 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!

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  43. We have the dumbest players in the NBA

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

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  45. Shaky, Den won the opening tip

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

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

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  48. Yeah ShanWOW is in finaly…

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

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  50. 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.

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

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  52. 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

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

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  54. 232. Phil heard you 🙂

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  55. 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.

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  56. 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.

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

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

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  59. 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

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

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  61. 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.

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  62. 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.

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  63. 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.

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  64. 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.

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

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

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  67. 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.

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

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  69. That is not a friggin’ foul!

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

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  71. 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.

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

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  73. Kobe time!

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

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

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

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  76. 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…

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

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

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  79. 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.

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  80. 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
    …tequillaa

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

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  82. 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.

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

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  84. and the oscar goes to……….

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  85. 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?

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

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  87. Those jumpshots finally falling for Pau.

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

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  89. Gasol is coming through and hitting key shots

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  90. 5 on Melo! Oh Kobe, make that FT!!

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  91. missed freebies has been big

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  92. FREE THROWS!!

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

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

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

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

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  97. just execute. EXECUTE!!!

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  98. 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

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  99. @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.

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  100. 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…

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  101. it’s all execution kobe must take good shots and drive to the basket the nuggetts are in foul trouuble use it!

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  102. NOT THAT ONE

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  103. rhybread, no kids, no pets, love to cook and a very understanding wife. All my friends know I have an open door policy and can take refuge from their responsibilities. People can drop in anytime and know there’s food and drink available.

    I think Pau’s the x factor in this series or any series. When he plays well, Lakers O hum and LO fills in the gaps as needed.

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  104. EXECUTIOn god!

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  105. Bad shot by Kobe and bad foul by Ariza.

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  106. Fish..

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  107. someone get fisher out

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  108. and then Fisher driving to the basket.

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  109. Has Fish finished in the paint at all this series?

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  110. Put Fish out.For God s sake¡¡¡

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  111. HORRIBLE foul by Fisher.

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  112. textbook fish

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  113. time for the Lakers to make their FT’s

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  114. they just blew it completely right there – kobe takes a bad shot -then we give 2 free points then a terrible decision by fisher fisher

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  115. we can only hope phils loyalty to fish pays off

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  116. Holy Moly, did LO actually box out?!

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  117. Free throws the last two games have killed us.

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  118. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Lakers are 24-36 from the line today, they have no one to blame but themselves

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  119. This reminds me of the year we lost to Detroit in the finals. It was obvious all playoffs that Payton had lost more than a few steps, and he got put out to dry in the finals. Destroyed on defense, bad shots on offense, and the cascading effects of his play dragging the team down…

    also, KOBE TIME!

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  120. drive to the basket get fouled or a good shot

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  121. What a shot.

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  122. Have to get a score here, and then DEFEND!!!

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  123. Kobeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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  124. 65% from the free throw line. If that was for an individual player we’d foul him every chance we got. Which is what they’re doing. Ugh.

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  125. Agree with 320. Please drive and kick or drive and shoot or drive and do something positive.

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  126. Do we see the side p/r with Pau and LO flashing to the FT line? That’s been the bread and butter play all year long when points are needed.

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  127. they are in the penalty – if we can’t execute the final 60 seconds we are dumb – we still have a chance! please make free throwS!

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  128. ew can also drink tequilla in celabration!!

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  129. Playoff basketball is just great, I’m loving this game…

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  130. i might have a heart attack – after that free throw

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  131. Ouch.

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  132. F!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kobe missing two FT’s down stretch is not a good sign.

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  133. NO 3 Point Shots!!!!!!!!

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  134. damn it critical foul shot missed

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  135. im stunned, kobe never misses those

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  136. I will only love this game if we win.

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  137. Kobe must be tired. Either that, or the bruise on that hip is bothering him. I did not expect him to miss that second free throw.

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  138. how can we think that we can win a championship with free throw shooting like tonight?

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  139. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    All those analysts are BLIND when they say Kobe’s not a team-player. Kobe missed that FT on purpose just to bond with everybody else! =)

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  140. Kurt always says Lakers go as far as their D. This possesion might determine the game.

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  141. good defense make Denver burn a time out

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  142. DO NOT LET Billups take a 3 – if they do i can’t forgive that

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  143. 339: Don.. see Oneal, Shaquille

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  144. PJ needs to get Fish out, JR Smith will take him all day. I’d even prefer Sasha’s D here.

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  145. Trev redux!!!!!

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  146. OMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFGOMFG

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  147. Trevor!!!!!!!!!!!! hit the free throws

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  148. ARRRRIIIIZZAAAA!!!

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  149. Arizaaaaa

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  150. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    ARIZA ARIZA ARIZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

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  151. that has to be a clear path foul

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  152. That was clear path! That’s in the Lakers side of the court, not back court!

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  153. la_resistance28 May 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    And Melo fouled out too!

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  154. great job odom – you are soooooo dumb! !!!!!!!!

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  155. I was right. He is a f-ing assassin!!!! TREVOR!!!!

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  156. That was good D on Chauncey denied him good look at the three. The foul was iffy but I can see why refs called it.

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  157. PLEASEEEEE make these free throws so i can I win my 100$ bet.

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  158. 354, that was not a dumb foul, LO was coming over to make sure Chauncey didn’t get a good look at a three and Chauncey did the vet thing and took it right at LO.

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  159. kobe looks like he is going to faint

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  160. Kobe back to the line to put the game on ice

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  161. I can’t believe the Lakers won this game. WOW!!!!!

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  162. Wow. Great D down the stretch. Amazing things effort and execution can do for you.

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  163. Thanks Denver for this horrible last minute¡

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  164. YES!!!!!!!!!

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  165. Crap, we need to magically find a way to get Kobe some serious rest. This cannot continue.

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  166. Lakers gutted this one out. LOVE it!

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  167. Mimsy, archon, rhybread, everyone, come on over, drinks on me!!!!!

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  168. i feel so proud right now, i think we should all be a little ashamed we lost the faith so easily

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  169. This is a painful interview to watch, Kobe needs to sit down.

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  170. Let’s start to PANIC!!!!?NOOO!!!! Lakers only won by 6 points!!!

    /sacarsm

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  171. Kudos to KOBE,Pau and Trevor.
    Shame on Fish and Shasha.

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  172. Don’t they know we break streaks???

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  173. fisher tried to blow it for us down the stretch but KOBE won it for us – i think laker fans can exhale – we stole this game -even though played really bad besides kobe, 2 3’s by ariza, and two clutch 2’s by gasol…..i hope we can adjust and fix some problems and fight hard in game 4 to put pressure on them –

    also the key to this game was getting to the free throw line clearly – even though we missed a bunch – that was the key – it also put them in foul trouble – and carmelo fouled out – we need to keep trying to do that every game

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  174. Melo getting into foul trouble was key. We have to attack him on Monday. He is off and they can not stay fluid no matter how much the birdman/nene/martin chip in.

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  175. Man, basketball is a tension filled sport!!! Dr. Naismith was a sadist!!

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  176. I am so relieved we won. I am worried about Kobe, he’s obviously exhausted and in a great deal of pain. And I will absolutely not apologize for losing faith in a team that played as appallingly bad as the Lakers did for the first half. And as I said before, missing that many free throws is unforgivable.

    J, did you say you had wine? Merlot, please. 🙂

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  177. This was a gutty win. Shows who the best closer in the game is, as exhausted he was at the end of the game.

    Hopefully he gets some rest between now and Monday.

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  178. james, I was thinking the same thing – I was ready to declare them dead. And now I look like an idiot…. a really happy idiot tho.

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  179. That was stressful. It may seem at first glance that it was all force of will by Mr. Bryant, but Pau had some big points in the fourth as did Trevor. I like the Lakers snatching home court back with another gutsy performance.

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  180. thank you Lakers for making me eat my words. they roped-a-doped the nuggets, and me.

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  181. this was as hard fought a victory as I can remember. Everyone who wants to say the lakers lack the effort it takes to win a championship need to watch this game. Yes, they make mistakes rotating on defense or missing free throws, but for the love of god they WANT to win and they’re gonna FIGHT till its over. I’m so proud of this laker team. WHAT. A. GAME.

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  182. We executed well when it mattered, but Denver really fell apart down the stretch as well.

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  183. But I still don’t know how we won… it was the defense I think, and riding Kobe and Ariza on offense. I guess it came down to the fact that the Lakers made shots, the Nuggets didn’t make enough of them

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  184. That was a championship like win for the Lakers, we still got problems though, luckily one of them isn’t Kobe Byrant!!!

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  185. now it’s time for a celebratory tequilla!
    salude amigos!!
    man, you could see it on Carmelo’s face, they KNEW they were gonna win tonight! what a huge disapointmemt for them!
    the pressure went all the way over to them now.
    we just got home court back, all we needed to do was get a split on the road, and we are assured of AT LEAST THAT now!!!
    game 4 with no pressure, we can win it baby, we do have the weapons to pull it off. this is what makes champions, test of the heart, grind one out.
    all game I felt they had us, but deep down knew we were within striking distance, if we kept it close it was anybody’s ball game.
    ahhh, tequilla, OJ and a twist….
    never tasted better

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  186. 382, no doubt i am happy we won – but honestly the only one who really looked like he wanted to win was kobe, trevor made 2 big three-pointers, and gasol made 2 big two-pointers other than that – fisher almost blew it completely – he almost turned the ball over luckily got a timeout, then at one point drove to the basket and made dumb layup attempt, and then played bad defense on smith, odom had some really really dumb foul at the end, vujacic terrible, so we are really really lucky we won

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  187. I don’t think this will sink in for awhile. Still don’t know how we won that game.

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  188. I’m exhausted watching that game, Kobe must be just drained completely.

    Mimsy, I’ve got Chard, Pinot Noir and Shariz. Sorry out of Merlot.

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  189. for those who think lebron is “better” than kobe – apparently the ability to endure more through an entire basketball game despite playing on much less rest than a player 7 years his junior doesn’t factor into your decision…

    and for all those who wonder why people call the Nuggets thugs – maybe your team should focus more on inbounding the ball instead of taunting after plays or shoving driving players in the back after being beat off the dribble.

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  190. I’ll have Pinot Noir then, thanks 🙂

    No matter how happy and impressed I am that we won this game, I’m still concerned about the series as a whole. Execution was very bad, especially on defense, and it really worries me that we can’t make our free throws and that no one except Kobe (and maybe Ariza) has any confidence in their three-point shot. Pau played very well down the stretch, but we need to give him the ball and create opportunities for him.

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  191. We have to put the hammer down and try to get the game on Monday. Let’s get ahead of this thing NOW.

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  192. Have to give props to Gasol for hitting some big shots down the stretch.

    Also have to give it to Ariza for also hitting shots, playing good “D” and making a terrific steal

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  193. wiseolgoat, both players are fantastic, debating who is best is a pointless argument. They are 1 and 1a in whatever order you prefer. And I’ve defended Kobe to extreme lengths against all kinds of numbskull haters who denigrate him.

    386 – that wasn’t a dumb foul, go back and look at it. and are you going to give him credit for defending the inbounds pass well, both times? Trev didn’t create that steal all by himself.

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  194. Quick thoughts on the game:

    The Lakers missed a ton of free throws tonight. 31/45 is pretty awful (68.9%). If they hit 37/45 the ending of the game is a little less tense.

    Conversely, Denver shot a terrible 5/27 from three. That’s not going to happen every night.

    Denver has a ton of cheap-shotters on their team, and I would hope that the refs are a little more free with the Ts (or flagrants, like in the case of Jones’ push in the back on Kobe) in the first quarter over the next few games so we don’t see wrestling matches in the third quarter. There was a 5-minute span where they were just mugging any Laker with the ball, and while they were getting whistled for it, it’s an ugly game to watch.

    The complexion of the game changed quite a bit when Odom played a lot of minutes in the late third and early fourth. He really is a bad mismatch for Denver’s frontcourt on both ends of the floor, and while I know his minutes come at the expense of Andrew (who needs minutes to be productive), I’d love to see him out there a little more.

    Andersen really hurt them a lot in the first half, they seemed to figure out his counter in the second and he didn’t have nearly the impact.

    Last, while it’s fun to see Kobe scores tons of points, he really shouldn’t be. Gasol can get his whenever they want to get the ball inside to him, with the bonus of getting their bigs in foul trouble.

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  195. Man, George Karl looks like a beaten man in the postgame presser. For all those who question PJ’s coaching decisions, give me his even-keel demeanor any day of the week.

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  196. Yea, George Karl is whining about the refs, give me a break!!!!

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  197. Question: “Do you trust your team to come back and win game 4?”

    George Karl: *chuckles* “Um… well…”

    Okay, Phil definitely has an edge here. Back your team George, no matter what the situation is, you defend your team. You’re the coach, that’s a part of your job!

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  198. You know what….the REFS, really owed us this game after the rediculous calls in game 2!

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  199. Karl: back here for game 6 hopefully.

    Wow, way to show faith in your team there George. I hope that attitude infects the team. This is why Chauncey is the difference for the team. No Chauncey and this team has the same loser attitude they have last year.

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