Lakers/Nuggets Game 4 Chat

Kurt —  May 25, 2009

LAKERS
We can talk about the heroic efforts of Kobe Bryant or the steals of Trevor Ariza or the spotty point guard play or a hundred other things, but this series still comes down to one thing:

Can the Lakers control the paint?

In the second half of game three the Lakers did that — most importantly they kept Melo out of the lane, he had no baskets in the paint or anywhere else in the second half. Part of that was better defense inside by the Lakers, and part of that was that Denver fell in love with the jumper, especially the three, but couldn’t hit it. That will not happen again, be sure that they will attack the rim in game four. The Lakers defense needs to be ready, Bynum and Gasol needs some blocks without fouls.

At the other end of the floor, for all the Kobe amazing shots, it’s about getting points in the paint. Denver has basically taken a page out of the Celtics defensive schemes against the Lakers, and the Lakers need to counter that by getting the ball inside to Gasol/Bynum or a posted up Kobe, then making the smart pass out of the double, moving the ball and moving without the ball. Then hitting the shot when they get the look.

In the first half of game three, Denver got points inside by sending cutters that exposed the Lakers strong side zone defense — flooding the zone them hitting someone cutting off the weak side — and you can bet they will go back to that tonight. The Lakers defenders on the weak side need to be aware and be ready to cut those off. Denver can’t get that many layups if the Lakers expect to win.

One other reason the Nuggets got out on top to start the game was they took advantage of transition opportunities, both off turnovers and misses. They are running on everything they can, and on misses they are getting a lot of offense out of secondary break plays (drag screens, guys running to the three point line, etc.). The Lakers have to play much better transition defense, and be more aware of who is running and get to their man..

One final thing I think the Lakers will see more of tonight is Linas Kleiza. The guy is +16 for the series and the Nuggets are -21 for the series when he sits. He was a game changer in Denver’s win, and Karl is going to go with what is working.

What I hope to see in game four is more transition basketball from the Lakers. Game three saw more breaks and opportunities than the first two games, the Lakers good advantage of that, and they need to build on that.

The other thing the Lakers did well last game was get the ball to Kobe running him off screens coming off the high post. The Nuggets will counter this in an effort to continue playing ball-denial for Kobe. This is going to open other things up on give and goes and other counters — the Lakers players (Fisher for one) need to make the Nuggets pay when they do this. If Denver wants to take Kobe out of the game then their needs to be a cost.

We can expect another close game. Denver will come out playing with more desperation and energy than they did last game — they cannot afford to go down 3-1. Will the Lakers play loose like a team with nothing to lose after getting a win in game three? Which team will do better fighting through the exhaustion of last game? Will Denver or the Lakers execute best down the stretch?

This is going to be a fun one to watch.

——————————————————————–

A few more haikus from after the last game.

Turrible

Melo sad for loss
Lakers in the driver’s seat
NBA relieved

Bill Bridges

Rip by Ariza
Kobe cuts out George Karl’s heart
Bloody, eats it raw


to Lakers/Nuggets Game 4 Chat

  1. Breaking LA News May 25, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Follow the game at http://breakinglanews.com/lakers, aggregating all the Twitter feeds and comments during the game!

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  2. No mention of Lamar Odom? I still think that he is a big factor for this series and the next, mainly because when he comes to play, and plays hard, he is unstoppable. If he leads off the bench with aggressive defense, and gets a couple of buckets early, then he can really become a difference maker. I would love to see more of that Lamar.

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  3. Supporting Act May 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Finally a game I can watch without risking a heart attack. The Lakers can come out and play, but they don’t have to. Much less pressure. Maybe that gets the second unit going? Denver, however, is in a must win situation. Don’t think they like that.

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  4. #2 – Can the Lakers control the paint has a lot to do with Lamar Odom. That was pretty much assumed at that point. It would be like asking “Why no mentioned of Pau Gasol?”

    On that note, the Lakers can control the paint against the Nuggets or the Cavs, the Magic might be a different story though.

    Great article today, Is the Lakes GM Mitch Kupchak a Bad GM?

    http://therookiecontract.com/?p=124

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  5. Mimsy, I could/should have mentioned him. It’s a challenge some days to have essentially the same keys game to game day and to make the previews not so repetitive.

    If Odom shows up, it will be huge.

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  6. Mimsy,
    We have waited on Lamar since he came here. He can play with heart, but his game and bball IQ are much more irregular. Many of us don’t say too much any more because what Lamar brings (except for his rebounding) is always a plus, but never a given.

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  7. I keep thinking Odom is the true x-factor, mainly because he is so unpredictable. Kurt and Craig, you’re both right that when he shows up, (if he does at all in this series) it is huge. What he is capable of contributing, both from a scoring perspective and on defense, is if nothing else the difference that can give Kobe some rest tonight, and Kobe needs rest. Problem is, until anyone other than Gasol and Ariza steps up, he won’t get any. Which is why we need Lamar.

    And I know, we’re not supposed to talk about that other series over in the East in this thread, but I can’t resist sharing this column here: LeBron James hype is out of control

    I think it deserves to be spread around the internet a bit more. 🙂

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  8. Mauer, Salvatore, and Spooner with the whistles tonight.

    More than any other year, the conference finals are being dominated by officiating.

    Kenny Mauer is one of the friendliest to home teams with a +5 point advantage. Bennett Salvatore could be replaced with a random call generator and be well represented. He is also likely to dish out the technicals. Bill Spooner is solid and his +.9 advantage for the home team is the only hope for the Lakers, but unlikely to counter the advantage Mauer and Salvatore give the Nuggs.

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  9. I’d still like to see a Lamar + Pau PNR on the right baseline with Lamar driving with his left into the lane, Kobe, Fish and Ariza perched waiting for the kick out 3 pointer. It always seems Lamar is on his own when trying to create a shot….all he needs is some help with a pick and options if they stop it. His ball handling skills and passing skills are better the most his size and he can kick it out to the guards “over” the top for a bailout. Maybe I’m wrong ? but I don’t remember seeing this …ever.

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  10. Thanks for making my day Bill B.

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  11. Texas Rob,
    The problem with Lamar driving into traffic is his decision making in those situations is terrible. His passes tend to go into traffic or he shoots with the same motion every time – making Anderson’s job much easier.

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  12. what everyone fails to mention in that lebron game is that he had a poor 4th quarter until that shot, he missed many shots and had 3 offensive fouls I think and has no confidence in his jump shot when it matters

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  13. j. d. hastings May 25, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I’m intrigued to see how worn out the Lakers are. I’m not in the camp that says this is a free game. If they can steal this game, it’s a HUGE difference. Especially if they could close it at home and hopefully get some rest for weary legs.

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  14. LO here and there
    Rebound and D @ Pepsi
    Bubbles make me burp

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  15. There are no gimmie games at this point in the playoffs. That means our finishers will play heavy minutes in the 4th qtr of every game.

    It is for this reason that I feel Phil needs to give Shannon, Bynum, and Walton some good run in the 3rd and sprinkle them into the 4th period. Also, perhaps insert Farmar when Billups is out of the game. All these guys have earned their time increase and our regulars really need some added rest.

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  16. Mile high Laker team
    Are moving in on a dream
    I get nothing done

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  17. Thank goodness for Trevor Arizza!! This team desperately needed a defensive stopper besides Kobe. But Saturday he hit a big 3 pointer and 2 free throws.
    Perhaps it may be time to unplug the ‘machine’. How about using the duo of Jordan Farmar + Shannon Brown when Fisher and Bryant go to the bench? Sasha has not given this team very much in the last 2 weeks. This is just “one man’s opinion”.
    Go Lakers!!!

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  18. My prediciton is that the Lakers will lose tonight….Denver will have so much desperation and the LAkers we all know will not have that sense of urgency.

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  19. Change rotations now
    Brown as backup shooting guard
    Nail Machine to bench

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  20. I’m going to go against my head and say the Lakers take it tonight. I do not believe the Nuggets will play smart enough when they play with too much emotion, and they will since they are desperate tonight. If we can match their energy and not get down, we can pull this one out.

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  21. I predict the Lakers will be prepared for a team intent on taking it to the hoop and not settling for jumpshots. They’re going to draw charges, block shots, create fast break opportunities, and take advantage of Denver’s poor transition D.

    Hopefully, this’ll be an old-fashioned Showtime blow-out, plus the debut of Drew’s sky hook!

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  22. Will they phone it in?
    Based on the Lakers track record…
    But I still have hope

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  23. Wow, I regretted my comment like 5 minutes after I said it.

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  24. the Nuggs are not going to go away easy, they are going to fight like a cornered rat, (to quote The Art of War), so we have to decide are we in for this level of fight? or do we save something for the rest of the series?
    I am glad we have PJ on our team, years of experience are worth something and I trust him to know the best way to approach this.
    I think we’ll come out hard early, do everything we can to match intensity and stay close.
    on one hand, the Nuggs could very well be playing tight due to the added pressure of not wanting to go down 3 to 1, and we can play fast and loose because we don’t have that pressure.
    if it’s close and winnable, we stay in the hunt, play our vets the extra minutes, try to pull this out ’cause being up 3 to 1 is death. there’s no way they can win 3 of the next four and all we have to do is get 1.
    if on the other hand, they are playing with intensity that we just don’t have tonight, look for PJ to use this time to get some PT for the likes of Bynum, Powell, Mbenga, brown. let them get their thythm going for the rest of the series.
    (notice I did not include Sasha, I’m done with him, I hope he gets a DNP-coaches decision tonight)
    big game, big time stage!

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  25. 19 – My favorite poem so far. But I think the reason Phil keeps going with Sasha is because Sasha’s problems are mental, so Phil may worry benching him would destroy his…I can’t say confidence, but something mental. I don’t know if Phil could do any more damage, though.

    Free ShanWOW!

    Like Kurt said, if they’re taking Kobe out of the game, we have to make them pay. Brown is one of the few players that has shown glimpses of being able to create his own shot.

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  26. For anyone who follows tennis, is it true Federer took down Nadal in a non-Grand Slam tournament recently?

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  27. 26, yes. On clay, no less.

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  28. 26

    Yes, he won the Madrid Masters to end Nadal’s 33-game winning streak on clay. Only the second time he’s beaten Nadal on clay – he also did it in Hamburg in 2007. Funnily enough Nadal was on a massive clay-court winning streak (70+ games) going into that game as well.

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  29. Dodgers up 15-6 in Colorado… hopefully a good omen.

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  30. Hopefully a good omen for the French Open then.

    Mimsy – That article is awesome. Bianchi is my hero. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Lebron quite a bit, but this hype is out of control. I blame the fawning media, and the idiots who started this hype before even 2003.

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  31. two offerings:

    Impatient boxers
    lose throwing wild haymakers:
    Nuggets in Game 3

    Cats toying with mice:
    Headfake, elevate over
    rat-faced JR Smith.

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  32. “I have three more rings,
    one for each choc’late cookie
    Lebron, what you got?”

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  33. Sportsguy Hate May 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Kobe is tired
    Lamar needs to step it up
    Contract season time

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  34. Some things I’m watchin for:

    1. More than normal, it would be best if the Lakers built an early lead. I think there’s a danger that some of the Lakers (if even unconsciously…) will be satisfied with merely a split in Denver and an early Nuggets lead would sap some of their drive. Also, if Denver falls behind early the pressure on them builds and they’re more likely to start pressing and making stupid plays (they seem not to need much of a push in this direction…).

    2. Bench production or Bynum…a common refrain for us, but especially important tonight when many of our main contributors are suffering from pains and fatigue. Farmar, Brown and Walton (I won’t even ask for Sasha at this point) have to come in and provide quality minutes, good energy and some three point shooting to relieve the starters. Or, Bynum has to play like a legit starter on a championship team. A line of 14, 10 and four blocks and tough interior D in twenty eight minutes would be nice in itself, and would help Pau conserve some energy.

    3. Slow the pace. I think the Lakers can out-execute the Nuggets but at this point in the season struggle to run with them. If the Lakers can build the early lead and turn the game into a question of execution and intelligence…we got a good shot at inflicting a devastating defeat.

    4. Kobe…(are we able to even offer advice about or to Kobe anymore?…almost seems like a lack of belief or gratitude…but…)…drive the ball to the rim. He’s been banged up quite a bit…in this series and the last he’s been shoved, elbowed, hit, poked, scratched, slapped and kicked almost every time down the lane. But he can’t settle for jumpers tonight. He might because of tired legs…but he’ll struggle because of tired legs. Take it to the hole, right at the foul prone Nugget big men, set the tone early, draw fouls, slow the game. And avoid the ego scuffle with Anthony. Especially when Luke’s in the game, we can post him up against the 2 guard as Anthony takes Kobe. Above all Kobe, manage this game for us.

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  35. Hey, i know this might be a little preemptive, but is anyone else a little scared of orlando in the finals?

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  36. Lakers, please play smart!
    Only brain on Denver team:
    JR’s shoulder tat.

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  37. 34, i agree with ou about what kobe must do – our success against this team i think is dependent on getting close range shots, or getting fouls (like game 3) that was how we won getting them in foul trouble – otherwise we make it way too easy for denver and until we have anyone other than kobe or ariza make an outside shot we must drive the ball to the hole

    also i really curious to see if the lakers come out and “Try” to win this game – i will be surprised if they do given their recent history – however i really really hope they give full effort to win this game since it would be huge –
    i am still waiting for gasol to erupt for a big game in which he actually is good from the beginning, does not get creamed on defense, and most of all is aggressive like he was at the end of game 4
    also – the more we put pressure on denver the more they will get frustrated and pick up some technicals we can be used to our advantage

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  38. also if i PJ put in vujacic over brown or walton i think i will have a heart attack – i am so sick of him – not because he can’t hit shots but because he is stupid – you could be 100 bucks that ever time he comes in he gets 0 pts, and at least 2 cheap fouls

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  39. Jeff,

    “Preemptivity” forgiven. Yeah, Orlando scares me a lot more than Cleveland. If our Lakers and the Magic are fortunate enough to make it to the finals, they are a much worse match up for us. I don’t see how we can play Gasol and Bynum at the same time when they have a power forward who shoots 3’s like Lewis.

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  40. Chibi – JR Smith as our rat-faced opponent..very nice.

    I’m on board with those that see this as a big game. As I think Harold mentioned, this game will make the series tied or overwhelmingly in our favor. By taking a 3-1 lead, we see a severe motivation to close out in LA (which we probably would), so that our players can get a bit of rest.

    I think we’ll see more focus and ferocity tonight from the role players, in comparison to the Houston series. We were in the same shape there, but we let up. Reason? Our own arrogance against an inferior opponent. The players know that Denver is good, and I think they want them gone ASAP.

    I look for a methodical attack from the Lakers. Kobe will pick his spots, and as long as the score is close down the wire, we will have the poise to execute. As far as rotations go, just make it work. As has been concluded, Fisher is not necessarily superior to his subordinates at PG, but his strengths theirs. I’ve been on the “get fish outta there” bandwagon, and I mean that throughout the game. But down the stretch, I like Fish

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  41. **Correction: But his (Fisher’s) strength’s outweigh theirs

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  42. Denver is going to come out like gang-busters tonight. All of the pressure is on them to even up the series after a dismal showing in Game 3. Look for lots of energy and emotion from the get-go. If we can sustain the Nuggets onslaught and stay even with them in the early going, they will tighten up and will begin to lose faith.

    Execution by our bigs in the paint, both on the defensive and offensive ends. LO, LO, LO. Maybe his back is still bothering him, but he played more consistently against Houston than he is now. Denver is a quick double team once the ball enters the post. Once they commit, we need to kick the ball back out and exploit their gambles for easy blindsided steals.

    If we weather the storm in the first quarter, this one is ours.

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  43. 38, … and shoots off the dribble moving to his left like he’s CP3….

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  44. this is what i started to realize. Whoever(the ESPN guys, Jerry West, Charles, u know what i mean, like professional people, not watchers) says kobe is better, they all mean it from the bottom of their hearts. Whoever says Lebron is better, they know deep in their hearts and mind that kobe is the best. But they lose kobe soo much that they see he has no motivation as much as he did back in the days. They want to throw in a motivation for kobe. Other than that, you just got to be stupid to say lebron is better than kobe. Kobe does what it takes to win the championship, but lebron is trying to one-up kobe game by game. He is trying to say he is better, he is trying to prove a point, and he is failing. Yeah he had 41 points, but look at his shooting percentage. he chocked at the free-throw line. Yeah he made a miracle 3, so what. it was just a one lucky shot. People look at it 15 times a day, and say wow. If someone says kobe nailed a half-court 3 at the buzzer to win the game, nobody would be surprised. In fact 90% of people would say “again?”. This guy is nailing daggers for more than a decade now. how can you ever compare kobe to kobe-wanna-be? If people think kobe is wanna-be-jordan, hey, whatever…. he does what jordan did right?? so that doesnt make him a wanna-be-jordan. The only thing you could say about kobe being a wanna-be-jordan is him wanting to win more championships. thats the only thing you could say is a “wanna-be” in kobe. but lebron?? he wants to be like kobe, he won one game out of 3 for cleveland. Kobe won 3 games out of 3 for lakers. and i dont think anyone can argue about it. And this is from an over-30-yr old guy who has a lot of miles on his legs. Shame on people who try to compare lebron to kobe. Thats disrespect to KOBE the “BLACK MAMBA” Bryant. Oh i so wish to see cleveland joining the lakers in the finals, which i dont think will happen. But i want that so people would finally shut up when kobe nails a dagger in game 4 of finals on lebrons face on his way to 50 points and game winning 3 that sweeps the cavs.

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  45. About the Federer thing, I wouldn’t take his victory in Madrid as a “real clay” victory over Nadal.
    Due to altitude the bounce and speed of the ball was more like a hard/indoor than real clay
    court.

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  46. Nadal is the best clay court player to ever play the game…yes, I am going that far to say that.

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  47. #35
    I will be when we get there. Right now, I’m focused on the Nuggets. We need everyone to show up for this game, or it will not be pretty. Not pretty at all.

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  48. harrydoballin May 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I randomly read that Pau and Nadal are friends …

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  49. Sportsguy Hate May 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Not to change the subject or anything – but there’s been quite a bit of discuss on the radio regarding Lamar’s status after this season.

    What about a ‘sign and trade’ of Lamar and Sasha’s contract to the Bulls for Hinrich and scrubs? Lakers need a solid replacement for Fisher and the Bulls are not sold on Tyrus Thomas and need a guy to fill a spot in their rotation to defend, block shots and rebounds and doesn’t need to be one of their top 3 scorers.

    What do you think?

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  50. Haikus are in season, are they not?
    I’m jumping too, I’ll give it a shot.

    twenty four, take game four
    burn the bridge take out carmelo
    in the fridge goes the jello

    ah forget it, rhyming ain’t my thing
    but let’s not forget, we’re playing for a ring.

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  51. Seven runs in the 4th and eight runs in the 7th

    let’s hope this LA – Colorado thing in Baseball foreshadows NBA results

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  52. inspired by lil’pau:

    Lakers, play smart!
    mistakes and brain farts
    they’re all K-mart’s

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  53. “But a day later, Kobe Bryant said he was feeling much better after sleeping for eight hours. Bryant said he normally sleeps about three hours a night.”

    is Kobe Bryant a vampire?

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  54. #48,
    I’ve seen him outside in sunlight, so no. He may be part werewolf though… that would explain that superhuman strength and focus, and that predatory killer instinct of his.

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  55. And this Kobe vs LeBron hype needs to stop. At least wait until AFTER the conference finals are over. Seriously. It will be the biggest awkward moment yet this season if they have to do a Kobe vs Dwight or Lebron vs Anthony frenzy montage just because we’re so busy taking things for granted everyone forgot that there are still two other teams playing, and they’re both good.

    I mean, I like LeBron and there is no one like Kobe, but the hype makes me want to vomit.

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  56. @eriko number 40

    Kobe won 3 games out of 3 for lakers? I thought we were up 2-1?

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  57. i agree mimsy – it is gross. i bet secretly the announcers want to vomit as well but they are told to keep talking about it, i also think the refs are probably told to givet cheap fouls on the magic to help cleveland get to the finals since it would be best for the nba to see a kobe lebron final
    such sycophancy makes me never want to watch sportscenter again!

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  58. @Mimsy

    Think Vitaminwater, i really wish Orlando wins out and the lakers win of course just to stop with all that Kobe vs. Lebron centered commercial

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  59. #53,
    Oddly, I have completely stopped buying vitamin water since they started these commercials… the marketing must not be working right.

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  60. Pau paces himself too much throughout the game.

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  61. Kelly Dwyer indirectly destroying Bill Simmons (and a lot of other people, but Simmons is the most prominent) in BtBS by taking the people whining about the refs to task. Simmons is the one writer out there that complains about the refs more than any other, dedicating entire columns to it, so it was nice to see KD take a shot for the other side.

    I can understand officiating is a problem, but they’re human. Would adding more refs be a possible solution? Here’s a really weird suggestion that I’ll probably regret – what if there was a team of ‘video’ refs behind the scenes who had lightning quick access to footage, and could in a few seconds tell if a foul was really a foul and relay it to the court? I know it sounds really off, but if done right they could make a quick call using video without slowing the game down (and not necessary on every play). What halts the game is when the floor refs have to walk over to the sideline TV and watch them.

    I’m probably delusional. Game time!

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  62. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Ready for the spanking to begin! Nuggets going down tonight.

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  63. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    nuggets pregame intro is lame.

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  64. Game1 was an ugly game,
    The look of a witch’s grin.
    It brought my team a sea of shame:
    Can’t get the ball from out to in.

    Game 2 mirrored the first show,
    Those who led by double digits lost to the competition.
    Bless the refs, whose whistles didn’t blow,
    When a Rockie did a lane violation.

    Now Game 3 was more of a funeral,
    Emotions dancing to the beat of the rumba.
    The result was pretty much memorial,
    A dagger courtesy of the Black Mamba.

    Expect a solid show from the Playoff Nuggets,
    Game 4 will be a different story,
    If LA won’t come to play, they’ll see,
    The way we win on High Mountain “Rocky”

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  65. la_resistance28 May 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Over the past couple weeks of the playoffs, I think KDwyer has become one of my fave NBA writers, especially with his BtBS posts. Dude knows his basketball, always tells it like it is, and writes in a really fun-to-read style

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  66. Wonder what the Kobe vs. LeBron thing does to the psyche of other Lakers and other Cavaliers. Maybe that’s why all of them sorta disappeared 🙁

    As for the hype on LeBron, I agree with Bianchi. I mean, if I were to build a team from scratch, I myself will probably take LeBron over Kobe, but he is not quite deserving of that much hype.

    Of course, he DOES have a history of meeting (and exceeding) hype, so I can see where all the love comes from. Especially when a big sponsor like Nike has vested interest in him…

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  67. 59 – Yup, and on top of that the amount of time he spends on that stuff (watching, rewatching games) and noting details is amazing.

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  68. BEAUTIFUL play to start the game.

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  69. Is it me or I’m seeing Kobe “in the zone” for Game 4?

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  70. #59, 61,
    You’re making me curious about this Dwyer guy now… link?

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  71. j. d. hastings May 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    yeah kobe v. lebron is already old. I don’t want tothink about what it’l look like if it comes to pass.

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  72. I have a feeling someone who’s been slumping – Bynum, Fish, Sasha, Lamar (kind of) – will have a big game tonight.

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  73. Great aggressiveness. I want to see us get them in the penalty early.

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  74. Game1 was an ugly game,
    The look of a witch’s grin.
    It brought my team a sea of shame:
    Can’t get the ball from out to in.

    Game 2 mirrored the first show,
    Those who led by double digits lost to the competition.
    Bless the refs, whose whistles didn’t blow,
    When a Rockie did a lane violation.

    Now Game 3 was more of a funeral,
    Emotions dancing to the beat of the rumba.
    The result was pretty much memorial,
    A dagger courtesy of the Black Mamba.

    Expect a solid show from the Playoff Nuggets,
    Game 4 will be a different story,
    If LA won’t come to play, they’ll see,
    The way we win on High Mountain “Rocky”

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  75. Mimsy – he writes articles for Yahoo sports after every single game, regular season or playoffs. Top notch work. He’s on Ball Don’t Lie with Skeets. Here’s his stuff from last night:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Behind-the-Box-Score-where-Orlando-s-grip-is-ti;_ylt=AoIHReC.BiwNiFkqDMWAt5q8vLYF?urn=nba,165633

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  76. Hey everyone, so should we be rooting for Lakers to be behind after the first quarter?

    Mimsy, go to yahoo, nba blog. Dwyer and Skeets are the two main contributors. Second Dwyer’s excellent writing. Rod Benson’s stuff is also pretty funny

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  77. those three FTs, let’s hope they don’t come back to haunt us.

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  78. #76,
    Thanks! I’ll read it later, maybe during the next Nike commercial. 🙂

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  79. Whops. That was meant to be 67, not 76

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  80. did the lakers practice free throws after game 3 – because it’s starting to look like de ja vu

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  81. What is it about shooting free throws in Denver? 1/4 to start. Hope that doesn’t continue.

    Love Bynum’s play so far.

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  82. also we have missed at least 3 defensive rebounds

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  83. how does 7 foot gasol get pushed out from under the basket?

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  84. Denver will give anyone not named Kobe wide open threes.

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  85. Kobe trying to avoid the T, normally he’d be yelling after that no call.

    0

  86. Windmill dunk in the playoffs? Down 2-1? Hmmm

    0

  87. Good start, considering that every time a team led in the first quarter, they lost.

    0

  88. following telecast.

    shots we are taking good but not falling, or no good shots to begin with?

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  89. Umm we will need to hit an open 3 at some point tonight if we have any chance at this game. Forget the missed free throws. It seems like we will have to deal with that no matter what.

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  90. That was the best play they could get out of a timeout?

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  91. it amazing we are up 2-1since no one can hit a jump shot, it’s really scary,
    we need to stop denver’s offensive rebounds and penetration

    0

  92. Snoopy and la_resistance:
    Thank you for that link! I will definitely start following Kelly Dwyer’s writings from here on. I love reading an analysis from a different angle, and that was a new way of looking at things.

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  93. I agree, we’ll need at least one person to hit threes to space the floor. Already Ariza had trouble getting it into Bynum in the post because they were sagging so far off him. Ariza hit 3’s last game, we just need 1 person to step up and open the floor up with some shooting.

    Play Bynum until he has 6 fouls. I don’t want to see him benched.

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  94. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    where is Bynum’s defense?

    0

  95. Go Fisher!

    0

  96. Really lazy start overall. I’m having flashbacks to Houston game 4.

    0

  97. Hmmm Ariza’s strip looked clean right there.

    0

  98. we are going to be killed in this game by free throws it’s obvious already they are going to call in their favor
    hope we can stay close

    0

  99. Lakers just got to keep it around 5 to 7 points, the main thing is we cant give Denver a big double digit lead like we gave Houston

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  100. There is something really weird with free throws in Denver. They are not shooting theirs well either.

    0

  101. god i hate this – they are calling every tiny bump foul

    0

  102. JESUS the refs are quick with their whistles tonight. What a lame touch foul on Luke

    0

  103. Shannon first guard off the bench! Phil does listen!

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  104. to follow up, there was FAR, FAR more contact on drives by kobe and melo than that little bump right there. is it too much to ask for a little consistency??

    0

  105. early fouls, and falling behind early tended to produce good results in this series.

    let’s hope that trend continues.

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  106. I think I’ve been affected by the touch-foul disease. All my comments are stuck waiting for moderation! 🙂

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  107. Hey guys, maybe the Lakers are due to lay an egg tonight hahah.

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  108. I hope the refs are conisitent in their calls tonight

    0

  109. My usual ref complaint, just be consistent. Whether it be touch fouls on both ends or let them play, don’t care, just keep it consistent.

    What I don’t understand is how Den the supposed more physical defensive team doesn’t get the foul calls while Lakers the supposed soft finesse team gets the foul on bumps.

    I actually thought Bynum showed good energy in those opening minutes and didn’t challenge hard a couple of times only because he was trying to avoid fouling.

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  110. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I would rather watch WWE than all these free thows.

    0

  111. Can somebody please make a jumper?

    0

  112. That was a very nice block by Pau. Let’s keep that up!

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  113. Mohan I don’t think this is much like the Houston game 4. They’re playing with energy and getting decent looks, the shots just aren’t falling. The Nuggets are doing a good job of driving to the basket.

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  114. Jeez, did Brown tick off his teammates? How come no one ever calls out a screen warning for him? He almost ran hard into Andersen that time again.

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  115. Can’t be fun to have both our performers play the full first quarter…

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  116. jesus get the offensive rebound! – we might be winning this game – they have so many second chance points!

    0

  117. Sasha is in, I’m scared, someone hold me.

    0

  118. did anyone see billups tug the shorts of a laker?

    0

  119. Let’s hope we don’t get out-rebounded by 6 the following quarters.

    Paging our bigs… paging our bigs…

    and a turnover… need to get that stop!

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  120. Kobee SO SICK OMG…..

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  121. Mama there goes that man.

    Kobe, I. Hate. You.

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  122. Our bench better really step up, or we’ll have a Kobe that will be totally wasted by the 3rd.

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  123. Kobe being Kobe, 3 huge baskets to close the quarter.

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  124. kobes awesome

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  125. Well, Kobe certainly ended the 1st on a tear. Feels so similar to other games. We could just cut & paste in “well, we’ve played really poorly, but we’re still close” form the 1st quarter comments of pretty much any game this post-season.

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  126. Kobe is singlehandedly keeping us in the game despite the best efforts of the refs and our lack of defensive rebounding

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  127. we’re down 3 even after hounding melo to 0/8 from the field.

    that really doesn’t bode well.

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  128. With the Lakers in early foul trouble Kobe might see some time at small forward

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  129. can you imagine how badly we would be crushing the thuggets in this game – if we made free thows, got a few more rebounds, and they didn’t have the refs keeping them alive by calling ridiculous fouls on us – we shot terribly and down by 3

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  130. Guys, I have a feeling we are gonna need another huge game from Kobe if we are gonna win this…

    0

  131. the refs are being absurd as well

    0

  132. I like Pau’s intensity thus far. It’s not as good as we’d like, but it’s better than the usual Pau in the 1st quarter.

    It’d be fantastic if the non-Kobe guards and forwards could hit a shot.

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  133. Just keep it close and continue to run the offense. And at some point we will knock down those open 3’s. Pau is dominating his matchups, just keep pounding it inside.

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  134. Textbook 2 for 1, Kobe coming through with two quality looks for makes and team getting the stop in between.

    I actually like the way the team is playing. Just need to keep running things correctly and get good looks and stops. Den has gotten a few of their boards and shots off tough bounces going their way. That kind of stuff happens and you just have to live with it.

    As long as Lakers keep executing and being in the right spot on D rotations, they’ll be okay. Let the bad bounces sort themselves out.

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  135. Mark Jackson has the worst 1-liners heading into commercial. “It’s late, but the bank is open.”

    Can’t you just read the score?

    Bench can’t lose the momentum that Kobe’s created now. Last game we played well in transition, I’d like to see Farmar push the pace and get some easy buckets.

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  136. This is not a game to step back and admire Kobe’s greatness, not if you’re playing in a Laker jersey. Everyone else needs to play as hard and produce as much, as they ever have.

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  137. Pau is playing great. I can’t wait to see the bench perform.

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  138. Mimsy, if we’re talking playoffs, that’s not much.

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  139. Mohan: I don’t know how much intensity you’d like, but I think 7 boards, 2 blocks plus 5-6 altered shots is pretty decent?

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  140. wow, giving up lotsa boards to begin the 2nd.

    still, no points allowed.

    gasol is going to be gassed unless we see an efficient bynum…

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  141. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Can anyone rebound the flippin’ ball? This effort is embarassing.

    0

  142. apparently if you play like you’re on acid, you cannot foul anyone.

    0

  143. Putting Josh Powell and Sasha on the floor at the same time is basically conceding the game.

    0

  144. Probably NOT what we hoped for as far as coming out hard in the 2nd…

    0

  145. Interesting lineup on the floor. Sasha and Brown with Powell?

    0

  146. The thing about having Anderson check anybody in the post is that all you have to do is throw him kind of head fake and he’ll be jumping out of his kicks. The guy literally tries to block everything. I want a strong pivot, a head fake, and then have them go up strong for the bucket and-one. This goes for Bynum, Pau, Powell, and Odom alike.

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  147. CALL A time out…

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  148. Hold on Nene there preventing Powell from getting the long board.

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  149. Why is it that this happens every single time the bench comes in?

    0

  150. Andreas – I still think he gave up some easy looks and offensive rebounds to Chris Anderson and Nene.

    0

  151. Great job by the bench so far…

    0

  152. 2nd unit is horrible. Just horrible.

    0

  153. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Pau is playing like my 5 year old.

    0

  154. anyone know the foul discrepancy between the two teams

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  155. Can we please get Sasha out of there? How can he get this much leash but Bynum and Brown get yanked right away?

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  156. Looks like we’re going nowhere when Kobe’s on the bench.

    My gawd, this team is giving me flashes of our teams that faced PHX in the first round.

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  157. Well so much for the bench holding the momentum.

    Kobe Bean, I hope your legs are ready for another long night.

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  158. how can these fans like anderson? he is a THUG who was suspended from the nba for two years – he is so gross – but i wish that one of our players could be that aggressive
    why we can’t we dive on the ground for the rebounds – did you see how we watched denver run for that offensive board- i love the way PJ puts our bench in and let the lead balloon so it is too big before we put kobe back in – i can’t understand why vujacic gets to start – we are guaranteed to be minus at least 5 with him in

    0

  159. Interesting line up there. It felt like 2 on 5. I dont get our substitution patterns sometimes.

    0

  160. Our bench just stinks, lets face it.

    0

  161. 9-3 for fouls called.

    0

  162. Where is the offensive foul on Nene for the grab job on Josh Powell?

    I just want a Farmar/Brown backcourt. One time, please!

    Pau needs to yell at them to get the ball in the post.

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  163. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    What is PJ thinking putting that lineup on the floor?

    0

  164. Lakers: 6 free throw attempts, 3 made
    Nuggets: 14 attempts, 10 made

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  165. Lakers are missing a ton of shots, and they’ll probably start to fall eventually, but right now they’re compounding that problem by not taking the ball to the rack (Kobe aside) or really working out of the post at all. If they start getting some easy buckets inside that quiets the crowd, gets the Nuggets sagging a little more, and starts building momentum. I think it comes as no shock to anybody that what we need is to aggressively pound the paint (Derek Fisher, that does not go for you)…

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  166. Pretty sad that Powell is in there to grab boards and he’s still playing soft in the middle.

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  167. Let’s take advantage with this lineup, please.

    If we can’t close it here, we really are going to make it a lot harder than it should be.

    0

  168. Kobe comes in and gives 5 free points to Kleiza.

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  169. Twice in a row where Kobe was not paying attention to Kleiza.

    0

  170. sasha u cant guard smith when ur 5 feet in front of him y are u tryin to play full court press….

    0

  171. Protect the paint. Attack the paint. Love the paint. Above all, do not leave white jerseys alone in the paint.

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  172. this is horrible to watch the nuggets just get dunk after dunk

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  173. I don’t get all this whining from fans.
    If someone’s making a good play, you praise him.
    If he’s making a bad play, you criticize him.

    Question is, aren’t they humans at all?
    It’s like you guys only like your team when they are doing good.

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  174. Doesn’t look good for Melo. Those injuries you receive on your own are seldom of the good kind in my experience. Hope he’s ok.

    0

  175. Birdman, think of this commentary as on going TV banter with your friends.

    Reactions on the fly, and apologies after the game 😉

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  176. Denver guards are getting penetration almost every time, then making the right pass when our bigs cut them off. Easy dunks for Denver bigs. It all starts with guard penetration.

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  177. Birdman,
    We still like them. We just think they’re playing bad right now. 😉

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  178. No interior defense whatsoever

    0

  179. And as I say that he returns; guess it was a good thing I didn’t become a doctor..

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  180. Wow, this is like G1 with entire Laker team getting into foul trouble early.

    0

  181. i wanna punch refs right now… i have never seen it so unfairly called

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  182. birdman, we like our guys regardless of win our lose when they show effort and don’t repeatedly make dumb mistakes, I get mad when the other team out hustles us, that’s why they are paid millions, if you start off and give up too many rebounds and fix it – then ok – but its frustrating when they make silly mistakes and don’t correct them

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  183. Is melo injured? Let’s hope it’s not serious and he comes back.

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  184. just need to have a stop and then run the offense. Rinse and repeat.

    0

  185. In addition to some bad luck on jumpers and poor choices on offense, there has been a real letdown on defense this quarter. Lakers need to keep it close enough so that when they make their second half push, the game’s still within reach.

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  186. Joe Torre taking in the game tonight. Maybe he can help us turn it around.

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  187. That last sequence there with Kobe, nobody was moving or cutting hard. When LO handed the ball off to Kobe, very lackadaisical in moving down the lane while the other three are on the other side just standing still,

    Lakers not running the offense and just expecting Kobe to go into hero mode and score for them. That’s not a good sign regardless of other factors. Need more crisp movement and cuts.

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  188. That’s the downside of our gambling style of defense. I’m surprised it doesn’t bite us more often. A little too much jumping into the passing lanes, missing, and giving them numbers.

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  189. Is it really that hard to rotate properly on defense? We’re 96 games into the season and we still haven’t figured it out on a consistent basis.

    0

  190. My apologies for ranting.
    I know I’m just a house guest here, but maybe it’s just the first time I’ve noticed this kind of thing , just because it’s obvious.

    I get it now. 🙂

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  191. Too many 3pt shots by the Lakers, take it to the hole!!

    6 3pt attempts by the Lakers 2 by the Nuggets.

    The team that DOES NOT rely on the 3 will win the series!!

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  192. “It’s like you guys only like your team when they are doing good.”

    <-

    I ask, why would you like your team why they are doing bad?

    I think there’s a difference between supporting teams and liking teams, in the same way as criticizing is not equal to hating.

    Yes, we criticize, simply because we are humans as well. We enjoy the good plays and get frustrated by the bad plays. I believe that fans are like that, despite criticizing our players, we still watch and try to be one with their every move

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  193. You are kidding me with these 3 second calls.

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  194. Fisher hits the 3, maybe he will be on tonight

    0

  195. I am at a loss to explain all these 3 point shots. Take it inside!

    0

  196. when they are doing WELL and when they are doing BADLY

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  197. Jeff Van Gundy really needs to stop talking.

    0

  198. Pau should demand the darn ball and take advantage of the nugs being in the penalty…

    0

  199. Please play Mbenga and Powell for a few minutes to muscle these guys!

    0

  200. umm, where are the stops?

    0

  201. You can’t stop JR Smith, you can only hope to contain him.

    0

  202. we must get this under 10 by the half and keep driving to the basket

    0

  203. Off topic, Off game.

    Just realized how lucky Shaq was having a reliable sidekick at just about every stop in his NBA Career…

    … and how Kobe must have felt post-Shaq.

    First you get Lamar and hope he’s it. Nope. Then you get Bynum. Nope. Then you get Gasol… and urgh, he’s again so tantalizingly close but just as shaky as the other two.

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  204. Melo 0-9 and we’re still losing by 10.

    0

  205. that’s what so crazy Scot. We need to really step it up!

    0

  206. Don’t know about plyaing Powell. If he’d learn to keep the ball high when he’s about to dunk it, it would be a different story..

    0

  207. Is it just me or has Jeff Van Gundy become extremely annoying. I thought when he first started out announcing that he wasn’t too bad. But now he just runs and mouth and says nothing relevant at all.

    0

  208. anybody in chicago? watch the game at a bar?

    0

  209. Mr. Bryant has been making a concerted effort tonight to take it to the rack and there’s been some kind of Andrew Bynum sighting in Denver (at least so far) and that’s what’s kept us in the game. In order to close this gap we need those guys to keep that up, and everybody to get some stops while looking for good shots inside (I’m looking at you Pau)…

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  210. how good is he?

    0

  211. Mico, why would I like my team even when they are doing bad?

    Because I am a fan.
    Because I respect the game.
    Because they play better than me, therefore I don’t have the right to diss them or even put a stick in their foot.
    I can only state the obvious, I can only give the given, but I can’t say things to them like I play better than them.

    Because that’s the work of a coach and the team leader.

    So why would why I still love my team even when they are doing bad?
    The answer is there.

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  212. Kobe. Thank you.

    0

  213. Since when can you reach around a players back and grab his arm? I always thought that was a foul not a jump ball.

    0

  214. I’m pleased with Fish’s play so far tonight. It’s not the 3 that he hit, but the lack of boneheaded plays that I’m liking.

    1 FG from our bench? Wasn’t this group once revered as the best in the league? This is really, really embarrassing. Although tonight Phil’s Powell/Sasha lineup was a bit suspect.

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  215. ” Never underestimate the hops of a point guard” – Mark Jackson

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  216. that was a ridiculous call – martin fouled fisher clearly! kobe is single-handedly keeping us IN the game – but i don’t know how many times he can WIN the game for us

    we need help

    god – can miss anymore free throws?

    0

  217. Guys, could we drive and pump fake, KMART is a paratrooper he will jump for anything. LO, you can not just take it to him without a pump. Come on, Man.

    Fish, contributing in other ways, yeah, Fish!!

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  218. Pau. Thank you.

    Now, this is eerily like the other games where one team dashes out in the first and coughs up the lead in the 2nd.

    We know how this story ended before. Let’s hope for another familiar ending.

    And melo is like 0/10 now.

    0

  219. Box out!! Get the rebound!!! Come on.

    0

  220. Birdman, I hate basketball and don’t respect the game. I’m pretty sure that I’m better than even Kobe Bryant and therefore can diss him at will. I probably should even be coaching instead of Phil. Now am I allowed to make commentary when I don’t think the Lakers are playing well?

    0

  221. Kobe made that shot a lot more difficult than he needed to.

    0

  222. our defense is soooo pathetic it’s not even funny – it makes me want to cry

    it is called SELF-DESTRUCTION, we get close then decide “let’s give them back a couple easy points”

    0

  223. Denver 10 offensive boards. Inexcusable.

    0

  224. How much did Karl pay these refs? The lakers are getting whored.

    0

  225. Watching gamecast.

    Why are we giving up so many dunks?

    0

  226. Birdman,
    Where you an d I disagree is that I can love my team while disapproving of what they do and how they play. I can dislike the way they refuse to defend the paint, or drive into the paint on the other end and I can want to strangle them for not playing up too their full potential. I still love them, just not what they do.

    0

  227. Ryan – Agreed. That was an easy J off two dribbles or jab step J and he overcomplicated it.

    0

  228. We put them in the penalty with about 4 points left, but got absolutely nothing from it.

    Sick.

    0

  229. can they please stop “singing” about birdmann – it’s disgusting – to be praising a guy who was suspended for two years – can’t they pick anyone else to harp on who doesn’t have a rap sheet?

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  230. 204) Can he do any worse than what’s going on out there right now?

    Pau and Kobe are gassed, the only difference is Kobe is a stone-cold killer, so he brings it no matter what.

    Where are the rest of these guys that did not play the whole 2008 summer?

    0

  231. Bad call there. Should have been a charge.

    0

  232. seems like every charge/blocking ”iffy” call is going to the nuggz

    0

  233. It’s different giving the commentary and make a constructive criticism.
    Different than saying things like “Oh, he looks like a 10-year old like there” without even thinking what you just said.

    0

  234. no one in the league including lebron makes more difficult shots thank kobe

    0

  235. At least we’re still in single digits.

    0

  236. Can we get a moving screen call on Andersen?

    0

  237. could be a lot worse, but again too many minutes for pau and kobe

    0

  238. 21 minutes of play for Kobe.
    20 minutes of play for Pau.

    Our bench better come out with some real, real fire.

    0

  239. down by 7

    no biggie.

    nuggets havent even made one turnover

    we should be happy were down by 7.

    0

  240. 7 points is really doable. Tighten up on defense a little and keep the pressure up inside. The one thing we know about the Nuggets is that for all the hot starts, they will falter down the stretch. As long as we’re in a position to pounce when that happens, we’re in good shape.

    0

  241. Mimsy,
    I think we’re in the same page.
    Maybe I’ve been misquoted. I’m not good at constructing the right words.
    But we’re in the same page.

    0

  242. Denver bench is outscoring our bench 20-3. Wow.

    0

  243. what exactly did anderson get suspended for? if he was just addicted to drug and cleaned himself up, that’s ok with me. if it was drunk driving or something like that, that’s a different matter.

    0

  244. Kobe and Pau 29pts 50%FGM 11reb 6assist 3blocks

    Rest of the team 16pts 28%FGM 8reb 3assist 1block

    Kind of depressing……

    0

  245. Lakers outrebounded 31-19. Jebus.

    0

  246. I’m a little unsure why there’s so much frustration with Pau. I’ve absolutely loved his defense, with Bynum ineffective he’s picking up the slack and altering a ton of shots. Offensively he was aggressive near the end, just couldn’t hit FTs.

    JR Smith’s really opened up the game for everyone else. Did anyone see Sasha just blocking Smith’s path when he was trying to walk to the bench during a break in action? The guy tries so hard to be annoying. It’s entertaining, sort of.

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  247. Also, maybe Birdman can answer this, what’s with my home-boy ‘Melo taking all those jumpers? He’s only 1-11 from the field, you would think he would go back to where he’s been successful by banging our guys in the post, yet for some reason he keeps pulling up from 20 or so.

    0

  248. Kobe will pull it out.

    0

  249. how in the world are we even in this game? It’s not like we have a bench any more. Uggh. Come guys, let’s pick it up!

    0

  250. Lakers need to do a better job on the boards. No one is in foul trouble. Gasol and Kobe are playing too many minutes. (They have to to keep the Lakers in the game) Where was Bynum in the 2nd Q?

    0

  251. Attack the F’n rim!!!!

    We’re getting out-hustled on both sides of the ball and are very lucky to be so close. Denver is playing so much more aggressive than we are.

    Attack. Defend. Rebound.

    0

  252. I forget, who has the ball coming out of the half? Did we win the tip?

    0

  253. Pau’s heart May 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I’m still in hiding

    0

  254. as a nuggets fan that is the very frustrating thing about melo is he sometimes falls in love with the jumper and fails to realize that he is basically unstoppable when he drives to the hole but i also would be surprised if he struggles all game im sure billups will talk to him about going to the hole

    0

  255. Nick, Denver has the ball first in the 2nd half

    0

  256. They get the ball. We have it for the fourth.

    0

  257. Nick the Great,

    I really don’t know what got to his mind showing off some mid-range jumpers.
    But I think, that’s what happens when you play Kobe 1-on-1 (either in defense or offense), you try to tell him “Hey, I can do it, too”.

    I agree good things happen when he drives to the hoop, but he’s just trying to do more in the perimeter than muscling his way into the paint.

    He has a pretty much reliable jumpshot if you’ve watch Denver games this season,but that’s because he doesn’t face much of a competition in the SF position, except for Lebron James when they play, and Melo owns the Cavs everytime they play.

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  258. As Mimsy said, I can support my team without liking the way that they currently play. If they are missing their shots, and being in a 15 point hole or a 40 point hole in the previous series, what should I do? Should I whoop it up?

    No, I get frustrated and ask why is fisher shooting so many threes? or say sasha has a poor shot selection this game.

    Now, i am with you about dissing, dissing is different than criticizing, saying “kobe sucks get him out of there”, or vujacic but in your post which I replied to, what you said was criticism.

    “Because they play better than me, therefore I don’t have the right to diss them or even put a stick in their foot.”

    Because if you bunch criticism and dissing, that pretty much puts every sports analyst, good or otherwise who’s not on the level of Michael Jordan or NBA Hall of famers into the same bunch.

    0

  259. After this first half, I can understand some of Bynum’s frustration. Often he works hard against the active Denver bigs to establish position. But as soon as he has, the ball is swung around the top. After some time, it really gets hard to be out there just throwing guys around on the offensive and defensive glass and setting picks. It also adds to the feeling that when you finally get the ball, maybe even a few feet out of your ideal range to just give it a try. And as a C, Bynum doesn’t even get to touch the ball much on passes or dribble it a bit, so it’s especially hard to stay in rhythm.

    Just reading Mo Williams’ guarantee for the Cavs to win the series, I stumbled over this sentence: “James has been doing his part. His teammates have not.” Not to start another senseless Kobe-KeBron debate, but when it was Smush and Kwame missing all the shots and not helping much, Kobe was not making his teammates better. Can’t have it both ways, in my opinion.

    0

  260. Pau is having an excellent game. He, Kobe, and Bynum are the only ones producing so far.

    0

  261. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Not happy with the way the Lakers played the first half but I still feel like the lakers will have a much better defensive effort in the second half which will lead to easy baskets. Still feel like the Lakers will win this game.

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  262. emh101 – thanks, I would rather have it to start the quarter.

    Birdman – He definitely has touch from out there, but there’s no sense in making the game tougher on himself. I wonder if it has something to do with that ankle and not being able to make hard stops on it.

    Joel – not true, sir, you’re also having an excellent game.

    0

  263. Okay, trying to be positive now: Gasol is playing like a hero. He’s just not making his free throws, but he’s aggressive, fearless, and the free throws will come. Kobe is being Kobe.

    Bynum played better than I expected, showed effort on defense and got some rebounds.

    We have more or less neutralized both Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony.

    Despite missing the majority of our free throws, the bench giving us next to nothing, and a complete lack of interior defense, we are still only down by 7.

    Yes, this is definitely manageable.

    0

  264. I rarely, if ever, mention the refs. But both teams are bumping the ball handler and both teams are reaching in on shot attempts. Only we are getting called for those with more frequency…

    We’re giving up O-rebounds and dunks/layups because ALL of our guards/wings are struggling to control penetration. We’ve got to shut down the ball handler if we want to get stops consistently. We’re also not playing very smart by gambling for steals and by not marking our man when we’re not frontline helpers – that means you Kobe.

    Otherwise, I think we are okay. We’ve settled down on offense and are getting good looks. Gasol and Bynum have been agressive on the block and Kobe’s penetrated well. I know that Melo and Billups have not played well, but that happens – just like some of our wide open looks have rattled out. This game has followed the template of every other game this series and we’ve won two of those games. No need to panic.

    0

  265. Why couldn’t Bynum play more minutes in the first half he was effective. Sit Gasol when you bring Lamar in, that way Gasol can get a little rest. Come on Phil be creative on your roations.

    0

  266. I am currently watching this game with the sound turned down. Does anyone else hate listening to Van Gundy and Mark Jackson as much as I do. I just want to watch the game. Their incessant criticism and self importance is killing me. It would be nice is Sasha just stayed out of the game.

    0

  267. PS – the bench, including Lamar, is 1-11 with only 2 assists to go along with 3 turnovers and 5 fouls. We may not not be able to catch fire like we were at the start of the season, but our guys are better than that. Hopefully they pick it up a bit.

    0

  268. 257

    I’m not sure how to respond to that…

    0

  269. 259

    You’re not the only one. My only consolation is that even the 2 of them put together can’t match the awfulness of Reggie Miller.

    0

  270. Yes, I think he makes the game tougher by shooting those jumpers, but there’s really a slim chance he’s struggling because on his ankle.

    He is missing easy shots, “bunnies” as Kobe says it.

    0

  271. Gasol!!!!!!!!!

    0

  272. Simply ridiculous play by Pau.

    0

  273. Look at Pau playing like a two guard!

    0

  274. That should have been a travel on Anthony.

    0

  275. Bynum should repost instead of trying to set a pick for Fisher, but I guess he’s discouraged (understandably so) because they usually reverse the ball every time he passes out.

    0

  276. anthony is top 5 best players for us this game

    0

  277. That is an incredible move by Gasol. There are plenty of guards in this league that can’t pull off some of the things he does. (Of course, JVG had to ruin it by comparing him to Dr J…)

    0

  278. The thing that I don’t understand about our bench is that they all play bad at the same time, just as they all play well at the same time.

    How is Nene running the break?

    0

  279. Gasol is having a great game

    0

  280. two stops, two stops

    0

  281. ARIZA! Crucial 3! I believe!

    0

  282. that would have been huge if i hit that

    0

  283. stop with the 3’s already!! Take it to the hole and dish to the bigs!!

    0

  284. I will let Jones shoot threes all series long… Not a bad foul by ‘Drew, better to make him hit a couple than give up an open dunk.

    0

  285. fish is on a mission to stop us getting the lead

    0

  286. just let them shoot Js and we’d be fine by averages. give kobe some wind. he’ll deliver. 3-1 is still within reach.

    0

  287. Why is Bynum going out?

    0

  288. PJ, leave Bynum in, he is giving us something in the paint.

    0

  289. #274, chearn,
    It’s the hive mind.

    0

  290. “[Insert name here] though he got hit”

    This has been the story all through out the series. Every 10 seconds, everybody gets hit and refs are closing their eyes

    0

  291. I realize it’s Ariza’s style (and it definitely works) but he should be more judicious with his gambling. That’s 3 (maybe 4) times now I’ve counted him taking himself out of the play by flinging himself after the ball, and the Nuggets getting a score or FTs as a result.

    Having Jones in the game really help our SSZ defense.

    0

  292. …and then Phil immediately pulls him.

    0

  293. That seemed like an incredibly quick hook by Phil on Bynum

    0

  294. on the other hand this can not be a game of spurts or we’re doomed. this is a must win for us (not the game 3 level) for long-term reasons

    0

  295. horrible officiating

    0

  296. PJ, is failing the Lakers, miserably! Sorry to say it!!

    0

  297. If only we could get Odom going…

    0

  298. oh kobe has to step up much sooner now

    0

  299. wthell is Odom doing! ufff wake up man!

    0

  300. This is a little ridiculous. Phil’s leash on Bynum is non-existent. 3 minutes in, Bynum plays relatively well defensively, and there goes the hook. I don’t blame Bynum, anyone would get discouraged.

    We’ve given them momentum by making AWFUL offensive decisions. Run the ball through Kobe or Pau. Instead Ariza and Lamar with out of control drives, and giving Denver numbers on the break.

    Frustrating. Every time we get close, bad decisions let them blow it open again.

    0

  301. Obviously Odom has been so impressive that Phil had to get him out there… Look at that brilliant airball layup!

    0

  302. so many fouls! what’s going on there? we’re tired already? oh man lakers need some help.

    0

  303. I don’t wanna be that guy but… there’s some serious home cookin’ going on today.

    0

  304. Why do we want to resign Lamar again?

    Sorry, had to make a snide remark.

    0

  305. What frustrates me about ‘Drew getting pulled for Odom there is not just that he’s having a good game, but that Odom is also having a pretty bad one. It leaves me scratching my head a little.

    0

  306. Clarity: “Re-sign”

    0

  307. i think bynum stayed in but he showed absolutely no effort in those first few minutes in a miss he ignored the rebound and then he jogged back down the floor

    0

  308. Why so many threes?

    0

  309. 292, 287

    agreed.. they shd either call it loose or call it tight all the way.. if they can make the calls consistently (even the ticky-tack fouls) thats fine.. but if not i’d really like to see them let players play..

    0

  310. If we could pull this one, somehow, then I’d be feelling really good about closing in 5 considering that the bench tends to play lot better at home.

    Urgh.

    I don’t want them to return all tied up.

    0

  311. I really have a hard time understanding why Phil is pulling Bynum as well, but then again – Phil has a few more rings than I do, so I guess I have to trust his judgement.

    That being said, even I can see that they should go to Pau or Kobe every single time.

    0

  312. Yes, there is home cooking and the Lakers are providing all the ingredients, a la, airballs, none existent defensive rebound, missed free throws, can not buy a basket, no hustlbe.

    0

  313. Make Billups go left.

    0

  314. kobe goes on a hot-streak…fingers-crossed. man are we down to this? run some plays!

    0

  315. and BTW, if Kobe continues to drill the midrange jumpshots, I don’t think there can even be a question in terms of who’s the best player in the world

    0

  316. 7.29 left and we’re already in the penalty.

    0

  317. Lakers in the penalty with more than half to play in the 3rd. Let’s hope some reverse trends in the 4th (and somehow close the 3rd relatively well).

    0

  318. We need to start getting defensive stops. We haven’t had nearly enough of those.

    0

  319. lakers playing like they want this to end in game 6

    0

  320. I’m hoping Phil just resting bynum for a possible extended playing time in the 4th quarter.

    Of course, the rate this game is going that might be too late already

    0

  321. Thank you, that puts Kmart’s count at 3.

    Now let’s hope Lamar can tag him with just one more in this quarter.

    0

  322. the bench has to play on the road for a win today or in game 6. The way that they are playing game 6 could be the end of the series with a Denver win!!

    Can we activate Adam Morrison = )

    0

  323. Sasha should be at the end of the bench, period. It’s ridiculous that he’s even in these games this late in the season any more.

    And Odom’s playing stupid again…sigh.

    0

  324. Primetime Sam Roberts May 25, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Two 7 footers and zero rebounds

    0

  325. lamar for 3! wow that’s a good sign

    0

  326. GET THAT BALL!

    0

  327. Now, if we can win this while being out rebounded by 6 every single quarter, shooting 3% less from the field, 10% worse from the line, coughing it up more, etc., i’m gonna call it a miracle…

    Denver isn’t going 1-10 from the 3 forever.

    0

  328. Nice effort from LO, but how does he blow that?

    0

  329. For a 6’10” PF, Odom has an uncanny knack for missing layups.

    0

  330. Oh shoot, our impatience creeps up again.

    PUT THEM IN THE PENALTY!

    0

  331. can we go to gasol please

    0

  332. please, please stop with the threes. Rebound, drive and make a layup, maybe then you can shoot a three.

    0

  333. that little bitch dahntay jones is getting torched tonightt

    0

  334. Cayucos Surfer May 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    So i turned the game on in the 3rd. We were down 4. First thing i see is Pau let Billups take a wide open lay up but slaps him just so he can get a free throw too. Then i saw LO throw up a ridiculous airball layup.

    Took a break for a second cause i was already pretty irked, then as soon as i look back were giving up an offensive rebound.

    I haven’t seen this Laker team play even a decent game in weeks. It’s starting to be disconcerting. I didn’t even want to watch the first half tonight. I caught almost every game this season and i find myself not even wanting to watch. We really are somewhat lucky to not be down in this series. If we keep playing like this i don’t see the title coming to LA this year, but you never know. They could just be messing with everyone.

    0

  335. Kobe is going to drop 40 pts in this half. I feel it.

    0

  336. Kobe looks pissed. The Nuggets should not want that to happen.

    0

  337. Is anyone else having flashbacks to the series against the Celtics last year…?

    And for the love of everything holy in basketball, can someone disconnect Van Gundy’s microphone and strangle him with the cord? The man is too stupid to be allowed on the air.

    0

  338. Dahntay Jones is a dirty player.

    0

  339. so why isnt bynum in? we’re letting them get way too many offensive rebounds

    0

  340. Pau has 4, now will he play Bynum. Nope, then we should just inactivate Bynum and go with Mbenga and Powell.
    What’s up with Phil?

    0

  341. oh yeah, another foul. not getting help from the whistle-blowers tonight. sigh. now i know how the celtics fans felt before the finals but with a twist that “I know we could do better against a determined opponent.”

    again, must be the laker 08-09 dna

    0

  342. GO TO THE BASKET LAMAR!

    0

  343. phil jackson please take odom outtt

    0

  344. I honestly dont think I have ever seen a team get out rebounded like this! I feel like its not even real

    0

  345. please get odom out

    0

  346. Primetime Sam Roberts May 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Softest “big” men in the game

    0

  347. What time is Game 6?

    0

  348. Seriously, there is no reason for Odom to be out there instead of Bynum right now.

    0

  349. What’s wrong with LO? I love the guy but he’s killing us out there.

    0

  350. d jones is a dirty player…

    and i like jeff van gundy… hes entertaining

    0

  351. Lamar Odom is playing like crap and can someone pls teach the lakers how to grab a rebound.

    0

  352. Denver is shooting a little better and is out rebounding us on the offensive boards 16-6. That’s not going to get it done kids.

    I’ve been thinking about it, and here’s a possible explanation I came up with for Phil not playing ‘Drew in favor of a struggling Odom. We’re getting pounded on the glass, and though ‘Drew is bigger, I think that Lamar is actually probably the better rebounder, so that being the case, he might be sacrificing some scoring(?) and another big guy on D in favor of trying to even out the boards.

    0

  353. PJ is not taking LO out because he is letting Lamar destroy his chances for a re-sign this summer. This is PJ’s way to get rid of LO.
    Heck, I can’t think of any other reason that PJ is keeping LO in and not playing Bynum!

    0

  354. Cayucos Surfer May 25, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    This is ridiculous. LO is taking contested jump shots, nobody is even looking for Pau. We have a ridiculous size advantage and we are getting outrebounded by 18! Again it comes down to effort. I have never been so frustrated watching the Lakers as i have this postseason.

    0

  355. I’m almost feeling blasphemic, but I actually enjoy JVG. Maybe because I don’t take him seriously but at all;)

    This lack of rebounding is really annoying, and I’m betting Pau picking up his fourth will not exactly help the cause. I’m still perplexed with Drew not seeing any playing time. Did he make any crucial mistakes earlier that I missed?

    0

  356. oh sasha replaces pau…oh.

    0

  357. Put Mbenga in, to foul Jones hard just one time.

    0

  358. Kobe has thatt dont f*k with me look

    i wouldnt be surprised if he won the whole 4th quarter for us haha

    0

  359. If we lose this game, I forsee some very hard contact on Jones in the last few minutes…

    0

  360. So where are these “matchup” advantages people said we had prior to the series?

    Our team is just anemic right now, outside of Pau and Kobe. As balanced and well-constructed as this team was last year, we’re actually much worse now than we were during our playoff run last year. Superstars like Kobe need better shooters around them to be effective. Look how much trouble Lebron is having when West and Williams have gone cold.

    Dahntey Jones is an absolute thug. Talentless, moronic, idiot. I hope the refs watch this game and realize just how poor a performance they’re having.

    0

  361. Primetime Sam Roberts May 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Jackson calls it like it is…Jones “dirty play”

    0

  362. does anyone else think game 5 is a must win – if we lose this? I am still very worried abou this team – how on earth can win this deep in the playoffs with only 2 players (kobe + gasol) everyone else is absolutely horrible , maybe minus ariza, denver gave us game 3 by shooting terribly – if we think we are automatically going to win at home it is a joke
    by the way – i had respect for the rockets – i have NO respect for the thuggets

    0

  363. maybe pj doesn’t want pau and bynum together though they’re playing better ball than any other frontline combo we’ve got…maybe

    0

  364. What is Sasha doing in there?

    0

  365. You mean any mistakes worse than LO and SASHA? NO!!

    0

  366. 357

    The matchup advantages were Kobe and Pau. Period.

    0

  367. I’ve been enjoying Van Gundy too lately. He’s improved a bit after falling in love with his shtick.

    That Jones trip looks worse with every replay.

    Kobe’s pissed, but there’s only so much he can do with no shooting. The lane is clogged and he has to force difficult jumpers because no one can clear him some space.

    0

  368. i hate dahantay jones

    0

  369. Phil’s rotations continue to make no sense.

    0

  370. Is this going to be another game where Kobe has to step up and rip his team mates a new one before the fourth quarter…? Lord know it can’t make them play any worse.

    0

  371. Maybe, this will wake Sasha up, one shot every game will not cut it though.

    0

  372. “i don’t like that arbitrary number of 7.. you should have 9 or 11..”

    – SVG

    0

  373. It’s gotta be Brown/Fish, Kobe, Ariza, Pau, Bynum for the majority of the fourth.

    0

  374. Was that really the last possession of the quarter? I think Kobe just wanted the nightmare to end.

    0

  375. sasha with one make every game, will not cut it

    0

  376. Lost all three quarters so far.

    0

  377. Every time Sasha hits a shot (that is, once every third game or something), I catch myself thining: “Finally – he’s back!”.

    Only to be dissapointed one minute later..

    0

  378. “id nail mop girl”

    hahahaha lol

    0

  379. This has been a frustrating game to watch, I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Maybe I just don’t like losing… Anyway, like I said, one thing we know is that the Nuggets will try to give it away down the stretch, as long as the Lakers can trim this down to a one or two possession game by the last three minutes, it’s still a game we can win.

    0

  380. eleven point lead. something looks nice about the numbers 66 and 77. oh well, if kobe or some combination of players don’t trim it down below 8 by the 5 minute mark, then it might as well be over. kobe doesn’t have enough legs to lift him up or to take the first step. but i’d rather the lakers take it to the nugget defense, get them in early penalty and rebound. those two, albeit bad shooting, can perhaps make the difference.

    and oh, bynum, pau and kobe must stay on court. lamar might have another shot. who’s keeping melo cold?

    0

  381. I say trade Shasha&Fish for a good young strong shooter like Rudy Fernandez

    0

  382. 374

    You can say it all you want, that won’t make Portland (or any other team) do it.

    0

  383. And also LO for a HUGE point guard

    0

  384. I was really hoping we can take this game – because each game this goes longer – i think the thuggets are at an advantage -the really almost won 3 of the previous 3 games

    how can kobe win it for us everytime? I feel really bad for kobe – he shows up every night – and his team can’t play decent every other game? it’s really sad……game 5 will be a nailbiter

    0

  385. Yikes, 66.

    Yea, Bynum, continue to make everyone question PJ’s rotation.

    0

  386. BYNUMITE!

    0

  387. 375
    Maybe we can trick someone like we did to the Grizz.LOL

    0

  388. sasha taking down momentum

    0

  389. its just too much to expect for sasha to make 2 in a row

    0

  390. sasha vujacic needs some serious help

    its pathetic already i dont know how he even plays.

    0

  391. jr smith showing us the door back!

    0

  392. Take Bynum out now Phil, I effin’ dare ya!!!!

    0

  393. Drew on fire – time to put him on the bench!

    0

  394. I think the rotations we’re seeing is the first signs that Phil is going senile. There is no other explanation.

    0

  395. phil keep bynum on the court and let him learn how to keep his fouls at a certain number. put pau in..oh that was our starting frontline ages ago!

    0

  396. Put Shasha out,bring Pau in and Luke to the SF

    0

  397. i officialy resign myself as a laker fan until either phil is fired or sasha is cut.

    0

  398. Anonymous,

    This is the thing that I have been saying about the Lakers, ever since this team was officially Kobe’s. Kobe brings it every game, even after a long run last year, the Olympics and a long season this year, Kobe still brings it. I ache for Kobe, so much, year after year after year.

    0

  399. i think that is why PJ takes bynum out all the time -because he is 7 feet and lets much smaller guys run right over him – it’s pathetic – he didn’t even put his arms up – every time we get close – we stop playing defense

    0

  400. that 3 was a dagger. time to show some poise championship contender!

    0

  401. laker lineup now doesnt look good

    0

  402. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    REBeOUND and win

    0

  403. Bynum is killing!!

    0

  404. Ouch… Technical foul?

    We seem to be imploding

    0

  405. This group should just pound the ball inside to Drew every single time.

    0

  406. Come on Bring Pau and Kobe in¡¡¡
    Plus Drew and Ariza/Walton we still can do it

    0

  407. This will not become a board of frustrated venting, take that elsewhere.

    0

  408. Guys, I am afraid if we dont get a heroic performance from Kobe in game 5, we have no way of winning. Nobody else on this team is stepping up whatsoever besides Pau.

    The Lakers have been outrebounded 51-32 on the glass…lets hope they keep up the amazing effort!

    0

  409. WHERE IS KOBE AND GASOL..WITH BYNUM THEY CAN ACTUALLY BE PUTTING UP GOOD NUMBERS

    WALTON IS GARBAGE TAKE HIM OUT MAN

    0

  410. kobenova not happening if he comes in too late!

    0

  411. Thank you Mr Phil Jackson….

    0

  412. too many uneriable players on our team, u can only count on kobe, pau and ariza

    0

  413. That might be about it for tonight kids.

    0

  414. I don’t understand this lineup that they have out there to start the 4th.

    0

  415. Kobe, Pau and Drew are 21/35 – rest of team?
    6/33.

    0

  416. eh whatever, it was going to be impossible to come home 3-1, we are playing bad anyways we just need to win game 5.

    0

  417. I have the TV muted. Is Gasol injured?

    0

  418. I feel encourage with Bynum’s play. Now, if the Lakers could play some semblance of defense, they could possibly win the game.

    0

  419. there is something to be said for peaking to early…unfortunately it looks like this laker team played its best ball earlier in the season…i just cant figure out what happened to the team that could score at will

    0

  420. The Lakers just have not done a good job on the boards tonight. Giving up17 offensive rebounds usually leads to a loss

    0

  421. PJ probably thinks with the way Gasol and Kobe has been playing, they are too tired to come back and win this game. Might as well get the 2nd unit some burn and Bynum some confidence. Give the 2 stars rest and take the next game which will be just as pivotal.

    0

  422. I’m willing to bet that we’ll see Kobe and Pau back in after this TO. Nuggets are going bananas from three right now, which is making it tougher. I like ‘Drew trying to make it happen inside though, that’s difference between complaining about playing time and showing the coach that you deserve it, he’s trying to make a statement here.

    0

  423. kobelovesjuan May 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    denver got this…phil is looking forward for game5…resting his starters…

    0

  424. Mason,
    No, Phil is just not playing him. Don’t ask why.

    0

  425. Bynum’s assertiveness is the only plus this game. He’s made some nice moves on the block and challenged some shots. Not too impressed with his rebound rate, however.

    I’m not sure why we’re guarding JR Smith with Sasha. That’s no contest. I’d rather see Shannon on Smith and Farmar on the PG.

    0

  426. Phil was only going to keep kobe and gasol IN if we were close near the end of the game – the game is in the bag now – so he is resting them – but let’s see if the bench can at least play a good final 8 minutes to carry over to game 5

    0

  427. Bynum doing a great job. I expect Lamar back in after the timeout.

    Seriously, he’s finally playing aggressive offensively, taking advantage of the size diff over Birdman. Good to see him playing with a little fire.

    It’s embarrassing how much better they’re playing from 3-8. This doesn’t even come down to poor offensive decisions. It comes to hitting wide open shots. Kobe’s inhuman, but not even he can erase a 16 point deficit without some space to operate.

    I don’t think Phil’s conceded, but he knows they can’t win unless someone else gets going. So he probably has some small hope that the bench can get it together and cut it to single digits. Otherwise we shouldn’t see Kobe again, let him heal and rest. Pau too.

    0

  428. Anger Building May 25, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    looks like PJ has given up. Starters on bench.

    0

  429. hehey farmar attacking chauncey. why not? make it look respectable and then when we got it in, flood the court with starters for show hehehee

    0

  430. can we miss everything free throw? is that possible?

    0

  431. It’s as if Phil doesn’t want to win this one. It was the same way with his rotations in Game 6 of the Houston series- there’s just no rhyme or reason to them. Why play small with Vujacic, Luke, Kobe, Brown, Bynum during the crucial end of 3rd, beginning of 4th period when, as put by Kurt, the key to this series (and basketball) is controlling the paint? The Lakers’ biggest advantage is our length- yet, Phil takes out Pau AND Odom during these important moments. I mean, it’s more beneficial to push for the win now and be able to rest after putting away the Nugs in 5 or 6 than resting the big guns now and having to battle through another 7 gamer. Right? I just don’t understand what Phil is thinking.

    0

  432. FT misses inexcusable

    0

  433. Maybe, this extended playing time for the bench will give them some confidence and a rhythm for game 5.

    0

  434. making free-throws wouls help

    0

  435. Denver will win this game, but with all the chest-thumping and carrying on, they are setting the stage for a Laker blowout win in game 5. I’m calling it right now. Lakers will play there best game of the playoffs on Wednesday and win decisively. Let’s rest Kobe and Pau and get ready to lay the smack down in two days.

    0

  436. mark jackson is so dumb….”PJ is buying his time to let kobe come in and close the game…..” what a dumb thing to say, it’s obvious that is not what he is doing

    0

  437. another tech! aha! now send kobe and pau in. we can still do this!

    0

  438. Make the freebies!!!!!!

    0

  439. yep. every free throw is going to be missed. awesome.

    0

  440. Omg Sasha…not even FTs?

    0

  441. Ten point game, at what point to you come back with Kobe and Pau? Under ten?

    0

  442. Our free throws are killing us. Literally killing us. Did we ever shoot free throws this bad before this series?

    0

  443. Well Bynum didnt have too bad of a game…..just bad shooting and rebounding tonight

    0

  444. 433 maybe that’s what it is. i’ve conceded. i will never get pj until we see write-ups about how he manouvered this team to the trophy years from now or maybe months from adande and co. IF and that is IF.

    0

  445. Ur kidding me if that is a flagrant on Bynum but Jones can get away with murder.

    kiddddding me right.

    0

  446. That’s not a friggin’ flagrant. lol.

    0

  447. Primetime Sam Roberts May 25, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Joey Salvatore is a POS

    0

  448. bynum showing some emotion!

    0

  449. what that really a flagrant – give me a break?

    all i can say – game 5 is going to be do or die

    0

  450. One thing is for sure…Bynum is the best at making his fouls count.

    0

  451. I can’t believe we missed that many free throws. At least farmar and sasha made some shots. This game has been painful. Think Kobe will take over?

    0

  452. lol whateverr!

    Lets hope we win game 5 and close it out on game 6.

    I think id be more pissed off if we lost game 6 if it was a close out game

    and lamar odom needs to come back to life, ASAP

    I need to twitter him or something.

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  453. lakers better be ready but i don’t mind seeing kobe bury 40-45 next game. retribution in some form must be supplied. and no, am not being emotional here. tis about stepping up and for this laker team, a game at a time will do. GO LAKERS!

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  454. That’s just a hard playoff foul. Not unnecessary, not excessive. Went for ball. What else do you want?

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  455. We CANNOT have a Magic-Nuggets Finals. NOOOOO!

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  456. Game 5 is a must win now. For sure.

    Flagrant? Really? Oh my

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  457. I can understand people being grumpy, as I said early, for whatever reason this has been a particularly frustrating game to watch. But at the same time it’s also important to remember that we got home court back in this game by taking a tough one on the road from a team that’s been playing really well. This has been the Laker team that we’ve known all season long, some nights they put it together and some nights they really don’t. What’s important now is not losing perspective. Hopefully they regroup and come back with a strong game at home on Wednesday. I like our chances closing it out in Denver if we come back here again up 3-2.

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  458. A flagrant? I’ll need to see a replay on that. It looked like he aimed for the ball, and just because Birdman spun around doesn’t make it excessive force. With the things they’ve let Jones get away with, that’s absurd. No consistency at all.

    Joey Salvatore is not a real person. I believe you mean Bennett.

    Tomorrow: no Laker leaves the gym until taking 100 FTs.

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  459. had a real chance to put the hammer down tonight, but of course we did not. I will never understand this team. Where was the effort? gave up so many dunks.

    Bynum was screwed on that call as well. Whatever.

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  460. Phil has all the rings, and I cannot understand his rotations at all, so he must be a genius…

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  461. Looking back at Bill Bridges’ comment (#8), I hope we can get some home team refs in game 5.

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  462. Don W tis not that dire yet. As Nick said, we got homecourt back. Start moaning if we play weak and lose game 5. With kobe pissed, i don’t think so. Throw in Pau there. But kudos to Denver and in fairness to Birdman, Denver will not let us dominate Game 5.

    I dare the refs to call this way back in LA.

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  463. Refs trying to seal this game for Den.

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  464. awful officiating is the one given in the nba

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  465. Now, you can’t put your hand straight-up. Even that’s a foul. So are we suppose to play defense blind mice?

    0

  466. Seriously, what should Luke do? Move away?

    0

  467. How do you leave JR Smith wide open?

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  468. we just need to have a stop. all game, just need a stop or two and then run the offense.

    we will need much more intensity in game 5.

    0

  469. Oh, nevermind.

    0

  470. Dude Abides – I realize I must now consider your ref advantages when considering the outcome of the game.

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  471. That’s just amazing. I tought we were in the playoffs

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  472. Where is the foul?!?!?

    0

  473. this is getting stupid

    0

  474. I hope kobe channels his inner tmac and go for 13 points in 33 seconds

    0

  475. Its not to say we should have won this game, but it really is a bit slanted from game to game. Not the reason we lost. The reasons we lost: Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding

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  476. Phil needs to decide on a set rotation of some kind.

    He cannot continue to give minutes to Shannon, Farmar, Vujacic, AND Walton.

    In my opinion, for this series, we need to play as big as possible.

    That means:
    PG: Fish, Brown
    SG: Kobe, Vujacic or Farmar (probably Vujacic if the matchup is with JR)
    SF: Ariza, Luke (I don’t know if Luke should get any minutes at all- but maybe in the first half- and if he plays well then, in the second. In the second, Kobe can for sure play some SF with Vujacic or Shannon at the 2)
    PF: Pau, Odom
    C: Bynum, Pau

    Two out of the combination of Bynum, Pau, and Odom should always be in the game. The recent calls for all three in the game at the same time sound like something we should for sure try and put in before next season- at this point in these playoffs we cannot mess around with a rotation that hasn’t been used all year.

    In my view, the most effective players against Denver have been:

    Kobe (obviously), Pau, Trev, Bynum, Odom, Shannon, Fish (in that order)

    and those players should be in the game as much as possible.

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  477. It sure did looked like Walton beat’em to the spot.

    0

  478. And that was the game winner by JR Smith.

    And once again, what makes this such a frustrating loss is, no offense to any Denver fans reading this, we didn’t lose because we were playing a better team. We lost because we played incompetent and unfocused basketball. I can stand losing to someone who obviously played better, but that’s not what happened here. We gave this game away by missing free throws and politely stepping aside to give any Denver player who asked for it a clear path to the basket. And that was done consistently, for four quarters, without anything being done to correct that. That concerns me, a lot.

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  479. Turrible officiating tonight. It’s not the reason LA is losing but it has been really bad

    0

  480. Missed FTs really killing the Lakers.

    +16 on made free throws and lead is 14 pts.

    0

  481. adam t you are correct. We couldn’t rebound or shoot our free throws. I wish it was only the refs.

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  482. With all this crap there is a ton of time left.

    0

  483. Lakers are still in this game if they can get a couple of stops.

    0

  484. There have been some things that we can certainly improve on before Wednesday. Can’t give up so many offensive rebounds, need to make our free throws, and the bench needs to improve on the 5-24 shooting performance thus far. I think if we can improve on just two out of the three of those things, we win the game. And that, people, is very doable. Keep it in mind.

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  485. So sloppy, its bad
    David Stern, clean it up now
    It is getting sad

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  486. wow. Denver wants us to be in this game?

    0

  487. We’ve just had more technicals in this last quarter than in the entire series leading up to this point. WTH?

    0

  488. are these refs on their period?

    0

  489. wtf is martin doing?

    lmao

    thanks for giving us momentum for the next game.

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  490. Lamar out Drew in¡¡¡

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  491. Man Denver is an easy team to dislike.

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  492. If the Lakers can rebound once or twice, they might actually have a shot.

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  493. i wish we could try
    rebounding as a practice
    drill, where LA wins

    0

  494. Stop friggin’ fouling!

    0

  495. Kobes gotta go to the basket…period

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  496. offense right now is clear out for kobe and it works better then almost anything we’ve ran all game

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  497. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated with non playing aspects of a game before.

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  498. hmmm, maybe they should foul jr. then on the trip back, kobe draws contact and throws the ball as if to shoot and maybe he gets and 1 or foul in the act of shooting a 3…wild suggestion.

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  499. I hope no one is depressed here or starting to call the Lakers soft and bad, relax people its a game, everyone loses. There is no reason to panic unless it really is a must win game.

    Today was a must win for Denver so it is understanding to see why they would play so hard. However, the rebounding was very poor and we really need to improve on that Wednesday. Keep in mind as much as everyone is making the nuggets as playing great, they really are not. The free throws are killing us and its annoying to watch. We need to work on our free throws ASAP and we need to find Lamar Odom, he’s lost.

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  500. I am usually a pessimist, but I have a feeling Lakers are gonna blow the Nuggets away in the next game.

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  501. 496. rawr – you and I are talking about the same thing, brother. It always sucks to lose in the playoffs, but lets not make more out of it then it is.

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  502. Darius – I am in complete admonishment

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  503. game over too bad
    next game is diff’rent
    smell this, jr smith

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  504. Primetime Sam Roberts May 25, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    quittingist bunch of quitters who ever quitted

    0

  505. okay. game over.

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  506. JR smith is a piece of sh*t. ..we got game 5.

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  507. Great Wall, I have to agree. The Rockets was a team I could respect and if they’d won I would cheer for them every step of the way. This Nuggets team has no class whatsoever.

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  508. And I suck at Haikus….kind of like the Lakers when an opportunity presents itself.

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  509. if we can really amp it up in the final minute with Kobe and Pau going supernova…

    still fall short…

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  510. You’re damn right we got game five…

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  511. Please don’t lose by twenty.

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  512. Those and ones are the kinda plays we should be looking for, not giving away.

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  513. I think we need to have Bynum and Gasol post up and try to get shots in the paint early and often. They can back the Nuggets down and either get good looks or draw fouls, which will limit the Nuggets’ bigs from crashing the boards as hard as possible for 4 quarters.

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  514. You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Last possessions of the game and give up 3 offensive boards?

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  515. Send in Mbenga.

    0

  516. Denver takes Game 4
    Series is now best of 3
    Lakers in 7

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  517. i kinda agree with darius, i honestly didn’t think we would win this game – but i think it is especially frustrating -we self-destruct like this. we could have been in this game down to the wire or possibly ahead – just getting maybe 10 more rebounds and hitting some free throws, even with terrible shooting from everyone but kobe and lamar, i understand not everyone can be shooting well – but fundamentals are inexcusable – i can’t remember the last time we all shot free throws this poorly – i am concerned because we can’t do this in game 5 which is now a must win

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  518. menga should have taken a hard foul on jones

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  519. 41 points in the quarter by Denver lmao!!!

    0

  520. Mbenga needs to PREVENT that dunk. WTF

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  521. i meant pau obviously not lamar

    0

  522. Make it 43

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  523. Bynum played better. Lamar? where are you?

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  524. nuggets gloating, blow-out
    rebounds and free throws killed us
    series not over yet

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  525. We’ll get them at staples

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  526. Denver fans are glad
    I’m happy for them but the
    truth is they’re done

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  527. From the looks of it, I would think that it was us that’s like ahead 20.

    Anyway, now that the series is tied up (something expected with the current state of the NBA), I can see Cleveland winning game 4 as well.

    And more LeBron hype.

    Oh my. My head aches just anticipating all the media hoopla over LeBron after Cavs win game 4, and more pundits claiming LeBron over Kobe.

    I’m really rooting for Dwight Howard now.

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  528. lmao honestly i think JR smith is REALLY helping us out, I have never seen someone with the stupidest antics ever. If i was playing against him I’d wanna beat him up the next game. I reallly smell a good game next game, let the nuggets enjoy their “biggest game ever”.

    and why are the refs calling fouls with 1 min to go? R u guys freakn kidding me, when did this turn to the WNBA.

    and why are the nuggets so happy, you’d think their going to the finals.

    and contrary to what coach karl says, they are not the better team. They will get schooled wednesday.

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  529. Game 5, must win. Establish the post and then the outside opens up. Let’s bring it!

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  530. 496: “There is no reason to panic unless it really is a must win game.”

    thats precisely whats wrong w/these lakers..

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  531. Cayucos Surfer May 25, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but i have a very strong suspicion that both of these series will go 7, with the Cavs and Lakers pulling it out. I guess we will see.

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  532. I’m worried because our supporting play is so anemic right now, and it’s not really a credit to their defense. Just an inability for anyone outside of Kobe or Pau to executive offensively. Somehow we’ve got to get someone – Bynum, Fish, Sasha, Odom – at least one of them contributing every night.

    Where we lost the game:
    -Defensively: the boards.
    -Offensively: outside shooting.

    The shooting really killed us. No spacing really hurts Kobe’s drives, just a few more threes and this is another game down to the wire.

    Also, we couldn’t force many turnovers. Unfortunately, we tried too hard, overplaying the passing lanes and giving them several easy scores.

    You could argue we were out-talented tonight, as much as out-executed. We have 8 points outside of Kobe, Pau, Bynum. They have nearly double that, outside of their top 3 scorers. Their depth was evident for the first time in this series. I guess it was to be expected, especially in Denver.

    I also thought their interior passing picked our defense apart. Smith and Billups passing off dribble drives, us helping ithout rotating, resulted in some easy buckets.

    JR Smith is a complete knucklehead. Wow. Who is he screaming at? This is a very, very unlikeable team.

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  533. ‘Melo is just too damn likable, you need to surround him with some tough to love guys like Smith in order to keep the balance.

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  534. 4/4 on my predictions.

    But I’m gonna break it and say Lakers on Game 5.
    I’ve got a feeling Dahntay Jones we’ll eat dust in Game 5.

    If LA wins Game 5, I say, thanks Dahntay, you just made us go away in 6 games.

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  535. the thing that worries me is the Lakers don’t seem to have any plan or idea on how to beat this team except for Kobe to be superman.

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  536. Well Kobe and Pau showed up, but no one else really did. Oh, and the team completely forgot to run the triangle tonight. Is that really an offense this team runs. It all seemed like ISOs tonight.

    If there is anyone I choose for the Smush award tonight it is Lamar – a complete no show. Well that is not exactly news in this series. We really need him and he contributes…nothing.

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  537. Nuggets are the better team guys, face it. They got plenty of players stepping up, and now JR Smith. Kobe and Pau get no help, though Bynum did play better tonight. The only thing that will save the Lakers come game 5 is Kobe having a huge game. Its gonna be close, but I’m taking Denver to win game 5.

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  538. if I were Phil I would have left Kobe / Lamar / Pau on the bench the entire 4th. Give the bench, and especially bynum, some reps and something to build on for game 5, while resting your guns. although I’m not sure Odom should be included in the list of guns at this point.

    It was pretty obvious to me that the game was over at that point anyways.

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  539. *That was supposed to say 32 points, not 8, don’t know why I typed that in.

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  540. Melo “Stop Snitching” Anthony too likeable?

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  541. How long does it take to get approved by the moderator?

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  542. Denver guarantees
    Fans a show again. Lakers:
    Lick wounds, hold trump card.

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  543. I’m starting to believe that there has been a memo by the league to the Lakers to stretch every round as long as possible.

    Other than the Lakers fans, that benefits just about everybody involved.

    The players have that much time on air, to increase their market value.
    The sponsors have their icons flying about with absurd amount of press.
    The owners have ticket sales, tv revenues.
    The coaches get to look decent / chance to try different things.
    The league just benefits when each one of its citizens benefit.

    I think it was a sign when WWE and NBA schedules conflicted. There’s just no other explanation for all this.

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  544. Harold – also, it allows all of the major networks to shill how great the NBA is since all of the series have been “so close” this year

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  545. it’s so frustrating to be a lakers fan sometimes. they have to be so cerebral in their system that sometimes they look like deer in the headlights. and when we want them to respond by showing more emotion and hustling, they continue to look tentative because they’re trying to make reads rather than increasing their activity level. this approach seems to work more often than not for jackson-coached teams. yet it leads to many opportunities to second-guess the coaching strategies and the players’ hearts.

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  546. Games about the refs?
    Yes! Where amazing happens…
    Bennett Salvatore.

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  547. I know moderating is a little back-logged, and I hate to double post, but since I know the post is clean, I’m gonna throw this up again:

    536. wiseolgoat – I stand by it, but like I’ve said, I went to Syracuse (I had class with him and Billy Edelin), so maybe I’m biased.

    533. Joe – I don’t think that’s true about the Lakers only winning if Kobe has a huge game. The way I see it is this, there are three big things that need to be improved upon after tonight. Defensive rebounding, free throw shooting, and production from the bench. If the Lakers can improve on two of those three aspects, I say that they win game 5.

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  548. anonymous

    That is, but that is coming from their coach.

    Huge mistake to go out on the road and say “we need to split”

    You NEVER tell people what you really are thinking Phil, because the Lakers technically did their job and did split.

    What Phil really needs to say is, “we need to win these next 2 games so we can get rest”. Put some extra motivation into winning both games, instead of simply stating that they need to split. The Lakers followed orders according to phil jackson.

    So i think that attitude comes down from the coach all the way to all the players. They don’t really play well unless it’s a must win game.

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  549. I’m with goat, I would have liked Kobe and Pau to get some rest, and maybe hope of jumpstarting the bench (yes, we’re being foolishly optimistic here).

    Wow watching the highlights, so much of it is just not rotating, losing track of players under the hoop, not putting a body on Nuggets right there in the paint.

    I think I’ve said this 3 times already, but I’m a little in shock at just how poor our supporting cast is playing. We used to have so much balance. How could every single supporting player go cold at the same time?

    Anyone who still says the refs help the Lakers are complete fools. This game shows that the whistles usually do lean to one team, and it’s the Lakers opponent as often as it is the Lakers.

    Magic claiming the Nuggets “out-physicaled” us. Really? I did not see this. Mental toughness? I really thought it was blown defensive rotations and just open shots not going down. Maybe I’m overly simplistic.

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  550. It’s as if Phil didn’t want to win this one. It was the same way with his rotations in Game 6 of the Houston series- there’s just no rhyme or reason to them. Why play small with Vujacic, Luke, Kobe, Brown, Bynum during the crucial end of 3rd, beginning of 4th period when, as put by Kurt, the key to this series (and basketball) is controlling the paint? The Lakers’ biggest advantage is our length- yet, Phil takes out Pau AND Odom during these important moments. I mean, it’s more beneficial to push for the win now and be able to rest after putting away the Nugs in 5 or 6 than resting the big guns now and having to battle through another 7 gamer. Right? I just don’t understand what Phil is thinking.

    Phil needs to decide on a set rotation of some kind.
    He cannot continue to give minutes to Shannon, Farmar, Vujacic, AND Walton. In my opinion, for this series, we need to play as big as possible.

    That means:
    PG: Fish, Brown
    SG: Kobe, Vujacic or Farmar (probably Vujacic if the matchup is with JR)
    SF: Ariza, Luke (I don’t know if Luke should get any minutes at all- but maybe in the first half- and if he plays well then, in the second. In the second, Kobe can for sure play some SF with Vujacic or Shannon at the 2)
    PF: Pau, Odom
    C: Bynum, Pau

    Two out of the combination of Bynum, Pau, and Odom should always be in the game. The recent calls for all three in the game at the same time sound like something we should for sure try and put in before next season- at this point in these playoffs we cannot mess around with a rotation that hasn’t been used all year.
    In my view, the most effective players against Denver have been:

    Kobe (obviously), Pau, Trev, Bynum, Odom, Shannon, Fish (in that order)

    and those players should be in the game as much as possible.

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  551. These games are so frustrating. The lack of effort is what makes them so damn frustrating.

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  552. lol when Darius is on the refs, you know something was amiss in the game.

    With our luck, we’ll see Steve Javie in Staples on Wednesday.

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  553. Forget X’s and O’s. This was about our lack of discipline, effort and physicality. Inexcusable in the playoffs, but the sad reality about this inconsistent team. This is who we are.

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  554. another thing that pissed me off about this game is how poorly reffed this game was. At first they opened up the game calling nothing in the paint and allowing contact galore on drives to the basket, then they tightened it up, then they loosened it up again when Kobe was intentionally tripped and Ariza was mugged on a drive to the hoop, then they tightened it back up in the 4th to the point where every single bump on the perimeter was a foul. Pick a style of officiating and stick with it!

    What’s sad is the refs aren’t going to be getting any better any time soon – where is the good young talent in this league? exactly…

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  555. I get a ton of comments sent to moderation, I feel like the bad kid in school. For the record, I did not see tonight’s game so much as being the result of a lack of effort as I did a lack of execution. Have to box out, have to hit your free throws, and have to make your open jumpers.

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  556. 543, i am just as stunned as you are. how it is that the entire team minus 2 players can go from good/great to the worst bench, worst role players right now in the playoffs, i mean completely cold? i think they have someone mentally pscyhed themselves out – i just don’t see how we can win with only pau and kobe. it is as if the rest of team is just going through the motions hoping kobe will win it for them
    man if i were kobe i would be sooooo MAD right now

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  557. I really did not see a lack of effort. This wasn’t a Houston game. There was effort directed in the wrong places. They defended with effort, helping a ton, but just then didn’t rotate to cover the man left open. There was activity defensively, so much so that we gave up some fouls that we shouldn’t have.

    I liked Fisher’s game tonight, because he didn’t hurt us. Defended with tenacity, and wasn’t a detriment on the offensive end. That said, it feels like we’re playing 3 Anthony Carter-level players at the point, where we just kind of hope they don’t hurt us instead of helping.

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  558. BTW, I decided not to watch the post-game. Any analysis worth hearing? Is Wilbon picking the Nuggets to win the series again? What did Phil have to say in the press conference?

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  559. Many referees
    hit Country Kitchen Buffet
    for all sustenance.

    0

  560. How can the rebound disparity and repeated failure to secure loose balls not be attributable to a lack of effort?

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  561. 530: jones will not be eating anything. he will be suspended. since he’s a useless thug anyway, it won’t affect the game one way or another.

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  562. i keep thinking this team will “snap out” of this funk and transform to the dominant team we all know they can be…but at this point i realize that is not happening, the chances are less than another 50:1 winning the derby, i only hope they can eek out this series anyway
    it is impossible to predict how they will come out game to game

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  563. Phil taking a jab at the refs post game, told a reporter to be quiet while he gives an answer…gettin a little testy

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  564. 559. Scot – I can only go by what I see, and what I saw was the Lakers trying to make those plays. I saw guys hitting floor after balls (Odom, Ariza, Walton) and I saw guys trying to get on the glass (Pau, ‘Drew, Odom), I saw them making the effort. I just didn’t see them executing. I think that with this Lakers team, anytime anything goes wrong all we do is complain that they’re not trying, but tonight I did see them trying. I mean, if we hit maybe seven of eleven free throws we missed going into the fourth, it’s a four point game not an eleven point one. They certainly were trying to make those shots, they just didn’t execute. Call it focus if you want. Like I said, I think guys played hard tonight, they just played kind of sloppy. Again, to me it was about execution.

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  565. Lollll… Phil going at the reporter for asking about foul disparity.

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  566. Phil in the postgame interview: “We’d like to open the floor up.” He also really likes to take shots at TJ (Simers?).

    Scot – You’re right a lot of it was effort. But just like Phil just said at the podium, a lot of it was also because our bigs were helping so much that they were out of position. In addition, some boards were off long shots where our bigs actually had inside position but the ball bounced long. But yeah, that’s true, the rebounding deficit was probably due to effort.

    560 – I like it when Jones is on the floor, though. Can’t guard Kobe, can’t hit a jumpshot, and he likes to send Kobe to the line. And he thinks he actually contributes. I enjoy his game quite a bit.

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  567. reporter: “Did you trip?”

    Kobe: “No, I fell on my face for no reason”

    0

  568. Our SSZ was effective against Carmelo, but it lead to our bigs being out of position frequently, which opened it up for offensive boards. Then again, when you hustle, the ball seems to bounce your way.

    On offense, I think Kobe is going to iso mode too early. Part of it is the constant mismatches on him. Part of it is we haven’t been hitting shots. But we need to run off ball movement early to get a flow to our offense. It’s hard to make shots when you’re not running any movement for a few plays because you get caught up trying to exploit mismatches.

    But when it comes down to it. It’s about making shots just as much as it is about effort. Denver hit theirs tonight and we couldn’t hit ours.

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  569. I’m gonna put my optimist’s hat on and say:

    We have now some sort of a formula to slow Carmelo. (uhm, yeah).

    We didn’t really get blown out until the end despite being outrebounded constantly.

    Pau and Bynum started showing some fire that can carry over (yeah…)

    Lamar had a bad game, so he’s due for a good one.

    Sasha is due too, not in a shooting way, but in a ’cause the opponent to strangle him’ way. Please let Billups strangle him.

    K-Mart, Nene, Birdman, Kleiza, Smith can’t all sustain this level of play (so far tho, they have…)

    Kobe is due another 40 point game now that he notched his 30 in the even game.

    Phil tends to tighten up when he decides to get serious. I think he’s been fooling around.

    Fisher is due a big ‘the fish that saved LA’ moment.

    Farmar will harvest soon…

    Ariza will not be in this kinda foul trouble again…

    ….

    urgh.

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  570. Just to get you guys wondering how things have been called these playoffs.

    LA-DEN in 4 games
    Fouls 218 Ave: 54.5
    FT 291 Ave: 72.75

    CLE-ORL in 3 games
    Fouls 141 Ave: 47
    FT 168 Ave: 56

    Aside from Game 3 in ORL, Games 1 & 2 were fairly called.

    But the DEN-LAL series has been nothing but full of controversy.

    Now, I’m not the one to blame the refs, but there sure is something fishy happening here.

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  571. There were 84 fouls called in this game, including numerous technical fouls. I learned from tonite’s game that one can still win by Thuggery in the NBA playoffs.

    0

  572. Hey Kurt, I’ve noticed that my last seven or so comments have all been sent to the moderator, brother. Was it something I said? If it was, I promise not to say it again, because this delay is kind of a pain.

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  573. Kobe: “I felt pretty damn good.” And you know he’s thinking, “Can’t say the same for my teammates.”

    When asked about Jones’ cheap shots, Kobe said “Good defense.”

    lol Jones is nothing to Kobe, not even worth acknowledging in the media.

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  574. Where are you guys watching the postgame?

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  575. so the league did go back and give Dahnty a flagrant 1 for the 2 handed shove in the back, that’s good news to hear, now they will probably go back and review the trip as well.
    I think he’ll wind up with back to back flagrant 1’s…
    what’s the rule for suspension on something like that?
    all I can say it’s …
    IT’S BUSH!!!

    the good news for me is that the Thugetts have given our guys lots of material for a motivation tape review, sqwauking like an bird, (have you guys noticed Jr Smith oftens looks like a retarded person? and I hate to say this out of respect to retarded people) anyway, there’s plenty to get our team motivated for a serious a**-whoppin’! on Wed night!!!

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  576. 565 – lmao I missed that one, but I can see Kobe saying completely flatly, with a straight face.

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  577. I don’t care too much about a suspension to Jones, Smith may as well be the starter when you look at the minutes that they play. Nor do I particularly care about the foul from the game the other night getting upgraded to a flagrant. I would appreciate the referees getting the calls right in the game, but as far as bad fouls go, they were dirty but not terribly violent, so it’s kind of a small gripe.

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  578. Having watched the Lakers all year, I was not surprised. This was more or less an elimination game for the Nuggets.

    Two obervations

    1. A lot of the defensive issues with this team are physical, not mental. These guys are often just not good defensive players–slow reactions, slow feet, poor fundamentals. But, again, they do not have players that think D first.
    2. I know that we try to focus on tactics/skills and not emotion here, but it was clear to me in the 4th qtr. that the Lakers were mad–Kobe, Bynum and Walton in particular. That may help next game. I continue to feel that this team needs that. Denver (as noted) has some really obnoxious players, notably Jones and Smith.

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  579. 573 nba tv

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  580. Nickthegreat

    I’m pretty sure the comment moderation is automated and some keywords are being caught as spam,

    technically it’s something that you said but probably not your thought or something.

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  581. espn2 always has a lot of post game coverage

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  582. come on guys ur talkin like my team is the new bad boys or the starks and oakley knicks and yes they are very physical they do bang you and make you work for your offense and yes jones trip of kobe probably was dirty but the nuggets arent the only team in the league that will throw elbows in the paint or occassionally stick a foot out

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  583. NBA TV is 601 on my TV. Interviewing Billups right now.

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  584. 578. Mico – apparently I use a ton of buzzwords. I should just start speaking without adjectives. Just nouns. Ball. Kobe. Lakers. Melo. Nuggets. Trophy.

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  585. 568 harold..
    law of large numbers dont’ apply to nba.. not like that anyway..

    melo was hurt.. the denver role players werent playing well. it was the laker role players just letting them have every loose ball/rebound..

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  586. Kurt will email you a list of words that are red flags… he once offered to for me when I was new to this site

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  587. To paraphrase one of the irritating ESPN guys, the Lakers need to start playing with more force. Right now the offense is mostly finesse – jump shots on kick-outs, contested jumpers, creative moves on the block and occasionally a strong drive to the basket. Hopefully game 5 we’ll see more of what Billups and Melo have been doing in this series, Brooks in the previous – wild forays into the lane, bumping into people and forcing the refs to call the foul. It can’t be just Kobe, either. It would also be nice to see the same sort of force applied when boxing people out, rebounding, getting back on defense, etc. The cerebral aspect of the team may be a reflection of Phil, but playing soft isn’t a good answer.

    Tactically, it will be interesting who replaces Jones in the lineup, assuming the NBA has to make up another missed call on a play by Jones. If I’m Karl I’d go with Klieza (why he does not play more I don’t understand) and keep Smith in his bench role. Regardless, it behooves the Lakers to attack early on Wednesday.

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  588. how’s this for a post-game headline “nuggets outthuget the lakers in pivotal game 4”

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  589. was trying to say but got moderated my team is not the only dirty team in the league and they are very aggresive that sometimes can lead to plays that sometimes seem dirty butg might not have been intentional

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  590. cb – as JVG said tonight, “you are what you do”

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  591. I’m actually hoping DJ doesn’t get suspended. He can’t shoot, Kobe scores easily on him, and he fouls unnecessarily. They are much better with JR or LK in the lineup. What’s this George Karl crap about ‘a defensive game’ or whatever when he goes to AC instead of JR? Play your best players. He’s such an awful coach. He needs to buy Billups something for saving his ass.

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  592. cb,
    In addition to “you are what you do”, playing dirty isn’t any more right or fair just because the Celtics do it too. Playing aggressive is not the same as playing dirty, you do the former without doing the latter if you just try. Playing dirty is never good. It doesn’t matter who does it.

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  593. I think we’re in real trouble. This whole series, we’ve gotten nothing out of anyone other than Kobe, Pau, and Trevor. Maybe a little out of Drew, and a little out of Brown.

    Let’s face it: Denver’s fourth best bench player, Carter, is better than our starting PG. Their 3rd best bench player, Klieza, is better than our entire bench combined…. and I won’t even look for a comparison for that monstrous gangsta JR Smith. It’s sad, but it’s too late to think we’re suddenly going to get much out of Odom, Sasha, Luke, or Farmar and without them, we’re back where we were a couple of years ago. Maybe worse– is Bynum/Fish/2008 Sasha/this round’s Odom that much better than Smush/Kwame/2006 Sasha/2006 Odom?

    Not convinced? Okay…. tonight, Billups and Melo were awful– can you imagine the Lakers beating Denver if Kobe and Pau didn’t show up to that degree?

    They’re a better team… and they want it more. Bad combination. I’ll be at game 5, going apesh*t, but this feels like a loss to me. Our ‘best bench in the league’ has become the worst bench in the playoffs. Part of that is that Trevor starts, but most of it is the fault of that disappearing act known as Lamar.

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  594. I thought Kobe forced shots tonight, couldn’t stop dribble penetration and nobody on the Lakers boxed anyone on the Nuggets out.

    Andrew Bynum can score on anyone on the Nuggets. We need to get him the ball in scoring position.

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  595. wiseolgoat – but are you also what you eat? And if yes, when they are contradictory to one another, which wins out?

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  596. nick – depends, is your food dirty?

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  597. im not saying i support what jones did to kobe or kmart instigating but we do have have some players who are all hustle and aggression ie. anderson and on the foul differential i think the cause of that is the lakers are percieved as being a soft team the nuggets arent but still rules are rules they should not be open to interpretation

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  598. Kobe may have forced a few and his D was definitely off, especially the 1st half. He may have been a little tired. He can’t really get any blame, though. The man’s a superhero.

    It’s still raw, so nothing from me about the Bynum situation…

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  599. 589 I liked what Bynum brought as well, Odom on the other hand…I’m at a total loss for words. All that keeps flashing through my mind is the double double he was able to put up in the 3rd quarter of the second cleveland game…….and his inability to put up a game with those numbers since. I hate to pin it on him, but our bench in the beginning of the year was so dangerous because of him and now it seems as if they’ve all taken on his personality.

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  600. cb – if everybody had that opinion then women would be allowed to vote! (I kid)… As a Lakers fan who is strangely calm about everything at the moment, here’s my thoughts: I don’t necessarily think that the Nuggets are a dirty team. The same way Jackson or Van Gundy said that no team plays dirty all the time, any team can look dirty some of the time. I mean, Dwight Howard is crushing people with elbows left and right in these playoffs, yet I don’t think of him as being a dirty player or the Magic a dirty team. Kobe demolished Mike Bibby with an elbow when he was on the Kings, has smacked Manu a couple times, and has been in fist fights with Chris Childs, Reggie Miller, (supposedly) Samaki Walker, and almost with Vlade Divac. I certainly don’t consider him to be dirty. I just think that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and that’s what we’ve seen from Jones and the Nuggets in this series. Besides, I don’t want Jones to get suspended, he’s of more use to the Lakers on the court than he is off of it.

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  601. Okay I’ve had a whole bunch of beers tonight, so I’m in ranting mode, so here you go…

    First off I hate the Denver Nuggets, do they have to treat every made shot like a game winner? I mean c’mon JR you hit a WIDE open three in garbage time and your struting around like NBA champs, I really dislike Denver and hopefully the Lakers took that personally.

    Who besides Gasol and Kobe is going to step up? Odom is playing like a man unsure of himself, and i would be too if I had basically one hand. Did anyone see that layup he shot with his right, he almost killed a Nugget with that shot.

    Lastly, who am I to question a guy with 9 rings but there is no ryhme or reason to Phils substitution patterns. I almost feel like I have to be an astrophysicists or mindreader to figure out Phil Jackson strategy for who plays.

    I still think the Lakers will win this series, but this is not a fun team to root for right now…

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  602. what quarter was this infamous trip on kobe bryant, in game, 4 in? and if you know the time of the quarter that would be helpful

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  603. 2nd or 3rd I believe, just as LO hits a three…I believe it was towards the end of the 2nd.

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  604. mylez, i think it was the 3rd

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  605. The Nuggets are aggressive, and power to them. Jones’ two plays were dirty.

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  606. It happened in the 3rd quarter i think

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  607. http://cbs2.com/video/?id=103887@kcbs.dayport.com

    omggg LMAOOO power to phil jackson!

    FINALLY…watch after the 4th point mark he RIPS at the refs.

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  608. There’s no need for panic, but of course we have legitimate concern. This isn’t 1 or 2 games. Our entire supporting cast has disappeared completely. Together. That’s what shocks me. We had everybody contributing, I would have thought if even one or two players slumped, we’d still get production.

    I felt even after Games 1 and 3 that the Nuggets outplayed us for more of the game than we outplayed them. We’re riding a transcendent superstar to victory, but Denver as a team are playing at a higher level (and more balanced) than the team we’re putting out. We’ve been grittier in the clutch, but if you look at the full 192 minutes, they’ve controlled us for more than we’ve controlled them.

    I still think we’ll win the series, but this is not the same team this was earlier in the season or even last year. Right now we’re last year’s team plus Ariza, but minus Sasha and Farmar and Fish. We were better last year than we’re playing right now.

    I’ll never question Phil’s ability to develop players, so I mean this as an honest question – why, in the postgame interview, did he again criticize Drew, saying he wasn’t really happy with the way Bynum played? And yet he continues doling out minutes to Sasha? I just don’t understand it. Bynum is necessary for this team to play its best ball, and he’s as mentally fragile as Sasha. I guess he knows his players in ways we don’t.

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  609. Refs? Come on every time a team loses and shoots less free throws fans say we lost cause of the refs. Denver took 14 more Free Throws. Well Denver had 18 more rebounds….20 on the offensive boards. How can you give up 20 offensive rebounds get out rebounded by 18 and be close to the other team in FT attempts?

    Denver only had 4 more field Goal attempts. You know what that means…Denver drove to the paint, Lakers did not. If you jump shot you think you are going to get fouls called? Kobe and anyone else that decided to drive gets the fouls called… I can not stand to see everything always blamed on the refs.

    Rebounds and not driving to the basket was the reason for the loss.

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  610. Fun stat from my wrap:

    Denver had 34 shots that were dunks or layups, exactly twice the number the Lakers had.

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  611. btw if any of you think that the Lakers will not use all these dirty plays as motivation…you are wrong.

    Kobe and phil were flaming angry. Last time I checked, Kobe plays really well angry. Let’s hope his teammates pick up on the importance of game 5 and what it would mean to blow these guys out.

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  612. Not that people are unaware of this, but Gasol and Bynum were 14/18 from the field. The only play I really enjoyed in the game was when Bynum, obviously angry, posted up Andersen and manhandled him, getting contact and the hoop. I hope Phil saw that and noted it. 😉 I guess I’ll say it again: use high/low and cross screens and pound the Nuggets in the paint. Again and again and again.

    But the Lakers’ slow rotations, both on the exterior and interior of the defense, contributed to the FT parade, too many easy Denver buckets in the paint, and made it hard to keep Bynum on the floor.

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  613. Kurt, nice subtle edit there, I get the message. Sorry =)

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  614. problem: Rebounding and second chance points

    solution: fix + yummy nuggets for dinner

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  615. Brown didn’t really impact the game tonight. It shows how desperate we are that we’re heaping expectations on a kid who, when he came to the Lakers, many didn’t expect to contribute at all.

    Farmar played kind of well, although 3 of his pts came with the game basically over. Fish’s defense was solid tonight.

    Is it possible that our PGs are suffering some sort of contagious malady? Farmar slumped first, coughed too hard on Fish, and now Brown’s been hanging around the two for long enough it’s starting to affect his play?

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  616. “I’ll never question Phil’s ability to develop players, so I mean this as an honest question – why, in the postgame interview, did he again criticize Drew, saying he wasn’t really happy with the way Bynum played? And yet he continues doling out minutes to Sasha? I just don’t understand it.”

    Um, I’ll question it and a lot more. Actually, never mind. The only possible outcome for me is to get banned by Kurt. I’m outta here for the night.

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  617. 609. Kurt – What upsets me about that statistic is that I bet at least ten or twelve of those are second chance buckets after missed jumpers. We can do better then that.

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  618. “than”, not “then”. I’m an idiot. Back into my hole I go.

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  619. I very much question how Phil is handling Bynum.

    WRT the bench: as bad as he looked against Houston, I think I might let Josh Powell play a little in Game 5. I think Denver is a matchup in which Powell could help the team in limited minutes, and given Bynum’s issues and Odom’s poor performance, the opportunity is there. Denver has an aggressive, undersized front line–Powell might help in that situation.

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  620. Missed most of the game at a pool (water) party, trying to figure out how we lost by 20 points in the comments here. Sounds like the Nuggets played a little dirty, did Kobe get tripped on purpose by a Nugget player, that would be a severe foul would it not? Well, the goal was to come home 2-2 with HCA, so I guess all is OK in Lakerland tonight and I had a fun Memorial day anyway. This 20-point loss is not considered a Memorial Day massacre is it?

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  621. The league’s ploy to make extra cash in this economy.

    Make bad calls so that the players and coaches can be fined.

    Brilliant.

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  622. kuruptinthe303 May 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Nick the great you are a smart fan. Ithink the nuggets play aggressive, not dirty ball, but dahntay jones is acting like a moron. Fouling is one thing, but tripping is just sad, and JR is just stoking the lakers with his immature antics. That said I don’t think this series is about fouls or dirty play or any of that. Neither team can get any momentum going. The first one that does wins.

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  623. sounds kind of weird but am I the only one who is enjoying the slump the cavs are in? haha

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  624. the end of this video is great…Phil and that reporter really get into it.

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  625. Another (grim) observation: we’re big, but we’re neither physical (like Hayes or Perkins or Howard) nor athletic (like Nene and Martin). All we can do is put a body on someone, which is tough because the Nuggets are always in motion, esp. looking for the offensive rebound. The result: we play a lot smaller than we are and our size advantage is insignificant. Those of us screaming for the Drew-Pau-LO lineup think we have an answer, but it’s clear we’re not going to see it anytime soon.

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  626. @607 (Snoopy2006)

    Re: “why, in the postgame interview, did he again criticize Drew, saying he wasn’t really happy with the way Bynum played?”

    Here’s what I heard from Phil in the post-game:

    First, “I thought Drew played well. Because he played well, he was out there.”

    And later, “Andrew — there’s a couple of plays in the first half and the … start of the second half, I wasn’t completely happy with the way he was playing, but he got determined and went out there and played the kind of game that we want to see him play.”

    In this particular instance, I don’t think Phil’s comments overall can be summarized by “he wasn’t really happy with the way Bynum played”.

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  627. thats tj simers and his WHOLE MISSION is to get quotes like that….I agree with Archon that the nuggets need to stop celebrating every garbage time three. And I think the lakers WILL take that personally. Look at the coaching staff’s reaction to this three.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo/im:urn:newsml:sports.yahoo,getty:20050301:nba,photo,a8e59f080ef8f5b2a8684d8099d928df-getty-87746139by002_lakers_nuggets:1

    unbelievable. I fully believe the lakers will win the series. These two teams are close, but homecourt advantage and playoff experience are two things HEAVILY in our favor. It may take 7, but I think we’re in good shape.

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  628. My Thoughts

    1. Key Mismatch in having Sasha guard Smith , he cant, smith isnt von waver , it should be kobe on smith and Fish on Billups, we have all been hard on Fish but i dont remember Billups doing anything or interest aginst him only againt our bigs on switches.

    2. We can all say that our rebounding was probably our biggest problem but i think that it was as it has been guard penetration. This caused all of the open jams and takes our bigs away from the basket for rebounds that their smaller faster line will get.

    3. I have not seen the triangle being used from the post for a while , we had one play where one big passed to a wide open bynum in the begginging of the game and that was the kind of offense that helped us all year and now its gone. It helps our threes be open and it builds confidence with both Bynum and Lamar because they get to see the ball instead of all of the kobe isos and i love all of the passes from the post to vutters and making their defense react instead of being aggressive.

    4. Phil needs to shorten his bench, there were two instances where i had never seen that group pn the floor for the whole year ( the one with Powell the other at the beggingin of the 4th) and it doenst give us the consistency we used to have. We need the old bench mob to play togther (Sasha, Farmar, Luke, Odom, and Bynum) as good as shanwowo has been there is no chemitry like there is with this group.

    5. Box out and keep a body on your man

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  629. In the Phil Jackson interviewed that rawr linked, he says “I thought Drew played well, so he got more minutes because he was playing well.”

    PJ also says “there were a couple plays in the 1st half and start of the 2nd half where I wasn’t completely happy with the way he was playing, but he got determined and went out there and played the game that we want to see him play.”

    Is that what you guys took as him ripping on Drew?

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  630. My first haikus…

    Nuggets celebrate.
    Prematurely, I must say.
    Take them down a peg.

    Best of 3 series.
    Why will the Lakers win it?
    Home-court advantage.

    Bynum showing signs.
    Who is going to step up?
    The bench is the key.

    Bench not really key.
    We have the great Black Mamba.
    In the Bean we trust.

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  631. I think Phil was very explicit in his praise of Drew; but also just pointed out that Drew was part of the problem that the Lakers had in crashing the boards.

    I do think Phil made a good point about the way the zebras can (and did) have some impact on that; and even more importantly, the SHOULD have more control over un-sportsmanlike behavior, which is becoming pretty commonplace in this series. Hopefully they’ll look more closely at that when we come back to Denver.

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  632. anyone think jones will get suspended? He should but he shouldn’t, cause Kobe owns him.

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  633. Sportscenter just showed a small portion of Phil’s postgame, so I guess I only caught a small part of it. Good to hear he didn’t rip Bynum, although words mean very little – hopefully he’ll give Drew more minutes Wed. and Drew will get the job done.

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  634. can someone tell me how the Lakers “bench mob” completely disappeared in the playoffs?

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  635. Per my pre-game comments (#34):

    1. Get an early lead…the Lakers fell behind early and while they never quit, their fatigue combined with a continuous uphill battle to seriously undermine any possible edge or control of the game.

    2. Contributions from the bench or Bynum….very little, almost nothing from the bench, including, sadly but predictably, LO (mercurial by nature…but his back also seems to be limiting him, especially his jumping ability). Bynum had an improved game, but mostly due to a short spurt of increased aggression on the offensive end. We need Bynum to be a force on the boards. He wasn’t tonight.

    3. Control the pace…I thought we did better in our transition defense tonight but got hammered by the Nuggets offensive boards, rebounds and slams. Pace becomes a lot less important when the other team gets repeated attempts at the basket.

    4. Kobe…not a great nor a bad game. His will, effort and focus kept us in the game and helped us close the gap twice in the second half. Unfortunately, for a period during the third quarter, he settled for a series of jumpers (and LO too) that rattled out, set up the Nuggets to push the pace, open the lead and build a cushion that wouldn’t be overcome.

    A tough game to watch because of the wasted opportunities we had to win such a pivotal game, the lack of playoff level intensity (it wasn’t a lack of effort exactly, they seemed to be trying but just without the energy to achieve), getting beat to the ball repeatedly by Denver, inconsistent and at times atrocious officiating, a clear match up advantage with Pau in the post too often overlooked, and a continued incapacity of any Laker to step up as the proverbial third man.

    But we went to Denver and took back home court. This was a successful road trip and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. We still control this series.

    And while I too hope Jones is assessed a flagrant but not suspended (and I hope the league tells him ‘youre not out a game because we know Kobe will punish you for us’)…I would like the league to take a long look at Nene’s elbow. By rule he should be suspended (elbow above the shoulders).

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  636. I just find it strange that so many of you seem to see Bynum as the second coming of Kareem if he’d just get some burn, and at the same time admit that the game was lost on rebounding and protecting the rim, which Drew is notably inconsistent at (to be kind). Bynum isn’t competing for Sasha’s minutes, he’s competing for frontcourt minutes, and that hierarchy is Pau > Odom/Ariza > Bynum. For every mini-breakout in the post Drew gives up just as much or more on the other end. Show me better than 50% effort on the defensive end for a whole game and I might join the call for minutes.

    Yeah Odom played like trash but we know by now that there’s no rhyme or reason with LO, his brain is not that of a normal human and he might show up or he doesn’t. Regardless, he is the team’s best rebounder and at least usually tries to block out.

    Backcourt rotations are a problem but no-one other than Kobe is reliable and they all fail in different ways, so I don’t see why there are so many questions on Phil’s rotation. Yeah they’re variable, but the team is variable!

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  637. If Denver starts shooting those transition 3’s and lead extending 3’s, Lakers won’t win another game.

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  638. Again, Sasha needs to have his minutes go away. We ended up with our bigs being burned because of dribble penetration, with Sasha’s defense (or lack thereof) on Smith being one of the main culprits. For all his flaws, Smith is a good passer, and when our bigs are forced to overhelp when Sasha gets completely burned (which seemed to be practically every play) off the dribble, this led to the exposed bigs that got free looks at the basket. Hell, Smith stopped once on his way to the basket to go up for the jumper, and Sasha didn’t even bother to contest the shot.

    This doesn’t excuse all the offensive rebounds and other mistakes that our bigs made, but it’s something to dwell on.

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  639. The WWE finale featured five-man tag teams wearing Nuggets and Lakers jerseys. The Lakers won, eliciting loud cheers from the Staples Center crowd.

    Anyone know who the wrestlers were, esp the ones that were “Lakers”?

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  640. Is that you Bill Simmons? It’s cool, you can use your real name here. Nobody said Bynum was the 2nd coming of Kareem, Russell, or any other legend center. Drew avg 20 min per for the series is why we’re giving up so many weak side layups, allowing dribble penetration, & fouling people like it’s going out of style? Maybe if he doesn’t play at all we can clean those problems up, one and for all.

    Blaming Drew solely for us getting pounded on the boards is, at best, an oversimplification of what happened last night. However, once I saw the +16, +18, whatever, I knew how it would go down the next 2 days. And LO’s been trying to box people out these last 4 games. Man, how I could I have missed that?

    Concerning PJ’s rotations, I know don’t why they’re are so many questions either. IMO his rotations are nothing short of perfection, for the entire playoffs (let alone the reg season). For a small example, the lineup he started the 2nd qtr with (when were only down 3), a lineup I’ve personally never seen before. That was fantastic. And a PERFECT time and situation to see what we can get from Powell. Definitely the way to start the 2nd and match Birdman’s energy. The WCF are a great time for experimentation and proving points to only certain players with their PT. That’s why our guy has 9 rings! All the critics here are just completely off base. Way to bring that to our attention.

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  641. Thought I’d try my hand, since we’re harping the refs…

    Walton, Ariza
    meet at The King’s Court. Not ‘Bron’s:
    Bennett Salvatore’s.

    Salvatore blushes
    like an errant first kiss and
    elbows to the cheek

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  642. Someone tell me if I’m wrong. The problem I’m seeing with our bench/roll players is that they are just not running the same offense as they did in the regular season. It may have been all of those offensive rebounds, but how many times did we see the Lakers run tonight and get early offense? I think maybe a couple of times all game. For those of us who watched alot of regular season games, our bench guys were never very good in the set offense. Instead, the bench guys would come in with energy and would try to run the hell out of the other teams bench. I just have not seen this at all during the playoffs, and I think that’s why they don’t look the same.

    I think this could be atributed to the fact that our rotations are shorter during the playoffs, so except for very few instances, the bench guys are on the floor with mostly starters who like to walk the ball up and run the offense or go to Kobe.

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  643. The Lakers just got outworked on the boards. That was the biggest difference in the game. I doubt that happens in LA. Every time the Lakers would start to make a little run the Nuggets would get fouled and get two FTs to stem the tide. The obvious ones were in the 4th where Walton was called for a tech then 3 touch fouls on Mello. Those calls were not being called earlier in the game. But at least the called a few on the other end when Bryant was fouled.

    Things I’d like to see in the next game.

    More effort on the boards. Denver is not a good rebounding team and this last game was an outlier so I would expect the boards for favor LA.

    Someone to hit an outside shots. Some home cooking for our shooters would be nice. But someone, Ariza, Fish, Farmar, Sasha, Brown has to hit some outside shots.

    A moving screen called on Martin and Andersen. I couldn’t count how many times they were set moving screens and never got called for them. Nene usually sets legal screens but Andersen and Martin do not.

    Odom to show up. Even if he doesn’t have a big offensive game he needs to pound the boards which he is more than capable of doing.

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  644. I know everyone is frustrated with LOs play, but while it’s not an excuse, there is obviously something wrong with him. He just hasn’t been the same player since he landed on his back. I know i might be harping on our running attack, but how many times have we seen him grab a board and start a break recently? and how many times have we seen him with a power drive to the basket recently? These were all things he did regularly in the regular season. To me, the only explanation is that he is in more pain then we think.

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  645. The biggest problem with inconsistent refereeing is that the players have no idea how to play. If the game is called very tight they can adjust to that, if it’s played very loosely they will adjust to that. But if it constantly and seemingly at random varies between the two, that’s when everyone gets in foul trouble, and is frustrated enough to get T after T after… you get the idea.

    WWE Memorial Day Lakers: John Cena, Batista, United States Champion MVP, Jerry “The King” Lawler & Mr. Kennedy.

    WWE Memorial Day Nuggets: Big Show, WWE Champion Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase & The Miz

    Recap, video link, and photos here: http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/results/9599118/

    And Jaybird is the Mamba of haiku. 🙂

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  646. Hasn’t anyone else noted that the Nuggets have held the lead in games the majority of the series? We may be tied 2-2, but this Laker team is playing like a defeated animal who is resigned to make the best of a predicted outcome and not a fierce beast who wants to win.

    Where is the fire and intensity that one expects from a champion? Why is it so hard for these guys to get fired up? If the showboating by JR Smith does not get this team fired up for game 5, then the Lakers do not deserve to win the series. Period.

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  647. 640, Kurt won’t print what we ALL ought to call it… how can anyone like that guy?

    I hope they put that paragon of maturity up on the Jumbotron before game 5, in slow motion, and have it last just forever…. maybe that will motivate this Lakers team as little else seems to… and if not them, at least the crowd.

    I’m really nervous moving forward. I’d like to believe the rebound issue was an anomaly, but I’m not at all sure that it was, but rather a direct result of playing a team that is more physical, more aggressive, moves without the ball better, and can create rotation problems for us by breaking down the SSZ/perimeter D. Oh yeah, and better rested too, as Kobe needs to play 48 minutes all of a sudden for us to have a shot.

    Lamar, please come home.

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  648. I think you guys are attributing the lack of boardwork and defense too much to our players’ faults and effort. Sure, that was a part of the issue. However, I believe our tactics also need to be refined. We are soft zoning up the strong side when Carmelo, JR, and Billups have the ball. The primary defender is getting up into the ballhandler to force them to a big to help. This makes for an easy blow-by, so it’s not so much the inability of Vujacic or whoever to stay in front of his man. The big leaves his man to zone before the ballhandler even makes a move. If soft, he’s caught in no mans land who has to give up a pass to his big for a layup, foul, or be out of position for a defensive rebound. I don’t care if you’re LO or Tim Duncan, when you’re out of position, you’re not going to get that rebound.

    I say we should just let JR and Billups shoot with a hand in their face. Play them straight up until they prove they can hurt us with the drive or the spotup. Carmelo is the only one we should be zoning and forcing to a big. And we need to do it with a strong trap to the baseline. If he’s in the middle, we need to play him one on one and contest when he shoots. Our traps from our bigs have too be either strong or weak (to cut off passing angles to his big or prepare to box out), but they cannot be in between, as we will lose on every count.

    Finally, we should be mixing up coverages. After awhile they know how to attack us if we keep doing the same thing.

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  649. j.d. Hastings May 26, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I found this whole game to be entirely predictable. Not every aspect, but given the recent history of this team and how tired they are, it’s easy to see them being satisfied with the split. Its a dangerous game that could cost them the season, but its certainly predictable.

    It probably would have been more effective to concede the game without playing it so they could rest a few more days, but what have you. They better come back ready for game 5.

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  650. Well, The Penguin, will make it through the spam filter at least. I never see a Laker doing that type of….. whatever that type of activity is called. LO we need you in game 5, I do think the back is bothering him. Keep the faith…

    When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters…

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  651. I think overall the lakers as a team have gave a pathetic performance with the exception of kobe and gasol. This team plays with no heart, and it seems like they do not care if they win or loose as it was clearly displayed in game 4. Until this team comes out and plays with heart and energy, and start wanting to win, they are going to remain in trouble.

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