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

Kurt

Posts

657 responses 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!

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

  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. :)

  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.

  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.

  10. Thanks for making my day Bill B.

  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.

  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

  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.

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

  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.

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

  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!!!

  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.

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

  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.

  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!

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

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

  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!

  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.

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

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

  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.

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

  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.

  31. two offerings:

    Impatient boxers
    lose throwing wild haymakers:
    Nuggets in Game 3

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

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

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

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

  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.

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

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

  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

  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

  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.

  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

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

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

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

    I randomly read that Pau and Nadal are friends …

  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?

  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.

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

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

  52. inspired by lil’pau:

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

  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?

  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.

  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.

  56. @eriko number 40

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

  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!

  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

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

  60. Pau paces himself too much throughout the game.

  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!

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

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

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

    nuggets pregame intro is lame.

  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”

  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

  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…

  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.

  68. BEAUTIFUL play to start the game.

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

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

  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.

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

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

  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”

  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

  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

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

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

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

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

  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.

  82. also we have missed at least 3 defensive rebounds

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

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

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

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

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

  88. following telecast.

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

  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.

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

  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

  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.

  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.

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

    where is Bynum’s defense?

  95. Go Fisher!

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

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

  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

  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

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

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

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

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

  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??

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

    let’s hope that trend continues.

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

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

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

  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.

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

    I would rather watch WWE than all these free thows.

  111. Can somebody please make a jumper?

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

  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.

  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.

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

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

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

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

  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!

  120. Kobee SO SICK OMG…..

  121. Mama there goes that man.

    Kobe, I. Hate. You.

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

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

  124. kobes awesome

  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.

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

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

    that really doesn’t bode well.

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

  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

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

  131. the refs are being absurd as well

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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?

  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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

  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.

  147. CALL A time out…

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

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

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

  151. Great job by the bench so far…

  152. 2nd unit is horrible. Just horrible.

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

    Pau is playing like my 5 year old.

  154. anyone know the foul discrepancy between the two teams

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

  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.

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

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

  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

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

  160. Our bench just stinks, lets face it.

  161. 9-3 for fouls called.

  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.

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

    What is PJ thinking putting that lineup on the floor?

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

  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)…

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

  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.

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

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

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

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

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

  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.

  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.

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

    Reactions on the fly, and apologies after the game ;)

  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.

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

  178. No interior defense whatsoever

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

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

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

  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

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

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

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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. :)

  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!!

  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

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

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

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

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

  197. Jeff Van Gundy really needs to stop talking.

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

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

  200. umm, where are the stops?

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

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

  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.

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

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

  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..

  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.

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

  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)…

  210. how good is he?

  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.

  212. Kobe. Thank you.

  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.

  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.

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

  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?

  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!!

  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.

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

  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?

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

  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”

  223. Denver 10 offensive boards. Inexcusable.

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

  225. Watching gamecast.

    Why are we giving up so many dunks?

  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.

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

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

    Sick.

  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?

  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?

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

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

  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  239. down by 7

    no biggie.

    nuggets havent even made one turnover

    we should be happy were down by 7.

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

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

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

    Kind of depressing……

  245. Lakers outrebounded 31-19. Jebus.

  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.

  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.

  248. Kobe will pull it out.

  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!

  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?

  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.

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

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

    I’m still in hiding

  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

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

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  268. 257

    I’m not sure how to respond to that…

  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.

  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.

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

  272. Simply ridiculous play by Pau.

  273. Look at Pau playing like a two guard!

  274. That should have been a travel on Anthony.

  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.

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

  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…)

  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?

  279. Gasol is having a great game

  280. two stops, two stops

  281. ARIZA! Crucial 3! I believe!

  282. that would have been huge if i hit that

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

  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.

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

  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.

  287. Why is Bynum going out?

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

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

  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

  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.

  292. …and then Phil immediately pulls him.

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

  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

  295. horrible officiating

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

  297. If only we could get Odom going…

  298. oh kobe has to step up much sooner now