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. 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

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

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  3. laker lineup now doesnt look good

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

    REBeOUND and win

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  5. Bynum is killing!!

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  6. Ouch… Technical foul?

    We seem to be imploding

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

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

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

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  10. 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!

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

    WALTON IS GARBAGE TAKE HIM OUT MAN

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

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  13. Thank you Mr Phil Jackson….

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

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  15. That might be about it for tonight kids.

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

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

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  18. 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.

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

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

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  21. 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

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

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  23. 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.

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  24. 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.

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

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

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

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  27. 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.

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  28. 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

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  29. 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.

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

    looks like PJ has given up. Starters on bench.

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  31. 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

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

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  33. 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.

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  34. FT misses inexcusable

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

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  36. making free-throws wouls help

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  37. 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.

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  38. 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

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

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  40. Make the freebies!!!!!!

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

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  42. Omg Sasha…not even FTs?

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

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

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

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  46. 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.

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

    kiddddding me right.

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

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

    Joey Salvatore is a POS

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  50. bynum showing some emotion!

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

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

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

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  53. 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?

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  54. 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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  55. 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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  56. That’s just a hard playoff foul. Not unnecessary, not excessive. Went for ball. What else do you want?

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

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

    Flagrant? Really? Oh my

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  59. 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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  60. 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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  61. 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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  62. Phil has all the rings, and I cannot understand his rotations at all, so he must be a genius…

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

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  64. 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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  65. Refs trying to seal this game for Den.

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  66. awful officiating is the one given in the nba

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

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

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  69. How do you leave JR Smith wide open?

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  70. 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.

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  71. Oh, nevermind.

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

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

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  74. Where is the foul?!?!?

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  75. this is getting stupid

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

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  77. 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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  78. 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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  79. It sure did looked like Walton beat’em to the spot.

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

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  82. Missed FTs really killing the Lakers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  90. are these refs on their period?

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  91. wtf is martin doing?

    lmao

    thanks for giving us momentum for the next game.

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  92. Lamar out Drew in¡¡¡

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  93. Man Denver is an easy team to dislike.

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

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

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  96. Stop friggin’ fouling!

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  97. Kobes gotta go to the basket…period

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

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

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  100. 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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  101. 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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  102. 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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  103. 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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  104. Darius – I am in complete admonishment

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

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

    quittingist bunch of quitters who ever quitted

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  107. okay. game over.

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

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

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

    still fall short…

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

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  113. Please don’t lose by twenty.

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

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  115. 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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  116. You’ve got to be kidding me.

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

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  117. Send in Mbenga.

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

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  119. 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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  120. menga should have taken a hard foul on jones

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  121. 41 points in the quarter by Denver lmao!!!

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  122. Mbenga needs to PREVENT that dunk. WTF

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  123. i meant pau obviously not lamar

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  124. Make it 43

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

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

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  127. We’ll get them at staples

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

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  129. 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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  130. 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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  131. Game 5, must win. Establish the post and then the outside opens up. Let’s bring it!

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  132. 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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  133. 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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  134. 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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  135. ‘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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  136. 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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  137. 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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  138. 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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  139. 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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  140. 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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  141. *That was supposed to say 32 points, not 8, don’t know why I typed that in.

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  142. Melo “Stop Snitching” Anthony too likeable?

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

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

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  145. 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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  146. 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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  147. 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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  148. Games about the refs?
    Yes! Where amazing happens…
    Bennett Salvatore.

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  149. 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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  150. 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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  151. 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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  152. 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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  153. These games are so frustrating. The lack of effort is what makes them so damn frustrating.

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  154. 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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  155. 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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  156. 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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  157. 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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  158. 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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  159. 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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  160. 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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  161. Many referees
    hit Country Kitchen Buffet
    for all sustenance.

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

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  163. 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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  164. 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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  165. 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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  166. 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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  167. Lollll… Phil going at the reporter for asking about foul disparity.

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  168. 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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  169. reporter: “Did you trip?”

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

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  170. 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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  171. 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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  172. 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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  173. 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.

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  174. 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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  175. 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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  176. Where are you guys watching the postgame?

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  177. 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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  178. 565 – lmao I missed that one, but I can see Kobe saying completely flatly, with a straight face.

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  179. 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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  180. 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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  181. 573 nba tv

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  182. 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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  183. espn2 always has a lot of post game coverage

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  184. 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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  185. NBA TV is 601 on my TV. Interviewing Billups right now.

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  186. 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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  187. 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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  188. 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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  189. 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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  190. how’s this for a post-game headline “nuggets outthuget the lakers in pivotal game 4”

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

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  193. 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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  194. 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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  195. 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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  196. 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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  197. 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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  198. nick – depends, is your food dirty?

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  199. 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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  200. 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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