Lakers/Magic Game 1 Finals Chat

Kurt —  June 4, 2009

NBA: MAY 25 Western Conference Finals - Lakers at Nuggets - Game 4
Talking, planning, Xs and Os are done — now is the time players make plays.

But fans, remember to stop and just enjoy being a fan tonight. We want a specific ending, a destination, but as fans we need to enjoy the journey or the destination will feel hollow. Enjoy the game tonight. (If you need to watch online, follow this link.)

Dex said it so well at his blog, I’ll let him have the last word:

“It will not be the same to read about Kobe Bryant ten years from now, and it will not be the same to watch ten years from now his top ten dunks or passes or jump shots for the win. So savor this moment, Lakers fans; Dostoevsky, the poet of sin and suffering and redemption, is at the top of his game. It does not get better than this; it cannot get better than this. Some things transcend the debatable, and it is a privilege, win or lose, to love them before they are gone.”

Kurt

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433 responses to Lakers/Magic Game 1 Finals Chat

  1. The Superstars that ABC is advertising reminds me of Battle of the Network Stars which was a REALLY cheesy show.

  2. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Bad shot by Shannon early in the clock after the offensive rebound. Work the offense, get Orlando in the penalty. No mercy.

  3. Bynum really needs to dunk those.

  4. Lakers will win this game, but I think its important to keep it over 20. Dont give this Magic team any confidence.

  5. i miss when bynum used to go up and try to dunk the ball with authority every time

  6. Seeing Jameer Nelson toil with that mouth guard reminds me of Udonis Haslem from the 2006 NBA Finals.

  7. I wonder if Hollinger will reconsider his assertion that Kobe is no better than Howard? Probably not, but those last 2 quarters were just an extended “Stop! Kobe time!” moment. Ridiculous.

    On another note, Odom and Walton have been brilliant off the bench. Also, gotta love Bynum pretty much matching Howard’s production despite being limited by foul trouble.

  8. A little late to the party, the Magic seem to have missed alot of shots so far tonight. Lakers getting alot of fouls called aganst them also it seems like to me.

  9. CRUSH THEM!!

  10. Sweet, Sweet, Sweet…

    On a lighter note, did Van Gundy get a hair cut and trim his ‘stache cuz folks were saying he looked like Ron Jeremy???

  11. even the lakers misses look decent, its all about energy the lakers brought it tonite.

    kudos to phil benching sasha tonite, after him being only unproductive player, if he goes walton, farmar, brown plus two for second unit next game i like our chances.

  12. Just a warning, moderation may be a little slow right after the game ends, I’ll be down in the interview room/locker room and there is no phone service there.

  13. did Kobe ask to be back in the game?

  14. vi guy dude totally i think i saw SVG on brazzeers.com

  15. Questionable decision by Phil to reinsert Kobe. We have a huge lead. It could be a long series. Give Kobe extra minutes of rest.

    I can understand Kobe wanting to get his first 40 point finals game, but when all is said and done, I would prefer Kobe got extra rest.

  16. Los Angeles’ defense > Cleveland’s defense.

    When I watched Orlando run around and take eccentric but wide open jump shots against Cleveland, I knew they’d be bamboozled once they’d play LA. And sure enough they have been.

  17. Gortat and Howard on the floor together. Van Gundy is trying some alternate looks during the blowout.

    Smart move. Making the most out of a beat down.

  18. I kind of like the Gortat Howard line up for the Magic. It gives them two good rebounders (instead of just 1) and two guys that can protect the rim. But if they go that route, who do they have to play back up?

  19. 315 – Kobe is back in because the offense has gone absolutely flat. It hasn’t improved with Kobe in there, but the possibility is there.

  20. 317

    Great observation. I had missed that, and it is a very smart move on Van Gundy’s part.

  21. When our defense is this good, it’s so delightful to watch, even if they don’t score over 100.

    Tacos anyone?

  22. 318

    Yes, Laker offense has gone flat, but we’ve got such a big lead that it doesn’t matter. Leave Kobe on the bench, ride the big lead to a victory, and keep Kobe fresh for the rest of the series.

  23. Am I greedy if I’m hoping Kobe gets a triple double?

    The key to our defense tonight: length. Activity, too, but our personnel allows us to do things Cleveland couldn’t. A lot of help in the paint, and they’ve still closed out hard on the 3-point shooters fairly well. I guess this is why Phil loves length.

    I don’t blame Shannon one bit for his drop off recently. It’s hard to do when you get your first look 36 minutes into the game. I’d like to see him in earlier.

  24. I like Bynum’s play tonight.

  25. can we take kobe out pls?

  26. this has been a low scoring 4th Q so far

  27. Kobe sleeps 3 hours and wakes up at 5 AM. Our next game is on Sunday. I don’t think Kobe will be tired even if he played the rest of the game AND OT.

  28. bottom like the top five players in this series are on the lakers.

  29. JJ Redick has completely shut Kobe down in the fourth.

  30. Kobe has is 40

  31. 328

    Let’s not get ridiculous now.

  32. Bynum-Where the hell has that been?Ha. He has been great

    Walton-Best game of the year, solid on both ends

    Odom-Great defense

    Kobe-Amazing

    great team effort.

  33. The last few minutes with Gasol also in have sealed the blowout. Time to take him and Kobe out to rest and protect them.

  34. Bynum and Lamar and Pau saved our asses tonight. Seriously. And if they ever put the game back on I might be able to prove it :)

  35. 332 – Can’t forget Pau…I think he is the unsung hero of this game. His defense on Dwight has been brilliant and he hasn’t taken a break on a single possession.

  36. Kobe with 2 blocks, he came to play tonight along with his supporting cast, the Magic could not get a clean shot off, some 30% tonight FG.

  37. well heres my thoery odom, pau and kobe far and away better. and ill take trevor over rashard or hedo. jameer maybe slips in but howard just aint a complete player yet, he altered no shots, and never even commanded a double i feel bynum played better. this laker team when motivated should not lose. but lets hope they stay motivated. people place too much on stats and awards, no way that magic team has three all stars, sorry they have tall three point shooters, and a future star. Jameer is the only legit all star.

  38. I’m not from LA, but these little shots of Santa Monica, and the beautiful people in the stands at staples that ABC shows make me wish I was.

  39. i actually like that magic team but there like the cavs two years ago slipping in ahead of schedule this should of been lakers vs. celtics.;

  40. Is it just me, or does M’benga look a little rusty?:D

  41. Whoa, a Powell three!

  42. 1 down 3 to go

  43. And tomorrow’s Friday. It’s like God exists

  44. what a game!

  45. sweet espn news post game time, cant wait for steve van

  46. Great effort by Bynum, Gasol and Odom.

    They play like that, and we beat anyone.

    Kobe was amazing.

    So nice to watch.

    Do NOT get complacent! CUT OUT THEIR HEARTS!

    Go Lakers!

  47. anyone else think the nuggets even when down by twenty are a lot scarier.

  48. This makes me so confident. I’ll have to check myself at some point, but right now – repeat, just right now – I think we’re going to take care of this in four or five.

  49. Mohan-You’re right. Props to Pau too, I mean everyone (sans Sasha) that played meaningful minutes contributed to the win. These last 3 games have been 3 of the Lakers best. Nice time to be peaking!

    Darius-You were right about the way Ariza defended Turkoglu. It closed off angles and forced him into awkward mid-range shots.

  50. only one Laker had a +/- in the negative. Sasha (-1). He needs to play better if he wants more PT

  51. Magic missed a lot of shots, but even if they hit a few more they werent gonna win this game. Excellent game played by the Lakers

  52. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    We got 39 pts, 36 rebs, and 4 blks out of the center and power forward positions tonight. Drew and Pau held Howard to 1-6 shooting from the floor. That’s called “getting it done.”

  53. Are tacos given out during the playoffs? =P

  54. Just a thought:

    Kobe doesn’t do things by accident.

    LeBron’s stat line from the ECF:

    38.5pts, 8.3rbs, 8assts

    Kobe tonight:
    40, 8, 8

    I love it. All in the flow of the game, too.

  55. They need to give out pizzas for this performance.

  56. And think about how many more free throws the Magic got. This game could’ve been a bigger blowout.

  57. I really think that the Lakers are readier than ever thanks to the previous series; just as the Celtics struggled to the finals last year and that prepared them better than the Lakers for the decisive stage, I see the Lakers this year at near-optimal intensity.

    If they don’t get overconfident I see them as clear and even quick winners. And as I don’t see them underestimating a proven Magic team, I think thi series will be a delight for Lakers fans.

  58. That was the dullest end to a game in quite a while (and by end, I mean most of the 4th). No real offensive execution from either side. I will take dull if it means a victory.

    Phil Jackson claimed they would play Dwight single coverage, but the Lakers gameplan on Howard came down to one thing: unpredictability. They gave him different looks to confuse him, sandwiching him, other times faking help and staying at home, other times sending the help from a different angle.

    Take nothing away from our defense, but the Magic didn’t help their cause offensively. Like most predicted, the Finals stage probably affected them for a game. Dwight tried to go into hero mode very early, not kicking the ball out when help came. I’m sure SVG will show them missed opportunities and their ball movement will be better next game. I’d like to see a little less help on Dwight next game.

    Bynum started off great activity-wise and offensively, but his defensive philosophy was off early on. He knows the key is getting low and pushing Howard out, but he backed off and let Dwight catch the ball where he wanted. That has to change.

    In Drew’s defense, when he tried to battle for position, he got a cheap foul call. A lot of it depends on the refs. Overall I was very pleased with Drew’s game.

    +14 on the boards. + friggin 14. We just sandwiched Howard on the boards, 2-3 guys around him, and all 5 guys stayed around Howard to grab a tipped rebound. Complete focus on the boards, great execution.

  59. wow great game. does anyone have any complaint? I don’t. Phil said there was too much kobe in the 3rd, but if the Magic weren’t going to stop black mamba, why should we? and let’s not forget the lakers were playing very good team D while kobe was killing it on the other end.

    the 3s will drop more for the Magic and Kobe probably won’t score 40 again on Sunday, but we’ve got to feel good. everyone played well, the team looked well prepared, playing with good energy and confidence. odom was in the game, luke was terrific, ariza solid, pau played great defense on howard and his elbow jumper is back, I rhink we got what we needed out of andrew. hard to find fault :)

  60. Stuart Scott takes recycling jokes to a new level. Somewhere even Bill Simmons is blushing.

  61. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Watching the wrapup on Channel 7, I thought I saw Tex Winter behind the Laker bench. Was that really him?

  62. luubi no, but i did see a lot of really good shots rim out. bottom line is no one i mean no one farmar, lamar, pau, kobe, bynum had problems getting good shots. dont get me wrong i dont this is gonna be like the nets series, but the nuggets were the best prep for the finals ever, they could do everything the magic did better.

  63. God, someone please tell Jalen Rose that he doesn’t have to yell because he has a MICROPHONE even if the crowd is loud.

    Great win!

  64. i really believe the lakers biggest weakness this playoffs was not being in themoment and energized, i dont think that will be a problem this series, as this is what they were looking ahead too.

  65. Biggest “adjustment” between this game and the next is DON’T BE HAPPY!

    The Lakers cannot relax. This is the NBA finals. No letdown in Game 2. They all must develop the “Kobe mentality” and assume that losing Game 2 could lead to losing the series.

    This is one game out of a seven game series. Game 1 has been lost before by big numbers and the losing team has come back to win. Do not let up. Go all Cobra Kai on these jokers. No ******* mercy! I want to see the Magic players begging for their mommies before all is said and done.

  66. snoopy i disagree, it was fantastic, the lakers have just as much room to improve as the magic, the lakers just outclassed them, but they missed a lot of good shots, and had some problems on entry passes. The Lakers can play better. The decisions though by pretty much everyone were great tonite.

  67. Dude- I think that is one of the team doctors,but not sure

  68. Remember i said i hope Kobe has a series better than he had against the spurs in 2001 WCF?

    Do something special? I thought he mightve been pacing himself since last summers olympics and waiting to explode and show Lebron and Wade (who both went allout all year dominating and carrying their teams) who the REAL best player was?

    Ummm, yeah. Its Kobe’s time, he knows what it takes now, he knows it aint easy, he aint cocky, he’s humble and determined, SO DETERMINED, and he’s gonna do somethingspecial.

    40 points (career finals high), 7-9 for 18 points in the 3rd quarter when we blew the game open, 8 assists, 8 rebounds, great defense, GREAT GREAT leadership

    Kobe is ready. I truly believe its his time now.

  69. Kwame,
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. :)

    But seriously, the Lakers were obviously more prepared to play the game and had the better schemes to counteract their opponent.

    But game two is a different animal. Both these teams are extremely capable. The Magic will make more shots from the perimeter and Howard will make some of those close shots that rimmed out. I mean, look at the boxscore and examine Lewis and Hedo. Look at Lee and Pietrus. Look at Alston. They were bad. Good defense will result in a 40% shooting night from the opponent. But it takes some pretty poor offense in combination with that good defense to hold a team to 30% shooting.

    Getting back to this game, our offense was just a great counter to what Orlando likes to do on defense. I mentioned in a previous thread that Kobe’s ability to play the midrange game would put the Magic in precarious situations. And while I didn’t expect so much P&R, Kobe playing at 18 ft. and down made Howard choose between helping and covering his own man. And by the time they adjusted to Kobe playing as aggressive as he was, he then began passing to Pau, we moved the ball to other players, and we crashed the boards against a scrambling D.

    Also, our ability to post up with five different players completely disrupted the Magic’s ability to get the ball upcourt as they were consistently either taking the ball out of the hoop or made them stay around the paint to secure rebounds or help on the interior. Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Walton – all these guys had good games on the block and the Magic didn’t have an answer. I especially liked the controlled game that Luke played. He made the right play almost every play that he touched the ball by taking Pietrus/Lee to the post and then passing to cutting players when we ran our sets.

  70. someone ask van gundy why battie was out there to start the game, loved that.

  71. PS: This series is far from over

    The beatdown of the Magic might be a blessing in disguise FOR THEM, because its a wakeup call and now they know how hard it will be, time to regroup for them

    we better not get gassed up and think itll be easy based on one game either. Kobe and Phil wont let that happen, if i was Phil i’d be showing a tape of game 1 of the 1985 finals in practice tomorrow to drive home the point (the game that we got blown out by the celtics by 40+) and point out that we won that series, not the celtics

  72. Yep luke was frigging awsome, i think the biggest weakness for the lakers is the team they start the second quarter with i think luke and both backup points may see the floor next game there and will be a huge difference from the sasha factor. By the way dont think the magic just bricked threes recognize the job luke, kobe and especially Ariza did preventing open threes Turkalu was in hell tonite.

  73. What a (Lake) show! I was anxious all week, and I don’t expect Orlando to come out flat like that again, but I’m also elated and relieved to see us come out so strong.

    Another great defensive game from Gasol, he has really played his best D of the year recently. Good contributions from Walton as well.

    But it all paled in comparison to Kobe – what a breathtaking game he had. Just gorgeous. Thank you. It feels so good to be a Laker fan right now.

  74. Series aint over, but dont compare that lakers team to this magic team, that lakers team had magic, kareem and worthy, rambis and cooper. they also were up against a career game from DJ and McHale, I cant wait for Sunday.

  75. The stunning thing about the Magic in this game was not their 3pt percentage: we all know they can do a lot better than 35% on a given night, but that’s not a horrible team percentage from three at all. It’s everything inside the arc that’s just terrible.

    What a gameplan and execution. We killed their transition game, ran them off threes and Howard was 1-6 from the field. All while eviscerating them when we had the ball. Sometimes I get down on Phil, but when he nails it like this – well I guess that’s why he has nine rings.

  76. I thought our defensive strategy was really sound, and well-executed today. We made Dwight feel like he was surrounded by bodies, then recovered to run shooters off that 3 pt line. The Magic are most dangerous when Dwight is scoring inside, and they are hitting 3 after 3. They are a much worse team when they have to take those mid-range shots off the dribble all game long.

  77. We should just start Mbenga next game and let him foul out then bring in Bynum. I would love to see Mbenga push Howard around till Howard throws and elbow and gets thrown out.

  78. DTC I think the magic are most dangerous team when Dwight is drawing doubles and getting his teamates wide open threes, Howard is never gonna score fifty, but if you double him rashard, hedo and jameer can team up for twenty threes. The lakers did what the Cavs couldnt play howard straight up, score in the paint at will and cover the majority of the three point opportunities. Look the magic will make a lot more shots at home which is why a win sunday is so vital.

  79. Kobe used the PnR to great success today, but here’s the key – he used it to get scoring opportunities. He used to find his spots for the midrange J, gain some separation.

    That’s important, because if SVG adjusts, he’s going to likely trap Kobe harder on the screens. When Kobe passes to Pau (think Game 6 in Denver), it’ll force them to bring a 3rd defender in and Pau will find a cutting Lamar.

    Great win, but we just did what we were supposed to do. The Magic just want a split. They won’t shoot 29% again. A lot of it was the newness to the Finals stage. They’ll execute better.

  80. We were tested by Houston, tested by Denver, and now we are tested by our home crowd.

    I think we’ll do fine on the road after defending this ‘home’ turf.

    Not sure what we were defending though, judging from the foul calls and all.

  81. I’m predicting here that the Magic will make the following adjustments:
    - When we run them off that 3 pt line, they will take the ball to the basket with much more determination
    - We will see more Reddick, he is their most consistent shooter, and actually played ok defense on Kobe
    - They will double Kobe much more aggressively
    - Expect to see more Pietrus-Gortat-Dwight together, that’s their best chance at limiting our inside game AND making Kobe work.
    - They will pick another poison – Ariza 3′s. Better to make Trevor take those 3′s than give room to Kobe and Pau

  82. only laker player who was negative on plus minus was sasha tonite. Rahard was minus twenty six. yikes.

  83. did anyone see the commercial with the lebron puppet before the game? haha – that is cold

  84. vic the brick brought lamar candy from japan

  85. I love our cutthroat mentality posting rookie Courtney Lee every time down. And when Redick came in, Kobe went 0-3 against him. Lee hates his life.

    I am a little concerned that Kobe had to hit so many difficult shots in the 3rd. Other guys didn’t really have it going. But boy was it fun to watch.

    Loved our post-entry passes tonight. Crisp, precise, relentless. Allowed us to exploit mismatches Odom-Lewis, Gasol-Lewis, Walton-Lee, Kobe-Lee, etc. without hesitation and without letting up. I do expect the Magic to be more aggressive denying the passing lanes and post position. They also need to take away the easy pull up off PnR. Did they watch the Nuggets play us at all?

  86. DTC I like your analysis, but dont you kind of think Kobe wants that double team, I felt going into this game if they played him straight up he would show em what he could do, remember the best game in the nuggets series was when kobe got doubled, if you got your best perimeter defender and commit a second i think kobe has the vision to find his teamates. I look forward to the adjustments, but the lakers main thing is energy when they play with that kind of energy to hit the boards and defend, good things happen.

  87. 367. “I thought he mightve been pacing himself since last summers olympics and waiting to explode and show Lebron and Wade (who both went allout all year dominating and carrying their teams) who the REAL best player was?”

    I had exactly the same thought mid-3rd when KB24 put it into another gear…

    appears to be a mistake by SVG to go with Nelson so long in the 2nd as it really prevented any meaningful rhythm. Was he conceding game 1 to see what he had? No way you can afford to waste a game in the Finals. And certainly no way Nelson plays significant minutes game 2, right?

  88. I would love to see Gortat and Howard together the magic would get destroyed if they stuck with that.

  89. For the record, the Staples crowd sucks. SUCKS. Anyone who disagrees needs to turn their hearing aids up.

    I’ve rarely been this appalled by a crowd. This is the freaking NBA Finals. Do these people realize how many of us would kill to go these games? The only time they stand is as a timeout is called or as a half is ending. Uh, guys? Making a bunch of noise when the Magic are sipping Gatorade on the bench isn’t a great help.

    Love Kobe’s demeanor during the post-game. Not satisfied at all. This is a very mentally resilient Magic team and Kobe knows it. Needs to keep that killer hunger for 3 more games.

    lmao this was a real question. “Kobe, the cameras catch you baring your teeth all the time now. Are you aware you’re doing it?”

  90. focus and will, focus and will, focus and will.

    And now to duplicate for game 2.

  91. Oh Dear God…why is Vick the Brick on my TV

  92. Ok… Who was the guy in the funny costume?

  93. 380 DTC,
    -Redick won’t get many minutes. He can’t stay with Kobe consistently. That’s a given. Even if Kobe went 0-3 against him tonight. Pietrus and Lee shoot the ball better and can take it to the hoop off pump fakes.
    -They may trap the PnR, but I doubt (at least they shouldn’t it) they will hard double Kobe in isolations. Kobe made some very tough shots and they should live with them.
    -Gortat-Howard is too limited offensively for them to get more minutes together. SVG said in the postgame that it didn’t work and he won’t go to it again.

    Mimsy, great comment about Kobe being more likeable when he’s being himself.

  94. Who was that awesomely crazy-looking dude asking Kobe a question, with the Lakers jersey and hat and long hair/beard?

  95. they were pretty quiet, but they are always better on sundays. It sucks having to get there so early though, Downtown sixoclock is a tough time for LA.

  96. that was Vic the Brick

  97. The crazy looking Laker hippie is radio personality Vick the Brick. Probably the biggest homer in history and an unabashed Kobe fan. Also, he’s someone of LA’s practical joke to the rest of the world.

  98. vic the brick is to the lakers like the da bears guys are to chicago. biggest homer ever, he probably predicted the lakers by seventy tonite.

  99. *somewhat

  100. 387. Snoop, I spilled root beer all over myself when I heard that question. Hilarious.

  101. I used to think it was best to sweep to the finals, do you guys think its an advantage to battle there. I mean the Celtics had the advantage last year after going seven seven seven, and the lakers look so much better after horribly tough series.

  102. Bynum\coached by kareem

    howard coached by Ewing.

    Advantage Lakers.

  103. Speaking of Ewing… he probably thought he saw a ghost tonight. LOL. He’s seen this before. Many times.

  104. When I get really winded, I do the teeth thing because it kinda helps me take more air in. At least it helps me psychologically when I’m running. Not sure if Kobe does this for the same reason, or if he wants it to be like MJ’s tongue thing.

    If we can play with the same intensity and purpose, I feel better about my 4-1 prediction.

  105. I love a Kobe-centric offense as much as anyone, but I would have liked to see the ball going into Pau in the post every single time down the floor (a la Denver Game 6). It could very well have been the gameplan to run P&Rs all day, but Kobe’s usage rate tonight isn’t something that I think can or should be sustained over the series IMO.

  106. Game two is everything, if the lakers take game two, worst case seven at home, as the lakers arent losing four in a row, but its about time they held home court.

  107. Ah. Thanks all. I don’t live in LA, and even if I did, my radio presets would probably be exactly like PJ’s.

  108. dwight howard is too nice I want to hate someone on the Magic, but so far im not there. Hopefully next game will get chippy.

  109. But even so, if Orlando wins on Sunday then they had a successful trip to Los Angeles.

  110. Savoring this moment, 2 finals in 2 years, I cannot but just stop and think the huge turnaround to this franchise that the arrival of Pau instead of Kwame has induced.

    We can sometimes malign Gasol for his limitations, but it is obvious that even though not scoring a lot many games, he just adds some smarts and quality to the team that elevates it to just the level we’re at right now.

    It’s just like the Bulls’ Pippen, the perfect complement to Kobe in solidifying the team. I don’t remotely think we would be living these wonderful times without him. Hope we enjoy this for much longer.

  111. that candy from japan probably is laced with LSD.

  112. Wiseolgoat, Phil said in the post-game that he thought there was too much Kobe in the 3rd, so I think we’ll see more Pau next time.

  113. Great win, well executed throughout. Now, I find it unlikely that the Magic are going to be shooting 29% from the field again, that number is just going to improve. I’m not concerned about the 3 point shooting, they missed some open looks, but when you take as many threes as the Magic do, you’re going to hit some where you’re covered and miss some where you’re open. The key is going to be continue to be tough in the paint. If Howard get position, play tough D or foul him and make him take a couple free throws. Don’t let Hedo get easy looks inside. Don’t let Skip or Nelson blow by you. If the Lakers can do that, than I think they might be able to make this series look easy. If they don’t, it’s going to be more of a grind.

  114. evergreen, the great thing about pao and lamar for that matter is they improved. I think Pau this year was as good as anyone at PF, if you account for Duncan being slowed down, and Garnetts injury who was really better at PF. And he can still get better, but the guy has handles, a great shot and can go with either hand, his knocks were on defense but this playoffs, in the houston series he may have lacked some effort but if this team can pull this championship off I think Pau and Kobe could have an amazing run, especially if they can keep Ariza, Odom and Bynum. They just gotta get this first one. The guy who has been the most surprising to me the last couple weeks has been Walton he has been a huge difference maker in ball handling, hustle rebounding and scoring.

  115. Vick the brick is a freakin STONER

  116. Thanks guys, yeah I don’t live in LA so don’t know much about Vic the Brick.

    Don’t know if anyone’s shared this yet, but Lil Wayne’s got an entire track dedicated to the Mamba, awesome listen even if (like me) you hate Wayne:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4_Fdy-ECyw

  117. All, Kobe’s teeth thing, he can’t help it, you see it on the faces of the only other comparable artists, dancers and opera singers (I know how silly that last sounds, but it’s true) when they’re at height of powers. Actually you see it on the faces of horsemen too (not jockeys) and swordsmen. Probably others too but whatever. Bestial-sublime, the body and spirit in absolute sync in aggressive performance of hard-won and innate powers. No acting, no rehearsal, the lips bare, the mouth bites at nothing, the eyes look at everything and nothing. Kobe rare bird tonight, rare rare bird

  118. Early thoughts on the game(given at the start of the 3rd qtr):
    The first half was a tentative one. It had the feel of the opening round of a championship boxing match. Both teams were just sizing each other up, trying to get a feel for each other. It’s good to see Bynum playing well, he just has to figure out how to play without fouling too much (As I wrote this I just witnessed Bynum pick up his fourth on what looked a double foul to me).I feel like the reason for his foul troubles is the knee brace: it’s slowing him down. He insists it is. This is important because players who are beat by the offensive player have to hope to rip the ball, block it, or poke it out from behind in order to bail themselves out. These types of plays more often than not result in fouls. If it’s possible to take this brace off, and I emphasis IF because I would not want to jeopardize his career, they should give it a chance. Also, Jameer Nelson is obviously not 100%. If you couldn’t tell by his weak dribble with his injured arm, or his stature (he is obviously hunched over). Furthermore, he is a shoot first point guard. Yes he averaged a little over 5 assists for the season, but most point guards in the league would average more assists than Nelson on a team constructed as the magic are. You can just lob it in to Dwight or kick it out to very efficient 3 point shooters. Either way, you can tell that he is not 100% because he is not actually shooting first. He is looking to be a distributor. Yes he had one made jump shot, but it was a flat footed unpressured short range jumper. Any NBA player injured or not could make that shot. The Jameer Nelson of old is still fresh in the Lakers minds however, and not only that, it seems like the Lakers will not allow Nelson to have any Willis Reed type moments. They are overplaying him, and rushing him, trying to force him out of a shot and because of this he is able to kick it out and get assists. Once the Lakers realize he isn’t right, they will stop overplaying, and Jameer will have to find his shot if he wants to remain effective. Also I feel like we need to attack Howard more. For a guy who challenges every shot at the basket, he has only 1 defensive foul. Phil needs to call a few plays in the first few minutes of the game where the sole aim is to get a foul on Dwight. The lakers are lucky he picked up two offensive fouls. Also I think the Lakers need to force the ball to Hedo. His greatest weakness (and his greatest strength) is his confidence. In his heart you have to realize this guy thinks he’s as good as Paul Pierce or Kobe. This can be good, because he isn’t afraid to shoot the ball, and he is decent at creating his own shot. Other times he switches himself into Ron Artest mode, where he dribbles around and takes a very difficult shot. It’s painful to watch when you have players as skilled as Rashard and Jameer, or a bull down low in Dwight. That’s all I got for now haha.
    Additionally:
    This may be irrelevant considering Fisher’s more efficient play as of late, but I was always confused by everyone ridiculing Jackson for playing Fisher despite his low production earlier in the play offs. It’s obvious why he uses Fisher and it goes beyond just Phil merely trusting Fisher. The triangle offense is an offense that can only be effective when the spacing is correct. Yes, Fisher was shooting poorly, but the images of Fisher hitting clutch threes are still fresh in the minds of most players. Even if he is cold, his man is still going to stick with him just strictly because of reputation. Actually all defenders would rather stay stuck to Fisher on the three point line then a slightly warm Farmar or Brown.

  119. I tried the teeth-bared look in the mirror. I just look like I have hemorrhoids.

  120. I bared my hemorrhoids in the mirror and they looked like teeth

  121. I agree with a previous comment. Game 2 is really critical. Unless the Magic sweep us 3 games on their homcourt (unlikely and hardly ever happens in an NBA finals, and yes I remember the Pistons) they will have to win game 6 and 7 in LA. That is not happening. Game 2 is not a must win, but its still a really big game for us.

  122. That is imagery I could have gone the rest of my life without reading. Almost Shakespearean levels of vividness.

  123. Why Is everyone assuming the magic will shoot better Sunday? I think the Lakers can keep them at bay the next game

  124. Because the Magic just shot 29%. Two-nine. We’ve seen what they’ve done all year long against top defenses. They have nowhere to go but up from here.

  125. Maybe I’ll rescind what I said in regards to a Kobe-centric offense. Ding implies that was the strategy all along, exploiting the assumption that Howard wouldn’t show hard on the P&R. If that’s the case, then bravo Phil.

    http://lakers.freedomblogging.com/2009/06/04/game-1-lakers-100-magic-75/18219/#more-18219

  126. One thing we have to appreciate – this team has always been flat after this much rest. Tonight? Not even close. I loved the energy, activity, and hunger of every single guy out there. Everyone played with a purpose. Finals experience does matter.

  127. I know Kobe took thirty shots but it didnt seem like it, after the initial three for nine they were all good shots, plus eight assists. When Kobe is in ball hog mode he usually gets a lot of turnovers tonite i dont think he turned it over, I hope they double him next game cuz my favorite part of his game now is his “yo mama bitch” jump passes to a diving ariza or Lamar.

  128. 1. Is this game by Kobe about the usage rate LeBron usually has in Cleveland’s offense? More? Less?

    2. I’m wondering how this big reliance on Nelson will affect Alston. Can’t be too exciting for him, plus I think he might try to force things the next time around. I’m all for it.

    3. Great close-outs on the 3-point shooters, also good job on team rebounding. Tipping the ball if necessary, but keeping everybody alert until it’s secured.

    4. Second the wish for winning game 2 under all circumstances. I don’t think Orlando can win 3 in a row at home, which would mean at least a 3-2 lead and two home games, or maybe even finishing it on their floor.

    4. The big man rotation in my opinion is close to perfect right now personnel-wise. As far as the production goes, Bynum has the most room to improve, but Gasol-Bynum-Odom-Ariza is amazing and low-level insurance policies in Powell and Mbenga at the end of the bench are really solid. A lot of different possible looks depending on the opponent and a very versatile skill-set. Just get out of some contracts (Morrison, Sasha?), sort out the PG position, try to keep the rest of the team intact please Mr. Buss and Mr. Kupchak.

  129. Snoopy exactly, the Lakers can talent there way back in most games, but when they play with energy on the defensive end and on the boards they are so tough to beat. I really hope Bynum can get more minutes next game because if Bynum gets his confidence again he can start turning back into the player we thought he was becomin prior to those injurys. I felt Bynum’s energy in the first period was the difference to jump starting the Lakers tonite.

  130. Kaifa i think its totaly different with Lebron as he hurts his team as they run no offense he just dribbles the ball out, its great when they are in transition but when he has the ball at the top of the key and dribbles to a jump shot or a last second pass its easy to defend and noone else gets a rythm. Also, good luck to Cleveland brining in players in their prime to play with him, the reason his teamates were so bad is its impossible to get a rythm. West played great the last two games on offense with the ball in his hands, if Lebron would post up and allow Williams and West to control the ball more it would create way better situations for his team. Bottom line is Brown getting coach of the year was as big a joke as howard getting defensive player of the year.

  131. Actually, Orlando started playing defense like Boston did last year. They were overplaying the passing lanes and also were not allowing the entry pass into the post. They never let our triangle offense to get set. Their clogging the passing lanes led to so many turnovers in the first quarter. They were allowing the Lakers to play 1-on-1 basketball. Which is why Phil went to the pick and roll from the second quarter onwards. And Kobe nailed it taking shots and making passes as available. Also, as noted by several people here, individually Orlando’s defenders are not great, so Kobe and even Gasol were able to take full advantage of it. I admire Phil for not being adamant and realizing that the triangle was not working. He did not make this adjustment in last year’s finals. However, this offense is not going to win us the series. The other players will need to get involved. I am wating to see what adjustments SVG (and Phil) makes next game. I think from a defensive standpoint they would want the Lakers to play the way they did tonight.

    On another note, what a great performance by Kobe and Gasol tonight. Not a lot of people, especially in the media are praising Gasol, but the defensive job he did on Dwight was phenomenal. I do not believe our closing out on 3-point shooters was as good as it seems. The Magic just missed several very-open 3-pointers which would have gone in on another day.

  132. In the first Drew did a FANTASTIC job of staying disciplined and staying on his man. Yes, he ended up with 2 fouls and on the bench, but for the bulk of his minutes, he let the cutters go by so that Howard had no easy looks. CRITICAL. Great effort by Drew.

    LO had another great game.

    Gasol seems to not shoot as well against the Magic. They seem to be able to keep him out of his comfort zone other than that 14-18 foot jumper.

    The Lakers went to the High P&R a LOT tonight when Kobe went incendiary hot. I agreed with Phil, you can’t let the entire offense turn in to 4 guys watching Kobe. That won’t work for multiple games. Kobe won’t be that hot and the Magic won’t stay that cold. I’m happy with the win, but I’d be happier if more of the offensive production had come from running the offense than Kobe’s ability to hit ridiculous shots.

    I know, there’s no pleasing me.