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.”


to Lakers/Magic Game 1 Finals Chat

  1. I am at the game tonight and will be providing updates.

    As I’m sure you know by now, Jameer will play, coming off the bench. That will be interesting.

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  2. (Moved over from the previous thread, since everyone will be looking at this one now.)

    Free at last! Home at last! Game time! Hyper!

    Okay, okay. I’ll lay off the sugar.

    In other news, the bottom of my TV screen is blinking “SEVERE thunder storm warning” for several counties in the state, among them mine. It’s started already…!

    Does anyone know what kind of animal you sacrifice to the thunder gods when you pray for mercy for your satellite dish?

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  3. LOL @ Mimsy. Dont just Micheal Vick anything

    I am so nervous. But i feel good about our team. They look focus. Kobes eyes say it all

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  4. Let’s go! Go Lakers!

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  5. Mark Jackson is annoying. No question about it.

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  6. Lamar and Bynum look very focused. That’s a lot more important than whether Kobe is focused or not… Kobe is always focused.

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  7. NBA League has no sound for the moment for some reason, extremely annoying. Oh well – go Lakers=)

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  8. So is JVG. I thought he was decent when he first started but now he just says the most ridiculous things and provides very little, if any, helpful insight from the coaches perspective.

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  9. This is frustrating, i’m at the office right now, I was supposed to take a leave but I figured I needed the money 🙁 (no paid leaves for me)

    I just wish the lakers win big today I don’t want to face a world where I missed a game winning buzzer beater by Kobe because of work. hehe

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  10. This is the longest commercial break before the tip I’ve ever seen. Torture.

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  11. They’re making us wait another week inbetween starting lineups and tip off.

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  12. The crowd is alive! *checks off that item on the wishlist*

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  13. I like that. I want to see alot of that when Bynum and Gasol are in together.

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  14. I see what Lewis trying to do…pump fake and drive.

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  15. Do not help off the corner three.

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  16. Make Alston finish in the paint. He is not that good of a finisher.

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  17. Both times Howard has gotten the ball it has been 10 feet out plus, and he faced up. I can live with that.

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  18. So far tonight, Bynum = good. Fisher, not yet good.

    Gaol and Bynum against Howard = pwnage

    Kobe = as expected.

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  19. If Alston wants to take the majority of the Magic’s shots, I’m perfectly fine with that, and I’m sure PJ is too.

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  20. Hey, I live in Asia and have to be working right now :(. Does anyone have a live streaming online feed (not directly from justin.tv because they blocked that here?)

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  21. Bynum came to play tonight…

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  22. Bynum seems aggressive today

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  23. More than Bynum being aggressive, I like his energy on defense.

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  24. Lakers doing too much one-on-one. I want to see some more ball movement.

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  25. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Looks like Drew is taking this game (and all the NBA talking head chatter) personally. Also, pulled over from the previous thread–ugh…let Skip shoot his little runner, Trevor. Don’t help off Turk in the corner.

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  26. Anyone else trying to use International League Pass? Appears that there is no sound on the HD stream, and the SD stream is always chunky for me so right now preferring the nice smooth picture and providing my own commentary…

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  27. Mimsy, is he single covering Dwight? or are the lakers going for help defense?

    (i hate box score watching haha)

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  28. Longest commercial breaks EVER.

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  29. Drew’s issues are often focus, but he has always gotten up for Howard.

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  30. I like Ariza up in Hedo so far. Make him work for his shot, but make him the shooter. Hedo thrives when players go under the screen because he can measure that jumper better. So I’m with Trevor playing in his jersey – as long as he doesn’t foul.

    I like what we’re doing with Dwight on both ends. Pushing him out and making him attack off the dribble and then going at him with post moves. Also, making him a helper like on the Kobe drive and the Gasol post up on Lewis. Drew is looking motivated too.

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  31. Impressions so far:
    -I’m shocked by how much we’re helping. On that Hedo reverse, Rashard was left completely open at the 3-point line. This defense scares me, once they start kicking out more we’re giving them open shots.
    -Love Bynum’s activity offensively and on the boards.
    -However, what happened to his talk of “I know the key is getting low and pushing Dwight out of his comfort zone”? He’s again using his length instead of his strength defensively, letting Dwight catch the ball and backing off him. Dwight facing up isn’t as effective, true, but Drew’s making no attempt to push him off his spots, he’s catching the ball too low.
    -Why does Orlando’s defense remind me of Boston’s last year right now? They’re completely packing in the paint, and yet we’re not making them pay with 3 point shooting. I can’t figure out why. Is the spacing poor? Are they just recovering out to Ariza quickly? Are we not swinging the ball fast enough?
    -We can’t let them pack the paint like that and not make them pay from outside. It’ll make scoring in the paint too hard.

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  32. #27,
    On most possessions it’s looked like he’s going one-on-one with Howard on defense. Gasol just rotated over when Bynum got stuck on a switch, but so far, Howard seems to be Andrew’s assignment.

    And he’s making free throws!

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  33. Lakers very active defending the three point line tonight. Another good sign.

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  34. Hi All,
    At work listening to ESPN……
    Nice to see Bynum being aggressive, and with the Magic bringing on Battie, you know SVG is worried….

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  35. I guess they are not going to let them play

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  36. thats bynum and ariza with 2 each fish and pau with one foul….jeez

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  37. Liking the defense so far. Don’t like the fact that we didn’t try to beat-down Lewis hard when he was in. I like going at Howard, trying to pick up some fouls on him. We’re also doing a good job chasing them off the three point line and forcing them into some long two’s.

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  38. lI don’t like the way the magic are getting a lot of fouls on us – and shooting a lot of free throws – that is bad news

    we need to go at howard and get fouls on him – we get him in foul trouble it will be MUCH better for us

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  39. Now lets see if Luke can step up to the plate….

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  40. also when gasol is righ under the basket he must dunk it – he can’t flip it up over howard

    he has done that twice (once against battie)

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  41. We really cant afford to have Bynum in foul trouble all series long like he was against Denver.

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  42. Pau actually looks a little nervous more than anyone else, rushing a little bit, missing shots he normally makes. He’s getting good looks, he’ll settle down.

    I’d like Drew to play as much as possible (start of the 2nd?) when he’s in a rhythm like this.

    Howard on Lamar? Lamar needs to attack off the dribble.

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  43. things all laker fans should like thus far bynums play, the obvious step down in competition so far from the nuggets and the fact that orlando is changing their rotation to match up, lets get this one. Battie playing is a great thing for the lakers.

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  44. Neither team is getting good looks in transition. Lots of half court, no transition hoops really.

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  45. Andrew Bynum:
    9 Minutes 3-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 1 ORB, 4 TRB, 2 Fouls, 8 PTS. + 4

    He drew a foul on Howard as well. Great energy.

    If Bynum has that line in the second half, we are looking really good.

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  46. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Clutch flop there from Pau…lol

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  47. Great D by Gasol there. Moved his feet and got in front of Howard.

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  48. that’s 2 on Howard

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  49. And Pau is BEASTING it!

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  50. Pau has to get it together on the offensive end.

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  51. gasol looks a little off early, hopefully he will continue to give good energy on D

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  52. Even now with Bynum and Howard on the bench…..Lets go Lakers!

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  53. look i respect the magic, but commentators please dont think that a performance against the sixers is relevant.

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  54. I’m not sure a play-off win of 20+ points is anything to sneer at, regardless of who you got the win against.

    Let’s not do the Magic the favor of underestimating and disrespecting them.

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  55. Kurt how many seats are filled so far, sounds empty???

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  56. And for the love of god, stop letting them push people out of bounds!

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  57. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Well, it’s looking like this crew is going to allow the Magic to play physical but not the Lakers, judging from Gortat’s defense on Pau.

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  58. um dude im not disrespecting, their play has been really good and i like a lot of their team, but yeah sixers wouldnt be the ninth best team in the west.

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  59. Psst… I’m a dudette 😉

    And yeah, I know. My comment on that was in general, not to you personally.

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  60. kobe drive at them – he did that time – but stop taking jumpers

    we are not going to be orlando in a jumpshooting contest – no way

    our hope is to get baskets in the post and drive to the basket

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  61. I wonder if its designed that kobe has went away from his facilitator role? they were playing so well the last two against denver

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  62. If Kobe and Pau’s shots start falling we’ll be in good shape.

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  63. well only down by 2 with kobe and pau 5 for 15

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  64. The crowd was a little late arriving, early start on the busiest traffic night of the week. But the place is full now. They just need the team to give them something to get behind.

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  65. As good as Bynum looked, Kobe has looked bad. 3 for 9 with a couple of PUJITs is not encouraging. What is encouraging is that Kobe makes halftime adjustments as well as any player in the game.

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  66. Kobe seems to be a bit indecisive with his moves and Pau is almost too decisive…weird switch of roles.

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  67. Need to keep going inside. Pau’s missed some easy shots and got pushed out of bounds but he will make those shots eventually.

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  68. Sportsguy Hate June 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    The game seems like it’s in slow motion right now. The crowd needs to get into it and the lakers needs to get a fast-break bucket.

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  69. We are rushing things a little bit. We need to calm down and play laker ball. Value every possession like we did against our 2 reg season games with Boston

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  70. I think they will, bottom line is laker fans we are spoiled, being down two in the first quarter to me is like being up ten, cuz the lakers are terrible in the first quarter, lets hope for some Shannon Brown. We got two guys that I know will be motivated tonite in Ariza and Bynum for obvious reasons GO LAKERS!!!

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  71. kurt tell them to get loud, i know staples in not traditionally loud, but we need it now, it’s the FINALS,

    the magic look awfully comfortable in our home

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  72. Jameer is in, let’s see how that goes.

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  73. The Lakers need to drive to the basket a little more. FT’s in the 1st Q Magic 7-8 Lakers 2-2

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  74. kobe 3 for 9 seems like recipe for losing. more pau.

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  75. lakergirl i agree to an extent but i like the ball going inside and i like that our energy is better then the magics, things that havent been true in an opening game since the first round.

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  76. i should bet $100 bucks every time vujacic comes in he gets a foul within 30 seconds – i’d be rich!

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  77. oh god sasha sighting…

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  78. Okay. Let’s set Brown on Nelson. Come on. In with Brown.

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  79. Honestly, I think Staples is a little stunned.

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  80. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Wow…Lamar was butchered on that drive.

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  81. If the crowd is stunned, the refs must be comatose…

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  82. The lakers are too predictable

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  83. Are we sure Jameer Nelson hasn’t played a game in 4 months? This looks strangely familiar…

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  84. Nelson is kiilling the Lakers. He is attacking early and getting the Lakers into scramble defense.

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  85. Nobody stopping dribble penetration right now for LA

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  86. Farmar’s D is horrendous.

    Sasha needs to get the rebound before going out on a break…

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  87. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    We need to put Shannon on Nelson, who is showing no rust right now.

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  88. Lakers look really bad. No energy whatsoever from anyone….

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  89. so much for home court advantage – what home court

    mimsy is right – comatose is not an exaggeration it sounds DEAD
    the lakers are making careless passes

    and running upcourt before getting the rebound
    orlando is not a team we can lapse on and expect to win because we are at home

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  90. ive seen about 4 gortat fouls already, none called and we get calls for battling for position

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  91. Walton’s got advantage on blocks against Pietrus.

    I think Lamar should post against Lewis more, and Gasol needs to face up against stronger Gortat rather than trying to back him down.

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  92. #88 I agree. Shannon needs to be on Nelson, maybe he can slow him down

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  93. Kobe and Pau are 5-15 and we’re only down by 5? We’re in good shape.

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  94. emh101.These times outs are really lengthy. Dang. I know they have to make their money but its messing up the flow

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  95. I’d like to see Bynum in the game, Pau’s struggling offensively a bit, he just needs to settle down.

    Give WOW a turn on Jameer, see if that makes a difference.

    I haven’t been a big fan of the 3-point defense, to be honest. Our defense has been in scramble mode since Jameer came in.

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  96. On defense, the bigs are not rotating well for us off the dribble penetration. We need both bigs to rotate and leave the guy open on the opposite side…

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  97. Jameer looks a lot better than I expected. Which is not good.

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  98. Gortat is playing pretty well right now, they are letting him push people around but….

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  99. So the biggest mismatch so far is… Luke Walton in the post!

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  100. I don’t think we should try to go at Gortat. He’s a good defensive center. Go right at Lee everytime!!!

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  101. Hi everyone, this is my first time watching live online from Spain (almost 4am now here) and following the live chat. Very even game so far, I hope as finals nerves go away they rush plays less

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  102. Kobe getting mugged again.

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  103. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Well, at least they let that one go by Drew on Gortat’s shot.

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  104. Luke Walton is looking very good so far

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  105. Luke is killing them=)

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  106. when LA increases the pressure on the basketball it throws Orlando’s offense out of sync and will disrupt dribble drives and passes to Howard in the low post. They must keep it up.

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  107. Ahhh, a lot better. They’re going against Lee, which is good cause he’ll get taken out, which brings in Pietrus, who’s not as good offensively as Lee.

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  108. Before the series started, I was talking to Kurt about Walton’s ability to post up being a plus in this series. Orlando only has two natural SF’s and one of them plays PF (Lewis). When Walton subs for Ariza and Hedo gets his rest, Luke can post up whoever plays SF for Orlando. I know we don’t think of Luke as a go to guy, but if it alters Orlando’s scheme or substitution patterns at all, it’s a win in my book.

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  109. As soon as howard comes in we must go right at him and try to get a third foul! the finals will be about strategy these teams are pretty evenly matched

    the longer we keep howard out – we also keep OUR bigs in – because the longer howard is in – it is hard for gasol and bynum to stay out of foul trouble

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  110. I love how Gortat goes about his business. He defends, he rebounds, he has size, he’s mobile, and he can finish around the rim. He’ll earn a nice raise this offseason, although probably not with Orlando.

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  111. Lakergirl, we need to start timing these timeouts. Sheesh!

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  112. looks like Lakers will have to deal with the Nelson menace. He can only get stronger as the series progresses.

    Nice to see Luke taking adv. of smaller guy.

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  113. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    As has been said a number of times during this postseason, Gortat’s going to sign a lucrative contract this summer.

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  114. Our second unit looks lost defensively because they are so concerned about their offense.

    Did you see the look of frustration on Farmar when Sasha didn’t pass him the ball on the break?

    They are all so dang concerned about scoring while not focusing their EFFING EFFORT on DEEFENSE!!!

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  115. 103 – Yeah, Drew was lucky. He’s got to be smarter than that. Protecting the paint is one thing, but slapping at a Gortat layup? You’re playing well, Drew, we’d like to keep you in the game.

    Lakers: 0-1 from 3-point land. Granted, it’s better than 0-10. But they’re packing in the paint, we should have more (and HQ) 3-point looks.

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  116. Relax. Nelson looking good for 10 minutes is not the same as Nelson looking good for a whole game, and certainly not a whole series.

    Lack of conditioning rears it’s ugly head the longer you play, not when you first start. Nelson’s juiced at the moment, really excited to be in. That will fade. I suspect he will as well.

    All that said, get Shannon Brown in there.

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  117. I’d like to see us put more size on Jameer. Even though he’s short, he’s built like a tank and he’s a tough cover coming off the P&R. Put WOW or Kobe on him just to disrupt his flow. It already looks like SVG is using Nelson in lieu of Hedo as the primary ball handler – so go at him the same way we go at Ariza.

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  118. (In completely unrelated news, the thunderstorm has passed over and my satellite dish has survived. I am pleased to report that thunder gods respond favorably to offerings of kung pao chicken.)

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  119. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Way to gang rebound, guys. The staff did its homework during the break.

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  120. Superman II looks just like Superman I in defending pick and rolls.

    Kobe’ll hit those 18 footers all night LONG!

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  121. that’s not a good contest, JVG, that’s a good foul.

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  122. That is vintage Kobe, use the pick to get to the spot you want, see what the D gives you (jumper this time) and make the play.

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  123. If they think they can defend Kobe like they did Lebron, they’re sadly mistaken.
    News flash for the Magic: Kobe has a jumper.

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  124. Howard laying off on the P&R is not going to work for them. Kobe’s too good a shooter. Dwight is still acting like it’s Lebron coming off that screen and expecting a guy to come and barrel into him. Kobe’s shooting that J.

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  125. I think Howard touched Kobes shot and knocked it off the basket. Should have been goal tending.

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  126. It will be interesting to see the calls in the second half. The tone of play being allowed at one end vs. the other is very different. Still, got to play through it.

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  127. I don’t care, that’s a good foul. Howard beat Drew on that drop step and he’s about to dunk. Make him make his FT’s.

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  128. No foul against Bynum (mugged by 3 players under the rim) but then he gets a foul called against him on the hook by Howard at the other end…

    I hate the NBA referees.

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  129. I called IT!

    Fisher WILL hit some 3s this series!

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  130. The refereeing looks… odd, to say the least. It’s like the first games of the Denver series all over again. They let anything go on one end, and whistle anything on the other.

    It will make it hard for our guys to adjust.

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  131. Will we see Mbenga now?

    I think we need to front Howard now, no?

    We need more PnR with Gasol and Kobe…even though they’ll expect it…

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  132. When did Howard become a good FT shooter?

    And they are letting the Magic play very physical but are calling the same fouls against the Lakers. I think they might be overcompensating trying to not look like they are favoring the Lakers.

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  133. Somebody needs to tell Turkeyglue he’s not getting that call on the road in the NBA Finals.

    Kobe Bryant is just unreal.

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  134. Have I mentioned that I am really bothered by the free throw discrepancy?

    Also, more Mbenga! More Mbenga!

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  135. Can’t feel good about ourselves now. Orlando is probably the best team in the league at recovering from a deficit…they never lose their composure.

    Are they going to call ANY fouls when Kobe has the ball? He’s getting hit on the arm on every other jump shot.

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  136. kobe is feeling it but I still rather see we go into pau and try to get #3 on howard before he fouls out our front line.

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  137. Turkoglu makes about 2-3 absolutely brainless plays in a game.

    There’s the first one trying to get 3 FT’s off Luke.

    The good thing about Luke is that he doesn’t bite on shot fakes because he has such slow reaction time.

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  138. The free throw discrepancy, I feel, will even itself out in the second half. The Magic fans will be griping in the fourth quarter when the calls go our way.

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  139. lets hope law of averages kicks in with howard on free throws

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  140. I feel like these announcers have nothing good to say about the Lakers

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  141. I’m sorry, I’m not seeing this solid 3-point defense at all. I’ve counted numerous times they’ve been wide open behind the line, they just haven’t swung the ball as much as they normally do. OK defense, but still a lot of perimeter breakdowns.

    Looks like Phil might have played some mind games. His constant refrain was how we wouldn’t double Howard, but we’ve seen a lot of help on Howard. They’ll make adjustments at halftime, we have to do a better job staying at home on the 3 point shooters.

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  142. Wow. I know that we’re not supposed to be mentioning the one-sided officiating, but damn, Kobe’s being hit on the wrist on every single replay/highlight that is being shown. This is a travesty right now.

    That having been said, I’m extremely impressed by the work the Lakers are putting in on the boards. In particular, I’m liking what I am seeing with Lakers tipping boards towards teammates if they cannot control them personally. This is having a huge and understated impact on the game.

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  143. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    It was already pointed out before the game that this same officiating crew lets teams with physical reputations play physically against the Lakers, but they don’t let the Lakers play the same way because we’re a “finesse” team. However, they do give the Lakers the calls in the 4th quarter if they drive to the hoop. So, we must play through the non-calls, keep our heads in the game, and go to the hole in the 4th. Drew and Pau are getting mugged every time on their shots down low, but no calls.

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  144. I can guarantee that if the Lakers win this game, Phil will be working the refs through the media. The best time to complain is always after a win (imo) because it’s not just an excuse.

    On a different note, Kobe has life in his legs. He really looks like he benefitted from the time off.

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  145. Okay, I just realized that despite the refs doing their best to give it to the Magic, we’re still up by 6. Conclusion, we rock.

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  146. I think the problem is too many guys in the paint when lakers have the ball. the refs can’t call a foul if they can’t see anything. on the other end, there’s just howard and they get an unobstructed view, makes it easy to call fouls.

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  147. lets not let them on a run here

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  148. Lakers getting pushed around a little bit. Where the walk on Howard? There was a zebra 3 feet away.

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  149. anyone else notice that kobe is playing exactly like jordan right now… im talking bulls vs. jazz, dude is on a mission.

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  150. Orlando is missing a lot of good looks from beyond the arc. I don’t think the 3-point defense has been awful but it could certainly be better.

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  151. That’s two jumpers for Pau. I like that a lot as it’s the shot that Howard can’t defend when Kobe gets into the lane. That’s the shot that Ilgauskus was not making in Orlando’s last series.

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  152. Odom is active on the Glass. If Odom continues doing that, it will greatly help the Lakers.

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  153. #147, luubi,
    But Kobe is shooting from mid-range, not from the paint. And he’s fouled practically on every possession.

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  154. Did Fisher just make a lay-up?

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  155. Thanks Ryan, I was just about to say, NOBODY has mentioned Lamar. He’s having one of his games again where he quietly goes about stuff, but is VERY effective.
    6pts, 6 boards +8.

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  156. Good pressure by Fisher and Ariza not letting Nelson get a shot off.

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  157. only reason lakers are winning is because jameer nelson is running out the shot clock on every single play

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  158. Great 2nd quarter for Kobe. Half way to a double double (6 dimes)

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  159. Yes, Fisher made a layup….I repeat, Fisher made a layup.

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  160. Good hustle and some intelligent plays at the end of the quarter, together with Kobe’s streak make it a 10 point cushion. Game looks good right now.

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  161. AWESOME 2nd qtr, defense has picked up, Kobe was the Black Mamba…man, this is awesome.
    And they’re kicking Orlando on the boards, 24-17, 7-4 OR.
    Lunchtime for me…..

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  162. A couple of really good signs for the Lakers:

    1. Kobe looks great. (What else is new?)

    2. Pau’s jumper has returned from the dead.

    3. Bynum did a good job while in the game.

    4. Lamar is active.

    5. Luke was on fire.

    Two bad things:

    1. Howard is making his FTs.

    2. The refs take every opportunity to give him more FTs.

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  163. Gortat’s too good down low.

    ORL doens’t lose much defensively when he replaces the DPOY.

    Lamar’s quick reflex always get him in trouble which Luke doesn’t know about.

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  164. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Wow…the FT discrepancy is laughable. Orlando has taken eleven 3-pt shots and shot 14 FTs. We’ve only taken four 3-pt shots and only 2 FTs. We just have to keep playing through it, and this crew will start to actually call fouls in the 4th quarter like they did in Game 1 against Denver.

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  165. Kobe 18 points…zero free throws on 18 FG attempts. That’s…difficult to explain.

    Overall, a very good first half by the Lakers. I particularly liked the energy level that the Lakers have brought to this game. They’re playing hard, and Fisher knocking down shots is an incredibly good sign. Also, Bynum, who has been another question mark, played great. He has three fouls, but they were three GOOD fouls.

    On the negative side, Ariza has to be getting frustrated with Kobe not passing him the ball when he has been wide open about four times. A couple of times, Kobe drove and hit Gasol, but Ariza is too important not to feel involved.

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  166. Kobe’s looked off Ariza at the 3 point line a couple times. Intentional? Surprises me a bit, since Ariza has been so good from behind the arc. Only 1 FG for him tonight.

    LOVE the work on the boards. Absolutely sandwiching Howard, 3 jerseys surrounding him, and all 5 guys within the vicinity so when 1 Laker taps it out, they snare the ball. Great strategy.

    Jameer barely looks like he’s lost a step. That’s a really impressive recovery from being out that long. Still, he’s actually limited Turk’s effectiveness because Turk no longer has the ball in his hands.

    Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t feel like the intensity of last year. This doesn’t feel much different from a regular series. Could be because of the crowd.

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  167. #154 Mimsy, you’re right. when kobe is in iso mode, if they refs are not looking at him and the defender, what are they looking at?

    Is it me or JVG being unusually subdued. why do they let him call the game when there’s such obvious conflict?

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  168. Jim C – Yup, Ariza did look angry, clapping his hands in frustration and yelling something at Kobe after he didn’t get the ball a few times.

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  169. I just want to remind you guys. This was the formula for the two regular season games played. Each time the Lakers had a good lead at the half and then ended up losing. The Magic are going to play better. The Lakers have to be prepared for their attack.

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  170. You can already see that Lewis and Howard are sucking wind having to play a high level of defense. I kinda like the substitution of Josh Powell more than DJ Mbenga because he offers more to the game besides fouls than Mbenga. Powell can also defend the pick and roll too.

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  171. Joe, I don’t think anyone expects the Magic to make a disappearing act, but if the Lakers keep up this tenacious d, I like our chances a lot.

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  172. I think we’ve made a conscious decision to not shoot too many threes. Kobe has missed Ariza on a couple of open plays, but it was too try to get a look in the paint. I understand if Trevor is frustrated, but this may be something that the coaches have drilled into the team as misses off of threes fuel the Magic’s break going the other way. Also, in the last thread I talked about Orlando running very similar sets to Phoenix – and Phil used this same exact “pound it inside” strategy against the Suns when we played them in the playoffs. Remember, Orlando is at its best when they get out and run in order to get Howard running post sprints and their shooters running to the three point line for transition threes. I like how we’re executing this (potential) game plan so far.

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  173. Snoopy:

    Yes, you’re right. I noticed the clapping thing. Hard to argue with the results, with the Lakers and Kobe both playing so well, but I worry a bit about the longterm ramifications. Ariza wants to stick it to his old team. If he’s open, why not toss him the ball and give him a chance?

    It can only make him play better defense and give him more energy.

    Still, overall, a very good first half. Looking at this, I think we can expect Pietrus to find the range a little, and Fisher/Walton to probably fall off a bit. But I saw nothing so far that does anything but increase my confidence in the Lakers’ chances.

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  174. How fun is it to see Magic and Kobe in the same room, 1 on 1? Two Laker legends, arguably on about the same level. So much respect for each other.

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  175. What I liked: Patience on offense. Other than a couple of quick shots by Kobe, our offense was intent on making a pass into post or get Howard involved in PnR. The passing was good overall although they could get Trevor involved more, but it seems like ORL has been watching the playoffs, so they are covering Trevor’s 3s. On defense, I liked how the entire team went after rebounds, except for Sasha. The team defense was inconsistent overall.

    What I didn’t like: The second unit’s lack of intensity. This is the FINALS! No more excuses and let downs. Farmar and Sasha can’t focus on offense anymore. They need to defend and play hard. Bigs need to convert layups and close range shots better.

    Overall, I think our effort is there, except for Farmar and Sasha who are no defensive minded enough. I think Rashard Lewis will come out firing in the second half. We need to make sure he doesn’t get hot. As long as Lewis is contained, we can limit their runs.

    So far, so good.

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  176. this aint the regular season, and we all should recognize just how good that denver team was, the lakers are benefiting from a great challenge.

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  177. The Magic will make a run. They will hit some3’s and make a run at some point. The Lakers need to keep the D intensity up, keep moving the ball offensively, attacking the boards (both of O and D) and chase players off of the 3. If the Magic beat you by taking mid range shots, all the power to them.

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  178. Hmm… Nelson is playing, but he’s passing up opportunities at the open 3FG to pass to men who are less open. Is that his typical MO? The only long shot he took looked awful.

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  179. i agree magic and kobe rock… anyone else think kareem deserves a little more mention as the greatest player ever.

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  180. Kobe: “It’s impossible to say one single player is the greatest.” (paraphrase)

    I completely agree. I personally think Kareem should be talked about as the GOAT as much as Michael. But you just can’t pick one single player, there’s an argument for a handful.

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  181. Yes, Kareem should definitely be in the discussion for Best Player. His stellar play for as long as he played is unparalleled.

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  182. ryan for sure, but as long as the lakers dont double down low there is no reason for wide open threes, an occasional dwight howard dunk is better then doubling down to give up wide open threes. Bottom line the lakers score over a hundred or out rebound the magic they win, they do both its a blowout.

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  183. kurt you on twitter?

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  184. Jabbar is the most overlooked superstar ever. Period. I could see Duncan joining that discussion in 10-15 years as almost everything these guys have done is understated. But when you look at Kareem – 6 MVP’s, 6 rings, 10 time First Team All-NBA, 19 all-star games….come on. Pure brilliance.

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  185. true you cant, i just think when it comes to the best ever, a dude that also is a big man that was that versatile deserves consid. didnt he win the mvp more then michael?

    Another funny thing is everyone keeps bugging kobe about a championship without shaq, MJ had pippen, bird had dj, mchale and parish, magic had worthy and kareem noone does it alone, and pau aint no slouch.

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  186. this from the ESPN Blog on the game
    Henry Abbott : Eric Neel says Lakers are 16-1 this season when Kobe Bryant has seven or more assists. Five already.

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  187. Snoopy,

    It’s not fun so much as inspiring. These are two legends. These are two legends who have a great deal of respect for each other… it’s sports history and we get to see it.

    That smile when Magic said “Larry Bird said he thinks you’re the best player in the NBA”, that was genuine. That was a comment/compliment that really mattered top Kobe, because of the respect he has for Larry Bird as one of the greatest NBA players ever.

    It’s frustrating. When Kobe is genuinely Kobe, when he stops focusing on being likable and talks about what he likes and loves, he automatically becomes more likable. Because it’s impossible not to like a man who speaks with passion about the love of his life–basketball.

    Someone needs to point that out to him.

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  188. Kareem is always overlooked. He had a career just as good as all those other guys in the discussion. Plus how many players have a shot that no one else has ever been able to do?

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  189. Great stat, glove32. Kobe scoring and dishing.

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  190. Is Dwight Howard wearing a sports bra?

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  191. Man I normally enjoy Van Gundy’s commentating, but his obvious uncomfortableness makes me feel uncomfortable.

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  192. Snoopy! I did NOT need that mental image!

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  193. bynum must dunk it – not flip it up – don’t let howard get a free pass on foul

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  194. A little worried that Kobe is shooting too much, but…

    Go Lakers!

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  195. fouls are going to kill us!

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  196. we must attack the same way on the other end

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  197. No anonymous, the refs are killing us. They are calling it EXTREMELY inconsistently.

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  198. Bynum should have dunked that one ball he had close in.

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  199. That’s not a foul on Drew. Both guys pushing right there.

    Also, I feel bad for Drew with his knee. Earlier this season, that’s a dunk on that little bunny shot. Instead, he’s got little to no vertical lift and he short shoots a one footer.

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  200. Courtney Lee = Buffet Line for post players!

    MVP!

    MVP!

    MVP!

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  201. Kobe getting roughed up near the basket.

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  202. Wow, Kobe was mugged by 5 players there and no call. Kobe can’t buy a foul this game.

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  203. okay i said i wouldnt complain about refs but howard through elbows come on refs put the whistle away, or be consistent.

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  204. #204, Ryan,

    Welcome to home-court advantage.

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  205. Im kind of surprised they called that foul there.

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  206. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    At some point, the Lakers need to shame the officials into calling the game fairly. Keep going to the hoop!

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  207. DONT DOUBLe FNG HOWARD

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  208. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Kobe, no need to help on Dwight. Don’t let them get started from three.

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  209. gasol must get it going like that

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  210. i say bring in mbenga to mug howard for six pfs

    0

  211. You can’t double Howard from the same side and make his pass out that simple. Come from the weakside and come with size. Make his read as difficult as possible. He’s still prone to committing turnovers.

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  212. Lakers are doing a great job of posting up anyone and everyone.

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  213. Kurt start a BENGA cheer

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  214. People, people… we are up by 11! We’re doing good. Whatever we are doing is working.

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  215. My bad. Up by 14.

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  216. as predicted, we are starting to get the calls

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  217. god could these guys jock howard any harder, im so sick of it.

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  218. Howard with the elbow and the foul (#3)

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  219. How many times per game can the announcers “remind us” that the Lakers lost to the Celtics last year?

    0

  220. Good good good!

    Do NOT get complacent!

    Play 48 minutes!

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  221. Manny, the more they do it, the sweeter the revenge will be 😉

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  222. Celtics Nation June 4, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Yeah, Paul Pierce and Garnet are unstoppable… wait… that’s right. NO CELTICS IN THE FINALS THIS YEAR…..

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  223. There we go. They do not have any one that can guard Odom. He needs to cut to the basket. This will get him easy shots like that last one, and offensive rebounds since he is the best rebounder in the building not named Howard.

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  224. I feel bad for JVG. It’s like he’s been castrated.

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  225. i disagree the calls have been equally inconsistent, but howard has been getting way too much love… the thing is bynum is always the guy who gets screwed. but whatever bynums minutes on the floor have been really good thats all i ask, now bring in MBENGA.

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  226. Gasol is doing a great single coverage of Howard, making him kick it out to well guarded teammates. Also, a good pass to Odom and basket from Kobe.

    Seems the game is going away from the Magic.

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  227. by the way i dont think a single laker has played bad other then sasha for his brief stay.

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  228. And we all thought that Orlando was the P&R team! We are demolishing their defense with Kobe playing up high in P&R sets. All those made jumpers in the first half are making Howard take that one step out further and now it’s opening up every other option on the court: Gasol on the pop sets up LO on the dive and seal, Gasol on the dive and he gets a layup. Next time down I can see Gasol get the ball and then throw the swing pass to the opposite wing for the open jumper as they over rotate to deal with Pau getting a clean look. Pretty offense right now.

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  229. JVG is a castrato for sure, no jokes or wisecracks just unformatble mumbles.

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  230. Um… let’s not celebrate just yet. There’s over a quarter left.

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  231. Who’s celebrating?

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  232. By the way, one of the biggest ovations of the night for Billy Idol shown waving a Lakers towel on the jumbotron.

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  233. Orlando is missing a lot of shots. Otherwise this game would be close.

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  234. So, are we surprised Magic is under 30% shooting behind the arc?

    Teams are overshooting behind the arc when they are playing the Lakers.

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  235. darius i feel like great decisions are being made on offense but a little rust, this could easily be another ten points on the board. still a ways to go, i would like to see bynum get six fouls this game versus sitting out.

    i dont feel like the lakers are up against the defensive player of the year, what a joke that award is.

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  236. emh101,
    No one on here, I think. It’s more of a pre-emptive caution than anything else. I REALLY don’t want us to lose this lead.

    And Ariza was SO fouled on that layup!

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  237. I think they are missing some of those shots because of our defense.

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  238. Lewis is not strong enough to post Howard. Odom is underrated as a defender, sometimes he makes stupid decisions on help, but still a good defender.

    Kobe!! wow just wow.

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  239. oh, my, god. A magnum opus from Kobe Bryant here in the 3rd

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  240. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Stop! Kobe time!

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  241. that kobe move gave me goosebumps.

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  242. Zephid,
    But one of the reasons that Orlando is missing shots is because of the way that we chased them off the 3 point line to start the game. That makes it so Orlando struggles to find a rhythm. Then, when the shots are open they don’t have that same feel. I know Orlando is missing some that they’d normally make. But shooters thrive off of flow. Right now, they don’t have it.

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  243. It’s very clear Kobe has no desire to play in the 4th quarter hahaha

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  244. Seen the look in Kobe’s face? He’s in full MJ mode now!

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  245. What. The. ****. is wrong with the refs tonight?

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  246. “let’s not celebrate just yet. There’s over a quarter left.”

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  247. Mimsy, I hope I didn’t come off as abrupt or rude. I just think the board was doing a good job of reigning it end. Great job, Lakers!

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  248. whats the over/under on kobe’s usage rate tonight? 75%?

    0

  249. im sorry that dude looks like jordan tonite.

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  250. i dont think ive ever seen someone so intense as kobe, im almost scared!

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  251. From Eric Pincus: The Magic have outscored Kobe by just 18.

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  252. The bench needs to make a statement in the fourth quarter. I don’t want the Magic to believe that they can ever, ever, ever come back against us.

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  253. Kobe is unreal. He’s the best. He’s beyond Best. He’s Kobe.

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  254. Also Orlando is missing because Alston, lee and Pietrus are getting most of the open shots. They can all get hot but they are not as good of shooters as Lewis and Turkoglu.

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  255. Lakers are holding the Magic to 30% shooting. The defence is great, and Kobe takes care of the rest.

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  256. I hate to keep beating a dead horse here, but on that Kobe drive to the hoop as the shot clock wound down, he got hit twice on the wrist (clearly visible on the replays) without an “and 1” opportunity.

    It’s easy not to make a big deal of that when the Lakers are blowing the Magic out, but as the games shift to Orlando and get a lot closer, these continual non-calls on Kobe could be a huge issue.

    I have no video editing skills, but I think you can find at least six or seven times when Kobe made the bucket AND WAS FOULED with no call.

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  257. ryan but problem for turk he drew ariza remember last series he had a dude standing at six foot two garding him.

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  258. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    There’s a big difference in three-point shooting for Laker opponents when the Lakers contest threes aggressively. The Cavs also contested, but they were often playing three smurfs with Lebron and Big Z/Varejao. The Lakers contest threes with Trevor, Lamar, Pau, Kobe…with Fish contesting Alston’s threes, who’s missing most of his shots anyway. I loved Lamar forcing Lewis off the 3-pt line and into shooting a pull-up 15-footer.

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  259. Orlando is much better when they fast break and score in transition, or at least semi transition, thats how they killed the Cavs, The Lakers are controlling that. Orlando dont seem to score as much in the half court. Still a long way to go though. Orlando is explosive. And the other Lakers cant start to stand around and watch Kobe.

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  260. jim c, and there still killing em, if van gundy wines after this game he should get fined eight million.

    0

  261. someone notice Lakers is making a conscious effort not to shoot 3 pointers?

    they only attempted 5 compare to magic’s 18

    0

  262. Stan looks like he is going to cry.

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  263. Focus. Focus! Play 48 minutes!

    The Magic hang around, hang around, get hot and BOOM, are back in it.

    Play 48 minutes. Make the next 2 days of their stay a hell of introspection and self doubt.

    Make them wonder if they belong here.

    In short, CUT OUT THEIR HEARTS!

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  264. we are doing a good job – but other posters are righ t – we have given them more than their fair share of wide open 3’s and they’ve been missing, they won’t miss that many for the whole series

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  265. Howard was in the lane for a year.

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  266. Someone needs to build a tent for Dwight after camping in the lane like that.

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  267. Great, I want to see the Lakers kick ’em when they’re down. Don’t let up at all. As Kobe might say, slit their throats.

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  268. Lost in Kobe’s onslaught of amazingness is the really great way that Ariza has played on defense, and stayed in the game mentally to knock down that three just now.

    As Snoopy and I observed, Ariza was frustrated earlier. He didn’t stop doing his non-offensive things, and was still ready when Kobe dished to him just now for that three.

    I have to admire that kind of professionalism.

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  269. how did this team score fifty six i feel like it should be eighty to twenty right now.

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  270. emh101:
    Not at all. We all want a win, right?

    Kobe is absolutely awesomely amazing. So is Ariza and Odom. And Bynum. And every other Laker. Every one of them is doing what the team needs first, and what they individually want second. That’s what makes a champion in the NBA… sacrificing your individual goals for the good for the team.

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  271. Jim C – I was thinking the exact same thing earlier, and for him to hit that 3 and then get that offensive rebound…what a player to have on your side

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  272. another great quarter for the Lakers. Will Kobe play in the 4thQ tonight with the lead LA has?

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  273. Gasol is doing a great job Dwight Howard. Battling Howard for every spot on the floor.

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  274. The Dude Abides June 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    For this game, we can afford to play Kobe and Pau a little more at the start of the 4th because the next game isn’t until Sunday. In the final minute of that quarter, I think we got a little too much into “watch Kobe” mode. I’m sure the coaches will point that out.

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  275. I want the key players to play the entire fourth. No letdowns.

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  276. The WOW has been unleashed!

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  277. Dude, Phil just pointed it out on national TV.

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  278. Oh, we want our starters and killers to open the fourth quarter. We want to CRUSH their spirit, not just win the game.

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  279. “I think Stan would agree…get Luke Walton involved!”
    -Jeff Van-Gundy, about Phil’s comments about going away from Kobe

    Comment of the game right there. Awesome.

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  280. Have we scored down low vs. Gortat ever?

    Only Kobe was able to take it to him so far.

    Let’s work on Lewis – Odom matchup .

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  281. I like seeing Farmar and Brown on the floor together.

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  282. this should be second quarter line up walton, brown and farmar for game two.

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  283. The Magic have made 33pct of threes… and worse on 2pt shots! No way they can win a game like that… though I don’t expect them to repeat that often throughout the whole series.

    I think this game is basically won, no way the Lakers are going to put their hands down, they’re just too focused after last year’s finals. At least, for this game. Let’s hope they don’t relax if they make this a blowout and allow Orlando to steal next game.

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  284. Walton playing a smart game. Except on that foul.

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  285. Okay, it is only game 1, and I already want to punch Jameer Nelson in the face. Dude, you’re not Allen Iverson. Put your mouth guard in your mouth!

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  286. What’s so annoying about Mark Jackson? I think he’s a decent commentator.

    0

  287. Odom looking tough. Love his energy.

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  288. Odom has a double double

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  289. Mark Jackson rarely says anything of interest and he takes a long time to say practically nothing.

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  290. He looked good in his first few minutes, but I’m pretty sure Nelson is hurting the Magic now. He’s badly missing his shots and he’s made a few careless passes.

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  291. Nelson’s lack of top conditioning is showing. He has no legs to elevate on defense, nor to launch the deeper shots.

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  292. la_resistance28 June 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I’m going to get ZERO work done tomorrow, with all the positive Laker columns that are going to be up all over the web… wow

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  293. Kobe is so into this game that on any Laker mishap he’s pissed. That Pietrus and one just earned a disgusted towel wave from #24.

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  294. The Lakers are trying so hard to put on one of their “I just want to win”-games and they are succeeding We own this game. We’ll get this. We can still win.

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  295. i like it when he says momma there goes that man.

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  296. That was a slightly dangerous play by Nelson, under-cutting Brown as he went up for an alley-oop.

    Otherwise, I’m loving the play from Luke Walton. He’s playing solid defense, and his passing has led to some amazingly easy baskets.

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  297. one thing i thought was hilariously lame of mark jackson was he was pointing to peitrus, an erratic shooter and defender as an xfactor and the hope for stopping kobe. I called my buddy and was like if the hopes ride on pietrus lakers in TWO.

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  298. So…on a scale of 1-10, how badly do you think Kobe wants that 4th ring?

    Robert Horry on a new reality series? With TO? What is this?

    0

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

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  300. 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.

    0

  301. Bynum really needs to dunk those.

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

    0

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

    0

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

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  305. 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.

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  306. 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.

    0

  307. CRUSH THEM!!

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  308. 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???

    0

  309. 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.

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  310. 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.

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

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

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  313. 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.

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  314. 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.

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  315. 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.

    0

  316. 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?

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  317. 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.

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  318. 317

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

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

    Tacos anyone?

    0

  320. 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.

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  321. 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.

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  322. I like Bynum’s play tonight.

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  323. can we take kobe out pls?

    0

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

    0

  325. 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.

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

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

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  328. Kobe has is 40

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  329. 328

    Let’s not get ridiculous now.

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  330. 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.

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

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  332. 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 🙂

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  333. 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.

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  334. 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.

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  335. 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.

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  336. 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.

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  337. 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.;

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

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  339. Whoa, a Powell three!

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  340. 1 down 3 to go

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

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  342. what a game!

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

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  344. 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!

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

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  346. 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.

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  347. 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.

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

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  349. 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

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  350. 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.”

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

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  352. 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.

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

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

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  355. 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.

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  356. 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.

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  357. 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 🙂

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

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  359. 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?

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  360. 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.

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  361. 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!

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  362. 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.

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  363. 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.

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  364. 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.

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

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  366. 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.

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  367. 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.

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

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  369. 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

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  370. 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.

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  371. 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.

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  372. 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.

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  373. 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.

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  374. 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.

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  375. 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.

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  376. 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.

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  377. 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.

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  378. 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.

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  379. 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

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

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

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  382. vic the brick brought lamar candy from japan

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  383. 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?

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  384. 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.

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  385. 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?

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

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  387. 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?”

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  388. focus and will, focus and will, focus and will.

    And now to duplicate for game 2.

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

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

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  391. 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.

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

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  393. 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.

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  394. that was Vic the Brick

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  395. 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.

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  396. 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.

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  397. *somewhat

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

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  399. 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.

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  400. Bynum\coached by kareem

    howard coached by Ewing.

    Advantage Lakers.

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

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  402. 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.

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  403. 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.

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  404. 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.

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

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  406. 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.

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

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  408. 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.

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

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  410. 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.

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  411. 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.

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  412. 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.

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  413. Vick the brick is a freakin STONER

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  414. 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

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  415. 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

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  416. 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.

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

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

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  419. 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.

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

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

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  422. 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.

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  423. 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

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  424. 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.

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  425. 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.

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  426. 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.

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  427. 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.

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  428. 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.

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  429. 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.

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  430. 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.

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