Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Soriano —  March 26, 2010

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Records: Lakers 53-18 (1st in West), Thunder 43-27 (6th in West, 9.5 behind Lakers)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.4 (11th in NBA), Thunder 104.5 (17th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 100.2 (4th in NBA), 100.6 (5th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic

The Lakers Coming in:  With a seven game winning streak in their pockets, the Lakers are building momentum.  They just showed the Spurs what championship level defense looks like while also showing the rest of the league what their offense is capable of when the three ball is falling.  The only thing that’s missing is their starting Center and their back up SF, but even that looks to be rectified soon.  All in all, things are looking up for the Lakers and that is a dangerous proposition considering they’ve already got the second best record in the league and are (along with the Cavs) favorites to win the championship this season.  Things aren’t perfect, but they rarely will be.  All we can hope for is that when it’s needed, the Lakers can play to the level that their talent indicates they can.  The final 24 minutes against the Spurs showed that this is indeed possible.  So as this road trip continues against quality opponents, the onus is on the Lakes to continue to prove it.

The Thunder Coming in:  Let’s just all pause for a second to acknowledge what the Thunder have become.  Three seasons ago, they earned the 2nd pick in the draft with a 31-51 record.  After drafting Kevin Durant with that #2 pick, the Sonics/Thunder proceeded to win 43 games over the next two seasons combined.  And tonight, as we enter this contest, they’ve already matched that win total from the past two seasons with 43 wins in this years’ campaign alone.  And they still have 12 games left in the regular season.  Shrewd drafting from Sam Presti and an inspired hire of Scott Brooks to lead a young team of talented prospects has turned around an entire franchise.  It’s a good time to root for the Thunder, for sure.  And yes, it takes some luck (Kevin Durant is the type of player that can single handedly make an organization relevant) to reach the heights that this team has, but it also takes a vision and execution of a plan.  The Thunder have done just that and only look to get better as the years pass.

As for what’s going on when the Thunder suit up to play the games, they’ve been a bit up and down lately.  They’re 8-4 in March, but have only won two of their last five games.  That includes a blowout at the hands of the Pacers (?!) and a close loss to the Spurs where Durant went for big numbers but his supporting cast couldn’t make enough shots to make SA pay when the Spurs double teamed KD late in the game.  It’s games like those two that force fans to remember that despite the incredible growth of this team that they are still quite young.  They make mistakes and don’t always know how to win the close games.  But they seem to learn when they take their lumps, so it’s only a matter of time before this team starts to figure it all out.

Thunder Blogs:  Daily Thunder is a really good site that deserves a visit.  As I type this, they’ve put up a post that would make our own commenter The Dude Abides smile.  Seriously, go check out the great work that Royce Young is doing.

Keys to game:  The Thunder are an interesting team because they’ve assembled a fantastic bunch of complimentary pieces.  They’ve got Durant and Westbrook who are very good with or without the ball, a do it all Forward in Green, complimentary defensive aces like Thabo and Ibaka (more on him later), and a smooth scoring bench player that helps the second unit continue to score the ball.  So, tonight will be a test as the Lakers play a true team that has good chemistry and knows how to play off of each other and to their strengths.

On defense, slowing the Thunder offense means containing Kevin Durant.  Which is easier said than done.  But, in my opinion the Lakers have one of the best players to accomplish this.  Ron Artest has usually done a pretty good job on Durant, making him work for every bucket.  In the three match ups against the Lakers this season, Durant has averaged 24.3 points on 51.8% true shooting with 5.3 turnovers.  But when comparing these numbers to his season averages of 29.7 ppg on 60.2% true shooting with 3.4 turnovers it’s easy to see the difference.  Ron will need to continue to body KD all over the court and limit his length by closing down space and forcing him to shoot his jumper over an extended arm.  Durant has a ton of weapons on offense, but Ron is an elite defender and has seen all of these weapons before.  Ron’s physical strength and quick hands will be key tonight in making KD’s life difficult and we’ll see if Ron can continue his previous success against on of the league’s best wing players.

But Durant is not alone as an offensive threat for the Thunder.  The other key player to slow down is Russ Westbrook.  And considering that he’ll be guarded a lot (at least early) by Fisher, the Lakers look to be in some trouble.  That said, there are ways to put the clamps on the young OKC point guard and it starts by treating him the same way that the Lakers have treated Tony Parker for a lot of his career.  Westbrook (like Parker) is not a good three point shooter and is in constant attack mode to try and get to the rim – taking half of his 14 shots a game within 10 feet of the basket.  So, Fisher (and every other Laker defender) needs to sag off Westbrook and bait him into shooting his inconsistent jumpshot.  Go under every screen and in the half court treat him like he’s Rajon Rondo.  If the Lakers can turn Russell into a distributor and limit his explosive forays into the paint it will go a long way to shutting him down.  The other key to slowing Westbrook is to mark him on the offensive glass.  He is the best offensive rebounding point guard in the league (averaging 1.6 a game) and he’s great at finding creases in the defense to find lanes to the rim to gain extra possessions.  And considering that PG’s are rarely tasked with boxing out their own man, he’s very good at using his athleticism to get to the ball.

On offense, the Lakers face a team that has some good pieces in slowing down their key offensive threats.  Thabo Sefolosha is the quick and long defender that has given Kobe trouble in the past.  And then the Thunder also have back up Center Serge Ibaka that is a good defensive big.  Since both of these defenders have the ability to slow our guys, the key to tonight (as it is most nights) is to run our offensive sets and get the OKC defense moving around and put in positions where they have to make tough choices.  In recent games we’ve seen the Lakers move the ball much better and isolate Kobe on the weakside of the Triangle at the pinch post.  This allows him to survey the floor, see the double team if it comes, while also putting him at a money position where his comfort level on offense is strong.  Expect to see Kobe back down Thabo and try to work him on the block and also turn and face up from that 15 foot area so he can either rise up to shoot his jumper or use his variety of jab steps and feints to create a driving lane.  As for Gasol, though Ibaka, Krstic, and Collison will all see time against him on defense, none of them can really handle his wide array of post moves.  What I would like to see is Pau use his mid range jumper to set up his dribble drive and post games.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen Pau start to feel more comfortable shooting his 15-17 foot jumper and against this team knocking that shot down will go a long way in opening up the rest of his offensive game.

The other X factor in this contest is, as usual, Lamar Odom.  Jeff Green is kind of an Odom-lite player that moves well and should do a better job than most of staying with LO off the dribble.  However, where LO does have an advantage on Green is on the low block.  If, as I hope, Gasol can knock down his mid-range jumper it should allow Odom more room to slash to the basket off the ball and post up more with space to operate against Green.  With Bynum out, LO has really stepped up his game and tonight having him carry a bigger load on offense may be necessary.

Returning to the macro level, the Lakers must control their defensive glass tonight.  In the three previous games against OKC, the Lakers gave up 14, 17, and 13 offensive rebounds.  Those numbers are too high.  I already mentioned marking Westbrook, but Ibaka is another guy that we really need to pay attention to tonight when securing defensive rebounds.  The other key stat the Lakers need to pay attention to is turnovers.  In the two games where the Lakers won by three points, the Lakers had 25 and 17 turnovers.  In the game that was a blowout, the Lakers had 9.  The Thunder is a team of athletes that will get out in transition and hurt you on the fast break when you just hand them the ball.  If we can limit the give aways, we’ll cut down those chances and make the Thunder work for all their baskets.

Where you can watch:  5pm start time out West on KCAL.  Also on ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

Posts

81 responses to Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. Warren here!

  2. Isen’t this a game to give Sasha time to guard Westbrook? Fisher has no chance since Russel is to big and to fast for our worst defender. I expect to see Kobe on him late in the game and hope to see Fisher with no more then 18 minutes tonight.

  3. Should be a fun game. Durant’s offensive game is very, for lack of a better term, pretty. He can score from anywhere on the court. Will be interesting to see how much Artest can slow him down.

    Westbrook can hurt the Lakers, but if the Lakers play off of him, and force him into out long interior defenders (this is where another 7 footer in Bynum would be helpful) the Lakers could force him into a lot of turnovers.

    Thabo usually defends Kobe well and could get lots of open looks because Kobe will play free safely on defense. As long as Kobe doesn’t decide that he wants to prove that Thabo can’t stop him and forces the action, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  4. How much you wanna bet Westbrook ends up with a 35 pt, 10 assist game if Fish and Farmar spend most of the time guarding him?

  5. Serge Ibaka is going to be a legit player in this league in a few years. A great defensive presence who needs to improve on his defending without fouling.

    Today and tomorrow’s game are going to be tough ones. Very athletic, very strong defensive teams. I’m excited for these games.

    While that fool from Rolling Stone crowning Durant as the undisputed number two in the league is a bit premature to say the least, I believe that Durant is the MVP this year. He won’t win it, but I believe that he deserves it. His performance this year has been incredible and the Thunder have improved tremendously because of him.

    I am interested to see if Kobe comes out trying to make a point against Durant. When people talk about him and his play, he tends to respond.

    My prediction on Westbrook’s line is 20 and 8 unless Sasha guards him, then he will probably end up with 6 pts, 5 assists, 6 TOs and an annoyed expression on his face.

    More playing time for Sasha!

  6. Definitely looking 4ward to this matchup. The Thunder will treat this game as if it’s game 7 of the NBA Finals. I fully comprehend that all teams get up (especially in their home gym) when they see the word “LAKERS” across our chest, but OKC will have extra motivation because:

    1. CONFIDENCE. It’s a statement game for them. Being that this will b their 1st time in the ‘offs (as OKC), what better way for them to gauge their abilities than with a match-up against the defending champs (who happen to be coming in on a roll & with the #1 seed out West), on their home-court. Talk about playoff atmosphere.

    2. STANDINGS. While it’s fully understood here that they’re desperately trying to avoid the 8th seed (and a 1st round series with us), it needs to be taken into account that they have a realistic shot @ finishing with the 2nd seed (especially with the performances, as of late, of Denver & Dallas). They’re only 3 & a half games out of that slot, with 12 games to go on their schedule. It’s clear that the Thunder are just like every other team out West, in which the last thing they would want is to face us off the top, but they firmly believe that, not only can they compete against the other 6 teams, but they feel that they can actually WIN a 7 game series against them. Considerin’ the fact that they’re a young & inexperienced team, where they end up @ in the standings is relative to their playoff performance.

    These 2 reasons alone makes for an entertaining & competitive game. With that being said, I’m more that interested in the match-up ‘tween The Durantuala & Ron Ron. Also need to see if we’re capable of containing Westbrook (1 of the best up & coming point guards in the league).

  7. Continuing on from the last thread…

    Darius,
    The pecking order as Phil Jackson says happens naturally. Give me 5 superstars who like to dominate the ball like CP3, Kobe, Lebron, Bosh, and Howard and they will find a natural pecking order and gel quite nicely. Ron Artest was known as a ball hog last year with Houston and he most def was just that. But put him on a team with Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, and Lamar and all of the sudden he is only shooting 10 times a game and moving the ball. I will take my team of CP3, Kobe, Lebron, Bosh, and Howard and feel pretty good against the “team” you want to put together. So Im thinking you would want Nash at point, either kobe or Lebron, you would have to pick only one because you wouldn’t want two guys that like to dominate the offense. But wait… Nash likes to dominate the ball too. I guess you wouldn’t want Nash. Maybe you would pick just a spot up shooter at PG like a Mo Williams. You will still take Howard as your Center because he doesn’t really need touches. Who plays PF on your “team”? Hmmmm…. I would guess you would pick another spot up shooter who didn’t like to dominate the ball. Let me know how I did? Jamall Crawford was known as a Monte Ellis type player. Then all of the sudden he goes to a good team with a supporting cast and people think he is a winner now. He is the same really good player who now is just playing with other really good players.

  8. geez aaron, talk about trying to derail a game thread…
    kind of like your “fish is the worst PG in the league…”
    at least you’re consistent, (as Pincus once said of you when you keep up with the same thing for numerous posts)

  9. Chris,
    I am truly sorry. I think this discussion is more entertaining than an almost meaningless NBA regular season game. My bad.

    Darius,
    That being said I agree with a certain angle of course of what you are trying to say. I think certain players who aren’t well rounded players need to be “the right fit”. If you have a lot of guys that can shoot but not anyone who can penetrate than you are going to need a player that can get to the basket. But I would never not bring in a talented player “because he shoots a lot on his old team and I already have guys that shoot a lot.”

  10. Not feeling this game tonight. Can’t put my finger on it but read some OK posts in their paper and this is like a NBA finals for them. Only hope Phil limites Fishless and gives Sasha a shot at Westbrook.

  11. Aaron,
    My point is simple and I would think it’s clear by now. Sure, you get the best of best together, players that inherently understand how to play the game, love to play as a team with other great players, find them a common goal to unite around and then get them a great coach to organize it all and I’ll take that group of players just like you. So yeah, get me the 1992 Dream Team or the most recent Olympic team, just the same as you. That’s not been my point at all. My point is all talented players don’t think nor play that way. That talent doesn’t always respond the same; there are circumstances that affect the mindset(s) of the players. Successful teams are not just the result of talent. This is where I truly believe our beliefs differ. The game is not played in a vacuum and the relationship between the players – based off any number of circumstances – means something just like talent means something. So you need talent and the right attitude. Talent and drive to succeed. Talent and the proper motivation. Talent and a team perspective to do what is right for the unit. Talent that fits together. You try to strengthen your argument by saying “I’ll take the best players in the league and they’ll play great together!” Congratulations again for making another obvious statement. You’re two for two today. Unfortunately, no team besides Olympic and All-Star teams are able to be built that way. When you’re building an NBA team, you can’t just grab the “most talented” player and assume it will work. I think we agree that talent is where it starts. But talent isn’t where it ends.

  12. As for this game, remember too that OKC has not beat the Lakers yet this season. Avoiding a season sweep is pretty big motivator – not to mention the possibility that we face this team in the playoffs and that this is a home game for this team.

  13. I am truly sorry. I think this discussion is more entertaining than an almost meaningless NBA regular season game. My bad.

    _______

    It doesn’t mean much to the Lakers. But I think OKC will want it pretty badly–for confidence and to make sure they stay out of the 8-slot.

  14. Darius,
    I am saying take the best players available that fit your team and offense just like you are. But our definitions of “fit” are just different. And I think on court chemistry has 100% to do with talent and talent alone. Meaning I want 5 guys on the floor where at least one player can spot up, one player that can penetrate, one player that can play with his back to the basket (ideally a big man), and one player that can facilitate the offense. You also have to avoid a weak leak on offense where the defense can leave him wide open and help on other players. Give me those things and you will have perfect “chemistry” on the court on offense. In my opinion there is an almost exact science to this magical team chemistry phenomenon. I hope you don’t think I am arguing with you or anything, I love talking basketball and you know your stuff.

  15. robinred (13),

    You are correct… I meant for the Lakers. And I actually take what I said back all together. I think the best 1st round match up for us would be against the Thunder. So we need to win this game to try and get them back to the #8 seed. And don’t get me wrong… while I think NBA regular season games individually are close to meaningless, collectively they are of the utmost importance as home court advantage is just that. Now lets have fun watching KD!

  16. Fisher makes a layup!

  17. Lakers need to find some offense by moving the ball.

  18. 17-6 in favor of OKC? What the hec an I watching?!

  19. A couple of weird calls early in the game against the Lakers.
    Pau is just a thing of beauty.

  20. Fisher defense is so sad.

    Phil stop the madness.

    He has no chance aganist Westbrook.

    NONE

  21. YIKES! bad start, nobody’s got a good handle on the ball so far

    OKC off to a fast start, they look like a legit threat at this point, of course it’s halfway through the 1st quarter though.

  22. So far, my last couple keys to the game aren’t looking that good. Lakers have 5 turnovers and have allowed 3 offensive rebounds. We also haven’t kept Westbrook out of the lane.

  23. THEY HAVE TO KEEP fISHER ON THE BENCH if they want to have any chance Darius.

  24. Any links ?

  25. 1st quarter is over. The noise is now going to subside. Time to make a run.
    Right now, the issue is Westbrook’s 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. But really, the major concern is the rebounding part. 17-8 Thunder edge. Making threes makes it easier too (0-of-4 so far).

  26. Is it really a secret that the best offense comes from moving the ball?
    Farmar doesn’t pass to a wide open Mbenga, rather passes to Ron (almost a near steal), who passes to a guarded Brown, Mbenga still open, but WOW just shoots it.
    Just move the ball, and settle down, guys.

  27. Ken,
    You can copy and paste that before every game and you would be wrong every time. The Lakers always have a chance because of the other 4 players on the floor; But yes Fisher on the bench would of course improve their chances for every game.

  28. links

  29. Is Kobe really the only one with an assist?

  30. Kobe’s handling the ball like he’s got catcher’s mitts on his hands.

  31. UCLA fans are wondering when Westbrook got so good.

  32. Anyone know what the least points Lakers have scored in a half this year?

  33. Shannon Brown should not be allowed to lead a fast break unless he has a breakway/clear path. He was lucky to get that blocked shot back. His decision-making leaves a lot to be desired.

    Hope Russell Westbrook is okay.

  34. Brown is a worse defender than Fish.

  35. Wow, Kobe has as many TO’s as the whole Thunder team at 7. I’m just watching the boxscore. What is going on? Why are we getting blown out?

  36. The worst offensive half of the year. Kobe was bad. 8 turnover in one half.

    Just a sad disply for this team.

  37. #33. Ken,
    Lakers low for a half was 39. It’s now tonight’s 34. That was a blitzkrieg by the Thunder. They did the exact things that they needed to in order to win and the Lakers did exactly what they needed to do to help them.

  38. j. d. hastings March 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Kobe’s hand is clearly bothering him. I could live with the first quarter. The Thunder came out with an intensity the Lakers couldn’t match imediately.

    But the second quarter each Laker, starting with Kobe, looked like they figured it was up to them to turn it on. Kobe’s attempt at a behind the back no-look pass when there were 3 OKC defensders back and he’d already showed problems handling the ball was absolutely inexcusable. WTF does he think he’s doing there?

    And the ball movement is complete crap. THe second half will tell us everything about this team.

  39. I just hope there is some pride on this team. Games like this tell other teams they can beat the Lakers.

    Also Pau was useless on defense, rebounds and offense. How can he just walk around in circles like he is doing.

  40. Thunder edge 34-53. But, I’m not sold that the Lakers will lose this one.
    Our problem is not that we cannot put up a shot. Everyone is playing on a one-on-one situation. It kills the offense. I hope Phil gives Sasha a chance to play this one.
    Second half lineup – Fisher/Sasha/Kobe/Artest/Gasol.

    - Kobe slides to the SF spot, just like the Denver game. Give it to the post and start from there.
    - Krstic with 9 rebounds, 1 less than Pau-Ron-Odom combined.
    - Expect Westbrook to cool down. Expect the Lakers to get more space in the second half, and expect them to knock down the 3s as well.
    - Of course, less TOs.
    - The first 5 minutes of the second half will tell you the story of who wins. The aggressor wins.

  41. Here we go. Alright everyone just relax. The game isn’t over and even if it is…. its just one game. Breathe… breathe… breathe… Kobe doesn’t suck all of the sudden, Artest hasn’t lost his defense, Gasol hasn’t become Kwame, Lamar isn’t getting divorced, and Fisher… OK never mind.

  42. Kobe’s running with the ball like he’s wearing bowling shoes. What the heck is with these TO’s? to end the half too ouch.

    OKC played very well the first half, they had some good luck on bounces, but they created their good fortune by keeping the ball alive and running the floor. If I wasn’t a Lakers fan, it would be very easy to support that group.

    Durant is ridiculously lanky and tonight he’s doing a good job of keeping artest at bay by curling off of a myriad of screens.

    The Lakers played pretty poorly the first half, and are now stuck with a pretty big deficit against a good team that is playing with a lot of confidence. But the Lakers are only out of this game if they want to be. There is still another half to go, and that definitely was not the “Jekyll” Laker team for the first 24 minutes.

  43. Too many turnovers ….. Not matching their energy ….. Getting beat on the boards ….. Can’t contain Westbrook (as I figured) ….. One of those teams that we have issues matching up against because of their athleticism ….. They look 2 steps faster than us ….. Like I stated previously, this is their Game 7 of the Finals ….. With all that being said, it’s still early ….. The only time 19 point leads r good r in the 4th quarter (and even then, they’re not insurmountable) ….. If we can chop this lead down to around 10 heading into the 4th, we’ll b in good shape

  44. My only question is how does a team come out so flat? We knew this is a statement game for Thunder. Lets not make it a statement for us.

    Make it close/

  45. I think part of the problem is that the Lakers are having a hard time with the youthful energy and athleticism of this team. They look a step slow on offense and defense.

  46. Like Darius said, they really blitzkrieged us that half. I feel like we can chip away at this big deficit against this young team.

  47. Gasol looks he is drunk

  48. The Lakers haven’t been able to make a push as every bounce they need goes against them. That said, you make a lot of your own breaks in this game, so I don’t pity this team right now. In order to dig out of a hole, you have to work. The Lakers can still turn this around but they’re going to have to fight for it. OKC isn’t going to give this game back to LA.

  49. I don’t understand why we don’t give westbrook a hard foul and/or throw a butt into one of these OKC big guys when they go for the little tip back. There have been plenty of times we could make a legal play or a clean hard foul to show our own kind of intensity like “you guys aren’t getting this one that easy” but we just don’t seem to want to get physical.

  50. The first 5 minutes is gone. Anything else is a miracle. TV off.

  51. am i seeing the passing of the “2nd best player” baton?

  52. Pretty bad performance so far.

  53. LO is the only Laker having at least a semi-decent game so far. This performance really has me cringing in my seat.

  54. Gentlemen they did not come to play. This game is OVER. Rest the starter so we don’t get blown out in Houston.

  55. You are dreaming Darius. Some games during the year every time plays like a D league team. This is one like the Xmas game. Thanks for my birthday present Lakers

  56. This game just gets worse and worse…

    Get Vujacic out there- I can see it now… Machine explodes for 30 points over the last 2 quarters to rescue the Lakers.

  57. Ken, what am I dreaming? When I wrote my comment about the Lakers still having a chance, they were down 19 with 6:32 left in the 3rd. At this point, it’s 29 with 2:15 left in the 3rd. I’d say this game is over, but is stating the obvious necessary?

  58. Well now I’m worried about getting embarrassed more than winning. please score at least 70pts! Please!

  59. Definitely the most horrible game I’ve seen the Lakers play in the last few years. This is a Butt wipping.

  60. I think Darius can have the game wrap-up finished by the time the games ends.
    Not a great game for the Lakers

  61. You could see it in the body language Darious. Watching Farmer, Brown and the others just throwing up junk while Phil clearly has given up.

    When there is no offense or defense you get a sad, sad blowout.

    Worst game in 2 years.

  62. Lakers just didn’t want this game. Perhaps they prefer Portland at the 8 seed? No energy at all- like whateva! Pains me to watch the 4th.

  63. 60.

    this is the worst game i’ve seen the lakers play. not just in the last few years.

    they will finish with their lowest scoring output, beating the old record by 12 pts (???)

    i seriously cannot begin to understand what’s wrong, it seems everything is wrong.
    defense awful
    offense not working.

    ouchh!!

  64. #62. Do you really want a recap of this one? Instead, take a look in your trash can or clean out your fridge and smell that tupperware that’s been at the back of the fridge for a few weeks. This game was similar to things like that. This game is awful. I’m giving all of you, everyone still watching, extra credit tonight.

  65. The Taco unit is getting us back in the game!

    seriously though, I know it’s garbage time, but why was Vujacic taken out? I thought I saw him talkin Phil’s way.. but he played well in the 3 minutes he was in..

  66. Good new is Kobe will not break his all time turnover record.

    Also Lakers have out scored St Mary’s.

    I hope!

  67. Farmer and Brown are 2 for 11 and LO is a minus 36 for the game.

    Have you ever seen a minus 36?

  68. How this game affects me: My boss is from OKC and has a strong claim to his new found team. He likes to think he is never wrong. So, after scrutinizing me on a decision I made because he wanted me to do something different, my decision happened to prevail making us look better to higher management. Of course I could tell he didn’t like that inside. Now, this game is going to be just what he needs to give me that smug disgusting smile on Monday to wipe the slate clean, knowing I’m a die hard Laker fan. This could have been a great Friday for me and not the boss (really great for me.)

  69. hey i just realized the lakers have 15 championships … how many okc got?

  70. Why is Vujacic in the dog house? Does Phil really think Brown is a better option?
    Can someone explain this?

  71. “hey i just realized the lakers have 15 championships … how many okc got?”

    oooohhh…you mean how many do we have in our one full year in existence?

  72. Lakers triangle offense looks Stagnant! It has looked that way all year except maybe at San Antonio when Kobe picked apart the defense. Gasoline needs to Man up!

  73. thanks for the bench for making this game closer in the end.

    now i’ll go rooting for the spurs to beat the cavs. :D

    we need some kind of win today, if not, i might be cranky all day..

    cheer up guys.. it’s just one game.. :)
    bad game happens

  74. It amazes me that Sasha played only 3minutes in a game like this. You mean to tell me Phil that Sasha could not do better on Westbrook then Fisher?

    Have to wonder what goes on in the coaches mind.

    Anyway nice game LA Nets.

  75. No recap, the score speaks for itself. Time to get ready for Houston and forget about this game against the Thunder

  76. #76
    this is what happened, ken.
    http://lakers.freedomblogging.com/2010/03/26/sasha-vujacic-brian-shaw-have-pointed-dispute/32467/

    not sure what the issue is, but i would say it’s the frustration boiling up.

    anyway, i wonder if durant is a bad matchup for artest, because i am watching SA – CAVS now and manu is a beast.
    but in artest hand, he’s not.

  77. @78 thanks for the link, damn thought I saw Sasha jawin towards the laker bench. Didn’t know he was jawin at Shaw.
    I hope this incident doesn’t result in Sasha getting even less PT.

  78. As the old saying goes “Mama always said there’d be days (in this instant, GAMES) like this.” Simply put: It’s what I would like to call a “Throw Away Game.” No need to even watch the tape of this one. JUST THROW IT AWAY.

    From the jump, we played with no intensity/passion. A cavalier/nonchalant attitude. The Thunder did excactly what I expected. Play as if their lives depended upon this game. Obviously, they felt as if they had something to prove. We didn’t, being that we’ve already beaten them 3x’s already this year. Our lackluster play is proof/evidence that we do not view them as a threat come playoff time. In stark contrast, the reason why we beat the Spurs a couple of nights earlier is because WE DO view them as a potential threat. I know, sounds strange being that they (Spurs & Thunder) basically have the same record, but that’s what it boiled down to. In my opinion. In not so many words, we played down to the comp 2night because we don’t look @ OKC as a legit challenger out west. Truth be told, (and I get a sense that the players, along with Phil x, feels this way also) I believe that if we faced OKC in the ‘offs, we’d SWEEP them.

    Therefore, no need to nitpick ’bout personal performances 2night. THE ENTIRE TEAM & COACHING STAFF STUNK IT UP. On to the next 1. 2morrow night against the Rockets. Expect a much better effort, if only for the fact that we got DESTROYED 2night.

    Laker 4 Life ….. Go Hard Or Go Home

  79. A rare loss for CLE and a missed great opportunity for the Lakers to gain some ground. Sigh.

  80. Game recap is up. You can now move your venting to a fresh thread.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/03/26/lakersthunder-pure-awfulness/