Lakers/Thunder: Game 2 Preview and Chat

Darius Soriano —  April 20, 2010

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One of my favorite things about the playoffs are the adjustments that teams make.  The playoffs are like a drawn out chess match where coaches study the film, look at what both sides did to be successful, and then try to replicate that for their own team and put schemes into place to slow down the opposition.  Every game, every detail is looked at meticulously in order to try and gain an advantage.  This series will be no different and tonight we get to see which coaching staffs make the appropriate adjustments to give their players the edge.  As someone that loves the X’s and O’s of the game, this punch/counterpunch exchange that is drawn up by the coaches and acted out by the players is one of the best parts of the second season.

For the Thunder they need to try and find a way to continue the success that Russell Westbrook had in game one while also having some of their other players join the party.  First and foremost, that means getting Kevin Durant on track.  In the last game, KD struggled mightily when trying to shake free from Ron Artest’s smothering defense.  Over at Pro Basketball Talk, Kurt explained what the Thunder did to try and free Durant and how Artest combatted it:

To help Durant out, the Thunder ran some simple plays right out of every NBA playbook — some cross screens, some pindowns — trying to free Durant up on the strong side. Artest just blew those up and was in Durant’s grill the whole time. Two reasons for that. First, Artest has been seeing those since he entered the league. Artest is a smart player, a savvy one. If he knows it’s coming, you’re not going to succeed with it very often. You have to do better than the basics to catch him off guard.

Second, there isn’t a player strong enough on the Thunder to set a pick Artest can’t run through, especially on the screen-and-roll. Much like Durant himself, this is a young and lanky team. That serves them well in transition, not as well in a game of physical half-court sets.

The Lakers bigs also defended the picks well, they showed out on Durant enough until Artest arrived, which was not long. The Lakers were well prepared for this part of the Thunder playbook.

Brooks and his staff have to figure out ways to get Durant free. That may be better putting Durant on the weakside then using quick ball rotation to get him the ball in isolation. They can’t keep running basic sets and keep Durant on the strong side.

The Thunder will need to find a way to combat the way that the Lakers played these screen actions.  As Kurt suggests isolating Durant on the weakside and then reversing the ball to get him some touches may be a good place to start.  I also think that rather than starting Durant on the low block and then running pin down actions for him, they may want to run more actions where KD is at the extended wing and then move him across the court or towards the basket so he can catch the ball on the move more.  Artest is a demon when he can get you in his crosshairs and focus on a stationary target – something he proved again in Game 1.  Needless to say, the Thunder need to try and avoid those situations tonight if they hope to get KD going.

Conversely, the Lakers must continue to find a way to keep Durant under wraps (while also anticipating some of the Thunder’s adjustments and scheming for them), but their bigger task is figuring out a way to control Westbrook.  In game one, Russ was able to spring free in the open court and find creases in the Lakers half court D.  Russ got almost all of his baskets in the lane off pull up jupmers and hard drives to the rim.  So, the Lakers need to devise a plan to build that wall and keep Westbrook out of the paint and at a distance where he is less dangerous.

The first way they can accomplish this by being more selective on offense and not taking so many long jumpers with an unbalanced floor.  Too many times in Game 1, the Lakers took jumpers from the baseline with players in motion moving towards the basket.  When those rebounds went long, the Thunder were able to race up the court and create 3 on 2 or even 3 on 3 scenarios where Westbrook could play in space in one on one situations.  If the Lakers can limit these opportunities, it will go a long way in containing Westbrook.  This is obviously a major point of emphasis with the Lakers coaches, so we’ll see how successful they’ll be in executing their plans to hold Russ down better than in the last game.

Offensively, adjustments are also in order for the Lakers.  As we discussed in the posts proceeding game 1, the Lakers struggled with the fronting of their post players.  If the Lakers are to exploit their biggest advantage (their size inside), they need to find a way to consistently get the ball to Pau and Bynum on the block and let them work against the undersized Thunder.  My first suggestion would be to start the offense on the extended wing in the standard formation for a sideline initiation (ball handler at the hash mark, another player in the corner, post man at the low block).  At this point, if the post man is open, pass it to him.  However, if the post man is being fronted, the Lakers should pass the ball to the corner to flatten out the passing angle to the post man.  This pass to the corner not only initiates some of our offensive movement, but it should also help the  post player create a natural seal to the baseline side so that receiving the pass is much easier.  After the catch is made, the post player can go to work as normal.  My second suggestion would be to play more high low where the weakside big man flashes to the FT line in order to recieve a pass and then allow an easier angle to make a  lob pass over the top of the fronting defender.  If the Lakers can find ways to use either of these tactics, I believe they’ll have success against the Thunder’s fronting schemes.

Understand, that while Game 1 set the tone for the series, Game 2 can be the first real nail in the Thunder’s coffin.  OKC does not want to go home down 0-2 to the Lakers and facing the prospect of winning 4 of the next 5 games.  Like any other team that starts a series on the road, the Thunder had to come into these first two games thinking that all they needed was a split in LA to then have the advantage going back to their home arena.  Phoenix and Denver have already dropped games at home and lost their home court advantage.  The Lakers need to take note of those games and come out today to seize complete control in this series.  A win tonight can be the difference between a potential sweep (though I think 5 games is more likely) and a 6 or 7 game slugfest.  Focus, defense, and offensive execution will be the usual keys to produce a win.  Tonight we see if the Lakers can build on game one’s success and do what’s necessary to earn another victory.


Darius Soriano

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304 responses to Lakers/Thunder: Game 2 Preview and Chat

  1. let’s see if our vaunted defense can get us a stop or two here.

    … or Kobe shooting us into the game. (I think all Kobe heard yesterday was LeBron’s 40-8-8… or rather, LeBron’s 40)

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  2. Jerry – OKC isn’t even shooting bad, Westbrook is 5-10 and 1-1 beyond the arc, KD is 12-25 and 3-5 beyond the arc, they have nearly 20 blocks and considering how bad we’re playing we are still in this game.

    I’m still optimistic about this team and we’ll still win this series.

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  3. can any of the lakers not named kobe or gasol make a shot?

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  4. Can’t stand that we can’t even take out the thunder at home. what happens when we play a team with a real front court. simply pathetic.

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  5. now the crowd has to step in. GO LAKERS!

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  6. 197#simply put.No

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  7. Durant has been getting away with that push off all game, against Artest and anybody else that’s in his way.

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  8. the FINALLY called durant on a push off!

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  9. ron artest wow!

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  10. My respect for Collison just went up tenfold.

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  11. Collison just earned my vast respect. That is EXACTLY how to foul there. Make sure that they earn it at the line, and make sure no one gets hurt.

    Well done.

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  12. Artest’s offense might be off right now…but man his defense makes me smile. Clutch tap.

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  13. Ron with 4 rebounds, 4 Steals, 4 Assists, 5 points and 2 blocks.

    He’s turning into AK47.

    Fisher with 5 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 6 fouls.

    He’s turning into… and old Fisher.

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  14. shannon brown misses 1 FT then fouls westbrook

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  15. Pep007- uh, yes.

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  16. can artest/fisher/odom show up 2 hours early like kobe and practice their shooting?

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  17. Westbrook should let the inbound pass bounce a few times before he touches it, that way he can advance the ball without the clock starting that’s a text book coming from behind move. He did that last game, too.

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  18. I think the Thunder are a very good team but the Lakers are STACKED with talent. This shouldn’t even be close. Lakers just don’t play smart. I just don’t get it.

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  19. shannon with a 3?

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  20. Hrm, hero shot coming. (Kobe is one basket away from 40)

    Hope it doesn’t come down to trading clutch baskets.

    Need. One. Stop.

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  21. Great play!!!

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  22. Artest is open in the corner and Shannon puts up a 3 with seven seconds left on the shot clock.

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  23. look at lakers pathetic bench
    brown gets his shot blocked

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  24. How many blocks does these young legs have? Even if the Lakers win, this game does not bode well for the Lakers in OkC!

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  25. Come on Phil did you diagram a play?

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  26. I can’t see this Laker team winning any games in OKC.

    They better hope they can win these games at home.

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  27. c’mon… that’s continuation!!!!!!

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  28. Again, I mean really, has Lamar Odom ever blocked a shot?

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  29. Great FT defense by OKC.

    Now we have something really interesting in our hands.

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  30. how fast a FTW can become a WTF

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  31. Just guard the 3 point line…

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  32. I am going to have a heart attack before this game ends, isn’t this just exciting basketball.

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  33. Man that shot Kobe hit after the foul was ridiculous!

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  34. I wish i’m wrong but I think they’re going for the 3-pointer.

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  35. Dick Barnet – I agree – we barely win at Staples against a rookie playoff team. OKC is going to have at least one blowout game of the lakers. and they definitely have the confidence to take the lakers out. now they know they can hang with them.

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  36. Can you imagine if OKC wins this game?

    Talk about momentum!

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  37. Durant just winked at someone!

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  38. GREAT¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

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  39. Freaking ah!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought durant hit that shot. lakers stink!!! they lucked out so big!!!!!

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  40. Gasol is one of the worst clutch free throw shooters I have ever seen.

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  41. Who’s the championship team? Because OKC has made their freethrows down the stretch and the Lakers don’t!

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  42. This is no finals team!!!! I think Darius is going to ban me but the lakers are not going to make it out of the second round.

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  43. Well. 2-0. 14 to go. And all that stuff.

    Time to let me breath out & allow my heart to re-commence beating.

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  44. Lakers up 2-0 going to OKC …

    They will return from OKC tied 2-2.

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  45. Well, Gasol made 1/2.

    That’s acceptable, sort of. Definitely not in the worst clutch ever league.

    Can we complain about this win? I think we as fans are allowed to react a bit here with the kind of performance we just witnessed.

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  46. That was close, but Lakers prevail.
    2 down 14 to go

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  47. *whew*

    Interesting times…

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  48. I lived through another Win by our Los Angeles Lakers, in Playoff basketball time.

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  49. What are the odds that Kenny/Charles use the block party joke tonight?

    Durantula knows how to use those long arms, and Ibaka is a beast too. They don’t have a lot of strength in that frontcourt, but their athleticism and timing is off the charts.

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  50. Man, OKC did everything but win that one. Jesus Christ.

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  51. If Green didn’t go 2/11, we’d have lost.

    But then again…

    Artest: 2/10
    Fisher 2/10
    Odom 2/9
    Bynum 3/9

    I think we could say that this is a good thing, unless that was a product of OKC’s defense and can be replicated.

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  52. wow. very lucky to miss so many free throws and still win by 3.
    strange…
    Ken predicted a 3pt Laker win.

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  53. how can a W be this infuriating?

    drew had 9 shots, pau had 14, kobe had 28.

    fish, ron and LO shot a combined 6 for 29. 37% shooting as a team.

    if we’re gonna have to live with this, we won’t have to live with it for long.

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  54. Are you kidding harold, those are the stats for those players, and we still won the game?

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  55. Things I learned from this game.

    1. OKC lived up to being #1 in blocked shots.
    2. They definitely are a great defensive team.
    3. Lakers still grinded out a win and showed some championship mettle.
    4. In order to win in OKC we need to work on our offensive execution and fastbreak offense.

    And finally, we have got to have the most fair weather fans out of the entire league. Constructive criticism is one thing but flat out giving our opponent no credit and basically being disrespectful.

    I don’t care how we win as there are no style points awarded and a win is a win and we’re now 2-0 and I don’t see the Thunder winning 4/5. I give all the credit in the world to OKC, they played a hell of a game but still came up short, can’t wait to play in OKC.

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  56. @ 255, huh?

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  57. glove32, hey man, dont get ahead of yourself. Aint nothin coming easy to the finals this year either, so its more like 2 down, 2 to go. Last year was no cakewalk and neither will this year be – keep in mind when we get to the next round we’ll be facing either the Jazz or the Nuggets. If its the Jazz, we went 3-1 with a pretty avg good margin of victory. If it’s Denver, we could have some trouble, as went 1-3, if you recall, with two of the 3 losses being by 26 and 13 pts, and the only win being 95-89. If we do end up facing Denver, it’s gonna be a dogfight. No one should take anything for granted in this tight Western Conference, even though we are the mighty Lake Show. Phil and the gang definitely aren’t, and neither should you.

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  58. There are reasons for concern. But in the playoffs, you try to get to sixteen wins. Period. The Lakers are 2-0 and that is what we all would have hoped for. I can understand wanting the team to play better. I can’t understand complaining about a win.

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  59. The mark of a champion is ekeing wins even when you’re playing terribly.

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  60. “kobe had 28”

    The Kobster: “Teammates, I don’t need no stinkin’ teammates!”

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  61. other than kobe and gasol, lakers just cannot make any shots. please stop saying how fisher comes up big in the playoffs. look at his line tonight. how is that different from the regular season?

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  62. What a sloppy, horrible, unprepared, can’t shoot for %$@# game. Like you all say, a win is a win but the lakers are going down very soon. i’d rather see lakers lose now than get to the finals and get SMOKED by th cavs. lbj will have a field day and i can’t live with that.

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  63. How you can win shooting 37.5% from the field, 27.3% from the 3, and 71.9% from the line is beyond me.

    We were also out-blocked by 14, and turned the ball over 16 times.

    We attempted one less FT than the Thunder too.

    We did outrebound them by 12, all in the offensive end, but when you get out-blocked by 14, you better get some offensive boards…

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  64. I meant “pretty good avg margin of victory.” I just did something I hate that others do frequently on message boards, which sloppily. But my point still stands. Focus on the present, with look to the future from the corner of your eye.

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  65. if you go bacj to my morning post I said OK would be up a the half and Lkaers will win by 3. should have bet.

    fisher was 2 for 10 screwed up to fast breaks, fouled out with stupid fouls and took bad shot after bad shot.

    anyone want to tell me what a vet he is now. he singled handled almost lost this game with his bone head plays

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  66. 17 blocks by the Thunder and 12/15 free throws for Kobe. I don’t expect to see either of these stats in game 3!

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  67. wow Kobe 37 on a broken finger and bad etc etc? amazing. played an awful first half but just kept on being Kobe.

    that thunder team is fun to watch. Durant three point stroke and blocking shots seems like a 2k10 inspired team

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  68. I feel so, so sorry for Dwyane Wade.

    Blazers with the mid-series extension. Interesting move. I guess 1 great playoff game really paid off for Camby.

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  69. 266, Fisher drew 2 fouls on Westbrook which caused Westbrook to go to the bench and got us the lead. If Westbrook had played his normal rotation, we probably would have lost.

    263, I think this reflects the attitude of everyone decrying the fact that the Lakers didn’t win by enough. You’re all just scared of the Lakers losing to the Cavs in the Finals, and just can’t handle losing. You’re all scared of the Lakers failing that you’re just protecting yourselves by predicting losses. You’re all just a bunch of fair-weather fans that wouldn’t give a shit if the Lakers weren’t winning. And that’s just weak.

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  70. So far there’s one reason I love the playoffs in 2010:

    The referees are letting them play! If you don’t believe it you should have watched that Utah, Denver game. Unbelievable, how physical that game was!

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  71. We had only 3 players reaching 50% shooting %, (and two of them only shot 4 times), and still we got the win………

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  72. Ken – “fisher was 2 for 10 screwed up to fast breaks, fouled out with stupid fouls and took bad shot after bad shot.

    anyone want to tell me what a vet he is now. he singled handled almost lost this game with his bone head plays”

    I couldn’t agree with you more, but Fish has no business being in the game for as long as Jackson plays him. He is an old vet, with legs that are worn down. But, who else can come in and do the job Jackson wants in that triangle? Farmar? Brown?

    There just is no one else. I don’t blame Fish, he does the best with what he has left, and that just isn’t much anymore.

    The issues that have plagued this team all season long are still there. They defeated a young team two games in a row on their home court, barely ekking out the win tonight. If I’m the Thunder I don’t think I can beat the Lakers, I know I can beat the Lakers. They came up a little short tonight on the NBA “freakin” champs. They gotta like their chances going home, and if they come back here tied 2-2, there is no reason why they can’t go home next week up 3-2.

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  73. My nomination for title of the Game Wrap Up Thread:

    The NBA Playoffs: Where Ugly is Beautiful

    Huge win for the Lakers, as per usual they fought not just a valiant and talented opponent but themselves and came out with a victory. The laundry list of complaints is already in full flow , so I’ll save those for later, save one. Darius talked earlier today about the Lakers utilizing High Low Action, and save for one play late in the game, the Lakers still are not doing this with the consistency necessary to win.

    Nevertheless, they held serve, and need only play .500 ball the rest of the week to go up 3-1….Exactly where the Cavs and Celtics sit heading to the first round of venue changes.

    Ron Artest has been fantastic these last two games. You’re never going to bottle up a talent like Durant, but Ron Ron’s tenacious D in the fourth and down the stretch was great to watch.

    Bottom line for me is that we’re up 2-0 and we know we can play much better than we have. Yes, OKC will get a bump from the home crowd and will obviously be a tough out there, but I’d argue that the first LO sighting we have in these playoffs will be the end of the Thunder, and he like our team, needs only show up in 1 of the next two to put a stranglehold on the series.

    I repeat: NBA Playoffs: Ugly is Beautiful

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  74. Nobody would care if the Lakers win an ugly Game 7 in the Finals. The commentators here care NOW because, based on tonight’s performance, it raises concern for the future. A decisive win is more than just a W. It brings momentum and, depending on your view, a psychological advantage.

    I personally think it’s a good win. Sure, it was ugly, but the Lakers grinded it out. The Thunder’s regular season record is identical to Boston’s, and the Celtics are in the east! The Thunder would be the 4th seed in the east (or 3rd, likely). Imagine a Cleveland vs. Boston first-round. A win is a win is a win.

    What I don’t understand is why, Darius, you insist on looking down upon the people who DO choose to criticize a “bad win” and call it “complaining.” As mentioned, they are criticizing a bad win because they want the Lakers to play better. Essentially, they are voicing the improvements they wish the Lakers would show. Why not let them voice their opinions, as opposed to showing up with your big purple box and frowning condescendingly upon them?

    When I see people overreacting, I just leave it at that. They are entitled to their opinions, even if those opinions are expressed during a time when they are most frustrated. Calling another person’s concern a “complaint” is just belittling.

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  75. The Thunder came out the last 2 games playing like the studs. They now have the swagger and the Lakers and duds. I give the Thunder total props – they have come to play and the Lakers haven’t. Those shooting numbers are atrocious!!!

    If the Lakers gave half the effort the Thunder are putting out they’d win by double digits.

    That is what is weak!!!

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  76. For some fans, winning will never be enough. For all of you, I feel pity. You seemingly don’t enjoy the wins and fear the worst and it tarnishes everything. For all the bitching and moaning and complaining you can’t appreciate a hard fought win where the other team doesn’t give and inch and never gives up but the team that you supposedly root for still pulls out the win. You probably didn’t watch Portland take out Phoenix on Saturday or Utah beat Denver last night. Every game isn’t easy or a blowout win. Your busted crystal ball that said this should have been a blowout is not reality. There are plenty of other sites where you can take your complaining too. I won’t miss you. Honest, I won’t.

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  77. I am happy tonight with this win, relaxed and peaceful at last, 2 more to go in this series, that is just 2 more games to play aganst the Thunder. I mean, we cannot play any worst than tonight, right? I can handle that and keep enjoying some more playoff basketball along the way.

    I just saw your comment Darius, right on!

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  78. 274- the Thunder know they can beat the Lakers? They just played a hell of a great game, nearly set a record for blocks, we played with poor execution and yet they still lost. If anything I would think doubt is creeping into their minds about now.

    What happens when we play better? Just me but after everything they threw at us they have got to be thinking what the hell is it going to take to beat this team (LA).

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  79. Zephid – call it how you like but i did not enjoy watching the lakers get their azz wiped off the floor by boston in game 6. That should have never happened but the lakers are the ones with the weak attitude. The tower over the thunder and can’t dunk the ball?

    Letting a rookie playoff team take you to the limit on your home court is weak.

    Letting the rookie team outplay and out hustle you is inexcusable – that is weak.

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  80. Darius & Zephid:

    Just relax – it’s not that hard to ignore them. Read the comments that do matter. I just scroll past the idiotic ones.

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  81. Thunder, What comes to mind:

    *Top 3 MVP candidate that had this season’s scoring title.

    *Western Confrence team that had 50 W’s

    *One of the most talented fast break teams in the league

    *A well coached team that is underrated on defense.

    *Last but not least, a playoff calibre team that is playing inspired ball.

    Bottom line is, it happens guys. Like fellow FB&G’ers already said; we’re not the first to struggle against our lower seated counter parts. Game 2 for Cleveland took a miracle performance from Lebron and they are playing a worse team in the eastern confrence that doesn’t have a superstar like KD.

    Chill Y’all. I’m happy^

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  82. 275, BOO, very well said. I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s funny, the people who are frustrated with the team’s play and make critical comments WHEN IT’S DESERVED aren’t being disrespectful to other posters on here. They’re not telling other fans how they should think, feel, react, etc. It’s actually the other way around. Apparently, it’s not a two-way street around here.

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  83. Boo,
    It’s my site and I can do what I want.

    If you want to know more, though, it’s simple. Sure fans want the team to play better. I want the team to play better. But that’s not what’s being expressed in a lot of comments. I’m reading a bunch of garbage about how “the Lakers are duds”, that “the Lakers are going down soon” and another fan saying I’m going to ban him because he knows that he’s just commenting in a pure in the moment, frightened state. This site should be about nuanced analysis, not panicked reactions that are purely visceral in tone. Like I said, I run this site and I’m tired of it. I’m not Kurt and would never speak for him, but I have a feeling he’d be thinking the same thing. Many, many Lakers fans are spoiled and petulant. They’re worse than worst things they say about the team they supposedly love. There’s tough love and then there’s abuse. Many fans don’t know the difference. I’ve never once claimed to be smarter than anyone, and I won’t now, but perspective is needed when you follow any team. I don’t look two months down the line and claim to know what’s going to happen. What’s the point in that? To save the heartache? I enjoy the ride and appreciate as far as we go. I feel disappointment just like the next fan, but I also feel good in the face of what it takes for a team to win. Others just want to demean whatever positives come from a game like this and then mock those that say they’re happy. I’m not going to have it. Those folks can go somewhere else to cheer for their team. I honestly don’t care. I’ve been around here when this team was legitimately bad. Lottery, Kwame, Smush, Cook. And even in those days we had real discussions about the team. Now that we’re on top again it’s all BS expectations and “we should’s” in every thread. Please. It’s tiring.

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  84. 280 – Young team doesn’t translate to poor team just so you know. Apparently you don’t watch other games besides the Lakers because if you did you’d realize in the playoffs seeding doesn’t always matter. Ask Dallas how that goes when they lost to Golden State as the 8th seed.

    OKC had 50 wins this year in the Western conference, do you realize what that even means? They had a 27 win differential from last year, they were basically a 2 wins from being the 3rd seed because of how contested this conference is. Obviously though you give OKC zero credit, this is the playoffs, win or go home. Let’s all excuse the Thunder for not laying down and allowing us to win by double digits; how stupid are we for thinking our opponent would take this seriously.

    Oh and the playoffs are about adjustments, OKC knows our advantage is in our height so they fronted and didn’t really allow the post entry pass . You can’t always go to your strengths when your opponent takes it away from you.

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  85. Simonoid,
    Sorry, but I have to read every comment on here. This is the site that I run and invest my time in; the site I try and make a great place for people to come and intelligently discuss the Lakers. When it devolves into some of the stuff that was written on the boards tonight, I take it personally. If I didn’t, I doubt I could give this site my all and try to put out things that I hope are worth it to the people that visit every day.

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  86. A well earned victory. This young team from OKC has no quit in them. Their defensive tenacity is crazy. 17 BLOCKS. WOW. Granted, they might have gotten away with a few fouls on those blocks, but you have to give their much smaller bigs credit for the way they challenge every shot and defend the paint. Like I stated on a previous thread, defense is all about effort & they definitely maximized theirs 2nite. Playoff basketball @ its best. So for all you cats on here complaining ’bout why we’re not beating this team more decisively, GET OVER IT. Nothing is going to come easy for us. We’re going to have to earn it.

    STANDING OVATIONS:

    Pau Gasol – Solid game, except @ the ft line.
    Kobe Bryant – Solid 2nd half & took over in the 4th.
    Ron Artest – Made Durant work for every point.

    LAKER 4 LIFE ….. GO HARD OR GO HOME

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  87. The Thunder arent necessarily a great team, but they play really really hard and they arent scared of the Lakers at all. Experience is what won game 2 for us tonight. I expect the Thunder to take game 3, but I think the Lakers can steal a win in game 4 and possibly close it out in 5. I thought the Lakers executed better on offense in the second half and got the ball in the paint a lot more, despite all the block shots.

    Now I am with all of you that arent completely satisfied with the way the team is playing, but did you guys really expect this team to just start playing their best after the horrible closeout of the season we had? You have to get used to it, this team is gonna struggle throughout the playoffs, they arent gonna blow teams out. So the lesson I have learned is, dont expect too much from this team, they are not the Laker team of last year.

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  88. The Dude Abides April 20, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I don’t mind Kobe taking all those shots when he’s on. The team did have trouble getting it to our bigs down low. One unsuccessful attempt would be made, then Ron or Fish would chuck up a brick. I only saw three times all game where they attacked the post fronter by swinging it to the baseline and letting Pau or Drew seal off the fronter and go toward the hoop. One time Drew tried it, and Ibaka sent his shot into the crowd.

    There was one time in the first half where we attacked Pau’s fronter by having Drew swing around from the weak side, catch it about three feet below the FT line, then feed Pau for a dunk after Pau’s seal. And then we didn’t try that play for the rest of the game!

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  89. if im the thunder, im thinking “wow, they really tried to give us that game, and we still lost…”.

    every game you guys are complaining about everything. if kobe hits a tough shot, it was bad shot selection. if kobe misses a good shot, he is getting really old. and my favourite posts are questioning why fish and artest even dare to shoot. those are the funniest. if our guys (not named pau, kobe and drew) dont shoot when they´re open, we might aswell just pack our stuff and go home in the first round. i dont care if they are 0-40, they HAVE to shoot or EVERYONE will clog the lane when playing us and double-team our bigs and kobe. basketball is about rythm and ron, fish and our bench have yet to find theirs. i dont mind losing a couple of games because of bad shooting by those players as long as they shoot within the offense.

    understand that we cant run every posession through pau, drew or kobe. that makes us not only predictable, but also those guys will run out of gas by the conference finals for sure.

    just look at the thunder. even they understand that they have to get their guys going and cant rely on kd and westbrook only. they had an amazing chance to steal a game tonight, and scott brooks didnt play his two stars the entire 4th quarter. i mean those two are as fit as they come… they could´ve played 48min. + overtime.

    we are winning games by shooting around 40-45% against a 50 win team. think about it: if our “other” players find any kind of rythm, we will be blowing teams out by 20 (and thats the only thing that you care for anyway, right?). this series is still a sweep, 4-1 at the most.

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  90. Wow, Kobe was suffering no fools in his postgame press conference. I don’t blame him…his demeanor reminds me of the look on Kareem’s face when people were burying him about seven years too soon. You’d think the guy would have earned the right for people to believe in him, in his own home town.

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  91. You want to know something, this site is not owned by the fans, I believe it is privately owned, is it not? We are allowed to come here and talk Lakers basketball in an intelligent manner, and are not just supposed to rant and rave left and right about whatever we want in any manner we so choose. Anyway, if I was OKC I would wonder just how they think they can win a single game from us now, I am not worried anymore about them, and I hope to see just as an exciting game Thursday, with our 3rd W.

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  92. The Dude Abides,

    Kobe isn’t on. Sad to say. We can’t win a championship without him, and he is still the best 4th quarter option in a close game. But shooting 16 times in the first half when that is more than Pau gasol and Bynum shoot combined is not acceptable in this offense. 12/28, 13/15, 1 asst… I really don’t like that line regardless of how he played in the fourth quarter. He was 4/8 in the fourth quarter which was great, but Pau was … 1/1 in that quarter. His scoring was in the FT line, but pau was 9/13 at the line tonight.

    I’m happy for the win. I am. But I think that needs to improve. The balance of the shooting needs to improve a lot. An injured Kobe should not be taking 14 more shots throughout the entire game more than Pau.

    Good win though.

    14.

    Darius, keep up the filtering. People let their emotions get to them play by play here. They play the games for a reason. THE LAKERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THIS CHAMPIONSHIP EVEN THOUGH THEY SPEND THE MOST MONEY OVER ANY OTHER TEAM. We play the games to earn it. Cuz if we didn’t, then it wouldn’t matter. We won. POint out things that will make them better for the next game. Things that you’d like to see. But I agree with Darius. If you want to just say that the Lakers aren’t going to win a championship… yah we get it. You don’t believe in them or think they have a chance. We get it. You want to hate on the team for some reason.

    anyway sorry for the rant.

    We’re going to need to be more selective with shots at OKC. They will be pumped. THis is the only big league sport they have there right? Emotions will be big. They will run early and get a 8-10 point lead on emotion alone. Lakers will need to weather that and run their offense to get it back. I still say Lakers in 4.

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  93. dave in hillsboro April 20, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    281, as a rare commenter and frequent reader of comments, I’d prefer that Zephid and Darius shoot down those pessimists immediately. The time for negativity is over. Now is when we support our team.

    That said, I’m totally fine with constructive criticism, but just saying “player x sucks, take him out” is the exact opposite of constructive. It’s destructive. If one has a criticism of this team or its players, then express it positively–“player x needs to do a better job” or “the Lakers should do this to fix that problem.” But for the sake of this team, stop with the unfiltered negativity–especially after a hard fought win.

    We’re supposed to be rooting for these players, not tearing them down every chance we get. We can express what we think they can and should do better, but just giving up on them is not an option.

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  94. The Dude Abides April 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    My favorite tweet of the night. This is from Khloe Kardashian…LOL
    ————————————-
    @lalavazquez seriously! They are cheaters! LOL
    about 2 hours ago via TweetGenius in reply to lalavazquez

    I hate how the ref are cheating! Is this legal?
    about 2 hours ago via TweetGenius
    ————————————–

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  95. I’m not so sure that the frustration with a lot of us is necessarily due to not blowing teams out. Do I want to win every game by 40? You’re damn right I do! It certainly would help keep my blood pressure low. But of course that’s an unrealistic expectation.

    My frustration is that we’re barely winning because we are not playing well, and haven’t played well for a majority of the season. Now if we played a great game and still barely won because the other team just played out of their mind, then I could live with that and just tip my cap to the opponent. But come on. OKC has not exactly lit up the court with their play so far. And yet the games have still been close? If we played our best, OKC wouldn’t come close to hanging with us, despite being a pretty solid team (yes, pretty solid, not great). But constantly shooting 40% or worse as a team, having players shoot 2 for 10 or 1 for 9, and missing wide open shot after wide open is f-ing frustrating! How can it not be?! I know when I played sports, if my team or myself played like crap, I’d be pissed, regardless of whether we won or not.

    Now the bottom line is that a win is ALWAYS better than a loss. ALWAYS! But I’m not really a believer in the whole “a win is a win” crap for various reasons. That’s just me.

    But I firmly believe that we are a lot better than what we’ve shown these first two games and for much of the season. That’s why I get frustrated! Because we’ve witnessed it! Maybe that’s why we have such high expectations.

    So let’s hope they start playing to their capabilities from this point on. And if not, we’ll just have to sweat out the tight games and keep hoping for the best…

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  96. here here, Darius!! I totally agree with you. A win is a win in the playoffs and I for one am elated that we are up 2-0. There are certainly areas of improvement, but we are beating a very good team in a high pressure situation.

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  97. I am sorry for my attacks on Fisher. It hurts me toi watch him. 2 for 10, bad fouls, bad on 3 on 1. I want him to play better. But he can’t. He was a minus 12 by far the worst performance on the court next to Green. Ig green had shot like normal we could be down 2 to 0. It just kills me that Philil play him for 30 plus minutes. Farmer or Brown can’t do worse. I look to the rest of the playoffs and see him only holding this team back.

    That said it was a gut check win for the Lakers and Kobe was the difference. I beg Phil to limit Fish’s minutes. When he bricked back to back shots with the 2nd one coming with 19 minutes left on the clock I almost broke my TV. He plays like a rookie and TNT announcers said the same.

    If Brown or Farmer would have taken those shots they would be pulled in a second and that is wrong for the team and us long time Laker fans.

    Thank you

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  98. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95HMrsghrsQ

    This is probably the Lakers alot of people are looking for and I got to say there are many reasons I don’t blame you. I used to hate San Antonio and Detroit’s “drag it out defensive Basketball” but now it just seems like that has become us, if not even more extreme. On those teams you at least had streaky players like ginobili, parker, hamilton, and even prince who could knock down 3 after 3. This team truley does rely on its length, Defense, and post threat.

    Every now and then we get a glimpse of that 2008/2009 ball swinging/ cutting and diving action that this team thrived on but that just isn’t our MO any more. We just need to be happy that our beloved team has a brand of Basketball that makes them contenders for the title. Also, if your think about it, playing “drag it out defensive Basketball” would make it very hard to blow out the opposition on a day that your opponent shows up with good defense too. Hmmmm… Kinda like today!
    (I didn’t put a comparison video of our recent style of play because it should be rather fresh in your mind. If not refer to the game recap at the top of this screen.)

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  99. ken,

    i’ve said this to you many times. But maybe theres a reason he’s played so much. By Phil. A pretty good coach. We’re already not running the triangle well, and when farmar and brown are in, they over dribble then shoot also.

    How many championships have those TNT announcers won anyway?

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  100. Game 3 is going to be a great one.. Im expecting a let down cuz the Lakers are probably feeling comfortable and OKC is going to come out with their season on the line. That building is going to be somethine else..

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  101. re: 299 Jeremy,

    That’s an excellent point. I think that’s the same reason our ppg and off. eff. were markedly down this year – way less fast break points. And of course the consistently shitty 3-point shooting didn’t help. But you’re right, that’s the kind of team we’ve become, for better or worse, but it is still good enough to be championship contenders. Nice post my man.

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  102. 286, as Darius said, we moderators feel an obligation to get your comments through moderation as fast as possible while maintaining the integrity of the site. Because of this, we read every single comment posted here. Frankly, I would love it if Darius just said “f*** it” and decided to just start removing comments that were overly negative. But the spirit that Kurt instilled in us is one of keeping the integrity of all opinions. We let your comments through moderation because we understand the need to vent and the fact that you get caught up in the emotions. But this is overkill at this point. Every point is either negative or someone agreeing with a negative comment, and they’re mostly not based on fact, more based on generalities, such as “Fish is a waste of time,” or “Kobe needs to stop shooting.”

    Not all the negative comments are bad, some of them are legitimate criticisms with insight and depth. I feel bad for the few people that actually make these quality criticisms because they get lost in all the trash, so when people come down on the negativity, they feel attacked as well.

    And as for Fisher, he drew two key fouls on Westbrook early in the game. If Westbrook wasn’t off the floor for most of the 1st half, we would have lost the game. So to say that Fisher almost lost us the game is looking at it from a very naive angle.

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