Lakers/Thunder: Game 3 Preview & Chat

Darius Soriano —  April 22, 2010

[picappgallerysingle id="8593002"]
In old school basketball circles, the saying goes that “a playoff series doesn’t really start until the home team loses”. Well tonight the Lakers get their first chance at snaring a road win and truly “starting” this series.  And if they’re successful they’ll essentially start and end this series in the same night.  After the Lakers took a 2-0 series lead, winning 4 of the next 5 games was going to be next to impossible for OKC.  But if the home team loses tonight, winning 4 in a row will not happen.  And even though some of the quotes coming out of the Thunder locker room are more focussed on winning one game (rather than winning the series), the Lakers would be best served not resting on the laurels of their series lead and letting a winnable game slip away.  And, despite what others will tell you, tonight is a winnable game.  Yes, the Thunder crowd will be excited beyond belief and the Thunder’s players will surely feed off this energy and bring an effort level consistent with a wounded animal fighting for survival.  But, the Lakers are the better team (even if the disparity is not as large as in a typical #1 vs. #8 match up) and there are steps they can take to win this game.

As, Andy K. over at Land O’ Lakers pointed out, if the visiting team hopes to win they’ll need to control the tempo.  That doesn’t mean that the Lakers can’t get out and run, but it does mean that they’ll need to be selective with their choices and not just indiscriminately take the first good shot that is available.  It’s been made abundantly clear that the Lakers offense works best when starting on the inside, so slowing the game down and looking to the post first should be the first option.  That said, the Lakers can’t just try to force feed our big men.  I’ve said this many times before, but the Lakers run a read and react system and should not have predetermined options for possessions drawn up in their heads.  Sure, they can run specific options or call out a certain action to initiate their sets.  But if that option is taken away, they can not force it – they must move on in their progression/reads and go from there.  This is what will lead to offensive success tonight and will hopefully create more opportunities for our post game.  As Phil Jackson said himself,

“Well, the idea is not to over-focus on (passing to the post) so it takes the rhythm out of your offense.  Take the opportunities when they come, and if the ball is moved and the players move right, we’ll find those passes.”

Carrying that same thought to its next progression, I would not mind seeing aggressive Kobe again tonight.  There were many that bemoaned the volume of shots that Kobe took in game 2, but I was not one of them.  After reviewing every one of Kobe’s FGA’s through Synergy Sports amazing video scouting service that they’ve made available to fans, I saw that Kobe took mostly good shots within the flow of the offense.  I also saw that some of the shots that he did miss were of the wide open variety that I’d have no issue him taking 100 times a game if he was given them.  I understand that it can be frustrating looking at a boxscore where Kobe’s FGA’s are more than Gasol and Bynum’s combined.  However, that will sometimes be the case in an offense where the defense dictates what shots are available to be taken.  I do hope that we move the ball enough where our advantage inside can be exploited more frequently, but the other side of that coin is what I mentioned above – forcing the ball into teammates that aren’t open isn’t the answer.  So, as always, I hope that patience prevails and that the Lakers move the ball and take the shots that are open to be taken.  If that means that Kobe is shooting a lot, so be it.  Kobe is also one of the players that can single handedly turn a raucous home crowd into a public library, so if he’s on his game I think it can go a long way towards limiting what will certainly serve as a source of inspiration for the home team.

And speaking of the home team, if there is one thing the Lakers need to be aware of it’s that role players often play better at home.  In the first two games the Lakers have treated Jeff Green, Thabo Sefolosha, and James Harden as complete non-threats.  Tonight, these players will need to be given a bit more respect when they are on offense.  I not only expect these players to be more aggressive, but I expect them to be a bit more successful in those efforts to score the ball.  I’d especially be concerned with Green and Harden as they are good offensive players that just haven’t found their groove on offense to this point in the series; they are better than what they’ve shown.  So, if the Lakers are to win this game they will need to pay closer attention to the other Thunder and not just rely on slowing down Westbrook and Durant.

In the end, the keys to winning this game will be no different than the ones used to win the first two.  As always, it will come down to execution and for the road team to sustain its energy and focus through what will be an amped up crowd and home team.  If the Lakers can take one possession at a time and exploit the match ups that are in their favor, this game will be there for the taking in the closing minutes.  Will they have the discipline?  Will they treat this game the way they’ve treated the first two?  In a way, this game – more than the games at Staples – will show me where the mental sharpness is for this Lakers team.  Last season, against every playoff opponent, the Lakers won a road game.  They’ll have that chance tonight, lets hope they take advantage of it.

Darius Soriano

Posts

273 responses to Lakers/Thunder: Game 3 Preview & Chat

  1. Warren…Let’s do this!

  2. Brought over from the previous thread.

    I would like to see Farmar and/or Brown get more burn at point guard tonight.

    Everyone keeps saying “Well, Farmar and Brown aren’t any better,” but I don’t buy that.

    It all depends on who you’re on the floor with and how many minutes you play.

    Remember how Farmar played against Houston in Game 4?

    Look, Farmar drives me insane with his decision making and lazy defense, but that’s because he’s mentally frustrated. He knows he’s playing behind the worst point guard in the NBA (not worst starting point guard, WORST POINT GUARD), and for some bizarre reason, can’t get any extended burn.

    So Farmar comes out, plays disinterested defense, and “goes for his” to try to keep his scoring up.

    What do you think his attitude would be if Phil said to him before the game, “You’re starting, and you’ll be playing 30 to 35 minutes?”

    You don’t think he’d focus and work his tail off?

    You don’t think he’d relax and not be so worried about scoring?

    You don’t think he’d work harder on defense, with the additional responsibility that comes with playing big minutes?

    Can’t the same be said for Shannon?

    “Well, Fish is still the best option” is a myth.

    Give Shannon and/or Farmar some extended run with the starters, THEN decide if “Fish is still the best option.”

  3. Every other western conference playoff series is at 1-1. It would be fantastic if the Lakers could manage a sweep so they could be the beneficiaries of some additional rest (especially for KB and Drew). Either way, I expect a good effort tonight and hope for a win.

    Again, I’ll be keeping my eye on Odom (in terms of offensive agressiveness and working potential mismatches) and on the turnover/pts battle. Hopefully, more of the great defensive plays will result in scores.

    Finally, go Bulls (it’s never too early to root against an enemy)!

  4. Burgundy: Around December/ January time, when everone was fed up with Fish’s decline; alot of people were singing the same exact song as you. The problem is, if you put Farmar or Shannon in the starting line up, you can no longer hide him (Fish) with starters. Imagine the start of the second quarter being:

    Fish/ Shannon/ Artest/ LO/ Pau

    or if we get in foul trouble or fatigue.

    Fish/ Shannon/ Luke/ LO/ Powell

    Having our Athletic spark off the bench is our best option. We don’t need “Farmar’s skills” along with our starters. We need them with LO to hold down our second unit.

  5. Brought over from the previous post, for Burgundy:

    ***

    There is a glaring problem with being a fan, and an armchair coach.

    That problem is that we don’t see the VAST majority of work that goes into being a professional athlete. We don’t get to see the practices, and the film studies, and the team meetings, and the workouts, and the coach’s meetings.

    The assumption that players start, get minutes, get the green light in crunch time, etc, based on game performance alone is an obviously false one.

    An NBA basketball player will get only 82 regular season games to use as opportunities. That is 3,936 minutes to show that you can do the job.

    The NBA regular season lasts 170 calendar days. For the sake of argument, let’s say that most players average six hours of work per day. Practices, film, meetings, time on the plane, shoot-arounds, etc. That’s 61,200 minutes to impress the coaches that you can do the job.

    Now, based on Fisher’s results on the floor I must assume that whatever Farmar, Brown, and Vujacic are doing in the work time in between must be fairly unspectacular, or they would get more time in the game.

    In short, yeah, maybe one of the young guns hits more shots in game (although, not a lot more, the splits for the year are not that big), but if in every practice they continue to blow coverages, or loaf, or show attitude problems, or whatever else they are doing wrong, why go away from a veteran player who HAS done the job, and done it well enough to win the championship four times?

    If you want to be the champ, you have to knock the champ out.

    In my opinion Phil Jackson is a lot of things but stupid is not one of them.
    ***

    Go Lakers!

  6. Jane,
    You are exactly right. If the Lakers sweep it would be a huge boon for them going forward. Bynum and Kobe could use the time to strengthen.

  7. What if this one is for those who haven’t yet been satisfied with our performance? Will you get it to the team if they get a win in OKC after winning two at home? Will you just allow a win to be a good win?

    I’ve been happy after each win thus far, and would be thrilled to grab a third (countdown to 13 left!). If we are able to step up and beat this very talented Thunder team for the third time in a row on their court, I hope it will go a ways to quell some of the fire that has been FB&G lately.

  8. Taylor, I personally don’t care if we let a 40 pt lead dwindle down to a tied game. As long as we pull out a win, it’s all gravy. Let’s go for 3 in a row baby!~

  9. As usual, excellent preview Darius.

    Dating back to last year, we’ve lost 4 straight game 3′s, so hopefully, we can snap that skid 2nite. In order for this to occur, we’ll have to slow the game down & play @ our tempo. The Thunder plays @ a frenetic pace in their building (which can seem like Cameron Indoor/Coach K Court), so limiting our turnovers is a must. Also, as stated in the preview, their role players are bound to shoot better in their building. They’ll be more aggressive & feed off of the energy from the crowd. So even though we’ve played excellent defense up to this point, 2nite, our D will have to be exceptional.

    On another note, quick question. WHERE IS L.O.? He’s yet to make an impact on the series. 11 points total in 2 games. Are u serious? Being outplayed by Ibaka. We’ll definitely need for him to leave his imprint on the game 2nite in order for us to put the nail in the coffin.

  10. Agreed. Looking for LO to step up tonight and Kobe to continue to be aggressive. Let’s end this series tonight!

  11. Ah…and courtesy of Mr. Wilbon shouting out on PTI.

    This one’s for Jack, Happy Birthday to a true Purple and Gold fan!

  12. @ Tra

    What do you mean the Lakers have lost 4 straight Game 3s? They lost Game 3 in Orlando last year, but won Game 3 against Denver and Houston. Both those series were tied 1-1 after 2.

  13. The Thunder are playing their first ever playoff game at home. Their crowd is going to make the ones in Portland, Boston, and Salt Lake City seem pale and quiet by comparison. The players are going to give everything and more, and the calls will go in their favor. The crowd will energize them, they will be confident, and eager to give their fans a great show and a good fight.

    I think we can win tonight, but I think it’s going to be very, very difficult. Optimistically, I hope for a sweep in this series and a long rest for our injured guys. Realistically, I suspect we’ll get a split in Oklahoma City and put the series away when we get back home. In either case and either way, I will be standing, pacing, jumping up and down and shout at the TV, watch every moment, and enjoy them all.

    The playoffs are here! GO LAKERS!!!

  14. This game will show me something if the Lakers come out and really compete, because the track record for this particular team would lead one to believe they will come out soft and unfocused and lose pretty soundly.

  15. Not sure if anyone has seen this article yet. Great piece on Josh Powell.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/columns/story?id=5121114

    Makes you want to cheer for the guy even more.

  16. @ Simran

    You’re absolutely right. I stand corrected.

  17. It’s time for LO to “transform” into the threat we need him to be. We need him to be attacking the basket and not settle for jump shots, let alone 3ptrs. Since we are playing on their turf we of course need to control the tempo. If we are also aggressive towards the basket, we force the refs to reward us w/ trips to the line.

  18. with everything else being the way they’ve been, is it crazy for me to think that all it will take for us to go up 3-0 is just for fish, ron and LO to each shoot like 40% on the night? like a nice burst of good shooting to end the 3rd, to open up things for the bigs, stretch out the lead, and win it in the end with D?

    http://polynorthamerica.com/WINS.jpg

  19. The main thing I want to see tonight out of our players is to use a head fake, use the pump fake to get the on ball defender up in the air. Yes OKC collapses in the paint but by using a fake to get the initial defender in the air you increase the possibility of getting the foul call or making the basket.

    If we can control the first five minutes of the 1st qtr than I won’t be so worried about tonight’s game. Obviously the crowd will be into the game but that can also play against the home team; I truly believe the pressure is on OKC, not LA. It’s their first playoff home game, the players are going to want to play well and this can lead to rushed shots, long jumpers and poor execution. Not saying OKC will play poorly but just saying too much energy can be a bad thing.

    Here’s looking for us to take game 3, GO LAKERS!

  20. I am very sad. For the first time in 40 years a bet aganist the LAKERS!

    sorry I could not help myself.

    OKC only favored by 3.5 points in the biggest game ever for OK basketball.

    I see OKC by 9 and I am pretty good at this.

    Still have Lakers in 6.

    By the way even though they lost Dallas really moves the ball around and has three really good outside shooters.

    I see Lakers and Dallas in the WCF. Good series with Lakers winning in 7 and Mark Cuban having a spaz attack at Staples.

    See ya all!

    If I get a extra ticket for game 5 Aaron I will invite you. Can you imagine you and me yelling at Fisher from row 3!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Opps I meant game 5. Not driving to OKC!

  22. Stupid here. Game 6 6 6. I meant

  23. @15

    Good article, to be honest I had no idea J Powell had much of an effect on the team. mentally I compare him to Turiaf whose lively antics and bench support were easier to notice and are beyond comparison. That piece makes me appreciate mr Powell a lot more though.

    Does anybody see LO having a breakout game this series? Normally he has a length/quickness advantage with opposing power forwards (against the Jazz & Spurs especially), but Jeff Green is a similar enough player to cancel out his normal advantages imo. Of course, when LO decides he has to score, he does it pretty well.

    Go Lakers!

  24. @20 It would be a shame to waste such great seats to try to get in one of our own player’s heads during a Playoff game. Unless of course you meant that you would yell words of encouragement for our boy Fish.

    Anyway, following the Cavs-Bulls and I’d be more excited about the Bulls winning this if I felt they had a chance in the series.

    Here’s hoping our bigs get plenty of touches tonight and our wings pick up their shooting %s.

  25. Jaybird My yell would go something like this:

    No, no, no Fish doen’t shooooooooooo

    Ah nice shot Fisher!!!

  26. Haha. I’d probably do the same.

  27. Watching Crabs-Bulls and man, if Chris Bosh goes to Chicago, they are going to wreck some skulls next season. Derek Rose is just so unstoppable in the PNR, and imagine if he had Bosh rolling off the pick instead of Joakim Noah.

  28. I wonder how the Cle fans over at (Cle blog?) are doing. Darius, do you follow any of the commenting around the league or just the substance of the other blogs? Just curious if their fan-base is as dramatic as ours.

    Give em hell Bulls.

    This LeBron guy seems to be overrated (joke)…I mean, they put him at center for the last 5min? But seriously, let’s hope the Bulls got all of the home court mojo out for both them and the Thunder. Starting to feel the excitement of Laker basketball, we need to keep the strong 1Q trend alive, quiet the fans early, keep em down through halftime, demoralize and end the game by 6min mark in the 3rd. 4Q we can all just talk about Ken losing money ; )

    Ken: This game is bigger than the Blake Griffin era?! Haha.
    Readdyyy….break!

  29. Boy do I like Kert H as a point guard. Boy!

  30. James is overated? I don’t think you thought that one out.

  31. Oh no, Bulls! Don’t choke!

  32. no OT pretty please

  33. I hope the Cleveland games doesn’t go into overtime because I would like to see the start of the Laker game.

    Lakers have to be patient on the offensive end of the floor. OKC is not going to play much better than they did on Tuesday. The Lakers absolutely can play much better.

  34. Taylor i can’t lose. Lakers win I win Lakers lose I win.

    they call that a win, win!

  35. What a play by Deng.

  36. LOL LeBron just got mauled but no whistle.

  37. Who would’ve guessed, Brad Miller is their best clutch free throw shooter.

  38. The Cavaliers have some dead-eye shooters out there. God damn, I really hope they go cold in Orlando again. They’re really, really scary the way they’re shooting ATM.

  39. 36. Now he know’s what its like to be Kobe.

  40. Go Bulls! lol

  41. Wow…that is a LOT of blue.

    The Fish/Ron Show!!

  42. Bulls beat the Cavs, Go Lakers take care of business

  43. Ron Ron!

  44. ROFL Artest running next to Fisher on a 2-on-1, takes a quick look at him, and decides not to involve him. Good choice for the layup.

  45. Amazing start.

  46. Good start. Nice to see. I like very much. WOW!

    Let’s keep those OKC fans standing.

    By the way, the Lakers also passed out free T-shirts at Staples, but of course, fashion is more important in LA. My cousin got me one from Game 1, I love it.

  47. Lakers look sharp. Let’s hope they can keep this up.

  48. That might be the happiest 2 and a half minutes of Laker basketball for me this season!

  49. NICE start. Lakers looking NASTY.

  50. now thats how you take a crowd out of a game

  51. The Thunder are nervous and stagnant right now. They’re trying to free up Durant but Artest is really sticking with him. Otherwise the Thunder just aren’t running their sets effectively. Great defensive start by the Lakers leading to easy scores.

  52. Even Fisher’s horrible pull-up long two swishes. Now that’s when you know things are going real well for the Lakers.

  53. These OKC fans are giving me the BLUES!!

    Nice run by the Lakers to start the game, but of course we’re talking about the Lakers here, so….

  54. we have no where to go but down…

  55. AusPhil, my thoughts exactly!

  56. 47, agreed!

    I was jumping during that 10-0 run.

  57. Well, so… That seemed, perfect.

    SWEET.

    If the Lakers keep their foot on the gas, they will be demonstrating that killer sense that all championship teams have.

    Cavs lost to the Bulls, so there is still a bit of hope there, forlorn and lonely though that hope is…

  58. thisisweaksauce April 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    How was that a horrible shot? Fisher was open.

  59. Holly crap, It’s like we’re playing Duke (statdium more than talent wise)! great 10-0 start. We look like Champions for now.

    What a day if we keep this up. I’m happy with watching Chi Town come through but I’ll be 1,000,000 X’s happier if we win tonight. (in any fashion but commaning would be nice)

  60. 47. I was thinking the same thing.

    Forced 3 turnovers, Converted in transition, Fisher passed up an PUJIT threw the ball inside got it bad and nailed jumper in rhythm, a total of 3 shots at the rim. And ron nailed a jumper. The only thing that could’ve made that first few minutes better was a two and one break with Pau and Andrew capped off with a lob off the backboard from Andrew to Artest.

  61. For all the crap we give Kobe about his defensive roaming, he plays great help defense. Everytime we have a screen roll in which a big has to show and recover, Kobe always backs up to cover his man.

  62. wow, 7-7 100%FG

  63. And our favourite whipping boy gets our first miss with an airball on a bad pull-up. OMG. >.>

  64. See, in cases like this, Fish – take it when Gasol hands it to you off a double team. Don’t dribble, wait for Westbrook to recover, and try a Kobe.

  65. Ok watch out now, Harden in. This guy might really heat up at home.

  66. thisisweaksauce April 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Loving how Pau and Drew are playing with each other.

  67. This is the best offense I’ve seen in months : )

  68. Right on cue. Ugh.

  69. No communication defensively and they are being a bit impatient offensively in the past few possessions. The lakers have to settle down a bit and slow the game down. Overall good start.

  70. The key to keeping home crowds out of the game is to shoot free throws. Free throws are boring and unexciting, and if you shoot a lot of them as an opposing players, the crowd will quickly lose whatever excitement they’re bottling up.

    While the long shots going in has been nice, we need to get the ball into the lane to draw fouls and keep the crowd out of this game, because they’re just ready to go berserk.

  71. Kobe’s jumper is looking just a bit flat/short so far though.

  72. Kobe jacking up shots again..
    there was only 1 3 pointer that was within the flow.
    of his 2 misses: a long 3 with a defender in his face…and a long 2 with a defender in his face. STOP KOBE. Let someone who is 4-4 (Drew) or someone who has 3 assists (Pau) do the work!

  73. Go Fish!

  74. Kobe sitting? Any ideas?

  75. LMAO @ Doug Collins: Fisher’s been shooting the three decently, it’s the two that he’s struggling shooting.

    Yeah no kidding, all his layup attempts.

  76. About keeping track of James Harden…

  77. were hitting them know but dont fall in love with jumpers

  78. I didn’t know JR Smith is playing on a Thunder uniform.

  79. what the heck is Phil doing, where is Kobe?

    Phil is coaching in reverse.

    Is Phil working for TNT or the Lakers?

  80. Odom continues to prove he is the most overpaid, overrated player in the league.

  81. last couple of mins weren’t that great… too many outside jumpers and not enough post entry passes. seems like the lakers have been nervous about passing it in. and OKC doing a great job of fronting pau.

  82. Smh on how they closed that quarter.

    74. I think since Durant was out Phil most likely figured he could buy Kobe some minutes. Kobe will probably start the second come in around the 9 minute mark.

  83. The moment the Thunder put up even the slightest amount of resistance, all the whiners come flying out of the woodwork.

  84. People complaining already? Can we not be happy with how well that qtr went? We were able to come put in hostile terriory and take a lead in the 1st when some thought the Thunder would be the ones coming out swinging.

  85. We need to get the ball inside. Stop dribbling around the perimeter.

  86. Seriously…stop looking for the blowout. We want a win, we don’t have to crush OKC by 30 and it’s simply not going to happen anyway. OKC are not scrubs.

  87. uh… the lakers aren’t playing that well despite the score. the played good for the first 5 mins. but since then they’ve gone jump shot crazy. they’re treating pau like mbenga… as if he’s not an offensive option.

  88. looks good so far, as far as stats go.

    you know we can’t lose when Fisher is productive ;)

  89. bynum please!!!

  90. thisisweaksauce April 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    What the f*ck. We start sucking in the second quarter because we won’t get the ball inside. We go away with what works in the 1st quarter. POUND THE BALL INSIDE. GASOL NEEDS TOUCHES.

  91. thisisweaksauce April 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Oh, and the Thunder start playing much better too.

  92. We did EXACTLY what we needed to do in that first quarter. We planted the seed of doubt in the Robber Barons, and their home crowd, that home court matters at all.

    We went a little flat when we took Bynum and Fisher out.

    Bynum is 4-4, Gasol 1-5. Keep going inside!

    I also like how we are defending their dribble penetration. Good fouls, and make them earn it at the line. Don’t let them get too much rhythm.

  93. Stern looks like Kermit the frog

  94. yes… we want lamar to get involved… but not through 3s! hehe

  95. Main concern right now is the “rebounding” part. 13-20 is not gonna work.

  96. I really don’t need to see David Stern’s face when he’s talking.

  97. Fast Breaking pt. 1

  98. Farmar has completely blown 2 fast breaks so far. He needs either pass earlier or stop jumping so early on the drive.

  99. Kobe looks bad. His shot is falling short and he looks extremely slow on the defensive end.

  100. Can Odom finish with his right hand?

  101. We’ve turned into the Orlando Magic with all the threes.

  102. Pretty happy with the game thus far, but I would really love to see us get to the line. As was mentioned previously, hitting a lot of FTs takes crowds out of the game, and this is a crowd that we’d like to keep calm.

  103. no one on the lakers seems to know how to run fast breaks… and what’s sad was that most of them were situations in which the point guard had the ball. maybe we should have pau running the break…

  104. emh it makes sense to me since we are 26th in the nba in 3 point %

    smart?

  105. Am I the only one who thinks Gasol and Bynum don’t fight for the ball in the post? Would it be too much for them to Fight for position and DEMAND the rock!

  106. Kobe looks like he can t run.

  107. Nice shot by Kobe to silence the crowd.

  108. Kobe is feelin it now

  109. Okay. Kobe has a free pass to shoot threes.

  110. remember when Bynum used to have hops like ibaka?

  111. At least a couple of players are hitting that outside shot today!

  112. Kobe missing every 2 pointer he throws up.

    Thank god he’s made 4/5 threes.

    .. and Durant has 3 fouls now. Exploitable? Probably not… but still.

  113. whoa, anyone notice that Phoenix is pounding the bejesus out of Portland? 32-16 end of the 1st.

  114. Great job by Fisher on those last two fast breaks.

    Got to admit, he does play very well against the break.

  115. Kobe Bryant is unconscious.

  116. For all the bitching ken, Kobe probably heard you.

  117. Fisher answered his critics at least for one half. Doing everything he used to be able to do. Play composed, make open shots, and play with heart. It is the difference between us up 6 and down 6.

  118. i dont get it..Artest used to be such a beast on offense in Indiana, sacromento, and even houston. How come ever since he came to the Lakers he cant even make OPEN shots?

  119. Drew. no when was that? I remember when he was 7’1′.

  120. can’t fight it… today the lakers are going with the live with the 3, die by the 3 strategy.

  121. So far we have 0 free throws, I repeat, 0 free throws, -9 on rebounds and -6 on off. boards.

    So, for the guys out there wondering why the game is close, there it goes for you.

  122. The Lakers are really struggling to get it into the post.

  123. I’m still waiting for a free throw to come our way!

  124. Kobe scored the last 9 for the Lakers. He will have 17 at the half!

  125. Lakers are playing pretty well; I’m surprised we’re up by only 4. I think if we continue our play, this one should be in the bag.

  126. this is some of the most one sided calls I
    have seen.

  127. wow, Fisher on the receiving end of a dumb foul?

  128. playoff record for most three’s in a playoff game is 42 by dallas back in 03… c’mon lakers! we can crush that record!!!!

  129. Kobe wanted that dagger before the end of the half… would’ve made it a 10 point game.

  130. If our shots fell today, this would’ve been a 20-point blowout. As long as we continue playing offense like this, we’ll be fine for the rest of this series.

  131. Westbrook reminds me a lot of Leandro Barbosa, in looks and style…very very similar.

  132. wheeeeeeo.

    Walton?

    Now there is $5 million well spent.

    Nice half guys.

  133. 19 threes?, really need to do better getting it inside

  134. Good half by the Lakers, they did not let the Thunder get any momentum

  135. Never mind all the whiners. I think the Lakers showing up on the road, a must win game for a very dangerous opponent, and sitting with a 7PT lead at half-time is half way to a huge statement.

    For a bunch of fans who have seen their team lose 1 series in the last 8 (I guess nine counting this one) it seems there are lots of us who do not understand the ebb and flow of the playoffs. Act like you’ve been there before.

  136. the other stephen April 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    on defining what constitutes the best player, kenny smith says, “you know what? you can compare apples and oranges…but sometimes an orange cures scurvy.”

    hahaha.

  137. Excellent 1st half defensively ….. We’re shooting way too many 3′s for my liking ….. Fisher’s been superb ….. Where you at L.O.? ….. It would be good to jump them immediately starting the 3rd quarter. Just for the sake of keeping the crowd out the game & not allowing them to get any momentum ….. More interior offense for the 2nd half & defense, defense & then more DEFENSE

  138. i still think the lakers can play much better than they have. if they want to shoot 3s all day… then fine… but at least have the ball go inside first…

  139. I came into this game expecting the Lakers to get blown out. So far I am pleasantly suprised, but the Lakers need to get the ball inside if they want to finish this thing.

    Durant is 2/10 . I guess he hasn’t quite solved Artest yet.

  140. Great decision by Kobe to find Gasol for the dunk

  141. I enjoyed the grit there, fighting hard after Green cut it to a 4 point lead.

  142. Slow down the game, keep the crowd out of it, recipe for success. And try to get to the line! Smart basketball

  143. Come on Lakers get a stop out of this timeout. That will deflate OKC.

  144. The team is playing well and competing hard. Fish is playing within himself, for the most part. Now this is nauseating, interviewing the man who helped steal the Sonics away from Seattle.

  145. That was on Artest

  146. my god did westbrook make fish look like dead man walking.

  147. you always see fisher do the thing where he gets ready for the screen and the guy he’s guarding just goes all the way to the rim…

  148. odom is KILLING us on both ends tonight

  149. The Thunder have to be the best 8 seed ever.

  150. And after my praise, it’s all the way back to 4 points again!

    Really need to watch the fouling situation. This is the 2nd quarter in a row that we’ve been in the penalty pretty early. And OKC can hit their FTs. We need to be the ones getting the line, not the other way around.

  151. This game is like clockwork. Lakers get up ten, OKC cuts it to 4, Lakers get up 10, OKC comes right back. Lakers need to be able to sustain their production a bit better.

  152. 149. I’ll probably give that to the ’99 Knicks

  153. Shouldn’t we have more block shots since we have the advantage in height? Smaller OKC guys are killin us. Still we pull this one out with Kobe & Gasol.

    Batman and Robin will win it for the Lakers no worry.

  154. OKC has MISSED more free throws than the Lakers have ATTEMPTED

  155. Odom is taking about 8 seconds to make a decision when he has the ball at the top of the key. It is killing the flow of the offense and draining the shot clock.

  156. Yes! Second shooting foul of the night in favour of LA.

    Just a shame it was LO who drew it!

  157. i honestly don’t know why westbrook just doesn’t try to break down fisher every play… no one can guard that guy…

  158. Ugh. Too many threes again.

  159. Durant with 15 boards.

    He’s a player alright.

    Let’s see if we can keep the lead coming out of this quarter.

  160. Sorry Shannon Brown, but if you airball an open 3 point shot, and you aren’t over 7 feet tall…you can’t play in the NBA!!!

  161. Phil you old man get fisher out og there and get kobe back in. or try calling a timeout my god.

  162. 2 absolutely horrible shots, one by Brown, one by Fisher. Absolutely horrible. Go into the god damn post.

  163. Okay Phil don’t ever go with rotation taking kobe out with 3+ minutes left in the first and third quarters.

  164. The lakers just can’t close quarters

  165. We need to keep the crowd out of the game. Right now, with the OKC crowd on its feet, is when the Thunder is the most dangerous. Younger players feed off the crowd’s emotion a lot more than veterans, as vets like Kobe can play well even without a supporting crowd.

  166. odom do something please

  167. That’s four points LO has left on the floor at the end of quarters. He’s so good at driving from the top, he hasn’t made that move once in the series.

    1 more quarter to play even for a W.

  168. So, a 1 point lead going into the 4th. Not an ideal situation after that beautiful start to the game! But if we can play the way we’ve shown (in patches) today, we should still be able to close this one out. It would be very nice to be up 3-0.

  169. when you have lo and fisher on the court we are in trouble.

    nice job phil you let them back in the game.

    great!

  170. Someone should remind Lamar that he is an awful 3 point shooter. I think he forgets sometimes.

  171. This is ridiculous

  172. Put in Josh Powell.

  173. lamar is the dumbest player in the league

  174. let’s hope we weather their early 4q rush…

  175. i think this will be one of those quarters where kobe will take every single shot…

  176. @173 I concur!

  177. joits who do you want to shoot odom, artest?

  178. Nice one, Bynum. WOW!

  179. Chownior

    Remember our talk about the 7’11 defense that Lamar plays. Thats what I was talking about, He never intend to get into any kind of defensive position, he immediately throws his hands in the air and that was a shot he could’ve blocked, but couldn’t because he immediately gave up on the play. He’s the only lakers that uses that type of individual defense as a first resort.

  180. Kobe missed Farmar standing under the basket with nobody within 8 feet of him because he needed to shoot it 1 on 3.

  181. the other stephen April 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    please get bynum back into the flow. i feel like he’s the only person who can provide a breath of fresh air at this point.

  182. ken… i want the lakers to run their offense, go into the post… give pau some shots… bynum… whoever’s open in the flow of the offense.

    notice that the lakers are tentative in their offense while oklahoma isn’t…

  183. We need to hold out against this push OKC are making. If we can break even for the first 5 minutes or so, I would think that our experience & savvy should get us over the line.

    Fingers crossed anyhow!

  184. i agree joits I was trying to be silly

  185. ken: You should seriously see someone about all that negativity. It seems like you can’t enjoy stuff like normal people do – I feel bad for you.

  186. Come on people,what is this?FB&G was such a great site,every comment was constructive ,since Kurt left that is not the case anymore.Moderator should do a better job.

  187. You could tell Phil was trying to get Gasol to take over when the thunder had made a run, the building was going crazy and Kobe was on the bench. But Pau didn’t call for the ball or fight in the post. He set inconsequential screens and reversed to weak side that led to bad shots. I’d like to see him try to take over more in those hostile situations.

  188. 10 Laker Free Throws to 27 Robber Baron Free Throws?

    Seems bad to me…

    This might be a “Die by Kobe” game…

    Hopefully we don’t waste the opportunity. Basketball is a game of runs, and the team that has the run at the end of a close game wins.

    Defense will be what brings us back, and good ball movement on offense.

  189. Kobe’s shot has not been the best this quarter.

  190. jesus, kobe’s selfishness just lost this game for the lakers. Kobe is being selfish on the defensive end to, why is he trying to guard Durant.

  191. Go inside. Stop shooting long jumpshots. Kobe, we don’t need hero mode yet!

  192. Put Kobe on the bench, he doesn’t get it.

  193. I think Phil is telling Pau to shoot the ball. He had OKC set up for a lefty hook and he passed to Fish on the wing instead. Then we got rushed and Kobe had to shoot a three to beat the shot clock.

  194. PASS THE BALL KOBE!!!!!!

    Also as soon as FIsher gets back in Westbrook goes off. I have no idea what Phil sees that says Fish should always be on Westbrook. Westbrook doesn’t use his strength to be effective, he is 100% quickness.

  195. Why can’t the our team be a little bit more patient and not play like we’re behind 10?

    I think our guards, especially feel some sort of pressure to get the job done early and go home, when they should be patiently probing the defense.

    Trust our defense, and be patient on offense.

  196. disgusting…

  197. Kobe should stop going ISO on Durant. Should instead put him in PnR situations that he’s not used to defending. Make him move his feet so he can’t use his length as effectively.

  198. Darius,
    Remember our little discussion about who the better one on one defender is? And remember when I said Durant would be put on Kobe to close games?

  199. Our players are certainly putting Kobe in a tough position.

  200. ONCE AGAIN TERRIBLE EXECUTION DOWN THE STRETCH.

  201. Wow – this got ugly quickly. Need to stop the bleeding REALLY fast or this one’s done… at least we know we have players who CAN win from here.

  202. The problem with Kobe is he doesn’t mix things up.. Jab step, jab step, fake, jump shot.. Why not drive to keep the defender guessing..

  203. i thought kobe had a bit more trust in his team mates then this

  204. kobe looks tired… and old. the mind is willing but the body isn’t…

  205. Adrian, i think he does that more to get himself in rhythm than to shake the defender.

    We just need a stop or two to come out with a W.

    Not offense, defense. I hope our players produce some magic.

  206. Sorry to bring this up but I’ve noticed a glaring difference between the lakers this season and cleveland this season. Cleveland goes from being blown out to only losing by 2. Lakers go from up 10 to losing by 6. This is what I hate to see.

  207. Looks like the Lakers fell apart while I was in the kitchen making Spätzle…nicht gut!

  208. We have experience and two of the clutchest players of this decade. Let’s do this.

  209. WHERE WAS THE FOUL ON FISHER THERE???? TERRIBLE CALL.

  210. That was NOT a foul on Fisher… He never touched Westbrook…

    I know this is not a popular thing to say, because “good teams play well despite the referees”, but can we get referees that are not so obviously the enemy?

  211. Gasol, Gasol, Gasol come on

  212. Was that Crawford on the Fisher foul call? Time for that guy to have a stroke or something so they stop using him in playoff games. The man is poison.

  213. Was just about to type that we had two redemptions in one shot when Fisher assisted a Lamar three.

    Promptly, Fisher fouls Westbrook to cancel that three. (from the comments i’m guessing it’s not as bad as it sounds… on telecast)

    Now Gasol has a chance to redeem himself from the line (for his FT shooting, not his performance overall).

    If we win, we’ve survived a 25 pt, 19 rebound performance by Durant.

  214. Fisher had his hand on Westbrook, and Westbrook was aware enough to go up and shoot. That’s why Fisher didn’t argue the foul.

  215. joits: “The Spirit is willing, but the Flesh is weak…”

  216. This will be an interesting last minute.

  217. Alright then – now just get a stop out of this timeout, run the offense, and win the game.

    Sounds so simple put like that. These guys certainly know how to raise my heart rate!

  218. Refs have been so one sided.

  219. kobe needs to stop chucking.

  220. it’s soooo over

  221. KOBE BRYANT WITH THE SASSY MOVE!

    Is that what Marv Albert said?

    We’re down two. Foul, two freethrows. If OKC misses one, it’s Mamba time. Wait and see. It isn’t over yet.

  222. Another 30% shooting night for Kobe. We’re really living and dying by a few percentage points here.

    Let’s see how clutch Durant is…

  223. It’s a wrap, very very disappointing. Lakers needed two big stops what happen fisher commits a touch foul and-1. Artest fouls Durant. Kobe launches another 3 over a 6’10 guy. The lakers just cannot execute in crunch time. It’s pitiful.

  224. If only Kobe had some more triples in him. He seems to have used them all up in that early burst…

    So a 5 point loss after being up 10 in the 3rd. It is a disturbing thing to see, given that we’re meant to be a team that has the experience to execute down the stretch.

    Here’s hoping game 4 is more pleasant!

  225. Was that our last timeout?

  226. Well, I don’t think any of us were counting on a sweep so…I’m still calling Lakers in 5.

  227. what could have been a sweep or 5 game series has just turned into a brutal 7 game series.

  228. Let’s see what Gasol has to say after this..

  229. Turning point was that dunk by Westbrook in the 3rd quarter.

  230. Disappointing loss for the Lakers, they possibly let one get away. Kobe’s shooting and the number of fg attempts will be a hot topic.

  231. @Aaron,

    I don’t think Durant did anything special, Kobe just made it too easy for him. Let’s see how Durant defends some PnR’s or pin downs before we decide if he is the better defender.

  232. There is a big difference in being negative and knowing what your talking about.

    I feel bad winning my bet.

    Good news I have Lakers winning game 4.

    Closer then I thought it would be. Kobe’s shot selection hurt us.

    oh well onward we go.

    thanks for playing.

  233. I think the turning point was when phil took kobe out with like 3 minutes left in the 3rd when we were up 8 or 9, I believe. I know he played like absolute crap in the 4th, but he was playing well in the 3rd when he was pulled. Then OKC went on a run to close the qtr, got within 1, and gained all that confidence and momentum going into the 4th.

  234. No more moderation for me. You guys can have this whine space to yourselves. Reading through all these comments make me yearn for the times when people actually made substantial points mid-game.

    Good game by the Lakers, they just came up short because they couldn’t get stops on the last 4 possessions when they really needed them.

  235. Lakers shot too many threes, but part of that comes from it being so obvious that the fix was in.

    I mean, the refs didn’t even try to pretend.

    You could tell because they came out wearing THUNDER jersies.

    I hate the NBA sometimes.

  236. Adrenaline should have made this a game where the Lakers were chasing the youngsters after the first quarter. Instead the Lakers had a good first half and the youngsters responded really well. I’m impressed that OKC managed to overcome after the Lakers took some short lived double digit leads.

    Durant is going to be a blessing for all NBA fans for years to come. We definitely saw the home court advantage given, as it should be.

    As a Lakers fan, I don’t like the final score. As an NBA fan, I love the character shown by the Thunder. I still think the Champs take this series in 6 and that the next biggest challenge will be in the Finals.

  237. I think the 10 point start hurt the Lakers. Referees always seem to call a game in favor of preventing blow-outs..

    Still if the Lakers jack up 31 3PT attempts they have to expect to lose.

    How much more can it be said? Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, two of the best low post scorers in the league, are on your team and you are still tossing up crap long twos and last second threes.

    On the other hand, the Free Throw disparity (34 to 12!) was the difference tonight.

    Every year the NBA has one or two games in the playoffs like this where the referees don’t even bother pretending to be unbiased. Clay Bennett gets the Game 6 he was hoping for. There will be no 4 or 5 game series this year. The NBA needs the money too badly.

  238. i love that the lakers talk repeatedly about not shooting so many outside shots as they lead to long rebounds and easy transition baskets, then go out and chuck up 3 after 3…

    credit to the thunder for great interior D, but this Lakers team is its own worst enemy so much of the time…

  239. Zephid, I got my whiny comment out.

    But how in the world was this a good game by the lakers?

  240. I’m aware that Kobe is our guy if we going to take it all, but when the stat sheet goes with Kobe 10/29 and the rest of the team 28/55 (Pau and Drew went for 13/21) there’s something to be said in the locker room.

    Considering the fact that OKC shot 22 more FT than us, a 5 point loss, is not the worst thing that could have happen to us. (By the way, still waiting for the NBA to put an honest promo with ” NBA where refs happen “

  241. Zephid: +1

  242. #
    Adrian wrote on April 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Let’s see what Gasol has to say after this..

    spot on!It’s just sad how we do not use Pau as much as we should!

  243. Zephid,

    I didn’t get to watch the game cuz of the gym. Can you tell me how Aaron will say Fisher lost this game for us?

    ———-

    I’m just basing this on the box score, but can someone tell me how Kobe’s shot selection was today? 10/29, 4/11 from threes. I love his 8 assists, but his shot selection looks really terrible. Can someone tell me what he shot on jumpshots this time around?

    Finally, did we get the ball in the post at all in the fourth quarter? Pau looks like he played a good game (and even hit two clutch free throws that I’m sure people were hoping he’d miss so they can call him soft) with his 7/12 shooting, 3/4 from the line, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks and 6 assists. Are we getting him the ball more?? Or did we go away from it! I can’t wait for Darius’ post game! Pau is absolutely our best player right now.

  244. 236) – Durant took more free throws than the entire Laker team. Also, its crazy to think Kobe took 29 shots and didn’t get to the line one time. Granted about a third of those shots were threes, but still. Twenty nine shot attempts and no one fouled him? Not even once?

    It is what it is. The Lakers just have to dust themselves off and look to game four.

    It would be nice to see Gasol and Bynum get more attention from their teammates. I supsect this will continue to be an issue for this team.

  245. This wasn’t a good game at all. The lakers played a decent first half. And fell apart in the second half. They couldn’t score 46 points, didn’t defend gave up 58 points. They went away from the post, Kobe jacked up shot after shot, Lamar was a no show. They fouled too much. And most importantly they couldn’t sustain a lead. Not to mention they were outrebounded 53-39. Thats inexcusable. This was a terrible game.

    The only good points about this game was Gasol and the lakers overall shooting percentage (which wasn’t that good) 45%

  246. dont think my first post went through…

    lakers blew this game, but we gotta move on to the next one. here’s what i’d like to see

    -as always, more gasol and bynum

    -kobe getting to the line and having an efficient shooting night

    -lamar odom showing up

    -less 3s (or at least hit your open 3s)

    -crash the defensive glass

    -more gasol and bynum

  247. wow… think the million dollar question is how kobe responds after this game. honestly, one could say after looking at the box score that he kinda shot us out of the game. will be interesting to see if he comes out trying even harder, or relaxes a little to save energy for the end of the game. thought lamar would respond better to phils comments aswell…

  248. David Stern to Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy: “Make my day.” Someone’s been watching too many Westerns.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjdhQbziIfuD3PIo4qJ2mt68vLYF?slug=ap-stern-officiating

    I agree with 236, I’m a little surprised at how this game played out. I (and the rest of the world) thought the Thunder would come out strong, and instead we led most of the way and the Thunder showed some great resiliency.

    Momentum is a strange, wondrous thing. How many times would Russell Westbrook hit that standstill 3 with a hand in his face? Yet somehow, because of the way the tide was turning, because of the way Westbrook was playing, I knew even that shot was going in.

  249. Also, I appreciate the way Kobe played down the stretch. We constantly want superhuman performances, but I loved the patience he showed. He ran the plays and found his teammates, and the bonehead plays came from other players today.

    Loss or not, it was a good sight to see Kobe catch fire from downtown. So many timely threes.

    Artest has become one of my favorite players because of his constant effort, but he still looks awful offensively. Holds the ball too long, just waits. But worst of all is his hesitation. He’ll have a 3 and wait a few seconds until the defender recovers, then dribble and take a stepback 3.

    (Sorry, edit function isn’t working for me).

  250. Ray

    We were having the discussion about Kobe’s 28 shots in game 2. And I was the one saying that kobe’s 28 wasn’t bad. Well Kobe’s shot selection was absolutely horrendous in the second half. He launched up contest long jumper after long jumper. What made it worse it was jumpers over the long contested shots over Durant.

    The lakers wasted a 5/8 and 4/5 from 3 game from Derek Fisher. Credit to OKC for not giving up and being discouraged. But the Lakers were terrible. I mentioned earlier that every time the lakers went up 8-10 points OKC came back and lakers just start launching shots. It’s just one game but it’s disappointing how the lakers continue to play in crunch time. I can’t remember the last time lakers got a good shot in crunch time.

  251. “Stern said such comments were “corrosive” to the product that the league is putting on the floor. ”

    Um… the complaints about the referees are not corrosive, it is the referees that are corrosive.

  252. I didnt watch the game but I predicted the Thunder to win this one. Just from looking at the box score I think we can all agree that Kobe needs to take less shots. I can see that there was probably too much Kobe isolation in this game, and we cant rely on that. I think we will pull it out in game 4, though it will be close and I wont be surprised if the Thunder tie the series.

  253. 19 playoff games and this game had the largest free throw attempt discrepancy. (22).

  254. Thoughts on the game:

    1. It’s almost impossible to win a basketball game when your opponent shoots 22 more free throws then you do. Yet, we only lose by 5.

    2. Ron hit some shots tonight, which is very encouraging.

    3. I didn’t see us forgetting Pau/Bynum so much as just not being able to get the ball into them. So many times there is look down low and then a swing to another guard on the other end. We discussed today how the passing on this team is poor and this is just another effect.

    4. We got out rebounded I think by 14, and only lost by 5.

    5. They shot how many more free throws then us?

  255. Fisher didn’t lose this game, neither did Bryant (although he still doesn’t get the fact that basketball is played with five guys), or Odom, or Jackson, or anyone else on the Lakers.

    The Thunder are a much quicker, and faster team, you could especially see it on defense. The Lakers just couldn’t get off a decent shot, they were swarming all over them down the stretch.

    The Lakers have to hope their experience and savy can get them past these guys, because they are certainly not going to outrun, or outquick them.

    It will be interesting what kind of adjustments Jackson makes for game 4. Game 4, along with Game 2, is crucial in a 7 game series.

  256. Oh, with regard to the free throw discrepancy; when there are that many fouls by one team that usually means that team was playing out of position, or they were out-quicked, so they have to reach and grab.

    Fish is just overmatched against Westbrook, it was painful to watch, because Fish is one of my favorite players. He is just too quick and fast for him. But, so are the others. Gasol had his hands full with Durant, but I don’t think Artest could have done any better.

  257. @249:

    “Kobe caught fire from downtown”??? Really??? 4-11 from 3pt (36%) is hardly being “on fire”.

    I don’t understand when Kobe is going to realize that he isn’t the player he used to be. He is still getting his points, but he has to be one of the least efficient players in the league at this point. He is still going to have his good nights, but at this point he is Allen Iverson, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. His defense isn’t any good either. He gambles too much for steals and is always out of position. Uuugh!

  258. @254

    “It will be interesting what kind of adjustments Jackson makes for game 4. Game 4, along with Game 2, is crucial in a 7 game series.”

    I don’t think it matters what adjustments PJ makes because Kobe is still going to revert to “chuck mode” once the game starts. Kobe can’t take winning if it means scoring less points/taking fewer shots. He is TOO competitive in that he HAS to compete with LeBron, Carmelo, Wade, Durant in terms of stats and cannot and WILL NOT sacrifice his stats for the benefit of the team.

  259. i still don’t buy kobe ain’t the superstar he used to be. there is a decline sure but let’s not make it sound like it is more a tumble down than incremental. i didn’t like his 4th quarter game. i give props to the switch and i think kobe will have to face the durant matchup more. good and bad. he might make many shots. he might take too many shots and miss. toss the coin.

    i hope he sees the last 3 minutes of the game. heck they made shots! wow… speaking of too late the hero. but when facilitating, he is most efficient at this stage of his career.

    would have also liked more gasol post play. drew needs to be more involved. seeing the monster throwdown gave me hope.

    hey it’s the nba where the two number 1 seeds are bound to lose in one day.

    okc is loud. go lakers!

  260. I agree with Zephid… this was a good game by the Lakers and just a better game by the Thunder. Kobe hurt us in a two minute stretch where he forced things against Durant. Credit Brooks for going putting Durant on Kobe like I suggested before game 1. It also created a tough cross match up where Kobe had to guard Durant on several occasions on the other end of the court. We def wasted a great game by Fisher tonight.

  261. We blew the opportunity for the sweep with a bad 2nd half. That surge @ the end of the 3rd quarter did us in.

    People, let’s stop the crying & whining ’bout the officiating. NO EXCUSES. Plain & Simple, WE GOT OUTWORKED. WE PLAYED SOFT. Out-rebounded by 14? With 2 seven footers. SOFT. 31 3pt attempts, compared to 12 ft attempts? And last I checked, perimeter shooting isn’t our strong point. SOFT. How can we expect to get to the free throw line (and get the benefit of the doubt from the refs) when all we’re doing is hoisting threes? OKC might be young, but they’re smart enough to know not to foul on 3pt field goal attempts. Kobe was the main culprit. 41 mins, 29 fg attempts (including 11 threes) & NO free throw attempts. EXTREMELY SOFT. Everyone else in the starting 5 shot 50% or better. Once again, L.O. a non-factor.

    We have to do a better job of getting the ball down low to our big men. It seems as if none of our guards are good @ making the entry pass to the post (especially when our bigs are being fronted). With that being said, our bigs need to get tougher & stop allowing their big men to push us farther & farther out of the post/off the box. Establish position & maintain it.

    On to game 4, where I definitely feel that we’ll prevail, take it back to our house & then end it in 5. Which was my forecast at the beginning of the series.

    LAKER 4 LIFE ….. GO HARD OR GO HOME

  262. When ever you see Stern giving a award at a game and you see Joey Crawford as a ref you assume the home team will get three times the calls.

    This was on the level of a game many years ago with Lakers and Sacramento.

    Its ok we still win in 6 ga,es.

    As for Kobe we fans have to except he has become a 30% shooter at this point. The problem is Kobe dosen’t except it.

  263. For the Lakers, this game had that “we want to win, but with the smallest amount of effort possible” kind-of-feel. Lots of 3-point attempts, few drives to the hoop and few trips to the line. And an uncharacteristic lack of execution in the end.

    Maybe their goal (at least, subconsciously) was to win 1 of 2 games in OKC.

    I suppose, and hope, that they’ll bring their full effort to the next game, seeing as it’s a very important game now.

  264. Maybe it is the injuries, but this Laker team is a long way from winning a championship this season. The only two players who can be counted on to make half their shots are guys who don’t get shots, Gasol and Bynum. They don’t get shots because the rest of the team is hell-bent on swinging the ball around the perimeter (or, worse, just holding it at the perimeter) before jacking up a long jumper.

    OKC cannot contend with the Lakers low post game, yet we use the advantage only in the first quarter of each game (the only quarter we consistently win). To use your strength to start a game, and to gain early leads as a result, but then to abandon that strength the rest of the way is simply inexcusable for a veteran team. I mean, is there another team in the playoffs that plays as stupidly as the Lakers? Pound them in the middle and you slow the game down. Pound them in the middle and you are set up for transition defense. Pound them in the middle and your big guys are there to crash the glass for easy putbacks. Pound them in the middle and they’ll get in foul trouble.

    This is not a complex game, except in the hands of this Laker team. As Charles Barkley says almost every night, the Lakers just make the game so much harder than it needs to be. Unless that changes, there will be no parade in June.

  265. lamar odom is just very disappointing. no way he deserves to be a starter over bynum. this guy wants to go on vacation with his wife like RIGHT NOW

  266. Give credit to the Thunder. They made the hustle plays and have excellent defense.

    The keys to stopping Kobe are:

    -make him shoot jumpers
    -limit his FT attempts
    -keep him out of the key
    -contest every jumper

    check, check, check, check

    The difference in this game is very simple. Westbrook penetrates at will and is able to either get fouled, make the layup uncontested, or miss and allow his teammates to crash the offensive boards with the shifted Lakers big men.

    The Thunder do a superb job of denying the entry pass. Either fronting or muscling our post players. What the Lakers lack is someone that can penetrate and make the defense make choices.

    Kobe is usually that player, but he was just tired towards the end. Lamar can be that player, but his mindset is in the dumps right now. Not invested at all this game.

    When we can’t get the ball into the post we settle for long out of rhythm jumpers.

    The blessing and curse that is Pau Gasol. Love his touch around the rim and jumper. When he doesn’t have a good look or good post position he doesn’t force the issue. Well that sounds good, but he needs to have a realization that he is a great player and him trying to drive to the hole and make a move is sometimes better than kicking it out with 7 seconds on the shot clock. That is why Pau takes so few shots, and I’d rather Pau decide to have Kobe’s mentality of I’m going to determine the success of this team and carry the offensive load.

    Bynum sent a good hard foul to Durant to prevent a dunk. I wish he was in the game to send Westbrook to the hardwood. They need to send him a message and give him a good clean hard foul. They allow way too much penetration. Credit to Westbrook for his quickness, but send that guy a message it’s the playoffs!

    Not the end of the world, hopefully a lesson of what it’s gonna take to be a champion again this year.

  267. 264: …Lamar isn’t…a starter over Bynum…

    But I agree with the sentiment, somewhat. Drew’s playing much better ball. He deserves to close out games right now. If Phil’s keeping his minutes down because of the Achilles, then I understand. But bball-wise, Drew is outplaying Lamar and should get the finish.

  268. #258 – agree. It’s funny how fans think that it’s PJ’s game plan and adjustments but we haven’t seen any. It’s Kobe’s ego and Kobe’s game plan. It’s what makes him this super athlete but it’s also the Laker’s curse. He is not going to give up shots attempted for the good of the team….even if it means losing.

    The interview at the half time break they asked Fisher if that was the game plan and he said, “it’s Kobe’s game plan – and added that it’s Kobe’s intelligent game plan”…ha ha ha! Kobe loves to silent the crowd – but when they aren’t falling then it kills the team. There are only so many possessions and if he’s going 9-30 or whatever, it’s going to be hard to win.

    I don’t blame him solely for the loss because others aren’t hitting the shots and doing much either.

    Someone made a great comment about the triangle being a line on this team. Yes, when it’s run properly, good passing, accurate shooters, it’s a thing of beauty. But I may have only seen this team run it correctly a few times this year. So have some other plays outside of the triangle to run when things are all bogged down.

    Oh well – just another frustrating loss. And I do not blame the refs one iota this game. If the Lakers aren’t going to drive the ball and are going to chuck up 30 3pters, then they aren’t going to get the calls.

  269. FYI Andrew,Pau and Odom took 27 shots shooting 50%. Kobe took 28 shots and shot 30%.

    We will win or lose this year with Kobe. Charles Barkley said the Lakers are arrogent. We know who he was talking about. That being said we would be a 8th seed without him.

    oKC is fronting our bigs. They way you stop that is to have a point guard who can penatrate the middle. Oh that’s right we don’t have one.

    The problem now is to make sure a 8th seed dosen’t beat us with him.

  270. @270:

    Who says we’d be an 8 seed without Kobe? Our offense has played MUCH better without him, and although I won’t go as far as to say we’d be a better team without him I don’t think he’s the end all be all either… Anymore. Yes, he has hit 6 game winners this season, but, I firmly believe that HIS chucking puts us in the position where we need a last-second game winning shot! I recognize that Kobe is an All-time great, and appreciate what he’s brought to the Lakers, but moving FORWARD he’s going to have to change his game and let our bigs carry us to wins (and leave his giant ego aside) or we’re not going anywhere…

  271. Our offense has played MUCH better without him,

    ___

    This is not true, actually. The Lakers ORTG was worse when he was out. There were articles about itin many places, including the Wall Street Journal. People often confuse ball movement for effective offense,

    That said, he needs to either attack the rim, or pass more. He is settling for too many long jumpers.

  272. Okay, I worded that poorly. What I meant was our offense ran MUCH better without him… better?