Lakers/Jazz Game 3: Instant Classic

Darius Soriano —  May 8, 2010

[picappgallerysingle id="8743126"]
Wow. Wow. Wow.

It’s pretty rare that fans get treated to a game like this.  It seemingly had it all.  Shot making duels.  Unlikely players stepping up.  Multiple lead changes in the closing minutes.  Crunch time heroics.  And there was even a last second play that decided the outcome.  Honestly, this is one game that will live in my memory (and my DVR) for some time.

The Lakers now control this series after winning game three 111-110.  On a night where the Jazz fought as hard as possible, the Lakers were still able to pull out the win.  And when you look at the box score, it’s difficult to figure out how the Lakers came out on top.  The Lakers lost nearly every statistical category.  They were out rebounded, had less assists, shot less free throws, and were outscored on the fast break 10-3.  They tied the Jazz with 32 points in the paint (a stat they typically own against Utah).  The Lakers bigs were pretty much held in check as Bynum went scoreless with only 4 rebounds and Odom and Gasol combined for only 22 points.

But, they made shots when it mattered.  Kobe had 35 points on 24 shots, none bigger than a game tying three pointer with only a minute left in the game.  He also had the Lakers first 9 points of the game and 20 in the first half to keep the Lakers afloat when they were having trouble establishing their post game (a theme all night).  If it wasn’t safe to say it before this game, it is now: Kobe is back.  This is now the 4th straight game with 30 or more points for #24 and he only looks to be getting stronger and more healthy as the playoffs continue.  Good news for the Lakers and bad, bad news for everyone else.

Derek Fisher continued his playoff renaissance by throwing up a 20 spot on only 13 FGA’s, including a three pointer that put the Lakers up by one point with only 28 seconds left.  I know it’s been easy to bash Fisher this year.  But, so far these playoffs he’s been our 3rd most consistent player (behind Kobe and Pau) and has shown us once again what clutch play looks like and how a veteran with his reputation can never truly be counted out.  Even in this game he had some bad misses (including an early three pointer where someone obviously opened the door on him as a big gust of wind pushed his shot about a foot to the left of the rim), but he continued to stay in the flow of the game and shoot with confidence.  (On a side note, ESPNLA’s Arash Markazi tweeted that before half time there were fans that were crossing the line with their taunts of Fisher to the point that Fish responded to them with some yells back at them.  Needless to say, I think Fish was pretty motivated in the second half of this game.)

But the biggest shot maker of them all might have been Ron Artest.  Out of all the Lakers, I think we could all agree that Ron would be the least likely to explode on offense, but tonight he did just that.  Just like Fisher, Ron scored 20 big points on only 13 shots and hit 4 three pointers on the evening.  Gone was the hesitation and inserted was an aggressive player that seemed to thrive on the fact that the Jazz just didn’t respect his ability to score the ball.  On one specific play, Ron grabbed an offensive rebound, dribbled to the wing and then sought out a three point shot from the corner (that he buried) as no Jazz player followed him.  Whether this was some sort of response to the twitter controversy from the past two days we’ll never know, but Ron certainly quieted some of his critics and showed that he’s still quite capable of putting the ball in the basket.

But to only focus on the Lakers would be doing this game a grave injustice.  The Jazz were fantastic tonight and just fell short.  They had multiple players step up their games and give an effort that was worthy of a victory.

First in line was Deron Williams.  Over the past couple days we’ve talked about the need for Deron to have a great game for the Jazz to be able to win.  Tonight he did his dambdest to do just that.  Williams had 28 points on only 13 shots(!) and 9 assists and led the Jazz as far as he could possibly take them.  He made 3 three pointers and 13 of his 14 FT attempts and was a menace with the ball in his hands all night.  With the game tied at 106 (after the aforementioned 3 pointer by Kobe that tied the game with a minute left), Deron brought the ball up court, weaved his way through traffic, and calmly nailed a 17 foot baseline jumper to put the Jazz up by 2.  The only thing that could even remotely be considered a blemish on his performance was the fact that he couldn’t create a better last second shot to win the game as he ended up taking a 2o foot jump shot with 4 seconds left and the Jazz trailing by a single point.  But even on that play, he did a great job of shaking free from Artest with a fantastic crossover dribble to create just enough space to get a clean look.  After the game he admitted that he’d liked to have gotten a bit deeper but he saw Ron stumble backwards and didn’t want to allow him time to recover back to contest the shot.

Then there was Kyle Korver and his virtuoso shooting performance.  Korver was just red hot the entire evening shooting 9-10 from the field and 5-5 from behind the arc.  He finished the night with 23 points and made the Lakers pay every time they gave him some space to shoot.  At one point, Korver was matching Artest shot for shot and was single handedly keeping the Jazz alive with his shot making.  From Utah’s perspective, it’s a shame that a performance like that went to waste.  It’s rare to see a shooter locked in the way that Korver was and when it’s not happening against the team that you root for it’s quite a beautiful thing to see.

Words can’t really do this game justice.  Besides the efforts of the players described above, there was the final play of the game where Deron missed that last second shot but the Jazz still had a chance to win as Kobe failed to box out his man and Wesley Matthews got a point blank tip in that hung on the rim for what seemed like a minute before sliding off as the buzzer sounded.  Or the play that set up the Jazz’s last possession where Artest’s inbound pass got stolen as Fisher tried to come to the ball, got held (but with no foul getting called), and the Jazz come up with a steal to give them that one last chance.  Not to mention how Gasol came alive in the 2nd half by making several key jumpers and grabbing multiple rebounds or how Odom single handedly turned a 4 point Lakers deficit into a 1 point lead by making two clutch free throws and then nailing a dagger three on back to back possessions.  I really can’t think of another game this season where details like these would get buried at the end of a recap, but this game was just that good.

In the end, I know that the only thing that matters is the Lakers won the game but honestly this one would have been a joy to watch even if that wasn’t the case.  In a battle like this, neither team deserves to lose.  But the rules of the game state that one team must leave the arena defeated and for the third consecutive time in three games that team is the Jazz.  And now, on Monday, the Lakers have the chance at closing out this series and advancing to the western conference finals for the third straight year. Think about that for one second and then feel good Lakers fans.   And if you have this game on your DVR, go watch it again.  (Or just enjoy the highlights below – Lakers only highlights, I should say.)

Darius Soriano

Posts

169 responses to Lakers/Jazz Game 3: Instant Classic

  1. This was the kind of game that makes the NBA worth watching.

    I can only imagine how much this one hurts if you are a Jazz fan. I honestly have no idea how Jerry Sloan can stand it, although I suppose the tons of cash helps…

    Great, great game.

  2. Ah….stay classy Salt Lake City…..Derek Fisher comments are low……real low.

    I can only imagine what those classless comments were.

    Bye.

  3. 1) Kobe was Kobe
    2) Artest finally was Artest
    3) Fisher again was not Fisher (thank god)
    4) Lamar’s knee is really bothering him

    What an amazing game. Some quick thoughts… Gasol should fade away more than flip up out of control shots off balance towards the rim. Bynum loses aggressiveness when doubled every time he gets the ball in the post… and its hard to tell how much the knee was bothering him. And Artest should be getting the ball more in one on one spots against this team.

    My final thought on this game is in regards to the Jazz 2nd best player. Carlos Boozer flat out choked in the biggest game of the season and the biggest moments of the game. Following an less than spectacular effort… Boozer mishandled two lay up opportunities in the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. Very few times have I seen a all star PF choke away a game like that.

  4. http://twitter.com/ArashMarkazi
    ———————————–
    The hatred Utah fans still feel for Derek Fisher still amazes me. They reserve their loudest boos for him when he comes on & off the court.
    about 5 hours ago via web

    Fisher is now yelling back at a fan. To say their taunts are personal and crossing the line would be a massive understatement.
    about 5 hours ago via web

    You know you’re not in the best environment when fans finish their taunts with, “boy!”
    about 5 hours ago via web
    ———————————–

    You stay classy, Utah.

  5. Best game of the playoffs so far. Hard to tell who’ll cool off first, Korver or Artest… I would guess Artest will cool first, so Lakers will really need better post play and counters to all the double teaming and packline defense in the paint.

  6. i really cant believe i missed this one. geez

  7. You left out the detail how Fish showed his money-hops and out-jumped D-Will only to use his awesome jumping ability to flip the ball with such passion that Pau didn’t even expect the ball to come his way…leading to an AK uncontested dunk. I couldn’t even be mad at that…no one expected Fish to win that tip.

    No one expected Fish like that all game. As much as I’ve been on his side, that was vintage vet. That was a gamer. That was our PG.

    And if it means losing a few games throughout the regular season, I’ll take it if we can have another playoff-Fish like this for years to come…I know, I know, there *may* be some who disagree. ; )

  8. so in case both the suns and the lakers sweep their opponents, would the WCF start immediately?

  9. I hate, no, make it HATE, the phrase ” they made shots when it mattered”. I think, and I’m pretty sure I’m right, EVERY basket counts the same, no matter when it was scored. The quoted phrase means _nothing_.

    And how Lakers have won? The boxscore tells me they have less TO and more 3-pointers.

  10. One of my best friends is a former NBA player. We played in collage togeather. He told me friday night that some Utah fans are the meanest in the league.

    There is a group of season ticket holders in the front rows that get way with taunts and language for years that would get them thrown out most places.

    Three guys on our team are not to be taunted. Kobe, Ron and of course The Fisher King. I love when great play is the answer to bad fans.

    Does anyone have a Utah blog site. Love to read their thoughts?

  11. #9. TRad,
    Thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to remember that.

    Actually, scrap that, I probably won’t. Sure, every basket matters. But as the time on the clock winds down and the pressure increases, the shots that are made take on a greater meaning. The game is not played in a vacuum. Those shots that Kobe and Fish hit at the end mattered more than some of the shots that were hit in the first half. The game was on the line and those guys delivered in the clutch. Sorry if you don’t agree. Actually, scrap that too. No I’m not.

  12. booyah.. It

  13. I have to apologize for bashing Fisher. He is getting it done in the playoffs

  14. “According to a Harvard professor’s study, Utah ranks No. 1 nationally in buying online pornography, everyone in this arena obviously frustrated and angry to be away from their computers — taking it out on the Lakers”

    Couldn’t resist quoting from Simers.

    Explains a great deal to me.

  15. Darius is nice. Actually no, scrap that too. ;)

  16. Here’s the one someone on here recommended to me a few days ago…

    The post that said “I am slightly intoxicated…and tearful” priceless.

    http://www.slcdunk.com/2010/5/8/1463716/game-thread-los-angeles-lakers

    Apparently they refer to Mamba as “the ninja” per his recent photo shoot.

  17. Interesting. We can’t seem to use the “font” HTML tags. Guess certain ones are disabled.

  18. TRad, Darius: I’m with Darius on this one. All field goals are worth the same number of points (either two or three) no matter when they’re made, but not all points are equally important. I’ve written on this in the past:

    http://thenullhypodermic.blogspot.com/2009/06/points-are-points-sort-of.html

    Nonetheless, the original phrase definitely outlines a dangerous approach to the game. You *should* make them even when they don’t count as much, because making them *then* means you avoid the situation where they *do* count, because you’ll be comfortably ahead.

  19. …was the best game I have seen this year, no doubt about it. Great recap Darius, and a really fun, exciting and enjoyable game to watch.

    “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. ” – Chinese Proverb

  20. From previous post:

    The Lakers are the defending NBA champion basketball team–and they showed why tonite. They are a veteran team that knows how to win. They’ve got each other’s backs.

    Some of us bloggers are far less supportive or forgiving–with very fuzzy memories.

    If you would like to consider just tonight, I’d like to introduce you to Ron Artest and Derek Fisher. Despite dubious stats during the regular season, when they need to be they are clearly both very good 3 point and outside shooters.

    Ron Artest makes the Lakers defensive effort great and can shut down scorers like Durantula, but his skills are multifaceted. Just ask tonight’s Jazz fans about his offensive game.

    During the playoffs, Derek is one of the great PG’s in the NBA, involved in the key last minute heroics that decide games. That’s why he’s cocaptain–and for that matter–why he’s president of the NBA players association. Just ask Deron Williams of the JAZZ, maybe the best PG in the NBA–or the fans who used to cheer him when he made those clutch 3’s for them.

    On this blog, Derek’s critics seeme to have magically vanished friom the room.

    Don’t worry. When he has another stinker of a game–or a stinker series–they’ll be back–and this game will be described as an abberation–or forgotten altogether.

    Any who might have temporarily forgotten who Ron Artest and Derek Fisher are–don’t do it again.

    We Laker fans are more blessed than we sometimes realize–and it may never happen again.

  21. 16. Actually, D-Will is “ninja,” OMSW is Matthews (Princess Bride reference), and we all know who Booze, Sap, AK, Fes, and KK are. Also, the commenters there are nearly as fanatical as the fans at the game. In other words, it’s only an evenly officiated game if the Jazz get MORE than twice as many FTs as their opponents. And even that is nullified if there is one obvious missed call that goes against the Jazz, because then even a 3-1 or 4-1 FT advantage will get discounted, and the officials are therefore being controlled by Stern.

  22. Come on D don’t scrap my TJ quote its priceless.

  23. Listened to fourth quarter in freeway traffic between Lehi and Orem. Those are two small Utah towns, yo. So my face and the faces in the surrounding cars were doing opposite things during the last ten seconds. Also during the 30 or 40 minutes creeping along after. Anecdote for Utah fan haters. & I’ve just got to say, it would be bad enough to lose in such style without Ron Boone doing color simultaneously. “You gotta do that ’cause you gotta left less time on the clock that way when you do that like that, see.” Win a thrillingly pleasant surprise. To hear it all come together in a game you almost assumed we’d hand them if they reached for it. We’ve traditionally handed this one to the Jazz each year, haven’t we? O how lovely, to quote a Mormon hymn. Suck it, traffic

  24. #7: it was Paul Millsap that Dfish had the jumpball with, so no one really expected him to win the tip, but I think Millsap tried to tap the ball and fish’s hand as well thats why it went that far.

    Does anyone know what exactly those taunts were to Dfish??? For Fish to yell back at them, it must have been REALLY personal.

  25. Dex, I was just there on business Wednesday and Thursday. The people there are like Jekyll and Hyde. Some of the nicest and friendliest people one will ever meet, and then they turn into raving lunatics during Jazz-Lakers, complete with racial epithets and “cancer” chants whenever D-Fish is involved. I just wonder how I would be treated there if I were a minority on a business trip, instead of being some dude with blond hair.

  26. kswagger, all we know is that many of the taunts finished with the word “boy.” Some sickos there, no doubt.

  27. I wonder if the coaching staff is going to point out to Kobe that his ball-watching almost cost us the win at the end. Whew! :D

  28. I wonder if the Utah coaching staff will point out that can’t stop Kobe? Weee!

  29. I don’t know if the Lakers can advance any further in the playoffs with Derek Fisher continuing to get starts. Hands down the worst point guard in the NBA.

  30. Knowing that the Jazz fans acted like such jerks (and seeing their asinine comments about fouls when they HAD MORE FREE THROW ATTEMPTS) makes the victory that much sweeter. I love seeing the Jazz get sent home every year at the hands of the Lakers.

  31. God I hope Phil said something in favor of health care reform in his post-game interview so as to appease Shoals. I hope Kobe spoke earnestly and at length about the Supreme Court vacancy. I hope Gasol only took questions in Spanish. Anything to inspire a righteous post and 14 huzzahs at Free Darko. Come on guys basketball’s about more than just basketballs guys.

  32. 29. LOL, good one Daniel. I see what you did there ;)
    30. Josh, it was 31-19 in FTAs in favor of the Jazz. I love how the fans of other teams complain about the officials favoring the Lakers when our guys shoot four or six more FTs than their opponents, but don’t say anything when the opposition shoots three or four times as many as the Lakers (OKC 2010, Boston 2008), or when the Lakers don’t go to the line for the entire 4th quarter and the first 4:57 of OT while the opponent shoots 18 FTs in that time (2009 NBA Finals Game 4).

  33. Alright, I’m going to let it all hang out. We have to sink this fish, right now. This is the 35th best point guard in the league, a third stringer point-guard, at best.

    What’s veteran? Listening to all the critics and still having faith in your abilities, putting it all together, and competing. The regular season doesn’t have ish on Fish.

  34. Dex,

    Some people expect consciousness in everything, from everyone, and they are disappointed when they’re disappointed. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that type of disappointment. Basketball figures are powerful brokers of opinion and the issue you allude to is very relevant to the LA fan base. After all, ‘California’ and ‘Los Angeles’ are not Anglo words, and the Lakers are in fact a bridge to American identity.

  35. Dude, as a dude with blond hair and not a minority, I wouldn’t know. I’d hope a guy on a business trip would do just fine. I hadn’t heard about the racist stuff in the arena. You’d think Jazz players & staff would call fans out in that case. Or you’d hope. NOT the preferred nomenclature

  36. Kareem, I see your point, I just think Shoals’s reaction to Phil was self-righteous and naive.

  37. Shoals’ reaction to most things can be described that way. Still an interesting writer.

    If the crowd really was punctuating taunts with ‘boy!’ I wonder how the players of Utah, who likely heard for themselves, could stand those epithets from their fan base. I would die a little happier to hear Deron Williams on the loudspeaker shaming fans who acted with such disregard for decency.

    Do the same words exchange in LA’s arena? I haven’t been there since I was young. Monday, game 4?

  38. A good win for the Lakers and a pretty entertaining game all around.

    I don’t mean to waylay the conversation from Utah/LA, but is anyone else concerned about the still-undefeated Magic? I can understand that the Bobcats and the Hawks aren’t exactly the stiffest competition in the league, but I would have been pleased as punch had the Lakers beaten even the lowly Nets three games in a row by 30 points every night… and the Nets are a *mite* worse than Atlanta. Thoughts?

  39. Secondly, whose fault was it on the Matthews putback? Lamar’s, Kobe’s, or Pau’s? I’m leaning Kobe, since Matthews was Kobe’s man, but it also looked like Lamar was caught spectating.

    It almost looked like OKC Game 6 Redux there for a moment, but with the tables turned on us.

  40. I was at this game it was AMAZING! It was the best game i have ever been to. we go to school up here so these are the only games we can attend and i am so glad the lakers won in utah. Coming I didnt think the lakers would win game 3, all I wanted was a close game and I got one. it was soo fun to be there with my lakers shirt and jumping around hi-fiving after kobe and fishers threes at the end. We were celebrating so much i almost felt bad for jazz fans, thats the only professional sport they have besides soccer and they have never won a championship. Ohh well great day for all of us!!!

  41. Damn time difference here in Germany! Fell asleep on the couch at 4 a.m. and missed out on this finish, with my good-luck Lakers baseball cap (given to me by a Celtics fan, providing crunch-time luck during last year’s run, and named the “focus cap” after Lamar’s comments about himself last play-offs) sitting on the shelf. So I’m glad this game ended the way it did.

    Also, check out this article about Gary Vitti who, for all the criticism the LA training staff has endured, seems like a great and very committed guy:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/columns/story?id=5163230

  42. P.S.: Make sure to watch the video as well, especially for the ending where he talks about his feelings about Magic’s HIV infection.

  43. i cant describe how happy i am to see our guys winning this game. i knew all year long that fisher still had it in him when it counted and when i reminded people of last year finals (the beatiful 3 over nelson) not many seemed to remember. so great to have him on your team.

    about the magic:
    the way superman collects his fouls this year, i am actually hoping to see them in the finals. charlotte and atlanta dont really have good post scorers, but pau and drew will definetly make him work to stay effective on the court. odom is always great against rashard lewis (so is pau by the way) and this year we have another bonus: vince carter.

    i cant tell you many times i´ve seen vince completely dissapear in big games, so i really hope we get to play them again this year.

    lets all pray that our guys stay healthy and all will be good.

  44. Dex,
    Don’t worry about feeling like a minority. It won’t be long before you are one in the U.S. – that’s part of all the hate and fear going around these days.

    Me, I just like the “Why can’t we all just get along” mantra from the 60s.

  45. mikeinchitown May 9, 2010 at 8:05 am

    two questions:

    1. was it really that easy to have the lakers give up the size advantage? is that a concern down the road? game was a testament to guys stepping up, but i worry whether teams know they can change our focus and make us into jump shooters (which arguably the lakers are not all that great at, outside of last night).

    2. anyone notice anything different in artest’s shot (timing, stroke, positions, spacing, etc.); he looked like a completely different player. just wondering if this is something we can replicate down the road. the “he was feeling it” seems a little too facile?

  46. The NBA Playoffs – where intangibles becoming tangible happens…

    The only downside to Fisher’s resurgence is that it means we can look forward to another season of Fish starting and Aaron and others complaining about it.

    A few have made comments about Kobe not getting much love from officials. Another guy in the boat is Boozer. He has some legitimate complaints. Wonder what he did to tick off the refs?

    Here’s to the Spurs at least putting up a fight and extending the Suns a couple of games.

  47. I didn’t see the bandage on Ron right hand last night. Did anyone else notice that?

  48. I know Fish had a great game, and most will disagree with me on what I’m about to say, but the fact of the matter is, we still need a new starting PG. Fish can still come off the bench, mind you. And even then he could have increased minutes in the postseason again to step up like he’s doing now and always has been

    But we need a new, young, good, yet affordable point guard – and unpolished is acceptible as we won’t have peanuts for cap room next year and we can’t go 40 million over the cap like we’re headed. In my humble opinion, that point guard is Goran Dragic. Especially if that Game 3 fourth quarter level of play against the Spurs the other day isn’t a fluke. The kid can ball, and he still isn’t even in his prime, and he won’t cost more than 5 mil a year right now! Your thoughts….?

  49. BTW, in case you didn’t read my post of a minute ago:

    I declare GORAN DRAGIC as the Lakers’ POINT GUARD OF THE FUTURE!

    Thoughts?…

  50. wow, what a game. I don’t have this one on DVR. argghhh!

    #45 yes unfortunately, it seemed to me when Kobe came out shooting, it set the tone of going away from the big guys. I don’t know how Artest can go from looking like he shoot never try anything but dunks and layups a 3 to a reliable outside threat. It’s like Dwight Howard turning into Steve Nash at the FT.

    I don’t think the Jazz will be swept, as the Spurs won’t be either. But then I thought the Jazz would win game 3 and we could steal game 4.

    I kinda felt sorry for Jazz fans then remembered their classless behavior toward Fish. What’s their beef anyway? They have the #1 or #2 PG in the league. Move on already.

    Speaking of Fish, hey maybe this Phil guy knows what’s he’s doing. Yeah, I think PJ will have a future in this league.

  51. If in only one game a point guard was made.

  52. A great summer is still 9 wins away. Let’s just try to enjoy the ride to what we hope will be 9 wins and stop with what the summer might bring until that summer arrives.

  53. 3) Fisher again was not Fisher (thank god)

    that’s from Aaron, the closest he can come to admitting that he’s been wrong about his relentless Fish bashing all year.
    I gotta say, I have been “extra” enjoying the Fish post-season this year, thanks to you.

    I hope it’s not ruining your post-season mate.
    let it go, just enjoy.

  54. Tell me this dosen’t put a tear in your eye on mother day!

    “When the game was finally over, the Jazz fans sat stunned knowing the Lakers will likely soon end their season. Of the five Lakers doing postgame interviews on the court, Fisher was the last to finish and leave to the locker room. By then, the Jazz fans were no longer taunting him. Watching from home in Los Angeles, Tatum could take solace in knowing her dad got the last laugh on this night and made yet another big shot.”

  55. I still remember two and a half years ago, when the the ESPN pundits predicted, at best, the Lakers would be the 9th best team in the Western Conference. Ahhhhhhh, the sweet vengeance against those airheads, uh talking heads.

    This has been an absolutely great 2 1/2 years and to think — we are apparently getting better with each game (series). While I still fear the Magic, I am really enjoying the developing Lakers.

  56. Matthews was SO SMALL and TIMID in the 4th (Hubie Brown alluded to it). Regardless of how open he was, and I do believe that’s on Kobe, he was bound to miss…. he crumbled in the crunch

  57. On Dragic/ do you reaaly think suns will let him go to us with a aging PG themselves?

    I would be fine with Blake and Fisher King coming off the bench.

    If anyone could make Goran happen it would be Vlade the next president of Serbia who is a scout for us. My wife is Serbian and I spend many holiday’s in a Serbian discussion of “the great history of basketball in the former Yugo”.

  58. Kobe is the ultimate villain for many basketball fans. He is booed, jeered and denied deserved MVP awards. I am still surprised he wasn’t denied his only MVP by the writers who change the rules each year just to downgrade his accomplishments. He is the most polarizing figure in sports, draws in the most fans – to either cheer or jeer him.

    Fisher has been there to observe most of this schizoid attention. Now, in Utah, he is truly able to walk in Kobe’s shoes. He can feel in his bones what Kobe goes through in most arenas in the NBA. Sure there are MVP chants, but for most, Kobe is the Great Satan visiting the land of the mortal.

  59. KB24ever,

    Really? Dragic? Tell me you are being facetious. Because if not, then you are very short sighted since Dragic has 1 good game in his career.

    So please tell me you are not serious. Cuz, to give up someone we know is pretty clutch in the playoffs, when it matters, to get a guy who’s played one good game in the playoffs, can only be described as short sighted.

  60. 46, it’s because of all the times he screams “GOD DAMN!” underneath the basket. It’s too funny so the refs are unable to make the call due to choking on their whistles out of laughter.

  61. I completely forgot about this stat when ABC posted it last night; I guess the game was pretty exciting and distracted me. Was anyone else cognizant that the Lakers have been in 48% of the NBA Championship games? The highest percentage of any team in any sport That’s ridiculous and I cannot believe that I had never heard that stat? But…I’m sure all of you already knew that ; )

    And I hate just throwing out names like this, but it was done earlier…Isn’t Anthony Parker only making like 5.5M over two years?

  62. #45. I think the difference in Ron tonight was twofold. First was the fact that he was much less hesitant on offense. He was seeking out his offense and was aggressive with most of his moves. He had a couple of nice drives where he got all the way to the rim and finished and he rarely thought twice about shooting when he was open. Second, I think he took it personal that his defenders were giving him all that space. Ron’s not too far removed from being a primary option on offense and he’s still capable of scoring the ball. From a technical stand point, I didn’t see too much different in his stroke, just that he took advantage of the defensive scheme that was employed against him and wasn’t *thinking* too much out there, just reacting.

    #48. KB24ever,
    If you’re going to bring up a name, you need to explore his current team, what their commitment to him is, and then look at the length of his contract. Dragic has a team option on his contract through 2012. That happens to be the same year that Nash’s current contract expires. Phoenix invested a 1st round pick in this guy and obviously has been grooming him for *their* future. So, proclaim all you want, but that’s not happening.

    #59. Ray,
    Dragic is a good player. That wasn’t true two seasons ago, but it’s true today. Plus, he’s had more than one good game. He’s had good games a lot this season. And his game on Friday was pretty amazing with what he did in the 4th quarter. He’s perfect for what the Suns like to do on offense and he’s got a great mentor in Nash. Dragic has very good floor vision and is capable enough off the dribble and with his jumper that he’s a viable threat on offense. And he’s athletic enough to be a pretty good defender (he did a very good job on Parker on Friday). I don’t think it’s fair to make it seem like this kid can’t play. He can.

  63. Also, I’ve added some video to the bottom of this post it’s the (Lakers only) highlights from last night. Enjoy all those big shots that our guys hit.

  64. Trad and Brian and Darius

    It would make sense to say all points in the game counted the same if all points happened at the same time while you were predicting what was going to happen. However at the end If a game what’s been scored has already happened. So yes making and missing could truly be counted as win or lose. Just like in any probability case what’s already happened doesn’t change the probability of an event. Unlike if you were calculating the probability of multiple events to happen before they happened.

  65. Sorry if someone already mentioned this:

    Magic Johnson’s post game analysis said that in order for the Jazz to win game 4, they need to play as good as they did in game three and have step up as a HERO…

    Excuse me Magic… What do you call Kyle Korver’s 9/10 fg performance, while shooting 5/5 3pointers? It’s not going to get any better than this for the Jazz. Although, the Lakers can shoot a whole lot worse from outside. I’d love to believe that they can keep up that kind of shooting for the rest of the post season but facts would tell me I’d be kidding myself. We need to go back to our bigs to finish this. Kobe and the role players can get there touches but we need to work the ball inside so they get a look before we settle for outside Jumpers.

    P.S: Someone tell these guys to keep their feet behind the 3 stripe if their going to shoot from that far out! I think it happened like 6 times in this game.

  66. Darius, cosign on Dragic. He was atrocious as a rookie whenever I saw him, but he’s really improved this season into a solid backup PG. I think KB24ever is getting a little carried away though… :P

  67. I mentioned in the pre-game thread that I think the passion Jazz fans have for their team is admirable. Their behavior is absolutely not. “boy”? “cancer”? Is there a petition somewhere I can sign and send in to Stern to force him to deal with this type of thing? We can start by emptying the entire section 15 if one single player there shout racist expletives, and go from there. By the time we’ve emptied 8 or 9 sections they’ll get the message… and probably sue the league for conspiring to toss them out of the playoffs. Never mind.

    Since I was so exhausted from sleep deprivation yesterday that I managed to nod off and miss large parts of the game, I think I’ll just go watch it again. Without commercials. :)

  68. Out of curiosity, what were the fans chanting to Fish that was deemed “racist”?

    You know, in Soccer, if this had happened the league fines the team a stiff amount and demands that they ban the insulting fans. If there were indeed racist insults, the Laker should file a complaint with the league and I would expect the league to come down pretty hard on the Jazz organization.

    As a fan of all kinds of sports, I can tell you that there is no room in any professional league for racist fans. Pure and simple. If the Jazz can’t control their fans by throwing them out of the game, then the league has to make sure that they feel the financial pinch somehow.

  69. @MannyP13
    They called him “boy” multiple times, which in the US is only one or two steps removed from the infamous n-word.

    As has been mentioned, I can’t help but wonder how the Jazz players feel when they hear that from their fans. Do they think, “oh, they don’t really mean it”? or does it actually bother them?

  70. @66 I think they start looking elsewhere come free agency time. Playing the the middle of nowhere is one thing. Playing in the middle of nowhere surrounded by racist fans is quite another. Sadly, I suspect many, if not all, Utah fans will rationalize this egregious behavior by ranting about how evil Kobe and the Lakers are.

    On a separate note, I have to confess that I’m getting almost as much joy reading about Celtic fans complaining about the refs in their game 3 as I am the Laker win last night.

  71. You all remind me of a battered woman. “You guys don’t know him like I do. Yes I know he was bad in the past… but he has changed!” Are we all taking drugs here? Derek Fisher was by far the worst starting PG in the NBA this season. Just because he has stopped beating us through 2 rounds of the playoffs does not make it OK. He is hitting his open shots yes… but he still can’t do anything else on the basketball court and is a huge liability on defense. Fish has been a glorified traffic cone again in this series as I have never seen a player (Williams) put so little effort into blasting by his defender since I played my grandfather in a little game of one on one. Fisher teammates look surprised Deron was able to penetrate so quickly and effortlessly as they pack in the lane to help. Derek has picked a great time to find his stroke and has always been a clutch player but lets not be typical Fans here and overreact to a few good weeks of shooting. I mean the Trevor Ariza Rockets are paying for the right now. And its not Fisher and Artest that have turned it around shooting wise last night from he regular season… Artest led the Lakers in 3 point % this season. Lets keep our heads Lakers fans… being a fan doesn’t have to make us ignorant.

  72. It’s one of those things where if you raise the issue, then YOU are the one being racist. Since many of the Jazz players are black, and the Jazz fans used to cheer Fisher when he played for them, surely there’s no racism involved when some white fans called him boy. And oh ho, how do you know those fans were white, that’s a pretty racist assumption right there!

    See, racism no longer exists in the U.S. There are no racists, except for those who call others out for being racist.

  73. Aaron,
    Ron didn’t lead the Lakers in three point shooting this year. For players that shot more than 20 threes, Farmar led the team at 37.6%. Ron was 2nd at 35.5% and Fish was 3rd at 34.8%. Ron’s dreadful stretch to end the season shaved nearly 3% points off his accuracy to close the season (pretty big drop off, that is). Second, your blind spots on Fisher are now so extensive that we’re now at the point where it’s sad.

  74. Darius,
    What did I say regarding Fisher that can even be reasonably argued for being untrue? If Gasol had a bad post season I wouldn’t think he was now a bad player… and if Fisher has a good shooting post season I am not all of the sudden going to think he is a good player. I am simply pointing out the big picture to small picture Laker fans.

  75. Aaron, Me thinks thou dost protest too much

  76. 71, It’s sad to see someone who is (presumably) an adult yet utterly incapable of admitting when he/she is wrong. Williams is averaging 3.5 points and 2.5 assists less per game this series as compared to the Denver series. He’s shooting more than 10% worse from the field and 6% worse from three. You can spin it any way you want, but the fact is that Derek Fisher has not been the defensive sieve that you’ve made him out to be all year with your Fisher vendetta.

    Forget the fact that he’s a stone cold killer, has made literally made 5 or 6 huge shots which kept our team afloat when others were struggling, and hustles harder than any of our other guards for loose balls and rebounds. Like Darius said, he’s been our third most consistent Laker behind Pau and Kobe, and there’s no way we would’ve won Game 6 in OKC or yesterday’s game without Fisher on the floor.

    You view yourself as impartial, but all I see is someone who made a hypothesis, and is doing everything in his power to bend the truth to fit that hypothesis, which is the antithesis of good science. Perhaps someday you’ll realize it is ok to be wrong.

  77. 74, Why do we care about the big picture? This is the playoffs; we no longer care about trendlines or patterns. It is all about who performs here and now, not how well they performed this season or how well they will perform in the future.

  78. Aaron,
    You remind me of Hollinger; who uses his stats to make his points and doesn’t allow that something besides stats might just decide games.

    From a statistical point Fish looks bad. I doubt any of us on this blog would disagree with that sentence.

    What statistics don’t tell you is how players react ‘in the moment’ when they are needed. He has lost us games in the regular season, he is not fast, he hasn’t much lateral speed, he is not tall or rangy. These are all true facts. However, he does seem to be able to get where he wants to go in time to make plays, he is able to focus in very high pressure situations, and he is not afraid of sacrificing is body when that is the best way to stop something.

    When the opposing player gets into a groove he tends to ‘Lamar’ it (meaning he has decided what he will do before the play starts). Fish is able to read this and anticipate the best place to be to prevent what the opponent wants to do. This doesn’t always stop the play – Fish, after all, is not the tallest or most talented player – but, it does create problems for our opponents.

    When push comes to shove, Fish has shown he can sink critical shots.

    This is what Fish brings to the game and this is what makes the statement, ‘worst starting PG in the NBA’ such a misstatement.

    Karl Malone was a fantastic PF, but he did come up short in a lot of critical situations. That is why I would never place him in the best PF of all time category. Fish is on the opposite side of the ledger. That is why I would never place him in the worst PG in the NBA category.

  79. Also, there are 28 starting PGs in the league who can’t stop Deron Williams; so let’s not get carried away with Fisher’s inability to defend him. Fish has been far from perfect but like everyone else on this site has pointed out, you have who you have. So, if there’s a minute left in a playoff game and we’re down by 1 pt, do you want Fisher, Farmar or Brown in there?

    Also, is it possible to get a Laker jersey with 0.4 as the number? If so, I’m so wearing one next time I’m in San Antonio…. :)

  80. Nobody’s overreacting. I can say quietly and without a breath of baloney, and with my eyes wide open and a mind free of narcotics, amphetamines and what have you that the Fisher King has woken from his winter slumber and is only beginning to ascend to those summer stars that moved us in days of yore. I wouldn’t trade him for a thousand speedy princlings. What he lacks in his legs he makes up for in cunning, and when he draws the hidden dagger he does not miss. Fie, unbelievers; fly!

  81. well said, Dex.

  82. @65 Jeremy, Magic is my all time favorite Laker and player. I grew up watching him. But man, have I learned not to take his TV analysis or anything he says on the air seriously. Magic is a great businessman, all time player and possesses many great virtues. But put him on TV and mediocre would be a compliment. The Magic show *shudder*!

  83. What Dex wrote is a predominant belief on this site now. To quote him ….

    “I wouldn’t trade him for a thousand speedy princlings. What he lacks in his legs he makes up for in cunning, and when he draws the hidden dagger he does not miss. Fie, unbelievers; fly!”

    All I have said is that he has gotten hot from three in these playoffs and that doesn’t change the fact that he is a bad PG and most likely the worst starting PG in the NBA. Now with this hot streak fans here are of the opinion that he is no longer a bad PG. Unfortunately he still can’t play defense, dribble, or pass. But he can’t control those things… he can get hot from three and he has (to his credit). Anyone who states the fact that Williams is a pinch under his first round averages must realize when healthy have most stingy team defense in the NBA with the length of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom… along with the muscle of Artest and the range of Kobe. Fisher is getting destroyed off the dribble where the rest of the Lakers then over commit to help on Williams (and they need to) leaving Jazz three point shooters wide open. Can anyone guard Williams well? Of course not. But there are degrees in how much you get burned by him. Durant got his points against Ron Artest but shot a very low percentage… what would have happened if Trevor Ariza was guarding him? Degrees my friends… degrees.

  84. Just when you thought that today could be a beautiful Mother’s Day, you take a look at the forecast:

    72 degrees with a chance of Aaron.

    Way to be a buzzkill. You’re probably one good face-lift away from being this site’s Skip Bayless.

  85. Zephid (77),
    This is the playoffs… and all I care about is how he is playing right now also. I couldn’t agree more with you. That is why you have heard me compliment Fisher throughout these entire playoffs for his shooting again and again. All I have been saying is that lets not take away from the last 2 weeks anything more than “Derek Fisher is shooting well these last two weeks.” Most of what I have been reading here is.. “See… I guess Derek Fisher is a quality PG after all.” Which is of course ludicrous. It would be exactly like saying when Kobe was struggling for a 3 week period to end the season and start the post season… “See… I guess Kobe is a below average NBA player after all.” A few weeks of hot shooting does not a player make. Take the last couple weeks for what they are… an old, bad, and prideful NBA PG with the heart of a champion getting a little more days off between games, catching fire from the outside, and having the poise as he always has of not backing down from the moment.

  86. Hm… Celtics actually showed up to play today. I realized just now I was wearing a green sweatshirt with maroon and gold highlights – Celtic AND Cav colors – and was ashamed of myself. Unfortunately I don’t have a shirt for a meteroid, which is where my true rooting allegiance lies today.

  87. 84,
    “72 degrees with a chance of Aaron.

    Way to be a buzzkill. You’re probably one good face-lift away from being this site’s Skip Bayless.”

    I like how I am a buzz kill now because after we win 5 straight playoff games and everyone thinks everything is perfect I am reminding people of certain realities. Just 10 days ago after back to back losses to OKC I was one of the few who was saying everything was fine while most everyone here thought the world was going to end. I just don’t let a few games change my opinion on basketball match ups, players, or outcomes. I am sorry if some weeks that makes me a blind Lakers optimist but other days that makes me a buzz kill. the fact is the Jazz can’t match up with the Lakers. We have some things to worry about. Lamar Odom has a concerning knee injury as does Bynum, we have a giant whole at PG, and a suspect bench. The good news is we match up well with the Suns also and we still have the most talent in the NBA so we likely will win another championship. But we would still have to beat a large, talented, and deep Magic team in the Finals. But I think we are game. Remember though they have Vince Carter now and a healthy Nelson to take advantage of our usual PG issues.

  88. Here is a list of all starting PGs, I “x” the PG who I think is better than Fisher:

    x Rajon Rondo
    Jose Calderon TOR
    Chris Duhon NY
    Jrue Holiday PHI
    x Devin Harris NJ
    x Mo Williams CLE
    x Brandon Jennings MIL
    x Derrick Rose CHI
    Earl Watson IND
    x Rodney Stuckey DET
    x Jameer Nelson ORL
    Mike Bibby ATL
    Mario Chalmers MIA
    Raymond Felton CHA
    x Gilbert Arenas WAS

    x Jason Kidd DAL
    x Tony Parker SA
    x Aaron Brooks HOU
    Mike Conley MEM
    x Chris Paul NO
    x Chauncey Billups DEN
    x Deron Williams UTA
    x Andre Miller POR
    x Russell Westbrook OKC
    Jonny Flynn MIN
    Derek Fisher LAL
    x Steve Nash PHO
    x Baron Davis LAC
    x Stephen Curry GS
    ? Beno Udrih/Tyreke Evans SAC

    so it seems that Fisher is definitely in the lower half (15-30), but not 100% in the 20-30.

  89. “All I have said is that he has gotten hot from three in these playoffs and that doesn’t change the fact that he is a bad PG and most likely the worst starting PG in the NBA.”

    “Unfortunately he still can’t play defense, dribble, or pass.”

    “Fisher is getting destroyed off the dribble where the rest of the Lakers then over commit to help on Williams (and they need to) leaving Jazz three point shooters wide open.”

    Aaron, I’ve watched every play that Williams has played in this series via Synergy. All of these points are either greatly exaggerated, not true at all (and hyperbole – “can’t dribble”), or all part of the defensive scheme that Fisher is executing masterfully. This is where basing arguments on faulty premises becomes problematic. You’re *looking* for the things that Fisher is doing poorly rather than *observing* the things that he’s doing right. You continuously go back the the “abusive relationship” metaphor where you compare fans that support Fisher as being battered wives. Well, in that scenario you’re the biased sister that never liked the husband to begin with and invents/exaggerates the bad times in order to continue with your claims of how bad this person is. This is why I said you have a blind spot. Other fans readily admit Fisher’s flaws. You’ve never done anything than give the man phonied up backhanded compliments when trying to *admit* anything positive about the player.

    You know me from all my time on this site, I’m a pretty fair guy. I’ve given you credit when you’re right. You’re off base on this one. Like I said, I’ve seen the film, Fish is playing well on defense. (On a side note, I did this same thing for the OKC series and Fisher was actually playing well on D in that series too. Where the Lakers were getting killed was in transition where Westbrook had a head of steam and no one was able to slow him down. A lot of people give Kobe credit for the turnaround – I did this too – but what really changed was the Lakers effort in transition defense. Kobe’s length helped in the half court, but it was making OKC a half court team to begin with that was the biggest key to the Lakers defensive success on Russ in those last two games. That’s not to say that Fish wasn’t getting beat some, but every player gets beat by these types of players. Kobe got beat by Russ when he was guarding him.)

  90. Darius,
    *When I say “can’t dribble” I am of course comparing him to NBA PG’s.

    *If the defensive scheme is to get blown by in every direction Williams wants to go then he is executing them perfectly. There is a reason when we needed a stop at the end of the game Jackson put SF Artest on Williams instead of Fisher.

    *I am looking at what Fisher does well along with what he doesn’t do well compared to the average NBA PG. Look at Palani’s list above. The only players than can be argued are as bad as Fisher are Chris Duhon and Earl Watson. So lets say Fisher is better than those two for this Lakers team… that would make him the 28th best PG for our team in the NBA. Whoops… we didn’t count other teams back ups (and ours) that are often better than Fisher too. I would put Lou Williams, Luke Ridinour, Darren Collison, Ty Lawson, George Hill, Goran Dragic, Sergio Rodrigues, Ramon Sessions, Jason Williams, Jose Juan Barea, Carlos Arroyo, and Steve Blake above Derek too. That makes Fisher the 41st best PG in the NBA for my Lakers and that is also presuming that Derek is better than Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar. Hey… Hollinger ranks Fisher as the 63rd best PG in the NBA (worse than Farmar and Brown)… so I might be a Fisher lover? Aaron Phillips… Derek Fisher lover. I like the sound of that.

  91. Aaron,

    I think you’re too hung up on (at least) one of your arguements. FIsher may not be the best point guard, but how many of those PGs that are ranked higher than fish would actually fit in to the triangle?

    Remember Gary Payton? He would have been a top 10 PG on most lists the year before he came to the Lakers…..but boy did he struggle in 2003. I’m sure that half of those players that you have listed as “better” than Fish couldn’t function in the triangle. So to say that FIsh is terrible based on some sort of global ranking is INCREDIBLY short sited!

  92. 91,
    All of the PG’s better than Fisher would fit the triangle better than Fisher. Gary Payton shot 46% from the floor and passed out 6 assists for the Lakersd in the triangle in 2004. The Lakers went to the finals that year and probably would have won if Malone was not injured if you remember my post on this site over the summer. Compare that season to the season before where Derek Fisher was the starting PG for a Lakers team that lost in the 2nd round… and I think the Gary Payton (at 35 years old) experiment worked. Is Rondo a perfect fit in the triangle because he can’t shoot? No. But as my good friend Barack Obama likes to say… don’t let the perfect get in the way of the necessary. I think I would take Rondo on this Lakers team. People liked to say that Fisher was the perfect triangle PG because he could space the floor and his weakness’ were hidden (can’t pass or penetrate). But until the last few weeks he couldn’t shoot either.

  93. It we’re being objective (and I hammered Fish during the regular season), since Game 3 of the OKC series, he’s been really good.

    In last night’s game, he was terrific.

    Williams has blown by him on D a few times, but Fish has also had a lot of nice moments on D when he’s got his hands on passes or stripped the ball at key times. Fish has been really locked in against Utah this series, I have no qualms at all with the way he’s been playing.

    Westbrook was killing him, but Williams is just a great pg making plays.

    I just hope this resurgence continues with Fish, because he’s been the Lakers 3rd steadiest player (behind Kobe and Pau) for the playoffs.

  94. 90, Hollinger also said that Utah had a greater chance of winning the NBA championship than the Lakers.

    Did you even bother to read any of our preview posts? The key to defending Williams is to force him to shoot mid-range jump shots, where he is least comfortable. To do this, you have to crowd him on the three point line while successfully walling off the paint. The Lakers have done this to almost perfection in this series. What you see as “getting blown by” we see as executing the game plan of getting Williams to shoot in the mid-range. So yes, Fisher is executing the game plan. You could not be any more wrong in this regard.

  95. Depending on how you would like to rank the NBA’s PG’s Fisher is anywhere from 35th to 60th. He is bad. But we will root for him and pray he keeps this kind of shooting up in the playoffs. No matter how you slice it we will have a better player starting at PG next year to look forward to. And remember… this is the triangle offense… so we have the ability to bring in a SG who can defend PG’s and shoot from the outside also ala Ron Harper. The future is looking good. Now lets win is one more ring before we make this team complete in the off season.

    Burgandy,
    Exactly…, lets praise Fisher for how well he is playing instead of pretending he is now all of the sudden a good NBA PG. Lets celebrate him for his last 3 weeks of basketball.

    Zephid,
    Fisher isn’t giving up mid range jump shots… he is not keeping Williams in front of him. Deron is blowing by him and breaking down our defense.

  96. maybe im young and didnt grow up on celtics lakers but my dislike for Lebron far trumps my dislike for the Celtics, anyone else?

  97. coolrunnings May 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Off topic : Dallas Braden (Oakland A’s) going into the top of the 9th with a perfect game so far.

  98. “I know it’s been easy to bash Fisher this year. But, so far these playoffs he’s been our 3rd most consistent player (behind Kobe and Pau) and has shown us once again what clutch play looks like and how a veteran with his reputation can never truly be counted out.”

    Factually, this is simply incorrect. Emotionally, you may have hit something, but if one looks at the FACTS in unbiased fashion, Fisher has definitely not been our third most consistent (in a positive manner) player.

    PER for the playoffs thus far:
    Kobe – 20
    Pau – 24.4
    Fisher: 10.2
    Odom: 14.8
    Bynum – 20.6
    Artest – 10.4 (defense isn’t counted obviously)
    Brown/Farmar – 10

    Fisher is playing far better than we are used to, but let’s not over-exaggerate. I understand that PER is not everything, but it certainly is SOMETHING, and when a player has a PER of 10, you know they haven’t been consistant at anything.

  99. Skip….errrr Aaron,

    “don’t let the perfect get in the way of the necessary”

    Isn’t that what you’re striving for (perfection) by saying that a Championship caliber team needs get rid of their point guard? The Lakers have shown that it’s not necessary to upgrade Fish in order to win a championship (that’s a FACT), but for perfection’s sake, we might as well do it.

    You should listen to your friend Barry.

  100. Kaveh,
    You are correct… and that is why I have been praising Derek for his shooting and not his overall play. But that is not a knock on Derek… at this point in his career I don’t think he is capable of playing well offensively or defensively. What he can control somewhat is his shooting… and he has been shooting brilliantly and heroically.

    99,
    Can we win a championship starting the 40th best PG in the NBA? Yes. Will we? I don’t know but probably. Would we have a better chance of beating Orlando with an average NBA starting PG? Most definitely. If I was obsessed with being perfect I wouldn’t want the Lakers to acquire a PG unless it was Deron Williams or Chris Paul. But I think I would settle for Moe Williams.

  101. Through 3 games, DWill is shooting 39%

  102. Whoops, #100 is me.

  103. Aaron,

    I have to agree that during regular season Fisher is the worst starting PG (or among ‘em).
    But when I really care is in the playoffs, and by that time he is good. He’s not there anymore but still he is extra-focused.
    You should understand that with his limited abilities he can’t be that focused during a whole season, but he knows how to save if for when it matters.
    Moreover, I would say that as a talented bunch, the Lakers tend to do it as a whole.
    Of course, the staff will search for help at the PG in a few weeks, but by know I think that you should teach yourself to enjoy the good times (which are scarce in life) and leave the criticism for the times it’s useful and needed.
    Enjoy,
    really :)

  104. 101,
    And Kyrylo Fesenko held Bynum to zero points on 0 for 1 shooting in Game 3… it wasn’t the constant double teams Sloan sent Andrew’s way every time he touched the ball

  105. 98 (Kaveh): Using PER to judge the players in the triangle offense does a fairly large disservice to those players.

    PER is a tool, and a flawed one at that, in that it is only concerned with certain parts of winning basketball. (Just like all statistics, by the way…)

    If a player, say Fisher, is creating proper spacing in the triangle, and that spacing leads to a three pass sequence that ends in a dunk, the only players getting PER credit are the player who threw the last pass (for the Assist) and the player who dunked (for Points, FG%, EFG%).

    Does this mean that Fisher, in that example, was not playing good basketball? Of course not.

    The defense that Zephid brings up is also a great point. If our guards are specifically crowding Williams at the three point line (which it certainly seems like they are) and funneling him to the elbows (which it certainly seems like they are) to force him into bad shots and possible turnovers then so far in this series Fisher is doing a very good job.

    Considering that all of Williams stats are down from the Denver series, and that the Lakers are up 3-0, what more do you want from Fisher?

    I know we are all spoiled, but seriously…

    And, by the way to Aaron… all of us who “blindly” supported Fisher during the regular season, out of loyalty for his past performances in, you know, CHAMPIONSHIP seasons, are merely basking in the knowledge we were correct to do so. Feels nice to have loyalty rewarded.

    I truly look forward to 0.4 hoisting his fifth trophy. The worst PG EVER to win five rings, undoubtedly.

  106. Talking about Fisher always devolves into the same tired arguments. I truly apologize for even saying anything.

    However, I’m gonna get sucked in for one last point. I respect Hollinger and I value PER. However, I’d never use PER as a stat to quantify Fisher’s contributions. PER is a collection of box score stats. In our offense Fisher is not a play maker (often setting up or offense and making the initial pass that starts our motion), he’s not a rebounder, his defense is based off of charges drawn and getting deflections (rather than steals or blocks), and his shooting %’s are going to be almost completely dependent on the long 2 pointer and 3 pointer because so many of his shots in this offense are going to be those types of shots. Finding a highly efficient box score contributor when playing this exact role is going to nearly impossible.

    However when looking at other advanced stats, Fisher is 3rd in TS% and EFG% (behind Drew and Gasol), 4th in Assist %, and 3rd in Steal %. Now, even though I mentioned that Fisher will not rack up assists and steals in high numbers, I think it is important to note that he’s effective at doing these things when he’s on the floor. He’s been a pretty good player these playoffs and a consistent one too. Despite what his PER is.

  107. RE: The Celtics win today

    Wow! When was the last time we saw a PG get 18 rebounds? In a big playoff game? Oh yeah…along with 29 pts and 13 assts. Rondo is ridiculous.

  108. Darius,

    regarding the Dragic comment: I’m saying it is short sighted because people are talking about DRagic after one amazing game. I don’t remember his name coming up during the trade deadline when people were clamoring for an “upgrade” at the point guard position.

    Aaron,

    I’m sticking with Derek Fisher. I stuck with him when he sucked all year, because I had confidence that he is going to win us a game or two when it counted in the playoffs. And you know what, with our point guard who was 35th – 60th in your rankings, we were still number 1in the west.

    Also, I do enjoy that you haven’t been clamoring for Farmar or Brown to start instead of Fisher during the playoffs. What happened to that piece of your argument.?

  109. Let’s start a new thread. Somehow, the heroic victory by your Los Angeles Lakers and the three game return of Kobe Bryant has been hijacked by a ridiculous, tired discussion about Derek Fisher’s value.

    yawn.

    Suggestion for next thread: “Who’s better, Kobe or TMac?”

  110. Aaron. As you know I have been beating on the Fisher King all season. But when i see the guy perform in the playoffs i have to stand corrected. Especially when you look at Farmer. Every minute he is on the court are minus minutes for us. His D is real bad and the team in all 3 games fell apart when he was on the court.

    We could say that Kobe was bad the last month of the season but we know what happens when the pressure is on. The same goes for Fish. He goes from being 30th during the season to all around top 10 in playoffs.

    And really isen’t that what its all about. As a old employer of mine use to say.
    “Just Win Baby”

  111. well, as long as we’re (over)analyzing PG play, as it relates to the Ls, could Rondo play PG in the triangle? (consider the ‘wolves as well as the Lakers in your answer.)

  112. How about a let’s go Spurs theme?

    Does anyone know what the schedule would be for the WCF if we both sweep? If we both go 4-1? As a PHX resident, I’m jacked to get some tix for the next series, but am cheering for the Spurs to give us a little bit of rest by winning at least one (not to jump to conclusions or anything!).

  113. Anyone want to start a talk on if Ammo is the worst player in the history of the NBA and WNBA?

    nah never mind.

    Nobody to fight with on that one.

  114. Have you guys seen the 3pt% of the C’s vs Cavs? Why are we complaining? :P

  115. Fisher is clutch in the playoffs, period. I don’t care about his regular season stats. I care that he hits the shots he has hit so far in the playoffs and that he continues to hit them- and when he squares up for a 3 and we’re down a few points, I get that feeling that it’s going in. And there’s about 5 guys I can think of in the playoffs where I get that feeling:

    Kerr
    Jordan
    Bryant
    Fisher
    Horry

    BTW- did anyone see the stat that was aired during the game- Fisher is 3rd all-time in 3′s made in the Finals? Behind only Jordan and Horry? That’s why Phil likes him. That’s why so many of us like him. I don’t care about his “rank”.

  116. If this was a Cavs blog, or anywhere else, I think Aaron would be ‘right.’

    But this is a blog about the Lakers, with fans supporting Kobe who is statistically inferior to just about anyone mentioned in the ‘league’s best’ discussion, especially in PER.

    So it is pointless citing PER and stats to say that Fisher is a liability.

    On the other hand, the NBA is about matchups, and for some reason Fisher seems to play really well against Utah. Maybe it’s the fans, maybe it’s the familiarity, maybe it’s Deron but at any rate, he is effective and efficient now, and that’s what counts.

    Still, like most LeBron supporters say, you won’t need Kobe’s heroics if you have LeBron’s production during the first three quarters of the game, and following that logic, no matter how ‘clutch’ Fisher is, it doesn’t matter since he’s contributing to making a non-clutch game clutch.

    I understand and see that argument, and it follows reason, except that in the playoffs, all the teams are good and they can adjust, eventually creating situations where clutch is needed. (Has LeBron-led teams, or non-Fisher led teams never experienced close games? Close games are unavoidable).

    Thus, there is value to players whose efficiency increases when each possession’s value is magnified.

    Fisher happens to be one of them, and for a team where making the playoffs is never the goal but a given, that’s a talent that is worth a spot on our roster.

  117. Ray,
    I still think Brown should be starting for us at PG because of the defense, quickness, length, and of course athleticism he brings to an older and slower team… but Fisher’s three point shooting the last few weeks has made me think twice and I am truly proud of Derek as I have been saying all playoffs long.

  118. #113,

    You must’ve never seen Chuck Nevitt play…

  119. James @ 96

    Bron Bron is truly obnoxious, simpering and aw-shucksing as worshipful anal ysts ask him how he survives the pressure of being the most amazing person in the world, then suddenly growing sober and delivering an incomprehensible monologue about something while the anal ysts nod and stroke their chins thoughtfully, but I don’t hate him; Doc and his Lucky Charms misfits on the other hand … you know.

  120. Everything said and done, Kobe ALMOST cost Lakers the game by taking-off in the last possession.

    That is inexcusable, given his experience and leadership.

    But I am sure Kobe knows it, remembers it and uses it to motivate himself.

  121. Ouch, looks like the Suns are going to sweep the Spurs.

    Mein gott, what has the world turned into? The SUNS sweeping the Spurs?

    (I’m trying to jinx them as hard as I can)

    Suns are sweeping the Spurs!

    5 pt lead in the 4th…

    Wow. And the Spurs can’t get a stop.

  122. This just in, if your guards are Nash AND Ginobli you would terrorize other teams.

    Those guys look like they just came from a bar fight, and yet are going after it hard. Broken bones? Eye gouges? Stitches? Game on!

  123. Speaking of Nash, what are his clutch stats like? His shooting stats are probably too good across the board to label him clutch, but…

    … and Amare makes the game interesting…

  124. Apparently the WCF won’t START until next Sunday at the earliest…wow. Let’s close out on Mon.

  125. @harold
    I haven’t followed Nash as closely as I have the Lakers (obviously) but whenever I watch, he gets the same look in his eyes at the end of close games that Kobe does. That scares me. I have no idea what his stats are, but anyone with pure killer instinct is a frightening opponent.

  126. If you told me before the playoffs started the Lakers would draw the Jazz and Suns in rounds two and three I would tell you David Stern wouldn’t let his Laker loving business show itself to be that transparently corrupt. But here we are with the Lakers back in the FInals for a third straight June… you can hear it in the NBA offices… “cha-ching! cha-ching!!” I would also now like to congratulate the best franchise in professional sports for yet another Finals birth. Surly it is truly remarkable. It is honestly remarkable and don’t call me Shirley.

    Re: A Week Long Break
    Kobe, Lamar, and Bynum need it for their knees.

  127. I’m very happy for Steve Nash cuz I think he is a great player, good for the NBA, and an overall good person. I am sad that he’ll have to face us in the next round, cuz its not looking good for him if he does go against us.

  128. Aaron,

    I’ve been doing an informal evaluation on this blog, and, no offense, but out of the 65 most frequent bloggers, you rate #65 in quality comments–that’s the worst of all, by the way.

    Your most defining contribution is repetitiveness. You have repeated yourself more, by far, than anyone else on this blog.

    Your second worst quality is that you not only make flawed arguments, but fail to acknowledge (or perhaps even notice) kind and thoughtful corrections.

    What makes your posts especially offensive is narrowly focusing your confused thinking on Derek Fisher, a player widely considered a catalyst to Laker success for the past three championship years–and a tenacious warrior of great personal compassion and character–loved as much as any player on the Lakers.

    I suspect that Darius has been trying to trade you to another blog for the past several months, but apparently nobody else wants you–not even the Clippers.

    I’ve noticed a few cogent remarks, including a perceptive prediction about the potential ability of the Thunder’s Durantula to defend Kobe–which one might consider to be a blogger 3 point basket–but you’ve missed on nearly all the rest, giving you a hit rate lower than any other blogger on this site.

    Sorry. No disrespect meant, but facts are facts.

  129. Fisher’s EFG during the season was .450; for post-season, it stands now at .573. Shooting this well, he is adequate and is the best option the team has. He has done as well as he can on Williams; he will have even more trouble with Nash and Dragic. It is quick point guards, not strong ones, that create the most havoc against the Lakers. Jameer Nelson will be a nightmare if the Lakers make the finals and find Orlando there.

    I hope Fisher keeps it up. But what tends to happen with beloved players is that people remember all the good things and block out the bad. Fisher has had many bad postseason games, including several last year.

    As to whether he is “clutch”, well, that is a philosophical question. He is mentally tough and seems totally fearless on the floor. I do think these traits probably help him in big games.

    WRT #48:

    This is a discussion for later, but a few UFA PGs are:

    Steve Blake
    Raymond Felton
    CJ Watson
    Luke Ridnour

    As to the game, it was fun. I noticed that Brown and Artest both lost Korver a couple of times, although Artest did well at the end. They will need to stay home on the 3pt guys against PHX and turn Nash into a scorer.

    Also, everyone knows this already, but assuming the Lakers take care of Utah and therefore play the Suns, the entire NBANation will be rooting even harder against the Lakers than it usually does.

  130. Can’t believe the NBA (potentially) intends to delay the start of the WCF for 6 pointless days. Infuriating.

    Does anyone know what time LAL/PHX game 1 might be? Does it depend whether Bos/Cle goes 7? I’ve got a wedding and am down on my knees praying the Lakers don’t get their customary 12/12:30 slot.

    And when’s the last time a team down 3-0 won game 4? Seems that 3-0 = sweep, at least in recent memory.

    I expect a close game, but a Lakers win tom’w. Go Lakers!

  131. the road is has been paved purple and gold. good matchups, for us and on paper, are falling into place. what’s next, the celtics surge past the cavs and magic?

    i am for more bynum minutes against the suns, particularly to start the 2nd quarter and if earned, the 4th. we saw how good the suns D can be particularly against teams who do a lot of switching, picking and moving the ball in the perimeter as the spurs tried to do. now let’s see them do denial at the post and handle bynum surrounded by cutters like brown and farmar. put an odom in spurts and gasol to begin with in quarters and we have legit offensive options to counter the suns bench. i also think an above par walton is needed to make passing crisp and the tempo dictated. we need to dictate tempo.

    all that said, let’s close this out tomorrow. we need that close to a week rest. kobe can only get deadlier and bynum can put more bounce and power to his step. GO LAKERS! heart of a champion…

    election shout-out to filipinos out there!

  132. the other stephen May 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    just so we keep in mind how determined the suns are:

    http://www.bothteamsplayedhard.net/2010/05/09/the-evolution-of-steve-nashs-eye-injury/

    i waited around to see if he would poke his head out for the post-game presser, and sure enough, he did. this makes me wonder about a few quick items:

    our record against the suns this season was 3-1. 3 of those came very early in the season, while the last, a win, came sometime in march, when they began picking up their mid-season slump.

    their depth, and what it entails for our second team. the suns’ bench has frequently outplayed ours this season. part of this point spills over from the previous one, in that we might be facing a slightly different team than the one we played during the regular season. for one, i don’t recall any of those four games involving leandro barbosa, whose speed has given us fits for years.

    the four-headed pooch: frye, collins, lopez, amundson. first, louis amundson, who for reasons that escape me, always seems to give us more trouble than he should. robin lopez, probably their only real center, is probably out for the series. and channing frye, who can draw our centers (especially a hobbled andrew?) away from the basket in a way that we have not yet seen thus far in the playoffs. had okur been healthy, we could very well be in the middle of a longer series.

    the suns’ top three-point shooting against our top three-point defense–a collision between batman and the joker. part of the reason we were able to win during the season is because we limited them well below their averages from beyond the arc. but if we don’t be careful, we could very well see several games like the last one, where korver had a holiday. the suns simply have too many 5-shooter line-ups stocked with players who can get hot at any time, or pop out off screens.

    this is a fast-break team, that is both like and unlike the one we faced (if we haven’t yet blocked it from our memory) in the first round. i don’t think it’s as athletic a team as the thunder, but it also has that one very important thing that the thunder didn’t have. again, three-point shooting.

  133. The Lakers will be playing for rest tomorrow. Is that a potent motivator? Hard to say. But they will certainly need as much rest/healing time as they can muster to blunt the tempo of the Suns.

    Phoenix is playing well, but I don’t think I’m going to blow anyone’s mind by saying that matchups are all that matters in the playoffs, and this one favors L.A. Phoenix got lucky in the first round facing the Blazers (effectively) without Roy. In round 2, they showed enough improvement on defense to overcome a Spurs team that couldn’t match their pace.

    In L.A., Phoenix will face a team that knows how to slow the pace down (at least in the Staples Center), who doesn’t rely on a predictable pick-and-roll offense to score around the bucket and who can contain them at every position except the point. The two-headed monster of Nash/Dragic will complicate things, but Stoudemire and Hill will not be able to get off like they have in the last two series against the likes of Gasol, Artest, Kobe, Odom and Bynum. And who on Phoenix is going to contain a resurgent Kobe?

    Now, let’s buy those injuries some time to heal Lakers!

  134. Wow! Suns swept the Spurs. Honestly speaking, my prediction going in was that the Spurs would survive a tough 7 game series. Guess Phoenix got tired of being man-handled by San An in the ‘offs over the last few years. Hey, it is what it is.

    On to more pressing matters: 2morrow night. As I’ve mentioned countless times on this site since the beginning of this series, I can’t envision the Jazz getting a game against us. So I definitely expect us to wrap this up (along with Orlando) pronto. It’ll feel real good to just sit back and watch (pressure/stress free) the Celts & Cavs duel it out for the opportunity to face the Magic in the ECF. The only drawback, as a Lakers fan, will be the time off until the start of the WCF.

  135. You know the problem with sweeping tomorrow…remember how bad it was to wait for Game 3? Try the anticipation of waiting at least 6!! days for the WCF…Darius, as long as you keep us satiated, I think we’ll manage the trade-off. Here’s to a sweep and all sorts of good preview and discussion to hold us over until the next Game 1.

  136. tony parker with the midlevel?

    sa will probably break up the team this summer

    they will keep hill (much cheaper option)

  137. Parker has one more year on his contract at ~13 million or so. I like the idea of Dorell Wright as a triangle PG (especially on defense), with Fish brought back at the veteran’s minimum plus one more year of Shannon and Sasha. We should be able to find some adequate PG play on both sides of the ball with those four.

    First things first, let’s take Game 4. If we can keep it close in the fourth, we’ll take the game again.

  138. So we get the Suns.
    Best pure shooter in the NBA gives them a big edge at PG

    We have a big edge on SG if Kobe remembers to close out on Richardson on 3′s instead of playing roamer.

    Amara and Pau are a wash on offense with Pau better on the boards.

    Andrew is unknown as is Lopez so its a wash at this point at center.

    Bench a giant advantage to Suns.

    Coach will give to Phil

    So it comes down to Kobe and home court. Lakers in 7

  139. Someone mentioned Lopez out for series. I have a company in AZ so I get the hourly updates. With the 7 days off they expect Lopez to be ready for the opener.

    He actually outplayed Andrew earlier in the year and the last time we played them there was no Shannon Frye or Barbosa, Both of whom are matchup problems for us.

    This is not going to be easy. Harder then Denver last year I promise.

  140. By the way Suns have 4 guys shooting over 50% in the playoffs and two shooting over 50% in 3′s. One of those is Richardson who is avaraging 23 a game and we know how Kobe can be on closing out 3 point shooters.

    We have 2 over 50% and none over 50% in 3′s. They also are best FT team in the playoffs.

  141. the other stephen May 9, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    138) you’re absolutely right. i read that lopez would probably be back for the western conference finals, and forgot that that’s where we’re (hopefully) heading.

    i remember that robin lopez was off to a good start this year, but also remember that he struggled against us. if he’s coming back from a back problem, i don’t think his chances of success against us are that great.

    by the way, who’s your ex-nba friend? just curious.

  142. The Lakers can definitely match-up with the speed of Phoenix without losing much in the way of size, with Gasol and Odom. But because Phoenix is such an efficient offensive team, they’re going to have to be very disciplined on offense and defense to win.

    The Suns trapped/blitzed Aldridge in round 1 and forced him to give up the ball. That’s similar to what the Jazz have done recently, so the Lakers ought to be prepared for that tactic in round 3.

  143. 140-He would beat me to a pulp and he is big.. Good chance he will be in a major position with a NBA team soon..

    You know the one with 8 aspiring contracts and nobody in their current mangement who ever played in the NBA or college.

  144. The lakers will beat the Suns in the CF, Celtics in the finals, Lebron will fade into the background, and the circle of life will be completed.

    Props has to be given to steve “one eye” two-time nash for a gutty performance and Rondo for a Lebron like performance.

  145. I guess some (a lot?) of it has to do with having two 7-footers protecting the paint, but Fisher just plays D-Will so so well. I don’t care if Fish struggles heavily against other PGs; I’d want him just so we can play him when we’re facing Utah.

    Also, regarding Kobe.. I definitely see more bounce in his step and a better rhythm to his moves, but I wonder if this has more to do with his comfort level against Utah than his “increasing” health as we get deeper into the playoffs. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit in the unlikely but possible event he struggles against Phoenix and the talks of his health and his demise come to the surface once more. I think we just need to judge Kobe’s series against Utah with more objectivity rather than get all giddy at the prospect that his health is somehow getting better as the playoffs go on.

  146. Current PLAYOFF PER of the conference semi-final PGs:

    Derek FIsher: 10.2
    Deron Williams: 24!!
    Steve Nash: 20
    Tony Parker: 16.6

    Mo Williams: 13.4
    Rajon Rondo: 20
    Jameer nelson: 27.2!! (holy *#$&)
    Mike Bibby: 11.5

    This is funny. Bibby’s team has been losing by 30 points per game, and he has a higher PER than Fisher. Jameer almost has a PER that is 3 fold Fishers, lol.

    Just the facts please, and less emotions.

  147. 129 lil pau: that’d be last round, when Miami avoided the sweep after being down 3-0 against Boston. 

  148. I think it is good to think about the next series, we WILL win one out of the next four games against the Utah Jazz. Tonight we need to concentrate on a real important game to win, and since we have not been mopping the court with this Jazz team, I hope we get the W tonight, and be done with them this season, we need as much rest as we can get.

    GO LAKERS…

  149. Kaveh,

    Your emotional investment in PER before your own senses (eyes and cognitive processes) is absolutely astounding. How can it be that you’ve watched the same games as the rest of us, and you can’t see that Fish is the best point we have working for us, and that he is having a good playoff run. We get it, he’s not Deron Williams; but he is doing his job within the triangle. That, and not PER, is the gold standard for a Lakers’ point.

  150. Much anti-Laker smack-talk on Bright Side of the Sun. Apparently Robin Lopez’ return is going to be the difference…. (excuse me for a moment while I turn my head politely and laugh my a@@ off.)

    more seriously, congrats to the suns for turning their season around and playing so well down the stretch… As a hoops fan, it’s hard not to admire the play of genuine good guys such as Nash and Hill. Hopefully, the Lakers will do their job tonight and we can start thinking about Sunday, although I will miss my new hero, Fesenko, and his love of the kiss-cam and fear of balloons.

  151. the other stephen May 10, 2010 at 4:37 am

    142) since i’m not one who’s inclined to do lots of thinking, i’m going with nba great, antoine walker–who’s big and looks like a pulp.

    144) damn, kaveh. those numbers lit up my eyebrows. i would’ve thought fisher’s playoff PER was higher. i suppose 10.2 is actually an improvement upon whatever his regular season numbers were.

  152. 145 Kaveh, you might find it instructive to compare # of career playoff games, threes, or salary for starters, then see how many times each PG has taken a charge.

    Derek Fisher is playing a role given to him by Phil–and he’s doing it extremely well. Even if the other PGs were willing to earn $5 million per year and take on Derek’s job, how many would we want? He’s our co-captain for a reason–how many of them could we rely on to help the Lakers close out games?

  153. This is funny. Bibby’s team has been losing by 30 points per game, and he has a higher PER than Fisher.

    That is funny! It’s also a bit of an indication that maybe PER is not the best indicator of point guard success for a system where pretty much this entire blog is in agreement that a “traditional point guard” would not fit in at all and might in fact hinder rather than help us… those numbers, to me, prove that assertion right. Trading for one of those “traditional point guards” might not be such a good idea after all. If we’re going to replace the current one we need someone who can play the triangle role at that position, and given that the two back-ups have both had a couple of years to figure that out but still can’t do it as well as Fisher, suggests that one of those might not be so easy to find. But what do I know? I’m just the smiley girl. :)

  154. The PER can provide a distorted comparison for several reasons:
    1) The offense the team runs
    2) The role of the player for the team (in particular, how much of a scorer does he need to be)
    3) If the rest of the team is strong defensively, then the opponent will likely concentrate on the WEAKER point. That is different than being a WEAK point. (That is a factor in “relative PERs”.)

    Clearly Fisher is not as good as most of the other PGs in the league when it comes to individual basketball skills. Equally clearly he has the perfect attitude for this system and this roster. As someone else noted, he has the ability to maintain his focus/block out the distractions, which is invaluable for a team heading deep into the playoffs. He’s a winner. It’s a “puzzlement” why some of you don’t seem to realize that.

  155. Can’t believe the NBA (potentially) intends to delay the start of the WCF for 6 pointless days. Infuriating.

    ___

    Well, as we all know, it is based on TV.

  156. @exhelodrvr
    I think that’s what frustrating me so much about those two back-up guards of ours… Farmar has the skills and talents for the job, but his mindset is completely wrong. Shannon Brown seems to have the correct attitude of being willing to do what he’s told, and work hard to fit into the system, but he doesn’t have quite the skill set to fill in for Fisher and he has this weird tendency to make dumb plays, especially when he leads fast breaks.

    Why can’t they all be perfect? That would make life so much less stressful!

  157. I responded to the earliest Aaron comment early in this thread. It inferred that statistics cannot, repeat cannot, give more than about half the information about a player. Why do you think we cannot properly value the old-timers we have not seen play (say Elgin Baylor)?

    I come back and the same argument is still going on and the statistic side doesn’t seem to get it. Hollinger and PER seem to have something to say, but at the same time they don’t listen to anyone else.

    This is boring. We seem to be talking to ourselves.

  158. We’re not Craig… we’re talking to lots of people. We just happen to be the only ones that are listening to us ;)

  159. What we need is a regression analysis. For each game in games 40-70 of an NBA season (when we have enough data and also the games still all matter), figure out the aggregate weighted PER of all the player on each team at that time, and look at the fraction of time the team with the higher PER wins. Then do the same with other statistics, such as weighted +/-.

    I am assuming PER will be the best since Hollinger must have done something of this type to train his PER formula. But looking at HOW MUCH better it is than +- etc will tell us the extent to which we should trust him.

    If anyone is game for helping with this kind of analysis, send me an email at ashishg-at-stanford-dot-edu .

  160. This thread is worn out. I apologize for not having something else up to occupy our minds. I’m hoping we can get the morning links up relatively soon just to change it up.

    On a side note, my understanding is that the dates for the WCF were originally set to start on 5/19 – that’s next Wednesday! However, I’ve also read that the league is willing to move the game up to Sunday since both our series and the Suns/Spurs series will likely be over. Can anyone find an article on this? I haven’t found one (but haven’t looked incredibly hard either).

    Also, how do you think the Spurs feel about the Jefferson acquisition now? For the first time in the Duncan era they went into the luxury tax and they got bounced in the first round with RJ barely providing anything worthy of even half his contract. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think that money would have been much better spent on a big man that could help Duncan protect the paint. Over on TrueHoop, Kevin had a fantastic post on how Phoenix was attacking Duncan on the P&R and how Timmy was getting exposed. Don’t you think if he had a second line defender to help in the paint to deal with that Amar’e roll to the cup that the Spurs could have defended that play differently?

  161. 160, quote from Chad Ford at time of RJ trade:

    “The move gives the Spurs a dynamic wing scorer to play alongside Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Spurs had promised to make their team better this summer and adding Jefferson for role players should give them a huge shot in the arm.”

    GAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

  162. Help! My girlfriend insists that the NBA forbids t-shirts being worn under jerseys. Of course crazy Ron is wearing one with what looks like a shoulder pad.

    Does anyone know the league’s policy? And… What is the purpose of Ron Ron’s middle linebacker-like attire?

  163. #162. zenartiste,
    Ron has some sort of shoulder contusion that has been bothering him for a while. Apparently he was playing without any padding or protection until it got aggrivated. But once it started to bother him more, he went to the look that he’s got on now.

  164. I’d just like to remind folks that in the Game 3 Chat, someone posted this, “fisher showed up. aaron didn’t. coincidence?”. there were a couple of follow-up comments to that.

    so, karma will out, we got this thread.

  165. Congrats to Phoenix for finally beating the Spurs. The Spurs looked incredibly inept out there, I was wondering how they could get through one round and then play like that. There were a few possessions in the game last night when Duncan looked really, really over the hill. Even though he put up a decent stat line, he never seemed like a legit threat… also he shot just over 50% at the free throw line these playoffs.

    Darius, I’m not sure if this would set a bad precedent but I have to ask:
    Would it be possible/beneficial to make a thread dedicated to arguing about Fisher, and move posts about said player/PER into that “zone” so the other threads don’t turn into debates about D-Fish?

  166. the other stephen May 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    165) that’s well-meant of you, but also a bit hopeful. i think darius has all but signed, sealed, and delivered a post about fisher. almost one out of every two posts this season have discussed fisher, whether in the post itself, or the comments section. and they’ve all involved the same arguments over and over and over.

  167. Instant classic only if you mute hubie brown’s dumb a**!!! Talk about senile!!

  168. #168. Hubie is awesome. I disagreed with his remarks about Matthews’ foul on Fisher, but that’s about it. He’s smart and always gives fans the goods on the x’s and o’s in the game and what we’re watching. I wish he could do every game with Tirico. They’re so clearly a notch above that I don’t think it’s even funny.