Around the World (Wide Web): Lakers Set Sights on Phoenix

Phillip Barnett —  May 12, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns in Los Angeles

THE BLOGS

From Silver Screen and Roll: I’m man enough to admit it.  I did not see that coming.  My thoughts on the Utah Jazz’s ability (or lack thereof) to compete with the Lakers over a 7 game series are well known.  Those thoughts have been proven correct.  The Jazz lacked the necessary tools to defeat the Lakers.  They just don’t have enough … not enough height, not enough defense, not enough offensive threats, not enough healthy contributors.   They maximize what they have, but even that maximum was never going to derail the champs.

From Land O’ Lakers: Perhaps the toughest thing for players, fans, and media alike during the playoffs is to avoid becoming a prisoner of the moment. Teams can fluctuate wildly, strengths and weaknesses often masked by matchups and the sort of performance blips able to alter the course of a series. They can look incredibly vulnerable one moment, then hoist a Larry O’Brien the next (see Celtics, Boston 2007-08), or look totally dominant but then fall short (see Lakers, Los Angeles 2007-08). All the while, infinite definitive and declarative statements are made crowning or burying a squad.

From Land O’ Lakers: It’s one of the most iconic moments in NBA Playoff lore, let alone Lakers history. On May 16, 1980, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar laid up with an ankle injury and Spencer Haywood suspended, Magic Johnson was asked to take the opening jump at center in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Magic went on to play every position on the floor. He scored 42 points, snagged 15 boards, and handed out seven assists. Dude was flat out incredible as the Lakers downed the Sixers 123-107 and clinched a title.

From Lakers Edge: Andrew Bynum, injury-prone? Kobe, third in the MVP voting… Pau Gasol loves sushi. An unloaded AK-47 to start the series. Look-a-likes: Fesenko & Sulley from Monsters, Inc. Kobe acting tough after the White photo shoot. The return of the Killer Crossover. D-Will does. I wonder if someone will choke Wesley Matthews like Xavier McDaniels did to his daddy. Kobe shooshing through traffic like a Swiffer. Lamar Odashian, now that’s clever. Jerry Sloan still looks like one tough dude. More Laker Girls.

From Valley of the Suns: For the first time since 2006 the Phoenix Suns are in the Western Conference Finals, but there is no sense of accomplishment yet with this veteran-led group. The NBA Finals is obviously the goal, but a man named Kobe, a Zen Master and a few seven-footers stand in the way. Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said it all season long — the Western Conference goes through Los Angeles. The Suns knew that if they wanted a taste of the NBA Finals they would have to dethrone the champs, and they will have their chance come Monday.

From Bright Side of the Sun: I am slowly working my way through the last couple of Lakers games and digging into the numbers. I will have more on that later in the week. Probably with charts and maybe even a graphs. Joy!I will say this, though: I am getting more confident and not less as I get more into the research. I am not the slightest bit impressed with the Lakers sweep over the Jazz.

THE PAPERS

From the Los Angeles Times: Kobe Bryant narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips during Monday night’s postgame news conference. His demeanor had shifted suddenly, from excitement after the Lakers’ 4-0 sweep of the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals, to disdain, his jaw taut, as Bryant reflected on the Lakers’ past playoff failures against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers lost first-round playoff series to the Suns in 2006 and 2007, something Lamar Odom also brought up after Monday night’s 111-96 victory over the Jazz. “They took us out two years in a row,” Odom said. “Yeah, I don’t forget.”

From the Los Angeles Times: What kept you? Meet the Lakers, the team no one wants to play… now. The sky not only didn’t fall in Lakerdom — although, I’m serious, a little piece hit me on the head — there’s no longer even a cloud in sight. Not that things change fast, but it’s just two weeks since Game 5 in the first round when Kobe Bryant asked why there was so much gloom and doom with the Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder tied, 2-2.

From the OC Register: The Lakers played the Phoenix Suns once after the NBA trade deadline passed — when the Suns had gotten comfortably settled in with no more concerns about Amar’e Stoudemire getting shipped out. That March 12 game in Phoenix was a good one, with the Lakers rallying from a seven-point deficit to take a seven-point lead entering halftime – then the Suns pushing the other way for an 82-81 lead before the Lakers responded with a 14-2 run. The Lakers held on to win, 102-96.

THE MAJORS

From NBC Sports: Let’s see if you’ve heard this one before: The Lakers come out early in the playoffs looking flat, uninterested and vulnerable. The Lakers slowly begin to gain momentum throughout May. Then, when June comes around, the Lakers are playing their best basketball, looking championship-ready and easily erasing the sky-is-falling impulses that surrounded the team early on.

From the Sports Guy: I broke a personal record last week: four playoff games in four nights, in Los Angeles (Game 2, Lakers-Jazz), Phoenix (Game 2, Suns-Spurs), Orlando (Game 2, Magic-Hawks) and Boston (Game 3, Celtics-Cavaliers). Intending to write a recap on Saturday morning’s plane ride from Boston to Los Angeles, I ended up getting sidetracked by the in-flight movie — “Extraordinary Measures” with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser — and only finished half the column. That led to this exchange when I arrived home:

From ESPN.com: With last night’s 111-96 beatdown of the Utah Jazz, the Lakers put to bed any concerns about extreme vulnerability created by a tough first round against Oklahoma City. A sweep will do that for a team’s image. But if brooming an opponent reinforces a defending champion squad’s credentials, it’s only fair the same respect be accorded to a challenger following suit.

Phillip Barnett

Posts

42 responses to Around the World (Wide Web): Lakers Set Sights on Phoenix

  1. This is the first series in 2 years that I am actually not worried about. I think Phil has the Suns figured and more importantly I think the Lakers understand that they absolutely dominant the Suns inside and will do so. Additionally I think we match up incredibly well with the Suns except for Nash who I don’t think can beat the Lakers alone. Gasol,Bynum and & Odom will turn Amare into a jump shooter and put enough hands in Frye’s face to frustrate him, Artest will bully Hill and Kobe will shut down Richardson. On offense if the team plays smartly they will literally score at will.

    Look for 2 big wins in LA and a demoralized Suns team heading back to Phoenix looking to survive.

  2. One commenter on Bright Side of the Sun said that the Suns will shred the Lakers’ porous defense. Porous!? Are you kidding me? I see some Suns fans are already in the deeper stages of delusion.

  3. Sorry, a little off topic, but relevant to Kobe/Lakers fan and what’s going on around the WWW.

    Henry Abbott has a post up right now rightly defending Lebron James. He was booed in CLE last night and a lot of people are calling Lebron out. Which is ridiculous- it’s reminiscent of Jordan being sent home again and again by the Pistons early in his career.

    But he adds this line in his post:

    >Maybe Cleveland fans are just bitter about the way James has teased them in the lead-up to free agency. Maybe a lot of this commentary is fueled by Kobe Bryant fans, eager to prove theirs is the better man.

    It’s like really? He just can’t get Kobe and the Lakers out of his head. I’d say it’s a little pathetic and a cheap shot at Kobe fans.

  4. Sorry for the double post, but I just had to share some more comical gems from the Bright Side of the Suns comments:

    “Kobe game is a lot like Ginobili. Shoulder down, head for the basket, use elbo for separation. Kobe is a better shooter, but Kobe, size and speed are the same as Ginobili.”

    “Ginobili moves like every second he is on the court, seems Kobe is an “easier cover.”

    “I wonder what would happen if we put Nash on Kobe. You know, fool them into letting Kobe take all the shots. Nash wouldn’t have to play really hard, just enough to put some pressure on him.”

    Nothing like a good morning laugh. These people can’t be serious, can they?

  5. 4 @Daniel those made my day

  6. Mike Penberthy May 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Not to pat myself on the back, but my playoff predictions are coming true. I said Lakers and Cavs will make the finals. The Lakers will be impressive doing so while the Cavs will not. Then Cleveland will beat LA in 5.
    See you all in 2 rounds.

  7. the other stephen May 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

    three words for y’all:

    TIME FOR REVENGEANCE!

    i actually thought we’d already had our revenge, but i guess it didn’t take place over the course of a playoff game, so UP IN ARMS!

  8. #4 Daniel. Someone actually said that Frye could handle Gasol. That’s pretty funny.

  9. 4. Yeah whatever suns fan wrote that doesn’t know basketball. Ginobili and Kobe’s games couldn’t be more dissimilar. I don’t think I’ve ever watched Ginobili back someone down in the post. And if he thinks Kobe is an easier cover then he must not have watched Kobe vs Phoenix the past 5 years.

    And Abbott is a tool. I don’t care how much basketball he watches and what he knows about the game. This is the guy who said the thunder were better without Durant before the season. He’s in love with Lebron and he, like many others, put lebron on a legendary level of greatness that Lebron isn’t even close to. I mean he picked the Cavs to sweep Boston. Why because he thinks lebron by far the best player today. He hates Kobe, thats why he brought up Kobe’s fans. Actual Cleveland fans felt he quit. That’s the problem, not his bad game. And what did lebron have to say about that, oh the fans are just spoiled because he’s so great. It’s not the fans, it’s Abbott and the Media. That is the problem. They think lebron is better then he really his.

  10. Not to digress, but this full-out media assault of Lebron is a bit ridiculous. He’ll probably come back and drop 50 points in Game 6, win, and all this commentary will be for naught.

    That’s why I’m starting to appreciate the Zen Master’s approach (and it seems the rest of the Lakers players) to not be emotionally volitoile. I know I’m talking about the media, but as for fans, it also seems to be a good approach. Let the rantings begin if/when your team loses the series, not simply after one game. This mindset as a fan has made it easier for me to stomach this entire year, let alone the first round of the OKC series.

    People need to wait till Boston wins the series before submitting these diatribes against Lebron. Also, this is probably Orlando’s year to get back to the Finals because the Celts/Cavs appear to be waging Armaggedon against each other…can’t imagine summoning up the strength to go at the Magic right after the series…

  11. Jeremy – I hate to rain on your parade, but this is not the Dantoni-led Suns. Different coach. Different system. Expect a different result (i.e. don’t get your broom out too soon).

    Daniel – those are funny. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

  12. something i wanted to add to the “long break” topic: the best reason that it is better for the lakers than for the suns is this:

    out of: perfect passing, 3pt shooting, and layups/dunks … what do you think suffers most from a longer period of time off the court…

    we will play inside out while they play outside in. have a feeling that their fg (especially 3pt/fg) will be pretty low in game 1 (also, they are playing on the road).

    we just have to pound it inside and get amare into foultrouble and the game will be that much easier.

    and one more thing: I HATE BILL SIMMONS but this truly is brilliant:

    “let’s say someone created a Twitter account called @CelticsChants (just for fun, I did it) and became the go-to chanting coordinator during games. Before Game 3, I post the tweet, “Chant for first LeBron FTs: ‘You’re a fa-ker! You’re a fa-ker!'” Then, during garbage time, I post another one: “If LBJ goes to line again, chant, ‘You’re gonna leave! You’re gonna leave!'” Even if 500 people at the game were following that account, wouldn’t that be enough fans to get those chants rolling so everyone in the stadium joined in? Just for fun, I’m trying this for Game 6 in Boston: http://www.twitter.com/celticschants.”

    you have to admit that this is funny… maybe we should do something similar for our guys ;)?

  13. Manny p13

    Is the system really that different? I haven’t watched a lot of the suns this year. It looks the same but it seems as if Gentry emphasizes different aspects of the game at different times throughout the game. Tnt pointed out that Gentry prefers to use the P&R late in games. I also noticed that Phoenix is more willing to take mid range jumpers. But other than that they look the same.

  14. A couple of my buddies are Suns fans and they seriously think they can beat us, but I just do not see it. Everyone is talking about how good the Suns defense is but I do not see it. They beat an banged up Portland and an old Spurs team. There bench is there only advantage they have in this series but we all know Phil is not going to play all 5 of the bench guys at the same time. I do not see this a being a close series at all. Lakers in 5

  15. Honestly I respect the Suns as an opponent however all this talk about the newfound defensive mindset of the Suns is somewhat laughable. This year they’re giving up 105ppg and in the D’antoni years they were giving up 103ppg so in actuality they’re giving up more points this year than they have prior.

    Yes they can shoot the lights out but we also lead the league in 3pt shot defense. When Phoenix runs the P&R we should have either Pau/Drew stay home on Collins/Lopez to ensure we have one of our seven footers near the paint. A lot easier said than done but I just feel Phoenixs best won’t be enough but it will be a hard fought series however.

  16. Bill Simmons is a weirdo who is in love with Lebron James.

  17. I think Vince Carter has let all this success in the post-season for the Magic go to his head.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Vince-Carter-wants-eight-more-wins-and-no-losses?urn=nba,240516

    While I do admit that the Magic are playing incredibly well, the strength of their opponents definitely needs to be considered. Playing the Bobcats, while a great defensive team, was not that much of a challenge for that team. The Bobcats couldn’t score already and survived on how well they could defend. The Hawks on the other hand are a stronger opponent, but there was no way Mike Bibby can check anything but a scarecrow at this point in his career. A little perspective is definitely needed for Vinsanity.

  18. the other stephen May 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    12) Iesha, that is a really great idea. since i don’t like simmons either, i’m going to credit it all to you. gotta find some way to publicize that idea and make it happen!

  19. Lebron “Knickerbocker” James
    Oh how well you play the game
    With your 30 ten and ten
    Over and over again
    You say you’re better than Bryant
    But the stats are defiant
    Cause the Mamba’s got you beat
    Stats mean nothing in defeat

  20. #15 Rich, “When Phoenix runs the P&R we should have either Pau/Drew stay home on Collins/Lopez to ensure we have one of our seven footers near the paint”

    Surely we’ll try to keep either Pau/Drew in the paint, BUT I’ve been thinking…. What if the Suns were to put Nash/Amar’e/Hill/JRich and FRYE on the court rather than Collins/Lopez?

    Wouldn’t this force either Pau or Drew to stand at the 3-pt line with Frye? Which would then allow the Suns’ to run high P&R with Amar’e, getting the other of the Lakers’ starting big men out of the painted area. I don’t like the idea of Drew guarding Frye at the 3-pt line, nor in P&R’s 20 feet from the hoop on Amar’e. (I’m guessing Odom may be much more important in this series than Drew)

    Anyway, if I were Gentry I’d try to bring both Drew and Pau as far from the basket at possible. Even though the Jazz are small (like the Suns) they still tried to generate alot of their offense down low, which the Suns’ largely do not.

    #14 RC: “Everyone is talking about how good the Suns defense is but I do not see it”

    The Suns’ defense is NOT great, but they’re still MUCH better than they were under D’Antoni. And that’s all that matters. When you have a great offense (like the Sun’s did, and still do) you simply need an OK defense; under D’Antoni they were terrible defensively.

  21. 18. Suns can get hot and beat the lakers. We know that. And the suns most likely will get hot and win two games. Who wins and loses during the season doesn’t really mean much, except for the trends and tendencies you take from assessing both teams. Both teams were pretty healthy over the season series, Frye and Barbosa missed a game apiece and Artest and Gasol missed a game apiece. So health is out as an excuse for the loss.

    But the season series established that the lakers can defend the Suns as they held them under 100 twice and under there season average another time. The season series established that Suns cannot defend bryant, as he shot 54% from the field while shooting 20+% from 3. Which means Kobe did his damage from the mid range in which is terrible sign for the Suns. The season series also established that the Suns cannot defend the Lakers bigs as they pretty much dominated. The suns did get hot and shoot 49% from the field one game and 45% (i think i haven’t looked back at the stats today) from 3 and the lakers got cold and shot 42%. So yes the lakers will probably get cold a game or two and the suns will start hitting. But over the course of a 7 game series, the Lakers are just too much for the suns. It doesn’t matter how improved the suns are defensively if they can’t defend the Lakers.

    My final point is that this series won’t be easy and the games will be tough without a doubt. But this series is now about the Suns, it’s about the lakers. If the Lakers play their game, the suns cannot beat them. While on the other hand, the lakers can win a game or 2 by playing the suns style. Kenny on TNT said its a battle of styles. Which style will win out? Well the history of the Lakers, the history of the NBA tells me that the Suns style never wins when they face a team as good or better. The lakers can be just a potent offensively when facing a team that cannot defend them just as they proved last series putting up 100 points in every game while scoring 111 points 3 times. The lakers can win in multiple different fashions, the Suns don’t, can’t, and won’t vs the Lakers.

  22. Everyone, I’m not going to have a post up until later this afternoon. Work issues dragging me down. Damn the Man! Thanks for the patience. It’s appreciated.

  23. #20

    I certainly understand what you are saying, it’s just that people mainly the media is making such a big deal about the suns defense. The Lakers defense is clearly much better than the Suns and really it is not even close. I think someone put up a stat earlier showing that the Dantoini defense allowed fewer points than the Suns current defense. But I have to say I just started reading this blog and by far this is the best blog I have been on… Darius keep up the good work. This blog is very informative and is not just one sided like many other blogs. Countdown to number 16!!!

  24. 22 – We’ve all gotta make a living. Or go into debt like Mark Cuban.

    4 – Those were hilarious, thanks for that. I love the one about putting Nash on Kobe. Either Suns fans are very tongue-in-cheek, or just plain ignorant.

    DY’s right on. The media is way too reactionary for my taste. It’s why I hated “Michael would have never let this happen!” after Game 4 of the 08 Finals. And if Lebron comes back with a monster game, they’ll fall over themselves talking about the greatness of his resolve, to overcome adversity. Ah, well. This is the same media that makes people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton relevant. Expectations shouldn’t be high.

    I hate Bill Simmons, but I love that idea. I hope he can pull it off. It’d be hilarious and poetic justice for a crowd to use Lebron’s free agency against him. He’s pumped himself up so much and disrespected Cle fans that it’s actually surprising no opposing fans have used that so far.

  25. Exactly what information should we be expecting the media to provide us?

    They are in business to stir things up and get eyeballs, not to provide information or basic truths.

    I think we are being hyper sensitive when we react to what writers might say. The only proof is in the trophy – that is Kobe’s motto and I think we should adopt it.

  26. 21. (edited for personal attack) Yes, I’m a suns fan posting on a lakers blog. I really hope the suns are taken lightly bc it gives us a better chance of winning. Side note: I hate Kobe with a passion, but he is definitely the best player in the NBA! Back to my point.. Suns fans know its possible the Lakers could sweep us. Not likely, but possible. And it is more likely the Lakers win the series, the odds are in their favor. Common sense. However, no one thinks the suns can beat the Lakers, let alone sweep them. But, then again, no one thought they would sweep the spurs.

    So, I leave you all with this question.. What happens if the Suns come out strong and prove you all wrong? Will Kobe quit on his team like his infamous second half of game 7 vs. the suns in 2006?

    Food for thought.

  27. #23 RC:

    No question the Lakers’ defense is better, both individually and teamwise than the Suns’.

    When trying to win a championship you can’t be terrible at an important aspect of the game, whether that be rebounding, or defense (but you also don’t have to be great at everything either). In the past, the Suns’ were terrible defensively not only in execution but effort. They’re better in both now. (As an aside the Lakers’ can’t afford to be terrible in their 3-pt shooting like they were for lots of the regular season).

    Re: Suns’ points per game allowed… not the best of statistics since it’s so dependant upon the tempo of the game. (I’m positive there are teams who gave up fewer ppg than the Suns or Lakers and yet are regarded as being worse defensively.) The Suns still play at a fast tempo, but not as fast as they did under D’Antoni; they don’t get as many transition 3’s and Nash doesn’t drive all the way to the hoop as much.

    Darius, work should never come before the Lakers! :)

  28. Darius – are you going to do a post going position by position with the Lakers v. the Suns?

    It seems that’s all you really need to do to get a good idea of how the series will come out.

    The Suns only have the edge in one category: point guard (and true, it’s a significant advantage).

    But the Lakers have a significant advantage at Shooting Guard and Center.

    I am of the opinion that Pau and Amare don’t cancel each other out.

    Amare is a terrific front runner, but he’s not so good when things aren’t going well.

    Pau has grown into a player over these past two years who will still defend and rebound when his shot isn’t falling.

    I think the games will be close, but I’m trying to see how the Suns win more than one game.

    If the Lakers had never seen the Suns before, maybe…

    But Phil figured out how to beat the Suns in 2006…the only problem was, his lineup was Smush, Kobe, Luke, Odom, and Kwame Brown.

    THAT TEAM took the Suns to 7 games (and if not for a bad bounce on a rebound, would have won the series).

    That Suns team also had Raja Bell to check Kobe. Do we think Jared Dudly, Jason Richardson, or Grant Hill are better defenders than Bell?

  29. the other stephen May 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    10 and 24) yeah, i agree. sometimes, wojnarowski is shameless about going way over the top. the cavs are the type of team that can bring a 2-3 series back in its favor. i still remember losing to them this season, and they didn’t look like they lacked focus or desire.

  30. @ SBCinAZ – In the case the Suns play Nash/Amar’E/Hill/JRich & Frye at the same time I would use the lineup of Fish/Kobe/Artest/Odom/Pau.

    The reason being is that Fish is one of the best at getting offensive foul calls when trying to move through the screen and I would have Pau come out as the help defense as he’d be guarding Amar’e and he can move laterally pretty quickly for a man his size and he’s shown he’s a decent defender of the P&R. Let LO stay at home on Frye as they are both 6’10 but Frye doesn’t want to take you into the post, he’s fine staying out on the perimeter so I think LO has the advantage over Frye.

    I would have Kobe on JRich and he needs to stay home and not “freelance” as he likes to do because JRich is basically the barometer of the Phoenix team. I believe Ron can roam on Hill so that we have another defender to counter the P&R.

  31. “Bill Simmons is a weirdo who is in love with LeBron James.”

    Brief, subtle, penetrative. & correct.

  32. Funky Chicken May 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I posted something to this effect yesterday and got no response. For those arguing that the Suns are a better defensive team than they were during the D’Antoni years, please provide evidence. I have watched the Suns play this year and I don’t see it. Now I know why–the facts don’t support it.

    Suns Opponents’ PPG:

    2004-05 103.3
    2005-06 102.8
    2006-07 102.9
    2007-08 105.0

    This season? 105.3ppg

    To make this a little more clear, this year’s Suns team is giving up almost 2 points per game MORE than the average opponent ppg under the 4 years of D’Antoni, or, looked at another way, .3 ppg more than the single WORST defensive year under D’Antoni.

    So, again, can anyone provide evidence to support this argument that the Suns are better defensively this year?

  33. That Suns page is hilarious…the comments were so funny, but my favorite was from NoahZ saying that would be the first place he checked when the Lakers defeated the Suns and that he couldn’t wait to read the comments lol. Love guerilla posting.

    Anyway…I know, I know, we need to not disrespect our opponent…but while I think this will be a fun series to watch, I just can’t imagine the Suns taking more than two games unless the Lakers just don’t show up or something. There are teams that give the Lakers match-up problems and teams that don’t- the Suns are mostly of the latter category. Anyone who thinks Grant Hill is going to check Kobe is deluded. Anyone who thinks Hill or J-Rich are going to get theirs against Kobe and Artest is equally deluded.

    And from what I recall, Bynum consistently makes a fool of Stoudemire. And then there’s Gasol and Odom…and nobody on that team can guard either of those guys.

    Lakers in 6 wouldn’t be a surprise. Lakers in 5 is more likely. Not saying they will be blowouts, but still.

    As someone else mentioned- the Lakers can play their style and beat them at it. They can also slow it down and throw the Suns completely off of their game and the Suns really can’t counter that.

    And Suns defense is non-existent compared to the Lakers.

  34. 6.

    “My new prediction. Utah wins these next 2 games at home then finally wins a game at Staples to go up 3-2 in the series. Panic ensues in Los Angeles. However the Lakers win the next 2 to move on to WC finals against Phoenix.”

    “The lakers will win the series, but Utah will take one of these 2 games in Staples. This is just law of averages at this point. They’ve lost 14 straight here, they’re way overdue. I hope nobody freaks out when they do.”

    It’s really easy to get your playoff predictions correct when you just predict everything then invoke the law of excluded middle.

  35. @6 Mike

    You’re joking, right? The NBA Finals will be Cavs over the Lakers in 5?

    In related news, Mike is being held hostage by rabid CLE fans who forced him to post that. Don’t hold it against him.

  36. Think the Jamison signing was a mistake by Cleveland?

    At the time I thought it was very questionable, arguably a “panic” move, that had a strong chance of throwing off their on-court chemistry.

    Something seems to be wrong with the Cavs. The pressure could be getting to them, too.

  37. Hollinger had the best take on last night’s Crabs-Leps game: “Games 2, 4 and 5 came with just one day of rest; in those three, he shot 0-for-13 on 3s and 17-for-47 overall. Games 1 and 3, on the other hand, had an extra day of rest beforehand, which seemed to allow his elbow to feel much better: In those two contests, he was a one-man wrecking crew, making 26 of 46 shots from the floor and scoring 73 points. Needless to say, those were the two Cleveland wins in this series.”

    In my opinion, that’s the best explanation for what’s going on with Lebron. Lebron has a very low pain threshold. Remember a couple years ago when Kobe missed no time despite tearing a ligament on his right pinky and also suffering an avulsion fracture on the pinky? The same season, Lebron suffered only a SPRAINED ligament on his LEFT index finger, and missed six or seven games. I think if this were the regular season, Lebron would not be playing with his sprained elbow. Since it’s the postseason, he has to play, but it’s bothering him enough that he’s checked out mentally, and his teammates have picked up that signal as well. The whole team (except Shaq) is pretty much done.

  38. 36 exhelodrvr/ the problem isn’t jamison; it’s the backcourt. neither mo williams nor anthony parker can guard rondo, and the cavs can’t hide mo williams on ray allen. they’ve been exposed. the celtics have gotten into a groove in half court sets. at the same time, their defense has improved, leading to missed shots and transition baskets.

  39. Part 1 of the WCF preview is up. Thanks for your patience on this one. BTW, some great comments in this thread, I almost hate to change it up.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/05/12/lakerssuns-series-preview-part-1-when-the-lakers-have-the-ball/

  40. #26. Brett, you’re welcome to visit and comment, but we don’t condone personal attacks here. Read the commenting guidelines if you have questions about how this site is run. Comments will be moderated or deleted entirely if they break the guidelines. Again, you’re welcome here and we appreciate good dialogue and debate here. But we won’t tolerate name calling or baiting.

  41. Carlos(Lakers Fan) May 12, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    If the Suns lose game one,
    they are going to be close to done.
    If they lose game two,
    We’ll see the Magic in June.

    :D

  42. Carlos(Lakers Fan) May 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    The Lakers have closed out the last *FOUR* playoff series’ on the road. That’s a championship team.