Thanks For The Tip

Darius Soriano —  May 28, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m still reliving and celebrating Ron Artest’s put back to win game 5.  Not only was that Ron’s biggest single play in his short tenure with the Lakers, but it was a very meaningful basket for this team with ramifications beyond just a single victory.  Sure, the basket only counted as two points and only won a single game.  But if that basket doesn’t go in the Lakers would then have found themselves in an overtime period against a team that just came back from 18 points down in the second half; a team that would have been riding a wave of confidence and energy that would have been tough to overcome even for a team playing on its home court.  What would have happened in that period is anyone’s guess, but if the Lakers lose that game they’d really be in a tough spot as they’d be facing an elimination game on the road against a great home team.  So, needless to say, Ron’s basket was bigger than just a single made hoop.

And thinking about all of that made me feel fortunate.  I mean, the Lakers again had things break their way when they easily could not have.  And when reflecting on that, I realized that the Lakers have actually been quite fortunate these entire playoffs.  As you’ll see below, this isn’t the first time that the Lakers have come out on top in a last second situation these playoffs.  And in each one of those contests, the winning play was the result of a tip-in/put-back.  So, without further ado, enjoy these clips from the Lakers last second wins from these playoffs:

We all remember game 6 of the OKC series, right? Imagine if this play doesn’t go the Lakers way. Suddenly the Lakers are tied with an upstart Thunder team with nothing to lose and heading back to LA for a game 7 where anything can happen. And sure the Lakers’ success at home would have made them heavy favorites, but I don’t even want to think about what could have been if things had played out that way. Thank goodness for Pau working through traffic to rebound Kobe’s miss.

And what about Wes Matthews missed tip in from game 3 of the Utah series? Based off how that series was playing out, I know few doubt the Lakers would have come out on top over the Jazz in round two. But also understand that the result of this game essentially broke the Jazz’s spirit. Had Utah won this game, the series is suddenly 2-1 in the Lakers favor, but the Jazz would have had a win under their belt and some confidence to build on for the future games. The difference between 2-1 and 3-0 is huge in a series and with this missed tip the Lakers again came out on top. I mean, we all see how the WCF turned when Phoenix got their first win.  The media (and maybe righfully so) was burying the Jazz the same way they were burying Phoenix after two games.  And look how the Lakers/Suns series has gone after game three.  I think we should be extremely thankful this play went the Lakers’ way.

And then we have last night’s play from Ron. I’m sorry, I can’t help myself and I just have to post it again. When you look at the replay, look at where Ron is when Kobe elevates to take the shot and then where he ends up to execute the put back. That was pure hustle and desire on Artest’s part.

All great finishes and all in the Lakers favor.  Like I said, I’m just grateful to Pau, Artest, and (sadly for him) Wesley Matthews.  Hopefully, the Lakers don’t find themselves in too many more situations like this in the future where a last second play has to go their way.  But if they do, I can only hope that they’re as fortunate as they have been so far these playoffs.

Darius Soriano

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58 responses to Thanks For The Tip

  1. Not just these playoffs…there’s the little matter of a missed alley-oop in the Orlando series last year that deserves a shout out.

    Sometimes winners make their own luck (Artest and Gasol put backs)…but sometimes they’re also a little lucky as well.

  2. That is why the Lakers are champions they find different ways to win…..

  3. Sorry to ask this unrelated stat question on this post but my roommate and I were talking about how Kobe was 1 assist away from a tripple double. If the refs would have called a foul on paus dunk would Kobe get the assist?

  4. wow, and PAU was held on that last shot as well, awesome job playing through the non call.

  5. #3. Jeff,
    No, assists are only rewarded on made baskets. If a player gets fouled in the act of shooting but does not make the shot, assists are now not rewarded for the ensuing made FT’s.

  6. if kobe’s shot was an air ball, wasn’t it an assist to Artest?

  7. Man it is crazy how far things have truly come.

  8. Coffee is For Closers May 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Anyone know where you might be able to find that cool looking T Ron was wearing at his press conference last night? It was long sleeve black shirt with “Los Lakers” on it. Checked NBA store site – no dice.

  9. I think one reason Fisher is having a great playoffs this year shooting the ball as opposed to last year where he struggled in most of the games until his big shots in game 5 of Finals is that last year Farmar got injured with a torn miniscus and was out for five weeks and at point we had not traded for Shannon yet so he to play heavy minutes with only a 3 guard rotation (Kobe, Sasha, Fisher) and I think he was not as fresh. I think this is his second best playoffs (2001 was his best)

  10. I appreciate the effort in tabulating these instances which ties in with a question Phil answered at the post-game conference about how luck seemed to run his way. Answering with a customary smirk, Phil took some umbrage pointing out that Phx banked in a 3 pointer, and that one good shot deserved another. One follow-up point is that look who made the Lakers hustle plays (Gasol, Artest) versus the other teams missed opportunities (Courtney Lee, Wes Matthews). We had our top frontline players showing that hustle whilst you would expect the rookieds /newere guys to show that hustle to get there to have the opportunity to make or miss the shot. Is part of being a more talented team that our stars can make the hustle plays more than say an Amare? Food for thought

  11. These are the moments that truly stay with you and Lakers fans are lucky that so many of these moments have gone our way.

    Last year’s championship wouldn’t have been the same without the Fisher 4.6 and Ariza’s steals. In fact, the lakers’ most dominant playoff (2001) was in a weird way the least memorable due to the lack of suspense (except whether they’d fo fo fo, and the day after Game 1 finals – their only loss).

    I’m still pretty pumped up, and i hope this jumpstarts Ron’s playoffs… The team’s mobbing.of Ron really was a joy to see.

  12. Yeah, I mean, all you have to do is look at Cleveland and how many plays there are with them on the short end.

    The Suns also have the Duncan 3, Horry’s hip, etc.

    Us, I guess it’s the Thomas 3 perhaps, but we have just loads of other stuff from Kobe, Horry, Fisher… and now Artest and Gasol this postseason.

  13. To go along with Apricot’s comment of jump starting Ron’s playoffs, here is a link:

    Personally, I hope that the entire team comes out with his attitude of feeling disrespected. Game 6 is going to be far from an easy game. I fully expect it to be a dogfight. This Suns team will not go away after the first punch. They have a great ability to push back from deficits. Their fourth quarter execution from Game 3 to Game 5 has been disconcerting.

    If the Lakers are going to win this series and a title, the fourth quarter execution has to pick up significantly. Defensively, the rotations and closeouts are late. The Lakers are a great 3-Point defending team, but they seem to give up big 3’s at the most critical times. Credit the Suns for creating and making those shots, but adjustments definitely need to be made.

    As for the pick & roll adjustments, I think Phil understands that the switching got a bit out of hand. He said so in his postgame press conference yesterday. I think that switching should be used situationally and not on every defensive possession. Also, I like the idea of Artest guarding A’m’a’r’e’ occasionally just to throw a different wrinkle at Nash. I think there was one play last night in the fourth quarter off a timeout where it did occur, resulting in a poor offensive possession. I would definitely like to see it again.

    Nash is devastating off the pick & roll, regardless of he is shooting or passing as we have seen. The Lakers have to be willing to throw different looks and coverages at Nash to at least attempt to slow him down.

    As for offensively, aggression needs to be the mantra for Pau & Lamar. I would like to see more aggression from Pau when he gets the ball. I think too often he focuses on making the right play rather than using his incredible abilities. Lamar also has to drive to the hoop, instead of settling for jumpers. In my opinion, there is no one in the league that can guard him when he drives.

    The bench play will be a weakness for the Lakers the rest of the way. The bench simply needs to play smart and within its capabilities. Too often I see the backcourt of Farmar & Brown make poor entry passes, take ill-advised shots, and make generally poor decisions. I definitely liked seeing Sasha & Luke out there. Sasha has improved a lot with his play from where he was a year ago. He fell in love with the 3PT line and his catch & shoot mindset. You can see that he know makes the right play rather than look for his own shot. And he annoys Dragic to no end which I loved. Hopefully last night will give Phil some more confidence in playing him.

  14. Watching the Bos-Mag game 6 – Garnett just punched Howard, with a closed fist, twice. And he didn’t get a flagrant. He probably should be thrown out of the game for that. I wonder if the league will upgrade it to a flagrant.

  15. Oh wow! Did anyone else just see that fall by Rondo? I’m in pain from seeing it!

    Never mind, he’s up. Pierce must have lent him the wheelchair.

  16. Bynumite,
    Good luck on dictating aggression from Pau and Lamar.

    That is not Pau’s style of play and Lamar changes from qtr to qtr. Thank goodness Lamar is an aggressive rebounder; that seems to be moderately consistent and we really need it.

  17. Craig W.

    I definitely agree that it isn’t Pau’s style of play, but maybe I am just unrealistically hoping for the fourth quarter of Game 2 to just happen every quarter. Maybe assertive is the right word to describe what I hope for Pau.

    I got another great link. Gotta love John Tesh:

  18. Yup Mimsy, and very well-said. And did you see Garnett just punching Howard’s arm? Is the guy mental? I feel sorry for Howard; no matter how built you are, getting punched by Kevin Garnett must’ve hurt. I can’t believe the Celtics are crying about being “bullied” by the Magic. Boston just exudes poor sportsmanship and gets away with a ton of it. Here’s to Orlando being the first team to come back down from 3-0.

  19. man, i thought KG should have been thrown out of the game. he could have broken howard’s arm. it’s ridiculous that not only did the ref allow him to get away with the first 1, he didn’t even call that flagrant.

  20. @Simonoid
    Yes, I saw that… and it disgusts me. I lost all my respect for Garnett a long time ago, and that was an entirely new low. Even more so because not a single Celtic, players or coaching staff, seems to think it’s something he should be berated for.

    I am now rooting for the Magic. Futile or not… I don’t want this Boston team to win anything at all.

  21. I don’t believe the ending of game 5 will spill into game 6; it will be a new hand of cards. Reminds me of Big Shot Rob’s game winner in ’02 v. the Kings to tie the series at 2-2. Sacramento got over it quick while winning game 5 at home, and the Maloof brothers made the mistake of dancing on the score table as though they just won a championship. The Lakers won the next two, then swept the Nets for their third straight title.

    If game 6 comes down to a final possession, I hope the coaching staff can come up with something better than the final play drawn up for game 5. For all the last shot close outs this year, I don’t recall saying, “Man, that was a well designed play.”
    It hurts to say it, but the Boston staff excels in this regard.

  22. How does garnett not get suspended for game 7 if the magic come back or game 1 of the Finals? I mean, a punch is a punch right??? Closed fist???. He wasn’t swiping the guys hand away, he was actually punching.

    I mean seriously??


    On another note. One of the best things I’ve done today was go over blogs and chat rooms (like Daily Dime Live) and the bright side of the sun comment thread. Bright side of the sun has 1000 comments for the second half alone. I mean cmon!! But I just love the jubilation to pain transition starting with Artest’s ill advised 3, Richardson’s bank 3, to Artest’s tip in. It is a lot of fun reading the emotional roller coaster every one seems to be having.

  23. Just as well about Boston-Orlando, I truly feel this Lakers team is going to need home court to win the finals.

  24. LOL get out the wheelchair again. How many does Pierce need? That’s what, 2 this series already?

  25. Here’s what bothers me about the Celtics. It’s not that they’re punks. It’s not that they’re bullies. It’s not that they’re whining drama queens. It’s the fact they are all three at once, and take pride in it.

    Punks and fake tough guys… most of us outgrew that kind of behavior in junior high school.

  26. Mimsy – Let’s see if the Lakers expose them ….

  27. So nice to see how others feel the same way about Boston players that I do. I live in NY and everyone out here thinks they’re angels and just good tough players…

  28. looks like magic is done?

  29. OK Lakers. Time to finish it.

  30. God I h8 the celtics. I want us to beat them so bad. Shove that celtic pride down Pierce’s arrogant throat. And if he goes for the wheelchair, strap his happy butt in it. Okay. Time for some Prozac. 🙂 let’s go Lakers – let’s set the Suns.

  31. just heard shelley smith’s report on the lakers:

    After yesterday’s game artest went to a local gym to shoot jumpers. However he misread the board on what time practice was today, and was late for 30 minutes…. and he was fined.

    I love Ron Artest.

    what a strange player…

    So half of the NBA finals is set now. Tomorrow let’s hope the Lakers finish the series!

    nice post darius… I’m sorry to say I had forgotten about the series winner by Pau in OKC just a few weeks back

  33. Theme of the Finals ” It’s not yet your time 2003 and 2004 Draft Classes leave the Finals to the big boys 1995, 1996 and 1998 draft classes” enjoy the free agent season LOL

    1995 Garnet
    1996 Kobe, Allen and Nash
    1998 Paul Pierce
    2003 Lebron, Wade, Melo
    2004 Dwight

  34. Counting chickens is just not a good idea at this time. We still have loads of work to do. Let’s start tomorrow night and really dig down for something extra – we will need it.

  35. @Craig
    The Swedish version of that saying is, “don’t sell the pelt until after you’ve killed the bear”. Personally, I think it gains in translation. 🙂

    Let’s focus on killing the Phoenix Bear. We can sell the pelt later.

  36. I will have to remember that one. It’s much better than the American saying.

  37. You know what, even though he is on the other team, and i hope we beat them up tomorrow, you have got to admire steve nash.

    watch to the end of this when they break it down:

    Alvin Gentry: “If we go down, we go down fighting.”

    Steve Nash, interrupting: “We’re winning btw. We’re winning the series.”

    You just have to love a player like that, where the coach may start putting in some doubt, the star takes over.

    Still, I hope we beat them.

  38. @mimsy

    in korean it’s more like “don’t think of drinking soup that isn’t even offered yet”

    still have to beat phx.

  39. I doubt the league does anything about the KG punch – not even any mention of it on the major networks, which more or less allows the league to “let is slip.” A punch is a punch. If Artest did it, he’s probably out of the playoffs. If Lebron did it, he’s suspended a game. I don’t understand how its going to go missing from all the game logs. Makes me kinda sick actually. Magic were in and rearing in the game until he got punched, when the officials basically said – we are calling T’s and Flagrants and touch fouls on you till the game is outta hand, and never really let you back in.


  40. @harold
    So we both have a better version than the Americans, eh? 😉

  41. Eh! Not so much. I like the ‘don’t count your chickens until they are hatched’ better than drinking soup. But you Swedes definitely got one up on us.

  42. Soup is way better than chicken… at least good soup is. 🙂

  43. Oh well! I think this thing is now a grease spot on the road and we might as well just move on to the next game.

    Go Lakers!

  44. Indeed… Go Lakers!!

    After all, what else matters?

  45. Is it me or is phoenix’s “confidence” reminiscent of the nuggets last year. Someone forgot to tell phoenix they lost last night. Yes the got their moral victory, if such a thing exist. They are basically acting like they had the game won if artest missed that shot. It still would’ve went to overtime. Well I guess they figured with the refs on their side anything’s possible and theylve concluded that’s what kg meant 2 years ago.

    But the lakers need to handle their business. Bring that same defensive intensity and aggression offensively. The lakers will beat the suns, assuming there’s been enough one sided officiating

    also I read a few comments about pau being a bit flustered. It’s true but it did not stop him from attacking in game 5. And we’ll need that same pay tomorrow.

    not going to discuss ball games that will occur in June just yet

  46. While I would never condone the kind of antics KG has become famous for there is something to that. The Lakers need to go out there tomorrow like hitmen. Seriously. If the refs are going to blow the whistle you may as well make them count. It is time for the Lakers bigs to get a little bit of Charles Oakley in them. If I am a Laker big man and they are going to give me six, it will be six that count. Make those guys afraid of driving the lane. Let them know those trips to the line will come at a cost.

    I hate advocating rough play. But at this point that is the only logical way to offset what will surely be a one sided officiating affair. And that’s fine. Just give them tough (but not dirty) fouls. Don’t allow any “and one” shots. Slow them down and grind them. Knock Nash on his behind every time he comes into the lane.

    Remember back in the 2004 Semis when Tony Parker torched the Lakers in the first two games? Then LA starting knocking him on his rear and he disappeared for the rest of the series. Nash won’t disappear, but LA should do all they can to make him reluctant. Also, body up on Amare hard. Don’t let him start dunking the ball can getting clear lanes to the rim. If he gets those kinds of looks he will go off. Instead, make him labor. Pull a little, grab a little. Keep an elbow in his back.

    There is a fine line between tough and dirty. The Lakers need to get as close to that line as possible without going over. That is the only way the O’Brien trophy will stay in LA this year. There is nothing worse than watching a Suns player headed to the line on a ticky tack foul, slapping hands with his teammates as he approaches the line to shoot. Meanwhile the Laker defender looks perplexed because he cant believe he picked up the foul. Oakley never had that look. When he sent a guy to the line he was never surprised. He expected the whistle to blow. He made the most of those fouls.

    The Lakers may as well get into this mindset now. Because IF (and that’s a real IF) they get past the Suns a series with Boston will be like an old school battle royal. Its time for the Lakers to take the gloves off and take this series by the throat.

  47. I’ve got my day set for tomorrow, and the Laker game is 99% of it. Yeah, someone forgot to tell Phoenix that they lost the last game… It will be a battle for sure tomorrow, I hope our bench comes to play, because their’s sure will.

  48. #5 Darius, how does that work? What if the player makes only one free throw? What he makes none?

    By the way, WTF is wrong with KG? I was watching it in a restaurant and people were basically saying, “THAT’S CRAZY.”

  49. #47. J-M,
    I’m such a dummy. I just fixed my comment. Assists are NOT rewarded for made FT’s. I can’t believe I had that comment sitting up there all day…

    Assists are only awarded on made baskets. On Kobe’s airball, that was considered a shot attempt and thus he should not have gotten an assist (which is what was ruled). Ron was rightly credited with an offensive rebound and Kobe was credited with a FGA and a miss.

    Yeah, and KG is crazy. Much more so than Ron. Maybe he watched a Bruce Lee movie before the game. Even Doc Rivers commented on it after the game saying that KG was a bit overexcited at the beginning and was too amped up and that he had “no idea what KG was doing there (laughs)”. BTW though, I wouldn’t classify that as a “punch” it was more like a forceful “perry” of Howard’s arm. Dangerous – and rightly a foul – but I don’t know what the league should do about it. Maybe assess it as a flagrant after the fact?

  50. @13: “Lamar also has to drive to the hoop, instead of settling for jumpers. In my opinion, there is no one in the league that can guard him when he drives.”

    Have to disagree. Lamar driving from the top of the key is one of the easiest offensive fouls waiting to happen that we have in the league. Much like Utah and Boston, the Suns do a lot of stepping in front to take the charge and I get scared seeing him going to the hole with his head down. What I did enjoy in Game 5 though, was Lamar attacking the offensive boards against the zone. He’s such a great rebounder.

  51. #46
    When Bynum is feeling right, he walks the line between dirty and “hard physical fouls”. I haven’t seen much of that from him in this year’s playoffs.

    I’m not advocating thuggery, but in games where Bynum’s knee is swollen and he can barely move, I can’t understand why he just fouls out on touch fouls. He needs to get some Rasheed in him. When Rasheed was young and he was near foul trouble and just needed a blow, he’d take a hard foul on someone just to guarantee the ref would call it and he could go sit down for a few minutes.

    Again, not advocating thuggery or goon play but if you’re not feeling effective anyways, might as well let them know you played, you know?

  52. “tonight redemption is spelled R-O-N” (hope im the first to qoute that1)

  53. The Lakers have to come out with a lot on intensity.

    Feed Gasol.

    Crash the board on both ends.

    Get Sasha in there also.

    And *please* stop fouling people 60 feet away from the basket at the end of quarters! {Farmer, Wow, Fish}. Does this drive anyone else crazy?

    I say we come out strong and bury them a la Denver.

  54. the celtics are a weird team. as a lakers fan, even i appreciated the way they played miami and cleveland: focused, humble (as humble as they can get) and without the posing. i thought the 2nd half of the season brought them back to earth and they realized how stupid they acted the last 2 years or so.

    and now look at them. after winning 2 games in orlando they are back to taunting, jawing, grabbing, flopping, wheelchairing and everything else that makes them (and especially kg) so disgusting to watch and root for.

    i cant put into words how amazing it would feel to beat them in the finals and how much i pray that kg tries this shit on ron. but we all know that he´d never dare to even try that… what a loser. never accomplished anything without 2 allstars next to him and keeps demanding respect as if hes jordan and magic combined. so sad to see him play like that. just makes you appreciate tim duncan even more, doesnt it?

  55. boris,
    As a follow-up to your comment…Lamar tends to do things in straight lines. That’s what makes him easier to draw a charging foul on. It is also what makes him absolutely deadly on the boards when you don’t box him out. As the ball goes up Lamar tends to try to find a little space, then dives to the basket. It is quite an effective tool in our arsenal.

    We have three really physical defenders: Fish, Ron and Andrew. Even Kobe is more finesse than brute force. Since Fish & Ron are often on the wing defending, only Andrew is down low and and they all have less lateral speed (with age and injury); they reach when giving hard fouls. This decreases the probability that the foul will be hard.

    We are not a good team to employ the constant hard foul techniques and we are not a deep team — you better be prepared to play your bench if you are going to employ this type of play.

  56. Craig,

    I am not advocating fouling more. I am just looking at the numbers of fouls that are already being called. I’m saying if they are going to blow the whistle anyway you may as well hit them a little harder.

    The Lakers WILL be in foul trouble tonight. At this point that is not even debatable. May as well try to get something (anything) out of it.

  57. that ball in game 5 was really determined to be in the basket knowing that pau was also there however,ron came in ahead …

    that ball in game 5 was really determined to be in the basket knowing that pau was also there however, ron came in ahead jst in time….