Lakers/Suns: Game 6 Preview & Chat

Darius Soriano —  May 29, 2010

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There are few things as difficult as winning a closeout game on the road against a strong home team.  And since this is the exact scenario that the Lakers face this evening, we can only expect this to be the most difficult game of the series.  The Suns are facing elimination and they have a dangerous team that plays its best basketball on its home court and are not going to go down easily.  In order to win this game, the Lakers are going to have to bring their best effort, their highest level of execution, and an attention to detail worthy of a champion.  If they do these things, they’ll be well on their way to a series win.  If they don’t, an “anything can happen” game 7 awaits on Memorial Day.

Just like when the Lakers got to game 6 of the OKC series and by the time it was game 4 of the Utah series, the X’s and O’s of this match up are now well established.  Yes there are wrinkles that each team can add to their game plans, but in the end it will come down to which team can force the other team into more mistakes while maximizing the strengths of their own group.

For the Suns it will come down to the effectiveness of their P&R and how well they can get the stops that fuel their transition offense. All series the Suns have been at their best when Nash is working his wizardry while running the P&R with Amar’e and Lopez and when they’re able force the Lakers into jump shots that fuel their transition attack where open threes and run outs are easily achieved.

So, from the Lakers perspective, they need to continue to find ways to score against the Suns’ zone defense (or their man to man sets) and make them take the ball out of the hoop so that they then face a set up, half court defense.  This means the Lakers must stick to what works against the Suns’ zone by flashing players in and out of the high post and keeping Kobe on the weak side where he can attack the soft spots of the defense with either his jumper or penetration when the ball swings to his side of the floor.  The Lakers can also use some of the ball screen actions that help to free up Kobe; the screens that help him create easier looks for himself while also generating the defensive help scenarios that get his teammates open shots.  Also, an aggressive and assertive Gasol will go a long way towards victory.  If he’s attacking the basket and looking to finish with desire, it will be just what’s needed to establish his presence in the paint (so no flip shots after barely leaving your feet, please).

On defense the Lakers must continue to stick to their defensive principles by marking the Suns shooters in transition and showing the Suns different looks in the half court.  I’ve touted Nash’s virtues a lot in this series, but one thing that’s gone unsaid is his ability to adjust to whatever scheme you throw at him.  Like the all world quarterback that’s seen a steady diet of cover 2 or the batting champion that’s seen too many inside fastballs followed by the backdoor slider, Nash catches up to what your plan of attack is and then beats it.  We saw this in game 5 with the switching on the P&R and in games 3 & 4 with how he responded to the Lakers disrupting his passing angles to the dive man.  If the Lakers want to slow down Nash, they must throw the kitchen sink at him and not give him the same look every possession.  So, I’d like to see a variety of switches, fighting over screens, going under them, and also some trapping (especially when Nash runs the P&R to the sideline).

Bench play will also be vital in this game.  The last time the Suns reserves were on this court they scored 54 points and steamrolled their Laker counter parts while also more than holding their own against the Lakers starters.  When this group enters the game, it’s imperative that the Lakers not let them get rolling.  So mark Dudley and Frye at the three point line, try to contain Barbosa and Dragic off the dribble, and box out Amundson.  We’ll see if Sasha gets another shot in this game but it would be nice if Farmar and Brown made a useful contribution for the first time since game 2.  My expectations for this group are now back to “just keep it close” and nothing more.  If they can hold a lead or not allow a deficit to balloon, I’ll be more than happy.

The other key to this game is rebounding.  In the Lakers three wins they’ve out-rebounded the Suns by 5 or more.  Limiting the Suns offensive rebounds, the extra possessions and points that come from them will need to be a focus on every defensive sequence.  In the last game, the only Laker starter with less than 5 rebounds was Fisher.  It will take a similar team effort on the glass tonight.  The guards need to close down the foul line and grab the long rebounds while the bigs and small forwards get into the paint and body up on the Suns.

We’re at the point in the season where nothing is easy.  The Suns have already said that they expect to win this game and go back to Los Angeles for game 7.  However, if there’s any team that can close a team out on the road it’s the Lakers.  In the past two seasons the Lakers have beaten OKC, Utah, Denver, and Orlando (for the title) on the road to win clinching games.  They know what it takes and have experience in this exact situation.  The opponent may be new, but that just gives them another foe to add to the list.  Both teams will come in with confidence, but only one team will leave with the win.  Here’s to it being the guys that we root for.

One last note for us fans – enough with the complaints about the officiating.  This is one aspect of the game that we nor the players nor the coaches can control.  And since that’s the case, there is little point in complaining about it (and that goes for us fans the coaches and the players).  I’ll be the first to admit that the refs are far from perfect but I think it’s also clear that the refs miss calls on both ends.  The Lakers have not lost games because of the referees just as they haven’t won them because of the men with the whistles.  The teams that have played better down the stretch have pulled out the games and won.  Again, I’m not advocating for the refs and I think further exploration into how the refereeing can improve is important for the continued progress of the league.  But it’s tiring to continue to have this be such a major talking point.  The positives stemming from the greatness of the players and caliber of basketball being played far outweighs the negatives from some questionable calls.  I truly think we need to get back to appreciating the excellent basketball that’s being played.  End of rant.  Now, let’s get that win and move on to the Finals.


Darius Soriano

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to Lakers/Suns: Game 6 Preview & Chat

  1. This one’s for Warren.

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  2. i wonder what happened to warren.

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  3. Warren still occasionally drops by. Perhaps he reads more and comments less these days. Perhaps his job in the Philippines takes more of his time.

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  4. Darius,
    I do see your point about the refs and agree that neither we, nor the Suns can do anything about what happens here. However, I do think the problem with consistency and, sometimes, even-handedness is a real problem with the NBA — one the the NBA seems determined not to address.

    The NBA game, more than any other team sport, is up close and personal and played with relatively few players in minimal clothing. This means we pretty much see most of what goes on. This makes the officiating much harder.

    It is also clear that some refs have issues with some teams and I really feel the NBA must address this – perhaps by limiting the times those refs work the teams they seem to have problems with.

    I really don’t know how to address the issues, as the NBA seems to have its collective head in the sand, but they are not new and certainly don’t concern only the Lakers.

    I did predict we were going to have ref issues with game 5, based on the officiating crew assigned. We had those problems. The Lakers were not passive, didn’t settle for jump shots, were not overly physically aggressive, but still had a foul deficit at home. I watched the game and there were clearly officiating issues at times in the game.

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  5. The Lakers sbould be coming more comfortable with the PHX zone and finding its weak spots.

    The pressure of a game 6 can often seperate the men from the boys.

    This one should be another classic.

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  6. #4. Craig,
    I don’t argue those points. I’m only saying, do we need to turn every game discussion into a commentary on referee performance? That’s all I’m trying to avoid here. There are other game details to focus on.

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  7. 6) Darius,
    “do we need to turn every game discussion into a commentary on referee performance?”

    Simple solution – let us talk about how we figured out an 8 team deal that will end up with the Lakers trading Luke, Sasha, and Farmar and ending up with LeBron James and Chris Paul.

    We’ll forget about the reffing in a heartbeat!!

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  8. The Lakers need to keep up the intensity on the defensive end. I thought Sasha on Dragic last game was huge in slowing their bench down, and I hope to see more of it this game. Cleaning up the defensive glass is imperative; we win game 4 if those rebounds were secured. If we hold the Suns to around 100 points again, I think we punch our ticket to the Finals.

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  9. Via Kevin Ding’s Twitter:

    Referees for Lakers-Suns Game 6 tonight: Scott Foster, Bill Kennedy and Greg Willard.

    I don’t really know that much about the refs. I am just ecstatic that Bennett Salvatore is not officiating.

    As for the game, I mentioned it in a previous post, but the Lakers have to be the aggressors in this game. If the Lakers come out flat, the Suns will run them off the court. This is a team that completely and utterly believes in their ability to win and they will not go away quietly. They have to be shoved off the court.

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  10. I was leery of the switches on pick and roll, because the Spurs used this tactic and lost. I’m all for more of it, now, though. It helped LA control the pace, limited those backbreaking drive-and-kick 3s, and kept Amare from doing much damage at the stripe.

    The bench has to be more decisive, so that the team can get into a rhythm. If the bench has an idea of when somebody is going to take a shot, they can get a jumpstart on boxing out or getting back on defense.

    I think an early breather for Fish might be a good idea, so that he spends a good chunk of time leading the 2nd unit.

    With all that said, I think this game will boil down to energy and effort. It’s such a cliche but the Lakers must match their intensity.

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  11. : )

    I love that after Darius’ rant about the officiating, over 25% of the comments are about the officiating.

    That being said, very, VERY interesting that Tim Donaughy’s best bud, Scott Foster is lead official tonight…

    Listen, the officiating has been so slanted towards the Suns, starting with Game 3 that it’s pretty hard to ignore the issue.

    It’s not about the Lakers not being able to figure out the zone, Phoenix being more aggressive, or the Lakers taking too many jumpers.

    The difference in the last three games is that any time the Lakers make a run, a slew of calls go against them to either keep Phoenix in the game or keep Phoenix ahead. In addition, defenders on the Lakers are picking up touch fouls at a high rate, limiting their aggression.

    The zone defense definitely made a difference, but really the difference in the series since Game 3, is that there’s been a pattern of calls that is specifically designed to keep the game close and/or stem any Laker runs.

    Perfect example:

    In the closing minutes of Game 5, Derek Fisher slightly bumped Steve Nash on a drive, and Salvatore let him take a dribble and 2 steps (meaning, it clearly wasn’t continuation) and called an “And 1.”

    Not a minute later, Amare Stoudamire literally clocked Gasol on a dunk attempt, knocking him to the floor…and Salvatore (the baseline ref) swallowed his whistle.

    It’s not about missing calls here and there, it’s about a pattern of calls that are specifically in place to keep the superior team in check.

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  12. Okay, last thing, I found this fascinating statistical breakdown of Game 5:

    W.C.F Gm 5: Bennett Salvatore, Marc Davis, & Bob Delaney
    LAKERS Layups: 11-26 | Dunks: 6-7 | Jumpers: 21-58
    Field Goals: 38-91 | 3-Pointers: 7-24 | Free Throws: 20-23

    SUNS Layups: 10-21 | Dunks: 2-2 | Jumpers: 24-54
    Field Goals: 36-77 | 3-Pointers: 9-27 | Free Throws: 20-29

    So the Lakers took more inside shots, AND more total shots during the game, and yet, the Suns took 6 more free throws.

    But I guess that makes sense, right, because the Suns were at home.

    Wait a minute, the Suns were the road team?

    Really?

    Get out of here!

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  13. Unless the Lakers are extremely diciplined on offense and execute extremely well and able to score a lot in the paint the Suns are going to take the series back to LA for game 7. The Lakers are the better team, but not by much….and the Suns are really resilient. The Lakers are either gonna win a close game or the Suns will win big, my prediction.

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  14. The Lakers have been very good on close out games, so I expect the pattern to continue. Boston winning last night will further motivate them to make sure that they are almost even in terms of # of days off before the Finals.

    Of course, the Suns will put up fight as they have done so in the entire series, but I expect the championship team to emerge and flex its muscle to close it out tonight.

    We know that it’s going to be about our bigs. If two of three play well enough, we’ll win. If not, we’ll lose. Simple as that, right? So Odom and Bynum, PLEASE bring it tonight. PLEASE!!!!

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  15. I’m interested in seeing how Lamar plays tonight. His energy and focus on the road is the never the same as it is when he’s in LA. So lets hope we get some inspired play from Odom and some made baskets by Artest, Brown and Farmar.

    One note on the officiating…Can we just get some consistency thats all, if a foul is a foul on one end then its a foul on the other. Is that too much to ask for.

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  16. burgundy,

    how is that it is acceptable by most fans that referees can be biased towards the home team? this is actually accepted behavior. so these supposed professionals blow their whistles differently just because its more noisy?

    wow, if they can be swayed by a little bit of noise, imagine if deep down inside their hearts, they dislike kobe (not hard to believe) or a certain franchise? or if what donaghy says is true, ronnie nunn influencing them by showing tape of what fouls to call.

    you sure as hell should believe that personal feelings and job security should cause them to be biased as well.

    i think the reason people complain, darius, and sorry for this, is every year, come playoff time, this issue comes up again and again. how is that when you’re supposedly best referees are officiiating, the calls get more dubious and dubious. right now, the officiating isn’t on our side and thats exacerbating the complaints ridiculously from our points of view…. but the issue has always been there. and i can say that the 2002 championship very well shouldn’t have been ours.

    how is that okay?

    on another note, man the suns being cocky and saying that they’re coming back for game 7 is getting on my nerves. jared dudley tweeted and said that they let the lakers off the hook in game 5.

    let off the hook!?! we had them on the hook the entire game and we let them off it by enabling them to come back. acting as if they had that game in the bag…

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  17. The Lakers just need to body up on the Suns. Just accept the fact the whistles are going to sound a lot more for them than the Suns. D up, make the fouls count, and run the offense. If they do that game one of the Finals will open at Staples on Tuesday.

    And Pau Gasol will have to break through today. Seriously. If he can’t impose his will on the Suns zone what the heck does he expect to do against Boston? Oh yeah, if Gasol doesn’t find a way to impose his will he may not even get a chance to play against Boston.

    Come on, Lakers. Time to cut off the head off.

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  18. Alright, let’s kill this bear. GO LAKERS!

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  19. Joel B.,
    Yes!

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  20. Agreed.

    Go Lakers, play hard, play smart. I’d like to see Artest make some buckets tonight, getting a GW shot has to be a confidence boost. I’d like to see him switch onto Nash from the P&R instead of Gasol more as well (if it works like that one time last game).

    If the Lakers can play solid defense and limit the Suns often short but very damaging runs then they will have a good shot at closing this series out tonight.

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  21. Like the Suns are doing to us, we need to do back to them. Give Nash his points but limit everyone else. By allowing him to score but not distribute the ball, we keep others from getting involved. Let him have his 30 tonight, as long as we limit his assists. If Amar’e isn’t scoring, believe me, he isn’t doing much else either.

    When Phoenix distributes the scoring load, it means trouble for the opposition. But when it’s carried by only 1 or 2 players, there’s no way they can compete with our depth. Robin Lopez’s magic fairy dust seems to have faded away, but please make sure he doesn’t get going again. Look for more Sasha tonight. With a little oil and loosening up, I can hear the Machine humming again.

    Lastly, Pau, I know you’re getting hacked out there, but enough with the hissy-fits. Complaining to the refs and not getting back on D hurts us more. If you must voice your opinion, do it while you’re running back up-court. Or get a T for goodness sake… Whatever it is, we need you to be aggressive and focused tonight.

    I’ve got all of my gear out ready for Boston. Championship hats, posters, t-shirts, banners, pennants, bobbleheads, now get the job done tonight in Phoenix and make me a happy man so we can enact some revenge on KG and the Wheelchair.

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  22. Byron Scott made a great point about the last game in terms of pace. He claimed that the Lakers were terrific in controlling pace until the end.\

    If the Lakers are to win, they must control the pace of the game. It seems like that has always been true against Phoenix–but sometimes we forget.

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  23. Mike Penberthy May 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    You know Darius, it’s sounds great to say that referee decisions don’t affect games and try to be above it all. But that’s not reality. Refs can and do affect outcomes of games.
    BTW, two things can be equally true. Yes, the Lakers were outplayed by the Suns in the games they lost AND referees were horrible.

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  24. thisisweaksauce May 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    So what do we do to neutralize Pierce? Oh wait, wrong game…

    I kid.

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  25. Mike Penberthy May 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    If the Lakers do indeed make the finals, Artest will absolutely shut down Pierce. By the end of the series everybody will be sick of that Artest shower story where he said he wanted to help Kobe beat the Celtics, because that’s exactly what’s gonna happen.

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  26. #24. Mike,
    I don’t know see where that was said. Surely the refs can impact the game. That said, what does your complaining do about it?

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  27. T. Rogers wrote: If they do that game one of the Finals will open at Staples on Tuesday.

    I believe that the timing for the finals is set in (TV) stone, no matter who wins tonight; i.e., game one is Thursday?

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  28. whoa officiating talk.

    i’ll chime in with my perspective, since everyone else is. 🙂

    for those of us who are hardcore enough fans that we sometimes have to watch games alone (err… is that a bad thing?!), sometimes it’s nice to have an outlet of similarly minded (and similarly frustrated) folks to vent to when things don’t appear as even as we’d like them to be. it’s more cathartic than anything else.

    that said, yes, it can get out of hand.

    3 hrs to go!!!!!!

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  29. Wow! Already complaints ’bout the officiating & tip-off isn’t until another 3 hours. As true Laker Fans, I believe we’re better than that. The least we can do is have the PATIENCE to allow the game to unfold b4 we start going down that road.

    As far as the game, it’s all about Determination & Will. As Darius basically stated within the preview, to hell with the X’s and O’s. This will be the 10th time that these 2 teams have met this season. So I’m pretty sure that we know every play that they’re going to run b4 it’s even called by Coach Gentry/General Nash. And vice versa. The reason we were victorious in game 5 is because Ron Ron WANTED it (the rebound) more. He beat J. Rich to the spot & damn near ran over Captain Fish to propel us to victory.

    So 2nite’s game is going to be about who imposes their will on the other. Which team plays with more Desire & Passion. Bottom Line: Who Wants It More? I predict, by nights end, we’ll be THE ONLY Team taking that flight back to Cali.

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  30. I think the reason most people on here want to “complain” about the ref’s is just to have some confirmation/validation about what they are watching. While we say to ourselves “is it really that bad?” , or “am I just seeing things through Purple and Gold glasses?”. Listen, we are all homers to some extent, but I believe we ALL can’t be wrong. Most of us probably DVR the game and rewind the questionable calls and get rather upset when they don’t show the replay! I’ve noticed this more and more recently. So to those that “complain”… I’m with you. You’re not crazy.

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  31. Mike Penberthy May 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Not complaining. Just an observation from watching the NBA throughout the years.

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  32. Guys – legitimate question for you all. Say (fingers crossed) the Lakers win the championship. Again, Derek Fisher plays a major role as the rock of the team. A few years from now, Fisher retires – perhaps with even another championship.

    With 5 or 6 championships as a Laker, and with the history of big shots, great defense, and overall playoff mastery, does his number someday get retired as a great Laker? I know that’s a very small, select group — but I think there would be a definite case. What do you think? To me, it’s a classic “stats vs overall impact” argument.

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  33. Darius,
    The problem with the refs in game #5 was that it was so predictable, based on the crew. This game, not so much.

    I think all the ref comments relate more to game #5 than to what we think might happen in game #6.

    I am eagerly awaiting game #6 and I don’t anticipate the same problems with the ref crew. The real advantage with complaining now about game #5 is that we were able to win it, so it doesn’t sound so much like sour grapes.

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  34. Re the Kobe pic: After seeing Kobe with his new signature dunk (the one where he barely touches the rim) on the fastbreak, it was refreshing to see that he could still get up with that block on Amare. That’s got to be his fourth rejection of Stoudemire this series.

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  35. Darius I think your ‘lets not talk about the refs’ plan backfired.

    Very impressive list of teams we’ve been able to close out on the road. Very impressive indeed.

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  36. We have a reasonably good team – not championship, but reasonably good. Then we also have Kobe. My goodness how he must frustrate opposing coaches when they see what he is doing this series. The ability to see where the leaks are in our dam and then go there and plug them himself. For 10 minutes we need scoring, then we need some assists, then we need a few boards, then we need to staunch a Phoenix run.

    We so take this stuff for granted and we just shouldn’t do that. This is a great, great, great player we are watching and I just marvel at his game each and every night. We are so lucky to be Laker fans.

    Go Lakers!

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  37. Maybe its the fact that this is the Conference Finals and not the first round but I’m not sure why everybody is so scared of Phoenix.

    Oklahoma City is such a better team. They could both score AND play defense with any team in the league and also blew out the Lakers by 30 in Game 4. Phoenix has had two wins and neither was that impressive (both by single digits I believe) and they had a +44 free throw advantage (not trying to start a ref argument, just pointing it out). OKC also had a pretty nice FTA advantage but they brought it every night and they exploited the Lakers’ weaknesses (aggressiveness, defense against youthful legs). The Suns have made three’s. Yes that’s a product of poor transition defense and not running them off the three point line enough, but its not like they’re blowing by their man every play like the Thunder seemed to do.

    OKC was playing with no expectations while the Suns are playing with a false confidence that will actually come back to bite them this evening.

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  38. must not post about the refs …
    must not post about the refs …
    must not oh, hell!! The refs suck!!

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  39. TX Rob – right on! I replay many of the noncalls. I must have replayed Pau’s “missed dunk” five times. In any event, we just have to play through the calls. I predict that for us to win tonight, we need someone other than the usual suspects step up (a la Kareem Rush’s game 6 in the 04 WCF). Total team effort = win tonight and rematch with the Cs.

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  40. Celtics Nation – be careful what you wish for.

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  41. Why no one mentioned the fact after Pau was fouled on that dunk attempt, he sprinted down the floor and try to find a man to put a body on? That is some champ right there.

    Stop complaining about the refs and man up.

    Ball don’t lie!

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  42. Mike Penberthy May 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    To the Celtics fan. When your team basically takes 20 years off from being a relevant NBA franchise until Mchale gifted you Garnett, you lose any right to talk smack to anybody, especially the Lakers.

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  43. Mike Smrek: The requirement for having your jersey retired as a Laker seems to be membership in the Hall of Fame (Goodrich didn’t get #25 in the rafters till his induction to the HOF), so while I think he’ll go down as a great and beloved Laker, I think it’s unlikely we’ll see Fish’s #2 up there.

    Michael Cooper’s #21 should really be up there, but he’s not in the HOF, so there you go. And don’t get me started on the HOF’s continuing snub of Jamaal Wilkes (#52 – hey, that was your # too, Mike Smrek!)

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  44. @38 Celticnation, Welcome! There is nothing quite like an NBA championship game in June; than a Laker and Boston Celtics series!

    We won’t be disrespectful the Phoenix Suns are a worthy opponent. We still have some business to take care of; you’re there, and we’ll be there soon!

    Go Lakers!!!

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  45. @Mike Penberthy: to add – I don’t understand why those other fans point to the 9-2 score in the Finals and give it significant meaning. 7 of the 11 meetings happened between 1959 and 1969. It’s 2-2 in “recent” history and that history also includes almost 20 years of irrelevance (with probably the only bright spot being the ECF against the Nets in the 00s). Sure I understand the elders who like to boast the records and # of banners, but the casual fan or even the hardcore fan who’s been watching the NBA for the past 20-30 years.

    As for tonight… GO LAKERS!

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  46. Mike Smrek, when you played for the Lakers my sons YMCA team went undefeated!

    The team’s name was: The Smreks! Those were good times he was 5 years old!

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  47. anyone w/ the tnt overtime link? can’t seem to find it…

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  48. The Lakers will pull this out tonight, and go on to beat the Celtics in 6 at the longest. This is not the same Boston team that beat you guys 2 years ago. Rondo will be a handful, and Pierce will probably have a couple of good games but the Lakers are better at the other positions. I think that Artest can get into Pierce’s head, then who knows?

    I know I am getting ahead of myself with the Boston Predictions, but the Celtics Nation guy got me going – sorry! And I am not even a Laker fan.

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  49. Reggie Miller “If the Lakers lose 2nite, Phoenix wins this in 7.”

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  50. @51) Reggie Miller has been pretty accurate and he has the most impartial analyst. Though, one knows deep down inside he is a Laker at heart. He wanted to be a Laker since high school, the Lakers had no chance of getting him that year.

    Though the Clippers erred (one of many) that year when they drafted Reggie Williams (who) instead of Reggie ‘Hollywood’ Miller!

    Can you imagine what the Clipper Nation would have been like had the Clippers chosen Reggie Miller and made him the franchise player? We would actually have had a cross town rival!

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  51. Here we go….!

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  52. It would do my heart good if Lamar Odom blocked just one shot, just one shot this game!

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  53. 28) – My bad. I got the dates mixed up.

    Come on Lakers. Let’s send Amare Stoudemire into free agency in real style!

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  54. Ron’s lucky tip-in is carrying over to this game I think… a steal and dunk, now he makes a 3. This is a good sign.

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  55. Artest has been hit twice — once on that dunk, and again on that last little backwards hook. But he’s not going to get that call because he’s too strong.

    Kind of unfortunate, unless Hill actually lands on him there he’s not going to the line.

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  56. Why don’t more of the Lakers utilize that swing through under the arm of the defender on a jump shot to get to the freethrow line.

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  57. Look for Kobe to start hot in the first half.

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  58. @56….only kobe does that

    and this game looks like its gonna be a barn burner

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  59. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Well, at least Drew’s active tonight. And the game is being called evenly at both ends so far 😉

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  60. Come on Lamar we need more than just one effort defensively, would you put a hand up in his face, please? Tonight defensively we need a first, second and third effort.

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  61. Has anyone tried that NBA.com OVERTIME thing? It’s insane. Sure, I can watch the game live on my bigger HD TV, but I enjoy watching a camera following Kobe for the entire game.

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  62. @J-M
    Laptop. Then you can have it on TV as well.

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  63. foul on gasol, no offensive basket interference, free throw lane violation.

    okay.

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  64. kobe looked a little confused on that last shot. I don’t know why he stopped, he could have kept going then laid it off to Farmar.

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  65. I’m not going to comment on the refs..

    But that report on Bynum’s knee has me worried. Even when limited, he’s still key to beating Boston.

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  66. This second quarter is gonna tell the story of the game. Will our bench keep in good hands, or are they not gonna show up on the road again?

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  67. Yeah I’m watching it on my desktop with my TV next to me. Even watching on “Speed” as opposed to “Quality,” the feed is still delayed. So I muted my TV.

    It’s funny, they just showed Tim Thomas’ dagger 3-pointer against the Lakers from ’07 and Kobe looked up to watch it.

    Sounds like another fine, maybe? “Excitable refs..” Oh, Phil.

    0

  68. MACHINE!!!

    0

  69. Dunk the BALL!

    0

  70. Odom heard you. dunk!

    0

  71. Can you get a piece of paper under Drew’s feet when he jumps?

    0

  72. We got to get Bynum out of the game

    0

  73. Very disappointing defensive effort. Lamar gets caught not committing to a double team which leads to a Kobe fly by and free throws for J Rich……

    We will not be able to go on any kind of a run with defense like this. We are playing hard but not smart.

    Sasha hits a three to put us up six….and then our defensive gets shredded and we answer with turnovers and ill advised corner threes early in the shot clock.

    Bynum is done. Would love to be proved wrong later in the game (or the playoffs) but it’s just looking like he’s not gonna be able to overcome the injury.

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  74. If we dont start getting more defensive stops, there is no way we can keep up with the suns

    0

  75. We need defensive stops. We can’t continue exchanging basket. I know it’s early, but I would like to see us clean up on the def. rebounds a bit more.

    0

  76. Horrible call on the Bynum block. Wretched. Expected.

    0

  77. Refs ruining this game for BOTH teams.

    0

  78. Dear LO and Jordan:

    Please yell “MINE” when you’re both going for a loose ball.

    0

  79. I’m confused. Who is that, and where is the real Sasha?

    EDIT: Oh, there he is.

    0

  80. Even after two years, commentators are still saying Sasha gave himself his nickname.

    0

  81. I like Bynum’s energy tonight. Actually, I love it.

    0

  82. Farmar with the short corner 3

    0

  83. Like I said boys, this bench was going to tell the story, we aint getting beat if Sashs and Farmar are hitting 3’s

    0

  84. Glad the bench showed up to play today. Let’s just hope they can keep it up for the rest of game.

    0

  85. I see you Sasha! Farmar under control tonight, good job!

    0

  86. ….and Bynum immediately shows some heart and aggression!!

    Sasha and Farmar came to play tonight….very good sign. The Lakers are playing hard, that’s for sure. We’ll see how long this little burst lasts….

    0

  87. drew got up and that one. defense is picking up. dang timeout.

    0

  88. This bench lineup stayed in the game with their good defense (beautiful rotation)and now they’re cashing in on offense. Great to see.

    0

  89. hehe dragic dribbling to the side line there for a timeout huddle, and Sasha tries to make him flinch by runnig at him.

    It’s funny, the NBA doesn’t have enforcers like Hockey since there aren’t any real fights. Instead we have guys who are put in to peeve opposing players so much that they hopefully do something stupid. Meet Sasha.

    (And yes, this dovetails perfectly with Simmons’s idea to have one guy not shower for a week before a key game. Sasha already looks like he’s a little smelly — he should embrace this and stop using deoderant. A wannabe toughguy like Rondo is sure to throw a punch.)

    0

  90. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    As long as Drew gives us a more effective 20 minutes than Kwame, then he’s a net positive. He’s playing on one leg, people. He’s going to have trouble on some dunks whenever he needs to gather himself to rise up. But he’s still contesting shots on D, still rebounding, still setting screens, and still somewhat effective with the ball.

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  91. there we go!!! finally some bench contributions!!

    resolve, discipline and effort are the words of the night. we have all three and we’ll be ok.

    speaking of resolve… this is the first push either team has made out of +/- 4 or so. i expect to see the suns get some call and i hope are guys play right through them. like kobe said “so what if i hit a wall; i’m gonna run right through it”.

    0

  92. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    And that was a block by Drew on Amare, not by Pau.

    0

  93. Refs making bad calls but who cares? Lakers up 8—Farmar and Artest hitting shots and Vujacic playing with good energy. Bynum is looking better than you guys seem to be saying. Hit some shots and dunks. Kobe’s over 50% again. Overall, Lakers looking pretty good.

    Also Stoudemire is like 2-6 or something.

    Can I just say it again—-Artest is ON IT tonight.

    0

  94. Lots of ticky tack fouls called, but nothing we can do about it, just gotta keep playing good ball

    0

  95. How did Bynum push Steve Nash with Nash holding his hip?

    0

  96. Ron-Ron’s going crazy tonight. Farmar is bringing it. Bynum’s bringing it. If LO just rebounds and plays solid D, we’ll take this one!

    Go Lakers!

    0

  97. Can they get the freaking refs to call the game evenly? Every time the Lakers have a little run…fouls called against them. Laker players are hacked under the basket NO FOULS called. Suns players flinch…fouls called against the Lakers AND we have to suffer through listening to Marv Albert who might as well go sit on the Sun’s bench and help coach. The whole thing makes me sick. The commissioner is in it up to his eyeballs!!!

    0

  98. Gasoft. Goddamn.

    Kobe was shaking his head after Gasol missed that close range and then yelled something to him when they got to the bench. “BE AGGRESSIVE, PAU!” Maybe.

    0

  99. Two HAND DUNK Pau!

    0

  100. If I coud have only one guy back on a fastbreak playing defense, it would be Fisher.

    I wish breaking up fast breaks was a stat, he’d lead the league.

    0

  101. nice little spurt by the lakers

    anyone else think kobe is trying too hard to draw the foul on his jumper?

    0

  102. I love this time out by phil with 2:21 left in the quarter…he knows they have struggled closing quarters, do not want the suns to get momentum going into the half

    0

  103. Artest is having his best game as a Laker

    0

  104. Lakers are up on the suns in rebounding, but are over on fouls. Like i said before those foul calls are not consistent. Getting hacked on one end and getting foul calls on touch plays. It’s frustrating. Lakers still need to keep focus and go hard.

    0

  105. @drew – exactly. was just thinking that. refocus, finish strong.

    0

  106. I love the way we’re playing, but I hope we TRULY realize this is going to be a battle for four quarters…not just the half

    0

  107. Stay at home on Dudley, Kobe!

    0

  108. Kobe gets 4 points for being that far behind the line, right? 🙂

    0

  109. KB24, even when I am 5 feet beyond the arc, I’ll take the J, and make it!

    0

  110. #110, if not, at least count it as two 3-pointers made.

    0

  111. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Stop! Kobe time!

    0

  112. i LOVE LOVE LOVE that the lakers are playing within their offense. freakin’ beautiful.

    0

  113. Happy with the lead…terrible shot by Kobe on that made 3. I know it went in, but that was no better – probably worse – than Artest’s 3 in the last game with a minute left.

    Still, great to see the players attacking the zone. Lamar is an animal tonight.

    Not sure what’s up with Pau. He’s looked as off as Bynum.

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  114. I am not sure why, but anybody else feel like laughing hysterically when Craig Sager interviews Ron Artest? The combination of Artest talking and Sager’s purple suit may be the trick.

    0

  115. Reggie Miller just needs to STFU

    0

  116. 115 Matt what are you smoking the clock was winding down on that shot.

    0

  117. I do believe Artest is just a bit “off”…you know…one of those students you know isn’t quite all there, but hope makes it another way. I’m glad he has. Go Kobe and Lakers…don’t let the refs beat you!! Close it out tonight and get ready to take it to Boston!

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  118. 115

    Apart from the fact that 1) the clock was running down 2) it wasn’t in the last minute of a close game and 3) it was Kobe… Yeah, exactly the same situation.

    0

  119. 119: There were 8 seconds on the clock when Kobe caught it. You’re going to tell me that 28/30 foot shot is the right call there?

    Making the shot doesn’t make it a good shot.

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  120. Encouraging 1st half, especially defensively …. Also looks as if we’ve finally cracked that BS Zone that they’ve been applying …. Must keep applying the pressure. No let up …. First few mins of the 2nd half will be critical …. Bynum playing well. Pau needs to MAN UP …. Good to see us having a 12 pt lead without Kobe exerting too much energy so far. Should be fresh for the 2nd half …. Excellent Bench Support …. If we can keep up this Defensive Intensity in half # 2, we will (as I stated earlier) be the ONLY TEAM taking that flight back to L.A. …. Lets Get It

    0

  121. How the heck did they get Mindykaling to participate in DDL on espn.com? She’s hilarious.

    What’s next? Aziz Ansari?

    0

  122. Phil: “Don’t even give him the ball.”

    Hilarious.

    0

  123. Phil Jackson is cold.

    0

  124. Couple of bad passes to start. Suns won’t stay cold.

    0

  125. Where is Gasol today?

    0

  126. Is that the first time Collins has compared Kobe and Jordan tonight?

    0

  127. Here comes Nash. Put a body on him.

    0

  128. My God, Steve Nash is so good. Those shots he is making are more difficult than most of the horrible shots Kobe takes during the regular season. Unbelievable how talented a shooter he is.

    0

  129. Stat just ran right over Gasol there.

    That was a foul when Jason Richardson did it, why isn’t it a foul with Stat does it?

    0

  130. The NBA should get Kobe and Nash in the H-O-R-S-E contest for All-Star weekend. The degree of difficulty on some these shots is off the charts.

    0

  131. Is it just me or does it seem like every ball that goes out of bounds goes against the Lakers even when it seems like the Suns touched it. I’m not saying every single one of them should be against the Suns but definitely some of them are.

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  132. Matt: Because Pau is “soft” and Fish ain’t, hence Pau’s faking. Bro-logic.

    0

  133. 133, The Lakers are taller and reaching out for the ball, so I think they’re trying to tip the balls back but missing just a little and instead tipping them out. I see what you’re seeing, but it’s probably just because the Lakers are just plain taller than the Suns are thus get a lot of tips.

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  134. We are still controlling the pace really well, as long as we do that we will be fine

    0

  135. Maybe the refs forgot Pau was playing…

    0

  136. Much Respect to General Nash. 2nd Time 2nite that he’s hit 1 of those Rainbow Jumpers over our 7 footers.

    0

  137. Bynum has 4 fouls but he’s playing like a key piece tonight. He’s working his ass off.

    0

  138. @Joel
    You mean he is?

    0

  139. I could get used to “Artest for the putback.”

    0

  140. On that screen Amare puts his hip into Derek Fisher, that’s a moving screen.

    Watch Artest he is holding his finger again!

    0

  141. Lakers are going out of their way not to shoot 3s. They’ve put up a couple where they had almost no choice but it’s clearly been something that Phil must have told them – fewer threes means fewer long rebounds and runouts. Plus although shooting 33% from 3 and 50% from 2 is the same expected point total, those extra misses create more total running opportunities even when not long rebounds. I like the strategy.

    EDIT: Just on queue, Kobe jacks up a 28 footer, lol.

    0

  142. Pau seems hesitant and not very decisive or aggressive. There’s been a couple of times already where he could have gotten the rebound/loose ball if he tried a little harder, but instead was just slow to react and gave it to the Suns.

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  143. Whew. Gasol and Odom bailed out on that call against Stat.

    0

  144. I think Kobe is sensing blood… he’s going for the kill already.

    0

  145. What I like the most about Ron Artest’s offense is that he is ENGAGED in the game!

    0

  146. 143, I don’t mind that three by Kobe. Artest had perfect rebounding position; the ball just took a long bounce.

    And wow, I thought Andrew Bynum was a black hole, look at Amar’e Stoudemire. All 5 Lakers are swarming him and he’s got no eyes other than those on the basket.

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  147. This is exciting stuff but we’ve blown bigger leads than this.. most recently about 48 hours ago.

    EDIT: Amazing lefthanded hurl by Artest!

    0

  148. Wow….just wow. How did Artest hit that layup?

    0

  149. LMAO ARTEST!!!

    0

  150. hahahah It’s Artest’s night tonight…

    0

  151. Damn, Ron-Ron must be living right.

    0

  152. Zephid, I’ve been noticing that about Amare since the Spurs series where he broke out a few years back – the best strategy with him is the exact opposite strategy you take with most of the Suns. Swarm him on defense and he’ll rarely make the right play. Swarm Nash, Hill, or even Richardson like that and you’re going to be watching a layup parade.

    0

  153. On a side note…I am going to miss Doug Collins. I always enjoyed his insight. Good luck to him in Philly.

    0

  154. Oh oh.. here comes the bench 🙁

    And immediately Farmar gets completely lost and gives up a 3.

    0

  155. The Suns are losing to Ron Artest on offense. This is great! 😀

    0

  156. That was not the way to come out of the time out for us.

    0

  157. Farmar at least 10 feet away from Barbosa on that 3.

    0

  158. Stop! Kobe time!

    0

  159. Kobe is unconscious right now.

    0

  160. kobe going for the kill! mama there goes that man!

    0

  161. Kobe doesn’t want to allow another comeback but making these shots CAN be fool’s gold sometimes with him (meaning he can’t keep hitting them all night, unustainable). Hope it continues.

    EDIT:

    17 point lead with 12 minutes go to. 12 minutes of sound basketball and we move on. It doesn’t even have to be great basketball, just good.. and mainly defense.

    0

  162. And Kobe goes for the kill…

    0

  163. KB24 is totaly amazing, is he really dropping these J’s.

    0

  164. I would have liked that out-of-bounds play better if we had inbounded it to Sasha.

    And wow, Kobe almost hit it on the steal.

    0

  165. I disagree with Doug Collins. I think Phil keeps Kobe in to start the 4th and goes for the kill.

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  166. that wouldve been epic if kobe hit that shot at the end of the 3rd

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  167. I loved the reaction from that Sun’s fan when Kobe hit that rediculous third jumper in a row hahaha.

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  168. That last Kobe jumper that went in was just absurd…this dude is the greatest shot-maker under duress of all time, bar none.

    Loved seeing the looks on Suns’ fans faces after it went in, too.

    One more quarter! Let’s get it done!

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  169. 12 minutes away from the Final. Keep it up Lakers and put the Suns away

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  170. gogogogo!!!! play hard and you will have 6 days to rest

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  171. I’d just like to say…if anyone had told me that by the start of the 4th Pau Gasol would have only 7 points and Artest had taken 15 shots, including 6 threes, I’d have asked if we were down by 20 or 30.

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  172. Up 17 Heading Into The 4th. WE BETTER CLOSE THIS S.H.I.T. Out.

    0

  173. Despite Gasol is almost out of the game tonight the Suns continue double-teaming him, even off the ball.
    And they are creating a lot of spaces in doing so….I really don’t get it but I’m happy they’re diying in that Gasol-obssession…lol

    0

  174. Sasha – not what we need.

    0

  175. Ron Artest may be getting his just reward, seeing as how he has been maligned all of his career as the instigator or the hot head. When all along he said that he just wanted to play basketball. Sometimes the stars align right for one when they do things right regardless of what the public’s opinion is of one.

    Hope the Lakers can win this thing! See here goes Sasha totally out of control!

    0

  176. What a flop. What a FLOP.

    Dragic freaking turned around to look at the camera on that.

    Can we have Sasha vs. Dragic 1 on 1?

    0

  177. Oh wow. That was extremely stupid by Sasha. Now the crowd is back in it, and the Suns are pissed.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

    0

  178. Why is he covering his face after getting tapped in the chin?

    0

  179. thats stupid just stupid

    0

  180. Can’t put a price tag on that kind of stupid.

    Oh wait, 15 million.

    And it’s a flagrant. Should also be a double technical but won’t be. This could be a seven point possession.

    On the other hand Kobe gets a little extra rest due to the hullaboo

    0

  181. Really bad play by Sasha, I got a bad feeling about this

    0

  182. wow. flagrant 1?!?! after review?!

    come on.

    stupid by sasha. really stupid. not a flagrant..

    0

  183. Worst flagrant foul I’ve ever seen called, ever. Period. I could see a technical on Vujacic, but a flagrant? Idiocy. Inexcusable.

    0

  184. Sasha did it on purpose. Notice how his left arm/shoulder goes way higher than his right, knowing that Dragic is on his left?

    Stupid move. We are up 15. Finish the freaking game. Don’t let your personal grudge take hold on the court.

    Now we are only up 13 with Suns ball.

    ———

    Wow. This is why you don’t spark the Suns players and its crowd when they’ve been dejected the entire game.

    0

  185. 6 point play.

    Well done Sasha.

    0

  186. 6 points off the lead in 42 seconds. Awesome.

    0

  187. Put Kobe back in. Get this unit out.

    0

  188. Timeout and change the lineup please. ****ing Vujacic.

    0

  189. Man was that a big shot by Farmar…..

    0

  190. Not time for Hero Kobe. That’s why I called those shots at end of third fool’s gold.

    0

  191. Sasha had better get in serious trouble for this.

    0

  192. Big offensive rebound by Gasol.

    0

  193. Devastating mental breakdown by Sasha…..but the bigger brain fart is Phil not starting the 4th with Kobe…..you start him to start the 4th and then he can rest the last 6 minutes of the game after the Suns are buried….now we are in huge trouble.

    0

  194. What happened to the camera guy, it looked like he got seriously hurt?

    0

  195. same rules as the first half. no big finish needed. no hero shots needed.

    resolve, discipline, effort.

    0

  196. Really a stupid move by Vujacic. This is the problem with the idea of using him as an “irritant”. He’s always set up opposite someone who is better than he is. So he ticks them off and they explode on him.

    0

  197. Has Sasha Vujacic seen his last game as a Laker?

    0

  198. Dudley landed on him.

    0

  199. Right Kobe’s shots are fool’s gold, but who else pray tell should take the shot? Head not in the game Pau, bad shooting Lamar, or poor shot Artest?

    0

  200. What we need to do is slow the pace down again and go inside the paint as much as possible, cant let the suns get on the run, i agree, not time for hero kobe

    0

  201. They said Sasha played himself off of the Slovenian team…looks like he did the same on the Lakers tonight.

    0

  202. FIsher with a much needed shot, but we need to play defense.

    BLATANT trip by Stoudamire. Not sure why the fans are crying (except that they are fans, hehe)

    0

  203. WHOA

    Score error there- it was 93-86 and they just gave Derek Fisher 1 pt for his 2 pt jumper.

    0

  204. Why did we only get one point for Fisher’s shot?

    EDIT: Never mind, they fixed it.

    0

  205. Another HUGE shot by Derek Fisher.

    0

  206. Error fixed.

    0

  207. Why won’t they let you set those kinds of screens Collins, they’ve been doing it all series long?

    0

  208. Lakers playing outside themselves right now, bad shots.

    EDIT: I really feel like TNT goes out of their way not to show calls that could be considered questionable (both ways). I have to assume it’s intentional. IT’s just odd. I remember groweing up NBC would show a replay on almost every play..

    Lakers taking TERRIBLE shots right now. Need to settle down.

    0

  209. Gasol looks awful tonight. I almost want to see Bynum in.

    0

  210. Whoa…how was that a foul on Odom? That’s a JUMP BALL.

    0

  211. We are really out of sink…

    0

  212. Those bad shots aren’t going in for us anymore.

    0

  213. Pau is playing some of the worst I’ve seen him play in the post-season. He can’t make this a habit. He absolutely can’t.

    Can we get Andrew back on the court please?

    0

  214. I don’t want to see Vujacic come off the bench ever again.

    0

  215. Every ensuing basket, I want to punch Sasha more.

    0

  216. Suns are playing like their season is on the line. Lakers are playing like the game ended late in the third quarter when they went up 18.

    EDIT:

    Can barely complete a pass right now..

    0

  217. seriously, guys. who saw this coming? pau is killing us. we need a stop and a score. just calm things down.

    0

  218. I aint the kind of guy to point the finger at any 1 player but…..Sasha’s dumb foul is the whole cause of this collapse. Basketball is a game of momentum and that play totally gave it all to the Suns.

    0

  219. 4 points all quarter… and it’s NOT the Sun’s stifling defense…

    0

  220. Phil should put bynum back in game to deter the penetration

    0

  221. While I agree that this has been Pau’s worst game of the post-season offensively, he’s actually played some pretty solid defense. Now’s the time to show why he was the MVP of the World Cup though.

    0

  222. Pau is having probably the worst game of his professional career. He looks lost out there right now…like he’s never seen a double-team before.

    0

  223. I just don’t understandwhy 4 fouls mean fouling out for bynum. Bynum has played pretty well and gasol has been terrible in every aspect of the gam. And bynum can’t get a minute of the 4th.

    0

  224. 226. Good defense? Nah i beg to differ. Amare is doing with him as he wills

    0

  225. I am uneasy at the moment.

    0

  226. 17 pt game is now a 5 pt game. Must clamp down and close this out. Show that championsip mettle.

    0

  227. CARELESS CARELESS CARELESS

    0

  228. Amare’s maximum achievement as a player is to make the refs “buy” an unwrited law consisting in:

    1.He is allowed to run into the zone with elbow/knee (or both) extended.

    2.If somebody goes near him during that second he get suspended in the air gets automatically fouled

    Apart from that I will go with 6/8 PF in NBA way better than him

    0

  229. Fisher saving us again….

    0

  230. Oh Hero Kobe. How we haven’t missed you. Nice shot by Fish though.

    I’m marked for moderation on every post. I guess I’m posting too much. Watching the game alone and don’t have anyone to complain to 😉

    EDIT: Poor Pau. He’s not allowed to stand behind Amare.

    EDIT: “Suns do not have a team foul in the 4th quarter” *BITES TONGUE BITES TONGUE BITES TONGUE*

    0

  231. We have the most cold-blooded backbourt in the league. Unbelievable.

    0

  232. i will kill anyone who’s complaining about fisher again!

    0

  233. FISHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

  234. Kobe+ FIsher….pure playoff money

    And what is UP with Gasol?? This is the worst game I think I’ve EVER seen him play.

    0

  235. Wow…. Gasol is 1 of 7…. is he hurt?

    0

  236. This is getting Game 4 Boston bad…..Kobe and Fisher keeping us alive….we just need Lamar or Pau to put together a solid 2 minute stretch and we can squeak by….

    0

  237. Also, let’s not forget Odom’s HUGE offensive rebound.

    0

  238. Wow. Foul on Gasol, huh? Interesting.

    0

  239. We need a nickname for Fish that describes his coldblooded shot making ability just like Kobe has Black Mamba

    0

  240. Horrible call there

    0

  241. Bad call on Gasol.

    0

  242. Is it possible to even glance at Amare without a foul being called?

    0

  243. Makeup call?

    EDIT: Replay. Yes, make up call. Will we see a replay of what happened to Odom after the offensive rebound? No, I think we will not.

    0

  244. Make-up call on Stat after they let Odom get mauled underneath.

    Big flop by Gasol.

    0

  245. Woho – redemption with a European soccer flop:D

    0

  246. LOL, that one was even worse.

    0

  247. This is tense!

    0

  248. My goodness Lamar if you aren’t going to DUNK on an offensive rebound in a tight game take the ball out and use the shot clock to your advantage.

    To many boneheaded plays in the fourth quarter!

    0

  249. We do have a nickname for him,don’t we? He’s the Fisher King. 🙂

    0

  250. Lakers got 8 points this whole quarter. Suns 20.

    0

  251. I never would understand why Amare is allowed to almost everything by the refs…

    0

  252. Mimsy is that what it really is? We need something better

    0

  253. Lakers are coming apart at the seams.

    EDIT: Kobe six years ago would have tomahawk dunked that on Frye, hehehe. Oh well..

    0

  254. Frozen Fisher? :p

    0

  255. Hero Kobe is looking like the best option right now…

    0

  256. I’m sorry there is no excuse for Lamar and Pau letting Nash walk down the middle of the lane untouched

    0

  257. I just wish that Kobe and Fisher had team mates that know how to rise to the occasion like them.

    0

  258. OMG. Kobe.

    0

  259. Stop! Kobe time!

    0

  260. Its embarassing how bad these refs have been in this series, and I NEVER complain about officiating.

    BLACK MAMBA best basketball player alive

    0

  261. Kobe is amazing……just amazing….

    0

  262. Kobe has had an AMAZING series. Unbelievable.

    0

  263. KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

  264. kobe!

    0

  265. OK I take it all back. Hero Kobe is the best choice.

    0

  266. Who’s the best PLAYER in the NBA? His name is not King! Haha!

    0

  267. Mamba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

  268. It ends tonight!

    0

  269. Holy crap. Odom was literally less than .5 second away from an eight-second violation.

    Black Mamba. Wow. Wow. WOwowowowoowowowoWOWOWO!

    Never ceases to amaze me.

    0

  270. kobe time!!!!!!

    0

  271. It’s amazing to see Kobe play this way and still know that Lebron is the better player….(ehhhh)

    0

  272. oh. my. god.

    WE ARE SO LUCKY to watch someone like this.

    kobe is so special.

    0

  273. It’s amazing to see how much more focused and calm and effective Kobe gets as the pressure increases.

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  274. Just wow. This is what watching greatness is like. I haven’t felt like this as a Laker fan since watching Magic.

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  275. What do you guys think is going to happen to sasha after tonight? Probably not play the rest of the year? Thoughts?

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  276. Ugg. That shot was absolutely disgusting, Kobe is amazing.

    That being said, part of me wishes he had leaned in there and drawn the foul, Hill was a hair away from him as it is. He’s good for two from the line, there’s no reason to fade a little there and not seek contact.

    Kobe is amazing. I’ve never seen anyone shoot like this over an entire playoffs (minus games 1 and 2 against OKC). This is like the end of the Gold medal game but with a much higher degree of difficulty.

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  277. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Great decision by Phil to put Artest on Amare for that possession.

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  278. What TIME IS IT? Celtic time, whoo!

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  279. Phil is not going to overreact with Sasha. If he needs him, he’ll play him.

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  280. Do NOT like that Collins and Albert are talking up the next series. 7 points in 23.7 seconds? It’s been done. Hope that’s not what Phil is talking about in the huddle.

    EDIT: Ron Ron. Let’s go now buddy. 1-2.

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  281. if we think that the refs love amare, wait til next round with pierce “drawing fouls” on our frontcourt… we’ll need to play a lot better to bring it home.

    this was an amazing 4th quarter for Mamba though!

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  282. Remember that Sasha has actually played well. That was a bonehead play, sure. But it looks like he’s found his shooting touch again, which makes him an asset – especially considering how ShanWow is playing.

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  283. Of COURSE Nash hits that 3. And was wide open to take one. This game is not over..

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  284. Bring on the Celtics . . . I know the Lakers are better than the 2008 team but I’m not convinced the Celtics are.

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  285. Make free throws please.

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  286. Andreas – remember what happened once he reentered that game. Let me think…

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  287. Refrigerator…

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  288. OK… THAT will do it. Phew. Great series, Suns. Much respect to Nash, Warrior.

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  289. Looks like Stoudamire is pulling a ’09 LeBron.

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  290. CelticsNation, would you mind not trying to immediately live up to all our worst expectations about your team’s fan base? At least win a game in June before you start celebrating.

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  291. 2006/2007 avenged! next!

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  292. On to the Finals, 12 down 4 to go
    Beat Boston

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  293. Back to the doghouse for Vujacic.

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  294. Kobe: “I’m going to kill him.”

    Craig: “What about now?”

    Kobe: “I’m still going to kill him.”

    Now the question is, if Kobe kills Sasha, that reduces our luxury tax next season, right?

    And why do people bother responding to Celtics Nation? He is the singular troll on this forum. Don’t feed the trolls and they lose their joy.

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  295. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Celtics Nation, I would imagine that Fish will chase Ray, and Kobe will guard Rondo. And this time, you won’t have Vlad Rad and Luke taking turns guarding Pierce. You will have a junkyard dog guarding him, though.

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  296. Mike Penberthy May 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Lakers in 5 over celtics. This is similar to 87. By that time the Lakers were just a better team. They also aged better than the celtics. Same thing this year.
    As for Rondo, evrybody torches Fisher. Rondo won’t torch him any more than Nash, Williams or Westbrook did.

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  297. What a game by Kobe Bryant.

    Only 1 assist, but I suspect that has something to do with the complete absence of Pau Gasol in this game.

    As for the Celtic Nation, don’t feed the trolls.

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  298. haha. the man said “guaranSHEED”.

    the only guarantees with Sheed involve shrinking under pressure and getting T’d up so consistently you could set a clock to it.

    if i were you i’d choose a new slogan prior to thursday.

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  299. thank god we have kobe and fisher

    they really bailed us out

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  300. Forum Blue and Gold, let’s enjoy this victory, don’t take the bait from Celtic’s Nation. We have plenty of time in the next five days to spar with Celtic fans!

    We’ve got a lot of work to do! First we must analyze what has taken Pau out of the game so dramatically. He has had bad scoring games before, but this game he was not in it mentally. He usually gets rebounds, assists or blocks shots when his offense is off.

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  301. Celtics Nation: your team really hasn’t won all that much in June considering the fact that only 5 of your 20 Finals series took place in June also In fact, it wasn’t until 1984 that your team won a game in that month of the year. The Finals took place in April for the majority of those banners your team hangs up in the rafters.

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  302. First of all, congrats to the Suns for playing a great series.

    Second of all, there is unfinished business so I’m happy with the determined demeanor of the squad right now in the trophy presentation.

    Thirdly, Celtics fans are more than welcome to come and discuss the Finals. However, trolling and baiting comments will get deleted. Read the commenting guidelines and try to add something to the discussion by speaking on the game intelligently.

    Fourthly, the recap will be up in the morning. Feel good about this win, but as I said, unfinished business awaits. I will say though, three straight Finals berths feels fantastic.

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  303. Look at Ron Artest in the back talking to Adam Morrison, a guy that has practiced all year long but is denied the opportunity to dress for a Western finals championship (and deservedly so). But that’s just the kind of guy that he is, he is really an unassuming guy when he is off the basketball court.

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  304. Guaranteed game 7?! Not with Kobe around! Who’s the BEST PLAYER now?! I guess all the Phoenix, Orlando and Cleveland ‘die hards’ will now become Boston “faithfuls”. Hush all you haters… you just saw the Lakers starting to flex their muscles. Be afraid… be very afraid… GO LAKERS!!!

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  305. I’m so grateful i lived in this generation… to witness Kobe rise above and close out in a very hostile environment, under extreme pressure. Just so beautiful to watch… Thank you Kobe for winning this game for us fans.

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  306. No celebration by the Lakers, because nothing has been done yet. The Celtics are going to be tough, and not underestimated like the last time the Lakers played them, that gave them the edge in game 1 and the series.
    The next series will be a bloodbath. I want vengeance. Enjoy tonight, but know that we have a job to do. Completely different team than the Suns, so expect completely different types of ballgames.

    Go Lakers.

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  307. One thing is for sure about the Finals, Pau must wake up and find some type of offensive groove and get on the glass. We dont need him to average 20 a game because every game in the series will be low scoring I suspect. We need him to pitch in with a moderate stat line because this series will be won by whoever controls the frontline.

    Rondo is a better player than 2008 but he still cannot shoot and the Celtics do not have Sam Cassel to come in and knock down jumpers, nor Eddie House to hit dagger 3’s. All that’s necessary is to lay off the guy and make him shoot. Ron can guard Paul, and Garnett isn’t the player he once was and he isnt even the offensive threat he was in 2008. Ray Allen’s 3 point shot will be the biggest offensive threat they have to stop.

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  308. Steve Nash is great. The man is impressive, an amazing player and a real warrior. Almost any team with him leading them is going to be a great team.

    Kobe carried us to victory this game. Now, on to Boston. (I will resist future urges to feed trolls, I promise. Apologies.)

    Plan of attack:
    Transplant a spine into Pau, so he doesn’t become an invisible non-factor as soon as the Celtic front line start knocking him around.

    Re-apply the magic pixie dust that made the bench play good defense and shoot well. Also re-apply it to Ron to make his 3’s go in.

    Supply Lamar with whatever it is he needs that keeps him focused and aggressive all game long. (I’m thinking divine intervention might be required on this one.)

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  309. Alvin Gentry-All class, and a tremendous coaching job….Suns coaches gave Laker coaches all they could handle, as did the Suns players.

    And now the Apocalypse Series is upon us…….

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  310. I’m helping Kobe kill Sasha. Who’s joining me?

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  311. I like Alvin Gentry. He’s a calm, happpy person. I don’t like the screamers for coaches.

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  312. @kswagger
    Two over here! I’ll lend you a sword if you need one. 😉

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  313. Gentry is a great guy. I’m not saying that just because he praised Bryant, but because he’s such a positive coach. Totally the opposite of Stan Van Gundy.

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  314. Yea but no one is more calm than Phil haha

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  315. I really like Alvin Gentry… Good coach… Seems like a great person.

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  316. Ive been a Lakers fan since dad took me to see them in the mid 70s and it is still as exciting as ever watching them in the playoffs. It is amazing how management manages to get the best players in each generation. I am glad to be a fan of this team.

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  317. Props to Alvin Gentry and Steve Nash and the rest of the Phoenix team. Class acts. Great series. Night and day from our last WCF against Denver with all those punks and trash talkers, with Kenyon Martin saying right after the series that they were the “better” team and they should have won the series. I have no hate for this Phoenix team. Just respect and admiration. Steve Nash, just join the Lakers coz you deserve a ring

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  318. Alvin Gentry is all class. I want good things for him and Steve Nash…but not at the expense of the Lakers.

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  319. I really like how Gentry handled the question about next year. He feels like this has been a fun year and hopes all the players can come back. Sure, they have holes on their roster, and Gentry may have made mistakes, but no point fretting and pointing fingers instead of enjoying the magnitude of success you’ve achieved. Contrast this with a lot of teams w/ championship or bust philosophies that lead to underappreciating your season.

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  320. I do not think Sasha Vujacic could find a body guard in all of SO CAL that would take the job

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  321. Alvin Gentry: “Kobe’s the best player in basketball and I don’t think it’s even close.”

    Ouch. What a string of shots for Kobe. Just amazing.

    Revenge. Redemption. Legacy. History. Lakers have a lot on the line in this Finals.

    Phil: “There’s nothing worse than losing in The Finals.”

    Hear, Hear Phil. Hear, hear.

    Let’s go Lakers!!!

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  322. Pau has had a couple bad games, but I believe he will bounce back in the Finals. When Pau plays bad, everyone reverts to criticizing his “soft” play comparing it to how he played against the Celtics two years ago. He has played through almost two more years’ worth of playoffs since then and won a championship by holding his own against Dwight Howard. I have no doubt Pau will get his groove back.

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  323. >>>I do not think Sasha Vujacic could find a body guard in all of SO CAL that would take the job

    it would be even harder should lakers lose tonight.

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  324. Well, I predicted the Lakers wouldn’t get out of the first round – and they did.

    I didn’t believe in them then, and, you know what, I don’t believe in them now.

    This team, in my opinion, still lacks the heart, the fire, the defensive intensity necessary to win it all.

    Two players who will be key are Gasol and Bynum. Now, Bynum gave them a good 20 minutes tonight, but will that be enough against Garnett and Perkins? Gasol? Well, he’s still a finesse player, and will always be a finesse player. Nothing wrong with that, except it got him totally taken out of his game in the last finals these two played in. He just cannot withstand that kind of intense body banging defense Boston is going to put on him.

    So, that leaves us with Artest, he’s the wild card we didn’t have two years ago. If he is starting to get his game back, then I think the Lakers can take these guys, but if he can’t, the Lakers will not win this series.

    The Lakers are too inconsistent, too schizophrenic, and too lazy for my tastes. However, give credit where credit is due, they went further than I ever thought they would.

    My prediction for the series: If Artest and Bynum can make up for Gasol; Lakers in seven.
    But, if they can’t, then Celtics in six.

    But, dear God, don’t let that happen. I hate the Celtics with the fervent heat of a million gigawatts. I was a Laker fan through all those heartbreaking finals losses to Russell in the 60’s, and died a thousand deaths in the 1984 finals, and 2008 finals. So, come on Lakers, do like the Fish hike up those shorts put on your skowl, and make those punks eat leather every time they shoot!

    GO LAKERS!!!

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  325. I am sooo happy at this moment, I can’t wait for the Darius post game wrapup, should put a bigger smile on my face than I already have.

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  326. i like that some think us the minor underdogs taking to account that boston handed orlando and cleveland earlier exits. much as i don’t want to underestimate boston (rondo is a beast and i think their bench can just erupt a la 08 with nate and rasheed), but i like this situation we are in and the challenge we are putting on our shoulders. kobe’s eyes say enough. the job is not yet done.

    that said, pau has to go to some “playing in the clutch” class. hoping ron – ron remains a steady force, but the shutting down of pierce will already be of big help. my biggest concern is bynum’s play. he was more active today and he has been that variable ever questioned to take our team over the top. we need more scoring and solid denial in the paint from him at least.

    GO LAKERS!

    kudos to the suns…

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  327. @ Dick Barnett 332

    I am so glad you put the last line there: “Go Lakers”…. because it sure does make up for the first 3 paragraphs of bashing and pessimism you wrote towards the Lakers.

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  328. Coul somebody shoot Sasha? Right on the floor. In the knee. Make that – in both knees, just to be sure. For six points he could at least beat the **** out of Dragic. But to pay 6 points for _this_?

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  329. against the celtics, we don’t need more offense, we need better defense.

    although i wonder, if lakers can switch their mindset again back to execute offense against man-to-man defense after executing really well against zone.
    the 4qtr of this game says that it could be an issue, although it will just open up more opportunity for kobe

    but in the end, i think we match up better for the celtics than we are for the suns.
    it’s seriously a battle of one-on-one.
    i mean how:
    bynum vs perkins
    gasol vs garnett
    artest vs pierce
    kobe vs allen
    fisher vs rondo
    (although on defense i know it could be kobe guarding rondo)
    odom vs sheed
    brown vs m. daniels
    farmar vs nate

    looking at this, i can say each player can play each other pretty well, so it will come to who execute defense better to win each match up.

    i say we have a very good chance to have our revenge.

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  330. REVENGE!!!

    The smile on my face is huge

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  331. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Tonight was one of those nights where Drew should have played more. He was very effective while he was out there, and when he was on the bench the Suns got to the rim almost at will.

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  332. Dick Barnett,

    It must be really miserable not to be able to enjoy anything for even a second.

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  333. Good thing Dick Barnett the Lakers don’t know you. So you will only believe on them when they’ll win the trophy? My God, talk about a Laker fan.

    Anyways, I’ve called Lakers in 6.
    But this Celtics-Lakers series will be Lakers in 5.

    Note that. 🙂

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  334. I wouldn’t worry as much about the starting 5 for the Lakers (minus Bynum’s knee) It’s going to come down to the benches and how they perform on each other’s floor.

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  335. Dick…that’s just utterly ridiculous. Fire and heart is what got them a 4-2 victory against a younger, healthier, faster team in OKC.

    It’s what caused them to sweep an extremely well-coached Utah team.

    It’s what enabled them to play with composure even when an 18 point lead had dwindled to 3- on the road in a game 6 that was Must-Win for the home team.

    Furthermore, consider that the Lakers have closed out every single series in these playoffs on the road this time. That says something about their “fire and heart” that your comments don’t take into account.

    I said it before this series started and I’m saying it again—-I KNOW this Laker team can defeat the Celtics. I believe they will do it in 6 games.

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  336. This Finals could shape up like the 2005 showdown between the Pistons and Spurs. I’m guessing it goes 7 games.

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  337. Why haven’t anyone thought of using someone like DJ to get Perkins a T? Perkins has 6 Ts, 1 more he’ll be automatically suspended. Just get someone like DJ to piss him off so he gets a T. I wonder why no one does this…there is “hack a shaq” type of strategies, what about baiting people into a technical? We should try to use DJ to get rasheed and perkins each a T. then use powell or adom morrison to get them each another T.

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  338. Talk about a quiet hero……

    Jordan Farmar : 8 points on 3-4 shooting in 16 minutes of play with 5 assists and NO TURNOVERS!!!!!!! He was outstanding tonight, to say the least.

    Ron Ron deserves the props he will get, and the Mamba was, well…..it’s starting to border on the preposterous how many tough shots he’s made with the pressure on…..

    Lakers also go 18-9 assist to turnover and shoot 82% from the line…..a statistical sign of the poise and focus they played with throughout the game, save the stretch I will heretofore refer to as “Sasha-nobyll”

    12 down, 4 to go.

    I am also snacking on my “Bynum is done” words….He is a very complicated player for me to diagnose, and I’m never really resolved towards how I feel about him, but he gutted out some EFFECTIVE minutes tonight, and I actually believe the Boston series might be a chance for him to contribute consistently, because yes those boys are physical, but Perkins and Davis are not going to be found out at the 3 point line with regularity, and the pace will be more Andrew-friendly…..Trying hard to enjoy this one (Think of all the fans in the Western Conference who would die to see their team in the finals three straight years!) and yet, as Darius as pointed out, hard not to focus on Un…..Finished……Business.

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  339. The Dude Abides May 29, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    If the series is tied 2-2 for Game 5 in Boston, then Lakers in six. If Lakers have a 3-1 lead before Game 5, then Lakers in five.

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  340. Everyone, Cheers.

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  341. Ron Artest on Paul Pierce. I can’t stop thinking about it. If Ron can do his job and the Lakers can play some good team D to keep Rondo under control they have a great chance to hang another banner in Staples. Of course, that is easier said than done.

    I hope LeBron and the rest of the free agents are recording these games by Kobe. That man is showing (yet again) how to get it done when it counts.We are truly witnessing greatness.

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  342. IF the Lakers can somehow win 4 of there next 7 games, my guess is that they will be NBA champions.

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  343. Was at game in Valley of the Sun tonight and when Kobe made the baseline shot over Hill the looks on the people around me was priceless. I was like “this guy in not real”.

    Best game in Ron’s career. Fish was just outstanding on defense and nails on open shots.

    Sasha is a bonehead. He was in Europe and will always be. That’s is the reason Phil hasen’t played him and he should not although Boston dosen’t have and Serbians on their team.

    My only concern aganist Boston is Pau. He was weak aganist Lopez what will happen to him aganist Perkins, Wallace and Garnet. 3 mean dirty players.

    Got to get back home to the Newport Beach. Not only do the Suns fans get wacked but they have to live in a hot desert.

    Hahahahahaha.

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  344. As I stated earlier ” …. by nights end, we’ll be THE ONLY Team taking that flight back to Cali.”

    But on Another Note, much Respect to General Nash. I Salute You. The man is so under appreciated. I understand that we have several Good (Paul, D. Williams, Billups, Parker …) , and up & coming (Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, Jennings …) Point Guards in the Association, but if I had to choose 1 to go to war with in a game 7, I would choose Nash over all of them. His Shooting Accuracy, Determination/Competitiveness & High Basketball IQ more than makes up for what he lacks on the defensive side of the ball. Simply put, in my Opinion, one of the Best that’s ever Done It @ the PG position.

    With that being said, I’m Happy as Hell that his Prediction of taking this series back to L.A. was off. Now we move on to the next one: Boston. But I’ll take my time & appreciate the fact that we’ll be representing the Western Conference for the 3rd year in a row. An accomplishment within itself. Looking 4ward to the Game Recap from Darius & Crew.

    Laker 4 Life ….. Go Hard Or Go Home

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  345. Why all the Sasha hate?

    All he did was raise his arms after Dragic (?) advanced on him, evidently talking trash, and bumped into him. I saw Sasha’s move as reflexive and too bad Dragic’s face was in the way. Maybe he should keep his face out of places where it doesn’t belong.

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  346. Kobe – WOW

    Fisher – Pretty good for the worst point guard/starter in the league eh Aaron?

    Pau – 3 bad games in a row and most everyone is on his case for being soft again. Geez.

    Bynum – for all of his knee issues the past few years, I am not going to question his heart and desire to play this game.

    Ron-Ron – You’re crazy, but man, I cannot wait to see you D up Pierce.

    —————————–

    btw, how is KG not suspended for those two punches at D. Howard’s arm? I know it wasn’t to the face, but i thought the rule was you can’t throw a closed fist punch at all?? DARIUS/Zephid a lil help?

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  347. oh, also

    So Mike Penberthy, you’re thinking the Lakers are going to win now?

    Dick Barnett – seriously?? SERIOUSLY?

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  348. noted: don’t whisper sweet nothings into the machine’s ears

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  349. Kobe is Michael Jordan. Period. End of Story. If he maintains this pace for another 4 or 5 years & collects rings in the process; he may be better.

    Artest will guard Pierce intriguing match-up. Artest can deal with Pierce’s physical play much better than rail thin Ariza.

    Kobe will most likely match up with Rondo. If Kobe can effectively slow down Rondo – Game Set Match.

    Fisher will guard Ray Allen – Tough match-up. Ray Allen will run Fisher through 30 screens a set.

    Perkins on Bynum. Dude is playing on a bum wheel. And 1 more tech and Perkins is suspended for a game.

    KG & Pau. KG is not the same KG of 2 years ago. Still effective. But Pau has a damaged rep to heal against the Celtics. Lakers in 6

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  350. Cut Sasha some slack, dude has been buried on the bench pretty much the entire season. Other than that russian sickle to Dragic’s chin, he gave the team some positive minutes the last two games. LA might just need his aggressive play, considering the Celtics will be doing all the grabbing, punching and holding the refs will allow. Let Sasha continue to be the irritant and get at least one hot headed Beaner thrown out the game.

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  351. Re: Game 6

    There can’t be enough said for players that have “it.” That fire, that heart, that mental toughness. One of the main reasons I so wanted the Lakers to acquire Artest was because of that “it” factor. He plays with a passion and a constant motor that few players have. But more importantly he doesn’t back down from the moment. Artest shot a 3 pointer with 22 seconds left on the shot clock in a close and pivitol WCF game 5. Would Gasol or Odom have done that? You know who would have done that? Fisher, Kobe and Sasha. Not coincidentally those are the only other players on the Lakers that have the confidence and mental fortitude to not go small when the moments get big. Not coincidentally those are the Lakers that take the most bad shots. They aren’t afraid to take or miss that one shot. Ron has gotten spat on from most of the basketball word because his outside shooting hasn’t been as good as it was in the regular season and throughout the last few seasons. But he still wants to take that shot. That is why it was no surprise he was Kobe’s right hand man in this western conference clinching road game. And that is why it was also no surprise that the other guy who stepped up in the 4th when everyone backed down was Derek Fisher. Oh… and there was that Kobe guy. At a time when players get soft and shrink like Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom when facing adversity… guys like Ron Artest just plow through a Jason Richardson shoulder and lay the ball in.

    I have never enjoyed watching a Laker play defense as I have this year watching Artest game in and game out. He plays defense like great scorers play offense. Always in attack mode and never taking a play off. You can see when he locks onto that ball… and you can see that the opposing player can see it also. Enjoy watching Kobe play… he is in my opinion one of the top 3 players to ever play a basketball game. But please… enjoy watching Ron Artest work… he is after all one of the greatest perimeter defenders the NBA has and will ever see.

    Re: The Rematch
    Why this NBA Finals is far from a rematch…

    I wish the Lakers had the opportunity to exact revenge from the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately after the Lakers win this series it won’t have proven anything. We won’t know if Gasol can score constantly against Kendrick Perkins as he will mostly be matched up with KG. We won’t know if Luke Walton or Vlad Rad can all of the sudden stop Paul Pierce. We won’t know if Kobe can learn how to score against James Posey unless at halftime they play a little one on one with Posey coming out from the stands. But we do know that Kobe can guard Rondo, and Fisher can’t guard Ray Allen. We do know that Artest gives Paul Pierce fits and Gasol’s length flusters KG. So will we learn anything in this series? Maybe just how many rings Kobe can fit on one hand.

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  352. adande picking celtics. i’m never gonna read another one of his articles

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  353. Ray,
    Fisher is the worst starter in the NBA. When we looked through NBA rosters there were around 35 to 45 players that would fit better with the Lakers than Derek Fisher. There are just so many talented PG’s and hybrid PG’s in this league. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a good playoffs. And he hasn’t played great basketball…. just great basketball for him. What he has done is make big shots as I have always said he can do. And he has improved his outside shooting in the playoffs as to not be a liability from the 3 point line. Lets celebrate Fisher for stepping up. But lets still live in reality here. He is still a very bad PG. I celebrated Ariza last year for hitting his shots but I never pretended he was a good shooter. And as you saw this year he was back to shooting 30%. We should celebrate great performances without thinking this is who the player is.

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  354. Who’s joining me to kill Aaron?

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  355. Aaron,

    Again, like i said before, you and a few people declared him the worst by listing players that you feel are better than him. I don’t think I ever agreed with you. So you can take the Hinrich’s of the world, but I still go with Fish. Like a lot of us here who supported him even when he wasn’t playing well, we knew why he was still starting. This isn’t a one time performance, he’s been excelling in the playoffs. You can show me all your stats, and how you want jordan or shannon to start over him, but man. You are wrong on this one.

    Fisher is the best starter for this team. He is the best point guard for this team. All your stats and stuff, just sabermetrics. And since that hasn’t worked out for the A’s yet, it doesn’t prove your argument either.

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  356. Ray,
    I love you… but mostly in a sexual way. I have supported Fisher and rooted for him all year. I want him to do well. I am a Lakers fan. Right now i want Fisher starting because Farmar and Brown haven’t been. I don’t wanna continue this Fisher stuff till the NBA Finals are over and the Lakers have embarrassed the Celtics. Than we can go over all the possible starting PG’s the Lakers will be looking at. because I think we can all agree they need a new starting PG. But Fish has surprised everyone with his play.

    Palani,
    I think we should be educated basketball fans on this site. When a player like Fisher scores 11 points and almost shoots 50% and misses all of his three point attempts but also makes a couple huge baskets in the 4th we should understand they were huge shots. We should understand they are huge shots but that doesn’t mean that is a good player. Too many of us overreact on this site from play to play or game to game or series to series. Fisher has played to the best of his abilities in these playoffs and should be commended. I love him for his “clutchness.” But we shouldn’t pretend he is a good player. Last year he had a bad regular season and a bad playoffs. This year a bad regular season but he has stepped up in the playoffs and thank god. The guy has taken his game to another level this last month. But the larger sample size tells the real story. Lets watch these games and enjoy another championship. But Artest is not a bad shooter because he has struggled the last couple months… and Fisher isn’t all of the sudden a slightly below average PG just because he is playing that way right now. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!

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  357. this is a repost but…i still dont get why ppl dont do this:
    “Why haven’t anyone thought of using someone like DJ to get Perkins a T? Perkins has 6 Ts, 1 more he’ll be automatically suspended. Just get someone like DJ to piss him off so he gets a T. I wonder why no one does this…there is “hack a shaq” type of strategies, what about baiting people into a technical? We should try to use DJ to get rasheed and perkins each a T. then use powell or adom morrison to get them each another T.”

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  358. @Kenny,

    Because then they would send the end of their bench to get Gasol or Kobe kicked out, and then we would have bench wars.

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  359. Legler, who is probably the most knowledgeable espn analyst, at least in my opinion, is picking the Celtics is 6. And honestly, I think the Celtics have an advantage. Fisher cant guard Rondo, andif you put Kobe on Rondo, Fisher cant guard Ray Allen. I think Gasol is going to have issues with KG. You can say KG is older, but he is still mean and very physical and I think will bully Gasol. So what advantages do the Lakers have? Well inside they really dont have that huge advantage like they have had against all 3 West foes. KG and Perkins are pretty big and strong and can both contain a hurt Bynum and Gasol, who looked really weak in the last few games against the Suns. There is Kobe but…the Celtics do an excellent job in guarding him. Ray Allen is a very underrated defender. I know he cant stop Kobe, but he can contain him. I dont know if Pierce will be playing on Kobe at all, but he is also a great individual defender that has given Kobe problems. If we are to have a chance against this great Boston team, we must run the triangle very well. There needs to be a lot of ball movement to say the least and we cannot rely on a whole bunch of Kobe’s iso’s. All in all, this Celtics team is not as good as that team 2 years ago and we are a much better, more mature tougher team than we were in that finals. Plus we got homecourt. I am taking the Lakers in 7.

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  360. big props to Nash and Hill, two great players that are long overdue for championships. Shame they aren’t on the Lakers team who are on their way (hopefully) in winning a very tough and physical series vs the Celtics

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  361. Game recap is up. Thanks for the patience and congrats to the Lakers! 4 more wins!

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/05/30/lakerssuns-game-6-kobe-closes-the-door-lakers-clinch/

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  362. You want to know why this group is a championship team… They have made me forget all about Kobe’s finger, (knee, back etc.) the team’s lingering injuries (except Bynum’s), our offensive woes that shadowed us most of the season, and our complacent attitude that almost became synonymous with the thought of our team. It has all gone away with several gargantuan performances in this post season.

    There are no excuses with the Lakers. This is why I think our Championship attitude will carry us to where we deserve to be… Back2Back!

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  363. If one looks at combinations of players rather than individual matchups, and the flow of the series, it all comes down to the first two games–as it always does. Boston almost certainly will come out with aggression on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game–determined to force transition baskets–unwilling to concede anything in the paint–fouling, and fouling hard to send a message.

    On offense, multiple picks will be used to free up Rondo, Allen, and Pierce to penetrate, forcing complex switching by the Lakers defense–expecting breakdowns and easy baskets.

    If the Lakers can weather the storm through the first period, and close the half in the lead, the Celtics may not have the energy to sustain their strategy throughout the entire game, retreating to a completely defensive posture by the fourth quarter.

    If the Celtics are successful on both ends from the opening tipoff, the Leps could race to a significant lead by halftime that could be insurmountable by the fourth quarter. We’ve seen the Celtics scary good with this strategy against Orlando.

    The challenge for the Lakers will be especially intense in the first two games, but if they can hold serve and win the first two, it will be almost impossible for the Celtics to win the series.

    On the other hand, if the Lakers lose two . . . .

    I’ll be very interested to see what happens in game one.

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  364. remember back in 08 after the lakers had steamrolled through the west and Boston struggled to get out of the east, just about everybody on espn picked the Lakers to win once the final matchup was set, and well, look what happened. Can’t pay too much attention to what “experts” say.

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  365. Great game,great ending by Kobe!Also a redemption game for ”not so respected” Artest.

    Lakers in 5 normally but with the refs like this it would be Lakers in 6.Kobe for 5th ring and 2nd Finals MVP in a row.

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  366. LA/Boston rematch reminds me of Rocky IV, after Drago kills Apollo (Lakers loss in 2008 Finals), Rocky (the good guys…) is now ready to take Drago in the ring. And we all know how that ended up..

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  367. Make sure you all go to the stores and buy a big pot of bbq sauce because Pau is going to make you all swallow your words.

    He’s done it before. He has a big challenge ahead and a monkey to get off his back again and he will, like he did last year.

    Lakers in 5, Pau Finals MVP (20pt/9rb/5as/2bl 52%FG 75%FT)

    Go Purple and Gold!

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