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Game 4 Preview & Chat: Lakers vs. Mavericks

If we’re being honest with ourselves, game 4 is pretty scary. The Lakers are looking at being swept out of the playoffs in a series that they were unanimously predicted to advance past. Entering the playoffs they were one of a handful of teams that were thought to be legitimate contenders and were the betting favorites to win the championship. And now they’re 48 minutes from their season ending in the 2nd round.

However, forget all that for a minute and focus on what it actually takes to win this single game. We know that the Lakers have a gameplan that is capable of being successful. 4th quarter leads down the stretch of games 1 & 3 are evidence of that.

Offensively, the ball must go inside. Andrew Bynum has been tremendous in the last two games and his ability to get deep post position has led to easy baskets and offensive rebounds. The Lakers must utilize him when he’s open and actively seek him out when the play is developing for him to be featured.

But simply dumping the ball to Big ‘Drew won’t be enough. The offense must be run and it must executed with precision. Much of this will fall on the perimeter players with Kobe playing a central role in getting his mates lined up to be effective. Number 24 will need to strike that balance between facilitator, encourager, and finisher. Game three offered a beautiful template for Kobe to work off of and if he gives a repeat performance, I’ll be happy.

Derek Fisher and Ron Artest will be wildcards of sorts, with shot making and overall decision making being key. Fisher made two errors down the stretch of game 3 – one on each side of the ball – that he’ll surely be looking to rectify with a strong performance this game. Some made three pointers, sound post passes, and hard screens will go a long way in this one. As for Ron, he’s been stewing for a few days champing at the bit waiting to contribute. His game 2 performance was substandard and in game three his defense was surely missed – especially down the stretch. A made corner three or two, a couple of steals, and steady rebounding are acts that he’s more than capable of providing. They’d be welcomed additions to this game.

And then there’s Gasol. At this point, the less said about how he’s performed the better. We know his play can improve. He knows it too. Game 4 may be the last time he gets to perform for this team this year. The Lakers should not abandon him but should embrace him. For all his faulty play so far, there have been glimpses of what he can provide. A strong post up here. A blocked shot there. A nice jumper followed by a strong drive. He’s capable; I’d love to see it coaxed out of him in this one. Go to him early and give him his chances to score. Involve him in P&R’s where he can either dive or pop out to his preference. If the Lakers are to win, he’ll be a key component, we should find out early if he’s up to the task.

Defensively, the Lakers must simply solve the riddle of hot shooters. That’s a tough code to crack but it’s still possible. The key to the Mavs attack has been great P&R play and deceptive off ball screen actions that loosen up their shooters. The Lakers must trust (yes, trust) the fact that a mate will be there to cover for them should they rotate or not rotate based off their scheme. Strategically, going under screens on Kidd and Barrea is a must. Make them shoot the ball from range behind screens or move the ball on against a defense that is set, not one that’s scrambling. Staying attached to Dirk as he floats around the perimeter and craftily uses screens to try and free himself is also very important.  The Mavs are his team and they go as he goes. Somewhat containing him would go a long way in achieving the goal of getting a win.

The other key to this game is clearly that of the reserves. With Ron back in the fold, Odom will resume his role as floor general for the second string. His leadership will be key in helping ensure that those guys stay on task and are into the flow of the game. Quietly, Shannon Brown has had two solid shooting games in a row and getting a third would be helpful. As would a couple of Blake three pointers and Matt Barnes running the lane and grabbing a couple of offensive rebounds. But where they’ll really be needed is on the defensive end, matching up with Terry, Barrea, and Peja. All three of those Mavs have made their imprint on separate games this series and slowing them down by contesting their jumpers and keeping them out of their comfort zones is key.

Most importantly though, is to go hard and do it intelligently the entire game. The Mavs have been as opportunistic as possible in these first three contests, stealing two games late. Anytime the Lakers have given them an inch, they took it and added another for good measure. Mind you, the key isn’t for the Lakers to play perfect, but for them to limit the errors and especially limit them in the key moments of the game. In the closing minutes, the Lakers must be ready to consistently execute and do the things that have gotten them to the top of the mountain the past two seasons. I’d love to see Kobe work off the ball a bit more in order to run defenders off screens while others create for him. I’d also like to see some semblance of the Triangle with screens and ball movement being incorporated into the action.

Game 4 is a cross roads for this Laker team. One direction leads to game 5 with a bit of momentum on their side and a home crowd ready to help them get to game 6. The other direction leads to an early off-season marred with speculation, celebrating naysayers, the potential that game 4 would have been the last game that this group got to play together. I don’t know about you, but the former sounds a lot better to me. Let’s get this win.

Reader Interactions


  1. The Mavs have played great basketball. Here is to the Lakers finding their peak. Never give up. Nothing but love.


  2. I’ll still watch. I’ll still irk, agonize, still disgust. I’ll find it easy to cheer, but easier to fret. I refuse to relax, I promise to ruminate, and I won’t allow myself to take it in any less than I normally do. I’ll still believe.


  3. I am planning my day around this game 4, and very much looking forward to a great NBA battle in Dallas. No matter what the outcome is, I will always support and cheer the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers.


  4. On defense:
    Stay home on shooters. Let Dirk have whatever he wants against LO/Pau or whoever we send at him, but contest Terry and the rest of the team’s looks on the perimeter. For Barea PNRs, go underneath the screen and force him to settle for jumpers.

    On offense:
    please dont hesitate to give Drew some touches down the stretch. Kobe should attack the rim a little more. He has had very few FT attempts in this series. Oh and it wouldnt kill for the bench mob to make a few more 3 pointers.

    If we do these things, I think we’ll win the game and avoid the embarrassment of a sweep, but probably still end up losing this series. Whatever happens though, Lakers for life.


  5. Let’s see if Bynum can get some touches in the fourth quarter, or if Kobe will continue to take contested jumpers.


  6. For the first time since Game 7 of the Finals last year, this team is in a win or go home position. I am excited to see how this plays out.

    The fact that I have two finals tomorrow has become pretty irrelevant at this point.



    Even when your mind say it’s impossible… for a Laker FAN who has a LAKER HEART it’s impossible not to dream about a come back!!! Even if X’s and O’s are against US, even if the games we watched say the mavs are the better team… WE STILL HAVE TO BELIEVE!! The 16 point lead midway through the 3rd in game 1, the 7 point lead a few minutes remaining in the 4th in game 3… what if….!!! I know history is not made with what ifs but…. what does that mean? This team is certainly capable of winning… and playing far better basketball.
    At last, let me just send a sweet kiss to Pau!!! You gave us 3 finals and 2 rings and we’re all bothered since you’re not playing at the level we were accostumed to see you play. I heard you had problems with your girlfriend… well if that’s the main issue… I promise that if you play better and we win the series you can MARRY ME!!! You just need to get me on a plane since I live in Italy!!
    Sweet kisses to all lakers fans, Valentina.


  8. Beautiful day today in Spain.
    Most important game of the season (we can have four in a row).
    I still feel those guys can win the series. One game at a time.
    Go Lakers! Go Pau!


  9. Have faith, believe. As a Laker fan, fight til the end and support til the end.


  10. Do people think Dallas can win 4 straigth games against the Lakers? If they do so then it would not be impossible for the Lakers to win 4 straight games against Dallas. It aint over till the fat lady sings! Hope springs eternal!


  11. ‘Asked how Bynum, so dominant throughout much of the game, was taken away in the last five minutes, Bryant discounted the premise of the question. “The last five minutes are when I go to work. And I didn’t the last game,” he said. “I’ve got to make those plays. I’ve got to get the ball and make those plays.” ‘

    Remind me, what’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

    Kobe, YOUR WAY ISN’T WORKING. And it hasn’t worked for most of the season. The fact that he can’t see that and adjust to it is why the Lakers lost games 1 and 3 and will lose again today. So frustrating.


  12. Not a good quote from Kobe #15. But I’m going to ignore that and imagine good things happening.

    I’m quite sure PJax won’t make this adjustment, but I’d really rather leave Odom on Novitzki and NOT DOUBLE TEAM him. Let Novitzki go for 40 or more, I don’t care. Make him take every damn shot. Then go at him when he’s playing Defense. Involve him in Screen Rolls, make him work.

    This allows us to stay with shooters and force Dirk to carry the load. If he beats you singlehandedly, live with that. But Peja is too old to beat us if we don’t leave him. He can’t drive or pass.

    Doubling Dirk Diggler only leaves us scrambling, and we’re not fast enough to play that game, it’s been made clear.

    Go Lakers!


  13. until death i will bleed purple and gold.
    there’s nothing to lose now.
    go for every rebound, lose ball and steal.

    let’s go lakers.


  14. #15 & #16. I’m going to give Kobe the benefit of the doubt. He didn’t say he needed to take the shot, he said he needed to make those plays. That could mean a variety of things, including setting up the big men for scores (as he’s done countless times in the past). Here’s hoping he does, in fact, make the plays down the stretch to win this game. (Better yet, how about not needing plays down the stretch at all. Yeah, I’d like that very much.)


  15. Darius,

    *The Lakers were not the betting favorites in Vegas to win the championship at the start of the year or before the playoffs. That honor was given to the Miami Heat.

    Kobe has always been a basketball crazy person… It’s why he was so great. He is going to keep dominating the all down the stretch and we are going to have to hope he starts being more effective. This will be a first… Either the first time a team comes back from a 3-0 hole or it will be the first time a significantly more talented team loses a seven game series.


  16. One day, someone is going to cough up a 3-0 lead. That team should be this one, who are desperately trying to rebrand themselves, but who were still the Mavericks last time I checked.


  17. Wait, what’s that you say, the they added clutch playoff assassin Peja Stojakovich to their roster? Ah, nevermind then, we are doomed…


  18. I’m here at church today, like every Sunday. But today I’m making sure to pray extra hard for OUR Lakers. All we need is one. IJN.


  19. Dallas is a good team, but not good enough to beat Lakers 3,4 in a row. The key to Lakers is ball movement, find open teammates helping each other, Dallas tried to crown the lane but it is not new. One Lakers got hot hand, we go with him until he got cold hand. Bynum and Odom should guard Nowitzki, Gasol couldn’t guard Nowitzki because Gasol didn’t cover eye-sight of Nowitzki with his body, hand, Nowitzki can still see the basket and make a shot. In the 2 min offense, go inside, P&R, don’t stay outside and force bad shots. The important is to try anything, don’t stick with the old way which didn’t work.


  20. #19. Aaron,
    Sorry to burst your bubble on the “betting favorites” data, but I receive emails on such things stating the odds at different parts of the season. Before the playoffs began, the Lakers were at 11/4 and the Heat were at 13/4.


  21. This is it Laker Nation!

    I just can’t imagine a team as talented as ours is going to be swept. I’m a Laker for life and will live with the result no matter what as long as they leave it all on the court today.

    Go LAKERS!


  22. Hi Warren!

    One thing that has been constant this year – Phil Jackson has chosen not to feature Andrew during the last 5 min of our games.

    Now we really need him during the endtimes and have absolutely no practice with using him in those situations. Welcome to today’s world Phil.

    I really think we can win this game, but it still doesn’t absolve the coaching staff of an obvious and sorely neglected part of our game.


  23. I am nearly in TEARS. It’s so heartwarming to know that there are other Laker fans like myself who still believe we can pull this series off. I read some great post the past few days that make some sense and some that are outright ridiculous.

    In order to win: Let’s do what makes sense and not the ridiculous!

    1.Concerning Pau: It’s ridiculous to think we would have made it this far without him (ex see at least 50 games this year).. He’s having a horrible series but he still one of the best big men to play the game in past 10 years…….It would make sense to continue to give him the ball (in good postion) allow him to regain his confidence. PS: Pau please don’t try to do what Dirk does. It’s just not you!

    2: Phil the Zeng Master: Oh Phil, oh phil.. Ridiculous to think that you are being outcoached but it’s sensible to expect you to COACH!!

    3. Kobe (the greatest closer): Ridiculous for Laker fans not to notice that his ankle is bothering him. He can’t make to many drives on it. Obvious. Ridiculous to forget he is the reason we are where we are today and have the confidence that we have. Without Kobe being “cluthch shooter” a “closer” or taking over in the 4th quarter we wouldn’t even be in the playoffs. (So get your minds right!) Some of you fans are so ungreatful its pathetic. Furthermore, why should he drive when he will not get a single referee to notice that Dallas is tearing his FREAKING head off! It would be sensible to just allow Kobe to be Kobe and do what he feels he needs to do when he feels like he needs to do it! THAT’S DARN RIGHT I SAID IT!! He’s the REASON we are here. He’s the captain of the ship and i’m RIDING with his decisions all the way..

    Bench time needs to be cut in half.

    Fish needs to only take wide open standstill shots.

    Lamar don’t worry. Play your game.


    Dallas is not that good! Please, we have made these guys look like the old Boston Celtics (1988). Ughhhhh.

    Defeat these boys so I can continue to LIVE.. I’m suffering with all types of symptoms right now. Geeeezz


  24. Not gonna be able to watch the first quarter or so, this might be for the better as I’d just work myself sick from nerves. It’s hard to see us winning, but if anyone *can* do it, it’s the 2-time champs.

    Nothing’s ever gonna take the 09 and 10 titles from us, and we are armed with the knowledge that we CAN win it all. It may not be enough at this point, but it’s a weapon we have that no one else does.

    F. Go Lakers. Let’s get this and THEN worry about Game 5.


  25. Hoping they perform like Mike: anyone, Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, action black guns…


  26. The pregame coverage on ABC is really annoying. One minute they say that Kobe needs to be a superhero; the next minute they say that Kobe will do too much. Magic is saying stupid things like Kobe needs to be the Kobe of ten years ago.

    Kobe’s play has been solid throughout this series. Age catches up to us all. To expect him to turn back the clock is unrealistic.

    If we win, it will be as a team.


  27. Let’s go Lakers, do not look for help from the referees! We need to make not just the initial effort, we need to make the 2nd, 3rd and 4th effort at rebounds, scoring, hustling and defense!

    Lakers all the way!


  28. Artest is just a horrible offensive player. Also not bright enough to know it. Pau still playing with that scared look.


  29. I am happy to watch the Lakers, all the way to the bitter end.

    And, with the way Gasol has played this postseason, the end is very near.

    As good as Dirk is, Gasol is making him look worthy of mention in the discussion of G.O.A.T.

    I have no idea what is wrong with Pau. Fatigue, injury, still suffering from the respiratory infection, lack of confidence, lack of aggression, all of the above contributing to one another, but he is simply terrible out there right now on defense.

    All that said, we would not have won the last 2 rings without him, and we can hope he heals and comes back strong next season.

    And, even worse, I am so happy with Bynum and Kobe, that I honestly still think we have a chance against Dallas. The most painful kind of chance, the slim one, but a chance nonetheless.


  30. Only down four, but there’s no way the 2006 Lakers will win this game. Rise to the moment guys.


  31. Looks like Magic knows what he is talking about. Other then Kobe the rest are 2 for 11.


    That sounds like a team blowing up.


  32. The Mavs points are too easy right now, whereas we’re having to work for ours. A few garbage Marion shots–4 3s–and boom they have 80% of their points. Would someone not named Kobe step up?

    Where’s the pride? Where’s the fire? They look scared, defeated. Not a welcome sign. We need someone, anyone to step up. Blake? Artest? Pau!!!


  33. This team is playing some ridiculously bad team defense. My hats off to Mark Cuban. He put together a perfect team to take on the Lakers. A team that can bang with us down low, but run the floor in transition. A team that can take advantage of our weakness at the PG position. A team that can make us pay for our 3 point defense which forces teams to take rushed unsettled 3’s. The problem is that the Mavs can make them.

    By the way…at this point, I don’t want to see Kobe pass the ball to anyone not named Andrew Bynum. This team is acting like a bunch of bums. Next season we better get a sharp shooter of some kind.


  34. The lakers pretty much have 2-4 players on the floor that do not understand the concept of defense, who to help, who not to help off of, when to switch, when not to, how to close out on 3 pointers, when to over play, when not to. As a whole this team just has a lack defensive adeptness. The lakers were pretty much able to hide their ineptness through Person’s defensive scheme. But against a jump shooting team that doesn’t mind not taking it to the hole, it hasn’t worked at all.


  35. I just played a pick up game at the local park where I saw more energy and competitive fire on the court.


  36. This team is a quitting. LO, Pau, Artest just want to go on vacation


  37. What the *#$5 is wrong with this team. You CAN’T leave the shooters. Why are they leaving the shooters on the 3 point line!?


  38. Time to blow up the whole damn team.
    Any takers????

    Thanks Kobe for your heart!


  39. Why isn’t the strategy to force them to shoot two’s (even if they are open). Shouldn’t we be doing the Atlanta approach against Dwight Howard (or their approach against us), make Dirk score 50 and shut down their other damn guys.

    Stop giving up 3 pointers Lakers, jeez.


  40. Memo to the Lakers:

    Dallas will kill you with the three ball if you leave their guys open.

    I just wanted to put that out there.


  41. We look like a team defeated. I wouldn’t blame Kobe if he just decided not to pass the ball anymore


  42. Shannon Brown and Pau need to sit. Did you see Pau as soon as Terry’s shot went up, look and start complaining? WTF!!!!


  43. 9 threes for the mavs, and its not halftime.

    I repeat, its not halftime.

    Lakers gave up.


  44. Eh, whatever. The Lakers don’t have the horses, but this mavs team is a fraud. All they can do is jack up threes.


  45. This is the worst I have felt as a Laker fan since ’04 Detroit. They can’t adjust, no, they don’t have the b*alls to adjust. Lamar, Pau, Shannon, you guys will always be remembered as Patsys, pushovers.


  46. That team cannot, I repeat, cannot continue to shoot 80 freaking percent from the 3 pt line. The law of averages will show up. Get it to 10 by half time.


  47. Something happened behind the scenes with this team. It is epic bad right now. How does that happen!?


  48. This is shades of Boston Game 6 2008, they aren’t in the passing lanes, they aren’t hitting guys hard, they aren’t attacking the boards, and they are playing 1on 1 on offense.


  49. the lakers are playing 5 on 3 in the paint and leaving the shooters completely open. it just doesn’t seem like the lakers like each other very much cause they don’t want to be there. they’re not competing. it’s not kobe, it’s not phil. just about everyone else except Bynum has given up it seems. if you leave a shooter wide open, they’ll hit it. easy to understand.

    edit: back from commercial, it looks like Lamar is about to cry, literally.


  50. Quitters. Look at the face of Pau. LO. Artest. No defense. No guts. Fisher d on 3 pointers is sad.



  51. The Mavs got lucky that the lakers have completely forgotten how to play basketball. The mavs will get exposed next round.

    But I don’t get why the defender guarding the corner man loves to leave their man in corner to stand behind heywood.

    Why don’t the lakers trap those screen and rolls.


  52. Going over the screen in the high pick and roll 10 feet behind the three point line = stupid.


  53. The team didn’t care in the regular season, so why should we expect them to care after being down 0-3. This is what happens when you pick up bad habits all season long and continually do nothing to address them! Do we really expect them to be able to change things in Game 92 when they haven’t had a clue how to all season long??


  54. @Blizzard

    I’m starting to think the same thing. They play great basketball. But they rely HEAVILY on the three ball. At some point those shots will have to stop falling. Unfortunately our Lakers don’t seem the be the team that will see it happen.


  55. Just get it to 10 pts before halftime and they still have a chance. Dallas can’t possibly shoot like this in the second half.


  56. Come rain or sunshine, this fan will stand by the Blue & Gold. Even when they’re getting mauled. It could be worse. I was @ Game 6 of the ’08 Finals in person so it cant get worse than that for me. Thanks guys, it was really nice while it lasted and the 2 rings we won together will mean something always


  57. You guys are right-Lakers defense is pathetic 100% but how the hell Mavs bang this 3 pointers all the time,it’s ridiculous.I consider Mavs are the worst rival the Lakers could face with this unbelievable 3 point shooters….


  58. There is plenty of game left to play. Cut it to 10 or less by halftime. Things can change at moment’s notice.


  59. Fisher is showing the world that he no longer belongs to this stage. Lamar please take your talent with your wife and leave.


  60. For every 3 that Dallas hits, the Lakers get more and more discouraged. It’s looking like this is it. Maybe they can make adjustments for the 2nd half. Heck, Portland did come back to win a game when Dallas had a big lead.


  61. The only difference in this game from Dirk and Kobe is that Dirk’s teammates have made every open shot when he passes and Kobe’s have made none.

    This is friggen sad. Only bright spot so far is watching Fish break up a 4 on 1. Go Fish!


  62. The Mavericks are going to struggle in their next series because they are going to find themselves actually being covered on their 3 pointers


  63. I don’t know what’s worse – the play of the Lakers, or the negative comments. This team has after all won two straight rings; some people make it sound like they are the scum of the earth.


  64. There’s no I in Team but there certainly is I in QUIT and the Lakers are quitting. Have some pride and at least show up in the 2nd half with some effort.


  65. I’ve lost all respect for everyone on this lakers squad except Kobe and Bynum. I still love the lakers, but this isn’t the lakers.

    Gasol is absolutely soft and to bad he’s going to get Bynum traded. Artest and Odom are consumed with the entertainment business rather than focusing on the game.

    I hope not one single coach from this staff is retained. Twice the lakers have won a championship, twice they’ve bowed out the playoffs like heartless players who have given up. The coaching staff has failed to correct one single flaw from this team. They’ve sat back and hoped talent would come through. That things will correct themselves. Person’s defensive scheme was good at times in certain situations but has been exposed time and time again by the better teams in the league.

    It’s time to point the finger. And its pointing at everybody on this team associated with this team except Bynum, Trey Johnson, Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff.


  66. @Andreas. No, *this* team has not won 2 straight Titles. New players, new dynamic with Bynum as the Alpha dog inside.

    The negativity is not because they’re losing. In 2008 for instance, while I has disappointed, I wasn’t down right angry because they ran into a buzz-saw.

    What’s so F-ed up is that I don’ think Dallas is that good. Honestly. They’re 1) exposing the Lakers persistent weakness (namely defening on the perimeter / pick & roll and 2) hitting shots at an incredible rate.

    What is so gut-wrentching is that this team is laying down. No balls! Pau. Odom. Brown. Artest. No balls!


  67. Story of the first half. Dallas 25-42 (59.5%) 11-15 from 3 (73.3%). Lakers 14-38 (36.8%) 1-8 from 3 (12.5%) Dallas bench has 40 points. Kobe 7/13 (53.8%) Rest of the Lakers: 7/25 (28%).

    Not happy with the Lakers overall play.


  68. Here’s to ending this season with some effort and heart in the 2nd half! This is for Laker Nation! Thanks for 3 years in the finals! Now go and regroup and come back next year with a vengeance!


  69. What a dissapointing half.

    Lakers will have to play Championship level defense to even make this game competitive.

    Although, as we can tell, aside from Kobe, Dallas just isn’t afraid of any Laker going off on them. The double Bynum down low, dare EVERYONE else to shoot, and our guys dont take the open shot and miss.

    Now would be a real good time for Shannon and Kobe to be feeling their 3 point shot.


  70. It’s alarming the kind of coaching that has taken place this series and today. Bynum has been the one guy attracting double teams and isn’t being given the ball to create for his teammates very often. The downside is the last two times he has had the ball in the post he has forced shots against double teams which just isn’t smart.

    Defensively this team is so poorly coached and prepared you wonder if Phil Jackson retired last summer. Dallas is a team that doesn’t even try to score in the paint. They run fake attacks towards the basket to suck in the defense for their expert outside shooters since they don’t have any post players or slashers who can finish at the rim.

    Additionally the Lakers have not won a single game this year when Kobe comes out shooting and attacking. So of course Kobe comes out guns ablazing. I respect him though… He knows his team can’t win the series so he was going to make sure he wasn’t going to be blamed for the series loss.


  71. Anyone else see some tears in Magic’s eyes?

    He said it best: it’s like this team went on vacation already There’s no fight. And that is a shame. Inexcusable.

    Sorry, Darius, but I can’t help it:

    – Pau is going to be moved. As is Artest. You can sense it. Probably to teams out East.


  72. This is as ridiculous as ridiculous gets. With only ESPN Gamecast to go by, I can only guess what’s going on. It is as if some Powers That Be suddenly decided to punish the Lakers in the worst way possible.

    The sad thing is, I don’t believe that the Mavs would go all the way, no matter how godly they look now. I would love to be proven wrong, though.

    Oh well… Until. The. Bloody. End.


  73. Aaron, what game are you watching? I understand the Love-affair for Bynum, but in the 2nd quarter every time the Lakers got him the ball I saw either a bad shot or a turnover result in the possession. They are doubling both Kobe and Bynum the second they get the ball under the three point line, and absolutely noone is attacking to boards to make them pay.

    Additionally, we have a Big on every possession that Dirk is in that is lost on the outside (because they are running 1/5 pick and rolls at the top of the key), which leaves one big to protect the paint.

    Also, I have yet to see anyone just straight up knock a Mav player down. Whereas I’ve seen Kobe knocked down 3 or four times in the game, Dirk, Terry, Barea, even Peja are simply just making our guys leave their feet with the pump fake and not feeling any HARD contact when they come down.

    Plus, Dallas is playing small, and the Lakers do not have the ability to play small – i.e. we have no quick (And good) players that can be trusted on both ends of the court or that can create a mismatch with Dallas. The Lakers have created almost no mismatches in this game or in the series, which is why they are losing.


  74. I am going to zoom in on Pau the entire second half.

    How about a little fill-in-the-blank re. Pau:

    I haven’t seen a disappearing act like this by a once-great player since__________________.

    since “Gary Payton versus Detroit in ’04.”


  75. Btw, this might be Phil’s last Laker game, but once the Knicks add one more piece and Phil takes a year off, he will finish his career in New York. He loves the symmetry of that. And one lousy NBA title in New York after 40 years, is worth 3 more in L.A.


  76. Unrelated to today’s game, but the Lakers have had the tendency to give up leads throughout this whole season (or, the past few years, actually). It finally caught up to them.

    How many times during the regular reason did we read comments saying how it’s only this month or that month? Well, it’s May.

    The Lakers gave away Game 1. Yes, the Mavericks played great, but the Lakers were in control and then decided to relax.

    Game 2, the Lakers were outplayed. Can’t argue with that.

    The Lakers were in control of Game 3 for the majority of the game. Sure, the Lakers never actually built a large lead, but up seven with five minutes to go? All it took was some late-game execution and smarter defense down the stretch.

    The Lakers could very well be up 2-1 right now. Instead, they are down 0-3 in a hole that keeps getting deeper, as the Laker players are becoming more and more discouraged by Dallas’ 3-pointers.


  77. As I said a few days ago and as others have said: Phil/Kobe teams go down ugly when they go down.


  78. Well, technically its not over yet. I would just like to see some fight in the second half. If this is really it then go down swinging.

    And not to jump the gun, but I am pretty sure this same basic group will be together next year. Take a look at the money owed and length of some of LA’s contracts. The only real tradeable player is Bynum. And that is only because his performance has upped his stock. For everyone else the opposite has happened.


  79. You guys still think Mitch is not responsible for this worthless bench, bad long term contracts and thinking Fisher can compete in the NBA, the ad league or a pickup game?


  80. they are simply doubling kobe every time down and forcing the other players to beat them, to which the rest of the lakers are failing miserably.


  81. Please blow up this team and fire the GM that did nothing to help Kobe. Please!


  82. Wow! Can it get any worse. This isn’t professional stuff. This is the kind of b-ball at a local park. Wide open looks. No idea how to make adjustments. Disgusting!


  83. At some point you have to just say ‘what are you going to do?’ If the Mavs are going to hit 3’s like that, maybe you just have to tip your hat and say good game. I thought before the series that we were the better team, but Dallas isn’t exactly a bunch of scrubs. The combination of their stellar play and our mental/physical fatigue and every shot for them going in and every lay-up for us going awry equals this abomination.


  84. Aaron-

    You’re ridiculous. Bynum does NOT beat single coverage with any regularity. The inside/out game only works if you’re hitting wide open outside shots which the Lakers have not. The only mismatch we have is Kobe against anyone that guards him. I love Bynum and he’s playing hard right now, but don’t try to pin this horrific loss on Kobe!


  85. I dont think we need to blow this team up. Lets get a Jeff vandy as our coach, discipline the defense, add a quick guard and get a fourth athletic big.


  86. Lakers players played a dangerous game all season, they were simply ill prepared for the post season – appart from kobe it seems like they all just sort of expected to win, expected to be in top condition come playoff time instead of using the regular season for their benefit.


  87. This is the most embarrassing (stuff) I’ve ever seen.

    At all times the lakers have on the floor…

    1-2 guys that can’t make lay-ups
    2-4 guys that just absolutely can’t defend, won’t defend and wouldn’t defend even if they got paid for it, wait they do get paid for it.
    1-3 guys that are just flat out slow and unathletic
    1-3 guys that rather take a bad shot than run the offense
    1-5 inconsistent to bad 3 point shooters
    2-4 guys that do not know how to close out on defenders.

    It has finally caught up with them big time. This isn’t the way I wanted to see the lakers play their last time together. But it takes something like this to realize that things need to change. The lakers off needed a wake-up call all season long to get things going and they finally got knocked out.


  88. Sufism who are you going to trade to get those things. Blake, Walton, Artest, Joe smith. We have no one that anybody but Mitch wants.


  89. Lakers cut it down to 19.

    Fisher gets a steal and Artest misses an open layup/dunk/whatever the hell he was trying to do.

    Fisher loses track of Terry and he makes the Lakers pay.

    Fisher loses track of Terry and he makes the Lakers pay, again.

    Now Dallas up 25. They were finally somewhat struggling offensively, but, nope. No need to capitalize on that. It’s only the last game of the Lakers’ season.


  90. This the most pathetic Lakers’ performance in the 30+ years I have watched them, starting as a child.

    No fight … no heart … and totally embarrassing to one of the great sports franchises of all time. Magic is right, they need to ‘blow ’em up …’ Gasol has lost it completely — maybe one day we will know the real reason why.

    Hard to believe this is the same team that went 17-1 after the all-star break. Laker fans are in mourning. Darius, your optimistic pre-game chat gave too much credit to the Lakers’ heart. They now have none.


  91. Thanks, Gomezd, for reiterating what I’ve been saying and complaining about all season long. You basically get what you deserve. You want to f*ck around during the regular season like it doesn’t matter because you expect to just walk thru the playoffs, well then this is what you get. A team that’s ill-prepared and full of bad habits and weaknesses. Did they actually think any team was going to be scared of them and piss down their legs once the playoffs started? F*ck no! Complete arrogance.


  92. Come on, Ken. Mitch has been one of the best GM’s in the league the last few years. It is not his fault Blake has not panned out. Players still have to actually go out and play well. Barnes has not been the same since the knee injury. Injuries are part of the game. Plus, who else was willing to come to LA last summer when they had such limited money to spend?

    I think Mitch has done an excellent job with the limitations he had to work with. You do realize there are 29 other GMs competing for the same crop of players, right?


  93. At this point all I’m hoping for a) someone not named Miami or Boston to win, and b) to not lose by 39 again.

    Also, for Jason Terry to get hit by a bus.


  94. Please please don’t blame mitch. he got people everyone thought still had game. barnes came personally recd by kobe.

    its different playing in the big time of l.a. than portland, phoenix etc.


  95. Majic has heart: See the tears in his eyes

    Kobe has heart: Look at him!

    Where’s the rest of the team’s heart?! I don’t mind losing BUT DO IT WITH PRIDE GOT DARN IT!!

    Phil: Out coached

    Bynum: Not quiet there yet. Believe me he couldn’t carry us through an 80 game season

    Pau: No heart

    Fish: dilusional

    Laker Bench: heartless!




  96. Not Mitch’s fault at all. We all expected this team to be great. We assumed the same stuff Mitch did, it just didn’t pan out.

    Seems fitting though, when we get eliminated, it’s always like this. 03 against the Spurs, 04 against the Pistons, 07 against the Suns, 08 against Boston.


  97. If Kobe isn’t in the entire 4th quarter, I’m going to drive to Dallas myself and punch out Phil and take Jeanie for myself.


  98. One reason that fans feel as though they can criticize this team is because all year long they have shown a level of disinterest. Then they said, “Is this the playoffs, well we’re not concerned!” Now that the Lakers have proved the fans assertions right, some people are criticizing their comments. Evidently, no one remembers all of the games that the Lakers played with the exact same interest that they are showing during this playoff.

    Remember when fans were upset about spending their hard earned money to watch a team that clearly were more interested in things off the court than on the court.

    Remember when fans on this site said that if the Lakers were going to be disinterested during the season and only play when the playoffs began, then that’s when the fans would tune back in also.

    Here’s to a better mix of players next year!


  99. Really Rogers? Who signed Walton! Blake? Artest? To long term contracts? Who thought Fisher was still a NBA starting point guard?

    Listen to Magic a former owner.

    Blow up this team and get players that care and can run! Jump and shoot!

    Who’s fault was that my 6 year old sons!

    Every team added players at trade deadline but Lakers.? Are you watching the same team the rest of the world is watching?


  100. “Lakers players played a dangerous game all season, they were simply ill prepared for the post season – appart from kobe it seems like they all just sort of expected to win, expected to be in top condition come playoff time instead of using the regular season for their benefit.”

    Exactly what I tried to tell everyone in this forum the whole year, and how the regular season IS important and that the Lakers should not take it too lightly. Now the Lakers may have lost this series anyway, but they would not have got swept.


  101. the lack of urgency has finally caught up to them. we kept on saying and thinking they will get into championship form by the time the games really count, but it never happened. every single time, we thought they were rounding the corner, they step off the gas pedal. the focus and attention to detail hasnt been there offensively or defensively in crunch time. the little plays that change a series havent been generated at all.

    its been a very un-laker like season. not because it didnt end with a title and a parade, but because they havent responded like we’re used to. blame it on the age and mileage, fatigue, kobe’s worn body, bench play, extreme confidence, high expectations, whatever… the team just didnt come out to compete on a championship level.

    i hope this embarrassing playoff exit humbles them and they stew over it all summer, so they can come back next season with vengeance . heres to next season…assuming the lockout doesnt kill it

    i just got more depressed


  102. The 89 team got swept in the Finals, after Scott and Magic tore hamstrings.

    The 90 team lost 4-1 to PHX in the conference semis, which is a better parallel.

    Terry and Stojakovic are 14/15 on 3s.


  103. No reason to not play our starting lineup for the rest of the game. They have the rest of summer to recuperate.

    Forget about the horrid defense, the Lakers can’t score, either.

    Down 24 at halftime, down 24 at end of 3rd. I guess Odom’s impassionate speech during the half did not work.

    Let’s see if the Lakers can outscore the Mavs by 25 the rest of the way.


  104. Most people liked the Lakers off-season signings of Blake and Barnes. Mitch has done a very good job with the salary cap restrictions the Lakers have had being over the cap. Barnes and Blake did not work out as expected.


  105. So many things wrong with that play by Lamar, ending with an unwarranted ejection. Maybe a technical, but just because you want to control a game, you eject him?


  106. #128….magic’s team was swept but guess what, Magic
    and byron scott barely played after game 2…different situation…

    and now lamar kardashian shows his inner queensbridge…funny how our two nyc thugs both got ejected in this series


  107. LoL I just laughed when that happened. I’m a bad person. Finally a hard foul by a Laker. Bad foul though.


  108. We waited the entire series to put Barea on the floor. And it happens like that? Wow.


  109. We’re getting punked and outclassed, and now we’re showing no class. Not so shocking for a team that’s hasn’t been prepared all season long. Can’t wait to hear Lamar’s typical postgame interview.

    “Uh duh, we’ll be alright. Nothing to worry about. Just gotta play better next game.” Sorry, Lamar. There is no next game!

    And now Bynum with the bush league play. C’mon guys. As disappointed as us fans are in how you’ve played, we don’t want to lose respect for you as professionals.


  110. looks like new jersey’s bynum just embarrassed the laker organization….

    he will probably be suspended next season…hopefully in orlando because he’s not as great as we think…fumbles the ball on offense unless its a dunk…

    shame on phil jackson…i hope we lose by 50!


  111. There have been some sort of team issues all year, these fouls are just a manifestation of those problems!


  112. That was cheap by Drew, but seriously, why haven’t the bigs roughed him up all series? At least a hard hip check coming around screens?


  113. You going to tell me now that this team doesn’t need to be blown up. Embarrassment to the NBA, the Laker uniform and Laker fans.

    Phil lost control and this team shows no class.


  114. JJ Barea has been calling me asking for advice on how to flop and fake being injured.


  115. Jeez louise, is our entire roster going to get itself ejected so as to not have to suffer through this 4th quarter? F. this, I’m done watching this game.


  116. You know what!!!!! That was one of the most bush-league stunts I have ever seen. Open your wallet Bynum—Stern’s gonna have a field day with this one !!!!


  117. Joe

    I agree to. I remember saying midseason after a bad loss that the lakers were actually lucky to be where they were. Darius reply and said the lakers were not lucky and it was some back and forth…
    But my point then was that the lakers just didn’t compete, whenever they got down they gave up, they never played defense for more than a quarter. They never really consistently played hard and good for an entire game unless they were blowing the opposing team out which was rare.

    But as surprising as this may seen it really isn’t. A Phil Jackson team that went on to win a championship never loss 3 games in a row. This year the lakers had 2 three game losing streaks, a 4 game losing streak and a 5 game losing streak. Yet it was never time to panic.

    But what’s going on now is classless and I hope the only two returning players next year are Kobe, luke, bynum and trey johnson. I know that won’t happen, I’m just saying.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.


  118. Come on, guys. Play with a little more class. If you can’t play hard all season, then don’t act like sore losers when it comes back to bite you. Awful display of sportsmanship.


  119. Congrats to the Miami Heat on their 2nd NBA championship.

    I wonder how many games (post lockout) that Bynum will be suspended next year?


  120. Mike Tirico and Hubie, you think that the hard fouls may be retialiation from all the non-calls for Mavs offensive fouls? maybe lakers are tired of BS ref calls. Zebras going home with big paychecks.


  121. Oh good, a troll.

    Bynum will get suspended for that.

    Ugliest game of the Bryant/Jackson era, without question.


  122. Laker fan since 1969, that won’t change. Does it hurt-absolutely.

    Sometimes the King goes gracefully, sometimes he takes a horrible fall.

    Looks like Bynum will be calling Ron’s shrink, that’s a shame. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. No need for that, to say the least, taints the whole organization. Ask Kent Benson.

    Don’t be a hater, time to step back and appreciate what we had, at least for a while…


  123. Two flagrant fouls in the 4th qtr. Lamar and Andrew should really be ashamed. This is an embarrassing way to end a game and an era.

    Now it is time to turn off the TV.


  124. Can the Lakers fine Odom and Bynum for those cheap shots? Disgraceful. Bynum with his history will be suspended several games at the start of next season. Not pleased with the way this team finished the game.


  125. Cdog,
    This Lakers team, could have never challenged the Heat. Not enough athletes to keep up with the three Nazguls.


  126. I wonder who our coach is next year?

    I very much doubt its shaw. Lakers don’t have any shooters to efficiently run the triangle.

    And for those of you thinking the Lakers are trading away Gasol/Artest this year… I’d say what exactly are they going to get that would be an upgrade?

    Gasol right now we will get 50 cents on the dollar. And noone wants Artest.

    I wonder if an extended lockout with revive some legs next year, cuz we didn’t have em all year.


  127. Kobe’s gonna take over right now. Cuban paying off the refs can’t stop him. Time to make history Kobe!


  128. Dallas deserves to win this game by 50 after those cheap shots, especially Bynum’s. That’s not a ‘tough’ foul…that’s a cheap shot, and only losers/whiners/d-bags conduct themselves that way when faced with adversity. The ’10-’11 Laker team consistently wilted when the going got tough, and sure enough they’re exiting the season the same way.

    And as fans…bite your lip and take some medicine. Being a Laker fan is unbelievably easy compared to what 99% of other fan bases have to endure. The Mavs were far better all series and this edition of the Lakers never played like champs.

    On to ’11-’12. Congrats to the Mavs on a great…I mean, GREAT, series. They were unreal. and we sucked.


  129. Don’t be sad everybody, you’ve got to be proud of this teams’ accomplishments, at least they’ve done the job for 3 years. That’s life sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down.


  130. Those were two unprofessional, disgraceful fouls by Odom and Bynum.

    But, I enjoyed it.

    The Lakers should have been roughing up the Mavericks since tip-off of Game 1, with subtler fouls, of course. It’s a little too late. I never thought I’d see the day when pundits are calling the Mavs a tougher team than the Lakers.


  131. I don’t think we should blow up the team, unless there’s some serious locker room issues. And if there is, we’ll hear about it pretty soon.


  132. Just devastating……they are a basketball apocalypse at this point…..individually and collectively, starting with Exertion and continuing through strategy and execution. This is part of being a Laker fan…so many highs to be thankful for, but when they go down, it’s typically in the most humiliating way possible. You take the good with the bad.

    I just will never be able to reconcile the Lakers scoring 102 ppg and then coming in and making offensive basketball so difficult….people talk about numbers like 0-16 from three and they focus on the 0 when the real killer is the 16. The Lakers have won tons of games with no help from 3 by Not TAKING THREES. Even as I type this I am watching the Lakers cast up threes with tons of time on the clock…the series loss credit goes to Dallas, but the SWEEP is the Lakers’ doing. I watch Ron destroy Marion in the post and then the Lakers go RIGHT BACK TO THE MORONIC 3. They’ve adopted this egalitarian ethos where nobody can be the focus on consecutive looks….except for one player.

    Can I respectfully call PJ the best coach ever AND say that if any other coach coached this team to this result we would say that these Lakers were a poorly coached team????

    They meltdown offensively and defensively, and they go staggeringly long stretches without EXERTING themselves. They turn the ball over and don’t respond to adjustments. Just a total system crash.

    As time moves on I will remember Phil as the guy who brought 5 titles and 7 finals appearances to a team that had gone a decade without either. Time is just not moving on today…..


  133. ChrisLTD – maybe. Maybe not, but I do know that Lebron/Wade don’t shoot from 3 like Nowitzki or Terri do, and the matchups would have been completely different.

    So Laker fans – heres our dilemma, if watching NBA basketball this playoffs, who do we root for?

    I’m thinking Memphis, just because Randolph is crazy and I’ve always like Marc Gasol.

    Can’t root for OKC because of my distate for Perkins. And Can’t root for either Miami or Bos. And as good as DRose is, Miami/Bos is coming out of the east.


  134. Congratulations to Dallas, great series.
    All the credit to them.

    See you all next year!
    Love this place.



  135. I would say most Laker fans who follow the rest will root for Chicago and Memphis.


  136. Wow being quitters is one thing but Lakers are classless. I was hoping LA would win to take out Miami but with the kind of dirty play that’s going on you would be better served with your reality shows and filming movies on behalf of your sneaker lines in between fishing trips.


  137. The best thing to do is to congratulate Dallas and not turn on our own.

    There has been something wrong with the Laker team this year. They have seldom been balanced. When cohesion and spirit are gone, bad things happen.

    There was no reason to expect these miracles to continue. Dallas has may great veteran players who deserve to move on to the next round.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in Lakerland next year.


  138. sad day to be a laker fan. It was a good run and we’ll need to regroup and hope for the best next year.


  139. now that phil is gone..great coach…but a really smug jerk. sorry its the truth. he’s like red auerbach but without the charm.. barely could congratulate rick carlise. begrudgingly congratulates jason kidd…

    phil is universally hated in the nba.

    and I will always dislike a part of him because of chicago…to me pat riley is the lakers coach of lakers coaches…see u in ny phil…


  140. I hope next season Fisher won’t be a starter.

    I hope we will keep the core together, if they still want to play together.

    I hope we can bring some young legs to come of the bench.


  141. Phil Jackson Career

    Seasons 20

    W-L 1155-485 (.704)

    Playoff W-L 229-104 (.688)

    NBA Finals App. 13

    NBA Titles 11

    50-win Seasons 17

    made playoffs in all 20 seasons

    Thank You Phil Jackson


  142. Thanks for the trophies, Phil.

    See you guys next season, whenever that may start. Rain or shine, FB&G is the best.


  143. drrayeye is right.

    The Odom/Bynum stuff was bad, particularly Bynum, and will provide a lot of fuel for the Haters. People should tread carefully on the intertubes the next few days.

    One thing people need to realize going forward: they CAN’T “blow up the team due to the contracts.

    It is time to kick the tires on the Howard thing.


  144. Thanks to the writers of FB&G for doing a great job throughout an ultimately frustrating season.

    I’ll try to reserve judgement on all these roster questions until I’ve cooled down a bit. Who knows what happens in the off-season as far as a potential lockout goes? Just too many variables in play right now.

    Hat tip to the Mavs, they earned this sweep fair and square. I’d love for Dirk to win his first ring, I’d be OK with MEM or CHI. There are two teams though that I don’t want to win at all. Fortunately one gets eliminated in this round, the other hopefully in the ECF.


  145. Huge thanks to Phil for all the memories. Incredibly sad way for you to go, but you lead my beloved Lakers to 7 finals appearances and 5 chips in my adulthood. Truly thankful for all you’ve done for the team. Best wishes and hope you enjoy retirement.

    To the Mavericks fans, congratulations, g’luck, truly hope Dirk and J-Kidd finally win one. Will be rooting for the Mavs.

    PS. Kobe + the Shawfather will be back next year!


  146. Well. Ouch. Not how I had envisioned our season ending.

    Credit to the Mavericks, who held it together and really played very well, particularly their reserves.

    Still, would have liked to have seen some fight rather than a Game 6 reenactment.

    With that said, this team had a very good run, with three Finals appearances and two championships. We just didn’t have it this year.

    Thank you to Phil Jackson – I’m sorry you had to go out this way. Good luck in the future.


  147. There shouldn’t be any hate comments here guys. I know it hurts, but as fans we gotta reflect on our teams accomplishments. You can’t stay on top forever. Sometimes the success the Lakers have had made us as fans too spoiled. Be proud of what they’ve done these last few years. Other teams and their fans would have loved to be in our position…and we end up forgetting about that.


  148. @204

    Sure. But 122-86 with two ejections for flagrants? That is going to cause some anger.


  149. Rooting for Chicago and Memphis now. Can’t pull for OKC because of Perkins. I’m torn on the Mavs. I want Dirk (and even Kidd) to win a ring, but Cuban and Jason Terry are so damn annoying.

    This offseason will be interesting, to say the least. Unless there’s locker-room strife, I expect the core to remain intact. But let’s see what Mitch does.


  150. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…
    In this game only a few have done the former, enjoy and go on. Go Grizzlies!


  151. Thanks to the writers and readers of this blog, best place to get objective and indepth information about this lakers team keep up the good work for next season!


  152. We need a fast point guard with skill and some better talent off the bench, players with speed and that can shoot the 3. Bynum will be better too. Gasol needs to get some more heart. There was too much pressure put on Kobe to do too much this series, and he cant just take over a game anymore like before anymore. Lets face it, the Mavs were the better team, more talented, a lot quicker and much better shooters. Not mention they wanted it a lot more, hats off to them. If the Lakers make the right moves this off season, they can get some payback next year.


  153. Magic was right about this team being together a little to long. Particularly Phil, since the team starts with him.

    I’ve felt all season that Phil wasn’t completely engaged. I think the Zen mantra was more of an excuse not to change his ways to make his team better. I wrote back in January if he doesn’t change this would happen. Phil just said it’s kinda good to be ending the season. He should be absolutely pissed off and he’s not. The problem with phil was he didn’t have anything to prove. He had accomplished everything he possibly could. He just wasn’t into basketball anymore and it really showed in game 1. He really didn’t have anything to gain or lose. Nobody will be blaming Phil for this except a few. I respect what phil has done for the lakers over the course of his career, but he’s just been out coached again and frankly doesn’t care to much.

    But i’m hoping the Buss family gets a well rounded coach like JVG that still has a lot to prove and is still hungry. I really hope the lakers can move Pau instead of Bynum. Pau pretty much quit and was disengaged the entire playoffs. But its pretty unlikely so I hoping they can get Dwight Howard a true superstar to really carry the lakers when they need a lift.

    I hope fisher finally takes a step back and come off the bench and realize he just doesn’t have it anymore. No disrespect to Fisher. But his time has passed. We thank him for him being a fighter and never giving but he is what he is.

    I really don’t know what the lakers are going to do with their bench. Shannon has regressed big time. But like Lisa Leslie just said something is wrong them them internally and they really need to make some big changes. They don’t need to completely blow it up. But they have to get rid of one of their bigs if they can get Dwight Howard and hopefully try to get a 3 point shooter, hopefully one that can defend, play with heart and come cheap…Sasha Vujacic anyone lol.

    The true blessing in disguise is rest for Kobe because to be honest there was no way Kobe was going to be able to go all the way with his injuries and be successful in the next few seasons. So hopefully he can get healthy, the lakers can get a good coach in and a true second superstar.


  154. Thank you, Phil Jackson.

    I am deeply saddened that your last rodeo had to end this way. You are the greatest coach of all time, in any sport. I will miss your humorous quips, your refusals to call timeouts, and your mind games against other coaches.

    You have affected me in ways beyond basketball. I have never seen a man more at peace at any given moment. Your coolness under pressure is legendary. With all your accomplishments, you still remained a down to earth guy, someone whose presence commands respect.

    Thank you, Phil Jackson.


  155. I must say that I am disappointed with the rank negativity on this board.

    If you are a true fan, you accept the lows with the highs, and we’ve had plenty of highs, so we shouldn’t personally attack our team or players just because of a monumental disappointment.

    Many on this board felt something was off this year (or significant chunks of it), so on some level this isn’t shocking, albeit a sweep ending this way is an obvious bummer.

    Then again, the bounces have fallen our way the past two years.

    Painful offseason. These things never end well.


  156. 216

    I think there would be less of it had they played better today. It is kind of like 2008 in that respect–plus the flagrants.


  157. 5 championships in 11 years; other fans would DIE for that track record. There will be wholesale changes this summer including at the top, so it should make for one intriguing summer (if the league doesn’t lock out for a whole year). But the Lakers have to really ask the deep down question: do we keep on adding vets to supplement Kobe or do we have to start the youth movement and add young talent? We’ve shed Farmar, Ariza, Sasha, to go with more veterans around Kobe. That plan has worked for the most part, but failed disastrously this year. That will be the interesting battle this summer.

    Will miss posting and conversing with everyone but we will sure have an interesting offseason!


  158. Mark,

    You’re right, many on this board felt this team was off. But it’s fair to criticize them. It would’ve been a bit different if they lakers didn’t bow out in this embarrassing fashion. They showed no heart and no class. That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to support the lakers, but it’s no reason to sugarcoat anything.

    For example, yes we’ll all appreciate what phil has done for the lakers, but I personally believed he should’ve retired last season and i said it then to. And i felt the who season he wasn’t completely into to it. He had one foot out the door and really coached like it. I don’t think its Phil’s fault he wasn’t into the game anymore, its understandable, but he just waited a year to long. But the blame starts with him but surely doesn’t end with him. The only people that do not deserve blame is Joe Smith, Theo and Trey.

    The lakers have to keep as much of the core together as possible, most likely it’ll be Kobe,Lamar, Artest, Pau. But they have to get younger because the lakers just really looked old and helpless.


  159. people have got to chill. this is surely embarassing no question about it but come on did we just all collectively forget all the championships this team brought us. come on be rational here. yes, it was sad and yes it was embarassing but this series does not taint anything that came before this season. pau was still a beast last june and andrew still made real progress this season in terms of development so please keep your cool


  160. 213, our disapointment is mainly because the Lakers, just like they showed in todays game, was just not entirely engaged throughout the whole season. They were arrogant, and just assumed they would be ready come playoff time. I can’t stand arrogance like that. What is sad is we get it from the players and fans, though there are exceptions of course.


  161. Note for Mitch: Your team needs guards that can play some D, i.e., stop penetration more often than not, and also hit some threes.

    Note for Andrew: Not Barea’s fault that our guards are singularly unable to prevent penetration, so next time, try to disrupt Barea, and if he makes the basket anyway, take the ball and fire it off the head of the guard who didn’t prevent the penetration. That would be a more fitting response to what you’ve had to witness this season.

    Note for Ron: You didn’t deserve the suspension, but the league office is just like that burial vault, nice and shiny on the outside and full of the bones of dead humans on the inside. Thanks for walking Lamar past the Mavs bench (he didn’t deserve his ejection either, as the hit on Dirk wasn’t intended to injure but simply to send the message, you’re blowing us out, no need to talk smack, at least not given your prior history and the fact that we have guards who can’t stop penetration or shoot the three).


  162. Thank you Phil, but I believe we now need a new system… It will take a while to get back to the Finals if there’s a lockout next year, but we will eventually turn things around.

    Regarding LO and Bynum, it was bush league play, but I’d rather have Bynum pissed and doing something like that than having him simply not caring enough. Yes, it was bad, but apparently he cared… I believe he didn’t do this to Barea but rather to send a message to his teammates. Let me believe that because otherwise there’s simply no way to defend him. On LO, no big deal. Elbows are thrown in basketball games…

    I’m now starting to wonder if the triangle is the way to go for the following seasons. The triangle works with lockdown D on the perimeter and knocking down open shots. The offense thrives on being able to free any particular player to shoot with plenty of time. We don’t have the athleticism on the wings to play lockdown D and get the fast-breaks and we don’t have guys able to knock down open shots. For all his faults, Sasha was a useful player. Obviously the problems go far beyond that.

    But several posts will came concerning the Lakers and what should we do with this team. There’s time to talk about that later.

    Right now I’m rooting for Dallas. If we get swept, better be by the champions. And… Nowitzki deserves a ring. He’s an awesome player who got robbed of a title against Miami due to outrageous calls by the referees. I believe Wade shot half of his career free throws in that series. So, I’m really rooting for him. Also, guys like Jason Kidd and Steve Nash and Grant Hill also deserve a ring for everything they brought to the game. Kidd and Nash made point guard play a thing of beauty for the younger crowds and gave several guys career years and amazing contracts. Hill is just a classy guy who plays the game as it is supposed to be played. Phoenix got no chance but maybe Dallas has and Kidd really deserves a ring.

    So, for Kidd and Nowitzki, I’ll be rooting for Dallas.


  163. The last time we ended a season like this, we went into the summer fully committed and hungry. We were sick with the bitter taste of embarrassment and returned with vigor on both ends of the floor. We dominated all year long, swept every other contender during the season, and won the championship on the road against Orlando.

    Will the team have the same composition next year, from the coach to the role players? Most likely not. But you can count on Kobe and at least a few key guys returning, and they will be ready. In ’08, as disappointed as I was with the Boston loss, I was even more excited for the next season.

    That’s how I feel now. We’ll get better in the offseason, we’ve got an extra month of rest (maybe more with a lockout), and we’re back to that mindstate where every possession counts on our quest to a ring. That’s where we need to be.


  164. If they can add a D. Howard and get a young point
    guard they will be back next year. Sam Young is a good perimeter player and they need Derron Williams. It all depends on the CBA.


  165. I’m leaving #222 up because I just want to kindly ask that we leave speculation on player acquisition or the new coach for later threads when we open up it up during the off-season. That comment raises a very good point about the CBA, but there are many things to look at moving forward. Thank you, all.


  166. @222

    Geez, anybody else? With all the Lakers locked in deals, you’re dreaming.


  167. Also, I don’t care what anyone thinks about this: The commenting guidelines will hold. No baiting comments, no insults. We’ll be respectful here, if nothing else.


  168. Thoughts…

    – I love Andrew, but he was not sending a message. He has a habit of making immature decisions when the chips are down. Not the mark of a leader. It makes me sad to say that.

    – Thank you for the ride(s) PJ. You’re not perfect but damn you’re good. It truly is a sad day and it makes me feel old that you’re actually gone.

    – Kobe cannot carry this team anymore, at least not with the injury load that he used to be able to overcome. The ankle/foot twists and arthritic dribbling right hand combined with the day-to-day changes in the capabilities of his knees is too much. Defenders know how to take away most of what he can do when he’s so handicapped. Give him a couple extra days off and he looks much better.

    – Perhaps what’s really wrong with the Lakers is that they don’t have a proper pecking order. Kobe’s #1, but Pau kind of tried to be #1 at the end of last season and the beginning of the season. Meanwhile, Andrew came back from injury and sort of claimed the #2 spot and Pau regressed to #3 afterward.

    – Or maybe there really is some kind of rift? No teamwork. Baffling. Only they know for sure.

    – Is Brian Shaw the right person to take over? My money is on JVG and a new defense first system. With new coaches come new players, so expect some turnover, though bet on Artest remaining.

    I love the Lakers, but the shirt I bought this year went in the garbage. I’ll get a fresh one next season.


  169. blue and gold through and through here, but just want to commend the Mavs for never letting up.

    They beat the champs, not by trying to outduel them, but by shooting right over them. Just because the Lakers model (going big and long) worked the last few seasons doesn’t mean it’s the only model that works. Combine that with a hungry team versus a team that was tired and this perfect storm scenario couldn’t have been played better.

    They flat out shot the lights out. Thank you, Lakers, PJ, and good luck Mavs.


  170. The pain gives meaning to the joy. If we want to be fans of this championship organization, we get everything that goes with it. It hurts so much because of the value of what is being relinquished.

    Losses like today’s makes me appreciate the championships won. It reminds me how hard it is to win a championship, and how tenuous the hold on it is.

    1972 means more because of Don Nelson’s lucky bounce in 1969; Reed’s guts and Frazier’s perfection in 1970. 1985 is sweeter because of Worthy’s ill fated pass and Magic’s missed free throws in 1984.
    1987 may have been the best Laker team of all-time, but would that championship have meant as much without having to endure the 4-1 dismissal to Houston in 1986?

    Kobe cried in 2003 because he was passing the torch of 3 straight titles to the Spurs.

    The descent from the mountain top has to hurt. Falling from the foothills isn’t painful because nothing was gained. No heights scaled. No peaks conquered.

    I will take 15/16 from 3 land by the likes of Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic because Trevor Ariza and Derek Fisher’s 3’s in Orlando resulted in a championship. I’ll take getting swept in the conference semis because I can still see the purple and gold confetti falling over Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher as they hugged at center court after rallying from 13 down to beat the Celtics in game 7 last June.

    And I know, from being a Laker fan for 40 years that the darkness that envelops now will yield to the light of yet another championship run.