Game 4 Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

Darius Soriano —  May 6, 2012

Game 4 offers the Lakers a chance at redemption from their poor performance just two days ago. In that contest, the Lakers played a particularly undisciplined game and credit the Nuggets for taking advantage (and then some). The Nuggets played harder, smarter, and executed their game plan better. As much as I can look at the Lakers doing so many things wrong that helped give the Nuggets the win, the Nuggets earned their W.

So, for the Lakers to bounce back, they must get back to basics while also countering some of the adjustments that George Karl made in game 3. A few things to watch during the game:

*Bynum’s effort level and preparedness may be the single biggest factor for Lakers’ success in this series. The Lakers can overcome a bad shooting night from Kobe. They can even overcome a game played at a quicker tempo. Neither are ideal and the preference is for those things to break the Lakers’ way, but if they don’t the Lakers can still win. If Bynum is fully engaged in the contest and ready to compete and impact the game, they can win. In game 3, Bynum was admittedly not fully ready to play. He gave up deep post position while playing one on one defense and wasn’t in good help position while playing defense.

Today, that must be different. Bynum must be ready to play ball screens higher and must read the drives of the Nuggets’ guards in order to be in position to help. He must respect the offensive games of the man he’s guarding (especially McGee) and be more attentive on the defensive glass to deny second possessions. And, offensively, he must be aggressive in fighting for position and demanding the ball. His teammates must look for him more, of course, but he can aid them by earning deep position and punishing the Nuggets’ bigs on the block. George Karl inserted Timofey Mozgov into the starting lineup partially because of the perception that he can guard Bynum better on the block. Bynum didn’t do anything in game 3 to disprove that theory. Today, he must run the floor hard and look to bury his man in the stanchion at every opportunity. He’s certainly capable, he simply must bring the effort to do so.

*Gasol must join Bynum by attacking the paint. One of the sadder sights for a Laker fan was seeing Pau Gasol act as a floor spacer behind the three point line down the stretch of game 3. While other Lakers were in attack mode, Pau floated around the perimeter as an outlet and release valve. Some of this was by design and some of it was just Pau letting the flow of the game dictate his role in it, but the result was an underused all-star who had a match up advantage over his man. Pau must get back to attacking the undersized Kenneth Faried either in the low post or from the elbow in the Lakers’ horns sets. Pau’s always been great at making the right pass decisions, but he must also get a little greedy and look for his own shot more when the match ups favor him. He was the only Laker to shoot over 50% in game 3 yet he got too few looks at the basket.

But Pau, like Bynum, must also step up his game defensively and on the glass. The Nuggets grabbed 19 offensive rebounds in game 3 and while not all of those were Gasol’s fault, his effort on that end certainly aided those numbers. Faried had 6 Oreb’s on his own and Pau must be better at helping against penetration while still recovering to rebound. He must also be ready to sprint back on D and help build the wall against the Nuggets advancing PG’s so  that easy shots in the paint can’t be earned so easy and quickly. Today is a day the bigs must raise their games and while we often discuss Bynum when referencing that, Pau is not exempt.

*One adjustment George Karl flashed in game 2 and carried over into game 3 was putting larger defenders on the Lakers’ PG’s in order to neutralize their 1/2 P&R’s with Sessions/Blake screening for Kobe (or vice versa). The Lakers have been good at using this action all season (especially after Sessions arrived) to create good offensive looks either via the PG shaking free or by forcing a switch so Kobe gets isolated against a smaller man. Karl’s adjustment has sought to eliminate that latter advantage an the Lakers must look to tweak their actions in this set to compensate. I hope to see more aggressive drives from Sessions and Blake to force the D to respond. Too often in game three, they looked tentative when turning the corner and seemed more interested in getting Kobe the ball. Instead, they need to look for their own offense to put the D on their heels and make them respond and question of sticking so closely with Kobe is the best plan while the ball gets into the lane and creates 3 on 2 opportunities. I’d also like to see Kobe get and set better screens in this action to free himself or his teammate better. Setting more solid picks will only create more space for everyone to operate in and can only lead to better scoring chances.

*The Lakers must get better production from their wings – especially Matt Barnes. It’s not clear if Barnes’ ankle is the issue or not, but he’s not been nearly as effective on offense since he returned from injury and has been relegated to a spot up shooter. The problem is that Barnes has not been knocking down the shots to make the defense pay, only emboldening the Nuggets to continue to leave him open behind the arc. So, instead of spacing I’d like to see Barnes slash more into the gaps and try to get some offense going to the rim. Again, the Lakers shot 25 three pointers in game 3 and Barnes took 5 of them; more than half his shots came from behind the arc.

Wing production is also important because it means we see less of the Blake/Sessions back court. At this point, I’m beating a dead horse when complaining about how this pairing doesn’t put either player in a position to succeed. So, let me just say that the Lakers wings can do everyone a favor by playing smarter (Ebanks) and by being more consistent scoring threats (Barnes) to ensure that they can see the floor in the minutes they need to and help the team win. By going small the Lakers allow the Nuggets to play their dual PG lineup without consequences. Needless to say this is an advantage for the Nuggets that the Lakers can’t keep giving them game after game.

——————————

While this game isn’t a must have, it is a game the Lakers need if they hope to get control back in the series. The Nuggets have confidence now and a 2-2 series would only bolster that. The Lakers must bring back their game 1 focus and effort level while incorporating some of their game 2 wrinkles that freed Kobe and Bynum to be effective offensive threats. And, if they can get back to controlling the offensive flow of the game, their defense will follow. This is the formula that will lead to a win and both teams know it. The Lakers simply must do it.

Darius Soriano

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206 responses to Game 4 Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

  1. After 30-14 quarter it was 70-69 Lakers rest of the way. Rebounds are the key to this game can’t give them off. rebounds and fast break points.

  2. Darius: Nice preview: Agreed with regard to the Bynum readiness and the battle of the boards.
    I also think we should be more agressive on D with regard to steals and also with regard to leaking out on the break. Sessions, Barnes, + even KB could use some easy ones to get themselves going and it is worth the gamble.

  3. Basically, if the Lakers knock down a few 3s and avoid huge numbers of TOs, they usually win. Doing those things also gives Kobe, Pau and Bynum more possessions and more floor space to go to work. Those are the two stats I watch, as those are two of the team’s clear shortfalls.

  4. “The Nuggets grabbed 19 offensive rebounds in game 3…”

    No rebounds, no rings. Pretty simple if you ask me.

  5. -Bynum admitted he sucked in the 1st half, I hated the fact he wasn’t ready, that he was late for shoot around…but I also like that fact he admitted it. Didn’t blame anyone or anything else for his issues. Now let’s see him make it up to his teammates.

    -Don’t know about you, but I sure got tired of seeing McGee’s mother Pam & her game face every time her son made a good play (& he made toooo many ).

    -It took 4 games, but MWP was missed in that last game.

    -I didn’t think the Lakers would win in a sweep, so we’re still on time…but I also didn’t think the Thunder would sweep the Mavs :-(

    -4games down, 3 to go before the NBA experiences World Peace once again.

  6. BigCitySid – I’m right there with you. I like the fact that Bynum is self-aware and shoulders the blame. There’s maturity in that. But the second step in maturation is learning from your mistakes and not repeating them. We heard this same “I wasn’t ready, I didn’t have energy” before from Bynum. I’m hoping we hear less of it as the postseason advances. It’s one thing to dominate the first game of the playoffs, and another to sustain that energy for a legendary playoff run. I am definitely expecting him to have a beastly game today.

    And I agree about the McGee part. Frankly I don’t understand the need to show McGee and Durant’s mothers 20 times during a game. Unless Minka Kelly has a son that plays in the NBA, I’m not that interested.

  7. Lakers are 5-9 in game 4′s since Pau Gasol trade

    In consecutive road losses in games 3,4 (Utah ’08, OKC ’09, Phx ’10) Lakers won in 6. With the exception of last year.

  8. Since Pau trade Kobe after game 3 losses not including last year vs Dallas. (17-3-1)

    30.1 pts 6.8 reb 5.6 ast 51% fg

  9. It’s nice to miss MWP. It’s really nice. It’s a good pain. It’s been three season now and we have for the first time in his Lakers career the Ron Artest we thought we would be getting. A rare two way player. A thug. A rugged defender. A powerful offensive player. A winner. But we have him now for at least one last pkayoff run. It’s nice to feel pain sometime. Thanks Ron for making us miss you :)

  10. Carmelo Anthony willing the Knicks to another game, and heart from STAT. That last part is almost an oxymoron.

  11. I think the Lakers will win this time, being the experienced team led by Kobe & Gasol who have been in the Championship will finally circle the wagon with or w/o their inexperienced Coach. Just go aggressive in the post, Bynum will put it to the ring and Gasol would follow it up. Don’t be afraid of this Faried whatever his reputation or his looks, use your height and your Catalan basketball IQ you won’t go wrong.

    Kobe has to exert his leadership and mojo if he wants to will his team. With regards to defense, go for double block, what is missed by Gasol, Bynum should cover while Barnes and Ebanks would watch for those hidden p&r. Memorize the favorite moves of Nuggets and anticipate them, that’s the job of the professional. A collegiate or rookie will just react but a pro should read and anticipate.

    Lastly, if Mbrown is boring and not giving any new ideas, pretend that he’s connecting, let him have his fun during interviews that he has these wing strategies. He wants everyone to know that he was the Coach who covered the Lakers after Phil Jackson.

  12. And another and another.

  13. Wow, the Miami-NY game is intense! Carmelo is just going off + Amare is actually doing a good job with his lacerated hand.

    PS Spike Lee has the largest tie I’ve ever seen. And a great Amish hat.

  14. Kevin,

    There’s one statistics that works, since Pau’s trade Lakers were in the Finals in three consecutive years and got b2b Championship. Too much analysis with numbers leads to paralysis of the outcome. j/k!

  15. 9. Aaron, the problem is, do you think he will come back the same player? When I look at MWP I see a man who has tried so hard to repair his image and will take it to heart that people have started calling him a “thug” etc and is gonna be timid

  16. Sorry to be the one to ask the inevitable question: I don’t have TV but I have broadband internet. Huge Lakers fan but can’t figure out the NBA/TNT’s site… Can I pay for single games, or the whole playoffs (for online, not TV). If not, anyway to watch on some “other” website (foreign or whatever…). I don’t want to miss anymore games! Yeah I can watch GameCast, but that’s not the same thing. Thanks!

  17. edwin: 2 total different teams. I expect a big time game from Kobe and a wire to wire win. Those numbers disagree with the latter.

  18. Every game we lose has a silver lining – we’ll have MWP (hopefully Ron Artest) back that much earlier in the 2nd round.

    Although really, I’d love to just get to the 2nd round ASAP…

  19. Kobe Alert: KB recorded his 1,000th playoff dime last game + needs 7 more to move by D Johnson for 8th all time. He needs 9 FT’s to eclipse K Malone for 2nd there. He needs 9 rebounds to move by our AC Green for 38th on that list. His 1,000 playoff dimes are more than every other current Laker combined.

  20. Lakers by 3 tonight. I am unusually close. Regardless things could be much worse. I am in Chicago today and the city of broad shoulders no longer has a leg to stand on.

  21. Hopefully less Blake and more Ebanks at SG

  22. Is everyone rooting against the Celtics yet? The only thing worse than us losing is them winning. They are already through this round, and the next round looks like a cakewalk. Now granted they will be a severe underdog to the Heat, but those Vegas odds that had them ahead of us to win the title, do not look so foolish at this time.

  23. Justin,

    Get league pass, it’s $39.99 for the entire playoffs. You can watch games in your iPad/iPhone.

    Robert,

    I love your game by game Kobe Alerts. It’s one of the reasons why I migrated from Lakersblog to Fb&g.

  24. 16 Justin,

    go to ATDHE or stream2watch.net

    Hope this helps! Go Lakers!!

  25. Andrew is clueless

  26. Awful play by Bynum. He had Ebanks clearly behind him -if he didn’t see him he’s blind – and also Kobe at the top. No need to force against the double team.

    On the other hand, he’s running the floor well.

  27. If any team needs to play zone its the lakers

  28. Kobe doesn’t have much turbo in his jets anymore. Bynum effort has been minimal early.

  29. Relax guys, its the 1st qtr.

    Relax…

  30. I don’t quite understand why Bynum doesn’t work harder for position. He seems to just be taking whatever the defense will give him.

    Who isn’t relaxed vhanz?

    Great work by Bynum on getting postion on that play and fighting to the rim for a dunk.

  31. Looks like Bynum was late for shoot-around again today.

  32. I live for those KB turnarounds

  33. Why is Sessions defending Miller two possessions in a row?

  34. Not sure what you guys are seeing. Drew has 7 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a block so far. People need to cut to the hoop when it goes to him in the post.

  35. You have to love Kobe’s effort. Bynum could learn a thing or two from kobe.

  36. Why can’t Kobe shoot in Denver? 25%?

  37. Sessions is the worst defender at pg in the league and Blake is just as bad

  38. Is Brown doing nothing to adjust for Miller?

  39. Stop playing a guard on miller!!! Hes slow

  40. @The Dude–I think we are watching the lack of effort on the other end of the floor—not his offense—the Drew this team needs on the defensive end hasn’t been seen since game one. All but two of DEN’s points are in the paint.

  41. @38 – In Game 3, Sessions defended Lawson for 33:34 and held him to 6-15 FG, 2-2 FT for 15 pts and 5 assists. Yes, Miller is lighting Sessions up, but he’s doing it by posting him up and Sessions shouldn’t be defending him anyway. Either Kobe or Barnes should have been finding Miller immediately on the change of possession.

  42. @mindcrime – I’ve seen Drew jump out on guards several times and force them to shoot over him, plus switch over and block Gallinari’s layup.

  43. Looks like we have Blake guarding Miller now! Wait a minute….

  44. And here comes the Sessions-Blake combo

  45. Great adjustment by clueless Brown, Blake on Miller!!

  46. Hate to say it but Denver is very much more athletic then the Lakers. It’s not even close.

    Lakers don’t play well aganist athletic teams.

    Genius Brown is doing it again

    Sessions/Blake

    Can he be and slower in the head?

  47. Nice slam by Barnes. Great energy from both teams.

    Many Lakers are playing with a sense of desperation. They know this game is big.

  48. Blake, look a what sessions did, take the foul on the fast break !!!

  49. We’re hiding Sessions on Brewer, so it’s not as damaging as when Denver goes to their two PG backcourt.

  50. Maybe Mike Brown will quit out of shame. I can only hope.

  51. It’s not a place for the faint of heart under the rim tonight on either end. LA has to bring it up one more notch on the defensive end at the rim–it looks like the whistle will be slow for both teams….

  52. Dude

    Sorry, he didn’t hold him to anything, Lawson just missed. Sessions trails every screen, if not he gets stuck in the pick because he doesn’t open up….what’s worse is he rarely gets in a defensive stance.

  53. Wonder how they’ll match up against Thunders..

  54. Typical post game by MB: “I have to look at the tape,” what exactly are you looking at?!? Can’t you see that pairing sessions and blake has never worked so far!

  55. @ The Dude:

    I guess I didn’t notice that as much after watching all of the slow rotations and point-blank shots for DEN right at LA’s rim.

  56. Ebanks plays the first 8 minutes of each half nothing after. You can’t tell me brown can’t squeeze him in a few in the 2nd and 4th. End of this half is big have to stay within range.

  57. Anony

    Brown also said he didn’t say he saw the Artest elbow in a interview.

    Either he is a giant lier or blind.

    Either way he should not be coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Maybe the Defenders.

    Maybe!

  58. Who can figure out a way to get Steve Blake off the floor and Amdrew Bynum the ball? Anyone? Anyone?

  59. When will Bynum be a force on the boards?

    Kobe had great position bynum looked him off.

  60. Put ebanks in the game!!!! Why is Blake still in the game

  61. Brown is doing it again.

    How dumb can any NBA Coach be?

    He is just clueless.

  62. Bynum is still such a black hole at times. When will he learn to pass?

  63. Well, guess we’ll have to disagree about Drew’s defense then. There might be a couple slow rotations, but I do see him trying out there.

  64. Rebounds are better (up 22-19), however losing the TO battle 7-3. Bench is down 19-8 which is about normal : )

    Jayz: You gotta love that guy who wears #24 !

  65. 58 – Not sure why that’s an issue for you, I’ve heard you say it multiple times now. Of course Brown is going to pretend he didn’t see the elbow. What’s he going to say on national TV? “Yeah, my guy really mauled Harden, I think Stu Jackson should give him 15 games.” Or, “No, it was just a love tap, Harden is playing possum.” Brown picked the smart route in that situation.

    Criticizing MB is fine, but let’s try to be somewhat reasonable.

  66. McGee is outplaying Bynum for the last 6 quarters.

    snoopy2006:not sure what your talking about. ebanks minutes?

  67. Horrible calls, if a player is behind you and trying to get the ball at your back is a jumpball instead of a foul?…

    WTF!!

    @snoopy2006

    EXACTLY, well said.

    Others trying to state that sessions is the worst pg defender in the league.. Are you kidding me????

  68. Kevin – that was intended for Ko. The #’s keep changing.

    Anybody have any idea what that lady was trying to do?

  69. Bynum needs to see Jack Nicholson and get some anger management.

  70. Get Bynum out of the game if all he is going to do is look to score, not playing any defense, and the only time he shows effort is when he is holding the ball, how many time has the double come and he just holds onto it and thrown up a poor shot, turned it over or ran down the entire shot clock? Honestly the defense looked best with hill and pau, it’s just a layup line right now when our center doesn’t protect the paint or rebound

  71. Snoopy

    Ok your right. Clearly I am over the top critical of Brown. I felt from day one he was a bad hire.

    Giving it a rest.

  72. Bynum is playing very well defensivley just to set that argument straight. Dude as usual is right. Why do people try and argue basketball with him? Anyways… Remember when Sessions was allowed to play PG and we were scoring like gang busters? Those were good times. Maybe we should let him play PG in lue of Kobe ISOS? Oh… And they better start getting the ball to Bynum or it looks like he might kill someone soon. I’m not kidding. He might go Artest on someone very soon.

  73. I agree the officiating has been less-than-stellar—-but it’s the old story–the aggressor is going to get the favorable whistle, especially in the playoffis—and Pau and (and to a lesser degree Drew) are a little passive tonight.

    That said, despite the officiating and the poor defense at times–LA would be right there if Brown would figure out what everyone else has—Blake/Sessions backcourt does not work period. I understand that every website has variations on “our coach is an idiot” rants all of the time—but I have yet to hear anyone defend this lineup/rotation.

  74. Lakers have to get McGee in space he is camped out in the paint. Gallinari is switching Pau on him and has made every shot.

    Lakers are playing with energy but Kobe is taking many bail out shots.

    You would hope Bynum decides to impact the game at some point.

  75. Ok…so…..once you see your big men not being effective do you:

    A. Have them set cross screens and down screens to free each other

    B: make adjustments to ensure they get deeper position

    C: do nothing for 6 quarters and counting

    Correct answer: C

  76. @Aaron, why so Bynum can hold it while double teamed and Turn it over, or completely stop the offense for 20 odd seconds, brilliant plan. Heck I would be fine with it if he even threw it out to repost, but know he holds it out and kills all chance to score

  77. Dear Aaron

    Andrew has as many turnovers as rebounds and he the tallest, heaviest guy on the court.

    Daaaa

  78. Funky Chicken May 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Still not thrilled with Bynum’s effort on the boards, but at this point Pau needs to give Faried his all-star jersey, because the rookie has totally dominated him. For those who wonder why Pau is still called “soft” by so many, getting out-muscled in the low post by a skinny 6’7″ rookie is Exhibit A.

  79. Granted I’ve watched in spurts tonight, but how was the play where McGee jumped and knee’d Bynum in the neck not a foul? Isn’t that play FAR more dangerous then an elbow to the face? Just saying.

    Also – if Bynum is the best big man in this series – and wants to be a superstar, he needs to shut down the opposing big and make him feel like he’ll never score again. Jamal has so much confidence against Bynum its dumb. Shaq used to do it to people. Dwight does it to people. McGee has career scoring/rebounding nights. There needs to be a switch that says – “that guy isn’t getting another rebound for the rest of this game when I’m playing, and he’s not making another shot against me for the rest of this series.”

  80. I don’t think Brown called a timeout that whole half. He has to call timeouts let Kuester draw plays get Lakers in offensive rhythm. Denver is mucking all Lakers plays up Karl really is exposing Brown right now.

    When Pau played Center is when Lakers got the lead. A efficient half from Kobe and a concerted effort on defense will win this game.

  81. LosFelizLaker May 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hopefully, not starting in a big hole will help tonight. Go Lakers!

  82. MBrown, you should get angry at your Lakers who are sleepwalking like Pau Gasol and Kobe. They need energy and enthusiasm.

    Gasol is no match to Faried, give more time to Hill. Bynum and Hill in the post will control rebounds.

  83. I don’t have any #s to back this up … but it seems like as Pau has aged, his low-post game has slipped in effectiveness. When he first came to LA, he was automatic down on the block, except against the most elite defenders. Now – when Drew is out of the game – when Pau sets up it seems like he struggles to score much more than he used to, even against average defenders. Part of that is Denver’s players sagging so hard into the paint – complete lack of respect for our shooters – but my gut feels like Pau isn’t the option on the block he was in 08 or 09. Could just be short-term memory though.

  84. Denver has 15 points off of Lakers turnovers (8 of them). Lakers have zero points off of 3 Nuggets turnovers.

  85. Funky @ 78 is absolutely correct. Whether it be Faried or Harrington, Pau needs to establish deeper position, maintain it and then attack aggressively. Basically, he’s playing like a female dog. Time to man up.

  86. that lady walking on the court was strange… maybe she couldn’t take any more of MB’s poor coaching haha

  87. They are talking about us being bad at forcing tunovers. We need to be aggressive going for steals. And we need to protect the ball ourselves. We closed the regular season with a 17 game streak where we lost the turnover battle (3rd longest in NBA history).

  88. OKC’s weakness is turning the ball over, but they are 17-1 when they win the TO battle.

  89. Bynum just had his 3 point attempt for the series.

  90. Lakers are playing methodically as they did game 3 3rd qtr. Keep breaking them down.

  91. Just curious. What is the least amount of points in a playoff series playing 25 minutes per game?

    I think Steve Blake is about to break that record.

  92. The primary setting where I think Drew doesn’t hustle enough is on the offensive boards. I’m not sure if it’s just because he has a finite amount of energy, or if he wants to avoid picking up fouls, but that’s one thing he could improve on.

  93. Why complain about Sessions you guys have to be just looking for something to gripe about. The guy gives a near double-double every night. Of course he leaves something to be desired–but If we can get a superstar PG in the offseason then Sessions can contribute off the bench!

  94. Bynum with a nice block.

  95. Wow. The refs are really swallowing their whistles. Missed a foul against Pau and then didn’t call Bynum for a foul on Harrington. Let’s pound the ball down low!

  96. Steve Blake gets a lot of his passes deflected.

  97. Once again AB never got his fat rear down court.

    Bench him.

  98. I almost threw the remote at my tv for blake playing so scary TAKE A SHOT!..this guy just sucks man.

  99. Off. rebounds lakers 13 – denver 13

    Lakers can take control these last 2 minutes

  100. There is no excuse for sessions bad defense, he’s young and athletic, getting caught in screens and trailing the ball is effort related.

    You can’t play defense standing straight up on every single possession

  101. Snoopy,
    Oh. I guessed you missed last years playoffs. Gasol is not the same player in the high post. But he is still good.

  102. Barnes has been off from long distance ever since his ankle injury.

    Decent quarter. Denver made some tough shots, so they’re still up by 1.

  103. How many more wide-open, uncontested 3′S are Barnes and Blake gonna miss?

  104. It’s a given that DEN is going to dominate in the bench-scoring comparison—but either Blake or Barnes is going to have to give a little bit more to win this game (Hill is on schedule with 9 and 7 through 3)—they don’t both have to light it up—just one of them has to hit a shot or two in the fourth….

  105. Who is Barnes shooting coach? Blake?

    Oh that’s right Jimmy fired the shooting coach Hodges.

  106. Bench is losing 30-15; Losing TO battle 9-6; We are 2-11 from 3 pt line – thankfully – they are 2-13.

  107. I’ve just deleted two comments for trash talking other FB&G members. Let’s enjoy the game and reserve the trash talk for our players or coaching staff ;)

  108. What concerns me more than anything is the Lakers cavalier handling of the basketball. They hold the ball lose on rebounds, consequently Denver gets their hand on the ball enough to knock it out. This won’t work against the next round opponent, as they’ll be off and running for lob dunks and three point shots.

    MWP is needed to tenderize the other team early in the series so that by the time the 3rd or 4th game is played they cringe at the thought of his forearm in their rib.

    Miss you MWP, come back playing better than you did before you left.

  109. Jordan Hill always comes to play. 5 off. rebounds in 14 minutes.

  110. Great energy from Hill. He is always in the right place at the right time for the offensive rebounds.

  111. Man, Jordan Hill is working hard.

  112. Jordan HIll: 9 rebounds in 16:59.
    Andrew Bynum: 7 rebounds in 30:41.

    Andrew needs to bring more energy to the game…I saw him lag back on defense multiple times. He also needs to “want” the rebound. He doesn’t seem to want the rebound the same way Dwight Howard or even Lamar Odom does.

  113. LosFelizLaker May 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    MWP was playing very well when he left. I would be fine with that. Jordan Hill needs to be climbed! (I know. I know. I will work on it.)

  114. Jordan Hill plays half the time Bynum and Gasol does but has more rebounds. Does that means he gives more effort going after the ball?

    Bottom line: AB is saying if I can’t score (being double team and all) than I’m not busting my REAR for rebounds…I’m getting my Zen in order for the Thunder!

  115. Jordan Hill has not just energy (Turiaf was pure energy too) but just a great 6th sense for where the ball will go.

  116. You’re a Casual Fan,
    Haha. Jordan Hill is left wide open playing alongside Bynum and Gasol. He works hard. But if he had one body on him let alone two thatvarebalways on Bynum… He wouldn’t have that many rebounds.

  117. Barnes and Pau have gripes with the refs this game.

    Calm down kobe run the offense.

  118. Did I mentioned Jordan Hill was working hard?

    Wooh…

  119. LosFelizLaker May 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Hill? More like Mountain.

  120. Disappointing to see what has been a pretty evenly-called, if sometimes ragged–game under the rim turn one-sided here in the second half. Barnes and Pau are getting killed—McGee gets bumped and it’s a foul….

  121. Aaron,

    Hopefully you weren’t calling me a casual fan. Over 25 years pulling for the purple and gold!! I was being sarcastic *as if you don’t know nothing about that!

  122. Since I call out Bynum for the same thing, it’s only fair to point out that Kobe is doing a horrible job not passing out of the multiple teams. Looks like he has no confidence in his shooters right now.

  123. Kobe with only 1 freethrow attempt…

  124. Kobe has to do what he was doing make the right play. Bad shots is not the formula right now.

  125. Two bodies on Hill that time and he still got his hands on the ball! So I Know that’s just EFFORT! Something Bynum lacks tonight. Period.

  126. Kobe in hero mode once again. It don’t matter if you’re putting 5 guys on him. He’s gonna shoot and never pass.

  127. Bosslady,
    Casual Fan wrote on May 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm
    Jordan HIll: 9 rebounds in 16:59.
    Andrew Bynum: 7 rebounds in 30:41.

    Andrew needs to bring more energy to the game…I saw him lag back on defense multiple times. He also needs to “want” the rebound. He doesn’t seem to want the rebound the same way Dwight Howard or even Lamar Odom does.

  128. Nope, there’s actually a commenter here called Casual Fan.

  129. Kobe forcing it a lil bit too much .. Can’t say enough about Jordan Hill. Brings his hard-hat every night.

  130. @#126 it’s something bynum never gives every game, not just tonight…

  131. Jordan Hill is a MONSTER on the boards.

  132. In fairness to Drew re: Hill’s rebounding advantage in this game–per the Dude earlier–Drew could do a little more on the offensive glass–but Hill isn’t having plays run through him–so when the ball goes up, he’s more likely to be in position to get a rebound–Drew is either following his own shot, or trying to get in rebounding position after facing the opposite direction to get post position—Hill has some advantages on the offensive boards as a result…

  133. Keep the ball out of Kobe’s hands!

  134. We must go through Bynum in the post. Kobe is tired and forcing right now.

    Kudos to MB for recognizing Gasol needs a breather, or he won’t be as effective.

  135. Aaron,

    ok sorry….let’s get this win!

  136. Good game. We have some suspense here.

  137. You just got stuffed by Steve Blake. That can’t be good for your confidence :D

  138. Kobe—love you man, but you are spent—have to trust your mates tonight son.

  139. Kobe forcing too much right now. He needs to trust his teammates more and pick his spots to score.

  140. Kobe’s not forcing. He’s getting the ball with not time left on the clock.

    But yes – Kobe looks absolutely exhausted.

  141. My god do something about Kobe. He just refuses to stop shooting?

  142. Courtesy of my uncle Jeff… “Kobe can’t creat his own shot anymore”

  143. Say all the negative you want about Blake, but he has been working tonight hard. Him and Hill are just putting max effort tonight.

  144. Clock is running down, thats why Kobe needs to shoot it. His teammates were passing the ball to him.

  145. haha, nice D steve blake! under 3 minutes now, we should take this game and go home.

  146. I wish Kobe would be more like Lebron. Instead of shooting the hand grenade shot, just pass it so someone else has to shoot ti!

  147. On the other hand, when we’re going to Bynum and he’s properly passing out of the double teams, Sessions/Blake don’t want to take the outside shot and they’re swinging the ball to a tired Kobe and expecting him to create something. What I wouldn’t give for some sharpshooters.

  148. Bynum turned into Dwight Howard at the line.

  149. Wow, Bynum.

  150. There is your all-star clutch player.

  151. Aaaarrrgggghhhhh Drew!

  152. Lakers are 9-16 from the line and 3-15 from 3

  153. & this guy says he “needs more touches” and some of you say this guy is your franchise player–better than Dwight Howard!

  154. Damn Bynum. Just hope those 2 missed free throws don’t come back to hunt us.

  155. That was a pressure FT on Bynum. He needs to experience it.

  156. Sessions!!!

    Also, that was a legit screen, not a foul.

  157. Sessions with a HUGE 3

  158. Gallo, STFU, that is for you…

    Big 3 for Sessions..

    Damn…

  159. I don’t see what the big deal is—that was a legal screen by Pau—get over it Danilo–the flop didn’t work this time

  160. Aaron. Haha. I’m surprised at your post as you’re a really smart Lakers fan. I don’t read everyone’s posts on here, but I make sure to read yours because I know you’re a smart guy. So I’m surprised at what you just said.

    Kobe can’t create his shot anymore? :)

  161. Pau’s pick locked clean to me. He wasn’t moving. You can’t call fouls based on what body part the players runs into.

  162. No question Blake is working hard out there and helping the team tonight.

  163. LosFelizLaker May 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Flop of the night?

  164. Can I just say Ramon Sessions is clutch. :>

  165. Good to see Gallinari has recovered from that life-threatening blow…

  166. Offensive goaltending.

    Blake!!!!!!

  167. Who’s calling out Blake and Sessions now?!

    Let’s hear them.

  168. LosFelizLaker May 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Flop of the night II?

  169. BLAKE 3 dagger.

  170. one more stop so we can breathe normally now. :)

  171. Steve Blake!!!!!

  172. Blake! Way to step up man! 2 big 3s and a block shot against the Manimal!

  173. Sorry, Simon above was me.

  174. OMG BLAKE IS OUR SECRET WEAPON!!!!!!!!!111!!!

  175. Game-Time Baby .. Now lets wrap this up back n L.A.

  176. GREAT 3′s by Sessions and Blake!

  177. I love you Blake!

    Did I just say that?

  178. Good win

  179. Forget all the negatives, you gotta trust HIM

    STEVE BLAKE…

  180. Steve Blake pulling a Derek Fisher! How bout that Kobe with the pass.

  181. Clutch 3′s. Finally making them pay for helping. Finally something good came out of the Blake-Sessions lineup. Of course this means MB might bench Kobe and go to the Blake-Sessions backcourt full-time.

    Did Blake just call Mike Brown God?

    These types of games are what the playoffs are all about.

  182. hahaha, funny how Blake plays +/- with us. he mostly annoys us guys, then daggers a three and loved back. was a nice game, Kobe needs a monster game for a blowout win.

  183. Lakers win! That last 2 minutes was a nail biter.

  184. Great plays by Kobe Great shots by Blake and Sessions.

    FB&G fans do get recaps after wins, right? ;)

  185. Please note that before the game I posted Lakers by 3.

    Who knows basketball!

  186. Robert,

    This is why I was in favor of the Hill deal–not to get rid of Fisher, but to GET Hill.

    Glad for Sessions and for Blake. Downside: Brown will keep playing them together.

  187. Like I said—how amazing is that Sessions/Blake backcourt….yeah I know—I like my crow roasted over an open flame please…..

    True team victory down the stretch..

    Pau with good passes and a good pick on Danilo…

    Sessions and Blake each with huge “3″ s

    Hill with yeoman’s work on the boards

    Bynum with a better second half again tonight

    Kobe willing, very late, to be facilitator and set his teammates up for a chance to win…..sheesh….bedtime for me…

  188. Hey Denver…SMELL DA RINGZ!!!!!111!!!!!

  189. props to Blake for making that 3… now let’s hear Chuck and his “upset special”

  190. Lakers win. Three down, one to go.

  191. OK you kids, behave tonight as I’m heading out :D

  192. Time stamped

    Ko wrote on May 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    Lakers by 3 tonight. I am unusually close. Regardless things could be much worse. I am in Chicago today and the city of broad shoulders no longer has a leg to stand on.

  193. Henry Abbott just dug his own grave, btw.

    Last couple minutes of that game – Kobe didn’t force shots up. He consistently got it to the open guy, and the open guy hit it.

    But hey, to the world he’s a ball hog. Whatevs.

  194. Damn. Kcal9. Thanks for all the memories.

  195. kehntangibles May 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Tee hee, the Nuggets boards are gonna be FURIOUS

  196. rr: I will give you Hill for sure – but clearly they did not want DF to make that happen – it was the pick.

    Good games from Hill + Blake. Ebanks goes totally awol

    KB: Needs to shoot better, but filling up the stat sheet at 22-8-6 (+ unfortunately 5 TO)

  197. Impressed by game 3 comeback and win tonight through adversity. Showed medal on the road.

  198. Lakers kept the TOs down and protected the D glass better. And they got 2 timely 3s.

  199. Bynum: A suggestion to all to limit frustration: Accept him for what he is. He had 19-7 on 8-12 shooting. That is pretty good unless you are comparing him to his potential : ) So don’t do that : ) Just accept the fact that he is what he is : )

  200. Ebanks played very good defense on Gallo (I think that was the 3rd quarter when he was on him) but we didn’t see that anymore…

    MB needs to understand that Ebanks is Kobe’s best backup player. Period. He constantly does a good job both on D and O.

    And the final question: Can we win it all having Sessions + Blake at the same time on the hardwood?

  201. @ Robert. I agree. 19-7 are good numbers and 8-12 shooting are good numbers.

    I accept Bynum is a good player.

    I don’t accept that he’s a franchise player – and I think its foolish that others do. The 19 will happen from time to time. But notice the 7. The 7 isn’t really acceptable against a tiny frontline. The paint is Bynum’s and he can’t own it.

    Its why Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard can own him.

    Now, question – is it really a good thing to win this in 5? Means no MWP in game 1. After a long break for OKC, game 1 is the game to steal.

  202. Well, glad that the series returns to LA.

  203. Lol at all the fair weather fans.

  204. Thank you Steve Blake for the timely threes which have been on vacation for a while. Thanks also for defensive block.

    Thank you Ramon Sessions for that important dagger after Gasol knocked out the flopper;

    Finally, thank you Coach MBrown for staying with Hill, I think he’s the 3rd tower that rattled the Nuggets tonight.

    Time to close on Tuesday, don’t ever give the underdog a chance to bite the Lakers at home.

  205. 1/2

    So I have been more then 1/2 right. That’s not 1/2 bad.

    Never expected Blake to be the hero. Kobe and Pau were gassed. Hill, Sessions and Blake were the 3 stars.

    And that’s the half of it.

  206. Lucky we’re down only by 6.

    @#202

    Wanna bet??..

    Lakers will win this game!!! Period…

    Have some faith, this series will not extend in 7.