Game 6 Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

Darius Soriano —  May 10, 2012

It had to end this way.

After 35 years, Thursday night will bring to a close the 35-year relationship between KCAL-9, the Lakers and legions of Laker fans. Three and a half glorious decades that grounded us all in at least one shared experience. Regardless of age, income or ethnicity, if you’re a sports fan that has resided amid the urban sprawl of Los Angeles at any point in the last three and a half decades, KCAL (or KHJ when I discovered it) has touched your life. For anyone whose introduction came at least 10 years ago, it’s where you met Chick.

Forever the voice of basketball in Los Angeles, Chick Hearn, the Lakers’ play-by-play man (this title, while accurate, seems insultingly simple) for 37 years until his passing in 2002, anchored the simulcast on channel 9 for the last quarter century of his legendary career. Initially flanked on the mic by Pat Riley, later Keith Erickson andfinally the great Stu Lantz, Chick invited us along on everyLaker road trip, never failing to mention the huge dinners Magic’s mother would prepare when the team visited Detroit or that despite growing up in the shadow of the Forum in Inglewood, every trip to Phoenix carried added meaning for Arizona State alum Byron Scott. Not once did he fail to thank producer Susan Stratton or statistician Jimmy Pells.

It’s where I was introduced to Chick’s most famous appliance and learned the game of basketball from as great a professor as one would dare hope for. My family moved to the United States when I was four years of age –the “Lakers on 9” are due as much credit as any teacher for my rapid grasp of the English language. And, in the seven years since my departure from Southern California, Chick’ssuccessors (though never replacements) Paul Sunderland, Joel Meyers and Bill MacDonald kept me in touch with hometown I’d left behind.

Win or lose, tonight is the last-ever Laker telecast on KCAL-9. It was a hell of a run.

Whew! A bit dusty in here, no? Let’s get to the game at hand.

Despite Kobe Bryant’s best efforts, a lackluster Game 5 effort from the Lakers Tuesday night in Los Angeles has this returned this series to Denver for a vital Game 6. Despite committing just 9 turnovers and holding a decided edge on the offensive glass (15, v. 8 for Denver) and from beyond the 3-point line (9-of-24, v. 3-of-19 for Denver), the Lakers simply lacked the energy and quality (just 38.9% from the field; 21-of-58, or 36.2% excluding Kobe Bryant) to slam the door on George Karl’s crew.

Tonight the Lakers will take the floor before one of the NBA’s best home crowds –one sure to be frothing at the thought of sending them home for a do-or-die Game 7 in what could be their Nuggets’ final home game of the season. Now more than ever, it is critical that the Lakers – especially, but by no means only, Andrew Bynum – maximize their effort from the opening tip, as they will likely have to weather an early Nuggets barrage. Once the opening onslaught has passed and the teams are simply playing a basketball game, it will be vital for the Lakers to dictate the tempo. On the offensive end they must look to establish the league’s best post-up tandem early and often. As they have all season, Bynum (whose 16 and 11 deflects attention from a listless effort which resulted in his domination by JaVale McGee) and Pau Gasol (who had an awful 9 points on 4-of-11 shooting, with 10 rebounds) represent this team’s greatest mismatch and must be utilized as so. The Nuggets have used a sagging defense to neutralize them too often, but that must change tonight.

Especially with Kobe Bryant under the weather. Yes, Kobe will have the opportunity to put forth his own “flu game” – though of the stomach variety – and while we’d all appreciate an addition to the legend of Kobe Bryant, this may be a game where it’s his teammates that must lift him up rather than he putting them on his back. On offense, must feed the post. Sessions MUST raise his game & facilitate & Drew/Pau must get in the paint, fight for position and attack aggressively.

We say this all the time, but is particularly vital tonight, as it will allow Kobe to pace himself and have something in the tank down the stretch. On a side note, executed properly, this could result in the Lakers not even needing Kobe down the stretch, as the potential for dominance and Nugs’ foul trouble could lay the foundation for a comfortable win. This is the hope, but of course far from assured. But, the point remains, Kobe will not be 100% physically but his mates will be. The Lakers big men can carry them to a win should they do the work that’s needed of them. Ramon Sessions can add to this equation by attacking more off the bounce and forcing himself into the creases of the D. The Nuggets will be there to challenge him – especially JaVale McGee – but those forays into the teeth of the defense will only help to create opportunities for the Lakers bigs to mimic what their counterparts have done so well this series; to be garbage men that clean up and impact the game on the way.

The environment will be hostile. An insane crowd will only serve to energize the home team and inspire them (as if they needed any more in an elimination game) to bring their best effort. But the Lakers cannot wilt in the face of this. They must put a body on JaVale and Faried. They CANNOT allow Andre Miller to dominate/dictate tempo. They must match effort and energy with their own while also bringing precision and discipline. Game 5 is the exact opposite of what the Lakers need. Instead, they should look to the last time they were in this building; they must look to game 4 where they won by playing smart, (mostly) focused basketball. The blueprint is there for them to follow, they just have to do it.

The Lakers will play on Saturday. They’ll either do so at Staples Center in a game 7 where anything can happen or do so in Oklahoma City for game 1 of the second round. I don’t know about you, but the latter sounds much better to me.

– Emile Avanessian (with some help from Darius)


Darius Soriano

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231 responses to Game 6 Preview and Chat: The Denver Nuggets

  1. Warren! WARREN!!!

  2. That is a sad day in LA Sports Histroy

  3. Man, I miss Chick Hearn! Come on this for Kcal and Chick.
    I wanted to pull this from last post to this one.

    I actually agree with a great deal of what you wrote at #100. You’re right that with greatness, comes jealousy, and hatred. I will agree with you there 100%.

    Having said that, I don’t see Bynum generating exactly the same amount of hate that Jordan, Lebron, or Shaq, and certainly not as much as Kobe. Kobe is perhaps the most polarizing figure in the history of basketball.

    I think that it mostly has to do with the media propping up these players, to such a degree, that engenders so much hatred towards them. There is only so much Tim Tebow that you can take….which bolsters my argument. Tim Tebow is not better than Brady, Manning(s), Brees, but he was getting more face time than those guys who were having record-breaking seasons. People hated Tebow for that, and not for his “greatness”.

  4. who hated tebow? besides ESPN analysts that said Tebow couldn’t lead the Broncos to the playoffs, or win a playoff game? I thought it was a great story and majority of people I knew rooted for him. 🙂

    That being said, For all our offensive problems the past couple of games we are still up 3-2, and had chances to tie the game to OT after being down 15 points with 6 minutes left in the 4th. Our offense and our points will come, even if it isn’t as efficient we’d like it to be. And it is not efficient because the Denver Nuggets are doubling anyone over 6’8″ anywhere near the post (as shown in the last post).

    We’ve dominated one game in this series, and that was game one. The biggest difference is the defensive energy during that game. And the biggest difference that hasn’t been the same has been Bynum on the defensive end.

    Now I don’t expect Bynum (or anyone) to get 10 blocks and dominate the paint like that every game, but Denver has not been afraid to go into the paint at all; Especially Game 5. I believe the color commentator (was it steve kerr?) stated a couple of times that Bynum’s weak side help was just surprising.

    So Game 6 win is predicated on the defensive energy.

  5. Plenty things have not gone Lakers way since the lockout. Winning this game would do wonders for the team’s psyche.


  6. Hate = Greatness? So this board is proclaiming Mike Brown as Coach of the Year?

    KenOak: Kobe is the most polarizing in all sports !!!! By the way, I had an incredible poker analogy for you as a post and it “disappeared”, because I think it was “too good”. So – since we have not talked about poker recently, I will give you my Kobe poker analogy. Overall in his career – he is a pair of Aces; clearly the best hand, but he does occasionally get beat, and when he does, the whiners (haters) come out in force and remember/tell the bad beat story forever.

  7. I miss Chick. I remember when the games were on national television, I would turn the volume off and listen to Chick anounce the game on the radio. Legend, doesn’t do him justice, the games not quite the same without him.

  8. KenOak,
    You answered your own question. The reason Bynum doesn’t generate as much hate and jealousy is because he isn’t as good as Jordan, young Kobe… Etc. There is a direct correlation with greatness and hate. We will know how good Bynum is by how much people “hate” on him.

  9. Off Topic:

    But there’s a helluva game going on right now on NBA TV between the Bulls n 76’ers. Both teams playing as if it’s game 7 of the Finals.

  10. Kobe Alert: Let’s hope KB plays tonight. According to ESPN, Kobe has already accumulated some impressive statistics for the day : ) Now for the basketball stats: Kobe pulled even with Fish for 4th on the all time playoff games list at 213 + if he plays, he will eclipse him tonight. I think the OKC series may have something to say about this : ) KB is now only two 3 pointers behind Ray Allen for 2nd there. KB cracked the top 20 in Def Rebs. He also took over 8th place on the dimes list – next up in 7th is MJ – KB needs just 12 more to move by him. He also moved into 2nd on the free throws made list (MJ is a distant #1 there). His 40 point game was #12 in his career which ties him for 5th all time. It was his 84th 30+ game in the playoffs – 2nd only to MJ. By the way with regard to the 30+ and 40+ point games lists, MJ is the only non-Laker in the top 5 on either list.

  11. Feel sorry for CJ Watson. Stupid play to pass to his team’s worst FT shooter.

  12. Andrew has become the old LO. Shows up every other game and disappear into a sulking baby when his mind flips out of focus.

    If he dosen’t make up for his mouth blunder and scarecrow like game 5 then I truly hope he is dealt for a guy who must win and not just look for the next bank.

  13. Noob question:
    why isn’t chris anderson playing in playoffs?

  14. Who’s gonna start for Kobe?

    I hope Ebanks…

    (not Blake…plz)

  15. Casual Fan – can’t answer why he hasn’t played up till now, but recently he was released from the team following a police investigation.

  16. kobe not playing???

  17. James Worthy just blasted AB Blasted!

  18. Espn has him listed as playing.

  19. What does James Worthy know about basketball though… It’s obvious to anyone who knows anything about basketball that the problem isn’t Andrew’s lack of effort.

  20. Kobe’s going for it. Bynum’s jumping rope at half-court so you know he’s ready.

    Only boxscore watching, but did Al Horford’s missed FT just end the season for the Hawks? Sucks because without Horford they would have never been in that position in the first place.

  21. Lakers by 2 tonight!

    I promise.

  22. 76’ers closed out .. The C’s closed out .. Now it’s time for us to do the same.

    Which Bynum will show up tonight?
    The Beast or The Slouch

  23. This team is weak.

  24. Who saw Lawson blow past Bynum for the layup. Still no effort.

  25. Okay…

  26. I am sick to death if overrated Bynam and Mike brown coached team.


  27. Wow that didn’t take long. Looks like a game 7 to me

  28. Well—-DEN was due to eventually make some threes—tonight is apparently the night—

    Kobe looks tired….Gasol must step up….

    No weakside help from AB leads to a dunk

  29. Is this team effing serious?

    How can they possibly lag in transition in the first few possessions fo the game?

  30. Laker bigs are slow. Sigh. Seeing wide open 3s, not looking good at all.

  31. 11 pts in 2mins talking about defense

  32. 3 minutes into the game and all I have to say is this, I will see you all for game 7, goodnight

  33. Watching on the Kobe cam, he looks really out of it, weak. Fatigued and sick. He’s definitely picking his spots carefully, doesn’t look like he has a ton of energy to spend.

  34. outplayed and out-hussled. we need intensity, we have all the time to comeback, dont wait for 4qtr to rebound from this deficit.

  35. I would like to see Bynum beat his man downcourt just once.

  36. Lakers transition defense is terrible.

  37. Great job bynum!! now it’s going to 7 games and who knows what can happen in that one game series. It’s so easy to close out a series – what an idiot!!! See big trades coming this off season. Will they PLEASE get someone who can consistently knock down an open 3?!?!?!

  38. Still time just have to sustain this early run.

  39. I am embarrassed as a 40 year Laker fan, this team and it’s Mike Brown defense is child like.

  40. wow – this is going to be an old fashioned arse kicking!!!

  41. Pau was wide open side by side next to Bynum and Drew forced a shot. 1/2 ft’s

  42. If we lose in 7 – brown fired?

  43. Bynum is a no show.
    Why is he slower than normal?

    Mile high?

  44. What is Denver’s shooting percentage?

  45. @39 Absolutely yes.

  46. I’ve been Bynum-bashing like everyone, but Pau is the no-show so far tonight….I don’t know what happened to the guy but he’s a shell of the Pau we know and love…

    inwit–58% including 5 for 6 from three

  47. kehntangibles May 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    This is infuriating. And, sadly, not all that surprising

  48. im tired of seeing Lakers getting wide opening outside shots and missing it!

  49. We need to play McHops he’s tough, has high energy and can run the floor. He gets his hand on the ball enough on the offensive end that it gives other players a chance to grab the rebound. He can also catch lobs!

    No matter where Pau plays next year, he should NOT be allowed to play for Spain this summer. That’s too much basketball for anyone.

    Kobe is Awesome!

  50. not a good start, but not bad either. denvers just scorching hot, luck happens sometime. pretty much 50/50 which is good for our chances. we can climb back and hopefully, it will be in 2nd qtr.

  51. I am also frustrated with Bynum. His play, effort and a no show on this couple of games make me wonder if he will be in the same jersey next season.

    Just hoping that he will change soon.

  52. They will seriously blow up this team – and they actually need to. Too much money in guys who don’t perform. Bynum – overrated! Pau – so much talent but doesn’t seem to perform well in the playoffs. Kobe is the only warrior!!

  53. @ vhanz–Bynum isn’t a dynamo tonight–but he seems fine activity-wise—DEN is just on fire from deep early–have to weather the storm

  54. The bigs are nearly nonexistent right now. Sadly, it may have to all rest on Kobe, who is not feeling very well right now.

  55. So Kobe is basically dead, yet he’s the only one who’s decided to show up tonight. Yeah, for all you haters, I’m sure this deficit is all his fault…

  56. Down 10 after one is not so bad really – felt like 25

  57. 10 point deficit isn’t bad.

    Featuring Pau to start the 2nd is a must. Get him in rhythm.

  58. We just need to weather this early storm and we did. Now, they need to just chip away at this thing for the rest of the game. It’s still doable. Lawson isn’t going to hit his next 4 3’s.

  59. Gasol didnt take any shots in the 1st? bench must deliver for us to stay in the game.

  60. #55 – exactly – who cares about height if they are non-factors? buss needs to dump these loafers just like they did with LO.

  61. Bynum has like 8/9 rebounds, he can’t make a shot. Pau is omg horrible though.

  62. DEN in the first

    5 for 7 from three (mostly early in offense or transition)

    7 for 18 from two (mostly in the half court)

    Patience. I’m with inwit—that felt worse than it was—DEN isn’t going to shoot 20 for 28 from three for the game–just have to stay the course

    And I know that Bynum has been spotty, but I disagree with anyone bashing tonight. He’s been pretty solid on the defensive end.

  63. Does George Karl get on anyone else’s nerves? He really gets on mine.

  64. Weathered the early storm. Now the question is, who takes the baton once Kobe gets a rest?

  65. Very simply. 0 point for Andrew. This guy is tbe 3rd best center on the court. He is just pathetic. Take him out for the game and play Hill.

    Talking about potential means nothing.

    He has become Kwame Brown out there.

    His value has dropped like a rock.

    Only a fool would continue to defend this slug!

  66. And…here we go with the sessions and blake backcourt. Lets see if it works this time brown.

  67. Could we fight rather than switch. Denver is baiting us into the big little switch on every other play.

  68. Lmao I love Kobe..sitting with the sick face. He admirers Micheal so much.

  69. Matt Barnes should get minutes.
    He is playing to win.

  70. MWP I hope you’re ready because this ship won’t be righted by one player.

    Wow, no Bynum!

  71. Nobody is stepping up except Kobe.

    What offense are they running? Mike Brown can’t give the ball to LeBron anymore. And we see the product of that.

  72. Stops and good looks on the other end – focus

  73. What’s going on with gasol? I don’t like his body language…

  74. Yes – Kobe is very much like Mike. Always ready to play : )

  75. Seriously, at this rate, Kobe might as well take every shot. Geez, the rest of the team is worthless so far.

  76. Miller and Brewer hitting 3’s? They will come back down to earth.

  77. What is the Lakers offense?

    Karl has shut Brown down this series. No answers. Everything is give the ball to Kobe.

    This has come down to adjustments and coaching. Karl has made plenty Brown has made none.

  78. We miss wide open shots and they hit everything. I have hope! We’re only down 10 and we’re shooting 34 percent.

    Need to try and get Bynum going offensively.

  79. Once again, Pau playing like a female dog. He needs to give us something .. Anything.

  80. It dosen’t matter what happens.

    Lakers have zero zero zero chance of beating OKC.

    This team is poorly coached, worst bench with 2 seven footers playing like little girls.

    Should give Jim Buss and Mike Brown a big raise.

    Enough from me. I now have Kobe’s stomach flu.

  81. The bigs combined have 1 point… Not a recipe for success.

    It’s still a little surprising how close the game is, considering how it actually feels.

  82. Steve Herr: “Bench #’s were startling 50-19”

    At least there are 2 people on the planet who have lost their mind : )

  83. George Karl makes adjustments.
    Anyone seen Kosta Koufas lately?

  84. Treylake,

    How do u like Kobe now?

  85. Kobe still owning these fools. Thats a good sign.

  86. Man, its Kobe vs Denver Nuggets…

  87. Bynum… At least defend the post.

    The Lakers are still in it because of Kobe, but he can’t do it all by himself.

  88. nice, we are now back in the game. KB24 might go for 40+ again.

  89. So Lets see:

    Lakers are wasting a vintage Kobe half because both Gasol and Bynum are no shows.

    Earth to Bynum – Mcgee is a 46% ft shooter and a 95% dunker. Put him at the line you lazy bum.

  90. McGee and Ray Allen are both momma’s boys

  91. Jayz/vhanz: Kobe is unreal. However we are only about 2 missed shots away from the haters coming out in force and blaming everything on him : )

  92. It’s hard to turn Kobe off once he goes into ‘hero mode’. So if everyone else starts picking it up, don’t look for Kobe to start passing.

    Way to rebound Bynum!!

    MB is insulting Gallinari by playing Steve Blake on him!

  93. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see how Lowry and Scola play with Kobe and Bynum next season.

  94. Bye Bye Pau!! We all will remember the GREAT times.

  95. Sessions is the worst defender I’ve ever seen… It’s disgraceful

  96. One positive is that Bynum is grabbing the boards. That is always good.

  97. How big of a retard is mike brown !!!!!!! Blake can’t guard miller but he is suppose to guard galinari leading To a direct -8 on the floor – idiots

  98. Impressive showing from the Lakers with both starting bigs still back in LA…

  99. Mike Brown was hired as a defensive coach?

    He should be sued for fraud.

  100. Seriously take aggressive sessions offense and crappy D over nothing Blake and his scrappy D. Has he made a shot attempt yet?

  101. @93 – Funky Chicken

    I’d much rather see Lowry/Martin/Scola and Kobe and Pau.

    Lakers were down 4 with 1:30 left and then for Denver: Wide open 3 (foot on line.) Wide open 3. Ty Lawson wide open 18 footer.


  102. I can’t defend Pau anymore. 2 pts 2 reb not good.

    For the 2nd straight 1st half Kobe has kept the team in it. No one else will step up.

    Everybody loves to brag about Lakers having 2 7 footers and to use them. They are the softest duo in the league. Both of them need new homes.

  103. If the bigs showed up, this would have at least been tied by halftime. This is just frustrating, especially from Pau. He is simply out of the game. Bynum isn’t much better though.

  104. The hell is wrong with Pau and Drew?

  105. The Lakers are doing okay right now. Denver is just shooting like crazy. No way they hit 75% of their threes in the second half. If Bynum stays on the boards and Gasol gets something going the Lakers can close this thing out.

    Of course, even if they win many on this board will still find something to complain about.

  106. I agree about Gasoft! Message to Gasol: the LAKERS dont pay you 19 million a year to shoot some soft jump shots, stop being so scared and attack the rim! damn your pissing me off!

  107. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Cdog, it will be Pau who is traded. For $19 million a year, Jim Buss is going to demand a power forward who can outplay Kenneth Faried.

  108. Pau played to many minutes this year because Popovich is not our coach.

    Pau has played two years of worthless playoffs.

    Andrew is just a avarage center who lacks heart and just plays for the money. No pride.

    No chance this team gets out of the West.

    Magic had it right. Blow up this team

  109. TRogers:

    Not sure—

    DEN followed up a 5 for 7 first quarter with a 3 for 4 second quarter—I know I said they couldn’t keep it up either, but I’m getting worried that DEN is going to keep burying key threes whenever LA gets close

  110. Robert,

    I’m still hearing crickets from the Kobe haters. I still cant understand why people root against him,he plays his heart out game in and game out. The dudes a legend for crying out loud.

  111. @ Funky Chicken – Lets not go into trade speculation…

    Kobe brought his A game tonight. He’s playing lockdown defense in the half court, and single handedly stopped 3 or 4 of the nuggets fast breaks.

    Its wrong that the rest of this team (aside from Barnes tonight) refuses to step up and take some off the guy’s shoulders. He’ll have no legs by the fourth.

    Who’s going to guard Gallinari tonight? He’s feeling it, and Blake’s too small for him.

  112. #109 Jayz: I really don’t understand how a lakers’ fan can be a Kobe hater after all this years.

    I just hope Pau and Bynum show up for the second half. If they do, we could still win this game.

  113. Lakers can still win this game. Get out on open shooters and play efficient.

    We all knew Denver wouldn’t shoot poor for 7 games. The same outside shots Denver is making are the ones they’ve been missing for 5 games. Game 7’s are crap shoots need better play from everyone to get this thing done.

  114. What is Pau doing? Oh wow…

  115. Bynum, box someone out and play some help defense

  116. Bench Pau, the guy just looks terrible. Don’t wanna see it anymore.

  117. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Jayz, Kobe is playing great. He dominated a first half when his teammates were beyond incompetent. With all that, he took 13 shots. In game 5 he took 10 shots in the first quarter alone. If you don’t see the difference, it’s not worth debating.

  118. Kobe? That is more Barnes…

  119. Pau looks like he’s completely checked out.

  120. It went for the ball – u fracking jack offs – Kerr is a cunt

  121. So you see this is how it looks when Kobe does what you want him to do: shoot less, and more efficient, constantly giving the BIGS the damn ball.

    The problem is when the BIGS don’t do ANYTHING! plus to add to the matter, they don’t play ANY defense!

  122. Dangerous play on that flagrant foul. Kobe was going for ball and got his wrist+ head. Glad he is okay.

    How the hell can this team start off both halves this way!? This is ridiculous.

  123. Pau is killing us tonight. How does he completely no show in a game like this? Unbelievable.

  124. Barnes begging for the ball as if he can shoot!

  125. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Mike Brown’s pregame and halftime speeches need some work.

  126. I won’t lie this looks just like 06.

    Bynum has “folded” 5 times this year before he has these past 5 games. SMH

  127. Game over.

  128. Get ready for game 7. The Lakers are checked out.

  129. What a soundly outreached team this is.

    Mike Brown is the worst coach in Laker history.

    Thanks Jim Buss. You sure know basketball!

  130. Take out Kobe, and the Lakers are shooting 31% from the field. Pau and Bynum combined are 2/12. Talk about pathetic.

  131. I have never seen a team so insecure to shoot the ball in my life!!!!

  132. Denver is playing playground basketball defense: Find the best player make sure he works hard… pack the key as much as possible… dare people to make shots from outside.

    And it is working.

  133. lakers play SCARED!!

  134. Besides Kobe, nobody has heart on this team, it pisses me off

  135. Yep, game 7 here we come. Oh well, I guess MWP is the glue that will hold this team. We probably would have been swept by OKC based on how this has played out.

  136. Denver Nuggets 11-0 run to start the game and 9-0 run to start the third quarter.

  137. Gasol is tired…

    Kobe is sick…

    Bynum is a no-show…

    1 and 2 is acceptable but 3 drives me crazy.

  138. denver in 7

  139. Kevin_,

    It does remind if 06′ were Smush and Kwame were still playing. And Kobe was dropping 40 like it was 20. The only way were going to win this game now, if Kobe goes bananas again.

  140. This is just sad now. Only Kobe’s shown up for this game. Everyone else has mailed it in.

  141. Take Gasol out—please. I understand McBob has his limitations–but he would at least bring some energy

  142. MB needs to bench the starters! NOW, to make a point.

    At least if the bench loses by 30 there’s a reason.

  143. Dever has completely figured the Lakers out.

    This is embarrassing.

    This is why No-shows should no longer be Lakers. Lakers gave Denver complete confidence, and now they are doing whatever they want on offense.

    This is like Dallas last year. Denver knows there shots won’t be contested.

    Cmon Sessions – Take. The. Open. 3.

  144. sessions won’t take gallo off the dribble?

  145. ShotFromTheCorner May 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Blake in the game… Blake is the target on defense…

  146. Please take Kobe out so we can end up losing by 50. Maybe then the rest of the team will realize that they are a bunch of bums.

  147. Brown – this is our worst defensive line up what are you doing!!!!!!!!

    How does everyone think the buss
    Family will react when the clippers are going further than us

  148. At this point, glue Pau on the bench and let Hill play for the rest of the game.

    Also, if the Lakers don’t cut into the lead, just rest Kobe. He’s tried his best to do it by himself, but no one else showed up.

  149. How’s that sessions trade looking?

  150. Our terrible offense is only overshadowed by the atrocious defense.

    81 points with 3.40 left in the 3rd…

  151. @marques: Great actually. Lakers got him for Luke Walton.

  152. Bynum checked out last year vs Dallas elbowing barea. He quit on the team.

    Bynum quit on the team in the regular season numerous times. Including blatanly smiling being benched vs Warriors.

    Bynum has played 1 1/2 games out of 6 this series.

    The problem is right there.

  153. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    1. In the last hour and a half I have prepared, cooked and eaten a delicious salmon fillet, drunk two glasses of Zinfandel, and eaten a slice of chocolate cake. During this same period of time, our $19 million per year power forward has made one more basket than I have.

    2. How long before Aaron chimes in to say that this is actually a good thing because it will give MWP a game to get his legs back before OKC?

  154. Does not look like the Lakers night. Wonder if Mike Brown will rest Kobe, Gasol and Bynum for the entire 4th quarter?

  155. Frank the Tank May 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Pau Gasoft, I will never wear your number 16 jersey again. You have disgraced yourself as a Laker for the last time. Embarrassing.

  156. So Bynum…are closeout games still easy?

  157. i’m just bewildered by the laker offensive game plan.

  158. Wow….

  159. Like I said 60 games ago.

    Mike Brown is a clueless fool who was fired for a reason.

    We hired a hand me down from the worst team in the NBA.

    I hope your happy Jerry Buss for letting your genius son run your team into the gutter.

    Lakers will lose in the 1st round to a 6th seed. Phil Jackson must be laughing his head off.

  160. I hate to see Kobe’s best games put to waste. It’s a travesty. Rest of the guys are checked out and still think it’s the regular season and not a closeout playoff game…

  161. Fisher is salivating waiting to play against the Lakers guards!

    The Lakers have the Nuggets where they want them…rope-a-dope!

    Lakers wanted MWP to get one game for timing before playing OKC.


  162. Eidos

    Yeah because trading a role player for the cavaliers backup who is the worse defender in a league that’s stacked at his position.

    He can’t even stay in front of big men.

    Rewind this game and watch again before you repeat that answer

  163. Looks like Kobe is teaching brown how to coach

  164. Take Gasol out.

    He’s tired and we’ll need him on game 7.

    Besides, McBob will be no different really from what we see right now.

  165. @marques: What did the Lakers lose from that trade? They didn’t trade for Sessions for his defensive prowess. If he was a lockdown defender, he wouldn’t have been traded simply for Luke Walton so it’s a moot point. Considering their trade assets, that was likely the best trade possible, and when you think about who was traded, it is unquestionably an upgrade. I can’t see it any other way.

  166. Well—for the “Gasol and Bynum need more touches and Kobe needs to share with them more” crowd—you might want to burn the film from this one—it isn’t going to be good watching for you

  167. Chearn

    I really don’t think you have to worry about that.

    This is a team of quitters. They will be at tbe beach sleeping next week.

  168. We’re all frustrated. But keep the comments clean and don’t attack other commenters or start to bait them into arguments. Those comments will be moderated.

  169. Fire clueless mike brown and get thibodeau before chicago extend him

  170. I know the Grizzlies gacked a twenty-something point lead earlier in these playoffs—but it’s time to shut it down and rest up for Saturday Coach…..

  171. Over the past few games there have been at least 6-7 fastbreaks where Blake will not take the smart foul ad put youran on the line – instead layup after layup

  172. The only only postive outlook, we’ll see some major changes if we are 1 and done. Maybe give the Busses and Kupchak some serious motivation to just completely rebuild or just fire Brown 😀

  173. Kobe is a warrior. He refuses to give up despite the score and lack of help.

  174. So much for packing for 3 days …

  175. I feel bad for Kobe right now.

  176. I really can’t believe what I’m watching.

  177. At least the addition of MWP will greatly improve the defense. The bigs would need to show up though, but if they do it would likely be a victory.

  178. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    This might be a good time for coach to stop deferring to Kobe and take him out.

  179. Mike Brown does nothing for this team. Absolutely nothing.

  180. Give it up Kobe. Rest and regroup for game 7. They’re going to need you, especially considering how the rest of the team are playing.

  181. this team has no heart other then Kobe.

  182. What is Sessions/Blake +/-?

    It isn’t working yet MB doesn’t adjust.

    MWP’s energy will be needed in game 7.

  183. This is sad to watch, ron artest we need you!!!

  184. When Brewer is making jump shots, you know it’s just not your night.

    Now, Pau is 1/10… Bynum, 4/11. Come on man.

  185. Have you guys noticed that every wing Nugget who isn’t guarding Kobe doesn’t even acknowledge their man? They simply don’t care. They won’t shoot, and even if they shoot, they gonna miss anyway.

  186. I don’t understand the whole not cutting through off post entries. The more we get double teamed the worse we are at countering. It’s like these guys have never seen a double team before.

  187. Like I said before I always wanted to keep Pau but his value is plummeting.

    Bynum is never in huddles. He is a cry baby.

    And somehow it’s always Kobe’s fault. Kobe, Barnes, Metta are the heart and soul of this team. Great guys right there.

  188. Fisher could play defense this well, and hit an open three-pointer. Who wants to take a bet that Fisher leaves Kobe a text message after this game saying- “Miss me?” or “Got Fish?”

  189. Kobe is a true warrior. Everyone else, completely heartless. Got to feel sorry for Kobe…

  190. I really hope metta is ready to play. we need SOMETHING out of the sf position.

  191. I wish we had cp3 instead of gasol…and i would take an injured dwight howard over a lazy and selfish bynum any day…

  192. I feel that Sessions is not being utilized to his full potential. Lakers need to give some plays where Sessions gets complete control of the ball in his hands rather than just dishing it into the post. How else is he going to get to the line or make a cutting play?

  193. ShotFromTheCorner May 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Help defense requires spacing, and communication.

    The Lakers are doing neither well tonight.

    Game Seven!

  194. I have defended Brown a bit, but given the following, the focus needs to be on him now:

    1. Sessions’ D has not improved.
    2. Team D has not improved.
    3. Team looks tired and undermotivated. Still playing guys too long.
    4. Seems unable to make adjustments.

    Some of that is on the players, and some is on the FO. As some of us have been saying since the lockout ended, this is not a top-tier roster. Sessions and Hill make the team a little better than it was but not enough.

    But after being up 3-1, the Lakers should win this series and they shouldn’t be getting blown out. Denver isn’t the 2008 Celtics, the 2006 Suns or the 2011 Mavericks.

    Brown needs to show me something in Game 7.

  195. Game 7 is still winnable – because the Lakers are at home. But these last 2 games the Nuggets were just straight up the better team.

    The Lakers had the best player – Kobe.

    But the next 8 best players were all on the nuggets.

    The Lakers success is predicated on the success of their Big 3 players.

    Only 1 of them showed up this series.

    Maybe Artest will bring in some toughness – and eliminate the minutes that Blake is playing.

    Hopefully he’s been working on his jump-shot while on break.

    Up 3-1 and then smoked the next two games without injury.


  196. There was a discussion on ESPN comparing Kobe and MJ this morning. Tonight is a perfect example illustrating a direct comparison of stats is simply unfair to Kobe. The role players on Kobe’s team are often NOT functional. MJ only had this problem in his first few seasons. But his championship years, his team’s role players were very good, especially the shooters and of course the reliable Pippen. And their defense were always good. Kobe hasn’t had such luxury, except during Shaq years. What a shame!

  197. Holy crap. Did you guys see all the gray hairs that Bynum has!? Dude is an old 24.

  198. No Don brown has never learned to coach.

    Cavs quit on him.

    Lakers quit on him.

    Jim Buss gives him a 4 year contact.

    The horrers of nepotism.

    Pau is the perfect player for him.

    A quitter.

    Donald Sterling must be in heaven right now.

  199. Hey look – Morris just outplayed Blake

  200. I don’t know what’s up with Pau. He just doesn’t seem to care and is settling for bad jumpshots. That is not going to get it done.

  201. Kobe 13 – 23

    rest of the team 18 – 55

    Nobody is able to match Kobe’s intensity. Kobe, Barnes, Hill, Blake, Sessions have played hard all 6 games.

  202. Also, why is Ebank getting so few minutes? He seems to be able to contribute, at least on hustle and defense. Those are two things that are definitely lacking right now.

  203. Sorry but there has never been a BIG 3! It’s all smoke & mirrors, there is only Kobe and a bunch of average guys… ALL OF THEM!! slow guys, scared guys, poor character guys, poor shooters, mr. potatohead as the coach…

    WAKE UP BUSS!!! This is it for this team!

  204. I don’t think I have enough beer in my house for tonight. And I have 5gal of homemade beer.

  205. Too many Lakers haters on this site posing as Lakers fans.

    It’s a frustrating night, but Gasol (two rings – major part in both) doesn’t deserve the antagonism.

    All of the usual Kobe dissers, clearly have no appreciation for five rings earned on two different units; on the most singularly focused, dedicated player since MJ.

    Bynum’s been a disappointment in this series, but by far his best season, and a clear factor in winning a ring in 2010.

    Sessions is a good player, and a definite improvement on what we had. Too early to say if he’s a long term starter. What better was available?

    Brown’s a bum because he’s tasked to replace a legend and the triangle with no training camp?

    If this series shows anything, it’s that the Lakers are a poor shooting team, which we knew, right?

    When you can double our bigs and play up-tempo, the inability to make the opposition pay…has already been covered on this site.

    I just don’t understand how so-called fans can have so much animus for their team.

    We’ve been blessed to win a lot of rings over the years. This aint the Washington Generals.

  206. Kobe is not happy, and deservedly so. Already said multiple times, but he was the only real Laker to show up. He even had an excuse to play poorly but he didn’t and never gave up.

  207. wow, blown out. and we have not won any blow out like this. quite embarrassing.
    however, we will go home, still looks good for us.

  208. Denver confidence is sky high no reason they go to LA thinking they can’t win.

  209. @207

    I couldn’t agree more on you.

    Get ready for Game 7, MWP back. We need his energy and defense…

  210. Mark Sigal,

    Lot of good points, but it is OK for people to express frustration–that is is a function of team-based blogs: fans can vent and comisserate. Darius will, and has, delete stuff that crosses the line.

  211. hilarious that people are upset and seem to be surprised that the coach-less Lakers would lay an egg on the road in a close out game. anyone who watched more than a few games this season would know that Mr. Potato Head has no business coaching an NBA team, much less the Lakers. I thought Karl was his equal in sheer stupidity, but I was wrong. low-IQ MB is no match for even the worthless Karl. good thing the FO hired a defensive minded coach (rolls eyes).

  212. So much pressure for Kobe to produce game 7 because he knows what he’s going to get from his teammates. The same thing he has been getting next to nothing.

  213. @Mark Sigal: I agree with some of what you’re saying, but this is the playoffs. I always expect players to play their butts off when it comes playoff time. I just didn’t see that from Bynum, Pau, or even most of the team outside of Kobe. I want to see them succeed, but when they don’t try very hard at it, that’s just not something that sits right with me.

  214. Mark,

    You are wasting your time with the crowd. They think the Lakers are supposed to blow every team out by 20 points and win the title every year. Many here are shinning examples of the delusional Laker fan stereotype.

  215. @214

    I’m also frustrated in this game but I’ll keep my composure for a little bit because I understand the situation right now.

    There is still hope in Game 7 but if we loss, there is nothing to be ashamed of. For all we’ve gone this year, I’m happy for it. Just put your shoes on Mike Browns position. No training camp, new players, system, staffs, no chemistry.

    No team is perfect. If we let our frustration play we are like Andrew Bynum also. Letting our frustration instead of focusing into the game…

  216. @rr, totally agreed. I am not suggesting otherwise. I learn a ton from the serious analysis that takes place among both the writers and great commenters on Forum Blue and Gold, so wouldn’t have it any other way.

    It’s just mind-numbing to hear the “bum” references or those commenters who make the exact same point over and over and over. We get it. You don’t like…

    Sorry for the rant. I love the Lakers, and hope they can figure some things out by Saturday.

  217. Lawson, Miller, Afflalo, McGee, Gallo, Faried, Harrington, Mosgov

    Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Barnes, Sessions, Hill, Blake, Ebanks

    None of Denver’s best 8 are elite. Lakers have 3 elite players.

    Then you ask yourself who is the better coach? The answer to this question is the reason it’s 3-3. Not the roster.

    No adjustments are being made on Lakers end.

  218. 2 years in a row with completely embarrassing performances in the playoffs.

    Pau hasn’t had it these last two games. Being the only big sprinting back on Defense every play eliminates his strength – offensive rebounding – and wears him out in the post.

    But he doesn’t have another option unless its him and Hill because he’s the pressure release big.

    By running – the nuggets have taken away any effectiveness from Pau. And by doubling, the nuggets have taken away any reason to have Bynum on the court.

    The Lakers are playing scared and its dumb. They take way too long to set up their offense, and its making it so ridiculously easy for Denver to set up their zone. Andre Miller wasn’t even guarding a guard on the perimeter tonight.

    They have to stop being scared of Denver running, and they have to play their own game. So what if Denver gets a few fast break points if your 2 bigs are no longer completely mitigated. If Pau and Bynum crash the boards and get the extra possessions, the nuggets will leak out less. Set up the possessions quicker and stop trying the dumb double touch into the post.

    If the post is doubled off you – you are a wide open shooter. Take. The. Shot.

  219. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    T Rogers, wow, that’s a lot of hyperbole. In fact, some of us have o expectation at all that the Lakers should win the title every year. There are at last three better teams in the league than the Lakers (4 if the Bulls were healthy), so I have no expectations of winning it all this year.

    However, what I do expect is that $34 million worth of big men to show up on time, ready to play, and play hard in every single playoff game. They didn’t come close to that, so I harshly criticize them. For that, I am a delusional Lakef fan?

    There is a common theme here with some of our more sensitive brethren: any criticism = hate. That is a B.S. analysis.

  220. @vhanz, i dont’t know about you but personally I would be ashamed of losing to a 6th seed when up 3-1 with homecourt advantage and a healthy roster…

  221. I wonder who us laughing harder?






  222. Has Bynum’s lack of interest come from his inability to get his O going? Surely the coaching staff can make adjustment or teach him how to better deal with double teams.

    As for Pau, his disinterest is mystifying. Such a talented player and yet…

    Kobe today, wow, looked like he wanted to vomit and yet kept getting it done.

  223. look at bynum on TNT he doesn’t give a $H!t

  224. Funky Chicken May 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    And for the record, Andrew Bynum should be fined, significantly, for his on-bench behavior. He is the antithesis of a leader. Separating yourself from your teammates is quitting. Quitting ought to result in a fine.

  225. Great comments by Kenny Smith about the shot of Bynum looking checked out and separate from the team.

    Smith said that when you have been making the emotional investment over the entire season, and get to these moments, you can make the emotional withdrawal needed to rise to the occasion.

    Smith said that because Bynum hasn’t made the emotional investment there’s nothing to withdraw in these moments, and that he personally wouldn’t want to play with someone like that.

    Pretty harsh, but way valid, IMHO.

    P.s. thanks for the comments, Eidos and T. Rogers. Praying this is like Lakers-Rockets in 2009. That series had a similar disconcerting vibe, and played out okay for us.

  226. Well, MWP should hopefully be a big boost. It would at least allow Kobe to take Miller or whoever else all game if needed. The couple of times I saw him on Miller, Kobe seemed to be fairly effective on him. MWP can also shut down Gallinari, since he’s strong and quick enough to take him. Lawson can be a big problem, but I guess that’ll take a team defense to prevent him from exploding. Still, at worst, if the Lakers are able to contain the rest of the team, they may simply bite the bullet and let Lawson do his thing.

  227. I feel pretty zen about Game 7, if they can’t finish off a Game 7 at home, they don’t deserve it anyway. Pretty much the same feeling I had vs. the Rockets in 2009, Portland in 2000, to the lesser extent Sacramento in 2002.

  228. There is a huge issue between Brown and Bynum. That much is clear by Bynum’s attitude. Who will win that battle of wills?

  229. Nice lead-in with the channel 9 shout out to the game preview. My first initial memories of the Lakers were of those road telecasts. My Mom would not spring for cable until I was in high school in the 90’s, so we listened on radio to the home games. Either way, it was all Chick, all the time.

    And he would be embarrassed by the disgrace that has been the last 8 quarters.

    This situation starts and ends with effort. I don’t want to hear about roster construction (no backup SG, no pure shooter, no PG at all until Sessions showed up), Coach Brown’s missteps, horns formations, or anything else. The last 8 quarters have been about effort. The harder working team has won the last two games. Period. On Tuesday they were hard-working. Tonight, they were hard working, hot shooting, and at home. That adds up to the rout we saw tonight.

    Effort. Pau and Andrew have been pathetically deficient in this category for 8 quarters, and there’s no point in talking about strategy if the effort’s not going to be there. I’m sick of watching Faried triple the energy of Pau in terms of crashing the boards and boxing out. Pau and Andrew have been happy to gobble up the “we’re 7 feet tall rebounds” but have shown virtually no interest in the “I’m Kenneth Faried and my motor never stops” rebounds. When was the last time either of our two bigs played for even 2 minutes with that kind of relentless intensity? Playing hard fixes SO many things.

    Kobe was magnificent, with 31 points in 37 minutes on very efficient shooting. Yes, he had some bad turnovers, but given that it was obvious he was on the verge of vomiting the entire night, he was awesome. Games like this are why he has trouble putting his team’s fate in the hands of others. Our 14 feet of skilled size played soft, slow, and poorly. How many times did either SPRINT down the floor to get early position? How many times did they finish THROUGH contact? Effort, effort, effort.

    Denver went nuclear from three, but the game was in hand at the half. then the Lakers went spectator in the 3rd, and the lights were out. The advantage of being Andrew Bynum is that if you pound and pound for post position ALL GAME LONG, you earn foul shots and by the fourth, you break spirits and gobble up points and rebounds. If you decide to assert yourself on the blocks only one out of every three possessions, you cede your advantage. Take into account your teammates’ inability to get you the ball even when you work, and now you’re talking about long stretches of the game where you simply don’t matter.

    Pau cannot escape criticism either. He is never going to show up one day as a ferocious and physical player, but his skills and IQ dictate that if he shows the mettle he’s shown before, those two attributes help swing games. He made numerous half-hearted attempts at loose balls, and on the block seemed content to be pushed wherever his defender wanted to take him.

    Now it’s Game 7. I am already cringing at tomorrow’s Plaschke column, and the unreleasable frustration and angst I’m going to have to wade through for the next 44 hours. We get World Peace back. The Lakers should not have needed a move like that to win this series. It should NEVER have come to this.

    Effort. Now the problem is, in a Game 7, effort might not be enough.

  230. Just a pathetic game from the Lakers.
    Here is my player breakdown for the last 2 games

    Kobe = best player on the floor
    Pau = weak
    Bynum = lazy, slow and unmotivated
    Sessions = terrible defense, tentative shooter even when wide open
    Ebanks = avg bench player
    Barnes = tough defender and always brings effort and energy
    Blake = afraid to shoot even when open. Terrible defender.
    Hill = avg bench player. Hustles, rebounds and plays good D but not much more.

    Now for the Nuggets
    Lawson = shot out of his mind. always hustles and pushes the pace
    Alfalo = Always hustles, plays tough D
    Galinari = Good scorer when his jumper is falling, plays with heart
    Faried = Most energy on the court. Crafty defender. Good rebounder. Always hustles
    Mozgov = solid center. Would be a really good back up center. Gives good effort
    A.Miller = Nuggets best post up player. Absolutely abuses our guards. Always plays with effort
    Brewer = plays with energy and effort. Good defender. Always hustles down the floor.
    McGee = Nuggets x-factor. Consistently beats Andrew and Pau down the floor.
    Harrington = One legged jump shooter. but plays hard and hustles.

    Do we see a pattern here?

  231. @221

    Man, its embarrasing what happened last year. So whats the point?…16 banners hanging on Staples, and we loss this one game and get ashamed of this?…

    Think men, last years sweep was the most embarrasing to me.