Game 1 Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Soriano —  May 14, 2012

The turnaround time for the Lakers has been short. Just the day before yesterday they left everything they had on the floor in defeating the Denver Nuggets for the chance to play tonight. Meanwhile, the Thunder have been waiting patiently – and likely enjoying watching whoever they’d face go through the grinder of a full 7 game slate.

And while we’ve talked offense and defense, tonight’s contest may come down to some of those other variables. Are the Lakers too fatigued? Have the Thunder been resting too long? Will Ron’s elbow be on the mind or Harden or Ron and affect either of their games? It will surely be on the mind of the crowd who usually don’t need anything extra to whip them into a frenzy but will have it anyways.

One thing is for sure, tonight will be as much about strategy and execution as it will be about harnessing the energy in the building while maintaining composure. Whichever team can win both sides of that equation will likely win this all important first game.

And make no mistake, tonight is important. Many only give the Lakers a chance to take this series should tonight’s contest tilt in their favor. The longer they go without a win in this series the fewer games they have to win four times, this is just simple math. And when facing a team as good as the Thunder, creating a more margin for error in chances that are already slim is imperative. For the Thunder, home court advantage is often the difference between winning and losing a series. Even though everyone sees them as the superior team, everyone thought the same thing about the Lakers the last series and we all saw how valuable playing the final game of that series at home meant to them.

So, tonight it begins. The boos for the visiting Lakers will be deafening. The Thunder’s skill and readiness will be on full display. The Lakers, though, have some experience and fortitude on their side as well. The time for talking about it is pretty much over, however. Ready or not, this thing gets going tonight and the players will decide who’s ready.

So, as we sit back and watch the game from our couches or desks, listen to it on the radio, or just follow the self updating boxscore, try to enjoy yourself. The Lakers are the underdog – as it should be. Enjoy that freedom from expectations and dig in. Also enjoy this series preview from Meir 21. If you weren’t ready before, you’ll surely be after this:

Darius Soriano

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168 responses to Game 1 Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. Reminds me a little of the 1991 Western Conference finals. I believe Portland was the heavy favorite against an aging Lakers team in transition. I hope for the same outcome this time around.

  2. Go Lakers!

  3. Before I get to some thoughts on tonight’s game, here are my thoughts on Game 7.

    1. Pau Gasol was absolutely huge.
    A lot of folks had been on him as being non-existent and vanishing during this series. I suspect that Pau has reached the stage in his career where he’s not going to be able to do performances like Game 7 night in and night out, but I do think that a couple of things helped him out a lot.

    It sure seemed like he was operating a little more at the low instead of the high post and he looked a lot more comfortable, and, frankly, I felt the offense ran more smoothly down there with him than when Bynum is there.

    What Pau lacks in Bynum’s size and explosiveness at this stage of their careers, he makes up for in being far more skilled and much better at handling double teams.

    The offense seemed to run more smoothly like this and, thinking back to when we would play Gasol and Odom on the court at the same time, this doesn’t surprise. Gasol and Bynum are both more centers than PFs. Gasol CAN be a weak side floor spacing big man, but it isn’t optimal for him.

    Nevertheless kudos to Mike Brown for making the adjustment and getting the ball to Gasol in his comfort zone. I saw a little more 4-5 action.

    Also worthy of note was that Gasol was MUCH more engaged on the defensive end as well. Truly a great game for him.

    2. Andrew Bynum is alive! He’s engaged!
    And when this happens, the Lakers are a completely different team. Throw out Bynum’s shooting percentage. I could care less about that.

    He was active on defense most of the game, hustling and not letting his offensive struggles take away from contributing in other ways. It’s often said that superstars find ways to contribute when their normal method isn’t working. (Think of Kobe’s rebounding in Game 7 against the Celtics of the Finals when he grabbed 15 boards while shooting 6-24)

    Too often, it’s all or nothing with Bynum. He doesn’t get his points, he doesn’t bring it anywhere.

    Wasn’t the case in Game Seven. It remains frustrating to get such inconsistent effort. Big mope’s moodier than my wife during the grumpy phase of her cycle, but damnit, like her, when Bynum DOES bring the goods it’s a thing of beauty.

    Moar of this type of Bynum please! Need you in all seven games.

    3. Kobe Bryant was a playmaker!
    I’ve been hearing rumblings of Kobe playing the point some to match up against OKC in this series when they have their Big-3 on the floor, and if Game 7 is any indication, then the idea has some potential.

    I’m not sold on the concept, but when you watch how well he moves the ball around when the rest of his team is dialed in and making shots, the concept is a fascinating one.

    Key, of course, is that likely means Barnes and Peace on the floor together at the 2-3 spot. Can they knock down their threes?

    A question for this series and moot entirely if Brown sticks with a more traditional lineup. Regardless, Kobe got his team motivated in Game 7 and they delivered a monstrously clutch performance.

    None more so than…

    4. STEVEN BLAKE!
    Dude played his best game in a Laker uniform. Nuff said. Hopefully he can shoot the rock with the same confidence in the OKC series. Would give us a puncher’s shot.

    Speaking of punchers…

    5. RON ARTEST!
    We got vintage Artest in Game 7. He was everywhere defensively, unhesitating on offense, and overall a disruptive, menacing, game-changing force.

    Normally I’d be a little annoyed with his unwillingness to shake Harden’s hand, but, well, we need Ron Artest more than we need Metta World Peace.

    As much as I’d like to predict victory tonight, I’m wondering if the short turnaround caused by the Lakers mailing in Games 5-6 against Denver is going to come back to bite them in a big way tonight against a team that was a nightmare matchup for us in the regular season and is VERY well rested.

  4. Lmao that youtube preview was hilarious. Now I’m pumped up with an hour to kill. Does that preview make Mitch Kupchak Joss Whedon?

    I agree – it’s strangely fun to be the underdog and have no overwhelming expectations. LGI

  5. Gail Goodrich May 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    First of all GO LAKERS! Darius, and crew, thanks for everything you and your fellow bloggers do with this site. It is a joy to read and hear different points of view about our team in such a civil, constructive and courteous way. . . while being passionate about the Lakers.

    I notice that television network listings showing fans where one may see a Lakers game aren’t a part of the end of your preview posts this season. Last season and previous seasons – if I remember correctly – you and your wonderful team of bloggers would list this information. Is there a reason (which you are able to share with us) as to why their omission is the current practice ? Looking forward to your reply!

  6. Kobe Alert: KB did move by MJ for 7th on the dimes list. Next up is Pippen (needs 26 more). At tip off, Kobe will tie Shaq for 3rd on the games list at 216. Needs 5 rebounds to get by Bill Laimbeer for 36th and 1 block to tie L bird for 34th. Kobe is now 6-1 in Game 7’s.

  7. I’m hoping Drew gets an early block, gets engaged at the D end of the floor, and decides this is a good night to get some recognition for the D end of his game… this will get him fired up early.
    it us a shame that we have to play mind games for this guy who should know that being a pro, i.e.; getting PAID to play basketball means being able to get yourself psyched up! let’s just hope he gets an early block, and the team matches the high level of intensity that’s no doubt going to come – right out of the gates! hang tough in the beginning, stay within striking distance, and we can finish with a W!

  8. kehntangibles May 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Lepers lost, so there’s that

  9. Come on Lakeshow. We can do this.

  10. GO LAKERS!!!!

  11. Since ‘The Talking Heads’ (Media) have us getting smoked in this series, let tonight be the night that we begin the process of shocking the (NBA) world.

    Come on Lakers .. Lets Get It Baby

  12. kehntangibles May 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Oh, come ON, announcers. Celtic fans will carp all day about the Garnett offensive foul *without* your encouragement.

  13. The boos really seem to be rattling MWP so far…

  14. Those 3s Metta’s making are what we missed.

  15. Feels like the suspension on Ron is a blessin in disguise. He had time to practice his stroke according to LATIMES.

    Let’s go Lakers!

  16. Great engagement on both ends. Strong transition D. Running the O with great movement and focus, going through our bigs. As long as we execute the gameplan, nothing to complain about.

  17. Man, if that #24 wouldn’t be such a ball-hog…..good to see Kobe avoid feeding the negative narrative early…

    LA’s front-court–6 for 8 to start—can’t ask for a better beginning on the road. My biggest fear was a 10-2 or 12-3 start to the game. Hope they can keep it up.

    Need a little more “D” now….

  18. Sessions is a total liability. just a scrub.

    while typing this, Blake entered

  19. Harden checking Kobe. Fun. :-)

  20. How did all three zebras miss Harden touching that ball at least twice before it went out of bounds?

    Ticky tack calls in the early offing–for both teams really.

  21. 3 bogus calls in a row – drive flop by durant, ball went off harden, then phantom call on Blake – winning in okc is gonna be hard

  22. Kobe gotta take care of the ball

  23. Where was the travel call on those 3 steps from Harden? Where was the foul on that play, for that matter…?

  24. Harden checking his shoes. what a punk!

  25. Brown just get dumber and dumber. Blake on harden. Why don’t you just hand them the series?

    Amazing.

  26. Too many turnovers. Blake can’t guard Harden, he should see as little time on him as possible.

  27. We can hang with them, they can’t handle our bigs like Denver did. Just need to rebound and control their drives without fouling.

  28. One 30 point quarter is enough. Sessions has to give Lakers more than nothing. Solid team ball Pau has to own the game this 2nd.

  29. Why kobe on fisher and blake on harden?!?

  30. the 5-1 TO disparity pretty much tells the tale so far….need to get back to pounding the paint….

  31. One thing about Jordan Hill when he gets a off. rebound he never looks to pass. Resulted in 2 turnovers.

    Pau’s doing work. Kobe has to settle the team down with some plays.

  32. lakers are just out classed.

  33. Lakers look like a old, slow, poorly coached team.

    Oh that’s right they are.

    Not going to be pretty.

  34. Sessions not even looking to shoot.

    -1 til Kobe came back in. Not bad.

  35. Now we see why we struggled to best a 6th seed.

    Sorry guys we aren’t in tbe same league as these guys. 20 to 2 bench points, their bench can play our starters even.

    Only question is will the Lakers win one game.

    Nice bench Jim Buss. Nepotism is a curse.

  36. Has OKC missed a mid-range jump shot yet?

  37. Man they aren’t missing – can’t really do much more – ticky tack calls suck as well – why didn’t Kobe get an +1 on the drive – durat was on his hip then Perkins checked him

  38. First off, Blake nor Hill should have any offense run through them! Secondly, can Blake just shoot I mean really what else is he in there for?

  39. Lakers are fine. Have to keep being methodical with the offense. Westbrook is hitting those midrange shots. Keep taking them he’ll cool off.

  40. Just need to weather this hot shooting storm by the Thunder. They are hitting all those mid-range shots. I like the shots we’re getting around the rim. I have a bit more confidence than Ko apparently…

  41. Can Sessions run a PnR? If Fisher is going to guard him then maybe the Lakers should run some PnR with Gasol and Sessions. I think by now everyone should know that Fisher isn’t very effective on the defensive end.

  42. OKC isn’t turning it over (1 TO) and is hitting an inordinate number of mid-range jumpers (especially Westbrook, who is shooting well-above the norm tonight from range)….have to stay the course and hope they cool off a bit…

    Have to stay off the refs if I can, but the ticky tacks on the OKC offensive end are getting pretty irritating right now….especially when the bigs and Kobe are taking plenty of “physical” treatment tonight

  43. This is so frustrating, thunders can’t miss! Even perkins hit a mid range.

  44. LosFelizLaker May 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Bynum is dominant and the Lakers are getting crushed.

  45. The offense so far is decent. The main problem is turnovers and the Lakers’ defense. They’re letting the Thunder hit open jumpers. Unfortunately, the Lakers have to pick their poison and let them shoot the jumpers and sort of hope they cool down. Sessions also needs to be aggressive, especially when Fisher is guarding him.

  46. mindcrime: agree. Those contested shots over Bynum out stretched arm you want westbrook taking. He’s hitting them right now. I’m banking he cools off.

    Sessions has to be more decisive. Bynum should get more shots. Big 3rd quarter ahead.

  47. Artest is still the only guy on earth that can contain Durant.

  48. We’re “fine”? Seriously? I can’t believe how many people are actually happy about being down 15 because we think the Thunder will eventually “cool” off.

    Now they may or they may not. And we may still come back and win (hopefully), but to act like this is the game plan and to not be pissed that we’re down 15 is beyond belief. I’m sorry, I was always taught that the goal was to be up, not down. So yeah, this game is annoying and I’m not in the “we’ll be fine” category…

  49. OKC unsustainable shooting midrange J’s but the Lakers aren’t getting good contests on them either.

    Lakers look like they have no chance in PnR D. Thunder get whatever they want

  50. Clearly Kobe can’t guard Westbrook. Not even close. Making him look like a very old man tonight.

    Kobe 10 point minus 12.
    Westbrook 17 points plus 13.

    To bad we don’t have a coach. A real defensive genius.

    Well the good news is in my golf tournament today my team finished 2nd. Ahh who cares.

  51. @Kevin/Eidos–Agreed re Fisher/Sessions and Blake/Sessions–Westbrook is obviously the best PG on the floor for the series, but Sessions has to make sure he isn’t having the same impact as Blake or Fisher (as in hardly any).

    Also–Blake is passing up the shots he took in the last game.

  52. the lakers offense if awful. brown is awful. the key to coaching is maximizing your strengths and minimizing the opponents. Mike brown minimizes lakers strengths and maximizes the thunders strengths.

    the lakers have 4 post players, yet all they do is pass the ball around the perimeter and take jumpers. there’s absolutely no inside out game and the only player touches the ball in the paint is bynum.

  53. Barnes has no business to play in the playoffs. that’s when he is ineffective.

    same with sessions. overwhelmed by the opportunity.

  54. @Zirk–We aren’t “fine” with how the game is going—LA is losing. But sometimes the other guy is just better–and right now OKC is you-know-what hot from the perimter. Sometimes you have to pick your poison, and right now we’re coming up snake eyes. You cannot take away everything from a team like this. You can only hope to take away their favorite things and live with the rest.

    FWIW it would be nice if LA could improve on the 8-1 TO disparity before the game is over.

  55. Are there two sets of officials for this game?

    We have a whistle-happy crew on the OKC offensive end and a let them play crew on the LA offensive end.

    I guess Fuhrer Stern has given orders from above…

  56. Kobe as a FACILITATOR is silly!

    Kobe, we need you to be the Activator. that from Phil Jacksson

    Kobe, stop chaperoning the scrubs!

  57. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden are coming off screens, getting right to the top of the key with no effort and shooting wide open short jumpers.

    MB needs to come up with a strategy to either make sure someone is there to contest those or keep them farther out on the perimeter.

  58. Zirk: it’s only one half. okc is making the shots you want them taking. When they do that you have to live with it. Some bright spots for lakers I wouldn’t count them out.

    I’d take the ball out of Sessions hands make Kobe the primary ball handler. And start Blake.

  59. Meh. They’re a more talented team, and on top of that they happen to be on fire despite good defensive effort (from what I saw, I missed big chunks the 2nd quarter).

    For years, what’s frustrated me about the Lakers is that when they lose, it’s usually because of a lack of effort, focus, or cohesion. Tonight, they’re just playing a better team. I’m oddly at peace with that. The effort is there. (Yes, they’re still getting diced defending the pick and roll, but you can’t slack off an entire year and then expect to turn it on with just effort).

    Yes, they’re turning the ball over too much. And Ramon Sessions has regressed to the point of invisibility. And there were some odd decisions with Hill switching onto Derek Fisher on the PnR. But overall, the way this team has crapped the bed in the past, I’m generally happy with the energy level. It’s a little sad that just seeing energy and focus makes me happy, but that’s the point where we’re at with this Lakers team.

    Watching Shaq on TNT makes me wistful for the early 2000 days. I would have liked to see this OKC team try to contain Shaq. He would have eaten Perkins alive.

  60. Like we all knew going in – OKC is taking this in 4 or 5. Not a Laker hater – just reality. Tried to get CP3 which would have made this team much better – but Stern screwed it up. Then we lost LO since he couldn’t control his emotions.

    OKC just has way too many ways to beat the Lakers.

    Hope that Buss/Mitch will do awesome things so by next year we have a new team that can help Kobe get ring 6.

  61. KD – 5-11
    RW – 6-11
    JH – 3-8
    ————————–

    maybe the laziness on defense is the difference!

  62. maybe someone should tell Ron that his pnr with Hill is not a solution. this is BIG Games, so no plays for Hill.!

  63. Yea, the best the Lakers can do is maybe take this to 6 games, no way they can stop this Thunder team, they don’t have enough weapons. I don’t know how Charles Barkley could pick the Nuggets to beat the Lakers in the first round, but can pick the Lakers to beat OKC, doesn’t make no sense at all.

  64. Like I said, OKC may cool off and we may come back and win. Or at least I hope so. But the team can’t simply rely and pray that they cool off. They can’t be so nonchalant about it. They need to force stops and get scores of their own. Limiting the TO’s will help too. Let’s hope we come out with some fire in the 2nd half.

  65. Brutal

  66. what a way to open quarters. game over.

  67. Lol Mike Brown’s thought bubble as he stood there frozen … “I need to look at the video to figure out what’s going on … is there a video monitor around here?”

  68. Cant miss. I’m going to download Doodle Jump.D

  69. I think we match up fairly well against OKC

    Kobe/Durant = tie
    Bynum/Ibaka= Lakers
    Westbrook/sessions= OKC
    Pau/Perkins= Lakers
    Harden/Metta=tie
    Bench Okc/lakers bench OKC

    so our key is to play under control but play hard! The key will which combo out does the other.. Right now we are losing because of our lack of bench production.

  70. Just like in all the previous games against this team, they blitz us in the 3rd. The difference being that we were already down 15 @ the half.

  71. I don’t think we have the capability (mainly the heart and desire) to win a game in this series on the road. I actually don’t know if we have the heart to even keep these road games close. I really hope we don’t get swept though. It’s just heart breaking. Let’s at least challenge these young guns.

  72. This team is a joke. Brown must be fired. PG’s traded. A real basketball mind need to be in FO. Andrew or Gasol need to go.

    This Laker team is about to get sweep two years in a row with 3 guys making the total cap by themselves.

    Magic was right on this team need to be blown up.

  73. Yikes, not a good time to get cold. They’re probably tired from the previous series and they’re simply playing against a more talented team.

  74. Lakers shouldn’t just bet on OKC cooling off. Theses guys are young and the more they shoot better the more confident they are!

    I wish Kobe wouldn’t have to babysit these professionals and scale his game just to give these guys some confidence.

  75. if we don’t win Game 1, at lest we took Perk out of the game

  76. On yo Head!!! Lakers have no chance.

  77. Lakers have heavy legs. Doesn’t look good for tonight.

  78. So we’re tired. Hmm… who’s fault is that??

  79. how naive of Sessions thinking that his soft waltzing is working in the playoffs especially the best blocking team in the NBA!

  80. Zirk: there’s no excuses for this performance but thunder don’t win a series with a 1-0 lead.

  81. The Thunder have true depth. Collison is phenomenal defensively (especially help D) and I underrated Mohammed a bit. Both quality backup bigs.

    With the contributions we’re getting from Sessions, this is almost the exact same team as prior to the trade deadline (Hill being the big difference).

    Edit: I did like that last move by Sessions. Don’t care about the end result, he finally made a man’s move and stopped looking passive.

  82. Kevin, this series was over before it started lol

  83. @78

    good point. 1 point or 100 points does not change just, 1-0

  84. Kevin, I’m not conceding the series. I’ll be right here cheering our team on come game 2. But I’m still pissed and annoyed about this game. Pathetic performance. If Brown plays any of the starters in the 4th, he should be fired on the spot!

    The best thing we can do right now is to keep feeding Bynum so that he gets his numbers cuz then he’ll be a happy camper for game 2.

  85. LosFelizLaker May 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I just want to say, I think the Lakers are trying. Which might be the scariest thing. If Brown puts in the scrubs, this could be an all-time Lakers blowout.

  86. Joe: It’s some bright spots tonight.

    Will OKC shot 60% through 3 quarters and have 1 turnover. I don’t think so. 1 -0 doesn’t win a series.

  87. kehntangibles May 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    (assuming I’m any better at finishing in transition than the Lakers :P )

  88. Brown needs to change something up, at least defensively. I’m not sure what, but the rest of this game might be a good time to find out what works best.

  89. I had low hopes for the series, but this is worse than I’d feared. Best two things we can hope for are 1) Perkins is hobbled or out for the rest of the series, leaving a hole in their frontcourt and 2) being a young team, a blowout like this will make them overconfident on Wednesday. Currently their starters are 7-12, 3-3, 2-2, 8-16 and 3-5. That’s not going to happen every night.

    Take the ass-whipping tonight and hope that the jumpers don’t fall at this rate in game 2.

  90. At this point, the starters could use some more rest. I’d sit all of them in the 4th and just let Sessions continue to play in some hope that he’ll find a groove that can carry over to further in the series.

  91. This team is soo 2008.

    We need a backup SF a backup SG a new starting PG and backup PG=too many holes.

    Its a new day of age you need an explosive backcourt now to win in this leauge. Big men are overrated.

  92. @79

    Series was over before it started?

    So why are you watching?, turn off your tv if your no interested.

    Too many negatives. 50 pt lead doesnt change that this Thunder will still be up 1-0.

  93. It is puzzling that the Lakers just can’t get a decent PG. Session is no point guard. He obviously has no instinct of setting up shots for other players on the floor. Both Session and Blake feel that walking the ball up the court is all that they need to do. What a joke!

  94. This game reminds me of the Mother’s Day Massacare 366 days ago. That was G4 of the sweep. This is G1 of the sweep.

  95. @Zirk–Actually, the effort hasn’t been all that bad tonight. Too many turnovers, and OKC just isn’t missing. It hasn’t been a series of layup drills or dunks on the big guys, and, even though the officiating is ultimately irrelevant in this game, I don’t understand why OKC is taking all of the jump shots (although they are making them) because any time someone misses a shot in the paint for the Thunder the whistle blows—it’s one of those nights–simple as that.

  96. @Zirk–Actually, the effort hasn’t been all that bad tonight. Too many turnovers, and OKC just isn’t missing. It hasn’t been a series of layup drills or dunks on the big guys, and, even though the officiating is ultimately irrelevant in this game, I don’t understand why OKC is taking all of the jump shots (although they are making them) because any time someone misses a shot in the paint for the Thunder the whistle blows—it’s one of those nights–simple as that.

    Once caveat–Pau has been pretty quiet, and Sessions/Blake/Hill were clearly not comfortable with the moment tonight. But it hasn’t seemed like a lack of effort

  97. When Westbrook is making all of those contested jumpers, there really is no way of guarding him.

  98. They are up on us 25-2 from the bench. Anyone want to grade that on a curve?

  99. Sorry, I’m not watching right now but I would like to know what happened to perkins?

    Thanks!

  100. @92, because I like watching basketball

  101. 93 – I was thinking the same thing, and I think it has more to do with the team around him. Sessions is a quick, up-tempo PG. Put him on a transition team, and he’ll look much better. It’s not that the Lakers can’t get a decent PG, it’s that with our slow, post-heavy team, we really need a low-usage shooter at that slot (someone like Fisher in his prime). It’s hard for true PGs or even scoring PGs (both of whom are used to having the ball in their hands) to balance their aggressiveness with the hungry mouths needing the ball on the Lakers. It takes them out of their comfort zone. A guy like Billups (in his prime) is one of those that mastered that balance, that would have been perfect for this team.

  102. Mindcrime, I agree. All I’m saying is that the team’s strategy can’t be “let’s just hope they’re off and they miss their jumpers”. That’s a total passive approach! We need to be aggressive and put pressure on them. Defense is all about heart and effort. If we keep the game close, then they’ll feel the pressure when shooting, which can only increase their chances of missing. When you’re up 80, there’s not pressure at all.

  103. This is when strategy comes into play. Sessions can’t guard anybody. And Lakers need Kobe to score so playing Westbrook then harden all series won’t work.

    Start Kobe at PG, Ebanks at 2, Ron at 3. Put more size Ebanks on Westbrook. TO keep starting Sessions is digging your own grave.

  104. LosFelizLaker May 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Point of order on Sessions. He was told during the regular season to slow down because he was outracing the rest of the starting five. (But he has looked terrible in the postseason more often than not.) The Thunder is at home, so there is little chance of them blowing a 20-something lead tonight. Time to call it a night for the starters.

  105. Kobe look really tired and steps behind RW and KD. He should be out if game. Shooting 30% and playing no defense.

    Rest this guy. Westbrook is laughing at Blake just as I am laughing at Brown.

    Not a lot of pride on this Laker team today. that Metta will scare them theory is making someone look very smart.

    Worst Laker playoff lose in history is 39 points. Going for the record!

    Kobe looks older then Fisher tonight.

  106. LosFelizLaker May 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Derek Fisher attempts to rub salt in wound, gets salt in own eyes, accidentally breaks own elbow.

  107. I’m not going to watch the 4th quarter. I think we tried tonight but OKC was just fresher and certainly SIZZILING!

    but i’ve never seen the Lakers look so lethargic, depleted, swaggless!

    this hurts real bad!

  108. After seeing all the injuries I don’t see why Pau is out there in a 30 point game. Sometimes you have to admit defeat and move on. Rooks should be playing right now.

  109. One hopes that Brown rests his starters, as each quarter tonight has been worse that the last, a clear sign that the Lakers are wiped.

    Unfortunately, conventional wisdom is that the Lakers have to “show something” to feel good about themselves.

    I don’t buy that, as there is little momentum from one playoff game to the next.

    Plus, the Lakers have not played horrible in terms of effort and sharing the ball.

    Live to fight another day.

  110. Not sure why Pau is still in the game.

  111. Barnes and his historical Great Plays!

  112. Blake and Sessions are having terrible games so the solution is to put them in together. Brilliant.

  113. Clear the bench.

  114. Pau Gasol is great, but he’s no Chris Paul. He’s not pulling off a comeback like this. So get him out of the game, Brown.

  115. This team looks like the Bobcats. Hope Jim Buss is proud of what he put together,

    Count the millions of lost revenue this year and last by getting punked in the 2nd round.

    No wonder they fired the scouts and long time employees. You get what you pay for Jimmy!

  116. Had a feeling this might happen, but I see it as one game. Lakers were ripe for a fall, given the Denver series. Still only need a split. I may be crazy, but I don’t think it is impossible. Lakers need to regroup and get some rest.

  117. This Lakers team is a joke, its really sad to see what this team has become….like Magic said, time to blow up this team.

  118. What happened to MWP?

  119. Why is Ebanks getting no burn, even during garbage time? I don’t get it.

  120. hope mwp is okay…

  121. I can’t wait till these arrogant dudes get their taste of Miami… They’ll show them some HEAT!!

  122. Huh, Ebanks ejected. I’m not really sure what happened there.

  123. Ebanks gets thrown out then takes off his jersey.

    WTH happened to the Lakers with class. Can’t we lose a game with class. smh

  124. Are the Laker playoff uniforms itchy?

  125. How does a 16 time champ team have the worst bench in the NBA. By far the worst.

    Ask Jimmy boy who knows about as much about BB as a do about computer programing.

  126. are you still complaining ko? game’s been over for an hour now….calm down.

  127. @Ko: Well, when Bynum, Kobe , and Pau together account for 70% of the entire Lakers’ salary, it’s sort of hard to pay the rest of the team. The Thunder on the other hand still have Westbrook and Harden on rookie contracts, so they have the luxury of paying good role players.

  128. This ugly ugly loss doesn’t change the fact it’s 1 – 0. Hope Brown reminds his players of that.

    Bright spots: Bynum, Barnes, Ron, Hill. Rebounding, Perkins.

    Glad to see Bynum and PAu on the bench talking. They still care so should we.

  129. Wow. That hurt. A lot.
    Time to regroup for game 2.

  130. Yea your right. Just hate as a fan to be humiliated. Guess it would be ok if I lived in Washington DC or charlotte.

    Sure as heck not moving to OK or San Antonio.

    I do need to chill though.

  131. Nice to see Sager still trying the milk the “handshake” non-story–pathetic.

    Goudelock needs a few minutes of meaningful time in the next game. Blake and Sessions looked scared tonight. Goudelock has made plenty of mistakes during the year, but every time he’s gotten in a game (including tonight) he’s understood that he is in there to score the basketball, mostly from the arc. I know, I know–I’ve heard the explanations for why that’s a problem. Goudelock is a defensive liability. Well guess what–so is Blake and so is Sessions. I’m not saying he should start, or even that he should get 15-20 minutes. I’m talking about him getting one of the two “bench sessions” in the second or fourth quarters in Game 2.

  132. That was not a good game at all. The Lakers started out with good energy and then sort of faded. The Thunder on the hand were fresh and played full throttle all game. Lakers will need to dig down really deep in order to match that if they want to even stand a chance.

  133. Lakers 1.0 ppp
    Thunder 1.31 ppp

  134. 1. Why did Ebanks get 2 technical/get rejected?
    2. What happened to Metta World Peace (saw him leave early from the game)?

  135. Ko/Ken – relax bro. Get your Zen on. At the end of the day, Thunder fans still have to live in Oklahoma City. I wouldn’t want to be them.

    Sometimes you’re just overmatched. We’ve done this act to other teams for years and years. But it always sucks to be on the receiving end, for sure.

    It bears repeating: their bigs have true depth. Even if Perkins were injured, Mohammed played Bynum strong.

    If there’s one sight I’ve truly grown sick of over the last couple years: watching perimeter defenders sag into the paint. How I wish we could make them pay.

  136. 134: Ebanks got in a scuffle with Ivey during garbage time and the refs seemed to think that he deserved to be ejected. I sort of thought it was an overreaction though. MWP though, I don’t know much about that.

  137. How did 4 starters play 30 minutes?

    Ebanks made a bone head move but he needs to start and play defense on Westbrook.

    RW, KD, JH – 23/24 FT’s. Wowzers

    Bynum needs 20+ shots he was a beast tonight.

  138. Ko: I feel you with regard to the bench.
    Eidos: Your statement is somewhat true. However there was nothing stopping us from using the 2 TPE’s. That was about $14 million extra we could have spent on our bench. That is unless you accept the story that nobody was available : )

    This is only Game 1 – but it was not a good Game 1.

  139. Any idea what Pau and Bynum were talking about on the bench after everyone left?

  140. OK, Game 1 is history. Three games to go and Mbrown has to make some adjustments. Don’t throw the towel for Game 2 by doing the same thing all over again.

    Lakers were outplayed and given a lesson on shooting skills. Thunders were dropping every shot from Westbrook to Cook all the way to Switzerland Sefo….Lakers lost the game when the bench came in.

    There’s still hope if Coach can motivate his players, right now their spirits are low and deemed have loser mentality. Someone has to reverse that mojo and get back to competition.

  141. Robert: Before the new CBA I would have agreed with you, but now it’s really important to manage salaries well. If you don’t, a franchise can potentially be locked into mediocrity for several to a handful of years. I’m sure the Lakers had some takers, but I feel that the front office felt that what they would get back was not worth the loss in flexibility. Hey, look at the Mavericks. Even Mark Cuban was forced to let loose players like Barea and Chandler. Unfortunately, this is just the reality of the new CBA.

  142. Well, that was maybe the worst I’ve ever seen the entire Lakers team play in a playoff game.

    They looked spent the whole night. Kobe looks absolutely exhausted just running up and down the court.

    They didn’t even make a push against the big lead to make it interesting.

    Bummer of a game.

  143. Pleased to see Pau and Drew talking after the game. I think they’re talking about plays of OKC. Hoping they will adjust next game.

  144. I hope the Lakers haven’t run into another good team that can’t miss from the outside like we did with Dallas last year.
    Next game will tell.

  145. Eidos: Thanks for the response. I do not disagree with what Cuban is doing. He is basically blowing it up. That is what you need to do: Go all out, or blow it up. You do not want to be the “6th” best team in the league. If you are, you have a huge salary, you get no picks, and you do not raise banners. You sound like a reasonable guy, and I would like to discuss this more at length after the season. Remember – the new CBA makes you pay tax and revenue sharing, but that does not impact the cap or anything on the court – it only impacts the bottom line. With regard to flexibility – we have none until 2014 unless we do something really drastic : )

  146. It’s not how you lose but how you respond?

    Sessions 1-7 fg 2 pts 3 ast. Need more

  147. Honestly, I’d rather just get destroyed in a game like this (that was a likely loss coming in) than lose a heartbreaker (a la Dallas vs. OKC in their first two games). Sometimes 30-point shellackings can be invigorating.

    I really don’t think it’s impossible for the Lakers to pull off a scrappy game 2 win and get back in this.

    Of course it’s also highly possible we’ll just see three more games like this one – I’m a Laker diehard, but by any objective analysis, OKC is just a better team this year. An awful lot has to break right for the Lakers to beat them. But I’ve seen weirder things happen.

  148. I’m trying to figure out what the counter is. OKC basically got everything that they wanted.

    They sagged the paint. They played good D on Kobe. The got all of their best 3 players going. And everything the Lakers were doing was pretty difficult, while it looked easy for OKC.

    Tonight – they just looked better.

    Will be interesting to see if a different lakers team shows up on Wednesday.

  149. rr: If you are out there – before you respond : ) yes I did have an alternative. I have an e-mail conversation where I played the part of Jimbo and I hired you as my GM. Go review it : )

  150. The best counter I can come up with: Hit the outside shots; absoultely must get off to a fast start (we somewhat did that – heaven help us if we don’t); Need aggressive KB; Somebody has to cover RW. Asking MB to get all of that done is a “tall” order.

  151. 148 – Not my call, but I’m not sure this is the right site for role-playing :D

  152. This would be a tough team to beat under the best of circumstances. With a back to back looming for the weekend, it doesn’t look good at all. Still, if they can steal the next one, one never knows, do one….

  153. At this point, the only counter I see when they’re on fire like this: relentlessly attack Westbrook, Harden, and Durant in the post (which we did at the beginning pretty well), get them in foul trouble, and get them off the floor. Sadly it’d probably take all 3 of them picking up fouls in order for us to build up a lead. It would take aggressiveness from Sessions that we just haven’t seen.

  154. yes I did have an alternative

    ____

    Sure, it was, “Trade everyone on the roster except Kobe for a guy who doesn’t want to be here, can leave as an FA, and has herniated discs.” ;-)

    I thought this team would be the one to end the threepeat dream last year. Since they added Perkins, and Harden and Ibaka developed, the Lakers simply do not match up with OKC. Adding a couple of more bench players would not solve the problems.

  155. Funky Chicken May 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    93 points on 93 shots for Kobe this year against OKC. Doesn’t bode well.

    Mike Brown needs to make several adjustments. Doesn’t bode well.

  156. The idea Kevin floated–go big with Kobe at the 1–occurred to me before the game. The issue there is Kobe’s fingers and wrist have compromised his handle.

    Still, it might be worth a try.

    The other thing they could do (theoretically, at least) is play some zone. Dallas hung with OKC some based in part on OKC having issues attacking zones.

  157. Robert: Yes, I agree with your sentiment. I want them to go all out since I prefer results now rather than a distant hope in the future, but I also understand that the Laker front office doesn’t want to have their hands tied, especially since the Lakers can completely rebuild in a couple of seasons if needed. After the 2014 season, all of the salaries for the Lakers will be off the board. The Lakers could literally field a completely new team if they so desired. This is probably why they’re reluctant to take on more contracts. I’m not sure if that will work out in the long run, but that is my suspicion of their plans.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for them though. However, the Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, because they have a team that is competitive but not quite elite. And, even as good as Kobe is right now, his contract would be a huge roadblock in any attempts to try to rebuild. It’s hard when one player will eventually be paid $30 per year and has a no-trade clause. Granted, the Lakers still have the amnesty to use, but I can just imagine the firestorm if they use it on Kobe. Okay, now I’m starting to ramble, but I guess my main point is that the Lakers don’t really have many options right now and none of the decisions for them are going to be easy to make.

  158. My counter is bench Sessions start Ebanks let Kobe play PG. Sessions has proven to be ineffective with starters not getting double digit assist in 20 games (march 3 last time). Bynum needs 20 shots a game.

  159. rr/Kevin: Going big with Kobe at the 1 could be the only team in the league slower than our current one. However I will try it, because it is different than what we are doing : )

  160. The only thing worse than getting destroyed by OKC is the fact that we owe them $50million in revenue sharing. How in the hell did Buss let this massive amount of revenue sharing get incorporated into the new CBA.

    I think those of calling for the Lakers to blow this team up completely have been vindicated. There is no worse place to be in the NBA than where the Lakers find themselves now.

  161. robert: it’s for defensive purposes for me. Let Kobe rest guarding Sefolisha. Let Ebanks guard Westbrook. More footspeed, more length, more fouls to give.

  162. That is where the zone would come in. Also, Ebanks isn’t slower than Blake and wouldn’t be any worse on D than Sessions.

    But the Lakers have not played zone all year, so it is not realistic. Still, zone is what Dallas did and Dallas never got blown out like this, and was competitive with this team although they lost 4-0.

  163. 147,

    The answer I can think of: stop them from scoring which is defense and Lakers has to get easy baskets (offense). In tonight’s game, the Lakers are bricking shots, committing t/o’s, missing f/t’s, double teaming without any covers on p&r. Next game, they have to battle for every possession and pound the basket on the down post.

  164. Want a funny stat

    Sessions/Blake 2 points – Fisher 5 points

  165. Good loss. Rest players… Blow out all game. Best kind of loss. Kobe can guard Westbrook when he is engaged. Although you couldn’t tell tonight. As can/did Artest against Durant in ISO sittuations. We found out Perkins can’t guard Bynum at all. This is good. And hopefully we didn’t find out that Ibaka is now a better starting PF than Pau Gasol. I still like the Lakers and am even more confident after a giant game one loss.

  166. Gotta hand it to Aaron.

  167. a ll I have to say is ugh, lakers just lostv the c series on a blake three point shot. fisher makes that shot btw.

    wow. sad