Game 3 Preview & Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Soriano —  May 18, 2012

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers enter game three as desperate as they could be. Wednesday’s game two offered a roadmap to victory but the Lakers veered of course before their destination, driving off a cliff to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Tonight they’ll need to be better for longer or risk having the final nail put in their coffin by going down 3-0.

As stated though, the roadmap does exist. The Lakers found some promising defensive adjustments in game 2 that they should be able to refine and carry forward this evening. They’ll need to continue to play the P&R higher to better cut off driving lanes and contest pull up jumpers. They’ll also need to continue to play off ball actions better by clogging the paint to encourage the Thunder to kick the ball out or be forced to shoot over a helping defender. Kobe will also need to be as effective as a roamer as he was in game 2 when he consistently left Sefolosha to dig down in the paint and help on Durant and Westbrook when they came close to the paint. This tactic muddied up the FT line area that the Thunder were so effective in attacking in game 1 while also forcing some bad passes.

That said, the Lakers can’t rest on their laurels and simply go out and do the same things defensively with impression the Thunder won’t make some adjustments of their own. In game 2 the Thunder bigs (especially Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed) overpassed and didn’t look for their shots immediately even when wide open. These are the players the Lakers respect least on defense (along with Sefolosha), but I can imagine Scott Brooks letting them know that they’ll be open and that they should attack when given room. The Lakers must also be aware of back door actions and quick counters to the overplays that were successful. The Thunder can use slip screen actions, weak side cuts, and quick ball movement to disable a defense that jumps at their main scorers, so being prepared for those counters is imperative.

What’s also imperative is the Lakers finding some reliable offense. When we look at game two, we’ve mostly focused on how the Lakers held the Thunder to only 77 points but the Lakers only scored 75 of their own. Unless this team finds more reliable offense, they’ll continue to be in games where the Thunder’s superior scoring efficiency comes back to bite them. They must create a larger cushion and/or find ways to get good looks when OKC’s defense tightens.

First and foremost, this means getting Kobe on track. He’s shooting 37.2% so far this series, mostly on highly contested jumpers that are easily challenged. He must find ways to crack the code of Sefolosha’s defense and I think there are a couple of ways it can happen. First is that if Kobe’s going to do a lot of work in isolation, he needs to compact his game. What I mean is that he needs to make his moves quicker and avoid using so many fakes to try and get his man out of position. In game 2 he had a fair amount of success taking one or two dribbles and elevating quickly to shoot his jumper or taking an extra dribble to get all the way to the rim. But when he had to make his catch on the dribble and try to shake his man or if he went into a headfake clinic to try and get his man in the air, neither Thabo nor Harden were taking the bait. Kobe needs to refine his game while also getting more help from his teammates in the form of better screens and quicker passes when he breaks open on his cuts.

The bigs must also continue to grind away. Andrew Bynum has proven he can beat single coverage consistently and needs to continue to do so. If he can work to get moderately deep post position he should be able to get off his lefty jumphook and then counter off that with his step through where he goes under the rim to finish on the other side of the basket. In game 2 he showed how effective this arsenal could be as long as he could beat the fronting D to establish the block. Gasol can also work in the post but will need to continue to show variety. He worked well driving to his left hand and finishing with that sweeping lefty hook. If he can continue to make that move he can work in counters to that where he pivots and then finishes strong with his right hand as well. He’ll also need to continue to hit his jumper so that his man has to play him close enough to open up that drive.

Tonight’s also a game where the Lakers role players need to find their stride. Playing at home should help some, but they must be active and assertive in order to seize a strong performance. Barnes and Blake must look to maximize their strengths by hitting spot up jumpers (Blake) and slashing to the rim and getting out in the open court (Barnes). Jordan Hill must also continue his fine work on the glass while also getting some garbage baskets when his big man partner draws attention. He was great at that in game 2, he must carry it over.

And, finally, Ramon Sessions must find a way to make a difference. I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you that his play has been disappointing and while I’d attribute a lot of his shortcomings to the style of game he’s being asked to play and the general offensive scheme in place, there are ways he can be better. He must shoot when he’s open and do so with confidence. He must also take more command off possessions and run more actions that get him in position to hurt the defense. Primary sets may be for Kobe and the bigs but there’s a stretch in every 2nd and 4th quarter where he shares the floor with Pau as the only offensive threat but he’s still not aggressive enough. When they share the floor he can call more P&R’s and isolations for himself and no one would be mad. Also, whenever he’s being guarded by a player besides Westbrook, he should look to attack first and create something positive. That doesn’t have to be a shot for himself – a drive and kick to a shooter or draw and dish to a big can do wonders for this offense.

The Lakers are in a deep hole. Tonight they either start to climb out or get buried alive. Game 2 offered a moral victory but those count even less in the playoffs than they do in the regular season. Tangible success in the form of a victory needs to come for this team and it must start tonight. It won’t be easy as the Thunder offer the stiffest challenge of any opponent since the 2008 Celtics but that doesn’t mean the Lakers can’t continue to fight. If they need inspiration, they only need to look back a round at the team they vanquished. This series reminds me of that one in that after getting blown out in game 1, the Nuggets fought back in game 2 but still came up short. When they got home, they carried over that success to win the next two games game and two of the next three. The Lakers can do the same thing, but they must believe and then go do it. It starts tonight.

Darius Soriano

Posts

205 responses to Game 3 Preview & Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. I have faith.

  2. I have faith in my Lakers.

  3. Great timing for this award. Pau should be feeling good tonight. I expect big things.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/30667/pau-gasol-wins-nba-citizenship-award

    Sessions at Staples Center

    13 pts 3 reb 6 ast 46/54/75

  4. Mojo,
    I fixed that, thanks for the heads up.

  5. Forget citizenship – we need the Black Swan in all his glory.

  6. Great inspirational post Darius, def got me even more so pumped for the game tonight! Hopefully, the Lakers got the L’s out of the way and out of their system. One game at a time, anything is possible…esp w #24 and some physical D to take OKC out of their element. LETS GO LAKERS

  7. As long as I’ve watched playoff basketball if the expectations for the teams are high. Then they hold home court. So, OKC has done no less than what is expected. Now, its the LAL opportunity to return the favor. I know there is doubt due to the Lakers play this season, but I think the Lakers are coming into their own identity. Yes, at this late date but better late than never.

    If Sessions is that easily deterred from his game by a conversation from some of the players, then he’s not an NBA starting pg and it’s better to learn now rather than to extend him a contract that the Lakers will be bogged down with for years to come.

    How many times did we all want Fisher to stop his PUJIT’s and dribble drives? Well Sessions better grab a pair from Fisher and bring it!

    MB needs to PLAY Ebanks! There’s no excuse for him not doing so. Ebanks played well enough for him to win the 1st round against Denver and has earned playing time. One reason Ebanks lost his composure and was ejected is due to MB. Ebanks played well at the start of the year was benched, and was then asked to play when MWP couldn’t. Then in a blowout game Ebanks wasn’t even the first player in the game, he subbed Goudelock first. Why? It didn’t matter what positions were on the floor the game was a blowout and he should have rewarded Ebanks for playing hard for him by at least subbing him in first. Ebanks is playing for his NBA career and MB is messing with his head.

    The Lakers of this season are going to arrive tonight! Let’s Go!!!!

  8. For the Lakers the win, ALL these things have to happen:
    -Andrew and Pau play big and play with maximum effort on both ends of the floor.
    -Lakers must limit their turnovers while forcing OKC turnovers
    -OKC cannot get hot from the outside.
    -Ramon Sessions has to show up and play like a starting guard on a NBA playoff team.
    -One bench player has to score more that 12 points.

    The Lakers control all these variables except for the outside shooting of OKC.

    I’ve got a steak marinating and beer in the fridge. Hopefully it will be a good night and I won’t have to crack open the single malt scotch to dull the pain.

  9. Lakers need all around Kobe. Less focus on scoring more focus on other areas. It’s been 2 years since Lakers fans seen a 20-10 line from Kobe in the playoffs.

  10. The positives about game 2 are that the Lakers proved they could dictate the pace of the game and contain Westbrook/Durant enough to keep them in striking distance. Just gotta close games better, and some help from Ramon Sessions wouldn’t hurt.

  11. Kobe Alert: This is a must win, so let’s focus on team results. During the Kobe era, the team’s playoff record is 136-84. The series record is 33-9. We have been to Finals 7 times with 5 Championships. KB needs 25 FG’s to hit 2k and 9 three pointers to hit 3 hundred.

  12. Celtics: A couple of you have responded with some good points – which basically center around the fact that they are not that good. Well – true. However they are getting the type of breaks we needed. They got the #1 seed knocked off, the Heat are all messed up, + the Pacers are just the type of team the Celtics want in the ECF. Ko predicted the Spurs-Pacers as a nightmare for the NBA. My personal nightmare is Spurs- Celtics. There is one good side to this Game 4 with Philly: Our game will not be delayed due to overtime.

  13. Robert – the C’s are definitely getting breaks. The equivalent would be if Tony Parker were out for the playoffs, and if the Thunder lost Harden out of their Big 3. The East has really opened up for them.

    I hate OKC, I hate Boston, I hate Miami, I hate Flop City, and Philadelphia booed Santa Claus. The only team (besides us) left worth pulling for is Indiana.

  14. philly just giving the dang game to the celtics. missing free throws, igg clanks his dunk. omg. celtics just strolling into the finals with no resistance. well – if they make it that far the west will wipe them off the floor.

  15. I hate watching our aging team lose. Come on Lakers – represent for the full 48 minutes and win this one. Every damn player needs to step up and play aggressively – with passion for the game – we don’t want to see another second round sweep. This is it – do or die. Win one freaking game in convincing fashion!!!!!

  16. No annoying posts from me. At game tonight. Lakers by 8.

    Good luck

  17. Pau needs to figure it out tonight. Ramon, come with it or go back to Cleveland. Lakers by 6 tonight.

  18. Muddywood: Your list is amusing due to its accuracy. The really amusing one is where you are asking for our bench to score more than 12 points. You are taking “grading on a curve” to a new level : ) You won’t even mind if their bench gets 40, you just want ours to get 12 : ) Well, you “might” get your wish. I am going to go for a slightly higher goal + say we must be within 10 of their bench (we were -24 and -11 in the first 2).

    Snoop: Yes-I hate all of them too, but I hate Boston so much, that I am rooting for the Heat + that PUNK Wade – how sad is that?

  19. Why did Ebanks lost his rotation again? Does anything know what Mike Brown is thinking or did he ever offer an explanation?

  20. Nice come back there Ko, you’re not annoying but a knock-out poster.

    Mbrown plays only 8, why? Add two more bodies like Ebanks and McRob that’s additional 10 fouls to spare, more minutes for Pau. Drew and Kobe to take a breather, more youth speed out there. If MB keeps on sticking to 8 players, Staples becomes a mile high city by 4th Q; Kobe gets older by a year just on this series alone; more danger to Bynum’s knees buckling down; then Aaron will again end his post with a duh!

  21. Robert: you got your wish Leperchauns lose again.

  22. Great start by the Lakers.

  23. It’s really a make or miss league.

  24. Who said we couldn’t play with Thunder. GO LAKERS!!!

  25. Just go to the basket. That’s it…

  26. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Steve Blake has got to be the worst passing guard in the league.

  27. Ramon Sessions has already scored more points with 6 than he scored in Games 1 and 2 combined.

  28. We have to finish better at the rim… Pau and Bynum have missed a few bunnies already…

  29. Can’t stand Harden. Much like Pierce.

  30. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Wow. Thunder guards reach in and slap Laker bigs on one end with no whistle, and flail their arms and get the call on the other end. No energy in the building right now.

  31. Need to take Barnes out of the game. At least Ebanks can play D

  32. Here’s that Sessions Blake combo you guys love!

  33. And just like that, the lead evaporates.

  34. Screaming at brown to get kobe andrew in. To late the genius lost lead and mo
    Stupid!

  35. We have two 7-footers who can’t get and hold position to receive an entry pass. Pau is, by far, the worst of the two though. He gets pushed off of the block every time and our guards can’t make a decent entry pass when they do manage to get position.

    I truly don’t understand how the refs will allow all sorts of contact one way, but then put Harden on the line every time down the floor on the other.

  36. Lakers not showing any passion especially the 2nd team, get angry Mike Brown, that what the Coach can emote.

  37. Thunder Big Three
    Durant
    Westbrook
    Harden

    Lakers Big Three
    Kobe
    Bynum
    Gasol

    the problem is simple: Thunder “other” players are better and ours are not!

    we will need killer games from our bigs and suprise off our bench

  38. Bench losing 18-5 (not hitting mine or Muddywood’s goal)
    TO: LAL: 6 OKC: 5
    Crowd: Given gold jerseys. 20% of them wearing them. Silense is golden since first 5 minutes. There is the sea of Smartphones though.

  39. Aaron: I agree. Thought Barnes would be out his slump by now. Ebanks should get a look.

  40. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    There are some on this board who think we have a franchise center. It would be nice to see him make an appearance in this game.

  41. Ha ha Westbrook looking like Floyd Mayweather..But dude you’re clearly out your league!

  42. Ridiculous technical on MWP

  43. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I think fans of both teams will agree that these officials are shaming the league right now.

  44. This is a rivalry. A True Rivalry.

  45. Just have to stay focused… Close out the qtr. strong…

  46. Oh wow, Lisa Salter. You have taken sideline reporting to a new low. Reporting on hot dogs?

  47. thanks goodness for making our fts…. that’s the difference really.

  48. Why did Mike Brown substitute MWP for Barnes? After multiple possessions where Kevin Durant never touched the ball, The Thunder go right to Durant for 3 straight possessions…

  49. What the H is brown doing taking out metta for the foul machine barnes. The guy is gonna lose this game with his stupid rotations!

  50. Ko: If you are at the game, tell everyone to put on the gold jerseys, put down their cell phones, and make some noise.

  51. Ron Artest 3 gives the Lakers the lead at the half 50-47.

  52. Bynum is not the Lakers future…sorry. Why isn’t he trying to dunk EVERYTHING! He just doesn’t eat, sleep and drink basketball, but he’s a good 3rd option.

    It’s difficult to have lift when you’ve carried 11 people all season and many more before this year. I want the Lakers to amnesty Kobe so he can join the Spurs and Popovich. With them he’ll play at a high level for another 5-7 years and win championships.

  53. Rob already had one guy tell me to shut up. Might get in fight before it over shirts are for wiping off makeup here

  54. Kobe has the best stat line and the best effort of anyone in the game. He also has his name on his jersey, and I have my name on my post – as opposed to a weak comment from anonymity.

  55. @Ko

    Because MWP has 2 fouls already.

  56. No screen for Kobe while Durant gets a shield from couple of Darth Vaders. I don’t know maybe I’m bias but OK players look all ugly while Lakers are too finesse and move like bunch of ballet dancers@!

  57. Ko: LOL – I know how that is at that place – keep yelling

  58. I like Sessions & Hill tonight.

    Barnes sucks! Blake brings nothing, Lakers need a new bench next year!

  59. Great team ball. More high post Pau. Great defense.

  60. Mike Brown’s gamble leaving Kobe in with 3 fouls pays off. Kobe picked up his third foul at the 5:48 mark of the second quarter and scored 7 points all on FTs after his third foul. Kobe does know how to play with foul trouble but he could not take any chances on defense.

  61. We gotta get more from the bench. On a very positive note: Sessions is playing much better. Can’t turn the ball over in this second half. Starters may have to play huge minutes.

  62. hahaha #56…name on his jersey… LOL.

    seriosly though Laker Nation,,,,,I’m pulling for a win, but at the same time…i’m looking to see some FIGHT in our squad… & ummm I don’t see it.. I saw in the game we lost.

    guess that last lost took a lot out of all of us, including the Laker squad..

    Phil Jackson you are so needed here!

  63. Reading stats AB 2 for 7 4 rbs. No show! Last guy down court

  64. Ko, yo yo we’re in LA, half of the people here will not wear those gold jerseys but use them to clean their dash boards. lol!

    Good first half for Ramon Sessions, that’s my boy. Criticisms are needed to strengthen that will. Now it’s Barnes turn, where’s the grit-mojo, Matt?

  65. Zebras are in our side right now We should be up more with lots of favorable calls going our way.

    Aaron/ko/glove,
    Good points on Barnes. Barnes is just about deadweight right now and has clearly lost his mojo. He was balling at the end of the regular season, but now his just a waste of space. Get “Ariza lite” a look please.

  66. Robert, sports is entertainment, nothing more. People who think it’s anything more than that watch too much espn. Fans at the game are not obliged to make more noise if they’re not entertained. Also, it’s unrealistic to expect a city of 4 million thas has seen many championship teams to get as hot and bothered about a 2nd round nba playoff game as young and dumb small town in oklahoma does.

  67. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Shots come so easily for the Thunder; not so much for the Lakers.

  68. No movement on offense. Best game Sessions has had in some time. Some PnR would be nice.

  69. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    This is about the point where the Lakers begin the process of quitting.

  70. DS1982: The people there are not forced to go to the game – if they do not want to cheer – why are they there? I will give you OKC, but we have the 30th ranked crowd in the league. SA + Boston have titles and they are much louder. I hear you with the “It’s LA” type answer. To which I reply: Exactly

  71. Ko,

    Stop the box score watching and watch the game itself. Drew maybe struggling, but he’s playing hard unlike the last series against Denver.

  72. Maybe a bucket or two might help yes. I do not think this makes me or Mike Brown a genius however. But ask me about Jimbo later

  73. Sessions and Pau are having good games. Now is a good time for some PnRs.

  74. Jayz: Nice game from our guy. Especially that last 3 point play

  75. Get the Lakers franchise player Bynum OUT of the game. Bring Jordan Hill in, please.

  76. Andrew is a stiff trade him next year. No passion for game. Disgusted

  77. Great night for Kobe so far. He is going to have to play the whole 2nd half.

    Kobe just scored in PnR. Give him options don’t put him on a island.

  78. Bynum needs to get the BB 100 class. Mandatory.

    he con continue with BB 101!!!!!!!

    he is still 99%

  79. Gassy – we don’t need Citizens!

    we need Bangers!

    to get Banners!

  80. Kevin: you are right – all of the starters may have to play most of the rest. MB needs to use the timeouts for rest.

  81. I think just make Kobe as the official scorer, get into double screens for Kobe. No faith on others brick masters.

  82. Robers, lakers have a better crowd than most nba teams just by virtue of the games always being sellouts. Most nba arenas during regular season are half full. Ever been to a game in memphis during regular season? Sacramentro? Indiana? Atlanta? Oh and Boston? Go find a clip of the game the Lakers played there in 2007 when it was like a Lakers home game.

  83. Robert,

    Kobe’s playing a good all around game offensively and defensively. I’m just worried he might be to gassed out to close out the game in the 4th. Mike needs to bring him out in 2 minute mark in the 3rd, then bring him back in the 9 or the 10 minute mark in the 4th just like Phil used to do.

  84. This is Lakers 4th game in 7 nights. Maybe be the cause for Bynum’s short rimming shots.

  85. SO many bunnies missed tonight…

  86. Ano: The Lakers have awesome crowds in the away arenas (so yes – some of the games are like home games). The have the best road crowd in the league in fact. It is Staples that is the problem (100 section specifically)

  87. This officiating continues to sicken me.

  88. Kobe is def. tired. No lift, missed layups, etc. It’s like his brain is moving faster than his body…

  89. 12 minutes for our season everyone !

    TO: -5
    Bench: -9 (did not lose ground here)
    Bynum: 2-11

    Kobe: 22-6-5-2

  90. No excuses, Just Produce! If the guy that’s played 16 years in the league is playing hard, so can those young guys regardless of their position.

  91. Robert this maybe the last run of the Kobe-Pau-Bynum era. This quarter is huge for their future.

  92. GO LAKERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Laker crowds don’t wear uniforms like other cities but there is passion when it warrants, you can’t fool them with sloppy plays because they know their basketball. Mbrown is just too cool and collective, Lakers are behind by 1 pt. Lakers should make a statement in Game 3, no room for calm demeanor, got to excite those Lakers sleepy cells. lol!

    Bynum and Gasol, this should be your quarter. Wake up!

  94. Resting lkobe for next year? Smart

  95. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Wait, our guys are tired now? Tomorrow will be a disaster.

  96. How about Mike Brown’s adjustment on PnR defense? Can’t say enough on how he’s stiffled the PnR.

  97. BS. Harden’s pulling a lesser version of the Lebron bull-in-a-china-shop. Blake was straight up and fading backwards on that play, there was barely any contact.

  98. 2 open 3 for Metta… Man if they would just fall…

  99. Bynum’s playing hard with the energy he has left. Kudos

  100. Metta can t shoot 2 for 10 last game 2 for 9 today just a bad player on o!

  101. Both teams hitting free throws and missing 3 pointers

    Bench: -13
    To: -5

  102. Gotta run KD into screens if he’s guarding Kobe. There is no way that Kobe can score over him. He’s as long as Tayshaun and that is a recipe for stopping Kobe.

    I don’t like our chances here…we have stayed in this game with free throw shooting, but that can’t last right?

  103. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    The reason Andrew Bynum is not a franchise center is evident tonight. If ever there was a game for him to take over and help reduce Kobe’s workload it is this game. This was a night where we needed a 25 point 15 rebound game along with controlling the paint on D. Didn’t happen.

  104. can someone knock off durant on one of those plays?!

    does he gets a free pass. maybe his skinny-ness will learn to stay out from the paint!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NO UNCONTESTED LAYUPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. And here come the serious BS calls.

  106. Didn’t see the rule change that made breathing on James Harden a foul. We’re screwed if the refs allow this. He’ll be shooting FTs the rest of the way.

  107. Watching the Lakers offense is sad, Kobe is literally the only one the Thunder respect

  108. Harden is a flopper. bad call on kobe

  109. 7:16 left in the game and the Thunder in the penalty.

  110. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    We started our meltdown four minutes early tonight.

  111. and just like that sloppy play and we are down 5. awesome…

  112. This is absurd. Lakers are done.

  113. LOL…once again

  114. Why can’t we pass the ball!!! How many run outs are they getting

  115. The Lakers are tired and probably are. This is why I was pissed to find out that our two home games are back-to-back.

    Lakers look like they’re running out there without an offensive strategy. For all Metta’s done on D, he is absolutely horrible on offense.

    Blake is a spot up shooter at best, an average point guard back in the Triangle. He has no business running the point, in my opinion.

    The worst thing that can happen now is if we go into Kobe Mode, where everyone stands around watching while trying to force feed the ball into post at horrible, retarded angles.

  116. @103 Metta is the only one who will at least shoot the open 3. But now we are just going iso so yeah it’s going to get ugly…

  117. That’s the rub. Harden gets all those calls and yet when Kobe drives to the hoop he gets bumped and no call. Bynum goes up and gets bumped and no call. Pau gets bumped and no call.

    Refs have too much control over the game right now. If you’re going to allow physical play, then allow for both teams.

  118. Bad calls yeah but Kobe’s finger-pointing fast break defense did not score high on the hustle meter.

  119. Blake and session should be substituted every 2 minutes, so they can stay sharp and ready to defend!

    all the mistakes and turnovers r mental!

  120. Sorry they are better players and I see it right in front of me. We don’t have a 2nd option harden better then anyone we have and brown to stupid to bench garbage Barnes

  121. Steve $%#%$# Blake!!

  122. Someone woke Blake up…

  123. we have a chance if only kobe fouled out

  124. Ko stop posting

    u r jinxing the Lakers!

  125. Nice Play call Kobe :)

  126. The Lakers’ season will be decided within the next 10 minutes.

    I hope they realize that as well.

  127. Bynum is an IDIOT!

    ever heard of DUNKKKKKKKK

    ???????????????????????????????

  128. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Would it kill the lakers to shoot with more than 5 seconds on the shot clock? The offense is just totally stagnant.

  129. Bynum has one foul

    does he saved them for the post game interview?

  130. Andrew is just a avarage center he is slow and lazy and old man perkins is punking him

  131. TO again by kobe

  132. Kobe please move the ball… They are collapsing so hard on him and he doesn’t have the hands tonight…

  133. AAAAAAAAAAAron

    is he on his iPad?

    or writing some crap about his favorites?!

  134. Bynum can’t dunk unless he is all alone. Pau goes to the rim with more authority and actually dunks it when possible. I guess if people would call Bynum soft then maybe he would change his play down low. Can’t understand it.

  135. Put Kobe in PnR

  136. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    The Lakers are the beaten up fighter, on his last legs, trying feverishly to score a miracle knockout against a much better opponent. At times it looks hopeful, and then they walk into a straight right hand to the jaw and can’t help but fall to the canvas.

    Twenty four hours from now we will likely be watching several of these guys walk off the floor in gold for the last time ever.

  137. Not a good time for Bynum to have a Kobe shooting game. We don’t win when he doesn’t shoot well.

  138. It is Lakers time, rally now or never. Blake makes 3 and gives 2 away. Body language of Gasol is just giving up his height advantage. Weak, weak, man got to man up.

  139. Bynum really SUCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  140. Huge move by Kobes

  141. Bynum denied at the rim. That’s about right…

  142. AAAAAARON

    GET A LIFE. your blabbering for months is beyond annoying!

    You r welcome Mr. Glibnessssssssssss

  143. KOBE!!

  144. ..that 85 yr grandma named kobe, just put the lakers ahead by one!

  145. Bynum is the only Laker who missed a FT!!!!!!!!

    the CLUTCHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  146. Defense, defense….my this is the season. Mbrown, please get the grip of the game. We got to win by hook or by dunk.

  147. I just replayed the layup and looked at Kobes hand…wow. his pinky is dead

  148. @150

    brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  149. The Thunder get such easy looks at the basket. Everything for LA is a struggle. I know someone said that, but man…

  150. Kobe’s 2 FTs gives the Lakers the lead by 1.

  151. Come on Metta!

  152. @151

    one of the few level headed on this blog!

  153. Hallelujah!!

  154. Just imagine if we would have finished game 2 like this…

  155. CLUTCH

  156. Ron is the Spiritual (defense) leader of this team.

    who cares about Fisher?!

    yes, yes, it’s Kobe, but Ron is loud!

  157. Foul them now!!!

  158. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  159. Yes – the closer closed tonight

    Huge by Kobe

  160. YES LAKERS WIN.

  161. On a night where Andrew Bynum really struggled offensively, he really kept plugging and played some great defense. Not all is lost.

  162. The Lakers gutted that one out. They were exhausted but they managed to get to the FT line (and knock them down) and get defensive stops. Great win.

  163. I KNOW, I KNOW

    KOBE WAS 9-25!!!!!!!!!!! (4 Kobe haters)

    so what?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  164. I hope the Lakers haven’t Memphis’d themselves. Oddly called game but what’s new about that? I’m happy for the W.

  165. Phew. These games are so difficult. I feel like I’ve been grinding in the trenches after watching these. It’s mentally and emotionally draining just to watch these grimy, gritty games.

  166. @166

    r u kidding me?

    he finished with 1, ONE personal foul!!!!!

  167. The Bean has some big cajones. That was vintage Bean tonight. No Lebron sighting here.

  168. Ft, Ft, Ft… Never been more proud of our team from the line. Metta!! those were so huge given the moment… Tons of heart. And let’s not forget Sessions finally showing up…

  169. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Really unbelievable performance from the FT line. Can’t say that I’ve ever seen something like that. Will need to go to the bench early and often tomorrow.

  170. I really thought the Lakers were toast after that momentum swing. Great,Great win.

  171. Do you think MB will make any adjustments?

    No.

    MB should be fired. He doesn’t give Lakers best chance to win with the current roster. Lakers are about championships not designer prescription eye glass collection.

  172. Bynum

    one of 13??????????????????????

    the FRANCHISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BY -numb defenders. Bring ITTTTTTTTTT

  173. Finally, we won by a hairline because of Kobe’s offense and Peace defense…the rest filled the blanks. We need more effort from Gasol and Bynum tomorrow to put this series on even steven. Thunder maybe favored but not in our home court.

    This is it, Bynum, Gasol you can’t ask for a bigger show or bigger game than this. You got to own this Bynum, if you want to be franchise player of the future. This is your show!

    We’re happy to beat the anti-Lakers, anti-Kobe trolls here.

  174. That game felt like a loss few times. Going into halftime only up 3. Going down 7 in the 3rd. Going down 5 in the 4th late off the Harden break away steal that turned into a 3.

    But somehow – the Lakers won that game.

    Awesome – lets gear up for tomorrow. The Lakers better be ready – or all the work they did today is for naught.

    Bring it tomorrow – and the whole cadence of the series shifts.

    Lets Go.

    And btw – games like that is why I never criticize Kobe. On a night when #16 was really struggling from the field, Kobe brought in a vintage performance.

  175. the ONLY free throw MISSED by the Lakers is by

    BY-NUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  176. That’s why you don’t doubt Kobe. Came thru yet again.

  177. I can’t even see those trolls….

    I just hope that Bynum decides to play big tomorrow. Dunk the ball. I repeat, dunk the ball…

  178. Kobes: 18-18 from the line and the drive on Harden was perfect (yes there was lift in the legs).

  179. If the Kings game goes into OT and they win, the Laker Game will be delayed. Let’s pray that happens. Every extra minute matters.

  180. Lakers could be up 2-1.

    Need a big game from someone on the bench tommorrow.

  181. Bynum needs to invest 100,000 $ in WELCRO tape so he can shut his MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “we PERFECTLY” figure IT out! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  182. @180

    thanks Professor!!!!!!!!!!!

  183. Anonymous wrote on May 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    durant will tie it guaranteed…
    —————————

    he will tie his shoe laces so he can walk to the Hotel in Misery! sleep on ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  184. Awesome block by Andrew! Way to hang in there, Bynum! You still frustrate me though.

    Thank you, Sessions, way to step up and bring it!

    Jordan Hill is the difference maker against OKC!

    MWP great defense wish you would NOT have ko’d Harden you were playing the way we need you to play now on offense. Take them down low next game MWP. None of them can play you in the post.

    MB has to run a few plays for MWP in the post.

    Good game by Pau Gasol! Bring it tomorrow, too!

    KOBE!!!!!!!!! You’re still hungry for wins, love it!

    Barnes is giving us nothing (I guess he’s injured) looks like he has something wrapped around his waist…could it be back injuries again.

    Next game we have to play Ebanks!

    Welcome to the party Steve Blanks…way to redeem yourself!

    Good job MB!

  185. Phenomenal job by the Lakers from the FT line 41-42 in Game 3. Nice contributions from the PGs Sessions and Blake 9-14, 4-4 Fts, 4 dimes and 10 rebounds and 24 points. Hopefully Bynum will not be 2-13 from the field. Gasol needs more FGA than Artest. Bynum only one to miss a FT.

  186. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Would like to see Goudelock get some burn against Fisher tomorrow. Kobe will need more rest, and the offense will need a boost–and there is no way that Fish can hurt AG on the other end.

  187. Think I will sleep in parking lot to beat to drive. Thanks Kobe and maybe refs

  188. “Ano: The Lakers have awesome crowds in the away arenas (so yes – some of the games are like home games). The have the best road crowd in the league in fact. It is Staples that is the problem (100 section specifically)”

    Robert, but that’s just the thing. You will never see something like that here where the opposing fans just take over the arena. Even in the dark 90’s when the Bulls or the Sonics or other dominant teams of that era would come to play those mediocre Van Exel-led teams, the forum would never turn into a Bulls home game or a Sonics home game. Yet, it happens repeatedly in new york, boston, sacramento, golden state etc.

  189. When you are up against one of the games great players like Durant, you must counter with one of the games greats and we did that.

    DS1982: Crowd made some noise in the end : ) Great game !

  190. Thanks Activator, cool down man, we just won!

    Speaking of Laker crowds, you know how much are those courtside seats $10k and Gen Adm 300 section $ 130 +. Laker crowds put their wallet where their mouth is. When the game is on line, it’s the noisiest stadium in the nation. All the best of ESPN are here because this is where they earn most. That’s the Laker advantage compared to sleepy cities like San Antonio, Oklahoma where they don’t have to sell their cows to watch a game.

  191. Anybody else think Russell Westbrook should be suspended for PUNCHING ARTEST IN THE LEG AND THEN SHOVING HIM?

    How did the announcers not make a big deal of this. He tried to take out his knee while he was throwing his temper tantrum.

  192. Warren Wee Lim May 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    31 Kevin – Except Harden plays very well and Pierce complains really well.

    18 Ko – I’m expecting such annoying posts from you, you disappoint me if you won’t.

    21 Casual Fan – he played awful against the Nuggets, Ron is back. And besides, he doesn’t owe you an explanation.

  193. Funky Chicken May 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Thunder big three scored 73 points. On the road in the playoffs, that’s an amazing core. I’d take those three over Miami’s any day.

    We need more production from 2/3 of our trio tomorrow. Pau has been a major disappointment the last two years, but a black swan game tomorrow would go a long way towards making up for it.

  194. Warren Wee Lim May 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    What would fb&g be without guys like “The Activator” …

  195. For the haters who always criticizes Kobe’s fg attempts or fg%, please read this tweet over and over again.

    RicBucher Ric Bucher
    Yeah, Pau and Bynum shoot a high FG pct. But how many times do they kick it back out to Kobe w/-7 seconds after burning the clock?
    12 minutes ago

  196. 186,

    Correction Manny P. Kings game @ Staples will be on Sunday 3pm while Clippers tomorrow and also Lakers. I wonder why they didn’t give it to the Lakers on Sunday evening. Brown and Mitch did not intervene on this b2b in the playoffs.

    Will Mbrown play Ebanks and McRob for tomorrow? I think Hill tonight proved that he was a better deal than clunking Fisher former El Presidente, now a new title, Mr. Collaborator.

  197. Let’s see some love for Steve Blake: 4-5 FG, 2-2 from 3, 2-2 FTs for 12 points and EIGHT rebounds.

    Barnes is playing like crap, he’s better than this–I’m assuming he’s still hurt. If he is, give Ebanks some minutes at the 2/3. He’s limited on offense, but he’s a decent defender, plays smart, and long enough to get spot minutes on Durant.

  198. Wow … what is going on … FB&G is out of control right now. This is like an Internet riot. For people who ever complain about moderation, now you see why it’s completely necessary.

  199. 210,

    Within the next 24 hours, we’ll take the other half. Have a nice sleep with good vibes as we wake up with victory seeping cappuccino w/ little half-half milk.

    Go Lakers in unity we’ll get this series.

  200. MY BAD.

    MY 212

    was for 2111

  201. Keep the comments civil or they’ll get deleted. For the new people, I appreciate you enjoying the site but please follow the commenting guidelines or your comments will be moderated.

  202. Warren Wee Lim May 19, 2012 at 1:10 am

    People who instigate fights and bad comments are just as bad as the ones making them in the 1st place.

    IP addresses need to be checked for all this new-found hoopla for unknown guys. I believe 1 or 2 of them may just be the old commenters but just couldn’t muster the strength to be criticized.

    Its a daunting task policing all of this and I feel for Darius to have to filter tons of nonsense.

  203. Warren Wee Lim May 19, 2012 at 1:13 am

    FB&G has become “more than just a blog” … its become an institution that represents Laker passion, Laker intelligence and Laker insight.

    I have been a proud member of FB&G since many years back thus I value the site’s integrity which the some have started to taint.

  204. Could be up 2-1 better bring the pain tomorrow…by the way lol @ the activator “Bynum real SUCCCKKKKKSSSSSSSSS”