Playoff time. While this is not technically a playoff game, it should be in intensity. For the Clippers this is basically a must win. For the Lakers, win and you guarantee a playoff spot and start to build a little momentum for the post season.
VladRad is back. Snowboarding legend Vladimir Radmanovic is expected to suit up for the Lakers tonight, and considering how short they are on big bodies that can defend in the paint (Radman is a decent post defender) Iâ€™d expect him to get a little run.
So is Cassell. The Clippers struggled when Sam Cassell went out, at least until Jason Hart started picking up some of that slack. Now Cassell is back and with Hart combine to be the point guard tag team for the Clips as they try to reach the playoffs.
Can the Lakers defend the paint? This answer to this simple question is basically going to determine the game.
Last meeting the Clippers pounded the ball inside early, and the combination of Bynum, Odom and Turiaf could not stop them. Kaman finished with 17 points (shooting 3 of 4 in the first quarter), 14 boards, four blocks and was +6. The late 7-0 run the Clippers used to put the game away basically started when he re-entered in the fourth quarter. Brandâ€™s stat line wasnâ€™t great but he passed well out of the post and that set up others. Their inside play cleared the way for Cutino Mobley and Corey Maggette to slash to the hoop later and play key roles late. (By the way, my arms look just like Maggetteâ€™s.)
Bynum needs to step up defensively tonight and not let Kaman dominate the paint. Odom (with help) can do a pretty good job on Brand, but if he passes to a wide-open Kaman (or Mobley or Hart or Maggette orâ€¦.) then the Clips will have a pretty easy time on offense.
Other things to watch for: Smush sat late in favor of Farmar in the last meeting, if Smush comes out in one of his funks I think Phil will be quick with the hook.
What do you think the under/over on Britney Spears references will be on TNT tonight? How much of the first quarter do we miss because of TNT staying with the first game?
This should, should, be a rocking Staples Center tonight. It will be if the Lakers can give the fans something to get behind.
kwame a. says
Kurt- I really like it too when two scrub Eastern Conference teams are playing and one of them is beating the other by 20 points in the fourth quarter and TNT stays on that game until mid-way through the first quarter of the Laker game.
We have to keep Maggette off the line tonite, for the love of God, don’t touch him, all he wants is contact, and Phil, please, please don’t put Luke on him
“Snowboarding legend Vladamir Radmanovic …”
P.S. “Vladimir” with an “i”, no?
It is AM, thanks and the correction is made. I’ve really got to stop doing that.
What do you think their records would look like this year if the Lakers and Clippers had swapped coaches before the season started?
Yeah, me too. Phil’s that good.
Could someone tell Andrew Bynum to read this…
kwame a. says
4- Phil is that good…with a veteran team. I think Phil’s strengths lie in his ability to define players roles who already have established themselves as NBA talent. His job with the Lakers may not allow him to use his best skills because he has to develop so many players (Bynum,Kwame,Luke, Cook, Farmar, Sasha, even Lamar). With the Clippers, a veteran team he probably has that team (with health) winning 55-60 games.
Atma Brother #1 says
Ebok! Ebok! Ebok! From a Warrior junkie… GO LAKERS!
I want to see the Warriors in the playoffs too, brotha. Nelly vs. Cuban is going to be a good subplot. As well, I want to see Monta Ellis and BDiddy dunk on some Mavs. Obviously, the Mavs will win the series, but at least we’ll be entertained in some games.
I’ve never loved the Lakers so much in my life. I hope Kobe drops 60 on the Clips tonight!
-Another Warriors Junkie
J Rich 4 MVP says
I’ve never wanted the Lakers to win a game in my entire life. But tonight I’m a diehard fan. I’ll be rooting for Kobe to drop 150 on the paper Clips.
Another Warriors fan.
Caught Backcourt says
Goooo Lakers! Goooo Kobe! I’m another Warriors fan, but tonight I’m all Lakers. I hope Kobe gets another 81 points tonight. Beat the paperClips!
Uh oh, Golden State of Mizzind in the Hizeezy.
Whats with all the Warriors fans? Ok, we’ll beat the Clips so you guys can make it to the postseason and be embarrassed by the Mavericks.
Your twisting our arms
LET’S DO IT FOR THE WARRIORS! GSW HOOPS! “UNSTOPPABLE, BABY!”
Go Lakers – from a Warriors fan.
Warriors fans are awesome. That stadium is loud every single night.
On another note, I think Phil might have found something with that Luke, Vlad, Kobe, Turiaf, Mo lineup. I love Mo and Turiaf’s energy. Those guys need more burn.
Hate to be redundant, but guys like Farmar, Turiaf, and Mo Evans that play hard and with energy really gotta start playing ahead of Bynum, Cook, and Smush, that seemingly play with NONE.
Tony B. says
wow… Kobe just can not get to the line.
What a coincidence that every time Smush is in the game, the Clips are on a run.
kwame a. says
That run at the end of the second wasn’t good. did anyone else notice that it happened right when lamar came back in?
From a Warriors fan:
Go Lakers. Show the clips who’s boss!
Lakers are the best team in So Cal.
This has got to be the same guy nine times over right?
Smush is getting SCHOOLED by Sam I am. Where are Farmar and Mo Evans?
F this league and it’s dependence on parading players to the free throw line….
Tony B. says
It is offical the lakers suck.
John R. says
“Lakers are the best team in So Cal. ”
If you say so.
JONES, look who came to visit! It’s your old friend John R.!
warren (philippines) says
HEY, I think the Lakers want Dallas in the 1st round.
The Rockets in the 2nd and the Spurs in the West Finals.
Way to GO! Plus meet Detroit in the Finals. Cool!
Tony B. says
The Lakers are better off with a Lottery pick then a first round sweep. That is if we have one, I can not remember.
nauseous. sick to my stomach.
words cannot express how much i despise the lakers, specially with this loss…despicable..im sick to my stomach….
ebok 25 ft fade away jumpers? with three guys on him?
Hey, Warren, you are one serious optimist!
By the way, do you really live in the Philippines? Whereabouts? Manila? Just curious.
Can’t say I’m too too surprised but good lawd…that was pathetic.
John R. says
RONNY: Who are you say my name? Put your head down and be quiet like a smart Lakers fan.
JONES: Tell me again about Kobe’s clutchness, please. I have him at 4-18 for 10 points in the last 2 4th quarters vs Clippers.
MVP. MVP. MVP. MVP. MVP. MVP.
Like I PROVED, if it wasn’t for the refs, the Lakers would have about 30 wins. But the league helped them off to a fast start and they will probably make the playoffs. Be proud today Lakers fan. Be proud.
Will John R. come in and talk about a conspiracy for the Lakers to lose? (see: Kobe’s Technical though he was clearly hacked)..doubtful unfortunately..anyways I’m not blaming the ref’s (I leave that to other people) because that was a ridiculously disgusting game..Cassell was practically walking by Smush….atleast I don’t think it will really do much to the standings and gives the Clippers some hope
John R., how about that Salary Cap? Have figured out how that one works yet? The Clippers beat us fair and square. My real question to Phil is why he doesn’t leave guys like Mo Evans, Turiaf, and Farmar start the fourth quarter. The Clippers made their run against Sasha Vujacic, Andrew Bynum, and Smush Parker. Frankly, that line up sucked. Smush was Smush, while Sasha and Bynum were completely lost. How the Hell does Smush allow a hobbled Sam Cassell to school him like that? I swear I won’t watch Laker games next season if they try to start him at PG again. As well, Phil does not do a good job taking care of match ups. And even Lamar. Why doesn’t Phil utilize him more? They don’t run any plays for the guy and should have had him go at Brand off the dribble as much as possible. And I’m a big believer in trying to run some pick and roll plays that involve Lamar and Kobe playing off of each other. Lamar’s a guy you have to call plays for, other wise he won’t get involved in the game scoring wise, and will settle for long jump shots. I’m sick of seeing a player as versatile as Lamar Odom be under utilized.
The Clippers 22-4 fourth quarter run started when Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum subbed in for Odom and Turiaf (plus Maggette subbed back in for the Clips). Maggette is a bad matchup for Luke, and Bynum, well, ugh.
That loss was hard to take.
chris henderson says
this game turned around when ronnie went out and Andrew Bynum came in, they ran off something like 10 straight points.
it’s too bad Ronnie can’t clone himself, we have no center right now.
Andrew belongs in the D league or whatever that’s called, but he is NOT ready for the pros right now. I say move him this off season while the league still believes he has a big upside.
the guy is of course, inexperienced, but he’s not showing any hustle out there, if he can’t do ANYTHING ELSE, he can at least block out and hustle for rebounds, watch him, he just stands and watches the shot go up.
he’s also so young, that he can’t be fatigued at this time of his life, he should be showing a lot more heart than he is.
I know some of you guys want to defend him, and I understand why, but he is hurting this team right now.
Kenny and Charles did a lot to motivate Sam tonight:
warren (philippines) says
ey Matt, im sick to my guts too.
left Tv for my luch break and I came back 10mins remaining in the 4th. We’re up by 7 and a while later, as Kobe scored his 50th, up by 10. After that was crap. Thats why I decided to mock my Lakers and match them up with the top 4 defensive teams in the NBA (to my opinion) – DALLAS, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO and ultimately DETROIT. These texans are tough.
And Yes, I am from the Philippines. Its actually an hour away from Manila thru plane. Its even farther down South than Cebu.
warren (philippines) says
the game started here @ 1030am, finished up at around 130pm April 13th.
Wonder what time it was there in LA. think it started 630pm and ended 930pm April 12th.
warren (philippines) says
or maybe twas 730? DST?
warren (philippines) says
I’m going out on a limb here and try to foresee some things before they happen:
1ST, GSW will get the 8th place due to a more favorable sked than the Clips and because they are more fun to watch and because I want them to.
Lakers will get 7th, Denver 6th, Houston 5th, Utah 4th, San Antonio 3rd, Phoenix 2nd, Dallas 1st.
2ND, Im sticking with Orlando at 8th, New Jersey at 7th (going 3-1) hereon in, Wahington remains at 6th (2-2), Chicago at 5th, Miami at 4th, Toronto 3rd, Cleveland 2nd, Detroit 1st.
DALLAS (4) GSW (2)
HOUSTON (4) UTAH (3)
SAN ANTONIO (4) DENVER (2)
LA LAKERS (4) PHOENIX (3) *while daydreaming
DETROIT (4) ORLANDO (1)
MIAMI (4) CHICAGO (3)
TORONTO (4) WASHINGTON (2)
CLEVELAND (4) NEW JERSEY (1)
DALLAS (4) HOUSTON (2)
LA LAKERS (4) SAN ANTONIO (3)
DETROIT (4) MIAMI (2)
CLEVELAND (4) TORONTO (2)
LALAKERS (4) DALLAS (3)
DETROIT (4) CLEVELAND (2)
LA LAKERS (4) DETROIT (3)
Smush Parker as Finals MVP
Back to Reality:
Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio.
Detroit, Miami, Toronto, Cleveland.
Dallas (4) Houston (2)
San Antonio (4) Phoenix (3)
Detroit (4) Miami (2)
Cleveland (4) Toronto (2)
Dallas vs. SA for the best in the West
Detroit vs. Cleveland
as I futher my million dollar prediction, heres what’ll happen next.
1 – Dirk will be the MVP as the cruise to the West Finals. There they will meet the aging Spurs. Which in my opinion shall be down the wire. Winner ? I pick Spurs.
2 – The East shall be a Detroit lock
Detroit lock? Unfortunately Wade is going to have a fair catch halo around him at all times…ESPN is already writing its stories and articles about how Wade carried that team to a 2nd championship after a horrific injury that no mere mortal could play through
kwame a. says
The lakers do not run their offense in the 4th quarter. For three quarters they ran their offense, kobe got good looks within the offense, the ball was moving. 4th quarter, all we run is high pick and roll with kobe, the whole defense is focused on him, other guys (Lamar, cough, Lamar) are just standing around, and we become super predictable. Again, this goes back to two things, Mental toughness on the players behalf to conitnue to stay disciplined and execute in the clutch and Phil and his refusal to run the offense for stretches through someone other than kobe in the 4th. If they can create post touches for Walton, why can’t they do the same for Lamar. With all our defensive problems I wonder if our most glaring problem, at least in the 4th, is our inability to get an easy basket, in the paint. If kobe isn’t drilling contested j’s we don’t get too many good looks, we need a player who can score on the block. damn, damn damn damn damn that was bad, 102-94 and they go on a 15-1 run, damn.
And Warrior fan- relax, don’t rely on us to help break your permanent place in basketball purgatory, you can do what other teams have been doing for years and earn your way into the playoffs, if you don’t make it blame yourselves not us.
I liked the lineup with Kobe at the point, Evans at the 2, Luke at the 3, Lamar at the 4, Ronny at the 5. Lots of energy and this where we made our run. We made a few substitutions, bring Farnar in and the energy survived. A good solid period of time with Smush free lineups. Hmmm? Smush played a good game, but his energy is not the kind that compliments the other players. He’s got no rhythm and the entire offense and defense are out of sink when he’s in the game.
WARRIORS GO 4-0, CLIPS GO 3-1 LAKERS GO 1-2…AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW…..
#24 will have the whole summer to spend with vanessa and play for team USA
kwame a. says
excellent math vontegoo, i see you’ve become a mathmatician since your glorious and productive career ended.
I only heard the last 7 minutes on the radio, but when I heard that the Smusher was in to close the game out, I knew we were in trouble.
By the box score, the Smusher was at his best offensively (19 points), even hit 2 threes down the stretch–and we gave up 118 points.
Farmar played in the developmental league.
No surprizes for me.
They call Phil the Zenmeister, who is at his best channeling vets who are stuck ib their ways–not the flexible thinker, who always finds a new way to win with young guys.
kwame a. says
DrRayEye- Smush was not responsible for Maggette and Brand killing us. Their two near triple doubles were a main reason we lost, how much farther can you take the “smush is the anti-christ” argument. the team is on the verge of missing the playoffs, obviously there are several problems outside of smush that are killing this team, take off the blinders and look at the big picture.
But Kwame, did you see a hobbled Sam Cassell school Smush in the fourth quarter? As well, did you see the difference between the Lakers when he was in as oppossed to when he was out? He’s obviously not all of the problem, but a big part of it.
I agree with DrRayEye’s comment regarding Phil’s lack of flexability. Here’s a comment I left on Free Darko this morn:
Agree with you that part of the blame could be placed on PJ. Jackson has made some very poor decisions throughout the year, such as:
1) Starting Smush Parker-I can’t stand his attitude or his work ethic. It’s stupid to let that guy help ruin their season when they have a perfectly capable future starting PG named Jordan Farmar on the sidelines. I know Farmar is young, but he is so much better than Smush in terms of defensive intensity and effort, it’s ridiculous. Plus he’s an actual pg, so he runs the offense and keeps the thing going, while Smush just looks like a dear caught in headlights everynight. Smush really must have possesion of pornographic photos of PJ and Jeannie. That’s the only way I can explain Jackson’s love affair with him.
2)Exploiting match ups. He’s got a guy named Lamar Odom that is a match up nightmare for almost every team in the league. Take last night, for example. The Clippers had EB trying to defend Odom on the perimeter. Everytime Odom took EB off the dribble it ended up being a lay up. Odom is just as unstoppable against smaller players in the post, but PJ never calls his number. Odom should be almost as featured as Kobe Bryant is in the offense, yet most of the time (like the second half of last nights game) he is relegated to a spot up shooter. Odom only had his number called like 4 times the entire night last night. And what about running some pick roll plays with Kobe and Lamar? A Kobe and Lamar pick and roll tandom would be difficult to touch, yet they never run that play. If Kobe is involved in pick and roll it’s usually with Turiaf, Bynum, or (when healthy) Kwame Brown. Throw L.O. in there and see what he can do. I’m tired of seeing games where Smush Parker gets more shot attempts than Odom.
Everything else can be blamed on injuries. Walton, VladRad, Odom, Kwame, and Chris Mihm all missed over 20 games this season (with Kwame missing over 30 and Mihm missing the entire season). It’s tough for a young team, that isn’t that talented to begin with to get any consistency with that type of line up. When you think about it, another coach probably would have done a much worse job with this team than PJ is. I mean, with their injuries, does any team in the league have a worse set of bigs? Bynum is not ready yet, so they have to rely on Ronny Turiaf for most of the game. But maybe you’re right. Maybe a lot of their failures can be blamed on him.
kwame a. says
Jones- I agree with you for the most part. Phil is not utilizing players in the right way, but last nite’s game changed when Cassell came in scoring on Sasha, not Smush. Smush played Cassell great in the first half, making him a moot point. When Caasell came back in with Sasha guarding him he got hot on Sasha. Not too many players can guard Sam I Am when he’s already warm.
Yeah he got warm on Sasha, but then scored six straight on Smush. He literally walked by Smush on a couple of plays. Sasha killed me trying to take a charge on Maggette.
What is with these Bryan Cook, Sasha Vujacic picks by Kupchack. Yeah, he did a great job picking Ronny and Bynum in 2005, but in that same draft he picked Von Wafer over Monta Ellis. As well, in 2003 he picked Cook over Josh Howard and Leandro Barbosa. While in 2004 he picked Vujacic over Anderson Varajao, Chris Duhon, and Trevor Ariza.
Imagine the Lakers with:
Anderson Varajao/Chris Duhon/Trevor Ariza
Part of the reason Phoenix, San Antonio and Dallas are so good is their ability to find good talent later on in the draft. San Antonio did it with Ginobili and Parker, Dallas did it with Marquis Daniels (no longer there), and Josh Howard, and Phoenix did it with Barbosa.
But also must give Mitch credit for picking up Luke in the second round.
They have to be saving Odom for the playoffs..there’s no other explanation for his complete underutilization unless he’s just alot more hurt than he looks…
John R. (36) â€“ Jones has been joking for days about when you were goint to show up again and apologize to him, so when you finally showed up, I made a joke. Itâ€™s called sarcasm â€“ maybe youâ€™ve heard of it? If you canâ€™t handle a little playful humor, go hang out somewhere else.
And “Put your head down and be quiet like a smart Lakers fan”? What the hell is that about? This is an open message board, I can say youâ€™re name if I feel like it. If you donâ€™t want people to say youâ€™re name, donâ€™t use it in your comments.
I thought about this last game alot. It was very dissappointing. The one thing that stood out to me most was the COACHING. And it was completely obvious what was wrong to me. Here are my top 3 coaching observations that REALLY hurt us:
1. The defensive strategy. The coaches have Smush in a roamer double team role. They have him coast around the middle and double up whoever has the ball. This leaves his man WIDE OPEN. Whether it was Jason Hart or Sam Cassell, the Lakers were getting burned every time. Either play man to man, or play zone… not both. That was embarassing that they couldn’t see the flaw in this defense. Every time the guy with the ball penetrates, everyone leaves their man and leaves everyone else wide open. Open shots all night.
2. Luke can’t guard athletic SF’s and SG’s. He was constantly getting burned by Maggette and sending him to the line. Evans should be in that role more often. And Evans can more consistently score.
3. The most glaring problem… CLOCK MANAGEMENT. When we’re up by 17 points, why are we rushing down the court trying to score again??? Why is it one pass to Kobe and a shot within 5 seconds? The Clippers got back into the game within two minutes of clock because of this strategy. They would get the defensive rebound, run down the court, and get fouled. FREE POINTS, STOPPED CLOCK. Slow down, run the offense, pass the ball until we find a good open shot. How hard is that??? Even when they’re playing pressure defense, we can force them into fouling us in the post. It’s crazy that Phil Jackson, 9 time champion, can’t tell his team to slow it down and run the offense.
If I were to mention a 4th observation, it would be: Rest Kobe. He was obviously tired in the 4th. Even if he doesn’t want to sit… Phil is the coach and he calls the shots. Sit him down, and bring him in with fresh legs in the 4th.
I’m sorry, I really like Phil… but that is BAD COACHING. Bottom line.
Jones, don’t forget —
2002 — Kareem Rush over Tayshaun Prince, Nenad Krstic and Carlos Boozer.
Or 2000 — Mark Madsen over Michael Redd.
Or 1999 — Devean George over Andrei Kirilenko and John Celestand over Manu Ginobili.
Or 1998 — Sam Jacobsen and Ruben Patterson over Rashard Lewis and Cuttino Mobley.
I agree, Cookie, Sasha and Von Wafer were horrible picks (although I think Rush was worse), and Ronny and Bynum were great picks. And don’t forget Luke in the second round in 2003, that was pretty good too.
I would also add our terrible misuse of Lamar Odom to the coaching blunders. Why is he always getting the ball at the top of the key? He isn’t a three point shooter, so why is he positioned there? He belongs in the post… he is a post player. He doesn’t even know what to do when he gets the ball so far from the basket.
I still can’t believe Smush was in the game in the crunch, and Walton was guarding Maggette…every time I expect Phil to do something logical he does the most unimaginable thing a coach would do…
But then again, he is the Zen.
(52) Kwame, you said, “there are several problems outside of smush that are killing this team.”
Nate (aka Jones) did a really terrific job of developing my Smushian jab far beyond my capabilities, so we don’t need to go there.
In my comment, I said, “They call Phil the Zenmeister, who is at his best channeling vets who are stuck in their waysâ€“not the flexible thinker, who always finds a new way to win with young guys.”
Did I really have to say more than that?
have read most of the comments. Fully agree with Jones and DrRayEye that a good part of the fault yesterday lies in who was out there at crucnch time. Like you say Jones, I think Smusher must have some knowledge on maybe some drug use whose statute of limitations is maybe coming up for Phil from the ’70s…..really, it makes non sense, when Jordan has been so effective…and even Shammond, for heaven’s sakes, hasn’t hurt us, is not at the point down the stretch. And I’m one of Andrew’s biggest supporters but I think Ronny should be closing at the moment. But please, let’s not re-hash all the draft picks. I don’t think Mitch has done such a bad job. I still say that if Kwame comes back and knocks it out of the ballpark next year, we’ll have a great year. Chris will be back and we’ll have Andrew and Ronny. Should be some serious trade bait or something to maybe go get an energetic swingman or something. Seriously, all is not lost y’all. Sorry Golden State of Minders though…..y’all put your selves in this position again. If y’all’d get a coach who’d emphasize some D (see what’s happened in Dallas with basically the same team but a, you know, decent coach), y’all would be preppin’ for San Antone or something now. Oh well, another year, another Warrior failure to make the playoffs. Y’all amazingly loyal fans.
Rob L. says
Right now I sure wish one of the million Maggette trades form the last few years had gone through. It is bitter sweet to feel both right and wrong in my assessment of him as a player. I had believed that guy would be a star. But I thought it would be impossible for that to happen on the Clippers the way the organization jerked him around. Next year that guy could outshine Brand, easily. Perhaps not in actual team contributions, but in fan recognition. His game is way more sellable than Brand’s.
As for the Lakers, the game was the season writ small. Flashes of brilliance punctuated by massive errors. Sad to see that Bynum could not make any adjustments based on the last meeting. He just looks gassed, which should not shock any of us. Tonight will be interesting. The Lakers don’t go with the Kobe-Kobe-Kobe school of ball when playing the Suns. My guess is that’s why he had the green light last night. Unfortunately the Suns are still battling for 2nd. The Lakers can help their own cause greatly with an upset. That would directly benefit the team, obviously. But would also make the Suns more likely to still be full bore when they meet the Clippers.
Anyone else see that flop Maggette was trying to draw on Smush? 😛
I dont see any benefit for this team to play terrible basketball, back into the playoffs and get swept in the first round or maybe win one game if they are lucky. I don’t think the youngsters wouldn’t benefit a whole hell of a lot from that experience.
This team would be better off not making the playoffs, getting a top 10 pick(cory brewer) in the draft, get healthy and come back next year and tear it up.
Just my opinion.
kwame a. says
Im almost inclined to agree with you Muddwood, but we have Kobe, that’s reason enough to think we have a shot to make a series interesting.
Kobe’s tired. The injuries to Kwame, Luke, Lamar aren’t gonna heal. I just don’t see the point.
Yeah Kobe will go off a couple of games, but he’ll get no help.
All the momentum, confidence and chemistry they had early in the year is gone.
Muddywood, one would think that the youngsters do not benefit from that experience, but we’re dealing with Phil here. He knows what he’s doing. He knows not to take the easy way out..when he had Jordan they didn’t take the easy way out…they were accustomed to playing to win…this team is one or two moves away from contention…I’d rather take my chances and earn that valuable experience for our guys, and use that to our advantage later on.
nick (burbank) says
Right now I am rooting for the Lake show to miss the playoffs because odds are better that a freak ball will land them Durant or Oden then they are for Lakers not getting swept by the Suns/Mavs…
One of those moves should be to get a top 10 pick ANY way they can and draft Cory Brewer of Florida.