I am not nomuskles and won’t even try, but here is my breakdown of the final five minutes of regulation and all of the overtime I could stomach.
5:06, Jazz 96, Lakers 88: Off an out of bounds after a time out, Kobe gets the ball on the wing and runs across the top of a high Gasol screen – the Jazz got better at defending this play, but rather than do things to enliven it the Lakers have made it a perfunctory part of their sets – then the ball goes to Fisher then Odom on the block. He spins and goes up with a 9-foot jumper that misses, and Gasol gets called for the over the back.
Utah is shooting free throws and Okur hits both.
4:58. Jazz 98, Lakers 88. The Lakers go through a set where they never get the ball inside and never make a serious attempt to. The end result is eventually Kobe shoots a three from three-feet behind the line with AK-47 in his face, and misses. Boozer the board.
Williams sets up the offense for the Jazz, slides to the side with Boozer at the elbow (everyone else has cleared way out), starts to make a drive. Odom is watching Williams more than Boozer, who quietly slides back into the lane. Nifty little bounce pass from D-Will to Boozer cutting to the basket, Gasol is late to rotate and fouls. Boozer hits both, and somewhere Ralph Lawler thinks the game is over.
4:21. Jazz 100, Lakers 88. This time down Fisher wastes no time throwing the ball into Gasol mid-post. Gasol certainly was better with the speed and quality of his decision in this game, but on this possession he holds on while some cutters go by then spins into Okur and draws the foul. Ball out of bounds. Fisher on the inbounds and again goes to Gasol, this time at the elbow. Kobe comes off a screen behind that, gets the pass out from Gasol and goes up with a very quick three. Miss, but long board tapped back to Kobe. This time Kobe drives into three Jazz defenders, including D-Will who has both feet in the paint. Okur isn’t sure three is enough so he races to join them. Fisher is alone in the corner, gets the kick-out and nails the short three.
3:55, Jazz 100, Lakers 91. This time D-Will and Boozer really change things up – they move to the right side of the court. Same slide and bounce pass play, same elbow/slide action without the pick, same misplayed Laker defense (except that Gasol is out on Boozer and Odom is even slower to rotate) and Boozer hits a lay-up.
3:36. Jazz 102, Lakers 91. Kobe and Gasol again go through the “we’re not really all that serious” pick on the weak side, but when Kobe comes off it he sees Fisher in the left corner and whips a pass to him. D-Will closes but Fisher is feeling it.
3:19. Jazz 102, Lakers 94. Fisher plays tighter defense picking Williams out not far inside the half-court line, the ball still goes to Boozer at the elbow but he is doubled by Odom and Gasol. He tries a return pass to Williams but Fisher reads it and deflects it, right to Gasol. Turnover.
Kobe pushes as best he can with his back, but nothing develops, so it goes to Fisher, and Fish wants the ball to work inside out so he gets it to Gasol on the block. Pau starts to make a move, Okur reaches in and gets called for it. He then says some magic words to the ref that earn him a “T.”
I will say this, Okur and the other players have a beef that the calls in this series and in this game have been inconsistent. Somebody mentioned it in the comments yesterday – they are still calling the slight hand-check fouls on the perimeter but not the hockey-game in the paint. On that point, Okur is correct – his foul is a foul most nights but not the way things are being called in this game. Still, if Bull Durham taught us one thing, it is there are certain things you can’t say to a ref.
Anyway, Fish hits the technical. Then the Lakers get the ball on the side and it goes to Kobe on the left wing. Kobe and Gasol go through the motions but Phil has thrown in a fun wrinkle – on the weak side Odom surprises D-Will by setting a back-screen for Fisher, who uses it to run free to the right corner. Kobe with the skip pass and Fisher with the rainbow as D-Will is late arriving.
2:41. Jazz 102, Lakers 98. As we have discussed here, the Jazz have stopped setting the high screen for D-Will and just letting him go right at Fisher, and that’s what happens here. And, he gets by Fish no problem. Kobe slides over from the right in the paint to take the charge, Gasol does the same from the left and is a bit late. It looks more like a soccer wall, but D-Will tries to split it and with Gasol not quite set it’s a blocking foul. Williams to the line and he hits
2:28, Jazz 104, Lakers 98. Kobe foreshadows the overtime, he comes off the Gasol screen, squares up on his man from three and just launches it. Miss, but Korver touches the ball on its way out of bounds. On their second set the Lakers move the ball well on the perimeter, get the ball into Kobe coming to the low block, and the Jazz come with the quick double of Okur and AK-47. Of course, Okur had to double off Gasol, and a quick bounce pass to Gasol means a dunk.
2:07, Jazz 104, Lakers 100. D-Will takes his time, trying to run a little off the clock. When he makes his move (away from the screen) Fisher stays with him. He comes back to the right, but Gasol shows out on Boozer, D-Will tries to reverse and Fisher is right there the entire time. He bails to Okur out at the three point line, who has nothing and gives it to Korver, who tries a H-O-R-S-E shot but the 24 second clock expires.
A couple Lakers touch it before Kobe gets it at the free-throw line with Korver on him and no immediate double. It shows how much his back is hurting that he looks around to pass before deciding to attack the single-coverage of Korver, a healthy Kobe explodes in that spot. Eventually he does drive the lane and gets the and-one. He hits the free throw.
1:25, Jazz 104, Lakers 103. D-Will wastes little time driving the lane, but the Lakers play it well collapsing on him. Williams kicks to Okur at the three-point line, but the Kobe closes fast. So Okur throws it out to Williams out top, but the ball squirts out by the center line and almost into the back court. I slowed it down, and it’s close, but I don’t think he goes over and back. He then makes a spin move and hits an impressive 17-foot fade-away over Gasol. Nice shot.
1:06, Jazz 106, Lakers 103. This time Kobe and Gasol are a little more serious about the pick-and-roll, and they run it out higher, at the arc. Kobe drives the lane and the Jazz scramble to rotate. In all the action, Odom, slides out to the arc and gets a kick-out from Kobe for a wide-open three. Odom, if you let him set his feet and get a good look, can hit that shot at a decent clip. He hits this one.
:54, Jazz 106, Lakers 106. D-Will is just impressive. This time he looks around some then comes to Boozer’s high screen, and when Gasol shows out he splits the two and gets in the lane by himself. (Part of this is Gasol is just not a great pick-and-roll defender, this is one of the places we miss Bynum.) Odom slid over, the Lakers collapsed and D-Will kicks out to Okur, but Odom is there, too. He takes a few dribbles in then remembers he’s not a guard and the ball goes back to D-Will.
And this is one of those things – Williams tries a spin-move in the lane and just looses the ball. And in a Luc Robitaille moment, the ball goes straight to Boozer who picks up the garbage and drives in and draws the foul (on Fisher or Gasol would have been gone). Just luck, which is why the best teams don’t win the most close games during a regular season, they have the most blowouts.
:34, Jazz 108, Lakers 106. Kobe gets the ball out top, comes off the Gasol screen and drives the lane to the right. The Jazz collapse on him, and Kobe kicks it to Odom for the open corner three. He can hit those at a decent clip, but not all of them. Gasol with the offensive board. He is surrounded and can’t go back up, he gives it to Kobe who passes on the open 18-footer to try to get to the three-point line but D-Will recovers, and Kobe passes to Fisher cutting to the hole. Fish draws a crowd and tries a little inside handoff to Gasol, but the ball gets loose and goes out of bounds off Boozer’s leg.
7.8 seconds left, and on the inbounds play Gasol sets a screen to free Kobe, who gets the ball mid-block. Kobe goes for the lay-up while AK-47 and Boozer go for the block. Kobe misses, but with all the Jazz out of position going for the block Odom slides in for the easy put back.
And we are on to Overtime. Rather than describe every play, here are a few plays I thought summed things up.
4:38, Jazz 108, Lakers 108. After a play where the ball ends up out of bounds, the Lakers re-set and Kobe gets the ball between the arc and top of the circle, isolated on AK-47. The other Lakers move through some picks to get to space, then stop and wait for Kobe. They are all covered, and Kobe goes up with the jumper, which he misses as he is cold and hurting.
4:02, Jazz 108, Lakers 108. The Lakers work it around to Kobe on the block on the right side, but covered by AK-47 he has no advantage down there. The other Lakers space the floor and get ready to admire Kobe on the move – and when he does Gasol and Odom set picks for Sasha and Fish to let them move freely to three-point spots. But Kobe stops his move and slides back out and keeps dribbling. Now the guys are standing around so Kobe tries to drive on AK-47 but gets rejected.
By the way, next trip down is the play where Gasol misses the dunk. Unfortunate that it came on his best and most aggressive move of the night.
Speaking of unfortunate, next Laker trip is the one where Sasha tries to drive and facilitate along the baseline with a bounce-pass to Gasol that goes wild. That said, I think we are all now onboard the Sasha as the back-up PG against D-Will train. He seemed to be the second best defender we had on him (I wish Popcornmachine.net wasn’t down so we could estimate Sasha’s +/- on Williams compared to others, maybe next game.)
2:15, Jazz 110, Lakers 108. Just after an Okur long-range two, the Lakers come back down. Kobe and Gasol try the high pick-and-roll, Kobe uses his hesitation move to split the double off it and drives the lane. Normally Kobe explodes here for a big dunk, but he’s slowed and not exploding and AK-47 comes from behind and blocks it. On the inbounds it is straight to Kobe at the arc on the wing, and he doesn’t even bother with the screen he just tries to go up with the three-ball. Misses.
I think from here we end up in a cycle that was very familiar last year but have seen little of this year – Kobe feels let down by his teammates, so he just tries to do it all himself. It’s not a good way to win playoff games.
There are good ways, hopefully we return to those on Wednesday night.
On a site note, is anyone else having problems with the “recently said” most recent comments being blank, or is that just me?
blank here as well.
great break down Kurt. The explosiveness was really missing from Kobe’s game down the stretch. Too bad he wasn’t faking like Jazz fans thought he was.
You touched on it, but something in the Lakers reads must be telling them to wait and give the post player space. There were quite a few plays in the 4th and OT where Kobe or Pau were in the post and the players stopped moving. If the ball stops for that long, it’s an iso play and no one else is going to be moving. Unless Utah decides to double in one of those situations, which they wouldn’t have because Kobe was injured and Pau wasn’t able to get around Okur’s width, the other players ran out of options.
I’m really left just scratching my head.
Nothing showin up on “recently said” for me either…
Like Chuck said on Inside The NBA – Kobe’s back only hurt on defense…. I really hope he didn’t feel let down by his teammates, it’s cuz of Fish and Odom that we were able to get to OT in the 1st place. But Kobe is Kobe, I guess I shouldn’t be reaming him for today when it’s that same mentality that drives him to take over other games (usually sucessfully).
^ Yeah Kobe with no explosiveness = looks like T-Mac.
So our OT was basically iso plays for T-Mac with a bum back. Should’ve had some pick and rolls in there, at least. Phil said post game he was mad at Kobe’s teammates for dropping off the ball to Kobe and just standing around. Nothing we can do anymore but hope Kobe’s back comes back to him.
Here’s why the Lakers Lost in my opinion:
47 min; 13-33 (FGM-A); 1-10 (3PM-A); 6-10 (FTM-A)
Wow! We Jazz fans couldn’t ask for a better line.
Mark Richmond says
Kobe was selfish. Bottom line. The side was cleared and Kobe went one on one and forced a lot of shots. I am no expert but that was a purely selfishishly motivated overtime in which Kobe tried to be the man. Other years yea, but this year no.
“recently said” has been blank for a few days.
Thanks for the break down and I am getting into the adjusted ‘+/-‘ more and will try the site you mentioned, thanks Kurt.
Warren Wee Lim says
I was about to complain about that Kurt, but I thought it was just an aberration. I do use that a lot. Blank for me as well.
I think Jazz fans just got lower by saying Kobe was “faking” his back injury. You think? In a game we could have won, if he had faked it, you think that he would not magically heal and hit the dagger for all you mormons in Salt Lake?! Kobe had no elevation and no explosiveness. He lost his ability to draw the foul.
Fisher needs to play more politics. Take what the refs give you but complain for the next one. Get in their heads and tell ’em – we ain’t losing this series because you ain’t lettin’ me play.
I sure hope Kobe’s back will be up and running in game 5. That is the marbles game for us. Lose game 5 and forget coming back to Staples for gm 7.
The Jazz must be worried sick right now. If they could not get a double digit win in “very precarious” Energy Solutions Arena, how the heck do they expect to win at Staples?
kwame a. says
Just to speak to one point in the game thread. I don’t think Jordan deserves to be pulled for playing bad in Game 4, or even for playing bad in Game 3 and Game 4, or even for playing bad this whole series, but because he has progessivley declined in play since March. The team can’t afford to wait any longer, his minutes are having a negative impact. He isn’t the reason we lose, but he is hurting the team, and everyone with two eyes can see he has lost all confidence. I hope he can snap out, but do have time to wait?
I think the best way to describe what happened in overtime is this: Kobe Bryant does not know his limitations.
On the one hand, this is what makes him great, in his work ethic and preparation, and on the other hand, it makes him perform like he did today when he was injured and slow.
I agree with Kwame that this trend with Farmar has been going on for a few months now. However, I don’t think we should ostracize him. We should just use him judiciously until he gets his confidence back. He should only get in the game when Price is on the floor and maybe we can setup a play for him to get an open 3 to get his mojo back. Unfortunately, Farmar is not the only one who is stinkin’ up the joint. I think we can officially say that Vlad is in a slump. Why don’t we run a few plays for him early in the game to get him going?
Anyway you look at it……..this was a tough loss. But like Craig W. mentioned in the last post…….these losses will tell us alot about the team and what kind of fight we have in us. Utah is tough……but they are no SA or NO. Maybe its good we get pushed around and challenged…….let’s see what kind of moxie our team really has.
By the way,
I’m noticing an upward trend in commenters (like myself) using 2 letter initials……….I think that is funny.
If you’re Phil Jackson during the postgame interview, which road will you take?
1) Blame Kobe who has an ego bigger than that of the rest of the Lakers combined and risk angering your emotionally unstable best player who is prone to putting in a lackluster effort to prove that the Lakers can’t win without him shooting?
2) Blame the others because you know that they will not take the insult from Jackson as a personal one and would better handle it than Kobe would.
Obviously, I go with #2 even though it’s completely false because today’s OT was a sad reminder that you sometimes lose the game because of your best player. Kobe had “shoot, shoot, and shoot” in his mind throughout the entire OT and it was disappointing to say the least because his so-called “decoy” play worked perfectly in the last 4 minutes of the 4th Quarter.
How many 3’s do you need to jack up more to realize that it’s just not one of your nights? How many more bad jumpshots do you have to take in the 4th quarter before you say to yourself, “My shot is off. I’m instead gonna help my teammates win this game in OT.”
Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. You just live and die with him.
Even if you do get Vlad going early like in game 3 he still will most likely mail in the rest of the game. I don’t understand how he can drill three 3pointers in a row and hit all backboard the next two times down. We need to see more walton and sasha next game. Expect a more generously officiated game in game 5 at home.
@ 13: Yeah, you gloated about that in the last post, do you want some sort of congratulations or high-fives or something? Not to be rude, but why do you keep stating that fact? We all get it, Farmar is in a slump and isn’t performing his best on the biggest stage of the season. It happens sometimes, the kid doesn’t need to be crucified over it. He just needs to work through it to get it togather and the rest of the team and coaching staff needs to make some adjustments regarding his playing time.
Farmar wont ever get it he is a career backup at BEST.
Warren Wee Lim says
Always look on the bright side. This is Emma describing my “blind faith”. (No pun intended).
We should all realize that this is a VERY YOUNG Laker team that is growing up very fast before our eyes. We must remember that Pau has only been with us for 2 months and he spent a good 3 weeks injured in between. JFarm is a sophie (not a softy) who has struggled as of late. The veterans are coming through with stellar plays but the younger ones are learning. I think this is more important for the “growing pains” and the “learning curve” rather than cruising through a very good team on its slump.
The Jazz are a very good team. What’s so surprising? What concerns me is Kobe’s back. I hope he could be on steroids or something for the pain…
VladRad is still our best shooter big and that comes vital with what we are trying to do. Going to him early might work and it might not but we definitely need him and Luke to put their best foot forward. In this chess game of heroes, its the team that could come up with “other heroes” that usually pull through. A stat line of 14-2-4 from Farmar would mean redemption for me and I think what he has learned so far is far more important than his errors. Allow this team to grow and we will be fine.
What exactly do you mean “a more generously officiated game”? I saw what I thought was the worst call of the year during the overtime tonight. Kobe, slowed by his back injury, tried to beat AK off the dribble. AK beat him to the spot. Kobe extended his arm and shoved AK. AK was whistled for a blocking foul when Kobe grabbed his back in pain after the play. In the ESPN recap right after the game, the announcer called that play correctly as an offensive foul on Kobe. Too bad the refs didn’t see it that way. Other than that play, I thought the officiating was okay: Typical NBA poor officiating that I’ve come to expect.
Also, I just read through the game thread (quite good I thought, even though I’m a Jazz fan). I think clarification needs to be made on the Turiaf ejection. The key part of the play wasn’t the hit. It was that the hit occurred well after the whistle blew. The play was whistled dead as Price started to drive (I’m not sure why, but it was). If it hadn’t happened after the whistle, it’s probably a flagrant 1, but you hit a guy like that after the whistle blows, you gotta go. I thought the refs made the right decision.
Good recap here. I thought Kobe tried to do too much while injured. If he doesn’t, I think the Lakers win.
I think some people need back off on Farmar a little bit. Yes, he has struggled at the end of the year and into the playoffs. Yes, I think a number of his minutes should go to Sasha right now (we can’t wait for his confidence to rebound).
That said, three months ago we were all talking about how much he had improved his game and what a big piece he had been this year. he’s a second year player with a good work ethic who was a very good backup PG for most of the season. He will be again in the future. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
f**k growing we need to win now. You are never guaranteed another opportunity. When you have a good opportunity you must take advantage of it. You cant just say oh were young and we will grow.
Again, for the record, I say Farmar’s minutes should go way down now in favor of Sasha because this was the playoffs.
But when people are saying he’ll never be a good backup, when he already was one for a season, or go to the edge of thinking he should be traded, that to me is shortsighted.
Craig W. says
This is a team we were hoping would make the playoffs this year. We are the same team + Gasol. Now Gasol is a big plus, but we are still a young team with very little deep playoff experience.
This is our first tough playoff stretch. We have gotten out of the 1st round. No we shouldn’t relax, but maybe we could give our team some slack. We have our next game at home.
I said before the season I expected us to be gangbusters next year, not this year. Well I didn’t give Mitch and the gang enough credit. However, we have to earn any championship stripes and it is very unlikely we could do this without some pain in the process. Cheer our team on and hope the pain has been staunched.
This was the first time that I dreaded having the ball in Kobe’s hands in crunch time – is that just me?
Sasha on Deron seemed to work much better than Farmar, not to mention he got us some hot offense off the bench. I’d really like to see more Sasha/Kobe backcourt with Luke as the SF. If Fisher gets into early foul trouble again [Jerry Sloan isn’t stupid – he’ll have D-will take it aggressively against Fisher in the first few minutes of the game from now on], I feel much more comfortable thinking Sasha’s on the floor than Jordie, who seems unable to break out of this funk.
Then again, Phil is known to push players through their slumps [though sometimes at the cost of wins, in my opinion], so it wouldn’t surprise me if Jordan came in for Fish and gets lit up by Deron again and again.
I’m really getting frustrated at Pau’s inability – or refusal – to be aggressive with the ball in the low post. The first thing he looks to do is find the open man, which shouldn’t be the case if he wants to get involved in the offense. Until he puts the ball on the floor and heads aggressively to the cup, he gives the Jazz no reason to double down on him. Plays should come to him out of defensive rotations, not because he wants to play a point-center from the block.
That said, he had a good game today. Was a nice way to break out from the last game’s woes.
Travis Y. says
That was one of the most frustrating games I’ve seen all season. I was a wreck the whole game. I can only imagine how Jerry West used to get, my chair is lying crippled on the floor as I type.
Like Craig W. said in the last post we shouldn’t be too suprised of the lackluster play from our team. Given the lack of playoff experience outside of Fisher and Kobe.
Refs still allowed a physical game, which plays right up to Utah’s strengths.
Turiaf’s flagrant 2? That call was ridiculous, it was a borderline flagrant 1. To me if you make a play for the ball that is the key issue. If you go for the ball and get head that is unnecessary. I was just so irritated the whole game.
I love Gasol, but he complains so much. I would just love it if he just toughened up. That would improve so many parts of his game. His boxing out, his finishing at the basket, and defending his man. Granted he has a truly tough battle with Boozer and Okur, but still this is when Gasol needs to show that he can get us over that hump.
Fisher’s quick foul trouble AGAIN. The second foul called against him was just abysmal. I threw up my caution flag instantly knowing Farmar was going to check in. Williams started licking his lips and torched us with his confident play. Farmar isn’t bodying Williams up or staying in front of him. It’s either one or the other, how does Farmar not get that? Fight through the picks, try to take a charge, ask Fisher for some advice because whatever the heck Farmar is doing is just cataclismic.
That said Farmar is still a good backup point guard for us. What the second unit has done for us this season is push the tempo and run the other squad’s first unit. But Utah has been doing a great job of controlling the pace and Farmar has been hibernating from a complete lack of confidence. Farmar is the motor to the second unit and is the reason the bench hasn’t been getting it’s usual points. Also Vujacic has a sprain toe but still loved how he competed with intensity.
How did the Lakers not take Kobe out of the game? His competitive nature is going to take over and he’s going to take the shots, his back be damned. The ball movement was atrocious in overtime. It’s partially the team’s fault for shying away in the game’s toughest moment. But for crying out loud, could Coach Jackson please call something for FISHER WHO WAS FREAKING TEARING UP THE NET!. Man I think this was the most frustrating game for me I couldn’t enjoy the rest of my day. I know Kobe’s playing Wed, but he better get his back healthy and get the Lakers playing the way they have all season.
While it’s true that you are never guaranteed another opportunity to win a championship, I think it’s very evident that you do need to take the time for players to grow and develop in order to win. You need to grow players into your system and if you can do so in the right way, I think any team has a better chance of having that elusive opportunity more often than teams that go with the win now and screw developing [the younger/bench players]. It’s that kind of mentality that builds dynasties and not one-run championship-or-bust teams like the ’03/’04 Laker squad or the current Phoenix team.
I’m not advocating more minutes, or even the same amount of minutes, for Farmar right now but I think bailing on him or calling him a bust, etc in only his second year is hasty. I read a comment here a few weeks back in which someone asserted the fact that Jordan in his 2nd NBA season is essentially playing in what would have been his senior season at UCLA (he is only 21 afterall, which incidentally makes me feel so old at 23, ha!).
BTW my last comment wasn’t direct at chocomm, it was at Lakerfan who had a comment at 13 before. Just wanted to make that clear so it didn’t seem like I was coming out of left field to chocomm.
Lakers NEED to WIN this year.
24 – I feel like your comments provide very little in the way of analysis. Care to expand on this idea of HAVING to WIN and not waiting for players like Farmar to grow into better players?
Your earlier comment: “f**k growing we need to win now. You are never guaranteed another opportunity. When you have a good opportunity you must take advantage of it. You cant just say oh were young and we will grow.”
The Lakers are a young team, and the WHOLE DAMN POINT of keeping Bynum, developing Luke and Farmar and Sasha etc. was so that we could have more opportunities down the road for quality championship-level seasons.
This is the Lakers we’re talking about. Not the Suns, not the Spurs, not the Mavericks. I honestly don’t understand where you’re coming from.
Back on track: Does anyone know when Ariza’s slated to return?
Funny, Turiaf was ejected from the game for a hard foul that some think occurred after the whistle. Well in a game if your arm is coming down, its not so easy to stop yourself in mid air.
Contrast that with the no call that Boozer did in the overtime when Lamar fouled AK on a dunk and Boozer came up behind him well after the whistle and gave Lamar a forearm shove in the back. Had that been old Laker forwards like A.C. or Rambis a tussle would have ensued.
The Lakers had better start imposing their will upon this Utah team instead of standing back and waiting to take the first punch or they will be making vacation plans in less than five days.
Query: Did the Lakers get rid of the wrong point guard Crittendon and keep the wrong pg Farmar?
Farmar can have offensive problems everyone does, but he darn sure better back that up with stellar defense. And he has not even done that.
UCR Mike says
@23 I don’t think you are comprehending what Kurt is saying.
It just so happens that Kobe was injured. That’s all. He will be selfish at times because he’s the numero uno.
It’s just unfortunate that he was/is injured… and his mind forgot that fact.
One comment – I agree that Kobe made some poor decisions, but that is different from being “selfish.” It is not illogical for a player of his caliber to believe that him taking a shot in traffic is a better option than passing to one of his teammates for them to shoot. Doing what you think is best for the team is not selfish, even if it is a bad decision.
Craig W. says
The Lakers don’t NEED to win this year – Detroit NEEDS to win this year – Boston NEEDS to win this year – Phoenix NEEDed to win this year – Dallas NEEDed to win this year. The Lakers are built to compete with all the new, young teams in the league. If they win this year that is a giant plus.
We fans need to get off this ultra instant gratification trip.
chris h says
to #17 Jazz fan, Jeff,
I said this in the last thread and will say it again about Turriaf ejection. the whistle meant there was a foul, not that the play was dead, haven’t you heard of continuation? so many times players hear the whistle (stop play) only to see the player continue to the hoop and make a layup, and then see the ref count it.
how is this different in the Turriaf situation?
All this Kobe hating is making me sick. Kobe wasn’t himself at that was obvious, but he did still do many things that make him effective. Sure his defense was a bit lackluster, but towards the final minutes, he drew 2 and 3 defenders and was able to get open looks for his teammates (i.e. Lamar’s three to tie it up in the 4th). I think it should be of note that Kobe still played effectively in that game and is not the sole reason we lost.
I’m never one to blame referees, but last nights game was by far the most poorly officiated game I have seen in a long time. There was a point in the 4th quarter when D Will drove the lane and spun and took about 4 steps and a travel wasn’t called. I understand that traveling in this league is hit or miss, unfortunately, but you’ve got to be kidding me on that play. Then in OT when AK47 got the pass under the hoop from D Will and caught the ball took a step, dribbled, and then picked the ball up and stepped again to go up and under. That was another blatant travel. The no foul calls against the Lakers were obsurd to me as well. Sure, my point of view is a bit biased, but the officiating should never be that poor, ever.
On a positive note, with how hurt Kobe was and how poorly we seemed to play, to almost be able to win that game in Utah (against a team as good as them at home) is impressive. We have to be positive about that one thing.
Lastly, if last night wasn’t enough for Phil to see that we need a lot less Farmar and more Sasha, then I don’t know what is. Sasha allows the court to spread because he has been so consistent with his 3 point jumper. This change needs to happen.
Re the injured Kobe=T-Mac. True in that both settle for too many jumpers,but T-Mac then drives to basket looking to set up teammates and the Rocket bigs know that if they go to open spot near rim T-Mac will get them the ball.(Just so happens Rocket bigs are smaller than your average Y team and can’t finish worth a d***. No,I’m not bitter.) I thought Lakers height would give them a significant advantage.
I was working Sunday so didn’t see game. Are the Lakers diving towards rim when Kobe makes a move-or are they just getting out of the way? Kurt made it quite clear he believes the Gasol/Kobe screen/roll is being done half-heartedly,as if it was something they were told would be effective,but never really practiced.(Or again it could just be Jazz tactics of hugging bodies preventing clean movement.)
Saw replay of Turaif foul,and while left hand went for swipe,the lower rt arm gave a solid shove/elbow to Price’s midsection. If that’s what ref saw,in addittion to time and result,the flagrant becomes much more understandable.
kwame a. says
26- I agree with you to an extent Craig. I dont think its all about instant gratification. I think a large part of wanting to win this year is based on the reality that each year is different. We have a real shot this year, and I think people see that. I would guess Phil and Kobe know this too. Who knows what happens next year or the year after, but we are 10 wins away from the title, right now.
Well, it’s a series now. Goes to game 6 at the very least. And for me, after losing in regulation in game 3, the fact that we went to overtime is an improvement.
Besides, Kobe can’t be hitting 1-10 from 3 again; statistically, he’s due a 6-10 night now, though from his recent trends, he may only attempt 3 and make 2.
I’m just hoping that the back thing is indeed a phantom injury like the Jazz said. Not sure how hoping it to be a phantom injury makes the Jazz feel any better, but it sure does make me feel a lot better.
I have not heard a single Jazz fan say Kobe was “faking” it. Maybe someone said it, but not that I heard. What I did hear was during the game, people were worried that Kobe might have a “Jordan moment” – where he’s hurt, but miraculously comes up with the big play(s) down the stretch. It’s something only the great players can do and something you worry about when you’re up against Kobe.
Remember, the Jazz were on the losing end of Jordan’s “flu game.” When an opposing player is injured or sick, but playing, us Jazz fans are still worried he can burn us. I think that’s more the case than people thinking Kobe was just faking it.
Warren Wee Lim says
Off-topic: Knicks under MDA would be both puzzling and fun. I call them the NBA’s next jigsaw puzzle.
I’m happy for NY though… can’t get any worse and there’s nowhere else to go but up.
Harold,don’t forget the 0 for whatever in game 3. So on the “he’s due” theory,it’ll be more like 8 for 9. Altho in my rather worthless opinion,anytime Kobe is in double digit 3 attempts,it’s not good.
My questions on Laker movement are more in a structural question. My perhaps shaky understanding of Triangle is it is designed to have rapid ball and player movement to overload one side and get players in optimal positions for them to shoot/score. Is the current Laker variation designed to get open Js or layups? If it is designed to gert open Js-whether short,medium or long range-then cuts to basket are improvisational and players will not be looking for them. There is a significant diff in giving ball to Gasol/Kobe/Lamar in low post and the rest spreading out for open Js or making constant cuts to basket. I guess what I’m rather badly asking is are most of the Lakers playing the Triangle as it was pre-Gasol and not recognizing that he allows more opportunities for them to score off movement?
(On the grass is always greener kind of thing,I find it amusing Rocket fans want McGrady to finish strong at rim like Kobe,whereas Laker fans want Kobe to pass the ball more.)
Jazz fan, AK-47 got called for reaching on Kobe, that reach made him lose his balance then with the contact he created and his ‘flop’ he fell. And if you’re into picking out missed calls, on Price’s play of the game watch the replay, he nails Walton in the back of the head before he ever gets the ball. I don’t recall learning that the head is part of the ball, the block looked good but he got body and head then ball, that constitutes a foul. p.s. I love how Tirico says “he got all ball”. Yeah if back of the head is part of the ball.
Craig W. says
I am not saying we could win it this year. Obviously, we have a good chance. However, these players (sans Kobe and Fish) have never played beyond the 1st round before and don’t know just how tough the game and officials get deeper into the playoffs. That is what people mean when they say a team usually has to go through it once before they win the prize. That is why the “win now” mentality often results in not only failure, but the death of the entire team. Boston’s future is yet to be determined, but they are an example of “win now” problems. Garnett is not a proven go to scorer in crunch time; only Pierce seems to be and he hasn’t gone far in the playoffs. Because of this I think Phil is not throwing everyone under the bus to win every game. He not only wants the player there for the next game, but wants him there for the next few years.
These two losses are not only a good test for the Lakers, they are a good test of character for Laker fans and bloggers as well. It is easy to be thrilled by the amazing success story of this Laker team this season, but two playoffs losses, one in overtime, give us an opportunity to show that we believe in them, collectively and individually, win or lose. Desperate solutions seldom work, so we need to make the solutions that we have work better.
The Lakers do not match up naturally with the Jazz, player by player, and individual players can get exposed. Jordan Farmar, in particular, has been about as exposed as any player can be in this series. One suggestion has been to limit his exposure to Deron when he comes in with the special teams. Another would be for him to follow Sasha’s lead and become much more of a pain in the neck on defense and guard Deron closely–going for steals–a Farmar specialty earlier in the year.
Jordan is clearly down right now. Derek was both down and injured a few weeks ago. Ronny has had problems at the end of the season that continue with his flagrant foul. Lamar was a disaster in the early season. Pau Gasol finally had a disasterous game in game 3. Luke had a disasterous season almost until the last week. Everyone wanted to trade or release The Machine until after the Orlando trade. Kobe is injured and being questioned after his most recent game. I could go on.
It is time for all of us to show support and gratitutde as well as confidence for a TEAM that has come so far so fast–and that means every player on that team. Our support and belief is what will win game 5 on Wednesday–even if Kobe can’t play. Maybe Jordan will have his best game of the year and finally protect an injured Derek Fisher from playing too many minutes. Maybe Jordan will play 5 minutes. I don’t know.
Right now Jordan Farmar needs support, not false judgment.
Really frustrating ending to an inspiring comeback.
Kobe needs to do a better job of knowing his limitations, but at the same time, Pau, LO, Fish, even Sasha, need to assert themselves and take those shots in OT when Kobe is hurting.
I’m still confident in our ability to close this Jazz team out, but I don’t like the idea of relying on homecourt – and the subsequent referee advantage – to do so.
Here’s hoping we can end this in 6 (and that Kobe can heal up by Wednesday).
And about Farmar – sure, he’s been used by Williams, but that’s a bad match-up for him. I don’t like to doubt Phil, but seems to me that Sasha should be getting a lot more minutes out there instead.
That said, Jordan’s going to be fine, he’ll bounce back, maybe even as early as game 5. But even if it’s not until next season, I’m confident he’ll be a big part of future Laker successes.
The call wasn’t a reach; it was a block. The ref gave the blocking signal. It should’ve been a charge. It was actually one of the few plays that AK didn’t reach on. (On that note, has Kobe ever been called for hooking his arm around a defender that he’s driving on? He’s done that several times this series.) Also, I agree with you that Price fouled Walton, but refs will never give an offensive player who goes up weak the benefit of the doubt. If Walton would’ve taken it up stronger, the foul would’ve been called.
The whistle blew while Price was outside of the three-point line. Continuation wasn’t an issue at all. It was a dumb foul by Turiaf. I don’t think he should be suspended, but I don’t have a problem with him being tossed.
Renato Afonso says
Feeling mad… I’m starting to believe we won’t win this series… (Yes, the refs should call all those pushing in the back, but instead of waiting on them to call it, we should do the same)
Seriously, unless we are able to commit less turnovers and keep attacking the rim, we don’t have a way of winning this…
I’m not going into further detail, otherwise my computer may end up feeling my wrath…
chris h says
drrayeye, seriously, when Lamar went for that 3 in the final minute, I thought of you, (Oh no dum!) but damn, in it went, and a big smail came across my face.
I know it’s a low percentage, but for some reason, that one felt good from the pass from Kobe, I knew it was going in.
regarding Ronnie, I’ve brought this up a couple times, and no one has commetted further, it’s in regards to “continuation” after the whistle, isn’t it common for the defender to grab the guy to keep from getting a continuation play? (especially on a lay up).
and if so, wasn’t this kind of the reason Ronnie was going after the stop? (maybe he got a bit too agressive…) but still, my point is that I keep hearing the main reason (for the flagrent 2) was it was after the whistle, and a dead ball, but I don’t agree.
chris h says
#46, jazz fan Jeff,
if the whistle blew out by the 3 point line, and it was a dead ball, then why did Price “continue” to the hoop so hard? you can’t blame Ronnie for matching intensity, and don’t forget, your stadium is loud man, and it’s very possible a player can’t hear a whistle.
my contention is that Price came in hard, Ronnie matched it, based in continuation, and your guy lost the collision because he was smaller and off balance the way he came in.
The Lakers need to be careful not to have Farmar lose his confidence because they need him in the next round against Tony Parker or Chris Paul.
On the other hand, if they keep giving him big minutes against the Jazz, there might be no next round.
The Lakers competed in both games in Utah and almost pulled them out, despite everything. This is the important thing, and if Kobe can be effective, then these last two games will be an important learning experience for the young players.
Laker fans drive me nuts sometimes. I think we’re perhaps the least level-headed fans out there (cept for certain bloggers and mods) when it comes to taking losses and such. I’m sure Utah thought it was done after going down 0-2 but that didn’t seem to stop them Friday/Sunday. The sky ain’t falling and all this is now is a best 2 out of 3 series and guess what, we have home court against one of the worst road teams out there. Ball in our court? Yes it is.
Good news, game isn’t Tuesday so Kobe can get more rest for his back. Good news we’re at home. Good news Phil’s the best coach to ever coach this game. Good news, despite last game, we’ve got the best player in the world. Good news SA/NO is in the same damn position we’re in. Good news despite them being the best road team we challenged them each and every time and we obviously had gaps in our game that can be corrected (though tell me we would not have won that game had that not been Ariza out on the break instead of Luke).
So guess what….good news out weighs bad! Sheesh!
Farmar 1 for 16 in the series…nuff said.
Sorry for the few minutes of down time. This is why I should not try to fix my own HTML issues.
Free throws and missed dunks/layups really killed us.
Maybe Kobe should have tried to pass the ball more, but there was little off-ball movement whenever he had the ball, fault-teammates. Kobe took horrible shots though.
The ending was frustrating. You could see/hear Phil yell, “Run the offense” at Kobe. No reason to iso and trying to win the game on your own. Remember why you won the MVP this year? Because your team was better. Use them.
Fish was playing big, as always. LO and Pau were playing efficiently on offense. Sasha was too.
Ryan O says
It was frustrating to see Kobe force those shots in OT, but I think some of the criticism he’s getting is undue. We’ve all seen Kobe be a spectacular facilitator this season, so we cwere all perplexed as to why he would revert to gunner-mode with a bad back. But what we’re forgetting is that Kobe’s ability to facilitate is predicated on his ability to create off the dribble and be a devastating offensive threat at all times. He creates shots for teammates by getting into the teeth of the defense and threatening to score. With his injury, he didn’t have the ability to beat his defender and draw help. Combine that with the fact that no one was moving without the ball, and about the only thing Kobe could do was shoot jumpers. It was frustrating to watch, but I don’t think it was entirely his fault. At that point in the game, we should’ve been running the offense through LO or Pau, but Kobe kept ending up with the ball in his hands. I think he did all he could.
I put up a new post that is less Lakers and more about some league-wide topics to discuss: The Knicks and home court in these playoffs.
None of our analysis matters if Kobe’s back doesn’t come back to him. Plain and simple we’re not getting to the Finals with Kobe at 75%.
Other than that, this is a best out of 3 series. The Jazz have the momentum and confidence right now, but we have home court advantage. Both teams held serve and now the Playoffs really begin for us. We’re going to see what our team is made of.
-I think all Farmer needs to get his confidence back is one night with a Laker groupie telling him how great he is and other stuff
If the lakers were better at the free throw line, we would have won. Give credit to sloan, the jazz and their fans for making the adjustments and continuing to influence the refs to make horrible calls. (Jeff – Jazz players were always borderline dirty – I hated it when malone did it to us, but I liked it when his elbows pissed off duncan for us. And you know that’s always been part of sloan’s game since day 1. And stockton was no better.)
But the bottom line is that the lakers are a better (and younger team). If the lakers play their game (with better defense from farmar, less crying from gasol and some kind of consistent play from vladrad and MAKING FREE THROWS!) the jazz will be singing the blues friday or Sunday. We didn’t just fall into first place. We got some help, and it was thisclose, but it was there for everyone to grab, and we got it.
Like that banner says during the pre-game film clip at Staples – The Time Is Now.
Looks like this series is ending up just like the regular season, really close. I think the rest of the playoff games are going to be more of the dog fights they were supposed to be to begin with. I still feel that we’re in control and are showing great poise so I’m not pushing the panic button just yet. We almost stole a game in Salt Lake on both occasions, but you have to hand it to them for not laying down and holding serve. Wednesday can’t come fast enough!! Go Lakers!
One offensive stat that really caught my attention was the Lakers assist column. This is usually in the 20s by late 3rd quarter, but at one point the Jazz almost doubled LA up on ast totals. This indicates they’ve successfully disrupted our passing game, and we are increasingly depending on iso for Kobe or Pau. This is not good, as the Lakers are best when passes are whipping around finding open men.
I noticed one defensive strategy in particular. Because Pau and Lamar are absolutely killer from the middle of the key, they are now sending a guard from the top side immediately – Pau always catches looking to make a move, and the guard, essentially coming from a blind side, surprises him, either stripping the ball or at least disrupting him enough for the defense to recover. For some reason the Lakers have not adjusted to this well.
Basically, Pau especially needs to hold on to the ball tighter and be ready for the little 2nd defender. More than that, he needs to look for the open shooter. Everytime the Jazz sends a guard down, Fish, Farmar or Sasha is wide open. That pass to one of them needs to be fast, and crisp. The guards also need to position themselves better to maximize spacing. But more than that, they need to start hitting their shots, period, or the Jazz will continue the tactic.
The Lakers could also send Lamar to the BACK of the defense close to the baseline when Pau or Kobe is up top with the ball. I’ve seen them do this a lot, but not in this series.
One of the differences, however, is the Jazz pretty much were allowed to hack at will when they doubled, which is why they were able to double Pau HARD, yet still only give up 2 freethrows to him. I’m not so sure the refs at Staples will let them get away with it
Kwame A knows what im saying. Lakers have a real shot this year and they cant just bank on the “oh we will be good in the future so it doesnt matter that much” mantra that Craig is. You have to take maximum advantage of your present opportunities. Nothing is guaranteed in future seasons anything can happen.
Farmar was in the D-League last year and he belongs there now. Farmar can’t play defense he does’nt drive to the basket where there are open lanes and he is useless. O points 0 rebounds 0-5 shooting 0 steals many turnovers. Farmar Stinks
alex v says
55- Phil yelling “run the offense” could have been directed at anybody (or everybody). Not to make excuses where the players aren’t, but this was the end of an overtime in a tough game played at altitude. I didn’t see much activity from any of the purple jerseys at the end. I’m sure part of that had to do with Kobe, but I think it also had to do with players making mistakes and worrying about making them again.
FWIW, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the Lakers executed well down the stretch to force overtime which is better than what we saw in some close games during the season. The comeback was a team effort on both ends, not just bombing away from the outside and getting lucky.
Kurt’s “all I could stomach” summary of the overtime was funny, apt, and probably what we should have expected when they couldn’t win in regulation.
(48) Chis h,
According to my analysis, Lamar should never take 3 point shots in critical situations–nor even be in critical situations. Yet, Lamar pulled a Tim Duncan and swished a critical three at a time when Kobe couldn’t even find the rim amid some other truly electrifying Odom plays. Now, Lamar did miss his one other 3 point try, and that 50% percentage was the same as his 5-10 free throws, so we know that Lamar’s body has not been taken over by an extra-terrestial.
Still, Lamar an an “x” factor now needs to be considered an “X” factor in the most positive sense for the Lakers even though he still disappears in some games and makes inexplicable bad decisions on a regular basis.
Kobe taking 10 3’s was criminal. If the lakers need a 3 Sasha or Fish should take it not Kobe. I don’t know who is worse on the Lakers Radmanovic or Farmar.
Yea, all this talk about Kobe in OT is missing the fact that no one else was moving without the ball during that period. I remember Sasha trying to get open a few times but Korver was all over him for that time. Sure Kobe could have done more but it really looked like the Jazz knew he was injured and that they were told to stay at home on their man so he couldn’t pass off.
54- wow, that image is not a reference to tatum’s eye, is it? if it is, that’s just moronic.
Jeff, I see your point, I agree.
64 – you’re right, can’t be certain who he was yelling it at, but I believe it was during the 4th or OT, right after Kobe pulled an iso/bad shot. I actually think it was addressed to both Kobe and LO, but can’t bring myself to rewatch it to find out.
And if you’ve watched enough Lakers over the past few years, and I assume you have, you know when he gets in that mode where all he wants is for everyone to clear out so he can go and try to do his thing. Yes, the team is partly responsible for it since they aren’t running the offense, but he’s also responsibile for being the one that took the team out of the offense. And as the team leader, you have to hold him accountable for what happens on the offensive end when the ball is in his hand.