Records: Lakers 46-15 (1st in West), Heat 30-31 (8th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 108.9 (10th in NBA), Heat 105.6 (21st in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.8 (1st in NBA), Heat 104.8 (10th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Heat: Rafer Alston, Dwyane Wade, Quentin Richardson, Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal
The Lakers Coming in: On the road again. Pump up the Willie Nelson and get used to the way it sounds. This is a road heavy month and it starts this evening. Phil Jackson has often liked being on the road because it gives his team a chance to come together and not be distracted by all the comforts of home. The guys are together a lot more and that can lead to better team play and focus as everyone starts to be on the same page about what they want to accomplish on the court. And, I’m sure what they’re reading on that page is more of what they saw against the Pacers. Indy is not a good team by any means, but the Lakers played a brand of ball that will serve them well in the home stretch of the regular season. Our bigs were efficient, Kobe (while not that efficient with his shooting) found many ways to help the team, our guards made shots, and Artest led the way on the other end of the floor by clamping down on defense. That is a formula that will be successful and the Lakers need to find more of that in these last 20 games.
The Heat Coming in: The Heat are not a very good team right now. They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 and their one win was a 4 point sqeeze by of the Warriors. The Heat are barley holding on for the 8th seed in the East and have dipped below .500 for the season. Not good times for the boys in South Beach. Wade has been injured, but he’s been strong in the two games that he’s been back and looks completely recovered from the calf injury that sidelined him for 4 contests.
And speaking of Wade, his future is probably the #1 story surrounding the Heat, right now. You would think a push for the playoffs, or other subplots like Chalmers becoming the 3rd PG (behind a guy that was cut by the Nets and another that was just arrested last week) or Beasley’s inability to crack the crunch time line up of Coach Erik Spoelstra consistently would be bigger deals, but what happens after this season is on the minds of many. Wade is the key to this franchise and without him around the Heat are no longer relevant. Everyone knows that Wade loves his life in Miami, but does he love it more than winning? Unlike Lebron or Bosh or any of the other marquee names in the super FA class of 2010, Wade has reached the mountain top and has raised the Larry O’Brien trophy. That feeling is one that you can’t ever forget and Wade wants it again. So fans and team executives alike are very mindful that they must surround Wade with good enough players to truly be contenders or he will not want to stay around and carry a sub par team like KG did in ‘Sota for all those years. The clock for Riles is already ticking on this one and everyone in that city (and around the league) knows it.
Heat Blogs: Phillip pointed you there this morning, but check out Hot Hot Hoops for all your Heat news and notes. They’re putting in work.
Keys to game: This is a game where the Lakers can’t take the other team’s relative lack of talent or their record as an excuse to not play a strong game. The Heat are an above average defensive team and will pressure the ball and try to push our post players off the block. So, on offense the Lakers need to play smart and tough. That means not committing the silly turnovers that have plagued them in the first half of recent games while also battling a team that will test them physically. I’m normally a big proponent of going inside and that doesn’t change this evening. Beasley has no hope against Pau and Bynum is a much bigger and physical player than a declining Jermaine.
As for Kobe, this is one of those games where he gets excited to play. Wade is a true peer and a player that Kobe respects a great deal. That means that Kobe will likely be in attack mode to make Dwyane work on defense. That’s a good strategy, but I’d also like to see the “set up his mates” Kobe that we’ve seen in the last two games. Finding that balance will be key tonight as the advantages we have on offense are real, but we need teamwork to exploit them. That means crisp ball movement and solid decision making from our ball handlers.
Defensively, the game plan to stop the Heat starts and ends with Wade. The Lakers are ideally suited to tag team Wade with wing defenders by throwing both Kobe and Artest at him all game. It’s a strategy that I hope to see as both Kobe and Ron have been in defensive grooves lately. Wade cannot be stopped completely, but he can be slowed. I hope the Lakers play him to be a jumpshooter and try to take away his tremendous first step. Because we all know what can happen when D-Wade gets in the lane. But keeping him out of the lane will need to be a team effort. In the last game, the Heat were quite successful running the high P&R for Wade, but doing it in a way where the big man was setting a back screen on Kobe above the three point line. In that game, our bigs were always hanging back and allowing Wade a full head of steam in his attack to the rim. That allowed him easy finishes at the cup and and lots of space for his sweet pull up jumper from the mid-range. If the Heat go to this again, I hope to see better “shows” from our bigs to slow down Wade’s momentum.
As for the other Heat players, the Lakers need to be aware of Beasley’s all around offensive ability, Q camping behind the three point line, Haslem as a pick and pop player from the top of the key, and of Jermaine on the block. However, these are all secondary options to Wade or options build off Wade and Alston’s ability to create with the ball in their hands. I hope to see the Lakers force the Heat’s offensive sets more to the sideline where all these options are easier to defend and active hands in both the passing lanes and in contesting shots. This is a day to be very aware of Wade with the ball in his hands, but not to lose track of the man that you’re guarding. Every secondary player mentioned above is a capable shooter when left alone. And if you get lost on defense or are caught sleeping, Wade is more than a willing passer and will make you pay by hitting the open man.
Miami is always a tough match up for the Lakers and always seem to push us to the brink. We know what it took last time to get the win. So tonight, come with your hardhat on and be ready for another team’s best effort. They are at home and I expect a crowd that is ready for the visiting world champs. Play smart and with urgency and this should be another W. Let’s hope the guys go get it.
Where you can watch: 5:00 pm start here in the West nationally televised on TNT (where we’re the early game – yay!) and locally on KCAL, also on ESPN Radio 710am.
This one’s for Warren!
I’m still loving FB&G since you took over for Kurt, but I do have an observation. There have been a greater number of posts that have gone up on the site, and each post has averaged fewer comments (around 30 to 40 per post vs. the 90 to 100 per post in the past) than posts past. Do you think it possibly stifles some extended conversation among the comments? It seems as if the last few people who comment don’t really get their points through or their questions answered because all of a sudden, there’s a new post. But maybe it’s better this way: sometimes I felt the conversation started getting convoluted on posts with a lot more than 100 comments. Just a thought.
Craig W. says
You weren’t here 2-3 years ago. There were fewer comments to each post then, as well. Of course much of that was because there were fewer of us to comment. Usually, after about 30-50 comments things start to get a bit stale and we sometimes start off on a tangent.
I vote for the additional posts. The posts are coming from more than one person and I like getting some new data to comment on.
Game is also on KCAL9 for my fellow cable-challenged compatriots
Also the comments section as a whole has kind of taken a dive in quality the more popular this site’s gotten, as can be expected, so fewer responses isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s just be happy this isn’t a full-on mainstream site, looking at the comments at Kurt’s new site or on Yahoo or whatever just make me worry about the future of humanity.
Miami’s PG situation is puzzling.
What the heck happened to Mario Chalmers? He played well enough last year.
Rafer Alston isn’t putting up good numbers either. For those talking about Fish being the worst starting PG with the lowest FG% in the league, glance at Rafer’s numbers.
(just take a mental note, I do not want to cause another fisher/anti-fisher debate)
Lakers um play smart… and Pau just give Beasley hell.
Oh, and I know this is very, very premature, but I believe Mike Miller is a free agent this summer. Mid-level, anyone? (Yes, I know we have to address the PG situation, but I feel that 3 point shooting is very important also.)
#2. Thanks for the continued support of the site. I am trying to put up more posts and I am also trying to respond or speak to comments that go up in previous threads. I’ll continue to work on that. I do appreciate the feedback.
#4. I’ve added the local broadcast info too. Thanks for that. I always forget to add it on the nationally televised games.
Isn’t all of our midlevel on Artest?
Chalmers shocked me this year. Complete sophomore slump. Beasley’s been picking up steam but there’s still something just off about his game. I still think he’ll be, at best, a solid #2 on a good playoff team. At best. And the thing is, watching him play, it’s hard to figure out why.
When I look at Beasley, I see this repertoire of offensive moves, but I often see problems finishing at the rim. He has little problem finishing against 1 defender – when he blows by slower 4’s – but when the help comes, he really has few countermoves. He really struggles to score on the help D if the rotations are on time.
I’m just not a fan of his mentality. Give him Haslem’s aggressiveness and he’s instantly a beast. But – although he’s been improving lately – I see him rely too much on that feathery jumper.
I thought we got the mid-level or something every year (because we signed Sasha at the mid-level, then Artest the next off-season at the mid-level). If not, then I’m wrong (if I am wrong, someone please explain exactly why). This should probably be saved for much later in the future, but what are our free agent options this summer then?
You can use the mid-level year after year. It’s the bi-anual exception (what we used on Shannon) that can only be used every other season. That said, the mid-level is also an exception that can be broken up and used on several players. For example, Fisher’s contract expires at the end of the season and even though we’d own his Bird Rights, we may want to use a portion of the mid level to sign him (if he’s deemed to be more valuable than the vet’s minimum). This splitting or every year using the mid-level exception kind of plays into Ariza’s situation last year.
Last season, one of the reasons that the Lakers had their contract dispute with Ariza was because it was reported that his agent was seeking a contract greater than the mid-level for Trevor. Well, the Lakers owned his Bird Rights and could have offered a deal that mirrored the one they evenually gave Odom. But the Lakers were only offering their “mid-level exception” for Trevor. This is why Ariza’s agent made such a mistake in this negotiation – the Lakers (who owned his Bird Rights) and teams under the cap with more space than the mid-level were the only teams capable of offering Trevor the money he sought. But when Toronto and Portland and those other teams didn’t show interest and the Lakers moved on to Artest, there was no longer a market for a contract of that size. That’s how Ariza winds up signing a contract for the same money that the Lakers offered but with another team.
how much cap space do we have this summer, I know fish, morrison, dj, powell and probably farmar, so i guess we can through the full midlevel at a pg and some leftover for a wing man
10 – You’re right, my fault. A multi-year contract shouldn’t keep a team from using the mid-level each year. Thanks for clearing that up.
Edit: Whoops, Darius cleared that up too. I should learn to refresh before posting. Thanks for the clarification.
Joel B. says
As Darius said, the key to the game is to keep wade out the paint. But I would like to add one thing, when he gets in the paint will someone please take a charge.
The lakers are a team that doesn’t like to to step in and take charge other than Fisher. So I would like them to take some charges this game, it’ll be some good practice if they face the cavs in the finals.
Living down here in South Florida this is the only game of the season that I get to watch the Lakers in person. Last year was a devastating game to be at as Kobe missed the shot at the buzzer. Bottom line, if we play our game there is no way the Heat should be able to beat us. GO LAKERS!!!
Chownoir (was J) says
Darius, that’s not how I understand MLE vs Bird Rights. I thought if you own a player’s Bird rights, then you can sign him to whatever is needed regardless of cap.
What the MLE does is even if a team is capped out, it allows them to go after player(s) up to the amount of the MLE.
The scenario then is since Lakers own Fish’s Bird rights, they could resign him for whatever amount but they can still use the full MLE other player(s).
But the total money still applies when calculating Luxury tax.
In Trevor’s case, I thought it was because Lakers just didn’t want to pay more than market value. This is why when it happened, Hou was still trying to work out some kind of sign and trade scenario. That way they could get Trevor and still retain their MLE while Lakers would get Ron and retain their MLE.
I’m not completely clear on the Trev Bird Right’s case though since the Rights are funny depending on trade, length of team tenure with prior and current team.
But in the Fish example you cited, I think my understanding is more accurate. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
It is interesting what has happened to Chalmers. I’ve often thought that he would be a very good triangle point guard: (Good man to man defense, excellent outside shooter, questionable pure point guard skills).
Might be a guy to approach during the summer.
BTW, Darius summarized nicely what happened with Ariza:
1) His blowhard, fratboy agent was asking $8mil per year.
2) The Lakers said if you can find a team that will offer Ariza $8mil per year, we’ll consider it.
3) The two teams that could, Portland and Toronto, didn’t show much interest.
4) Now cornered, Ariza’s agent made the absurd tactical decision of trying to put pressure on the Lakers by complaining in the press, when he didn’t have any real leverage, whatsoever.
5) Still having a bitter taste in their mouths after the accrimonious Bynum negotiation, the Lakers went with Artest, who was more than happy to take the midlevel.
6) Ariza, who grew up in LA and whose family is located in LA, then had to move to Houston…for the same money.
There was an awesome post on FB&G last summer called “How not to negotiate” or something similar that attacked David Lee perfectly.
From the last thread….
Basketball legacies are rarely about one thing. Rings are a part of it if you are a superstar, but only a small part. Rings have a lot to do with the supporting cast. Kobe doesn’t have one ring without Shaq years ago… or Gasol, Odom, Bynum, and Artest right now. If Jordan didn’t have Pippen, Grant, or Rodman he would have zero rings to his name but he would still have been just as great. I’ll tell you one thing… I have never seen a player like Lebron take such an awful supporting cast to the finals through a quality Pistons team like he did a few years ago or to the best record in the NBA like he has done the past couple years. Having said that, the man isn’t a god. I didn’t think he was good enough (nobody I have seen play to date has been) to take that supporting cast to the Finals and win a championship last year… and I don’t think he is good enough even this year to do so. I again believe Orlando will knock the Cavs out of the playoffs the same as I did the year before. I do think he now (Jamison) has an above average player beside him, but it will take more help than that to beat a loaded Orlando team in a playoff series. As great as I think Lebron is…. and I think up to this point he is almost on par with Jordan (I would put Kobe 3rd)… The guy needs another star to win a championship against the likes of the Lakers and the Magic.
My ultimate point is if Lebron had Bynum, Gasol, Odom, and Artest playing alongside him the past several years and had three championships to his name at 25 years old it wouldn’t make him any better as a player than he is today. It would only mean he had more championships. To me Kobe wouldn’t be any worse of a player if he didn’t have these great players around him and ended his career with zero championships. Championships have equally as much to do with the greatness of the superstar as with the competency of his supporting cast, and the quality of his adveseraies. It is easy and simple to use rings as the barometer when comparing great players and it indeed should be one of the tools when judging a talent. But I think it should only be truly valued when all other things are close to equal.
Watch the role players, it seems somebody (or two) from the Heat always gets hot and torches the Lakers.
Here’s the post on David Lee by Bill Bridges:
I’ll jump in on the PG/Free agency talk.
I like Mike Miller but I don’t think we’d get the best bang for the buck there, considering we’re pretty stacked at forward and his PT would be rather limited. We need outside shooting and a PG, so… What about a guy like CJ Watson? He seems to me like the perfect triangle point guard. Though he struggles with quick point guards (who doesn’t?) he plays the passing lanes very well. He probably looks worse on D than he actually is because he plays in that joke of a system in Golden State, but he’s one of the few guys on that team that gives a crap on that end. He’s got a very nice outside stroke but still manages to get to the line relatively frequently. He’s an UFA this offseason and will probably fly under the radar, so I’m guessing the Lakers could sign him to something like a 4 year, $14 million deal.
I know a lot of people would want something splashier, but I think he’s just the kind of guy who would fit in well with this team.
Craig W. says
Chownoir (was J),
I think you and Darius are just missing each other.
* The Lakers did not want to pay more than the MLE to Trevor (whether or not they were going to use the MLE to sign him – which they probably would not do).
* The only people who could offer more than the MLE were teams under the salary cap (not the luxury cap).
* Trevor’s agent wanted more, but instead of negotiating with him, the Lakers signed Ron for the MLE.
* This left Trevor to either sign the MLE with a club or get a better offer from a club under the salary cap. None of the clubs under the cap wanted Trevor (certainly not for more than the MLE) and he was forced to sign with Houston.
The celtics look to get younger by acquiring Michael Finely
chris h says
I’m with the school who enjoys the refreshed posts, and less posters per post, I agree that they start to get stale after a while, either wanting to trade for something ridiculous, or venting about our PG’s.. gets old.
I’m also tired of the game threads where we start off slow, everyone is claiming it’s the end, the sky is falling, then we start to make a comeback, and it’s yeah! go lakers! it’s understandable, and human nature.
but I like seeing a new post up every day, (I’m sure this will slow a bit in the off season, again, naturally) and I always look forward to the pre-game post.
Darius you are doing a magnificent job mate!
re: tonight, watch our for O’Neil, he still plays us with all he’s got, wanting us to feel like we made a mistake not trading for him back in the day.
aren’t you/we all glad the team didn’t make that move?(LO or Bynum for JO) ouch!
We had Ariza’s Bird rights, correct? If so, then (if Buss was absolutely filthy rich), we could have signed both Artest and Ariza. I shudder to think that we would have been even better this year.
The Celtics need a witch doctor to get younger, not Finley.
Chownoir (was J) says
Here’s Larry Coon’s explanation of Bird Rights. I’m not sure what Trev’s contract status was with Orlando. At the very least Lakers should have had his early Bird rights since Trev would have been on contract in 08 with Orl prior to the trade and with Lakers all last year.
Chownoir (was J) says
23 Craig W., sorry didn’t see your post before my last one. My question was more in regards to the technicalities of the MLE. I agree that Lakers didn’t want to pay more than market value, the MLE amount, to Trevor.
However, I believe if Lakers did have Trevor’s Bird Rights, they didn’t have to use the MLE to sign him. They could pay him the MLE or whatever amount and still have the actual MLE exception IF they chose to use it.
Okay, I looked it up on Basketball Reference. It looks like Trevor was on a 3 year contract, so Lakers did have his Bird rights.
So #26, Yes, technically Lakers could have signed Trevor using Bird rights AND signed Ron for the MLE. But c’mon, you can’t get mad at Buss for trying to set some kind of limit. He’s not a billionaire like Cuban and he’s still paying more than what Cuban is willing.
2) I disagree. Nearly every post degenerates into a Fisher or Bynum debate (and unprovoked longing for Trevor Ariza) after about 70 comments.
Fresh posts keep the conversation fresh. Just my opinion
Just read via the twitter accounts of Pro Basketball Talk, via Ira Winderman, that Carlos Arroyo will start in place of Rafer Alston tonight. I don’t think it’s an injury thing, but rather an effectiveness thing (though that’s just my speculation – Alston’s stats in his game log aren’t pretty).
What’s up with TNT?
I’m getting a good TNT feed here in Australia… my 2nd live Laker game in a week here, which is always a good thing.
I don’t want to get in a knock down drag out about this. You can believe that a player is the same no matter whether or not they have rings. I disagree. I hope we can find common ground at some point on these types of issues.
Adam Morrison has a championship ring, and could get another. Nuff said.
I don’t think that anyone is saying that having a ring makes you a better player in and of itself. Obviously end-of-bench guys aren’t better players than LeBron, Carmello, or Ewing, Stockton, Malone etc.
But I think the argument is that among the great players, having a ring (or 4) can set you apart from your contemporaries.
Just my take on the discussion.
Miami loves to ugly up the game when they play a team like us (one with much more talent). So far, they’re successful in this effort.
Is this new? When did Fisher get a tattoo on his right forearm?
thats two phantom calls for wade already
Wade getting to the line pretty easily early here. That first step is getting our defenders out of position, and then letting Wade draw the contact he wants.
On a better note, Fish seems to be ON today.
make that 3
kobe still got the moves just cant get anything to fall
Dang, two pretty plays for Kobe that did not go down.
Good defense thus far by Artest.
#39, I’m not sure, but I believe Fisher has had throughout his career. I know most people don’t usually notice it, since we are all mesmerized by his biceps…
James: Exactly what I was thinking. Quarters like this look bad in the boxscore for Kobe, but a few of those shots have rattled around, and none of them have been shots we’d want him to pass up.
Artest has been playing very well so far.
RE Kobe’s shooting: His touch is just not quite there. A lot of his shots rattle out. Even the shot he made didn’t go in clean – it was long, hit the heel, and then dropped.
Somewhere, the 2006 Mavericks are watching this game and snickering at us.
WOW, beautiful double clutch by Kobe..
We may only be up 3, but I’m pretty pleased with our play – we’re definitely working to create good looks, and being aggressive on offense. The defense has been decent, we haven’t made too many miscues there; Miami’s just been making all their shots from outside.
Jordan is a terrible 1 on 1 defender, game after game he continually gets beat off the dribble
I have no desire to start a ‘who’s better’ debate, but I will say that the shot by Kobe at the end of the first is why I would rather watch him as a player than watch LeBron (I mean in addition to the fact that I am a biased Laker fan…)
#51 kehn: And spending a fair bit more time at the line.
The turnovers are the difference in the game. I dont understand why Pau would try to pass between two defenders to a cutting D. Fish.
i think tonight might be fishes one good game outta ten
Fish was decent the other night, good the game before that and had at least one good game when Kobe was out. It looks like his shot might be coming back.
Craig W. says
1) Too many long passes – easier to pick off
2) Pau just doesn’t seem to be in it. Passing into traffic to Fish??? Too much time to decide whether to pass or shoot.
Isn’t that a foul…? Over the back, no? Elbow to Pau’s head, maybe?
Feels to me that we’re getting a lot of offensive boards, but often not converting.
And is it just me, or do the Lakers make Quentin Richardson look like a superstar every time he’s on the floor against us?
Not to change the subject, but does anyone else feel like the whole “Ilgauskas weighing his options” drama that is unfolding is nothing more than a scripted production to make it seem like a buyout and return to the Cavs wasn’t planned? The script from Days of Our Lives is more believable than the quotes coming out of Z’s camp.
Joel B. says
I’m glad I’m not the only one noticed Gasol looks completely out of it this game.
this is some terrible p and r defense
Joel B. says
Gasol had Richardson on him and didn’t call for the ball once. And phil takes out bynum who’s been playing with energy and effort.
bynum has defo outplayed gasol so far
Kobe is our defensive problem. He’s playing help defense and leaving a noted 3-point shooter open. He has been doing that all year. That is the difference when he was out. Shannon stayed with his man. You would think that he would get it after the guy hits three 3-pointers. He’s up to six.
Pig Miller says
“The script from Days of Our Lives is more believable than the quotes coming out of Z’s camp.”
It’s the most annoying thing I think I’ve ever been witness to. There are television shows that are less predictable. The main problem is that media are playing right into the whole charade instead of doing real work and trying to break a story about the deal being prearranged.
Pig Miller says
3rd quarter FAIL
That was a very poor quarter of basketball by the Lakers. Too many defensive lapses (Q can shoot – surely someone on this team has noticed by now), and still too many turnovers.
Hopefully this will be rectified with a solid 4th quarter. I would really prefer to start this road trip with a W.
its so nice of us to let them have so many open jump shots
Kobe’s defense has gone to hell this year, and this is the latest example. He can go ahead and just not resign the next contract if this is what he has left in the tank. I swear he has aged 5 years in the last 2 months.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve seen the Lakers come back from a lot worse situations than this. The real question is, why do we keep getting into these situations with .500 or worse teams? I was hoping that the Indiana game might signal a change in the approach, but this has not been a stellar performance so far. Lax defense (Ron aside), and some not-too-impressive ball handling really hurt on the road.
Wow BH, overreact much? Kobe’s legs look fresh to me. The problem, and I never really second guess the coaches, is putting Kobe – a defender notorious for roaming on defense when off the ball – on a shooter like Q that is great at creating passing angles when defenders leave him.
Kobe cant jump as high or as hard as he used to thats for sure.
But that happens when you’re going on 32 and after 14 years.
I hear that making free throws on the road is good.
Kobe’s defense at the beginning of the year was absolutely outstanding. Slowly he got dinged up over the course of the year and subsequently has hindered his defense significantly.
The assumption that this is a good example of what Kobe has left in the tank clearly ignores everything that has occurred to him this year. If Kobe was afforded the time necessary to be fully healthy and still played how he has tonight then that statement can be made. It is way to early to say Kobe has nothing left.
Personally, I want Bynum back in the game right now. He is playing with so much more energy and effort than pretty much everyone else save for Ron.
Pig Miller says
I’m not typically a ref blamer, but this has been pretty awful.
Pretty interesting the way the Lakers seem utterly perplexed by this wild idea known as, “zone defense.”
i think being really injury-prone is an aging thing. not really sure. it might also have sth to do with speed of recovery.
Cant blame the refs when LA has shot three more free throws than Miami.
Warren Wee Lim says
I don’t think we could beat Miami even if our lives depended on it…
Warren Wee Lim says
BIG SHOT FISH
Warren Wee Lim says
Cardiologists in L.A. must be making mucho dineros this season.
I think this is where we all start thinking, “it’d be nice to get a stop here”.
AusPhil, I don’t know about everyone else but I started thinking that during the 3rd when we gave up 30 points
we need that same play that we ran in memphis.
But that’ll do
Isolate – Excellent point.
And colour me shocked – Richardson with the 3. Man, we’ve certainly had a lot of these games this season haven’t we?
Uhhh did Kobe not get hacked right on the arm by Wade there?
Warren Wee Lim says
OMG OMG OMG
Man man man man I love Kobe Bryant!
Kobe is so clutch! But do these guys love to keep our hearts racing or what?! We always leave time on the clock!
Nice defense Kobe
anyone have Phil Jackson’s cell? I was gonna call him and tell him that Richardson is hot from 3 pt range.
Daniel, I was thinking the same thing on the “block” wade didn’t even get a piece of the ball, the ball still had perfect rotation he hit right on his arm so he couldn’t even finish the shot.
Kobe with a huge FU to Wade and the refs
I wasn’t the only one thinking that 3.3 seconds was more than enough time for Wade to “draw” a foul was I?
So – overtime has been good for the Lakers this season. Here’s hoping for another one.
who ever can score 110 first will win
and if fish doesn’t close it out
Thank god fish fouled out
LA has another early game tommorrow in Charlotte. Better have plenty of red bull in the locker room.
AusPhil, when i heard the whistle blow for the end of the game i thought they were calling a foul that’s how sure I was they were going to call one.
Warren Wee Lim says
IN THE ZONE!!!
no I didn’t break my caps lock…
starting to get peeved by the refs
Kobe is unconscious
What is fish doing?!
Warren Wee Lim says
Mr. Fish, I love you but… you are making Carlos Effin Arroyo look like Chris Paul.
Well, we’re going to be finishing this one without Fish… gives Farmar a chance to play clutch minutes.
cant buy a stop
O’neal slid his left foot
Free throws and lack of D have killed us so far tonight!
Shoulda just put Shannon in and then switch the damn screen! wade has gotten into the paint every freaking time. Artest needs to back off him, its killing us.
Watching Kobe has lulled the team into Warriors-like defense.
Once again, pau gets stripped.
well when you have farmar taking a clutch shot…
Kobe with the major mental fart at the end of that play. Should’ve just pulled it out and set up a play rather than charge to the hole with 3 Heat waiting for him.
i lose track how often pau gets stripped from rebounds
Pau not taking it up strong led us to the broken play where Kobe got the offensive foul
The following sequence:
Kobe hits a three, fouls Haslem, makes 0-of-2, then hits another dagger for his 6th game-winner. 🙂
Pau has killed us this game
Joel B. says
I’m disgusted with the lakers. They are overrated defensively. Another big game, another no show from Gasol. He hasn’t posted up and called for the ball once in this half. And he’s going to be the one complaining about touches. And when he has gotten the ball he’s turned it over.
Despite the missed freethrows, the lakers had a chance to win. And they blew it because lack of defense.
SI.com says Gasol only has 2 turnovers, but it feels like he’s had about 8
I guess one heartbreak deserves another. I’m bummed. Yeah, that sums it up.
Zephid, I have to disagree that was a great play by Kobe, if its wade he’s shooting FT’s. It was a tough call but a bad call. Not that that is was changed the game cause they missed like 80 FT’s themselves, but still just wasn’t a good call
Pretty disappointing end after Kobe started OT on fire.
Did we really just commit 7 fould to 1 during an overtime period?
We just played an extra 5 minutes to get an L. I hope we still have something left in the tank for tomorrow.
well this sucks. can we ever get a game (that’s not against a cellar dweller) where kobe AND the bigs play well???
and by bigs, pau and bynum because odom has been playing well lately.. bynum had a decent game except for his turnovers. pau, when was the last time pau shot 50 percent from the field? seems like forever….
123, Kobe had to drive 15 feet, whereas Jermaine O’Neal had to move 3 feet to get into position and just stood there waiting for Kobe. It was absolutely the correct call. O’Neal was like a statue and Kobe barreled into him.
Free throws and turnovers cost us this very winnable game. Have to give credit to Miami for hitting wide open jumpers.
Joel B. says
I said before the game, are the lakers going to take a charge. The answer was no. Pau had a chance to take a few charges but of course he didn’t. I think the Miami Heat scored on every possession of the overtime game except for 2.
Phil should’ve stuck with bynum, for the simple fact that bynum was at least trying out there. Pau Gasol wasn’t at all he was flat footed and lost all game. I keep saying whenever its a big game Pau is going to shot 50% from the line shout 40% from the field its almost without fail.
I’m gonna have to take the fall for this one, guys. Lakers are .500 at best this season when I watch them on livestream. I’m boycotting it for the rest of this season and will only tune in if it’s the 4th quarter and we’re up double digits. *sigh*
Well. At least we lost a decent .500 team in the East. Oh, that’s right, there is no decent .500 in the East because the East sucks. We just played down to their level, again.
I am Laker fan. And I am spoiled. But I we should also beat middle-crap-tastic teams like the heat these in these times. And yet…we’ll probly beat Orlando on sunday. I guess all it really comes down to is winning the games that matter, and we’ve won more than half of those this year (the 2 cleveland and Denver losses and the one Celitcs loss included
Basically, I’m pissed, but ‘m still confident we can beat ANY 4 teams in 4 7-game series’ in the playoffs, so that’s all it boils down to. ttyl on sunday
Am I completely naive because I never even considered the possibility that this could be a loss? I was sure we were headed for a 2-1 road trip (with a loss to the Bobcats, duh).
Sigh. I hate the fact that I can’t sleep after a Laker loss.
Lakers still don’t look like a team that’s going to win a title…and there’s only 20 games left.
Don’t know if this is their year, guys.
Back to backs are hard, and this team doesn’t look like it can do it.
#133 is a loaded post.
– The Lakers haven’t played well, blowout against Indiana excluded. Now, this is actually our toughest stretch of the season, and this is supposed to be where our team picks it up and rolls into the playoffs. Dwayne Wade or not, we should not lose to a .500 team.
– There will be a lot of posts saying you are overreacting. At the same time, we won’t know the results until after it is over. We Lakers fans know, at least, that the team plays the best during the playoffs.
to be fair miami played really well tonight and we missed a lot of free throws, though i do worry about pau’s softness on nights like tonight, oh well at least kobe found his stroke
should have got Bosh atleast he brings it every game.
seriously pau hasn’t had a great game in awhile, he flys under the radar and gets his stats.
Why does Kobe do this whole “i am saving my energy for end of game situation” like he is the only player that plays the end of regulation. If he expands just as much energy on the defensive end of the game through out the game like everybody else then really there are not many teams that stand a chance, we will likely blow them out and he wouldn’t have to play the end of regulation at all. If the game comes down to the last possession and we loose i am ok with that knowing everyone put the same energy and effort to win the game
Game by game we get hurt by his free safety defense. If he just locked down and played then we will not need him at the end of games. This laker team is not the team of 3-4yrs ago. We have players that are able to score the ball.
Dont want to hear another player talk about the team needs to focus and play with intensity. Earth to LA, Earth to LA, when is that going to start happening There are 20 games left and they still cant seem to get their heads out their a@# for a whole game.
#24 white hot at the end of the game and nobody else wants to step up and make a play. Missing free throws, losing the ball, the mental makeup is troubling. If it was a talent issue, then I could understand, but the way we have performed in crucial times during games has been disheartening to say the least.
Didn’t see much of the game. what I did see wasn’t encouraging:
at 40-41 in the second, Gasol misses 2 free throws then gets blocked by Beasley (!!!) on a subsequent possession. Why didn’t Pau destroy Beasley tonight?
From the minute or 2 I saw, Bynum was hustlin out there, got a dunk and a foul. I expected the bigs to dominate tonight, or at least one of them to, but they didn’t.
I don’t see how Miami can square up against the Lakers and keep things close, much less win. But obviously they do something right (plus D-Wade doesn’t hurt).
Just from the box score :
*Missing a lot of free throws in an OT game tends to be a bad thing…
*After playing stifling D against elite SFs recently, did Artest forget to guard Quentin Richardson, or was Q just simply in the groove tonight?
Kobe lack of defense on Richardson is sad. Almost as sad as Gasol’s play. He played tonight like women. A scared women. Lakers may get caught by Dallas as they could go 0 and 3 on the trip.
Joel B. says
Artest played great defense tonight…on Wade. Kobe did a horrible job guarding the 3 point shooters tonight.
T. Rogers says
137) – To be fair, Kobe’s age is catching up with him a bit. It takes a lot more engergy to lock down a player vs. playing passing lanes. I think he roams because if he gets up on some of these younger guys they will put the ball on the floor. Still, Kobe mostly knows when to come off guys and when to step up.
Also, the Heat always play the Lakers tough. When they met earlier in the season the Lakers were on their long home stand and were in a rhythm. Still the Heat made it tough. Really, the Heat should have won that game too.
Aetest was guarding Wade most of the night. Kobe was suppose to on Richardson. He was saving himself for the last 15 shots.
By the way Wade had 14 assists and 27 point. That adds up 55 points he brought in. Impressive. Just think how good he would be with talent like the Lakers have?
New post is up. Recapping the Heat game.
Thanks for clarifying about who was guarding Q.
It’s good to know that Artest can play solid defense on Wade.
First off concerning Kobe’s defense: it’s splendid if you to notice the error of his “roaming” tactics when an opponent scorched us ala Richardson. But do you same scientifically correct NBA observers count for the numerous times Kobe’s roaming causes opponent’s turnovers or deflections or steals? I think not. You people act like a grochy husband who only notices that the meatloaf was overcooked but failed to realize it’s because wifey spent all day cleaning and baking the wonderful cake he glutted up like a caveman.
Anyway Kobe knows what he’s doing. The problem was that Ron Ron D on Wade allowed him a clear path to the basket. Thus he was a part if 55 points! That fault lies with Phil and his love affair with Fish. Talk about never leaving my side. Wow! A quicker guard could have stayed with Wade making Kobes roaming helpful.
And further more why does Charles Barkley keep saying Lebron is the best player in the NBA. Proove it! Pound for pound Kobe has no one close. I understand they don’t like his arrogance thus would love to hoist LeBron on the pedstal as King out of mere “haterism” for the Mamba. But true fans of the game know who the best is. What else must Kobe do to get the respect Jordan got? The man has scoring titles NBA records, Rings, defensive team honors, dunking champion, and most if all 81 points in 3 quarters of play! I think if Kobe won another ring and scored 100 points in a game and baked a cake for the opposing team the NB A would still not recognize him as better than LeBron. They want to give that Honor to Lebron that’s why he gets so many touch foul calls and goes to the line 20 times a game. Kobe lucky if he gets there 5 times with his head still on!
Enough! Lakers all the way. Stop waiting on Pau to man up. He’s finesse player will never be a KG. That’s Bynum job! Anyway the Kakers will be ok
lakers 4-1 over 8th seed
lakers 4-3 over Dallas
lakers 4-3 over Denver
than we play Cleveland in a game seven in Cavs land!
LeBron has 45 points 9 assist 12 boards 14-20 from the free throw line
Kobe 35 points 10 assist 8 boards 8-9 from the line.
Difference makers: Pau 25 with 12 boards
Artest 9 steals! Bynum 10 points 10 boards. Odom 10 points 20 boards! Fish goes 3-9 but hits a big 3 when desperatedly needed.
3 secs left Lebron goes for the tie after a Kobe bucket put lakers up by 3. It’s an airball. Odom snatches it out of mid air holding the ball like a Kardashian queen till he here’s the buzzer. Lakers are Champions Again! Kobe with fist in the air and daughters on his side sceams ” I’m going to DisneyWorld! Lebron shoots off the court in tears.
Now who’s the best?
Kobe wasn’t saving himself, he has that bad habit of playing half-assed defense. Q almost never puts the ball on the floor, so stay close to him. This is becoming a habit and I don’t care what anyone says bad habits stay with you. This could cost us a game or two in a series.
Pau must be sick or hurt because he is just not bringing it. Lamar is getting subbed in for Pau now. That’s scary because the Pau/LO was working great. Now we have to deal with Drew’s below average hustle at critical points.
At least Fisher played well.
(Correction) Kobe never scored 81 points in 3 quarters. He scored 62 in 3 quarters against Dallas and 81 points against Toronto in a full game.
His defense has been porous lately. Roaming either gets you beat or it works out well for you. If you understand Fisher’s weaknesses, you should not roam with him in the game.
Artest’s defense on Wade was adequate considering the speed of Wade. Wade is not a small foward, he is a two guard. He sacrificed himself guarding Kobe’s guy in order for Kobe to save energy. I think your love for Kobe has you blinded to what is going on in the game.
I definitely enjoy games when I don’t follow the game thread here.
Joel B., u seem ver passionate about bball and the lakers, but u have surpassed Ken as the most negative laker on this site. I don’t mean that as a personal attack, but I can’t remember you saying anything positive. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you feel we should win every game. A win is expected, an when we lose, u jump ship.
Overated defensively? The number one team
in the west? With the second most efficient defense in the league this season? How are we overrated? We don’t play the east creampuffs that much. We play the tough west for the most part, and still second team defensively.
Take a charge? Have u ever watched d Wade? He has this uncanny ability to change direction at his second step. I watch his games when they r on national tv because HE IS THAT good.
Play with intensity? They were down 8 with 2:31 left and were up 1 a minute later. How does that happen without playing hard? It doesn’t.
Kobemoney: Thank u for spoiling the rest of the season. Ask any non biased analyst, lebron would be the MVP, is regarded the best player right now. That doesn’t take anything away from Kobe. Kobe was the best player on the NBA for three years and all he showed for it was two first round exits. Who cares? Last year lebron won MVP, was the best player, and Kobe got the ring.
Why can’t we follow Darius? And Kurt before him. Look at the game objectively. How did the team lose? It’s not always fisher and pau’s fault. Sometimes the best team loses to an inferior team (see Seattle #1seed v Denver #8 seed). Because if they didn’t, sports would be damn boring.
Stop expecting the lakers to have an easy time to a championship. It’s not theirs to lose. No one is this season’s champion. They’ve worked their ass off to give you the best record in the west second in the league by a slim margin. That’s a good year so far.
Sorry for the rant, but it annoys me when someone constantly points out only faults when they lose, and says, oh we were supposed to win if they win.