Records: Lakers 55-22 (1st in West), Nuggets 51-27 (3rd in West, 4.5 games behind Lakers)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 108.9 (11th in NBA), Nuggets 112.0 (2nd in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.4 (5th in NBA), Nuggets 107.2 (16th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Nuggets: Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Johan Petro, Nene
UPDATE: It’s been reported by Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times that Kobe will sit out tonight’s game. It looks like Sasha will start in his place in a classic doghouse to the penthouse situation. Obviously this changes many aspects of the game plan tonight and we’ll see if Artest, Odom, and Gasol step up their offensive games to compensate for Kobe being out. Before the game, Phil mentioned that resting Kobe would be an option and it looks like he chose this game.
In more injury news, Chris Andersen listed as a game time decision will play tonight for the Nuggets after missing the last two games with a sprained ankle. Now, back to the preview.
The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers last played on Sunday and that was a defeat to the Spurs whiched lowered their record to 6-4 in their last ten games. So, that’s three days of rest since the last game, but it’s also three days to stew over a bad loss on national TV and three days of practice to try and work out the kinks. At this point, I don’t think it needs to be said that the Lakers need to play better and that there is little time left for them to get on track, but I’ve gone and said it anyway. Every game is a challenge at this point, but a quality win on the road would be a good place to start to get things going in the right direction. The cynic would say that even a win tonight could be followed up with a bad loss in the next game. And that could be true, but you have to start somewhere and even a team that can be described as “up and down” has to be up at some point, right? Why not get to that point tonight, is all I’m saying.
The Nuggets Coming in: The Nuggets have won three games in a row but that has not been the norm for them in recent weeks. Before this nice stretch, the Nuggets had lost five of six (including 4 of 5 on the road). And there are several reasons for the Nuggets lack luster play of late. First is injuries. Around the trade deadline, the Nuggets were actively looking for a low cost big man that could come in and play some minutes for them. Even though the Nuggs have a solid front line, they are thin behind their top three players and they wanted to have a contingency in case there was an injury or if they needed an extra body on any given night. Well that foresight of wanting a big man (one that they did not attain) proved correct as Kenyon Martin has missed the last 17 games with a left knee issue and has only recently been cleared to start physical activity. You add Martin’s injury to Chris Andersen’s sprained ankle that has had him out of the last two games and the Nuggs are throwing out a big man rotation that prominently features Johan Petro and Malik Allen. Ugh.
The second reason that the Nuggets have been faltering is the absence of their head coach, George Karl. We all know that Karl has been enduring treatment for the throat cancer that he was diagnosed with (get well soon coach). And while this is nothing against stand in coach Adrian Dantley, the Nuggets don’t quite have that same edge without the fiery Karl pacing the sidelines. Eventhough the Nuggs still have Billups and Anthony as leaders on the court, they’ve lost their leader in the huddle and in the practices and in the film rooms and that has (seemingly) taken its toll. You combine the absence of Karl to the injuries to key players and you have a recipe for what Denver is going through right now.
Nuggets Blogs: Go read what Jeremy is doing over at Roundball Mining Company. He’s a one man wrecking crew.
Keys to game: This is the fourth time the Lakers have faced the Nuggets this season, so at this point there isn’t much insight from an X’s and O’s persective that we can lend. Just know that Denver is up in the season series 2-1, so a Lakers win tonight would even the series and give LA two straight wins against this team.
Just because I said these much insight to be given, doesn’t mean I won’t repeat what needs to be done anyway. On offense, the Lakers need to attack inside. As I mentioned earlier, the Nuggets are down two key big men and even though Andersen is a game time decision tonight, Denver just doesn’t have a lot of reliable interior defenders to slow down Gasol and Odom. Pau needs to work the ball 12 feet and down and Odom will need to where his agressive hat tonight and attack the basket off the dribble and cut/slash to the rim on Pau post ups. Also understand that Nene can be foul prone. With that in mind, an attack mentality is even more important because he will reach in and challenge shots and that could lead to seeing the afforementioned back ups even earlier than usual.
As for Kobe, he’s facing a defender that has done well against him in the past in Arron Afflalo tonight. And with Kobe coming off two sub par shooting games in a row, I don’t know if he’ll get back on track this evening. I’ve always said that it’s pretty rare for Kobe to have two straight bad games, but that’s where we stand right now. Will he have three? If he wants to avoid that reality, it would be a good thing if the touch on his jumper returned. If Kobe can knock down some 18-20 footers early, it should give him the room he needs to drive the ball. Also worth looking out for is how Dantlely deals with Kobe on the post. In the last meeting agsint Denver, Kobe dominated the second half of the game by facilitating the offense from the weakside block when the Nuggets sent the double team at him time and time again. Will Dantley employ the same strategy? if he does, I think our cutters and outside shooters will get plenty of good looks both in the paint and behind the three point line that the Lakers will need to knock down.
On defense the Lakers need to slow down ‘Melo and Billups. In the last meeting, Ron Artest had one of his best defensive games of the year has he bodied and harrassed ‘Melo all over the court. Anthony ended up having an awful evening as he finished with 21 points on 19 shots and also committed 8 turnovers. If Artest can put in a similar effort tonight and yield anywhere close to the same results it will go a long way towards a Lakers victory. As for Billups, nothing has changed with this man’s game in the past 8 seasons. He’s still got the quickness to beat you off the dribble and still loves the pull up three in transition and when his defender goes under the screen on the P&R. Whoever is on Chauncey tonight (and I expect several different Lakers to spend some time on him) needs to chase him over screens and not play defense in a retreating position. Play him tight and trust the help that should be in the paint. The last thing the Lakers need is for Billups to get hot from behind the arc. We all remember game two of this season’s series when Billups caught fire early and never cooled down. Avoiding that type of performance is crucial.
From a team wide perspective, the Lakers must be aware of the pace tonight. Denver plays at the 5th fastest pace in the league and will run every chance they get (escpecially since they’re at home). Ty Lawson is back from his shoulder injury and when he and JR Smith come into the game the entrire flow of the game can go from 65mph to 90 in an instant. The ball will be raced up the court and shots will be taken very quickly. The Lakers can’t fall into the trap of playing this fast and must be selective with their own run outs. Dever is a middle of the road defensive team and they will give you openings to attack, but it takes patience and smarts to exploit it. Indiscriminant bum rushes towards the basket will not do it. If the Lakers are precise and play to their strengths, they should be able to get a win against an undermanned Nuggets team.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time out West locally on KCAL. Also, nationally as the 2nd game of the TNT double header. In other words, if you’re not in the LA area, you’ll be lucky to catch the tip off as the first game inevitably goes long.
As I said in the other thread, the Lakers are now 1/2 game up on Orlando and will (obviously) be tied with them with a loss tonight.
Joel B. says
Fisher will most likely pick up two quick fouls because Billups is going to attack fisher early and that means Shannon will be in early against Billups. I’m really interested to see if Shannon will play fundamentally sound defense, I doubt it, but i’ll love to see Shannon not go under screens, not foul Billups while shooting a three and sending him to the line. The Lakers will be in good shape if Shannon and Fisher can do a relatively decent job defensively and hit some shots. But then there’s Lawson versus Farmar, I’m just shaking my head.
Just a heads up, the game will also be on K-cal (7:30 tip, so it’ll be live — I still cringe from the old tape-delay days).
alex v. says
For locals, the game is also on KCAL 9 (where it will still run long because of TNT commercials).
Is Denver on the second night of a back to back. That has a huge effect.
I’ve updated the post with the KCAL info. Thanks for the heads up.
Oh yeah, and Denver playing in a back to back is big. They were in OKC last night and played a hard fought game where Billups came up big in the fourth and Carmelo banged his head, got knocked unconcious, and then played almost the entire 4th quarter(!). The doctors say that ‘Melo is good to go tonight, though.
No Bynum… Not good.
It looks like Kurt is looking out for FB&G’er the dude abides on this one:
Oh boy – here we go! Lakers need this win tonight. If not, something’s going to hit the fan!!
lil' pau says
if anything, darius understates the importance of Den playing back to back. i saw some insane stat earlier this year (maybe here?) about denver’s historical record in B2Bs in which they return to Den for the second game– turns out it’s only marginally less of a disadvantage for them relative to visiting teams who travel to Den for the 2nd half of a B2B. Stat was most egregious for when Den or Den’s opponents were coming off a game one west of the rockies, which isn’t the case here. i’m not sure when the lakers got to denver, but this is one of the few times where they are favored by the schedule-makers, and in fact favored considerably. if someone could dig up that stat, I would be grateful– the critical component for tonight was that Den’s HCA was obliterated by their B2B status.
this, of course, does not mean that shannon’s between the legs 22 foot jumpshots are any more likely to go in than at sea level, so play smart, boys!
Craig W. says
In this b-2-b they are coming west. When teams, including Denver, are coming east they also get a time change problem and the issue is that much worse.
I think it’s even more important to win considering the possibility that the Lakers play ORL again in the finals (ORL has the best shot of anyone to knock off the very favored CLE; CLE was favored last year, too & they did just that). It’s not too late to secure HCA over ORL for good measure and momentum.
Yes, I know we can’t overlook the west and it will be tough to get back to finals again, especially given the way the Lakers have been playing lately…but I have not given up hope on them. Here’s to winning the next 5 going into the playoffs!!
lil' pau says
FYI, Hollinger’s screwy playoff predictor has the Lakers the 7th most likely team to win it all!
who would have thought we would be considered underdogs to phx, uta, sa and portland? that guy needs a beatdown.
On a different note, I feel like it’s been six months since the Lakers played a game. And this TNT late start business is going to be the death of me!
Tick tock tick tock.
14, that is laughable. I normally like Hollinger and I think there’s some merit to his work (albeit much less than he thinks), but when your model spits out the Portland Trailblazers having a higher probability of winning the championship than the Lakers, that’s when you go back to the drawing board, because your model does not reflect reality, at all.
14. But you have to admit, watching LA play this year for fans has not had too many warm and fuzzy moments. I think dude is just sayin thats its wide open in the West, if LA continues to play in this fog. There is no guarantee that LA will get their act together, so it does have some merit when you consider the team hasnt put 4 good quarters of basketball together in a game. It takes 4 good games in a series to win, you do the math, it just doesnt add up to spell success.
I would have liked to have called such predictions as bulletin board material for the team, but who knows what gets this team fired up and motivated.
So curious about the John Hollinger post in which he makes a statement on the NBA’s biggest ballhoggers. So, who were the culprits?
Really want Lakers to give a message to Denver and to Hollintheheadger.
Its not possible for Kobe to have another 24% shooting night? Why because he is not playing.
Also don’t expect much from Fish tonight and would like to see Sasha pound on Billups. Oh yea no Kobe tonight so Phil is throwing in the towell I guess.
Warren Wee Lim says
Whattup FB and G!!!
UPDATE: Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times is reporting that Kobe is not going to play tonight. Apparently, before the game Phil Jackson said that Kobe could use some rest and tonight is going to be the night that he gets it. I’ll update the main post as well.
Also, Chris Andersen will play for the Nuggs after sitting out the last two games with a sprained ankle.
WHAT !? KOBE’S NOT PLAYING ?! …. we’re screwed
Phil is saving Kobe for Timberwolves. You know the important game aganist the potential NBA Champs.
In the year 2030
By the way in last game I suggested there was something really wrong with Kobe’s finger hence the 12% shooting outside of 18 feet for the prior two games.
i thought u guys might enjoy it :]
I heard Sasha’s getting the start
: ) I hated him last year but he is starting to grow on me
No Kobe wtf. This makes absolutely no sense. Win this one get momentum. Sit him the last 4 games. Smh.
2 plays, 2 blown defensive assignments by Sasha…
Interesting. I like this. If this doesn’t jumpstart Sasha, I’m not sure anything will.
I like that Sasha tries on defense, but he gets blown by way too easily. Reminds of me of that play in the 08 Finals, the way Afflalo (who has very little explosiveness) just walked past Sasha.
Watching him (objective statement, not trying to bash), it appears Sasha uses his hands on defense far more than his feet. That’s a major problem for those people wanting to start Sasha at PG; he may get blown by even more than Fisher.
But I like the way he’s playing in the triangle on offense. Beautiful lob to Pau right there. So if he can give us more than Fish on offense, starting him might be worth it.
Interesting Kobe and Lebron sat tonight…conspiracy????
Hahaha ; )
Kinda torn about kobe sitting tonight. On one hand, I like that he’s getting a chance to rest his possibly weary legs and busted up finger. But if we win without him tonight, all the haters are going to come on here and with their “see, the Lakers are so much better without Kobe!” bullsh*t! And if we lose cuz he’s not playing, it just continues our losing as of late and does nothing to help us gain the confidence and momentum we would by beating a top team.
28, I agree, Sasha is just not moving his feet on defense. He’s getting blown by more easily than Fisher.
Lots of things wrong with this game so far. Pau kicks out from the post and Fisher immediately puts up the three when he should’ve gone to the re-post. Pau doesn’t even try to get into rebounding position, so he loses a board that he easily could’ve had if he put in half as much effort as someone like Varejao does on every rebound.
Which makes it amazing that we’re leading.
No sweat. Fish will just take kobe’s 25 shots tonight.
Notice the avarage time Pau holds the ball is about 15 seconds.
This lineup looks like a pick up team that never played a game togeather in their life.
The Lakers look fine so far. Sasha needs to force Afflalo to his left hand – especially in the open court. That’s what Fisher did on that 3 on 2 and it worked perfectly. On offense, I like Ron’s activity so far. He’s made a jumper, hit Pau with a good pass off a post up, and had a good drive that resulted in a miss (but was a strong take). Ron will need to be the player that raises his offense tonight (even more than Sasha or Fisher) so it’s nice to see him aggressive (and not over thinking) early.
This zen stuff is getting way out of hand!! If kobe needed rest then he should have sat him a LONG time ago and forced the issue way back so he’d be ready for this last stretch and the playoffs. I’m not a doctor but according to all the posts about his finger and stuff, it would take longer than 6 weeks to heal and even that probably wouldn’t do it. So – sit out one game? Even if he sits out the last few – hmmmm….makes no sense.
Unless the gives Sasha one last shot at redeeming himself. Come on dude – we need your 3pt shooting of machine days!! If that comes back then that would lock up the ring this year!!!
Darius they have scored 10 points in 8 minutes. That looks ok to you???????
RE Kobe sitting: Lakers are saying it’s due to a swollen right knee. Phil mentioned that Kobe looked like he had “dead legs” and that he wanted him to get some rest.
Theoretically I would Like to play Kobe at the point and Sasha at the 2 and have Fisher on the 2nd team but that will likely never happen.
Ken, as I type it’s 17-12 with 3min 18sec left in the game. The offense could be better (outside shots are a bit forced and they need to go into Gasol a bit more) and on defense the Lakers are a half step slow to some hot Denver three point shooters. So, yeah, I think the Lakers are fine.
Yea looking great Darius a 20 point quarter but they are playing good defense.
Sometimes Phil’s “I’m waiting in line for the bathroom at the Olive Garden” look when the opposing team makes a run really ticks me off.
Far be it for me to question the coach with the highest win % in history, though. He has 10 rings as a coach and I have none.
looks like denver wants to double pau with the man at the top of the key. lakers need to exploit that and move the ball.
i’m impressed that lakers only down by 2. if we keep it close by 4th quarter nugs will be tired and lakers need to wipe them off the court. No more excuses!!!!
Tell me how it feels to not be able to see more than 2 inches in front of you, Ken? That 16 point first quarter is now a 22-20 game in Denver’s favor. Have the Lakers played perfect? No, but they’re down two points to a good team without Kobe. They’ve also held the #2 offensive team in the league to a 95.5 offensive rating (when it’s usually 112.0). So yeah, I’m fine with where things are right now.
I know you are right. I could not type fast enough as they were playing better. They are really playing good defense.
Yea! I love it when DJ scores. Watch out he’s probably gonna start chuckin now.
What happened on that inbounds play? I looked away & DEN somehow made it 27-27 after being down 2 a sec before…
Wow – sasha and brown combined for 0-6 right now – those are our shooters. Come on!! You gotta make some shots if we are going to win the ring!!! I am impressed that lakers are keeping it close. Go Lakers!!!!
47. least shannons getting to the freethrow line right
Lamar Wasn’t paying attention and ty lawson stole the ball.
Almost as bad as when he did this
I can handle Reggie and Marv Albert, but Mike Fratello’s voice drives me crazy. If only it was on KCAL on league pass…
Lakers will be fine if Lamar decides to show up. He must have hosted a party last night. The lakers d is doing okay on the other end they need to knock down some shots.
Does anybody know what the tie breaker is with the magic and lakers if they play in the finals and they have the same record and split the season series 1-1?
How come brown looked so much better last year. This year i just want mitch to dump him…but i think he has a 2 year contract and 2nd year is his option?
wtf – brown 0-7? why is he chucking up so many shots when ron is 5-6?
Man has Brown turned into a real bad player the 2nd half of the year. He is what 0 for 7?
The dunk contest ruined him
The only explanation I keep telling people in defense of Brown is he confidence got shot way down after laying an egg in the dunk contest and then he hurt is thumb and is afraid of going up hard. It seems to me (maybe I just notice to reinforce my theory) he has really shied away from the Shan-Wow dunks and plays he did pre-hand injury.
Not that I give him a pass…
Sooooooooooo why does Phil keep playing him
57. I have no theory for that.
LOL, Artest. That was unbelievably pathetic.
Isn’t it amazing what happens when you know how to do something so simple as SHOOT?! Too bad we have no idea what that means…
This is some kind of bad basketball. Starting to be funny.
Pau is really weak.
Looks like the worst coached team in the NBA right now.
If I could spell embarrising I would.
There is a team left in their remaining games they can beat. Isen’t there?
Please tell me there is. I just figured out why Sasha get no minutes.
oh come on – let’s not get blown out!!! like they dont’ already have enough confidence that they can beat us in the playoffs. my tivo don’t want to record crap like this.
That’ll do it, this will be a 25 point blow out. Darius before you get mad, i’m not giving up on them because of they way they are playing right this second. I’m saying this because they way they’ve played all season in this type of situation. Another game lakers just aren’t hitting shots. Other then artest the lakers 4 starters are 5-20. If it wasn’t for Mbenga and Powell the bench would be 1-9. Terrible. Thats just not going to get it done.
Bynum and Kobe better be at top form or there won’t be a title this year. Hopefully the Cavs don’t win it.
This team has driven me to fall off the wagon.
I have a feeling that Kobe isn’t playing because losing this game WITH Kobe in the Lineup is something that the team doesn’t want to have to address. Without Kobe in the lineup, this game becomes more of a win-win situation as far as the team’s psyche is concerned.
If the Lakers win w/o Kobe, then that’s a great sign!
If the Lakers lose w/o Kobe, then isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?
When you lower your expectations, you’re willing to accept more as a victory and less as a defeat.
This is sad. Anyone still questioning Kobe’s contract?
Everyone looks jaded we need an energizer.
66 I’m thinking the exact same thing
67 A little bit, but Kobe will be fine
By the way this will be 4 of the last 5 games they have lost. That is the worst of any team going to the playoffs.
Hard to believe we couldn’t find better bench player then Brown, Powell, Sasha the brick and Walton. Hard to believe.
I understand the frustration, but the difference in this game has been JR Smith’s explosion. 16 points in the second quarter for Smith and Denver is up by 10 right now. As tough as this game has been so far – and I admit that things aren’t looking good with Melo and Smith having big nights – I still feel okay about the second half if we can do a couple of things better.
First is to have Odom turn his game around (he’s only played well on the glass) and to continue to go into Pau. The double teaming that Denver is employing is leading to good shots, but I’d like to see more reposts on the kick out when the defense starts to scramble. This game will turn on one more big run but the Lakers have to be the team that makes it or this game can get ugly.
By the way our 4 guards are 4 for 19. now that is some real talent.
Does anyone honestly still think this is a championhsip team?
The team is too tired, too injured, and the fire that came from the Boston loss in 2008 isn’t driving them this year.
It’s not going to happen for them in 2010.
Hopefully, Mitch makes an honest assessment of the team, and retools the bench.
And for GOD’S SAKE, I hope Kobe and Pau take the summer off.
What Chuck just said struck a chord with me anyone else agree with a lot of the things he said?
Lakers have botched a couple fast breaks (Gasol getting stripped, artest missing the finger roll), JR smith has caught on fire, Melo’s having a good game, Lakers are shooting 33%, and yet only down 10. This could very well end up being a blowout, but glad they haven’t fallen apart by halftime… that must sound really pessimistic. anyways GO LAKERS
We do have a shot at winning the championship. We have great talent. We are playing poorly, yes, we can play well, we just aren’t now. Have some faith. Kobe said earlier some of the earlier championship teams came into the playoffs lagging more than this year’s team. We have vets, they know how to play. If Lamar shows up, if someone (anyone?!) gets hot, we will be ok.
For all the complaining we do…we have 55 wins. 55! Right now that is second best in the league. There are 28 teams that would die to be in our spot. We will be number 1 in the West, that’s a positive.
Big picture is narrowing because its late in the season, but don’t give up hope.
Darius, the problem is that getting good shots means nothing if you can’t shoot! I swear, why is that so difficult for this team?! This game is predicated on putting that little orange round ball inside the BIGGER basket. How hard is it? Either practice shooting or get some talent! Look at Mo Williams tonight. Draining 3’s like they were layups.
This team is still a contender as long as Bynum comes back somewhat decently and Kobe returns to godlike performance. One of the guards also needs to get hot I can see Jordan or Sasha getting hot in the playoffs even Fish.. remember last year when we criticized him so much yet he came up big in the playoffs if it happens again the Lakers are still one of the best. The one good thing is (in my opinion) the Lakers are in great position to win a 7 game series. I wouldn’t bet on them winning every game in the playoffs like I would of last year but I can only see 3 teams that can possibly beat the lakers in a 7 game series as long as they are healthy. Dallas, Denver, and Cleveland.
looks like we wont have home court in finals against magic either now. might as well rest any players with any ailments for the rest of the season
And another thing, can we please stop the “Sasha the Savior” movement?
The guy is HORRENDOUS in every facet of his game.
Morrison is better than Sasha.
Both of them can’t shoot or correctly rotate on defense, but at least Morrison doesn’t routinely give up AND 1’s with stupid touch fouls or foul guys 30 feet from the basket.
Phil gave Sasha a freaking golden opportunity by starting him tonight.
Interesting Shannon gets the 2nd H start over Sash…
Lamar just doesn’t want to play tonight. I’ve never seen someone walk over to set a screen after just being dunked on. Is he injured?
We miss Bynum.
It is too bad that no one is paying Gasol to dunk… oh wait.
Come ON Pau! Why take that 4 foot floater when you can jump up and put it down with two hands?
Throw it down big man! THROW IT DOWN!
I’d say that almost any playoff team in the west can take the lakers in 7 if they continue to play like this. yes, kobe is not in but denver is on the 2nd night of a back to back.
the east – cavs, magic, bos, atl.
man – i hope the playoffs look better than this.
jesus christ fisher with the missed long 2 PUJIT that probably killed whatever momentum we had
It’s tough to describe that shot by Fisher. Not enough derogatory adjectives in my vocabulary.
85. I saw that fisher shot the whole way.
Besides that terrible shot by Fisher I loved that Dunk by Shannon haven’t seen him do that in awhile
The comments come in on Fish’s negative shot (yes, I agree). But we just started playing with life, Shan-Wow just had his first sighting in 1+ month, Lamar half-woke up, Pau had a good-effort block, the bench is excited…22-5 run, enjoy the ride.
gotta at least take it into the FT line, you can’t take a jumper on a fast break with one foot on the three point line… just ridiculous
The Laker guards are in love with the long 2 ball. That, almost all by itself, is costing us 4-5 points a game.
89 Good Point Fisher takes way too many shots early in the clock, he has no reason to. Possibly the worst offensive player on the team.
But the team is now playing excited ball I wonder what Phil said at halftime.
LOL, Sasha. Way to flop. That’s why you get no calls from the referees. I wondered how many times Sasha has made those “oh-he-fouled-me” movements in the past and fooled the referees, only to have them realize it after watching tape after the game. Imagine the level of resentment.
You can’t flop everytime or cry for a foul every play. Have some credibility, and dignity. The beard does make him look less of a sissy, though.
Are we watching the same game? Must every negative thing that our favorite whipping boys do get the most play in the comments? I understand the frustration but aren’t we ahead now? Haven’t we played hard in the 2nd half and made a push against a good team on the road? Our defense has picked up, Sasha just hit a three, and Ron is matching Melo point for point. I’m feeling good about this team right now.
Andreas G. says
“Pau is really weak.
Looks like the worst coached team in the NBA right now.
If I could spell embarrising I would.”
C’mon, Shannon. Force Malik Allen to do something offensively rather than allow Billups a wide open 3.
Drew finally gave us some better information and set a timeline for himself.
The lakers are playing like they care. I didn’t think they would respond, but they are and thats great to see. They just need to play a little smarter on the defensive end.
96 Your post made me extremely happy, let him get back to form in the first round and the possibilites are endless
Huge 3 by Jordan…it’s amazing that we’re winning with so many out-of-the-offense scores.
Watch out, it’s Melo Time.
Lakers have played well in the 3rd and 4th. I do wish that Phil had brought Artest back in before Melo went on a 7 point tear…
This next two minutes and change are big. Very big.
Did u see Fish fight for the ball? Ole man had muscle.
Who will close for us tonight? Pau? I doubt it. I think we win on a Brown score.
Stop and a score, here we go.
It’s interesting to see Sasha in clutch situations. Fish is gonna hit a game winner
Win or lose, the guys stepped it up and showed some actual heart in the second half and that deserves some applause.
Shannon should have held it.
From replays, definitely look like Lakers ball.
That last shot was pathetic lol
Andreas G. says
Jesus what a final possession…
On the other hand…what was Fisher thinking trying to shoot a 3 over Carmelo?
i bet someone is going to make a video of fisher taking the last shot in the celtics/nuggets game….
Yeah, we don’t need Kobe. Why would we when we can settle for Fish jacking up a 3 and getting it thrown back in his face?
can someone explain to me why they did not call a timeout on that last possession?
Serious blown calls at the end. At least we were in it down to the wire without Kobe!
That would have been Kobe Time. But it’s okay. The Lakers fought hard without Kobe and Bynum, just like the game earlier in the season against the Celtics (though they had AB).
Obviously, with Martin, the Nugs would be a better rebounding team.
@#113, Phil likes to keep playing so the other team cannot draw up a defensive scheme. Usually, that’s not a problem since we have the clutchest player in the league.
I’m all for letting the players “figure it out on their own,” but when none of the players out on the floor have much experience or success creating a shot out of nothing I’m all for calling a timeout to tell them what to do. I guess Phil wanted to leave early…
Can someone please tell Derek Fisher it’s no longer 2001.
I mean Derek being the “veteran” couldn’t have gotten a better shot really? I mean your going against a guy who is one of the best players in the league you either use your quickness and try to drive on the guy or actually give the ball to someone like Pau or Ron who kept the team in the game.
Because this Laker team including Phil Jackson just dont care thats why no time out was called. Absolutely a pathetic last possession and uncalled for that Jackson dont call a timeout. Any other coach in the league would have called a freaking time out and would have set up a play. Pathetic…this team is really starting to piss me off to the point that I just dont want to watch them
Ladies and Gentlemen, before you sing the praises of the effort by the Lakers, please refer to #66. This game meant nothing- and that was determined before the tip.
Is there any team in the NBA with worst guards. Fish 2 for 11 sasah 3 for 12 brown 3 for 12.
Fisher is just turned into a ego driven stupid player who has no idea how bad of a offensive player he is.
Just amazing. Nice time out at the end pHil did you think Kobe was in the game?
Even though it’s a loss it is reassuring for me to see the Lakers competing. Although I normally defend when Phil doesn’t take a time out but he really should have taken one there
why in both celtic and nugget game its fisher in iso at the 3. just so he can jack up another “it should’ve been a foul flying arms puzzled looked” fisher shot?
it didn ‘t look like they even had a play at the end.
Yea that might have been poor judgment on PJ’s part since we had no creators, but it was also on Fish who walked up the ball and slowly mozy on down instead of driving it and creating some separation. The whole point of not taking a timeout is to not let the defense set, but you’re easily giving them that if you just walk it up like you’re trying to kill time.
Lot to say for this game. Pau can’t carry a team. Lamar needs to step up or just trade him since he only shows up 50% of the time. ( and I really like LO to.) All our so call Garda should be dumped in the off season. Lakers core is Kobe, Pau, and Bynum. Ron is just ok. If we win a ring it will be on the back of the Mamba!
The only rational explanation for the last 14 seconds of the game was that Phil Jackson had money on the Nuggets.
I’m dead serious.
That was an abortion.
Well, we lost, but good to know we can fight Denver til the last minute without Kobe and Bynum…
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not calling a timeout with 12 seconds remaining.
It’s not like a 14 year veteran should have to be told to dump the ball into the most highly skilled 7 footer in the league.
127, No its not good. We lost a game we could have won. We made careless turnovers at the end, two huge possessions we couldnt even get a shot off. And then Phil’s Jackson’s idiotic decision not to call a timeout. We could have won this game and now that we havent, Orlando is now tied with us and we continue to have no momentum going into the playoffs. It isnt good or something to be proud of in my book.
128 i mean
Absolute Coaching Meltdown by Phil Jackson. He is a big fan of playing through to the end of games, but you do that off of LIVE BALL situations, not a a dead ball inbounds. We lost 5 seconds just advancing the ball. You can’t make that choice with 12 seconds without giving the ball to a coast to coast threat, and Fisher is not that by any stretch. Without Kobe, you advance the ball and run something. It’s a two point deficit. Denver, a weak defensive team, has to respect the three point shot, and if you’re going for a three and a win, do it out of a sideline inbounds. HORRIBLE decision.
Unfortunately, it just brings Phil in step with the rest of the team, who made three horrendous errors (Sasha turnover, Gasol turnover,Shannon ruining great defense with a ridiculous pass) to close out a game that would have been HUGE.
Ugghhhhhh that was frustrating. So many guys stepped it up, and our Zen Master gagged at the end. Great physical effort, but it really speaks to what I think this team is really struggling with, and that’s concentration. So many of the things that are brought up here (not running the offense a huge example as well as no consistency on p&R defense are about MENTALLY finishing possessions. At least twice in this game, Denver came out of a timeout, ran top of key pick and rolls that left a streaking Nene cruising down a TOTALLY VACATED PAINT. Again, mental effort: coming out of a timeout focused. The Lakers regularly show physical willingness, but so often they do not close out possessions, quarters, and games. A read and react offense requires mental exertion and concentration as well, and it’s much less taxing to just take a PUJIT and move on, and the Lakers do that way too often. Overall, tonight I thought they showed greater fidelity to the offense, but still just couldn’t hold Denver off. They commit so many fouls with under 4 seconds left in the shot clock, I wonder if somewhere somebody’s keeping track of that.
Well, 2 down, 4 more shots to go to clinch the West.
Why we shouldn’t worry…
Fact: 70% chance we’ll win a game
Fact: 50% we’ll make the Finals
Fact: 25% chance we win it all
This is the Lakers stats entering every season.
Totally agree with Joe. This game was not a moral victory.
A moral victory is a hard fought game where both teams play well, and you ultimately lose.
This was a case where the Lakers literally handed the game to Denver on a silver platter…and the crazy part is, Denver didn’t even want it.
So Fish made sure the Lakers lost by taking the worst attempt at a game winner I’ve ever seen in my life.
A 6’2, old guy with no quickness or hops trying to create against a 6’8 guy with plenty of quickness and hops.
ARE YOU F______ KIDDING ME???
Every since his contract negotiation with Jerry Buss went public, Phil has been openly mailing in games. It’s the only reasonable explanation.
I could sit there, randomly substitute, and not call time-outs at the of games.
That’s what $12mil gets you?
Hey Phil, START EARNING YOUR PAY CHECK!!!!
I thought they did well. Lakers will show up in playoffs, but it’s disconcerting to see them give away games year in and year out like it’s no big deal. If Kobe’s absence doesn’t say something about it, I don’t know what does.
Dick Barnett says
You couldn’t beat the sisters of mercy shooting 36%!
If this Laker teams gets out of the first round, I’ll be shocked.
They are not close to being the kind of team they were last year. Not close.
Matt R. says
I’m not too unhappy with this game.
Our backcourt shot horribly, but they missed some gimmes, as did Pau and Ron-Ron.
With a horrid shooting percentage and no Kobe Bryant, we lost to Denver, in Denver, by 2 points after putting up more than 95.
Yeah, the last shot by Fish was bad, but LO couldn’t get open with freaking Chauncey Billups on him. Watch the video and Billups did a great job covering LO, leaving Fish with nowhere to go with the ball because Melo was smothering him.
I’ll buy into not understanding Phil’s lack of a time-out…although I’m thinking he just wanted to get out of Denver and move on. It just had that feel. “OK, we showed we can play these guys and this game means more to them than us, let’s pack it in and go.”
Travis Y. says
Yes the Lakers could have won that game, but just because we lost doesn’t mean this game was a complete loss.
The TEAM competed! Coming out of the second half the Lakers really could have folded after the Nuggets came out with a five point punch to the face. Yet the Lakers stuck with the game plan and got the ball to the paint. When that wasn’t working, other guys realized that they had to step up.
The team realized they were going to be held accountable this game. Kobe was not going to bail them out. It was either compete, have a chance to win, or get blown out and embarrassed.
We got contributions from the bench. Farmar and Shannon stepped into their open jumpers and put pressure on the defense. With the team spreading around the scoring, they were invested on defense. You saw guys rotating and congesting the lane.
All around it was a better effort from the team and something to build upon.
Once Kobe comes back, Kobe needs to find a way to do something he hasn’t done all season. Keep his stamp off of games.
What does that mean? Well, like Bill Simmons was saying in his final chapter of his book, Kobe controls the game and puts his will on it. He dominates possessions and takes away from involving the other teammates.
Kobe instilling his will on a game is not entirely his fault. He goes with the game plan of getting everyone the ball but when guys aren’t bringing it (Lamar, Pau, other people not bringing their energy level up) Kobe clams up and decides, it’s time to do everything.
To summarize, everyone needs to be accountable and make it a point to step up their games and not depend on Kobe. It’s very easy to just pass Kobe the ball and let him make decisions. It’s much harder to think, read the floor, and make plays.
Hopefully the team decides to be accountable and make themselves threats heading into the playoffs. That is what I hope to see come playoff time.
I’m more pissed at the comments than I am the result of this game. Question Phil all you want but you’re not in the huddle and you don’t know how much coaching he’s doing. Should he have called a time out? Probably, yes. That said, the Lakers had a play set up and it didn’t work. Against Boston, Phil called the timeout and nothing came of that game either. The situations weren’t exactly parallel but you’re rolling the dice either way, especially without Kobe available to play his usual role as the primary scorer in these situations. Should the ball have been in the hands of a better creator of shots (Odom or Artest)? Sure, probably. But the Lakers ran a P&R to get Odom the ball and it didn’t work. That’s the point. The play didn’t work. Cuss and scream all you want, but I’m not even mad about this game. Denver is a great, great home team. Even without Martin and Karl and on the 2nd night of a BTB they’re still going to be tough in their home arena. The Lakers took their best shot and were there at the end without Kobe and Bynum. Melo and Smith were at their absolute best for a lot of this evening and the Lakers battled away and never gave up. The Lakers fought hard in the 2nd half, turned a 15 point deficit into a 7 point lead and just didn’t have it in them to close out the game. After a game like this, I’m less concerned than I was against the Spurs. I’m never happy with a loss, but I’m not pissed at this one. Frustrated? Sure. You never like to lose a game that’s winnable. But I’ll live with this one.
And L is an L, just like a W is a W. This game is not a crystal ball and tells us nothing about the future.
Ghost of Smush Past says
Major bummer! But I agree with Darius and the non hater sentiments tonight. The Lakers could have folded and gotten blown out again (a la SA, Atlanta… OKC…) but instead they came back, and as many here say – they should have won. In the standings this is just as bad as a blowout, but this was much more respectable, and they should be able to build on this. similar to the Boston loss… Lakers played well and deserved the win, but just couldn’t come up with the plays to finish the game. And I don’t feel this game gives Denver any more leverage against the Lakers if they match up in the playoffs.
We should’ve followed up on Coach Walton’s idea on using Kobe like Mariano Rivera in end-game situations
Considering we spotted them Kobe and Bynum, not too bad.
Playoffs are a different beast, as is us having our full roster.
Sorry but you just turned the ball over 3 of the last 4 times down the court. So you let Fish walk the ball up court and get your shot blocked. You know the guy who was 2 for 11 and has the worst shooting percentage of any point guard in the NBA. That was Phil mailing it in.
You set up a play for Pau or Ron your two best shooters on the night not our guards who shot 25% for the game. That’s bad coaching.
this team has now lost 4 of their last 5 games and continue to show a very bad bench, very bad shorting guard and very poor judgement on defense and bad outside shooting.
This is a trend and not one of a team that is suppose to be a championship team.
Giving a team credit for TRYING is silly as the Nets also try ever game.
Fisher, Brown and Sasha were 8 for 35 and are a huge weakness for this team.
And yes Phil blew this game by leaving Sasha on Smith for 4 open 3 pointers, leaving Ron out until to 2:40 mark of the 4th and not calling a time out for a clearly confused team.
I didn’t get to watch the game, but I did listen to the stretch where the Lakers came back from 15 down. This is when I learned Sasha started, Kobe was out. We were down 15 in the third without Kobe and without Bynum. Then, in a few minutes, we tied the game. This is when I stopped listening.
After hanging out with friends, I find the Lakers lost… by 2. And every caller into 710 ESPN lambasted Phil Jackson for not calling a time out. If PHil called a time out and we didn’t win, who would the blame go to?
I wish we had more momentum going into the playoffs, but Denver couldn’t hold us off being up 15? Without Kobe?? Without Bynum?? I’m not angry. I’m upset we lost, but I’m happy with the effort. Unhappy with the shooting. Really unhappy with the shooting.
Can the playoffs start already??
One and done! Give credit to the Lakers for battling back – but they are finished.
Playoffs are not going to look much different than what you’ve been watching all season long.
Yes and I was one of those callers Ray. You are lucky you didn’t see Fisher last attempt. How long ago was that .03 shot I seemed to have forgotten.
But at least they played hard.
Recap is up.
ken! that was you? I kept yelling at my radio! it’s .4!!! not .3!!
I’m not saying that was a terrible last shot, but I would have been confident had Kobe been in the game. He would have gotten a shot off and possibly won then we could talk about how the rest of the team was waiting for Kobe to bail them out!
Denver should be very worried that we got back into the game.