Our long wait is over. There’s finally another game to play and the Lakers now have a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead as they venture into the hostile environment of Energy Solutions Arena. But, despite the Lakers advantages in this series, this will not be an easy game and the Lakers will need to bring their best effort in order to beat one of the best home teams in the league. When you look at the Jazz’s home/road splits, you see that they score almost 7 more points at home than on the road and have a point differential of +9.6. They’re better in almost every statistical category in their home arena so there’s little wonder why they lost only 9 games there all season.
Yesterday, we took a look at what the Jazz will need to do in order to win a game in this series, but now is the time to explore what the Lakers will need to do to win game 3. First and foremost is the fact that the Lakers will need to show poise and patience. Utah’s home court is, as Phil Jackson noted, a hostile environment and one of the arenas where home court advantage is real. The noise can be deafening and with fans seemingly right on top of the players there is a real sense of being in a cramped space where everyone is against you. This means that execution and sticking to the game plan will be key for the Lakers. Now is not the time to go away from the successful formula of the first two games. The Lakers must go into the post to Gasol and Bynum while also planting Kobe at the weak side block. The results of this plan have been devastating to the Utah defense in the first two games, as the Lakers have posted a 112 offensive efficiency rating in these contests. By continuing this plan of attack, the Lakers can make the Jazz see that the only thing that’s changed is the venue, not the keys to winning the series.
Pace will also be key as the Lakers should want to play fast, but will also need to play under control. At this point it’s clear that the Lakers are the more athletic team that can thrive in transition and early offense against the Jazz. That said, taking shots early in the clock or settling for the first open look is not going to get it done tonight. The Lakers bigs need to continue to run the floor and look for early post ups, but if those aren’t there they need to get out of the paint and establish their floor spacing in order to run their sets. The Lakers have shown a great ability to stay true to their plan (for the most part), but tonight this will be a major variable in their success. This will be even more important for the Lakers second unit. As Phil mentioned, he’s likely to try Kobe again with the substitutes in the second period so that should provide some stability for this group. However, it is still quite important that Farmar, Brown, and Odom bring a focus and determination when they get their minutes because it’s been on their watch that leads have dissipated in this series.
However, not all variables are ones that the Lakers control. It’s been reported that Andrei Kirilenko will return to action tonight after missing the past two months (23 out of 25 games) with a left calf injury. And while Jerry Sloan will surely be cautious in deploying AK47, having back his lanky, do-it-all Russian is an added boost to his team. It remains to be seen how effective Kirilenko will be in terms of his conditioning and timing (it’s difficult to miss as much time as he has and come back in rhythm), but having him back for even spot minutes changes the complexion of what the Jazz can do on both offense and defense to disrupt what the Lakers have had success with so far this series. The multi-faceted Kirilenko can play either forward position offensively and can guard (at least) three positions on defense. And I expect the Jazz to utilize his diverse offensive game by using him as a pick and pop guy in the P&R with Williams, as an isolation player on the wing against slower defenders, and as an initiator of offense from the high post (ala Boozer). But Kirilenko (even in limited action) can make his biggest impact on defense. He’ll likely see time on Artest, Odom, Gasol, and Kobe and will provide the length and shot blocking potential that the Jazz have been missing all series. Look for him (especially when matched up with Ron) to be a roamer on defense where he can come from the weak side to block and alter shots by Gasol and Bynum on their post ups and do the same to Kobe when he’s on the pinch post or driving to the rim.
Another thing that the Lakers can’t control are the referees and how the game is called. Over the years, the Lakers have always encountered more physical games in Utah and every year they seem to get frustrated by the lack of whistles that come their way. This is something that the Lakers are going to have to play through and show the poise that has made them a champion. As we’ve mentioned, the Jazz are going to reach in, they’re going to push, and they’re going to go after the ball. If the Lakers don’t adjust to how the game is called or the physical nature of the Jazz, this game will be even more difficult than what is already in the cards considering the status of the series and the must win mindset of the Jazz.
In the end, the Lakers have a cushion in this series and a loss would not be the end of the world. However, if you look league wide and especially in the other half of the western bracket, you see teams (like Phoenix) taking control of their series and gearing up for the tougher match ups that lie ahead. Right now, the Lakers should take note and go for the jugular themselves. As we saw in the OKC series, allowing the opposition to get any momentum can lead to extending match ups for longer than what’s needed. Going up 3-0 is a far cry from a series being 2-1 and the Lakers need to show an understanding of this by bringing their best game to the table and letting the chips fall where they may.
On a side note, you’ll notice that I didn’t mention “twittergate”. Yes Ron said what he did and Phil responded. So what. I really don’t think this is a big deal. Phil does this all the time and Ron will get used to it. Also, it’s not like this is the first time that a player has responded to Phil using the media (or in this case social media). Phil’s aware of how this stuff works and I honestly think it’s kind of amusing to him. When you look at the video from his talks with the media, he’s always got that wry smile like he’s accomplishing his goal. Players respond to this type of stuff whether they like hearing their name in the press or not. So, like I said, no big deal from my perspective.
chris h says
darius’ comment doesn’t count as #1 so, this one is for…
and, what time is the game today?
The key against any great weak side help defender is to make him the strong side primary defender. We’ve seen that Boozer is a poor weak side defender and Millsap is undersized and not quite athletic enough to give the same boost as Kirilenko.
Darius you have doomed us all. Warren must for first.
Quick use your admin powers before we lose today it might not be too late. lol
Question: I know we have the absolute best bigs in the game at building walls in the paint without fouling the opponents. Nevertheless, we saw the OKC series. Throughout games 1-4, Collisons ability to draw charges either kept the thunder in the game, put them back in the game, or kept the Lakers out of it.
I’m not suggesting that Pau, Drew, and Lamar start floppin all over the place, but what happened to Fisher’s propensity for being able to get set in front of driving opponents of all size? His veteran experience garners much more respect from the refs than either farmar or brown, and Artest’s style of defense does not involve taking charges at all. We all know we don’t want Kobe taking unnecessary contact, so Fisher is who needs to step up in this department. I think we’ve gotten 1 charge call the entire playoffs. What do you think?
Craig W. says
I think you ask too much of Fisher. He is guarding the very best player on the Jazz – and the best PG in the league, IMO. Asking him to roam off him to set up and take charges is a little much — he is over matched as it is.
True, but I’m referring to Fisher’s previous ability to single-handedly turn an opponent’s fast break opportunity into a heartbreaker for them. Charges totally suck momentum out of the opponent and inject it into yours. As hard as it would be for him at his age, no one else on the team even knows how besides sasha and he’s just as likely to be called for a foul by the refs even if he IS set. Even though it’s a load on Fisher, I think generally if the Lakers as a team were able to figure out how to get more charges called on their opponents (I’m not asking for much, maybe one or two every two games??) it would drastically change the dynamic of the runs that the Lakers allow their opponents to make.
The only thing is that our defense’s identity seems to totally contradict this. I’m not sure if not taking charges is a product or a predicator to our defense, but fact is it seems like everyone else is doing it better than we are, while our players tend to show the most frustration when getting called for a charge.
Craig W. says
Lo is an ‘airhead’ and gives more charges than he gets. Kobe, Pau, and Andrew are athletic enough that they specialize in blocks, not charges. Artest plays up against players – no possibility for charges there.
Charges are taken by off defenders coming over to help out. This is where Derek is at his best. The problem is that he simply cannot leave Williams or the ball gets passed to Deron.
I think Fisher’s still adept at breaking up opponents fast breaks (deflections, causing bad passes, etc) and he was once again among the league leaders in charges drawn. The playoffs haven’t given him too many opportunities to draw charges, though. Not with the caliber of players that he’s been up against in his individual match ups (Westbrook, Williams). I do see your point though as I’d like for the Lakers to draw more charges as well, but we just don’t have those types of players. Our bigs are more the type to contest and block shots and our wings are the rangy types of defenders rather than the type that throw their bodies around to draw charges. If we had a bunch of Varejao’s or Collison’s or Rick Fox types I’d hope we’d draw more charges, but we’ve got different types of guys.
I think we will see tonight how well the OKC series has prepared us for the rest of the playoffs. Two points from Darius’ preview can be a positive because of the road we’ve had; the arena and the refs. I’m not saying ESA will be cake, but I really do feel that after experiencing the (Ford?) Center, ESA won’t seem as intimidating. No doubt it’s a plus for the Jazz, but I think we’ve dealt with worse. The second point is the refs. We definitely saw a change from Staples to OKC and that change was significant.
What a better way to prepare for a hostile game at ESA than to have played in, in my opinion, even more hostile conditions less than 2 weeks ago?
Go Lake Show…let’s make the magic number single digits!
Do you really need to take charges when you’re blocking 7.3 shots per game and holding teams below 40% from the field?
Wishlist for tonight:
1. Ron stops trying to shoot from the perimeter and bulldozes his way into the paint.
2. Kobe facilitates for three quarters and goes into full-on Mamba Mode to close out in the fourth.
3. Bynum’s knee holds up and he and Pau take complete control over the paint on both ends of the floor.
4. Fisher keeps shooting well from the perimeter. He’s the only one who does right now, and there’s no way we’ll be able to space the floor without reliable outside shooting.
5. WIN!!! 🙂
Go Lakers! Let’s silence that crowd!
By the way Darius, great description of the Jazz home court. The only Laker game I’ve ever been to was in Salt Lake City, and that place is just scary loud. They never go quiet! They have some of the most dedicated fans in the league, and I hope the Jazz organization realizes that and appreciates their crowd. Their behavior might not be very classy (I remember the “Cancer!” chant when Fisher shot free throws that one night), but the passion they have for their team is deep and genuine, and deserves respect.
Definitely frustrated with the 3 days off between games (seemed like an eternity) but I understand it’s big business when it comes to the Association. With that being said, it’s game time baby.
The time off should have benefited us, as it allowed Kobe and Big Drew to rest/treat their ailments. We just need to stick to the script, which of course is pounding the ball down low & we’ll be fine. As Big Drew said “We need to get the ball inside. Our strength is in the paint …. If we do that, it’s going to be hard for anybody to beat us.” That, along with playing with more passion and focus (too many turnovers in game 2) should allow us to walk away with the victory tonight. It’s understood that their building is one of the loudest in the league, also understood that they’ll more than likely get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the calls and that the return of AK47 will give them some type of boost. By us being a veteran team, these factors shouldn’t be obstacles. It’s not as if we haven’t had past success winning in that building and it’s not as if we haven’t defeated opponents with all of the calls going against us (OKC series).
FFT (Food For Thought): The Cavs & Suns handled their business in game 3 (on the road) and as I type this, the Magic are up 19 @ the half ‘gainst the Hawks in game 3 (on the road). Hopefully, starting 2night, we can borrow the moniker from Animal & Hawk and become “Road Warriors.”
sperm whale says
it’s interesting that, ever since cp3 went down with injury, more and more people are calling deron the best pg in the league. short-term memory, or is deron really better against more teams? (also telling: head-to-head, deron > cp3)
The lines really have the Jazz by 4.5? I don’t think FB&G is on the same page as Vegas. ; )
Where’s our resident gambler…Ken? Ideas tonight?
well, our game will start on time again =)
J M says
Take Utah. It’s a sure bet. After the game, you can refer back to this post and say, “Oh, man, I wish I had listened to that guy.”
And, no, I didn’t bet. The reason is because I am rooting for the Lakers and I hope they can pull this one off somehow. The hardest thing is the conflict of interests – choosing between a win for the Lakers or a win for my wallet.
Anybody else see ESPN’s headline “Sweet Chin Music” for the Hawks-Magic game and think “omg, I love HBK!” ?
Maybe I watched too much WWF when I was younger.
Craig W. says
CP3, like Lebron, is a media darling and offensively spectacular. That is what draws the votes (see the voting breakdown for Defensive Player of the Year if you doubt this).
Deron has a better command of the entire game, but plays in a ‘team’ oriented system where showboating is neither encouraged, nor much tolerated. This is a gigantic drawback when it comes to ESPN moments – the way most people judge the best of anything.
Never underestimate the collective ignorance of the common fan/’talking head’.
Orlando is having a cake walk to the Eastern Conference finals and will have the freshest legs in the Eastern finals. Minimum expenditure of energy on the way to the finals bodes well for the team that does this.
Either Orlando, is looking very, very potent or they are facing weak competition. If the latter it doesn’t help because it makes them think that they’re better than they are.
Lakers must come out with the air of champions, and silence Utah early. If they can do this, Utah will still give effort because that’s demanded of a Sloan team. But mentally, they’ll already be planning their vacations.
Lakers will sweep!
Go Lakers, take care of business and make this a short series. It looks like the Suns-Spurs series will be a short one too.
Utah by 8 tonight is my prediction. 106- 98.
Can we trade for Dragic ?
it should be a good game. Put it away lakes. Joe. I’m rooting against your prediction
Terrible start for us, just launching long shots, get the ball inside!!
Too many jumpshots. I guess the days off have affected their collective memory. Pound the ball inside!
J M says
Who didn’t see this coming?
J M says
I like Fesenko. He makes me laugh.
*didn’t mean to post twice
Looks like we have dead legs already…
No hustle, no cutting, no moving without the ball. Not fighting over screens on defense, or boxing out, or well, playing…
What the ?
Lakers developed amnesia on their time off. Hopefully they’ll get back to doing what works instead of taking jump shot after jump shot.
Stay hungry my friends.
Joel B. says
Terrible start so far. Too many jump shots. With 7 seconds left on the shot clock Kobe dumps the ball into drew, whom I’m sure doesn’t know the shot clock, dumps to fisher with 3 seconds left, fisher turns down kobe takes a dribble and shot clock violation. That was a horrible sequence. Something else I didn’t like, Ron had a open jumper from 18 feet because miles laid all the way off him to front gasol and Ron didn’t take that shot. Instead he waits and pounds it into Gasol and it turns into nothing. Lakers need to tighten up.
This game is very similar to game 2. If the Lakers can start to execute better, they’ll be in the lead soon. But they need to go inside more and ramp up the energy in their off ball movement.
Mike Penberthy says
My new prediction. Utah wins these next 2 games at home then finally wins a game at Staples to go up 3-2 in the series. Panic ensues in Los Angeles. However the Lakers win the next 2 to move on to WC finals against Phoenix.
any links to the game guys?
We can post everyone except for Fisher. Throw it inside.
Fisher with a PUJIT… Odd how a few weeks ago we were all wary of Fisher’s PUJITs. I was ok with that one.
Are you also the guy who predicted a first round exit?
Joel B. says
Yeah I was actually like shoot it. That was a shot that he took and made consistently 2 years ago. But he was under control and Gasol was under the basket to try to get an offensive rebound if he missed. So it was a good shot, but even better because he knocked it down.
Wow, Shannon Brown is taking way too many shots.
17 points in the quarter?
This is what happens when the Lakers try to play outside-in.
All that said, that is about as lifeless as we have looked for a couple of weeks, so I think that good things will be happening during the rest of the game.
We’re in the game even though we’re playing pretty disjointed. AK brings them energy, but lets see if he can sustain it.
too many jump shots…
why is brown doing his dribble then shot thing? he can’t even do it as well as fisher at it! Stop trying to pretend you’re Kobe Brown! Even Kobe doesn’t do it anymore (he posts up before his turn around jumper)
Eh, bad start for the team, but Kobe is 4-8, and despite the rest of the guys being like 3-17 or something, the Lakers are only down 5.
Farmar confident he’s going to be a starter next year?!? Not with those plays
Did Artest just hit a shot??
why doesn’t drew have any shots?
Joel B. says
Why is phil playing into Sloan. This is where Phil is being thoroughly outcoached. Sloan took away the lakers size advantage by going small and now the Jazz are bigger.
Has anyone ever noticed the lakers never play well when they go small meaning luke or artest at the 4 position.
Somebody other than Kobe better get something going quickly.
cant say it enough, farmar and brown suck big time
Yea our bench is terrible, period.
he hasn’t touched the ball. Actually he touched it once. We’re playing way too much outside in, and that doesn’t work for us very well. Run the triangle. Get the post in first, and work it outside.
On a positive note: Ron artest 3 pointer.
#46. Odom has two fouls and Gasol has to rest at some point. It’s either play Ron at the 4 or bring in Powell.
A little late to the party, I see my beloved Lakers are down 10, but I see bench players on the court, so I am not worried…
I think it may be a bit foolish to say that Phil has been outcoached in this game. LO was out because of fouls, and Utah is playing harder right now. It’s at home. How is that being outcoached?
The players need to run the offense that he coaches. we do that, our team is almost unbeatable. But i’ll disagree that he is being out coached.
Is it just me or is Farmar’s defense on price ridiculously horrible?
I’ve seen him get beat by a mile twice and once he was sagging so much on the double price had an open three almost making kobe help off his man.
Good to see the bench has finally checked in…
toes behind the line guys
54, not just you. It is indeed, ridiculously horrible.
Joel B. says
It disturbed me when the commentators said that phil stated that the return of Kirileinko dramatically changes the lakers game plan. Why? Well we see that phil has completely changed his rotations and played right into the Jazz hands. Sorry but the way the lakers are shooting and the way the lakers have been incapable of coming back from large deficits, its not looking to good.
I know he’s posting a lot, but Kobe hasn’t been driving in this game as much as the first two. Since they are sending everyone to kobe in the post, it seems a good idea to get him going off the dribble and take a jumper within the paint.
But really, it’s going to be up to everyone else. Kobe can’t be the only one. And they need to step up.
call me sperm whale says
farmar’s has hops and he’s quick on offense…why is he slow on defense?
Of course it changes the game plan. AK47 is a dynamic defender that can change game plans. he is the defender on utah that can change game plans. I don’t think he trashed the entire thing, but he has to account for it.
Joel B. says
Sloan made the Jazz bigger than the Lakers by going small and it worked. Also by going small, phil put in a squad that isn’t used to playing together and they’ve looked confused on the defensive end with switching and helping. So yes, Sloan has the upper hand right now.
When Kobe’s in the post, there needs to be quicker cuts off the ball to take advantage of the double team. Allowing Korver to double then recover to the man that he’s guarding without any movement at all is bad offense. We should be cutting behind Korver to make the Jazz D react.
Bynum, a beast down low with a true shooting percentage of 0.659 has yet to take a shot.
Gasol is 1 for 4.
This is EXACTLY how to lose guys…
Joel B. says
Lakers need to get some stops.
I don’t disagree… once that double comes from the top, someone should crash down. But is it my imagination or did Kobe penetrate more off drives in the 1st and 2nd game?
Joel B. says
Williams did stick his left arm out to fend off Brown, but brown stuck his arm out trying to get the ball. If brown would’ve kept his hands up, he may have gotten that call.
Kobe is single-handedly keeping us in the game. It’s fun to watch but our bigs are gonna need to carry their weight. We aren’t taking advantage of the double teams because guys are hanging around the perimeter and missing open 3’s. Second the notion that we need off-ball cuts.
Seriously, for as badly as the lakers shoot three pointers, they tend to make the long jumpers with a toe just on the 3pt line.
J M says
#67, what? That should have been a no-call or an offensive foul. If Shannon had his hands straight up, it would have been easy two points for D-Will. Because of Shannon, Williams tried to avoid it and, unfortunately, somehow drew a foul.
– Kobe is on fire. Would like to see the bigs get more shot attempts.
– LOL. Fisher with the flop. I didn’t know that when someone tapped the tip of your fingers, it causes your body to convulse.
– “Lakers Suck” chant. At least it wasn’t like the one in Staples where they dissed the entire state with “Utah Sucks.”
You’re right. He was definitely driving more. But some of that was off the P&R and the Lakers haven’t gone to that well too often yet tonight. So far, the offense just looks…blah. Too much standing around and all the movement looks lazy. Plus, the sagging D is disrupting passing angles and encouraging the outside shot. The Lakers need to turn that shot down and penetrate more into the D to close down that space and make the Jazz defend. Force help and then look for drop off passes or just shoot from closer to open up O-rebounding chances.
Joel B. says
Gasol has been asleep this game.
‘atta boy Fish! Savvy vet in the house.
Yeah, 3 on Williams now, good job Fisher.
So Joel B.,
Pau is asleep. Phil is being out coached. And it doesn’t look good for us.
We’re down 4 at the half. Are we watching the same game.
Kobe seems too frustrated right now not befitting a team leader who’s been in the league a few years.
great acting by fish that half, still the best in league imo
Our bigs have to become a force in the 2nd half, and we can steal a win today, that was my only goal out of these two ESA games, 1 steal.
So the Laker bigs are a combined 1-4. Is this Utah defense or Lakers spacing out?
drew had 0 shots.
drew had 0 shots.
drew had 0 shots.
drew had 0 shots.
drew had 0 shots.
Lakers need to do a better job at getting Gasol and Bynum some attempts, combined 1-4 so far.
To me, it seems like its the Lakers not getting it inside. ONly one they are passing into the post is Kobe
J M says
Goddamn, I hate these corny, stupid ESPN halftime segments. Did Kobe’s PR person actually tell him to do this? To walk around and touch O’Brien trophies made out of ice?
The lack of shots for our bigs is a combination of the sagging Jazz defense and their double teams that come right on the catch. Unless the Lakers start to pressure the defense more with the dribble rather than settling for jumpers AND pass back to the bigs on the repost, this isn’t going to change. We’ll see after the half if this changes. Also, it would help if our bigs went a bit faster with their moves, but the double is so quick I’m not sure if that would matter…in fact it might just generate turnovers.
Utah is packing the paint really well. We are gonna have to rely on hitting the jumper more tonight. It is a good strategy by Utah because we dont shoot from the perimiter very well.
Isn’t it good to be patient in the post thought especially if there’s a double team? To get a nice outside shots?
Good 1st half …. Fell behind by 13, but thanks to Kobe & our bench (WOW & Farmar) clawed our way back in it …. Down only 4 without any type of contributions from our Bigs (6 points between them). They (Pau, Drew & LO) have to be more assertive in the 2nd half …. Our Defense is solid …. They’re only up because of the charity stripe …. I feel we should be able to pull this one out
Boom. Much better movement. And the lead.
WE are very patient in this post season. I like it.
This Kobe guy is pretty good.
Kobe with the 3 and the Lakers lead!!!
Any lingering doubts about how Kobe is feeling have been erased. Dude’s on fire again.
Patience is fine. And the bigs have been that way so far. That said, if folks are going to complain about our bigs FGA’s, then there are ways for them to get those shots. Even with the way that we ran our sets in the first half. All I’m saying is that our guards must also show patience and look for the repost more. That will also allow our bigs to get shots because it’s difficult for the defense to scramble…pass to post => double team => pass out => defender recovers => repost = a tired D.
J M says
– Do you think any NBA player has ever gone #2 during halftime? Just curious. I was playing basketball in the morning today but my stomach started burbling so I had to leave.
– We may just win this game with perimeter offense.
God, can we get our feet behind the line and make those long 2’s 3’s??
OK. Here’s hoping someone on the bench is reading your comments in the huddle, cuz it would make us a lot better.
Fisher is pretty good this post season. I’m glad we still have him.
Artest is starting to feel it. And this is an entertaining game. I love good basketball.
Artest with a trey, right on… I am having fun with this type of basketball for sure.
When Artest is making his 3’s, you know Utah is gonna have issues haha
This game has become very exciting =)
This is what lacked in the first two games – the feeling that we can lose. I think it makes us focus – this is fun. Agree with above.
SHHHHHHH with the Ron talk…let him play, do your thing Ron Ron.
If we keep it close to 6min in the fourth with the game’s greatest closer in this difficult arena…I think we pull it out. Let’s keep it close boys.
Joel B. says
Pau is still asleep, Its looking a lot better for us, and Phil has went back to a normal line up. And I said its not looking good when the lakers were down 12 points.
Pau has been blown by 2 or 3 times so far in this quarter. He needs to pick up his defensive intensity. And offensively he’s settling for jumpers and fall away jumpers.
J M says
Loving the play from FIsh. Hitting his shots and frustrating Williams.
It’s like I’ve been teleported to Bizarro-world, where the Lakers are a deadly three-point shooting team but lacking a low-post presence.
Pau is coming alive Joel B. I dont mind him shooting jumpers if they are collapsing the paint. He can hit those 20 footers anyway.
raining threes tonight
I sure am glad the Lakers have a PG named Fisher, where would we be without him? I am happy that I can make that statement. He is draining every J he takes.
This game will be our best chance to steal one in UTA…we better not mess it up!!
Here is the most important part of this game. Can the bench at least hold the lead?
Shannon Brown is doubling off Korver because…?
J M says
Loving the play of Ron, as well.
Not loving Shannon’s play tonight, though. =(
– MAN I LOVE EXCITING PLAYOFF BASKETBALL.
kobe please quickly phil
Seriously, will somebody give Brown a printout of Korver’s shooting numbers? Jeez.
If we win this game it is because of Artest, remember that twitter stuff yesterday?
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Korver Artest show!
would mention that LO has done nothing but whats new
Zephid- At this point I am certain the Lakers are simply toying with the emotions of their fans…
Bizarro world indeed.
glad that ron’s pickin up, but hoping that it doesn’t put him in hero mode. we still have an offense to run.
think he might’ve hurt his shoulder just now.
Bynum must be hurting more than he has been. At least, I hope Phil has a reason for not using him all game, and for leaving Odom in right now…
Hubie Brown has been openly rooting for Utah all game.
Bryant to the hole… and two of course.
This is a fun game to watch. Stating the obvious. But its good basketball.
Lakers have been much more aggressive taking it to the basket in the 2nd half. And it started with Ron Ron.
J M says
#118, I was just thinking that.
I agree. With all the blowouts in this second round it’s nice to see a competitive game for once.
ugh… sorry Darius, i know you have harping on refs,
but how was D. Will’s given a foul
and kobe wasn’t???
2 possessions in a row where Kobe went 1 on 1 and came up empty after the Lakers stopped the Jazz three times in a row on D.
Officials killing us.
why does kobe get no calls anymore?
Joel B. says
Odom is the one guy the lakers don’t want going to the line. He hasn’t done diddly squat so far, but this is his chance to make his presence felt by knocking down two freethrows and keeping the lakers in the game.
I am on the edge of my seat, like this is a must win game for the Lakers.
Edit: LO knocks down both his FT’s, then hits a trey, good job.
Kobe’s hunting for fouls right now in the same way that Ron hunted that corner three earlier. We need to go back to the post and not look to the refs to blow the whistle.
I have the feeling Kobe’s going to start jacking up 3’s, partly out of frustration with not getting calls, and partly because we’re running out of time.
I’m hopeful though.
Big FTs by Odom.
man, this is a fun game. LO!!!
Oh My God. Classic “No no no no no no no YES!” three by Odom.
Joel B. says
The Lakers need a stop.
Some of the shotmaking in this game has been incredible.
Joel B. says
Edit: even worse
Artest should be on the bench for losing track of Korvor.
Really though, aren’t national announcers supposed to at least feign objectivity? Brown is saying “Yes!” after every Jazz basket.
J M says
OMG IMA PEE MY PANTS
Oh My God, this game is officially ridiculous.
my name is FISH!!!!!!!
What a game what a game
We want anyone other that Korver and Williams to take this shot.
KB24, Fisher, Artest, all clutch tonight, KB24 makes both his FT’s. I may still have a heart attack tonight.
If you’re not enjoying this game you’re watching the wrong sport. Amazing.
Ridiculous three by Kobe, followed by ridiculous jumper by Williams, followed by another ridiculous three from Fisher. The only thing that could make this game better now would be the Lakers holding on.
sperm whale says
fisher showed up. aaron didn’t. coincidence?
don’t criticize if you can’t also praise.
This game has been amazing. Simply amazing. How many big shots by how many different players?
J M says
Foul or don’t foul?
With PJ, I’m guessing no foul
#151, no need to throw a jab at another fellow Lakers fan. He may be doing something else.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on this site, but I had to come back and apologize for my Fisher bashing throughout the season. Sure he can’t keep Deron Williams in front of him, but man how many big shots has he hit for us?
Seriously this is the best game i’ve seen in a long time. Both teams playing amazing.
LOVE this game.
And Kobe- breaks 30 pt margin again, shoots over 50%. I don’t know what happened between OKC and now, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Gr8 Scott says
OMG I hope we hold on. What a freakin’ great game. Go Lakers!!
protect the ball
make your free throws
THAT WAS A FOUL!!!!@!!!
J M says
Where’s the foul? Wow, grabbed.
Hubie Brown, STFU.
no foul on jazz on that inbounds pass?
and why didn’t LO inbound instead of ron?
Wow, massive non-call on the grab on Fisher.
Gr8 Scott says
Why did we have Ron inbound??? If we lose, Ron will be the goat…
Please miss, please miss
Looks like we just got the Durant treatment…
How was that tackle NOT a foul?
If Deion Sanders could tackle that well he would STILL be in the NFL…
Wow that was a horrible non-call by the refs!
how is that not a foul?
omg I almost had a double heart attack.
J M says
Take that in the FACE, Utah.
WOW that was close. Lakers up 3-0
BALL DON’T LIE
Im going to the hospital. my heart is having palpatations.
Now THAT was a heart attack game!
I need a drink now…
We stole a game at ESA, cool, huh? The World Champion Los Angeles Lakers are 1 game away from the WCF.
I’m officially spent.
wow. when d-will shot that it was as if last year’s game 3 with the jazz is repeating itself.
we didn’t waste 20 point games from ron and fish, and we defied that “lawler’s law” (jazz got to 100 first). all around good win.
Wow, I need a glass of water.
Gr8 Scott says
What a break!! I thought the last shot hung on the rim forever! And apologies – Fish was being held tighter than a handgun at an NRA convention. Fantastic win – Go Lakers!!
You could almost see Pau whispering to Kobe, “dude, thank god that undrafted guy didn’t make that tip or we would’ve been the goats.”
I love when games like this get decided by some last-second miss from the other team- just so I can see that sheepish Kobe smile. Makes me laugh every time.
Closest game of the year perhaps?
oh dear panic attack! What a game though, Jazz couldnt play any better, props to fish who was fantastic
hope the boys make me glad that I turned down game 5 tickets.
When the last shot goes up, I think everyone forget to box out because they think the time will run out. It happened in game 6 vs thunder, and it happened again tonight
David St. Hubbins says
Interesting last possession. We got away with giving up a wide open look and Kobe COMPLETELY lost Matthews who should have tipped it in. Sometimes a little luck doesn’t hurt
I had a really good time tonight watching Lakers basketball, let’s do it again, why don’t we.
My head is still reeling! Does that count as “stealing one”?
Bynum, 0 for 1 FGs… And yet the Lakers win.
Matthews definitely got away with pass interference right there. The back judge must have had his head turned. That’s surely 15 yards and an automatic first down. What? Wrong sport? 😉 You know I don’t complain about the refs, but they missed a big one on that inbounds play.
why was artest on deron williams?
he’s too slow to guard d wills
thought williams was going to make it
just like cortney lee from last year, the rookie missed easy shot at buzzer
That was the best game in a long long time. People were hitting everything!!! Or at least thats what it felt like.
My heart is back to normal.
Joel B. says
Joey Crawford must have been on this site when a few of us were talking about how terrible of a ref he is. He didn’t prove us wrong.
As mentioned earlier, Odom was basically a now show, but boy did he pick a good time to show up. Odom has been clutch this series.
What a game!
Artest vs Korver shootout? say whaaaa
Random quick observations:
1. Best game of the playoffs for the Lakers by far, even trumping the one-point win in OKC. All our players taking turn knocking down big three after big three.
2. Finally, a big game where our players (especially our bigs) showed the mentality of not folding despite a few terrible calls, which leads to…
3. Joey Crawford fail. But thank god, as Sheed would (kinda) say… B*** D**’* F****** L**.
4. I’m really happy for Ron Artest.
5. And finally – something that I haven’t heard since Game 4 of the 2009 Finals, but never hurts to say again and again (if only because all the panickers here forget after every bad performance): Bryant and Fisher are the coldest-blooded backcourt in the world. Hands down.
Yo that game was crazy, LA pulls it out. The Jazz just played one hell of a game, but came up short. Team should be able to finish them off in game four after that heartbreaking loss.
e. joel says
my thoughts exactly….BALL DON’T LIE
fisher continues his strong playoff play and artest had a great game. really carried us in the beginning of the 4th qtr.
now only if odom would show up earlier and if brown would actually stick to korver
Laker Kev says
Wesley Matthews gets away with a blatant foul…then misses the easy tip-in. Karma’s still a bitch!
J M says
#198, I believe it was Ronnie Price that fouled Fisher. You could be talking about another foul, though.
at long last a chance to pay the jazz back for sweeping us before.
Single Digits……9 more wins!!!
So you guys really knew what you were talking about when you predicted a Jazz win, and wished you could bet on it for an easy profit, was that it?
Want some salt and butter on that plate of crow?
Laker Kev – if there’s one thing the Jazz aren’t, it’s soft. But regardless, by now, any remaining teams won’t fold (even with the 3-0 deficits). After all, I doubt any of them came this far to fold.
They ask PJ about his unconventional communications with Artest, and he talks about 4th quarter communication about dribbling, lol.
e. joel says
the hawks have already folded and mailed it in
but yeah, the rest of the remaining teams are gonna be hard outs
watching phil’s press conference. ron got 20 but almost cost us the game with that inbounds pass, and phil spoke about how we still had 2 timeouts to burn in that situation. ron should cancel his tweet account.
Laker Kev says
Simonoid, I agree, the Jazz aren’t soft and won’t just give up. Really, that was the right play Matthews made at that stage of the game. Very glad to walk out with a win!
Joel B. says
Espn Daily Dime: Lakers version
Ron Artest and Derek Fisher 14-26, 7-14 from 3 and a combined 40 points.
Andrew Bynum 0-1 0 points in 20 minutes. Lets hope he rebounds next game.
quote of the night
“Bryant and Fisher are the coldest-blooded backcourt in the world. Hands down.”
Mimsy – LOL. Hilarious.
Really, what’s the predicting the game.
Pau wasn’t soft after the first half.
Fisher was amazing and has been the entire playoffs and I am so happy that we didn’t trade him no matter what some people on this site said.
Ron finally coming alive. Driving to the basket got him going.
But man, what a non-call by the refs… how that’s not a foul in any league makes no sense to me.
LOL Joel. Thanks for the shout out.
Here’s to an (equally) exciting game 4. But I’ll gladly take a blowout win as well. 😛
J M says
#203, like the comment earlier with the guy trying to rub Fisher’s play in Aaron’s face, I don’t quite understand it.
Yes, I said I would take the Jazz. If I could go back in time, I still would. Betting, unless you are playing for fun, is based on probabilities and past trends. The Jazz always came out strong in Game 3 in Utah two years in a row. Other ATS stats support the bet.
I said I was rooting for the Lakers, which is why I didn’t bet. Rub it in my face if you’d like, though I’m unsure why you deemed it necessary. If you had contradicted me, I would certainly be enjoying the Lakers win and not trying to stuff it in YOUR face.
Tonight’s game was one of the most exciting playoff games in a while. Fish showed why PJ values him. Kobe showed why he is the Black Mamba. Artest showed that he is still a capable offensive player.
What I liked the most was Farmar and (somtimes) Shannon’s play tonight. They kept us close.
I was at first worried that Bynum’s injury was bothering him, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In PJ’s post-game chat, he took Bynum out because the Jazz were using a smaller line up that, with Bynum, the Lakers weren’t responding to too well.
I must say, this Laker team has now made me into a much bigger believer that they can win a championship. They just beat a team that pretty much played as well as they possibly could at least from an offensive standpoint, they also controlled our bigs very well, and we still somehow managed to get a win on their homecourt in a must win game from them. I am very impressed, and we really looked like a championship team hitting some monster three point shots in the last minute of the game.
That was a great game. Funnest game so far of the post season.
Artest came up huge. Odom hit a big 3. Fish still has some left. How many big shots has the guy made in the post season. He’s in Horry territory.
Its kind of hard to catch the in bounds pass when you get tackled. But Artest should not have thrown it. He should have taken another time out.
Korver was playing NBA Jam; “he’s on fire”. I was expecting the fire animation on the net every time he shot the ball.
Hope game 4 is just as exciting.
Hope game 4 is as exciting as that game.
Except for the hawks
WOW! Amazing game! Props to both teams for playing high-quality playoff basketball. I was slapping the floor on every big Laker basket so just imagine how red my hands are now!
1. Happy for Ron (though he tried to force shots down the stretch). Phil has a weird but effective way of getting through to his guys
2. Where are all the Fisher haters and naysayers? The guy is a pro’s pro. He’s a 14yr vet who knows how to turn up his game when it REALLY matters!
3. The Lakers-Jazz series is the best and most competitive among the Conference Semis. Jazz are the best team after Lakers Magic Cavs
Off topic here, but does anyone else think that Joey Crawford resembles John Locke from Lost?
Amazing game from Fish, Ron and Kobe. Best game of the year by Fisher.
We know we can win without Bynam and I am firm in my feeling that he is still a little kid. No show with 0 points and 1 rebound.
Great great game.
damn. i cant believe i missed the game.
Craig W. says
I guess we can all agree — Fish is definitely the worst PG in the NBA.
Don’t forget the worst starter in the leauge hands down. If we had a decent point guard…
Can I breath yet.
Fish and Ron outstanding.
Worst call I can ever remember at the end.
Bynam should stay home.
@Craig W and ray
So you guys will be serving up the crow for the Fisher haters today then? 🙂
(@J M: Yes, I know the Jazz were the favorites and that they probably should have won, but at the same time, nothing is ever certain once you’re in the playoffs. We did win and I am happy, and I reserve the right to gloat excessively for at least the rest of the night.)
212, if you’re going to put yourself out there and make a prediction about the game, you have to be willing to take the (crap) that goes along with getting that prediction wrong. My advice: don’t make predictions unless you’re willing to be wrong, or you’re willing to blindly defend them to the death, Aaron-style.
213, what a difference two weeks makes, huh? Let’s hope we can keep this up throughout the playoffs.
I think the moral of the story is, never try to predict the Lakers; you never know if they’re going to grit out a tough win or get blown the hell out.
That is a prime example why it’s a bad idea to foul intentionally when you’re up 3 points.
Darius, did you just edit my comment, or do we have an automatic filter that converts shit to (crap)?
Like I said all year Fisher is the Fisher King.
Wonder how much money Crawford lost on that game?
Even the Laker homer that I am, I never predict a Laker game, especially with LO on it, you just never know what you will get. I will predict though, that we will win 1 game out of the next 4 against the Jazz… I will be basking in joy the rest of the weekend for sure.
151) “fisher showed up. aaron didn’t. coincidence?”
Has anyone ever seen them together in the same room?
Funny how the two ridiculous Bynum comments above forget the excellent game he had in Game 2, and also can’t even spell his name correctly. Who is Bynam?
#226. Hahaha. Sorry Zephid. Didn’t even realize that was your comment. I didn’t read the name, saw it was stuck in moderation, read it and saw why, and then changed it.
J M says
Hey, I’m glad to be wrong. I was HOPING I would be wrong, which, as I said, is why I didn’t make the bet. I just don’t see the point of gloating, since I am just excited as you guys about the win and I didn’t lose any money. BUT – if I was a Jazz fan making that kind of prediction…
Anyways, I was just throwing it out there because someone (#15) was asking for gambling ideas for this game. What was I to do? Ignore all statistical analysis and trends, and tell him/her to take the Lakers because I wanted the Lakers to win? Like I said, it was and is the smarter bet. Maybe I could have kept it to myself, but I thought I was helping the person out.
But wait, I have another prediction. The Lakers eliminated the Jazz in six games in 2008, then five in 2009. I predict a sweep this series. And next season, the Lakers will follow the trend and somehow eliminate the Jazz in three games.
Regarding Bynum, he’s not the most effective player we can put out there against a small and quick line-up, and he has an injured knee. If we’re going to rest him at any time this series, this was not a bad night to chose to do it. He’ll be back and hustle on defense and grab rebounds again before June gets here. That at least, I feel confident in predicting. 🙂
And JM, if you were a Jazz fan who had predicted they would win, I’d right now be gloating even more. Trust me. I’m a very sore winner, and half the fun of winning is that you get to rub it in the loser’s face. No point in defeating someone without making sure they are very painfully aware that they lost, after all. 😉
230. I think the issue on Andrew is if he is not healthy enough to compete he shouldn’t be out there. If you watched him on defense and on the boards you would have seen that he was not even moving,
He clearly was lumbering out there. 21 minutes with zero points and one rebound says he should not be out there. Rest him for the finals.
wow what an amazing game….i was yelling so loud when fish knocked down that DEEP 3…kobe was ice cold as always
one thing: this is the second straight year kobe got bailed out falling asleep on a last second play… not boxing out mathews in this game, and letting courtney lee get loose last year. thank goodness both shots ended up being misses!
Playoff Basketball @ Its Best.
As #196 Simonoid said, in not so many words, Kobe & D. Fish are Assassins.
Ron Ron came to play 2nite. (NYC Represent).
D. Will & Kyle “The Sniper” Korver: I salute the both of you for Spectacular performances.
Best/Most Exciting Game I’ve seen since game 4 of last years finals.
We put the nail in their Coffin. Monday, we Bury them.
The Dude Abides says
Really? People complaining about Bynum? Every time he caught the ball in the post, he was double-teamed. He still had two assists, and a third that wasn’t awarded to him because Fish pump-faked, took a dribble, then hit a two. He also had four rebounds, a block, and a steal. He did only play 20 minutes, had no turnovers, and didn’t force any plays that hurt the team while he was out there. He took what the defense gave him. Remember how much this board complains about him not passing? Two assists and he got gyped out of a third by the statistician. When the Jazz go small, he can have trouble against the quickness of Boozer and Millsap, especially in Utah. So Phil did the right thing and played LO and Pau the entire fourth quarter, and they came through.
Hilarious. re fisher comments.
“all year fisher is fisher king.”
231, No probs Darius. One of the annoying things about the new comment editing system (which is great for everyone else), is that that comment threads crash for me when the comments reach a certain number. Somewhere around 200 I can no longer read or post anything without logging out. So I usually log out, read/post, then log back in, and send my comment through moderation ;).
The Lakers are pretty damn good in close out games. Since the Gasol trade in 2008, the Lakers have only lost one close out game in the playoffs: last year in Game 6 against Houston. I’m thinking the Lakers end this one in Game 4. Here’s to hoping the Spurs make it a series against the Suns and get us some time to rest and heal.
Thanks Ray. Every time Fish shot in the first half I yelled noooooo. By the 2nd half the entire cigar store I was at yelled
Yesssssssss the Fisher King!
I love to be wrong sometimes.
Igor Avidon says
To all the Derek haters in LA:
Enjoy the taste of that crow.
That is all.
#237, Dude. No kidding. Funny even as I was watching the game I had a bet with myself that there were going to be people on here that was going to complain about Bynum’s play.
I though Drew did a great job of being patient with the ball when he got it in the post and kicking out without forcing and being a “black hole”
He did play mostly in the first half when none of the Laker bigs had much impact. Pau and LO came up big in the second half but they were also given the opportunity to be out there. Drew wasn’t.
I think this was another good learning experience for the young man. He’s shown steady growth and willingness to improve. This outing will be another lesson in how to deal with something new.
chris h says
the Jazz had several chances to win and they just bounced out…
sounds like some good luck, (Warren mojo) working for us.
you guys owe me, I got Warren in at #2 today, thanks Warren, your ol’ pal, chris
Yeah, I watched him on defense and the boards, and as TDA points out above he had a more productive game than you give him credit for.
One rebound? At least be fair to the guy. He had three more than that. I think Bynum has looked a lot better the last two games with his new brace, which keeps him from fully extending the injured knee.
Just watched the ESPN recap with tirico and Hubie brown.
Brown on the non call tackle of fisher:
“And here, great defense by the Jazz gives them another chance.”
That was a terrible non-call. I’d love to just blame Joey, but there were 2 other people as well.
So I just re-read all the comments from 50 on because I left after the game to go eat a steak dinner and enjoy a Maker’s Mark Manhattan…I felt I deserved it after that performance ; ) Reading those comments just put a smile on my face, I couldn’t even comment from the 4th Qtr on…what a game! This is EXACTLY why I watch games in my living room instead of at a bar; no way I can appreciate it without screaming F U at Lamar for 1.4 seconds until the ball goes in and then sitting down and smiling to myself without people thinking I’m psychotic…or going YES FISH YES…before it even leaves his hand and he is 3ft behind the arc.
Maybe it was a good thing Kobe was rubbing those ice sculptures at halftime! Haha
All said…single digits boys and girls, cross another one off the mirror. The magic number is 9. I’ve said it before, but enjoy this one (if you have trouble with that, go watch hockey or…curling)
red 5 says
Man, I’m just starting
to get my wind back.
Happy Mother’s Day,
– 5 –
The game recap is up. Sorry for the delay. I tried to write this thing about 20 times before this final version (that I still don’t even like that much). 🙂
After seeing Andrew get no touches in the first quarter minutes he played (which is very unusual, to say the least) I watched him specifically on both sides of the court for the remainder of his minutes played.
Bynum played well tonight. Showed patience, boxed out, altered shots, took a nice hard foul on Boozer, and another on Williams, in the second quarter.
He was double-teamed every time he got the ball, and his one attempt was on a rebound and put back dunk attempt where he was fouled hard on the arm by Price but got no call.
0-1 FGs is not really the fault of an interior player. He had one other offensive rebound, which he immediately kicked out to the guards.
Not sure what else he is supposed to do on a night where he was clearly the fifth option on offense, and Options 1-4 were doing well enough to make him redundant.
Utah made its adjustments, LA’s coaching staff made theirs.
I would have liked to see Bynum in the game at the very end, but we were defending against the long ball more than an shot at the rim.
All in all, a good game.
The Lakers are the defending NBA champion basketball team–and they showed why tonite. They are a veteran team that knows how to win. They’ve got each other’s backs.
Some of us bloggers are far less supportive or forgiving–with very fuzzy memories.
If you would like to consider just tonight, I’d like to introduce you to Ron Artest and Derek Fisher. Despite dubious stats during the regular season, when they need to be they are clearly both very good 3 point and outside shooters.
Ron Artest makes the Lakers defensive effort great and can shut down scorers like Durantula, but his skills are multifaceted. Just ask tonight’s Jazz fans about his offensive game.
During the playoffs, Derek is one of the great PG’s in the NBA, involved in the key last minute heroics that decide games. That’s why he’s cocaptain–and for that matter–why he’s president of the NBA players association. Just ask Deron Williams of the JAZZ, maybe the best PG in the NBA–or the fans who used to cheer him when he made those clutch 3’s for them.
On this blog, Derek’s critics seeme to have magically vanished friom the room.
Don’t worry. When he has another stinker of a game–or a stinker series–they’ll be back–and this game will be described as an abberation–or forgotten altogether.
Any who might have temporarily forgotten who Ron Artest and Derek Fisher are–don’t do it again.
We Laker fans are more blessed than we sometimes realize–and it may never happen again.
GO LAKERS! hoping my election bets win in the same manner our lakers did.
have a meaningful vote republic of the philippines!
“When Merlin had completed this he came to the court of Arthur at Carduel. And when Arthur saw him he rejoiced greatly, and his men asked Arthur to inquire of Merlin what the meaning was of the stone which had reunited at the Round Table. And the king said: ‘I pray him earnestly that he tell me of it if it pleases him.’ And Merlin answered: ‘Arthur, know that in your time was fulfilled the greatest prophecy ever made; for the Fisher King is cured, and glory restored to Albion.'”
Robert de Boron, The Didot Perceval
Glory. Glory. Glory.