For a while now, the mantra of FB&G is that the Lakers will go as far as their defense takes them. When the Lakers are dialed in on defense, they’ll always have a chance to win and more often than not will pull out the victories they need. Against the Suns, the defense has been lacking of late and we’ve all witnessed the results.
So, as we go into game 5, the onus is on the Lakers D to get the necessary stops in order to prevail. We’ve already discussed some of the defensive principles that the Lakers need to get back to, so I won’t expand on those now. But I will say that much (if not all) of tonight’s result will depend on effort, desire, and how those charateristics mix with smart play and execution.
Much like we called for before game 4, the Lakers need to play smart and poised. The need to play with desire, but they can’t let that desire overwhelm them into making rash decisions that don’t serve the greater purpose. The Lakers need to trust in eachother to make the right play as a member of the team, and then follow through to prove that the trust given is warranted.
Really, this has little to do with X’s and O’s. Sure, the Lakers will need to attack the Suns’ zone in different ways. By making quicker decisions with the ball and forcing the Suns weakest defenders to match up in isolation on our better offensive players, the Lakers can better infiltrate the Suns defense. By being more selective with the shots that are taken from the outside and making the Suns’ zone move in ways that it’s not accustomed to, the Lakers can score the points they’ll need to get the win.
But, none of those adjustments on offense will mean much if the Lakers are still giving up 115+ points and letting the Suns offense get the shots that they want. If the Suns are able to execute their P&R exactly how they’ve diagrammed it or beat their individual defenders off the dribble or grab nearly as many offensive rebounds as the Lakers grab defensive ones, this game will look much like the last two when final clock shows 0.0 seconds. If the Lakers don’t close out on shooters or contest shots or mark the Suns’ shooters in transition, frustration will reign supreme again.
So, while I do look for better execution on offense (as that will help the Lakers transition to the defensive side of the ball), I’m really looking for that extra effort and the will that’s needed to win. And, really, I think we’ll all see it. As I’ve mentioned before, the Lakers find themselves in a familiar position. As was the case against OKC, Houston, and Denver in recent playoff series, the Lakers are facing a game 5 at home with the series knotted at two games a piece. In all those games the Lakers won by playing the caliber of basketball that they’ve shown capable in their recent runs to the Finals. They won by stepping up to the challenge that was in front of them.
All that said, relying on experience will not be enough. The Lakers just can’t show up and expect that because they’ve done this exact thing before that it will just happen again for them tonight. The Lakers will have to put in the required work if they expect to achieve what they’re setting out to do. As Phil Jackson has said, if the Lakers can’t step up to this moment, why even advance to the Finals? The test is in front of this team and it’s time to pass it with flying colors. I’ve said this in the past, but if put in a position where a team has its backs against the wall and need to get a win to salvage its season, there’s no other group of guys I’d rather have than this team; the team led by Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Pau Gasol. This is a group I trust in times like this. Six o’clock tonight can’t come soon enough. It’s time to get that win.
This is for Warren! 🙂
Joel B. says
The lakers know what they have to do, they know and have what it takes to do it.
Joel B. says
The lakers know what they have to do and they have what it takes to do it.
Agreed, Darius. Every time in the last 2 years that this team has had its back seemingly against the wall, it has come out fighting and taken care of business. Let’s hope that tonight is more of the same.
Joel B. says
How do I delete RSS so my comments will show up? If this one shows up I guess it isn’t necessary
Craig W. says
Defense — it’s something we often talk about, but really don’t give its proper due. We talk about defense, but then evaluate another player – say Ron Artest – based on his shot selection. Ron isn’t here because of his shooting, or even for his defense against quick PGs. He is here to defend big SFs and SGs. Since Phoenix doesn’t have any of those guys, we maybe should be mixing up our rotation a bit to give Ron a rest. After all, if we make it to the Finals he will be needed to guard Paul Pierce or Vince Carter.
Our shooting is fine – we just can’t seem to stop them Suns.
lil' pau says
8 straight game 5 victories at staples.
time to keep it rolling, lake show! can’t wait for this game to begin– time to remind phx why we were the #1 seed when this whole thing began….
ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK!!!!
RonRon has been the only player on the Lakers to close out hard on Suns shooters but in a controlled manner where he doesn’t give up the drive or commit a foul. If we had 5 guys that were playing defense like Artest the series would be over right now. That might be the dumbest thing I have ever written on this site. Artest is one of the best defenders to play in the NBA… thats like me saying if we had 5 guys that played offense like Kobe the series would be over. The problem is and isn’t our shooting. 50% is great… but when you were shooting 58% against man to man you should be able to shoot 65% against a zone. This is the NBA.. its not college. There is a reason the Suns are the first team in the history of the NBA to institute a zone for more than 2 minutes in a playoff series.
Defending the three point line will be key tonight. If the Suns, especially their reserves, are on fire from three, it will be an extremely tough game for the Lakers. Not sure if it’s entirely the right thing, but I would give up easy twos to prevent threes and And1 plays. Give Amar’e the jumpshot, give Nash the jumpshot, but prevent the wide open threes and Amar’e’s bull runs to the basket.
This series, more than any I’ve seen of late, has been built on momentum. Long jumpers will not build momentum for a whole team, not in the way threes, dunks, or And1’s will.
There’s absolutely no reason for the Lakers to be having trouble with a Zone- especially the weak zone that the Suns employ. Some struggle against Boston’s SSZ makes a little sense…but all the Lakers have to do to combat Phoenix’s zone is stop swinging the ball around the perimeter and take it to the hoop. When the D collapses, as it invariably will, then one can either kick the ball out for the open shot or hit open cutters. Successfully execute that enough times and Phoenix will put the Zone away.
The problem is when we have guys like Farmar and Brown out there who for whatever reason will not kick the ball inside. It’s like a bunch of guys not wanting to be responsible for the potential turnover, so they just swing the ball arond. Numerous times I saw Brown in particular neglect to pass to a well posted Bynum.
Lakers by 8
Expect much better rebounding.
Expect much better defense.
Epect much more even fouls called.
Igor Avidon says
I don’t say (or think) this often, but that’s a great preview. Exactly what needed to be said. Let’s go get us a win, Lakers.
lakers by 8
even foul calls
Sorry, don’t mean to hijack the game thread, but in response to don from the last thread – I’ll be at Illinois. And thanks to Jane for the congrats.
Great preview, nothing else left to say. Let’s get it done tonight. We’ll see if Sasha shows a pulse. My expectations are…zero. I hope I’ve never been more wrong.
O nice I just graduated from uiuc
In other news things are not going well
Wow. 2 fouls for #24 in the first 3 min of the game? Wow.
Comon now refs, we’re not in Phoenix anymore.
If refs are consistent with letting physical play go that’s good for us. But remains to be seen
whats that about home court officiating?
Play like a man Pou!
Anybody who thinks Artest is a good shooter is not watching him this playoff. He is a mess. Nice no time out for 7 minutes Phil
it’s 8 v 5 right now against the lakers.
My last comment about officiating:
is it just me or shouldn’t the suns have been called for defensive 3 seconds by now?
As far as how the game’s going, not such a great start, it would be nice if Artest would hit the open threes now.
If the players are as frustrated as I am by the officiating then we have a big problem. However, this is where professionalism comes in, and where good differs from great.
Good teams blame the refs when they lose. Great teams adjust and play through it (and go home and **** the prom queen;) ).
The Lakers look to be rushing everything a bit more than they need to be. They’re also so intent on not forcing jumpers that they’re trying to get all the way to the rim but the results aren’t that promising early. Overall though, I’m happy with the pace – just not with our defensive rebounding.
This once again looks like the worst coached team in the playoffs. 3 games and they still have no clue how to attack a zone.
Why is that?
Happy with this? They are on their way to a 18 point quarter. Happy with that. Really?
Jim C. says
Something tells me that Mimsy WAS the prom queen! :-)~~
Joel B. says
If I had any confidence in the lakers before the game it’s gone now. Is it safe to say phoenix has stifling defense.
But the officiating was absolutely terrible to star the game. Both teams were being aggressive but only phoenix got the calls. I think it’s time to put in Sasha they may as well put him in the game early and see if be gets hot and hopefully opens the floor up. The lakers are working way to hard to score. If they aren’t going to zone, the. Kobe needs to go to the post
WOW. Everyone needs to calm down. It’s 22-21 Lakers. Yeah, I’m happy with how things are going so far.
Are the Lakers adapting the Boston Defensive Scheme? My goodness, that defense was written Boston everywhere.
Darius, the boo birds come out in full force during the game thread.
I was about to post (earlier, after a Bynum foul) that to guard Amare, we really need the type of interior defender that takes charges instead of blocking shots. Amare drives to the rim so fast, so explosive, he just bulls into people like Lebron and gets the foul call. To defend a player like that, you need a Battier/Chuck Hayes type. And on cue, Luke Walton steps in there and takes the hit. That’s what we need inside.
Just win each qrt. How hard is that? Let’s go Lakers!
With the way this game started for us, and with kobe picking up 2 quick fouls and not really getting into the flow yet, I’ll gladly take a 3 pt. lead at the end of 1. Now let’s hope we keep up the defensive intensity and stretch this lead out!
I don’t think the Lakers could have played much worse offensively than they did through most of that 1st quarter and we’re still up by 3. I’ll take it. At least the energy is there.
OK Darius you are the logical smart one and I am going nuts for no reason.
You were so correct. I got to relax!!!!
Sorry. I will send you a fee for being Dr. Darius.
THAT is how you get into the teeth of the zone.
Fisher King stepping up in a big way.
Glad Kobe didn’t pick up his 3rd.
Walton drawing the charge on Amare…that needs to happen more often, because that dude just runs straight at people.
Took a while, but now the Lakers have their head in the game.
Against the zone, they have to use pass fakes up top from time to time. The Suns know how they want to move their defenders around, so fake the pass, see how the defender reacts. If he jumps a little, attack the seam, otherwise quickly swing it.
Hey, that was great defense!
And that was not a charge on Farmar. Bleh.
sasha with great d
Amundson gets away with so much shoving and grabbing. I can’t decide who I dislike more: him or Robin Fropez.
All eyes on Sasha! Shut Dragon down!
Why is TNT experimenting with so many crappy camera angles?
What?! An illegal screen call on Phx? Stop the presses!
I think the refs are doing pretty much good on the other side of the floor, the shitload of hard screens Amundson, Stoudemire, and Lopez are giving are now paying off.
Lakers shouldve been getting and+1s no?
A hand in the back on a layup or dunk is a FOUL! Why is Lopez allowed to get away with that?
Seriously, how does a 6’11 forward have a career average of 1 block? When was the last time that Lamar had a block shot or a block shot attempt?
lakers 0-4 with this officiating crew via espn.
Not settling, and we’re getting to the line tonight.
It sounds like a soft, girly type of D, but taking charges is such an effective part of a good defensive system. A few possessions ago, Lamar got into the teeth of the defense and got turned away because of the fear of running a Sun over.
Normally I’d say all this switching would hurt us, but I like the energy I’m seeing on the defensive end. Bynum, especially – he’s not just showing, he’s f’n exploding out on those screens and then recovering fairly well.
This is a serious question – why don’t our bigs dunk more? Lamar had that wide-open under the hoop. No one in his way. Why not go up with power and get the and-1? It just doesn’t make sense to me. If I was 6’10”, I’d dunk on my hoop, the opponents hoop, I’d run out during the halftime show and steal the mascot’s dunks. Sometimes it really does come down to mentality.
Joel b says
The lakers have picked up their defensive intensity which is great to see. If the lakers knock down some more wide open 3’s they’ll control the game. I was losing confidence because they were not playing smart, I’m slowing gaining it back.
Lakers getting to the line tonight. I like the agressive play to get more FT’s
I have detected a pattern: We never execute well when we have a bizarre camera angle.
Obviously TNT is biased against us :p
Now if Sasha could hit a three…
… well, Kobe hitting one will do too.
… two, are welcome as well.
… three, well I guess he’s still WHITE HOT.
Kinda funny how White Hot contrasts with Black Mamba. Even his nicknames are bipolar…
Great! The Lakers have really buckled down on defense.
The game changed when Vujacic came in *blarf*. He D’d the shit out of Goran Dragic and really took the Suns out of their offensive flow.
Kobe has just been PHENOMENAL this series. Just incredible.
Kobe-nova!! Since Game 1.
Hats off to our frontline, especially Bynum. They are doing a wonderous job covering Steve Nash 1v1 on the perimeter. Loving the defense since 8 mins into the 1st.
Mamba, baby! I think Kobe’s into the flow now!
Zephid, I actually agree with you on that one. Sasha was his usual pest on D!
i’m as surprised as you that this worst coached team in the playoffs is up like this. I’m super shocked.
Omg the fat kid from Superbad and Get Him to the Greek is sitting next to the Lakers bench. Is that good or bad? He might start telling bad jokes at halftime and ruin the hot streak we’re on. Quick – get Kobe away from him!
bynum active on d I like
I’d almost forgotten what it was like to see us get 3 stops in a row. So, is this Vujajic’s one good game for the month? 🙂
I’m starting to wonder if this is the best playoff series I’ve ever seen Kobe play (at least on the offensive side of the ball). He’s simply amaaaaazing!
Joel B. says
we all care about the lakers offense which is playing well but their defensive intensity is through the roof. I’m gaining my confidence back.
*side note I can’t comment on laptop i’m typing on my phone. I remember zehpid saying something about rss a while ago when somebody had the same problem. I have a mac, can anybody help
I think I need to have what Kobe’s having.
Without the practice part.
I hope they change the rule where the shooter initiates the arm contact on a stationary defender’s arm. I hate when Kobe does it, hate when Durant does it, it’s just ugly basketball.
Ray I have been tweeting Phil some advice.
That’s Phil Mankowich he lives next door.
argh, if we don’t get some stops after these TOs, it will ruin an otherwise awesome quarter.
Timely rebound by Kobe and TO. Kobe seriously has his fingerprints all over the games this series.
First TO is turnover, second TO is timeout… I think I need to use better initials…
C’mon TNT, show the replay on that Fisher “block.” Sigh.
What IS a charge?
Great TO, phil. We were starting to get in a little lull there.
TNT is terrible at showing calls that might be questionable. I wonder if that’s the league mandate, or TNT, but that SHOULD have been a charge. I rewound it on the dvr.
Joel b says
This is looking all to familiar, last 2 games whenever the lakers got hot…then the officials make a couple consecutive bad calls. The lakers are helping themselves by taking bad shots either. Good timeout by Phil.
On one hand I don’t like those last 2 turnovers b/c… yeah, TO’s. On the other hand that was us trying to pound it inside to a big guy, so I’m not as annoyed at those last 2 turnovers.
Wow, Bynum comes out, the lead evaporates. Now Pau, if you would just get in the same page as ours. 😉
Anyways, the Suns are too good an offensive team to be just 40 scorin’ in the 1st half.
And that block on Fisher was not a block, for goodness’ sake. It was the same as Jordan’s run-in with Dragic but different result.
All in all, great job of limiting Nash’s opportunities to make plays for others. That is really crucial since he couldn’t get Amare going nor drive and dish for open threes a lot.
Sheesh.. whistles go quiet when Kobe drives.
sloppy end to the half. man…
Our physicality would make Utah proud. At least that’s what I’m gathering judging from our foul count and gamecast.
We’re holding them to 11 3pt attempts and a 18% success rate.
That’s pretty good, and quite a turnaround from what we were giving them last game.
Wow. another silly foul for two free throws with 0.7 seconds left.
I cannot believe they just called a rebounding foul with .7 in the half to bring it to single digits. UN B LEEV UH BLE
These refs are just unreal. Seriously
Lakers would be up at least 20 if the refs were calling a fair game.
Lakers should be up 15. Way too sloppy to close the quarter.
magic days says
I really don’t get Shannon. Him and Farmar have been aweful all season. Every possession they have ends up in a bad kobe-imitation or a brick 3.
A good defensive half of basketball.
Its too bad Ron Artest is such a offensive liabilty. Also why does Phil take the best closer in the NBA out with 2 minutes left in the half.
That is really stupid and just cost us 5 points.
ffs, less brown less artest, more Machine!
the machine was surprisingly effective on the floor tonight in the 1st half. pace is favorable, PFs seem improved, i’d say so far so good. if they could limit the turnovers and control the defensive boards, 2nd half should be OK also.
Won both quarters, didn’t let Phoenix get rolling, solid job. That being sad, I think the Lakers missed one opportunity for a stretch to really blow the game open.
My talking points to the team for the second half would be: keep Nash from becoming a distributor, be decisive on offense (Shannon’s last hesitant possession comes to mind), attack the basket more often, limit stupid fouls to put the team into the penalty early.
Joel B. says
I just can’t believe how bad this officiatingis. They call a rebound foul with.7 sec where both players we fighting for position allow the suns to come over the top and/or put two hands in the back of players going for rebounds. This officiating is starting to become very questionable.
On a close charge/block with farmar and dragic they overturn the call and rule it a charge. On an obvious charge on Amare one official calls in a
charge the other calls it a block donut stands as a block.
It’s whenever the lakers start to pull away expect some suspect officiating
Why does Phil rest Kobe at the end of a half. The best closer on bench and Brown in?
Why does Phil rest Kobe at the end of a half. The best closer on bench and Brown in?
Holy ****. I just saw the bench statistics in the half-time show. I had to double-check them TWICE before I realized they weren’t accidentally switched around. Our bench really is outperforming theirs.
Kobe needs to rest too.
He might as well get some rest when there is a sizable lead that would not have gone to single digits save for that foul by Ron.
You guys whine more than the Spurs and their fans and I didn’t think that was possible. Stop making excuses and compete.
Harold he has 30 minutes to rest at half. You mean to say that extra 2 minutes makes a difference.
Big Rafa says
Every obvious bad call is not replayed on tv. It is getting obvious the NBA is giving TNT extra games. F this staples crowd for not getting on the officials NO HOME COURT!!!
Big Rafa says
Mace the only coach crying for not getting EVRY call is yours.
Can we quit complaining about the refs? They’ve missed some calls. Okay. But it’s not awful nor biased against the Lakers. Remember too that Gentry’s the coach that’s gotten T’d up for complaining about the refs. I’m sure the other side has some beef with the refs too. In the end, none of us nor the players can control the refs whistle. The Lakers need to continue to play tough D and be more decisive on their drives against the zone. If they play smart in the 2nd half, they’ll be just fine.
Anonymous, I’d think every little bit helps, especially if it’s not vital enough for him to be in the game.
Two minutes of play not only means added fatigue, it can be a cause of injury, it can get him another foul (he has two), and if he’s already playing hurt, it will be taxing him further.
So yes, I think two minutes help. Also, since the two minutes will give some other player some burn, that may be helpful too.
I see the point of leaving him in there to expand the lead, but this is the playoffs, and no team, especially PHX, will give up just because it’s behind 11 points instead of 9.
As for fouls, we attempted more FTs for a change, so I’m not ecstatic, but I’m not really unhappy either.
T. Rogers says
Without the Suns 20 free throw cusion in each of games 3 and 4 the series would already be over. Pardon some of us if we are not completely convinced by the job the officials are doing.
As far as the Lakers go, I would like to see more out of Gasol in the second half. He has to fight a little harder to get the ball. I do like seeing Odom cutting to the rim. And Sasha needs some more burn. He showed great engergy out there.
So, was Phil grooming Sasha for some more minutes in the 2nd half and rest of the series or was he as exasperated with Farmar/Brown as the rest of us and just throwing sh-t at the wall to see what would stick? Really liked his defensive energy in the 2nd quarter
Poor Bynum. He gets absolutely no respect.
.. Sorry Darius. It’s just true in this case.
The world loves Steve Nash way too much.
I agree, let’s stop whining about the refs. Seriously, all you “big men” sound like little cry-baby girls whenever you talk about the refs.
If the players don’t blame the refs, it’s kind of stupid of the fans to do it, no?
Pau-POW!! FISHER! RON!
Go Lakers! 🙂
Smart play by Artest leads to the layup
i could be wrong but i think Artest acutally just contributed to the offense
Well, I certainly don’t agree with the ref complaints, but the players would do more bitching themselves if they wouldn’t get fined.
94, Sasha was most effective swarming Dragic. Look for him to come in when Dragic comes in. Phil sets up his players to succeed. Sending in Vujacic against Nash or Richardson is setting him up to fail.
Mimsy- the players don’t blame the refs because they get nailed with absurd fines for it. The refs deserve as much criticism as anyone else on the court when they don’t perform up to expectations. And unlike the players, none of us need to be bullied by Stern’s heavy-handed tactics. The free-throw disparity in this series is egregious and it’s not ALL due to the Lakers playing tentatively. Some of it is definitely due to poor officiating.
Anyway, the Lakers just went on a nice little tear there.
Kobe with 6 assists and 7 rebounds already, not to mention 2 blocks.
Is this due to PHX’s pace inflating stats for us too, or is he just playing at a different level during this series?
Hate to say this, but Kobe looks like he’s been saving himself up for this stage.
RE the refs: Look, I’m rarely happy with the refs, but they’re one of a thousand variables in the game and don’t have nearly the impact that the players do on the outcome of the game. Tonight, the refereeing has been bad on both sides; it’s just been an uneven night from the refs overall. So, why complain about it when they’re bad for everyone. Grant Hill just got screwed on that charge call. Fisher just got jobbed on the call when he fought through that screen. If you’re objective, you see that the refs aren’t having their best night and it’s not for either side. It’s just poor for everyone.
Stat of the night…second chance points…
Lakers: 16 Suns: 0
Lamar just nudged ahead of Kobe in the intra-Laker rebound race.
Kobe still ahead of the assisting and scoring race, while Ron is ahead in the stealing department and Bynum leads blockers with 4 (Kobe following with 3).
Now if Kobe could get another assist, he will tie Nash for most in the game.
Dangerous time here. Gotta close the quarter strong and remove all doubt.
Kobe is having the best playoff series I think I’ve seen him have in terms of the all around stats he’s putting up. It’s ridiculous.
Welcome to the NBA, where Lakers at home win by double digits, and Suns at home win by single digits – with the help of a double-digit ft advantage.
Now the big question: leave in the starters (or most of them) to protect the lead over the first few minutes? Or use the usual rotation plus maybe Vujacic today and risk a renaissance of the PHX bench?
Fact 1: refs have been uniformly putrid throughout the playoffs.
Fact 2: refs corralled absolutely zero offensive rebounds for the Suns in Game 4, and took absolutely zero 3 pointers. The Tuesday loss is 100% on Lakers not named Kobe.
Yep, this is what I’m talking about. Lead down to 9. Same as the end of the half.
and now going to be 7. Terrible finish to the quarter. In no way surprising.
That’s why I thought this series would be exciting. PHX can mount a run regardless of how far down they are.
… Shannon’s role in this series seems to be fouling Barbosa with less than a minute left in the quarter. I seriously saw this happen before.
wow, a pau two? i was fairly certain that we were going to launch a 3 here.
And about to be 7. So much for a 4th quarter of no drama.
another sloppy end to a qrt….
8 on 5 to finish the quarter, no wonder phoenix made a run.
bad finish, but seriously! dudley clearout on kobe turns into and 1, whistles didn’t work for any of the contact under the lakers hoop.
I’d said I wouldnt say anymore about the officiating but it is really inconsistent. each team is getting stretches of preferential treatment this game.
Every 50/50 call is going the other way Darius. Come on man.
It’s true, when the Lakers start putting the game away, the refs intervene. You really think the Lakers aren’t getting hacked to death under the basket the last 5 minutes?
So, you see how one call affects the flow of the game, Darius?
once again inability to end quarters
how many times is Phil can lose leads by putting Brown and Walton in at the end of quarters.
How many times?
Alright – getting nervous now. Channing Frye is heating up and we’ve pretty much sucked it the last 2 4th quarters.
Darius! Give me some hope!! 🙂
this crap is getting annoying. do we really have something against being up 20? seriously.
magic days says
It is a little frustrating to see Lakers taking it to the hole and getting clobber and not getting any calls while the suns get ticky tacky calls on the other end. Granted the lakers can go harder at the basket, but it’s frustrating.
Joel b says
Refs have changed the momentum of the game about 7 times. I said earlier, if the lakers start rolling, expect some suspect officiating. The refs are absolutely swallowing their whistle when the lakers have the ball. I don’t think anyone can watch this game and say the officials haven’t thrown a few bones. This miss two calls then the suns run out and get an and 1. Then they get a four point play and its all down hill from there.
We did win the quarter right…? It doesnt really sound like it from these comments.
124, uh no. we lost the qtr.
27 Suns, 25 Lakers…. not.
Playing through calls that you think go against you isn’t easy. But it’s what’s needed. Is Phil about to get fined?….
Anyway. Look, like I said the refereeing hasn’t been good. What else do you want me to say?
#124, we didn’t win the quarter, that’s why the comments don’t sound like it.
I need some metoprolol right about now…
Haha, Sasha. So, apparently, Dragic took Sasha’s spot on the Slovenian team?
Ha, ha. I’m glad Vujacic is on our team.
magic days says
How many techs does kobe have for these playoffs?
Let’s see how many technicals the refs can call on the Lakers to get the Suns back in the game. Seriously how is it a double tech, when Sasha in no way retaliated?
wow. another bunny missed by Bynum. What is up with that? Let’s go guys, tighten up!
The Lakers are really frustrated. They’re not getting the calls they think they should ( and so do I for the most part), but they really need to continue attacking the basket since the Suns are doing a great job grabbing the rebound, pushing the ball and getting to the line.
Bynam can not compete out there. Phil please keep Pau and Ron out there before its too late.
So, how is it that the Suns are in the game when on the floor it totally looks like we are owning it?
We are not shooting as great as we seem like (40%), we are just playing defense… and oh, the Suns shot like 24 free throws.
Suns continue to get bailed out every time they take it to the hole.
THE FIX IS IN!!!!
Anyone watching this game who doesn’t think the refs are purposely calling the game to keep it close and/or give the Suns the advantage is not really watching this game.
So sick of this bs.
How about we get a Dudley-Vujacic match-up? That would be fun.
Really only have themselves to blame the way they finished the third. This game should be in the fridge by now.
SASHA! Welcome to the playoffs!
Pau .. please step up.
Kobe is good.
Joel B. says
Darius u have to admit the way they are officiating is more than jus bad. When the officiating is bad I Always pay close attention to the typ of fouls te refs are calling. The suns are getting calls the lakers aren’t plain and simple. They are officiating te game differently. Kobe gets hit on the hand right after he released that three te same exact way dudley was hit but Dudley go the foul. It’s just said to see 3 straight game in which the officating was one sided
The Lakers are being much more patient this game against the zone.
farmar stop thinking for so long PASS THE BALL
Kobe’s shot is so hard that it wants to pop out so many times. man that 3 would have been nice.
I don’t even like him, but I’m rooting for him now. 🙂
Did you take your medication this evening? Seriously. The refs are intentionally making the Suns win? What kind of NBA planet do you live on?
ede ede ede ede ede los lakers r reely plajeen goooood ju know why ryyyyeee? cuz dvaey have ede ede ede ede ede ede koooooooobiiiiiiiiiiii! va pues!
Really…That was a foul!??
No, it wasn’t.
Wow, Nash. I think that was the longest continuation basket I have ever seen.
At this point, I truly do not care if the Lakers win by 1, as long as they win. Get. the. win.
Lol and Nash traveled twice on one possession. No call.
8-0 in three throws this quarter..
I’ve never seen a player allowed to travel as much as Steve Nash.
I’m apoplectic. The Lakers are at home, right?
HOW ARE THE SUNS GETTING EVERY FREAKING CALL!!!!???
magic days says
I can’t believe they gave Nash that and1….whatever. Lakers need to stay calm and focus and not jack up 3’s for the rest of the time remaining. And lock down on D. Get some stops. this is nerve racking.
Goodness…not a good turn of events in the 4th.
Laker games = #1 cause of heart attacks in So. Cal.
Taking years off my life.
The Lakers offense seems to be tightening up. These last two minutes will be VERY interesting.
I have no problem with that continuation call. Kobe should have helped or Fish should have fouled gard, those were the mistakes on that play.
I think Pau is the league leader in splitting FTs. Hope he makes both.
Time to stop switching. THis is what Nash did to Duncan.
EDIT: STOP SWITCHING
Good job, Pau!
Gasol is having one of those games where throws the ball up too hard and misses tons of shots around the rim. I love him as a player…but I really wish the guy would just go up hard and dunk the ball more often.
Just give the ball to Kobe and let him draw attention.
Nash is on fire. One of the best mid-range jump shooters in the game.
LOL RON WHY?
NO RON NO
WHY RON WHY
OMG. Ron Ron what are you doing!!!
magic days says
Fking ARtest? If we lose this game, it’s on Artest.
The Lakers should be allowed to void Ron’s contract penalty free after that.
Haha! Phil, is this part of developing “Ron” so he would be as clutch as Kobe? 🙂 Benefit of the doubt.
try and defend artest now. the dumbest shot i have ever seen. no wonder he has never won anything.
I love this game!
Too much like 2006 game 6
Every bounce going the wrong way
magic days says
Unbelievable. I hate long rebounds.
How can they let the Suns get 3 attempts at a 3?! This is the 1 team that WILL hit one.
let’s go guys. Execute and win.
Lamar Odom WATCHED instead of boxing out after the first shot. These guys deserve to be punished.
I think Kobe wants another game winner.
RON YOU REDEEM YO SELF YO OYOY OAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Man I hope Kobe puts the game winner right in Nash’s grill.
TNT trying to jinx Kobe
They need to make sure this is the last shot of the game.
magic days says
Come on Kobe. We need you to be clutch.
Dear sweet god, can someone hurt Artest for me? Every time he shoots the 3 it takes a year off my life… and five when he misses, which is every single time lately!
I really don’t care if we win by half a point as long as we win, I am just so tired of this emotional roller coaster.
Oh ****. You leave Richardson open after the way he’s played this series, then you deserve to get kicked out. Honestly, there is no excuse for this.
Scratch that! Ron Artest! 🙂
Ron Ron! Woo hoo!
magic days says
OMG…artest actually saved the game!
From Goat to Hero.
Artest with the redemption shot. LAKERS WIN
I take EVERYTHING back.That was a heroic and manly play by Ron-Ron.
Guess Ron made up for the crappy 3, huh?
Ron’s contract is good again.
I think I figured this out:
Ron Artest wanted to get a game winning shot as a Laker in the playoffs, he conspired for the lead to evaporate and necessitate a last second shot. He also paid Gasol to miss the dunk with 20 seconds to go.
oh my lord what a finish.
What… what is Artest saying? o.0
I love Ron Artest’s interviews.
Anyone care to translate?
Artest makes NO sense.
way to go artest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone know the free throw disparity?
I called it here first, Game 6 will be a Laker double-digit win, someone provide me that stat, but boy the Lakers are good, damn good when closing out a series.
All i have to say is….. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. yea…. wow…..
Not sure what was worse, Ron taking the worst shot I have ever seen with 22 on the clock or the interview after when he said it was the right thing to do/
Hats off to the Suns. no lead is safe with these guys. We have to bring everything we got to close it out in 6. Has to be.
Bill Simmons was right after all. He tweeted “RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST RON ARTEST” after ron artest shot those 2 terrible shots. but you know what?? it ended up being what he predicted. Thank you??
I can’t stop laughing at that ending…the Kobe/Artest celebration reminds me of that commercial where Kobe dunked over the pool of snakes…
LET’s END THIS….let’s go lakers! clap clap clap clap clap!
I wish Craig Sager would have shut the F up about the bad shot. Dude just won the game, let him enjoy it.
btw can we see a replay on that Gasol miss dunk, I cant believe he wasent fouled
of course Gasol got fouled on that dunk. No call was coming, just have to play through that. However Dudley got a touch foul at the other end. But that’s to be expected I suppose.
In case I didn’t make it clear earlier, I take back every bad thing I said about Ron in the 4th quarter. That was gutsy, brave, aggressive, beautiful, and it saved our lives in this game. Way to go Ron. You are the hero tonight.
Artest was punching Kobe in the ribs while they were celebrating, I hope Kobe can recover.
I… feel like… smoking a cigarette after that game.
magic days says
I think i need more than a cig even though the Lakers won.
Yeah… I have scotch here. Bring your own glass, and wear a Laker shirt or hat, and I’ll pour you free drinks. 🙂
My heart’s still racing.
Joel B. says
Wow. Ron Ron
The the suns shot 29 fts to the lakers 23.
the lakers can absolutely close this out in phoenix if the game is officiated relatively close. I know that ref was suspended for throwing the ball at that fan, but who was the bald black ref. I’ve never seen him before. This late into playoffs I don’t ever remember looking at a ref and saying who is that. And this so happened to be the most questionable officiating I’ve witnessed. It was clock work lakers get momentum, the officiating gets bad.
But amazing win nonetheless. Perserverance Sums this up.
Overcoming adversity. That’s what Phil Jackson teaches our teams in the regular season, by not calling timeouts, by letting his teams “figure it out themselves.” It is not mental; it is more akin to spiritual. That willingness to give everything of yourself to win a game; to fail, and to learn from failure.
Ron Artest, so maligned for his performance this series and before, just showed what it means to overcome adversity. He is a competitor; he wants to land to knockout blow. You can’t fault him for shooting those shots; he was wide open. But he failed. Big time. Reading up in the comments, you can see the derision directed at him for those shots. No doubt he himself felt just as bad if not worse about his own performance.
However, he overcame the adversity. Everyone knows that Kobe is going to get that last shot; all five of the Suns definitely did. With all their concentration on Kobe, they forgot that the simplest of plays can make the greatest of difference: Artest came entirely across the lane, fought for the rebound, and put up an extremely difficult shot high off the glass. He could’ve easily just skulked on the weak side and waited for the game to go into overtime. But he learned, through failure, that success comes to those who overcome adversity.
But let’s not forget the other stars of this game. First and foremost, credit the Suns for never giving up, for battling hard, and putting forth everything they had to win this game. That’s the one thing that cannot be taken away from the Suns; they battled.
So many other Lakers shined. Kobe Bryant, the leader, came through throughout the game and in the clutch, keying our offense when we were going stagnant. With a game high 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists, as well as 4 blocks, he successfully outdueled Steve Nash and put our team on his back in the 4th. Derek Fisher, like Artest, so maligned during the regular season, has hit so many momentum altering shots that I can no longer keep track. 7-12 for 22 points with 4 assists to boot? On a day when Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar gave almost nothing, Fisher showed why he’s the starter, why he’s the veteran, and why he has Phil’s faith. Lamar Odom, so derided for his mental lapses and lack of effort, took the battle to the Suns, grabbing 5 offensive rebounds and making some aggressive moves with his hook shots to the tune of 17 points and 13 rebounds.
In a game we needed to win, our main players showed up and took this hard fought game. Could we have played better? Certainly. But it’s when we don’t play at our best that the team shows its heart.
Found this quite amusing haha
From the quick AP recap =
Bryant missed a difficult shot from the corner, but Artest rolled into the lane, collected the rebound and threw up a hideous shot that somehow went in.
Artest gave us a range of emotions in the last minute of the game. Thank You Ron Artest, 1 game away from the NBA Finals.
11 down 5 to go
I don’t smoke, but that was a cigarette game. We look like we ran outta gas in the 2nd half – but Kobe was smart and didn’t go hero mode to jack up 3’s. Very controlled 4th Q from Kobe.
The refs were in our favor in the 1st Q, but once they saw the game widen, calls started going Phoenix’s way. Game 6 is gonna be TOUGH. We are gonna hafta fight every play.
Good performance from Vujacic today. I gotta say I am surprised.
…anyone confused by Artest’s postgame interview?
Artest: Just gotta keep playin basketball.
Sager: but you know there’s a 24 second clock. This isn’t the playground!
Artest: Just gotta keep playin basketball.
#208 chibi, haha Reggie Miller just repeated your “from goat to hero.” Take his job
#243 lol. We had another such guy on the Lakers…
I also could not stop laughing after that ending. The joy as they all piled up jumping and hugging, they looked like they were 10 years old. It was really great to see.
That might be the moment, when Kobe’s frustration and anger gets flipped into relief, and belief in his newest and most enigmatic teammate, that cements the chemistry of this team for the remainder of the playoffs.
We’re gonna win in Phoenix!
Well said. The entire team desreves credit for fighting this one out.
Lakers beat the FIX!
It’s crazy, the Lakers played aggressively the whole game, the Suns still edged them in Free Throws 29 to 23.
And the Lakers were at home.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the NBA wants the Suns in the Finals…
magic days says
Thank Mimsy. I’m allergic to alcohol so I don’t drink, but can damn use a toke to calm my nerves. I just rewatched Artest interview. He’s pretty entertaining. Funny how he mentioned the crowd shouting don’t shoot, don’t shoot. He’s definitely not deterred and it worked out for us after all. Wow…crazy crazy game.
I actually agree, Pau has been getting hacked the last few games, and he has been out of his element. Glad we pulled out a win, but the officiating was Turrible, even if the TNT wont comment on it. I can’t believe Kobe got a T for basically nothing, but Dragic managed to force a double T. I smell fish. Time to play hard and win game 6.
Joel B. says
Kenny smith perspective of the game is quite humorous. He said the suns should be happy an ok with this loss. There aren’t any moral victories in the playoffs. He also said the lakers played over their heads? Other than fisher who played over their heads? Before the game winning shot bynum and artest were combined 1/13. We didn’t get anything from brown and farmar and the lakers on shot 42%. The suns were outworked plain and simple. They should be worried if the lakers bring this effort and start making shots in game 6. If that happens and the game is somewhat officated evenly the game won’t be close.
joel r says
Artest finally got his Ariza moment. He really deserved it too. All season long he was trying to fit in and he was the one Laker to give a consistent effort every night.
I’m really happy for him
I think Bynum ran harder to join the celebration than he did up and down the court tonight, hehehe
Great win, but we should not have put ourselves into the position where we need an Artest putback to avoid OT.
For those of us pointing out the bad calls – that’s not getting any better Saturday in Phoenix; we have to play through it.
As for tonight – We caught some breaks when Frye missed two late triples and we missed on several point-blank looks in the fourth, any one of which would’ve salted the game away. The defensive energy was a positive to take away from this, but we have to have to remember that, in this series, leaving shooters beyond the arc open only works when they’re *our* shooters.
i) Have to agree with a lot of people; Artest really needed a playoff moment like this.
ii) TNT loves those Suns.
Pau has been flustered and out of rhythm these last three games. What can we do to get him back into the flow of the offense?
Kobe would have had a triple double had Pau finished that dunk with 20 seconds left to put it up 5.
Anyone notice that the Fisher bashers have completely disappeared?
The last backhand comment to belittle Derek came when the last of the unredeemed bashers “corrected” a comment from another poster, suggesting that Derek Fisher was not capable of making 20 points in a playoff game.
In the playoffs, Derek Fisher plays like–well–Derek Fisher. His contribution tonight was remarkable–and I’m not even surprized!
Totally agree. Fisher has more than earned his spot. Clutch
Kobe and Fish were great.
LO was good.
Bynam 2 points from your starting center.
Ron Artest 4 points.
He is shooting 25% in the playoffs in 3’s this year and showed he would rather take a really bad shoot to be a hero for the first time in his life then run the shot clock down.
Yes he made the last shoot but you don’t need that shot if your starting forward isen’t 1 for 8 and took the worst shot I can remember in 40 years.
Hard to call him a hero when he nearly cost the Lakers the home game with his play on offense. But if you all want to its ok. We won at home by 2.
in Phoenix’s second to last possession out of a timeout Phil had Artest on Stoudemire so when instead of Gasol switching onto Nash it was Artest. I thought that was a pretty good move because Nash was abusing Gasol every time.
Think we’ll see more of that next game?
On a side note:
I’d like to think that food poisoning/whatever ailed Alvin Gentry was not the result of any deliberate misconduct by Laker fans.
The Dude Abides says
Just got back from a friend’s house and I’ve not read the post or any of the comments. What a horribly one-sided officiated game. When you can’t even get to the FT line in the final 30 seconds on a deliberate hard foul to prevent a game-clinching dunk, you know you’re getting screwed.
The Dude Abides says
257. That was a deliberate hard foul by Stoudemire. Nearly a flagrant. We re-wound the Tivo and watched it multiple times. Unbelievable no-call.
Ken, in the playoffs a win is a win. It doesnt matter how it happens, all that matters is LA is up 3 to 2. No Laker fan is satisfied with how the game was closed out but the team is one win away from the NBA Finals. If they win this series all the negatives you discussed wont even matter and if they win the Finals they wont make the final cut of the Championship DVD.
Phil needs to do something about switching on the pick and roll on Nash, that killed the Lakers in the 4th. Pau just needs to show on the pick and then recover quickly to his man, it’s not difficult.
can we still bash Phil Jackson?
Haha….I came on this site and saw there was a buzzer beater that won the Lakers the game (I missed the game cause of work), and I was almost certain it was Kobe, then when I watched the video I was SHOCKED it was ARTEST!! Wow, I am so mad I missed it, what a moment in Artest’s career!
Great post Zephid. Nobody will remember what Ron didn’t do. Awesome game. Damn I love the playoffs.
Steve Nash showed why he’s MVP. I love watching Nash & Kobe duel. Such games of skill, rhythm, and flow.
Please, nobody say stuff about how it’s only the suns blah blah
laker8884 I fully agree a win is a win but it does concern me when you get out scored by 7 at home in the 2nd half.
I almost lost it when Ron took that shot but if you go back in his history this is what he does. Shot Houston out of the playoffs last year. After the game he said well i am a good 3 point shooter.
Denial is not a pritty thing. He is a bad shooter but he will be called a hero and that’s ok with me.
Maybe he finally learned a lesson. Play to win not to be Kobe because you never will. This game was amazing but way to close for a old guy like me.
The best part of this game? The entire stadium screaming “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” when they saw Artest launch that awful 3 with two seconds off the shot clock.
Scratch that, that was the 2nd best part. The best was seeing Kobe and Artest screaming and jumping up and down like little schoolgirls. Haven’t seen Kobe like that in a while.
Fisher has been amazing. Our only real shooter that I look to when the defense is collapsing and we need a shot.
The best thing about that Artest play was that the ball didn’t fall into his hands – he came from across the lane and took it. As much as he’s struggled (and let’s be honest, his offensive struggles have been painful) the one element he’s brought to this team all year is that he brings it on every damn possession. Always hustling, always scratching, always fighting to affect the game even when his shot is gone. That last rebound was pure desire.
Points off offensive rebounds saved us this game. Tremendous job on the boards.
T. Rogers says
The Lakers got the W and that is all important. But they can’t play that way in Phoenix and think they will close it out in game six. Pau Gasol HAS to find a way to break out.
I don’t know, I was kind of expecting this to be the “punch back” game for LA. Instead, they squeaked by at home. Sure there are no moral victories, but the Suns have to be feeling confident going back home.
Screw all the ref talk, the Lakers need to look like worthy NBA Finalists in the next game. Another game like this will surely find them back at Staples against a team that is really gaining confidence.
I’m not trying to rain on the parade, but this series is far from over. And the Lakers sure didn’t kill the Suns’ spirit with this effort.
A few thoughts:
1. It is rare we see the good and bad side of a player in that intense of a microcosm. Artest got the putback because instead of standing there watching, he played through to the buzzer. Barkley and Miller explained it well on TNT. Artest is sort of an unconscious player; as Kobe said in the media conference, “He just goes.” Both plays showed that. As to the bricked triple, yes, he should have pulled the ball out, but as Bill Bridges said in his fake Tex Winter post, in the triangle, you take the first open look. I don’t think it was as stupid a play a play as some people are making it out to be. They needed to score; Artest was wide open.
2. Last possession: I would like to see a better out of bounds play in a spot like that. There was not enough screening for Kobe and not enough was done to clear space for him. Since everybody knows where the ball is going, you need some action away from the ball to get Kobe some space to square up his body.
3. It is hard for me to to picture the team winning G6 in Phoenix or losing G7 here. I think both will be close.
4. It seems that the Donaghy accusations and some of the post-season series that people see as “fixed” have had their effect at the grassroots level of NBA fandom. I always check out other team blogs at playoff time and have been part of a discussion at another site that has fans of multiple teams participating. Everywhere one clicks, it is refs, refs, refs, fix, fix, fix. Less here than elsehwere, but we are getting some of it here as well. At Celtics Hub yesterday, there were people saying, literally, that a 21-point margin had nothing to do with the teams and Stern was fixing the series.
Hopefully they can look to this moment as the galvanizing force that propelled them to not only win Game 6 in Phoenix but to became Repeat Champions. Artest now has his Laker moment. If this can strengthen the team as being One, that Phil so often talks about; then this was a momentous victory.
Instead, they squeaked by at home.
I expected that, actually. Phoenix really wanted this game badly, and Phoenix has some specific personnel advantages over the Lakers.
Mike Penberthy says
How are you supposed to have a “punch back” game if you’re not allowed to punch?
I’m happy that most of the exciting games this playoffs were ours.
although I’m sure my body doesn’t think so 😉
Anyway, trying to enjoy Kobe-Prime-Revisited as much as I can.
And Fisher too 😉
I agree with 271. I thought the game changed in the Suns favor though when Walton was entered. He missed a few shots that you just can’t miss and you could see Phoenix had momentum. There was one timeout where I was sitting at home, and when the game came back on, I saw Nash jumping and chanting and knew we were in for a run from them. This team fights us. And their 4th quarter zone is not the same as their first 3 quarters – they hit a lot more and don’t really ever get called for it.
In both games in Phoenix the Lakers were either tied or within one in the fourth quarter. That has got to be our focus. We need 48 minutes of good, solid, smart, basketball, because this Suns team is like OKC, they are fighters. Its good for us to be in a battle, lets go!
Kobe just passed Larry Bird on the 30+ points 5+ reb, 5+ ast games in the playoffs. Kobe now has 33 such games. Up Next Jerry West at 35 such games and Jordan at 51 such games
Kobe’s last 10 games:
29 to 23,what a home court advantage.
great comment zephid. I was at the game and i was one of the 19,000 screaming “no” when ron took those shots in the last minute…and was going nuts at the buzzer. gotta love ronron. let’s close it out on saturday!
The Dude Abides says
My favorite part of the celebration was Ron-Ron going for the left thigh wraparound during Kobe’s hug 😀
Game recap is up.
I think the Suns will win game six by 5 to 10 points, though I dont think they are winning game 7 in Staples if it comes back. If the Lakers are to close it out in 6 games, they will have to play a lot better than they did tonight.
Return of the P&G Assassin says