Box Score: Lakers 96, Nuggets 113
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 101.1, Nuggets 118.9
True Shooting %: Lakers 53.0%, Nuggets 59.6%
Well, before the game, Kobe Bryant was said to have a stomach ailment. Everyone and their mothers and pets immediately compared this to the Jordan Flu Game of 1997. Never mind that this is a first round contest while Michael did this in the Finals.
The game was sick. And Kobe was sick.
The box score really doesn’t indicate on how bad the Lakers played. The Nuggets KILT the Lakers tonight. Not even KILLED. KILT. The final score doesn’t indicate how bad it was, either. Granted, the Lakers had a chance to do something after halftime as they were only down nine. But nope. Ty Lawson was running circles all over them. And he was making pretty much everything (well, nearly… 13/18 from the field and 5/6 beyond the arc for 32 points). But even still, the Nuggets could’ve started Vicki Lawson from Small Wonder and the Lakers would probably get smashed.
The effort of the Lakers? Pretty much pitiful. I feel like I bring more effort to toasting bread than what the Lakers brought in Pepsi Center *sips Pepsi* earlier. Only Kobe seemed to bring it… and HE’S THE SICK GUY that was pretty much ready to throw up all over the bench or maybe Andrew Bynum’s fro. Speaking of Bynum, he was bullied by the Nuggets bigs. Even if JaVale McGee didn’t have a big game due to foul trouble, the others picked up the slack. Once again, don’t be fooled by Bynum’s 11-point, 16-rebound, 4-block… “effort.” He seemed to be loafing a lot of the time and I’m quite surprised he was able to get those numbers (seriously, you can’t defend his performance tonight). Imagine if he was actually following his note to himself after Game 1.
This is the worst game I’ve ever seen Pau Gasol play. He, too, was getting bullied by the Nuggets. His line DEFINITELY tells the whole story. 1 for 10. Three points. Three rebounds. People tweeted me that last year was worse… but Gasol never scored less than eight points in a playoff game last year. THREE POINTS. THREE REBOUNDS. Those stats alone tell the story.
Ramon Sessions played scared. He’s had so many open looks as the Nuggets treat him like he’s Rajon Rondo. When he penetrates, he’s fine. But the Nuggets are daring him to shoot the perimeter jumper and he’s like a teenager who has never touched a girl ready to go on his first date. Ramon has stage fright and he HAS to get over that VERY SOON.
Matt Barnes still can’t make a shot (2/8). Devin Ebanks is, well, Devin Ebanks. Steve Blake is just about what you expected (but, hey, he didn’t turn the ball over?). At least, it looked like Jordan Hill tried (8 points, 6 rebounds) but he’s not enough help for Kobe. Kobe should be commended for even going out there and playing his ass off (31 points, 13/23) but it’s obvious that he needs more help. And the bigs failed him.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, have confidence that is absolutely sky high right now. Kenneth Faried outhustled everybody the entire game (16 points and 11 boards). Danilo Gallinari is getting a little more dangerous with his outside shot and passed the ball well (12 points, 7 assists). Andre Miller continues to school everyone with his rec league game (12 points). And this was Corey Brewer’s flu game except without the flu (18 points). I wouldn’t be surprised if Brewer gained all of his hair back after this game; he was that awesome tonight.
The Denver Nuggets seem to be clones of Mortal Kombat’s Kano tonight; they absolutely ripped the Lakers’ hearts out. I don’t know if the Laker fan would be more disgusted of watching this game, last year’s Game 4 against Dallas, or 2 Girls 1 Cup. The margin should’ve been 75 at the end of this contest. It was bad. Putrid. Disgusting. Filthy. I wish Kobe did really throw up all over Pepsi Center. And at this point, I’m just doing word vomit so I should end this write-up soon.
The good news? There’s STILL Game 7. It’s at Staples Center. But I don’t blame you for not being so confident about it. After all, the Nuggets beat the Lakers in their house in Game 5. If the Lakers match Denver’s intensity on Saturday night, then the Lakers should be okay. But in this up and down season, we’ve nearly seen everything and I’m sure you guys aren’t going to be surprised if the Lakers do something wacky in their most important game of the season.
Another tidbit? Ron Artest/Metta World Peace returns. He’ll provide some much-needed D and he’ll be unfairly asked to save the Lakers’ season. I honestly don’t know what to expect. Will he give a boost or will he be so rusty that it’ll throw off the Lakers’ chemistry? Oh, hey, joke’s on me! THEY HAVE NO CHEMISTRY RIGHT NOW.
But in a way, this Game 7 is all bad news. The Oklahoma City Thunder (Derek Fisher is giggling like a schoolgirl) are waiting in the wings, licking their lips on what they’re going to do to either the Lakers or the Nuggets. And if the Lakers do advance, how the hell are the Laker guards going to handle Russell Westbrook? Well, we probably shouldn’t even think about that. Remember when I said not to talk about OKC in my Game 4 recap? And then Bynum mouthed off that closeout games are easy? Yeah.
Oh, well. That’s that. I’ve said enough. Go ahead and complain on the comments below. I’m going to go listen to Boyz II Men now.
“unfairly” asked to save the Lakers’ season? I think Metta owes his teammates after getting suspended for seven games. The least he could do is save the series.
Your post summed up how I felt about the game. I certainly hope that the Lakers felt embarrassed by this pummeling and come out strong in game 7 with a real sense of purpose. Otherwise, it will just be a repeat of game 5. However, you never know, especially with the way Pau is right now and Bynum just seeming to not care. I still see hope at the end of the tunnel though, if they get their act together. And well, if a game 7 doesn’t motivate them, then I’m not sure what will. Hopefully an energized MWP will be a real boost in the arm though.
One of the greatest to ever to don a Lakers jersey showed you why tonight. With the flu at 33 in his 16th season played a grueling 37 minutes. 13/23 31 pts kept the team in it the 1st half couldn’t muster up enough energy for the second.
Kobe, Barnes, Hill, Sessions, Blake have played hard all series and need to be commended for it. Great effort every game but their talent isn’t as great as Lakers 2nd and 3rd best player so there effect isn’t as obvious but I see them hustling.
Holy smokes. What a game. Horrible sendoff to KCAL9 which always does a great job with Jim Hill & Worthy. I don’t even know what to expect out of this team for a game 7. Sessions, Bynum & Gasol need to suit up.
anti Dwyer Abbott says
nice recap thanks.
fear not,I believe in Kobe.
Well, Bynum single handed gave a bunch of enrage kid motivation and confidences they needed to **** us over.
I am just a little worried that we will not make it out of the freaken 1st round. But, I do remember the 2009 Rockets series, so there is always hope, I guess.
I don’t think we’ll lose game 7.
Hillary Ocholla says
The Dane says
If Bynum could be swapped for McGee for a couple of weeks the Lakers would be better of…
Man, these kind of games mkes it so hard to believe.
Lakers struggle against talented PG so how can this team hope to reach the finals without having adress this?? Ty Lawson, Westrbook, CP3/Parker it would be one of the biggest sporting miracles if the Lakers make it to the finals.
Its like the seeding was tailor made to screw over the lakers.
“Will he give a boost or will he be so rusty that it’ll throw off the Lakers’ chemistry? Oh, hey, joke’s on me! THEY HAVE NO CHEMISTRY RIGHT NOW.”
Hahaha so true. Sad, but true.
Honestly I’m just getting so sick of this. As a fan you can excuse a lack of talent (unless you’re Robert :D), but it’s very hard to excuse a lack of effort. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where the former ends and the latter begins. Especially with players who’ve always had poor body language, like Bynum.
I might change my tune by tomorrow, but right now I’m not even concerned. Absolutely no anticipation leading up to this Game 7. If they don’t bring the necessary effort, they deserve to lose. And frankly I have more important things to do than invest my time in a team that can’t be bothered to close out on shooters or rotate quickly and decisively.
And even if they do win, it just seems like it’ll be carnage from here on out. I was previously one of the optimistic ones who thought if everything came together, we could give the Thunder a tough go of it. But until we make outside shots, every team will use the same defense as the Nuggets to neutralize our bigs. Nothing would piss me off more than losing to Kendrick Perkins again.
Frank the Tank says
The Dane says
I am surprised that the Lakers don’t manage to get more out of the different Horns-sets. Gasol-Bynum is the perfect high-low duo for these sets, with Kobe and Sessions demanding attention on the wing.
It is kinda ruining my day having this game zip back and fourth through my mind… I wish I could step into that locker room and pep them up Any Given Sunday Style.
Game 7, Win of Go Home. Season on the line, Andrew and Pau contract is on the line too.
We, fans should have 1 common thing coming into game 7 that is to WIN.
Remember 2009 Rockets-Lakers series when it was forced to play in 7 games. That series awaken the Lakers and won the championship.
For just one game, I’m hoping that we fans, in this blog should watch the game first and not to start blaming when the game is still going on. I just hope that we need this time to have some faith in this team. We believe that we can win this series and probably make it to the finals.
For just one game…
It’s an ugly loss, but the team has and has had glaring holes all season.
But the two biggest issues are Bynums and Gasols aspirations to be headliners and the lakers being the only team who thinks sessions is a starter in the NBA.
He is not good enough on offense to make up for his defense, more importantly his lack of effort is atrocious.
Even if lakers advance, Russell westbrook and James harden won’t be as nice as Lawson and miller
True, Pau had a bad (terrible) game.
But if the Lakers lose this series, #16 has got to go. He’s a no effort bum who riled up the other team calling close out games easy.
Since the lakers can now be closed out, does that mean #16 is just going to fold like he said other teams do?
The sprained ankle in the last game of the regular season took Matt Barnes rhythm away. I’m so annoyed.
Only Kobe tried to fight back last night, the rest played like chumps.
For Bynum’s sake and for the Lakers’s sake, he needs to go. It would be best for both parties if they just parted ways.Whether we win a championship or not this year, we need to ship his @ss out once the season’s over. The dude is one of the most unprofessional players i have ever seen and is just simply a “cancer” to the team.
Luiz André says
Pau seems to be enjoying a lazy walk around the park… in his head… during a playoff game…
If Bynum and Gasol don’t show up, we wont have a chance to be swept by OKC next round. Bummer.
Transcribed from the K Bros excellent breakdown of the game:
“When Drew plays the way he’s capable, the Lakers typically win…he can’t take plays off. One of the big problems that Drew has…you look at Bynum, even when things are going well, his body language is awful…If you want to be a guy who’s seen as an elite player and seen as a leader, you just can’t do that. He’s all outer monologue. He has no inner monologue whatsoever.”
Drew does seem clueless – or doesn’t care – in this regard, and I think this is a big part of the dislike directed at him. Kobe had poor body language, but it was always seen as fire and desire. Drew’s slouched shoulders and eye rolling and exasperated shrugs have annoyed fans for years.
But that’s a completely different issue than taking plays off. Like the K brothers said – you just got your a** handed to you in Game 5 after you shoot your mouth off, and 3 plays into the game Mosgov beats you down the floor for an easy layup. Where’s your mindset at?
There were people on this site that said Bynum was just conserving energy during the regular season and would turn it on in the post-season. I think what we’re seeing now is that Drew isn’t capable of flipping the switch and sustaining it over 4-5 games. It’s just not who he is, and that’s his biggest flaw right now (because talent wise, he has very few flaws in his game).
Did any of the reporters ask Pau and Bynum if they were disappointed with their efforts?
chris h says
where was the motivation? the sense of urgency? the fight? the intensity? the … experience???
obviously that was all lacking… Kobe brought it… but the rest of the team???
I have to look at 2 places where this should have come from, one is the coach, Brown must not be very good at stirring up the emotions to get the most out of a team…
and the other is the fact that we all got what we wanted when we screamed for Fishers head, and got a quick PG in Sessions.
however, we lacked the leadership from Fisher, in the absence of getting it from the coach, we surely would have gotten it from D fish, who by the way is happily waiting for the winner of our series.
we got what we wanted, eh?
oh, and Brown hasn’t really matched the moves made by Karl in adjustments so I feel he’s really not as good a coach either, in either leading/motivating the team, or X’s and O’s…
The Dane says
Im surprised at Pau, he might not always be a world beater, but dispite what he has been called through the years, I have never known him to be a quitter.
Should Lakers try defending with a zone against Nuggets? Have they done it before in this series?
Let me speak about Andrew’s distachment from the team and the coach while on the bench!
I have a 7 year old son. If I allow who to eat, sleep, play games or watch TV anytime and anywhere he will have no respect or me or authority in his life.
Andrew has no respect for Mike Brown or anyone for that matter. He sits where he wants, parks where ge wants, speaks what he wants. He just dosen’t care and Mike Brown allows it.
The team in Cleveland quit on Brown. The Lakers have quit on Brown. it has no one’s respect.
Jim B hired a guy who losses respect from his players and then got rid if the coronstones of locker room respect in LO and Fish.
Do the math. Playing like quitters and losers.
Nice hire Jim. That’s why Dr. Buss you don’t as a parent give your kid a really expensive toy unless you want it broken!
eric t says
I totally agree with everything said in this article it mirrors my rant on Facebook last night, GASOFT HAS ONCE AGAIN SHOWN UP AFTER THE SMBIGS OF DENVER SHOW MORE FORCE AND EFFORT THE MORE GASOFT HIDES FROM THE BATTLE. IT’S DISGUSTING TO WATCH BYNUM WITH ALL THE TALENT IN THE WORLD PLAY WITHOUT HEART AND WHILE GETTING BEST BY 25 IN A CLOSING GAME BEING A CANNOT TO BREWERS 3PTER AND FAST BREAK DUNK HE’S NOT READY TO CARRY THE TORCH OR BE A FRANCHISE PLAYER AND IF THE LAKERS LOSE GAME 7 I SAY TRADE HIM AND GASOL GET THE SALARY CAP BACK IN LINE AND WORK THE DRAFT BECAUSE OKC WON’T GET ANY WORSE….IJS…FRUSTRATED
I wonder if Bynum thinks the Game 7 closeout game will be “kind of easy” for the Nuggets…
Jim C. says
This postseason Laker first round has shown the weakness of advanced statistics like PER like no other in recent memory.
Kobe is having an absolutely great series. Bynum, since Game 2, has been awful. It doesn’t show in the stats though.
From Dexter Fishmore at Silver Screen and Roll:
“Drew was a monster at both ends of the floor and Pau looked like the greatest seven-foot point guard in history. So overwhelming was the Lakers’ advantage on the front line that many were predicting a sweep after the first two games. How long ago, not to mention naïve, that seems now. Bynum continues to put up decent numbers, but anyone watching knows how pathetic his effort has been lately. Tonight in Denver there was zero hunger or explosiveness in his game. He’s not moving on defense and looks weirdly floor-bound on offense. His comments and body language suggest boredom with, if not outright contempt for, his professional responsibilities. There’s clearly something amiss in his relationship with Mike Brown, if the relationship even exists.”
Right on every point…and yet Bynum leads Kobe in PER for the series. Anyone who wasn’t watching the games would conclude that Bynum’s been the best Laker player. That’s so far from the truth it’s astonishing. He had two great first games, and has been mesmerizingly bad since.
From Dextor Fishmore. A very smart guy.Saturday night will be a turning point in the coaching career of Mike Brown. When the Lakers hired him to replace Phil Jackson, supporters of the move excused his playoff failures in Cleveland on theories involving who he had to work for (Dan Gilbert) and who he had to work with (LeBron James). Now, he might have to make room on his resumé for another postseason catastrophe. And the main reason is that he’s apparently incapable of eliciting a pulse from his two superstar big men.
Like a guy who sees the BB world as I do!
I’m starting to think that the FO saw all this and thus wanted to get rid of Pau, Odom and Bynum getting CP3 and DH12 in return.
I really wish we could’ve gotten CP3; he’s got heart to match Kobe’s.
Oh and on this series.
I think it’s actually having a positive impact on how people may perceive Kobe.
Hate him or Love him, you see him bringing it. Any true fan of the sport will just have to respect him, and I don’t blame Stephen A. Smith when he is overtly professing his man-crush on Kobe regarding how Kobe brings it after his 16th season…
Big Jon says
To her credit, Vicki Lawson is an android. She would have been a tough match up too. 🙂
First Play of the next Game has to go to Pau – at the Top of the Key, and he needs to take his Defender off the Dribble. It should absolutely not go to #17. #17 hasn’t earned his right to get the 1st play of the game called for him anymore. Until he makes the playoff effort required of him, he shouldn’t have plays called for him anymore either.
Pau is the Lakers best offensive facilitator outside of Kobe, and he’s possibly the Lakers best passer.
If he gets going, his jump shot will start falling, and space will open up for #17 to maybe bring some effort. Plus, if He gets going, he can play some center and allow Hill to be the guy who sprints back on Defense, allowing Pau to crash the glass (his overlooked skill that has been abated because #17 won’t get back on D).
When Pau gets going, the Ramons/Barnes/Ebanks of the world also play better, because the trust he will make the right play.
The Lakers won 2 championships on the shoulders of Pau and Kobe, and reached 3 straight finals.
Pau had probably his worse playoff game ever, which means I know he’s stewing and is going to bring it on Saturday. The shots may not fall, but his effort is going to be strong.
Lakers are going to have to live off of there true big three – Kobe/Pau/Metta. They have the spirit to play like true Lakers, and if those 3 play well the Lakers have their best shot at winning.
#17? Can’t expect much anymore from him. Though, its been about 5 games since he’s played well, so he’s probably due. But, the Lakers can’t trust him to bring it, so the game plan has to be to go with the guys who have faced this type of task before and who they can trust will give their all.
Metta is going to allow Blake to play less, which will prevent Denver from attacking Blake in ISO’s on EVERY PLAY. Let’s just hope he’s still in good basketball shape, and been working on his jump-shot on his extended stay. It will also mitigate the Lawson/Miller lineup, because Kobe will then be on Miller, with Metta on Gallo, eliminating much of the mismatches on the defensive end and allowing offensive mismatched by our wings in Denver tries to put Gallo on Kobe.
The Lakers should win on Saturday – as they are at home and their backs are now against the wall, but stranger things have happened.
As for #17, if the Lakers lose on Saturday, I expect him to be on the Orlando Magic by mid July (Think that offer is still out there???).
Bynum has the biggest mouth on the team and comes small these past 2 games. He has a different agenda than the rest of the team. And that’s sad because he’s been given nothing but support all year long. He doesn’t want to win. For it to be the playoffs and his effort is still in question shows you how much he cares about his teammates and the organization. He only cares about himself. At one point, at a young age, Kobe had the same type of attitude. But he worked harder than anybody and wanted to prove to you on the court every time out he was the guy and he could be the guy. Bynum doesn’t and doesn’t fit the Lakers anymore. You just have to hope Jim is watching this.
I’m a big Bynum critic but I actually thought he played 1000 percent harder than he did in game 5. The problem right now is George Karl has destroyed the Lakers backcourt players confidence by literally not guarding the 3 point line. There is zero space in the lane for Lakers big men.
I blame Mike Brown because he is playing Eubanks who looks overmatched yet took Goudelock out of the rotation when his shooting is exactly what we need right now.
I don’t know if I can blame Mike Brown fully for Pau’s play anymore. Faried is schooling Pau and it’s all on hustle. Pau looks to have on cement shoes and his will is being taken from him. Second straight postseason we’ve seen this.
personally, i’m glad AB is consistently showing his immaturity on national tv. he’s either an embarrassment to his parents or it shows how he was raised. either way, jim buss can clearly see that drew is not the future of this franchise. thank god he didn’t sign an extension.
i’m the only one that said we would go 7 so ronron could get a warm up game in.
phil is on tape saying “its not unheard of to lose on purpose to get a better hand, all things are relevant”. that for goes seeding, drafting, single games as well as poker… LakeShow4eva
This was a bad game by Bynum. Now you know what a bad game looks like from him. He for the first time this series tried to score over and around double teams and didn’t shoot well. He of course still blocked four shots and grabbed 16 rebounds in just three quarters of play… That’s how good this guy is.
Well, maybe there is a blessing in disguise in all this … this team was not ready to meet adversity, had they won in 5 they would have rolled over like a pastry against OKC. Now at least, if they win game 7, they have overcome some playoff adversity.
Sorry, looking for a silver lining!
At least Ronbo is coming back!
Overall… I know everyone thinks it was a bad loss. But losing on the road in a close out game is never a bad loss unless you lose game seven at home or someone gets hurt. Those are the facts. Speaking of facts… Going to a game seven in the first round isnamgood way to find yourself winning a championship statistically (if you win that game 7 of course) so I can’t say I’m too dissatisfied. Speaking of dissatisfied… Pau Gasol. It’s just sad. Just sad. He once was a great player. Now he can’t score one on one against Al Harrington in the high post 🙁 As my good friend iMessaged me after the game… “Rememeber when Pau had trade value?” Is aquiring him for Kwame Brown and dumping him for Chris Paul the new definition of buying low and selling high?
Look at Bynum at :7
My only solace right now is my memories of the ’09 conference semifinals. Remember? The Lakers played a Rockets team that was without Yao? In that series, the player-formally-known-as Ron Artest was the Rockets best player. The Lakers were a far superior team, but they refused to make the series easy. That series went to a game 7. At the time, I remember feeling like, even if the Lakers were triumphant in game 7, the Lakers had no shot of winning the ‘ship if they couldn’t even close out a lousy and injured Rockets club. But I was wrong (as I usually am). The Lakers closed out the Rockets in game 7 at the Staples center, then went on to beat the Nuggets and the Magic for the championship. That’s my only solace right now.
Funky Chicken says
Game 7 really doesn’t matter. Many people, most notably rr, have pointed out all year long that this team just isn’t talented enough to compete for a title. What we now see, is that they are not mentally strong enough either.
This team is mentally weak. When we lose, we often lose big. When we go up big, we squander the lead. This team has now lost SEVEN of its last 10 playoff games. Winning on Sunday merely puts them in line for another humiliation, and likely sweep.
The Bynum & Pau experiment has run its course. It doesn’t work when it counts. This team has had two playoff runs with a healthy Andrew & Pau. To date, their record in those two years is 7-9. And that includes two of three series against much worse teams, where the Lakers had home court. If this record had been compiled against great teams, it would still be bad news, but they’ve done this against a Hornets team last year that consisted of not much more than one NBA player, and now a Nuggets team that struggled to make the playoffs as a 6th seed.
We’ll see if last year’s trade possibilities are still available this summer, but if they are, Pau for Scola & Lowry, and Bynum for Howard would seem to be one way to restore a little effort and toughness to what is now the weakest and laziest front court in the playoffs….
Aaron- what about Andrew?
I posted frequently earlier in the year. I had a rather extreme solution to the fact that the Lakers are not currently built to win. I certainly was wrong in wanting to amnesty Kobe. He has had a great season and provides the heart of a champion which is lacking elsewhere on the roster.
We can argue whether I was right in pushing for a Pau trade. However, his efforts in the playoffs would make you believe that unloading him for 80 cents on the dollar before the trade deadline would be better than the 40 cents on the dollar he would fetch this offseason. The reality is that he is likely a Laker for the remaining two years on his contract.
I look at how the Spurs have performed this year with a similar roster – one that relies on older and slower players. I believe that their results are directly tied to coaching and the stability an accomplished coach provides. Pops has created an environment that is both structured and supportive.
The current Lakers are a team in transition. As such there are a number of emotional challenges in play: Kobe reaching his twilight/Andrew emerging/potential roster moves/etc. I think a more mature – a more self confident coach would have been able to calm the egos involved. Mike Brown is all business – he is very focused on redeeming his reputation after what happened in Cleveland. He is more concerned with forcing the roster to suit his style than making modifications to benefit the players involved.
I believe that Rick Adelman would have offered more locker room leadership – guidance that would have translated to improved performance on the court. Many will throw stones at this as the Twolves missed the playoffs – however you must respect the pace that team was on prior to the Rubio injury. He may have been able to reach Andrew and communicate that true team leaders must leave childish behavior (both on court and off) behind them. I focus on him because (with Jim Buss’s blessing) is the future of the team.
Nothing would make me happier than the Lakers proving me wrong and going on a run that ends with a championship. I simply think there are too many factors against them
After watching multiple clips of Ty Lawson beat Ramon Sessions it is glaringly obvious that Ramon Sessions is a turrible defender.
He plays too upright and erect on defense.
It’s like no one has ever showed him how to bend his knees and get down into and actual defensive stance.
He NEVER beats his man to the screen and is ALWAYS trailing his man over after getting picked off and held up.
If only we could transplant DFish’s brain into Ramon’s body.
@ Aaron for 36.
Those numbers by #17 – the 16 rebounds – don’t tell the true story. He got 3 on the very first play but couldn’t score. Sure, he had 9 at the half, when in the 2nd quarter the nuggets started letting up – but none of them were momentum swinging. He got his 3rd quarter rebounds once the nuggets were up 20+ and he allowed Mozgov to abuse him in the post.
Heck maybe he would of had 20+ rebounds if Brown had played him the fourth quarter, and then you could defend his monster rebounding game. Another reasons why stats, and PER, don’t tell the whole story.
# 17 has been a non factor since game 2. He’s been thoroughly outplayed and hustled by a group of no-where near to All-star bigs, and has given up rotating to the guys driving into the paint in the half court set.
#17 is a big who is a good free throw shooter that fails to attack the paint quickly and force the defense to foul him. He’s easy to double because (1) for some reason Blake and Sessions are afraid to shoot, (2) Matt Barnes clearly hasn’t recovered from the ankle sprain to get the proper lift on his jumpshot and (3) when he does get the ball, it takes him 3 seconds to get anything going.
There’s no way to expect Pau to have his post game of old when his concentration lately has been to be more of a floor spacer in favor of #17. #17 getting healthy has effectively eliminated Pau greatest strength – his absolutely beautiful post up game and ability to attack the offensive glass from the low block (because he’s no longer on the low block with the starters, who are real offensive threats, on the court).
Makes me wonder if the Lakers started Pau at Center – with Hill at PF – and brought #17 in off the bench only when Pau sits if the Lakers would be better off. Its not likely though – #17 would pout if he came off the bench, so its pretty much a nonstarter. Although, he pouts as the starter too, so its unclear to me what the harm is. At least that would keep Hill on Faried – two energy guys matching each other and canceling each other out.
Edwin Gueco says
Full of vomit is the appropriate title for the Lakers. Would surely miss KCAL for their rendezvous with Laker fans. They got lost in the high stake media take over on the presumption of greed to take advantage of fans support of the Lakers. KCAL has proven their worth and most of all in elevating the Lakers to worldwide brand compared to its beginning as just a local commodity. Today, everyone want to get into the hooplah including the tentacles of ESPN trying to exploit Laker passion.
Some advantages in going to a 7 game, we get back Peace for what it is worth? We get back Kobe’s health, maybe it gets into the mind of Gasol and Bynum that they are here to help the team advance not just scarecrows out there and lastly, more money to the treasury of Jim Buss with the added three more games. He could afford to get better Coach, not a quitter like Mike Brown.
I have been forecasting W’s on this inconsistent team, perhaps I should forecast a L in the 7th game to reverse the karma. It is difficult to support an inept team without any spirit of fighting back. As a fan, what can we really do if talent is not there? If Gasol/Bynum or Sessions/Kobe/Blake could not stop Brewer and Lawson – why advance to future rounds in facing more superior teams? Let’s just bring back Kwame and Smush and the legion of scrubs and that’s how they appeared last night.
People who want Fisher back should remember how he looked trying to run this offense back in January and February, and they should also remember that the Lakers’ season ended in 2011 with a 122-86 loss which featured two ejections, one leading to a suspension, in spite of Fisher’s leadership. It is a stretch, to say the least, to think the Lakers would be better off in this series with him instead of Sessions.
That said, I was and still am a big booster of the Sessions deal, but some people in LakerLand overreacted to it early. The guy is not an All-Star–he is a mid-pack PG with defensive issues, and he is not as good as Ty Lawson. It was predictable that Lawson would blow up a couple of times in this series, and he has.
As I said yesterday, I think the focus needs to be on Mike Brown right now. Coaches can only do so much, this team has roster issues, and while it is hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that a team with Kobe, Pau, and Bynum isn’t really any better than one without a true star, both the metrics and this series show that is in fact the case.
But the Lakers have HCA and were up 3-1, so even if the teams are even and although they are missing their best wing defender, they should win. The issues people have had with Brown are coming to the fore:
1. George Karl has a pretty simple, but effective, game plan. Disrupt the bigs, let Kobe score a lot, and figure the other guys can’t beat the Nuggets from the perimeter. It is working, and Brown has had no counter for it. I think the “adjustments” stuff is sometimes oversold, but in a tight series, they can really matter. Brown seems unable to come up with them, and that also seemed to be true in Cleveland.
2. Brown seems unable to get the team motivated. Kobe Bryant, warts and all, of course mostly motivates himself. But Bynum and Gasol need handling, and they did not look ready to go last night. Part of that is obviously on them, and I suppose one might put part of it on Bryant. But to me, it is definitely a coaching issue as well.
3. Brown’s mulish insistence on riding his horses so hard is not looking good right now. Bynum and Gasol looked gassed. Bryant, due to his maniacal conditioning and intensity has mostly fought through it (although he takes some plays off on D) and did again last night. The payoff for the heavy workload was HCA in RD 1–so they need to make that work.
Brown has two more guaranteed years on his deal and a hefty buyout. Even if the Lakers lose tomorrow, I am 99% sure his job is safe. This has been a tough season, he has a deeply flawed roster, and unlike Vinny Del Negro, he does not have Chris Paul to run his team on the floor. But I will be looking hard at Mike Brown tomorrow night, even though I have defended him some this season.
Magic Phil says
What he does well in a regular basis?
Franchise player? Ha, that’s a joke, right?
Look, this year is Darth Stern son’s year. We might as well stay home, get some popcorn and watch a movie, rather than go all the way to the finals just to be schooled by the empire of evil and the penguins (lol, like going to the finals with MB as a coach is even possible…)
Those 16 rebounds don’t mean cr@p.
Andrew Bynum is not a REBOUNDER.
He’s a tall guy that gets rebounds when they bounce his way.
He never boxes out ANYBODY. He puts a body on someone if they happen to be leaning ON HIM. Watch him. When he turns to “box out” his head is up and his feet are stuck to the ground.
Now watch Faried. He’s a REBOUNDER.
Find your man. Turn around and put your ass on him and knock him back. Put your arms back to pin him back. Track the ball. Then GO AFTER IT.
Andrew does none of that.
I’ll tell you why. Because he doesn’t LOVE the game and every aspect of it.
Ohh he likes to score.
He took up the game late in his later teens because he was big. He was probably the biggest guy on the court so he never had to learn rebounding fundamentals. It’s painfully obvious.’
Andrew Bynum = Joe Barry Carroll
Funky Chicken says
Mattal, I agree with nearly everything you wrote. I, too, had hoped for Adelman to be signed as coach, but did think that the Brown hiring was defensible. I have been sorely disappointed in Brown’s in-game (or, now, in-series) lack of adjustments, but I think the problem goes a lot deeper than the coach.
This same core demonstrated their lack of heart and desire a year ago under Phil Jackson. It is true that Phil had probably lost some of his effectiveness with this team over the years, and he certainly didn’t show much passion himself, but it’s hard for me to look at a team built around Andrew Bynum as a championship team. Not after this year. I was a huge defender and supporter of his, but what he has shown this year is a selfishness and immaturity that renders him useless as a leader.
Frankly, if a player, any player, removes himself from the team during a timeout (much less routinely does so), I would look to remove that player from my roster. I hardly think that Kenny Smith of TNT (and a guy who knows a thing or two about winning and leadership) is the only guy who thinks “I wouldn’t want to play with that guy.” What on earth has this guy accomplished that allows him to act like he is above his team? He was an observer on the first of three Finals’ runs, a passenger on the 1st title, and a moderate contributor to the 2nd one.
Andrew loafs, he sulks, he routinely throws his arms up in frustration at teammates, and he separates himself from the team during timeouts. He is a spoiled and petulant basketball player, and from what he has shown us off the court, a self-entitled and inconsiderate guy off the court. “He’s just young” doesn’t fly when you’re a 7 year vet.
If you can’t get up for a playoff game, much less a game after you’ve been thoroughly outplayed by a vastly inferior opponent, you are not a champion.
I agree with your premise – that Brown was a bad choice for this team. He would be a much better fit on a ‘post Kobe’ Laker team searching for a new identity.
His selection as coach has always confused me. If the Lakers were planning to pursue/acquire Chris Paul, the case for Adelman would have been even stronger. He would have been a better choice to manage such an explosive offensive unit.
I want to believe a veteran coach could have reached inside of Bynum. However, I think Bynum’s behavior may be enabled by Jim Buss anointing him as the preferred child. When senior management has handed you the crown what reason do you have to worry about your behavior/attitude?
While we can’t cry over spilled milk we can acknowledge the fact that Brown hiring has added additional intrigue to what has been a challenging year.
Jim C. says
I’ve been saying this for weeks now, that Bynum hasn’t EARNED anything and that I was concerned that he was acting like he had.
I think this part is a very well written item and really drives home the point of how little Bynum really brought to the table when we won championships.
“Bynum put up Luc Longley numbers–6.3 ppg/3.7 rpg in the 2009 playoffs and 8.6 ppg/6.9 rpg in the 2010 playoffs–during the Lakers’ last two championship drives; now his role on the team has greatly expanded but even though he made the All-Star team this season he has consistently struggled to be productive against double teams and his effort on the defensive end of the court varies wildly from game to game, which is unacceptable for someone who the Lakers are hoping will be their franchise player at some point.”
What we are seeing is that Pau Gasol is no longer capable of doing second banana work, Kobe can’t bail the Lakers out of games like the last two by himself anymore, and Bynum isn’t ready to be a leader and one of the top two, or even three, players on a championship team.
With our two championships, it was Kobe, Gasol and Odom doing the heavy lifting with some clutchness from Fish/Ariza/Artest on the side. Now?
Odom is gone, Gasol is a shadow of his former self and isn’t ever going to be able to be a 1A type player again and Bynum isn’t ready to be what he needs to be. I’m not sure he ever will be.
Excellent Game Recap. After last night’s PATHETIC performance, I needed something, anything, that would take away some of my anger and bring a smile/some laughter into my life in regards to these Lakers.
Andrew ‘Slouch’ Bynum & Pau ‘Cotton Balls’ Gasol need to have a percentage of their playoff checks docked for the efforts that they put forth last night. No Passion. No Sense of Urgency. And worst of all, No Heart. That camera angle of ‘Slouch’ Bynum sitting away from the team during a break in action says it all about his selfishness & lack of respect for the Entire Organization. ‘Cotton Balls’ Gasol, who I am a huge fan of, has been abysmal dating back to last years playoffs. Back then, he supposedly was going through personal issues. What’s the excuse this time? Once again, my frustration towards these two individuals is NOT based off of numbers/stats. It’s based off of their Will and Desire. Their Competitive Nature. IMO, if you’re dedicated and true to your profession, an individual doesn’t need a coach for Motivation. Where is it?
Great to see that I, along with several other posters, aren’t the only ones that’s questioning their Passion. As per Dave McMenamin: “When Bryant was asked whether his teammates matched his heart in Thursday’s game, he replied, ‘No. Of course they didn’t.’ Bryant said he spoke with Gasol after the game and planned to speak with Bynum to ensure they have the proper focus heading into a winner-take-all Game 7.”
Lets hope that Kobe’s talk with these two Slackers pays off.
Bynum ” I was kinda loafing around”
“I took myself out. Maybe just not ready to play”
“Took me out the game so I sat where he put me”
“Don’t take 3s is the message, but I’m going to take another one and I’m going to take some more, so I just hope it’s not the same result,” Bynum said. “Hopefully I make it.”
“I just want my numbers.” “There’s a bank in every city”
If you think about it all the commotion besides the failed trade and annual trade talk have been Bynum in a negative light. All the potential isn’t worth the headache he’s causing. We’ve seen this story over and over about potential that goes into the tank. And there was the “we should run the triangle” that came out and everyone blamed Fisher like he wants the ball. No that would be Drew.
This comes down to Bynum and all the trouble he’s caused dating back to last season elbowing Barea. If he plays defense we all agree this is a championship team. He refuses to play defense. Lakers should refuse to give him the greatest jersey in sports.
Hate to be a downer, but I don’t see a favorable comparison between this series and beating the Rockets in 7 in 2009. In the ’09 series, the Lakers never lost 2 games in a row. They’d take a game off, then come back and dominate the next game. They were also an up-and-coming team, a #1 seed that had won 65 games that season. They were coached by Phil Jackson. That was a much better team. This series against Denver is now being dominated by the Nuggets. After game 1, games have been close or blowouts by the other team. The Lakers were not dominant in the regular season, and are coached by someone who has never won a title. That was a good, confident team in ’09 with Kobe and Pau. Pau played much better when he was the #2 guy. Lamar Odom was the utility guy that helped make us a cut above. Now this is a mess, and a league that has passed the Lakers by.
Bynum is an issue, but I think people are focusing too much on him. The Lakers lack outside shooting, everyone knew that, and like last year, it is hurting them. Brown seems unprepeared to deal with the problem.
It would be a gamble, but I would consider trying Troy Murphy in spot minutes tomorrow.
Jim C, I’ve been with you in the camp of Bynum has done NOTHING until he can be the no. 1 or no. 2 option in winning a series, or optimum multiple series.
Maybe Andrew is pulling a Kobe against Phoenix and he’s trying to let the Lakers know that they are nothing without him. Just maybe.
Whatever routine Bynum and Gasol did before games 1 and 2, they need to repeat before game 7 and then they need to rinse and repeat.
Since the all-star game Andrew has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse.
Potential talent does not correlate to an NBA career! Right now all Bynum has done is he’s been a Benoit Benjamin (lol, not really) and a Michael Olowokandi. Ability must translate into consistency. Andrew Bynum you are nothing but potential.
Bynum doesn’t appreciate the fact that he was fortunate enough to be drafted by one of the greatest organizations in sports. He’s jaded and maybe feels as though he can emulate Kobe’s perceived antics of forcing management’s hand by tanking a series.
I’ve not completely lost faith in Andrew, as I was impressed with him dragging his bad leg up and down the court for years. Upon his first game at the Staples center I believed he had arrived and deserved to be considered as the Lakers 1A option (Kobe of course, being option no. 1).
Pau needs to decline an invitation to play basketball for fun in the summer for Spain. When he semi-plays well enough to get paid in the winter. Additionally, Pau needs to his the weight room all summer. He’s a talented 7-footer with skills! He doesn’t lack heart he is fatigued!
Right now, MB needs to play a platoon of guards to win this series. Give Morris, Goudelock, Eyenga, Blake, and Sessions time. Create a 5-headed monster to neutralize the Nuggets, Lawson and Miller.
It maybe time to amnesty Kobe because this team is too young to understand what it takes to win. Unless, the team brings in a blend of serviceable veterans with a mixture of youth.
Jim C. says
@rr #57 comment:
People are focusing more on Bynum than elsewhere because he’s the one playing the most under his potential and exhibiting the least amount of effort.
Steve Blake sucks, but he’s legitimately trying out there. Bynum has three games so far this series where HE HASN’T EVEN TRIED. The contrast of seeing Kobe killing himself to play sick and turning in a vintage game in a rout is enough to make observers sick.
There’s no question that we have deficiencies in certain areas on the team. But those aren’t going to be magically fixed before the next game in this series. They might be fixed on the offseason, but we’re stuck with who we have on the roster right now.
And right now Gasol has disappeared and Bynum is not trying, something that even his staunchest defenders have to acknowledge now.
If Bynum was giving it his all and failing, I could understand. If he was challenging shots around the basket and getting into foul trouble I could understand it. If he was visibly racing up the court to get deep post possession and was hustling back on defense, I could understand him having bad games.
Those wouldn’t bother me in the least because basketball is a tricky game. Sometimes shots don’t fall. Sometimes basketball is a game of matchups. Sometimes you just get old and can’t do it anymore no matter how willing the spirit and mind is. (Fish.)
But Bynum is just mailing it in. It’s like watching Will Hunting work construction jobs and sit around getting drunk with his friends all day and talking about doing it for years.
Bynum’s been given the gift of enormous physical skills, the constant support of the best franchise in the league, the personal tutoring of one of the best centers of all-time, the best coach of all-time for most of his career and the example of one of the all-time great players. Think about that long list of advantages for a second. Just absorb it.
In the words of Will Hunting’s friend, Bynum’s sitting on a winning lottery ticket and is too much of a ***** to cash it in because that would require work and effort.
He’s an embarrassment to everyone who watches him because we saw in Games 1 and 2 what he was CAPABLE of producing with even minimal effort. (He worked hard in Game 1, and put in…well…SOME…work in Game 2.)
I’m not going to point the finger over at Barnes who is clearly bothered by an ankle injury or Sessions playing in his first playoffs or Blake who is old and slow and small.
No, this team was constructed around a big-3. We always knew that players 4-12 were going to be inconsistent and a problem and would only produce if players 1-3 made the game easy for them.
These are the players who need to be called out. Bynum in particular.
Jim C. says
Is it a coincidence that Bynum was a model citizen before the All-Star break, playing inspired ball, working hard on defense, and having everyone talking about how he “gets it” and had “arrived” and immediately after the All-Star break came and went he started mailing in games, acting out, and doing the various well-cataloged immature things?
Bynum CAN play well. His Game 1 was absolutely a joy to watch. But he’s like that guy who gets a big contract and relaxes. The fire to consistently perform well isn’t there.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.
T. Rogers says
The Lakers have a combination of issues. Of course all the focus is on Bynum. He is the biggest player on the team, and can have the biggest impact on the game if he wants to. However, he doesn’t seem to want to. So he is rightfully being criticized.
But let’s not fool ourselves here. The Lakers problems are deeper than just Andrew Bynum.
1. I am still amazed the coaching staff has not figured out an effective way to counter the doubles the bigs see on the block. With a passer as effective as Gasol I can’t believe they have not come up with some effective high/low adjustments for him and Bynum to run.
2. I am also amazed that for the second straight year Gasol has effectively disappeared from the playoffs. Thanks to Drew’s antics Pau seems to be (for the most part) getting a pass for doing his best impression of a crash test dummy on the floor. But he shouldn’t. In some ways Pau’s attitude is even worse than Drew’s because he has actually proven himself to be a gamer in the past. Andrew’s ups and downs hurt the team partly because they can no longer rely on Gasol to be Gasol.
3. Kobe’s best is no longer good enough. Two straight games in a row Kobe looked phenomenal. And both games ended in losses. He gets all the respect for his effort. But it’s win or go home. Effort is not good enough. How is this for irony? Old Kobe has the effort, but his body won’t allow him to do all he needs to do. Young Bynum has the body, but won’t exert the effort.
4. Sessions recently admitted he is still learning the offense. It’s kind of hard to be deliberate in your offense scheme when your PG is still unsure of what he should do. This is the drawback of waiting so long to acquire him.
5. The team is missing its best perimeter defender. Getting him back rusty for game 7 may not be good enough.
6. The Lakers subs just aren’t good enough. Period.
That’s my rant. I’ll stop it there.
58/59/60: Very well said.
Giving him a max would not be a good idea. I see no upside in doing that.
Funky Chicken says
rr, I assume you suggest Murphy because he is the only big who can spread the floor and possibly open up the lane with his shooting (it obviously isn’t because of his defense or foot speed).
I’m down for that in spot minutes, because what has killed the Lakers in this series (aside from lackluster effort) is the near total absence of any outside shooting. I’m not even talking about made shots; I’m talking about shots TAKEN from the outside.
Aside from Kobe, who confidently pulls up and shoots from distance? Not Sessions. Not Barnes. Not Ebanks. And certainly not Blake. There’s a guy on the roster who does that, and who also happens to be the team’s best shooter. He’s also the one guy who dressed last night and didn’t even get a single minute of action even in a blowout.
Why Mike Brown refuses to give Andrew Goudelock a single minute of playing time is beyond me. Darius argued that “rotations are set” or “Goudelock is not a good defender” but when I see every combination OTHER than one including the team’s most confident and capable shooter, I just don’t get it.
As for the focus on Bynum, I think it is all well-deserved. He is the perfect embodiment of this Laker team right now. Potentially great if he committed himself, but mostly just average due to poor effort. Unlike a rotation change that depends on the coach changing his stripes, getting more out of Bynum is 100% within his control.
A dedicated big man, and a true all-star and leader would take over on defense. AS Charles Barkley said last night, a real leader would have gone over to Pau and said “Kobe is down tonight; we have to pick him up and dominate.” Against a hugely undersized Nuggets team, there’s simply no reason Andrew can’t routinely get 20 rebounds and 5 blocks. It’s not like his running mate on the front line is gobbling up all the boards (thank you, Pau, for your 3 rebounds last night). Drew has just quit on this team, and he’s getting rightly destroyed for it.
That play by Bynum was just atrocious! He literally watched Ty Lawson the entire way and never showed any hint that he was trying. It’s just sad man. He has so much potential, so much talent, so much size, but cares as much as JR Rider or Jermaine O’Neal.
Muddywood: I have been thinking the exact same thing, Andrew Bynum = today’s Joe Barry Carroll. For those who don’t know, people started calling him Joe Barely Cares.
Well all agree when Bynum plays elite defense, which he can, Lakers are a championship team. He fails to do so that’s why Lakers aren’t playing at that level coupled with Mike Brown. Bynum in game 1 can win Lakers a ring.
I am not a Bynum guy, though i respect his skills while I shake my head at his immaturity. However, to blame this on Bynum and on Pau just isn’t fair. Denver’s defense is: Pack the Middle, no way Barnes, Sessions, Blake or Ebanks will shoot. And Lakers are playing right into it. I mean, they don’t even want to shoot when they are WIDE OPEN.
People hated it a lot when Fisher would shoot when he was wide open, but I always felt that it was necessary to keep defenses honest. Miss or make, the defense needs to know that the outside wing is going to take the shot. It helps them when it doesn’t fall, but when u have no confidence in your shot that you wont even take a shot, well then the defense wins.
Kobe did everything he could, Bynum and Pau got double teamed on every pass in the post… it is up to the role players to make those shots. Or at the very least… take them.
This game was the most disgusting than the 3 options you gave. Mostly because Bynum looks like he’s being forced to play basketball instead of playing video games, the fact Kobe sucked it up and played when no one else showed up and most importantly, because I’m on the East Coast and stayed up til 1am watching that crap.
I am quite confused at the constant criticism on Devin Ebanks. He went 4-9 and scored 10 in 16 minutes. A Point/Minutes ratio of 1/2 is usually considered excellent, and his P/M ratio 5/8 is second on the rooster that played more than 10 minutes. For comparison, Barns P/M=6/25 (nearly 1/4), Blake P/M=3/24 (my gosh, it is 1/8!) Yet Ebanks kept getting criticism and kept getting insignificant minutes.
Some more comparison: if everyone shoots like Ebanks, a team will score 150 points (in a total 240 minutes playing time). If everyone shoots like Barnes, a team will score 60 points. And if everyone shoots like Blakes, a team will score 30 points!!
David Rivers says
I miss Luke Walton.
Love the last line of this post. had me chuckling. better than upchucking – which almost every laker did, save kobe. That game was another example of why Kobe is one of the greatest.
This Slowtime team doesnt work. Lakers need to trade Gasol, Bynum when the off-season starts soon. Lakers need to get a more creative coach who knows how to make adjustments.
Keep Kobe, Artest, Sessions, add some younger guys and some key veterans. Get rid of the over-hyped drama players. It worked for Denver! Trade Gasol and Bynum for high draft picks, this will be a deep draft.
Mark Sigal says
Great dissection of the series, and the game.
Hearkens back to the age-old quip, “Mrs. Lincoln, other than THAT, how was the theater?”
Also, makes me wonder if the Bynum for Howard deal could end up being back on post this season.
Why? A tiger doesn’t generally change its stripes, and Bynum’s stripes suggest a general isolation from the concept of “win first, and the rest will take care of itself.” Plus, HE is clearly not wedded to the Lakers.
Given that Howard is now somewhat vilified in Orlando for how their season cratered, can’t be thrilled with the talent level there, and on the mend from surgery, it seems highly unlikely he will re-sign with Orlando.
TBD, but seriously hoping for an inspired effort on Saturday. No outcome, at either extreme, will surprise, though.
Sure–people are most EMOTIONAL about Bynum. But there are other serious issues with this team.
Well, I agree with you to a large extent, but when I make strategy suggestions, I try to focus on stuff that the coach might actually do. I can’t see MB putting a rookie who hasn’t played at all in about six weeks out there in G7.