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Preview: Comments on: Game Three Wasn’t As Much Fun As Game Two

Comments on: Game Three Wasn’t As Much Fun As Game Two

A Lakers Blog. Thoughts, reflections, and the odd rant on the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA (even the Clippers).

Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:45:28 +0000


By: Kurt

Tue, 27 May 2008 18:27:38 +0000

Game 4 chat post up

By: J.D. Hastings

Tue, 27 May 2008 18:25:21 +0000

I don't think it holds up that Pau and Odom were less aggressive because of Kobe. Pau took 17 shots, (most of those before the 4th), which is above his average. He just wasn't doing much to actually make them count. Odom also had assists and FGAs, they also just weren't going in. And they both clearly became frustrated and gave up in the third quarter from what I could see.

By: carter blanchard

Tue, 27 May 2008 17:55:45 +0000

(oops I meant Sunday's game. Mem. weekend made me lose track of days)

By: carter blanchard

Tue, 27 May 2008 17:54:59 +0000

As a lot of people pointed out before the series, our best matchup at any given time should be Lamar against Oberto or Horry. I think Lamar senses this and has felt the need to be aggressive, creating things 1-on-1. The consequence of this, in part thanks to amazing team D and in part to surprising effectiveness from the Spurs' PFs, is a lot of missed layups. Lamar looks like pre-Pau Lamar. It reminds me of when there's a switch on D and a guard is being covered by a big so the guard feels compelled to exploit the mismatch, but often fails because he's trying to do more than he's comfortable with. Lamar needs to go back to picking up the scraps the defense leaves him, going off for one his highly efficient 7-10 type of nights, rather than trying to force the issue and ending up with another 2-11 night. I worry he'll try overcompensating for Friday's poor performance which could compound the problem.

By: Travis Y.

Tue, 27 May 2008 16:43:21 +0000

I like your thinking Bill Bridges, I would love for Pau to play off of Odom in the post for some high low action. The result is that 15 ft jumper that Pau is inclined to hit. There were some of those opportunities last game but Pau didn't have his shot falling. I also noticed a lack of movement once Pau got the ball, and Coach Jackson noted that there was too much iso for Pau, and that there should be more ball movement. I hope the wrinkles you suggested and more will be instituted today. Can only wonder what adjustments will be made.

By: Darius

Tue, 27 May 2008 16:33:40 +0000

In our entire run in the playoffs, this is the game that interests me the most, by far. In our game 4 against Utah, despite Kobe's gimpy back, we came very close to winning in regulation...only to lose in overtime. I hope to see the same type of push that the team provided late in that game for the entire 48 minutes tonight. As for some strategy...The Spurs did what Utah did when they went home: They opened up their offense with more motion sets in order to get our defense in a reactive mode. Players were moving off the ball and setting good screens to the point that we were not able to recover in time and run shooters off their sweet spots. Tonight, we'll need better off ball defense on the Spurs role players in order to get them out of rhythm. We can't let guys like Barry, Finley, Udoka, or even Oberto get the type of wide open looks they got in game 3. These guys will make these shots at home. I know that they didn't kill us in game 3, but they did hit some daggers and really had some shots that shut down potential rallies. (Note, I'm not even going to mention Ginobili or Parker. Those guys played the way they were supposed to play. Sure we can limit them more....I actually think we should give Ginobili the AI treatment and deny him entry passes all over the court and out to the 3pt. line where if he back cuts it's into the teeth of the defense, but besides that just don't let him touch it if you can.) We also need sharper execution on offense. I'd like to see more strong side ball entries that lead to many of the cuts and screens that give the triangle it's precision. Too many times, we are getting the weak side entry with a post iso for Gasol or Kobe (Odom has been getting looks here as well) and everyone else is standing around on the other side of the court watching. We can't do the stand around offense against a strong defensive team like the Spurs. Against Utah or Denver, that's fine because those teams don't rotate well and don't have the defensive principles or execution needed to stop scorers like Kobe or Gasol. But the Spurs do. Their 2 best defenders (all league quality guys, to boot) are consistently matched up with our 2 best offensive players. That means that in order to open up our offense we need to get back to active ball and player movement in order to get the Spurs older players rotating and chasing rather than set up in that phalanx formation that stifles penetration and interior passing. We need to occupy off ball defenders with movement and attack with our passing. Remember what Kobe said after game 1: "I can get off anytime." Now while that is a little arrogant, we know that Kobe *is* the best shot creator in the entire league so we need to try and get the rest of the guys going in order to get the flow of the game and the momentum going in our direction. Kobe can get his, but his job becomes easier when the rest of the guys are threats offensively. And he can create for others so much better when shooters are making shots and player movement is occupying defenders. So, we need stong screens, hard cuts, and crisp passing off the ball to create lanes for Gasol, Kobe, and Odom to make plays (whether passes or their own shots). Lets get a win tonight.

By: Bill Bridges

Tue, 27 May 2008 15:55:55 +0000

A few thoughts after reviewing the tape. On defense. For the most part, the defense on Manu was good. His 22 1st half points carried the Spurs when they came out flat. Good for him. His 8 second half points were not the reason that the Spurs broke the game open. For some reason, the Lakers played confused on D. They got themselves into mismatches without a whole lot of work on the Spurs part. Fish on Duncan, LO on Parker. The Spurs exploited these mismatch situations and got the Lakers scrambling resulting in easy buckets. The Lakers went the to blindside trap against Duncan only once, resulting in a steal by Rad. Look for this more often. On offense. 1. After 10 plus years competing against Phil, Pop has devised an anti-triangle defense that worked well in the last game. Play Pau straight-up, let Lamar shoot and use his man to give support to Bowen. Every body else stays with his man to prevent an open 3. Basically, the triangle’s weakness is that once that balls goes into the post, there is not much off-the-ball picks to free up shooters. Against other teams, Pau was doubled, resulting in a collapsing defense for either easy 3’s or cuts by Lamar. Played straight-up, Pau was looking for teammates who for the most part were standing around. This is the reason no outside shooter could get his shot off except for Kobe. Only one sequence had the Lakers execute the last sequences of the triangle which call for sharp cuts to the basket by wing players with the ball in the low post. Kobe cut, received a bounce pass from Pau and dunked easily. Look for more of this especially from Lamar and Kobe. The issue is that to beat this defense will require advanced triangle. Not simple triangle. I bet Pau picks it up quickly. 2. Make Lamar an outside shooter. One of the primary sequences of the triangle is a pass out from the post to the weakside wing for a 15 footer from the PF. Think Horace Grant. The Spurs are daring Lamar to shoot this. Instead of giving the ball up and flashing to the hole, Lamar is trying to take it in himself against congestion resulting in a missed shot or charge. The Lakers need to consider switching hi-lo with Pau and Lamar and make Lamar work from the right low block as the primary (instead of Pau on the left low block) and either swing in for his hook or pass out to Pau ( who hopefully can hit the 15 footer). Yes more energy is needed but really a bit more poise, patience, and IQ. BTW , assuming Farmar is quicker than the geriatric and crippled Barry, I'd like to see him beat Brent off the dribble just once.

By: KD

Tue, 27 May 2008 13:17:10 +0000

Let me finish with this: It is possible that some writers are so involved in their work and the games themselves that they don't really have the time (assuming they had an inclination to begin with) to develop a bias, or to overlook what is real and what is the truth in order to sustain that bias. It's also possible that, after a while, fans of certain teams make it harder than most to stay away from the trappings that seem to take in so many others. Talk to me in three years, assuming I'm still putting up with this crap.

By: KD

Tue, 27 May 2008 13:14:00 +0000

Don, It has less to do with Kobe the person or the player and more to do with that offense. The Triangle needs to start from the inside/out early in games. It has to establish spacing early on, get players used to cutting away from the ball, the Lakers (or any team that runs it) has to gauge how the defense is deciding to cover certain angles of the offense, and then make decisions from there. That was the case when Jordan was in the midst of it, when Ron Harper and Randy Brown were trying to run it during 1999, and with Jackson's Lakers. If Kobe tweaked his ankle, missed the game, and Lamar Odom had come out and missed the same shots, he would have gotten the same treatment. You wouldn't have bothered to comment, but he would have gotten the same reaction from me. I'm sorry for getting angry, but this is what makes it impossible to have a cogent back and forth with some Laker fans because of the burn that follows Kobe's name. Then these fans decide not to go and look back at what certain writers say about other games (a la, my take on Game 1) before putting words in my mouth that don't fit. Would you do that with political commentary, taking two points of view from either side of the left/right spectrum, coupling them, before deducing that a politician "can't win?" Did you actually see what I wrote in Game 1 before you made your comment? "*Kobe Bryant may have only taken three shots, making one, in the first half; but he wasn't acting as some sort of benevolent master, keeping his teammates' hands warm. He was just playing smart basketball, taking what the defense gave him (this is a guy who opened up the game on the first possession taking a open jumper, what the defense gave him). Throw in a four and a half minute rest to start the second quarter, and that's how two-point halves result. It wasn't his fault that his Laker teammates weren't hitting shots, or putting up some lousy perimeter looks." It's the OFFENSE, people, not the KOBE. Stop freakin' making it about Kobe just because he's part of the story. There are five players on that floor, and sometimes one of them hurts the offense more than he helps it. And sometimes, less often than most, that person is Kobe. Christ.

By: Mamula

Tue, 27 May 2008 12:42:45 +0000

I would hate to bother you with my usual hoopla about Lakers optimism, but it is necessary! :) Game 3 was Spurs to win, not ours to lose. I do not think that these Lakers are so arrogant that they were pondering sweep and these Spurs are definitely not so disgruntled to agree. Spurs had a lot of things going their way in Game 3. The standard things: Home court, raving crowd, referee's minor sympathy, desperation and most importantly familiarity of circumstances. SOme of the non-standard things that went their way included (and to a certain extent could be predicted in advance) : LA being over excited about what they could have accomplished, LA role players not believing that they could actually beat Spurs three in a row, Manu Ginobilli having a terrific game which is characteristic for super players no matter injured or not, Popovich making adjustments on offense and the pure validaity of statistical probability. LA and SA are so good it is impossible to say one is better than the other. Think of it as a head or tail toss-up. The chances of tossing 3 heads in a row are very very small when the probability is 50/50 given similar quality of teams. That said, nothing was new for me in Game 3. As I have noted before, I expected this to happen. And I am sure the Lakers will still win in 5 games. This was a game Spurs had to get simply because they are not sweep-material. Game 4 will be different trust me. To a certain extent I am actually glad the Lakers lost. Now they will not be over-believing themselves and underestimating opposition (which could have happened in the NBA finals if Lakers swept the Spurs). Phil realizes Manu is walking on one leg and will not erupt for 30 like he did in Game 3. He also understands that stopping the Spurs goes through eliminating Tony's drives. I expect to see a lot of zone in game 4, with Fisha and Probably Odom blocking the lane at the top of the key. That will force Tony to go sideways and will mean either of two things: 1) Spurs perimter players will have to move around as well from the comfort zones (Bowen and Finely) and/or 2) less efficient passes into Duncan from the wings. Duncan will have his numbers and I have no problem with that, I just do not think Tony and Manu will duplicate theirs'. On the other hand, Gasol will probably be big in Game 4. I expect Lakers to call a lot more plays for him. Because 1) he can certainly finish/shoot and 2) he can put it on the floor and get Spurs bigs into uncomfortable positions of having to foul and/or give up on their man. I see Pau getting around 22 pts, 9-10 rebs, 5-6 asst. Oberto, Thomas and Horry are in for a hussle night. Fish will be the key without having the ball. His ability to pump up other guys with his stares and mini-advices are invaluable. Also his ability to hit big shots from outside will force Tony to stay more on Fish rather provide some blind defense help. Fish will probably finish with 11 points (2 3-pointers, a basket and 3 Fts), 3-4 assts and 2-3 steals Radmanovich will show up for the Game 4. I am sure of it. This guy is very effective at going on vacation for couple of games so that teams fall asleep on him and then erupts for good offensive night. RadMan will probably get in the range of 14-16 points, 3-4 rebs and 2 assts. Those are terrific numbers for him Kobe will be agressive. He understands that now is the time to prove himself as a top notch player. Everyone knows he is a top talent, and best all-around player but in order to reach the greatness you have to put the team on your back. I do not think He will score 25+ but he will have a triple double with 10 rebs and 12 assists. Most of his points will come from the FT line as he will be playing off of the strategy to make Pau the primary scorere. His drives to the basket will free up Pau[...]