Saturday, May 29, 2010

Boston Bound

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Phoenix Suns (3) @ US Airways Center
Round 3 - Game 6
Lakers WIN 4-2
Final score: Lakers 111 - Suns 103

Lakers advance to the 2010 NBA Finals by beating the Phoenix Suns in 6. Now comes the rematch from two years ago. Bring on those green bastards!

First let's congratulate the Suns for making this series a definite battle to remember. Nash, Amare, Hill and the rest of the team played their hearts out. The fan base in Phoenix is very strong and will never say die. Nash had an amazing season. Coach Gentry and the entire organization are a class act as they were all smiles despite the heartbreak loss after the game. The Phoenix Suns have several administrative decisions to make this off season so we will see what unveils in the upcoming months for the team.

Tonight the Lakers had an answer for every orange dagger thrown. Kobe silenced the crowd so often I lost track. He had a game high 37 points. The big contributor besides Kobe was Artest. Ron couldn't miss, especially behind the 3 point line, going 4-7. He had 25 points with 3 big steals. Artest was in a zone that I would like to see him not get out of in the finals. Lamar continues to make his mark in the paint by pulling down 12 rebounds. D. Fish was clutch in the end (as he always is) making tough shots to help maintain a bullheaded lead that seemed to keep decreasing as quickly as the game was ending.

The Dragic and Sasha show was exciting throughout the series but tonight the battle became very costly for one. Sasha hit several long shots in the early rounds but Dragic took the belt by almost solely being responsible for a Suns win at home. Let me explain, Dragic made a jump shot that was defended by Sasha and Dragic had some words to share afterward. Sasha not liking the confrontation raised his arms and close-lined Dragic who was behind him at the time. The almost silent US Airways Center from previous back and forth transition baskets reacted in a way that changed the games momentum to just about beat the champs and force a game 7. The 2 point jump shot became a 6 point turnaround as the flagrant foul gave Dragic 2 free-throws and possession which lead to a statement driven Dragic layup. Sasha's flagrant foul almost cost the champs the game. The Machine needs to keep his cool and just play basketball. Maybe take a few notes on how to keep composure by watching the Kobe vs Barnes episode this past regular season. Do I need to bring up the inbound fake pass to Kobe face play?

As a whole the Phoenix Suns played inspired basketball the entire series and shouldn't put their heads down after tonight's season ending loss. Many if not all Lakers fans had the Suns counted out going up 2-0. This goes to show you should never discount the heart of a lion.

Game Highlights

Tonight's box score and photos source: Yahoo Sports!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ron Artest - From Bad to Best

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Phoenix Suns (3) @ Staples Center
Round 3 - Game 5
Lakers lead 3-2
Final score: Lakers 103 - Suns 101

The Artest Chronicles

Ron Artest can hold the ball to suck out 22 more seconds off the shot clock fresh off an OREB late in the final seconds of the game but he decides to shoot a quick 3 pointer. His shot hits iron and Phoenix grabs the rebound trailing by three. Laker fans still in shock with Artest's decision not to hold the ball.

The next possession, the Suns get three second shot opportunities and Jason Richardson banks in his 2nd 3 point attempt to tie the game with 3 seconds left. Fans now prepare to tape Artest's face to their garage dart boards. Now it's time for Kobe to close the game with another game winner. The play drawn for Kobe, Kobe shoots and air balls his shot because of good defense. Artest seeing that the shot was short runs to get inside position, catches Kobe's brick and banks in the fading game winner. Staples Center erupts as Kobe and Artest embrace one another, a sight I would have never thought to imagine since they were both going at it this time around last year.


Ron Artest redeems himself and is loved once again. The Sun's almost pull the upset to steal a win in L.A. Steve Nash was clutch in the final minutes and helped his team eat away from an 18 point deficit. Nash had a team high 29 w/ 11 assists. Frye was big off the bench once again, scoring 14 and hitting three big long balls. There were three Lakers with 20+ points. Kobe is just one assist shy for his triple double (30, 11, 9), D Fish ends the night with 22 pts. and Gasol hits the locker room with veintiuno (21 for those who don't speak Pau). LO has his 4th double double of the series (17 w/ 13 rebs). He continues to play well at the 6th man spot off the bench. His double digit contribution is key against the Sun's very strong second unit.

These kinds a games would make any losing head coach want to vomit and Alvin Gentry did just that. Cue video...


Lakers hold home court and look to end the series in Phoenix on Saturday.

Click here for tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home Sweet Home

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Phoenix Suns (3) @ US Airways Center
Round 3 - Game 4
Series tied 2-2

Lakers lose 106-115.

Home sweet home for the Phoenix Suns as they did what they had to do by beating the champs to even the series at home. It's going to come down to home court advantage once again. One would think if you were to just see tonight's first unit stats, you would easily take the Lakers to have won this game. Lakers starters scored 86 points vs the Sun's 61, outscoring the home team by 25 points. Uh wrong! The big story of the night was in the Sun's bench production. Are you ready? 54 POINTS! 54 points from the Phoenix Suns second string where as the Lakers bench only having 20. It was a fantastic shooting game over-all and at times fun to watch as both teams were sinking their shots back and forth. A see-saw battle of pure wits. What a turn around of events since games 1 and 2. It's a new series with a hard earned revived spirit for those stubborn Suns who just won't quit. Phoenix will now have to achieve what has yet to happen in this series, win on the road in order to advance to the finals.

Kobe scored his consecutive 30+ point game having 38 pts. this time around. He also went 6-9 behind the 3 pt line and dished out 10 assists. He went red hot in the 3rd quarter but for some strange and very confusing reason the ball rarely touched his hands in the 4th. Oh well, there's no sense into looking back at tonight's loss. Let's call it what it is and regroup, refocus and redirect the momentum that favored us two games ago.

Click here for tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! Lakers vs Suns - Game 4 Box score

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Total Eclipse of the Suns

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Phoenix Suns (3) @ Staples Center
Round 3 - Game 1
Lakers lead series 1-0

Lakers win 128-107.

After tonight, L.A. should change their name to their local MLS buddies, the Galaxy because they devoured the Suns. Nash in my opinion is the best PG in the league but the man needs to facilitate less and score more than 13 points. We all know he can dish for 20 assists a game but more importantly for the Suns he'll need to match those assists with points in this series. The one area where Phoenix usually kills you was actually what killed them tonight, going 5-22 behind the arc. The Suns bench came out shooting for 3's, Frye went 1-7 and Dudley 1-5, only making 2 out of 14 attempts.

Lakers out rebounded the visitors by 8 boards, mainly because of the Candy Man who one handed in 19, 7 of those OREBS. If L.O. continues to play like he did tonight (19pts/19rebs), the Suns will have a lot of trouble matching up with him. Stoudemire had a team high 23 points but only crashed the boards for 3 rebs. For a player who's been given the nickname "Stat" sure is only concerned with one. Lopez played great going 6-7 scoring 14 points in just 24 min. Richardson had 15 pts. and was 50% in 3pt. land. In my opinion Dragic's big spark off the bench scoring 13 pts. (5-8) was a catch 22 for the Suns because his contribution on the floor left their star PG on the bench in spectator mode longer than needed.

When Kobe scores 40 you know changes will be made defensively next time around. One man can not defend Kobe. It's time to double team for the outlet pass. Containing Kobe to under 30 and having L.A. rely on other players (other than KB/Pau) to carry the load will be the only shot Phoenix has to make this series a close one. Finally L.A.'s bench will not leave post game media lips in a bad way as they outscored the other ends second unit by 9, scoring a total of 44 pts. Oh yeah, Gasol also had 21 points making it his 6th 20+ playoff game so far.

For tonight's box score click here: Yahoo Sports! Lakers vs Suns - Game 1

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lakers.com WCF Schedule Wallpaper is here

Directions: Click on image to enlarge then right-click and choose Set As Desktop Background.

Source: Lakers.com

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lakers Sweep Utah Jazz 4-0

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Utah Jazz (5) @ EnergySolutions Arena
Round 2 - Game 4
Lakers sweep the series 4-0

Lakers win 111-96.

Bring out the brooms Lakers fans and bring on the Suns! Lakers have their 3rd consecutive 111 point win to sweep the Utah Jazz. Lakers have knocked the Jazz out of the last two playoffs, starting in 2008 with a 4-2 win in the second round. Last year it was 4-1, and this year 4-0 giving the champs a well deserved long break before the Western finals.

Here is tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports!


Game Highlights

Blogging With Jimbo: LakerLiker

Jim Sharp from FoxSportsWest.com recently took an endeavor to find out who is the best sport's blogger in SoCal. In the process he interviewed many sports blogsites and LakerLiker was lucky enough to be part of that process. Click on the link below for our article on Jim's blogsite.

Featured article on Blogging With Jimbo

Jim also made a video titled, "Blogging with Jimbo" which can be viewed on FoxSportsWest.com.

Thanks Jim for the opportunity to help. We all agree here that The Lakers Nation (TLN) is the BEST sports blog in SoCal. We all strive to be near where they're at in the game.

Go Lakers!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just A Bit Outside

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Utah Jazz (5) @ EnergySolutions Arena
Round 2 - Game 3
Lakers lead 3-0

Lakers win 111-110.

Lakers take their 1st visiting playoff game this postseason by scoring a consecutive 111 points to put the nail in the coffin against Utah in Utah. Let's start off stating the obvious here. Artest, shooting slump? Uh, not anymore. Ron hit four crucial 3 pointers going 4-7 behind the arc. He had a postseason high 20 points. If Artest plays this way every time the media gets on his ass about tweeting then tweet away Ron. Kobe had a game high 35 points and was clutch in the final seconds hitting a 3 pointer to tie the game. Gasol had his 3rd straight double double w/ 14 and 17 rebs. The big story of the night was my man D Fish! He came through in his old arena and hit seven 3 pointers, again, all being critical as the game was tight throughout the night. His 3-pointer with 28.6 seconds left proved to be the go-ahead basket to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

On the other end of the court two players stood out. One usual suspect and one unlikely hero. I said it once and I'll say it again, D. Williams can not do it alone. His effort game in and game out has to be matched by someone. D. Williams is averaging 25 pts. and 10 assists pg. Deron had an opportunity to win the game, losing by one, with a last second shot but missed his (not needed) 3 pointer with another heart breaking missed put back tap in by Matthews that was just a bit outside as the buzzer went off.

The almost unlikely hero of the game was Korver. He came off the bench and had a postseason high 23 points, only missing one shot. He went 9-10 and hit all five of his 3 point attempts. Korver was catching and shooting where ever he pleased.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

L.A. Times Magazine - Kobe Bryant

This month Kobe flew (by chopper) to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for the L.A. Times Magazine photo shoot (May). Kobe has been getting some flack for participating. Many people thought the recent photo shoot was a parody, a laughable joke mainly due to certain poses and outfits chosen for him to fashion off. It wasn't. Fashion is adventurous, fearless and for many creators a signature. Who better to interpret your vision than Kobe? Stylist James Valeri picked the right person, a figure who has no fear and always up for the challenge.

Just recently Kobe made cover of GQ. (click on link below)

GQ: Champion of the Year - Kobe Bryant Photo Shoot

Kobe has become a familiar face for NBA athletes in fashion. Many other NBA stars are known for their tasteful yet sometimes eccentric fashion statements. D. Wade, D. Howard, L.O., Lebron, Melo and Amari to name a few.

Click here for the L.A. Times Kobe Bryant Photo Shoot Gallery

Source: L.A. Times Magazine

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Too Tall and Up 2-0

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Utah Jazz (5) @ Staples Center
Round 2 - Game 2
Lakers lead 2-0

Post Game - Lakers win 111-103.

Lakers are simply too tall for the short game Utah Jazz. The champs never let the note searching Jazz gain a lead to keep throughout the entire game even when the usual 4th quarter Lakers suspects showed signs of loosening the lead. The Lakers BIG men just dominated early and set the tempo. Boozer is a jump shooter and Gasol and Bynum will continue to tear him apart if he chooses to favor his high arc mid-range game. Carlos will make the appropriate changes when he flies back home and look for him to penetrate strong in game 3. Utah was out rebounded and out blocked. Those stats stand out to me. Individual performances from both teams look balanced but L.A.'s D was the difference in tonight's game.

A sign of hope for Utah was in Millsap's performance tonight. His 26 points alone totaled more than the Lakers bench. He also pulled down 11 boards. He was in attack mode all game which resulted in his best 2010 postseason game yet.

Game highs: Kobe had 30 points, Gasol had 22 pts and 15 rebs, Bynum scored 17 and had 14 boards, LO had 11 pts w/ 15 rebs and Artest ended the night with 16 points.

Post game interviews show a very drained Utah Jazz team that look beaten with no possible comeback strategy. As a Lakers fan of course I hope for the sweep but as an NBA fan I really hope to see D. Williams lead his team to an exciting series.

Here is tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports: Lakers vs Jazz-Game 2

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lakers.com Playoffs Schedule Wallpaper

Here is the beautifully illustrated Lakers.com Round 2 Schedule Wallpaper.

Directions: Click on image to enlarge then right-click and choose Set As Desktop Background.

Source: Lakers.com

Lakers Take Game 1 Over The Jazz

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Utah Jazz (5) @ Staples Center
Round 2 - Game 1
Lakers lead 1-0

Post Game - Lakers win 104-99.

Kobe came out today determined, his "Kobe Doin' Work" dvd still hot from pregame viewing, and just owned his defenders. Kobe went 12-19 scoring 31, 11 of those coming in the closing minutes of the game as Utah came bouncing back. This was his 3rd highest production in the playoffs so far. His work on the court was well received by a very receptive L.A. crowd at the Staples Center, not as loud as OKC fans but definitely louder than usual. The further the champs advance the louder the fans get.

Gasol had 5 blocks, 12 rebs and 25 points. Easily his best playoff game yet. Even though Utah's Millsap came off the bench with 16 pts and 9 rebs seemingly over-shadowing the Lakers bench, Lamar was a the better 6th man. He ended up with 9 pts. & 12 rebs (5 OREBS). His more notable contribution to the game was his defense and his unmarked plays that killed Utah's momentum. Bynum was expected to not play (right knee tear) but surprised fans when he was given the green light. Although his minutes were limited he still was just 2 points shy from getting his 4th playoffs double double. He ended the game with 10 boards and 8 points.

To those D. Fish skeptics who still question Phil's decision with putting #2 at the starting 1 spot, keep hating because the true fans will ALWAYS know why. Derek had 10 pts. and 5 steals. Derek's lock-down defense helped to contain the best PG in the league. D. Williams had 24 points w/ 8 assists, this being his 2nd lowest playoffs game so far. Boozer was the sole player in his team who came up with double digit rebs. He had 12 w/ 18 pts. Wesley Matthews played well fresh off his 23 point game the other night in Utah to move past Denver with 14 pts w/ 7 rebs.

Lakers drew first blood and look for more come Tuesday night in game 2. Go Lakers!

Here is today's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports: Lakers vs Jazz - Round 2 Game 1

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Round 2 Here We Come!

2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (8) @ OKC
Round 1 - Game 6
Lakers take the series and advance 4-2

Congrats to the Purple & Gold! It was only fitting that Gasol ended the series with a ghostly box out and uncontested put back. This was Oklahoma City's Achilles heal throughout the series. Gasol owned the paint and pretty much walked in it when ever he wanted. Lakers even shocked me with last night's win. I had the Lakers advancing to the second round in game 7. I tell you what, OKC has NO REASON to put their head down especially with a fan base like theirs. As I watched the game I thought I was watching a Duke Final Four game with the sea of blue. OKC played with all heart and like Kobe said in one of his post game interviews, "OKC will be a challenge for us in the upcoming years".

In the closing seconds when Kobe missed his side line jumper my heart dropped but when I saw the big man grab that OREB for the easy put back I knew "we got this."

Round 2 will bring Boozer/D. Williams and the Utah Jazz as they pulled the upset to advance over the Nuggets. My heart goes out to Nuggets Head Coach George Karl and his team who took a devastating blow with his season ending departure to fight his treatable throat cancer. Coach Karl will come back with a vengeance and take over next season.

Out of all the drama from this first round series Lakers should at least take in more playoff experience and not take the Jazz lightly. Start VERY strong, set the example and finish them off quickly. Here are the game highlights.