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Lakers...Amazing Playoff Run

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by Gridreaper, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Gridreaper
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    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...I realize that the NFL, MLB and NBA are not created equal in terms of playoff qualifications. MLB has no cap and never has. The NFL has had a cap in place for awhile, the NBA..etc. Still I heard on ESPN the other day that the Lakers who have been in existence for 60 years have qualified for the playoffs...55 TIMES! That just boggles my mind regardless of the league.
  2. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    shows what good ownership can do

    :tup:
  3. sickswonnyne
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    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    They can get guys like Gasol!!! Mutha f'er is killin the Nuggets!!!
  4. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan
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    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I was amazed at their passing today. Perfect, absolutely perfect. Gasol had his way with Denver.
  5. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I hope they get Bynum back in some capacity for the finals!


    :tup::tup::tup:
  6. Greeney03
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    Greeney03 BoltTalker

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    Phenomenal game by Gasol! Lakers win game 1
  7. Thread_Killer
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    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    The Nuggets still worry me. They have some great players who can really go off at any time.

    Most of Gasol’s points were garbage buckets due to poor defensive rotation. That can easily be corrected; look for Gasol’s point total to be cut in half tomorrow.
  8. sickswonnyne
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    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Yea I can see that happening. Camby is supposed to be a great defender. But Gasol really owned the guy when it came to rebounding. Camby was really hustling all game, but Gasol was always in better position.

    If Gasol is limited, there's always Kobe to take up the slack. And the only guys who could guard Lamar are Camby and Kenyon Martin, and they're too busy with Gasol and Kobe. And I doubt K-Mart could anyway. Lamar OWNED Shawn Marion the last few years, and he's better than K-Mart. Throw Vujacic, Farmar, Fisher and sometimes Kobe at AI, with Kobe on DUI Anthony, and they will have to rely on Kleiza and J.R. Smith to win. I like our chances.

    By the way, imagine if Ariza and Bynum were healty. They could guard Carmelo and Camby by themselves, with Kobe on AI. Kenyon would have to choose between Odom and Gasol, or stick Kobe and have someone else take them. We would truly be unstoppable on Offense and Defense!
  9. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I hope like H E double hockey sticks we keep the core group for next season, the Lakers could potentially win 70 games!!


    :tup::tup::tup:
  10. -Scar-
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    -Scar- thedoomship.com

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    They can get guys like Gasol!!! Mutha f'er is killin the Nuggets!!![/QUOTE]

    Like My Sig???:cool:
  11. Thread_Killer
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    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    AI just blows by our white and half-white guys, and Fisher ain't quick enough. AI is the master at drawing contact, so you can't put Kobe on him either. AI will get his against us.


    We are undoubtedly the better team, but fans and media are talking like we dominated game 1. I disagree, I saw a Denver team that is dangerous and I am concerned.
  12. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Scouts Inc. Update: Nuggets vs. Lakers, Game 2

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?page=ScoutingNuggetsLakers-Game2


    In our series preview, we suspected Denver would not win if Marcus Camby could not control Pau Gasol on his own, since extra attention to him leaves Kobe Bryant too free to wreak havoc himself. But after the Game 1 Lakers win, it appears that Denver must indeed pay more attention to Gasol simply because his looks were just too easy.

    It starts with Denver's atrocious transition defense. The Nuggets might have given up only nine fast-break points, but they got killed by the Lakers' early offense. They retreated back decently (at best) but did not seem to desire finding their own man. And in some cases they just ran to a spot inside and did not bother to find anyone to defend. The defense was so casual that, even after watching and rewatching the film on some of these possessions, I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be in man or zone.

    Gasol's first two baskets came because of breakdowns like these. He kept scoring inside on easy buckets, taking advantage of Denver's lackluster effort in its halfcourt defense, both in zone and man. Carmelo Anthony was particularly bad defensively in the first half, using poor technique in defending the post and losing Gasol altogether on scramble situations near the rim. One time, he provided no fight whatsoever on an early offense post-up by Gasol which resulted in a gimme over Anthony in the paint.

    Camby, the league's best shot-blocker, likes to roam and hunt blocked shots, and he's especially focused on finding Kobe. But Gasol is too good to leave alone, so he punished Denver's other defenders repeatedly for not being alert to where he was.

    When the Nuggets just found a guy on defense to pick up rather than the guy they were guarding, L.A. made them pay because it was patient enough to work the ball and expose the matchup. Denver's pace of play is used in hopes to get teams to take quick shots (one's they are not used to taking) and perhaps miss matchup advantages. But L.A.'s guards are too wise. Look for Denver to talk and point a lot more in its transition defense in Game 2 and beyond, ensuring proper defensive responsibilities.

    George Karl has an easy sell to his players: We lost by 14, we missed 14 free throws and we played embarrassingly poor defense. Camby and Anthony were the worst offenders, standing upright often (instead of in a good defensive stance) and not being alert to where the offensive threats were developing, so watching how engaged they are on defense in the first quarter of Game 2 might tell us a lot about how the rest of the series will unfold.

    As disinterested as Melo was on defense, he was the opposite on offense -- racing the floor for run outs or early post-ups and staying balanced and focused on his midrange jumpers. He was a force in the first half. He went to work on the blocks in the second quarter and overwhelmed anyone guarding him. The Lakers countered by running Lamar Odom at Melo late in his drive, forcing him to shoot over those extra-long arms. It's a sound strategy by the Lakers and one I expect to see again.

    Denver's offense is more controlled chaos than anything else, and even though the Nuggets scored 114 points, they left a lot of points on the court. Their pace and constant ball movement creates mismatches with both Iverson and Melo, getting players not capable of staying in front of them to be forced to do just that. But too often in Game 1 both players settled for long jumpshots instead of attacking and kicking or finishing. The Nuggets shot 37 free throws, which is good, but there were 15-plus left to be taken.

    The Lakers helped to induce some of those jumpers, playing softly on the ball and going under ballscreens. When the Nuggets set some screens closer to the basket, they can make L.A. pay for playing below the screen. If they adopt just a little more of a "grind it out" mentality on offense, they can really hurt the Lakers and put them in serious foul trouble.

    The Lakers should be ready for this, and can employ some soft zones to continue to induce Nuggets jumpers and inhibit their basket attacks.

    L.A. needs to be more worried about controlling Iverson. When the Lakers were able to force him to dribble attack laterally, by playing soft and showing defensive helpers up the floor, Iverson was very ineffective. But when he attacked more vertically on Lakers breakdowns, using both ballscreens and his own talent at changing speeds, he was terrific at both scoring and drawing fouls. It appears Gasol can not hedge effectively against Iverson on ballscreens, so getting immediate wing help is a must, or A.I. can get to the rim and likely draw some fouls on Pau. L.A. can try to just jam up Iverson with that second defender, or even blitz him and try to trap/contain him with bigger guards and wings.

    If Iverson recognizes that he can score 20-plus points but get 15-plus assists against this style of defense, Denver's offense can definitely jump up a notch. Consider that super subs Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith scored a combined 38 points on just 21 shots. They are very dangerous players, especially when A.I. is playing more of a point guard role. The Lakers might decide to cut off much of their help on A.I. and force him into being solely a scorer. Iverson played that role very poorly in last year's playoffs versus the Spurs as he struggled to finish shots against their big men around the rim. But L.A.'s interior defense is not as good as San Antonio's, so it's a risk to play a similar strategy.

    Kobe spent considerable time on A.I., and though his size allowed him to block a shot, he wasn't particularly good at containing Iverson, who still moves at warp speed. Kobe finished the game with five fouls, a dangerous number had the game been just a little tighter.

    The way Denver plays defense and the overall speed of the game did have one negative affect on L.A.'s offense: Kobe had open looks all game and did not play his usual (for this season) game of facilitating for his teammates. He finished with 26 shots (making nine), 14 free throws and one assist. That is the trap that Denver likes to create -- getting guys to take quick shots instead of running their usual offense. He failed to attack much of the time that he was faced with a Denver big (due to their poor transition matching up), or he neglected to move the ball so a teammate could exploit their matchup. Kobe knows he can score 50 in a game or two this series, but if he employs more discipline and trusts the system, he will still score efficiently and in large numbers and rack up a lot more assists.

    These teams are a lot closer in talent and ability, and Denver has to realize it can win a game with more patience and smarter offensive execution combined with more mental focus on defense -- the Nuggets outscored L.A. in quarters 1, 2 and 4 (cumulatively). But it takes four good quarters to beat a No. 1 seed on the road. I think Denver can do it, although this should be a game that is very tight at the end.

    PREDICTION: Nuggets win Game 2
  13. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Scouts Inc. Scouting Breakdown: Nuggets vs. Lakers

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?page=ScoutingNuggetsLakers



    Both teams love to run and push, with L.A. playing at the sixth-fastest pace and Denver setting the pace as the fastest team (just as Golden State did last season). Each team defends well -- Denver is ninth in defensive efficiency and the Lakers are sixth. L.A. is a much more finely tuned offensive machine -- third-best in the league, while Denver is 11th. Not bad, but that will have to be better to upset the Lakers.

    Denver will come out flying from the opening tip, racing up the floor and looking for Carmelo Anthony inside. He's a small forward in name only -- Anthony is a punishing scorer in the paint, using both brute force and terrific technique to get buckets. So L.A.'s big men must race back to cover the rim, allowing their guards to find and cover Denver's shooters. If that happens, it's up to A.I. and Melo to create scoring chances.

    But for Denver to have a chance in this series, they need Marcus Camby to slow Pau Gasol on offense. Kobe will be unguardable, and he'll create shots for his perimeter teammates. But if Gasol can have his way inside as a post option in the triangle, Denver will be hard-pressed to stop him and also defend an offensive juggernaut like Kobe.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Anthony Carter
    7.8 ppg
    2.9 rpg
    5.5 apg


    PG

    Derek Fisher
    11.7 ppg
    2.1 rpg
    2.9 apg

    Carter: He may start at PG, but it is doubtful that he'll get much run in this series. He's a capable shooter and passer, but he's limited on defense. Really, he just needs to get the ball to Melo and A.I. and not turn the ball over much.

    Fisher: He had his best offensive season in years, capably running the Lakers' offense while taking good shots when there was an opening. He was very offensive-minded in L.A.'s games against Denver, scoring 19 points per game on 60 percent shooting and 75 percent from 3. He shot consistently well all season from deep (40.6 percent) and has a solid assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6-to-1). Importantly, he'll spend lots of time chasing and defending Iverson so Kobe can get some rest. Fisher will fight to stay in front of A.I., failing sometimes surely, but will contest many of his midrange shots by using excellent timing on his jump.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Allen Iverson
    26.4 ppg
    3.0 rpg
    7.1 apg


    SG

    Kobe Bryant
    28.3 ppg
    6.3 rpg
    5.4 apg

    Iverson: Despite Melo's recent arrest, Iverson raises the biggest questions heading into the series. He had another excellent season as a scorer and playmaker, though he did log a league-leading 41.8 minutes per game. And he was, by far, Denver's best player against L.A. this season, averaging 7 assists and 30 points on 50 percent shooting. But Iverson reverted to his old self in last year's postseason loss to the Spurs, forcing up too many tough jumpers and runners. A more restrained A.I. would help Denver's offensive attack. He'll check Derek Fisher on defense, but Fisher's reliable ballhandling makes it tough on A.I. to make defensive plays.

    Bryant: Get ready to hear lots of "MVP" chants in this series. Denver has no player to match up with an engaged Kobe, who torched them with 56.8 percent shooting in their three games -- his highest field-goal percentage against any Western opponent. In April, he averaged a season-low monthly total of 26.1 and took more 3s than any other month, a sign that he should be well-rested ... rested and hot, as he hit 45.7 percent of those 3s, the only month when he shot better than 40 percent. He can rest while defending Anthony Carter, but not against J.R. Smith, Linas Kleiza or, of course, A.I. or Melo. Kobe typically raises his defensive effort to suffocating levels in the fourth quarter of close games, and he can do that to any of those guys, save Melo. Kobe's assist ratios were up a tic from the past few seasons, and Gasol is the best offensive player he's played with since Shaq, so we might not see him get into his high-scoring mode unless (or until) Denver can slow some of the other Lakers players.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Carmelo Anthony
    25.7 ppg
    7.4 rpg
    3.4 apg


    SF

    Vladimir Radmanovic
    8.4 ppg
    3.3 rpg
    1.9 apg

    Anthony: One of the most devastating offensive machines in the NBA. Capable of putting up huge numbers against any player and from almost anywhere in the half court. Also a devastating player in Denver's transition game, filling lanes or taking a position at the rim as the lead post in Denver's early offense. The Lakers need to account for him at all times, which they've done reasonably well this season (just 20 ppg in three games). He won't have to work hard in defending Luke Walton, but will need to be aware of rotation responsibilities in dealing with the Lakers' terrific ball movement.

    Radmanovic: An important part of the strong Lakers offense, he's an efficient scorer and an underrated passer. Enjoyed his best month of the season in April, averaging 10 points and hitting 40 percent of his 3s. His size allows him to get shots off from the perimeter without getting them contested often on catch-and-shoot situations, and no Western team gave up more points to him than Denver (13.5 ppg in two games, hitting 6-of-13 from 3). The Nuggets' guards are just too small to bother him on closeouts. When he's on, the entire Lakers offense jumps up a notch. Unfortunately, his size will be no help to him on the defensive end, as Melo will use his superior quickness and strength to score on him in a myriad of ways.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Kenyon Martin
    12.4 ppg
    6.5 rpg
    1.3 apg


    PF

    Lamar Odom
    14.2 ppg
    10.7 rpg
    3.5 apg

    Martin: Had a nice comeback year and is a solid player on both ends. Still gets lots of dunks (23 percent of his field goal attempts) but takes too many perimeter jumpers for such a below-average shooter. Has struggled to score against the Lakers, getting only 24 points in three games, and his production has dropped significantly in April. He might be wearing down following his microfracture surgery last season. Defending Lamar Odom, and keeping him off the glass, will be tough to do. Martin will be thrilled to be able to play in this postseason, so we should see him intense and battle-ready.

    Odom: Another unsung hero on this team; Odom learned to be more efficient as a shooter and scorer by cutting down his 3-point attempts. He only took 1.5 3s per game this season (3.3 last season). And in April, when Odom enjoyed his best scoring month (16.1 ppg on 63 percent shooting), he attempted only three 3-pointers; the Lakers went 7-1 in those games. Not only that, his rebounds are up (10.6) and his turnovers are down (2.0). It appears Odom has found his niche as a solid, versatile wing slasher and post scorer. He'll need his terrific length to counter K-Mart's superior quickness and high-energy motor on Denver's offensive end. And Odom's ball skills off the bounce will allow him to serve as a good pressure-release man if the Nuggets get into a trapping game.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Marcus Camby
    9.1 ppg
    13.1 rpg
    3.6 bpg


    C

    Pau Gasol
    18.9 ppg
    8.4 rpg
    3.2 apg

    Camby: The 34-year-old Camby recorded a career-best 13.1 boards per game, but his offense fell off considerably (a career-low 10.4 ppg per 40 minutes). His matchup against Gasol should be one of the better battles in Round 1 leaguewide, and Camby is loaded with pride on that end of the floor. His 3.6 blocks per game led the league by a wide margin, and it's not just Gasol who has to worry about him inside -- it's any Laker shooting from the paint. He likes to hang back when his man sets a ball screen, leaving jump shooters open.

    Gasol: No player in these playoffs can be happier about their position than Gasol. Like T-Mac and KG, Gasol has known the bitterness of playoff defeats all too well. But with a record of 22-5 since he started playing in L.A., his passion for playing and winning is back for all to see. Interestingly, he has not played a game against Denver, so like two boxers feeling each other out in Round 1, he and Camby will do a similar dance. Like a lot of his teammates, Gasol comes into the playoffs rolling (18.8 ppg on 61 percent shooting). He's already adept at posting, screening and passing within the triangle, and he is very comfortable carrying the scoring load when Kobe is resting. He's also an underrated defender, blocking 1.5 shots per game while rarely fouling anyone.

    DENVER NUGGETS
    POSITION
    LOS ANGELES LAKERS

    Linas Kleiza
    11.1 ppg
    4.3 rpg
    1.2 apg


    BENCH

    Jordan Farmar
    9.1 ppg
    2.2 rpg
    2.7 apg

    NUGGETS

    Linas Kleiza: One of two scoring machines that coach George Karl can bring off the bench to help get points or bring energy. Kleiza's 3-point shooting was not as good this season as last season, but he had some big scoring nights, including a 41-point effort. Extremely tough player who excels in transition and can defend -- may even see some minutes versus Kobe. Excellent in the transition game, as well.

    J.R. Smith: Karl's other X factor from the bench, Smith enjoyed a mini-breakout year by improving in almost every category. Like Kleiza, he can score in huge bunches off drives, sprints or pure shooting from deep. He's Denver's most reliable 3-point shooter (40.3 percent). Smith can be a game-changer with his perimeter shooting, and he must remember Karl losing faith in him last April. He should be ready to make amends.

    Eduardo Najera: Another tough-nosed and energetic player, with an improved 3-point shot. Najera makes a lot of little things happen that lead to big things for Denver. But he was never a factor in the games against L.A. this season.

    Chucky Atkins: Heady veteran who dealt with injuries all season. Similar to Carter, gets them into their offense and tries to limit mistakes.

    LAKERS

    Jordan Farmar: One of the NBA's most improved players. Solid from 3 (37.1 percent) and a good on-ball defender. Has the athleticism to hang with Denver's jets, as well. Excellent finisher around the basket.

    Luke Walton: Still a great passer and an improved rebounder, but struggled this year as a shooter. Tough for him to defend Anthony or K-Mart, but at least he hit 5-of-10 3s in April to give him some confidence going into the series.

    Ronny Turiaf: Big man who brings lots of energy and passion into each game, but he's got talent, too. Steady as a rebounder and knows where to move on defense -- he'll be key in helping slow Denver's slashers.

    Sasha Vujacic: Another Laker who greatly improved this season, and the best deep shooter on this team (43.7 percent from 3). He's also a pest on defense (and to the referees) with his hustle and quickness. He's capable of helping to somewhat neutralize Denver's strong bench scoring with some of his own (averaged 11 ppg in just 16 minutes in their three games).

    BOTTOM LINE

    David Thorpe: Denver is a dangerous team, and just a year ago almost stole both games in San Antonio to start the series. They are happy to be playing anyone but the Spurs, who have wiped them out in consecutive playoffs. The Lakers are peaking, deep and balanced on both ends of the floor. These teams are fairly evenly matched, but one is better built to win four of seven.
    Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers 4, Denver 2

    Mike Moreau: The Nuggets have been unpredictable all season, but that does not minimize how dangerous they can be. They may drive their fans crazy, but they'll give the Lakers all they can handle.
    Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers 4, Denver 2
  14. sickswonnyne
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    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Hahahaha i didnt catch it at first. Garbage in, garbage out. Shaq turned into Caron Butler, Odom, Brian Grant into Kwame Brown and Lamar Odom into Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol! Sooo...

    Shaq -> Odom and Gasol. I like it!

    (I know there's more to it, but simplifying it makes it cooler)
  15. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    time to make a statement

    :tup:
  16. Greeney03
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    Greeney03 BoltTalker

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    Lakers vs Spurs Conference Finals

    Lakers win in 6

    Lakers vs Celtics NBA Finals

    Celtics win in 7.

    Just my prediction. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan
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    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Not if Atlanta knocks off the Celtics in 7.

    Boston going SEVEN with ATLANTA? :icon_rofl:

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